Lies, Damn Lies, Statistics – and the Republican
by Laurence M. Vance: Support
Your Local Standing Army?
At a breakfast
sponsored by the Christian Science Monitor held just before
the Republican National Convention began, House Speaker John
Boehner, when asked about the new Republican Party Platform,
said: "If it were up to me I would have the platform on one
sheet of paper. Have you ever met anybody who read the party platform?
I’ve not met ever anybody."
This must have
been disheartening to the Republican activists from around the country
who worked for months just to earn the right to attend the convention
in order to have a chance of contributing to the party platform.
Each state delegation assigns two of its members to a special committee
that works on the platform and then presents it to the full convention
Well, I do
read party platforms, and I have read the new 2012
Republican Party Platform – the preamble and every word on its
54 pages. The authors of the platform obviously think it is an important
document. The preamble opens and closes with these statements:
Republican Platform is a statement of who we are and what we believe
as a Party and our vision for a stronger and freer America.
submit this platform to the American people. It is both a vision
of where we are headed and an invitation to join us in that journey.
Times, conservative Phyllis Schlafly says the new Republican
Party platform "may be the best one ever adopted." It
is "an excellent document written by grass-roots conservatives.
It is a true reflection of American values."
But since when
do American values consist of recycled clichés, pious platitudes,
manifest hypocrisy, vain assurances, empty promises, and blatant
After the preamble,
the Republican Party platform contains six chapters:
the American Dream: Rebuilding the Economy and Creating Jobs
- We The
People: A Restoration of Constitutional Government
Natural Resources: Energy, Agriculture and the Environment
Government to Serve the People
American Values to Build Healthy Families, Great Schools and Safe
looking at each of these chapters, we need to review a little Republican
Party history first.
controlled the House and Senate for the last six years of Clinton’s
presidency (January 1995–January 2001). This was the first time
the Republicans had controlled the entire Congress since the 83rd
Congress under President Eisenhower (January 1953–January 1955).
The Republicans controlled both the Congress and the presidency
from the inauguration of George Bush on January 20, 2001, until
May 24, 2001, when Republican senator Jim Jeffords switched from
Republican to Independent. In the 2002 midterm election, the Republicans
regained control of the Senate, but then lost both Houses to the
Democrats in the 2006 midterm election. This means that for over
four years the Republican Party was in complete control of the government
like the Democratic Party was during Clinton’s first two years as
president. The Republicans regained control of the House in the
2010 midterm election.
of this history lesson will be evident as we go through the Republican
platform section by section.
the American Dream: Rebuilding the Economy and Creating Jobs
begin their first section with two of the biggest lies that have
ever been told:
We are the
party of maximum economic freedom.
will pursue free market policies that are the surest way to boost
employment and create job growth and economic prosperity for all.
Does this mean
that Americans are free to buy or sell any good or service they
choose, from or to any person or business they choose, for any price
that is voluntarily agreed upon? Of course not. Want to buy a Cuban
cigar? Want to sell guns without a federal firearms license? Want
to pay less than the minimum wage to a willing worker? Want to not
pay overtime to a willing worker? Want to only rent your apartment
to certain individuals? Want to charge the highest price you think
you can get for gas? Sorry, you will pay a fine and/or go to jail.
The next two
lies are so laughable I marvel at the audacity of Republicans for
putting them in their platform:
a Republican Senate and House, our next President will propose
immediate reductions in federal spending, as a down payment on
the much larger task of long-range fiscal control.
spending and regulation must be reined in.
I have looked in detail at Paul Ryan’s budget plan that was passed
by the Republican-controlled House earlier this year. He has spending
increasing every year, the national debt increasing every year,
and a budget that will not be balanced for twenty-three
years. And the last time we had a Republican Senate, a Republican
House, and a Republican president, the Republicans doubled the national
debt, drastically increased spending, started two wars that will
ultimately cost over $2 trillion dollars, didn’t cut any major regulations,
increased the number of regulations, and gave us the first trillion-dollar
deficit. I can’t wait to see what the Republicans will do this time.
a Republican platform be without talk of simplifying and reforming
the tax code?
The tax system
must be simplified.
We will reform
the tax code to allow businesses to generate enough capital to
grow and create jobs for our families, friends and neighbors all
their very nature, reduce a citizen’s freedom. Their proper role
in a free society should be to fund services that are essential
and authorized by the Constitution, such as national security,
and the care of those who cannot care for themselves. We reject
the use of taxation to redistribute income, fund unnecessary or
ineffective programs, or foster the crony capitalism that corrupts
both politicians and corporations.
tax policies that divide Americans or promote class warfare.
is a tax system that is simple, transparent, flatter, and fair.
In contrast, the current IRS code is like a patchwork quilt, stitched
together over time from mismatched pieces, and is beyond the comprehension
of the average citizen. A reformed code should promote simplicity
and coherence, savings and innovation, increase American competitiveness,
and recognize the burdens on families with children. To that end,
we propose to:
- Extend the
2001 and 2003 tax relief packages – commonly known as the Bush
tax cuts – pending reform of the tax code, to keep tax rates from
rising on income, interest, dividends, and capital gains;
- Reform the
tax code by reducing marginal tax rates by 20 percent across-the-board
in a revenue-neutral manner;
the taxes on interest, dividends, and capital gains altogether
for lower and middle-income taxpayers;
- End the
Death Tax; and
- Repeal the
Alternative Minimum Tax.
when you passed the Bush tax cuts in the first place, why didn’t
you make them permanent? Why didn’t you simplify and reform the
tax code when you controlled the Congress for over four years with
a Republican president? Why didn’t you eliminate the estate tax
permanently when you had the chance? Why didn’t you eliminate taxes
on interest, dividends, and capital gains altogether when you had
complete control of the government? And why only for lower and middle-income
taxpayers? I thought you opposed tax policies that divided Americans
or promoted class warfare? And even with your Bush tax cuts, a progressive
income tax by its very nature divides Americans and promotes class
warfare, and especially one like we have now where half of Americans
pay no income tax whatsoever. So why didn’t you reform the tax code
so it wasn’t a progressive tax code as favored by Karl
Marx? It is indeed strange that Republicans should say they
reject the use of taxation to redistribute income and fund unnecessary
programs. What do they think that 90 percent of the federal budget
is spent on?
also bemoan the fact that "American businesses now face the
world’s highest corporate tax rate." They call for "a
reduction of the corporate rate to keep U.S. corporations competitive
internationally, with a permanent research and development tax credit,
and a repeal of the corporate alternative minimum tax." But
the corporate tax rate didn’t go up under Obama. It has been the
same for the past twenty years. Why didn’t Republicans lower the
corporate tax rate when they controlled both Houses of Congress
for six years under Clinton and for over four years under Bush?
The only ones to blame for the high corporate tax rates are the
Republicans. They are the ones who talk about cutting taxes and
when given the opportunity, they blew it.
In this section,
the Republicans also talk about "a federal-State-private partnership"
that "must invest in the nation’s infrastructure: roads, bridges,
airports, ports, and water systems," enforcing housing non-discrimination
laws, and "assisting low income families and the elderly with
safe and adequate shelter, especially through the use of housing
vouchers." Too bad there is nothing in the Constitution that
authorizes the federal government to do any of these things.
under criticism in this first section of the GOP platform. "The
public has to subsidize every ticket nearly $50," say the Republicans.
I agree with their solution: "It is long past time for the
federal government to get out of way and allow private ventures
to provide passenger service to the northeast corridor. The same
holds true with regard to high-speed and intercity rail across the
country." So what are you Republicans waiting for? Where are
the bills in the House to completely privatize Amtrak? But they
wouldn’t pass a Democratic-controlled Senate or be signed into law
by a Democratic president, say the Republicans. That never stopped
House Republicans from passing bills to repeal Obamacare thirty-three
times. And why wasn’t Amtrak sold off when the Republicans had
an absolute majority under Bush?
training programs also come under condemnation in the Republican
platform: "Nine federal agencies currently run 47 retraining
programs at a total cost of $18 billion annually with dismal results.
Both the trainees in those programs and the taxpayers who fund them
deserve better." And what is the Republican solution? Is it
to completely abolish the unconstitutional programs? Of course not.
They must be "overhauled and made relevant for the workplace
of the twenty-first century." Republicans "propose consolidation
of those programs into State block grants so that training can be
coordinated with local schools and employers."
also complain about the Davis-Bacon law that "continues to
drive up infrastructure construction and maintenance costs for the
benefit of that party’s union stalwarts" and "costs the
taxpayers billions of dollars annually in artificially high wages
on government projects." They call for the law’s repeal in
their platform. Fine, but instead of promising to do something about
Davis-Bacon, why didn’t you actually do something about Davis-Bacon
when you had the power to for over four years when Bush was the
2. We The
People: A Restoration of Constitutional Government
The first words
of section 2 are: "We are the party of the Constitution."
This makes me want to either scream or throw up – or perhaps a couple
hours of each. Although the Republicans claim that the Constitution
is "the greatest political document ever written" and
that "that sacred document shows us the path forward,"
anyone who looked at the Republican record – and especially when
they had absolute control of the government under Bush – for more
than three seconds would see instantly that they violate the Constitution
every minute of every day.
have a warped view of what it means to follow the Constitution:
In the spirit
of the Constitution, we consider discrimination based on sex,
race, age, religion, creed, disability, or national origin unacceptable
and immoral. We will strongly enforce anti-discrimination statutes
and ask all to join us in rejecting the forces of hatred and bigotry
and in denouncing all who practice or promote racism, anti-Semitism,
ethnic prejudice, or religious intolerance.
are anti-discrimination statutes authorized by the Constitution?
Discrimination is essential in a free society, as I have written
also have a warped view of what should be in the Constitution. They
propose a human life amendment and "by whatever legislative
method is most feasible," legal protection against flag desecration.
who knows me or has read any of my articles
on abortion knows that I am unabashedly opposed to abortion.
But the answer is not federalizing the issue, as Ron
Paul has explained so many times. But if the Republicans are
so opposed to abortion and to "using public revenues to promote
or perform abortion or fund organizations which perform or advocate
it," then why do they vote to fund
Planned Parenthood, the largest abortion provider in the United
Here is something
in section 2 concerning the Constitution that I actually agree with
the Republicans on:
entrenched federal programs violate the constitutional mandates
of federalism by taking money from the States, laundering it through
various federal agencies, only to return to the States shrunken
grants with mandates attached.
But who is
responsible for "scores of entrenched federal programs"?
Who is responsible for not eliminating "scores of entrenched
federal programs"? Why, it is the Republicans. To give one
major example, see my "Republican
Here are two
more true statements in the platform that Republicans don’t even
begin to follow:
just government is one that truly governs with the consent of
In a free
society, the primary role of government is to protect the God-given,
inalienable, inherent rights of its citizens, including the rights
to life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness.
say they believe in a limited government, they only mean that they
want a government limited to a government controlled by Republicans.
claim in their platform to "support the review and examination
of all federal agencies to eliminate wasteful spending, operational
inefficiencies, or abuse of power" is such a lie that I don’t
know whether to laugh, cry, scream, or throw up.
What the Republicans
say about the Second, Fourth, and Tenth Amendments in section 2
of their platform is insidious. The myriad of federal
gun laws on the books shows that they don’t believe in the Second
Amendment at all. They talk about how whether legislation being
a state or a federal matter "must be determined in accordance
with the Tenth Amendment, in conjunction with Article I, Section
8." Okay, so Republicans must believe that the legal status
of marijuana should be left up to the states? Wrong again. Republicans
are ardent drug warriors who don’t believe in federalism for a minute
when it comes to the war on drugs. And here are the Republican creators
and sustainers of the TSA on the Fourth Amendment: "All security
measures and police actions should be viewed through the lens of
the Fourth Amendment; for if we trade liberty for security, we shall
have neither." Try reading that while TSA agents are feeling
you up at the airport.
But wait a
minute, the Republicans say in their platform that the procedures
and much of the personnel of the TSA need to be “changed” because
the agency is “now a massive bureaucracy of 65,000 employees who
seem to be accountable to no one for the way they treat travelers.”
They even “call for the private sector to take over airport screening
wherever feasible and look toward the development of security systems
that can replace the personal violation of frisking.” Republicans
have never apologized for creating the agency in the first place,
just like they have never done anything about “the personal violation
of frisking.” And they expect us to believe that now, just before
the election, they are concerned about Americans’ civil liberties?
Do Republicans think we are that stupid?
Natural Resources: Energy, Agriculture and the Environment
the party of sustainable jobs and economic growth," begin the
Republicans, but then they add "through American energy, agriculture,
and environmental policy." But since when does the government
have the authority to make energy, agriculture, and environmental
policy in the first place? Certainly not in the Constitution the
Republicans consider their "owner’s manual." (See my "Whither
U.S. Energy Policy?")
Republicans don’t mention Solyndra by name, they make a veiled reference
to it: "Unlike the current Administration, we will not pick
winners and losers in the energy marketplace. Instead, we will let
the free market and the public’s preferences determine the industry
outcomes." Solyndra was the first renewable-energy company
to receive a loan guarantee under a provision to encourage "green
energy" in Obama’s stimulus plan, the American Recovery and
Reinvestment Act of 2009. But this was not the beginning of the
government’s effort to encourage "green energy." For this
we must go back to the Energy Policy Act of 2005, signed into law
by George W. Bush on August 8 of that year. (See my "The
Real Problem with Solyndra.")
want to expand nuclear energy. They lament that "no new nuclear
generating plants have been licensed and constructed for thirty
years." Have they forgotten that they had an absolute majority
in the Congress for six years under Clinton and complete control
of the government for over four year under Bush? The Republicans’
lamentation is of their own making.
try to blame Obama for high gas prices: "Since the current
President took office in 2009, consumers pay approximately twice
as much for gas at the pump." But if you look at gas prices
for the last
30 years, it is evident that they began to drastically increase
after Bush invaded Iraq in 2003. After reaching over $4 a gallon,
gas prices made a sudden drop before the 2008 election (but not
enough to help the Republicans win the presidency). At least Republicans
in their platform did not say that gas prices would fall to a certain
amount if they were put in charge of the government as did Republican
buffoons Michele Bachmann ($2.00) and Newt Gingrich ($2.50).
the Republicans believe that "the proper federal role in agriculture"
includes farm programs, crop insurance, agricultural research, food
safety, food stamps, other domestic nutrition programs, and foreign
food aid. They also say that the U. S. Forest Service – which controls
about 193 million acres of land and employs 30,000 workers – "should
be charged to use these resources to the best economic potential
for the nation." According to the Constitution, there is no
proper role of the federal government in agriculture. So, since
the Republicans maintain that "when the Constitution is evaded,
transgressed, or ignored, so are the freedoms it guarantees,"
they must want to abolish the Department of Agriculture and the
Forest Service, right? Sorry, wrong again. (See my "Uncle
Sam Is a Sugar Daddy.")
of the platform has a lot of criticism of the EPA:
We will end
the EPA’s war on coal and encourage the increased safe development
in all regions of the nation’s coal resources
with growers and producers in defense of their water rights against
attempts by the EPA and the Army Corps of Engineers to expand
jurisdiction over water, including water that is clearly not navigable.
an end to the EPA’s participation in "sue and settle"
lawsuits, sweetheart litigation brought by environmental groups
to expand the Agency’s regulatory activities against the wishes
of Congress and the public.
the EPA’s unwarranted revocation of existing permits. We also
call on Congress to take quick action to prohibit the EPA from
moving forward with new greenhouse gas regulations that will harm
the nation’s economy and threaten millions of jobs over the next
It almost sounds
like the Republicans want to abolish the EPA. Especially since they
has shown that, in caring for the land and water, private ownership
has been our best guarantee of conscientious stewardship, while
the worst instances of environmental degradation have occurred
under government control.
powerful environmental policy is liberty, the central organizing
principle of the American Republic and its people. Liberty alone
fosters scientific inquiry, technological innovation, entrepreneurship,
and information exchange. Liberty must remain the core energy
behind America’s environmental improvement.
the Republicans have no plans to get rid of the EPA. They merely
say: "Federal agencies charged with enforcing environmental
laws must stop regulating beyond their authority." Republicans
say they don’t want "activist regulators." In short, Republicans
just want Republican regulations instead of Democratic regulations.
This is why
we still have fuel-economy regulations (CAFE standards), which were
first introduced for passenger cars in 1978. They continued under
Reagan and a Republican-controlled Senate. They continued under
a Republican majority in the Congress under Clinton. They continued
under absolute Republican control of the government under Bush.
And then in December of 2007, President Bush signed into law the
Energy Independence and Security Act of 2007 (H.R.6),
which requires that automakers boost the gas mileage of their fleets
to 35 mpg by the year 2020. This law was agreed to by an overwhelming
majority of Republicans in the Senate and by half of the House Republicans.
Government to Serve the People
the party of government reform," say the Republicans. They
characterize the government, which they helped create and sustain,
as "bloated, antiquated and unresponsive to taxpayers."
They propose to "restructure" the government, to better
manage it to "provide better services," as if the government
was a business with customers that voluntarily patronized it. They
also talk about "reversing the undermining of federalism and
the centralizing of power in Washington," which, again,
they are just as responsible for as the Democrats.
have a grave philosophical deficiency, as seen by this statement
in section 4 of their platform:
We look to
government – local, State, and federal – for the things government
must do, but we believe those duties can be carried out more efficiently
and at less cost. For all other activities, we look to the private
the legislation the Republicans have supported over the past thirty
years, the list of things that Republicans think the government
"must do" must be incredibly long. And where is it written
in stone that the government "must do" anything? Wasn’t
it Republican icon Ronald Reagan who said government was the problem
and not the solution?
are not ashamed to acknowledge that they are firmly committed to
welfare; that is, Social Security and socialized medicine:
have lost all faith in the Social Security system, which is understandable
when they read the nonpartisan actuary’s reports about its future
funding status. . . . To restore public trust in the system, Republicans
are committed to setting it on a sound fiscal basis that will
give workers control over, and a sound return on, their investments.
Party is committed to saving Medicare and Medicaid.
We will save
Medicare by modernizing it, by empowering its participants, and
by putting it on a secure financial footing.
for both Medicare and Medicaid must be to assure that every participant
receives the amount of care they need at the time they need it,
whether for an expectant mother and her baby or for someone in
the last moments of life.
also mention allowing "younger workers the option of creating
their own investment accounts as supplements to the system."
But since younger workers can already create their own private investment
accounts, what is the point of the government being involved?
In the Republicans’
discussion of government regulations in this section, there are
four things that should be noted.
just assume that the government should be making rules and regulations
in the first place:
purpose of regulation is to set forth clear rules of the road
for the citizens, so that business owners and workers can understand
in advance what they need to do, or not do, to augment the possibilities
for success within the confines of the law.
I thought Republicans
believed in the free market?
are biased against Democratic regulations.
justifies the regulatory impact of Obamacare on the practice of
medicine, the Dodd-Frank Act on financial services, or the EPA’s
and OSHA’s overreaching regulation agenda. A Republican Congress
and President will repeal the first and second, and rein in the
Republicans want to repeal regulations established by Democrats
but only "rein in" regulations established by agencies
created under a Republican president they have grown to accept.
believe that if only Republicans had control of the government,
then regulations would all be sound and cost-effective.
We call for
a moratorium on the development of any new major and costly regulations
until a Republican Administration reviews existing rules to ensure
that they have a sound basis in science and will be cost-effective.
Like I said
earlier, Republicans only want a government limited to a government
controlled by Republicans.
the promises Republicans make about reducing "overregulation"
and reconsidering "out-of-date regulations" are just more
Republican hot air. When they controlled the government under a
Republican president they not only did nothing about "overregulation"
or "out-of-date regulations," they made even more regulations.
Near the end
of section 4, the Republicans have the audacity to say: "We
will ensure that personal data receives full constitutional protection
from government overreach." I guess that is why an agency the
Republicans love, the NSA, is building the country’s biggest
spy center in Utah.
American Values to Build Healthy Families, Great Schools and Safe
although the Republicans admit that the government "dispenses
nearly $1 trillion in taxpayer funds across a maze of approximately
80 programs that are neither coordinated nor effective in solving
poverty and lifting up families," their solution is not to
eliminate welfare – or even call for a gradual end to welfare –
because it fosters dependency, is unconstitutional, and redistributes
wealth, but to reform the system "to ensure that it promotes
In spite of
all their talk about freedom and responsibility, Republicans reveal
themselves to be puritanical busybodies that are comfortable with
a Republican nanny state:
the prohibition of gambling over the Internet and call for reversal
of the Justice Department’s decision distorting the formerly accepted
meaning of the Wire Act that could open the door to Internet betting.
on all forms of pornography and obscenity need to be vigorously
And you thought
that when the Republicans said they insisted "that there should
be no regulation of political speech on the Internet" and that
they opposed "governmental censorship of speech through the
so-called Fairness Doctrine or by government enforcement of speech
codes" that they were in favor of a free society based on individual
liberty and responsibility? (See my "The
Republicans pledged to repeal Obamacare in section 5 of their platform,
perhaps they should have talked to their presidential nominee first.
Although Republicans say that they are "committed to its repeal"
and that "a Republican President, on the first day in office,
will use his legitimate waiver authority under that law to halt
its progress and then will sign its repeal," Romney recently
said that he wants to keep parts of Obamacare. He wants to replace
it with his own plan "while keeping some popular provisions
including coverage for people with pre-existing conditions."
the Republicans talk about "a free market in healthcare"
and say they believe that "taking care of one’s health is an
individual responsibility," such talk is meaningless since
Republicans believe in using the power of the state to compel Americans
to pay for other Americans’ health care (Medicare, SCHIP, Medicaid)
just like the Democrats.
Republicans state: "Parents are responsible for the education
of their children." They acknowledge that "since 1965
the federal government has spent $2 trillion on elementary and secondary
education with no substantial improvement in academic achievement
or high school graduation rates." So why don’t they call for
the elimination of the Department of Education? Ronald Reagan proposed
abolishing of the Department of Education while campaigning for
president in 1980. The Republican Party platforms of 1980 and 1996
likewise called for the department’s elimination.
I think the
answer is that during Bill Clinton’s last six years in office, when
the Republicans controlled both the House and the Senate, the education
budget ballooned to $42.1 billion by fiscal year 2001 (Clinton’s
last budget). Or perhaps the answer is that under George W. Bush,
when the Republicans controlled both the House and the Senate for
more than four years, the education budget increased all the way
up to $100 billion in fiscal year 2006 before leveling off in the
$60 billion range. And as I pointed out in "Too
Little, Too Late":
participated in the expansion of the Department of Education with
a Republican president and one house of Congress controlled by
the Republicans, with a Republican president and both houses of
Congress controlled by the Democrats, with a Democratic president
and both houses of Congress controlled by the Republicans, and
with a Republican president and both houses of Congress controlled
by the Republicans.
I’m glad the
Republicans pledge to get rid of "family planning" programs
for teens, but I’m still trying to find in the Constitution where
it authorizes that these programs be replaced with "abstinence
education which teaches abstinence until marriage as the responsible
and respected standard of behavior."
There is one
last thing Republicans say about education which shows that they
don’t have a clue what the proper role of government is: "The
federal government should not be in the business of originating
student loans; however, it should serve as an insurance guarantor
for the private sector as they offer loans to students." This,
of course, means that the taxpayers would have to bail out banks
that made risky loans to students that could not be repaid.
There is one
last thing in this section that should make your blood boil if you
are aware of how much the police state has intensified since Bush
took office. I am printing the whole paragraph because it makes
such incredible reading:
of the federal government’s law enforcement and judicial systems
have been strained by two unfortunate expansions: the overcriminalization
of behavior and the over-federalization of offenses. The number
of criminal offenses in the U.S. Code increased from 3,000 in
the early 1980s to over 4,450 by 2008. Federal criminal law should
focus on acts by federal employees or acts committed on federal
property – and leave the rest to the States. Then Congress should
withdraw from federal departments and agencies the power to criminalize
behavior, a practice which, according to the Congressional Research
Service, has created "tens of thousands" of criminal
offenses. No one other than an elected representative should have
the authority to define a criminal act and set criminal penalties.
In the same way, Congress should reconsider the extent to which
it has federalized offenses traditionally handled on the State
or local level.
why is it that it is only in 2012 that you suddenly realized these
things? And judging from your horrendous track record on civil liberties,
I don’t see how anyone could possibly take you seriously anyway.
Does anyone really think that if the Republicans regain full control
of the government that the number of federal criminal offenses will
be significantly reduced and real federalism restored? And I wonder
if the "overcriminalization of behavior" includes the
criminalization of drugs? Don’t count on it. As I remarked earlier:
Republicans are ardent drug warriors who don’t believe in federalism
for a minute when it comes to the war on drugs.
This last section
is the longest in the platform, but will be the shortest in my critique.
Let me summarize it for you. The military budget must be raised.
Support the troops. Iran is a threat to Israel, the United States,
and the world and therefore must be prevented from building a nuclear
weapon. The troops defend our freedoms. The military and its reserves
must be expanded. The troops are our heroes. The United States must
defend Taiwan. Support the troops. The U.S. nuclear stockpile must
be modernized. The troops defend our freedoms. Missile defense bases
in Europe must be established and the budget for missile defense
must be raised. The troops are our heroes. Foreign aid must be continued.
Support the troops. The Cuban embargo must be continued. The troops
defend our freedoms. The war on drugs must continue. The troops
are our heroes. Venezuela represents an increasing threat to U.S.
security. Support the troops. The surge troops should remain in
Afghanistan. The troops defend our freedoms. All options must remain
on the table. The troops are our heroes.
I want to close
with some brief comments on a statement Republicans make in section
6. In response to the various threats the United States faces from
"transnational terrorism, continued belligerence by a nuclear-armed
North Korea, an Iran in pursuit of nuclear weapons, rising Chinese
hegemony in the Asia Pacific region, Russian activism, and threats
from cyber espionage and terrorism," Republicans state that
Obama has reduced the defense budget by over $487 billion over
the next decade and fought Republican efforts to avoid another
$500 billion in automatic budget cuts through a sequestration
in early 2013 that will take a meat ax to all major defense programs.
Now, I am no
fan of Barack Hussein Obama, and loathe him as much as I loathe
George W. Bush, but that doesn’t mean that I need to make things
up in order to make him look bad. My question is this: How is it
possible for Obama to have "reduced the defense budget by over
$487 billion over the next decade"? Two observations. 1. Congress
passes the National
Defense Authorization Act each year to set forth the budget
of the Defense Department. The last time it was signed into law
was on December 31, 2011. Since the Republicans control the House
of Representatives, the bill Obama signed authorizing the current
defense budget had to be one that Republicans supported or it would
have never passed the House. 2. It is impossible to reduce the defense
budget for any year except the next fiscal year. The Republicans
are obviously referencing one of Obama’s proposed budgets – which
means absolutely nothing since it is Congress that ultimately determines
the amount spent on defense every year.
And if sequestration
is so bad, then why did Republicans, who hold a majority in the
House, vote to pass the Budget Control Act that raised the debt
ceiling and set sequestration in motion? Why did Republican vice
presidential nominee Paul Ryan vote for it?
It was Mark
Twain who popularized the dictum about there being three kinds of
lies – lies, damn lies, and statistics. But even these pale in comparison
with the lies found in the Republican Party platform.
we believe anything the Republicans promise to do when they had
the power to do it everyday for over four years when Bush was the
president and did absolutely nothing? "The American people
work too hard and too long to support a bloated government,"
say the Republicans. Then why didn’t they apologize for their part
in giving Americans a bloated government? And why didn’t they do
something about it when they had the chance?
And what good
are the Republicans’ promises anyway? Republicans always say they
are going to reform, examine, study, simplify, improve, rethink,
restructure, and reconsider instead of abolish, cut, eliminate,
slash, get rid of, end, do away with, and eradicate.
When the Republicans
in their platform say anything bad about Obama, just remember that
he is probably continuing one of Bush’s policies. When they say
anything good about lower taxes, less spending, fewer regulations,
or limited government, don’t believe a word of it. It is all a ruse
to get votes.
And never mind
the nineteen times that abortion is mentioned in the Republican
platform. The promise of ending abortion is the carrot held just
out of reach of gullible conservatives to get them to continue to
vote Republican in every election hoping that the Republicans will
actually do something.
It works the
same way regarding economics, as explained by Lew
Rockwell about the Republicans:
liberty is the utopia that they keep promising to bring us, pending
the higher priority of blowing up foreign peoples, jailing political
dissidents, crushing the left wing on campus, and routing the
Democrats. Once all of this is done, they say, then they will
get to the instituting of a free-market economic system. Of course,
that day never arrives, and it is not supposed to. Capitalism
serves the Republicans the way Communism served Stalin: a symbolic
distraction to keep you hoping, voting, and coughing up money.
platform says that the elections of 2012 will be "a referendum
on the future of liberty in America." If that is truly the
case, then the last thing anyone should do is vote Republican.
M. Vance [send him mail]
writes from central Florida. He is the author of Christianity
and War and Other Essays Against the Warfare State, The
Revolution that Wasn't, and Rethinking
the Good War. His latest book is The
Quatercentenary of the King James Bible. Visit his
© 2012 by LewRockwell.com. Permission to reprint in whole or in
part is gladly granted, provided full credit is given.
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