MainLine Peace Action/DelMont PDA

February 14, 2011

What Are The Republicans Thinking?

Filed under: economics — Tags: , , — Walter Ebmeyer @ 6:51 am

Who Says Republicans Have No New Ideas?

By Robert Reich, Robert Reich’s Blog

13 February

Quiz: Which of the 2012 presidential aspirants delivered the following words at the Conservative Political Action Convention, now underway in Washington?

We have seen tax-and-tax spend-and-spend reach a fantastic total greater than in all the previous 170 years of our Republic.

Behind this plush curtain of tax and spend, three sinister spooks or ghosts are mixing poison for the American people. They are the shades of Mussolini, with his bureaucratic fascism; of Karl Marx, and his socialism; and of Lord Keynes, with his perpetual government spending, deficits, and inflation. And we added a new ideology of our own. That is government give-away programs….

If you want to see pure socialism mixed with give-away programs, take a look at socialized medicine.

If you guessed Jim DeMint, you could be forgiven. He talks a lot like this. But you’d be wrong. Newt Gingrich didn’t utter these precise words, either, although he uses much the same language and offers the same themes.

You’d also be wrong if you guessed Rick Santorum, Rick Perry, Tim Pawlenty, Ron Paul, Haley Barbour, John Thune, Mitt Romney, or Mitch Daniels. (Sarah Palin isn’t attending.)

But again, your mistake would be understandable because these words sound a lot like theirs. Any of them could have delivered this message – and all of them have, over and over again. It’s the Republican message of 2011.

The perfectly correct answer is Herbert Hoover.

Herbert Hoover didn’t deliver these words at this week’s Conservative Political Action Convention, though. He delivered them at the Republican National Convention in Chicago on July 8, 1952.

That was almost sixty years ago.

Republicans haven’t come up with a single new idea since. They haven’t even come up with a new theme.

Herbert Hoover, you may remember, didn’t have a sterling record when it came to the economy. As president, he presided over the Great Crash of 1929 and ushered in the Great Depression. He had no idea for what to do to help the nation out of the Depression except to balance the federal budget. By the time he was voted out of office in 1932, one out of four Americans was unemployed.

By 1952, Hoover had been proven irrelevant and hidebound.

After Dwight D. Eisenhower won the 1952 Republican nomination and went on to become president, he wisely disregarded everything Hoover had advised.

Under Ike, the marginal income tax on America’s highest earners was 91 percent. Eisenhower also commenced the biggest infrastructure program in the nation’s history – the National Interstate and Defense Highway Act, which replaced America’s meandering two-lane roads with 40,000 miles of straight four and six-lane highways. He signed into law the National Defense Education Act, which trained a whole generation of math and science teachers, and upgraded American classrooms for the future. The Federal Housing Authority subsidized home ownership. The Defense Department spawned future technologies in aerospace and telecommunications.

Did the US suffer fascism, socialism, deficits and inflation, as Hoover predicted? No. The US economy soared. The median wage rose faster than ever before. And the incomes of America’s working class and poor rose at the fastest pace of all.

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Robert Reich is Professor of Public Policy at the University of California at Berkeley. He has served in three national administrations, most recently as secretary of labor under President Bill Clinton. He has written twelve books, including “The Work of Nations,” “Locked in the Cabinet,” “Supercapitalism” and his latest book, “AFTERSHOCK: The Next Economy and America’s Future.” His ‘Marketplace’ commentaries can be found on publicradio

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January 27, 2011

Republicans Split on Cutting Military Spending

Filed under: 25% solution, New Priorities — Tags: , , , — Walter Ebmeyer @ 6:34 am

It’s one thing to campaign on cutting spending (as the Tea Party candidates did), but it’s another to actually make some cuts, especially in the Pentagon budget (where the money is).  And if a Republican congressman has a big military base in his district, or if he got buckets of campaign money from defense contractors, what’s he to do?

http://www.nytimes.com/2011/01/27/us/politics/27pentagon.html?hp

January 8, 2011

What’s Going Wrong In Washington

Filed under: economics — Tags: , , , , , — Walter Ebmeyer @ 11:27 am

Robert Reich is disappointed by Obama’s centrism.  “The public is bring told a big lie – that our problems owe to unions and the size of government and not to fraud and deregulation and vast concentrations of wealth.  Obama’s failure is that he won’t challenge this Republican narrative, and give people a story that helps them connect the dots and understand where we’re going.”  Paste the link to your browser.

http://www.nytimes.com/2011/01/08/business/economy/08reich.html?ref=business

December 11, 2010

Obama The Negotiator

Filed under: economics — Tags: , , , , , — Walter Ebmeyer @ 8:36 am

President Obama’s recent negotiations with Republican leaders puts us in mind of Neville Chamberlain who, in 1938, returned from Munich assuring us he had established “peace in our time.”   We have to hope we have more time before the collapse than Chamberlain and the British did.  The article by Bob Burnett has more about negotiating with vipers.

http://www.opednews.com/articles/Barack-Obama-Negotiating-by-Bob-Burnett-101210-79.html

December 10, 2010

An Attack On Social Security

Filed under: Social Security — Tags: , , , , — Walter Ebmeyer @ 11:11 am

The scheme concocted by President Obama and the Republicans to cut payments to Social Security is a trap.  As this article makes clear, Republicans are well aware that once Social Security taxes are cut, it will be extremely difficult to restore them to where they belong – especially in an election year!  If the point of this exercise is to stimulate the economy, that can be done much more easily by increasing the Make Work Pay program that is already in place.  But this move ends Social Security’s spendid isolation and mixes it into the regular budget where it can compete with education, health, defense, and so forth.  This is a terrible idea.

http://www.ncpssm.org/entitledtoknow/

December 8, 2010

A New NAFTA With Korea

Filed under: economics — Tags: , , , , , — Walter Ebmeyer @ 6:33 am

If you wonder who this newly proposed trade deal is good for, look no further than the corporations (like WalMart) and GOP congressmen who applaud it.  It will not create jobs.  Notice that the White House statement says it will “support jobs,” not “create jobs.”

http://www.nytimes.com/2010/12/08/business/global/08korea.html?_r=1&ref=business

November 12, 2010

Good Night, Tea Party!

Filed under: elections — Tags: , — Walter Ebmeyer @ 10:46 am

This is from the San Francisco Chronicle.

http://www.sfgate.com/cgi-bin/article.cgi?f=/g/a/2010/11/10/notes111010.DTL

August 15, 2010

Top 5 Social Security Myths Debunked

Filed under: Social Security — Tags: , , , — Walter Ebmeyer @ 9:56 am

We especially like this page because the responses to the myths are footnoted.  So if someone says “Sez who?” ,  the answer is right here.  Some Republicans are putting out myths and lies about Social Security in an attempt to privatize it.  We say: “If you liked credit default swaps, Lehman Brothers, and Bernie Madoff, you’re going to love privatized Social Security.”

Top 5 Social Security Myths

Myth #1: Social Security is going broke.

Reality: There is no Social Security crisis.  By 2023, Social Security will have a $4.6 trillion surplus (yes, trillion with a ‘T’).  It can pay out all scheduled benefits for the next quarter-century with no changes whatsoever.1 After 2037, it’ll still be able to pay out 75% of scheduled benefits—and again, that’s without any changes. The program started preparing for the Baby Boomers’ retirement decades ago.2  Anyone who insists Social Security is broke probably wants to break it themselves.

Myth #2: We have to raise the retirement age because people are living longer.

Reality: This is a red-herring to trick you into agreeing to benefit cuts. Retirees are living about the same amount of time as they were in the 1930s. The reason average life expectancy is higher is mostly because many fewer people die as children than they did 70 years ago.3 What’s more, what gains there have been are distributed very unevenly—since 1972, life expectancy increased by 6.5 years for workers in the top half of the income brackets, but by less than 2 years for those in the bottom half.4 But those intent on cutting Social Security love this argument because raising the retirement age is the same as an across-the-board benefit cut. 

Myth #3: Benefit cuts are the only way to fix Social Security. 

Reality: Social Security doesn’t need to be fixed. But if we want to strengthen it, here’s a better way: Make the rich pay their fair share.  If the very rich paid taxes on all of their income, Social Security would be sustainable for decades to come.5 Right now, high earners only pay Social Security taxes on the first $106,000 of their income.6  But conservatives insist benefit cuts are the only way because they want to protect the super-rich from paying their fair share.

Myth #4: The Social Security Trust Fund has been raided and is full of IOUs

Reality: Not even close to true. The Social Security Trust Fund isn’t full of IOUs, it’s full of U.S. Treasury Bonds. And those bonds are backed by the full faith and credit of the United States.7 The reason Social Security holds only treasury bonds is the same reason many Americans do: The federal government has never missed a single interest payment on its debts. President Bush wanted to put Social Security funds in the stock market—which would have been disastrous—but luckily, he failed. So the trillions of dollars in the Social Security Trust Fund, which are separate from the regular budget, are as safe as can be.

Myth #5: Social Security adds to the deficit

Reality: It’s not just wrong—it’s impossible!  By law, Social Security’s funds are separate from the budget, and it must pay its own way. That means that Social Security can’t add one penny to the deficit.8

Defeating these myths is the first step to stopping Social Security cuts.  Can you share this list now?

Sources:

1.”To Deficit Hawks: We the People Know Best on Social Security,” New Deal 2.0, June 14, 2010  http://www.moveon.org/r?r=89703&id=22141-17700787-cAEhIbx&t=4

2. “The Straight Facts on Social Security,” Economic Opportunity Institute, September 2009  http://www.moveon.org/r?r=89704&id=22141-17700787-cAEhIbx&t=5

3. “Social Security and the Age of Retirement,” Center for Economic and Policy Research, June 2010  http://www.moveon.org/r?r=89705&id=22141-17700787-cAEhIbx&t=6

4. “More on raising the retirement age,” Washington Post, July 8, 2010  http://www.moveon.org/r?r=89706&id=22141-17700787-cAEhIbx&t=7

5. “Social Security is sustainable,” Economic and Policy Institute, May 27, 2010 http://www.moveon.org/r?r=89707&id=22141-17700787-cAEhIbx&t=8

6. “Maximum wage contribution and the amount for a credit in 2010,” Social Security Administration, April 23, 2010  http://ssa-custhelp.ssa.gov/app/answers/detail/a_id/240

7. “Trust Fund FAQs,” Social Security Administration, February 18, 2010  http://www.ssa.gov/OACT/ProgData/fundFAQ.html

8.”To Deficit Hawks: We the People Know Best on Social Security,” New Deal 2.0, June 14, 2010  http://www.moveon.org/r?r=89703&id=22141-17700787-cAEhIbx&t=9

Distributed by DelMont Progressive Democrats of America – http://www.delmontpda.wordpress.com

June 21, 2010

If You Liked Credit Default Swaps, Lehman Brothers, and Bernie Madoff, You’ll Love Privatized Social Security

Filed under: Uncategorized — Tags: , , , , — Walter Ebmeyer @ 3:43 pm

Robert Kuttner thinks that when the American people find out the Republicans want to monkey with Social Security, it will be lights out for them.  It is America’s favorite government program, and anybody who knows anything about it (or wants to) knows it works beautifully.  Just ask the lady with the check.

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/robert-kuttner/the-stealth-attack-on-ame_b_617164.html?ref=email_share