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According to the Free Dictionary, wickedness means: “To reveal one’s evil intentions; to expose one’s malicious, venomous, or insidious nature.” This terrible word, wickedness, prompted the question in my mind, “Is There Wickedness in the Republican Party?” As I pondered this question in relation to the application of this definition, I decided to review some of the policies and initiatives going on in Federal and state governments. Two Federal government examples come to mind – the Ryan and Issa proposals.
With a colorful video presentation, Republican Paul Ryan presented his 2012 “Path to Prosperity” budget blueprint which showed a scary looking graph titled, “We are in a Spending-Driven Debt Crisis.” Ryan claims that his budget is based on the Congressional Budget Office’s (CBO) Alternative Fiscal Scenario. However, when you actually look at one of the CBO supporting documents, the scary scenario is also based on taxes being too low, not just spending being too high. Of course, Ryan decided to withhold that information from the CBO. In addition, Ryan relies on parts of the CBO analysis but blatantly ignores CBO estimates that repeal of the health care law would lead to an increase in the deficit as well as leaving millions of middle class America without health insurance.
This radical plan that most House Republicans voted for and most Republican senators and all presidential candidates endorse, penalizes senior citizens by changing Medicare into a voucher program that would be used to purchase private health insurance and turning Medicaid into a block grant for states to spend as they choose. Ryan also includes a drastic tax reform proposal to lower top individual and corporate rates to 25 percent and end deductions. The plan also caps domestic spending, repeals Obamacare and slashes farm subsidies. In addition, the plan proposes cuts on future retirees, working families, and the poor. In my view, the Ryan Plan definitely fits the definition of “wicked” by assaulting seniors and middle-class America.
Republican Representative Darrell Issa, Chairman of the House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform, co-sponsored a bill, H.R. 2309, that literally destroys the Postal Service as we know. This Bill passed the House subcommittee on September 21, 20011, by a vote of eight to five. All Republicans voted for the bill, Democrats voted against it. This Bill, designed to eliminate the Postal Union and destroy the Postal Service, empowers a newly-created “solvency authority” to unilaterally cut wages and abolish benefits. The Bill mandates 2 billion dollars worth of processing facility closures and reduces “door delivery” by 75 percent within two years. The Bill also includes several changes that would negatively affect workers who are injured on duty, including one that would cut the monthly compensation of totally disabled employees from about 66 percent to 50 percent, once they meet the age and service requirements for retirement. The Postal Service is a critical part of the US economy and is the center of a $1.2 trillion industry that employs 8 million people, including printers, mailers, and other businesses that rely on the Postal Service. The Issa Bill certainly meets the definition of “wicked” since it is another assault on middle class America and encourages the termination of thousands of employees.
As we prepare for the 2012 presidential election, Republican state officials have launched an exceptional, centrally focused crusade to suppress the Democratic voters. Republican governors and state legislators have passed a variety of measures that could prevent millions of students, minorities, immigrants, ex-convicts and the elderly from voting in the 2012 election. This is perhaps the most significant setback to voting rights in this country since passage of the Voting Rights Act of 1965. In an orchestrated and uniform ploy, Republican governors and state legislators are trying to do everything in their power to drive Democratic voters away from the polls in 2012.
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