If there was any remaining doubt about how the Republicans define “fairness,” it has been dispelled in the states where Republicans are now in political control. What is emerging is a consistent pattern of cutting various social services and support for the poor while simultaneously lowering taxes for businesses and the wealthy. Here is a brief summary (with thanks to the Center for American Progress).
Arizona: Made drastic cuts in Medicaid while approving $538 million in tax cuts for businesses.
Florida: Laid of 6,700 state employees, cut education spending by $4.8 billion and Medicaid by almost $4 billion, while launching an effort to gut the state’s unemployment insurance system and, to “balance the scale,” slash corporate income taxes and property taxes.
Georgia: The Republican House has just passed a bill that would increase health insurance costs for state workers by 20 percent, cut funding for state universities by $75 million and gut its scholarship program. Meanwhile, the legislature is considering changes to its tax system that would lower taxes for the rich, cut corporate taxes by 33 percent and shift the burden to increased sales taxes on the basic necessities.
Iowa: The Republicans in this state are proposing a $200 million cut in corporate income taxes and commercial property taxes, while cutting $42 million from state university budgets, laying off hundreds of state workers, and cutting funds for preschool education.
Ohio: Republican Governor John Kasich has proposed a 25 percent cut in the state’s education budget, $1 million from food banks, $12 million from children’s hospitals, and $15.9 million from an adoption program for children with special needs, among other things, along with tax cuts for oil companies, repeal of the state’s estate tax and an income tax cut for the rich.
You get the idea. A similar pattern can be found in Kansas, Maine, Michigan, New Jersey, Pennsylvania, South Carolina, and Wisconsin. It seems the Republicans don’t understand the concept of “shared sacrifices” (AKA “fairness”). It’s very clear that “compassionate conservatism” has been replaced by callous conservatism. The Republicans have thrown their moral compass overboard and they’re steering the ship of state toward an iceberg. We all know how that story ended.