Wednesday, April 11, 2012

It's not Romney's religion that's the issue...

Mitt Romney’s campaign has released a web video falsely claiming that President Obama has somehow created more debt than all his predecessors combined.

    “[The President] has managed to pile on nearly as much debt as all the previous presidents combined.”

The Facts:

As numerous fact-check organizations have repeatedly pointed out, Romney’s claim is demonstrably false. While President Obama has fought to deal with the consequences of the recession he inherited, the necessary increase in debt is far less than Romney claims.

The Need

The day he took office, the President inherited both an economy which was in free fall and “the largest deficit relative to the economy since the end of World War II.” Despite the fact that President George W. Bush inherited a surplus, he went on to cut revenues and spend roughly $4.4 trillion on policies including the Bush tax cuts and the Iraq and Afghanistan wars, leaving behind a national debt of $10.5 trillion.

Even conservative economists like former President Reagan adviser Martin Feldstein noted that the economic crisis required “increased government spending” and pushed for “big spending, carried out quickly.” Mainstream economists said that the crisis required “a mix” of public spending and tax cuts that the President was doing at the time. Despite the cost of the Recovery Act, it received “general approval from economists.”

The Plan

While focusing on economic recovery, the President has promoted policies that make much-needed reforms to reduce the deficit. Though Republicans have walked away from some of the President’s proposals to reduce the deficit reduction by trillions, the President has still put forward serious deficit reduction plans. In his latest budget proposal, he has outlined a plan that includes $4 trillion in deficit reduction over the next ten years—including $1 trillion that he signed into law last year.

The Irony

Now as a GOP presidential candidate, Romney is pushing tax and budget proposals that would explode the national deficit by $5 trillion over the next 10 years. The bulk of that cost comes from his plan to cut taxes for corporations and the wealthy. And as the Center of Budget and Policy Priorities’ Jared Bernstein notes, Romney’s proposals would drive up the debt to 99 percent of GDP in 2021.

My Take

There's no doubt, from any quarter, that the nation is in deep excreta. The issue though, is how much of this debt should we repay through the increase of federal revenues?  The Republican answer is more or less along the lines that if we eliminate medical care for the indigent, slash social security benefits and round up all the people who lack immigration documents, and abolish abortion and planned parenthood along with school lunch programs, stop unemployment security programs, abolish minimum wage laws, require that all business be conducted in English, abolish labor unions and institute a means and literacy test as a requirement for voters things will be fine, the economy will recover and peace will reign. 


If Romney is elected expect that he will, as he always has as an executive, throw the workers to the lions in order to maximize the take at the top. With all due respect to the man, that is how he operates. It's small wonder why the republicans think he might be okay in spite of his "off brand" Christianity.

Their plan is to eliminate all help for the poor and the unfortunate,  and use that money to pay the bills - oh, and fix things so the poor can't vote. In essence, they want to turn back the clock to the "good old days".

Some of us, though, think that child-labor laws, literacy through kids being allowed to go to school rather than starting to work as soon as they are 6 or 7 years old (which was common in 19th century America), wage scales which are high enough so that workers can have a place to live and food on a regular basis, universal suffrage (it's a democracy, don't let them change that; if you're not rich you won't like the result), equal rights for all citizens without regard to race, religion, sex, sexual identity, color, national origin, previous condition of servitude, marital status, bank account, beauty and so on, ad infinitum, are a good thing.

The reason for human society is that in union there is strength.  It's about, literally, keeping the wolves away from the door.  If society becomes transformed into little more than a mechanism of oppression by the ruling class of the workers, what incentive is there for the workers to allow the maintenance of the ruling class?  When the "law of the jungle" is the law of the land, what use have we for the rulers?  That, actually, is what the second amendment is about.

The overturning of such a society is called, oddly, a revolution.  Revolution implies that the high become low and vice-versa. It rarely is that simple, but, it's not, altogether, a bad idea. The issue, of course, is that there are a lot more of us than there are of them, it's just that they own everything.
Oh, and of course, they intend to keep it that way; which might explain all the foreclosures.

In that great halcyon age of the USA in the 1950s, so often referenced by the right-wing (And, I was there, it wasn't all that great - unless you happened to be wealthy) as some sort of ideal society, it isn't mentioned that our population was a third of the current number.  It's rarely mentioned that women - basically - couldn't get a job other than as a teacher, a nurse, or a telephone operator or a shop clerk. 

African-Americans couldn't buy a house in most towns (assuming that, somehow, they got enough money, because they weren't going to be getting a loan) because of deed restrictions which made it illegal to sell the land to them and they couldn't get a job nor even shop in many towns. That's why the civil rights fight started on a city bus and at a Woolworth's lunch counter.

And, I almost forgot, one US dollar was worth about a 1000 Japanese yen and about 500 francs, we didn't do business with the mainland Chinese nor with Russia... We were, although dirt-poor for the most part, supremely rich alongside almost everyone else on Earth. We had the only fully functional economy left in the world after WWII.  And, you could buy a nice house on two acres of land for about $3000. Good farm land was about $400 an acre.

Hispanics, in the Southwest, then called Mexicans or "wetbacks", could only expect to be hired for menial positions.  There were exceptions, someone who had acquired an advanced degree might teach school, it wasn't impossible to advance it was just very, very difficult - it's called prejudice.
A Hispanic had to be outstanding to get a normal job other than as a laborer, and most often being outstanding wasn't enough. By the 1950s the barriers for Hispanic men were softening, the African-Americans were not so lucky.

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