Republican Economic Jihad: The Case For Democratic Socialism
With this piece’s title, I am not claiming that Republicans are Muslim terrorists. The term “Jihad” refers to the religious duty of Muslims to maintain the religion, and this term is very metaphorically applicable to Republican fiscal conservatism because Republicans’ favored neoliberal, supply-side economic theories have become a pseudo-religion that they strictly maintain with fundamentalist fervor.
Republicans pledge oaths never to raise taxes, cultishly disparage nonbelievers who do not share their economic beliefs, and arguably believe in a numinous spirit with supernatural ability to lower governmental deficits after cutting governmental income. Some Republican heretics have gone so far as to accuse fiscal conservatives of practicing voodoo, but I am merely, as a figure of speech, juxtaposing the Muslim prophet Muhammad with the Republican profit of Arthur Laffer.
Fortunately, for the sake of analysis, fiscal conservative economic policy is really simple. Its simplicity no doubt has helped it so completely dominate the Republican Party’s economic philosophies. The main idea is to cut taxes for super rich people and hope that these now even richer people spend their money giving jobs to poor people in a trickle-down fashion. And not hoarding it all, like super rich people have been known to do. And like super rich people, by definition, are etymologically expected to do. Hence the religious, supernatural aspect of voodoo economics.
Now that I have explained Republicans’ pseudo-religion of fundamentalist, supply-side economics, you might be interested in converting, but maybe you still have not heard enough to truly commit just yet. Maybe you feel lost and are looking for political-economic-religious guidance, but you just do not know if supply-side economics is right for you, or if the Republican Party is the true defender of the supply-side faith.
For your convenience, I have compiled the following list of governmental questions you might be asking yourself in your daily life, and I have included the Republican answers to them:
1. Should we spend tax money to improve crumbling roads, bridges, tunnels, dams, old school buildings and unprotected electrical grids? Republicans say no, and suggest tax cuts that help mostly super rich people hold to even more of their money.
2. Should we spend tax money to ensure that children have early education programs, have enough to eat at school, have extracurricular programs after school, or have the resources they need in school to learn and be prepared for life? Republicans say no, and suggest tax cuts that help mostly super rich people hold on to even more of their money.
3. Should we spend tax money so that every American has the option to go to a college, university, or trade school so that we have a highly educated citizenry able to compete in our globalized world economy? Should we spend tax money so that student debt shrinks below credit card debt, and that our most educated, motivated young people are not crippled with a decade of debt when they graduate? Republicans say no, and suggest tax cuts that help mostly super rich people hold on to even more of their money.
4. Should we spend tax money to ensure that healthcare is a right for all people, that people do not go bankrupt if they get ill, that kids can be insured on their parents’ plans until they are economically independent, that there are no lifetime limits to health insurance, or that preexisting conditions should not be a death sentence? Republicans say no, offer to repeal Obamacare’s working solutions to these problems and suggest tax cuts that help mostly super rich people hold on to even more of their money.
5. Should we spend tax money to improve the safety net so that the youngest, oldest, poorest and most disabled people in our society can live their lives with dignity and the opportunity to avoid homelessness, malnourishment, early death, and general despair with moralistic, compassionate assistance? Republicans say no, argue for legislative social Darwinism, and suggest tax cuts that help mostly super rich people hold on to even more of their money.
6. Should we spend tax money to keep America at the forefront of scientific and medical research and development so that our society is the most advanced, wealthy and opportunistic in the world? Republicans say no, and suggest tax cuts that help mostly super rich people hold on to even more of their money.
7. Should we spend tax money subsidizing clean and futuristic energy industries that are both endlessly renewable and freely available? Republicans say no, and argue for tax money subsidizing money on toxic, finite, and costly energy industries that help mostly superrich coal and oil people hold on to even more of their money.
8. Should we spend tax money helping naturalize citizens both legal and illegal along with international refugees who are vital to our economy, communities, families, national identity and international reputation? Republicans say no, kick them out, build walls, and suggest tax cuts that help mostly super rich people hold on to even more of their money.
If you agree with the Republican answers to these questions, stop reading. This article is satirical, and if you have not changed your mind about the role of government in American society these last paragraphs will only waste more of your time. Actually keep reading, I have one more question: are you a super rich person trying to hold onto even more of your money?
Yes? Okay, maybe stop reading.
No? Then I hate to break it to you, but, even though this supply-side faith may seem warm and inviting to you, they are just trying to sell you something. But it is not an actual, tangible product, it is the statistically false hope that someday you will be super rich. And it costs a lot: an actually warm and inviting, democratically socialized society. If you disagreed at all with the Republican answers to our governmental questions, read up on Bernie Sanders. He’s a Democratic Socialist and answers “yes” to all of our questions.
And if you are super rich, December is coming up — go see a community theatre production of A Christmas Carol. You will support your community, and hopefully have a change of heart. Scrooge realizes that his bank account will be worthless when he dies, no matter how much money is in it. Don’t be the real life Scrooge.