Republicans announced something they called a “jobs plan” today. This time it’s different. It really is. This time it really will create jobs instead of just handing even more money to a few at the top at the expense of the rest of us. You might not believe this because Republicans sell everything by calling it a jobs plan. And what they sell is always tax cuts for the wealthy while cutting the things We, the People do for each other. And it always ends up messing everything up for most of us. But this time it’s different.
But This Time It’s Different
Republicans always offer something called a “jobs plan” and the plan is always tax cuts for the rich while gutting the things We, the People — a.k.a. government — do for each other. Their “jobs plans” always end up enriching the already-wealthy while messing things up really bad for us.
But this time is different because this time they actually offered something that is called a “jobs plan.” So there you go! And this time the plan is different because this time the plan is to cut taxes for the wealthy and giant corporations, cut government protections for working people and the environment, but also opening our borders to let in goods made in countries unhampered by democracy’s protections while cutting taxes on companies that offshore jobs. So Bob’s your uncle.
It will work. Republicans always promise their plan will work, and then it messes things up for most of us, but this time it’s different because this time they say the plan will work. So this time it is different.
You can look over the official Republican job plan here (PDF): The Republican Plan for America’s Job Creators. Here is a summary of the points: (summary: cut taxes for the rich, cut the things We, the People do for each other, send factories out of the country.)
- Require congressional (anonymous corporate campaign donations) approval of any significant federal regulation (overriding scientists and experts in the executive branch).
- Let companies bring overseas (offshoring jobs) profits into the US without paying US taxes.
- Pass “free trade” (more offshoring of jobs) agreements with Colombia, Panama, and South Korea.
- Streamline the patent system.
- Give more non-Americans visas to to take professional-level jobs here because “high-tech companies in America are struggling to hire qualified employees.”
- Let the FDA approve drugs (Vioxx) and devices faster, with less testing.
- Expand oil and coal exploration and production (Deepwater Horizon oil spill, climate change).
- Cut government spending (Medicare, but don’t touch military) by almost $6 trillion over the next ten years.
(Note, regarding the phrase “job creators,” see Actually, “The Rich” Don’t “Create Jobs,” We Do.)
What’s New In This Plan?
But this time the plan is to cut taxes for the rich, cut the things We, the People do for each other and send more factories out of the country. This time it’s different from those other plans to cut taxes for the rich, cut the things We, the People do for each other and send more factories out of the country.
The Name Is The Game
It’s all in the name. Republicans think giving a plan a name is what matters, no matter what the plan actually does. Say whatever you need to say, but do what you wanted to do all along. They believe that people will be fooled into thinking something does a certain thing because the name says that is what it does, regardless of the actual details and results. For example, their budget plan cuts government “costs” by eliminating Medicare and replacing it with something entirely different, but since it is still named “Medicare” it still is Medicare.
So today they are recycling the usual stuff and naming it a “jobs plan,” are we are supposed to think therefore it means it is a plan that will create jobs. But really, it means sending even more money to a few at the top at the expense of the rest of us and of our country’s future.
Been There Done That — Made A Real Mess
Everything they are proposing has been tried, and tried again, and has not worked. After Reagan took office they cut taxes, deregulated & gutted government, etc. terrible debt, trade deficits, the S&L crisis, wage decline, etc. resulted. After George W Bush took office they again cut taxes, deregulated, stopped enforcing the remaining laws and regulations, privatized government and contracted the functions to cronies, expanded oil drilling and opened the borders to trade with countries that pay very little and have no environmental protections, and we saw what happened.
We are living through the nightmare that resulted. Worldwide financial collapse. Tens of thousands of American factories closed. Millions of jobs lost. Millions of lost homes. Wars. Climate change unaddressed and worse. Terrible concentration of income and wealth. Terrible trade deficits. Terrible debt. Pensions gone, savings gone, heath care benefits gone, government rampantly corrupt, unprosecuted corporate fraud common, oil spills, mountaintops removed, miners killed … a terrible, terrible list of bad results that just goes on and on and on and on and on…
Some Republicans fervently believe that doing these things will help, but the rest of them understand exactly what they are doing. These are not stupid people, and all you have to do is look around to see what actually happens in the real world when you do these things. They do them precisely because these are the results.
The Party Of Wall Street And Billionaires
Here is a fact: today when you hear from Republicans you are hearing from Wall Street, giant oil companies, huge multinational firms and a few billionaires, period. OK, maybe you also get a dose of religious right with your tax cuts, but really they just say that stuff to get those votes, too, but what they actually do is tax cuts and policies that enrich the already-wealthy at the expense of the rest of us. And the things they do always mess everything up.
But this time it’s different. It really is.
Dave Johnson (Redwood City, CA) is a Fellow at Campaign for America's Future, writing about American manufacturing, trade and economic/industrial policy. He is also a Senior Fellow with Renew California. Dave has more than 20 years of technology industry experience including positions as CEO and VP of marketing. His earlier career included technical positions, including video game design at Atari and Imagic. And he was a pioneer in design and development of productivity and educational applications of personal computers. More recently he helped co-found a company developing desktop systems to validate carbon trading in the US.
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