Tuesday, September 21, 2010

Barack Obama Obsolete?

The Obsolescence of Barack Obama:
The magic of 2008 can't be recreated, and good riddance to it
By FOUAD AJAMI

Not long ago Barack Obama, for those who were spellbound by him, had the stylishness of JFK and the historic mission of FDR riding to the nation's rescue. Now it is to Lyndon B. Johnson's unhappy presidency that Democratic strategist Robert Shrum compares the stewardship of Mr. Obama. Johnson, wrote Mr. Shrum in the Week magazine last month, never "sustained an emotional link with the American people" and chose to escalate a war that "forced his abdication as president."


A broken link with the public, and a war in Afghanistan he neither embraces and sells to his party nor abandons—this is a time of puzzlement for President Obama. His fall from political grace has been as swift as his rise a handful of years ago. He had been hot political property in 2006 and, of course, in 2008. But now he will campaign for his party's 2010 candidates from afar, holding fund raisers but not hitting the campaign trail in most of the contested races. Those mass rallies of Obama frenzy are surely of the past.

Senior Economics Writer Steve Moore asks whether the President is finished as an agent of change. The vaunted Obama economic stimulus, at $862 billion, has failed. The "progressives" want to double down, and were they to have their way, would have pushed for a bigger stimulus still. But the American people are in open rebellion against an economic strategy of public debt, higher taxes and unending deficits. We're not all Keynesians, it turns out. The panic that propelled Mr. Obama to the presidency has waned. There is deep concern, to be sure. But the Obama strategy has lost the consent of the governed.

Mr. Obama could protest that his swift and sudden fall from grace is no fault of his. He had been a blank slate, and the devotees had projected onto him their hopes and dreams. His victory had not been the triumph of policies he had enunciated in great detail. He had never run anything in his entire life. He had a scant public record, but oddly this worked to his advantage. If he was going to begin the world anew, it was better that he knew little about the machinery of government.

He pronounced on the American condition with stark, unalloyed confidence. He had little if any regard for precedents. He could be forgiven the thought that America's faith in economic freedom had given way and that he had the popular writ to move the nation toward a super-regulated command economy. An "economic emergency" was upon us, and this would be the New New Deal.

There was no hesitation in the monumental changes Mr. Obama had in mind. The logic was Jacobin, the authority deriving from a perceived mandate to recast time-honored practices. It was veritably rule by emergency decrees. If public opinion displayed no enthusiasm for the overhaul of the nation's health-care system, the administration would push on. The public would adjust in due time.

The nation may be ill at ease with an immigration reform bill that would provide some 12 million illegal immigrants a path toward citizenship, but the administration would still insist on the primacy of its own judgment. It would take Arizona to court, even though the public let it be known that it understood Arizona's immigration law as an expression of that state's frustration with the federal government's abdication of its responsibility over border security.

It was clear as daylight that there was a built-in contradiction between opening the citizenship rolls to a vast flood of new petitioners and a political economy of redistribution favored by the Obama administration. The choice was stark: You could either "spread the wealth around" or open the gates for legalizing millions of immigrants of lower skills. You could not do both.

It was canonical to this administration and its functionaries that they were handed a broken nation, that it was theirs to repair, that it was theirs to tax and reshape to their preferences. Yet there was, in 1980, after another landmark election, a leader who had stepped forth in a time of "malaise" at home and weakness abroad: Ronald Reagan. His program was different from Mr. Obama's. His faith in the country was boundless. What he sought was to restore the nation's faith in itself, in its political and economic vitality.

Big as Reagan's mandate was, in two elections, the man was never bigger than his country. There was never narcissism or a bloated sense of personal destiny in him. He gloried in the country, and drew sustenance from its heroic deeds and its capacity for recovery. No political class rode with him to power anxious to lay its hands on the nation's treasure, eager to supplant the forces of the market with its own economic preferences.

To be sure, Reagan faltered midway through his second term—the arms-for-hostages trade, the Iran-Contra affair, nearly wrecked his presidency. But he recovered, the nation rallied around him and carried him across the finish line, his bond with the electorate deep and true. He had two years left of his stewardship, and his political recovery was so miraculous that he, and his first mate, Secretary of State George P. Shultz, would seal the nation's victory in the Cold War.

There is little evidence that the Obama presidency could yet find new vindication, another lease on life. Mr. Obama will mark time, but henceforth he will not define the national agenda. He will not be the repository of its hopes and sentiments. The ambition that his would be a "transformational" presidency—he rightly described Reagan's stewardship in these terms—is for naught.

There remains the fact of his biography, a man's journey. Personality is doubtless an obstacle to his recovery. The detachment of Mr. Obama need not be dwelled upon at great length, so obvious it is now even to the pundits who had a "tingling sensation" when they beheld him during his astonishing run for office. Nor does Mr. Obama have the suppleness of Bill Clinton, who rose out of the debris of his first two years in the presidency, dusted himself off, walked away from his spouse's radical attempt to remake the country's health-delivery system, and moved to the political center.

It is in the nature of charisma that it rises out of thin air, out of need and distress, and then dissipates when the magic fails. The country has had its fill with a scapegoating that knows no end from a president who had vowed to break with recriminations and partisanship. The magic of 2008 can't be recreated, and good riddance to it. Slowly, the nation has recovered its poise. There is a widespread sense of unstated embarrassment that a political majority, if only for a moment, fell for the promise of an untested redeemer—a belief alien to the temperament of this so practical and sober a nation.


Mr. Ajami is a professor at the Johns Hopkins School of Advanced International Studies and a senior fellow at the Hoover Institution.
~~
Well...what do you think, folks? Is Mr. Ajami correct?
Is his analysis right-on, or do you find chinks in his story?
Obviously the Left disagrees. What does the Right think?

~~~

76 comments:

Jim said...

"Is Mr. Ajami correct?" Nope.

"Obviously the Left disagrees." Ya think?

Joe said...

This is a very well thought out presentation of the man who has become Amateur-in-Chief.

His ineptitude really springs to the fore every time he opens his mouth.

He should learn from that, but narcissists cannot learn any negatives about themselves.

Sorry, Jim. You're just plain wrong.

But you are way too proud to admit such a thing.

Jim said...

Joe,

You have no idea whatsoever about what I am and am not proud about. So just stick to what you know.

Susannah said...

Jim~ *predicatable*...

Joe! Thanks so much for swinging by~ I thought it was spot-on, too!

Jim~ Your comments from last post (& others) make it plain that you're a bit too stuck in your own narrative to admit, just for a moment, that you on the Left perhaps made OneBigA__MistakeAmerica!

I know people who voted for him, who actually wore 'sandwich boards' @ the Tea Party events saying how wrong they were, & how sorry they were. On this one, buddy, I'm w/ Joe.

Craig said...

Is Ajami correct? Well let's look at the facts.

The vaunted Obama economic stimulus, at $862 billion, has failed.

According to the non-partisan CBO, the stimulus created or saved 3.5M jobs. While job creation is still anemic, more private sector jobs have been created under Obama than the entire 8 years of the Bush admin. The last 3 months of Bush saw the U.S. losing 750,000 a month.

But the American people are in open rebellion against an economic strategy of public debt, higher taxes and unending deficits.

Where were the 'American people' when Reagan tripled the national debt or Bush added 5 trillion to the debt.

He could be forgiven the thought that America's faith in economic freedom had given way and that he had the popular writ to move the nation toward a super-regulated command economy.

Economic freedom had been sold to the multi-national corporate powers long before Obama. We can thank Reagan for that. The 'super-regulated' economy served us pretty well since the Great Depression until Reagan started dismantling it.

An "economic emergency" was upon us, and this would be the New New Deal.

Really? Scare quotes? According to economists of all political persuasions, we were on the brink of a global financial collapse.

The logic was Jacobin, the authority deriving from a perceived mandate to recast time-honored practices.

The revisionism in this article is stunning. Obama has timidly tried to return us to time-honored practices. One of governments functions is to set the rules for free and fair enterprise. The laissez-faire capitalism we've had since Reagan has been a disaster.

(to be cont.)

Craig said...

The nation may be ill at ease with an immigration reform bill that would provide some 12 million illegal immigrants a path toward citizenship

This is pretty funny. The key phrase is "path to citizenship". The policy championed by Bush and McCain's name was on a comprehensive immigration reform bill that included a path to citizenship. Remember it was Saint Reagan who who granted outright amnesty to 5M illegals.

It would take Arizona to court, even though the public let it be known that it understood Arizona's immigration law as an expression of that state's frustration with the federal government's abdication of its responsibility over border security.

Illegal immigration is way down on the southern border. Crime is down in Arizona and there is zero evidence that Phoenix is the 'kidnapping capitol'. Jan Brewer has repeatedly lied about crime stats and headless bodies in the desert. It's interesting that her deputy chief of staff was a former lobbyist for Corrections Corporation of America (his wife is still a lobbyist for CCA) and Chuck Coughlin, Brewer’s campaign chairman, runs the lobbying firm in Arizona that represents CCA. CCA is set to receive well over $74 million in tax dollars in FY2010 for running immigration detention centers.

that it was theirs to tax and reshape to their preferences.

Taxes have been cut under Obama. To get the stimulus passed, a tax cut (the least stimulative thing you can do) was included. About a third of the stimulus went to tax cuts. The effective tax rate on middle class Americans is now the lowest it's been since before WWII.

Yet there was, in 1980, after another landmark election, a leader who had stepped forth in a time of "malaise" at home and weakness abroad: Ronald Reagan.

On to The Myth of Ronald Reagan. By the way, Carter never used the word 'malaise' in the so called 'malaise speech.

(cont.)

Craig said...

No political class rode with him to power anxious to lay its hands on the nation's treasure, eager to supplant the forces of the market with its own economic preferences.

Maybe "no political class" but for the economic class at the top, this was the beginning of the economic rape of America.

To be sure, Reagan faltered midway through his second term—the arms-for-hostages trade, the Iran-Contra affair, nearly wrecked his presidency.

He kinda glosses over the fact that Reagan had a lower approval rating and a higher unemployment rate than Obama at the point of his presidency that Obama's is at now.

I'm surprised he didn't bring up the Reagan tax cuts. The fact is that Reagan, realizing the result of his drastic cuts were massive deficits. He ended up signing 3 tax increases. Something you don't hear a lot about. The first, in 1982, rolled back about one third of the original cuts. The second was a near doubling of the payroll tax on the recommendation of Alan Greenspan and pushed through congress by Tip O'Neal and Bob Dole. It was passed to address the retiring baby boomers. The third was the 1986 Tax Reform Act that closed many of the tax loopholes.

Reagan's assault on unions, his deregulation that was continued under both Bushes and Clinton and tax breaks for the wealthy have led to the bubble and bust economy of the last 30 years.

You can look at a graph of almost any economic indicator and trace their decline to 1980. Stagnant and falling wages, manufacturing, income inequality, you name it.

Of all the income reported in America in 2008, 23.5% went to the top 1% of Americans. The top 1% holds 35% of private wealth. We haven't seen these numbers since the Gilded Age. We all know how that ended. Since the Great Dep. CEO salaries held steady at 30 to 40 times that of their average worker. It's now about 350 times.

There has been a class war since 1980 and you and I, Susannah, are getting slaughtered.

Jim said...

Excellent analysis, Craig! Watch what happens next. :-)

beamish said...

Obama quadrupled the federal deficit in the first six months of his misadministration.

In the first 19 months of the Obama regime, the Messiah has put America in more debt than all Presidents from Washington to Reagan did in 200 years combined.

200 years of deficit spending from Washington to Reagan secured America as an independent nation, increased out territory, built infrastructure, defeated the left-wing ideas of Hitler's labor movement, put men on the moon and collapsed communism in the Soviet Union.

Obama's spent more money than all of those Presidents and efforts combined and has produced...

what?

Silverfiddle said...

You're wrong right off the bat, Craig. The CBO counts only created jobs, not "saved" ones. "Saved" jobs is a creation of the Obama propaganda machine.

You goose-stepping Obama worshipers buy it hook, line and sinker.

Debt as a percentage of GDP went from 33% to 55% under Reagan, but we got something for it. We broke the Soviet Union, and all of Eastern Europe now breathes free. We also got an unprecedented economic boom that good economic conservative Bill Clinton was smart enough not to mess with.

You need to stop listening to political hack and Enron accomplice Paul Krugman.

Here's an article that will help clear up your confusion:

http://american.com/archive/2010/september/many-are-the-errors

Finally, you as "Where were you when..."

We admit it, we were asleep. We weren't paying attention. We believed what our politicians told us.

But now we've grown up. Time for libs to do the same.

Joe said...

Jim: "You have no idea whatsoever about what I am and am not proud about..."

See, even after I told you you would be to proud to admit you were wrong, you were too proud to admit you were wrong...just as I said. Thanks for proving my point.

Craig: You said, "Well let's look at the facts," and then went on not to do so, to deceive and to present falsehoods.

If you wanted to be honest, you would change your premise and see the error of your ways. Beamish and Silverfiddle said it well.

bluepitbull said...

Anytime we can look back on the Crater and Clinton administrations (and Ford) as the "good old days", you know something is wrong.

Brooke said...

Jim couldn't be any more wrong if he tried to be. Of course, that is on par for a leftist.

Brooke said...

And as for Craig? If there is a class war going on, it is that the left is warring against anyone with wealth!

For example.

Craig said...

Obama quadrupled the federal deficit in the first six months of his misadministration.

Obama inherited a $1.3T deficit from Bush. The fiscal year started Oct.1, 2008 and ended Sept. 30, 2009. That deficit spending was already budgeted before Obama took office. TARP passed in 2008. Righties are disingenuously trying to pin that on Obama. Has Obama added to the debt? Yes, but even conservative economists were calling for stimulus spending in 2009.

increased out territory

I mean, let's be honest. We weren't exactly paying market value. If we (meaning U.S.) didn't take it by force we were able to take advantage of a weakened France to make the Louisiana Purchase. Not saying that's bad. $15M for all that real estate, SAWEEET.

built infrastructure,

Usually over the protests of conservatives and during a time when the top marginal tax rate was 90%.

defeated the left-wing ideas of Hitler's labor movement

I see, the left wingers who lost millions of lives on the Eastern Front fighting the commies. Anyway, it took an ultra-liberal Pres., tax increases and shared sacrifice from all Americans. It took a Congress willing to prosecute war profiteers and it required a manufacturing base able to gear up quickly. Something we're losing due to Conservative policy.

put men on the moon

Again, a lib Pres. initiative. It was paid for by sane tax policy and made possible by gov. research and a private tech sector whose innovation wasn't stifled by paying, what used to be considered, their fair share of taxes. It sounds quaint now but it was the patriotic thing to do then.

collapsed communism in the Soviet Union.

The Soviet Union collapsed under it's own weight. Reagan succeeded in passing a huge stimulus in the form of military spending. The problem is, he didn't pay for it. He tripled the debt and set us on a path of out of control deficits. It was interrupted briefly by Clinton. He raised taxes on the top 2% and the economy flourished, contrary to cons predictions of doom.

Obama's spent more money than all of those Presidents and efforts combined

Ah, you might want to reread what you wrote. Even if you meant, 'Obama deficit spent', you'd be wrong.

Silverfiddle said...

http://online.wsj.com/article/SB10001424052748703989304575504053230524906.html

The Reagan recovery was actually a recovery at this point in time of his presidency.

Craig said...

Consider this contrast: In 1983, the Reagan cuts in marginal tax rates were finally kicking in, regulatory burdens were falling across the economy, and the Federal Reserve was cutting interest rates. In 2010, taxes are heading up, new regulations are piling up thanks to ObamaCare, et al., and the Fed can't keep interest rates near-zero forever. We think these different policy circumstances are very much related to the different pace of the two recoveries.

Mr. Fiddle,

By 1983, there had already been 2 tax hikes after the Reagan tax cuts. In the early 80's we had a strong manufacturing base. Like I said, Reagan had been pouring money into the military. That had a stimulus effect. The fundamentals of the economy were on much firmer ground. Reagan hadn't dismantled it yet.

In 1983, Reagan was into his 3rd year, Obama's still into his 2nd. I don't expect as strong a recovery because we've gone so far down the conservative road it'll take a long time to undo the damage. Unless the repubs get back in to power, then you can kiss your beloved country good-bye.

Craig said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Susannah said...

Well, well. Seems there's a lot of talk going on since I've been under the weather...

First, Craig~ Welcome. I don't know who you are, but it seems you're rather enamored of yourself, taking 3 loooong winded comment slots to attempt to discredit Mr. Ajami -- & thereby me. It's not my piece, but I b'lieve I'll put my $$ with the "professor at the Johns Hopkins School of Advanced International Studies and a senior fellow at the Hoover Institution" over some dude named 'Craig' on the blogs, no matter how proud he is of his twirling of words -- and facts -- "jobs saved " anyone? I mean, what the h@## did that mean b4 BHO created the concept to save his own a$$?? Right. "Taxes have been cut under Obama." You really believe this, don't you? You must also believe that the same people who never paid one CENT in taxes were getting a "tax refund" instead of redistributionist WELFARE.

Eh, Jim? What was supposed to "happen next?" Still mad that I deleted you when you when you got ugly? I'll do the same for Mr. Craig if he gets any uglier

Craig, I could go on. But you've monopolized enough, & I've been sick. Today it's not worth my time. And yeah, I'm deleting that last comment to Brooke. See, it's those kind of attacks that pi#$ me off.

Brooke ~ I'm glad you're here. Please do not let a bully like Mr. Craig here dissuade you from returning. He's so very please with his wit & whimsy that he has forgotten his manners - if he had any to begin with...

Susannah said...

Now.
Beamish! What a pleasure to have you come by! Point #1: quadrupled - yes. Point #2: debt - Heaven help us, yes. Point #3: deficit - holy moly, yes. Point #4: produced?? - you mean BHO thinks he's supposed to PRODUCE??

SF! Great to see you here, too! I know. We were asleep. We did contribute to the problem. We made some mistakes. But we're awake now...

Joe~ "If you wanted to be honest, you would change your premise and see the error of your ways." Just what I was thinking; but Joe, based on what we've seen here - ain't gonna happen.

BPB ~ I KNOW -- Carter??? yikes!

Brooke~ Thanks for stopping by! Absolutely right about the class warfare. The gov't. believes that their budget is THEIR $$, to hand off & redistribute as they choose...ugh...

Jim said...

"Please do not let a bully like Mr. Craig here dissuade you from returning. He's so very please with his wit & whimsy that he has forgotten his manners - if he had any to begin with..."

See what I mean, Craig? Apparently articulate disagreement is bad manners. That's how I got "ugly". By disagreeing.

Don't give up too quickly though. I LIKE reading your posts.

Z said...

Jim, you might LIKE reading the posts, but try reading another point of view for once, it really, really helps!

Z said...

feel better, Susannah..xxx

beamish said...

Susannah,

It's the posing with the puppy thing. quaite fashionable ;)

I've already got the dimbulbs trying to defend the left by implying that only rightists fought Russian communism in World War 2.

My work is done.

Craig said...

You goose-stepping Obama worshipers buy it hook, line and sinker.

Susannah. Sliverfiddle is implying I'm a Nazi. That's not very nice.

taking 3 loooong winded comment slots to attempt to discredit Mr. Ajami -- & thereby me.

You did ask, "Is his analysis right-on, or do you find chinks in his story?" I found several chinks. You can dispute my statements of fact and show me where I'm wrong. I'm happy to be corrected.

As for the length of my comments. The truth takes some splainin'. Talking points don't.

Jim, Thanks.

Craig said...

I've already got the dimbulbs trying to defend the left by implying that only rightists fought Russian communism in World War 2.

beamish, I don't think I was defending anybody or anything. I just think it's funny when Nazism is referred to as "left-wing ideas of Hitler's labor movement". More like Hitler's forced labor movement. Unions were banned and those who didn't work at their 'assigned jobs' were put in concentration camps.

Just curious. Who else was fighting Russian Communism in WWII?

Susannah said...

Jim, dear, you're so silly!

It's clear to all that I could've deleted Mr. Craig's 'disagreements,' as if they never existed. Not my style. Only when he got ugly w/ one of my other guests, trying to intimidate (& veering way off topic) did I delete. 'Nuf said.

Z~ Nope, Jim's not up for that. And he gets testy, then mad when I won't allow testy comments to remain. And thanks...hopefully the worst of the 'cold' is over, but the constant headache lingers...

Beam! Our work is never fully done, my friend...And thanks, Otis & I had a good time. He's laying beside me right now. Great dog...

Craig~ Yep. I did ask...And you're right, explaining takes some time & space. So you're welcome to it, noticing that I have not deleted any of your point-by-point analysis...(eh, Jim?).

I've re-read your points, thought about them individually, and simply disagree. Your interpretations:
"saved jobs?" no such thing
"CBO" wizardry?
"Reagan dismantling?" - how 'bout disentangling g'vt tentacles
"path to citizenship?" - you mean path to Dem. party
"Arizona?" how 'bout the Feds do their job - for once in 4-5 administrations?
"Tax cuts?" - addressed that already...
"malaise?" Carter didn't have to say it, he WAS it;
"inherited from Bush?" - oh, that's so tired. Bush made mistakes, spent too much, used TARP. Ok. Now BHO has gone off the deep end...
Reagan's "deregulation that was continued under both Bushes and Clinton and tax breaks for the wealthy have led to the" longest & largest period of economic prosperity this country has ever known. And people got greedy, wanted something for nothing -- but not just the Right, can we say Fannie/Freddie? Unions?etc. anyone??
And as for good 'ol Hitler: I'm convinced that one's politics can go so far to the Right OR Left, that one ends up at Fascism, i.e., Hitler, Hussein, Chavez, etc...No use even seriously discussing those things here. As bad as we think either side is, it's only 'shades' of those, thanks be to God.

Craig, you remind me of a family member of mine...talk so fast, & say so much that, the people around you just get tired. When folks start challenging you, your defense is to sour & get ugly/snide. Then when folks leave you standing by yourself, you feel vindicated, convinced that their avoidance proves you correct. Since you haven't heard anyone else's voice but yours, you're certain that challenge = wrong.

We simply disagree. You have your interpretation; Mr. Ajami, Joe, Beam, SF, BPB, Brooke, Z & I have ours. What really counts, though, is what happens collectively in the voting booth. And, Craig/Jim, I have a feeling it ain't gonna be pretty for Prince Obama...

Brooke said...

At least Jim had the sense to bow out when appropriate. Craig keeps on being a fool.

Craig said...

At least Jim had the sense to bow out when appropriate. Craig keeps on being a fool.

Now, now Brooke. I never called you names. Only Silverfiddle and beeamish have attempted to address anything I've said here. The rest have just said things like, Jim and I are wrong, you don't believe us, we're fools, I'm full of myself, Jim and I are meanies or you disagree. Well, that's cool but show some evidence that refutes what we've said.

I guess you'd like me to go away. I was hoping to engage in a substantive discussion here with people on the opposite side of the political spectrum. Apparently that upsets those living their bubble of what I consider, misinformation.

Craig said...

Susannah,

Hope you're feeling better. I really enjoy being challenged. As I explained to Brooke, only two of you have attempted to challenge the substance of my arguments.

For example, you don't believe the stimulus package reduced income taxes for 95% of those paying income taxes. Show me where I'm wrong.

You did say, ""Taxes have been cut under Obama." You really believe this, don't you? You must also believe that the same people who never paid one CENT in taxes were getting a "tax refund" instead of redistributionist WELFARE. "

First, everyone pays payroll taxes. It's the FICA portion of your withholding. Everyone also pays sales taxes, property taxes, etc. The "tax refund" you mention probably refers to the Earned Income Tax Credit. It was passed in 1975 and expanded substantially in Reagan's 1986 Tax Reform Act. Here's what Reagan said about the EITC,

Ronald Reagan heralded it as "the best anti-poverty, the best pro-family, the best job creation measure to come out of Congress."

Does that make Reagan a Redistributing Socialist?

Susannah said...

Brooke~ Apparently, but I'm thinking Mr. Craig is Jim-dear's mouthpiece...

Craig! Though you were gone, but knew you couldn't resist a comment like Brooke's...And yes, thank you; I am feeling some better.

"reduced income taxes for 95% of those paying income taxes. Show me where I'm wrong."
Ok. I'll grant you, perhaps 95% of people who pay taxes paid a minute % less. As a wise sage once said, "Eight percent less of @#$% is still @#$%."

But here's the rub: those who already bear the overwhelming % of tax burden in our country are now having to pay EVEN MORE.

I disagree w/ your premise (& BHO's) that this is a GOOD thing.
It's wrong to punish success, to disincentivize achievement by re-distributing a greater % of the Whole tax burden to a smaller & smaller Part...Now, YOU show ME how that's FAIR & equitable...Never mind; won't happen.

"The 'tax refund' you mention probably refers to the Earned Income Tax Credit."
NO, I am NOT referring to EITC. I'm talking about FEDERAL INCOME TAX, which has nothing whatever to do w/ FICA, sales tax, property tax, etc.. You can forget the Reagan quote, but nice try.

I'm talking about Federal Tax REFUND that everybody got - even people who paid NO Fed. Inc. taxes. They did it under Bush to "stimulate the economy," (b/c the Dems SCREAMED bloody murder that "everybody should get it, not just the 'rich' people' -- i.e., the people actually PAYING taxes -- see explan. above, or refer to Brooke's earlier comment re: Class Warfare...) They shouldn't have done it then, & they shouldn't be doing it now.

It's confiscatory taxation, plain & simple. Not fair, not equitable. It's socialist wealth redistribution, and it's NOT America.

I'm quitting before my headache returns.

Craig said...

I'm talking about Federal Tax REFUND that everybody got - even people who paid NO Fed. Inc. taxes. They did it under Bush to "stimulate the economy," (b/c the Dems SCREAMED bloody murder that "everybody should get it, not just the 'rich' people' -- i.e., the people actually PAYING taxes

I get it now, the tax REBATE. Yes, Dems fought to include those who get a paycheck but don't pay Fed. inc. tax. They got a one time, $300 check. It's wrong to say those people don't pay any tax. Payroll tax is a tax. It's a regressive tax at that. As you know, there is a cap on payroll taxes. The cap is currently around $106,000. That means if you make $106k, you pay exactly the same amount as Bill Gates.

But here's the rub: those who already bear the overwhelming % of tax burden in our country are now having to pay EVEN MORE.

They aren't paying more yet. Right now the top 20% earns about 64% of reported income. They pay around 68% of the revenue the govt. takes in from inc. tax. Inc. taxes make up about 46% of total govt. revenue. About 35% comes from payroll taxes. As a percentage of income, it hits the lower 80% much harder. So, when you actually look at the numbers, they don't bear the overwhelming burden.

Corporate taxes make up 12% of rev. with excise, gift, etc. taxes making up the rest. In 1950, corporate taxes accounted for over 30% of rev. yet, they ask for more and more cuts and they pay less and less. Exxon reported the largest profit ever reported by a corp. in 2008. Taxes paid to the U.S. treasury on that record profit? $0.00

It's wrong to punish success, to disincentivize achievement by re-distributing a greater % of the Whole tax burden to a smaller & smaller Part...Now, YOU show ME how that's FAIR & equitable...Never mind; won't happen.

Forbes just released it's top 400 for this year. Combined, they're up over 8% from last year. I don't think they're being punished. These are the super-rich. Their effective tax rate is lower than mine. I'm in the bottom 80%. These people take a lot of their compensation in stock options. Their income is taxed as capital gains. 15%.

Sure, they take some risk,well, not really. They're too big to fail. Okay, they work hard. Do you think they work 400 or 500 times harder than you.

beamish said...

beamish, I don't think I was defending anybody or anything. I just think it's funny when Nazism is referred to as "left-wing ideas of Hitler's labor movement". More like Hitler's forced labor movement. Unions were banned and those who didn't work at their 'assigned jobs' were put in concentration camps.

Actually, most of the union thugs and lackeys were purged when they outlived their usefulness as usurpers of government after their violence brought him to power, to be the government. All left-wing movements have their party purges and the Night of Long Knives was no different.

Only just six months after the National Labor Law was passed by Hitler dictating that all businesses employing 20 or more people were to come under direct control of the government - over 80% of Germany's GDP, Hitler put to death the labor union thugs, the Brownshirts, that helped him do it.

Just curious. Who else was fighting Russian Communism in WWII?

A little known conservative government called Poland?

Nah. Too easy.

Finland?

Oh wait, I know.

Wait. It's on the tip of my tongue.

Dang it. Shit.

Brave people. Bad ass fighters. Sexy accents with bad teeth.

Oh yeah.

Britain, during the period Germany was bombing them with Russian-supplied explosives carried by planes fueled by Russian-supplied oil, September 17th, 1939 to June 22nd, 1941.

You almost stumped me.

Not.

beamish said...

Sure, they take some risk,well, not really. They're too big to fail. Okay, they work hard. Do you think they work 400 or 500 times harder than you.

Not sure. I don't employ few hundred thousand people that provide goods and services that keep thousands to millions employed.

I'm just a little guy.

Susannah said...

Thanks Beam, that's EXACTLY what I was going to say...

Funny, that those who have built their companies, employed & provided BENEFITS for thousands-upon-thousands of people, established the 'infrastructure' of our economy, elevated the standard of living for millions of Americans (& internationals), etc., etc., etc. are demonized as the 'super-rich' & shamed away from making profit.

Where do people like Craig, BHO & their ilk get off doing that? What a terribly narcissistic, seethingly jealous, nasty attitude to have. What? they'd rather stifle ingenuity & send our standard of living back to squalor...?

I just don't understand you, Craig/Jim. We simply disagree.

I'll take America the beautiful, America the Great, over your p.o.v. any day.

(btw, Craig, your comments never show up on my email, only here)

Susannah said...

"REBATE"
Now, this is FUNNY!! How the @#$% do you get a "rebate," when you've never paid anything?? Fed. Income Tax - you know, that check we all have to WRITE to the Feds. every April 15th (or in our case, quarterly)?

"They got a one time, $300 check."
"They" were thousands-upon-thousands of people who just won the Fed. Lottery - at my expense. It's called WEALTH REDISTRIBUTION & I do NOT like it.

But I guess you LIKE being robbed, eh, Craig?

Craig said...

Britain, during the period Germany was bombing them with Russian-supplied explosives carried by planes fueled by Russian-supplied oil, September 17th, 1939 to June 22nd, 1941.

Britain ended up signing an alliance with Stalin after Germany turned on Russia. The enemy of my enemy thing.

Using your logic, the U.S. is fighting the U.S. in Afghanistan since the Taliban are using stinger missiles, that we gave the Mujahadin, against us.

All that's kind of beside the point. Your implication was clear. Calling Nazism a left-wing labor movement, you are trying to associate American labor and the left with Hitler. It's really pathetic.

beamish said...

Using your logic, the U.S. is fighting the U.S. in Afghanistan since the Taliban are using stinger missiles, that we gave the Mujahadin, against us.

Actually, using my logic, which is always based on historical detail, the US is fighting what's left of dead-ender Taliban and terrorists run out of Kabul and across borders into Waziristan and Baluchistan where Pakistan and Iran have to deal with their disruptiveness. The anti-Soviet Mujihadeen were largely moderate Muslims like their leader Ahmad Shah Massoud, who was killed by al-Qaeda terrorists on September 9th, 2001.

If the Taliban somehow managed to get a hold of a Raytheon FIM-92 Stinger missile from the mid-1980s, much less a stockpile of them from the Russian-Afghanistan war, the argon gas in their Battery Coolant Units (which require very technical maintenance that involves both chemical storage and electronic calibration, and have a very short shelf life) have degraded and dissipated beyond their service life to the point that they can't be launched.

All that's kind of beside the point. Your implication was clear. Calling Nazism a left-wing labor movement, you are trying to associate American labor and the left with Hitler. It's really pathetic.

The US steelworkers unions didn't mind Nazi Germany being the source of their income in the 1930s.

But I'm not trying to associate American labor and the left with Hitler. Hitler did that on his own.

Susannah said...

touche, Beam!

Purple Voter said...

Craig,

I respectfully disagree with you on income and wealth disparity as evidence of organized class warfare against the poor. You cite that 1% of the population holds 35%of our wealth and earns 23.5% of the country's income and that these are historically high numbers. I don't think these stats are credible support of progressive tax and social policy due to the following:


1. That same 1% pays over 40% of all taxes.

2. The "poor" aren't necessarily poorer just because their percent of the total economic pie has decreased. A lower percentage of a much bigger pie (a pie baked by the "rich" btw) might actually be better.

3. More people may be "choosing" to stay poor because of the explosion of entitlement programs. There is much less incentive to work your way out of poverty than in the past. And rather than address the true driver of poverty, simply having children before finishing school, getting a job, and marriage, our social programs actually reward such behavior through more entitlements.

4. Demographics. Our baby boomers are retiring. This is the overwhelming bulk of the population. As they move from earners to fixed income recipients, and as they spend their retirement savings as intended, these percentages will move even more in this direction. Simple math.

5.Immigration. When millions pour into the country with nothing and are willing to work for next to nothing this skews the percentages further. Again, simple math.

So, I guess I have a problem with progressives using statistics to support their tax and spend agenda when the supposedly negative aspects of the stats were created/driven by the very policies they are being used to support. Think of it this way: you say the poor are becoming poorer because the rich haven't been taxed enough over the past twenty years. But what has happened to entitlement spending over the same period? Why is taxation the culprit and not entitlements?

Craig said...

beamish,

Nice work on the stinger missile research. I learned something. I do still think it's a stretch to say the Brits were fighting Russian Communism just because the Germans were using Russian oil, despite my flawed analogy.

I read your link and I confess, I'm confused. Are they (you,too) claiming that some Lefty ideology leads to a thirst for world domination, racial purity and genocide?

It's true that Hitler used govt. deficit spending to spur the economy and put Germans to work. He even built the Autobahn. Hmm, Ike was just like Hitler, too. You can call it left-wing. Keynesian economics might be more accurate. Guess what. It worked. Just like it worked here, Sweden and elsewhere.

In the context of a global depression, when consumers can't consume and business can't sell because no ones buying, it's necessary for govt. to borrow and inject capital into the market to prime the pump.

The difference is, in Germany, the policy was employed by a megalomaniac who used the power he got from reviving the German economy to then seize the means of production, disband the unions, outlaw collective bargaining and you know the rest.

So, if your implying that because Obama got his (too small) stimulus passed, we're headed for mass exterminations, the invasion of Canada and Mexico and maybe the Bahamas, you're a little 'out there' my friend.

Craig said...

Funny, that those who have built their companies, employed & provided BENEFITS for thousands-upon-thousands of people, established the 'infrastructure' of our economy, elevated the standard of living for millions of Americans (& internationals), etc., etc., etc. are demonized as the 'super-rich' & shamed away from making profit.

I'm not against free enterprise, making a profit or people getting rich. Why would you assume I'm demonizing anyone for calling them 'super rich'? Extremely wealthy, rolling in dough, really, really rich. My point was, they are not being punished, they continue to do quite well and their effective tax rate is actually lower than yours and mine.

I also think most business owners and corporate heads are responsible citizens and are interested in the well being of their employees. That said, there is a another side of the corporate culture that has manipulated the system to their advantage at the expense of the American people. They are essentially holding us hostage to their demands.

Yes, they employ lots of people. They've also gutted the manufacturing base of our country, outsourced jobs, broken unions which are a check on corporate power. All in the pursuit of cheap labor. They've demanded more and more concessions from govt., fought any reasonable govt. regulation but demand govt. subsidies.

When wages for the middle class have been stagnant or dropping for most of the last 30 years and compensation for corp. heads is soaring, somethings out of whack. It's not illegal but it stinks.

By the way. It was private companies that built the infrastructure of this country and they did with our tax dollars. They were hired by the govt. and it's to every ones advantage. Our infrastructure is now crumbling because of neglect by anti-govt. conservatives who have still managed to run up huge debt while doing nothing to improve the lives of average Americans.

Corporate charters are granted by the govt. so here's my answer to runaway corp. greed. It should be the law that,

1. The life of a corporation shouldn't exceed 40 yrs and should be dissolved.

2. Corporations shouldn't be allowed to engage in any commerce beyond their charter.

3. A corporation shouldn't be allowed to invest in any other corp., just their own.

4. Corporate officers should be held criminally and civilly liable for any corporate wrongdoing.

5. Any corp. chartered in the U.S. shouldn't be allowed to move their headquarters to a mailbox in the Cayman Islands.

6. Corporations who send their manufacturing overseas should pay a tariff to re-import them for sale here. Like, 20-30%.

Whatya think?

Craig said...

"REBATE"
Now, this is FUNNY!! How the @#$% do you get a "rebate," when you've never paid anything??


Everyone who got a "rebate" paid something. Payroll taxes are taxes.

"They" were thousands-upon-thousands of people who just won the Fed. Lottery - at my expense. It's called WEALTH REDISTRIBUTION & I do NOT like it.

A couple weeks worth of groceries is like winning the lottery. Okie doke. At least that money went back into the economy.

But I guess you LIKE being robbed, eh, Craig?

No. These are the real crooks.

In essence, Wall Street's biggest players (which, thanks to (Phil)Gramm's earlier banking deregulation efforts, now incorporated everything from your checking account to your pension fund) ran a secret casino. "Tens of trillions of dollars of transactions were done in the dark," says University of San Diego law professor Frank Partnoy, an expert on financial markets and derivatives. "No one had a picture of where the risks were flowing." Betting on the risk of any given transaction became more important—and more lucrative—than the transactions themselves, Partnoy notes: "So there was more betting on the riskiest subprime mortgages than there were actual mortgages." Banks and hedge funds, notes Michael Greenberger, who directed the cftc's division of trading and markets in the late 1990s, "were betting the subprimes would pay off and they would not need the capital to support their bets."

I take it your self employed Susannah. So am I. My wife is also self employed. Thanks to the crooks on Wall Street and their enablers in Congress, including Dems., I lost about 40% of my 401k. Poof, gone. How did yours do?

I consider it a 'legalized' theft of our retirement savings.

Craig said...

Purple Voter said...

Craig,

I respectfully disagree with you


Thank you Purple Voter. You are respectful and I will reply to your thoughtful post when I get some time.

I think I will respond in Susannah's latest post since she referenced you in it. I think a fresh thread would be good.

Later. Cheers, Craig.

Susannah said...

Purple! Welcome back - didn't know if I'd see you 'round here again! Your comment is so 'right on,' I can hardly see straight! ;) Thanks.

Craig~ I don't think Beam is 'out there' at all; or that he's necessarily implying that BHO is headed for Hitler-style holocaust (God forbid). He'll have to answer that himself.

I do, however, believe that BHO & his crew are out to "fundamentally change" our country into a statist/socialist nation, via killing capitalism.

As for the rest of your response, "My point was, they are not being punished, they continue to do quite well..."
Here's where we disagree. You're right in that some big-corp-types got waaaaay too greedy - & went to jail for it. However, businesses are under SOOOOOO much regulation by gov't & Unions that they HAVE to send their operations over-seas in order to stay in business.

You'll scoff @ that, but example: My brother used to be a VP for C.R. Laine Furniture in Hickory, NC. When things started going sour & furniture started getting out-sourced, the company's dire problem was that it became (listen, here) CHEAPER to send materials/supplies, management, support staff etc. overseas...set up factories, pay workers, box, and ship product back to the US by ocean freighter than it was to simply build it in their factories right under their noses in Hickory. Why? Gov't regulation & Union demands. Folks can blame greed all they want (& they're partly right), but if truth be told, our Govt & Union thugs drove business out of our own country.

So as for your 6 point plan. I don't like it -- too much gov't saying what can/can't happen in a society that's supposed to be 'free market.' Imo, that's not free.

And btw, I don't argue that there aren't crooks in business & gov.t (duh?). Of course there are. It's just not as black/white as BHO would like us to believe = corporations are BAD, govt' is here to help. Ha!

Yes, Purple has always been respectful, as far as I can tell.

beamish said...
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beamish said...
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beamish said...

Craig,

I read your link and I confess, I'm confused. Are they (you,too) claiming that some Lefty ideology leads to a thirst for world domination, racial purity and genocide?

Where does the confusion lie? How is it you can accept Robespierre, Marx, Engels, Proudhon, Bakunin, Lenin, Stalin, Trotsky, Mao, Pol Pot, Castro, Peron, and Chavez as socialists / communists / revolutionaries / leftists thirsting for a world where they want to see their ideology dominant, place their nation atop a hierarchy of other subsumed beneath them, and a lot of bloodshed to get there, but not Hitler?

Hitler was rather tame as far as body counts go. As horrible as the Nazi-driven Holocaust was, it's still only a smidgen of the total numbers killed by other forms of leftism.

Do you reject Hitler as a leftist because his ideology didn't kill enough people?

What was different about Hitler's ideology from other leftists? Anti-Semitism was a staple of leftist thinking long before Marx answered Bruno Bauer's "Jewish Question" with his kill-em-all "World Without Jews" fantasy, where he pugnaciously equated Judaism with the capitalism he wished to eradicate. Hitler called Madison Grant's "The Passing of the Great Race" his "bible."

The eugenics race law pseudo-science promulgated by American progressive leftists of the early 20th Century (and at work here, see the Tuskegee experiments for example) found resonance with their fellow leftist Adolf Hitler:

"We are socialists, we are enemies of today's capitalistic economic system for the exploitation of the economically weak, with its unfair salaries, with its unseemly evaluation of a human being according to wealth and property instead of responsibility and performance, and we are all determined to destroy this system under all conditions." - Adolf Hitler, May 1, 1927

So, when you ask if I believe the thoughts and ideas of American leftists might lead to a Hitler, I gotta say "they already did."

Hitler was a left-wing labor activist.

beamish said...

I love how clueless leftists babble about "Wall Street" as if it were some evil island of Republican conspirators in a sea of Democrat New Yorkers. As if the Obama misadministration doesn't know anyone on its economic team with ties to Goldman Sachs. ::rolls eyes::

Let's dissect Craig's platform for fun:

1. The life of a corporation shouldn't exceed 40 yrs and should be dissolved.

Let's retroactively apply this. Let's say Microsoft, established in 1975, has to be dissolved in the year 2015. Dissolved how, split between who, and why?

2. Corporations shouldn't be allowed to engage in any commerce beyond their charter.

Requiring a Hitlerian central economic planning command to enforce, naturally.

3. A corporation shouldn't be allowed to invest in any other corp., just their own.

So there's no secondary services corporations, and now the centrally planned private sector is subsumed into one monolithic corporation called Craig's Government.

4. Corporate officers should be held criminally and civilly liable for any corporate wrongdoing.

Of course, since Craig's Government and corporate officers are the same people...

5. Any corp. chartered in the U.S. shouldn't be allowed to move their headquarters to a mailbox in the Cayman Islands.

Because, like in Hitler's left-wing paradise, you belong to the state.

6. Corporations who send their manufacturing overseas should pay a tariff to re-import them for sale here. Like, 20-30%.

Because doing business with the Craigland Corporation isn't expensive enough to drive public and private corporations out of the borders permanently, of course.

Craig said...

Fine, Hitler was a leftist. What on earth do Hitler, Stalin, Mao, etc. have in common with the American Left or Social Democracies. While Hitler was engaged in genocide, forced labor and invading it's neighbors.

Meanwhile in America, Lefty Roosevelt wasn't scrapping Capitalism. He was reforming it with common sense regulations to curb the excesses. The unions were purging, not putsch, the Nazi symps and Fascists. Later the commies. They were putting people to work. Then they geared up to defeat the Nazis and Japanese.

Anti-Semitism was a staple of leftist thinking long before Marx answered Bruno Bauer's "Jewish Question" with his kill-em-all "World Without Jews" fantasy,

The right has had their share of anti Semites. Anti- Semitism has been a staple of scape-goaters throughout history. "The Jews killed Jesus", after all.

Hitler called Madison Grant's "The Passing of the Great Race" his "bible."

He was a big fan of Luther too. Yes, there were those on the left who endorsed eugenics. There were also Protestant clergy and even some prominent Jews. Grant's book was used to pass The Immigration Act of 1924, or Johnson–Reed Act. Johnson and Reed, both Republicans.

Sometimes left and right labels get a little murky.

Adolf Hitler:

"We are socialists, we are enemies of today's capitalistic economic system...


Yet two years later, in 1929, Hitler backtracked, saying that socialism was "an unfortunate word altogether" and that "if people have something to eat, and their pleasures, then they have their socialism." Historian Henry A. Turner reports Hitler’s regret at having including the word socialism in the Nazi Party name.

So, when you ask if I believe the thoughts and ideas of American leftists might lead to a Hitler, I gotta say "they already did."

I see, in Germany but not here.

Craig said...

Because doing business with the Craigland Corporation isn't expensive enough to drive public and private corporations out of the borders permanently, of course.

I dunno. Except for #5, Craigland's laws are identical to the laws of The United States of America from the founding to the 1860's.

Who's the Patriot now?

beamish said...

Fine, Hitler was a leftist. What on earth do Hitler, Stalin, Mao, etc. have in common with the American Left or Social Democracies. While Hitler was engaged in genocide, forced labor and invading it's neighbors.

I commend you for re-admitting Hitler into your ranks. Too many leftists are unwilling to do so.

American leftist hands are not clean of genocide, forced labor, or invading neighbors. Cleaner than their international ideological cousins, but not clean.

The point is, Hitler didn't achieve what he did by cutting taxes and reducing the size of government.

beamish said...
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beamish said...

Except that greater historical detail that Hitler was himself a national socialist, invited into the national socialist DAP party by its founder Anton Drexler himself. It was leading national socialism theorist Rudolf Jung that convinced Hitler to publically add NS to the DAP. National socialism was a rejection only of Marx's internationalist approach to the same thing. Fascism vs. Communism is merely a leftist ideological sibling rivalry, just as there's no "right-wing" to Stalinism vs. Trotskyism.

No, Hitler wasn't embarrassed by the word "socialism." He just had his own spin on it, just as there are countless other socialists that pick and choose and / or ignore what they like and dislike out of Marx, who didn't even found socialism in the first place.

"We are socialists because we see in socialism, that is the union of all citizens, the only chance to maintain our racial inheritance and to regain our political freedom and renew our German state. Socialism is the doctrine of liberation for the working class. It promotes the rise of the fourth class and its incorporation in the political organism of our Fatherland, and is inextricably bound to breaking the present slavery and the regaining of German freedom. Socialism therefore is not merely a matter of the oppressed class, but a matter for everyone, for freeing the German people from slavery is the goal of contemporary policy. Socialism gains its true form only through a total combat brotherhood with the forward-striving energies of a newly awakened nationalism. Without nationalism it is nothing, a phantom, a mere theory, a castle in the sky, a book. With it it is everything, the future, freedom, the Fatherland!" - Joseph Goebbels

The profiteering capitalist corporations and conspirators of the international bankers were exploiting and oppressing the German workers, you see...

Leftism's never come up with anything new. Never.

Craig said...

The point is, Hitler didn't achieve what he did by cutting taxes and reducing the size of government.

Of course not. That would have thrown Germany into a deeper recession.

The profiteering capitalist corporations and conspirators of the international bankers were exploiting and oppressing the German workers, you see...

Leftism's never come up with anything new. Never.


It was the industrialists, the robber barons and the atrocious working conditions, child labor, indentured servitude that lead to worker revolts and Marxist philosophy. It was lassaiz-faire capitalism that lead to the Depression.

Can you name 2 or 3 achievements of the American Right?

Susannah said...

Beam! You're brilliant! I'm so glad to have you as a guest here.

Craig! I'm glad you're here too. I do have a simple answer to your final question. While it may not be exactly the 'American Right,' it's absolutely Capitalism in action .

That was just too easy!! ;)

Susannah said...

Funny, Craig. I just re-read the post I linked to above. Half way through, my post asked the SAME question YOU did - of socialism...And, forgive me, I believe I gave it a pretty good go of answering.

See, this discussion is not new. We are Americans & America is NOT a socialist nation, God in heaven help us...

beamish said...

It was lassaiz-faire capitalism that lead to the Depression.

Where have I heard this bad-mouthing of laissez-faire capitalism before?

Two big names come to mind. Benito Mussolini, Fascist and the mentor of the left-wing darling Juan Peron that turned Argentina from the world's largest GDP nation into a cesspool; and that great critic of capitalism and author of many books criticizing laissez-faire, Herbert Hoover.

One of the sicker jokes of American history is that Franklin Roosevelt campaigned against Hoover, calling him a "socialist." While true, as Hoover's pro-labor government interventionalism did in fact exacerbate the stock market crash of 1929 into the Great Depression, Roosevelt proved to be the bigger socialist by taking Hoover's federal programs and expanding them for his "New Deal."

No, the "Great Depression" was not caused by laissez-faire capitalism. It was caused by its critics and opponents.

Can you name 2 or 3 achievements of the American Right?

Abraham Lincoln saw the Founding Father's enshrined intent to end slavery in the Constitution (making slave importation financially infeasible, then illegal) and joined with conservative Christian abolitionists seeking to uphold that intent by opposing expansion of slavery to federal territories. You may have heard about the continued work in that regard from 1871 to 1964, when the work of Republicans successfully got civil rights for blacks and other minorities recognized by the federal government over the objections of "New Deal" Democrats (and not just in the South). After years of fighting the Democrats' terrorist wing, the Ku Klux Klan (and after seeing the Klan resurgent via federal funding under progressive leftist President Woodrow Wilson's eugenics-inspired "reforms"), sending Federal troops to forceably desegregate public schools to uphold a Supreme Court decision again over progressive left-wing Democrat objections, it can be easily demonstrated via voting records who was left and who was right in the century-long struggle for civil rights in the United States, and the verdict is that the civil rights movement was founded and made successful by the American Right. Don't take my word for it, ask conservative Christian and registered Republican civil rights leader Martin Luther King.

Oh yeah, you can't. He was assassinated after years of FBI scrutiny and illegal wiretaps by the Kennedy and Johnson regimes.

beamish said...

[continued]

So, one accomplishment of the American Right is definitely the civil rights movement. About the only work left there is finding a way to stop all the reports of black voter intimidation by police that come out of areas patrolled by departments under management by local Democrat politicians every election, but the solution to that problem is rather self-evident.

Another accomplishment of the American Right would have to be the rollback of communism as their policies first drove an economic wedge between China and Russia, then Reagan cut Carter's lifeline prop up of the Soviet economy, a "sin" the left will never forgive him of. This after Kennedy and Johnson botched a sucessive Eisenhowerian-Nixonian containment policy in southeast Asia and Carter dawdled through 14 nations succumbing to communist revolution and two oil energy crises. The economic expansion and increase in the standard of living in the United States in the 1980s defeated communism ideologically even as it promoted free market reforms and free trade globalization.

All the while, the left dresses up in their anti-Semitic sloganeering and do their Kristalnacht re-enactments on shop windows whenever a World Trade Organization conference comes to town.

Civil rights and economic freedom are two huge accomplishments by the American Right.

Hmm. I'll think of another one. Let's see.

We need a way to keep communications and the framework of commerce intact even if contact is severed between cities by disaster or nuclear attack. Some system where ideas can be exchanged quickly by scientists and researchers alike. A place where freedom of expression reigns.

Um, the internet, begun as a DARPA experiment under Nixon?

You're posting on a platform the left never provided you.

dagny taggart said...

To Beamish:

I love you man!

beamish said...

Dagny,

How's the train bidness? Going places? ;)

Alisa Rosenbaum said...

"Who is John Galt?"

Craig said...

beamish,

I think our conversation is getting off in the weeds. The definition Right and Left have changed and evolved over time. Your trying to pigeonhole every evil deed of the last few centuries as the inevitable outcome of Leftism.

In the current context, Right and Left disagree on the role of and size of govt. I don't know anyone on the Left, today, who thinks Marxist Socialism, Communism, or Fascism is the way to go. Just like I don't think those on the Right are pushing for Oligarchy and Plutocracy. I'm sure there are some on the fringes of both sides who do.

These fears that Obama is trying to destroy Capitalism are just nuts. Crazy conspiracies to scare the already frightened.

No, the "Great Depression" was not caused by laissez-faire capitalism. It was caused by its critics and opponents.

I'm glad you have the answer. Economists are still debating the cause of the Depression. Coolidge was the small govt. conservative who cut taxes and appointed people to the regulatory depts. who completely ignored regulating. He did pay down the debt unlike Reagan, who tripled it. I'll give him that.

Franklin Roosevelt campaigned against Hoover, calling him a "socialist."

I think it was John Nance Garner who said Hoover was leading us to socialism. Roosevelt saved Capitalism.

Abraham Lincoln saw the Founding Father's enshrined intent to end slavery in the Constitution (making slave importation financially infeasible, then illegal) and joined with conservative Christian abolitionists seeking to uphold that intent by opposing expansion of slavery to federal territories.

There might have been some "liberal" Christians in there too. The Republican party of the 1860's bears no resemblance to the party today. You must be familiar with Bleeding Kansas and the rise of Popular Sovereignty. It was the slave states who were claiming 'states rights', much like the conservatives of today.

Yes, the Klan were largely Democrats and they did have influence in the 20's but they weren't much of a factor in Roosevelt's becoming Pres. or the New Deal.

Civil rights legislation passed with help from northern republicans. When LBJ signed the bill he said, "We've lost the south for a generation." He was right because the Dixi-crats, (the racist right wing of the Dem. party), left and became Republicans.

The civil rights movement, voting rights, the preservation of the Union, etc. all required govt. intervention.

Is that Right or Left?

beamish said...

I think our conversation is getting off in the weeds. The definition Right and Left have changed and evolved over time. Your trying to pigeonhole every evil deed of the last few centuries as the inevitable outcome of Leftism.

Nonsense. The basic components of left and right have not changed at all over time. The distinction has always been a question of economic liberty, what one may or may not do with one's individual self and one's own property. The further left you go, you hit totalitarians. The further right you go, you run into anarcho-capitalist libertarians. It has always been so. I'm not trying to "pigeonhole" every evil deed of the last few centuries as the outcome of leftism. I'm pretty sure a right-winger is behind some extant evil act, but none come to mind. Leftism's historical 300+ million and rising body count is hard to find a counterpart for, and that's not even counting the near million added yearly by the abortion industry.

In the current context, Right and Left disagree on the role of and size of govt. I don't know anyone on the Left, today, who thinks Marxist Socialism, Communism, or Fascism is the way to go. Just like I don't think those on the Right are pushing for Oligarchy and Plutocracy. I'm sure there are some on the fringes of both sides who do.

Let's put this to rest. Oligarchism and plutocracy have nothing to do with right-wing politics and never did. On the other hand, the Democratic Socialists of America are a fairly large organization within the Democratic Party, and the Communist Party USA opened endorsed and campaigned for Obama, and praised his first year in office after January's State of the Union address. If there's a place Obama misadministration officials could search high and low to find someone who will give Obama a favorable approval rating, he'll find it among his comrades way out in far left land. AS far as Fascism, see my latest blog on Obamacare and the recent heavy-handed attack the Secretary of Health and Human Services just launched on insurance companies to intimidate them for going public to say they will have to raise premiums to cover the additional costs Obamacare will impose on them in direct contradiction of Obama's unrealistic rhetoric.

A government takeover of industry is the essence of Fascism. Obamacare is Fascism.

beamish said...

These fears that Obama is trying to destroy Capitalism are just nuts. Crazy conspiracies to scare the already frightened.

And the "already frightened" got there how? Obama's spending spree has already run a debt larger that all Presidents Washington through Reagan COMBINED. The poverty rate is the highest it has been EVER. The "gotta-pass-it-now-or-the-sun-will-go-out" stimulus package foisted on America by Obama was sold as a unemployment reducer. Unemployment is higher now than the scary place Obama sais we'd be without passing the "stimulus." It's becoming more rare to find the word "incompetent" on the internet outside articles about Obama, even among those who prematurely hailed him as the "Messiah."

No, it's not a crazy conspiracy. This blithering imbecile of a President actually does suck. The sad thing, all points considered, is that Obama is even too stupid to write for himself the stupid things he reads off of a teleprompter screen.

No, the "Great Depression" was not caused by laissez-faire capitalism. It was caused by its critics and opponents.

I'm glad you have the answer. Economists are still debating the cause of the Depression. Coolidge was the small govt. conservative who cut taxes and appointed people to the regulatory depts. who completely ignored regulating. He did pay down the debt unlike Reagan, who tripled it. I'll give him that.

Only dishonest and ignorant leftists (pardon the redundancy) want to relitigate the cause of the Great Depression. The consensus view is that the Smoot-Hawley Tariff Act was the pebble that started the avalanche. Didn't you advocate high tarriffs up there a bit? The Great Depression was caused by tariff trade policies, not laissez-faire capitalism.

Abraham Lincoln saw the Founding Father's enshrined intent to end slavery in the Constitution (making slave importation financially infeasible, then illegal) and joined with conservative Christian abolitionists seeking to uphold that intent by opposing expansion of slavery to federal territories.

There might have been some "liberal" Christians in there too.

Doubtful. Liberal theology in Christendom didn't come into its own until the early 20th Century.

The Republican party of the 1860's bears no resemblance to the party today. You must be familiar with Bleeding Kansas and the rise of Popular Sovereignty. It was the slave states who were claiming 'states rights', much like the conservatives of today.

The "state right" to import slaves into the United States and its territories didn't exist after 1808. That is clear from the Constitution (Article I, Section 9) and from Lincoln's Cooper Union speech. "States rights" advocacy in conservative circles have absolutely nothing to do with slavery or the liberal Democrat / anti-Federalist opposition to the Constitution, and all to do with the Constitution as written.

Nice amateurish try though.

beamish said...

Yes, the Klan were largely Democrats and they did have influence in the 20's but they weren't much of a factor in Roosevelt's becoming Pres. or the New Deal.

Really? Harry Truman, FDR's VP, was a Klansman. As was FDR's Attorney General Tom Clark, father of lefty icon Ramsey Clark. As was FDR's Supreme Court Justice nominee Hugo Black, part of FDR's attempt to pack the court with leftists to support the unconstitutional overreaches of his "New Deal" national socialism.

Want to try again?

Civil rights legislation passed with help from northern republicans. When LBJ signed the bill he said, "We've lost the south for a generation." He was right because the Dixi-crats, (the racist right wing of the Dem. party), left and became Republicans.

That's absurd. You're saying Democrats in the South were upset with LBJ for signing Republican Senator Everett Dirksen's Civil Rights Act that they defected to the Republican Party, the party that had been fighting for civil rights since the early 1870s?

And the effect of this alleged mass defection of Democrats to punish LBJ is that a Republican won Presidential elections in the South 16 years later?

No, LBJ feared "losing the South for a generation" because black could finally vote without fear of getting lynched by the local DemoKKKrats.

Playing nuclear chicken with the southern states during the Cuban Missile Crisis and tossing a bunch of Southerners at Vietnam probably didn't help matters for Democrats either.

But still, besides Strom Thurmond, Jesses Helms, and Mills Godwin (who? exactly...) who are these "Dixiecrats" that became Republicans?

Not liberal left Senator and Klan recruiter Robert Byrd. Not Lester Maddox. Certainly not Al Gore Sr. Even Bill Clinton's mentor J. William Fulbright and homeboy Governor Orval Faubus remained Democrats. There was a big name Dixiecrat racist in Georgia politics. You might know him better as the progressive leftist anti-Semite Jimmy Carter.

Try not bringing a cap gun to an artillery duel.

The civil rights movement, voting rights, the preservation of the Union, etc. all required govt. intervention.

Is that Right or Left?


The civil rights movement and voting rights effort were "government intervention" only in the sense of law enforcement of both Superme Court rulings and federal law, followiung the equal protection clauses of the US Constitution.

"Preservation of the Union" was a civil war against anti-Federalists / Democrats who formed an unconstitutional confederation of states to subvert the Constitutional ban on slave importation.

So, in that sense, all those things rightist causes against Constitution trashing leftists.

Susannah said...

Beam~ ...standing & applauding...

Craig said...

The further right you go, you run into anarcho-capitalist libertarians.

And what would that look like? I think, concentration of wealth in fewer and fewer hands.

Your defense of lassaiz faire capitalism, unregulated capitalism, would lead me to believe your a libertarian. We're seeing the fruits of "economic liberty". It's not your Utopian wonderland of capitalists acting in their own self interest to the benefit of all, like something from an Ayn Rand fairy tale. It's the wealthy elite, not satisfied with having most of the wealth, wanting it all. We're becoming a Banana Republic and you seem more than happy to let it happen.

Your subservience to the multi-national corporations doesn't sound like protecting freedom. 'We can't ask the wealthy to pay for the vast amount of services and benefits they get because it might upset them and they employ everyone.' Guess what? Your corporate masters are getting larger because they gobble up other business, then chop them up, downsize them, or ship the labor overseas. Big business doesn't create jobs, new business does.

The deregulation over the last 30 years has lead to monopolies, redistribution of wealth upward, and the devastation of the middle class. When was the last time you saw enforcement of the Sherman Act? Monopolies, falling wages, increased poverty, are all products of conservative/Right legislation.

You mention the record number of people now living below the poverty line. You think that just happened in the last 18 months? It's been the trend for the last 30 years.

Every so often we see the Right nearly destroy this country with their 'economic freedom' and the Left has to step in and save capitalism from itself.

Craig said...

I'm not trying to "pigeonhole" every evil deed of the last few centuries as the outcome of leftism.

This is complete and utter crap. I said earlier, "Fine, Hitler was a leftist." Meaning, call him what you want. He and Mussolini used populist sloganeering to garner the support among the working class who were understandably scared and angry, due to the Depression. It was the classic bait and switch. It's true, Mussolini ran for an elected office in 1919 as a Socialists but was trounced. He was more interested in power than ideology.

While Hitler was outwardly trying to portray himself as a populist, privately, he was assuring the corporate elites he had no intentions of Socialism. "The Night of Long Knives" was Hitler purging Ernst Rohm and the "Socialist" Brownshirts. The first visitors to Dachau were liberals, Socialists, and members of the clergy, sympathetic to the working class. The only socialism he and Mussolini were interested in was rabid nationalism and ethnic purity. Much like today's Republican party.

If Marxism was shared ownership of the means of production and rule by the 'Proletariat', then Nazism and Fascism are the complete opposite.

I've already illustrated to you that the Founders and Framers of our country were just as wary of the tyranny of 'wealthy interests' as they were the tyranny of Despots and Monarchs. They had strict laws governing the chartering and operations of corporations. They wanted a government by the people, the 'Proletariat', operating through elected representation. In that sense, we've always been a socialist country.

Fascism and Nazism belongs squarely on the Right side of the political spectrum. You are obviously cribbing from "noted historian", Jonah Goldberg's book. Stringing together some disparate factoids and trying to make it sound truthy is no way to form a thesis. Find me some actual credentialed historians, you know, people with some expertise, who subscribe to this claptrap and I might take you seriously.

I fully expect you to take the anti-intellectual, (i.e., fascist) position that all historians are 'leftist elites sitting in their ivory towers at Socialist Universities.' I'm on to you.

Craig said...

the Democratic Socialists of America are a fairly large organization within the Democratic Party,

With a membership of about 6,000. That's fairly large?
Communist Party USA membership, under 2,000.

AS far as Fascism, see my latest blog on Obamacare and the recent heavy-handed attack the Secretary of Health and Human Services just launched on insurance companies to intimidate them for going public to say they will have to raise premiums to cover the additional costs Obamacare will impose on them in direct contradiction of Obama's unrealistic rhetoric.

I've read the letter. She warns insurance co.s that if they use false information to justify premium increases, they will be dropped from the exchange. She cites independent a industry analysis that says premiums would increase 1%-2%. If ins. co.s raise it more, they must show justification if they want to stay in the govt. exchange program.

While the Affordable Care Act did put in some needed safe guards, it was a sop to ins. co.s. Did you even read the letter?

A government takeover of industry is the essence of Fascism. Obamacare is Fascism.

Ask a group of veterans if they think the VA is Fascism. It's nationalized health care.

Ask a group of seniors, even tea partiers, if they think Medicare is Fascism. It's nationalized insurance.

And the "already frightened" got there how?

Bush cut taxes and promised we'd all benefit. How many jobs were created? Worst since the Depression. Losing 700,000 jobs a month when he left office.

Obama got a stimulus passed with concessions to Republicans for tax cuts and it worked. Not as good as it could have if he didn't capitulate to the Repubs.

those who prematurely hailed him as the "Messiah."

Only those on the Right called him that.

Craig said...

The consensus view is that the Smoot-Hawley Tariff Act was the pebble that started the avalanche.

Really? The stock market collapse and run on the banks was in Oct. 1929. Smoot-Hawley was signed june 17,1930.

It didn't help and I do support tariffs as envisioned by the Framers. The highest tariffs under S/H were 85%. Too high. Tariffs to discourage 'dumping', exploiting cheap labor, or to discourage China's manipulating their currency, good.

Doubtful. Liberal theology in Christendom didn't come into its own until the early 20th Century.

Small "l" liberal. The Founders, those that were actually Christian, would be "liberal Christians" by today's Christian Right standards.

The "state right" to import slaves into the United States and its territories didn't exist after 1808. That is clear from the Constitution (Article I, Section 9)

It didn't prohibit owning slaves. State 'sovereignty' or states rights were at issue.

"States rights" advocacy in conservative circles have absolutely nothing to do with slavery

No. "States rights had everything to do with segregation, Jim Crow, Poll taxes in conservative circles. I haven't heard of any Dem. governors threatening to secede. Only Conservative Republican ones.

Nice amateurish try though.

Ouch.

Really? Harry Truman, FDR's VP, was a Klansman.

The same Harry Truman who desegregated the Armed Forces? What a racist.

Tom Clark

"Clark supported the end of racial segregation, joining the unanimous decisions in Brown v. Board of Education and Sweatt v. Painter. Clark also took a decidedly anti-Communist stance during the "Red Scare"

Hugo Black

Find me one opinion he wrote, or vote he took that is racist.

Want to try again?

No. I think I've done enough. I've knocked down your feeble arguments with only a "cap gun".

So, in that sense, all those things rightist causes against Constitution trashing leftists.

Specifics? One or two of the most egregious trashings would be good.

beamish said...

I've knocked down your feeble arguments with only a "cap gun".

Says the guy standing with left-wing New Deal Democrat Klansmen. I guess they were from the Klavern of "good guys."

"I think one man is just as good as another so long as he's honest and decent and not a nigger or a Chinaman. Uncle Will says that the Lord made a white man from dust, a nigger from mud, then He threw up what was left and it came down a Chinaman. He does hate Chinese and Japs. So do I. It is race prejudice, I guess. But I am strongly of the opinion Negroes ought to be in Africa, yellow men in Asia and white men in Europe and America." - Klansman Harry Truman, 1911.

"Neither in Asia, nor Africa, nor Europe, nor America, has the white race ever consented to or tolerated either marital relationship or social equality, with the black race. And why? A good and sufficient reason is, because the law of nature or of our Creator does not permit social equality and an amalgamation of the white and black races. . . . We should be hopeful and happy, and not pessimistic . . . that the Mason and Dixon line is wiped from the map of the United States forever, and that as long as the negro sees fit to remain with us, in preference to returning to his native land, the white people of the South will in the future, as in the past, give him work and a home, and treat him kindly, and give him equal rights before the law with the white, as to the protection of his person, liberty, labor and property, in and out of the courthouse, and give him religious and educational advantages with separate churches and schools for the black and white, but the white people will never allow them social equality, or anything that will result in social equality as evidenced by our miscegenation law, "separate coach" law, and separate schools and churches which principles and customs have been upheld and approved . . . by the Supreme Court of the United States." - FDR's attorney general and Truman-nominated Supreme Court justice Tom Clark, Klansman and coordinator of Japanese-American internment camps.

Hugo Black...

Find me one opinion he wrote, or vote he took that is racist.

Korematsu v. United States (1944)

Really Craig, are you even trying?

Specifics? One or two of the most egregious trashings [of the Constitution] would be good.

National Labor Relations Act

Social Security Act

Medicare Act

Department of Education

...and everything else leftism can't point to in the Constitution.

Cap guns make noise. Bring some firepower, Craig.

Craig said...

"I think one man is just as good as another so long as he's honest and decent and not a nigger...

In your black and white world, you can take a letter written to Bess when he was 27 to judge a man's entire life. How do you fit the fact that Truman desegregated the the military and made To Secure These Rights a central initiative of his admin., into your bizarre narrative? C'mon. Do you really think a Klansman would do that?

I'm not surprised someone growing up in the segregated South in the early 1900's, would espouse those views. According to you, no one ever changes. Okay. How do you explain this,

This is Ronald Reagan speaking to you from Hollywood. You know me as a motion picture actor but tonight I'm just a citizen pretty concerned about the national election next month and more than a little impatient with those promises the Republicans made before they got control of Congress a couple years ago.

I remember listening to the radio on election night in 1946. Joseph Martin, the Republican Speaker of the House, said very solemnly, and I quote, "We Republicans intend to work for a real increase in income for everybody by encouraging more production and lower prices without impairing wages or working conditions", unquote. Remember that promise: a real increase in income for everybody. But what actually happened?

The profits of corporations have doubled, while workers' wages have increased by only one-quarter. In other words, profits have gone up four times as much as wages, and the small increase workers did receive was more than eaten up by rising prices, which have also bored into their savings. For example, here is an Associate Press Dispatch I read the other day about Smith L. Carpenter, a craftsman in Union Springs, New York. It seems that Mr. Carpenter retired some years ago thinking he had enough money saved up that he could live out his last years without having to worry. But he didn't figure on this Republican inflation, which ate up all of his savings, and so he's gone back to work. The reason this is news, is Mr. Carpenter is 91 years old.

Now, take as a contrast the Standard Oil Company of New Jersey, which reported a net profit of $210 million after taxes for the first half of 1948; an increase of 70% in one year. In other words, high prices have not been caused by higher wages, but by bigger and bigger profits.

The Republican promises sounded pretty good in 1946, but what has happened since then, since the 80th Congress took over? Prices have climbed to the highest level in history, although the death of the OPA was supposed to bring prices down through "the natural process of free competition". Labor has been handcuffed with the vicious Taft-Hartley law. Social Security benefits have been snatched away from almost a million workers by the Gearhart bill. Fair employment practices, which had worked so well during war time, have been abandoned. Veterans' pleas for low cost homes have been ignored, and many people are still living in made-over chicken coops and garages.


Radio ad for the Klansman.

Craig said...

"Neither in Asia, nor Africa, nor Europe, nor America, has the white race ever consented to or tolerated either marital relationship or social equality, with the black race...

Once again, a quote from 1925 at the dedication of a new courthouse in Brandon, Mississippi.

“I have made a lot of mistakes in my life, but the one I acknowledge publicly is my part in the evacuation of the Japanese from California in 1942.”
- Tom C. Clark, 1966


People change.

Hugo Black wrote,

Korematsu was not excluded from the Military Area because of hostility to him or his race. He was excluded because we are at war with the Japanese Empire, because the properly constituted military authorities feared an invasion of our West Coast and felt constrained to take proper security measures, because they decided that the military urgency of the situation demanded that all citizens of Japanese ancestry be segregated from the West Coast temporarily, and, finally, because Congress, reposing its confidence in this time of war in our military leaders — as inevitably it must — determined that they should have the power to do just this.

Sounds just like the Bush Admin. justification for extraordinary rendition, torture and warrantless wiretaps.

In hindsight, the internment camps were racist and a stain on FDR's legacy. I concede that and any reasonable person would. OOPS.

"In Defense of Internment: The Case for 'Racial Profiling' in World War II and the War on Terror" by Michelle Malkin, Fascist.

I did say reasonable person. Never mind.

Craig said...

The racists left the Democratic party and have been courted by the Republicans ever since.

In the early Seventies, Richard Nixon seized on an initiative popularized by Kevin Phillips called the “Southern Strategy.” Phillips noted that in the wake of Democratic sponsorship of the Civil Rights revolution, the Republican Party’s historic base in the South—black voters—had been shattered. Whereas once the Republican Party had commanded the absolute loyalty of the Southern blacks, during the Kennedy and Johnson years, Phillips reckoned, the Republicans had done well to draw 20 percent of the black vote. However, the Southern white middle class was smoldering over the grant of civil rights—especially voting rights—to blacks. They were alienated by the Democrats and, notwithstanding the threat of opportunistic third-party candidates like George C. Wallace, ripe for the plucking by the Republicans.

They couldn't be as blatant as the old racists so; Lee Atwater explains,

As to the whole Southern strategy that Harry S. Dent, Sr. and others put together in 1968, opposition to the Voting Rights Act would have been a central part of keeping the South. Now [the new Southern Strategy of Ronald Reagan] doesn’t have to do that... You start out in 1954 by saying, "Nigger, nigger, nigger." By 1968 you can't say "nigger" — that hurts you. Backfires. So you say stuff like forced busing, states' rights and all that stuff. You're getting so abstract now [that] you're talking about cutting taxes, and all these things you're talking about are totally economic things and a byproduct of them is [that] blacks get hurt worse than whites. And subconsciously maybe that is part of it. I'm not saying that. But I'm saying that if it is getting that abstract, and that coded, that we are doing away with the racial problem one way or the other. You follow me — because obviously sitting around saying, "We want to cut this," is much more abstract than even the busing thing, and a hell of a lot more abstract than "Nigger, nigger."

They changed the Klan to an organization with a nice, patriotic sounding name like Council of Conservative Citizens

Then Bob Barr, Trent Lott (5 times), and Haley Barbour could speak at their conventions and people might not notice they're white supremecist's.

This is getting ridiculous. All this because Obama is a Fascist? Was that it?

Oh yeah, Perfessir beamish. If anything on your list is unconstitutional, we have a process where you can challenge them.

I think they've already been decided and the Supreme's are the last word. My advise would be to start by reversing Marbury v. Madison (1803).

Good luck with that.

Anonymous said...

My ADVICE is that when being a smart ass, you really should check your spelling.