WE can be thankful for union-busting Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker for making explicit the Republican agenda. Phase one, already largely accomplished, involves steadily de-funding government through big tax cuts for the rich.
In phase two, Republicans use balanced-budget rhetoric as a political weapon to attack "entitlements," defined as every positive thing government does to benefit society.
And when our public sector has been cut to the bone, with working Americans effectively stripped of affordable health care, schools and retirement security, and the middle class lifestyle is a distant 20th century memory, the Republicans can move ahead with phase three -- more tax cuts for the rich.
What happened to the charitable, caring nation we once were? Republicans are hypocrites for professing to be good Christians while apparently not worrying about the tens of millions of people who need health care and assistance in general.
I have not heard even one politician put caring for people above the so-called absolute need to cut spending and reduce the deficit.
Spending and the debt do need to be reduced. But when politicians won't end tax cuts for the rich or lessen the wasteful, gargantuan military budget, it's clear that maintaining political power and obeying corporate lobbies take priority.
The recent Republican budget proposal by Congressman Paul Ryan proposes more tax cuts for the wealthy, which have never produced more jobs or increased income to the Treasury.
This is beyond absurd at a time of historically low taxes. Reducing spending without increasing income would make poor Americans poorer, rich Americans richer and the middle class non-existent -- and not reduce the deficit.
Finally, the Republicans' blind faith in the free market is also beyond absurd. The "free market" has always been a rigged system, particularly where the big money is defense, energy, finance and insurance.
Industry has always treated the federal government like a cash cow at the expense of the taxpayers.
James V. Burke
Sayreville, New Jersey
Moving to Ireland
After living in Ireland for almost one year, this is what I’ve learned