US President Barack Obama was successful yesterday in getting the House of Representatives to support his economic stimulus package; a package that was watered down solely to obtain the approval of House Republicans.
Despite this, and the dire straits in which the economy flounders, the hundreds of thousands being thrown out of work, mature and long-standing businesses forced to close, not one Republican member voted in favor of the bill.
That fact alone tells us a great deal about America in general and the Republican Party, in particular.
Do the Republicans have any alternative suggestions for promoting economic recovery – apart, that is, from the hundreds of billions of tax payer’s dollars already donated to finance corporations?
There are, apparently, two suggestions. The first is: do nothing. This is logic based on the marketplace eventually self-righting after its capsize, and sailing on to better climes.
Obviously, there are no seafarers amongst Republican senators, or they’d know that no vessel is capable of self-righting and sailing on, without the benefit of a skipper at the helm.
Apparently, they don’t like the new skipper and are determined to mutiny.
The second option is one we’ve heard before, so many, many, times: cut taxes.
Let’s briefly examine both options.
To sit idly by and wait for better times to emerge from the fog of depression means a period of intense unemployment and financial hardship for a high proportion of Americans. The nation’s health will deteriorate drastically, as insurance payments dry up and folk can’t afford medical expenses, property prices will slump still further, and crime will rise dramatically.
There are a number of US citizens, however, who are sufficiently well-heeled to ride out the storm quite comfortably. Republican senators, and those they represent, are among that number.
This option carries an added bonus: with so many desperate for work, as jobs once more become available wages will drop; people will be willing to work for far less than before. Greater profits for the bosses, and a further tightening of the noose around the necks of employee’s unions, will result.
The beneficiaries? Republicans, and those they represent.
Okay, so let’s cut taxes instead.
Whose taxes do we cut? The ever-increasing numbers of unemployed don’t pay tax. The sick and handicapped don’t pay tax. The lowest paid workers don’t pay tax.
So, let’s cut the taxes of those who do – the wealthier of the middle classes, Republican senators, and those they represent.
God forbid America should turn into a welfare state. By definition, that means the nation has to look after its people. Not just those citizens who’ve realized their American Dream by climbing over the backs of others less fortunate than themselves – because that is how one’s American Dream is realized in the 21st century – but all those who may have helped make the dreams of others come true, without receiving any benefit themselves in return.
Republican senators don’t give a damn about them – the ‘ordinary’ people of this country – but they’re still flesh and blood, in need of medicine when they get sick, and food in their bellies, and a warm, secure roof over their heads at night.
Providing those things to the unfortunate and needy is what a welfare state is all about. Republican senators, and the wealthy parasites they represent, hate the very idea because they know they would have to give up some of their surplus riches to pay for it. They’re quick to sneer, and call it “Socialism”.
It’s why they hate government. The government is the only body in the land who can legally claim some of their money, in the form of taxation. Republicans are in government to prevent government.
One has only to look back over the last eight years to see what Republican government did for America: there was no investment in infrastructure, the environment, or in people. Every penny profit went straight into the pockets of the already wealthy and powerful – those same parasites Republicans represent.
For this reason alone, not one Republican was prepared to vote in favor of Obama’s bill to help put Americans back to work, and to modernize a country they and their pals have been sucking the lifeblood out of for decades.
As the new President, Barack Obama must quickly learn his first lesson. It’s one even the White House puppy should be aware of: if you pamper parasites, they’ll just make your life a misery.
It’s time to dust the flea powder around Washington.
Filed under: Got an itch, Obama?