Sunday, June 26, 2011

Is There a Solution?

Recently someone asked me if I thought Ronald Reagan was a good president? And I answered them somewhat sarcastically that, after he fulfilled his promises to the wealthy and the deficit soared out of control, he did a splendid job. He did eliminate long and short-term capital gains taxes- created one rate to hinder tax shelters- and did away with investment credits. Ironically, the loopholes he plugged did, to a limited degree, create jobs and opportunity.

Today we have an entirely different situation. The tax laws that are designed to give corporations and the super rich incentives to invest in America and create jobs, have been co-opted by a generation of self-interested derivative thinkers to the point where it has become anti-tax stupification.

Today US corporations that were born here, and sustained by our country are rewarded by the tax system for investing abroad and, at the same time, closing American facilities and firing American workers. Corporate leaders get capital gains on stock acquired by them in compensation plans, again using tax laws that are designed to create jobs and stimulate the economy, without creating any jobs, except for an au pair or maid.

The real tragedy is that some who recently assumed positions of power, as well as many who aspire to positions of power, have little understanding about what's going on; and liken what's happening now to what was happening during the Reagan era.

If right wing Republicans were seriously interested in job creation, rather than having savings of the rich "trickle down" into contributions for their campaigns and attack ads designed to eliminate Democrats and moderate Republicans from the American political scene, they would require every corporation to disclosed what percentage of their stock float is actually being invested as "capital" in building factories and research facilities, buying equipment and training workers in the US.

Sunday, June 19, 2011

"Now We Are Engaged in a Great Civil War,"

The title for this post is from Lincoln's Gettysburg Address. I do think the New Conservatives, at least some of them, believe that middle class/ working Americans are responsible, themselves, for "being behind the power curve", in a precarious position, and in danger of destitution. The problem is that they are out of touch with reality. As stated throughout this blog, the dynamics of America and the world have changed drastically on virtually every level. And it is either stupidity or evil to hold and advocate beliefs and policy that are supported by fallacious premises. And to have such people in a position of power to impose such policy without understanding or merit is insane and the end of "the last, best hope of earth." Again, this quote is from Lincoln referring to America.

Leona Helmsley once said, "We don't pay taxes. Only little people pay taxes..." For the rest of the New Conservatives, the ones' that are conscious of what they are doing: using their wealth to destroy democracy and the middle class, it is almost criminal.

When the bread gets low- food stamps are cutoff- and the gladiators are locked-out- no football- people may come to their senses. And because we live in a democracy, it will be only a matter of time before the passage of a very progressive Federal income tax.

Finally- Tea Party Conservatives love to divert attention from meaningful issues by spending inordinate amounts of time discussing ludicrous, often trivial issues. Perhaps the new House majority should pass a bill replacing the eagle with the vulture as our national bird. True Americans that love, serve and believe in this country are merely meat for the New Conservatives and the financial aristocracy. 

Sunday, June 5, 2011

Power Without Merit

All things considered, there are some endeavors that the federal government is capable of administering more efficiently and more cost-effectively than the private sector. Public works, the military and health care are three major examples. The argument that this is not so stems from "private sector" involvement in a non-competitive market in conjunction with the government.

Bush experimented with a private military that included Blackwater, and the costs were astronomical when compared to the effectiveness, which was minimal. And there were some damaging repercussions that are not usually associated with a voluntary army.

Since the inception of Medicare and Medicaid, private sector entities have exploited the systems for profit. And behavior of private sector insurers illustrates that costs will continue to go up and coverage will continue to go down for the vast majority of Americans. If you take the leash off the pit bull, it is insane to believe that it will attack less. 

The arguments of the New Conservatives are rooted in realities that were at least partially true in American history. The notion of "Go West" to a new territory and stake your claim was a viable option. And throughout much of our history, America was the land of opportunity.

With the country settled, and so much manufacturing lost, we have become a country of information and technology and sales. And much of the technology is designed to reduce, not create jobs. I thank whatever gods maybe that be that Obama had the foresight and intelligence to save the American automobile industry which, incidentally, has repaid the loans and is now leaner and healthier than ever.

With the advent of the Tea Party, it has become apparent that one of the fundamental principles of the Founding Fathers has been thrown out the window by the New Conservatives. Implicit in the formation of America was the notion of merit.

Driven by the Kock brothers, whose BC thought process and wealth come from the same place, the Mesozoic Era, Tea Party candidates pooh-pooh teachers and education, democracy and equality, standards, laws and regulations; and more fundamentally opportunity and fairness. Remember the colonists offered George Washington the crown and he rejected it as fundamentally un-American. And Newt Gingrich recently had a lapse of conscience- probably due to all that education and teaching- when he described the Ryan Plan as right-wing "social engineering".