Thursday, April 04, 2013

I met a Republican the Other Day

Meeting Republicans is not too hard to do in my neck of the woods. As a matter of fact, Democrats are a lot rarer.

He couldn't understand why I wasn't a Republican. After all, I meet the Republican profile. I'm mature, white and upper middle class.

I'm not a Republican for two fundamental reasons.

First, too many Republicans are bat-shit crazy. They deny the science of evolution; they deny the science of climate change; they believe homosexuality is a choice; they want to restrict a woman's access to birth control and abortion; they reject the separation of church and state and believe Christianity and Christians deserve special privileges; they want to gut the public education system and replace it with a voucher hodgepodge that will benefit religion and the wealthy and leave everyone else lucky if they can get a minimum wage job.

Given they're bat-shit crazy, we usually don't even get to the economic questions.

Even if somehow we got past the bat-shit crazy aspects, and could talk about economics, we have a problem. I agree that the budget needs to be balanced so we can begin the task of reducing the national debt.

But the Republicans think you do that by giving rich people tax cuts and ask the elderly, widows, orphans and the working and middle classes to pay, not only for the budget balancing, but also for the tax cuts for the wealthy.

The Republican myth is by cutting taxes for the wealthy you grow the economy, you provide jobs and you grow tax revenues.

The problem is there is no evidence that tax cuts for the wealthy do any such thing. George H.W. Bush had it right all along. It's voodoo economics that accomplishes nothing other than making rich people richer and providing the government with a loss in revenue.

How you accomplish something matters. We could eliminate the budget deficit by nationalizing the oil and natural gas industries especially given the boom on the way from new drilling technologies. We could probably also provide universal health care by nationalizing the insurance industry and introducing a one payer system.

But we're probably not going to do these things because most Americans would be opposed. So HOW you solve a problem matters. We're NOT going to balance the budget by cutting Social Security, Medicare and Welfare even if that would solve the problem. That' not to say adjustments to these programs shouldn't be considered, nothing should be off the table.

So, while I agree with most Republicans that we need to get our financial house in order, I disagree with them on how we should do that.

And that's exactly what I told the Republican I met so now he understands why I'm not a Republican. However he's now confused as to why he's one.

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