Has He No Shame?
Leonard Lance has survived another week in which casual cruelty, racism, immorality and venality were on full display in the party he represents.
Casual cruelty? How about the comment by White House communication staffer Kelly Sadler that John McCain’s views are of no concern: “It doesn’t matter, he’s dying anyway.” Or retired Air Force lieutenant general Thomas McInerney on Fox Business Network stating that we know torture is effective because it worked on “Songbird John” McCain?
Racism? How about John Kelly stating that illegal immigrants are uneducated and rural, and would be unable to assimilate into our modern society? In fact, illegal immigrants are not poor, uneducated people coming over the border. Further, they assimilate just as well as they did in previous generations, and they are more likely to find work than their non-immigrant peers.
Immorality? How about the rescission of funding for CHIP, which costs the federal government $14.5 billion a year to cover 9 million children and pregnant mothers. Trump wants to strip some $7 billion from funding for CHIP and other children's programs after handing down massive tax cuts to his donors.
Or Trump’s threat to veto the Farm Bill without tightening work requirements for recipients of food stamps? To save less than 1% of the projected revenue loss caused by the tax cuts, nutritional aid will be denied or reduced to around two million people, mostly in families with children. And work requirements can always be gerrymandered along racial lines, as Michigan GOP politicians figured out for Medicaid recipients in the state.
Venality? Nothing approaches the payola scheme put together by the President’s lawyer, Michael Cohen, to shake down corporations in the guise of providing access to policy makers. The fact that companies ponied up suggests they were pretty sure they would get what they paid for. And why would they feel otherwise when the occupant of the White House has established his own cash cow?
Leonard Lance is too busy burnishing his moderate image to notice that he serves a party that has lost all sense of values. Fortunately, we, his constituents have retained ours.
It’s getting lonely for Leonard Lance. Another of his colleagues has chosen to retire, rather than face the wrath of the voters. And this time, it is the one-time wunderkind, Paul Ryan, whose “sterling integrity” was highlighted by our Congressman. Oh, please!
In 2010, President Obama introduced a bipartisan fiscal commission, co-chaired by Erskine Bowles and Alan Simpson. Bowles and Simpson called for policymakers to set, as a basic principle, that the deficit should be reduced in a way that does not increase poverty and inequality; they called for protecting low-income and vulnerable Americans. Paul Ryan never believed in that approach. In December 2010, he proposed a budget that would have been the most regressive in our history. The first of many to follow.
Under Obama, we had eight years of Ryan’s handwringing about the Federal deficit and the need for entitlement reform. Under Trump, within a year, we saw Ryan oversee a massive tax cut for corporations and the super-rich, surrounded by fluff about the growth it would unleash. With a tax plan that was always about pleasing the big Republican Party donors, it was no surprise that the Koch brothers and their ilk immediately showered Ryan and the Republican Party with cash.
Now we see from the CBO that this tax “reform,” and the accompanying budget, will balloon The Federal deficit such that by 2028, the national debt will total 96% of GDP.
We KNOW that Ryan or no Ryan, the drum beat for “entitlement reform,” i.e., cuts to Medicare, Medicaid, veterans benefits and Social Security, will quickly intensify. Well, WE will not allow the sick, our veterans, and the elderly to bear the brunt of the consequences of a reckless and intellectually dishonest approach to policy making.
But Congressman Lance thinks differently. . . . On his Facebook page, he is pictured standing at a lectern which carries the slogan “Debt Reduction NOW.” And he voted on Thursday to amend the Constitution to require a balanced budget. Come on, Congressman! After a year of wholly and completely irresponsible votes, this doomed measure was just an exercise in sanctimonious claptrap.