Where ever two Republicans get together one topic of conversation is bound to be how bad the government is. The complaint is always too much government meddling in the wrong things. They almost sound anarchist in their desire to dismantle government. Yet they have built quite an election machine with the express purpose of running government from the schoolhouse to the White House and every stop in between.
The targets for their wrath over the years have been welfare programs, dismantling any social programs such as Social Security and Medicare and any regulatory programs.
Education has been one of the very biggest targets. What they have done to education is quite illustrative of why they really do not want to destroy government as their rhetoric would indicate. Rather than divorcing government from education, Republicans have come up with ingenious ways to milk federal dollars from the system and steer them to the wealthy.
Similarly Republicans see all levels of government as steering utilities that direct tax dollars from the poor and middle class to the elite – those captains and generals of industry who need an infusion of government dollars to be successful.
Iowans have one of the greatest examples of this going on right in front of their eyes with the actions of Terry Branstad in recent months. Vetoing money for schools one day and in the space of a couple months turning around to give businesses a tax break of almost equal cost, without even any input from the legislature. At nearly the same time, the governor created a method for private companies to siphon off dollars meant for the health care of Iowa’s poorest citizens and redirected it to private companies. And so money targeted for public good ends up in the pockets of private companies.
Thus Branstad illustrates how Republicans view government – it is an institution to be used to take from the poor and give to the rich using methods that can be created on the fly when needed.