Wednesday, November 7, 2012

Middle-Aged White Man Denounces GOP


Dear Republican Party,

Allow me to introduce myself:

1) I am a white male. I am over 40 years of age. My family is white. My wife is so white that she has solar urticaria. She is literally allergic to sunlight.

2) I love America, the best country on earth. I am extremely patriotic and I strongly support our men and women in uniforms. My parents met in the Air Force -- I literally wouldn't be here without our armed forces. My company gives away all of our products, for free, to active members of the military.

3) I revere the Constitution. Our founding document is so brilliant that it hints at divine inspiration.

4) I can trace my family line in the New World back to 1630. My great great great great great great grandfather was a Revolutionary war hero.

5) I am pissed off at the current immigration situation. I work hard and pay my taxes while illegal immigrants and their employers get off scot-free.

6) I believe that the Federal government is way too big and that government bureaucracy is one of the greatest threats to our economy and to our freedom.

7) I am a business owner and job creator. Because our product is internationally popular, more than 60% of our revenue over the last two years came from overseas. In other words, I am doing my part to fix the trade imbalance and create American jobs.

8) I voted for George W. Bush and John McCain.

9) I am a workaholic. I haven't taken a real vacation since 1998. At the age of 14, I spent the summer literally "breaking rocks in the hot sun" for $4.00 an hour.

10) I believe in self-sufficiency and abhor debt. When I was laid off, I didn't collect unemployment insurance, because we didn't need it. Even though I have a disability that prevents me from working most jobs, I have never applied for benefits. My wife and I have no debt and we paid off a 30-year mortgage in less than 8 years.

Based on the above, you know that I voted for Mitt Romney yesterday. Right?

Wrong.

Here's why:

1. Fiscal Irresponsibility
I grew up learning that the GOP excelled at fiscal responsibility and economic growth. Roosevelt cranked up the national debt (from below 25% of GDP, to more than 100%) in order to pay for Social Security and World War II. Then Eisenhower was elected in 1952 and he brought the debt from 60% of GDP down to 45% over the next 8 years.

Lyndon Johnson didn't significantly increase the debt, but he did create two huge government programs (Medicaid and Medicare) and escalate the War in Vietnam. By the time President Nixon left office, the debt had reached its lowest point since the Great Depression (just 23.9% of GDP).

Alas, the Republican Party since Richard Nixon has looked more like the Bizarro Republican Party. And these failures by the GOP over the last 40 years cannot be blamed on external events or on Democrats in congress. They are a direct result of Republican policy.

Between the Bush Tax Cuts (a huge handout to the rich), Medicare Part D (a huge handout to pharmaceutical companies) and the War in Iraq (a huge handout to private defense contractors), George W. Bush added more than $7 trillion to the national debt.

By comparison, the Democrats have looked like Scrooge McDuck, pinching pennies and lowering the deficit. Clinton ended welfare as we knew it and turned Reagan's huge budget deficit into an actual budget surplus. Even Obama the "socialist" has reduced the deficit by over 3% of GDP in the last three years. This is more than in any 3-year period since the early 1950s.

2. Your Hatred Of The Free Market
Our government is giving more than $78 billion to oil companies over the next 10 years. That's more than $8,000 out of my family's pocket. Obama tried to end these subsidies, but he was voted down by 51 senators. Forty-seven of these senators were Republicans.

In 2005, Dick Cheney and Republicans in congress exempted Halliburton and other natural gas drillers from regulation under the Safe Drinking Water Act. If I compost broccoli stems in my backyard, I have to comply with the SDWA -- but Halliburton doesn't.

These examples are just the tip of the iceberg. This isn't the free market. This is the antithesis of the free market. This is the government taking tax dollars from my pocket and giving them to rich people.

3. "Job Creators"
John Boehner is either an idiot or a liar. He describes those benefiting from the Bush tax cuts as "job creators" and claims that raising their taxes will cripple our economy. This is not only specious, it is the opposite of the truth. Increasing top marginal tax rates increases the incentive for business owners to hire more people and reinvest in their company, because such investments are entirely tax-deductible.

All evidence from the last 70 years shows that the economy does much better when we at least try (with high marginal tax rates) to get the rich to pay their fair share of taxes. This is because the rich do not create jobs. Small businesses do. According to ADP, small businesses (with fewer than 50 employees) created 5.5 million new jobs between 2001 and 2007. Large businesses (with 500 or more employees) actually eliminated more than 600,000 jobs during the same time period.

Virtually all small business owners earn less than $250,000 per year. Unlike Sam Walton and the Koch brothers, small businesses can't use political power to get giant handouts from the government. Instead, I pay more than my fair share of taxes while creating American jobs. If every American earning more than $250,000 had the same trade surplus that I do, we would have a national trade surplus of more than $1.3 trillion (instead of our current trade deficit of about $550 billion).

The next time you see a small business succeed, remember: I built that! John Boehner and Paul Ryan didn't build it. And the Republican party certainly didn't build it.

4. National Defense
The Iraq War wasted trillions of dollars, killed 4,487 American soldiers and injured almost 32,000 more. It also made us less safe: "Al Qaeda In Iraq" didn't exist before we invaded.

Barack Obama issued the order to kill Osama Bin Laden. Mitt Romney said it wasn't worth the effort to "catch one person".

5. Integrity
My breakup with the GOP started that day in 2003 when President Bush lied to me about WMDs in Iraq.

President Clinton lied about oral sex. President Bush lied to get us into an unnecessary war that killed more than 4,400 American soldiers and over 100,000 civilians. Both of those lies were wrong. One of those lies was evil.

6. Wealth Redistribution
I paid over $200,000 in taxes last year. And yet my wife volunteers at food pantries so that American children won't go hungry. We have had to give money to friends to keep them from becoming homeless. Meanwhile, the Koch brothers are busy trying to steal more than $10.6 billion each year from middle class taxpayers.

The GOP complains that wealth is being "redistributed" from the middle class to the poor. The truth is that the Federal government primarily redistributes wealth from the middle class (actual job creators) to the rich. Democrats like Obama and Biden realize this, and are making an honest effort to reverse this ruinous trend. If we continue transferring wealth from the middle class to the super-rich, we will have the same income inequality as Brazil in just 6 years.

If you don't know why having the same Gini coefficicent as Brazil would be a bad thing, you need to spend more time reading international news and less time reading Ayn Rand.

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Take note that I didn't mention Obamacare, abortion, climate change, racism, gender discrimination, gay marriage or other "social issues". I haven't abandoned the GOP because the GOP hates gays. I have abandoned the GOP because you no longer stand for the things that you say that you stand for.

National politics in my lifetime can be easily summarized. The GOP espouses a set of beliefs that are important to the American people such as: integrity; self-reliance; fiscal responsibility; economic opportunity; rewarding hard work; protecting families; securing our borders; and maintaining a strong defense. Then, when we elect Republicans to advance these ideals, you fail on every count and we have to wait for a Democrat like Bill Clinton or Barack Obama to actually govern according to these principles.

I can no longer call myself a "Republican" when that label has come to mean "rich white guy pillaging the middle class for personal gain".

3 comments:

Anonymous said...

Amen sir...I understand and agree...being a former republican myself!

Anonymous said...

Honesty is always the best policy. I am a Democrat and I greatly respect what you have written.
Thank you.

raysiere@yahoo.com said...

WOW! I just wish I could meet you and buy you a cup of coffee and shake your hand! I work in a factory (Lenders Bagels) and most of the people who do talk politics with me are Republicans (majority could are less). It amazes me how many people are uninformed about what's going on and vote against their self interest repeatedly. I look forward to making copies of letter to my Republican friends. THANKS.