- Politics and Social Issues
Why I Am Not a Republican
A Democrat Explains the Faults of the Republican Party
To prevent any confusion, yes, I am a lifelong Democrat.
Sometimes I think that all Republican politicians were born under the sign of Gemini, the twins. They certainly seem two-faced. Obstensibly, they run for office for various reasons, and people think that they want to solve problems. But their rhetoric and actions do not support that assumption.
Republicans Like to Focus on Unimportant Federal Issues
Flag Burning, Abortion, School Prayer -- Republicans love to scream about these subjects. Many of their followers support them because of these subjects alone. BUT THEY ARE NOT IMPORTANT! Not compared with the real problems that are in front of Congress.
We all have our causes and beliefs. I do not relish seeing my country's flag burned. I know that free speech is protected. The laws against flag burning were written to stop flag burning for political purposes! I still remember the day in Kindergarten (37 years ago) that the school custodian showed us the worn-out flag that he was about to put in the furnace. The difference was politics. A group wants to pass a constitutional amendment against "desecrating the flag." How long would it be before someone was arrested for political speech because he "desecrated the flag", even if only words were spoken?
Abortion and School prayer fall under similiar arguments (though poliitcs is not involved). Our country has real problems. Shouldn't we be trying to solve them?
Republicans Focus Too Much on War
Who was the last U.S. President who graduated from a military academy?
You probably said Eisenhower. The answer is: Jimmy Carter.
Jimmy Carter had graduated from Anapolis with a degree in Nuclear Engineering. Jimmy Carter made drastic cutbacks to the military upon entering office. This did not make him popular. As a military man, Carter understood the difference between a peacetime military and a wartime military.
Ronald Reagan, who ran for office complaining about the (insignificant today) $40 billion deficit ran the national debt up to unprecented levels to build up the military and, especially, to build missiles. Today, Republicans like to say this caused the fall of communism. Wrong. Communism fell under its own weight, much like the USA is now suffering from the debt the last three republican presidents ran up.
If you don't believe that, consider this: On the TV show 20/20, Geraldo Rivera did a special report on the U.S.S.R. (Soviet Union). He described substandard hotels and restaurants that were substandard because the people running them didn't care. They couldn't lose their jobs, and the government owned the establishments.
The situation was best demonstrated by his attempts to hail a taxi. In the Soviet Union at that time, a car would cost the equivalent of four year's pay. It would be poorly built, too. Except for very few cars, taxis owned the streets. Like everyone else in the Soviet Union at the time, taxi drivers were paid a flat salary, couldn't lose their jobs, and didn't care if it was done right. Geraldo Rivera stood 15 minutes outside his hotel while countless taxis passed.
A taxi pulled over when he held up a pack of American cigarettes. How can such a society continue? It can't and didn't.
Instead of Communism, the USA is suffering because it cannot carry the debt Reagan, George H. Bush, and George W. Bush ran up to support their military aims.
A freind of mine complained about how much Bill Clinton cut back the military upon entering office. I reminded my friend that One of George Washington's first acts as President was to furlough the army.
Republicans Choose to Destroy
I remeber the C.E.T.A. (Ceta) program that Jimmy Carter created. The Ceta program had problems, no doubt. The simple idea of the Ceta program was to get teenagers working. Ceta was aimed at low-income youth whose parents were on welfare. Ceta was suppose to break the cycle of poverty by giving teenagers work experience. But the program was flawed. Employers who used such labor didn't have the option of firing them. I remember some of the junior conselors at the YMCA day camp I was attending treating us terribly. They were immune to discipline. The counselors who were being paid by the YMCA were being laid off after every session because the Junior counselors were running off the youth.
Instead of fixing the problems with Ceta, Ceta was simply destroyed.
In 1989, at my first adult job, I knew a couple of men who had once been in the Ceta program. They told me that Ceta changed their lives. They decided they never wanted to feel the shame of their parents, who were receiving assistance.
But the problem is much more than that. Currently the debate is about health care and the millions of people that are uninsured (including myself). I am not going to debate health care here.
It seems that all anyone hears about health care reform from the republicans is that it is communist and counterproductive. So, what is their solution? ......That's right, they don't have one. (Except that we should do more of the same.)
Every few years, after some company has defrauded its investors (like Enron) or some large environmental disaster, Democrats would impose regulation to prevent such occurances. As soon as the Republicans are able (if they haven't already watered down the rules), they remove such regulations.
Regulations are written because an industry has proven it needs to be regulated.
My American History teacher in high school had a sign on her wall that said, "Every time history repeats itself, the price goes up.
I cannot complete any discussion about this without discussing Tort Reform. Tort Reform is not about stopping frivelous lawsuits (though that is their pitch). It is about limiting the liabilities of companies guilty of them. I remember seeing commercials for the anti-tort reform movement. I think they missed the boat. What was really needed was a definition.
Torts means Wrongs !
Torts means Wrongs !
Did you get that? New tort reform laws limit punitive damages. Sometimes they even limit actual damages.
Punitive Damages are awarded in cases where wrongdoers need to be punished !
The result is that insurance companies no longer need to negotiate a fair settlement. Furthurmore, companies that truly need to be punished have nothing to fear.
Tort reform has also made class-action lawsuits more difficult. Most people think of class-action lawsuits as "Big Money" suits. In a way, they are.
Class action lawsuits allow a group with a common complaint to file a lawsuit as one group or "class".
While occasionally you here of some outragous judgement made by a jury, typically such judgements will not stand up at appeal.
"Beware of Greeks Bearing Gifts".
Republicans and the National Debt and Taxes
Republicans love to label Democrats, "Tax and Spend". Seems strange.
I label Republicans, "Borrow and Waste".
The republicans were shouting bloody murder when Obama proposed his economic stimulous plan as being so expensive, requiring a large deficit spending.
I suggest you look in the 2008 tax booklet published by the I.R.S. This is the booklet used in 2009 (the 2008 refers to the year taxes are paid on). Turn to the back of the booklet at look at the percentage of your taxes that is spent on the national debt.
I am not writing the number here because someone will comment that I made it up. Please look for yourself. Almost all of the debt was accrued during Republican administrations. Bill Clinton had a balanced budget. Jimmy Carter had a small debt, comparatively. When Clinton took office, the service on the debt was equivalent to 20% of the tax bill. George W. ran it much higher.
I often hear republicans says Democrats believe in redistribution of wealth through taxes. To them, I say to read Robert Kiyosaki's(He is republican) book Rich Dad, Poor Dad. On page 68, he says that Democrats believe in penalizing the rich. In the very next paragraph, he says that the average person pays 28% of income in taxes and rich people pay only 10%.
Democrats do not believe in punishing the rich. Democrats believe the rich should pay a fair percentage of taxes.
Republicans also sound off about Inheritance "Death" Taxes.
Inheritance taxes only apply to amounts greater than $ 1,000,000 (one million dollars). I wish I could pay taxes on that much.
Most of the so-called inheritance taxes would not need to be paid if a proper tax stategy is used while the person is still alive.
If you have indeed read the IRS form that describe the percentage of money being spent on the debt, image what if that percentage of taxes was not neccessary.
Your share of taxes that are used to service and pay the national debt were caused by the Republican party!