How much worse must things get before Americans wake up to the Republican scam?

Thom plus logo Republicans in Congress right now are fighting each other over how severely they should cut back on unemployment benefits to people out of work because of this administration's incompetence in handling the coronavirus.

Some Republicans want to do away with the $600 a week altogether, others suggest it should be cut to $100 or $300 a week, and others want to make it some fraction of a person's previous income, which will produce a math challenge for the Treasury Department that could take months to untangle.

Whatever they decide, the bottom line should be clear to all Americans: Republicans were more than happy to hand more than $3 trillion to billionaires, giant corporations and the very, very wealthy but don't give a flying flip about America's working people.

The GOP has been running this scam on working people since the 1980s when Ronald Reagan said that destroying unions and cutting taxes on rich people would lead to "prosperity" for the working class. It was a lie then, and it is a lie now.

This weekend, various Republicans went on multiple news shows to talk about how they don't want people making so much money on unemployment that they felt comfortable "sitting at home" rather than desperately searching for work.

Yet Donald Trump and the GOP governors who follow him have brought us a total, screaming pandemic all across this country. No rational person, given the choice, would choose to expose themselves to a disease that could kill them or, if they're lucky, only lead to lifelong kidney, heart and brain damage.

But Republicans don't want Americans to have that choice. By ending the moratorium on evictions, and allowing the $600 a month unemployment benefit to expire last week, Republicans think that the risk of becoming homeless, been unable to pay for healthcare or medications, or going hungry will propel people back to work.

It may have that effect, but using the threat of homelessness and death from a terrible disease to force people to look for work - particularly when there are no jobs! - is the worst kind of brutality.

This is not new.

In a Republican primary debate some years ago, congressman Ron Paul essentially argued that an injured, unemployed person laying on the street bleeding in front of a hospital should simply be allowed to die if he can't afford to pay for treatment.

Republicans have worked to screw working people and shovel as much cash as possible to the very rich for longer than most of us have been alive.

From their opposition to Social Security in the 1930s to their fighting vigorously against Medicare in the 1960s to all of their efforts to prevent America from having a simple social safety net like exists in every other developed country in the world, the GOP are simply the party of greedy wealth and privilege.

As a result, today America has a massive and growing homeless problem with homeless mothers and children taking over federal buildings in Philadelphia, tens of thousands of people dying every year because they can't get access to healthcare, and millions of children going to bed hungry every night.

This coronavirus is not going away anytime soon, regardless of what happens on the vaccine front. We should take this moment as an opportunity to reinvent our political and economic structures to do what should be the first goal of government (and is the first goal of government in most other developed countries), which is ensuring the health and safety and, as the Declaration of Independence says, the "happiness" of its people.

Only when Americans across-the-board realize that the GOP is simply a scam and a front group for America's super rich, and vote accordingly, will America have a chance to become a "shining city on the hill."

Today, instead, much of America is simply the Republican Party's trash heap.

-Thom

Comments

Richard Smith's picture
Richard Smith 12 weeks 5 days ago
#1

We are undergoing the most expensive socialism a modern country has attempted. BUT it is corporate socialism, benefiting huge corporations, and we don't care what it's called, I'm entitled to my fair share of it.

alis volat's picture
alis volat 12 weeks 5 days ago
#2

One of the best points made today by the Senate Dems was that the House had planned and passed something to anticipate this in May. That gave the Senate more than enough time to get this ready and to decide how this would go.

Instead the Republicans chose to believe in the President's fairy-tales about a disappearing virus and booming economy by mid-summer. He's a sociopath, and they have chosen to follow him. Seriously, who is worse?

With all the physical and mental anguish this has caused, we owe it to everyone who has suffered to make lasting meaningful changes. I wouldn't call it an opportunity as much as I would call it an obligation.

We must drag folks into the 21st Century, and it won't be easy.

stopgap's picture
stopgap 12 weeks 5 days ago
#3

My favorite comment I heard today was by Maya Cummings, the wife of the late Elijah Cummings when she described the Federal troops sent to Portland and other cities as “Storm Trumpers.”

Legend 12 weeks 5 days ago
#4

I would call this the Summer of discontent. Portland and other cities is what happens when you have 50 million unemployed. A President that ignores a massive pandemic. Now that it is out of control, solutions are very difficult to come by. Just the other day the boys were back for baseball. Yesterday 13 Miami Marlins tested positive. Sad part is this was very predictable. Now Trumps National Security Advisor has tested positive. A normal President would have seen him on a daily basis. But not Trump.

MagnusReputo 12 weeks 5 days ago
#5

Impeachment should begin Nov 4th regardless of results.

Willie W's picture
Willie W 12 weeks 5 days ago
#6

Same old story, never gets old. Dust it off, polish it up, and recycle. Cut social programs so as not to enable the poor. Lower corporate taxes again to bring more jobs back. Keep medical insurance private to encourage competition. Turn social security over to Wall Street to give people more control over their retirement savings. Cut enviornmental protections that are choking industries, forcing them to leave the country. Shut down fake news. Don't let the other party destroy all the progress we are working towards.

Legend 12 weeks 5 days ago
#7

Any reference for any of that?

avn013's picture
avn013 12 weeks 4 days ago
#8

Time for Biden to start making commitments in line with Sander's timeless "philosophy" (a "communist" by some USA-ians, a center-leftist or left-centrist by most European standards).

Also, it is high time that Biden actively collaborated with people like Andrew Yang. If Dems are not brave enough to follow this path now, not in the far future people like AOC will be attempting to turn this country around. If that happens, we are in for such a wild ride that most of us may faint. (If it suceeds we are set to lead for another ~50 years. If not, time to retire and watch (and criticize) the next world leader).

bobbler's picture
bobbler 12 weeks 4 days ago
#9

I wish they would be this stingy with all the money they give to corporations. Where they do the exact opposite; the more money a corporation has,, the more money Republicans give them (which would only make sense if republicans were giving our tax money as bribe money)..

Our Superspreader President Has Blood On His Hands & So Does the Republican Party

Thom plus logo A new study from Columbia University lays the deaths of tens to hundreds of thousands of Americans at the feet of the Trump administration and the Republican party.

Comparing the United States to other developed countries, they laid out how our lack of a systemic federal response to the coronavirus has endangered Americans.
From Screwed:
"The powers that be are running roughshod over the powers that OUGHT to be. Hartmann tells us what went wrong — and what you and I can do to help set American right again."
Jim Hightower, National Radio Commentator, Writer, Public Speaker, and author of the bestselling Thieves in High Places
From Unequal Protection, 2nd Edition:
"Beneath the success and rise of American enterprise is an untold history that is antithetical to every value Americans hold dear. This is a seminal work, a godsend really, a clear message to every citizen about the need to reform our country, laws, and companies."
Paul Hawken, coauthor of Natural Capitalism and author of The Ecology of Commerce
From Screwed:
"I think many of us recognize that for all but the wealthiest, life in America is getting increasingly hard. Screwed explores why, showing how this is no accidental process, but rather the product of conscious political choices, choices we can change with enough courage and commitment. Like all of Thom’s great work, it helps show us the way forward."
Paul Loeb, author of Soul of a Citizen and The Impossible Will Take a Little While