Popular Economics Weekly
The new Republican Congress is exposing a not surprising fact. Its first actions are attempts to water down The Dodd-Frank Wall Street and Consumer Protection Act, and repealing Obamacare—which will pass the risks of financial meltdowns and medical catastrophes back to us, the taxpayers.
In economic parlance, it is socializing the costs of doing business in order to maximize the profits of business. The attempts to weaken financial regulations are “Kicking Dodd-Frank In the Teeth”, said Gretchen Morgenson in her most recent New York Times Sunday Oped.
“The 114th Congress has been at work for less than a week, but a goal for many of its members is already evident: a further rollback of regulations put in place to keep markets and Main Street safe from reckless Wall Street practices.”
The story of Republicans opposition to Obamacare is no different. By attempting to roll back the eligibility of millions of uninsured Americans with the Repubs various challenges to the federal health exchange, Republicans will return the cost of maintaining health care once again to taxpayers; by putting those sickest Americans back in hospital emergency rooms, or on government welfare rolls, thus maximizing health costs (which have been declining since Obamacare kicked in). This is even though medical bankruptcies now outnumber all other bankruptcies.
Why don’t Republicans get that this flies in the face of their own ideals of self-sufficiency? Even more egregious for working Americans are their attempts to lower wages and salaries by weakening unions and the collective bargaining of government employees in states like Wisconsin. The result of Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker’s efforts has been slower growth, a larger budget deficit, and less incentives for government employees to increase productivity.
Even California Republican Ron Unz knew this with his initiative to raise the California minimum wage to $12 per hour, which would take many minimum wage-earners off the welfare rolls, yet California Republicans have even opposed that!
It is socialism in a big way that Republicans have always accused Democrats of—putting the cost of running the U.S. on government, rather than individuals and private industry.
It’s something President Roosevelt knew and voiced during the Great Depression. “The test of our progress is not whether we add more to the abundance of those who have much; it is whether we provide enough for those who have too little.”
And until Republicans understand this, they will continue to be the minority party.
Harlan Green © 2014
Follow Harlan Green on Twitter: https://twitter.com/HarlanGreen