A site of satirical musings, commentary and/or rhetorical criticism of the world at large.

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Location: Southeastern, Pennsylvania, United States

Friday, November 19, 2010

Money Over All

At the risk of over-generalizing a group’s beliefs or ideals, I have figured out that conservative Republicans are beholden to a seemingly unspoken, unwritten mantra. That mantra being: money matters more than people themselves. I realize that this is a dangerous assumption that is not true of all those professing to be Republican. On the other hand, they are very quick to immediately label liberals as Socialists or Marxists, so what the hell! Let the stereotyping proceed!

My conclusion became self evident during the closing weeks of the last election cycle, which seemed to be bitchier than usual in its tone. The election results ushered in a fresh set of conservatives who are vowing to slash spending, cut the deficit, ban earmark projects, and do it all without compromising with Obama and the Democrats. Even before the freshman class is sworn in, there are others already in power that are exercising these prerogatives and finding favor from other Republicans. Specifically, we can see this in New Jersey governor Chris Christie canceling his state’s financial participation in the building of a new railroad tunnel under the Hudson River.

Christie — who it should be noted is being seen as the heir apparent to Ronald Reagan’s mantle — fretted over a projected multi-billion dollar overrun for which New Jersey would have assumed responsibility. He argued that the state doesn’t have the money. So New Jersey could build it at a later date when they do have this money? Doubtful!

Arguments about investment in the state’s future, thousands of jobs that would have been created, the resulting tax revenue from the thousands of jobs that would have been created, and the development of the area near the tunnel were all lost on Christie’s hard-hearted, short-sighted position. So now there are no new jobs (an accusation which, ironically, Republicans are fond of hanging on the Democrats), no development, and no new revenue.

Most importantly, there is an element of infrastructure concern: the tunnel was built over 100 years ago and can no longer adequately service the New York metropolitan area. It was built to last a long time, but it won’t last forever. Structural failure is inevitable and with it the possibility of human casualties. Obviously the potential for human catastrophe can’t trump the importance of saving a buck.

The reaction to Christie’s decision has been as expected — mixed. Progressive thinking people denounced his decision. Conservative Republicans applauded his reasoning, and at least one — Pennsylvania Governor-elect Tom Corbett — has declared that he will emulate Christie when he takes office. Some wags — in the liberal media I assume — have bestowed the label “Christie Jr” onto Corbett. Works for me!

Christie’s action is just the beginning of a frightful trend. Of course, it’s good to cut back on spending, but the savings have to be done wisely without endangering the welfare and security of the society as a whole. The incoming ladies and gentlemen from the Tea Party don’t seem terribly concerned about this possibility, especially when they continue to call for less government regulation of business. They act like the Wall Street meltdown in 2007 never happened.

Regardless if the Republican majority picks and chooses what programs to fund and not fund, it will be us, the American people, who will once again bear the cost of their decisions. The cost may not come in the form of a higher tax bill. It could come in terms of lost jobs and human lives.

Of course, if my generalizations are exaggerated and/or inaccurate, then please, someone with a conservative mindset is free to answer my charges. Please exercise your First Amendment right and prove me wrong. Will anyone be able to defend this miserly point of view? Doubtful!

(Thank you for reading. Please remember what we refuse to pay for today may look like a bargain tomorrow.)


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