Wednesday, August 31, 2011

Balancing the budget is like a dog chasing it's own tail. It ain't gonna catch it.

Trying to balance the budget by cutting spending is like a dog chasing it's tail. He just goes in circles until he collapses in exhaustion.  Spending reductions by government aren't restricted to the public economy. Every dollar spent by government, with the exception of those spent on private contractors in Iraq and Afghanistan, enters the private economy.  Teachers, cops, firemen, and doctors who are paid by Medicare, all spend their money at the local market, restaurant, auto dealer, clothing store or theater. And who in our community contribute more to that community than teachers, firemen, cops and doctors?

Conversely, when you fire them or cut their pay, you reduce the number of dollars entering the private economy and private income goes down, spending goes down, the deficit increases and government has to try once again to reach a balance by firing more public employees and cancelling government contracts with private firms. The dog runs faster, even more futilely, and eventually collapses. This is happening right now. Make no mistake about it. No one will escape it. The GOteaParty is trying to escape by balance the budget in the most unfair way, on the backs of the poor.  International corporations think they can escape by globalizing their market but as the world situation worsens, they will be caught up in the collapse as well.  Some of the more enlightened ones know that and are privately pushing for a jobs bill.

The only way to reduce the deficit, or more realistically, slow down it's growth, is by raising revenue by making those people pay more who are getting more from the economy. The upper income group and corporations. The money taken out of their pockets, or portfolios, wasn't going to be spent at the local market, auto dealer or restaurants, anyway. It was going to be spent on more speculative investments or on firms who are successful by exporting jobs where they can get below subsistence labor.

Low income Teaparty members demanding reducing the deficit are going to be the first ones hurt! The mantra, households have to balance their budgets and so should the government, borders on it goes beyond stupid. How many families actually do that.  The golden age of the greatest middle class in history, 1950 -1980 was enabled by borrowing; borrowing to buy homes, automobiles, furniture and even clothing. The key has always been to maintain the ability to make payment on the loans. The same is true of government.  The Federal government has ALWAYS had public debt. It has always been measured by it's percentage of GDP or Gross Domestic Spending, a measure of national income.

At the end of WWII, our national debt was 105% of GDP, the highest in history. Although worried about it, our government worried more about the welfare of those people who had just rescued the world from the worst threat in modern history.  So they spent more money on the GI Bill, sending GIs to school and on guaranteeing low interest loans for purchasing homes and automobiles. The result was a burgeoning housing market  that created millions of union jobs. Everyone benefited. The bank loans were all paid off, the banks made money, full employment meant more tax revenues and guess what, the budget was balanced.

Balancing the budget in 1941 would have meant making Japanese our official language and in 2011 would mean an even worse fate.  A neo feudal society.

Thursday, August 25, 2011

The four most harmful and incorrect mantras of the GOteaParty.

1.  Small and non-intrusive government is intrinsically better. "That government governs best that governs least," "government is not the solution to our problems, it is the problem."

Fact: That's what we had in 1929 and what we regressed to again in 2008. And those who complain most about intrusive government have no problem spending trillions of dollars invading countries on behalf of commerce.

2.  Entitlements like Social Security and Medicare are harming our country because it makes people dependent on government instead of their neighbors and institutions.

Fact: Government is an institution and was established precisely to help people who need help and from whom it derives it's authority.

We the People of the United States, in Order to form a more perfect Union, establish Justice, insure domestic Tranquility, provide for the common defence, (sic) promote the general Welfare, and secure the Blessings of Liberty to ourselves and our Posterity, do ordain and establish this Constitution for the United States of America.

Before we had the so-called entitlements, poverty level of elderly was 35%. After Social security it fell to 10%, and it's not because old people are lazy, it's because old age makes one less employable.

3.  The Bush tax cuts to the wealthiest Americans led to job creation.

Fact: They have been in effect for ten years; where are the jobs. Wealthy people spend a smaller part of increased income on job creating consumer goods than do less wealthy people who spend nearly all of it.

4.  Government needs a balanced budget amendment and balance their budget annually like families and business.

Fact: businesses and families don't. If they did, our economy would grind to a halt.

Wednesday, August 24, 2011

Why Obama is failing. The GOteaParty sole goal is to make him fail.

And they are succeeding because they are focused and he is weak and wants to be a good guy. In our disappointment with Obama, Progressives and Liberals need to lay at least half of the blame on a party that is willing to destroy the country's economy rather than see a black president succeed. They have been funded by international corporations who see economic disaster as an opportunity to insert Milton Friedman's supply side economics. They have done it in country after country as narrated in Naomi Klein's book, Shock Doctrine.

Shortly after my discharge in 1952, I was hired as a cop by the Anaheim Police Department. From that day forward, most of my friends were cops. I love cops. They are the best people in the world except for their attitudes about blacks; pure irrational hatred for the most part and they were part of a huge percentage of the population. I still wasn’t very political but I became more vocal in defending them when the civil rights movement developed.  We had some heated discussions in the station house and in the local watering holes.

After the civil rights bill was passed the schools and neighborhoods were gradually integrated, people got to know them, made friends with them, played ball with them and married them. Racism, at least as it existed before, phased out and those who were unable to make the adjustment were outnumbered and learned that if they were too vociferous, they would be isolated. But their hatred continued to simmer down deep.

But we have entered into a new phase. We learned to accept our next door neighbor being black, the mixed marriages, seeing a black doctor and, in the south, letting them ride in the front of the bus. We grew to love, even worship in a sense, the black athletes who play on “our” teams. Most of us, at least more than 50% of us are even ready to have a black President; but not all.

The thin veneer of decency and tolerance of a relatively small group of our citizenry has been overcome by their reemerging and now un-controlled hatred. These people have taken over the Republican Party and have become irrationally vocal. You saw them at the Town Hall meetings where they completely blocked any dialogue.

They have kept their racism and hatred below the surface for the past thirty years or so because blatant racism became unpopular. Now the election of an African American president has brought it back to the surface. They are so blind with rage, they no longer care what decent people think. They have retreated into their own ideological commune. Of course there has always been the animosity between the right and the left that had nothing to do with race. But the re-emergence of racism has intensified that as well. Politics has become ugly and has to a large extent grown to define friendships. I can remember when you were more likely to get into a shouting match over whether your Ford was better than his Chevy than over who was running for president.

An example of this hatred can be seen in the opposition to Obama’s programs – particularly health care reform. Of course rational opposition to the health care reform that has just become law can exist. But there has been no rational debate. The opposition, aware that the status quo is not defendable, at least as it relates to the vast majority of Americans who don’t own insurance companies or who earn less than $250,000 per year, have resorted to mendacity, pure lies on the extreme, and distortion as a minimum.  The opposition has been fueled by hatred not logic and has resulted in the so called Tea Party. They are a potpourri of opposition and hatred.  The most visible thread of commonality is their hatred of Obama.

Proof of their willingness to destroy the economy was apparent in the recent debt ceiling debate. Unfortunately, Obama's weakness let them use the debate as a basis for destroying the economy by destroying the middle class, ending publlic education and the safety nets for elderly and indigents. With the help of this reemerging hatred, the globalized corporations may well have their way. When the do, they will learn that owning a bigger piece of the pie or the entire pie will do them no good if the pie disappears.

Wednesday, August 17, 2011

We have seen the enemy and the enemy is US....

1. The filibuster.  The GOteaParty hasused the filibuster 62 times in the first session of the 110 Congress.  The filibuster has outlived it's usefulness.  We no longer have government by the majority. We don't even require that they actually talk a bill to death, they just have to announce their intention to do so. Without it, our country and economy would be significantly different.

Health care would include a public option or maybe even single payer. This is just one of the provisions the threat of veto killed. There were others. Ironically, and hypocritically, they opposed individual mandate which they themselves proposed when Clinton was president.  Adding to their hypocrisy, they have always opposed Medicaid calling beneficiaries freeloaders but are now challenging the provision on the basis that it is unconstitutional and unfair to force someone to buy something they don't want.

The stimulus bill would have been much larger without the threat of filibuster. It was successful but too small. It is credited by the CBO for creating 3.3 million jobs. That was just not enough and most economists , like Paul Krugman predicted it would be too small.

The threat of the veto in other budgetary issues force Obama to agree to an extension of the Bush tax cuts.

Without the filibuster, we would have a public option in the health care act and would have been on an inexorable path to elimination of profit in the health care industry, the economy, arguably, would be on the way to full recovery and with the additional revenue from the higher tax brackets for the rich, our deficit would have decreased.

Given these changes, the Teaparty would have remained a unfulfilled dream of the Koch brothers.

2. The scotus. The Citizens United vs FEC decision has threatened democracy and will destroy it if not overturned or somehow neutralized. We have seen how the influx of corporate money can influence elections. Alan Grayson, arguably the most popular and progressive legislator in congress was defeated in his own district. We have seen the near election of a voiceless, nearly invisible, candidate in Nevada. We have seen it organize and fund a group of dissidents who's only commonality is hate, mostly hate of an African American president; and we haven't seen anything yet!

We continue to be stunned at the seemingly insane antics of people like Bachmann and Perry. But don't sell them short. They may prove to be crazy like a fox. Their tactics amaze the mainstream politicians of both parties but electrify the right wing who, by their own insanity, have frozen the conventional Republicans with fear.  One of them will likely be the presidential candidate for the GOP and with the inexhaustible supply of money, don't be surprised if he or she wins! Every American should go to sleep each night and wake up each morning with the fear in their heart of seeing Perry or Bachmann in charge of the western world.

3. The potus. I think I reflect the majority of liberal/progressives who were elated with his election. I still love the things he tried to do but his appointment of people like Geithner, Bernake and Emmanuel make me does some of his campaign contributors. He has not led. He has been weak and reminds me of a boxer who is afraid of his opponent and is continually back pedaling, covering up and fending off punches. His naivete is exceeded only by his failure to accept reality. Even today, after a near catastrophe with the debt ceiling, he continues to talk of bi-partisanship.

Thursday, August 11, 2011

A Mormon's view of the 20th Century: The Rise and Fall of the American Middle Class

Mormon tells story of his life in juxtaposition with contemporary United States history

'A Mormon’s View of the 20th Century: The Rise and Fall of the American Middle Class' by Brooks W. Wilson gives unique religious perspective with his experiences during the last 80 years of American history.(PR NewsChannel) / June 22, 2011 / RANCHO CUCAMONGA, Calif.  
In ‘A Mormon’s View of the 20th Century: The Rise and Fall of the American Middle Class’ (ISBN 1461135982), Brooks W. Wilson takes readers back to 1929, when America’s first economic crisis began. Wilson tells the story of the generation that experienced the Great Depression, the New Deal and three major wars, and grew into what he considered to be the strongest middle class in history. He believes this generation is now struggling under economic policies that shifted wealth from consumer to investor.
Wilson’s story is typical of his generation, but he tells it through his perspective as a Mormon. He worked his way out of poverty while simultaneously getting the education that he could and serving the United States in the Korean War. As a Mormon, Wilson’s faith ran counter to the rise and fall of the middle class. When the middle class was growing, his faith was waning. As the middle class was weakening, his faith was growing, and he returned permanently to his faith.

The author’s degree in economics allowed him to study the Great Depression and relate it to his various work experiences in construction work, law enforcement and house building. He argues that the globalization effort of today is not beneficial to the country. He also draws upon his life as a student in South Gate and Fontana, California, his law enforcement experience as well as his time as a paratrooper in the 82nd Airborne.
“My story is about a man who observed history unfolding and took part in it,” Wilson says. “I believe the takeover by international corporations of our proud nation will cause the imminent fall of the American empire.”
Readers will look into the history of an era that shaped the nation as well as see the effects it had on a man’s Mormon faith. He believes that the information and experiences in ‘A Mormon’s View of the 20th Century’ are pertinent to readers as the country goes through another financial struggle.
‘A Mormon’s View of the 20th Century: The Rise and Fall of the American Middle Class’ is available for sale online at and other channels.
About the Author:
Brooks W. Wilson received his associate’s degree in police science, his bachelor’s in economics and his master’s in public administration before working for 25 years in law enforcement, administration, investigation and research. Wilson has had several reports published by the state of California such as ‘The Growth and Development of The California Commission on Peace Officer Standards and Training’ and ‘The POST Training Program: A Review and Critique.’ He has also worked with the state of New Jersey as an expert in police training.

Wednesday, August 10, 2011

Solar energy - My best, and only stable, investment I have...

I just turned my solar system on. The meter is running backward, putting electricity into my bank, so to speak. After I get my tax refund next year, I will have around $19,000 on my roof - just sitting there. My average power bill the last two years was $156. My system will reduce it to an average of $5 per month (and that is this year, SCE has asked, and will get, a rate increase next year).  That adds up to $1800 a year. That adds up to a 9% return on the investment and it will increase every year.

The frosting on the cake is that it creates non-exportable jobs. I had to do some searching but I found a solar system installer that uses American made solar panels. More USA jobs. I bought my system from Spartan Electric Systems from Glendora, CA. David Schoepf, 626 869 7747. I recommend him. You can take his word to the bank. You can find his wall on Facebook under Spartan Electric Systems.

Monday, August 8, 2011

America is in more peril today that it was on December 7, 1941!

We knew who the enemy was then and we were united against him. Today, the enemy is too ambiguous to isolate and fight. At least it would seem so, listening to what the media reports. But, actually, if you look past the media and look at history, both long term and short term, it becomes much more clear.

Just 12 years ago, our economy was humming and we had a surplus in our annual budget for two years. I am not talking about the debt, I am talking about the annual budget - revenue vs expenditure. We were taking in more than we were spending. The Congressional Budget Office projected that in years 2009 to 2012, we would be running an $800 billion annual surplus. Today, the government is expected to run a $1.2 trillion annual deficit in those years. That is roughly a $2 Trillion swing and you can attribute about 10% of that to Obama's programs. Much more comes from his continuation of the Bush wars and tax cuts. 

The times article criticizes Obama for not  having a realistic plan for eliminating the deficit, despite what his advisers have suggested. But that is not what Obama should be criticized for; he should be criticized for letting the Teaparty led republicans bully him into moving the focus of his agenda from creating jobs to austerity. Austerity at this time is going to lead to further deficit. Count on it. 

When Bush took over the total national debt was $5.67 Trillion. When Obama took over it had more than doubled to $13.56 Trillion.

Today, the stock market is taking another dive because our credit rating has been downgraded from AAA to AA by the same firm that gave a thumbs up to the packaged mortgages being pedaled just before they proved worthless and started the banking melt down.

But let's be fair about Obama. He didn't cause this mess. He didn't give the ill advised tax reduction to the upper income groups and he didn't invade Iraq. He wasn't the one who caused the credit rating downgrade by putting us on the brink of default and scaring the hell out of investors.  I won't support him in 2012 but the reason isn't because of the mess we are in but because he didn't fight to prevent it. Make no mistake about it, the deck was stacked against him. The sole, and stated, goal of the GOP was to make Obama fail...even if it meant hurting the people in this country.  It is beginning to appear that his primary goal is to make sure he is...even if it hurts the people of this country. He didn't fight and he didn't lead, he capitulated to give the appearance of a reasonable man. In politics in these days, nice guys finish last.

There was not much he could have done about the GOP gutting his stimulus package. They had the filibuster! But he could have been a little more pugnacious in the process. He did get a disappointing but respectable health care bill passed but he didn't fight for the one thing that would have made it indestructible, the public option. And he could have done that, or at least ask the Senate to do it, through budget reconciliation. He chose, rather, to take the hat-in-hand approach. A public option, giving everyone the opportunity of buying into Medicare would have been the death knell of profit making health insurance companies.

Today, we still have the debt with all the dialogue and worry focused on it while the underlying and most urgent problem is unemployment. Unemployment is about people, the debt is about numbers. The only way we can get people back to work is through running a deficit and waiting for full employment to address the debt. We have done that in the past. In 1945 the debt was 105% of GDP and we paid most of it off in just a few years when employment was full and everyone was paying taxes (and whining about it, by way of side note). The deficit can be addressed and mitigated, however, by increasing taxes on those who won't reduce their spending because of it, by bringing our troops home and drastically cutting defense spending; we are in no danger of invasion.

Of course, there are some problems with traditional Keynesian economics because, for example, the additional dollars in the economy that are spent on consumer goods do as much for creating manufacturing jobs overseas as it does for domestic jobs.  But service jobs are jobs too, and the income serves their family. Bringing manufacturing jobs back home should also be addressed soon!

Getting back to the real enemy, it is unequal distribution of wealth and corporate power. As Robert Reich says in his book, Aftershock, when income is concentrated in relatively few hands, demand for goods shrinks because the very rich do not nearly spend everything they earn. They hoard their savings and invest it in speculative ventures like packaged mortgages or spend it overseas. Only when domestic demand begins to pickup do they invest at home.

The problem isn't likely to get fixed and that is why we are in peril. Corporations have taken over the government...and it's only going to get worse.  Disparity in income will get worse, wages will continue to fall, shrinking demand will lead to more unemployment. 10% unemployment will become the norm and like the never ending wars will no longer attract interest. Sooner or later businesses will not be able to supplant loss of sales in America with sales in other countries and their bottom will fall out along with Main Street, USA.

Personally, I feel betrayed because I voted for change and Obama didn't do it.  He said all the right things to get the support of liberals like me but it was a facade. He says, "tax the rich" but he doesn't really intend to do it. He has backed down on the issue twice. His appointment of Geithner, Immanuel and Bernanke should have been the first clue. I hate admit it but Hillary would have been better.

Friday, August 5, 2011

America is in decline_____Noam Chomsky  

And I agree with him. From chapter 13 in my book.
It’s not over til the fat lady sings; or til it’s over!  I still have a few kicks left in the boots and my worst fear is that I will live another 20 years........ I like my chances of survival better, however, than those of this country, at least this country that I was born in and a huge hunk of whose history I shared. As a Mormon, like other Christians, I believe in the Resurrection and eternal life. There is no doubt in my mind that I will be around long after the United States is a couple of chapters in future history books…assuming that this world is still around to record history. 

I’m glad I won’t be around to see the end. This isn’t the America I grew up in! America doesn’t make things anymore. We just finance those foreigners who do and swap money around. We have become a country of money changers. As a percentage of Gross Domestic Product, manufacturing has fallen from a 28% in 1945 to 12% in 2010.  For someone my age, you don’t need statistics to know this. In the 50 years since our middle class reached a peak in the 60s, our work force has changed from blue collar to white collar. Not that there is anything intrinsically wrong with this; it’s a symptom not a cause of our employment problems which began in  2008.

Looking back at the days when I was a young married man, most everyone I knew either worked in the building trades or in factories; mostly small family owned factories but some worked in large corporate factories. There were a few bookkeepers and accountants and sales people. I had some friends who taught school and some who ran their own small businesses. We were the new middle class produced by the social legislation of the New Deal and educational opportunities provided by the GI bill.

Low cost real estate loans not only provided affordable housing for millions of Americans, it provided well-paying jobs for construction workers.  Housing developments sprang up all over the country. What was nice about our country then was that most of us knew our boss. The furniture, clothing, cars, and most everything we spent our money on was made in America.

But something happened on the way to Utopia: Ronald Reagan and his supply side economists were not satisfied with enough and had no stomach for sharing. They resented the limitations that the New Deal had placed on them. They wanted to return to the unfettered financial manipulation of the 1920’s the kind of wheeling and dealing that caused the Great Depression. Thanks to Reagan, the Bush’s and Clinton, they got their way.

One of the barriers to getting more of the pie was organized labor. Reagan’s amnesty brought in hundreds of thousands of union busting laborers. That took care of the jobs that couldn’t be exported and the free trade agreements enabled the burgeoning world of multi-national firms to export the jobs to countries where virtual slave labor was abundant.  Wal-Mart whose sales exceed the GDP of many nations, including Sweden, Austria, Norway, Denmark and Saudi Arabia, is the epitome of the misery free trade has wrought and is invisible when you buy a shirt from them; a shirt we could still afford if it were made in the USA by workers earning enough money to buy a shirt themselves.

What we are seeing today, with this economic crisis is the fruit of the 30 years of Reagan’s supply side or trickle-down economics. Until, and unless, we reverse it and return the jobs back home through the Alexander Hamilton-like protectionist trade policies, most of us will be standing at the door of the elevator waiting for the driver to return and take us back up to an upper floor with 10% unemployment being the norm.

“President Grover Cleveland in the 1888 State of the Union address had this to say:
“The gulf between employers and the employed is constantly widening, and classes are rapidly forming, one comprising the very rich and powerful, while in another are found the toiling poor.

As we view the achievements of aggregated capital, we discover the existence of trusts, combinations, and monopolies, while the citizen is struggling far in the rear or is trampled to death beneath an iron heel. Corporations, which should be the carefully restrained creatures of the law and the servants of the people, are fast becoming the people’s masters.”

This unsustainable condition continued to retrogress until it reached a point in 1929 where the system collapsed from lack of consumers who could afford to buy the products they were making. In 1928, one year before the global economic collapse, the wealthiest .001% of the U.S. population owned 892 times more than 90% of the nation’s citizens. There are many micro theories for the collapse of the economy then but the lack of consumers permeates all of them. As bad as it was then, it’s worse now! Today, the top .001% of the U.S. population owns 976 times more than the entire bottom 90%. This again is not sustainable, and makes for a very volatile economy.

The recent financial crash was a result of too much money in the hands of too few people who had nothing to spend it on. Their larder was full! Had it not been for help from the government, we well may have had a collapse worse than in 1929. Bailing the banks out, however, did nothing for the average American who was thrown out of work by the collapse of the building industry and the collateral reduction in business activity. The obvious reaction would be a healthy application of Keynesian Economics. Ironically it was resisted by the very ones who survived only because of it; financial aid from government. The decision by the Supreme Court giving corporations all the privileges of being deemed a “person” without any of the responsibilities enabled them to funnel money into the electoral process and determine the outcome of elections.

We literally, now  have a government at the federal level that is de facto owned by international corporations. With the weakening of our government as a protective entity, we are in real danger of becoming what Marc Bloch describes as a “feudal society” in his book by that name, with government by, for and of the rich. It’s a cold hard fact that there is no such thing as laissez faire. It can’t exist for long. Either you have a government that controls business or business that controls government. A healthy stable economy requires a balance – as we had from the end of WWII until the slow dismantling of New Deal legislation and the rebirth of supply side economics. Capitalism is a harsh appeal to selfishness and unchristian darwinistic survival of the fittest. Its sole redeeming quality is that it has been very effective at producing goods and it will only continue to do this as long as good government prevents it from emasculating itself

Thursday, August 4, 2011

Current Economics 1A or none dare call it treason and none can call it reason!

Before we get into the incredibly reckless brinkmanship and the disappointing pusillanimous naivete of President Obama, we need to know where we are and how we got here! Obama didn't cause this problem, but he let it gain momentum through lack of leadership and courage. For those who just want to bash Obama, skip the six listed background points.

1. In 2001, Bush took over a balanced budget.
2. In 2009, Obama inherited a $1.4 Trillion deficit, primarily caused by the war in Iraq and a tax cut, most of which went to the top 2% income group, and which is now scheduled to expire in 2013.
3. The financial collapse of 2008 was initiated by the collapse in the housing bubble which had been created by creative financing and sub-prime mortgages. It was hopelessly exacerbated by the shadow banking system marketing worthless packaged mortgages.
4. The financial meltdown spilled into the rest of the economy which went into a tailspin.
5. Obama passed TARP which successfully bailed out the financialy institutions and passed legislation designed to stimulate the economy.
6. Congress willingly went along with bailing out the financial institutions but Republicans resisted the legislation to stimulate the rest of the economy - or Main Street, as it were. Even though a minority, they had enough numbers to filibuster and forced a reduction in the stimulus bill and most economists predicted that the reduced spending would not bring out a complete recovery. Paul Krugman predicted unemployment would reach double digits. Notably lacking in the package was aid to local governments which was killed by Republicans.

This is what Obama was facing during the debt limit crisis. The deficit has increased by $10 Billion in is first 2 1/2 years, a relatively low percentage increase. But he could have eliminated it by letting the Bush tax cuts expire earlier this year and by truly drawing down our forces involved in the oil countries wars. Shame on him, he has to share in the blame but let's keep it in perspective; the deficit is mostly Bush's fault.

In the 2010 election, approximately 40 members of the Teaparty were elected to the house and 10 to the senate. A small group of eccentrics or ideologues that many ridiculed but their success drove moderates further right and with the ineffectiveness of Boehner, they have effectively paralyzed the Republican led house, and have scared the fight out of our president.

Without enough votes to get their way on any issues, they have reverted to what is being called hostage taking. And hostage taking is what they are calling it themselves with support from Boehner and McConnell! They effectively forced Obama into extending the Bush tax cuts to 2013 with an earlier threat of not lifting the debt ceiling and again in the recent debacle. In spite of the overwhelming evidence that default would be a catastrophe, they were willing to destroy our economy, our country actually, if they didn't get their way. As a matter of fact half of them voted against it anyway. Several, Bachmann and Rand Paul for example, indicated that they would not vote to raise it under any circumstances.

This doesn't border on treason, it IS treason; legal but treason never-the-less. Sadly, it didn't have to happen. A courageous president would have invoked the 14th Amendment, paid the bills, and taken the opportunity of using the debt ceiling for ransom forever off the table. I can almost guarantee that George W. Bush would have done it. Bush was a bad president but I wish Obama had his determination and courage. This small group of lunatics, with the help of the corporate press forced the president from a focus on unemployment, where it should be, into their obsession with austerity. Austerity is anathema to economic recovery. We should have learned that  in 1929. Obama's weakness has totally obliterate the advantage Democrats would have had in 2012 by creating a bigger schism in the Democratic party. The good news is that the Republicans won't win in 2012, the bad news is that Obama will.

Sadly, the drop in the stock market over the last 8 days, capped by a 612 point drop today, is only a symptom of what is to come. You can't create jobs at the same time you are cutting government spending during a recession. This is Keynesian Economics 1A and, as Nixon put it, we are all Keynesians now.

Monday, August 1, 2011

Lucy pulls the football out from Obama - again. Now we know!

Obama is a failed president. Not just progressives and liberals but all traditional democrats should be disappointed and embarrassed.  The Teaparty led GOP has been rescued from their own stupidity and party split by Obama who has created an even bigger one on the left. Conservatives will be screaming, "I told you so" but in fact, they were dead wrong about him and maybe even should have been supporting him. The difference between liberals/progressives and conservatives is the latter's position and and rhetoric changes with their hero. They continued to support Bush even when it was obvious to the world that he had failed. Obama will not have that advantage. We are true to our beliefs and will discard in a nanosecond a politician who betrays us. I will say, however, that it took us too long to realize it. We should have gotten suspicious when he appointed Emanuel, Bernanke and Geithner. Personally, I was suspicious but I should have known.

Obama's willingness to accept tax cuts for the rich, in spite of his early "no compromise" promise on the issue along with his non-Keynesian sacrifice of job creation for austerity as long as the debt ceiling discussion was postponed until after the election makes it clear that he is as fixated on being reelected as much as the GOPhonies are on making him one term!

What happened to his change we can believe in? He has failed us at every turn. Health care reform was an improvement but it lacked one thing that would have been a game changer, the public option. It would have sounded the death knell of health care for profit in the USA. He had the votes in congress and he had public opinion. What he didn't have was guts...or desire. He was either snookered or bought by the health insurance industry!
Look at all the other issues on which he caved in:
Closing Guantanamo: it's still open and prisoners remain with in-determinant sentences.
The stimulus:  he let the right wing cut the teeth out of it.
Ending the wars: his draw down in Iraq is phony - low paid troops are replaced by high paid contractors who pay no income tax, we're bogged down in Afghanistan and who knows what we're really doing in Libya? Privatization of the war continues unabated.

Our liberal/progressive media people have been very patient, telling us that he is better than the alternative and a challenger to a sitting president is a lost cause. So what. He isn't getting the job done. We need to pick someone else. We cannot wait another four years; by then it will be too late. We should support someone who really supports the people, someone like Bernie Sanders or Alan Grayson. If they lose to someone like Mitt Romney, at least we will have a clear enemy instead of an ambiguous and prostrated leader who is lead by the nose by the Teaparty!