Whether it is Iraq, women, the poor, the elderly, college students, healthcare, Medicare, Social Security, the Affordable Care Act (ACA), public education, the post office, hardworking Americans or voters…Republicans are shouting for war. Unlike our forefathers, they are not fighting for democracy and equal rights, but rather for a plutocracy.
Four decades after Roe v Wade was decided, the Republicans continue to argue against women’s rights to control their own bodies. The party advocates against women having abortions under any circumstance, but don’t want to provide any assistance to help raise the children. They want to disallow coverage of birth control by insurance companies under the ACA, while allowing them to cover the cost of Viagra.
In addition, Republican governors in 20 states refused billions of dollars from the federal government, preventing millions of eligible people from receiving healthcare, while Congress and state officials enjoy premium healthcare benefits at taxpayers’ expense.
On another front, they fight to defeat any jobs bills that would help lower unemployment, but vote against extending unemployment benefits, school lunch programs and food stamps leaving the hungry without basic nutritional needs.
Republicans are constantly talking about the “takers” and the “makers” by pointing to people on Social Security and Medicare (both of which were paid into by recipients). In reality, congressional members are the “takers”…not the elderly, disabled, veterans or hardworking Americans. With salaries beginning at $174,000, this Congress chooses vacations over work. Even when in session, they spend taxpayer dollars trying to repeal the ACA more than 50 times, rename 60 post offices, and look for nonexistent scandals.
They continue to attack the basic right of everyone to vote. Rather than helping insure this right, they are passing state laws aimed at discriminating against students, the elderly, the poor, women and minorities. Republican state legislators’ have slashed the number of early voting days and hours creating reductions that include nights and weekends. The reduced time directly affects working class Americans and infringes on their ability to vote. In addition, many are requiring special photo IDs to combat nonexistent fraud. This law is the real voter fraud, and is being challenged in court as unconstitutional.
The Republican war on minorities, especially African American males, is evidenced in our prison system. After privatizing a number of the prisons, the population of minorities incarcerated for minor crimes has skyrocketed. Increases in prisoners multiplied by the tax dollars given per inmate equals a substantial profit for those people who invested in the prison system. Privatization of our jails is not aimed at justice or rehabilitation, but revenue.
In addition to the jails, the Republicans are trying to bankrupt the U.S. Postal Service, which was a standalone, profitable government entity, by taking unprecedented funds from it. They want to privatize it so that postal rates and delivery are no longer for the people, but by and for the greedy.
The education budget is another combat zone. From Pell Grants to research and development dollars, Republicans think appropriating some of the allocated money to for-profit charter schools, that can hand-pick the students they want, is how taxpayer money should be spent.
As they wage war to cut spending, the cutbacks disproportionately affect the poor, middle class and small businesses, while giving enormous tax breaks to the wealthiest Americans and big corporations. The Ryan Budgets of 2012, 2013 and 2014 trim only from safety net programs, but provide large funds for oil and gas subsidies, farm subsidies to the biggest agricultural corporations and insane amounts of money for defense. They continue the battle cry for war…in Syria, Iran, Ukraine…who knows what land will be next.
Republicans continue to diminish our rights and ensure that average Americans’ freedoms aren’t there. When you stand up and sing The Star Spangled Banner words, “Oh, say does that star-spangle banner yet wave, O’er the land of the free and the home of the brave?” The answer is no, it doesn’t. It waves over the land of the impoverished and the home of the wealthy.