Muftic: Republicans should be "Party That Does Not Care"
July 27, 2010
With the no vote by Republicans on a bill to extend unemployment benefits, the party of “no” fully qualifies for the title of “The Party Who Does Not Care.”
It could be a winning strategy; after all, the majority of Americans have a job, health care, retirement and a roof over their heads. The majority of Americans do not have school age kids, either.
The only issue where Congressional Republicans support a minority interest is in matters of taxation. The majority of their party fears that tax burdens on those making over $200,000 a year will be increased. However, that impact of proposed and enacted Obama taxes is not on the majority of Americans. Those $200,000-plus income brackets are a relatively small segment of American households.
Tea Partyers and conservative media are constantly reminding the majority of Americans that they should be angry that they have to devote a portion of their tax money to those who are not in the majority.
Republic Congressional leaders have nimbly avoided any responsibility for providing credible problem-solving alternatives. Instead, all but a few Republicans joined in the strategy to stop the Obama agenda, voting no on every proposal to improve the economy or to bring relief to those hurt by the recession.
In addition to the no vote on unemployment extension:
• Republicans in Congress seem not to care about making health insurance affordable to the 30 million who cannot get it now. Their “alternative” proposals would only cover 3 million more … hardly problem solving.
• Congressional Republicans have voted nearly en masse against Wall Street reform that will protect taxpayers, investors, and consumers. Instead, all they have proposed is to protect the bottom line of the big banks, opposing any measures to fix or prevent what caused the crash.
• Congressional Republicans even opposed stimulus money to maintain employment of their children’s teachers, and some advocate disbanding the Department of Education. Yet our kid’s failing schools are leaving a legacy of ignorance, which will hurt our ability to compete in the world and condemn them to lower paying jobs when they are adults.
What Republicans do care about is the federal deficit. Congressional Republicans gloss over the fact that their party turned a $400 billion Clinton-era surplus into a $1.3 trillion deficit and they propose to return to the same policies that caused it.
Republicans in Congress have used the deficit as an excuse to sabotage the Obama agenda by voting to oppose any addition to the federal deficit.
Remember 2002 when VP Dick Cheney famously proclaimed “deficits don’t matter?” He may have had a point but his timing was way off. It may sound like common sense not to add to deficits, but it is not good economics at this time. Most economists right or left agree that the wrong time to reduce spending and the right time to increase spending is in the middle of a recession. Obama has promised deficit reduction as the economy improves, but we are not there yet.
Fortunately for Democrats, not every voter is motivated to support a candidate because of their own immediate self interest. Some do care about education or what happens to those who are not so lucky They realize that when a neighbor or relative has hard times, they, too, can suffer in loss of business or emotional stress. They know that without the stimulus, two million more would be unemployed. Our economy, investors, taxpayers and consumers needed reform legislation protection from irresponsible Wall Street risk taking. Someday in the future someone in their family will be grateful for health insurance they can afford, regardless of pre-existing conditions.
It is the extent to which voters realize what the Obama administration has accomplished toward fixing some of our country’s problems in spite of the recession that stands between the party of “we do not care” and their success in November.
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