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David Sirota Headshot

GOP Mantra: For Me, but Not for Thee

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AP File

"For me, but not for thee" -- this could be the motto of 21st-century elitists, or Republican politicians (which are more or less the same thing) and two stories this week show how that mantra works in practice.

The first comes from ThinkProgress about how 97 percent of Republican congresspeople are keeping their taxpayer subsidized health insurance while voting to deny that kind of health insurance to other Americans... because, you know, government health care is great for Republican politicians, but apparently too lavish for the Rest of Us:

According to a ThinkProgress analysis, seven, or just three percent of all the Republicans in the House have agreed to give up their insurance while they vote to repeal coverage for some 32 million Americans...The majority of the GOP still sees nothing wrong in purchasing tax-payer subsidized insurance while trying to deny coverage to the taxpayer.

The second story comes from Ohio's new archconservative governor, John Kasich. Here's an excerpt from the Akron Beacon Journal's editorial explaining the situation:

John Kasich kept his promise. When word surfaced that the governor would pay his top aides significantly higher salaries than paid during the Ted Strickland years, Kasich explained that his overall staff budget would be lower than his predecessor spent...Kasich suffers from a flaw in his logic. He argues that he must pay his staff members more because he is competing with the private sector for their talent...

(The) disconnect involves the governor's harsh words for many in the public sector, especially unions, about failing to understand the principle of sacrifice. Kasich insists they make do with less. Then, he turns around and pays his chief of staff $47,000 a year more than the Strickland chief of staff.

So when it comes to Gov. Kasich getting a top-notch, taxpayer-funded entourage around himself, he says he needs to pay employees a whole helluva lot more than they made under previous administrations. But when it comes to state services for his constituents, Gov. Kasich says taxpayers should cut pay for state workers and thus, by his own logic, not attract a top-notch workforce to deliver those services.

As I said -- the attitude among these Republican elitists is "For me, but not for thee."