Republicans say they’re pro-life, but in reality, they’re pro-death. Earlier this month, while no one was watching, Republicans in the House voted to extend a bunch of corporate tax breaks and subsidies, adding up to nearly $75 billion in tax breaks over the next decade. And, while they scream that the cost of food stamps or unemployment benefits must be "offset" by spending cuts elsewhere, they didn't ask for any offsets or increased taxes at all to pay for the billions to big corporations.
Of course, Republicans doling out tens of millions of dollars in corporate tax breaks and subsidies at the expense of American taxpayers isn’t surprising. And it’s also not surprising that Republicans across the country are following in the footsteps of their Washington colleagues.
Take Republicans down in Louisiana for example. Gov. Bobby Jindal and his Republican colleagues down in The Bayou State cut a nice $70,000 check, and send it the Robertson family, stars of the hit reality show “Duck Dynasty, for every episode that airs. That’s because Louisiana offers some pretty hefty tax breaks for television shows and movies that use that state as a backdrop. To date, as AddictingInfo.org points out, “Duck Dynasty has suckled on the government teat for a whopping total of $4.5 million over 64 episodes.”
Ironically, members of the Robertson family have railed against government welfare for poor people repeatedly, but apparently they’re just fine taking $4.5 million from big government. And to make matters worse, the Robertson’s were already millionaires long before “Duck Dynasty” hit the airwaves. They certainly don’t need any more money from the Louisiana government.
Meanwhile, as the already super-rich Robertson family is getting richer, the rest of Louisianans are suffering. That’s because Gov. Bobby Jindal has refused to expand Medicaid under Obamacare in his state, putting politics ahead of people’s lives. Right now, hundreds of thousands of Louisianans fall into the “Red-State Donut Hole,” and are without access to affordable and potentially life-saving healthcare.
Jindal has also repeatedly refused to fund programs that would help unemployed Louisianans get back on their feet, and rebuild their lives. And it’s those Louisianans without jobs and without access to life-saving healthcare who, along with Americans in similar situations across the country, are now starting to kill themselves - literally.
Researchers at the London School of Economics and the University of California-San Francisco have found that less generous unemployment programs are connected to higher suicide rates. Conversely, they found that states that offer strong unemployment programs experience significantly lower suicide rates. And while this new research may be startling, it’s really not that shocking.
In a study published in the Journal of Epidemiology and Community Health in 2002, Australian researchers found that the suicide rate in that country increased significantly when a Conservative government (similar to Republicans here in the U.S.) was in power. The BBC estimated that 35,000 Australians and Brits would not have committed suicide if conservatives had never run either government. Their headline was "More Suicides Under Conservative Rule."
So, we’ve known for a while now that suicide rates tend to increase during times of Conservatives governments, when money is going to corporations and the wealthy elite, at the expense of everyone else. Just look at the suicide rate in America from 1993 to 2010.
During the Clinton years, the suicide rate in America experienced a pretty steady decline, thanks to policies that were geared more towards helping working –class Americans, and less towards big corporations and the wealthy elite. But look what begins to happen in 2001, when George W. Bush takes office.
All of a sudden, America’s suicide rate begins to rise again, thanks to policies and legislation that again favor corporations and the wealthy elite over working-class Americans. By 2010, the suicide rate in America was the highest it had been since pre-1993 levels. So, despite pretty solid evidence showing that Conservative policies drive up suicides, lawmakers like Bobby Jindal are just fine continuing to help big business and the wealthy elite, while screwing over everyone else.
Just this weekend, speaking at the Ralph Reed-led Faith and Freedom Coalition’s annual conference, Jindal said that, “I can sense right now a rebellion brewing amongst these United States, where people are ready for a hostile takeover of Washington, D.C., to preserve the American Dream for our children and grandchildren.”
Right. That’s just what our country needs. More rich guys running around, and getting more tax breaks from Conservatives, while those same Conservatives refuse to fund healthcare and other essential programs for working-class Americans. Suicides in America will be off the chart!
We can’t let that happen. It’s time to save American lives, and stop the Party of Death.