Republicans and the War Against the Poor

Late yesterday afternoon Speaker of the House John Boehner walked out on the U. S. budget talks yet again claiming that “the white house moved the goal posts.” It has become increasingly clear that Republicans are not willing to anger the Tea Party extremists who refuse to concede to a tax raise of any kind on “any people.” Except, of course, the underprivileged.

President Obama stated that he was willing to “take the heat” from his own liberal base who feel that he has compromised too much on the budget negotiations. Obama is a shrewd politician, but also a trusting one. He was wrong to trust that the Mr. Boehner and the Republicans would do the right thing and negotiate a series of compromises that would allow the government to raise the debt ceiling. In fact, President Obama has been far too trusting of the Republicans for the entire tenure of his presidency. The Republicans have moved increasingly to the right over the last thirty years, while Democrats have moved toward the center. Now that the Tea Party has entered the scene, a party, I argue, that is grounded in a white, racist ideology full of resentment and steeped in an entirely mythical “America,” the moderate Republicans are being forced to moved even further to the right in order to save their own political future.

The Tea Party movement is lead by idiots and angry individuals who resent government intrusion and taxes of any kind. I also do not like to pay taxes, and feel that I pay far too much. Yet, I am not willing to pay less if it means that certain vital social programs will be cut. No one likes to pay taxes, but taxes are part of our civic responsibility to community. The Tea Party has it all wrong, and most of its leaders, like Ms. Bachman, are not even well versed in American history. The Tea Party movement is more of a threat to American security and the American freedom than al-Qaeda.

The Republican refusal to come to the table is a smoke and mirrors game intended to convince the American public that they are willing to negotiate. Yet, nothing could be further from the truth. NO NEW TAXES has become an ideological strain so powerful that Republican leaders are unwilling to negotiate on any item that calls for even the slightest tax raise. Republicans claim that new taxes would not allow businesses to hire and further penalize those who are already overburdened carrying for those who depend upon government services. Republicans conveniently ignore the fact that CEOs are still receiving multi-million dollar bonuses. Taxes are not the problem. The problem is an ethical one.

The Republicans call for making “tough choices” when it comes to budget cuts. Those “tough choices” effect programs like Social Security, Medicare and Medicaid, as well as Public Broadcasting, after school programs, and a host of others that those who are elderly or underprivileged have come to rely upon in order to live. The Republican refusal to compromise is simply a war against the poor. It’s easy to take services away from those who historically have had no voice. Taking services away from the poor is par for the course when it comes to Republican strategy, or, as they would claim, responsibility.

On this Saturday morning the future of the United States looks pretty bleak. The inability for both parties to work together is something, I suspect, most Americans are angry about. And we should be. President Obama has offered compromise again and again, and tax hikes on the super rich should be part of the deal. Raising taxes on the super rich will not change their lifestyles one bit. However, if the Republicans get their way, and essential social programs are cut, then millions of Americans will be severely hurt. Cutting essential social programs is the same as raising taxes, but on those least able to afford it. Why aren’t the Republicans and the Tea Party extremists vocal about this?


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