*Over the next few weeks I will examine the Republican Party’s national platform. That is, the official statement of purpose and vision for the party and presumably the policies that Romney would work to implement should he get elected President. Today I will go over the economic principles.
There are four predominant concepts make up the economic portion of the Republican platform: getting Americans back to work, supporting and strengthening small businesses, and helping to support a 21st Century workforce. In addition there is the catch-all concept of balancing the budget through decreasing spending which will lead to a decreased need for taxation and in fact lower taxes.
Getting Americans back to work and strengthening small businesses are noble thoughts. However the path by which Republicans would like to achieve these goals are illogical. Republicans would like less regulations on corporations with the thought that corporations would grow and thereby offer jobs. As I’ve written before (http://www.eurweb.com/2010/11/the-socialist%E2%80%99s-journal-the-supply-side-contradiction/) it is hardly reasonable to expect good businesses to do anything but act in the interest of their own business. This is critical because hiring people does not minimize costs, and minimizing costs is the path to profit. I have no doubt that a company without restraints will expand and hire more people, but that will be a controlled and limited expansion of the workforce.
Furthermore deregulation would be the worst thing for small businesses. When the rules of fair play are eliminated, most small businesses will be swallowed up and/or driven out of business by more aggressive competitors. This is the nature of unrestrained capitalism. This is the nature of the truly free market that Republicans are so fond of promoting. Sure some companies will be hugely successful as they drive their competitors bankrupt; and the people in those companies will be very prosperous. But the people in the companies that are going bankrupt will be unemployed and fighting for the fewer jobs as the successful company expands.
To some degree, if you believe in competition then there is nothing wrong with this picture. But our government should be about ensuring that as many people as possible are working. Government should be in the business of leveling the playing field so that all companies have a chance. When the rules are gone, stronger companies will engage in underhanded tactics to slant things in their favor.
All of this commentary would be for naught if our workforce could transition from industries being taken over by a few corporations to new industries. And another plank in the Republican platform would help the American people move in that direction – supporting a 21st century workforce. Essentially this is the Republican party stating that it we need workers that are able to adapt and excel in different jobs and working environments. Another legitimate goals. But what process does the Republican party map out for getting our labor force to such a skill level? None. In fact the Republican platform attacks the current administration for wasteful policies aimed at building a 21st century workforce. Republicans would like to cut spending for job training programs and education, even though these are the very things that would help achieve their stated goal of building a 21st century workforce.
Of course this leads into a main component of the Republican philosophy: cutting taxes. According to Republicans, taxes are cut because government spending is decreased because government will not be as involved in American society. There is something to be said for this version of American as there was less government intervention in everyday life when the country was founded. Nevertheless another of my articles (http://www.eurweb.com/2012/03/the-socialists-journal-every-changing-america/) addresses exactly why we cannot operate our country in 2012 as if it were 1790. Furthermore the limited government and limited tax burden that were emblematic of early America are no longer the reality of our country because laws passed by Congress and determined to be Constitutional by the Supreme Court. The expansion of our government’s role in our lives was sanctioned by our lawmakers and it is necessary for our country to operate optimally in the 21st century.
Taken together these planks of the Republican platform would have our country without many rules to govern how businesses should operate, less taxes to support a bureaucracy to enforce the laws, and as a result more people being elbowed out of work by bigger, stronger, companies, and less of an opportunity for the average American to rise above this situation because of increased costs for higher education.
If this is a rosy picture in your mind it is certainly your prerogative to vote for Romney. If this isn’t what you’d like the United States to become, you’ll vote for Obama.
Trevor Brookins is a free lance writer in Rockland County, New York. He is currently working on a book about American culture during the Cold War. His writing has appeared in The Journal News. You can reach him at firstname.lastname@example.org or follow him on Twitter @historictrev.
*Michael Steele is now on the payroll of MSNBC and TheRoot.
The former Republican National Committee Chairman, whose rocky two-year reign ended earlier this year, has been hired by MSNBC as a political analyst, and also TheRoot.com as a contributing editor.
The website’s executive editor Joel Dreyfuss says Steele’s addition simply reinforces its original goal — to represent “a multiplicity of black views.”
“We don’t believe that there’s only one way that black folks think, or one set of politics,” Dreyfuss tells EUR. “We’ve always had some conservative writers. John McWhorter is a regular contributor, we had Lenny McAlister for some time. Sophia Nelson’s another one. So we’ve had a number of people you would say are more to the right.”
Joel Dreyfuss, Executive Editor TheRoot.
“We are mostly progressive and liberal, but I think we do make a conscious effort to bring opposing views to the discussion,” Dreyfuss added.
Meanwhile, Steele has been a regular guest on MSNBC since he lost re-election to the RNC in January. The network, which has been rather obvious in its effort to become the liberal answer to Fox News, said Steele will now be featured regularly in their discussion panels to provide commentary.
“It’s an honor to contribute and engage in the dialogue on MSNBC,” Steele said in a statement about his new position. “I look forward to engaging a diverse audience to share insights and analysis about the people, issues, and events shaping America’s future. I’m sure our discussions will be both informative and a bit spirited!”
*Republican National Committee Chairman Michael Steele dropped his re-election bid Friday and endorsed former Bush administration official Maria Cino to succeed him, reports CNN.
“I really thank you for the chairmanship of this party, for the two years that I have had and at this time I will step aside for others to lead,” he said. “But in so doing I hope you all appreciate the legacy I leave despite the noise. Despite the difficulties, we won.”
“As many of you figured out I am a fighter, and I am a little bit obstinate,” he continued. “But I am because I believe in the fight … I will step aside because I think the party is ready for something different.”
Steele then released his delegates and asked them to support Cino, whose bid is backed by House Speaker John Boehner.
*Monday evening Republican National Committee Chairman Michael Steele stunned friends and foes by launching a fight to keep his job.
Steele discussed his decision during a conference call Monday night with members of the Republican National Committee.
His decision means the party will be debating the record of its first African American chairman as it takes control of the House. Steele and Republican congressional leaders have been at odds, and a bruising fight would be an unwelcome distraction.
Steele faces an uphill battle to keep his job, note party veterans, including some who say they like him personally but doubt he can win. His move sets up a battle with half a dozen rivals.
*Fresh calls for Michael Steele’s resignation as RNC chairman comes in the wake of his recent comments blaming President Barack Obama for the Afghanistan war and suggesting it could not be won.
At a Republican fundraiser in Connecticut on Thursday, Steele was videotaped while criticizing Obama’s decision to bolster the Afghanistan war effort. The comments contradicted the stance of the party, which has consistently pushed for more troops and funding in Afghanistan.
“This was a war of Obama’s choosing,” said Steele, chairman of the Republican National Committee. “This is not something the United States had actively prosecuted or wanted to engage in.”
Steele also called the recent resignation of Afghan war commander General Stanley McChrystal “comical” and made fun of Obama for deciding to increase the number of U.S. troops in Afghanistan.
“If he’s such a student of history, has he not understood that you know that’s the one thing you don’t do, is engage in a land war in Afghanistan?” Steele asked the crowd in a video promptly distributed by Democrats and posted on YouTube. [Watch below.]
“Because everyone who has tried, over a thousand years of history, has failed,” he said.
The United States invaded Afghanistan under Republican President George W. Bush in retaliation for the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks by al Qaeda, whose leaders had taken refuge there.
The comments sparked a wave of criticism from Democrats and calls for Steele’s resignation, led by prominent Republican conservative columnist Bill Kristol.
“Needless to say, the war in Afghanistan was not ‘a war of Obama’s choosing,’” Kristol said in a blog on the Weekly Standard magazine site. “It has been prosecuted by the United States under Presidents Bush and Obama. Republicans have consistently supported the effort.
“There are, of course, those who think we should pull out of Afghanistan and they’re certainly entitled to make their case. But one of them shouldn’t be the chairman of the Republican Party.”
Steele issued a statement trying to backtrack a bit from his original statements, saying Obama’s shift in the U.S. military focus from Iraq to Afghanistan means “this is his strategy.”
“As we have learned throughout history, winning a war in Afghanistan is a difficult task. We must also remember that after the tragedy of September 11, 2001, it is also a necessary one,” Steele said. “The stakes are too high for us to accept anything but success in Afghanistan.”
Democratic National Committee spokesman Brad Woodhouse comments: “It’s simply unconscionable that Michael Steele would undermine the morale of our troops when what they need is our support and encouragement.”