Why I'm not a Republican
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Reasons to leave the Republican Party
by Kenn Gividen • View print-friendly version
• President Bush has borrowed over $1.05 trillion from foreign governments and institutions, more than all previous 42 administrations combined. Divide $1.05 trillion by the nation's population, 297,898,704, to discover the amount of debt owed per capita by every man, woman and child across the nation compliments of George Walker Bush.
• The federal debt was $8.2 trillion at the end of 2005. That up from $5.5 trillion in just seven years; the "Republican era."
• And tax cuts? Forget it. During the first five years of the Bush administration, non-defense discretionary spending rose 27.9 percent. During Clinton's first five years in office it rose 1.9 percent. Such aggressive spending increases will not only choke out tax cuts, but will require additional funding.
• The quarterly deficit in 2005 was $200 billion. That's double the quarterly deficit of 2004 and four times that of 1998 when liberal Bill Clinton was entrenched in Washington. The Republicans are outspending the liberals four to one.
•There were 13,997 pork barrel projects during the Republican congressional leadership in fiscal 2005 That's 10 times more than 1994.
• Republicans swept into Washington on campaign promises to end such pork barrel projects. (Remember the infamous Contract with America?) The number of pork barrel projects has increased 873 percent from 1995 to 2005. The cost for these projects? In 1995 pork barrel projects cost American taxpayers $3.1 billion. Under the Republican watch, that amount increased to $27.3 billion.
The GOP has simply not kept it promise.
• In 2000, the year George W. Bush was elected, there were 4,326 pork barrel projects. That number increased every year since. In 2005 there were 13,997 such projects; a 223.5 percent increase. The cost for these projects increased annually, from $17.7 billion in 2000 to $27.3 billion in 2005. The Republicans boast of being a party committed to reducing government waste and downsizing the bureaucracy. In reality, the are doing the exact opposite.
• Consider the prescription drug "benefit." Over ten years (2005 to 2015), the Republicans will add $1.2 trillion dollars to this entitlement. Oddly, such redistribution of wealth was once dubbed "Hillarycare" by conservatives and condemned as socialized medicine.
• Entitlements and welfare, called "transfer payments," comprised less than one third of the federal government's budget in the early 1960s. By 2005 when the Republicans held firm control of Washington, they constituted nearly 60 percent of the federal budget. Total? About $1.4 trillion annually.
• Over half of the federal budget goes to entitlements and welfare. One observer concluded, "The US government's main function now is redistribution: taking money from one segment of the population and giving it to another segment. In a few decades, transfer payments are expected to make up more than 75 percent of federal government spending."
• Extravagant government waste is not unique to Washington Republicans. Alaska's Republican governor, Frank Murkowski, supported construction of the so-called “Bridges to Nowhere.” $229 million is designated for the Gravina Island Bridge, connecting Gravina Island to the town of Ketchikan. Gravina Island has a population of 50. The cost of the bridge is over $2.5 million dollars per resident.
• Alaska's Republican governor also wants to waste $223 million for the Knik Arm Bridge. — it will be renamed Don Young’s Way after House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee Chairman Don Young (R-Alaska). The mega-structure will provide an alternative route from Anchorage to a mostly deserted port.
• Governor Murkowski notes Alaska has a $1.2 billion surplus, yet funding for the bridges will tap federal dollars. As a true Republican, we would expect the governor to return all of the $1.2 billion to Alaska's taxpayers. The governor has a alternate idea: Rather than give the money back to taxpayers, spend a part of it on a public relations campaign to convince voters that Alaska's politicians aren't bilking them.
• Another note about Republicans in Alaska: Your federal tax dollars helped pay for a $500,000 image of a fish to be painted on one of Alaska Airlines' jets. It normally cost about $50,000 to paint a jet. Your dollars were ciphened to the non-government business, compliments of Republican Senator, Ted Stevens.
• In 2003 the Republican House of Representatives flat-out rejected an effort by Jim Nussie (R-IA) to confront government waste. In 2004, the Republican-dominated Senate rejected a similar effort by their colleage, Don Nickles (R-OK).
• Republican lawmakers lost $24.5 billion. Literally. The Department of the Treasury’s 2003 Financial Report of the United States Government included a brief section titled “Unreconciled Transactions Affecting the Change in Net Position.” It noted that $24.5 billion, spent while Republicans were on watch, can't be found. Someone spent it on something; but no one knows who spent the money or why.
By comparison, the gross domestic product of Bolivia is $23.6 billion. In fact more than half the world's nations have a gross domestic product under $24.5 billion.
If such malfeasance were uncovered in a corporation, the company's stock holders would promptly remove the board of directors and the corporate officers, including the CEO.
• $100 million was wasted on unused airline tickets. Purchased by the Defense Department between 1997 and 2003, the tickets were fully refundable. No one bothered to return the used tickets. Republicans dominated both houses of congress during that time, and the White House three of the six years.
• Between 2001 and 2002 auditors discovered 27,000 transactions in which the Pentagon, which answered to a Republican commander-in-chief, paid twice for the same tickets. The cost to taxpayers was about $8 million.
• While Republicans were keeping watch, employees of the Department of Agriculture were using government issued credit cards to purchase Ozzy Osbourne concert tickets. In 2005 there were 55,000 USDA credit cards in circulation. 1,549 of those cards were in the wallets of former USDA employees. In addition to Osbourne tickets, those cards were used to buy "tattoos, lingerie, bartender school tuition, car payments, and cash advances." An investigation found that $5.8 million had been stolen by USDA cardholders in six months; or about $1 million per month.
•Credit card abuse by employees of the The Defense Department is not as severe as the USDA abuse. Defense Department employees only wasted $73,950 of taxpayers' money on prostitutes and exotic dance clubs. The abuse, committed over an 18-month period, also included $102,400 for admission to entertainment events, $48,250 for gambling and $69,300 for cruises.
• While Republicans hold the purse strings, Medicare often pays eight times what other federal agencies pay for the same medications and medical supplies. For example, when the Veterans Administration was forking over $1.02 in entitlement money per litre of saline solution, Medicare was being billed — and paying — $8.26. The Republicans promised to clean up such fraud.
• Then there's the problem with co-payments. Medicare pays 80 percent, the beneficiary pays 20 percent. Using the inflated cost of saline solution (mentioned above) as an example, the beneficiary would be required to pay $1.65 rather than 20 cents.
Stop and think about the above scenario. The beneficiaries would be paying $1.65 for a product that should cost $1.05. They are actually paying 160 percent for the product; not 20 percent.
When extrapolated over the $9.4 billion in Medicare claims (2002), the cost to the elderly is staggering. Republicans are doing nothing.
• Another thought concerning the Republicans' mismanagement of Medicare: In 2000, Bill Clinton's last year in office, the cost for the 24 leading drugs was $1.9 billion higher than price paid by the VA and other federal agencies. Conservatives expected Republicans to contain these inflated costs to the elderly and taxpayers. They haven't.
• In 2002 we learned how the Republicans were faring with education costs. The Department of Education, brain-child of liberal Democrat Jimmy Carter, remains alive, well and gouging taxpayers. Republicans don't seem to mind. The General Accounting Office noted that three students were awarded $55,000 in loans to attend the Y’Hica Institute of London in spite of the fact that neither the Y’Hica Institute of London nor the three students existed.
Is $55,000 is a small amount compared to the federal budget? It's a matter of perspective. Consider, for example, the total amount you paid in federal taxes last year. That one stroke of incompetence likely devoured your tax payment. And it's not just your family paying for the Republicans' lack of oversight. It was recently determined that $21.8 billion worth of student loans were in default; that's money that comes directly from taxpayers like you.
• Does the federal government need a teen pregnancy program? Liberals would say, "yes." Conservative Republicans, however, would consign such programs to the private sector rather than bill taxpayers. Those conservatives may be shocked to discover that, according to a report by The Heritage Foundation, the federal government has 27 teen pregnancy programs. The Republicans who control Washington have done little to consolidate the overlapping and duplicity. Meanwhile, taxpayers continue to cover their costs. These include:
342 economic development programs;
130 programs serving the disabled;
130 programs serving at-risk youth;
90 early childhood development programs;
75 programs funding international education, cultural, and training exchange activities;
72 federal programs dedicated to assuring safe water;
50 homeless assistance programs;
45 federal agencies conducting federal criminal investigations;
40 separate employment and training programs;
28 rural development programs;
27 teen pregnancy programs;
26 small, extraneous K–12 school grant programs;
23 agencies providing aid to the former Soviet republics;
19 programs fighting substance abuse;
17 rural water and waste-water programs in eight agencies;
17 trade agencies monitoring 400 international trade agreements;
12 food safety agencies;
11 principal statistics agencies;
4 overlapping land management agencies
• "The end justifies the means" is the essence of situational ethics, a philosophy that most conservatives, Christians in particular, find repulsive. Yet that logic prevailed when George W. Bush excused spying on e-mail messages sent by private citizens. The dangerous precedent established by the president will, no doubt, be exploited by the federal government in years to come.
Call it spying and lying. Republican apologists would have us believe that apart from illegally spying on private citizens terrorism could not be contained. That's hard to imagine. But, nonetheless, they insisted that containment of terrorism was the end that justified the means. The 9/11 terrorists attacks were the excuse. In reality, the Bush administration was illegally spying on Americans long before 9/11.
• Speaking of lying, consider this statement by Rep. Tom DeLay (R-Texas): "After 11 years of Republican majority we've pared [the budget] down pretty good."
For those who care to know the truth, the Bush administration has outspent Democrats Lyndon Johnson and Bill Clinton. During the Johnson administration, discretionary spending increased an outrageous 25.2 percent. When liberal Clinton was at the helm, discretionary spending actually dropped 8.2 percent. The Bush administration has sent discretionary spending into the stratosphere at a whopping 35.8 percent. Ronald Reagan managed an inexcusable 11.8 percent increase while discretionary spending under Richard Nixon declined 16.5 percent.
The Republican Bush administration has also outspent Johnson, Nixon, Reagan and Clinton in non-discretionary spending (27.9 percent increase) and defense (44.5 percent increase.)
• As of October 29, 2005, President Bush had not vetoed a single spending bill. Instead, the Republican signed every spending bill. These include "huge education, farm subsidy, and transportation bills."
• What did George Bush mean by "compassionate conservatism?" Let's take a look.
In addition to $62 billion allotted for disaster relief, the Repubicans in Washington taxed, excuse me, tacked on an additional $250 billion Hurrcan Katrina relief bill. The end, you'll remember, justifies the means. The end, in this case, is pandering to voters at taxpayers expense. In short, it's buying votes with your money. That's "compassionate conservativism." Now you know.
• For the federal government to respond to disaster is reasonable. But is it reasonable for the Republicans to give $2,000 to every person claiming to be a victim of Hurricane Katrina? The $2,000 deposited in their accounts is for their use at their discretion. What's more, evacuees were given $5,000 Worker Recovery Accounts for job training, education, or child care expenses. Displaced children were awarded education vouchers. Small small businesses were given loans and loan guarantees.
• More situational ethics: Republican apologists boast that America has suffered no terrorist attacks since 9/11. Hordes of cops bullying decent citizens at the nation's airports serve as exhibit A in their testimony. But while Americans are being scrutinized by invasive gadgetery, terrorism runs rampant. It's unabated. It's uncontested.
Care for an expample? Here are three of thousands.
While cops loomed over luggage at Nashville's airport, an elderly woman was terrorized by three thugs who kidnapped her, raped her and forced her to use cocaine. There were no Islamic terrorists in sight, nor was there a police presence. The woman was terrorized by home-grown thugs.
In Indianapolis a 27-year-old mother was gunned down in the streets. The news reports identified the domestic terrorists as drug dealers, angry that the woman had testified against them. There was no police presence where she was murdered. There was ample police presence at the Indianapolis International Airport.
In Milwaukee, a 54-year-old man was dragged from his car and beaten nearly to death. The man had honked a group of teens blocking the street. They retaliated. It was the latest in a long string of such mob violence in that city. Need to be secure in Milwaukee? Go to the airport.
The boast of Republican apologists that they are containing terrorism simply isn't true.
• Brian Reidl of the Heritage Foundation hastened to note that “anti-poverty spending has surged 39% under President Bush to a record 16% of all federal spending” while “entitlement spending is projected to nearly double over the next decade.”
• Spending on education has soared 137 percent between 2001 and 2006.
What's more, government spending has increased 33 percent since 2001 and, under President Bush’s budget proposal released February 6, 2006, will continue to surge.
• The $2.77 trillion proposed budget is a record high.
• Most who claim to be conservative Republicans are, in fact, Republican conservatives: Their loyalty to the party and its leaders takes precedence over their principles.
• Righteousness — not regulation — exalts a nation. That biblical principle escapes many Christian Republicans who embrace the illusion that throwing laws at illicit behavior makes it go away. They fail to grasp a simple concept: To empower government to take away one's beer can is to empower government to take away one's Bible. They empower government, rather than God, to provide morality, welfare and education. The god in which they trust is the government. They have rendered to Caesar that which is God's. And that's why I am not a Republican.
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When one looks beyond their emotions to cold, hard reality, a very different image of the Republican agenda emerges. While we a appreciate the appointment of Mr. Alito to the Supreme Court, the harsh reality persists that the Republicans are borrowing and spending at a rate that outpaces the liberal Democrats four to one.
I'm sorry to hear you feel that way....I praise God for such a wonderful man of God as our dear President, President George W. Bush! I truly believe God has placed him in this position for such as time as this.
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