2010 Elections / Barack Obama / Bush Tax Cuts / Congressional Republicans / George W. Bush Legacy / Stimulus Package / Supply-Side Economics / Tax Cut Dogma

Surgeon General’s Warning: Voting GOP May Be Hazardous to Your Health

November 1, 2010


The eve of an election is normally when a party makes its “closing argument” to the voters, but with candidates like Sharron Angle running close or even ahead this late in the campaign it is clear something bolder is required to get voters’ attention. It is time to break out the secret weapon and it is not President Obama or Clinton but Regina Benjamin.

“Regina Benjamin?” you ask. Since this election clearly impacts the well being of all Americans, Surgeon General Benjamin can issue warnings to be placed in voting booths across the country. Given that time is short and this is somewhat of a “unique” interpretation of the Surgeon General’s role, I have taken the liberty to list a few warnings that Dr. Benjamin might want to consider.

Warning: May Cause Blindness and Unemployment

Since 1980, the Republicans have been wed to Reaganomics (aka “Voodoo Economics”); ignoring all evidence that it has limited economic stimulative effect and causes huge budget deficits. With the economy in a free fall in 2008, this willful blindness led Republicans to argue for more of the same and months later only three Republicans voted for President Obama’s stimulus program to stop the economy’s free fall (although many got in line when the funds were disbursed). Yet according to a recent study by Moody’s and Princeton University, without TARP and the stimulus GDP would be 11 ½ percent lower this year and an additional 8.5 million people would be unemployed (equivalent to entire population of New York City) — bringing the unemployment rate to a post world war record of 15.9 percent.

Warning: Dangerous Power Surges

What is even worse is that the Republicans have repeatedly thrown working Americans under the bus in their pursuit of power as they blocked any further stimulus in order to exploit the increased unemployment it will cause. Case in point is the Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF) Emergency Fund which expired on September 30th. Even though TANF has created more than 250,000 jobs and has been praised by Republican Governors such as former RNC Chairman Haley Barbour, Senate Republicans blocked any renewal, including a compromise three month renewal, to ensure that layoffs began before the election.

Warning: May Cause Excessive Bleeding (from your wallet)

The Republican agenda can be summarized as “We are for tax cuts and are against whatever Obama wants.” While Republicans claim to have found religion in terms of fiscal sanity, they continue to advocate budget-busting solutions. According to the Congressional Budget Office (CBO), almost half of the increased deficits under President Bush are due to his tax cuts for the rich, yet the Republican agenda calls for more of the same. Republicans other top priority is repeal of Obamacare but, according to the CBO. repeal would increase the deficit by $455 billion or 35 percent.

Warning: Dangerous to Your Health

If you think Republicans are looking out for working Americans, you might want to know that their Pledge to America was written by a lobbyist for AIG, Exxon and Pfizer and that Republicans said “No” to working Americans in blocking extensions of unemployment benefits (even though it kept 3.3 million Americans out of poverty in 2009) and opposing health care and credit card reform (which will save consumers $10 billion a year in fees and interest), but said “Yes” to multinational conglomerates in blocking elimination of tax breaks for companies shipping jobs overseas, blocking an increase in the liability limit for oil spills and calling on President Obama to apologize to BP. This should not be surprising since after the conservative Supreme Court killed campaign finance restrictions, millions of corporate dollars (both foreign and domestic) have been pouring into the GOP’s piggy bank. Which makes you wonder whether the next Republican Party caucus will be in Dallas or Dubai.

Warning: For Decorative Use Only

The next time the Republicans try to wrap themselves in the flag, remember that the party of “No” also blocked the Wounded Veteran Job Security Act; the Radioactive Import Deterrence Act; National Bombing Prevention Act; Alien Smuggling and Terrorism Prevention Act; Veterans Retraining Act; Homeless Veterans Reintegration Program Reauthorization and the Disabled Veterans Home Improvement and Structural Alteration Grant Increase Act of 2009.

Just Say “No!”

The Republicans have said “No” to our recovery, “No” to fiscal sanity, “No” to workers, “No” to homeland security and “No” to veterans; while saying “Yes” to record unemployment, record number of uninsured, record deficits and record corporate money. You don’t have to be Dr. Benjamin or have a medical degree to realize that when Republicans ask for your vote on November 2nd, you should just say “No!”