The Republican Paid-For Agenda

Dave Johnson

The Republicans intend to deliver for their constituents. What is their agenda, and who are the constituents who they will delivering for?

Here are a few examples. (Leave more examples in the comments.)

Oil and coal. First and foremost on any list of items on the Republican agenda is to do whatever the oil and coal lobby wants:

  • Keystone pipeline: Moves Canadian tar-sands oil to a U.S. port so it can be sold to China.
  • More drilling on public land and offshore.
  • Keep the oil company subsidies going.
  • Continue to allow dumping fossil fuel pollution into our air at no cost.
  • Kill efforts to help build a U.S. green energy industry by killing solar and wind tax credits.
  • Kill efforts to move from oil-based automobiles by killing credits for electric cars and infrastructure.
  • Gut public transportation and prevent high-speed rail.
  • Block efforts to do something about the climate crisis.

Billionaires. Next up on any list of Republican priorities, of course, is to do what the billionaires (and their giant corporations in general) want:

  • Tax “reform” which means one thing: cut top tax rates.
  • Corporate “tax reform,” which means cutting taxes on the corporations, and letting them bring back that $2 trillion they a hoarding outside the U.S. without paying the up-to $700 billion in taxes owed on that cash.

“Defense” industry. The military-contractor lobby has been getting its way since President Eisenhower warned that “we must guard against the acquisition of unwarranted influence” by the “military-industrial complex.” He warned that “the potential for the disastrous rise of misplaced power exists and will persist.” And here we are with misplaced power persisting.

Wall Street:

  • Gut the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau that works to prevent Wall Street from defrauding citizens.
  • “Free trade” agreements with “Investor-State-Dispute-Settlement” provisions that let investors sue governments in corporate courts for things they might do that hurt profits – like protecting citizens from tobacco.
  • Gut unions so wages are low and benefits go away.
  • Gut public-employee pensions.
  • Privatize Social Security.

Insurance lobby:

  • Privatize Medicare. (It’s right there in their House-passed budget outline.)
  • “Tort reform” so people can’t sue companies, doctors etc. when harmed.

Telecom lobby:

  • Block Net Neutrality.

FedEx, UPS lobby:

  • Post office destruction and privatization.

Republican constituent summary: oil and coal lobby, billionaires, military-contractor lobby, Wall Street lobby, insurance lobby, telecom lobby, various other corporate interests. Summary: not you.

The Republican Party has become entirely a play-for-pay operation. If you want to get something done in Congress in the next two years, you’d better be ready to pay up.

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