Friday, August 11, 2017

It's the Republicans too

It’s not just Trump that is a problem in today’s politics.  Those Republicans caught in the various bubbles of conservative dogma are the ones doing great damage to the country and the world.  Trump is the peacock - the Republicans are the wolves.

For example – health care.  The “Freedom Caucus” in the House of Representatives and their dogmatic compatriots in the Senate are promoting the repeal of Obamacare, but the impact of that obsession is to make it impossible for about 20 million people or more to be able to afford health insurance.  This is not something that provides freedom for people.  It is something that enslaves them to untreated health problems, robs them of the freedom of a healthy body that access to medical care gives them.  The “Freedom Caucus” might best be renamed the “Trap the Citizens in a Spiral of Poverty Caucus”.

For example – the environment.  The Republicans have been so blinded by the dogma of Reaganomics (in this case the deregulation part of Reaganomics) that they are stripping the country of the protections put in place to fight against the corporate polluters.  Those captured by this piece of dogma think they taking the restraints off of business and creating jobs, but what is really happening is that they are going back to the “good old days” of filthy air and water.  I find this disgusting.

For example – tax breaks for the wealthy.  Here is the second part of the obsolete and damaging dogma of Reaganomics – tax cuts for the wealthy.  I understand the idea that reducing taxes on the "job creators" is supposed to stimulate the economy.  I thought that myself up until the financial crash of 2008.  But I now understand that it doesn’t work.  What stimulates the economy is to empower the middle class, not to give more money to the wealthy.  As I have written often, Reagan lowered taxes and the economy grew, Clinton raised taxes and the economy grew more, Bush lowered taxes and the economy stagnated.  Tax rates for the wealthy do not have much of any effect on the growth of the economy.  Yet, this is a dogmatic belief of the Republican Party.

For example – restrict immigration and kick out immigrants.  This is especially dumb, it seems to me.  Less educated immigrants have always been a spur to the American economy.   Plus, highly educated immigrants are key to the tech industry.  This is little more than bigotry.

For example – talking tough.  Good grief!  We now have a president that thinks the way to deal with the paranoid man-child running North Korea is to threaten him with nuclear holocaust.  And there is a portion of the Republicans who are glad that we finally have a president with Balls.  Idiotic.  What you do is de-escalate, not escalate the rhetoric.  Trump is very “brave” – putting the lives of South Koreans, Japanese, Guamanians, and Chinese at risk in order to strut his childish bravado. 

I’m not sure when the Republican Party lost its ability to think, probably about the time talk radio and Fox News became vehicles for the Oligarchy propaganda machine. 

I realize that there is much to criticize about those lost in left wing dogmatic bubbles as well – the ridiculous extremities of identity politics, the unaffordable notion of Medicare for everybody, the dumbing down of a college education if college becomes a free entitlement, etc.  But the left wing is in the margins and the right wing is running the country off the cliff.