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Not In The Top 1%? - Then Why Vote Republican?

Posted by MacZad
Aug 10 2012

Though I'm not a member of any political party for years my vote went mostly to Republicans mainly because I believed that the Republicans had better fiscal policies.

The Bush years proved that idea to be dead wrong. Spending was higher (the money just went to different places) and taxes were cut with no regard for the mounting debt. Bush turned Clinton's budget surplus into historically-high deficit spending. In 2001, it took $250 dollars to buy one ounce of gold. By 2012, it was around $1700. The intrinsic value of gold didn't change; the insane fiscal policies of the Bush years were the major factor in causing the dollar to plummet approximately 85% relative to gold. You may not like the "tax-and-spend Democrats," but the "borrow-and-spend Republicans," who seem to believe that all problems can be cured by cutting taxes, are worse; they have saddled our children with stratospheric debt. Makes it hard to vote Republican.

There was also a disdain for effective regulation of anything during the Bush years, and the failure to regulate the financial industry was a major factor leading to the recent crash. After his bitter experience, the humbled former Federal Reserve chairman, Alan Greenspan, now understands that free markets (particularly financial ones) are not self-policing or self-correcting (i.e. without crashes) and that enforced regulations are required for markets to function best, both for the good of the market participants, and for the good of society. Unfortunately, one only has to listen to the current crop of ultra-conservative Republican leaders (like VP candidate Paul Ryan) to know that, unlike Greenspan, few learned any lessons from the crash as most are still espousing a little-regulated, and almost totally free-market, economy. Makes it hard to vote Republican.

Now that the Bush-era damage has been done, the current Republican leadership in Washington is giving belated attention to fiscal discipline (as exemplified by Paul Ryan's budget proposal), but, while it's clear that a smaller federal government is needed, their reform proposals fall inequitably on the backs of working Americans with little sharing of the pain by those at the top. It's true that spending under Obama has risen dramatically, but most of that increase has been (with congressional approval) an attempt to get the economy going again after the Bush-era induced 2008 financial crash. The inequity of their proposed reforms makes it hard to vote Republican.

The increasing concentration of income and wealth at the very top, that has been going on since about 1980, is not healthy for a representative democracy. It's clear that both political parties shared in much poor policy making that further empowered the Rent-Seekers thus exacerbating the inequity; it's also clear the Republican leadership doesn't see anything wrong with such inequity; it's the stuff of revolutions making it dangerous in the long run. Makes it hard to vote Republican.

The current Supreme Court with its conservative majority gave us its Citizens United decision which further empowered the corporations to spend as they please to influence elections thus effectively rendering the voice of the people impotent. It's one of the worst Supreme Court decisions ever for our representative democracy. The next president will likely get to appoint a justice or two to the court which could further entrench a pro-corporation majority. Makes it hard to vote Republican.

Finally, there are the social issues. The Republican party is now very strongly influenced by the conned fundamentalist Christians and as a result repressive social legislation is now a hallmark of their control. Makes it hard to vote Republican.

So the Republicans shouldn't be getting our votes in November. Obama has faults, but given the mess that he inherited from the Bush years and the pertinaciousness of the Republicans in congress, he's done a satisfactory job. He will definitely be better than Romney who will likely side with the Plutocrats (after all, he's a member) and oppose anything that would move us back toward a truly representative democracy - one where the voice of the people actually influences the legislation enacted.

Categories: Opposing Plutocracy and Corporatocracy, Seeking Better Governance