Commentary by Eugene Paslov: More Republican nonsense
For the Nevada Appeal
I am deeply concerned that the national Republican Party will destroy our democratic republic. Republicans are extremely effective at maintaining party discipline and at manufacturing political narratives; but they are too attached to corporate interests and too distant from the general welfare of the middle class.
These are the same folks who, for more than a century, fought against child labor laws, Social Security, Medicare, civil rights, health care reform, unemployment insurance and the minimum wage. They passionately dislike government employees and government itself. They have recently gained some power and are on a rampage. They attempt to cloak their views in the rhetoric of political conservatism and constitutional originalism, but the reality of their political beliefs should give us all pause — a move toward Third World status.
“Taxes are evil. No new taxes, and eliminate as many taxes and regulations as possible.”
This is the Republicans’ holy grail. No compromise. It is nonsense, of course, but the Republican political rigidity is systematically dismantling state and local governments and the federal government itself. The most recent outrage is the threat not to allow an increase in the debt ceiling, allowing the “good faith and credit” of the U.S. to default. Most reasonable economists, including the International Monetary Fund (IMF), think this would be catastrophic to the world economy. Moody’s also is threatening to decrease our bond ratings. Horrific. Republicans are acting like a religious cult, signing pledges, exorcising evil taxes.
The Republicans assert that the U.S. has the highest corporate tax rate in the industrialized world. Actually, that’s true. What they don’t tell you is that corporations have negotiated so many tax loopholes that many pay nothing (GE, for example) and many more pay significantly less because of tax rebates. When the president’s debt reduction committee suggested closing the tax loopholes, the Republican leadership screamed “tax increase” and said, “taxes are off the table.” That’s irrational. The president said, “Let’s cut spending but put taxes for the very rich back on the table.” That’s sensible.
The Bush administration put us billions of dollars into debt with two unfunded wars and no source of revenue increases. The Obama administration had to increase spending to save the republic. Obama was successful, and he’s made slow and steady progress with job growth and stabilizing the economy. No help from the congressional Republicans, only cacophonous slander.
A solution: remove congressional Republicans as quickly as possible. To start, let’s replace Heller with Berkley and elect Marshall rather than Amodei. Both the Republicans are committed to blindly following destructive policies. Let Nevadans lead the way to sensible change.
We need independent political representatives, not mindless automatons.
• Eugene T. Paslov is a board member of the Davidson Academy at the University of Nevada, Reno, and the former Nevada state superintendent of schools.