5 Republican Myths

1. Republicans are against taxes
Yes, it is true that Republicans like to cut taxes. It goes hand-in-hand with their theory that a smaller government is a better government. However, their targets for tax cuts are interesting. They are keener to cut taxes on multi-million dollar inheritances than on wages. Ordinary Americans, whose income is primarily derived from wages, do not benefit from cuts in taxes on capital gains and dividends. Accounts that allow Americans to save money tax-free, such as 401(k) and Roth IRA have curious limits on them, such as phasing out Roth IRA contributions once you start making $100,000. Social Security taxes have gone from 4% in 1967 to 15% today. Just imagine, dividend income of millions is taxed at 15% but wage income of $80,000 is first taxed at 15.4% for Social Security and Medicare taxes and then taxed at income tax rates that can go upto 31%. Reality: Republican are against taxes only if they impact the rich.

2. Republicans are for states’ rights
For years, many Republicans have supported conservative initiatives in state legislatures as a strike for states’ rights. But when 9 states, including Arizona and California made medicinal use of marijuana legal, these same Republicans rushed to ensure that these changes in state statutes were ineffective. The current administration is looking for ways to penalize doctors who, in their considered opinion, find medicinal marijuana to be useful. John Ashcroft, the ex-Attorney General, battled Oregon over Oregon’s assisted suicide law that has been passed by the citizenry twice and once by the Oregon legislature. Reality: Republicans support states’ rights only if they are conservative.

3. Republicans are for smaller governments
Ronald Reagan, a president who was elected in 1980 under the banner of smaller government, left the presidency in 1989 with one more department, Department of Veteran Affairs, than when he arrived. Budgets had ballooned during his tenure and his successor, George Bush Sr., did not stem the tide. Now, George Bush Jr. has managed to create yet another department, Department of Homeland Security, and has increased the federal government payroll by literally hundreds of thousands of employees. The proposed 2007 budget comes in at a staggering $2.77 Trillion! Reality: Republicans like large governments just as everyone else.

4. Republicans have strong moral values
Let us see, Ronald Reagan was on his second wife (divorced from the first), Bob Dole is on his second wife (divorced from the first), Newt Gingrich is divorced from two wives, as is Rush Limbaugh, G. Gordon Liddy is a convicted felon and Oliver North sold weapons to Iran. Bob Livingston had to resign his seat in the House of Representatives after it became clear that he had affairs for the last 33 years! Bill Bennett has run up gambling losses of $8 million. Dan Quayle got to serve in Indiana National Guard while less well-connected boys of his age died in Vietnam. Jack Abramoff scandal is ensnaring lots of Republicans. Today's news headlines talks about how mine safety has been abandoned by the Bush government while putting on the ole' somber poker face when miners have died in Pennsylvania and West Virginia. Reality: Republicans are as fallible as the rest of us.

5. Republicans are fiscally responsible
When Ronald Reagan got elected in 1980, the annual budget deficit was $90 Billion and the debt ceiling (the total amount of money the federal government could borrow) was less than $1 Trillion. In the 12 years under Reagan and Bush Sr., deficits ballooned, reaching $300 Billion and the debt ceiling was raised again and again. Luckily, Clinton’s presidency saw not only a reduction in deficit but for the first time since the Eisenhower administration, the US government actually bought back the debt. But Bush Jr., after inheriting a budget surplus, has put us back in financial quagmire. Debt ceiling is now at $7 Trillion. Reality: Republicans are fiscally irresponsible.

These 5 myths have been bandied about again and again to beat up on the Democrats. Now, the Democrats are not any better than the Republicans but the holier-than-thou of the Republicans gets on my nerves...

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