Monday, October 11, 2010

Being Ruined By The Right

I’ve been feeling incredibly stressed lately. I think at some subliminal level I’m even more terrified of the coming mid term elections than I realize. Actually, I think our country could possibly be as divided, maybe more divided, than it was preceding the Civil War. And I feel helpless because what can I really do? And I feel frustrated because some things are just so obvious to me and I can’t grasp how others can’t see them. I think as a country, we have collectively gone insane.
It has been awhile since I’ve blogged. Not sure why. I think there is just so much going on inside my head that I’m having trouble organizing it all and churning it out in a way that makes sense. I think I’ll start with David Stockman.

I read an article recently by Paul Farrell of the Wall Street Journal about Mr. Stockman. Stockman was Ronald Reagan’s “Director of the Office of Management and Budget”. He has recently come out and made a case for how the GOP destroyed America’s economy. Yep, you heard that correctly. A member of the GOP admitting that the GOP destroyed America’s economy. Now he doesn’t have a lot of good things to say about Democrats, or at least their economic theory, but he places the preponderance of the blame on the GOP. Check this out. He states that the GOP’s insistence on extending THE MORON’s tax cuts for the rich is akin to filing bankruptcy. When our national debt is about to hit $18 Trillion, Republicans want to extend a 3% break for the rich. This is just another example of their insanity. He further breaks it down into four missteps.

The beginning of the self destruction was Nixon’s decision to do away with the gold standard for currency. This was on the advice of Milton Friedman. I had a roommate in college who used to refer to Friedman as the father of contemporary economics. I’m guessing that roommate is a strong Republican. Anyway, Friedman’s theory was that if you do away with a currency based on the value of some standard, the free market would set exchange rates and trade deficits would self correct. Farrell points out that Freidman was “wrong by trillions”.

So, with the good old U S of A setting the standard, governments everywhere began to follow suit and just printed money with nothing to back it up. Think about this for a minute. It’s our fault. No, really. It is. There was a time when the federal government had reserves of gold and silver to back up the value of our currency. When I was young, there were still “Silver Certificates” in circulation. They were actual currency that was redeemable in silver. You couldn’t do that now. There isn’t enough silver! But, that was what gave us, the people, the confidence that the money was actually worth something. What has taken over is a kind of blind faith. We know there isn’t enough gold to cover it, but we have faith that it will still be accepted at the grocery store. So we said fuck it, if it works, don’t fix it. Now it costs more to mint a penny than the penny is worth. Who the fuck is steering that ship? I believe we have entered, or are about to enter that same reality with nickels. But, let’s move on.

The second major fuck up by the GOP (according to Stockman) was their insistence that deficits don’t matter if they result from tax cuts. He says that back in the early 80’s, Republicans were very supportive of tax cuts. BUT, they had to be offset by reductions in spending. Then the military budget exploded without cutbacks in most of the domestic budget. Farrell says “When Fed chief Paul Volcker ‘crushed inflation’ in the '80s we got a ‘solid economic rebound.’ But then ‘the new tax-cutters not only claimed victory for their supply-side strategy but hooked Republicans for good on the delusion that the economy will outgrow the deficit if plied with enough tax cuts.’ By 2009, they ‘reduced federal revenues to 15% of gross domestic product,’ lowest since the 1940s. Still today they're irrationally demanding an extension of those ‘unaffordable Bush tax cuts [that] would amount to a bankruptcy filing." Remember, this is based on the opinions of a Reagan Republican.
Farrell takes it a step further by pointing out that recently, THE MORON made it much worse by engaging in two unfinanced military operations and rarely vetoing a bill that spent money. This is where the Democrats get blasted too…. The author puts the GOP in bed with the Dems supporting a “free lunch” fiscal policy. Who knew we were “bed mates”?

Next stage, enter Wall Street. Stockman speaks to the “vast, unproductive expansion of the financial sector”. He says that “Republicans have been oblivious to the grave danger of flooding financial markets with freely printed money and, at the same time, removing traditional restrictions on leverage and speculation.” Did I mention this was a Reagan Republican? Farrell takes it a step further and says they weren’t oblivious at all. He says they knew exactly what they were doing and it was motivated by self interest. Here it gets scary. By allowing Wall Street to get back to “business as usual”, they are creating a financial environment that is bound to deteriorate again. Not to crow, but do you remember me saying awhile ago that if the Republicans do regain control, I would strongly advise you all to sell your stock! Stockman says the banks have become wards of the state. The Farrell says they are in fact RUNNING the state. Many of them were bankrupt and would have never survived had they not gotten bailed out. Hey, what I want to know is how can we, as a society, sit back and watch these bastards pay themselves exorbitant salaries and bonuses with what is essentially our money? And before you go off blaming Obama, this fix was put into motion by Bush. Obama just saw it through. I think it was a mistake.

Finally, Stockman says we won’t have a conventional recovery. We will have a long drawn out period where we liquidate our debt and downsize. He says the modern Republican Party’s platform is irrelevant. The author thinks it’s worse. He sees a class war or revolution of sorts on the horizon. I have “felt” that coming for quite awhile now. Most Americans are helpless to do anything about the fleecing they are taking at the hands of the rich. Here is a statistic for you. From 2002 – 2006 “the top 1% of Americans -- paid mainly from the Wall Street casino -- received two-thirds of the gain in national income, while the bottom 90% -- mainly dependent on Main Street's shrinking economy -- got only 12%.” That’s directly from the article. Is that an incredible gap or what? Marvel at it. Two thirds of the gain was received by 1% of the population. Wow….

Now Republicans are going to tell you this is all bull shit. But think about that. Those Republicans who are stupid enough to believe the FOX propaganda machine aren’t worth arguing with. They will tell you Courtney Love is a virgin if they hear it on FOX. The moderate Republicans might be turned. But the RICH Republicans will fight like rabid dogs to do whatever it takes to continue fleecing us in their never ending quest for increased wealth. I bet they will even tell you that the 1% who realized 2/3’s of the gain deserve it because they “work hard” as opposed to those lousy welfare bums who are mooching a free ride off the state. What would happen, if that remaining 99% of the population decided to do something about it? They can. They can vote.


Common Sense

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