Total Pageviews

Monday, 14 October 2013

The Awful Progressive Liberals?

In the US today it is rare for someone with “Liberal” political views to identify themselves as being a Liberal. The word has all kinds of negative connotations due mostly to the relentless hammering from the political right and their wealthy benefactors. “Communist”, “Socialist”, “Pinko” are words often tied to being Liberal. Being totally or partially reliant on the government, lazy and unambitious, wanting something for nothing, freeloaders, expecting others to provide for them, unpatriotic, are some of the more common themes used to describe anything that is considered to be liberal by the right. As a result of this continued onslaught many Liberals have chosen to identify themselves as “Progressives”.
Many in the US, from both the Republican Party and the Democratic Party, think that President Barack Obama is a Liberal. He isn’t. Neither is Bill Clinton or Hilary Clinton. They are “Centrists”. In a lot of ways they are closer to what the old Republican Party used to stand for.

You don’t have to look very far to get a good indication that Obama is no Progressive. His healthcare plan, the ACA (Affordable Healthcare Act) is based upon a right wing think tank idea that Mitt Romney, the former governor of Massachusetts, implemented in Massachusetts. It is also very similar to a healthcare plan that Republican president Richard Nixon once considered introducing to the American people.
For a number of years now in the US Senate getting any bill passed has required 60 of 100 votes. Not 51%. (There are 100 senators in the Senate.) When Obama first started to set up the ACA he was quite aware that there were several “Blue Dog” Democrats in the senate. The Blue Dogs have kind of disappeared in the past few years but when they were around they leaned towards conservative views.
The insurance companies had their own point man in the Democratic Party, Senator Max Baucus from the state of Montana. Montana has a population of about 1 million people, about 1/300th of the US population, and Baucus has been in office for more than 35 years. From 2003 to 2008 Baucus received over 4 million dollars from the healthcare insurers and the pharmaceutical industry in campaign contributions. There was no way Baucus was ever going to consider universal healthcare as a viable alternative to the existing healthcare delivery in the US.
Max Baucus
Before the ACA became law Obama formed commissions to study America’s healthcare system. The healthcare insurers were at the table as were representatives from the major pharmaceutical companies. Doctors and nurses and the public in general were left out of the process.
When explained factually without right wing doom and gloom nonsense, “User Pay” or universal healthcare is favoured by most Americans. Historically from the 1960s on, the major healthcare insurers in the US have been buying out their competition. There are only several “players” in the healthcare insurance industry today with two of them having over 70 million customers each.
Obama decided that taking away part of the insurance cartel’s business was an impossible task considering how entrenched they were and how powerful their lobbyists are. Even though every civilized country on the planet has government sponsored universal healthcare Obama resigned himself that this type of healthcare in America was too big of a stretch.
Obama came into office unprepared. He really didn’t have a lot of political contacts on a national level. When it came to choosing a running mate, he didn’t have a lot of choices and settled on the affable but awkward Joe Biden. After beating the crap out of Hilary Clinton in the primaries, once elected, Obama had to go to her, hat in hand, to get her to accept the position of Secretary of State. It seems likely that part of that bargain was leaning more to the center as the Clintons prefer to do.
Most Progressives expected universal healthcare to be part of Obama’s push to reform health care. It wasn’t the only time they would be disappointed in the following years. A lot of promises were broken as Obama moved to the center often appeasing the Republican Party.
-Gitmo (Guantanamo Bay), in Cuba, where foreign terrorists were held, often without trial, was never closed as Obama had promised.
-Eliminating oil and gas tax loopholes was another promise not kept.
-Ending no-bid contracts above $25,000.00 never happened.
-Creating a 60 billion dollar bank to fund roads and bridges never came about.
-Allowing Americans to buy prescription drugs from foreign countries never got off the ground.
-Allowing Medicare to negotiate for cheaper drugs was killed outright and Obama made a sweetheart deal with the pharmaceutical corporations.
-Require employers to provide 7 sick days per year. It didn’t happen.
-Reduce the veteran’s benefits administration backlog. It didn’t happen.
-Clarify legal status for defense contractor personnel. It didn’t happen.
-Establish regulations to secure chemical plants. It didn’t happen.
-Toughen rules against revolving door of lobbyists and former government officials. It didn’t happen.
-Not knowing a lot about economics Obama settled for Tim Geithner, the Wall Street insider, as his Secretary of the Treasury.
The list goes on and on. Mostly anything that gave an advantage to corporate America over the American public was maintained.
Nobody on Wall Street of any note was ever prosecuted. Criminal activity by the previous administration was simply ignored. There is a reason why certain Republicans don’t travel to some foreign countries.
On top of all of this Obama maintained a lot of the Bush era foreign policies.
In Obama’s defense there was a lot to fix when he came into office and he wasn’t going to get any cooperation from the Republicans. On top of all of that he had to put up with a lot of racism and false accusations like being a Socialist or Communist.
In the end the American left was left with the conclusion that at least he wasn’t “the other guy”, a McCain or Romney.
One of the more notable instances of Obama being afraid of the right in the US was when he failed to appoint Elizabeth Warren as the head of the new consumer protection agency. Luckily for him, she chose to run for senator in Massachusetts.

A Quick Review Of Some American History
It is important to have some understanding of American history to understand why the US is in the state it is today. Right from the beginning of the settling of the US control of the country has been mostly in the hands of the very wealthy.
The right in the US likes to portray those on the left that see a huge inequality between the very wealthy and the rest of America as jealousy forgetting of course that many of the wealthy in the US are themselves Democrats.
-You can’t really look at the first part of American history without being aware of what was stolen from the American Indians.
Wounded Knee Massacre
-The US was initially settled by The Pilgrims from England on the east coast of the country. They came to America for religious freedom where they could practice their faith without persecution of the threat of imprisonment or persecution. This of course only applied to the like-minded Christians. Things got out of hand with the Salem witch trials when some were put to death.
-Back then the US was mostly an agrarian country. As time went on landowners had more and more influence in local politics. The more land they controlled the richer they became.
-In 1776 The Declaration of Independence was introduced. In the preamble “all men are created equal” is mentioned. Many of the signers of this document were in fact slave owners which isn’t quite all men being equal. Most of the signers were also wealthy land owners. The American Indians were also not part of the “all men are created equal”.
-The US south was built on slavery. The US Civil War was partly but not entirely about slavery and the man who tried to abolish it, President Lincoln, was a Republican. Many of the Founding Fathers who signed The Declaration of Independence were slave owners including Washington and Jefferson.
American slavery.
-In the mid-1800s the industrial revolution started. More and more people flocked to the cities in search of work. By the 1890s by far most of the wealth in the US belonged to a small % of people.
-Wealth controlled both local and national politics. People’s general welfare was often the least thing most politicians were concerned with.
-Around 1900 progressive ideas started to come to the fore in the US. A number of unions were created to give workers some rights. Over the next 50 years or so there were a number of fierce battles between workers and strike breakers who were hired by the wealthy.
-In 1929 the stock market crashed and fortunes were lost. Out of control recklessness with goods and materials having false values and people investing without collateral were some of the reasons for the collapse. Poor farming methods based on endless extraction led to the Dust Bowl and millions of Americans were out of work.
-WW2 revived America’s fortunes and led to a number of years of prosperity. Manufacturing was a key part of the country’s economy and there was an abundance of decent paying blue collar jobs.
-For the past 30 years or so the control of the nation has shifted more and more to the very wealthy and Corporate America. Wage gains have in no way matched the increased cost of living for many in the middle class and more and more Americans are struggling.
So…What Have Progressive Ideas Done To Better American’s Lives?
Before offering up a list it should be noted that the very rich have always stood in the way of progress if it includes benefitting the middle class or poor.
The world does not stand still. There are things that have always worked and others that need some fixing or need to be replaced all together.
-Before there were unions it was common for people to work 10 hour days 6 days a week. Child labour including working in mines was the norm in parts of the country. There was little in the way of safety rules to protect the health of the workers.
Child labour.
-If it wasn’t for Teddy Roosevelt there wouldn’t be the number of national parks there are today including Yellowstone National Park. Big business would have mined the hell out of the parks if they had their way In the early 1900s the “progressive movement” was the most powerful influence in US politics. In 1904 318 trusts controlled about two fifths of the US economy. A number of monopolies including railroads were broken up by Teddy Roosevelt.
Teddy Roosevelt at Yellowstone.
-The Federal Meat Inspection Act came into being in 1906. It was the forerunner to the Food and Drug Administration which protected citizens from the marketing of unsafe products.
-In 1916 the Keating-Owen Child Labor Act came into being curtailing the exploitation of child labour.
-The Suffragette Movement pressured American politicians for the right for women to vote. It wasn’t accepted until 1920.
Women marching for the vote.
-In 1935 Social Security became part of the fabric of America. Up until then poor older people often spent the remainder of their years in “poor houses”. In the over 75 years since SS was introduced it has been a savior to millions of Americans in their final years.
An American poor house.
-In 1936 the Hoover Dam was completed. Funding for the project came from the federal government.
The Hoover Dam.
-In 1938 the statutory minimum wage was introduced in the US. Up until that time an employer could pay a worker as little as he cared to.
-The GI Bill of 1944 assisted over 2.2 million American vets returning from WW2. Among the benefits the vets received were college tuition along with living expenses, financial assistance in starting a small business, high school or vocational training, one year of unemployment compensation, and low-cost mortgages.
* To get an idea how much has changed in the US between the end of WW2 and now, consider the following. At today’s dollar value WW2 cost the US over 2 trillion dollars. There was also the added cost of the Marshall Plan in Europe and money owed from The Great Depression. The GI Bill lasted until 1956. It was in effect in both a Democratic presidency and a Republican presidency (Eisenhower).
-In 1964 The Civil Rights Act became law. It prohibited segregation in public places and terminated Jim Crow laws in the South. It also required integration of schools, eliminated unequal voter registration requirements, and prohibited employment discrimination.
-The Social Security Act of 1965 established Medicare and Medicaid in the United States. Medicare basically established healthcare coverage for seniors over the age of 65.
-The Voting Rights Act of 1965 secured the right of every American, particularly blacks in the South, to be allowed to vote. Poll Taxes, literacy tests, harassment and violence towards voters was outlawed.
-In 1970 The Occupational Safety and Health Act was passed. Basically it requires employers to provide a safe and healthy working environment.
-The Endangered Species Act of 1973 was passed to protect wildlife that was becoming extinct including the American bison, whooping cranes, and the bald eagle.
-The Family and Medical Leave Act of 1993 gave American workers the option of taking  unpaid time off from their jobs for serious illnesses, pregnancy, care for a new child, family turmoil caused by a family member being called for military duty, without the threat of losing their employment.
-In 2009 the Hate Crimes Act (the Mathew Shepard Act) was introduced. It put more teeth into prosecuting crimes based upon race, colour, sexual persuasion, or religion.
These are just some of the examples of “progressive” laws that were passed to benefit all Americans. It goes without saying that most of these laws were not favoured by the far right and often the very wealthy and corporate America.

What Are Progressives Typically for?
#1 The right for women to control their own bodies when it comes to their health.
#2 Most Progressives are anti-war unless it comes down to having to defend their country. Progressives also recognize that is mostly the poor in America who end up fighting in these wars and once they have been used for these purposes they are often discarded by the politicians who sent them off to war in the first place. Progressives don’t believe that the US should be the world’s unasked for policemen.

Anti-war march.

#3 Universal healthcare, not the water downed Obamacare. The same type of healthcare utilized in every other advanced nation in the world, not one run by a cartel with anti-trust exemption that can extract at will whatever they care to from a captured market place.
 #4 Limited political contributions from wealthy corporations and the very rich (casino owner Sheldon Adelson and the industrialist Koch brothers) that alter election outcomes by contributing millions to political campaigns. Democrats accept money also from corporate America and pretty well have to after the weighted in favour of the Republicans Supreme Court decision to accept corporations as being people too.

#5 A recognition that Global Warming isn’t just a vague opinion and that steps need to be made to address what this ongoing calamity will do to coming generations and the present one.

 #6 Financial reform. That laws be passed to prevent banks and Wall Street from taking high risks with people’s investments causing a meltdown of the world’s economy once again. That those who work for these companies and break laws be prosecuted.

#7 Environmental protection. That industry can not just do whatever it pleases in the name of profit without having any responsibility towards environmental damage. Like the oil industry and the unknown damage caused by fracking.

#8 Consumer protection. That products can not come to market without proving that they are safe for usage or consumption. That customers are not used as guinea pigs when it comes to the introduction of new drugs.

#9 Affordable higher education. Starting with the amount of interest that can be charged for student loans and a banning of private sector student loans with their usurious rates.  A banning of on-line schools that prey on ex service people and whose degrees have little value to perspective employers. An investment of federal and state taxes to lower the cost of a college education.
#10 A serious attempt at job creation including a national works program funded by the federal government rebuilding the US infrastructure. This would create millions of jobs and products would be supplied by the private sector.

#11 A severe cut to the Defence Department. Cutting their budget at least in half. Ending the waste of building fighter jets in 10 different states and the enormous amount of money spent with private contractors. The money saved could be spent on reducing the national debt, reducing the cost of higher education, and a number of other things benefitting almost all Americans.

#12 Increasing the minimum wage. The American people are not responsible for the fortunes made by fast food restaurants who make a good part of their earnings by paying their employees poverty wages. 10 years ago a Big Mac meal cost about $2.50. Today it is closer to $8.00. Nowhere in that $5.50 increase has a pay raise for workers been added.

#13 A total end to corporate subsidies. In the total history of mankind there has never been the amount of profit by one industry as there is today by the oil companies. Yet they are still substatized.

#14 A closing of corporate tax loopholes. This is a total loss of tax revenues. Many corporations pay zero in taxes but get to use public roads and bridges for free when they are paid for by the taxpayers.

#15 An uncoupling of monopolies. Once corporations have formed a monopoly they can work together in collusion to demand whatever price they want for their products and their captive market has no options. Monopolies are not about free markets and competition.

#16 Removing religion from politics. If churches want to get involved in politics they should be taxed.

#17 Making voter suppression a criminal act. Oh actually is a criminal act but nobody is ever charged.

#18 When corporations refuse to pay US taxes and ship their cash to offshore accounts they should be made to pay an import charge when their products come into the US.

#19 The legalization of marijuana. Would save billions on wasted police time and the incarceration of people who shouldn’t be in prison
These are just some of the Progressive ideas. Societies are made up of all people. Some have to deal with poverty. Some have to deal with health problems. Even the bible which is the basis of Christian values talks about empathy for one another. A society that ignores the majority of its population and its welfare is doomed. What is so wrong about wanting better lives for one’s fellow citizens?

Progressive ideas haven’t always worked. Prohibition was a stupid idea. Unions got out of hand at times with gangsters sometimes in control and there were times that too much was given to union members in the way of benefits. In my opinion Michael Moore was a little sloppy with some of his facts in his movies. Nothing is always perfect!

A List Of Some Of the More Notable American Progressives in US History.
Jane Adams 1860-1952… one of the founders of the NAACP.
Louis Brandeis 1856-1941… fought the railroad monopolies.
W.E. Dubois 1868-1963…civil rights activist.

W.E. Dubois
 Eugene Debs 1855-1926…organized one of US’s first labour unions, The American Railway Union.

Teddy Roosevelt…as US president created a number of national parks. Introduced anti-trust laws.
Florence Kelley 1859-1932…organized against sweatshops and was an advocate for children’s rights.
Upton Sinclair 1878-1968…changed California politics for decades.
Charlotte Perkins Gilman 1860-1935…argued for equality between the sexes.
Roger Baldwin 1884-1981…founded the American Civil Liberties Union.
John L. Lewis 1880-1969…was president of the United Mine Workers from 1920-1960. In 1948 he won an historic agreement with the mining companies establishing medical and pension benefits for miners.
Frankin Delano Roosevelt 1882-1945…served almost 4 full terms as US president starting in The Great Depression and ending near the end of WW2. He is often picked as the most revered president in American history.  He instituted the New Deal, a variety of programs including government jobs for the unemployed, regulation of Wall Street, the banks, and transportation. He also introduced Social Security. At its peak the WPA (The Worker’s Progress Administration) employed over 2 million formerly unemployed Americans.
Eleanor Roosevelt 1884-1962…spent her years as FDR’s wife during his presidency and after he died being involved with causes like assistance for the poor, women’s rights, and civil rights. Stood up to the Daughters of the American Revolution over racial exclusion.


Norman Thomas 1884-1968…early critic of the Viet Nam War. Was one of the founders of the American Civil Liberties Union.
Other notable Progressives  from the 20th century include Paul Robeson, John Dewey, Supreme Court Justices Earl Warren and Thurgood Marshall, Pete Seeger and Woody Guthrie, Betty Friedan and Gloria Steinem, I.F. Stone, Harry Hay, the Rev. Martin Luther King, Rachel Carson, John Kenneth Galbraith, Michael Harrington, Ralph Nader, Bill Moyers, Tom Hayden, and Saul Alinsky.
You can add the many progressives that stood up against the wars in Viet Nam, Iraq, and Afghanistan.
Progressivism is hardly dead in America. Most of things Progressives stand for are the same things that most Americans want. Progressives are not radical. They are for common sense.

If you are a TV watcher you can find a number of Progressives on MSNBC including Chris Hayes, Rachel Maddow, Ed Shultz, Rev. Al Sharpton, Lawrence O’Donnell, and Alex Wagner. Chris Mathews is not a Progressive.
Rachel Maddow
Although they might not label themselves totally as Progressives you can often see comedians like Jon Stewart, Stephen Colbert, and Bill Maher railing at the absurdities of the American far right.

Matt Taibbi, a writer for Rolling Stone, is an excellent source for a clear look at how corporate America and the far right including far right Christians repeatedly try to get one over on the American public.

Bernie Sanders, the Vermont Senator, is probably the most outspoken Progressive in American politics today and he sits as an independent.  

Polls Show That Progressive Political Ideas Are Gaining More And More Favour In The US.
-80% of Americans believe the federal government investments in education, infrastructure, and science are necessary to ensure America’s long term economic growth.
-66% of Americans believe that the government has a responsibility to provide financial support for the poor, the sick, and the elderly.
-75% of Americans believe that government regulations are necessary to keep businesses in check and protect the consumers and workers.
-76% of Americans believe that the US should move from a reliance on oil and gas to renewable energy like wind and solar.
-Over 65% of Americans believe that healthcare should be more affordable.
Big Government?
The right in the US is constantly railing against the size of the federal government and its inability to ever do anything right.
First of all this is an interesting claim since most of the expansion of the US federal government has come about under Republican presidents including Ronald Reagan. Homeland Security has over 200,000 employees and the department was created following 9/11.
The US federal government employs about 2.8 million people (about 1 out of every 100 American citizens). There are about 320 million American citizens. That’s a lot of people. Actually about 1 million Americans are federal employees (1 out every 300 Americans). The rest are military personnel.
-Republicans like to claim that the federal government never does anything right. This of course is a big lie starting with NASA and putting a man on the moon. SS and Medicare have benefited millions of elderly Americans. Programs for the poor have saved countless lives. Big projects like the American highway system and the Hoover Dam have assisted America’s prosperity.
-The federal government has protected people’s freedoms including their religious choices.
-The reason there wasn’t a major run on banks in 2008 was because of federal deposit insurance.
-America’s air and water are considerably more cleaner today than they were in the 1960s due to the federal government’s legislation.
-The National Weather Service has improved hurricane and tornado warnings by 50% in the past 15 years.
-Food and drug safety programs have protected Americans from dangerous products for years.
-Federal funds account for 80% of science research in the US. Many beneficial products have come about by federal research including the internet. Although the research money comes from taxpayers the products are all made by the private sector.

The American Right’s Hypocrisy When It Comes To The Federal Government.
-Republicans in general hate entitlement programs. They never ever mention that programs like Medicaid and Medicare both spend billions of dollars acquiring goods and materials from the private sector. Ask one of these suppliers if they would like to give up their sales to the federal government.
-The US defense budget is about 1/5 of the annual budget. Billions are spent with private contractors at often ridiculous prices. Often without open bids. Ask the contractors if they would like to forgo this income.
-Republicans and Democrats will take any government subsidy they can get including being paid not to grow something.
-Paul Ryan, the architect of the farcical proposed Republican budget that included more tax breaks for the rich, the voucherized Medicare, and the destruction of Obamcare, has spent most of his adult life being paid by the federal government. His working history is a mere few years for the family business. Where you really shake your head is that Ryan put himself through college using his dead father’s social security survivor benefits.
-The avoidance of paying taxes may be legal but it still undermines the federal government in tax revenue. Mitt Romney has worked this to perfection with millions of his money in off-shore accounts.

America is the richest country on the planet. There is plenty for everyone. There is no reason 20% of the population should live in poverty or that many who still manage to barely be middle class are forced to be affected by one unneeded crisis after another including the cost of healthcare.

Making sure the rich get richer should not be most people’s concerns. What is enough for the very wealthy and corporate America? Should everyone else suffer because of the appetite for greed by a few? Just how much is enough, a billion? You could buy anything you could ever extravagantly expensive that you would want in a lifetime and still have money left over if you had a billion dollars…. a 30 million dollar house, a 10 million dollar vacation home, money for tuition at Harvard or Yale, servants and drivers, expensive cars. You name it.
Should Americans be concerned about the welfare of Wal-Mart heirs, the Walton family, who had no part in building the company but are worth 25 billion dollars each?
Or should they be concerned about their neighbours and their welfare? Should they care about the poor? Should they care about their children’s future?
Republicans love to push the idea that anyone can make it in the US through hard work. Just what is hard work anyway? Standing on your feet all day at Wal-Mart or digging ditches or making a real estate deal in the clubhouse on a golf course?
Can your daddy give you money to buy your first hotel like Donald Trump’s dad did?  Do you think you might get away with stiffing your contractors when your business decisions prove faulty?
Are you fooled by Republicans that will tell you that the rich are important because they are the job creators or do you know the truth which is that the rich and corporate America only hire people because they need them to become richer and the reality is that small and medium size businesses create the most new jobs.
Fuck the rich! It is long past the time caring about what they think because whatever it is they are thinking it isn’t about others (you and your family) having a better life.


I am a Canadian. I live in a country with universal healthcare. Our current government is run by Stephen Harper and the Conservative Party. The Conservatives were elected with about 40% of the popular vote. Canada is not a conservative country. A few years ago there was contest to determine who Canadians thought was the greatest Canadian ever. Of course there were a number of votes for professional hockey players because we Canadians love our hockey. The person chosen as the greatest Canadian ever was a man named Tommy Douglas. He was from the province of Saskatchewan. He was an ordained minister in the Calvary Baptist Church. After being in politics in Saskatchewan for some years Douglas became the leader of the national political party, the CCF, which was a left of center group. The CCF later became the New Democratic Party. Douglas never came close to being Canada’s prime minister. His claim to fame was that he introduced universal healthcare in his home province of Saskatchewan. After it became a success the national Liberal Party Of Canada introduced it as part of the fabric of Canada.

Stephen Harper has done a number of nutty things and if an election were held today he would most likely be out of office. Unlike his right wing cousins to the south in the US, Harper would never in his wildest dreams attempt to abolish universal healthcare.

Tommy Douglas died in 1986 at the age of 81.

PS #2.....

A few years ago we were in Arles, France where there is a Roman arena. Our tour guide told us that the common thought about battles between gladiators or men fighting animals was that it was for the entertainment of those in power and the very wealthy.

Our tour guide pointed out that this wasn't entirely true. In fact many of the peasants attended the arena battles. For most of the next week they would talk in excitement of what they had seen and what they would see the next week. It was a distraction for them and made them forget somewhat about the deplorable conditions they lived in and their futile plight in life.

The same thing is happening today in the US where people are divided and instead of being concerned about their own welfare and that of their neighbours, many choose to concentrate on divisive issues like race, religion, homosexuality, abortion, their interpretation of socialism and patriotism, and pay little attention to the fact that society including the government favours the very wealthy to the detriment of most Americans.





Sunday, 6 October 2013

The Batshit Crazy American Right

In 2009 Barak Obama became president of the United States. In 2008 the major US banks failed and the US economy came crashing to its knees. It looked like General Motors had seen its last days. The US was at war in 2 countries and the costs were adding dramatically to the US national debt. At the end of his second term in office no Republican wanted to be seen with President George Bush. In fact he wasn’t even invited to the Republican’s national convention to nominate a new guy for president. It was the worst of times for many Americans with millions of them losing their jobs and life savings.
Many mistakes had been made when Bush was in office, not the least was the lack of any regulations on Wall Street. For the first 2 years of Obama’s presidency the Democrats had control over the 3 sectors of the US government. Most of these 2 years were spent trying to get the US economy going again. Right from the start Republicans concentrated on their promise to make Obama a 1 term president. There were no apologies for the mess Bush had left. Instead Republicans made the decision to double down on the mistakes they had made before.
In March of 2010 the ACA (Affordable Care Act or Obamacare) was passed. The bill was based upon the delivery of healthcare in the state of Massachusetts which was implemented by future presidential candidate Mitt Romney. The fact is that the ACA is based on a Republican think tank idea. User pay or universal healthcare was never on the table. The ACA would cover the expansion of insurance based healthcare to millions of Americans who don’t presently have insurance. A few of the more significant things about the bill were that it would extend coverage on parent’s plans for their kids until they were 26, prohibit insurance companies from rejecting people with pre-conditions. It would also offer an exchange where a number of plans were offered which would be of particular benefit to low income earners and the self-employed.
In 2010 the Republicans took over the house with the promise of job creation being their #1 focus. The only plan they could come up with for job creation was to further reduce taxes for the very rich and corporate America. No job creation bills were submitted by the Republicans and instead they decided to concentrate on socially divisive issues like gay marriage, abortion, and religious (Christian) rights. They were also unanimous in their hatred of The Affordable Healthcare Act.

With the takeover of the house, a number of Tea Party types were also elected. Largely funded by right wing industrialists, the Koch brothers, the Tea Party represents less than half of the Republican Party in the House of Representatives. They do however hold power over the majority of the Republicans with the threat of running a Tea Partier against incumbent Republicans.

In some ways it is hard to totally define Tea Partiers. They don’t have an absolute leader. They are certainly for lower taxes and smaller government. One thing is also certain and that is they are quite prepared to shut down the government and wreak havoc with the US economy if they don’t get their way.
At this date they have in fact shut the US federal government down for one simple reason. They want to negotiate the defunding of the ACA which has been law for 3 years. The Republican weighted US Supreme Court has OK’ed the ACA as being constitutional and Romney ran for president and lost by 5 million votes with the promise of killing the ACA. The Tea Party expects Obama to kill his own passed bill.

This isn’t the first time right wing America has been willing to threaten the American people. There are numerous examples.
In the 1930’s Prescott Bush, H.W. Bush’s father had conversations with others about using the militia to overthrow F.D.R. In the 1950’s Joseph McCarthy threw around innuendos about who he suspected of being American Communists. It got so bad and out of line that he was sanctioned by his own party. In the 60s there was the John Birch Society, a radical right wing organization that among other things wanted to destroy social security. The main theme with these right wing nuts is their being anti-government. One of boldest results of these sentiments was the Oklahoma City bombing in 1995 which resulted in 168 deaths including 19 children.
There have been at points in the past 50 or so years when Republicans showed some reason in their ideologies. At one time Nixon planned to implement what the ACA is today but Watergate put an end to that. Reagan used to rail about the evils of Medicare but while he was in office made steps to improve it. Those days are gone and these 2 Republican presidents are far diffrent from what today’s Republicans are.

Republicans conveniently disregard history. Often they come across as people who want to make America into what they remember the 50s being about to them.  Leave It To Beaver and Father Knows Best kind of stuff. It wasn’t real then and it isn’t real now.

The Republican Party Over The Past 60 Years
The last reasonable Republican president was Eisenhower who warned about the military industrial complex before leaving office in 1960. By today’s Republican standards Ike would be considered a Liberal. He had a close-up look at WW2 and the devastation in Europe and did his best to keep America out of foreign conflicts. He also was responsible for passing the Federal Highways Act of 1956 that rebuilt the American highway system and he signed The Civil Rights Act of 1957. He balanced the federal budget 3 times and ended the war in Korea. On the downside he failed to provide any leadership on civil rights and never personally denounced McCarthy.
In 1964 the lunatic from Arizona, Barry Goldwater, ran for president. He barely beat out New York governor Nelson Rockefeller for the nomination. Rockefeller later died “in the saddle” while committing adultery with his young mistress. Goldwater’s basic foreign policy was to bomb the shit out of any country he felt was a threat to the US’s welfare. He lost his presidential bid in one of the biggest landslides in American political history.
In 1968 and again in 1972 Republican Richard Nixon was elected president. In 1974 Nixon proposed a new healthcare bill that is quite similar to Obama’s healthcare bill. After Nixon was impeached and booted out of office his successor Gerald Ford killed off the healthcare proposal. To Nixon’s credit, he opened up relations with China, ended the military draft, introduced the Environmental Protection Act (EPA), and ended segregated school classes in the US south. On the downside Nixon was responsible for the extending of the Viet Nam war and the ill fated invasion of Cambodia. Watergate and Nixon’s usage of the CIA and the FBI to monitor political opponents proved to be his downfall.

Next up was Ronald Reagan, the patron saint of the Republican Party. He was elected president in 1984 and again in 1988. Republicans today tend to ignore much of Reagan’s record during his 8 years in office. They like to claim that Reagan destroyed the USSR and brought the Russians to their knees when the truth is that the Russians did the damage to themselves including being involved in a war with Afghanistan which was draining them financially. Simply put, the Russians were over extended in countries that wanted no part of them.
By today’s Republican standards Reagan did a number of things wrong. During his tenure Reagan tripled the national debt. He also expanded the federal government and raised taxes a number of times. But this was just the tip of the iceberg. Between 1981 and 1986 Reagan reduced the top corporate tax rate from 70% down to 28%. His “trickle down” economics concept was based on the wealthy and major corporations using those savings to reinvest in businesses creating more jobs. It never worked and the lost revenue since then is in the trillions. During his time in office the national debt went from 997 billion to 2.85 trillion.
Also during Reagan’s time in office the AIDS epidemic was raging and he virtually ignored it.
Most Republicans today tend to totally forget the Iran-Contra Affair which occurred under Reagan. At the time there was an arms embargo by the US as far as Iran went. Iran was holding 7 Americans hostage. A deal was struck with Israel where they would ship arms to Iran and the US would replenish those arms to Israel. Some of the profits would be used to support the anti-Sandinistas and anti-communists in Nicaragua also called the Contras. The Contras were also funded by cocaine smuggling into the US.
In 1988 George H. W. Bush was elected president over a weak Democrat nominee, Michael Dukakis. In his 4 years in office he increased the national debt by 13%. He famously said “Read my lips. No new taxes.” And then he did. Some might also remember the 1st invasion of Iraq which was a reaction to Iraq’s invasion of Kuwait. Bush Sr. had once been the CIA director. At the time of the first Iraq War a young woman appeared on CBS’s 60 Minutes claiming that the Iraqi soldiers had pulled the plugs on Kuwaiti baby incubators. We later learned this wasn’t the only BS story to be made up about Iraq.
Bush in fighter pilot gear. Never served in Viet Nam. ROTC records went missing.
Bush on board aircraft carrier after invasion of Iraq. Note sign in back of him.
From 2001-2009 George W. Bush was president of the United States. In 2001 it was a close election between Bush and Al Gore and came down to several hundred questionable votes in Florida. Nine months into Bush’s first term the shit hit the fan like it had never done before. All told close to 3000 people died in New York City at the World Trade Center and on board the 4 planes that were taken over by the terrorists.
9/11 changed a lot of things including how the US looked at national security. Air travel would never be the same again. Most Americans were frightened. It was always somewhere else on foreign shores that American lives were lost in this kind of quantity. Most knew that there was going to be some ass kicking in retaliation. Few realized what that price would be.
All except one of the 19 9/11 terrorists came from Saudi Arabia. Next to Russia, Saudi Arabia is the biggest producer of oil in the world. The Saudi royal family had had amicable relations with the US and the terrorists camps were not in their country. A decision was made to attack Iraq and Afghanistan. A bullshit story was made up about weapons of mass destruction (WMD in Iraq) and presented at the UN by Colin Powell, the Secretary of State for the US.
Part of Powell’s claims included the supposedly Iraqi purchase of yellowcake which could be used in the development of nuclear weapons from an African country. American diplomat Joseph Wilson did some research in Africa and found the claim to be untrue. In retaliation to Wilson’s claim vice president Dick Cheney’s subordinate Scooter Libby outed  Wilson’s wife, CIA operative, Valerie Plame.
Colin Powell lying at the UN.
29 Democratic senators including Hilary Clinton and 82 Democratic house representatives voted for the war in Iraq. Barak Obama wasn’t one of them.
During Bush Junior’s time as president he put a number of things on the credit card. The two wars, Medicaid Part D, and a massive tax cut for the very rich. After 8 years he had increased the national debt by about 5.7 trillion dollars. About a 79% increase. He also left a continuing debt after he left office because of the bills he had passed.
Bush Jr. is without a doubt the worst president in the history of the US. The wars caused hundreds of thousands of deaths to innocent citizens in Iraq and Afghanistan, over 4600 American soldier’s deaths, and thousands of wounded American soldiers. Virtually nothing has improved for the citizens of Iraq and Afghanistan and many are still dying at the hands of those in control.
About the only bright light in Bush’s tenure was assisting in quelling the spread of AIDs in Africa. His involvement with Hurricane Katrina was a disaster. "You are doing a hell of a job Brownie".
As if all of this wasn’t enough, Bush was president when the financial meltdown occurred in the US in 2008.
Here are a few more things that happened under his presidency.
-Took more vacation time than any other president.
-Fired prosecutors who refused to abuse their positions for political purposes.
-Disregarded FISA laws and wiretapped Americans without warrants.
-Failed to plan for Iraq occupation.
-Used torture to interrogate prisoners.
-Despicable sexual torture of prisoners at Abu Ghraib.
-Clamed “Mission Accomplished” in Iraq on board aircraft carrier.
-Pulled out of the Anti-Ballistic Missile Treaty.
-Tried to appoint personal attorney Harriet Myers to the Supreme Court.
-Listened to Paul Wolfowitz telling him that the Iraq war would be paid for by oil from Iraq.
-Consistent lack of intellectual interest in his job.
-“Brownie you’re doing a fine job.” Katrina.
-National Guard records “disappeared”.
- Pushed for elections in Palestine that led to Hamas victory and then tried to overthrow them.
2008. John McCain runs for president, selects a complete moron, Sarah Palin, as his running mate. She thought Africa was a country. When the financial meltdown occurred he suspended his campaign and ran up to Washington where he declared “The economy is sound.” There is a long list of countries that McCain has wanted to war with over the years. Obama wins election with 365 electoral votes to McCain’s 173. Most of McCain’s electoral votes come from the US’s deep south.
John McCain: Bomb, bomb, bomb, Iran.

2009. The Tea Party marches on Washington. “Keep your dirty government hands off my Medicare” one sign says.
2010. Republicans take over congress led by the Tea Party. They claim their number one priority is creating new jobs. Vote against any jobs bills presented by Obama. Block any bills presented by the Democrats or Obama.  They also block the appointments of federal judges. Spend their time on a gay marriage, abortion, religion and vote to defund Obamacare over 40 times.
2011. Republicans hold a convention to select presidential nominee. The list of candidates is like watching a clown car. Governor Perry has memory fart and can’t remember the 3rd of 3 things he wants to talk about. Michelle Bachman quickly proves that she is delusional. Several women accuse Herman Cain, the 999 pizza guy, of having been molested by him. Catholic Rick Santorum, whose wife once lived with an abortion doctor, is against birth control even though over 90% of Catholic women have used it. 3 times married and adulterer Newt Gingrich makes an ass out of himself. The front runner is Mitt Romney, former governor of Massachusetts. Obomacare is a carbon copy of what Romney implemented in Massachusetts. Romney claims his healthcare plan won’t work on a national basis.
Who left the asylum gates open?
Romney picks Paul Ryan as his running mate. Ryan is the architect of the Republican Party’s proposed federal budget. Ryan’s plan includes increased tax breaks for the very wealthy, massive cuts to programs for the poor, and turning Medicare and SS into voucher systems.
Romney and his wife come across as being totally clueless about the struggles of the American middle class. Romney is a Mormon and every male Mormon has a duty to spend 2 years of their lives trying to convert people of other faiths to theirs. This doesn’t seem to register with right wing Christians and Catholics who get behind Romney’s campaign.

The general election is held and Obama wins with close to 5 million more people voting for Obama than Romney, 332 electoral votes to 206 electoral votes. The Senate is controlled by the Democrats and the House remains under the control of the Republicans. The Republican base is mostly in the southern Bible Belt and the Mid-west. A number of new Tea Party candidates are elected including Canadian born Ted Cruz from Texas.
The Tea Party starts to influence the House majority of Republicans with the threat of running other candidates against incumbent Republicans who don’t tow the Tea Party line.
Who Are Today’s Republicans?
Although they don’t represent all the very rich they insist on giving the very wealthy and major corporations more and more tax breaks. They refer to the very wealthy as the “job creators” which is based on false facts. Tax breaks have not increased employment and many corporations pay zero taxes. Among the Republican Party’s biggest contributors are industrialist billionaires the Koch brothers who are against any environmental controls and gambling magnate Sheldon Adelman.
Although racism has diminished in the US in the past 50 years there are still pockets of people who hate the idea of a black man being president. Something like 8% of Republicans think that Obamacare is worse than the Affordable Care Act when they are one in the same. Close to 50% of Republicans believe Obama was born in Kenya even after he revealed both a long and short birth certificate. They also ignore the fact that 2 newspapers in Hawaii posted his birth when Obama was born. Republicans have no questions about Ted Cruz being born in Canada or John McCain being born in the Panama Canal Zone.
Most members of the NRA (National Rifle Association) are Republicans. They believe it is their divine right (the 2nd Amendment) to be able to possess pretty well any kind of gun they desire to.
Religion is a big part of the Republican Party and mostly Evangelicals. The party caters to their views on homosexuality, gay marriage, and abortion. They are joined by a number of staunch Catholics.

Then I told them that I believe in angels.

The party also has a voice in FOX News which is totally right wing. Along with Talk Radios’s Rush Limbaugh and others, millions of low level information sorts tune in daily to get their fix on lies and distortions.
Some of the American media tries to portray today’s American politics as having extremists from both the right and the left. Other than the delusional Anthony Weiner, I can’t think of any extremist Democrat. I could offer up a laundry list of extreme right wingers.
The right in the US is about creating fears in people. From religious stuff to racism, from immigration to welfare cheats, to abortion, gay marriage, and homosexuality, from minorities to women’s healthcare rights, anything that can stir the pot and make morons angry.
Some Of The Lies Or Distortions Told By The Republican Party To The American People

#1 That Social Security And Medicare Are Going To Go Bankrupt.
The cost of healthcare insurance has increased over 138% over the past 10 years in America.  Republiicans just ignore this fact. Neither SS or Medicare are free. Most of the money used to pay for these entitlements comes from payroll deductions. A simple slight increase in the payroll deductions solves the problem of these entitlements collapsing. The average life expectancy of Americans today is 78 years. What this means is that the average American will be using these entitlements for 13 years after they have spent their adult years contributing.
#2 That Obama Is A Socialist And Turning More And More Of The Private Sector Into Socialist Entities.
First of all no businesses have been forced into becoming a Socialist entitiy. Even entitlement programs are not even totally Socialist. Take Medicare for example. All of the goods needed to run this program come from the private sector including food, medical equipment, vehicles, cleaning products, hospital uniforms, kitchen equipment, televisions, pharmaceuticals, hospital beds, and on and on. It amounts to billions and billions of dollars spent in the private sector.

#3 That Republicans Are More Fiscally Responsible Than Democrats.
Totally false. History tells a different story. Republicans voted almost unanimously for the unfunded bills that Bush Jr. passed including the wars, Medicaid Part D, and the tax break giveaways to the very rich and corporate America. The costs of these things have added trillions to the US national debt.
Here is the proof about how Democratic presidents and Republican presidents have handled fiscal responsibility in the past 40 years. 

President                  Years     Start Debt/GDP   End Debt/GDP   Increase In Debt  % Increase In Debt

                                                                                                          In Billions

Kennedy/Johnson   61-65           55.2 %                     46.9%                 +30                     -8.3%

Johnson                   65-69          46.9%                     38.6%               +43                     -3%

Nixon                        69-73           38.6%                      35.6%                +101              -3%

Nixon/Ford               73-77            35.6%                     35.8%                +177                    +.2%

Carter                        77-81           35.8%                     32.5%                +288                    -3.3%

Reagan                     81-85            32.5%                     43.8%                +823                    +11.3%

Reagan                     85-89            43.8%                     53.1%                +1050                  +9.3%

Bush Sr.                   89-93             53.1%                     66.1%                +1483                  +13%

Clinton                     93-97              66.1%                    65.4%                +1018                  -.7%

Clinton                     97-01            65.4%                     56.4%                +401                   -9%

Bush Jr.                   01-05            56.4%                     63.5%                +2135                +7.1%

Bush Jr.                  05-09            63.5%                  84.2%               +3971                  +20.7%

Obama                    09-13               84.2%                 102.7%             +6061                  +18.5%

The current US national debt is 16 trillion, 744 billion. Under Republican presidents since Nixon the debt was raised by 10 trillion dollars. Not included in those figures are continuing debt caused by Bush Jr’s unfunded wars, the tax giveaways, and Medicaid Part D. Currently the US national debt under Obama is being paid down at the fastest rate since WW2.
#4 Abortion
The Republican Party is for no abortion at all. This includes pregnancies caused by rape or incest. It also includes situations where the mother’s health is at risk. Not all Republicans favour these terms but most do. Very few Democrats are for late term abortions or even mid-term abortions. By far most abortions occur shortly after conception when the fetus has not really formed. Closing abortion clinics forces women to find other means of aborting often at extreme risk to their health. Anti-abortion laws take away women’s rights to control their own bodies.
#5 Financial Reform
In 2008 the US had a financial meltdown which was felt around the world. The right wing likes to say that a good part of this was caused by people applying for mortgages they couldn’t afford and that the banks were forced to accept these applications. The truth is that banks operated as crooks. They packaged faulty mortgages into derivatives and sold them off to 3rd parties knowing they were faulty. After the meltdown and the loss of many people’s life savings the banks and brokerage firms needed US federal assistance in order to survive. They in turn awarded themselves hefty bonuses while laughing in the faces of American taxpayers. Then they started hiring people off the street to forge signatures on suspect mortgages. The Republican Party refuses to OK any type of financial reform which means that another financial meltdown will occur again.

#6 The NRA And Gun Control.
Every year there are a number of mass murders in the US. We see the grieving families and sometimes pictures of their dead children. The Republican Party in concert with the NRA refuses to restrict any kind of gun ownership including assault rifles and large quantity magazine clips. The NRA’s response to tighter ownership rules and some restrictions is to arm more people. Last year 11,000 Americans died from guns. In the UK 68 died and in Canada 165 died from guns. The US has about 10 times the population that Canada has but 66 times more gun deaths. It isn’t illegal to own a gun in Canada but you can’t buy one off the back of a truck.
#7 Healthcare.

The US is the only advanced country on the planet without universal healthcare. It also has the most expensive healthcare. The healthcare insurance industry in the US is a monopoly with anti-trust exemption. Two of the biggest insurers have over 70 million customers each. The whole marketplace is controlled by 6-8 major insurance companies. The US is ranked 38th in the world in healthcare delivery for its citizens.
The average US household income is 50 thousand dollars. Health insurance premiums monthly that are not paid for by the employer can amount to anywhere between $1000.00 and $2000.00. Up until Obamacare this simply wasn’t affordable to most Americans. Before Obamacare people could be rejected for having previous conditions.
There are examples in the US where within a few miles of one another one hospital can charge $45,000.00 for an operation while another charges only $7,000.00.
The only reason universal healthcare is not available in the US is because of political contributions by the insurance companies to the Republican Party and some Blue Dog Democrats. Even at $1000.00 per month for a family of 4 for healthcare that is one quarter of the average family’s yearly earnings.
Republicans hate anything that they consider to be socialist. Lies are often made up to muddy the waters. Canada is often used as an example of a failed heath care system. Stories are told about Canadians going south for medical procedures. The truth is that a fraction of 1% of Canadians access American healthcare. A much larger % of Americans buy their prescription drugs from Canada. Of the Canadians that use American healthcare are those with dual citizenship, those that want elective surgery and are willing to pay a high price for it if they can get it quickly, those that become ill while travelling in the US, and people who don’t want their friends to know that they have mental problems or need substance abuse treatment.
In the US the insurer dictates what medical coverage their clients get. Doctors are often up to their ears in paperwork. Another big lie told about Canadian health care is that the government is mixed up in people’s lives when it comes to healthcare. The truth is that Canadians are never in contact with the government on healthcare and can choose the doctor of their choice.
Although Obamcare is the law of the land in the US and has been for a number of years now Republicans vote over and over to defund it and get rid of it. Why? Because more and more Americans are going to realize that they have been overpaying for healthcare. Once they come to that realization there will be a 2 tier system in the US and Republicans fear the next step will be Medicare for all that can’t afford the overpriced healthcare premiums they are now paying.
#8. Jobs

In the mid-term elections of 2010 Republicans promised to concentrate on job creation. Instead they chose to deal with divisive social issues like abortion and gay marriage. Other than further tax breaks for the wealthy and corporations Republicans have not come up with any ideas to spur job growth. They have rejected any and all jobs bills presented by the Democrats. Republicans like to talk about the very rich as being job creators when the reality is most jobs are created by small and medium size businesses.
Republicans refuse to talk about how the job market has changed and how many jobs have been shipped overseas. Their concentration is about shifting more and more wealth to the very rich. Middle class America and the poor of little interest to them other than they need the middle class vote. The disparity between the very wealthy and the rest of the population is something they could care less about.
The Republican Party is devoid of big ideas that would bring prosperity to the masses. Meanwhile the US infrastructure is rotting away. Bridges are collapsing in the US while other countries like China and parts of Europe and other parts of the world are building for the future. These efforts will give them a competitive advantage in the years to come.
There is a effort on the part of the right in the US to return to the Gilded Age when wealth was concentrated with the few while the rest managed to eke out an existence. Most of the job growth in the US in the past few years has been in the low paying service industry. Republicans refuse to even consider increasing the minimum wage. Sometimes this is the only work highly indebted college graduates can find.
There is way out of this malaise but Republicans refuse to consider it. The answer is a giant works program rebuilding the US infrastructure using government funds and utilizing the private sector. Now is the time to do it. Any fool knows that interest rates will never be lower than they are today. This would employ millions of Americans and increase the tax base along with domestic spending. It’s a no brainer as eventually rebuilding America’s infrastructure is going to have to happen but it will cost a lot more then than now.
#9 Religion
Religion has become a divisive curse in the US in politics. Religion is a non-issue with Democrats but it is a focal point of right wingers. It is like I believe in god more than you. For some unfathomable reason a number of right wing Christians believe that their god has chosen them in particular over the hungry and desperate in the world. It really is rather childish. These people are easily led to believe all kinds of nonsense. They are often blinded by their extremism. What would they do if they found out that Reagan, McCain, and many others of their leaders were or are not actually very religious? As it is an open Atheist can’t get elected in the Senate or the House.
#10 Patriotism
Republicans like to portray themselves as the true patriots in the US. Kind of odd really because when it comes to denying vets benefits Republicans are quite adept at it. The last Republican to run for the presidency, Mitt Romney has a whole family history, including his strapping four boys, of never spending a night in a barracks let alone enlisting.
When it comes to defending America or fighting in wars Republicans have a long history of letting someone else take the risk of getting their ass shot off.
-George Bush Jr.- ROTC record disappeared. Never set foot in Viet Nam.
-Dick Cheney- Used every deferment he could to get out of serving in Viet Nam.
-Mitt Romney-Spent part of the Viet Nam War in France trying to convert Catholics to Mormonism. Never served.
Donald Trump- Never served in the military.
John Boehner-Got a medical discharge because of a bad back. Hard to play golf as much as he does with a bad back.

Bad back?
Mitch McConnell- Medical discharge from the services.
Ted Nugent-Shit his pants to get out of the draft.
Ronald Reagan-Made military movies Stateside in WW2.
John Wayne- Sat out WW2.
War hero? Not so much in real life.
Newt Gingrich-Sat out Viet Nam.
What a bunch!

Today is September 29th, 2013. The Tea Party has taken over the Republican Party. The Republican Party is attempting to blackmail the Democrat Party by trying to defund the Affordable Care Act. The last election was won by President Obama. Those that elected him and those that voted against him know that Obamacare is and was the law of the land. The law was sanctioned by the Supreme Court which is tilted Republican. Republicans have tried 43 times to kill Obamacare. There are 3 sections of government, the Senate, the House, and the president. The Senate and the president refuse to kill Obamacare. The Tea Party is only a fraction of the Republican controlled house yet they feel that they should get their way or else they are going to shut the government down. A shutdown will severely affect pensioners, military personnel, and poor people. The Tea Party doesn’t care.
Next up is the stopping of the raising of the debt ceiling, something that Republicans and Democrats alike passed routinely under Republican presidents like Nixon, Reagan and both Bushes. The fact that Republicans voted for all of the unfunded Bush Jr. bills doesn’t seem faze them.
The top 1% of the richest people in the US own 35% of the nation’s wealth. The next 19% own 50% of the nation’s wealth leaving 15% to the other 80% of the population. Over 45 million Americans are considered to be poor. More and more middle class Americans are joining the ranks of the poor. Republicans choose to favour more wealth for the rich instead of the good of all. This is all very similar to The Gilded Age of the 1890s in America when the very rich controlled everything.

Romney and pals from Bain Capital.
They claim to want a smaller government with as little intrusion into people’s lives as possible but intrude nonetheless in almost every way possible using the government. Most of them want religion to be connected to government and only if those beliefs are Christian. They interfere in any way they can with women’s healthcare choices including birth control. They have even stooped to vaginal probes in some areas if a woman wants an abortion.
Instead of moving forward and solving problems Republicans choose to make life more and more difficult for 80% of the US population. As it is if they have a laundry list of things that will cause pain and their excuse for all of this is because the country is living beyond its means. As if the other 80% received benefits from the Bush wars or the tax giveaways to the wealthy.
Here are just some of the things they would like to do…..
-Totally kill Obamacare without any other plan to provide healthcare to 44 million Americans who have no coverage.
-Kill any financial reform whatsoever on Wall Street which means only a question of when another meltdown will occur. 
-Refuse to raise the minimum wage. 10 years ago a Big Mac Meal cost about $2.50 and now it is about $8.50. Nowhere in that cost increase has there been any room to increase the minimum wage. Why?
-Refuse to close any of the corporate tax loopholes and continue with subsidies to major corporations like those in the oil industry. In the past several years the oil industry has seen more profit than any other industry in the history of mankind, yet they are still subsidized. Why?
-Cut funding that goes to education. A higher education is becoming less and less affordable for most Americans. Total student loan debt amounts to over 1 trillion dollars in the US. Republicans would like to kill any government loans to students and turn the whole lending business over to the private sector where they could charge whatever interest rates they would like to causing further debt.
-Increase defense spending although it currently accounts for 1 out of every 5 dollars in the US federal budget. This includes a number of things built by the military industrial complex that the armed forces have not requested. It also includes money paid to outside military contractors with little oversight at enormous costs.
-Totally outlawing abortion taking the right away from women to make their own healthcare decisions with a total disregard to situations like rape, incest, or the health of the mother.
-Killing consumer protection so that businesses can market harmful products at their own discretion with impunity.
-Restricting environmental protection. Republicans mostly believe that corporations have no responsibility in protecting the environment. All over the US there are toxic remains from mines that have been left abandoned for somebody else to clean up. Many rivers have also been poisoned.
-Gay marriage. Although there is zero proof that gay marriage is a threat to anything, most Republicans, particularly right wing Christians, are against it.

-Privatizing both SS and Medicare. Both of these entitlement programs have had enormous benefits to older Americans for over 40 years. Instead of trying to improve these programs Republicans want to kill them putting millions of older Americans in jeopardy in their retirement years. They want to give them a voucher instead and forget that the American people have paid into these programs all their working lives.
-Immigration. There are something like 20 million illegals in the US, mostly from Mexico. Instead of cracking down on American businesses that pay these people under the table, Republicans prefer that these people not be taxpayers, which is huge loss in tax revenue. Because they can’t buy healthcare insurance many illegals end up in the emergency room at hospitals which the taxpayer ends up paying for. The bigger reason for the hatred of immigrants is that they would overwhelmingly vote Democrat if they were given citizenship.
-Religion. Religion has always been the most divisive thing between people. Nothing is easier than stoking the fires about people’s different religious beliefs or having no religious beliefs. It permeates American politics but only comes from one side, the right. Republicans continually try to force their religious beliefs down everyone else’s throats. Making a conscious decision to believe in another faith or none at all is not acceptable to them. 

The US is the richest country on the planet. There was a time when it led the world in manufacturing. A good number of those jobs have been shipped overseas in the past 30 years. They were good paying jobs that working Americans could manage to buy a house with, save for their retirement, and send their kids off to college.  Those days are gone for many.
The jobs being created today in the US are mostly low paying service sector ones. There are no bold new national projects. There is no cooperation by Republicans to seek new solutions. Instead there is a doubling down on what has not worked in the past.
The rich get richer and the exploiting of the majority to a point where it is difficult for the middle class to thrive has become the norm.
This is not how a decent society is supposed to live.