The alternative from Conservatives we hear constantly is that all our solutions to all our problems need to come from the "Free Market". However, we have had well over 100 years to see just how a free and unregulated market handled poverty and inequality and I think it's pretty fair to say that as of a century ago It Failed Miserably as we fell into the Great Depression and the Dust Bowl.
People like Rand Paul or Paul Ryan would like to argue that only through lower taxes would the engines of social charity be unleashed to protect the interests of the poor, yet that doesn't explain why so many nations with taxes higher than our own, give so much higher percentages of their money and time to charity because America only ranked 13th on the Index of World Giving in 2010, whereas in the latest report America now Ranks at #1 (pdf) which is the first report since the tax were raised on those earning more than $450,000 per year.
Here's a basic Tip the GOP has never figured out, when taxes go up on the Rich, they give more to Charity because doing so increases their deductions and lowers their overall tax burden. When you lower their taxes, they sit on the money and try to hatch it to the tune of $4 Trillion offshore accounts and corporate profits. They don't start businesses, they don't create jobs. The money sits and does nothing.
GOPers have continued to argue their Laffer Curve delusion that lowering taxes brings in greater revenue. Well here is the Revenue to GDP chart for the last few decades.
First you have the Big Dip when Reagan initially cut taxes in the 1980's and started us into a Deficit Slide. Then you notice the second BIG DIP right after 2000? That was when Bush first tax cut went into effect. Then the Third Dip in 2003? That's his second cut. And then the GIANT DIP in 2008-2009? That's the economy tanking on George W Bush and the Conservative Congresses watch.
It's one thing to argue that people should be more self-sufficient, it's another to take the tools of their being able to implement that self-sufficiency out of their hands. The GOP oppose raising the minimum wage which is just about the only way that first line workers are able to raise their income vs. the ever rising cost of goods and services. They opposed Pell Grants and Loan Guarantees that help people pay for school and get a chance at a better job. They oppose worker safety and compensation. We have Republicans currently arguing that we should no longer have a Weekend and that Kids should start working at AGE 11!.
Because, Y'know, have we no Work Houses for the obviously Idle Poor?
They relentlessly bash Teachers and Public Worker Unions - as Christie has shown - because how can we possibly have people in the public sector earning a decent living? Clearly that has to stop because private companies might have to try and compete and provide equally good pay and benefits to their workers, and we can't have THAT anymore.
Private Industry is motivated by it's own self-interest and the short term quarterly profit of it's stockholders, not the long-term well being of it's employees, nor their customers, nor the public good. It has never, and will not be able to serve the needs of the poor - nor will individual charitable giving close that gap.
The reality is that Government programs have to close that gap or it doesn't get closed.
The Poverty programs began by President Johnson have not been prefect, and certainly not 100%% successful but they've been a darn sight better than the reverse, which is to do nothing. Millions of Elderly have been lifted out of poverty and destitution or else a life of working themselves to death by Social Security. Their lives have been saved again and again by access to Medicare. The same is true of the Unemployed and the Poor with Medicaid, CHiP and SNAP, but all Republicans can do - is try to gut and cripple these programs, because only after they are rendered ineffective and inert will those mystical magical free market reforms appear and make everything all glowy and happy in exactly the way they never have been before.
There has been nowhere that they can point to where their so-called "Free-For-All Market" has produced the results they claim that it will, but it can't, it never has and it never will.
We all know, or should know, that an estimated 45,000 Americans are dying every year from lack of Affordable HealthCare, yet what has been the Republicans raison d'tre for the past 3 years? Block, Sabotage and Repeal the Only Significant Health Care Bill that has passed in the last 40 years, then - for most of them- block the Medicaid expansion leaving 5 Million Americans out in the cold. And somehow they don't think is going to have a negative affect on anyone? Please, even they aren't that deluded. They know it's going to cost people's lives, they just don't care because most of those people - they think - are Democrats.
And so, when we read the emails about Children stuck in traffic unable to get to school being something a Christie Staffer and Appointee wonders "Is it wrong that I'm Smiling?" should we be shocked or surprised because it seems to me, as they block judicial appointees, cabinet and department nominees for years, as they threaten to smash through the debt ceiling, take us over the fiscal cliff and yet again block the extension of Unemployment insurance payments for the long-term uninsured - they certain don't seem to be able to contain much of their maniacal glee.
They're just like those Christie staffers and/or spouse with the huge wide Joker Grin, because why in the end should they really care - those are probably nothing more than "Obama Voters" out there suffering anyway, right? So who cares about them? No matter how much they claim to "Love America" the GOP repeatedly shows how much they hate nothing so much as their fellow Americans if they have the bold, outrageous temerity to be - Democrats.
This latest scandal with Christie's staff is nothing new, it's just more of what we've been seeing for years, every since Frank Luntz and Newt Gingrich transformed the Republicans into the Party Of Hate.