The Union’s Editorial Board got a real tongue-lashing Oct. 12. I won’t even respond to the various distortions and fabrications by the very inventive letter writer who attempted to blame the Democrats for the federal shutdown in his letter the following Saturday.
The fact is the Republicans have committed to shutting down the federal government. They have repeated it over and over for the last five years.
Our local elected Republican politicians have embraced Grover Norquist, who has boasted his aim is to reduce the federal government to the size where it can be drowned in a bathtub. Congressmen Tom McClintock and Doug LaMalfa, as well as 95 percent of all Republican politicians in this country, have boasted that their mission is to obstruct the federal government at every turn.
The Republican Party is committed to lower wages for Americans, cutting social programs like Social Security, Medicare, food stamps, unemployment, student grants, even improvements to absolutely necessary infrastructure.
The Republican Party has been very successful with these policies over the last three decades with the help of some Democrats, and this is the major cause of the demise of the American middle class. If salaries in the U.S. had kept pace with inflation, as in almost all advanced nations, people would have been paying more state and federal taxes and much more into Social Security, education and research, which would still flourish, infrastructure would have been continually improving, and the U.S. middle class might still be the envy of the world as it was a few decades ago.
Today’s right-wing Republicans want to dismantle Social Security and Medicare on the pretext that we cannot afford it when it was the specific policies of the Republicans that caused the American middle class, and America, to become a lot poorer over the last few decades: Tax cuts for the very wealthy, cuts in education and infrastructure and their endless wars.
The Republicans implemented much looser regulations of Wall Street under George Bush in the early 2000s, which they did achieve, and led directly to the global collapse of the financial system in 2008.
They also worked very hard in 2007 to turn Social Security over to Wall Street, which they did not accomplish, despite their best efforts. Knowing what you know today, how would that have worked out for you?
What do you think you will have to pay as a person in your 70s, 80s or 90s with all your pre-existing conditions, if the Republicans return to power and Medicare is replaced with the Republican voucher system? What makes you think you can even purchase insurance? And how do you think that will work for you?
Richard Stormsgaard lives in Grass Valley.