Sunday, September 21, 2008

If you don't read anything else, PLEASE read THIS!

If you don't read anything else, please read this!!! I wish every Republican would read the following essay -- and understand it, even though it's now too late to do much about changing things for the better. If you saw the faces of any of the "pundits" and senators on the talk shows today, you have to know that this crisis is not just an "adjustment" in the market. We are facing the potential downfall of our country. No one really knows what to do -- they are all scrambling -- but you know who is always going to be left holding the bag. Yep, that's us, the taxpayers.

The irony about the Republicans' great fears of socialism is that, by their selfish, greedy, give-the-breaks-to-the-rich and keep-the $-all-to-ourselves philosophy, they have actually succeeded in making the U.S. a socialist country! Through their mismanagement, our government now owns our financial system, lock, stock, and barrel. But the fear-mongering Republicans also made sure they don't have to worry about those "marxist, communist" plans Democrats had to help the poor and middle class. No--because by giving all those tax cuts to the corporations and deregulating them, trusting them to regulate themselves (hah!), they've made sure there will be no helpful entitlement programs for the rest of us. The bailout trillions that will burden the taxpayers but leave the scoundrels with their ill-gotten billions and no responsibility, are also going to leave no money for any help for the middle class and poor. So, wave bye-bye to universal health care, educational programs for our children, and any other programs that would have helped our country to grow and thrive. Instead, we are now a dying country, barreling our way toward third-world status while countries like China will become the world leaders.

Do you think any of your Republican friends will understand this and realize what they have done by their past votes for Reagan and by voting for Cheney and Bush TWICE? No, I don't either. They will continue to defend their votes and their philosophy of "trickle-down" economics that never trickle down. They will keep Reagan as their hero, and defend Cheney and Bush, even in the face of the disaster they have caused. What's worse, they will vote for McCain and Palin in order to keep rolling along their philosophy of more tax cuts for the rich (and wars for the poor to fight in order to make the rich even richer). The following essay tells the sad story better than anything else I have read. I recommend that every American read it -- and weep for what could have been--versus what is.

by Jon Faulkner

When Bush said, shortly after 9-11, “Lucky me - I hit the trifecta,” he didn’t know he’d made such a funny joke until he tried it out at GOP fundraisers. Oh! What laughs he got! He was so funny he began a kind of comedic routine whenever he appeared at some $10,000 a plate dinner, or other, GOP fundraiser. He liked to pantomime looking for Saddam’s Weapons of Mass Destruction by peeking under his lectern. That one always got big laughs! When he deadpanned, “Some people call you the elites; I call you my base," his audience cracked up! Gosh! What a funny guy! Of course, hundreds of thousands of Iraqi civilians don’t think he’s funny at all - they’re dead. The parents and widows of the dead American soldiers that gave their lives so Bush could be a tough guy don‘t get the joke either.

The Bush Administration’s vacuous understanding of economy has laid waste the nation’s solvency as the supply siders, the trickle downers, and blind greed kicked the U.S. back to 1929. Free Market Magic. The Holy Grail of conservatism. The Bush Administration’s obsession with tax cuts for fat cats has destroyed the nation’s tax base. The wars, the exotic weapons systems, the lobbyists who dangle cash for Congressional votes, conspire and arrive at a place where Americans are not needed, or welcome. “We got it, bubba. Don’t worry ’bout a thing.” The Bush Boy struggles, as he reads soothing words to quell the panic. The snarling Cheney couldn’t care less. George is the front man. It ain’t his problem.

Before Bush, "that drug store, truck drivin’ man" Ron Reagan, raved that government is the enemy. "Throw out the rule book! It’s morning in America! Those dad gum regulations are killin’ bidness!" Ronnie enthused about The Magic Marketplace. The markets will always correct themselves if the government will only leave them alone the conservatives shouted. Actually, markets never correct themselves. The U.S. taxpayers do, and afterwards, they‘re told to be satisfied with whatever trickles down from ON HIGH. This should offend Americans. Trickle down sounds a lot like charity, or even fish food, or worst of all, golden showers. Fast forward to the Bush tax cuts. Junior’s Administration reduced personal income tax, capital gains tax, and dividend taxes. The republicans also got their repeal of the “Death Tax,” otherwise known as inheritance taxes, which the founders felt were necessary to keep an aristocracy from supplanting democracy. The American people swallowed this garbage. And they deserve what is happening to them now.

The Bush Administration’s looting of the national treasury cost Americans $3.5 trillion in tax breaks for rich folk. That number includes the ongoing interest on the federal debt. Now he has asked Congress for $700 billion, plus the $300 billion he’s already handed over to the nation’s financial geniuses. That’s a trillion dollars down the tubes and this thing is just getting started! Newsweek Magazine says that finding solutions to the nation’s economic meltdown will probably include “ dramatic cuts in corporate and capital gains taxes.”

Now isn’t that interestin’? While the peons pay taxes the elite, Free Market gurus, steal every dime the peons hand over to the government. The Kings of Financial Industry are forgiven their tax burden. When the geniuses, the Kings screw up, they slide on their bellies to the money tree and beg, beg, beg. “Oh, pulease. We are busted! If you don’t help us tens of thousands of jobs will be lost!” Bush, recognizing kindred souls, can’t wait to scribble a check. So, as the deregulation of the S&L’s failed on Reagan’s watch, so the deregulated financial industry has failed on the Bush boy’s watch. Not that Bush would know. He is aware as a pimple on Karl Rove’s Butt.

But if corporate and capital gains taxes are further reduced where will the money come from when the geniuses on Wall Street stick their fingers in the light socket again? Because they will. And it‘s also a safe bet that the poor, dumb working man, will bail them out again. Newsweek also predicts that entitlement reform will be a hot button priority for the next president. Meaning that McCain will overhaul Social Security and Medicare, so the nation’s movers and shakers can absorb that money too. Ultimately, Americans deserve the government they have.

A trillion so far. Another trillion, and maybe more, before Wall Street is satiated. Joe plods off to work, and when he looks at his check there’s a lot of money that’s been pilfered from it. Joe is America’s quintessential, angry white man. After a few beers Joe gets to railing against the damned librils. Lacking the curiosity, the intellect, and most importantly a sense of morality, Joe hustles off to the polls to vote republican. Never snapping to the fact that the conservatives have been breaking it off in his ass for years. Poor Joe. When God was handing out brains, Joe thought He said trains, and asked for an iron one.

There have been more than a few Joes who have lost their homes through foreclosure. Four million homes have been foreclosed on, and four million families have had their lives turned upside down. Those family value republicans! God bless ’em! But, by golly! They’ve budgeted a few million for councilors who will help these families through their sorrow and fear. Gosh Joe! Did you ever think that if Bush could bail out the corporate leeches, he may a coulda helped you and four million other Americans avoid foreclosure? “But, but, but ….. that’d be socialism! Maybe even communism!” Right. So Joe pays for Wall Street’s excess and Wall Street, knowing that Joe will always pay for their next exercise in runaway greed, sees a green light to gamble some more of Joe’s money away. What a joke on ol’ Joe! Them high rollers are laughing at him, and it is kinda funny. Ol’ Joe. Throwin’ his money at the ones who’ve been scammin’ ’em from jump street. And he still ain‘t snapped! What a dumbass! How could he be so stupid?

McCain, “The Maverick” and Palin, “The Wolverine”, are ready to step in and continue the fleecing of Joe. Republicans have a plan. They’ve never much cared for the Constitution, and the concept of majority rule deeply offends them. They’ve long realized that the best way to bring down the government is to starve it to death. “Drown it in the bathtub!” cries Grover Norquist! That quintessential right winger. Gee Whiz, Grover! Where would corporate welfare come from if the government were drowned? Would you say “stick ’em up!” and rob the taxpayers at gunpoint? Don’t you think that’s a little obvious? Even mendacious? Besides, they may shoot back, and everyone knows the republicans, though they’re all for war, damn sure don’t wanna fight in one!

In the film classic, It’s a Wonderful Life, George Bailey is the owner of the Bedford Falls, Savings and Loan. Potter is the town’s scrooge, and is the quintessential, conservative republican. Potter has always cast covetous eyes on George’s bank. He wants to end the “sentimental hogwash" of home loans for the working poor, calling them “suckers” and “riff raff.” After surviving a run on the bank, Uncle Billy misplaces $8,000 of the bank’s money that Potter scoops up in an opportune moment. Bursting with malicious glee, Potter tips the Bank Regulators who immediately begin an audit of George’s bank. George knows he’s very probably going to jail, and at the least, he’ll lose the bank to Potter. Suicidal, he’s saved by an Angel, Clarence Odbody, who shows George what Bedford Falls would have looked like if he’d never been born. Bedford Falls is gone - replaced by Pottersville, which is a slum, filled with sleazy bars and pawn shops. Human misery can be seen wherever one looks. George now knows that he must keep living - that he can’t let the town fall into Potter’s hands. His many friends step in and raise the missing $8,000, and Bedford Falls is saved.

The film, shot in 1946, warns viewers of the dangers of capitalism. Self interest, unless balanced with community spirit, will destroy the nation as the right wing leads Americans towards a predatory existence with a few holding sway over the many. As unregulated capitalism advances, those being led will become increasingly corrupted. George Bailey is the embodiment of community spirit. Everything he’s ever wanted to do in his life has been put off for the greater good of Bedford Falls. George understands that right wing conservatism exists for the sole purpose of serving its own, self interests. He also understands that capitalism can be a benign economic system. It doesn’t have to be reduced to a dog eat dog fight for survival, with the winner being determined by how many possessions he has, how much they’re worth, and who was cheated to get them.

In spite of the warning the film suggested, and in spite of the many cautionary words from America’s finest thinkers, conservatism has triumphed over community spirit as it ever caters to the people’s most vulgar, most base instincts. Republicans, during the Bush Administration, have accomplished a major goal. They’ve redistributed the wealth and concentrated it among a few, while simultaneously undermining the U.S. economy to such an extent that Americans can no longer afford many basic services they once took for granted. Republicans will position themselves, with McCain’s election, to end Social Security and many other programs that improve the lives of all Americans. The republicans will continue their assault against any alternative view but their own, and Democracy will be replaced with a corporate oligarchy that will make no attempt to disguise its fascist agenda, and its resultant demands on the people.

Benjamin Franklin said the government “is likely to be well administered for a course of years, and can only end in Despotism when the people shall become so corrupted as to need despotic Government, being incapable of any other.”

Every advanced nation, and some nations of the third world, offer free health care. Education is recognized as key to a nation’s future prosperity. An efficient and aesthetically pleasing infrastructure promotes a sense of wellbeing among citizens, and communicates a broad functionality as it connects the communities. The U.S. government is paying an inconceivably high price to rescue the dead weight, corporate leeches, while investments in health care, education and infrastructure are beyond consideration. Every American should be furious that conservative republicans have dismissed regulatory oversight as burdensome, and led the U.S. down a ruinous road. But this is what Grover Norquist means when he says, “drown the government in the bathtub.” Americans won’t like it if the conservatives steal the Social Security Trust Fund outright, so they ruin the nation’s economy instead, thus starving Social Security, and other programs enacted for the public good. As years pass, the U.S. will increasingly resemble a third world nation, and contrary to the Founder’s vision, will finally be governed by a few.


Republicans won't rest until every single vestige of the New Deal, the best and most workable way of managing the conflicting demands of capital and labor, are repealed,and if they have to bankrupt the country to do it, that's fine with them.

Republicans must wake up in the morning figuring out how to do somebody out of a dime.If they can't loot and destroy, they don't seem to be happy, unlike liberals, who are builders.

It has to be said and has to be said: Rich Republicans hate and want to put their foot on every man, woman, and child who is not a rich Republican. As for the poor Republicans, the average working person who votes Republican for whatever reason, the only thing you can say about them is they're stupid.