The next big crisis facing Democrats.

For 30 years, the Grand Old Party of Corporations has fought to end welfare for the poor (although corporate welfare is just dandy), labor unions, workers’ compensation programs, public schools, and entitlements such as Medicare and Social Security.  And recent events have presented Republicans a golden opportunity to permanently undo 80 years of progressive initiatives. 

State income has plummeted as a result of the Republican-created financial collapse.  Now those states controlled by right-wing conservative legislatures are capitalizing on the recession by slashing budgets for public education, health care for at-risk children, and pensions.  And you can bet the wingnuts are going to blame it all on President Obama and the Democratic-controlled Congress. 

In my state of Arizona, a Republican-controlled legislature has slashed millions from an education system that already ranks 49th in the nation.  (Following the Republican philosophy of wresting control away from government, the state offers huge subsidies for private and parochial schools.  Of course, those subsidies are unaffected by budget cuts.)  The legislature is also closing state parks even though they are a necessary part of the state’s 2nd largest industry – tourism.  The legislature is even considering selling all state-owned buildings and leasing them back as part of long-term agreements which will pay the purchasers billions of taxpayer dollars.  But, according to Republicans, they’re only doing what Democrats won’t – balance the budget. 

Never mind that, for years, Republicans have cut taxes for the wealthy.  Never mind that the legislature refused to allow the Republican governor to place a temporary sales tax increase on the ballot.  It’s a perfect political climate for Republicans to orchestrate this charade. 

I hope voters are informed enough to make Republicans pay for it by voting for progressive candidates.  But since many rely on the Faux News Channel for information, they’re more likely to make matters worse by voting for the Tea Party, instead.