After nearly three months, House Republicans have shown they are not the least bit serious about doing anything to create jobs or help jump start the economy. To date, they have wasted time attempting to repeal the Affordable Health Care Act, eliminate nearly 700,000 jobs, and destroy women’s reproductive rights for the Christians. This past week, House Republicans held an emergency meeting to deal with legislation of the utmost importance.
Since the midterm campaign Republicans promised to work on job creation as their number one priority, so obviously they had come up with the plans to fulfill that promise. But alas, the emergency was not about job creation legislation. Perhaps the Republican majority was serious about reining in the deficit and was prepared to meet with Democrats and the president to work out a compromise, and have, as Speaker John Boehner said, “An adult conversation” to seriously work on the budget. Apparently the Republican majority is not quite ready for an adult conversation about the economy; a crucial issue arose that warranted an emergency.
The emergency turns out to be eliminating funding for National Public Radio and its impact on the budget deficit. An issue of such importance surely will mean saving the economy and will solve the budget deficit as well as create millions of jobs. The Republicans have, by defunding NPR, saved one ten-thousandth of 1% of the nation’s budget. At the same meeting, Republicans voted to continue spending at least $10 billion per month for the war in Afghanistan calling into question just how serious Republicans are about the budget. So far, the Republicans have spent precious time and resources defunding programs that touch every American but primarily the poor and women.
The matter of defunding NPR is telling because Republicans believe the public radio organization is a liberal propaganda machine that caters to the far-left. Eric Cantor (R-VA) said in a speech that, “NPR’s programming veers far from what most Americans would like,” and that Republicans are targeting it because it “advocates one ideology.” The majority of NPR listeners would agree with Cantor in that NPR advocates truth and balance instead of promoting radical conservative ideology like Fox News. Republicans have become so fearful of Americans hearing news and commentary that does not promote Christian extremist, neo-conservative policies, that in lieu of outright censorship, they will withdraw funding.
There is a hypocritical element to this story. Republicans do not like NPR because it does not promote far-right policies and they don’t think the government should fund any part of a truthful media. However, Armed Services Radio carries Rush Limbaugh’s racist, bigoted radio program that all military personnel listens to and Republicans are not withholding funding. If for no other reason than fairness, if Republicans are going to use back-door censorship to control what the public is allowed to hear, then they should censor Armed Services Radio for Limbaugh’s un-American rants against the military’s Commander in Chief.
The American public has the option of not listening to NPR if they so desire, but soldiers do not have the same luxury. Many returning Iraq and Afghanistan veterans report only hearing one side of the news, and in most cases it is right-wing propaganda promoting conservative ideology. Apparently, Republicans would like to force all Americans to be a captive audience like they have in the military. Republicans do not address religious organizations that enjoy tax-exempt status and preach the bible on radio stations 24 hours a day in every market in the country. Receiving tax exemptions is as good as receiving government funding, but because Republicans advocate for Christians, they are allowed to continue broadcasting with support from Americans’ tax dollars. There is little doubt that the lost tax revenue from Christian-based organizations that broadcast their hateful dogma is much more than the minute amount NPR receives.
Republicans do not speak for all Americans, and for Eric Cantor to say that NPR’s programming is not what most Americans like is arrogance and nothing else. A solution is to allow taxpayers to assign their tax dollars to the organization they prefer. Many Americans would like to withhold tax dollars from being given to oil subsidies and faith-based organizations, but Cantor and his ilk will never consider that proposal. This author would prefer giving tax dollars to aid poor Americans instead of Koch Industries but there is no choice. Americans like Mr. Cantor apparently have not learned that radios have dials to tune into the station of their choice and they also have on-off switches in the event they do not want to listen to any stations. This issue, although important to frightened Republicans, is not an adult conversation. It is, like everything Republicans do, childish, petty and divisive and not helping to create jobs or bolster the economy.
The point is Republicans are not serious about having adult conversations about the economy, jobs, or the budget because it means they will have to compromise and that is where they are childish; if not infantile. From the start of the 112th congress, Republicans have been on a crusade to advocate for the religious right and the oil industry and have abandoned any pretense of working for the American people. The campaign against women is nothing more than advocating for Christianity and along the way will cost jobs, lives, and equality for women. Recently, Congress effectively eliminated climate change out of existence for the oil and coal industry as well as granting them more tax breaks when the country cannot afford to take care of its impoverished children.
Republicans act like spoiled teenagers who see the world through blinders and are self-absorbed with unrealistic ideals they expect all Americans to conform to. Americans expect their representatives to work for all Americans by compromising and having those “adult conversations” about the problems the nation faces. Republicans promised to deal with the budget and jobs during the midterm elections, but instead they have attacked the poor, women, regulatory agencies, Planned Parenthood and now NPR. There has been no compromise or adult conversation and no serious attempts to fix the economy, but they have decided that Americans do not like NPR, and that after all, is important to childish Republicans.