Employment Policies Institute

If Republicans hate government so much, why do they so desperately want to run (and own) ours?

Author’s note: Next week the Republicans will have their Presidential Convention, and if you listen to the Republican Politicians and the pundits, you can expect to hear a lot of talk about “Small Government”, “Limited Government”, “Low Taxes”, “Deficit Reduction” and the like. This is the first of a series that is intended to examine Radical Right Republican rhetoric vs reality, their talk versus their behavior. I believe the two are at polar opposites.

Ever since Ronald Reagan’s pronouncement that “Government is the Problem”, Republicans have been running against the government, and at the same time, they desperately want to run, or own the government.

I’d like to explore this dichotomy, and try to analyze why it exists, and try to determine if the Republican behavior matches their rhetoric. I suspect it won’t, but will provide my argument and you can decide for yourself.

It seems far more likely to me that Republicans, and radicalized far-right Republicans see maintaining their hold on the levers of government, with its unparalleled ability to organize capital at all levels through the taxing power, is a fine means to redistribute wealth from the general citizenry, you and me, to the wealthy and the power elites, from which they come. In case you’ve never seen President Reagan’s pronouncement, here it is:

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Opponents Of Health Reform Spent More On Ads Trashing The Law Than Obama Spent On Ads For President In 07/08

The health insurance industry secretly sponsored over $100 million in anti-health reform ads through the U.S. Chamber of Commerce

[This analysis, by Lee Fang, takes a long NY Times article, ferrets out the key points and presents them in a very understandable format.]

“…quantifying the money is critical in understanding at least part of the reason why public opinion soured so quickly on a law that contains extremely popular provisions.  In addition to the paid-advertising, healthcare industry interests and other opponents of the bill spent a great deal on direct lobbying, campaign donations, and public relations campaigns. This story, however, only concerns the ad-war that helped turn Americans against the bill.”

“…total (spent) on negative health reform-related advertising to $323.75 million.”

To read all of this excellent analysis, please click here

The effect of this amount of misinformation has had great impact on public perception about the Affordable Care Act.  You can read about this–and try to understand it–by reading the NY Times article, Distaste for Health Care Law Reflects Spending on Ads which goes into more depth on this issue.  Read the article by clicking here

This is the conservative echo chamber at work.