Propaganda works – 58 percent of Republicans believe education is bad

Critics of Fox News may discount the effectiveness of the right wing outlet’s effort to transform America into a fascist theocracy controlled by the ultra-rich and extremist evangelicals, but that would be a monumental mistake. Like all propaganda agencies, Fox broadcasts talking points crafted by evangelical and corporate activists nonstop until their mendacious messaging is considered a biblical truth.

Fox News, like Republicans and Trump, could never succeed as an ultra-conservative propaganda outlet without an ignorant population. The only way to continue having success at propagandizing is moving the proverbial Heaven and Earth to convince Americans that being educated and informed is detrimental to America and its citizens; something Fox and Republicans have been very successful at.

The idea that education is bad for the country is contrary to the belief of the Declaration of Independence’s author,  Founding Father and third American President Thomas Jefferson. He said:

“An educated citizenry is a vital requisite for our survival as a free people.”

Another great leader, Sir Winston Churchill said:

“The privilege of a university education is a great one; the more widely it is extended the better for any country.”

Obviously, the current administration and the Republican Party it represents wholly disagrees with the concept of a well-educated citizenry, or that it is beneficial to America if the populace is educated. Likely because the less educated the people are, the more electoral support Republicans enjoy and the more success Trump has as the ultimate purveyor of “fake news;” idiot morons will believe anything.

That being the case, it should be no surprise to any semi-conscious American that since Trump’s poorly-attended inauguration there has been a concerted effort to dismantle, and eventually destroy, America’s education system; from public elementary and secondary school to colleges and  universities. It is also not stunning that Trump and the GOP’s propaganda arm, Fox News, has played a crucial role in convincing Republican voters that education is “bad for America.”

For years conservatives have demeaned “secular” education at all levels, and over the past decade Republicans have pandered to the religious right by railing against higher education with valuable aid from the GOP and Trump’s propaganda agency Fox News. It is evident that neither Trump, Republicans, nor Fox News would exist without a fair number of the population mired in rank ignorance about everything, and that does not include the willingly stupid contingent.

To demonstrate precisely why the people’s freedom, and democracy, are in jeopardy today, a recent poll revealed that nearly 6 out of ten Republicans sincerely, believe that “education is bad for America.”

Seriously, it is beyond the pale that anyone in this country thinks education is bad for America, but nearly 60 percent of Republicans is a mind boggling number. It is not entirely unexpected, but it is stunning that they have no issue telling a pollster that they believe education is a negative for the country.

It is noteworthy to mention that to Republicans and the Trump organization, all education is not “bad;” only secular education and any subject not steeped in fantasy and not recorded as Bronze Age mythos in the Christian bible. If America’s education system followed that of theocracies founded on religion, such as Iran or Afghanistan under Taliban rule, Republicans would spend an unlimited amount of taxpayer money on education. Instead, because America is still a secular democracy with Separation of Church and State enshrined in the First Amendment, Trump and his evangelical malcontent Education Secretary are on an honest-to-dog religious crusade to decimate public education and create a system of taxpayer-funded evangelical madrasas.

Republicans have opposed education for well over a decade, but over the past two years the percentage of Republicans who believe education is bad for the nation has risen sharply. In fact, two years ago a Gallup poll revealed that 54 percent of Republicans viewed education in America as a positive for the country. Now, according to the latest  annual Pew Research Center poll, 58% of those same Republicans believe higher education negatively affects society. Those figures represent a swing of epic proportions, and although there are enough GOP supporters who are too stupid to see the value to themselves and the nations of an education, it is telling that close to 60 percent of Republicans consider education bad for America.

To get a good idea of why a majority of Republicans, obviously Fox News viewers, believe education is bad for America, a recent Fox segment featured Tucker Carlson presenting the issue of education as one of waste because “colleges and universities don’t teach kids anything.” He said:

“Colleges barely teach, yet every year they increase their fees. Try that in a private business, you might get indicted for fraud. Do it at an American university and you get billions in taxpayer subsidies.”

Carlson cited some studies about “adult literacy,” and it is unclear to this author how he connected “adult literacy” reports with universities not teaching students or wasting taxpayer money. For the record, “adult literacy” involves helping citizens 16 and older to better read, write, and do basic arithmetic; something any American graduating from the eighth grade will have mastered with relative ease … if they or their adult caregivers consider education as valuable.

What is glaringly apparent is that based on the opposition to education, the Fox audience only heard Carlson parrot what conservatives, and Fox News, have preached for close to a decade; “colleges barely teach …and they get billions in taxpayer subsidies.”  Of course there is a problem with the high cost of a college education in America, but to claim they don’t teach, or that taxpayers are funding liberal indoctrination programs, is something only dyed-in-the-wool religious conservatives, and obviously 58 percent of Republicans, believe as if uttered by their biblical god.

A big issue conservatives have pushed for years, and likely contributes to the Republican opposition to education, is the mindset expressed by no small number of conservatives, particularly those making up the religious right. A former member of the Arizona state legislature, Frank Antenori, summed up a belief often shared by conservatives. He said:

Why does a kid go to a university these days? They go there to get brainwashed and learn how to become activists  and cause trouble.”

No, kids go to a university or college for an education to hopefully have a better life than their parents. And what too many Republicans and religious conservatives consider brainwashing is what sane civilized human beings regard as “being informed.” And, that “being informed” generally results in a religious conservative “kid” informing their parents that no, the Earth is not 6,000 years old and flat; or that no, a zygote is not a living human being; or that no, America was not founded by religious white supremacists to exist and rule the world as an Aryan Christian nation.

This author knows two families who refuse to send their children to public schools because “they only hire teachers that are either gay, atheist, or sexual predators,” and because all colleges train “those teachers to brainwash the kids with lies about America.”

Of course none of the conservative propaganda warning that education is bad for America is true, but for the ignorant religious zealots and angry racists making up the majority of the Republican movement, that propaganda is biblical truth; why else would Fox News and Republicans promoting school privatization keep telling their supporters that America’s education system is inherently evil, and bad for the country?

Here’s the problem going forward; Trump and his evangelical crusader DeVos will not have much Republican opposition to their goal of dismantling the education system in America and replacing it with for-profit private religious and corporate charter schools – at taxpayer expense. For dog’s sake, they have already garnered support from close to 6 out of 10 Republicans who openly admit they believe education is bad for the country. It is probably true that Republican and conservative leaders are not nearly as concerned with religious indoctrination as they are keeping the voting public ignorant, but despite their motivation, wanting an uninformed population is appalling. However, it is the only way Republicans can ensure that the stupid contingent keeps faithfully voting against their own self-interests and contributes to keeping the GOP in power.

America faces myriad threats to its continued existence as a matter of course, even as a crippled world leader, but with Trump and DeVos on a religious crusade to decimate public education, the greatest threat is an ignorant population opposed to public education. Tragically, with 58 percent of Republicans claiming education is bad for the country, the ignorant population is going to grow with every Fox News segment and with every dirty lie from the fascist in White House and the evangelical extremist running the education system.

Jeff Flake’s Speech Targeted Republicans and Trump

It is unusual for a sitting United States senator to publicize their intent speak about a member of their own party in a less than flattering manner, but these are unusual times with an unusually despicable malcontent in the Oval Office. What is not unusual for the Republican Party is to stand unified behind a despicable malcontent in the White House no matter the danger that cretin poses to the nation; Republicans’ party loyalty supersedes any regard for the nation. No matter what Arizona Senator Jeff Flake said about his party’s standard-bearer in his speech to the Senate, Donald Trump personifies the Republican Party and he enjoys telling the entire world how much of a true Republican he really is.

The only issue Republicans as a political party will ever have with Donald Trump is his big mouth and it is high time “the resistance” gets the message that one Republican senator’s criticism of Trump is the extent of the GOP’s opposition to anything Trump has done or will do. If that were not the case, Republicans would have impeached Trump and threw him out of office months ago because Mike Pence would do their bidding with much less controversy than Trump.

Is is interesting that Jeff Flake has been criticized for speaking out against Trump by Americans on the left and the right. One understands why dyed-in-the-wool Republicans condemn Flake, but it is an honest-to-dog mystery why anyone on the left calls him a hypocrite, or claims he is insincere for not “taking action” to thwart Trump’s agenda. Flake has never been a fan of Donald Trump, but he has voted faithfully with his fellow Republicans and that seems to be an issue with some people as if Flake is supposed to vote like a strong progressive just because Trump is in the White House.

In his Senate speech on Wednesday, and since Trump’s poorly attended inauguration, Flake never criticized Trump’s policy positions because they are by and large Republican policy positions. However, he has condemned Trump for the damage Flake thinks Trump is wreaking on the Republican brand with his lying big mouth.  It is almost certain that Flake’s condemnation of Trump is founded on preventing what he says is “Trumpism making Republicans unelectable” and little else. Flake is a Republican and it is naïveté to believe his criticism of Trump is driven by some altruistic regard for the state of the nation. If that were the case he would not vote with the Republican Party to dismantle the government.

Ed O’Keefe over at the Washington Post said Mr. Flake’s remarks were scheduled to coincide with Trump’s “Oval Office awards show” when he announces the federal government’s official “fake news prizes.” And although most of Flake’s comments went straight to the only issue Republicans have with their hero in the Oval Office, his speech should be seen as a damning indictment of the Republican Party.

Republicans have spent the past year sitting idly by and tolerating Trump saying out loud what the majority of Republicans believe as strong conservatives, but it was not why Flake attempted to humiliate Republicans. Apparently Flake is concerned about Trump’s shameful and repulsive statements about the news media as “enemies of the people” that few Republicans have had the nerve to criticize. Flake said:

It is a testament to the condition of our democracy that our own president uses words infamously spoken by Joseph Stalin to describe his enemies.

This alone should be a source of great shame for us in this body, especially for those of us in the president’s Trump’s party. For they are shameful, repulsive statements.

It bears noting that so fraught with malice was the phrase ‘enemy of the people,’ that even Nikita Khrushchev forbade its use, telling the Soviet Communist Party that the phrase had been introduced by Stalin for the purpose of ‘annihilating such individuals’ who disagreed with the supreme leader.

Of course, the president Trump has it precisely backward — despotism is the enemy of the people. The free press is the despot’s enemy, which makes the free press the guardian of democracy. When a figure in power reflexively calls any press that doesn’t suit him “fake news,” it is that person who should be the figure of suspicion, not the press.”

There have been commentaries criticizing Flake for comparing Trump to Stalin and they are only valid to a point. Of course Trump has not embarked on the murderous rampages Stalin is noted for,  but he has praised vicious 21st Century murderous tyrants and it should raise red flags among more than just one sitting Republican senator. Nevertheless, Mr. Flake is right that Trump has incorporated many of the “memes” tyrannical dictators like Stalin and Hitler used to great effect.

What is noteworthy is that Flake has never criticized Trump for promoting typical Republican policies or issuing executive orders rescinding Obama-era measures Republicans have vehemently opposed since their inception. It is why he is not a hypocrite for criticizing Trump while voting for Republican legislation that Trump pledges to sign into law. When Jeff Flake, or any Republican in Congress, votes for Republican (read Heritage Foundation) measures, they are not voting either “with Trump” or “for Trump.” Flake would vote with his party no matter if a Democrat or Republican is in the White House. If anything, Flake should be given some credit for at least a semblance of respectability to criticize what are clearly the words of a despot.

Flake’s condemnation of Trump was not necessarily meant for Trump’s ears or he would not have addressed his colleagues in the Senate.  Although it is likely that Flake was happy to unleash a little criticism in Trump’s direction, his speech was for Republicans in hopes they will distance themselves from an honest-to-dog maniac, however unlikely that seems. It is curious that Republicans are still standing united behind Trump and it cannot possibly be, as many pundits claim, because they need Trump to sign any legislation they pass. If Trump is gone then every piece of legislation passed by Republicans would be immediately signed into law by any other Republican along the chain of succession. It is likely that Republicans as a party really do not have many issues with Trump and it is not solely because they fear repercussions from the base.

Republicans really only have one issue with Trump and it is not his racism, pathological lying, devotion to foreign leaders, or using his position to enrich himself and his family; those are all uniquely Republican traits. The GOP’s only problem with Trump is that he is not timid about vocalizing his uniquely Republican traits. Just because Republicans are not openly calling  the news media “enemies of the people” for debunking Republicans’ lies and misinformation campaigns, they likely have harsh words for the press behind closed doors.

It is unclear exactly what Jeff Flake expected to accomplish criticizing his own party for tolerating a “shameful and repulsive despot.” He may be legitimately concerned that “Republicans are as damned if they stick with Trump” as Flake is “repulsed” by Trump calling the media “enemies of the people.”  The only thing that is crystal clear is that Republicans as a political party are not going to abandon Trump; because although he is shameful and repulsive, he is a dependably staunch Republican.

As Amber Phillips at WaPo noted, Flake’s speech should be “categorized as one more example of the no-win situation Trump is putting the Republican Party in.” It is a situation that Flake said “Republicans have to stop excusing or ignoring or we are lost.”

Alabama Senate Race Exposed America’s Extremism Plague

It has been interesting seeing the various commentaries about the stunning upset win in Alabama’s race for the Senate pitting a radical evangelical nut job against a former prosecutor and civil rights champion. Of course sane Americans, and some Republicans, likely breathed a sigh of relief that a deranged enemy of the United States Constitution will not get a taxpayer-funded trip to the Senate to lend his evangelical bona fides to “change Washington” into a theocracy. However, folks should hardly be celebrating much more than there are a few more decent Americans in Alabama than there are savage evangelical malcontents. The margin of victory informs that nearly half of Alabama’s voters are every bit as racist, religiously extreme, bigoted and un-American as the freak of nature they came close to sending to Washington.

The election results are not a commentary on the impending demise of extremism in Trump’s America as some have inferred. Believing otherwise is a very serious mistake and along the lines of thinking that Barack Obama’s first Presidential election victory in 2008 signaled an end of racism in America. The defeat of an evangelical hero like Roy Moore is going to incite the “fanatical faithful” to outrage like President Obama’s election incited the racists to come out of hiding and do their worst. Doug Jones’ victory is not going to do anything to curtail, much less stop, the raging religious extremists any more than President Obama’s wins signaled an end to racism.

Of course Mr. Jones victory is beyond “good news” for myriad reasons, but that good news is dependent on how Democrats maneuver in Trump’s America. Speaking of Trump, as other commenters have rightly noted, Doug Jones victory was as glaring a rebuke of Trump as it was a well-warranted slap in the face to his vile henchman Steve Bannon. It was also a temporary minor setback for the evangelical extremists who crawled out of their spiritual sewer with scriptural justifications to support a pervert pedophile; something they did in predictably large numbers that nearly propelled Moore to victory.

Remember, there were a significant number of Republican voters who “wrote in” a different candidate than Moore and those numbers were close to Mr. Jones’ margin of victory; that is really what should prevent Democrats from celebrating as if the nation has turned a corner on extremism. It hasn’t and the number of votes Moore received should sober up any victory-drunk Democrat because every one of those extremists who voted for Moore, like their cohorts nationwide, are not going away. If anything, they will regroup and come back with a vengeance as religious extremists are wont to do.

If America, and particularly Alabama, was not drowning in extremism, a piece of work like Roy Moore would have never been able to run as a viable candidate anywhere in the nation. Not only was Moore a viable candidate for Alabama Republicans, he garnered nearly half the votes in an election he would have lost by a huge margin in any “normal state.” Moore represents every extremist sect in America, and yet he still garnered the support of nearly half of Alabama voters because he is a racist, a bigot, an un-American, and a dangerous religious extremist.

Alabama extremists voted for Moore despite he was twice evicted from Alabama’s Supreme Court for rejecting the United States Constitution as the law of the land because it is not the Christian bible; almost half of Alabama voters wanted Moore to take that theocratic mindset to the Senate to “change Washington.

The same Republicans also voted for Moore despite his assertion that what the country needs is to “get rid of the Constitution’s Amendments after the Tenth” to eliminate many of the nation’s problems. In Moore’s mind, and apparently nearly half of Alabama voters, equal rights, women’s right to vote, abolition of slavery, non-white voting rights and the elimination of poll taxes pose a serious problem for America.  Even though Moore accepts the first Ten Amendments as “valid,” he concurs with former Alabama Senator and current Attorney General Jeff Sessions that the First Amendment’s “separation of church and state [clause] was never meant to separate god and government – this country was founded on god.”

Almost half of Alabama voters agree with Moore or they would never have supported sending him to “change Washington.” The evangelical extremists even went so far as claiming that it would be better to elect a pervert pedophile than a Democrat who supports a woman’s constitutional right to self-determination in making her own reproductive health choices. Without the unwavering evangelical extremist support, Moore would have never won the state’s primary or a second election to be Chief Justice of Alabama’s Supreme Court after being kicked off for being an evangelical extremist. That he came close to winning a Senate seat should give every American pause to reflect on the alarming number of Americans still supporting extremism.

There could hardly have been a more extreme candidate than Roy Moore and it is almost certain that any other slightly less extreme Republican would have cruised to victory; and that is not taking anything away from Doug Jones Herculean effort or his victory. Alabama is as dyed-in-the-wool Republican red as any state in the Union and without Moore’s extremist position on everything, it would have been an honest-to-dog miracle for any Democrat to win in Alabama. But Moore was, and is, the personification of extremism and that is what won him nearly half of the people’s vote; that is what is frightening because those evangelical extremists are not going away and they are nationwide.

Look, only demented evangelical fanatics and racists would support an un-American pervert like Roy Moore, and according to the voting numbers they make up about half the electorate in Alabama. Although it is true that a Democrat winning a Senate seat in Alabama, an uber-religious and traditionally extremely conservative state,  is phenomenal, it would be a giant mistake to believe the nation or Alabama has “turned the corner” on racism, bigotry and evangelical extremism because Moore lost a close election.

Remember, Roy Moore was as bad as a candidate as any fiction writer could concoct but he still  won half of the Alabama voters’ support; almost certainly on religious grounds. Although religious extremism was insufficient to defeat a Democrat in a deep red state, it should be a wake-up call for Democrats to start addressing what is one of greatest threats to this country and its Constitution; radical evangelical extremists. Those Alabama extremists came very close to sending one of their champions to the United States Senate to join a growing number GOP religious extremists with a view towards a theocracy. Roy Moore may be going away, but his radical religious base of support still exists and they infect the entire nation or Donald Trump would not be in the White House.

Senator-elect Doug Jones, and his brilliant campaign, deserve a world of credit for pulling out an unlikely victory; it was a victory for Alabama and a victory for America. However, any celebration should be tempered with the knowledge that the kind of racists, un-American, bigoted and religiously extreme voters who wanted Moore in the Senate are angry and laser-focused on revenge. Only an imbecile would think they are going away over the defeat of one of their own.

Perfectly Safe KeystoneXL Pipeline Springs Another Leak

For at least the second time in a few months a foreign corporation-owned oil pipeline leaked 210,000 gallons of oil in South Dakota. The leak occurred mere days before neighboring Nebraska decides whether to issue a permit for the oil export pipeline’s construction across part of America’s agricultural heartland as well as a massive aquifer supplying water to millions of Americans and farmers.

A spokesman for South Dakota’s Department of Environment and Natural Resources, Brian Walsh, said “this is the largest Keystone oil spill to date – in South Dakota.” In April of last year TransCanada “released” 16,800 gallons of oil that leaked from the “perfectly safe” Keystone Pipeline. Walsh said it only took two months to clean up “the majority of the spillage” from that leak; “the largest Keystone oil spill” to date at the time.

Mr. Walsh said that as of Thursday, a few hours after the leak was discovered, that there “were no initial reports of the oil spill affecting waterways, water systems, or wildlife. It is a below-ground pipeline but some oil has surfaced above ground to the grass. It will be a few days until they can excavate and get in borings to see if there is groundwater contamination.”

It is uncertain whether Nebraska will consider “groundwater contamination” in deciding if the pipeline can proceed through the state, but another Keystone pipeline leak within a few months will probably not influence Nebraska’s decision. The state is scheduled to announce this coming Monday about whether to permit the foreign corporation (TransCanada) to expand construction through Nebraska.

The foreign corporation that owns and operates the “perfectly safe” Keystone pipeline, TransCanada released the same kind of statement they did in April when Keystone leaked. “The safety of the public and environment are our top priorities and we will continue to provide updates as they become available.

It was particularly nice of the foreign corporation to assure the public that it was working with state and federal agencies when they should have worked diligently to make sure their leak-prone pipeline was secure. No doubt TransCanada is frantically “working” diligently on Nebraska state agencies and officials who will announce on Monday whether to allow their state to host a “perfectly safe” pipeline; something Greenpeace said should be an easy decision.

The environmental activist group said this “latest” spill “shows that another section of the pipeline in Nebraska should not be approved.” Rachel Rye Butler spoke for environmentalists and sane Americans saying:

The Nebraska Public Service Commission needs to take a close look at this spill. A permit approval allowing Canadian oil company TransCanada to build Keystone XL is a thumbs-up to likely spills in the future.”

Kelly Martin is the director of the Sierra Club campaign, “Beyond Dirty Fuels,” and reiterated what no small number of environmental groups have known is a fact of life about oil pipelines:

We’ve always said it’s not a question of whether a pipeline will spill, but when, and today TransCanada is making our case for us. This is not the first time TransCanada’s pipeline has spilled toxic tar sands, and it won’t be the last. There is no such thing as a safe tar sands pipeline, and the only way to protect Nebraska communities from more tar sand spills is to say no to Keystone XL.

Despite warnings of spills, and President Barack Obama’s rejection of TransCanada’s permit to build the pipeline, the fossil fuel industry running the government is not going to “say no to Keystone XL” even if Nebraska rejects the project. Republicans and Trump claim the pipeline is crucial to eliminating America’s dependency on foreign oil, but they know the foreign-owned pipeline is a transit medium for toxic oil-sands from Alberta Canada on a route through Montana and South Dakota to Nebraska; where it will eventually “feed Texas Gulf Coast refineries.”

After refining and processing, much of it by Koch industries, that oil is already slated for export to China and Europe. None of that oil was ever intended to reduce America’s dependence on foreign oil because it belongs to a foreign corporation, and the Koch brothers, who are going to profit by selling it to foreign nations.

It is noteworthy to mention that if America is so desperate to end its dependency on “foreign oil,” then why did congressional Republicans lift a 40-year ban on selling American oil on the foreign export market last year? As of February of this year, American oil exports to “foreign nations” were at record levels because America is flush with oil and the industry wants more profits.

In fact, in May of this year, Trump proposed selling off half of America’s emergency oil stockpile and the entire backup gasoline supply – to foreign nations. Trump’s head of the White House Office of Management and Budget, Mick Mulvaney, said at the time that it was “the responsible thing to do … especially when we have increased domestic production like we have today.”

Even an imbecile should demand to know why, if America is so damn dependent on foreign oil, is the Trump administration anxious to sell off half the emergency reserves and why is the oil industry selling record levels of American oil to foreign nations? And how in dog’s name is a foreign-owned pipeline carrying foreign oil across prime agriculture land and one of the nation’s “most used aquifers” en route to more foreign nations helping reduce the country’s dependency on foreign oil?

The Keystone XL pipeline is for the sole benefit of a foreign corporation, the Koch brothers, and the oil export industry. Not only are Americans not going to see that oil except for when the pipeline leaks, in order to process tar sand through the pipeline it will take a significant amount of already processed oil to keep it moving on its way to the Gulf for refining and export to foreign nations. And besides endangering the Ogallala Aquifer and prime agricultural land, oil industry experts predict it will increase the cost of diesel fuel at the pump by about 25-cents per gallon for American consumers. Likely worse, though, is the existential cost to the planet of developing tar sands (bitumen) that leading climate scientists say means “game over for the environment.

There is no good reason for allowing a foreign corporation to construct a leak-prone tar sand pipeline across America’s “agricultural heartland” that endangers the environment, creates health risks, raises gas prices and decimates the climate. The only reason the pipeline is going forward, and it will go forward, is because the fossil fuel industry now holds comfortable majorities in both houses of Congress and own the rubber stamp in the Oval Office.

Senate Republicans Expose the GOP’s Inherent Cruelty Towards Americans

According to Albert Einstein, doing  the same thing over and over again and expecting a different result is the definition of insanity. Most people would claim it isn’t so much insanity as sheer stupidity. Only a fool repeats failed “experiments.” It is safe to say both conclusions are valid, but neither one applies to Republicans who continue pushing policies with a record of failure. When Republicans do something over again, they aren’t stupid or insane; they are pure evil because they expect the same results no matter their record of horrific failures.

When Republicans in the Senate passed a budget resolution late Thursday, they were so giddy it’s fairly certain a couple of them either soiled themselves or had a waking wet dream. Not only did they assure themselves that a trillion dollars would be cut  from Medicaid, and a half-a-trillion from Medicare,  they ravaged domestic spending to “shrink the government” paving the way for seriously monumental tax cuts for corporations and the ultra-rich.

To say the Republican budget portends  a “grotesque future with trillions of dollars in tax giveaways to the ultra wealthy, funded by cutting trillions from Medicaid, Medicare, and other vital programs for the poor and middle class”, is understating the cruelty endemic in the Republican Party. Beside ravaging Medicaid and Medicare, the GOP-Heritage Foundation budget cuts more than $5 trillion from education, health care, affordable housing, child care, nutrition assistance, transportation, and every other program that working families depend on.

Although the details of the “budget resolution” aren’t entirely clear, and it is not a done deal, it virtually guarantees that the GOP’s tax “reform” will pass right along with the budget without any debate, committees or Democratic involvement whatsoever. All Republicans need to implement a “horrific budget” and “tax cuts for the rich” for the House to pass  and Trump to sign it. Never mind it will explode the deficit and decimate all domestic programs, it will make the wealthiest Americans and their corporations incredibly richer.

The damage Republicans are about to wreak on America is something Republicans have been planning for over a decade, especially after witnessing the devastating results on a smaller scale in the Republican state of Kansas. For Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, the time he finally keeps a pledge he made a coupe of years ago has arrived. Even as Kansas’ economy, job creation, social programs, and its government were dying from unwarranted tax cuts for the rich and corporations, and credit ratings agencies could not downgrade the state any lower, McConnell pledged to Kansas Governor Sam Brownback that “it’s exactly what we want to do in Washington.”

Republicans know that slashing domestic spending and drastically slashing taxes on the rich and corporations is a recipe for disaster, and yet they keep promising that the way to bring in more government revenue to pay down the deficit is cutting taxes for the rich; even though they know it will reduce revenue. They also claim that transferring wealth to the rich will “eventually” pay dividends and make every American a millionaire due to an explosion in economic growth. The so-called “trickle down” (supply side) economic policy has failed miserable every time it’s been implemented, but it has been a wealth creator for the already super-rich.

Over thirty years ago Reagan tried the “trickle down” scam and despite having to raise taxes several times after cutting them drastically, the economy floundered and the “trickle down” never happened. It took Bill Clinton nominally raising taxes on the rich to right the economy, create jobs, and provide the next administration with a tidy little budget surplus. One would assume that only a cruel fool would revert to “trickle down” again after Reagan’s monumental cock-up, and sure enough, George W. Bush’s Republicans played the fools and cut taxes for the rich dooming the economy. Most Americans remember the abominable economic mess Bush-Republicans left in 2008 that President Barack Obama had to contend with.

Like his Democratic predecessor, President Obama and Democrats eventually enacted a minute tax hike for the very richest Americans, and combined with restoring funding to domestic programs and enacting healthcare insurance reform, the country began paying down the debt, creating jobs at an astonishing rate, and grew the economy significantly.

During the Obama Administration’s economic successes, Kansas Governor Sam Brownback got together with “trickle down” creator Arthur Laffer and implemented huge tax cuts for the rich and corporations  and slashed government spending to the bone. Brownback promised that cutting the source of government revenue would increase the state’s revenue because giving the wealthy more money would create an economic bonanza and create jobs unlike never before. Instead, the state was starved of revenue leading to more cuts to social programs. Subsequently, Trump installed Brownback as his “most trusted economic advisor” to guide him on repeating the disaster in Kansas on a national scale.

Of course Brownback’s repeat of two previous failures resulted in a truly economic disaster in Kansas that the Trump administration, like Mitch McConnell, is anxious and on the verge of repeating. Although they don’t expect different results, they are promoting the same bovine excrement lies that cutting revenue sources will increase revenue, and that “eventually” the economy will surge, there will be more high-paying jobs than available applicants, the government will be flush with revenue and everybody gets rich. It’s all bullshit, but it is not all on Trump.

Of course Trump campaigned on ravaging the tax code for his class of “earner’s” benefit, but the tax “reform,” like the draconian budget disaster, are all longstanding Republican goals.  And it is noteworthy to mention that opposed to the Reagan and Bush “trickle down” disasters, this time Republicans are pairing it with a budget taking America a step closer to Grover Norquist’s dream of reducing government to the size he can drown it in a bathtub. In conservative parlance, “reducing government” begins by slashing spending on “education, health care, affordable housing, child care, nutrition assistance, transportation, and every other program that working families depend on;” precisely what congressional Republicans are on pace to do and exactly what decimated Kansas’ economy, jobs, and social programs.

As a brief aside, Republicans had the temerity this week to claim they don’t know how to do tax reform without giving everything away to the wealthy and corporations. Of course they know how to do it. But if they a little reminder how easy it is, they can summon Bill Clinton or Barack Obama because they were able to do it with no difficulty whatsoever and the economy flourished. Republicans don’t even pretend that the harsh budget will pay for the tax cuts for the rich; they claim, like past trickle down catastrophes, that the tax cuts will eventually pay for themselves when the economy explodes sometime down the road. Something that never happens.

There is no other way to assess the Republican budget or tax reform other than sheer evil and deliberately cruel. Of course Trump is on board and will rubber stamp the most vicious attack on Americans in recent memory, but he does not get all the blame. That goes to Republicans who are as excited as they’ve been in a decade because they finally get to raid the treasury and hand it directly to the rich and do serious damage to the majority of Americans in the process.

From an economic standpoint, what Republicans are close to enacting is insane and stupid, but they know it will adversely affect the great majority of Americans like Reagan and Bush and Brownback before them. That doesn’t make them stupid or insane, it reveals the cruelty endemic to the conservative movement.