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:
bernie-the-sandernistas-cover-344x550
Weekend Edition
August 23, 2019
Friday - Sunday
Paul Street
Notes on Inauthenticity in a Creeping Fascist Nuthouse
Andrew Levine
Recession Now, Please
Rob Urie
Mr. Trump Goes to Kensington
Jeffrey St. Clair
Deep Time and the Green River, Floating
Robert Hunziker
Earth 4C Hotter
Kenneth Good
Congo’s Patrice Lumumba: The Winds of Reaction in Africa
Pete Dolack
The Realism and Unrealism of the Green New Deals
David Rosen
The White-Nationalist Great Fear
Kenn Orphan
The War on Indigenous People is a War on the Biosphere Itself
L. Michael Hager
What Netanyahu’s Travel Ban Has Revealed
Ramzy Baroud
Jewish Settlers Rule the Roost in Israel, But at What Price?
Evaggelos Vallianatos
Is Environmental Protection Possible?
Josue De Luna Navarro
What It’s Like to Grow Up Hunted
Ralph Nader
They Don’t Make Republicans Like the Great Paul Findley Anymore!
Gary Olson
Whither the Resistance to our Capitalist Overlords?
Dean Baker
On Those Downward Jobs Revisions
Rev. William Alberts
Beware of the Gun-Lover-in-Chief
Helder F. do Vale
Brazil: From Global Leader to U.S. Lapdog
Laura Finley
Educators Actually Do “Work” in the Summer
Jim Goodman
Farmers Need a Bill of Rights
Tom Clifford
What China’s Leadership is Really Worried About: Rising Debt
Daphne Wysham
Saving the Planet Means Fighting Bipartisan Corruption
Tierra Curry
Amazon Fires Put the Planet at Risk
Nyla Ali Khan
Kashmir: Decentralize Power and Revive Regional Political Institutions
John W. Whitehead
American Apocalypse
George Wuerthner
How Agriculture and Ranching Subvert the Re-Wilding of America
Daniel Murphy
Capital in the 21st Century
Jessicah Pierre
400 Years After Slavery’s Start, No More Band-Aids
Kim C. Domenico
Finding the Comrades: Maintaining Precarious Sanity In Insane Times
Gary Leupp
“Based on the Fact She Won’t Sell Me Greenland, I’m Staying Home”
John Kendall Hawkins
The Chicago 8 Trial, Revisited
Rivera Sun
Tapping into People Power
Ted Rall
As Long as Enemies of the State Keep Dying Before Trial, No One Should Trust the State
Jesse Jackson
The Significance of the “1619 Project”
Thomas Knapp
“Nuance” in Politics and Public Policy? No Thanks
Christopher Brauchli
Trump and Endangered Species, Wildlife and Human
Mel Gurtov
China’s Hong Kong Nightmare, and the US Response
Ron Forthofer
Sick of Being a Guinea Pig
Nicky Reid
Why I Stopped Being White (and You Should Too)
Jill Richardson
As the School Year Starts, I’m Grateful for the ADA
Seth Sandronsky
Rethinking the GDR
Adolf Alzuphar
Tears / Ayizan Velekete
Stephen Cooper
General Jah Mikey: “I Just Love That Microphone, Man”
Louis Proyect
Slaves to the Clock
David Yearsley
Moral Cantatas
FacebookTwitterRedditEmail