Monday, January 30, 2012

GOP Primary Race

Are Republicans serious? Is the race for the GOP nomination really between a guy who has made a career out of running for president and a guy who has made a career out of being an asshole? Sadly, the answer is yes, and even more pathetically, neither of them have anything resembling a coherent plan to move this country forward (as they say, they want to 'take the country back'). Let's review a few of my favorite GOP talking points.

1) "Tax cuts stimulate job growth." Tax cuts do not, can not, and have not ever created jobs. Ever. The idea that a company will miraculously start hiring people because their tax rates have been reduced is asinine. If Republicans really believed in "free market Capitalism," they would understand that it's demand, not tax rates, that gives companies incentives to hire people. Furthermore, corporations use our roads and emergency services, as well as relying on our education system to create a strong work force. The idea that corporations should be exempt from taxes is as un-American and unfair as it gets.

2) "We can't raise taxes on the job creators." This one always makes me laugh. Again, if Republicans really understood how jobs are actually created in this country, they would know that most jobs are created by small businesses, which in turn are, by overwhelming majority, owned by people who are not millionaires or billionaires. Therefore, the claim that raising taxes on the very highest income brackets will somehow stifle job growth is false. One need look no further than the Clinton and Eisenhower eras to see that higher taxes actually promote job growth. The ONLY reason Republicans want tax cuts is for themselves.

3) "Regulations hurt job growth." First of all, no they don't. Second of all, Capitalism has to have rules. We've seen and are still suffering from the deregulation of our financial system.

4) "The federal government has grown too big under Obama." In reality, President Obama has shrunk the federal work force, consolidated regulations (and has now begun to consolidate government agencies to make them more efficient)and reduced the strain on our military. Under President Bush, with legislation such as the Patriot Act, Medicare Part D, No Child Left Behind and two wars, the federal government grew exponentially. President Obama has offered massive spending cuts, and the GOP has turned him down at every corner. See, the biggest problem with the economic plans of the Republican party is that they are completely devoid of any mathematical reality. Cutting taxes and spending will not resolve our national deficit (although the GOP has never cared about that, thanks Gipper), nor will they help pay down our national debt. Doth the GOP deflect much?

5) "Traditional marriage is between one man and one woman." Actually, it isn't. Historically, marriage has been the ownership of women by men, who often had either multiple wives or one wife and numerous concubines, mistresses and the like. Under "traditional" (i.e. Biblical) marriage, women were considered property and were commanded to be stoned for such egregious things such as not being a virgin at the time of marriage.

6) "Abortion is murder." No it isn't. It's a medical procedure, and the decision to have one is best left between doctors and patients.

7) "Climate change is a hoax." Anyone who believes this is either a) completely devoid of all physical senses, b) living on another planet and not paying attention, or c) both. Basic chemistry: increased CO2 in the atmosphere traps more solar heat. This thermal variation will causes changes in our climate. Try this at home: seal your garage, and leave your car on for a week. Try to breathe, and notice how the environment has changed. Now, imagine that on a global scale.

8) "Poor people are lazy. They are freeloaders mooching off hard-working Americans." Funny, I seem to think a billionaire hedge-fund manager who makes money off money, contributes nothing to society, gets free tax cuts and takes vacations all year is lazier than a single mom who works 3 jobs to support her kid.

The bottom line - we need to demand that the Republican party return to its Lincoln-esque foundations. The current crop of candidates, nationwide, is eerily reminiscent of 1930's Germany; extreme nationalism, constant scapegoating, and persistent fear-mongering. We must not allow these tenets to govern our great country.