Nel's New Day

May 21, 2012

Republicans Set to Destroy Country

The Republicans have repeatedly stated that they have one purpose, to stop the reelection of President Barack Obama. From their actions they are so focused on this outcome that they are willing to destroy the country.

Last year, they nearly destroyed the economy with their manufactured crisis over raising the nation’s debt ceiling. The spending cuts from that compromise slowed the economy and lost people in this country hundreds of thousands of jobs—over one million in the government sector alone. The Economic Policy Institute, a top nonpartisan think tank, estimated after the deal settling the debt ceiling that it would cost the economy 1.8 million jobs by 2012.

Polls have showed that half of the people in the nation agree that Republicans are sabotaging the economy only to damage the president’s chances of reelection. Last fall three separate polls found that half the people agreed with this statement: “Republicans are intentionally stalling efforts to jumpstart the economy to insure that Barack Obama is not reelected.”

Perhaps that conclusion came from what Republicans have said. Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) vowed, “The single most important thing we want to achieve is for President Obama to be a one-term president.” Last week House Speaker John Boehner (R-OH) continued the vendetta by claiming that Republicans will take the economy hostage again in order to get their way at the time of raising the nation’s borrowing limit.

Even the right-leaning Associated Press agreed about the Republicans’ attempt to sabotage the economy and that it seems to be working. An article published two days ago included this statement: “There’s evidence that unceasing partisan gridlock and the prospect of big tax increases and spending cuts in January are causing some companies to postpone expansions.”

At the same time that Boeher made his threats, The Washington Post published a list of military contractors, hospitals, and universities that are delaying hires and bracing for cuts because of the Republicans’ mean-spirited actions. As Thomas E. Mann and Norman J. Ornstein wrote, “partisan gridlock” is code for Republican extremism and intransigence. “Republicans are the problem,” they added.

The budget according to Rep. Paul Ryan (R-WI) was bad enough, but Sen. Rand Paul (R-KY) has come up with one that is far worse. According to Dana Milbank, “The tea party darling’s plan would, among other things, cut the average Social Security recipient’s benefits by nearly 40 percent, reduce defense spending by nearly $100 billion below a level the Pentagon calls ‘devastating,’ and end the current Medicare program in two years–even for current recipients, according to the Senate Budget Committee staff. It would eliminate the education, energy, housing and commerce departments, decimate homeland security, eviscerate programs for the poor, and give the wealthy a bonanza by reducing tax rates to 17 percent and eliminating taxes on capital gains and dividends.” And that’s the position of the Republican party.

Republicans have a two-pronged attack, however. If they don’t actually destroy something, they claim that Republican administrations are far better than those with a Democratic president. Take for example, the way that they have continually attacked the president on the unemployment rate despite the methods that Republicans have used to decrease employment.

A Bloomberg Government analysis shows that during the last half century job growth was twice as much with Democratic presidents than with Republican ones: non-government payrolls have grown by almost 42 million jobs under Democratic presidents as compared to the 24 million jobs for Republican presidents.

President Obama has continued the trend. Job loss during his first 3.5 years is far less than the same period of time during George W. Bush’s first term. From January 2001 through March 2004, the country lost more than 1.6 million jobs overall, and more than 2.4 million jobs in the private sector, meaning that Bush made up for part of the total job loss by adding 800,000 jobs to the government. Meanwhile, from January 2009 through March 2012, the country lost an estimated 740,000 jobs in total with about 161,000 jobs in the private sector. By last month there were more private sector jobs than when the president took office despite the horrible recession that he inherited as well as the gridlock from the obstructionist Congress.

And this plan to destroy the country is not a recent endeavor.  Robert Draper, contributing writer for The New York Times, gives some of the background in his new book Do Not Ask What Good We Do: Inside the U.S. House of Representatives. According to the book, top Republicans met at the same time as President Obama’s inauguration to destroy the economy so that they could portray the president as a failure.

The four-hour private, invitation only, meeting was attended by Republican propaganda expert Frank Luntz and twelve leading congressmen: Paul Ryan, Eric Cantor, Kevin McCarthy, Pete Sessions, Jeb Hensarling, Pete Hoekstra, Dan Lungren, Jim DeMint, Jon Kyl, Tom Coburn, John Ensign, and Bob Corker. Newt Gingrich also attended, the only attendee other than Luntz who was not a legislator.

Luntz is well known as a speaker at Republican meetings, teaching how to use terminology that helps turn public opinion to their advantage. Because of Luntz, Republicans always use the term “job creator” when they actually mean people who will fleece the bottom 99 percent by getting lower taxes for the wealthy. He moved the term “Orwellian” from its original meaning of totalitarian state to “speak with absolute clarity, to be succinct.” “Oil drilling,” no; “energy exploration,” yes. “Healthcare reform,” no; “government takeover,” yes. And that’s the Republican party approach.

Fortunately, more and more people in the United States, both Democrats and Republicans, are learning the that the current federal conservative approach is not ideological; it is evil. Conservatives continue to strip everyone in the country of their meager earnings to give to the wealthy while increasing the deficit so that they can destroy all parts of the government except the Department of Defense. And people notice.

“A system designed to govern through compromise stops working when an entire political party refuses to make concessions. Policymakers have honored certain norms for generations, but once those norms have been abandoned–filibustering every bill of any consequence, for example–institutions begin to break down.”—Rachel Maddow

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