Silence is Consent

If you don't speak up you accept what is happening. This site was born out of the mainstream media's inability to cover the news. I am just an American cititzen trying to spread the word in the era of FCC consolidation, post 9/11 Patriot Act hysteria, hackable voting machines and war without end. I rant and post news items I perceive to be relevant to our current situation.

All tyranny needs to gain a foothold is for people of good conscience to remain silent.
- Thomas Jefferson

Social Security is not broken and therefore does not need to be fixed

So Called Social Security Crisis (SCSSC)

Comments, questions, corrections, rebuttals are always welcome.

Tuesday, June 22, 2004
This is in response to a comment that was posted yesterday in reference to the Thom Hartman article about the current assault on the middle class.

The first question asked is: "Do I want a return to Carter's economic policy?" When you refer to that I can only assume that you are referring to what many believe is the "classic" Democratic tax and spend economic policy. There were many things blamed on Carter including high inflation and high interest rates. Also stagflation which was high inflation and high unemployment. But here is an overview of the economy during his term in office, Myth: Carter ruined the economy; Reagan saved it. There are many differences of opinion about Carter's record and the longer he is out of office the better he looks:
Republicans like to point to the failures of the Carter Administration and then claim that Ronald Reagan brought us into the present era. Alas, while I prefer Reagan to Carter, I cannot say that the above statement is true. Granted, much occurred during the Reagan Administration that was good, but if truth be known, many of the important initiatives that enabled those boundaries to expand came from Carter's presidency.
If my assumption about your opinion of Carter is wrong I apologize but the mainstream media and most "wingnuts" have been blaming all of that on Carter as a tax and spend liberal for years. Back to your question though, I believe that taxes at this point should be raised and that the bleeding of all social programs at the great benefit of the military industrial complex (MIC) is wrong and should be changed and I don't believe that is a return to Carter's economic policies.

The comment then states that Clinton and Bush have many of the same economic policies and that Clinton had the luxury and timing for his economic boom. The second point first. Clinton had the luxury but Carter's policies were responsible for his problems. That seems a little disingenuous. I don't think that any President necessarily has complete control of the economy during his term. But to state that Clinton's success is due to timing and to blame Carter for his policies seems just too convenient. When in both cases there were probably many factors that contributed to both Presidents economic performance. I'm not sure of the "many" similar economic policies. They both believe in globalization, along with NAFTA, WTO and GATT, and are pro business. But two of Clinton's first initiatives were healthcare reform (which was trashed) and a tax increase (which was trashed as well but passed). The first thing Bush did was lower taxes and cause the deficit to come back and he also increased defense spending and is gutting social programs.

"How do you put the genie of globalization back into the bottle?" Well, of course, you can't but you can even the playing field with regulation. Regulation has gotten a bad name but remember that is how the people are assured of a fair playing field. Not one rigged for either business or labor but one where both benefit. There needs to be selective tariffs to protect jobs in this country. I believe this can cause some of the wage deflation to stop. When the middle class earns more they spend more therefore spurring the economy. It has now become painfully obvious that supply side economics does nothing but cause deficits. If you tax less, less money is taken in (imagine that) and if that is not offset with spending cuts deficits occur. But if you cut taxes and increase spending, like Reagan and Dubya, you get skyrocketing deficits. If you want less stratification then more money has to be put into the hands of the middle and lower economic classes. How do you do that? Make the wealthy pay there fair share which they currently are not doing.

You ask: "Should they -- I will assume by they you mean a business or an entrepreneur -- be punished -- I will assume you mean pay taxes by punished -- for their 'success?" Well it doesn't seem like they have been lately or are currently being "punished":
The news that more than 60 percent of U.S. corporations failed to pay any federal taxes from 1996 through 2000 when corporate profits were soaring and that corporate tax receipts had fallen to just 7.4 percent of overall federal tax revenue in 2003 -- the lowest since 1983 and the second-lowest rate since 1934 -- is an outrage. But it should come as no surprise to anyone who has been paying attention to national tax policy over the past few years. The General Accounting Office (GAO) report also found that an astonishing 94 percent of corporations reported tax liability of less than 5 percent of their total income during the same time period. Corporate tax dodging has gone on for far too long. But the policies of the Bush administration have exacerbated the problem by furthering the culture of tax avoidance by big corporations and creating a pervasive unfairness in our tax code.
I would offer that businesses are using many things paid for by taxes -- roads to transport their workers and goods, schools that train their workforce, and fire and police departments when they needs assistance and protection -- and they need to pay up more than they are. With the current pittance being paid by the wealthy, businesses and personal, in taxes it will continue to stratify our country.

Here is what Thom Hartmann writes:
The Wagner Act of 1935 guaranteed Americans the right to form a union and bargain collectively with their corporate employers. Combined with the later G.I. Bill that sent millions of young men and women to college and technical schools in the late 1940s and early 1950s, not only did America recover its prosperity, but a second great middle class began forming. A middle class that wouldn't have existed without "government interference" in the game of big business.

(Some say WWII was the stimulus out of the depression, and it was an economic stimulus from which many, like the Bush family benefited [even to the extent of helping out Hitler], but the real events of the 1930s and 1940s that set the stage for a second American Middle Class were primarily the Wagner Act, the G.I. Bill, and tax changes ranging from raising the top rate on the most rich to 90 percent to offering an emerging middle class home interest tax deductions. Spending money on weapons that serve no useful purpose after they're used doesn't stimulate an economy the way building roads, bridges, houses, or domestic consumer industries, which "keep on giving," does.)
I do not believe that if you allow the rich to keep more money then everyone else will get rich too, it just doesn't work that way. The wealthy they don't get that way by spending their money. They keep it and turn it into more, they don't spend it or donate it and they should feel obligated to return some of their good fortune for having the freedom to live, work, and earn in this great nation. I didn't even bring up any of the business scandals and the gouging of taxpayers by the likes of Halliburton, Bechtel, CACI, Dyncorp and all the rest of the contractors sucking from the government teat in Iraq.



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