Editor's note: This contribution by the late journalist I.F. Stone first appeared in our January 1975 magazine.
Republican leaders are finally coming out and saying what they've wanted to do all along -- and that's to rollback the New Deal and the social programs that followed. Even though the vast majority of Americans support Social Security, Medicare, and Medicaid, the Republicans are taking direct aim at these programs.
Paul Ryan's budget was the first shot.
Paul Krugman has already knocked the crap out of Paul Ryan's budget, and there was lot to knock out of it. (In addition to his published columns in the Times, his blog has been indispensable -- http://krugman.blogs.nytimes.com. Economist Dean Baker has also torn it to shreds.
But this has not slowed down the Republicans any.
House Majority Leader Eric Cantor was on Fox on Sunday with Chris Wallace, and he was about as blunt as he could be:
"We'll protect today's seniors and those nearing retirement, but for the rest of us, all of us, who are 54 and younger, I know the programs are not going to be there."
Or, as he recently told NPR, "We're going to have to come to grips with the fact that these programs cannot exist if we want America to be what we want America to be."
Ah, there's the rub, though. What Eric Cantor and Paul Ryan and John Boehner want America to be is not what you and I want America to be.
They want an America not only where the rich dominate; in case you hadn't noticed, we're in that America already. But they also want an America where there is no support or protection for the rest of us. They don't believe government ought to "promote the general welfare" -- only the specific welfare of the top 1 percent.
No one else matters.
If you liked this story by Matthew Rothschild, the editor of The Progressive magazine, check out his story "Walker and Cronies Are Lawless Bastards!"
Follow Matthew Rothschild @mattrothschild on Twitter.