“In this present crisis,” the Republican Party platform declared, quoting Ronald Reagan, “government is not the solution to our problem, government is the problem.”
Not! In fact, Republican governors called on President Obama for emergency aid. Gov Jindal criticized the federal government for not doing enough, even after Obama declared a national emergency.
To paraphrase the sainted Reagan once more, “It isn’t so much that conservatives are ignorant, it’s just that they know so much that isn’t so.”
Hurricanes tend to concentrate the mind, and to sober the most besotted ideologues. But Isaac clearly had little effect on the platform that Mitt Romney’s Republican Party plans to run on this fall.
Much attention sensibly has been given to the extreme social policy of the GOP’s platform. Opposition to abortion with no exceptions, even for rape or incest, not even for “legitimate” or “forcible” rape,” which Rep. Ryan calls a “method of conception.”
Or the vicious immigration policy that, as The Washington Post concluded in a recent editorial, “is basically a declaration of war on the 11 million undocumented immigrants in the country.”
Or the dog-whistle racism over work requirements in welfare, now a centerpiece of dishonest and tawdry Romney ads. No wonder Romney garnered a well-earned 0 percent of African Americans’ votes in a recent poll.
Romney has sought to distance himself from the Republican extremes on abortion. But he is the leading advocate of the other aspect of new age Republican extremism: its Gilded Age economic policies.
For all the zealotry of the Christian Coalition or the tea party, the Romney-Ryan ticket is most notable for its fierce defense of privilege. Consider:
At a time when the top 1 percent of Americans captured a staggering 93 percent of national income growth in 2010, Romney advocates both extending the extra Bush tax cuts for the rich and another round of tax cuts that would offer those making a million or more another $175,000 annual tax break.
Romney says he’ll pay for these tax cuts by closing loopholes, but he refuses to reveal which ones. But he does state clearly that he won’t end the biggest loophole of all for the very wealthy — the 15 percent tax on capital gains and dividends. And as befits the man from Bain, he won’t condemn the ridiculous tax dodge — the so-called “carried-interest” tax rate — that allows private-equity billionaires to report their fees as capital gains rather than as wages. The result, as the nonpartisan Tax Policy Center reports, is that Romney is running on a policy that will raise taxes on working families and lower them on the rich.