Tuesday, August 14, 2012

Despite Claims Has Political Process Ever Cared How We Might Vote?

  History’s pages turn as the man Ronald Reagan trusted, to make his great plan work for America, still raises his hand for the country’s attention. Placing his head across the political guillotine, because, bottom line, fashionable descriptions of economics just hold water politically, while what’s really in the bucket is the same ole ________ sold the public as tried and true wisdom for the convenience of political professionals. Right, the harried who’ve been drawn as literally torn apart by the fickle public. But still won’t budge from this atrophied line symbolically drawn in the sand, relentlessly, over and over, popularly know as entitlements as if this is all the public has to understand and our political process can sell. Consciences may be clear, but the scapegoat will eventually be pointed out by historians of any hue and victims revealed as everyone including you and me.
  Titled, Paul Ryan’s Fairy-Tale Budget Plan, a New York Times editorial, by David A. Stockman, President Reagan’s director of the Office of Management and Budget from 1981 to 1985, and author of the forthcoming book, “The Great Deformation: How Crony Capitalism Corrupts Free Markets and Democracy,” rolls out Mr. Stockman’s own, now, redundant message of the last years that’s yet to gain a real foothold in the broader public imagination. Surely he still has investors. People who believe in him. He made the editorial pages of The New York Times, for goodness sakes. Yet here, his clear message is once again in a format the popular broadcast industry can ignore injecting in the political process because, why, he’s not popular enough? Just because Mr. Stockman can’t get a miniature profile on TMZ, nor even a simple walk-on in the blockbuster Batman? Could that be it? He doesn’t try hard enough to float his political boat? What he has to say is not accurate enough? Let’s see, if I can dissect his essay without taking too much away from his original essay’s zeal.
  Mr. Stockman starts nice and conciliatory in classic political style calling PAUL D. RYAN the most articulate and intellectually imposing Republican of the moment, but that doesn’t alter the fact that this earnest congressman from Wisconsin is preaching the same empty conservative sermon.
  Now here many smirk their heads away over Ronald Reagan turning over in his grave. Why? The prosperity he advocated happened. Turn the page.
  Mr. Stockman describes our decades of economic policy lethargy that has stifled prosperity – Thirty years of Republican apostasy. Defined as a defection or revolt, as in formal disaffiliation from or abandonment or renunciation of a religion by a person. For every one of us at some point does idolize the rights of individuals and local communities’ states’ rights. Mr. Stockman writes a once grand party’s embrace of the welfare state, the warfare state and the Wall Street-coddling bailout state have crippled the engines of capitalism and buried us in debt.
  And trying as hard as he can, Mr. Stockman goes to great pains to convey he’s not a liberal. Come on dude, even the great RR had to admit growing up one till he saw how politically far he could go on his own on the other side. What Hollywood pasted that smile to his face for in the first place. Never matters which party is in office anyway as long as it’s your guy. Why Wall Street can afford both sides and anyone else large enough to need power in the game. It’s chips, like Vegas or now the magnificent public lotteries. You just have to be in the game and gambling for bigger stakes just costs a LITTLE more.
  Then Mr. Stockman claims, Mr. Ryan’s sonorous campaign rhetoric about shrinking Big Government and giving tax cuts to “job creators” (read: the top 2 percent) will do nothing to reverse the nation’s economic decline and arrest its fiscal collapse. That’s number crunching and Mr. Stockman might probably have a real point, though I still can’t ignore the truism if you take from the rich they’ll get it back and aren’t prices high enough already? Of course everything is.
  But then Mr. Stockman goes for the rhetoric jugular accusing Mr. Ryan of professing to be a defense hawk, though the true conservatives of modern times — Calvin Coolidge, Herbert C. Hoover, Robert A. Taft, Dwight D. Eisenhower, even Gerald R. Ford — would have had no use for the neoconconservative imperialism the G.O.P. cobbled from policy salons run by Irving Kristol’s ex-Trotskyites three decades ago. Young student communists from the 1930s who matured into emphatic capitalist defiance of government control. Blaming liberals with bias few had completely earned if not for this zealous need to declare Americanism victor over a poisoned political dream the neo-cons couldn’t help discover was a perversive totalitarianism during the sad Economic Depression of their impressionable youthful thirties. Great, sycophants can carry that torch to the next Olympics, I’m sure, lighting up everything with their indignation. Everyone’s mad, get over it.
  But rather than possibly over-dramatize as I have, Mr. Stockman however is more to the point, stating – These doctrines now saddle our bankrupt nation with a roughly $775 billion “defense” budget in a world where we have no advanced industrial state enemies and have been fired (appropriately) as the global policeman. Well that’s lofty sentiment, Mr. Stockman. Of course from your economic ivory tower, there’s really not reason enough for the world to respect us along these lines of nation-building George Bush claimed in his first run for President he’d have nothing to do with. But, nuts and bolts? The United States just won the most gold and people still look to us as a desirable place to live successfully. The world still lives out its’ dreams here. For example the automobile pollution prosperity China copied is a comfortable conspiracy set to destroy Cuba. Why? There’s not enough money there to stop it. Prosperity built with toys, could be a Tea Party slogan if it were faced by enough of us here in America. ____, someday that GNP is just gonna fly past inflation, right, or probably wrong?
  Mr. Stockman describes today’s national security budget, adjusted for inflation, as nearly double Eisenhower’s when he left office in 1961 (about $400 billion in today’s dollars) — a level Ike deemed sufficient to contain the very real Soviet nuclear threat in the era just after Sputnik. By contrast, the Romney-Ryan version of shrinking Big Government is to increase our already outlandish warfare-state budget and risk even more spending by saber-rattling at a benighted but irrelevant Iran. The Iranian people don’t want to fight unless you work enough of them up to believe it’s a spiritual defense of their autonomy and Allah told them to do it since an erratic fool of a president claimed God told him to go to war. That’s right. The omnipotent Deity encouraged smart people to solve a rivalry through war? People, I can understand, but blaming God? Allah I doubt has human prejudice, period.
  Time out: How are guns and religion similar? Guns don’t shoot people, people do. Religion isn’t prejudiced, people are.
  So Mr. Stockman points to there being no hope of a return to vibrant capitalism unless there is a sweeping housecleaning at the Federal Reserve and a thorough renunciation of its interest-rate fixing, bond buying and recurring bailouts of Wall Street speculators. The Greenspan-Bernanke campaigns to repress interest rates have crushed savers, mocked thrift and fueled enormous overconsumption and trade deficits.
  But might it be if the opposite were done is not enough either?
  Here next is Mr. Stockman’s no stone unturned mentality, writing – The greatest regulatory problem, far more urgent than the environmental marginalia Mitt Romney has fumed about, is the giant Wall Street banks remain dangerous quasi-wards of the state and are inexorably prone to speculative abuse of taxpayer-insured deposits and the Fed’s cheap money. Forget about “too big to fail.” These banks are too big to exist — too big to manage internally and to regulate externally. They need to be broken up by regulatory decree. Instead, the Romney-Ryan ticket attacks the pointless Dodd-Frank regulatory overhaul, when what’s needed is a restoration of Glass-Steagall, the Depression-era legislation that separated commercial and investment banking. What was destroyed when the 1999 Congress rammed through that industry’s deregulation past the weakened soap opera-ed, tabloid pressed, poor president. Did that one even see it coming, or should he be in the corner with Alan Greenspan sobbing about how could they know greed couldn’t be trusted to police itself? Ironic, huh? How what a person’s relationship with the banks defines how the collapse affected them. As Bill Gates has been known to impart, if there’s this many millions left, it doesn’t hurt a lot – to lose a lot.
  Then Mr. Stockman continues burning his bridges to the dominant Republican branch, writing, Mr. Ryan showed his conservative mettle in 2008 when he folded like a lawn chair on the auto bailout and the Wall Street bailout. But the greater hypocrisy is his phony “plan” to solve the entitlements mess by deferring changes to social insurance by at least a decade.
  When – A true agenda to reform the welfare state would require a sweeping, income-based eligibility test, which would reduce or eliminate social insurance benefits for millions of affluent retirees. Who if inflation is not doubled, for some other excuse, could fare rather well. Or at least we know Barbara Bush would, or should. Continuing Mr. Stockman points out – Without that adjustment, there is no math that can avoid giant tax increases or vast new borrowing. Yet the supposedly courageous Ryan plan would not cut one dime over the next decade from the $1.3 trillion-per-year cost of Social Security and Medicare.
  Instead, it shreds the measly means-tested safety net for the vulnerable: the roughly $100 billion per year for food stamps and cash assistance for needy families and the $300 billion budget for Medicaid, the health insurance program for the poor and disabled. Shifting more Medicaid costs to the states will be mere make-believe if federal financing is drastically cut.
  But Mr. Stockman, trickle down is the only way economics works? You’re saying redistribution, socialism, is valid? Well, he isn’t out loud unless he is.
  Mr. Stockman thinks, Likewise, hacking at what’s left of the federal budget will yield only a rounding error’s worth of savings after popular programs are accommodated. Does he mean to possibly name programs, entitlements, which Republicans heartily favor like cancer research, national parks, veterans’ benefits, farm aid, highway subsidies, education grants and small-business corporate welfare loans?
  Poor David Stockman. Doesn’t he ever want to show his face in the best clubs ever again? Writing like his new boss, Mr. Ryan has no serious plan to create jobs. America has some of the highest labor costs in the world, and saddles workers and businesses with $1 trillion per year in job-destroying payroll taxes. We need a national sales tax — a consumption tax, like the dreaded but efficient value-added tax — but Mr. Romney and Mr. Ryan don’t have the gumption to support it.
  Or is it wherewithal to calculate when as Andrew Carnegie felt with his working poor, that if he paid them more money they’d just spend it on themselves. Well, at least we got a bunch of libraries and Carnegie Endowment Fund financing do-gooders all over the world. Can’t beat privatized government. Just wait till Mitt starts, oh yeah, sorry, he finances a share of well-meaning. Who cares how much money that is? What we need to stop pretending is people are paid enough to remain poor, which is an economic prison, not system. No?
  Mr. Stockman claims – The Ryan Plan boils down to a fetish for cutting the top marginal income-tax rate for “job creators” — i.e. the superwealthy — to 25 percent and paying for it with an as-yet-undisclosed plan to broaden the tax base. While I’m rooting with Rush Limbaugh for sixteen per cent. Why not? I really don’t see why not at some point the rich couldn’t just spend nine per cent more on themselves into general circulation rather than pretending the big banks won’t loan them enough to start a big business until they get another, maybe, nine per cent tax cut? No?
  Mr. Stockman writes, Of the $1 trillion in so-called tax expenditures that the plan would attack, the vast majority would come from slashing popular tax breaks for employer-provided health insurance, mortgage interest, 401(k) accounts, state and local taxes, charitable giving and the like, not to mention low rates on capital gains and dividends. The crony capitalists of K Street already own more than enough Republican votes to stop that train before it leaves the station.
  But who sees anyone admitting to any of this while smiling from the well-lit but glossed over American Prime-Time Presidential Stage?
  In short, Mr. Stockman thinks, Mr. Ryan’s plan is devoid of credible math or hard policy choices. And it couldn’t pass even if Republicans were to take the presidency and both houses of Congress. Mr. Romney and Mr. Ryan have no plan to take on Wall Street, the Fed, the military-industrial complex, social insurance or the nation’s fiscal calamity and no plan to revive capitalist prosperity — just empty sermons. Well now, they might shrug, implying the outcast Mr. Stockman doesn’t understand what the modern American Republican Cowboy Capitalist intends. Right Ronny, hopefully it all straightens out before your rolling becomes twisted in the grave. Hallelujah.
  So in conclusion without Mr. Stockman’s essay in defense, let’s show proper attention to Ayn Rand, patron saint of individual conservatism. No doubt this point will soon be danced around or on, but the new vice-presidential candidate painted himself with the same brush stroke poor Alan Greenspan had. The Fountainhead. The novel, and symbol. The antidote to begging and selfish wastefulness. The ideal that holds the individual as the only one capable of scaling any of modern humanity’s heights, and well why not? The book is cute and tells a nice story. An independent architect stands up for principles against coercive organized control. Nice, but hardly the poisoning conservatism defends individuals against liberals when corporate conspiracies are so well organized against individuals. Was it a Republican majority Supreme Court that gave corporations the rights of free individuals or not? Anyway, politicians rarely see lone people they like to talk with. Gotten an e-mail lately from a political campaign? As endearingly convivial as they are, they’re just looking to garner as many of your friends as they can along the way till the next election, when even a few of them can be paid to team up with the other side. Once in the quiver and collected, voters are done. It’s a dag-gum shame we’re useless individuals unless packaged in blocks of votes, or you’re a celebrity due to celebrate on the stage.
  Yet there David Stockman is, still, writing, see me now? America, we know enough, still ingenious enough, to go forward despite what bums in their comfort insist is not twisted slogans born before most of our grandparents were ever born. Heard of the Hundred Year War? Well, this era is due for the label, The World’s Most Successful Hundred Year Economic Collapse. Then what?
8/14/2012
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Jan. 21 - Feb. 11, 2019
Despite Claims Has Political Process Ever Cared How We Might Vote?
8/14/2012 concluded: Yet there David Stockman is, still, writing, see me now? America, we know enough, still ingenious enough, to go forward despite what bums in their comfort insist is not twisted slogans born before most of our grandparents were ever born. Heard of the Hundred Year War? Well, this era is due for the label, The World’s Most Successful Hundred Year Economic Collapse. Then what?
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When Ethically Challenged Brazenly Let Their Trade's Minutiae Catch Them Up Too
  Mr. Roger Stone's currently suspected nefarious activity could be pointed to as just more cause for frustration. Tantamount to the bedazzling circus remaining the result. And can putting away all our problems through lost freedom get to the crux of corruption's stone hard, cold, criminal intent? Everyone's getting away with something could be imagined as being laughed about in Roy Cohn's office before, during, and after a certain trio had met there. 
  Americanism? History's hearty laugh's on us too. 
  Fitting at this time of year that the next day's story defends the Kentucky schoolchildren who were seemingly disrespecting an American Indian Ceremony after being taunted by African Americans at the same national shrine. Notice how centuries of American progress come from incremental decades of advancement? Rendering days, weeks, and even individual years to near oblivion without facing the past and consequentially grasping the future. 
  Given all the pauses for doubt explained in the Kentucky Kids' defense, what's still visible, despite the contrarian claims, is the cold heartedness of America's Great Again movements. An innocence from the irresponsible acts of our ancestors translated into privileges' rewards were so hard fought over for centuries that there's no reason that stance shouldn't be relevant  now. Advancement be d____d? But following that winning's everything thought through to the end, revolution's the only answer that's left us right where we started in our viscously competitive environments that spawned the belief might's right however unethically sinful the result. Dignity is more than pride in appearing to look one way or the other. Walking away without facing history is the worst thing civilization's done throughout time. 
  People who're upset need reasons not to be angry. Ba dump bump. 
Version submitted to The New York Times on 1/21/2019, but not as a specific reply to an article.
  Fitting that the day's media-blitzed story defends the Kentucky schoolchildren who seemingly disrespected an American Indian Ceremony after, as now revealed, they'd been taunted earlier, as red-hat wearing racial imperialists, by young African-Americans at another national shrine. (later learned, same shrine) But however the situations are publicity crafted, the America Great Again movements' cold heartedness is clear enough. How an innocence from the irresponsible acts of our ancestors, translates into the natural acceptance that privileges' rewards were hard fought over for centuries. And however much lip-service is given rising together, pride in won battles overrules all. But when that thought's followed through, to the end? A perpetual revolution's the only answer leaving us right where the viscously competitive environment that spawned the belief might's always right unethically leaves us. Dignity is more than pride in looking one way or the other. Throughout time, walking away from history without facing it is the worst thing civilization's done. People who're angry need reasons not to be. While our country may have actually lost its' bearings on where humility lies.
Economics on Martin Luther King, Jr. Day. Imagine that.
  Power's a terrible thing to waste and play with too. As events, time and again, demonstrate. Publicity campaigns reiterate. Of course telling everyone where their moral compass lies is a veritable fault all its' own. Yeah. Dr. King couldn't help but repeat the puzzle's all about economics and the war's all about how  semi-truths are thrown around too. Can't face the future without facing the past. Meaning a world of flossed phosphorescence is merely the glittered surface where people hide? 
Nor Should Martin's Day End
  ... Categorically no.

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