Republicans consistently and continuously claim they are against big government and government regulations. They repeatedly preach that the USA would be a better place if they could just eliminate all those nasty government regulations that limit the freedom of people (and corporations whom they view as more useful people).
Their claim is that not only would the country be a better place to live and work in, but also that the national economy (a.k.a. corporate America’s profit margin) would be maximized, thus providing more jobs and more prosperity to the nation as a whole.
They would eliminate the Environmental Protection Agency (ERA) and the Department of Education, among other government agencies, and they would roll back the 2010 health care reform law if they win the White house and both houses of congress this fall. After all, these are among the most “freedom limiting” laws and agencies of the US government.
Republicans have only one problem when trying to achieve their goal of enhancing personal freedom as they see it: they can’t sell it. Thus, they try to make the uninformed hate the government and its agencies and regulations, and make those same uninformed folks afraid of the government and its agencies and regulations.
Yet, if one really examines the GOP plans for increasing American freedom, one actually finds that their plan does the exact opposite! For example:
A. Claim of Increased Freedom: Republicans want to eliminate the EPA and Food & Drug Administration (FDA) and all of those nasty, expensive, anti-pollution regulations that limit corporate America’s freedom to maximize their profits.
The Real Deal: Freedom Loss: Doing this would eliminate a citizen’s personal freedom to breath clean air, drink clean water, and eat safe food.
B. Claim of Increased Freedom: Republicans want to eliminate the Department of Education and provide vouchers for students to attend private religious-run schools if their parents choose. This increases freedom for choice for parents, as well as enhancing the freedom of the private sector to run schools for profit.
The Real Deal: Freedom Loss: Those students attending public schools would have to endure much larger classrooms and reduced educational resources because of the money that gets siphoned off to support the rich private school students and ultimately, the private sector for-profit school consortiums. Thus, those that cannot afford a private education would not have the freedom to attend a school that is adequately financed to provide them with an adequate education.
C. Claim of Increased Freedom: Republicans want to free Americans from the burden of health care reform. They want to return the freedom of choice to the private for-profit insurance companies. Those companies will once again have the freedom to choose who can have and who can’t have health insurance. They want to enhance that freedom by allowing those companies complete and total power to decide what their insurance will cover and what it will not cover.
The Real Deal: Freedom Loss: Anyone who cannot buy or can’t afford health insurance will not be allowed freedom from curable diseases or repairable medical conditions. Those with pre-existing conditions will not have the freedom to acquire health insurance and the protections that insurance provides in the first place. Children will not have the freedom from childhood diseases or freedom from contagious sick schoolmates attending class while sick because their parents can’t afford to keep them at home and take them to the doctor.
D. Claim of Increased Freedom: The republicans would reduce or eliminate all pro-labor regulations, thus allowing the “free and unregulated capitalist market’ to set risk and safety tolerances, as well as child laborstandards, work schedules and pay.
The Real Deal: Freedom Loss: If you’re a corporation, this will increase your freedom to turn a profit regardless of the human cost. If you’re a child, your freedom from exploitation is gone. If you’re a miner, your freedom from grossly unsafe working conditions is gone. And if you’re a an hourly wage-earner, you’re freedom from work & pay abuse is gone.
E. Claim of Increased Freedom The GOP supports school prayer and the teaching and following of Christian dogma in all facets of their reduced government model. This provides believers with freedom….like the freedom to impose those views on everyone.
The Real Deal: Freedom Loss: Those Americans (and everyone else, actually), who are not evangelical or born-again Christians will be forced to accept the “true” teachings of the Christ, according to these fundamentalists evangelical born-again-ers. If you’re Jewish, Hindu, Buddest, Shinto, Tao, Confucius, Muslim, atheist or any other of a myriad of other human religions or non-religions (each claiming theirs is the only truly REAL word that matters) you’re out of luck, slick….
But not to worry. When Mitt Romney’s gets elected, he’s make sure prosperity returns to all those who truly deserve it:
His corporate campaign supporters.