When Republicans were campaigning for the midterm elections, their main promise was to create jobs. After the elections, the new House majority promised to repeal the Affordable Health Care Act because Republicans claimed it was too expensive, Americans hated it, and it was a “job-killing” law; so the House voted to repeal it and it failed to pass in the Senate. Instead of getting to the work of creating jobs, the House proposed spending cuts they claimed would spur job creation and reduce the federal deficit, but their cuts will in fact kill jobs, the environment, and programs that help the poor and disadvantaged.
Last week Speaker of the House John Boehner said that if spending cuts were responsible for losing federal jobs, “So be it.” According to federal budget expert Scott Lilly at the Center for American Progress, the Republican spending cuts could kill nearly 1 million jobs and those are just jobs associated with the federal government. The number of direct government jobs that could be lost is 650,000, and the indirect job losses will be 325,000 more because fewer government employees will travel, buy services, and travel for their work. The loss of 1 million jobs will translate into lost homes, tax revenue, and the expenses related to daily living that will in turn mean more jobs lost.
Boehner’s cavalier attitude at the loss of a million or more jobs conceals his support for an engine for the F-35 fighter jet that may be built in his district’s GE plant that employs nearly 7,000 people. Apparently Boehner’s lack of concern over losing a million government jobs does not extend to his home district. Boehner is like many Americans who believe job cuts are great as long as it is somebody else’s job or it will cost votes. So much for shared sacrifice and integrity of purpose, although very few people would ever accuse Boehner of having integrity.
Besides killing jobs, the House spending cuts will eventually kill women and poor Americans who depend on programs that assist them with medical coverage, housing, and job training. Republicans are notorious for giving assistance to corporations and the wealthy because of the campaign contributions they provide in return for lower taxes and deregulation. The spending cuts will continue the Republicans push to kill the middle-class, but the middle-class will not suffer as much as women and the poor who face the very real possibility of dying because of Draconian cuts to programs that directly affect the health and well-being of low-income families around the country.
The Republican spending cuts to family planning, community health centers, maternal and child health grants, job training programs, the WIC program, community services, and substance and mental health programs directly affect poor and low-income families that studies show are predominately people of color. It seems that Republicans are deliberately attempting to “thin the herd” in America by depriving poor families of basic services they require because of the economic morass caused by conservative policies over the past 10 years.
A suspicious person may be tempted to think that Republicans looked at ways to inflict the most damage on poor people without rounding them up and exterminating them like Hitler did in Germany. Short of all out annihilation of women and the poor, Republicans want to cut out programs that provide food, housing, and health care, that when ended will put low-income families out on the streets with no jobs or means to provide for themselves or their families. It is a telling sign that Republicans are cutting funding for Planned Parenthood to force women to give birth, but also cut funding to assist young mothers and families once the babies are born. It is a cruel attack to force birth on a woman and then withhold assistance to care for the child once it is born. Obviously Republicans’ sanctity of life concern is only applicable to a fetus and not the mother or child once birth has been forced.
All Americans will be affected by cuts to the FDA, Centers for Disease Control, Office of Science, Department of the Treasury, and the Internal Revenue Service. The cuts will not create one job, but will kill scientific research into diseases, food safety, medicine and medical supplies that all Americans depend on for health and quality of life Americans expect the government to provide. The Treasury Department and IRS are crucial to maintaining economic stability, but Republicans seem intent on allowing the economy to continue struggling so they can blame the Obama Administration and limit the president to one term in office.
Republicans’ cuts will kill jobs and poor Americans, but they are also out to kill the environment that affects all Americans’ health and quality of life. The planned cuts to the Environmental Protection Agency, clean coal technology, clean air and water programs, energy efficiency programs, and renewable energy programs will insure that corporations and the oil industry can pollute the air and water in America with impunity. Every American will suffer when our air and water reaches the level of toxicity of countries that have no regulatory agencies or laws that protect water supplies or the air we breathe.
It is not that Republicans hate clean air and water; they hate regulations that hold oil companies and corporations responsible for polluting the environment. In spite of Republican claims that environmental regulations are killing jobs, the oil industry and corporations are recording record profits with environmental regulations in place and they are not investing in jobs; they just want unrestricted profits.
The truth is that most respected economists say that spending cuts are not the way to stimulate job growth in a sluggish economy. Indeed, economists say increased government spending on jobs bills and infrastructure projects create jobs and infuse cash into the economy that in turn fuels greater spending and more tax revenue. If Republicans had made across-the-board cuts that included defense spending, corporate tax breaks, and tax cuts for the wealthiest Americans, then perhaps they could be taken seriously.
They exposed their disdain for true job creation when they cut spending for infrastructure projects like a high-speed rail or road and bridge repair projects. Instead, they proposed cuts that kill existing jobs, the environment, women, and poor families who are barely subsisting in this economy. One would like to believe that Republicans are not deliberately out to destroy an entire class of Americans who are underprivileged regardless of the reason they are struggling.
However, like the Republicans’ blatant attack on middle-class Americans who provide the lion’s share of revenue the country depends on to survive, it is becoming more obvious that Republicans are making a play at killing off the poor in America by taking away their only means of survival. One has to wonder if John Boehner, who wept like a slobbering drunk at the thought of young Americans struggling to have the opportunity he had as a young man growing up, is really as evil as he seems.
Well Speaker Boehner, it looks like your spending cuts put to rest any doubts that Republicans are cutting spending to create jobs and you apparently know it and don’t care or you would never have said so be it. When the voters in your district throw you out of office and you are sobbing like a little girl, it is with great hope that some clever person will have the wit to say “So be it.”