The recent Republican gains in the U.S. House of Representatives and the U.S. Senate are ominous for the middle class in the U.S., and for the economy. Rather than seeing the GOP for what it is, an obstructionist, anti-democratic party that was prepared to drive the U.S. economy to its knees with an unwarranted shutdown, voters conveniently forgot recent history and voted them into power. This, despite millions of new jobs added to the economy since Obama took over.
Continued Environmental Destruction.
The recent release of a comprehensive study by scientists on the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change found that there is little doubt that climate change is caused by human activities. Republicans have stated throughout this campaign that they do not believe that climate change is caused by man. Scientists agree on the need to limit greenhouse gas emission to no more than 1Tn tons, a target that will be surpassed in just thirty years. According to the IPCC, this is likely to lead to civil strife, mass starvation, disease, flooding and droughts, crop failures and ultimately an inability to work and live outdoors.
The GOP claims that almost any group anywhere in the world is a threat to the U.S. The latest bogeyman is ISIL (also known as ISIS),, the Islamic State in Iraq and the Levant. Just as was the case with every U.S. foe in the last fifty years, ISIL is portrayed as the most evil, the most despicable terror group in history, as was claimed with Yasser Arafat, Fidel Castro, Muammar Gaddafi, Saddam Hussein, Osama Bin Laden and so on. This gives Washington carte blanche to pour hundreds of billions of dollars into an already bloated military-industrial complex. This will pay for more tanks, ships, aircraft and dozens of other military boondoggles that will lie around unused for decades, or wasted on regional wars that are no threat to the U.S.
The nations’ roads, bridges, ports, airports, waterways and electrical grid crumble due to drastic budget cuts and calls to balance the budget. In developing nations like China, billions are spent on creating a modern infrastructure that will serve those nations for decades to come. Given low interest rates, borrowing by the US government would improve the nations’ ability to compete internationally. The GOP has decided that a balanced budget is more important, despite the evidence that stimulus spending in recessions improves economies.
Led by budget cuts, school districts are forced to fire teachers, increase class sizes, drop extra-curricular activities like music and sport, and put off essential repairs to school buildings. The GOP push unrealistic and ultimately expensive moves to privatize education and introduce charter, often religiously based, schools, or expect parents to home-school. Most parents are ill-equipped to cater for the educational needs of children, and many have little formal education themselves.
It is quite likely that nothing will be done to alleviate the suffering of 11 million undocumented immigrants who spend their lives in the shadows. Unable to rent apartments, apply for federal aid, get drivers licenses or apply for a job, they are forced into jobs that are little more than slave labor. They are unable to avail themselves of federal protections, minimum wage laws or safety laws. Republicans are likely to increase spending on their latest boondoggle, the border fence, waste more taxpayer dollars on border agents, and increase prosecution of people whose only crime is wanting a better life.
The massacre in Newtown, Connecticut presaged the implementation of massive drives in Republican states to introduce more lenient gun laws. This, despite the evidence that the presence of firearms increases homicides, suicides, injuries and gun crimes. It is feasible that this new Congress will push for firearms everywhere, increasing the risk to every American.
The Supreme Court.
If a single liberal justice were to fall ill or retire from the court, the way would open for Conservative domination of the judicial system for decades to come. Roe v. Wade and other abortion protections would likely vanish, and birth control will become more difficult to get. Businesses would find it easier to prevent people from taking legal action against them for negligence and easier to pollute the environment and undermine the food supply.
Corporations will lobby for lower taxes, which are likely to pass, moving the tax burden to the middle and lower classes. This will inevitably result in higher personal income or consumption taxes, or fewer social programs to aid those in need. All the essential services offered by government will deteriorate or vanish, forcing people to increase spending to cover those needs.
Social Security and Medicare, the two most successful programs in American history, are responsible for alleviating much poverty among the elderly. Both are likely to be on the chopping block. Republicans will find a way to cut benefits, privatize the programs or otherwise undermine their success. Medicaid, the program that helps the poor, is likely to see drastic changes.
The American Care Act is dead center in the sights of Republicans. They are likely to find any way they possibly can to destroy the ability of the working poor to afford health care coverage. They have no intention of allowing the program to continue. Their goal is to force people to pay more for medical care, and getting rid of the program is the way to do so.
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