By Brian McAfee
The Muskegon, Michigan Tea Party has scheduled a rally in the Muskegon area for April 15. In relation, it is important to take a look at them and their Republican cohorts to see what they are up to and what they really seem to want.
What so far have they pretty much across the board supported? First, there was, of course in worshipful homage to the rich, the tax cut for the rich. Naturally they were in favor of the extension in President Bush's tax breaks for the most affluent Americans and big oil in the amount of approximately $700 billion, which will continue to explode the federal budget deficit. Despite this massive win, Tea Party leaders griped that Republicans had given up a push for the full repeal of the estate tax.
They also support the plans of Michigan's new Republican Governor to give corporations $1.8 billion in tax cuts and like his suggestion that $1.2 billion be cut in education to partially pay for this gift to the corporations. Certainly, Governor Snyder's proposal to tax income from public and private pensions would also help make up for the lost taxes from big business.
Meanwhile, the original $700 billion given outright to the wealthiest Americans is no piddling amount. So the shortfall has to be made up from many cuts and, conveniently, there are lots on the list targeted for removal.
Just what are in the cross hairs for the billions of dollars in cuts called for by Tea Party Patriots and Republicans in both Michigan and across the nation? One is Planned Parenthood, a program that provides cancer screening and birth control for poor women. It is slanted to be all but eliminated. Add to it, the WIC program (Women, Infants and Children aid program) and Head Start, the primary day care program for impoverished families that provides a safe learning environment for very young children. In other words, they will all be removed or vastly reduced if the Tea Party/Republican plans are implemented.
Other helpful programs are also under attack, such as school breakfast and lunch programs. It should be noted, for your pondering and consideration, that while most of the Right Wingers are staunchly anti-abortion, they often show little or no concern for needy children as exemplified in their attitudes towards basic necessities, such as food for hungry youths. How's that for dubious ethics?
In addition, massive cuts to the Medicare and Medicaid programs are also a goal of the Tea Party/Republicans. Health care in general has been an area of ongoing lies, deception and misrepresentation By Tea Party/Republicans and the blue dog Democrats. The "they want to kill grandmother" and limit access to health-care and doctors argument pushed by the Right against what they call "Obamacare" is, in reality, more applicable to the Health Insurance Industry, the real middle man between you and your doctor in America's capitalist driven health-care system.
I feel Obama has already made too many concessions to the HMOs, although with a couple of good outcomes that ensure more access to health care than there was before. All the same, the Tea Party/Republicans seem to want to strip away any positive changes that Obama may have made and go all out for a HMO controlled and driven system.
The Tea Party/Republicans have also declared war on unions and the process of collective bargaining. Simultaneously, they're generally opposed to people having a minimum wage and the middle class overall. All efforts seem to be geared for support of corporation owners and especially oil companies in tandem with elimination of food safety regulations, environmental regulations and safeguards for public health. The actions, attitudes and desires of the Tea Party/Republicans are, at their core, Social Darwinist/ survival of the fittest in nature. Charles Darwin, himself, would have been disgusted by the attitudes and the conduct of the current Right in America.
Other areas of concern are the Tea Party/Republican cuts in the Pell Grant, which makes it possible for poor and middle class kids to go to college. Further, one of the Right's perennial scapegoats continues to be immigrants. I think that most immigrants are positive in and for America, and much of the Tea Party/Republican anti-immigrant attitude and stance are xenophobic and racist in nature.
As a man of the left, I would like to remind that our society cannot remain intact with a departure from the goal to put "people before profits." Such a digression would be terrible for our common welfare and cause our society to break apart more than it already has from the economic downturn. It appears, though, that the Tea Party/Republicans, based on their stated desires and actions, favor "profits before people." Their orientation, of course, is unacceptable and must be thoroughly rejected.
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