Cartoon Courtesy kstreet607.com
Here we go again. While the myriad of talking heads ramble on at their convention, I’ll take you through a closer look at their intended platform.
Of course, like before, I can’t pick the entire document apart (might mess up my computer with all that nonsense) but I can pick out a few key titles and phrases. If you dare read the whole document, you can get it off of the RNC Website in pdf form.
Under Chapter 1: Restoring the American Dream
- Pundits and Democrats tell us that we should
accept the new normal of a slow-growing economy.
The consequences are too dire to ever accept that:
President Obama and his party
will set a record of being the first
modern president ever to leave
office without a single calendar
year of three percent economic
growth. As a result, the number
of Americans living in poverty
has increased by 7 million, our
nation’s economy has lost nearly
$8 trillion of cumulative output compared with an
average recovery, and the economic growth shortfall
has left a cumulative real after-tax per person
personal income shortfall of nearly $17,000 compared
with an average recovery.
First off, I don’t ever remember ANYONE saying that we’re just “going to have to live with it.”
Second, yes, it’s true that right now GDP growth is about 1%. Without a single calendar year, I think that’s a stretch. Republicans love to compare GDP growth to the Reagan Administration. However, they fail to mention that the 80’s was a time of rampant military spending, spurring that growth. Here’s some charts:
You can see Reagan’s average is nearly twice Obama’s. If you just took that into account, well, you would be not only wrong, but a little shortsighted. You’ll also notice that he is on par with both Bushes. Plus, you would have to consider the severity of the recessions in progress when both (Reagan and Obama) took office. Factor in the aforementioned military buildup, and you can see why Reagan is so high. Clinton’s number is for another time, but notice they haven’t mentioned it by comparison.
You can see where they came up with that number now. Averaging the sum of both terms, especially considering the first two years recovering from recession, would surely average less than 3%. But there’s other things to consider when discussing the economy:
Namely the unemployment rate, which has come down from about 12% to around 4-5%. My point is, there’s more to analyzing an economy than GDP. And there’s more data than just manipulating numbers into something that supports your cause.
Republicans act as if the U.S. is an economic wasteland, where your money’s worthless and you can’t get a job. As if Democrats and Regulation destroyed the jobs in this country, not reckless tax cuts, trickle down, and the fact that their biggest supporters are shipping jobs overseas, wholesale.
Also, yes, it is true that the actual number of persons living in poverty has increased significantly. What their platform lacks, is a realistic proposal on how to fix it. Opposing, stonewalling, and obstructing measures like the minimum wage increase, and numerous Republican governors refusing to expand medicaid, etc., etc. It’s hard to find one proposal that would help the poor they support.
Well, there are two. Cutting taxes on the rich. Then the “job creators” would ceate more jobs like they always have, right? And, removing regulations on the economy. If these pesky regulations weren’t there, then it would be easier for Joe Blow to pull himself up out of poverty by his bootstraps, true?
- We repudiate the absurd idea this is the best
America can do. The American people rejected that
nonsense the last time it was offered, in the historic
election of 1980, and we ask them to join us now
to again repudiate the false gospel of America’s diminishment
and retreat. We offer instead our vision
of an opportunity society based on the economics
Notice they didn’t mention either Bush? Anyways, it’s the last line I wanted to focus on. What does “inclusion” entail? How are they going to make that happen for everyday people? In what ways are they going to create more “opportunity” than exists today?
- Republicans consider the establishment of a
pro-growth tax code a moral imperative.
There are about twenty things I could call out in this section, but I’ll just cover the first sentence. How, exactly, are taxes moral? Is having a “moral” tax code on par with the morality of not committing crime, or being kind to one another?
In a nutshell, they mean lowering taxes for rich people. Think about it. When the Bush tax cuts went into effect, did your tax bill get any lower? They go on to say they want to remove loopholes and curb corporate welfare! Try not to laugh too hard at that, since Democrats have been saying that for years.
Like Bill Clinton said, they want to “Double Down on Trickle Down.” How’d that work out the last time?
- After falling dramatically during the recession, private investment has recovered at a disappointing pace due in part to high corporate tax rates and increasing regulatory burdens and uncertainty.
Basically, another line that doesn’t make sense. The stock market has more than DOUBLED since Obama took office. Who is disappointed in that? And what tax or regulation would they eliminate to increase the rate, and what effect would it have?
It’s almost like they don’t realize that everyday people have access to Google!
- Because of the vital role of religious organizations, charities, and fraternal benevolent societies in fostering generosity and patriotism, they should not be subject to taxation and donations to them should remain deductible.
Does that include Megachurches, whose leaders are worth millions of dollars and have private jets? They must have jets to more quickly spread patriotism.
- American businesses now face the world’s highest corporate tax rates.
Here’s another half-truth. The tax system is progressive, right? The corporate tax rate ranges from 15% to 39%. Sure, if you look at the top number alone, its one of the highest, but how many companies are subject to/actually pay the top rate? Loopholes, loopholes everywhere.
Let’s see the art of “simplifying” the tax code in action. A couple year’s ago, the state of North Carolina “simplified” it’s tax code. Basically, eliminating every tax deduction and exemption that a person/family could take. The average tax bill went up around $750 per family, to where a payment was due versus a refund. The Republican legislature and Governor also eliminated a significant number of corporate taxes and reduced the upper income and corporate rates.
The end result, the new revenue didn’t exceed the cuts, so state services (like education, environment, etc.) suffered. Now, that state is taxing certain Services (like auto repair, etc.) to help make up the difference.
I guess states really are the “laboratories” of democracy. How many scientists do you know, or would you imagine, would repeat a failed experiment, expecting different results?
- We believe American companies should be headquartered in America.
Really now? When did this belief start?
- The Great Recession devastated the housing market. U.S. taxpayers paid billions to rescue Freddie Mac and Fannie Mae, the latter managed and controlled by senior officials from the Carter and Clinton Administrations, and to cover the losses of the poorly-managed Federal Housing Administration. Millions lost their homes, millions more lost value in their homes.
Are they implying that Fannie Mae would not have been affected by the housing bust had a Republican administration created it? P.S., the F.H.A. doesn’t hold any debt nor make loans. That last sentence is true, but I would argue that the repeal of Glass-Stegall, which effectively eliminated the regulation that would have slowed, or even stopped, the crisis, and turned the U.S. Housing market into one big casino, led to that result. I suppose it would be worth mentioning that the crisis began, and grew out of control, during Bush Juniors Administration.
- We call for a comprehensive review of federal regulations, especially those dealing with the environment, that make it harder and more costly for Americans to rent, buy, or sell homes.
Loosely translated: “Get rid of the E.P.A.”
- We will end the government mandates that required Fannie Mae, Freddie Mac, and federally-insured banks to satisfy lending quotas to specific groups. Discrimination should have no place in the mortgage industry.
In other words, they would allow discrimination by removing the controls to prevent it, and then just hope everybody did the right thing.
- Our Republican majority ended the practice of earmarks, which often diverted transportation spending to politically favored projects.
Only one word covers this: Bullshit! Both sides use earmarks in Congress, and most of the non-military ones are transportation related, because those give the most return to their constituents in the form of revenues and jobs.
- All workers, including union members, must be free to accept raises and rewards without veto power from union officials. All unionized workers should be able to find out what is going on in their union trust funds and in their executive compensation. We support the right of states to enact Right-to-Work laws and call for a national law to protect the economic liberty of the modern workforce.
First, I’m not sure if I’ve ever heard of a union, anywhere, for any trade, that declined a raise, perhaps in favor of a more fair raise, but not outright, like this implies. Every union I know of, and have personally been a member of, has to publish their financials in their journals, and at the meetings. “Right-to-Work” is a well known euphemism for “union busting.” Now they want this nationally. So, they’re willing to regulate the requirement to join a union or not, but not any other aspect of business! Can you say “double-standard” anyone?
They also attack Federal worker’s salaries, benefits, and Unions.
And thus ends the first chapter. I’m sorry this is so long, but I skipped a lot of stuff. I encourage you to read it for yourself (don’t eat beforehand though, you’re going to get nauseous). Read it critically. Read between the lines and look for the hidden meanings.
I’ll return with the analysis for the next chapter soon. (Would you believe I’ve only covered up to Page 8!) The BS is strong with this one! (I imagine that’s what Yoda would say.)
Until next time. Be safe and protected from Republican BS!