image MY RINO REPUBLICAN VIEWS, PART I

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I am a fiscally conservative, registered republican with a libertarian philosophy who is writing a series of blogs in response to those who have asked me a very legitimate question, how can you write the way you do and still be an older,  registered republican?

RINO STATUS (Republican in name only)

I have been answering the above question with a response along the lines that many in this republican party would consider me the black sheep of the family or a “RINO.” I feel as if I am no longer welcome.

My hypothesis is that the republican party that I once admired is now so beholden to the tea party segment to where their approval is required for just about everything or nothing will happen. Compromise has become a dirty word.

what-worries-the-tea-party IST CHOICE

I cannot condone some of the tea party, republican tactics which include the absolute resistance to the concept of climate change supported by 97% of the pertinent scientific studies; the enacting of legislation designed to bar voters from access to the ballot box and the allegiance to the NRA to where any reasonable restrictions on the sale and the use of guns cannot be implemented.

I believe in the art of negotiating and compromising on legislation. I do not wish to support those who roadblock any and all bills because it isn’t exactly the way they prefer. I feel as if my taxes  are paying for congressional members to sit around while pointing fingers at others for accomplishing little. The holding up of the future Attorney General Loretta Lynch is an example, right on point. She is an exceptionally highly qualified candidate whose confirmation has been held up for a record number of days. This time the excuse is because they are those insisting on keeping intact the anti abortion amendment attached to  an  anti-human trafficking bill. In my opinion, this anti abortion  text is inappropriately part of a bill designed to stop women and children from being trafficked around the world including in this country. These republicans are catering to their base at the expense of doing what is right. Personally, I perceive that the republicans are just wanting to give our President Barack Obama a black eye because he has not just been sitting idly by on the sidelines, while they do nothing. Any excuse will do. As long as the establishment republicans continue to pander to the far right, conservative, tea party members, at a cost to the majority of Americans, they will continue to lose my vote.

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I think that President Barack Obama won the 2008 election in part because of  voters like me, disapproving of Senator John McCain’s choice of Governor Sarah Palin as his running mate.

It is not a joke when people say that President Ronald Reagan would not survive today’s republican primary process because he would not meet the conservative litmus test that the tea party folks now demand.

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Zack Beauchamp posted on  2/6/14 ThinkProgress.com, the article about things that the republican party would prefer to delete from their memory banks regarding their hero, President Ronald Reagan. The following are some excerpts from his blog:

1. Paved the way for Obama care
“Reagan’s health policy previewed Obamacare in three major ways. First, Reagan signed Emergency Medical Treatment and Active Labor Act (EMTALA), the law barring hospitals from turning away patients on grounds of their insurance or citizenship — a preview of Obamacare’s ban on insurance discrimination against individuals with preexisting conditions. Second, Reagan doubled the size of Medicaid over the course of his presidency to pay for all of those new uninsured patients — a huge Obamacare-style Medicaid expansion. Third, Reagan  pushed something called Diagnosis Related Groups (DRGs), which essentially had the government set the prices Medicare was willing to pay for each Medicare admission rather than pay for reimburse doctors per cost. DRGs cut Medicare costs by 1986, proving a promising trial for the sorts of Medicare payment reform policies you can find in Obama care.”

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2. Amnesty for undocumented immigrants

“In 1986, Reagan signed the Simpson-Mazzoli Act, a bipartisan immigration reform bill that created a pathway to citizenship for 3 million undocumented immigrants. Simpson-Mazzoli is now referred to by some conservatives as the “Reagan Amnesty,” and came up during both the 2007 and 2013 immigration reform debates.”

3. Successfully pushed for an assault weapons ban

Before the National Rifle Association became what it was today, Reagan worked with them to ban guns, specifically, automatic weapons. Civilians were legally allowed to own fully automatic rifles until 1986, when Reagan signed the Firearm Owners’ Protection Act banning them. After his Presidency, Reagan backed the Brady gun law establishing many of the major restrictions on gun purchases today. His support for the 1994 Assault Weapon Ban pushed the ban to its two vote margin of victory — according to two of the Congressmen who made the  difference.

4. Grew the federal government, big time

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CREDIT: Ezra Klein ( formerly with the Washington  Post)

Reagan’s record belies his reputation as a huge foe of government. Reagan built a progressive tax system to fund Social Security, and funded the creation of a new federal department (the Department of Veterans’ Affairs). Much of Reagan’s spending, including his defense buildup, was  funded by deficit spending. If Obama spent like Reagan, the deficit would be much, much higher.

5. Wanted to make millionaires pay more in taxes

“Reagan despised tax loopholes that allowed millionaires to skate around their tax obligations. “Tax loopholes,” according to the Gipper, “sometimes made it possible for millionaires to pay nothing, while a bus driver was paying ten percent of his salary, and that’s crazy.” It’s crazy, he said, because the “truly wealthy” were avoiding “paying their fair share.”

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6.) Passed environmental regulations that are now being used to fight climate change

“Reagan negotiated the Montreal Protocol, an international agreement got the whole world to clamp down on pollution that was tearing holes in the ozone layer. Today, the Montreal Protocol is being used to clamp down on the technology that replaced the ozone-depleting kind, which turned out to be a fairly significant contributor to climate change.”

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PROBLEM WITH RACIST TALK FROM THE RIGHT

I describe myself along the lines of a Colin Powell/Bob Dole republican which means to me, that I think for myself. I cannot abide by some of the racist speech by many people on the tea party conservative right such as, our President is not a U.S. citizen; he was born in Kenya; he is a Muslim even though he has publicly stated in front of congressional representatives at a prayer meeting that he has accepted the Lord Jesus Christ as his Lord and Savior; that he does not love our country and that he is a subversive intent on destroying this country. I have yet to see a republican of any stature confront this ugly rhetoric for what it is, racist talk with the exception of Senator John McCain on two occasions.

SOCIAL ISSUES

As for social issues I am anti abortion and anti any legislation which prohibits abortion. I genuinely believe that the vast majority of women access this medical procedure with a heavy heart, a lot of deliberation and introspection. It is my opinion that when the right offers up anti abortion laws that they are simply denying this procedure to poor women. Women of means will simply travel when necessary to get the medical care that they need.

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In addition there are more constructive ways to decrease the rate of abortions such as encouraging all states to accept Medicaid expansion or a similar program designed to competently provide high quality pre delivery medical care as well as post delivery assistance for both the Mom and child. The United States continues to have the worst record of infant mortality rates out of all the developed countries. (See the link below covering this issue).

As for the issue of same sex marriage, I would never want to bar anyone from the happiness and joy of being able to form a long term,  loving and supportive relationship with another adult of either sex. I would ask the conservative, religious right who believe differently to respect the choices of other adults who are leading respectable, decent, constructive lives while anyone who is  critical and/ or judgmental, work at focusing on the issues within their own their own families. The religious right tea party community have their own problems which are destructive to the family unit. The list includes dealing with a family’s marital partners’ serial problems such as adultery, spousal battery, child abuse and neglect , child molestation, drug and alcohol addiction and other serious destructive or criminal  behaviors. They also suffer from the high rate of divorce independent of couples burdened with the above type dysfunctions.

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NEED FOR  INVESTMENT IN OUR INFRASTRUCTURE

Gridlock and the no new taxes dogma by the republican tea party in congress has vastly diminished government’s effectiveness in addressing the most basic services that the public is depending on government to do. An example is Americas’ crumbling infrastructure. This discussion will be continuing in future postings.

My premise is that a major plan is long past due to upgrade our roads, bridges, ports, etc. The American Society of Civil Engineers has published their 2013 infrastructure report card  and we earned a GPA of  D+. The “No New Tax” dogma does not make sense under current circumstances. The fact that we have not made the requisite investment to update our infrastructure to be competitive with the rest of the world for the past 8 years while interest rates have been so low and while the workforce could have benefited with great paying jobs, borders on criminal neglect. If we need to pay a little more in taxes while interest is  low, the return in this type of investment would pay back big dividends in the future.

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Excerpts from the ASCE, American Society of Civil Engineers  2013 infrastructure report are as follows:

“The American Society of Civil Engineers is committed to protecting the health, safety, and welfare of the public, and as such, is equally committed to improving the nation’s public infrastructure. To achieve that goal, the Report Card depicts the condition and performance of the nation’s infrastructure in the familiar form of a school report card—assigning letter grades that are based on physical condition and needed investments for improvement.”

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“Now the 2013 Report Card grades are in, and America’s cumulative GPA for infrastructure rose slightly to a D+. The grades in 2013 ranged from a high of B- for solid waste to a low of D- for inland waterways and levees. Solid waste, drinking water, wastewater, roads, and bridges all saw incremental improvements, and rail jumped from a C- to a C+. No categories saw a decline in grade this year.”

“The 2013 Report Card demonstrates that we can improve the current condition of our nation’s infrastructure — when investments are made and projects move forward, the grades rise. For example, greater private investment for efficiency and connectivity brought improvements in the rail category; renewed efforts in cities and states helped address some of the nation’s most vulnerable bridges; and, several categories benefited from short-term boosts in federal funding.”

“We know that investing in infrastructure is essential to support healthy, vibrant communities. Infrastructure is also critical for long-term economic growth, increasing GDP, employment, household income, and exports. The reverse is also true – without prioritizing our nation’s infrastructure needs, deteriorating conditions can become a drag on the economy.”

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“A brief summary of the findings for each category is below. Click on any heading to get more detailed information on the category and explore the interactive content.”

Transportation

“Aviation: Despite the effects of the recent recession, commercial flights were about 33 million higher in number in 2011 than in 2000, stretching the system’s ability to meet the needs of the nation’s economy. The Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) estimates that the national cost of airport congestion and delays was almost $22 billion in 2012. If current federal funding levels are maintained, the FAA anticipates that the cost of congestion and delays to the economy will rise from $34 billion in 2020 to $63 billion by 2040. Aviation again earned a D.”

“Bridges: Over two hundred million trips are taken daily across deficient bridges in the nation’s 102 largest metropolitan regions. In total, one in nine of the nation’s bridges are rated as structurally deficient, while the average age of the nation’s 607,380 bridges is currently 42 years. The Federal Highway Administration (FHWA) estimates that to eliminate the nation’s bridge backlog by 2028, we would need to invest $20.5 billion annually, while only $12.8 billion is being spent currently. The challenge for federal, state, and local governments is to increase bridge investments by $8 billion annually to address the identified $76 billion in needs for deficient bridges across the United States. However, with the overall number of structurally deficient bridges continuing to trend downward, the grade improved to C+.”

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“Roads: Targeted efforts to improve conditions and significant reductions in highway fatalities resulted in a slight improvement in the roads grade to a D this year. However, forty-two percent of America’s major urban highways remain congested, costing the economy an estimated $101 billion in wasted time and fuel annually. While the conditions have improved in the near term, and federal, state, and local capital investments increased to $91 billion annually, that level of investment is insufficient and still projected to result in a decline in conditions and performance in the long term. Currently, the Federal Highway Administration estimates that $170 billion in capital investment would be needed on an annual basis to significantly improve conditions and performance.”

“Transit: The grade for transit remained at a D as transit agencies struggled to balance increasing ridership with declining funding. America’s public transit infrastructure plays a vital role in our economy, connecting millions of people with jobs, medical facilities, schools, shopping, and recreation, and it is critical to the one-third of Americans who do not drive cars. Unlike many U.S. infrastructure systems, the transit system is not comprehensive, as 45% of American households lack any access to transit, and millions more have inadequate service levels. Americans who do have access have increased their ridership 9.1% in the past decade, and that trend is expected to continue. Although investment in transit has also increased, deficient and deteriorating transit systems cost the U.S. economy $90 billion in 2010, as many transit agencies are struggling to maintain aging and obsolete fleets and facilities amid an economic downturn that has reduced their funding, forcing service cuts and fare increases.”

RELATED ARTICLE:

vote in november to lower infant mortality rates & for …  grondamorin.com/2014/09/15/and-lowerinfantmortalityrates-Sep 15, 2014 – States such as Kentucky have opted for medicaid expansion after their governor comissioned a study by the respected accounting firm

 

6 comments

  1. I have seen one thing in here that would put you in the ‘fiscal’ conservative GOP tent. I think you remember a party that never really existed except on paper. I would suggest to you, a examination of history. You are very good at clear eyed examination of facts.

    When conservatives are in power, what happens?
    When progressives are in power, what happens?

    Don’t put party names on this just intent as I have done with the question.

    • I just wanted to clarify that I agree with the fiscal conservatism only. I have never agreed with much else, especially his conservative stance on social issues, but I admired him for his integrity. He was a doctor who served 3 terms as an Oklahoma Congress republican rep and he self limited himself to 3 terms. When he left, a democrat took his place. A few years later, he ran for the Senate and again he self imposed himself to 3 terms. He won handily even though he ran against the democrat who took his place. He drove both republicans and democrats crazy because he was the only one who consistently kept their feet to the fire because of their extravagant foolish spending and earmarks. He was not someone that a lobbyist could entice. His integrity was not for sale. He was one of the few republicans who openly welcomed Senator Barack Obama into the congress and he was honestly happy when he became president. Even though both do not agree on a lot, they have become friends.

      He left the senate at the end of 2014 due to serious health concerns. His fellow republicans were not sad to see him go.

      I admire someone who is what he says.

  2. In my mind a fiscal conservative does not mean that one does not need government. Neither party fits my definition of being fiscally conservative. To me it means, you hold government accountable for their excessive spending; ie. cutting unneeded weapon contracts that the military does not even want. Another example, is the Aurora VA hospital project which is one billion dollars over budget. This is only one example out of many. The only rep in Congress who is true to this mind set is Tom Coburn.

    The tea party answer to my kind of thinking is “NO NEW TAXES,” which ends up being irresponsible.

    I am afraid that I am “solo mia” in my thinking.

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