5 Things You Can Expect from Washington if You Elect Republicans
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There are more than five, of course, and voting Democrat may not be much of an improvement, but attaching these adjectives to the comically contemptible GOP seems more than appropriate.
In 2010 Mitch McConnell said: "The single most important thing we want to achieve is for President Obama to be a one-term president." He didn't mention the economy, or education, or jobs, or the housing market. Instead, the goal is to beat Obama, whatever misery it might cause 200 million Americans.
For the past two years the Republicans have obstructed proposals that would have helped most Americans. They fought the middle-class tax cut because it would only apply to the first quarter-million of income. They killed a jobs bill that was supported by two-thirds of the public. They rejected a bill to disclose information about big campaign donors. They disrupted the routine process of increasing the debt ceiling, thus triggering the first-ever downgrading of the U.S. credit rating. Most recently they've obstructed efforts to provide mortgage debt relief to American homeowners.
Along the way they found time to obstruct other bills that conflicted with their 'austerity' mentality: a Pay Equity Bill that would have provided greater pay equality for women; a bill to limit student loan rates; a transportation bill that Senator Dick Durbin called one of the "easiest bills to do on Capitol Hill"; a demand for a $16 million cut in the FAA budget that led to a $25 million PER DAY shutdown.
Republicans in Congress, by relying on questionable filibuster rules and delay tactics, have built a "road to gridlock" in the halls of our government. They have been even less productive than the "do-nothing" Congress of Harry Truman. As observed by George Lakoff and Elisabeth Wehling, their recalcitrance "disables the government to the point where it can no longer carry out its moral mission -- the protection and empowerment of everyone equally."
And it all makes the Obama Administration look really bad.
Despite obstructing every proposal Obama has sent their way, Republicans have the temerity to pass the blame for Congressional failures onto the President and the Democrats. Most of the criticisms border on the absurd. They accuse him of "class warfare" for proposing to tax incomes over $1 million. They blame him for failing to avoid reductions in military spending. They accuse him of single-handedly losing the country's AAA credit rating.
The President has even been blamed for "strangling the economy" in Ohio when federal labor statistics show that the state's unemployment rate has declined since Obama took office. And, as U.S. corporations abandon job-seeking Americans, Obama is somehow tagged with the title of "outsourcer-in-chief."
The venom is directed not only at political opponents, but also at the public. Social security, a popular and well-run program, is constantly targeted for cuts. Medicare, just as popular, is also threatened, even though private insurance administrative costs are three times higher. The U.S. Post Office was directly assaulted by the 2006 Republican Congress with a ludicrous demand for 75 years of pre-funded retirement plans.
When Republicans run out of spite and accusations, they turn to ambiguities, which allow insults to be fashioned for no particular reason. Mitt Romney blasted Obama's policies for creating "more uncertainty." House Speaker John Boehner lamented the "economic uncertainty that is destroying jobs." House Majority Leader Eric Cantor referred to the "cloud of uncertainty" hanging over small and large employers."
Republicans have persisted in their 30-year delusion that tax cuts for the rich stimulate the economy and the job market. It is simply not true. Research by Piketty and Saez and Stantcheva confirms that there is a direct relationship between reduced tax rates and higher incomes, and that there is no relationship between tax cuts and GDP growth. As for the claim by Orrin Hatch that a tax increase on top earners would hurt small business, a recent Treasury analysis found that only 2.5% of small businesses would face higher taxes from the expiration of the Bush tax cuts.