Tuesday, September 17, 2013

Republican Neglect

Here’s one example of Republican extremism on taxes and government services… and what such zealotry can do.
by Charlie Leck

The Republicans will show themselves again, as the budget crisis moves closer and closer, as an irrational group of nut-cases who would let the nation fall in to disrepair and poverty rather than spend sensible money on government services. They are threatening, once again, to shut government down if the other side of the aisle doesn’t approve vast spending cuts in our national budget.

This morning, in the NY Times, I came across a great example of this kind of approach to the American economy. A column by Ross Ramsey, executive editor of The Texas Tribune, Daily Reminder of Texas State Budget Cuts, was reprinted in the NY Times. Think of Texas; and then think of the U.S. under a similar funding policy.

In Texas, the highway department finds itself without adequate funds and will convert a number of Texas highways back into gravel roads…

The latest transportation idea in Texas illustrates the troubles of meeting the demands of growth and plain old wear and tear in a state where voters think government already costs too much….
“Lawmakers are in a self-made box, stuck between the promises they and their predecessors have made about government programs and services and their own promises to hold the line on spending.
Spoiler alert: they can’t afford to do the things they have promised to provide without crossing the voters in other ways — by raising taxes or fees or borrowing gobs of money.”

The highway department is not alone in Texas when it comes to governmental services stuck without the funds to carry out their routine services. You can add health and human services to the list and some other departments as well. But, when it comes to highway health and repair, the residents and voters of Texas can see with their own eyes what underfunding does to their state.

Now what about education? What about tourism promotion? What about police protection and public safety? What about hunting, fishing, state parks, public transportation, bridge inspection, state universities and a host of other services that only state government can provide?

Multiply this all out to the scope of a national budget and national services and you can see what the Tea Party crazies will do to America in the name of creating “smaller government” and “limited spending.” You want to live in a country like that?

As the debate in Congress heats up in the next few days, talking about debt ceilings and reduced funding and eliminated departments, just give some thought to Texas. Texas is never a good example for civilized people, but there you are…

Right now, in Congress, a strong Republic bloc is threatening to neglect government financing in the fiscal year that begins in October. Such action would, of course, shut government down and leave it unable to pays its bills and its creditors.

In this regard, yesterday, in New York City, the President of the United States gave a severe warning to Republicans…

“The last time the same crew threatened this course of action back in 2011, even the mere suggestion of default slowed our economic growth.”

Of course, this conservative bloc in Congress is disguising its real fight – and that is one to ruin and repeal the President’s health care law. They are consumed by their rage against this law that will allow nearly every single American to hold health care insurance. They, as I’ve said here before, are so determined to stop this law from going into effect that they are willing to bring the nation down and into economic ruin to do it.

Now if this isn’t crazy, then what can it be? This might be regarded as heroic behavior in Texas, but in America it is known to be just plain insane. Insane!


Now, if you want a bit of extracurricular reading on this very subject, here’s a piece by Paul Buchheit in Nation of Change (Libertarian Writings that Read Like Comic Books) that will fascinate you. Buchheit points out how these crazies just ignore economic facts when they believe the economy can totally take care of itself and it doesn’t need to be tended. Reading this will give you a clear idea of just how dangerous these folks are. This makes for very good reading.

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