FacebookTwitterRedditEmail

Making Reagan Look Like a Liberal

About 120,000 voters will make national headlines with the choices they make in the Iowa caucuses. Those who turn up will be disproportionately white, conservative, affluent and old. Conservative evangelicals will turn out in significant numbers. Their influence has been exercised before they even go to the caucuses, for every Republican candidate now embraces an extreme right-wing agenda that would make Ronald Reagan look like a liberal.

For all the attack ads, on policy there is little substantive difference in the Republican candidates, with the exception of the more-libertarian Ron Paul. Let’s focus on the front-runners — Mitt Romney, Newt Gingrich and Rick Perry — all of whom are peddling an agenda that offends both common sense and the opinions of the vast majority of Americans.

At a time of Gilded Age inequality and record budget deficits, every Republican candidate wants to LOWER taxes on the wealthiest Americans and the biggest corporations. Romney and the rest, for example, are for eliminating the inheritance tax that applies only to the wealthiest 0.3 percent of families. That would add about $1.3 trillion to projected deficits over the next decade, forcing deep cuts in basic services and in programs like Medicare and Medicaid.

With the U.S. having squandered an estimated $3 trillion on the misbegotten war in Iraq, Romney, Gingrich and Perry denounce Obama for removing U.S. troops (at the insistence of the elected government of Iraq). And all three promise war with Iran to keep that nation from acquiring a nuclear weapon. Romney and Perry call for increasing the military budget, which would require deeper cuts of basic domestic investments.

After Wall Street excesses blew up the world economy and the lobby power of the big banks blocked fundamental reform, every Republican candidate is committed to repealing the reforms that did pass, including the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau designed to protect consumers from being fleeced by predatory lenders.

With catastrophic climate change accelerating, Romney, Gingrich and Perry all scorn the existence of global warming, pledge to shackle the Environmental Protection Agency and embrace “Drill, baby, drill” policies that would drive America into greater dependence on carbon-based energy production. Who pays for the mess that Wall Street’s excesses caused? The wealthiest Americans captured essentially all the rewards of growth under Bush, as most families lost ground. But Romney, Gingrich and Perry would send the bill to working families. They favor deep cuts in basic services, which have already begun with layoffs of teachers and police, hikes in transit fares, and even harsh reductions in home-heating assistance for the elderly.

This is the vision offered by Romney, Gingrich and Perry: An America entangled in wars abroad and impoverished at home, Wall Street free to gamble while seniors are left less secure, and a country of greater inequality and less opportunity.

No wonder Republicans have had a hard time warming to a candidate.

Rev. Jesse L. Jackson is founder and president of the Rainbow PUSH Coalition.

More articles by:
August 05, 2020
Roy Eidelson
Black Lives Matter: Resisting the Propaganda of Status Quo Defenders
Melvin Goodman
The Department of Homeland Security: the Ideal Authoritarian Tool
Paul Street
Misleaders at a Funeral: Bill Clinton and Barack Obama Eulogizing Racial Justice in the Name of John Lewis
Seiji Yamada
Hiroshima, Technique, and Bioweapons
Vijay Prashad
How Trump Managed to Lead the World with the Worst Response to the COVID Pandemic
Richard C. Gross
Trump’s Alternative
Jonas Ecke
The Worst Hunger Season Yet to Come: Global Moral Failure in the Time of Covid-19
Rafiq Kathwari
The Battle for Kashmir
Kenneth Surin
Malaysia’s Arch-Kleptocrat is Found Guilty
Medea Benjamin - Nicolas J. S. Davies
 U.S. Cold War China Policy Will Isolate the U.S, Not China
Lee Camp
Why Housing Is a Human Right
Sam Pizzigati
For Egalitarians, a Sudden Sense of Possibility
Jonathan Cook
Can Israelis Broaden Their Protests Beyond Netanyahu?
Thomas Knapp
Ten Years After Lieberman’s “Internet Kill Switch,” the War on Freedom Rages On
Binoy Kampmark
Staying on Message: Australia, the US and the AUSMIN Talks
Elliot Sperber
The View From Saturn 
August 04, 2020
John Pilger
Another Hiroshima is Coming…Unless We Stop It Now
Dave Lindorff
Unsung Heroes of Los Alamos: Rethinking Manhattan Project Spies and the Cold War
Kenneth Good
Escalating State Repression and Covid-19: Their Impact on the Poor in Kenya
Dean Baker
We Need an Economic Survival Package Not Another Stimulus
David Rosen
Globalization and the End of the American Dream
John Feffer
The Pandemic Reveals a Europe More United Than the United States
Patrick Cockburn
The Government’s Failed Track-and-Trace System is a Disaster for England
Ramzy Baroud
‘Optimism of the Will’: Palestinian Freedom is Possible Now
CounterPunch News Service
Statement From Yale Faculty on Hydroxychloroquine and Its Use in COVID-19
Manuel García, Jr.
Ocean Heat: From the Tropics to the Poles
Sonali Kolhatkar
Why the Idea of Jobless Benefits Scares the Conservative Mind
Greta Anderson
Framing Wolves in New Mexico?
Binoy Kampmark
Pulling Out of Germany: Trump Adjusts the Military Furniture
Shawn Fremstad – Nicole Rodgers
COVID Stimulus Checks Shouldn’t Penalize One-Parent Households
Adam Shah
The 1 Percent’s Attack on Unemployment Benefits is a Sign of Our Broken Democracy
Evaggelos Vallianatos
On the Beauty of Life
B. R. Gowani
Mohammed Rafi: Singer and Human Par Excellence
David Krieger
Eight A-Bomb Haiku
August 03, 2020
Linda Pentz Gunter
The Resistible Rise of Nuclear Gangsters…and Their Downfall
John G. Russell
The Sleep of Reason Produces Monsters
Cal Winslow
Their Heroes and Ours: California’s Health Care Crisis
David Barber
Renouncing White Privilege: A Left Critique of Robin DiAngelo’s “White Fragility”
Linda G. Ford
Free Joy Powell! America’s Political Prisoner for Fighting Police Brutality
Prabir Purkayastha
Trump’s Withdrawal From WHO: a Cover-Up for His Abject Failure on COVID-19
Dean Baker
The Plunge in Consumption of Services Leads to a Record 32.9 Percent Drop in GDP
Ramzy Baroud
Human Rights Defenders: Palestinian Eyewitness Testimony of the Execution of Abdul Fattah al-Sharif by Israeli Soldier, Elor Azaria
Karen J. Greenberg
Accountability is Gone in America
Cesar Chelala
A Wrong Message for the Pandemic
Jonah Raskin
Chesa Boudin: Reformer in the San Francisco DA’s Office
FacebookTwitterRedditEmail