Baxter Pharr: For GOP, corporate profits trump environment
The latest victims of the U.S. Senate Republicans’ war on the environment have just been reported. In Grand County, two horses were killed when a power line was toppled by beetle-infested trees. Moose, elk, and deer have been running for their lives from wildfires that were burning out of control in Rocky Mountain National Park. Meanwhile cats have gone up in flames as 166 structures burned in Colorado’s most destructive wildfire in history, the Fourmile fire outside of Boulder.Unfortunately moose, elk, deer, horses, cats, and trees don’t have the right to vote these destructive Senate Republicans out of office. In case you haven’t been keeping up with the news, all 40 Republicans in the U.S. Senate recently stood up against comprehensive energy and climate legislation. They thought that preserving corporate profits was more important than protecting the environment. Recent figures have revealed that U.S. corporations are now sitting on a record $1+ trillion in cash. By not giving their workers adequate raises (inflation-adjusted salaries for the average worker have actually declined over the last 10 years) and keeping the unemployed out of meaningful work, these corporations have more money to influence Senate Republicans. The effect has been to slow down consumer spending and prevent a full-fledged recovery. It’s becoming increasingly clear that the Republican Party is the party of the rich, powerful, and corrupt.These Senate Republicans keep repeating the same old worn-out lies that the Bush administration used to reject the Kyoto Protocol: “Our economy will be harmed.” Well, as it turned out, the Bush administration was expert in harming the economy. The stock market (as measured by the S&P 500 – what many consider the best leading indicator for the health of the economy – after more than tripling under the Clinton administration actually declined 40 percent under the Bush administration. In fact, the Bush-Cheney decade of 2000-2009 has been the worst performing decade in U.S. stock market history! Thus far the S&P 500 is up 43 percent in the roughly year-and-a-half since Obama took office. You see the Republicans’ war on the environment has resulted in a war on the economy – by killing green jobs, they have killed the American dream for many of our citizens and let other countries take the lead in these budding technologies. Don’t let the folks that drove our economy into a ditch have the keys back this November!
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