Public Comment

The Republicans Have Abolished Empathy

Harry Brill, East Bay Tax The Rich Group
Saturday April 04, 2015 - 10:18:00 AM

As you know, both Republican dominated houses of Congress have approved a morally outrageous budget that will, in effect, deprive millions of Americans of necessities so that the very rich can enjoy more luxuries. It seems that the Republicans have abolished empathy. Yet incredibly, the Republicans feel morality is on their side. The writer, Upton Sinclair made an excellent observation that explains the moral blindness of the greedy --- "It is difficult to get a man to understand something when his salary depends on his not understanding". As Paul Krugman observed, many of those with very high incomes are concerned that adequately funding social programs will increase their taxes.  

Clearly, increasing inequality, which results from slashing social programs, causes more widespread and deeper poverty. For example, by cutting the food stamp budget, 11 million recipients would lose their food stamp eligibility or a family of four including two young children would lose four months of groceries. As the result of budget cuts in Medicaid and the repeal of the Affordable Care Act, 37 million recipient would lose their health insurance. And by privatizing Medicare, which the Republicans also voted on, it will result in substantially higher costs to patients. It would also make it more difficult for seniors to choose their own doctors. In short, the Republican budget is a disaster for the overwhelming number of Americans. 

Is there any good news beside the pleasant weather in the Bay Area? Yes, indeed there is. No Democratic member of either house voted for the budget. Perhaps this might be a turning point, that more Democrats are realizing that they cannot ignore the wishes of those who have voted for them. Perhaps they are beginning to understand that to do so could result in a major decline of the Democratic Party.