The one thing every nation on Earth should depend on is a sense of communal ownership of the government and by extension, the assets and liabilities the country has amassed over the course of its history. Although countries like Germany has a historical blemish caused by Hitler’s attempted extermination of the Jews, the entire country owns the reputation that allowed its leader to conduct a Holocaust. The Japanese people are staunch allies of the United States, but they bear responsibility and the reputation of a people that conducted a sneak attack on a peaceful country in a failed attempt at dominating the region around the Pacific Ocean. Americans have their own embarrassments and triumphs that for better or worse belong to the entire country. The staggering debt that America is carrying belongs to the entire country even though it was the Bush-era Republicans who gave unfunded tax cuts to the wealthiest 2% of Americans, involved the country in two unnecessary and unfunded wars as well as initiating a Medicare drug benefit program to pacify senior citizens who were being crushed under the weight of health care costs.
Now that Republicans control the House of Representatives and a Democratic president is attempting to negotiate spending cuts and increased revenue with the recalcitrant Republicans to get control of the nation’s finances, the sense of communal ownership of the economy has disappeared. The Republicans have portrayed the floundering economy and stifling national debt as brought on by uncontrolled government spending at the hands of President Obama, and have cited everything from the TARP bailout to entitlement programs as the sole cause of the economic problems America is facing. It does not matter that the TARP bailout occurred during Bush’s Administration or that the alleged entitlement programs are funded by working Americans, according to Republicans, it is all Obama’s fault.
This week during negotiations to raise the debt ceiling, House Speaker John Boehner said that Republicans had offered the president a great deal where the American people got the spending and entitlement cuts they want, and the president gets the debt ceiling. It is not unusual for Boehner and Republicans to make outlandish statements that embarrass reasonable human beings, but to say the president got the debt ceiling as if it is his prize and a gift from Republicans is a new low even for Boehner. Boehner knows that during the Bush Administration, Republicans raised the debt ceiling about seven times to pay for rich people’s tax cuts and Bush’s two unnecessary wars but he never insinuated that it was Bush’s alone. The reality is that the debt ceiling Bush-Republicans raised seven times belongs to the wealthy who will never pay it back. Boehner also did not say that part of the stifling debt went to pay Dick Cheney’s company, Halliburton for supplying oil and private security for Bush’s illegal wars. If Boehner were truthful, he would say that the debt ceiling belonged to Bush, Cheney, and the rich people who received tax cuts because they all benefited from the borrowed money while the economy tanked and Americans’ jobs were shipped to foreign countries.
Boehner’s ridiculous statement that the American people got the Draconian spending cuts they wanted and entitlement cuts they desperately hoped for borders on the ravings of a lunatic. However, Boehner is not a raving lunatic; he is a hypocrite and a lying Republican who would let this country’s economy fall off a cliff to continue paying rich people and corporations with borrowed money that, according to Boehner, belongs to President Obama. Boehner also accused the president of not compromising in good faith because he wanted revenue increases that Boehner characterized as, ” tax increases on the job creators.” There is one thing Republicans can always be counted on to proffer, and that is that the wealthy create jobs when they get tax cuts. So let’s review this insane point one more time; the Bush-era tax cuts for the wealthiest 2% of Americans have been in place for ten years and job creation has never materialized. In fact, the only upturn in job creation came after President Obama and Congressional Democrats passed a stimulus program that resulted in the first good news on the job creation front in over 8 years.
In poll after poll, over 80% of Americans say to increase taxes on the wealthy to help the economy and pay down the national debt. Different polling shows that the American people do not want Medicare or Social Security programs cut but Boehner and Congressional Republicans project their corporatist mindset on the population as if the Heritage Foundation and Koch brothers’ policies are the communal property of all Americans. Maybe the liars in the Republican Party think Americans all make over a million dollars a year and want to eliminate all taxes and programs that benefit seniors, the poor, and children, but that is highly unlikely. What is likely is that the Republican base and teabaggers seriously believe that they will all become filthy rich like the Koch brothers, but there is no accounting for abject stupidity. The average working-class American is struggling to survive and maybe keep a roof over their heads and food on the table, but with the poverty rate rising every day and American workers losing their jobs to outsourcing, survival is becoming very tenuous and the prospect of becoming filthy rich is virtually nonexistent.
As the deadline to raise the nation’s debt ceiling approaches, Republicans have drawn a line in the sand on revenue increases because they cannot abandon their “no tax increase on the wealthy” god and have taken their blackmail of President Obama to a new level of despicability. Boehner’s statement that the debt ceiling is a gift negotiated in good faith and a compromise in exchange for cutting programs that Americans depend on would be laughable if it were not so pathetic. Still, Republicans cannot bring themselves to follow the will of the American people and raise taxes on the wealthiest Americans and will not even consider closing loopholes that allow the wealthy to afford corporate jets, exorbitant business expenses, or tax breaks for shipping American jobs to China, Korea, and India.
When a Republican president who started two unnecessary wars and gave unwarranted tax cuts to the wealthy, conservatives raised the debt ceiling seven times and claimed a communal benefit that would create jobs. Now that there is a Democratic president, the debt belongs to him and the American people want their programs cut to continue giving tax breaks to the wealthy. In the fantastic dream world of Republicans, communal responsibility is only applicable when a Republican Administration drowns the country in a debt that should never have occurred. When a Democratic administration is in power, the entire debt is the responsibility of the man in the White House and Americans want to give more to the wealthy, and the notion of raising taxes on the rich to increase revenue is a mortal sin. To any reasonable human being, it is a double standard that the hypocrites in the Republican Party are best known for.
It is not hypocrisy according to Boehner and Congressional Republicans, but necessary to protect the “job creators” and grow the economy even though tax cuts for the wealthy have never ever been a job creating measure. All Americans will end up paying for the national debt regardless which vile Republican Administration acquired it and it is becoming evident that it is the only sense of community Americans will ever be a part of. Americans are responsible and want to repay the national debt regardless of who incurred it, but it will take increased revenue balanced with responsible spending cuts. Although increasing revenue is alien to Republicans, the American community is firmly in favor of raising taxes to repay our national debt and do not think it is the sole property of President Obama. It is too bad that Republicans have no sense of communal responsibility or ownership but then they live in a fantasy world where the wealthy’s needs outweigh the needs of the country. It is time for Republicans to join the American community because if they do not, the American community will evict them for failing to be part of the solution. Republicans are proving to be a communal entity unto themselves and are solely responsible for the mess the economy is in and unfortunately, the rest of the community will end up paying for the irresponsible actions of a few bad Republicans; but Americans have always bore responsibility for the entire country and will pick up the slack like the good people they are.