Tuesday, September 4, 2012

Things I Don't Understand: Middle Class Electoral Decisions

Why would someone who is in the shrinking middle class of America decide to vote for a candidate of the Republican party for any elected post?  The platform of this political party so overtly favors the wealthy that it doesn’t make logical sense for someone from the middle class to vote Republican.  

Reading the actual Republican Party 2012 platform is a harrowing process.  There are so many fundamental contradictions in the document that you wonder if it was written by a compulsive liar.  In one section the document talks about changes to the tax codes which will in effect give a precipitous tax decrease to the wealthiest Americans and let the middle class bear a wider share of the tax burden while in another section it talks about rebuilding home ownership.  What does it mean by rebuilding home ownership – giving multi-millionaires the incentive to buy 2nd and 3rd homes?

Why can people not understand that the Republican economic policy is based upon allowing the wealthiest members of our society to keep more of their money?  The whole policy is based upon the idea that giving tax breaks to the rich will allow the money to trickle down to the rest of us.  Isn’t there something fundamentally wrong with this approach?  This belief is based upon the assumption that the rich will take the money and “invest” it or spend it.  Basically those of us who aren’t rich should live off the crumbs that trickle down from the wealthy.  This assumption built into the Republican platform should be repugnant and offensive to everyone who considers themselves to be middle class.

Another example of the damage the Republican agenda would cause is seen in the effort to switch Medicare to a voucher system.  This plan would essentially gut the guarantee of healthcare for the senior citizens of our society.  By switching to a voucher system the cost of Medicare would essentially be capped and senior citizens would have to bear any increase in costs of healthcare premiums.  

As people look to what would be achieved by a Republican administration you have to wonder do they really understand that they would be limiting their access to healthcare at a point in life when they would be most vulnerable.  This would fulfill a fundamental objective of conservatives to take away the social safety that has been built in this country in the last 70 years.  Why would anyone vote for a candidate who supports this line of thought?  

Controlling the federal deficit is one reason that voters will frequently mention as why they would vote for a candidate who would support the gutting of Medicare.  There is no doubt that at some point the federal deficit must be managed.  However, managing the federal deficit on the backs of our nation’s senior citizens is extremely cruel.  There are many other ways in which the situation can be handled.  For example, the amount of money spent on the military could be substantially reduced.  This would save hundreds of billions of dollars per year.  Another great way to control the deficit is to open up legal immigration and let hundreds of thousands of new immigrants into the country – just as things were done throughout the 1800’s and up to the middle 1920’s.  Specific demographics could be enforced as to whom we let in the country.  Instead of anyone, spell out that we will only admit able body workers between the ages of 18 and 35.  The taxes that would be paid by these legal immigrants would bring in billions of dollars.  So there are many ways to skin the cat that is the budget deficit, but they don’t all require that we gut Medicare.

Adding hundreds of thousands or millions of new immigrants to Federal Tax basis would eliminate the fundamental problem that plagues Medicare (and Social Security for that matter).  That problem is the huge bulge in the population of the baby boomers who are now reaching retirement age.  There is no proportionally sized younger group to pay the taxes that will support the baby boomers in retirement.  Let’s solve the problem by growing the number of tax payers who are much young who will help offset the spending that will take place to support the baby boomers in their retirement.

There seemed to be only a few reasons why someone would support a Republican candidate.  All of those reasons have to do with social issues – abortion, gay marriage, equality of men and women, etc.  If a person believes that abortion should be outlawed no matter what, or that gay people shouldn’t marry or that women aren’t fundamentally equal to men then yes – those people should support Republican candidates.  These reasons seem to fundamentally limit the liberty that Republicans are so eager to protect.  However, these may be the issues that drive an individual’s voting process.  There is no arguing with these positions as they are black and white.

Hopefully middle class Americans will realize what the 2012 election is about.  It is a an election between 2 very different thought processes.  On the first hand you have the Democratic position in which the middle class is the true guiding force behind the American economy and hence everything should be done to promote the success of the middle class.  On the other hand you have the Republican position in which the wealthy drive our economy and every opportunity should be given to them to grow richer.

Think about it and consider what vision you prefer for America for the next 4 years.  The answer seems clear as we are a democracy that has been built on the backs of the working class generation after generation.  Hopefully as a nation we will get it right.

Thanks and peace to all! ~J.

PS - Once again - if you want to comment, you must include your name in the comment as I will NOT publish any anonymous comments anymore.  Additionally, to any of my long time readers I have pissed off by this post - what can I say.  We all hold specific opinions regarding things like politics, religion, football, etc.  You can tell me what you think and I promise I won't get pissed off.  Please keep reading as you might find that I have some things to say with which you agree.

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