Return to Reaganomics
June 8, 2002
Letter from EnglandHi David!
I've just got back from N.York. I spent four days there. I had to do a flying visit to process my green card, I am now a legal resident and a member of American Actors Equity. Phew! The Big Apple scares me. I visited Ground Zero, it's frightening how much the people's blind anger and patrotism is fueling the Bush adminstration and the 'War on Terrorism'...
Clinton may not have been perfect (who is?) but at least he had a good working knowledge regarding foreign policy. Bush's working knowledge comes down to one thing... 'Do Nothing!'
I can't believe that Bush is standing by the CIA and FBI. Well I suppose it takes one to recognise the other. What a wonderful way to deflect criticism about two bullshit organisations, you create another bureaucracy called the 'Homeland Security Dept' to keep the Press off your back and look like you're doing something. It won't stop fanatics blowing themselves up on buses!
It looks like Bush is going to learn the hard way about terrorism. I fear its all going to go wrong. Wrong and rather bloody.
Good to hear from you. So you're a bloody American now, eh mate? You're no better than me now! Ha hah! Welcome to the asylum!
I have theories about the things you said about Clinton, but I don't know if I have the fortitude to go into it all right now. Clinton was certainly compromised to get from being a poor kid from a broken home in Arkansas to the White House, but his instincts were in "the right place" from my point of view. His heart was with the people and he wanted to be a good president for them. (Unlike Bush who is a heartless aristocrat and loves every minute of sticking it to the masses.)
I heard this idea from Gore Vidal actually, and it makes sense. Clinton tried to give the people what they want: a healthcare system that would provide "affordable" health care. He was brilliant and so was Hillary and they knew the money to run a healthcare system was about as much money as was being pulled out of the system as profit by the insurance companies. No one likes the insurance companies anyway, so the Clintons devised a system that pulled the insurance companies out and returned that money to the principals of the system, the patients and the doctors. Brilliant, right? Wrong.
The world's largest corporations, like ITT, which own the insurance companies saw minus signs trickling into the bottom lines of their insurance companies, and they cannot tolerate that. So they put their considerable financial muscle into a massive smear campaign to destroy Clinton, and they just about succeeded. In 1994 the Republicans won both houses of congress. They kept him on the ropes from then on with enough smears and attacks to kill any ten other politicians combined. He survived and earned their unending hatred by doing it, but he was crippled as a president. And he never made the mistake of doing the right thing for the people again. So "welfare reform," NAFTA, etc., and other vicious attacks on the working people took place with his support. It was that or turn over the whole thing to the Republicans, which happened in 2000 anyway.
Bush's knowledge of foreign policy -- and practically everything else -- is virtually nil. But it doesn't matter. Bush is a puppet only. He's an actor with a script, no more. He does the bidding of his corporate masters. His speeches are well-crafted sales pitches, and have nothing to do with reality.
June 8, 2002David:
Letter in response to the above exchange
Just finished reading your response to Mr Hudson... so he's an American now? Seems like a reasonable fellow... glad to have him aboard; hope it doesn't backfire on him. Anyway... I was encouraged to read your explanation of the GOP's hatred of Clinton (who I believe was a great president); and that you pinpointed the National Healthcare vs. insurance company profits cause to so much anger towards Clinton (for wanting to do the right thing) from the GOP.
Another (huge!) reason for the hatred of Clinton that I feel is definitely worth your comment is the fact that Clinton was fiscally responsible. His correctly targeted plan to strengthen the economy (which proved itself correct with how the economy reacted to his budget surplus) was to pay down the debt. Period. The GOP hated him for this -- and I believe this, also, was a major reason for their attacks.
I believe (under "Reaganomics") the GOP was threatened that Clinton actually could pay down/eventually off the debt. And as so many 100s of billions of dollars are made annually by the wealthiest off of the American taxpayers if the "debt" remains the status quo, in Clinton's efforts to recover the US economy... wealthy GOP investors would (individually!) loose. The portion of the US budget that goes to paying just the interest on the bonds that secure the national debt is equal to what the US pays for Social Security, Medicare, and (prior to Bush) the military combined! It is the largest single payment in our budget and accounts for approximately 1/3 of the total yearly budget. Every dollar that the "average" American taxpayer pays out as interest payments to the holders of the bonds that secure the national debt is ABSOLUTELY and TOTALLY 100 percent tax free to the recipients of these interest payments. It is considered "DEBT REPAYMENT," not "INCOME." Billionaires, large corporations, and foreign countries are profiting for free at the expense of the US taxpayers. It is a crime. Clinton wanted to do away with this -- that was his threat.
Hence, all of those unfair Bush tax cuts to the wealthy are nothing compared to what they are raking in off of [his] making sure that the National Debt is not paid down, that it remains... and that it becomes larger.
My best, K
June 9, 2002
Another e-mail from England
While I was in N. York last week I spoke to various New Yorkers about Bill Clinton. Everyone seemed angry and let down by him, even Democratic voters. The general feeling was that, policies aside, Clinton had let them down regarding the Monica Lewinsky scandal. Some people that I met were vitriolic about him, they felt that he humiliated the country with his philandering. This I found bizarre. However everyone was in full agreement that Tony Blair was a great man!
It works the other way round over here. Clinton is whorshiped and Blair is despised. In fact the 'Slickwilly' scandal only increased his popularity over here. It just puzzled me to see people so angry and worked up about something that happened almost five years ago.
Americans seem to be very concerned about how they are perceived in the world. In fact when I first flew over in 98 people kept asking me how the country and its adminstration are viewed.
Regarding the point about Americans feeling let down by Clinton, it is mostly about the propaganda. It's true, he did let down everyone who ever believed in him by falling into the right wing trap with his philandering. The affair itself is of virtually no significance outside of Clinton's family. But because it was obvious they were after him and that was their main weapon, he screwed up bad.
But the fact that Americans invest more emotional energy into that screw-up than the rape of the country by the right wing and the obvious fact that that Monica Lewinsky scandal was only a tool used to facilitate that right wing takeover, is evidence of the amazing success of the propaganda system. If not for the incessant propaganda, Americans would see that Bush is the enemy to all but the top 5% of the wealthy and he's not even an elected official. -- dc
More free money for the rich!Another note came from K, above, a followup about the money games of Reaganomics. It's extremely disturbing and very much worth noting. Here it is:
I know this is the fundamental GOP mantra - keep the debt, cut the social programs, blame the Democrats (for over spending?), and make billions every year off of the US Taxpayers. It sickens me. I believe this is the "King isn't wearing any clothing" issue... it is so perverse and so criminal... and so greedy.
Did you know that prior to (even) Bush being appointed President, while he was still Governor of Texas, he was [then] negotiating with Vicente Fox for the purchase of bonds to secure the furthered National Debt? (if I remember correctly, I learned this via a small Houston Chronicle piece I read prior to the elections - nobody connected it...). My questions: With Clinton's surplus and the economy in the best ever positioning this country had ever witnessed, how could Bush forecast that there would be a "furthered national debt"? And... how did he even know he was going to be the next President? The elections hadn't happened yet! Regardless, now Mexico (i.e. - Vicente Fox) is receiving taxpayer money too (because of our now growing debt).
I calculated it once: if as Clinton wanted to do for the country, we had used the surplus to pay down the debt instead of the unbalanced tax cut (and military contracts) Bush has used the surplus for, the amount of interest payments on just that portion of the debt would have saved the nation over $120 billion dollars in just the first fiscal calendar alone; and then if just that amount (plus we still would have been amounting a further surplus) were again applied to paying down even more of the debt, the following fiscal budget would be saving over $290 billion in interest payment, and if you kept applying the savings (of debt repayment) towards paying down the debt, it would have taken less than six years to pay down the debt in its entirety that the Reagan/Bush I years accumulated! With that 1/3 of the budget intact and not being paid out as interest, the US could have completely funded ALL the clean up of all superfund sites, provided prescription drugs for seniors, preserved Social Security for the next 6 generations(!), provided child care to all welfare parents for three years(!) so they could become self supporting, doubled the environmental budget, provided triple the funds for alternative energy and still supplied the American taxpayers with a (fair/balanced) permanent tax cut which I calculated to be four times larger than the crumbs Bush tossed to the "average American."
The GOP knows this... theirs is a lie for their own continued "free" money.
Get it? Deficit spending is no accident.It is calculated to create an invisible tariff to the rich. Every dollar you earn, every tax dollar you pay is weighted down by the interest payments to the bankers who lend money to the government. Economists understand this. Its why Clinton's plan to cut deficit spending was so positive for economic growth. Unemployment got so low under Clinton Alan Greenspan had to raise interest rates over and over to make sure to keep enough people unemployed to keep wages down. Wages create "inflationary pressure." That means the banks lose money. The "free market" can grow and supply employment opportunities if left alone, but that would not serve the money masters, so the Federal Reserve is used to put the breaks on economic growth.
While government and extra-government institutions manipulate the economy to ensure that unemployment is high enough to keep Wall Street plenty profitable for the rich, Republican ideologues are saying, "Every able bodied person should get out there and get a job," and then cutting off the social safety net that is the only recourse for those who have been forced out of their jobs by economic manipulations in high places.
Those who are forced into unemployment and have no access to welfare (or trust funds) are often forced into desperation, and if they don't just let the elements destroy them as homeless people wandering hopelessly on the street, they may turn to illegal activities.
If you are an executive of Enron and a friend of George W. Bush, stealing millions is a "scandal," but soon covered up and washed over. If you are a poor person, you go to prison. Prison is a growth industry in the U.S., one of the areas that is being privatized to create yet another great opportunity for investors. One hand washes the other.
No wonder Seinfeld contributed to George W. Bush's campaign. If you are among the super rich, George is your buddy. If not, look out. -- DC
June 10, 2002When Reagan started "it" I believe it was all too new for the general population to comprehend... I grew up in California - when Reagan was Governor (I was about 11/12 yrs. --over my head too - until later when I grew up and realized what he had done), he was re-introduced into politics by people who wanted to make a quick profit (Reagan had been a Democrat prior to), and he was (only) a "B" Actor... and wanted to make an impression and be liked, etc... he allowed them to use him (obviously, I never thought Reagan was the great person he is so often described as)... at that time in CA he put the state into Deficit by giving huge unbalanced tax cuts to the wealthy and those who put him in office; which bust the state's budget (which was the plan) so that there would be a debt - and his connections/mentors bought bonds to secure CA's debt... he blamed this debt on social programs, not on his unfair tax cut - which took billions out of the state budget: for this, things such as welfare payments (a single mother prior had received approx $80 per month) was cut to $15 per month - before him the state never had a budget crisis and was able to be quite generous socially as well; a huge unemployment period also followed... the corp's started doing what now is so common (downsizing for profit); and everything was askew! But wealthy investors via Reagan's actions made fortunes profiting off of the taxpayers... all the money went to paying "interest" on the debt he amounted, and not on the things that California needed. State taxes had to be raised under Jerry Brown to get the State out of debt so that the budget wouldn't be held hostage to the interest payments Reagan had secured. The (wealthy) Republicans were furious with Jerry Brown because he had just taken their gravy train from them! Note: Jerry Brown, like Clinton, did not raise the average citizen's taxes - he readjusted the taxes fairly to bring them more in line percentage wise... As it is now: the average American pays approx. 35% in Fed taxes; though, the top 1% pays about 1/3 of that percentage wise (if even that with all their deductions)... so thought, as the Republican mantra always blasts that the wealthy have to pay more $$$ than the average, that is a deception... percentage wise they are paying a very small fraction of what "we" must pay. Anyway, "wealthy investors" liked what Reagan had done for California and prompted him for the presidency... "capitalism" took on a whole new meaning since the "Reagan Reforms." Bush I continued this... though, by this time (they) had completely demolished the US economy... and he had to raise taxes anyway... (when he raised taxes, he raised them on the middle class, not readjusted the already huge tax cuts that they had given the wealthy... In the interim of the Reagan/Bush I Admin's. if you will remember that period: the Fed's constantly and continually had to cut money that prior to them had gone to the States. And to keep their fake budgets from going even further down the tubes they had to "cook their budgets"... and if you will remember - that is when state taxes went sky high, Medicare, Social Security, and all the other Federal deductions were raised intolerably (prior to this time, they had been minute) and so, those "tax cuts" that were mediatized as so great for the economy actually (if you add up all the other deductions they took to attempt to balance things) became an increase in money taken from workers... though, the Reagan/Bush I cronies were making fortunes off of the taxpayers. Again, you were so correct about why they were furious with Clinton - and I believe for all of the nasty things said about Clinton, he was the fairest/most honest/"for the people" politician we have ever had in the White House. (and what he did with an intern is none of my business!!!) (Not to seem conceded at all - and I am sorry for even saying what I am to, but) I am considered "mentally gifted" so sometimes I wonder if it is my IQ that allows me to realize the deception of Reaganomics and if it so easy for me to comprehend all of this, why (does) it seem that so many are so blind as to what "they are being taken for"? I am floored. I do not have time at the moment, but I had been having a discussion with an economist that I "met" on a British newspaper's board, who responded to one of my posts on just this subject... he confirmed what I was informing of (to those that were "booing" me... and actually noted to the person whom started the Reaganomics Imperialism that our GOP is gagging the world with currently. Within the next day or so, I will go back and find the board and his/mine posts... and will re-email you with a link... I believe the gentleman I was speaking to on that board has more indepth specifics over the "economic culture" of the GOP... and I believe, if you would like, could further explain the dilema Bush II has put the world into once again. This form of greed is being used globally to entice "regional leaders" to go the way of the Bush/Cheney gravy train... at the further expense of the US taxpayers... so their cronies corporations can further "their investments." Depending on how far Bush/Cheney take this, it could take literally three Clinton's to get us out of hock next time. My best, K
One more installment from California K on the history of Reaganomics:
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