Just say ‘no’ to Republicans
Published 11:21 am Friday, August 21, 2015
With so many Republican candidates for the presidency on the scene today, it is not difficult to pick out the themes of their 2016 platforms, all of which are remarkably similar.
But before exposing those themes it is important to note that the Republican candidates are guided by an abiding rule imposed upon them: no tax increases for anything ever. Most have signed the Grover Norquist pledge opposing any additional funding for any program at any time for any reason. Now you may like that as an idea, but would you like it if it meant your Social Security benefits had to be reduced, or your highways had to go unrepaired?
That fundamental policy, no additional spending, limits the types of programs that Republicans as president could support. No Republican candidate could, for example, support an ambitious space exploration program, or a modernized high speed rail system in the East, for to do so would require additional spending.
So where does that leave Republican candidates running for president? It leaves them running on the negatives, the things they will not do, cannot do, will not consider. It is an unusual campaign in a country looking for growth and optimism.
Here are the unfolding campaign themes:
No, we cannot afford Social Security. We must increase retirement age as high as 70 and decrease the benefits for some.
No, we cannot expand Medicaid because eventually a small percentage of the costs will have to be paid for by individual states.
No, we cannot fix our roads, bridges, airports and ports because the federal excise tax needs raised and we cannot do that ever.
No, although we face increasing global competition we cannot set educational standards like Common Core, because testing is bad.
No, we cannot support improving teacher’s pay, benefits, or classroom size because the teachers joined a union. So teaching turnover, hovering at 50 percent after five years, must continue.
No, we cannot recognize and confront global warming because we cannot pay for the associated costs to clean up our environment. In fact, we should get rid of the EPA entirely, use more fossil fuel and impose restrictions and taxes on renewable fuels.
No, we cannot change our abusive laws imprisoning a higher percentage of Americans than anywhere on the planet, including Communist China. Why? Because candidates like Marco Rubio are among the most contributed to by the big prison corporations like GEO, who has contributed over $40,000 to Rubio alone. And we have, to satisfy those corporations, constructed laws requiring a maintained occupancy rate of 90 percent in those prisons or the states have to pay for empty beds.
No, we cannot replace Obamacare without offering universal coverage to control costs, so we have no viable plan though we promise to repeal the program 16 million Americans use now for health care.
No, we cannot and will not construct a comprehensive Immigration program. In fact we can only discuss immigration in impossible terms like deporting 11 million illegals from America, a policy that can and will never happen.
No, we cannot seriously propose balancing the budget because somehow we must find more money for defense.
No, we cannot talk of peace for America because we need to send troops into Iraq and Syria, as though no lessons have been learned about Middle East warfare.
What can we do as Republicans? We can create jobs, at least if cutting taxes on the richest 1 percent still convinces some that the benefits will “trickle down” and in their great benevolence the richest among us will toss a few jobs here instead of India.
Oh, and by the way, get raped? No abortion for rape or for the life of the mother. Take that America.Just Say No.
Jim Crawford is a retired educator and political enthusiast living here in the Tri-State.