Money vs. People: The Real Difference?

Which political party really has the interests of people at heart?  How does one tell in this complicated time, when there are so many issues to deal with and so many accusations flung back and forth across the aisle?  When there is so much corporate and special interest money washing over the political system that it seems that both parties are beholden to the monied interests rather than to the majority of citizens?

Sometimes a comparatively minor issue can clarify the parties’ stances on the bigger issues.  Take the issue of college affordability, which is a source of angst and worry for the middle class and working classes but of no concern to the well off.  Congress is as usual unable to reach any kind of conclusion, this time on the interest rate for Stafford Loans.  As stated in a recent New York Times opinion piece by Mark Kantrowitz and Lynn O’Shaughnessy, the stalemate is not over whether or not the rates should be kept at their current level but how to pay for the reduction; as the authors state, “Each party has added conditions to the rate extension that are unacceptable to the other side. Republicans want to pay for a one-year extension on the lower Stafford rate by taking $6 billion out of the preventive health care fund established by the 2010 health care legislation; Democrats want to cover the tab by cutting oil subsidies and closing a corporate-tax loophole.”  Here it all is, in one simple straightforward example:  the Republicans want to continue to subsidize hugely profitable industries that need no government support but do not want to subsidize the health of citizens who are already struggling to meet their rising health care costs.

This the consistently repeated pattern:  Democrats for people, Republicans for corporations and the very wealthy.  That’s what it all boils down to, regardless of any rhetoric to the contrary.

Update:  Read this editorial in the New York Times on the Republican attempt to gut domestic programs that aid the helpless in order to add more money to the already excessive defense budget.

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