You can’t get something for nothing.

“America is an idea – an idea that free people can govern themselves, that government’s powers are derived from the consent of the governed, that each of us is endowed by their Creator with the unalienable rights to life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness. America is the belief that any man or woman can – given economic, political, and religious liberty – advance themselves, their families, and the common good.”

Boehner Unveils GOP "Pledge"

Boehner Unveils GOP "Pledge" photo courtesy of USA Today

Good enough. Fair enough. Absolutely right. Also the introduction to the G.O.P.’s new “Pledge to America,” a 48 page manifesto that states what the GOP hopes to accomplish if/when they take back Congress.

In their introduction alone you’d think the Republican half of Congress would have agreed with Obama’s policies and pushed things through in the last two years. For example, even if you ignore the fact that “any man or woman” includes the poor, the uninsured, the homeless, immigrants, minorities, or the LGBT community, you’d think that helping the middle class  and small businesses with stimulus money or controlling big spending that killed the middle class in the first place would make sense. Let me give another example:

“America is an inspiration to those who yearn to be free and have the ability and the dignity to determine their own destiny.

“Whenever the agenda of government becomes destructive of these ends, it is the right of the people to institute a new governing agenda and set a different course.”

True. And guess what? With 66% of the vote, in 2008 we did just that. We elected our first black president. We overwhelmingly elected Democrats to Congress. We wanted our elected officials to cooperate for once and finally GET SOMETHING DONE. We believed that those of us that ‘yearn to be free and have the ability and the dignity to determine our own destiny’ would get health care, would get help getting an education, would get help finding jobs, would get help with housing so that we could figure out our destiny. That’s hard to do while living hand-to-mouth. We wanted our sons and daughters home and for the billions of dollars we’re spending building other country’s economies to benefit us.

And guess what you did, Republicans? You stalled everything! You made sure there was so much misinformation, so much infighting, so much sheer ridiculousness that people still don’t know how the health care bill works. (Now granted, that’s not all your fault. Obama wasn’t helpful either. But he was busy trying to get the damn thing through in the first place.) People honestly think that Obama isn’t an American citizen. That he’s a Muslim even though he goes to a Christian church (not that that should matter in a country built on religious freedom). That he’s going to send old people to “death camps.”

And even those of you who know this isn’t right, know that laws like Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell discriminate against those brave enough to serve our country, won’t stand up! (I’m looking at you Senator Susan Collins of Maine.)

And you want to issue a manifesto?!?

So here’s what it says, in brief: They want to repeal the health care bill. They want to extend the Bush era tax cuts for those making over $250,000 a year. They want to freeze stimulus spending. They want to freeze hires in government departments. They oppose taxes on carbon fuels. They oppose government regulation of Freddie and Frannie.

How will this help our economy?!?

So, you’re going to take health care away from children with incurable conditions that are no one’s fault. From those, like me, working 3 jobs and still unable to afford health insurance. From kids finishing college and looking for a job in this horrible economy who get sick or hit by a car, that under the new bill are now allowed to stay on their parent’s health insurance another few years. I think you get the idea.

You want to extend tax cuts from the old administration that got us in this mess in the first place. That’s not going to help the disappearing middle class. I hope they realize the wealth gap is reaching Great Depression era standards.

You want to freeze spending, and freeze hiring? You really, really, truly want to stop the government from HIRING PEOPLE THAT NEED JOBS? Wow.

And oh, you want to stop regulation of the banks that got us into this mess in the first place. Double wow.

Here’s a newsflash: You can’t get something for nothing. You can’t take away health insurance and expect people to be able to contribute to a thriving economy. You can’t be a world leader when others are pushing ahead with green initiatives and we’re not giving companies the economic push they need to do it. You can’t have a healthy economy by taxing those that currently have no money and foreclosed mortgages. You can’t stop hiring people and expect your economy to grow. You can’t ensure this doesn’t happen again without some oversight into those who got us here in the first place, since they obviously can’t be trusted to read the signs themselves.

As you say yourselves: “In town halls and on public squares, in every corner of this country, people have gathered and spoken out – in small groups and larger crowds, through phone calls and in letters, through websites and new technologies.

Though these petitions come from different walks, their message is uniform: Washington has not been listening.”

Hey GOP, it’s time for you to listen.


One thought on “You can’t get something for nothing.

  1. Ryan

    OK let’s be real, first of all HR 4872 (Health Care and Education Reconciliation Act of 2010) barely passed in the House 220-211 and in the Senate by a vote of 56-43. Clearly there were Democrats (34 in the House of Reps. and 3 in the Senate) who had issues with a bill that will raise the federal deficit by as much as $562 billion (that’s billion with a “B”) and taking $53 billion from Social Security to offset costs.

    Let me say that again, this program is going to take $53 billion from Social Security which, the last time I checked, is an entitlement program that even the most optimistic projections say will completely fail in the coming decades if we don’t make serious changes (raising retirement age, taxes, etc.) and Democrats are taking more money away from older Americans who have already paid their dues, threatening a program that everyone agrees we need? How does that even make any sense?

    Partisanship does not exist simply because Republicans are mean; it exists to try and check the power of the other side so that bad legislation is not just rammed through (it’s called responsible government). Specifically, it’s trying to stop overly enthusiastic tax and spend programs that Democrats love shouting about without ever worrying about long term costs or explaining to the voters how much more taxes are going to be raised to pay for the Sun, the Moon, and the stars.

    Yes, we should certainly not pass tax breaks for the “wealthy” (the people whose taxes already pay over half this country’s costs) and raise taxes on everyone (despite people hurting financially right now) so we can pay for other people’s insurance and student loans (which has nothing to do with health care) and God knows what else. I mean it’s not like “wealthy” people represent the vast majority of investors in start-ups/business creating more jobs and we should all enjoy living in a Socialist welfare state teetering on Communism as opposed to a Republic with pesky things like democracy and free market economy.

    Let’s keep paying people not to work, stay home and continue to have children and pay for those costs as well because as an American that works for a living, I should be responsible for other people’s lack of productivity and bad decision making. Never mind the fact that we have created a state funded, permanent underclass.

    We can pay for anything and have a program for everything; we could pay every single American to never have to work again but that would cost trillions and while a really nice thing to do, is not remotely reasonable and would destroy our country. We can’t have everything we want no matter how well intentioned.

    And to set the record straight, it was the patron saint of Democrats, President Bill “I did not have sex with that woman” Clinton that help create the financial meltdown. Look up a little thing called the Glass-Steagall Act. That would be a bill that was passed in 1933 to prevent speculation (you know, the kind that lead to the Great Depression) and was repealed by Bill Clinton in 1999. This repeal allowed investment companies like Citigroup (the largest bank at the time) to heavily underwrite mortgage backed securities and collaterized debt obligations. Short version, these would be the things whose risk was not “adequately accounted for” and caused the meltdown. The rest is history, at its worst the market lost half its value and taxpayers gave Citigroup alone $45 billion to keep them from failing.

    In December of 2009, Republican John McCain (along with Democrat Maria Cantwell) proposed we reinstate Glass-Steagall only to have the Obama administration flat out OPPOSE this while offering a much watered down version (which promotes the “too big too fail” model which put us here in the first place) in order to placate the banking industry. So when we talk about regulating banks, clearly Democrats think we shouldn’t or at least President Obama doesn’t think that’s a good idea despite the graphic evidence to the contrary.

    A healthy economy depends on the flow of disposable income, not being taxed to create programs that steal from other more important programs and not increasing our national debt with reckless spending on things we can’t afford.


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