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Response to Demeter (Original post)

Sun Jan 1, 2012, 06:55 AM

82. Republicans Try to Impose Selfishness on American People

http://www.truth-out.org/republicans-try-impose-selfishness-american-people/1325081042

In the iconic Christmas film, “It’s a Wonderful Life,” an angel offers the beleaguered main character, George Bailey, the stark choice between a hometown named for a cruel banker or one created by and for the middle class...The banker’s town, Pottersville, is filled with bars, gambling dens and despair. The people’s town of Bedford Falls is made of hope, hard working middle class families, and their homes financed by the Bailey Brothers Building & Loan.....The film’s happy ending is the people of Bedford Falls banding together to rescue George Bailey and the Bailey Brothers Building & Loan that had given so many of them a leg up over the years.

Republicans seek a different conclusion. They find middle class cooperation and community intolerable. They want the banker, Henry Potter, with his “every man for himself” philosophy to triumph. In the spirit of their self-centered mentor Ayn Rand, Republicans are trying to disfigure America so she resembles Pottersville...This is exactly what Republicans do...This time last year, Republicans demanded extension of tax breaks for the 1 percent, contending tax breaks stimulate the economy. For the past three months, however, Republicans have fought extension of payroll tax cuts, contending a break benefiting 160 million middle class Americans did not stimulate the economy.

They describe beloved American programs like Medicare and Social Security as charities – using the euphemism “entitlements.” Like mortgages from the Bailey Building & Loan, Medicare and Social Security are not charities. They’re the American people depositing and pooling their money for the benefit of the American community...The GOP tries to destroy programs like these that aid the middle class, the vast majority of Americans – the 99 percent – while Republicans protect tax breaks and special perks for the rich – the one percent, the Henry Potters....All year, Republicans have demanded an end to programs the middle class created to aid the majority, the 99 percent. The GOP wants to reverse the new banking regulations that were passed in an attempt to prevent another economic collapse caused by risky Wall Street practices. The GOP tried to to rescind the healthcare reform law that prevents insurance companies from terminating coverage when beneficiaries get sick and prohibits the practice of refusing coverage to people with pre-existing conditions. Influential Republicans this year have called for repealing laws forbidding child labor, laws guaranteeing minimum wage and laws protecting the environment. They’ve demanded elimination of federal funding for organizations like the Public Broadcasting System that educates preschoolers, Head Start, which provides opportunity to poor children, and Planned Parenthood, which uses 97 percent of its funds to provide general, obstetrical and gynecological medical care to women, many of whom are rural and poor.

...Republicans are attempting to impose their selfish belief system on the selfless American people, people like the citizens of Bedford Falls who rush to the rescue of neighbors....It won’t work, just like it didn’t in “It’s a Wonderful Life.” Republicans will fail in their attempt to make America Pottersville because the 99 percent believe avarice is a sin, not a value. The GOP will fail because greed is not the American way.

*******************************************************************

Leo Gerard

Leo W. Gerard, International President of the United Steelworkers (USW), was elected in October to his second four-year term since first taking office in 2001 after the retirement of former president George Becker.

Gerard serves on the AFL-CIO's Executive Council (www.aflcioi.org), where he chairs the AFL-CIO's Public Policy Committee. He serves on the U.S. National Commission on Energy Policy, and is a charter board member of the Apollo Alliance (www.apolloalliance.org), a non-profit public policy initiative for creating good jobs in pursuit of energy independence.

Gerard is a founding partner in 2006 with the Sierra Club of the Blue Green Alliance (www.bluegreenalliance.org), which today includes the Natural Resources Defense Council and four other unions dedicated to expanding jobs in the green economy. He also helped create the Washington-based Alliance for American Manufacturing (www.americanmanufacturing.org), a unique non-partisan, non-profit partnership forged to strengthen manufacturing in the U.S. that’s made up of America's leading manufacturers and the USW.

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