Following her vote for Paul Ryan's Ayn Rand inspired budget, Shelley Moore Capito said she cast her vote to "ensure our kids and grandkids have the same opportunities that my generation did."
Sorry, Shelley, but most of us did not have the same opportunities you had, and many of us -- through no fault of our own -- would not survive without the safety nets the Ryan budget would decimate.
Republican deregulation and obstruction of Democrats' attempts to end subsidies for companies who shutter businesses here to move them overseas have resulted in sustained unemployment levels unseen for more than a generation. One of the results of this 30 years of "Trickle Down Economics" is that more than one in six children in the United States go to bed hungry because their family can't afford to provide adequately for them. In spite of this horrendous and almost unbelievable statistic, Representative Capito voted to gut the Food Stamp program that, for many people, is the only thing standing between them and starvation.
In the world today, the United States -- who used to lead the globe in education -- ranks 14th out of 34 in reading skills, 17th in science, and 25th in math (among 15-year-olds). Japanese investors who recently visited our state complained that they were hesitant to further invest in West Virginia because our workforce is inadequately educated. In spite of these embarrassments, Rep. Capito voted for a budget that would slash education funding, cutting more than two million children from public preschool, a program in which participation dramatically increases future education successes. And, on the other end of the ladder, cuts to Pell Grants and subsidized college loans would ensure that the only people still able to afford higher education will be the children of either the very elite or foreign countries whose governments realize the value of providing for the education of future generations.
General Martin Dempsey, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, along with other generals, testified before Congress that the Pentagon plans to cut spending by $487 billion over the next decade. Paul Ryan's response was that the generals were being "dishonest and were not giving Congress their true advice." General Dempsey's reaction was a terse statement that Ryan was, "calling us collectively liars." Capito supports a budget, then, that in spite of endless Republican hand-wringing over debt, deficit and too much spending, will force the military to spend almost $200 billion more than they want or need.
The United States is the only major industrialized country that does not provide health care for its citizenry, and where it is common for citizens to be forced into bankruptcy by illness, despite the Constitution's mention in both the Preamble and the Taxing and Spending Clause that we, the people, collectively as the government, provide for "the General Welfare." Somehow, though, Republicans seem to believe that attacks mounted by external or home-grown terrorists that might kill a few thousand people are more of a threat to the public than the onslaught of illnesses and diseases that needlessly and prematurely kill exponentially more. In spite of the aging population and the increase of poverty-related illnesses, Capito stands steadfast behind a budget that eviscerates Medicaid and literally ends Medicare as we know it.
She seems to believe that because the Moores, Captios, Romneys and Ryans can afford all the preventive and palliative care they need, the rest of us don't matter a whit.
The upper 1 percent in this country utilize public services -- including air traffic safety, police and fire protection, patent and other legal protections, banking and financial regulations and protections, and military interventions to protect their corporate interests -- immeasurably more than the rest of us. Paradoxically, though, they pay a much smaller percentage of their income than us common folk to support such services. In spite of all evidence showing clearly that income windfalls for the economically elite in this country end up in Swiss bank accounts and Cayman Island tax shelters, and not in job creation or reinvestment in this country. Capito unconditionally supports a budgetary philosophy that ridiculously insists the only way to increase U.S. employment is to ensure these people's coffers grow more and more bloated, subsidized by the middle and lower classes.
I will end here by asking the good people of West Virginia to commit three letters to their memory for November: ABC -- Anybody But Capito.
Namay, of Charleston, is owner of PC Specialist Inc.