The First Tuesday in November of 2010…
…may be the last day of the American Dream.
In 2001, George W. Bush was elected to office. We all knew by the time he took office that most people felt that he was not too bright but many felt that he was a “good old boy.” That was not enough for half of the U.S. public but the Supreme Court was Republican, thanks to 30 years of lies and concentration of political power in the hands of the Conservative propaganda machine. A Supreme Court justice whose son worked on Bush’s political campaign…beyond imagination, but true…provided the vote that made him President.
And what did George W. Bush do? He immediately began a program to cut the Reagan tax cuts even further. His job was provided by a dozen oilmen in Texas who laid out the $60 million slush fund to start the ball rolling before he was even a candidate. They worked with Dick Cheney to organize the effort to cut taxes for the rich, put Social Security in the hands of Wall Street, create a war for oil against Iraq, kill corporate taxes, incentivize investment of manufacturing in foreign countries and reduce the size of government to the point that it could not regulate anything…clean air, clean water, safe food or drugs and, most of all, Wall Street.
Bush did his job…for “his base”…as he called them billionaires and corporate CEOs. He made them rich, gave them more power, let them send U.S. jobs abroad, allowed Wall Street to run wild and tried to privatize your Social Security. He did it for the heirs of H. L. Hunt. Not the legitimate or illegitimate sons of Hunt, but the political heirs.
H.L. Hunt was the man who not only supported Joe McCarthy and hated John F. Kennedy but who virtually called for his assassination. He has historically been associated in shadowy ways with the assassination and was interviewed immediately after the assassination by the Secret Service and the FBI. His “Facts Forum” was continuous reactionary series of publications that led ultimately to radio and television series editorializing against “Communist influences” in American government, opposing integration of the races, the United Nations and foreign aid.
After Kennedy’s assassination, Hunt and his family actually had to go into hiding for their own safety. He had been such a virulent opponent and had used such violent rhetoric that he was one of the prime suspects. Even though his fortune would continue to grow as his oil continued to flow, Hunt gradually withdrew from public life.
But his message continued. In 1964, Barry Goldwater took up the Conservative message and in 1968, Ronald Reagan and later the young Turks of the neoconservative movement, Rove, Reed, Norquist, and Abramoff, among others. But they refined it into a money-making, money-spending operation.
Neoconservatism was the idea that one could tie Fundamentalist religious principles, namely, slavish acceptance of former Baptist behaviorist ideas–lifestyle guidelines for smoking, drinking, and sexual activity–(always hypocritically abandoned by practitioners) to segregationist politics. They would use religion–particularly mindless use of the Old Testament–to justify the promotion of greed and racism and homophobia. Neoconservatism masqueraded as Conservatism, using a fiscal movement to hide what was clearly a cynical opportunity for young Republicans to draw funds from wealthy patrons. They didn’t cut government. They simply shifted its pork to Republicans, like Tom DeLay and the friends of Dick Cheney.
The Neoconservatives understood that they would get rich.The billionaires and corporate CEOs understood that they would have help in getting elected those GOP representatives who would do what they were told. Thus lobbyists like John Boehner and Joe Barton for the tobacco and oil industries respectively became favorites of the young Neocons who liked to hide in the shadows and enrich themselves passing money back and forth and occasionally writing altruistic articles about how the rich were being oppressed.
After Reagan, as the rich began to amass wealth unheard of since the turn of the 20th Century, they began to consolidate their power. They created huge foundations and “think tanks,” actually just research organizations for the lobbyist groups and for the Republican Party, that spread the corporate message far and wide.
They began youth groups and young-pup conservative educational messages to indoctrinate preteens on the ideas of the Neocons…that unions are evil, taxes are evil, war is patriotic and good. Greed and self-interest are the natural states of man, and this is justified with quotes from the Bible and the Constitution…no matter how many times they have to be twisted to fit into Neocon logic.
All this was supported by the tens and hundreds of millions of dollars that poured from major corporations and certain closeted internationalist businessmen who were supporting war and sending jobs overseas. As their taxes were going down and as their investments in the munitions and military equipment businesses (like Halliburton’s switch from an oilfield company to a $12.5 billion military contractor) the billionaires were happy.
It was working. By dumping a few million a year into paying off people like Rupert Murdoch and Rush Limbaugh and the minor donations to the entire Republican Senate to get them to vote as one bloc against socials issues, the plutocrats were successful. So why not go even further. George W,. Bush was a dupe. Cheney was a willing tool in their hands. He had never worked outside of government until Hallibuton hired him to find them government military contracts.
Just as his close friend Donald Rumsfeld had done before him, Cheney made tens of billions from his government contacts by obtaining billions of dollars in military business for Halliburton. The Right Wingers in the big corporations got together and they helped put Rupert Murdoch’s Fox News Channel into a leadership positions by providing advertising from all their corporations. That is, they did so until Glenn Beck simply became too controversial.
You can’t really be seen as anything much but a racist yourself when you announce that a Black President who was raised by a white mother and white grandparents…is a racist. Huh? Well, that finally cost Murdoch some big money. But the Right Wing said…don’t let it bother you, Rupert, we’ll advertise on your other Right Wing Republican propaganda shows.
But where are we now? We are at the turning point. Someone once said that, if a man hits you with a baseball bat and then he is coming at you again, and draws the bat back again….that is probably a good indication that he is going to hit you again.
The Bush Administration cost the American people…all of us…$8 trillion. On top of $5 trillion run up by Reagan and Bush the First. And on top of that, the Bush Administration looted the government. It outsourced jobs to companies that took the money, provided poor service and were fired. But in the meantime, government employees were not hired to replace them. So what did that do? It caused things like the BP oil spill in the Gulf and the Mine collapse in West Virginia and the Wall Street defaults because there were not remotely enough employees or regulators or investigators to supervise industry to keep it from ruining our economy.
The result was the collapse of everything, and the Great Bush Recession, which is still going on. And if you vote for a Republican at any level, it will continue to go on. Tens of millions more will be out of work. More people will go off unemployment, over half of them with college educations, skills and long experience across a wide spectrum of industries. Why will this happen?
It is pretty simple. The very rich, a small percentage of them and a small percentage of all Americans, less than 1%, now control 62.4% of all business equity, business ownership. Of these, an even smaller number wish to live in a society where they have very small, almost negligible, responsibilities to the rest of society…even though many of them inherited huge estates, wealth that they could never possibly spend in a lifetime, spending lavishly, even if they were taxed at a full 90% let alone at a marginal (top) rate of 90% rather than their current 35%.
It is difficult to conceive of this kind of wealth but it exists. Some people, like the Rockefellers, Gates and Buffett and Soros and many many others give their money away at some point. But even if you were to keep just one one-hundredth of this kind of wealth you would still have a job to distribute it at your passing away.
Those among the wealthy and the corporate CEOs who have become rich, like Meg Whitman who has spent $140,000,000 to become Governor of California, care more about their own ambitions and personal desires than they do about the country. If Meg Whitman had really wanted to become Governor of California, she would have tried to open 140 businesses, funding each one with $1,000, 000. That would have put at least 20,000 people to work, perhaps created the next big corporation, and she would have been elected by acclamation.
But she didn’t. Nor will any others of her ilk, the current crop of self-serving CEOs of major corporations, or the Republican Senators who are paid off by them in campaign contributions, or the very wealthy billionaires like the Koch brothers, like Rupert Murdoch or like all the other political descendants of H.L. Hunt.
Here’s what they want. They want to eliminate their taxes. In order to do that, since they have allowed Reagan, Bush and Bush to steal your Social Security insurance payments, they want to cut back on those to the point that their taxes will not go up. They want to cut back on Medicare and Medicaid because those also cost them tax money. They want to repeal the health reform bill because it will harm one of their key investment industries…health care…where their highly paid CEOs make sure that every last drop of excess cash, or even more, every last bit if equity in a family home, is drained and poured into health insurance and related health care companies that they own.
They want to repeal Wall Street reforms because they are the ones who made the money on Wall Street and got out before it collapsed, taking the value out of stocks and 401K programs and Roth IRAs and mutual funds.
When you vote for a Republican, no matter how she smiles or no matter how reasonable he sounds, you are voting to remove any service that can be cut from government so that those who now pay approximately, 23% on their annual multi-million dollar..annual…multi-million dollar incomes can pay less.
We are now asking for donations from people to restore the National Parks. We have an organization that has raised private money to restore the National Mall in Washington. We have millions of people…a 35% increase this year alone…on food stamps and going to food pantries for donated food. This may not be a Depression for you, but it is for those going to food banks to get food to stay alive. It may not be for the employed American, one paycheck from disaster, but it is for those who have been kicked out of their homes and are now homeless…families with innocent children.
If you or anyone you know votes for a Republican at any level, you are voting not only for more of the same; you are voting to make it worse. Because this new crop of Neoconservatives are the shock troops for the billionaires, the result of years and years of planning and propaganda. You don’t have a real choice. You must vote Democratic, or live in an entirely new kind of society. One that you won’t like.