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3.10.2011

When are we going to wisen up?

I don't normally think of things as black and white.  And I don't think all Republicans are stupid or corrupt.  But I do think one thing, almost across the board- Republican politicians are master manipulators, and Republican voters are happy to have the wool pulled over their eyes.

Right now my major concern is their double talk about the budget.  They won their offices almost exclusively on two issues- cutting the budget by cutting spending, and the normal "family values, pro-life" blah blah that they always rest on (but what do they actually do about it, other than talk and sleep with prostitutes?... sorry, a little harsh).  But when asked they would never elaborate on what they were going to cut. 

Wanna know why?  They didn't want to alienate people.  They didn't want people to know they were going to eliminate middle class tax cuts, WIC, unions, Planned Parenthood, public broadcasting, the Affordable Health Care act, education funding, funding for school lunch and nutritional programs... and basically everything that the middle and lower classes in this country value and rely on.  Because, in their minds, people shouldn't be so reliant on the government.  They should take care of themselves.  But hold on- what about Wall Street, and the tax cuts to the wealthy, and subsidies to big businesses, large scale farming, and oil?  Apparently these groups of people have "earned" (likely through hefty campaign contributions) the right to keep our tax dollars.

But now what?  Are republican voters going to keep looking the other way, citing their moral values or their shared belief in "less government" (although I don't think that many of them would really like to live with "less government," they just want "more money" in their own pockets) while Republican representatives continue to take and take from the middle and lower class and hand it to the wealthy companies and individuals in this country?  Why is it so controversial to help out those who can't (kids, the elderly, etc), so much so that some call it socialist and say the government is telling people how to raise their children, but there isn't much backlash about Republicans giving those same tax dollars to multi-billion dollar industries, saying it's "for the benefit of the masses" to "keep prices down."  This while they say that Teachers need to make sacrifices "for the kids."

I'm not even 100% pro-union.  This is a different topic for a different time, but my opinion is that unions (labor unions- I have little knowledge of the purpose and structure of other unions such as teacher unions) have outlived their purpose.  Labor laws have caught up and while in theory unions should be useful in keeping companies from violating labor laws (and trying to get away with it), instead I feel they encourage workers to only do the minimum required as in many cases they aren't able to be rewarded or promoted based on merit, they have to be promoted (and also fired) by seniority.  So, for example, say a company is struggling and needs to cut positions.  Two guys have the same position, and the company chooses to eliminate one of them.  One of the men is older and has been with the company for fifteen years, but only does his job at the minimum required level and often takes sick and personal days, but never in excess of what he's allowed (but close).  The other is younger and has only worked for the company for two or three years.  He shows initiative and often goes above and beyond and rarely misses a day of work.  But in a union situation who do you think gets fired?  The younger man.  This both undercuts the incentive to work hard and show initiative AND damages the company by eliminating the more promising worker.

I didn't mean to get that into unions... my point is, while I don't necessarily think unions are great, the nonsense in Wisconsin shows exactly how much the Republicans don't care about what the "little guy" thinks.  Tens of thousands of people from many states don't show up to support something that is not important to them.  And that doesn't take into account those who weren't able to protest physically but showed their support of the protesters by ordering them pizza.  But Walker doesn't care- he wants to cut the budget so that no one takes a closer look at the fact that a majority of the deficit we suffer from now was caused by the wealthiest Americans, and that they continue to be a bleed on the country's finances through subsidies and tax cuts.  Because that wouldn't be popular among his "true" supporters.

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