By Peter Toll
When my youngest daughter was 7 and I was working in the Oregon Senate Democratic Office, she asked me one day: “What’s the difference between Democrats and Republicans?” Before I could answer, her mother said, “Honey, Democrats share.”
Or, put another way, Democrats are more focused on the individuals (as a group) than on business (as a group). Nowhere is that more clear than in the current D.C. wrangling on how to allocate the billions of dollars about to be distributed with federal “stimulus” largesse.
Despite the occasional headline that says, “Democrats holding up relief” legislation, the fact is, the Democrats are fighting for more money for hospitals, cities, counties and state governments, those in the first-line of serving the people directly. The Republicans want more money for businesses.
One of Clackamas County’s biggest private employers, Precision Castparts, recently announced it is temporarily shutting down its operation and putting hundreds of people on “paid furlough” until the virus situation settles down. Goodwill of the Willamette is letting virtually all of its hundreds of employees go, too, just to name a couple of the hundreds in the same bind.
Where do these people go for money to pay their rent? To buy groceries? To buy clothing for themselves and their children? Do they go running to Donald Trump? No, they turn to local government—the state, the county and the cities for succor. When hard times and distress hit, the action is local, not from D.C.
While partisans of both sides claim the righteousness of their position, when push comes to shove in the legislative arena, when it comes down to a vote, up or down, Republicans invariably side with business while Democrats side with workers.
Does anyone doubt that Donald Trump is all but pimping for Big Business, along with his henchman Mitch McConnell? Trump-McConnell want more money for their business buddies than they do for local and state governments. Therein lies the rub.
When we elect people who are anti-government, who see government as a terrible hurdle to the dominating success of big business and, equally, rich individuals, should we expect anything less? Not really. And that terrible example from D.C. is rolling down hill into the states and influencing Oregon Republican legislators. More and more out of favor, they feel walking away from their responsibilities—win or lose—is okay.
How far will that $1,200 fed check carry people? It is a one-time deal. Only once.Continue reading