The Joplin Globe, Joplin, MO

Opinion

April 18, 2014

Your View: Astonishing transformation

JOPLIN, Mo. — The transformation of the Republican Party in the last decade is astonishing. A party that embraced law and order is now making a hero out of a man who has refused to pay grazing fees for the past 15 years, taking resources other ranchers pay for, and who refuses to even recognize the existence of the U.S. government.

These Republicans want to get rid of the IRS, without which we would have no way to bring in revenue to pay for bridges, Medicare or the military. While Republican President Nixon supported a guaranteed annual income, most Republicans serving in the U.S. Congress don’t even support a minimum wage, and have the audacity to call it freedom.

How can a person be free when he or she can’t earn enough to pay for decent housing, gas to go to work or nutritious food?

This Republican Party, including Missouri’s U.S. Rep. Billy Long, just passed a budget that slashes food stamps (most of which go to the elderly, children and low wage workers) by $125 billion, while cutting taxes for the very wealthy.

It has pulled the Democratic Party to the right also, so that now most would identify with the policies of Republican President Eisenhower. The past 30 years have proven that trickle-down economics doesn’t work. Wealth is sucked from the middle class to the wealthy, who have increased their wealth by 300 perrcent since President Reagan. Austerity never built prosperity. To rebuild the American middle class will require policies that invest in the nation to increase opportunities for all of us.

From improving health, getting a better education, feeling safe in our neighborhoods, and having the same protections guaranteed to all of us are truly investments in our future.

Novella Webster

Joplin

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