Warm Southern Breeze

"… there is no such thing as nothing."

Republican Party Corruption: How did it get that way? – Part 2

Posted by Warm Southern Breeze on Sunday, December 16, 2018

As mentioned earlier, the roots of modern corruption in today’s Republican party run deep, even past the Barry Goldwater presidential nomination era in 1964, when racism was fully and tacitly welcomed into the party – because by then, Communists like Whittaker Chambers (1901-1961), and James Burnham (1905-1987) Founding Editor of The National Review magazine, had already been 20 years welcomed aboard, and are still venerated to this day.

We’ve identified the problem, so a solution must be made, for it would be useless to criticize without offering a solution.

Then-President Ronald Reagan, in his first Inaugural Address, January 20, 1981, infamously said in part, that, “In this present crisis, government is not the solution to our problem; government is the problem.” But contrary to his nice-sounding assertion, though specious claim, government is NOT the problem, for if it were, abolishing government, in favor of an anarchy, would solve the problem. And as we’ve been shown and continue to observe, for at least since the time of his presidency, Republicans continue actively destroying almost every vestige of organized and civil government through “downsizing” or “right-sizing” (destructive language couched more comfortably, as “a kinder, and gentler” euphemism), through “starve the monster” (denying money/funding), through abolishing agencies and “outsourcing” tax dollars which are used properly used to fund public programs, and instead diverting them to private enterprise through “charter schools” – like addicts do with narcotics prescriptions – and through dissipation by allowing block grants and the like.

Increasingly, that has become the m.o. – the modus operandi, their way of working – of the formerly Grand Old Party, which claims “states’ rights” as the banner for their justification, when instead, it should be the Jolly Roger.

However, most rational people would maintain that if a problem exists, it should be analyzed and corrected, instead of destroying the institution where a problem may be found. Don’t burn down the house just because the roof has a leak. Either patch the leak, or install a new, and better roof.

Yet today’s Republican Party is Hell-bent upon burning down the house. Such an objective, such a philosophy, and such a mindset is not merely misguided, not just un-Constitutional, it is inherently and virulently anti-Constitutional, thoroughly perverted, twisted, and warped. One doesn’t throw out the baby with the bath water.

Or, if you prefer, as George Packer wrote in The Atlantic, it is not “an occasional failure to uphold norms, but a consistent repudiation of them.”

In an earlier entry in this blog, I made an analogy to illustrate the case in point, which is here, succinctly summarized:

Government is not too large, it is exceedingly too small. To analogously illustrate the case in point, no one would go to a restaurant with seating for 100 patrons, find it filled to capacity – with Standing Room Only, and a line out the door extending down the block – and then expect to find only one waiter and one cook for the entire house staff, and then imagine that they would get superior quality – if any – service at all.

And yet, that is precisely what Republicans have done – they have shrunken the size of government, and robbed it of resources, all while the needs have continued to increase exponentially.

No business operates that way. Not even one! That is exclusively, and purely prescription for failure.

As I pointed out, in 1911, when Congress passed the  Apportionment Act of 1911 following the findings of the 1910 Census, they set the number of Members in the House of Representatives at 435, to become effective March 1913. At that time, the ratio of Citizens per Representative was 212,020 to 1, and the population was 92,228,496.

Now, our nation’s population is (at last count), according to the U.S. Census Bureau, 329,191,400… and counting. The ratio of Citizens to Representatives is now 756,762 to 1 – MORE than TRIPLE what it was in 1910. Effectively, the people are not just under-represented, they are NOT represented at all. It is NOT a House of Representatives, it is a House of Misrepresentation.

For if Congress had the same ratio now, as they had then in 1911, the size of the House of Representatives would be… 1553.

Think that’s too big?

How about if we doubled the size of the House of Representatives?

If Congress were to double the current size of the House to 870, the ratio would be over 378,000 people per Representative.

And at 500,000 Citizens per Representative, the size of the House would be 658.

That’s just the the House.

According to recent investigative findings published by ProPublica on December 11, 2018, in a story entitled How The IRS Was Gutted, as of 2017, the IRS had 9,510 auditors – 33% less than in 2010. And “the last time the IRS had fewer than 10,000 revenue agents was 1953, when the economy was then 1/7th of its present size. Yet the IRS is still shrinking. Almost 33% of its remaining employees will be eligible to retire in the next year, and with morale plummeting, many of them will.”

Supreme Court Justice Oliver Wendell Holmes, Jr. (1841-1935), wrote a dissenting opinion in the 1927 case “Compania General De Tabacos De Filipinas v. Collector of Internal Revenue, 275 U.S. 87, 100” and in part wrote, “Taxes are what we pay for civilized society, including the chance to insure.”

So effectively, “the monster” has been starved, by cutting off its food, and source, and the agency itself has been – as Grover Norquist infamously said in an interview on NPR’s Morning Edition news program May 25, 2001 – reduced in size, dragged to the bathroom, and now, the GOP is preparing to “drown it in the bathtub.”

They’re as brutally dangerous as serial killers… or, even more so. Only with this bunch, there’s no Wanted posters.

So we know the GOP is not merely misguided, they’re actively killing “government of the people, by the people, for the people,” but what should be done instead?

The claim that many GOP sycophants make is that government is inefficient.

Okay, let’s examine that claim.

Why is it inefficient?

We could look to size as a primary cause – again, not that it’s too big, but that its much too small, as analogously illustrated earlier. And, to validate that claim, we need look no further than to the ProPublica investigative news findings that the Internal Revenue Service has been actively shrunken in size, and denied funds, all while the needs are increasing exponentially.

But, for the sake of argument, let’s pretend that inefficiency is not caused by a lack of personnel, or adequate and proper funding. Let’s assume that they have as many people, and as much money, and other material resources that they need – which they do NOT. But again, purely for the sake of argument, let’s pretend that they do.

If a finding was that an inefficiency was caused by “shooting fish in a barrel” (an absurdly hypothetical example to illustrate), then the simple answer would be to STOP “shooting fish in a barrel,” and the problem would be solved. No money required, takes fewer people, saves money, resources… and fish. Bigger fish to fry, eh?

But what if inefficiency was caused by something else?

Again, a root cause analysis would show the cause of the problem, and suggest certain changes be made to resolve the problem. Simply implementing the change would almost certainly resolve, or “fix” the problem. Perhaps a bit of extra money, or personnel may be needed, or not, and sometimes a reallocation, or redirection of process steps or resources may resolve the problem. Since no hypothetical is given, it’s merely easier to illustrate that many options could be possible, or, even one option could yield desired results. The possibilities are numerous, and too varied to mention.

But in no case does one begin resolving a problem by taking the “Ostrich Approach,” that is to say, proverbially “burying their head in the sand.” One faces problems head on, not by being a shrinking violet, or running away from them. But what the GOP has done, is likened to trying to resolve a hunger problem by killing people. Sure, there are fewer hungry mouths to feed, but is that the best, or even a proper way to solve hunger? Of course not.

The George Washington Bridge, spanning the Hudson River, as seen from the New Jersey side, looking toward Manhattan.

And, that’s why the Republicans “starve the monster” approach to governing is also misguided. It doesn’t genuinely resolve the problem, and in the interim, only exacerbates and prolongs suffering.

Sure, you could cross the Hudson River in the Manhattan borough of New York City to Fort Lee and Palisades Park in New Jersey by riding a log, and using a paddle. But it’d be much easier just to cross it in a car using the double-decker George Washington Bridge.

The point is, that tools increase speed, and efficiency, and robbing a carpenter of hammer, saws, and nails wouldn’t do anything but anger the carpenter, and delay construction of your house.

We have a house to build in America, and we’ve been building on it since 1776. It’s not time to start moving in Reverse. Put the car in Drive, and move on!

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