by Caren Rugg
Since we have a Republican led Congress that refuses to act on information showing that the man being sworn into office on Friday won the election through invasive and fraudulent means, there’s something I need to say.
If you’re wondering why, with all there is that needs to be done, the GOP is focused on destroying life saving programs like the Affordable Care Act, Medicaid, and Social Security, the answer is simple. These are programs created by Democrats, but more importantly, these are programs that WORK. And they work well.
Republicans don’t want Americans to know the real role the govt plays in our lives every day. They want you to think govt is intrusive, and regulatory, and unnecessary. Tax cuts benefit their wealthy contributors, but it also helps destroy the influence of govt through the death of a thousand cuts. They reduce the impact of governmental assistance until the private sector steps in with grants and fundraising, to help prevent Americans from dying on the street.
They don’t want you to remember hundreds of women dying in a factory fire because management had chained the doors, leading to work place reforms. They don’t want you to remember the Great Lakes were once so polluted you couldn’t swim in or eat fish caught there, leading eventually to the development of the EPA. They don’t want to remind you that Social Security was created after greedy men tanked the US economy, and people were standing in soup lines. They don’t want you recognizing that Medicare was created because the people who built this country were dying early, without affordable health care, and often impoverished as a result. They don’t want you realizing the ONLY reason slavery was abolished was because of the govt.
They want you forgetting that laws are created, because man has proven himself to be exploiting, greedy, and without concern for his fellow-man. They want you to think they are concerned for your welfare, when the exact opposite is at play. They want you to think govt is over regulating our lives, when in truth, THEY, the GOP, are over regulating our lives.
They want to dictate whom can marry whom. They want to control women’s bodies, while exempting the men who impregnate women and leave them to deal with the consequences. They want to give more to those who have it all, while continuing to take from those who have nothing. They want to destroy public education, leaving a struggling and uneducated work force, which is easier to control. They want to ignore protections of the Constitution as it relates to speech and religion. They want to pretend they are not the cause of much of the suffering in this nation, as well as parts of the world where we’ve meddled and interfered. They want to ignore facts and science in their misguided attempts to get their way.
Republicans want you to forget the a reason we have roads, and bridges, and schools, and hospitals, and the strongest military in the world is due to the collective efforts of our citizens to pay taxes. That’s something the incoming president is woefully lacking in knowledge about…being part of the collective. Those of us who pay our taxes have a voice in how that money is spent.
The GOP wants you to believe spending almost 60% of our federal budget on the military keeps us safe. They refuse to acknowledge that food security, safe housing, quality education, healthcare coverage, and jobs that pay living wages ALSO support our security.
They treat speaking in terms of decency as simply being “politically correct”, while ignoring the hate speech they engage in regularly. They disrespected our outgoing president in unprecedented ways, leading the charge for blatant disregard of those who are different. They have also conveniently forgotten aside from Native Americans, we’re ALL immigrants here.
But this latest attack on our well-being has nothing to do with what’s best for all of us. You cannot pull healthcare from 20 million, put the healthcare plan for seniors and the disabled into a cumbersome voucher system, and put our Social Security into Wall Street investments, and think it’s going to end well. It won’t. They know it. They don’t care.
Here’s a pesky little fact that destroys all their claims about cutting taxes for the wealthy. Under Eisenhower, a Republican president, (former military general who warned against the influence of the military industrial complex, btw) the tax rates on the wealthy were VERY high, close to 90% on the über wealthy. To get tax cuts as big business you had to hire and expand. THAT’S how we grew the middle class. And built our interstate highway system, and schools, and hospitals, and allowed families to live on one income. The ratio of CEO pay to workers’ wages was well below where it is now.
There are now more millionaires on Congress than ever before. That is not a coincidence. Those who benefit most from the laws being written are those writing the laws. They don’t care what “the people” want. They turn deaf ears to reason and fact and suffering. They want the federal govt impotent to change, because change precedes progress. And progress benefits ALL of us, not just some of us. They cannot, and will not support that.
I’ve let this get longer than planned. But it’s important folks have a sense of what’s happening, and why. Despite protestations to the contrary, the ACA IS successful. It stopped the steady acceleration of healthcare costs. It propped up the solvency of Medicare for many years to come. It stabilized the finances of countless hospitals across the country. It provided routine diagnostic coverage, saving innumerable lives. It allowed women to control their own bodies through access to comprehensive contraception coverage. And last but not least, it gave hope to millions of people like me with a pre-existing condition that I could receive necessary care. It’s been a life line and a Godsend for millions of Americans. And Republicans want to take that all away, without a working replacement.
If you believe this nation should work for all of us….if you think we are better than the rhetoric coming out of DC…if you think we are not living up to our potential as a nation, it’s time to step up, speak up, and when necessary, act up. We’ll be given nothing that we do not unequivocally demand. It’s time to remind Congress they work for US.
The federal govt has made meaningful impacts on our day-to-day lives. Don’t let anyone try to convince you otherwise.