Our political system is broken. It didn’t happen accidentally. It was deliberate and it has been happening for a long time, gradually, methodically. Corporations have taken all their chips and gone all-in with the Neoconservative Republicans. And the Neocons are now 100% for corporations. They are the arm of corporations in Congress.
Take the Republican votes recently. They voted against bailing out the banks. Well, some may say…prodded by the Sean Hannitys of the world…that is good. Why should these rich banks get any money? Well, no one wants to give money to big banks, but they held all the cards. If they shut down, they would recover. But if they shut down, and some think that is just what some people wanted them to do, the economy would have come to a halt.
Probably an additional 2,000 banks would have closed including some of the nations’ top banks. That would have canceled loans and lines of credit to huge numbers of corporations. As many as 40,000 manufacturing companies would have shut down. General Motors and Ford would have closed their doors, putting about 2,000,000 more people out of work as the effects of that spread through the economy. Michigan would have reached Depression-Era unemployment statistics and maybe even surpassed them.
So why did all the Republicans in Congress vote against bailing out banks…even under George W. Bush? They saw a political opportunity. They would tighten their relationship with the Right Wing, the oil and energy, the drug companies, the mining companies. They didn’t care that the economy shut down. Not most of the biggest companies. Much of what would happen would work out for them and they were ready for it.
So, now, the Neoconservative Republicans (the only kind left in the Party) work exclusively for the corporations. They work against health care reform. They work against legislation to keep union organizers from being fired for trying to have unions. They work against green energy and for more oil and gas drilling. They work against anything that has to do with preventing global warming. And they work for any legislation that will increase the power of corporations to lobby and to campaign against Populist measures.
The Republicans do not say this publicly of course. They call President Obama a dictator and all the Congress “Socialists.” They talk about government takeovers. Tax and spend, etc. Not only is it not true…it is ridiculous. Even more incredible is that the American people, deluged with Right Wing talk radio and Right Wing propagandists spouting the same talking points, actually believe some of it. Many Americans, if they sat down and looked back at the last 8 years only…only the last 8 years let alone the last 28…would see that this is simply not true. In fact, it has been the Republicans who have been the big spenders. And how did they do it? To be honest? By appealing to American stupidity and greed.
Very few Americans were against the tax cuts. They naively believed that they would somehow have noticeably more money. As President George W. Bush and that outstanding President, Ronald Reagan said “It’s your money. You know how to spend it better than the government.” While you were spending the average of maybe…maybe…$600 you saved in taxes, the Bush Administration looted the country of an additional $5 trillion.
Your share of that $5 trillion is about $20,000. So, what does that mean? Nothing…right? No one actually has to pay that bill….the bill for Iraq, for Katrina (which could have been handled so that New Orleans would not flood) or Blackwater or Halliburton contracts with huge profits built in. Do they?
Yes they do. It is a credit card bill that keeps coming due and eventually will be so big that you can’t afford it and still have Social Security, Medicare, Veteran’s benefits, or a strong military. So, now, suddenly, the Neocons who didn’t want to save the economy, want to balance the budget. And how do they want to do it? Their long term budget plan is to privatize Social Security and cut Medicare. Does that sound like a plan with the People in mind?
But even if you are talking about something that the government absolutely has to do for the people…make us secure, the Republicans are not on the side of the average American. The Neocons do not want to conserve energy. They have shot down, i.e., tried to filibuster and may succeed in filibustering an alternative energy bill. They want to drill for oil and natural gas. Do more drilling.
The only people who will benefit by this are the oil companies and only in the short run. We do not have enough oil long term. This means that we will…much sooner under Republicans…run out of fuel for our military. Already 60% of our oil comes from outside the U.S. and that percentage is going up at an alarming rate.
Here is the message the Republicans do not want you to hear because they are in bed with big oil: we will not have enough fuel to operate our military vehicles and our civilian vehicles in a very short time. And in the lives of our children, we will run out! We need our own and our Canadian and Mexican oil supplies for defense.
For a long, long time, military vehicles of all kinds will run on oil. And most of the oil is in the hands of the Arabs and the Russians. What do you think we’re going to pay for oil…$1.00 a gallon? From the Arabs? If they want to hurt us, they will simply shut down our oil supplies. If we fight, they would shut down the oil supply. The American home front would have no oil or gasoline.
That is why Dick Cheney and Don Rumsfeld wanted to attack Iraq. To control that oil supply so that we would have our own Middle Eastern oil supply. That way, Cheney’s friends in the oil patch who paid him millions, will not have to reduce their super-extravagant lifestyles. .
Let’s say something about Democrats. They came into office in 2007 with enough members of the House of Representatives to push through some legislation on children’s health care and agriculture and a few other things. On those bills, they tagged on some earmarks. A lot of them.
They wanted to take care of some of their legislators who had been out of power for a long time and had projects in their districts that needed funding. The likelihood is that many of them were boondoggles. That ended with the last bill before Obama took office, the first one that he had to sign. He said it would be the last and it has been. But it was not right and you cannot simply explain it away by saying that it was the Democrats’ turn in the barrel. It is wrong for both parties. But there is no question that the Republicans are now the big spenders by about 8 to 1.
So, going back to the deficits and the national debt and security, we won’t replace gasoline with green energy and solar and wind and flex fuels as long as the Neocons are in the government. The oil and gas industry is spending huge amounts telling us that there is plenty of oil. We just need to dig for it. That is not true. Even if it were partly true, we would still need about half from the Middle East.
Republicans are spending as much of the oil and gas industry’s money as they can get to portray the renewable energy bills as job-killers, anti-business and anti-American, whenever they can get away with that one. They have stopped or slowed to a crawl any legislation on alternative energy. They couldn’t be more in bed with the terrorists if they, like Halliburton, moved their headquarters to Dubai.
We are heading for disaster and the Republicans are leading the way. They don’t care. They get hundreds of millions from the oil and gas and health care and financial industries to keep those CEOs, literally to keep those CEOs in their multi-million-dollar annual incomes. It is very simple. Alternative energy is not about green energy…the ecology. It is about the very security of this nation. Until we have electric cars and half our energy and a new, efficient national energy grid from solar, wind, “clean” coal and some nuclear, we are in danger.
International corporations are sending your jobs overseas. They are manufacturing overseas. They are shutting down unions as fast as they can. The Supreme Court that lied its way into appointment, Alito and Roberts saying that they wouldn’t start writing legislation from the Court…just did. They said, against two hundred years of precedent, they said that corporations can now give as much money directly to individual political campaigns as they want.
That makes a corporation…and this is what they said…the same as any individual. But of course it is clear that corporations are not just aggregations of people, which is what the Supreme Court said. They are quite different from individuals. In the case of industrial and commercial corporations, they are in business to make a profit, and they merely add individuals in order to accomplish those goals. But those goals and objectives are about making money.
That is why they are organized and that is why they do not have the same motivations or the same rights of free speech as individuals. Because they are not objective and independent, as individuals are, especially at birth, but they are in fact organized with an objective at the outset. Unlike citizens who represent one point of view with one vote or one campaign contribution, corporations may override the intentions of hundreds of thousands of individuals with the vote of a CEO or a Board of Directors, whose purposes may be contrary to those of many other citizens who have no such multiple-freedom of speech. What’s more, corporation free speech in the form of campaign contributions has billions more than individual citizens to make it heard much louder and more powerfully.
What is the result of this alignment of Neocons with industry? Fewer jobs here. No manufacturing here. Only slightly more than 100,000 manufacturing firms in the entire U.S. and falling. That’s 2000 per state for a population of 300 million. It’s nothing. And it is going down.
So who is promoting this? The Democrats? No. They want to create American jobs, raise taxes on the wealthiest CEOs so that they will either have to pay taxes or re-invest their money. Democrats are not saying that they want to confiscate rich people’s money. Democrats are saying that, at some point, how high is up?
How much money do we want the most open economic system in the world to allow individuals to earn in any given year? The top one percent are being asked by the Democrats to take some of the money they earn over $1,000,000 or so a year and return to paying another 5% on it, or invest it in job-creating companies here in the U.S. Jack Kennedy, whom the new Republican Senator portrayed as someone whose policies he admired would have asked our current citizens to pay 70% of every dollar they made over a million a year. Or invest it. When Kennedy gave that alternative, Americans invested and that is how we came to have the country we had until the last twenty five years or so, until Ronald Reagan came along.
The difference between Kennedy and Reagan is that Kennedy said that instead of personal luxuries like multiple huge houses, or more cars than anyone could drive or more than one yacht or private plane, consider investing in new business ventures. They might make someone even wealthier but they would also benefit society with jobs rather than welfare.
At some point, we must look around and say that there must be some rules. Some…rules. If we cannot put ten million people to work because a bank is holding on to money it earned by cheating Americans, legally cheating Americans, and yet we have reports of a CEO spending money to re-paint murals that were damaged on the walls of his marble-floored, 8-car garage. Does anyone see anything wrong here? Republicans would say no. Yet, it doesn’t seem normal to Democrats.
We have tent cities in various parts of the country now. Yet we also have some people with more than one home, each one the size of ten normal houses. Are we approaching fantasy while orphans in Haiti have not even a place to lie down out of the sun? American citizens, the middle class American only wants a reliable job. They want the Neocons to stop obstructing legislation that would create jobs. And no more tax breaks for the guy with an 8-car, muraled, marble-floored garage!
If it seems that these people are being unreasonable, are asking too much of the super-rich, then you deserve whatever happens to you.
Suppose you are the guy with the two huge homes. How would you spend that money better than society? Certainly not on roads and bridges. Not on health care. VA does it much better than we could figure out ourselves. Not better than Medicare. Not better than Social Security. Does government waste money? If they do, who puts them there in the first place, and who can remove them?
Most Americans right now would be technically broke…or more broke…than we are at 65 if it were not for Social Security. Look at what ENRON, Bernie Madoff and Wall Street did with your money. Do you want to trust the quality of your life to Chuck Schwab or Goldman, Sachs? Just take your money to Vegas. You’ll lose it all there, too, but you’ll have fun doing it.
Reagan, who should have been called the “President from General Electric” did nothing for the average American who voted for him. Americans didn’t see any appreciable money from the Reagan tax cuts. What they did see, from Reagan to Bush the First and Bush the Second, was a series of recessions, a gradual and thorough dismantling of the manufacturing sector, cheap goods imported from Asia, American jobs shipped to Asia and a deficit, which now is enormous.
And what do Americans want to do about it? If you believe the biggest corporate shill of all, Rush Limbaugh, Americans supposedly want to return to the same thing that has destroyed our economy and repeat it. Here’s the indication that he gives.
The dumbed-down people of Massachusetts, apparently suffering from the same lack of education as the rest of the country, recently elected a Right Wing, corporate advocate who says he is going to proudly vote against health care reform, against clean and alternative energy and will vote to block all progressive legislation. He will strive, he says, to block 31 million Americans from having the same kind of health care that people have in Massachusetts, only cheaper and better.
What other conclusion can one come to than that the American people are completely and utterly stupid? The people of Massachusetts say that they are very progressive in their outlook. But they just lost one of the great Senators in the history of the Senate. In his working day, which we have on authority was quite long, he advocated tirelessly for things like health care and better education for the average family. And so with whom did the citizens of Massachusetts replace him? They voted in a reactionary, a Neoconservative and a person who looks and sounds like someone off the cover of a supermarket tabloid.
The Neoconservative Republicans no longer hide the fact that they work for the corporations and their associations, like the Heritage Foundation, the Cato Institute and the Hudson Institute.
There are multiple lobbyists for every Senator and Congress person in Washington. Let’s take that great, fictional character, Senator Hamilton from the great state of Nebkansiana. The Senator, who is working as hard as she can for the people, is literally pulled away from legislation on better health, better education, more security and jobs for the average American to defend herself against attacks that she is everything from a Communist to an anarchist.
Why? Because she is being constantly bombarded by attacks from people like Glenn Beck and Sean Hannity and Rush Limbaugh that she is a tax and spend Democrat. Why would they do that? Limbaugh is paid to do it by a Right Wing organization that pays him $40 million a year to attack Democrats and progressive Independents. Hannity is paid about $20 million a year to do the same things on radio and on television.
They are paid by media and Right Wing program syndicators who are paid by huge international corporations…the same ones who want to keep your job in India and China to keep the money for their own CEO salaries. Their job is to keep people distracted from the fact that our fictional Senator Hamilton wants to get health care costs down while increasing guaranteed coverage for everyone.
Hannity, Limbaugh, Beck….all of them get memos from the Republican Party and they all say the same thing, repeatedly. Tell people that it is a government takeover. Say that there are “death panels” etc. The Fox News Channel, under Roger Ailes, the former head of the Republican Party and the guy who came up with false attack advertising then get out and promote sit-ins and marches by tea baggers.
Ailes was the guy who would find the names of all those who were paroled under a certain governor’s term in office. They would look for crimes that they committed after parole…which we all know happens in some cases. Ailes idea was to then create a “Willie Horton” ad (and he did the Willie Horton ad) blaming the former governor, now a candidate, for allowing this to happen and making him or her sound weak on law enforcement. In reality, governors never even know who is being paroled.
Another trick is to get your wackiest, nuttiest radio and TV commentators to call the President partisan, even though he reaches out constantly. Even though he goes to Neocon meetings to get them to participate at least a little bit in government. They get people like the psychotic Glenn Beck, on the Fox “news” payroll to call him a dictator. Apparently a person is a “dictator” who wants to dictate that everyone should be able to purchase affordable, reliable health care.
The money flows and flows and flows—from big oil and big drug companies and big health insurance companies and big manufacturers and big mining companies and nuclear and utilities and on and on. Attack, attack, attack. Obama is for the people…therefore, attack Obama. The more effective he is, the more you lie about what he achieves and the more you obstruct.
But our fictional Senator Hamilton is fighting a losing battle. The corporations are out to get her. They are running ads in all the Nebkansianan newspapers and commercials on all the Nebkansian television stations telling the people that Senator Hamilton is supporting “government takeover,” “a communist plot,” a “bureaucrat between you and your doctor” or an energy bill that will “kill jobs.” (What jobs?)
In order to fight back with her own commercials, Senator Hamilton has to raise money from corporations herself. So, in some cases, she must actually weaken her position on some things to get the money to advocate for other things. And that is what the corporations want. They want to keep up the steady drumbeat of accusations, name-calling, lies and treacherous dealings with corporations.
The people supporting the Neocons and their idea of government to the highest bidder are ready to do whatever is necessary to keep their profits high and your options to a minimum. That’s how they win. Keep the Senators and the House members chasing the dollar merely to defend themselves. And what happens then? Can we all “Just Gel Along?” Sure we can, the Neocons say. Just do whatever we tell you.