Monday, July 2, 2012
Confusion in the Ranks
As time progresses, so do policies. I think someone forgot to tell the GOP, unfortunately. Reversing "Obamacare" - or the Affordable Care Act as it's properly called - is just one aspect of the Republican platform for keeping America...well...how it is. But the policies being called for by the Right aren't just "old school," they're hypocritical and out of touch.
So let's take a look at a couple of the GOP and Mr. Romney's 2012 platforms and see just how silly they are, shall we?
The very, very first topic the GOP wants the voting public to think about in the polling booth is National Security. They go on to list combating global terrorism, ballistic missiles, you know, important stuff. I have to say, this is probably the easiest to prove hypocritical. The American defense budget is higher than the next 26 (TWENTY-SIX) countries on the list, but Republicans want more. At the same time, they want to lower taxes. More money to a government agency, less money to the government. Hm.
Mr. Romney's plan for Russia is even more absurd. Again, he claims he wants to lower taxes across the board. While that's all fine and dandy, he claims he wants to "rebuild our military strength" but then adds "this will not be a cost-free process." All of his stances regarding Russia, then, are to poke and prod the old bear. Where relations have been tenuous since the fall of the USSR, Mr. Romney seems fine with throwing tennis balls into their backyard to show how far we can throw. The missile plan President Bush implemented in Poland and the Czech Republic was voided by President Obama, the right move to improve relations with Russia, and Mr. Romney is keen on restarting the program.
Of all the problems the GOP would like you to believe in and support, their obsession with the military is priority #1. China, a country of over one billion people, spends just over $114B on their military. We Americans spend over $685B. No one should or will debate the need for a military, or even the need for our military to be well suited and well funded. But if we HALVED the amount of money we put into our "Defense Budget," we would have $330B for things like, to name a few important things, healthcare, education and alternative fuels. Basic reasoning follows that an increase in the overall health and well being of our citizens, maybe those same citizens could increase their own productivity in society. Instead, we're focused on building bigger bombs while taking money from more deserving areas of the government.
Apparently the GOP would like you to believe they support "maintaining a world-class system of primary and secondary education." Hypocrisy strikes again. Republicans in Congress tried to vote down a measure to keep student loan rates low. Mr. Romney insists Americans should have as much of a college education as they can afford. Now, the US isn't exactly the most educated country to begin with, no matter what Republicans say. In 2009, 15 year olds in the US rated equal to or below Korea, Finland, Canada, New Zealand, Japan, Australia, Netherlands, Belgium, Norway, Estonia, Switzerland, Poland and Iceland in Reading Literacy scores (per the Program for International Student Assessment, or PISA). Numbers were far below average for Mathematics where the US scored above just a handful of countries. Science figures show us in the middle again.
As for revamping the system we all know is broken, Republicans again just don't get it. The National Education Association, you know, the big group of teachers that was founded in 1857, is more than against vouchers. Not because they're a huge bunch of socialist hippies, but because they're experts in the field. (Doctors against cigarettes aren't that way because they hate big business, after all.) But the GOP refuses to listen. Again they go about their merry way taking money away from the institutions that need them, wondering why things aren't getting any better. That's not to mention policies like No Child Left Behind that LITERALLY takes money away from the schools that need it most.
So lets go back to National Defense for a moment. The government makes a set amount every year. Let's say that number is a nice and easy $100. For Fiscal Year 2012, $24 of your tax dollars went to the federal government's Defense budget, while $4 went to education. Finland on the other hand spent $5 of these theoretical dollars on their Ministry of Defense and $13 on their Ministry of Education, finishing second in Reading Literacy and Math scores and first in Science. We're funding the wrong programs.
Oh boy, here we go. What ISN'T there to say. Despite the fact that many "99%ers" are just a bunch of dirty hippies, they bring up a realistic point. While many on the right shout "CLASS WARFARE" and "YOU CAN'T TAX THE RICH TO PAY THE WEALTHY," they're missin the point. No one, at least that has any rational argument, thinks everyone should have the same amount of money. Especially here in the United States, people get "Socialism" and "Communism" confused. Businesses will exist. Money will be made. Some jobs pay more. Fine. Great.
The problem with the 1% doesn't lie in that they exist, it's how much wealth they control. The most money the top 1% has controlled in the history of America was 23.9% in 1929. Businesses were rampantly producing whatever they felt like, and lassiez faire economics was king. That's what the GOP wants, and they say so right on their website. But the hypocrisy of the right is ever present. They command us to look at history, learn from the detriments of social programs and see how terrible the European economies are doing. Well, right here in America, things are pretty bad. Under President Bush and his tax cuts, American money grabbers made their way back to 23.5% of the total wealth in the United States. Yes, 3,000,000 Americans control one quarter of the money in the US. The last time that happened, the government had to step in to fix the problem. Banks broke the shackles of "big government" and toppled. The housing market bombed after it overstepped its abilities. The auto industry crashed and burned on their own as well. And how were they fixed? Government intervention.
It is a historically proven fact that when this kind of stratification takes place, there is something bad following. The GOP continues to blame the "Socialist Left" despite the reality of the situation.
Now here is a funny one. The GOP claims, and I mean this seriously, it's right on their website, that the Court's role is to interpret the law, nothing more. Hell, it's right there in the Constitution! But when the ACA ruling came down, Republicans everywhere went bananas. They seem to think the Supreme Court wrote, drafted, and perfected the law. They absolutely did not respect in any way the ruling of the Supreme Court that the ACA was Constitutional.
The GOP vs Strict Constitutionalists
There is something to say for the difference between people who simply see individual states as in charge of these policies and the people who think they're asinine. There is absolutely no doubt that there are major problems that could be solved by working together. I can agree with the Strict Constitutionalists in that they have an argument. Where I see Federal Government intervention, they see State. Great. But to say there isn't an issue to be resolved as most in the Republican party do - or to be so hypocritical about the issues - is insane.