In his State of the Union Address the President laid out a number of proposals, many of which were at one time Republican ideas, pre-school for all children, infrastructure improvement, immigration reform, and as many as twenty others. He called for ‘smarter government’, planning to use the power of the government to begin righting the unbalanced nature of the country’s wealth and build up the financial strength of the middle class. The President said by raising the minimum wage we will be increasing the ability of many to live the American Dream of moving into the middle class. This signals an end to the war on the Government waged by the Republicans over the last 40 years.
Ronald Reagan started the war on Government with his proclamation that Government was the problem. This has caused more damage to this nation in the last 40 years than almost anything one can imagine. His declaration of war on the Government, and by definition war on the people who support that Government was the cover for the massive shifting of the wealth of this country from the middle and bottom of the financial pyramid to the top. You want proof. Wages when adjusted for inflation have been stagnant for the last 40 years while the earnings for those at the top have never been higher. When employers couldn’t pay a lower wage because of the minimum wage, they shipped the jobs to where they could!
Reagan’s real goal and the game plan of the Republican Party is to create huge deficits and then demand they be paid with the money Government uses to support the middle and lower class. Cutting Healthcare and social security to pay for the debts the Republicans ran up when they were in control of the Government, thus shrinking the size of the Government they have to pay for but also limiting or ending the things the Government can do for its people like unemployment, healthcare, or welfare and food stamps. Indeed Paul Ryan’s current version of the budget does exactly that, cuts money for food stamps! Rather than some “job creator’ not getting his tax breaks!!! It is true, by the way, that when we raise up the lives of those of us who have the least, we certainly do improve the lives of all Americans.
It was good to hear the President lay out his proposals and let the chips fall where they may. One can see though that the President does have his eye on the midterm elections in 2014. Just look at some of the proposals he has laid out, a veritable minefield of political bombs. Democrats will be able to point to their opponents and say I was for so and so and my Republican friend was not! Any one of these things could become a flashpoint for a local election. If you are in an election where the voters are mostly low and minimum wage workers you’d be cutting your throat to oppose raising the minimum wage.
It’s the same scenario with many of the President’s proposals. The Republicans see these things as expanding Government and costing too much but they don’t seem to see how these things, in improving the lives of our citizens also improves the life of the country. Marco Rubio when giving the Republican response, seemed to be ‘whacking moles’ as he went on to emphasize a negative outcome to all the Presidents ideas. It is awful hard to explain to a minimum wage worker that a $1.80 an hour raise would not be good for that worker and his family. It is equally hard to explain how preschool would not be good for that workers children while cutting money for education. The list goes on and the Republicans are running hither and yon in an effort to knock down all the President’s proposals every time they get a chance. This should leave them looking weak and negative when the midterm elections come around. Besides they will probably be exhausted from wacking moles.