*I am still recovering from the midterm election results, but I hope two years of a Republican-run Congress will convince voters to get off their asses and put a Democrat in the White House.
I often find it hard to take Republicans seriously, because so many of their arguments fall apart under close scrutiny. Republicans are an odd bunch, some of their ideas show many of them have no idea how government works. During the rise of the tea party, there was an infamous quote from a woman at a rally, who said, “Take your government hands off my Medicare!” Who does she think provides Medicare? I never got the mentality behind teabaggers and even their love for President Ronald Reagan. Reagan once said the most frightening words in the English language were, “I’m from the government and I’m here to help.” He had a general disdain for government, which was odd because he sought the highest government position in the land.
Today’s tea baggers are even more conservative than Reagan, and have absolute contempt for the government. They loath government employees and think the government can’t get anything right, even though thousands of Americans depend on services, such as Social Security and Medicare. Maybe teabaggers’ contempt for the government is the reason why they are quick to push for a government shutdown.
This hatred for the government is actually pretty dishonest. Many teabaggers have benefitted from government programs, they just don’t seem to realize it. My definition of a teabagger is someone who hates all government programs, except for the ones he uses. In 2012, the New York Times ran an in-depth article about Chisago County, Minnesota which had turned into a Republican stronghold. One of the people featured in the article, Gordy Peterson, was a self-described conservative, who railed against government spending. He also later admitted he had been on disability for three decades! The article stated, “Support for Republican candidates, who generally promise to cut government spending, has increased since 1980 in states where the federal government spends more than it collects. The greater the dependence, the greater the support for Republican candidates. Conversely, states that pay more in taxes than they receive in benefits tend to support Democratic candidates. “
I was researching Erik Prince, founder of the notorious mercenary company Blackwater. Prince, who has deep ties to the Republican party, describes himself as a libertarian and thinks the government does things inefficiently. The growth of Blackwater was brought about because the George W. Bush administration decided it wanted the military to focus on fighting wars and many of its services could be outsourced. As a result Blackwater has received more than $1 billion in government contracts. Blackwater soldiers were tasked with protecting American diplomats and even took on some CIA duties. Blackwater is a great example of what Republicans mean when they talk about privatization. What they actually mean is they want to turn over government services to a private company, owned by one of their cronies. And the taxpayer still gets stuck with the bill, but usually gets worse service.
If your company has received more than $1 billion in taxpayer money, then essentially it’s a government company. You don’t get to turn around and bash the government about being inefficient, when your sucking on the government teat. If you hate the government so much, how about you stop taking its money?
Another example of this hypocrisy is seen in rising GOP star Joni Ernst, who was recently elected to the Senate. Ernst, who has been compared to Sarah Palin (Is that a good thing?), has bragged about her expertise in castrating hogs as an example of how she would cut pork when she got to DC. She also said she keeps her nine millimeter handy to protect against a potentially tyrannical government.
She conveniently fails to mention that she has spent a lifetime working for the government she supposedly loathes. She is career National Guard and has health care and a nice retirement package paid for by the government. The Des Moines Register writes, “Joni Ernst hates the money government spends, but she sure enjoys the revenue her family receives from the government and will continue to receive from it. She was a county auditor, state senator and National Guard officer. She will receive a military pension at age 60. She is eligible to take advantage of Social Security laws due to the fact that her husband is 61 and will be exempt from her proposed privatization scheme.”
I would take Ernst more seriously if she didn’t benefit from the very government programs she rails against. Tea partiers seem to live by the motto, “I hate the government, but give me my government program.”