Someone had to listen to the multiple GOP responses to Obama's State of the Union...so that you didn't have to. That person is moi. First up, the pleasant Washington State GOP Representative, Cathy McMorris Rodgers.
Ms. Rodgers focused on "closing the gap." No, no...don't get the wrong idea. Not the income/wealth disparity gap which has developed over the last 30 years in America into a festering obscenity and a convincing argument AGAINST capitalism. No, no....not that gap. The "gap of opportunity." That's the gap Ms. Rodgers said her Republican Party would seek to close.
Whatever that "gap of opportunity" is, however one can describe or explain it.....Ms. Rodgers suggested what could close it. Ready?
"Republicans have plans to close the gap. Plans that will focus on jobs first without more spending, government bailouts and red tape.....With too many Americans living paycheck to paycheck, we have a solutions to help you take home more of your pay. Through lower taxes, cheaper energy costs, and affordable health care (not Obamacare)."
If that all sounds like the same old GOP supply-side shite warmed over...it's because it is.
Utah GOP Senator Mike Lee gave the Confederacy's, check that, the Tea Party's response to Obama's SOTU. As a simple introduction, Lee is the guy who thinks child labor laws are unconstitutional. A progressive thinker, he isn't.
In his speech last night, Lee championed "protesting against a dysfunctional government" as a great American tradition. The senator compared the Tea Party to the patriots of 1773 who had to throw off the shackles of "big abusive national government" by fighting the English colonizers. No mention, however, of "2nd amendment remedies."
Senator Lee focused on what he called our nation's "inequality crisis", described as the "immobility of the poor who are being trapped in poverty by big government programs, insecurity in the middle class where families are struggling just to get ahead and crony-ish privilege at the top, where political and economic insiders twist the immense power of the federal government."
Absent from Lee's appraisal of "big government abuse" was any reference to the historically low minimum wage or the failure of extremely profitable U.S. corporations to share productivity gains with their employees over the last 3 decades. You see, when Teas like Mike Lee talk of "inequality", they never mean the inequality where the top 1% suck up all the wealth for themselves while the 99% lose even more economic ground.
Obamacare, Lee claimed, is the "inequality Godzilla." 6 million poor working Americans have signed up for the new Obamacare Medicaid expansion, closing somewhat the "inequality" gap between those Americans who have health coverage and those who don't. But Tea Lee calls the new law which closes that gap the "inequality Godzilla."
Another of Lee's gems was..."Government driven inequality is the reason why Americans struggle to make ends meet." Although unmentioned, he wasn't talking about the capital gains tax rate in that assertion. He was most likely alluding to SNAP, unemployment insurance and similar safety net "welfare" programs....all part of what the Teas consider to be the problem, not part of the solution, when capitalism effs everything up. Teas believe charities can handle all of our bothersome "welfare" needs.
Rand Paul, representing...well...himself, also gave a SOTU response. Not surprisingly, Paul started by resurrecting the Gipper. "Government is the problem, and not the solution."
Paul exclusively, and wrongly, blamed the FED for the financial industry collapse and the resultant recession. The Kentucky Senator blamed our slow recovery on the Obama stimulus and the bank and auto bailouts. Those are all fact-free claims meant to further mislead Americans.
The proud libertarian, in typical Foxian style, misled again by offering up Solyndra as a prime reason why "big government" can't do anything right....while entirely ignoring the numerous very successful alternative energy initiatives started, or aided, by the Obama stimulus program.
"Government spending doesn't work." "It doesn't create jobs." Here, Paul embarrasses himself and gives evidence he is a fraud. Government borrowing and spending during WW2....ahem...worked. Contrary to Paul's understanding of U.S. history, government spending not only created jobs during the 40's.....government spending has created jobs, periodically, ever since.
"Only the democracy of the marketplace(!) can find those capable of creating jobs." I have no idea what that even means, but I'm sure it has to do with libertarian leaps of faith and ahistorical Randian thought......with not one historical nation or people to point to as an example of success. Not one.
The truth: Jobs are created when consumers create new demand.
Rand Paul's 'big idea' last night was "economic freedom zones" in depressed areas where "business and income tax rates" will only be 5%. One doesn't have to be Einstein-ian to understand that these alleged economic freedom zones would simply be another effort by conservative forces in the U.S. to avoid taxation. Standard GOP horsepucky.
Because, I guess, it takes a Republican Village to respond to a Democratic president's SOTU.....Ron Paul, father of Rand, gave his "libertarian" response to the repellant John Stossel over on, you guessed it, Fox News. Click over for yourself because I can't stomach Stossel.
What is clear after reviewing the many voices in the Republican head...is that the GOP has nothing to offer the American people except the same old, same old. Lower taxes and fewer regulations which only aid the nation's wealthiest while increasing the problem of economic inequality......reducing "big government" so that capitalistic forces can increase their control of our once great nation.....and finally....misleading and deceiving American voters with lies, omissions of truths, half-baked historical revisionism and appeals to the revolutionaries in their like-minded camp.
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