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GOP candidates offer nothing to the 99%

Updated: Nov 9, 2023

September 2, 2012

Faux indignation was the main strategy at the Republican convention. Anyone who watched President Obama flub a line of a talk in July, saying, “You didn’t build that,” understands he meant that no one builds their business alone, that the infrastructure inherent in being a developed country with things like an educated workforce and government business loans gives you support. In fact, Mitt Romney made a similar speech in 2002, telling Olympic athletes, “You didn’t get here solely on your own power.” Romney failed to realize the same thing about himself though, since he talks a good game about saving the Olympics but never gets around to mention the $1.5 million in federal aid that helped him be a hero. Still, at the Republican convention this week, We Built It! videos featured business owners’ inspirational stories without mentioning they have received millions in government loans. Does the GOP leadership really think we don’t see the hypocrisy? Americans for Prosperity put together a convention reception, “A Salute to Entrepreneurs Building America.” And whom did Americans for Prosperity choose to salute? They chose to salute Americans for Prosperity Chairman David Koch and Americans for Prosperity Foundation Chairman Art Pope, the former quite possibly the most loathed businessperson in America. In their speeches, Mitt Romney, Paul Ryan, and Rick Santorum all repeated the blatant lie that President Obama gutted welfare reform by taking the work requirement out of welfare. This absolutely false claim received a “pants on fire” rating by, has been debunked by virtually every mainstream news organization, and even some Republicans have gone on TV to try and stop the lie, but still it was intentionally repeated at the convention. Do they not have legitimate Obama complaints? Even I have some of those. Also, where were the debt clocks in 2000 when President Clinton shrank the debt and left office with no budget deficit? Where were they in ’04 and ’08 when we were fighting George W. Bush’s expensive wars in Iraq and Afghanistan? Bush’s tax cuts for the top 5% of American earners (such as the self-saluting entrepreneurs) have cost us in the realm of $1.1 trillion. Plus, he didn’t bother to veto one single spending bill during eight years in office. Republicans as the party of fiscal responsibility, ha! And if they’re so worried about where tax dollars go, they shouldn’t have accepted $42.5 million in taxpayer cash to mount their convention. While the debt clocks display our national profligacy, they don’t show an R or a D next to the numbers to let us know who created what amount of debt. When Clinton ran for office, he ran on George H. W. Bush’s recession and that president’s decision to propel America into our first war with Iraq and the financial, human, and emotional prices that were paid. We’re right back where we started from, but Republicans don’t want Americans to connect the dots about how we got here. Indeed, another thing missing from this Republican convention was a big salute to war. Not a peep about our wars this time around, and barely a mention of the absent George W. Bush. Some things are better left below the radar when you’re trying to look like you know what you’re doing. Mitt’s convention was a business pageant more than anything. It’s what he knows, after all. I don’t understand what regular Joe Republicans see in these guys. A Romney plutocracy would devastate our country. They’re in it solely for themselves and they have nothing to offer 99 percent of us. -----

Barb Guy is a regular contributor to these pages.

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