Imagine you are one of the 800,000 people who have been here since they were children and their parents brought them. In other words, imagine you’re 25 or 35 years old and you have been here since you were four and you know nothing else but the United States. You think of yourself as an American. You graduated from an American high school, attended an American university and you work for an American company, where you provide goods and services to the American economy. You and your parents, who just happen to be from another country and didn’t jump through all the required hoops, have been paying American taxes for many years. In other words, you are American in every way, except for one small technicality.
Now, imagine Democrats pass the Dream Act, which would allow you to work to become an official citizen, but someone in the Republican Party blocks it from becoming law. You’re excited about the opportunity to become a citizen, but feel cheated by the fact that Republicans pulled the rug out from under you. Then, the American President changes the rules so that you have a path to becoming a citizen. You start doing the work that is necessary for that to happen, until the United States citizenry has a brain fart and elects a narcissistic asshole who cares about no one but himself and his spawn. That narcissistic asshole, completely out of spite just cancels the new rules just because the previous president created them. Suddenly, the government reneges on its promise to let you become a citizen and then dares the Democrats in Congress, who are in the minority, to pass a bill to reinstate the rule. He and his Republican enablers then essentially hold you and the other 800,000 “Dreamers” hostage, promising to deport you to a foreign country you have no knowledge of, because of a pure technicality.
Right now, it is February 13, and the “president” Tweeted the following this morning:
Negotiations on DACA have begun. Republicans want to make a deal and Democrats say they want to make a deal. Wouldn’t it be great if we could finally, after so many years, solve the DACA puzzle. This will be our last chance, there will never be another opportunity! March 5th.
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) February 13, 2018
In other words, if Congress doesn’t do his bidding, on March 5, he will start deporting Americans, based on a technicality. Keep in mind, DACA existed before HE HIMSELF canceled it as part of a hissy fit.
In what way is this not cruel? You’re brought here as a baby, you live here, you pay taxes here and you plan to spend your career here, raise a family here and all of that, but the narcissistic asshole in charge threatens to (see if this sounds familiar) essentially “ship (you) back to where (you) came from.”
This is what the Republican Party does. Not only are they anti-American in virtually everything they do, but they are inordinately cruel, as a group. Last year, it took a heroic vote by John McCain to stop the party from taking health insurance away from tens of millions of people and basically downgrading the health insurance of everyone else, when they tried to kill the Affordable Care Act. It was the 77th time they tried to do such a thing. And for what purpose? Just because they hate it. They didn’t even consult with the health insurance industry, who actually like the ACA. Republicans just don’t care what we think about anything.
They did the same sort of thing with CHIP, which is the Children’s Health Insurance Program. Though they have the majority and could have extended it last year, the Republican Party instead let the program lapse, just so they could use it as leverage to reopen the government should it close. They essentially gave Democrats a “Sophie’s Choice.” They could have DACA and prevent Dreamers from being deported to strange countries, or they could have CHIP and keep kids from dying. Of course, there was a catch even there; while the continuing resolution to reopen the government included an extension of CHIP for six years, it did not restore funding for the clinics the poor rely on for healthcare. Therefore, the kids would have insurance, but no doctors to go to.
The current FY2019 budget is another example of Republican cruelty. It will not pass intact, but it does reflect the ability of Republicans to be extremely cruel. The new budget absolutely screws the working poor, for example. And this comes after the working poor were the only ones to see their taxes INCREASED in the tax cuts for billionaires tax bill just passed by Republicans in Congress. Yes, that’s right; while the rich and large corporations saw their tax rates drop by as much as two-thirds, the lowest tax bracket went UP, from 10 percent to 12 percent; a 20 percent rate increase.
In the new budget, funding for academic programs for low-income kids has been eliminated, as has low-income energy assistance. That means poor kids are given an even more difficult time getting an education and, if their parents can’t pay the heating and cooling bills, well, that’s just too bad. You see, in Republican world, being poor is a personality disorder. And yes, you poor white people who voted for Lord Donny; he just proposed screwing you royally. When your heating bill goes to $300, that’s just too bad. The budget would also cut the National Dislocated Worker Grants, which support those who lose their jobs through natural disasters and factory closings, by more than 70 percent. Wonder what the people of Houston think about that?
Trump’s budget also cuts the Amtrak grant budget by more than half, which primarily effects those living in the Northeast, which is largely a blue region, because they rely on trains to get back and forth to work. It also means more crowded streets, highways and buses. It also puts the lie to Donny’s and the GOP’s promise to keep us safe, as it eliminates USAID assistance, it eliminates the Energy Star program and even cuts funding for the Superfund program by about one-third.
Oh, but that’s just the tip of the cruelty iceberg. The budget also cuts 30 percent from the Food Stamp program, which would not only starve poor people, but also eliminate many of the jobs poor people rely on to keep their families housed and fed. This cruel budget also would touch several things Donny and the Republicans said they would never touch, as it proposes cuts to Medicare of $554 billion and cuts to Medicaid of more than $250 billion. Yes, that’s right; since they couldn’t screw everyone a little by repealing the ACA, they plan to screw the elderly and poor A LOT by making them pay more out of pocket for healthcare. And keep in mind, Medicare has never added a single dime to any deficit. It is paid for through a trust fund that every working person and employer pays into with every paycheck. This budget also makes significant cuts to two Social Security programs relied on by families, including the Supplemental Security Income (SSI) and the Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) programs, to the tune of $72 billion. Both programs are for families of those who have paid Social Security taxes for years and need some help before they are old enough to collect.
Let’s be clear. While this is a Trump budget, everything about it is a Republican wet dream. Everything Donny Dumbass does is Republican orthodoxy; they have been wanting to cut all programs for the poor to zero and funnel all the money to defense contractors for years. They have always resented paying to clean up after our environmental excesses and they are an authoritarian bunch, so they love the rich and hate the poor. Their cruelty is always directed at the weak because that is what the GOP does. I know that doesn’t mean everyone who registers Republican is a cold, heartless asshole, but it does mean you are voting for cold, heartless assholes. If you vote Republican and expect empathy and compassion, I have to ask; where the hell have you been?
And to any Trumpies who claim they have to balance the budget, well, shut up. First of all, those of us with brains know you can’t balance the budget solely through spending cuts. Also, this budget fudges the numbers in every way you can imagine. They assume a GDP growth rate of 3%, sustained over the next decade, which is damn near impossible. The budget assumes $2 trillion in deficits in its first two years and a minimum of $7 trillion over the next decade. That means, if GDP growth is “only” two percent over a decade, we can expect to reach a $30 trillion debt in no time, and $1 trillion deficits will become the norm. At some point, poor Republicans, you will figure out you’ve been screwed. The leadership of your party is cruel beyond belief.
Some things are just wrong and it’s up to progressives and Democrats to right things. That means defeating cruel Republicans until they change.
Also published on Medium.