I find it really easy to explain why I have never been a member of the Republican Party — even before Donald J. Trump went down that escalator in 2015 and turned what once the Grand Old Party into the Grand-Dragon QAnon Party (GQP).
It’s because I think common folks are as good as anyone else and deserve nice things.
I can never get over when I hear working-class people opining that the United States, the richest country in the world, can’t afford to be a First World Nation. Really? I notice billionaires never think they’ve gotten enough and the country needn’t foot the bill for nice things for them. No other industrialized country has citizens in it that bend over backwards to explain why it’s only the 1% that deserves nice things at the taxpayers’ expense.
The government provides free lunches (three martinis, while they’re at it) — well, at least 50% tax deductions — for the top 1%. You thought the three-martini lunch deduction was gone? Hah! Despite all the demagoguery, the government-subsidized three-martini lunch never went totally away. To give the devil his due, it was lowered to 50% in 2017. But, thereafter, it mostly turned into a full deduction.
However, for 15 Republican governors, hungry children don’t deserve to eat in the summer. The wealthy don’t bat an eye at government subsidies for meals at the most expensive restaurants in America. Why should we think that poor kids don’t deserve a teensy fraction of that amount? That “let them eat cake” attitude predates Trump; in fact, every example I’m going to cite will predate the MAGA madness.
The Koch brothers long opposed any rise in the minimum wage; it’s going to cost jobs for the very people it’s trying to help, thereby harming the economy! Despite Charles Koch’s crocodile tears (the remaining Koch brother), he doesn’t worry about the effect on the economy of the $38 million that the various tentacles of the Koch Industries octopus received in state and local rebates, tax reductions, and grants — in 2021 and 2022 alone. They’re the second-largest conglomerate of privately owned companies, but hey! they’re worthy of largesse, unlike us, the Great Unwashed.
But it’s not just Koch Industries, of course. McDonald’s and Walmart get $153 billion annually in taxpayer money to subsidize their low-wage workers who need food stamps, subsidized health care, and child care. But the laborer certainly isn’t worthy of the wage increase that would save taxpayers money by shifting that cost right back to multinationals.
The average taxpayer paid $1,087 to Pentagon contractors in 2022.That’s the same Pentagon that has never once passed an audit – yeah, that Pentagon. Those beneficiaries of the corrupt bottomless pit that is the military industrial complex deserve all that money with no accountability. But the average taxpayer provided only $270 toward K-12 schools. Obviously, those brats don’t deserve new books, the arts, or science experiments; schoolhouses that aren’t crumbling; or good and well-paid teachers (or even school lunches). Funny that.
Corporate welfare costs taxpayers $39 billion over 10 years. And what kind of return on that investment do companies provide? Well, let’s take Boeing as an example. (Yes, that’s the same Boeing that cut corners on its 737 MAX 9 jets.) In 2013, Washington State gave Seattle-based Boeing Corporation the largest corporate tax break ever given by a state until then: $8.7 billion, specifically “to maintain and grow its workforce within the state.” So how did Boeing repay that largesse? Why, by cutting 13,000 jobs, as of 2019.
But God forbid we save Americans $200 million per year by instituting a national health care system, like every other industrialized country in the world. We peons don’t deserve “welfare.”
In fact, we peons don’t deserve to live. Republicans have voted more than 60 times to try to repeal ObamaCare. Before the healthcare expansion provided by the Affordable Care Act, nearly 45,000 Americans a year died due to lack of health care. Donald Trump has vowed to sink ObamaCare as he sunk reproductive rights if he gets back into office. Right, because the right to life ends at birth.
So the nice things in life — a good education, decent jobs, healthcare, sick leave, housing, and especially an occasional vacation — don’t have to be just for the rich; they should belong to us all.
I can see why greedy millionaires and billionaires disagree.
We’re idiots if we do.