Why Economic Recovery is a Myth

by Dr. Tom Baldwin, Biloxi, MS

March 30, 2011

Immediately after the 2010 election President Obama went to Senator McConnell and Rep. John Boehner to make a “deal.”  He abandoned the Democratic principles against tax cuts for the rich (saying he was held “hostage”) and gave a 2% payroll tax cuts in social security taxes without even a whimper. The graph on the left of the top of this page shows the effective federal tax rates of the richest Americans versus the “median” income Americans since 1955. Obama claimed he was giving a tax cut for the rest of us while setting up the social security system for attack by the right wing since we were collecting less money in the system.  The Republicans set up a “Trojan Horse” folks for the attack on the Social Security System and the President accepted it.

Then in February this year, Obama went to the Chamber of Commerce who had spent 10′s of millions of dollars against him in the election and apologized for not bringing them a fruit cake early in his administration. He also  offered to sell the services and products of corporations overseas to every place he visited. He invited their representatives to key positions in the White House, including Bill Daley (Chief of Staff), Gene Sperling (Economic Advisor) and Jeffrey Immelt (CEO of GE) as “Jobs” advisor.

Immelt has managed to find ways for GE to pay no income tax, get bailouts for his financial services division, and export huge numbers of jobs to China. The company reported worldwide profits of $14.2 billion, and said $5.1 billion of the total came from its operations in the United States. Its American tax bill? None. In fact, G.E. claimed a tax benefit of $3.2 billion.” What a role model for job creation, huh? Robert Scheer at the Nation Magazine has written an excellent article on Immelt and should be read by everyone. These new staff people have intimate ties with Wall Street, the Chamber of Commerce and corporations.  This comes after  Obama’s strong commitment earlier to end White House lobbying and the revolving door.

And there are those in the Democratic Party who will not hold him accountable for ANYTHING, finding it convenient to blame everyone else.  Haven’t they heard of the “bully pulpit”? Don’t they know anything of leadership qualities?  President Obama’s behaviors and actions should be sharply contrasted with those of FDR in the midst of a long depression: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3nuElu-ipTQ&NR=1

But the prospects for “quick” economic recovery are a fantasy given the present policies and direction by either political party.  “The chickens have come home to roost” and we are left with John Boehner’s chicken crap. In this discussion on Democracy Now Jacob Hacker explains the fundamental problem of income/wealth inequalities. There is no evidence that Congress or President Obama is willing to address these issues today. It is like an enormous cancerous tumor continuing to grow and hardly anyone in political office is willing to address it. It has been quite interesting to watch this theater of the absurd and at the same time be studying charts of the “recovery” for the past two years.  The chart at the left of the page (click to enlarge) shows job recovery from the depths of the recent depression.  By historical standards job recovery is almost nil with few prospects for anything different in the next two years or more.  In the meantime, the stock market and earnings by corporations are again approaching their highs at the beginning of the crash as this second chart shows. Putting the two charts together show that corporations have nearly completely recovered with at least 6 million fewer jobs!  And yet the Corporatists (corporate fascists) keep claiming that Obama has been “anti business”?  What a crock of crap but it works for them to keep screaming, doesn’t it?  And when was the last time President Obama said anything about the enormous inequities in wealth and income that existed even before he took office?

It’s like the bank robbers of old who create a distraction at the end of town (like a fire) and then rob the bank in the middle of town in pure daylight.  Obama and many Democrats run down to the end of the street to see what is going on with the fire.  When Obama finds the fire was only a brush fire, he declares there is nothing to worry about and goes back to his office to exclaim the economy is still recovering. The continued stupidity or ignorance that exists never ceases to amaze me.  It’s the biggest con job, by far, ever witnessed by mankind.  The scam works so well and is so easy to keep going that it makes one wonder who Obama works for, huh?  Of course, Wall Street only pays huge bonuses don’t they?  So, Mr. President, Pete Seeger and I ask:  Which Side Are You On?   http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5iAIM02kv0g&feature=related

These kinds of “distractions” fit quite well into Naomi Klein’s observations in her book, the “Shock Doctrine, the Rise of Disaster Capitalism” and I can’t wait to see what she has to say about the current crises.  They provide an opportunity for the Corporatists to continue their complete take-over of every aspect of our government. We also have the events in the states of Wisconsin, Michigan, Indiana, Ohio, New Jersey, Florida, Maine, Arizona, etc. where Republican Fascist Governors are attacking collective bargaining and the middle class,  Obama had previously said he would “march” with those involved in collective bargaining but when time came to show up, he essentially said he had no “shoes.”  Members of the national Democratic Party, except Rep. Kucinich of OH, totally ignored the extraordinary courage shown by state Democratic leaders from legislatures.  Jon Stewart of the Daily Show describes the “comedic, idiotic” actions of these governors on March 24.

The FACT is that President Obama is letting the domestic economy decay while he is “fiddling” to the business sector. We also have to cope with his international affairs agenda, specifically the war economy.  Instead of ending wars in Iraq and Afhanistan where 100′s of billions are spent, he has expanded the war in the latter with no end in sight.  And we have no idea what is really happening in Libya but we are spending about one billion dollars per month with no end in sight. The FACT is that our international interventions are all about OIL folks.  It has been and it always will be and the claims of a humanitarian cause only apply where oil and terrorists are located.  The FACT is that Jimmy Carter wisely cautioned about dependence on oil imports in 1979 and we have ignored that. The FACT is that we have a stupid, dysfunctional government provided to us by a two party system both of which are controlled by a Corporatist system which only desires profit and greed. The FACT is that we have allowed that to exist and expand. And the FACT will be that if we don’t change that we have only ourselves to blame.

Obama and the Democratic Party are continuing to demonstrate that they will do nothing to change that.  Tim Kaine, Chairman of the Democratic Party, has been shown to be totally incompetent or totally co-opted by the Corporatists, too.  He proved his incompetence during the 2010 elections but that should qualify him to run for the Senate seat in VA, shouldn’t it?  Robert Reich wrote an excellent blog on March 23 in which he suggested that Obama and the Democrats are “caving” in to everything the Republicans demand. Reich is being very kind to the President when he says:   “To his credit, President Obama argued against Republican demands for extending the Bush tax cut for those making more than a quarter million. But as soon as Republicans pushed back he caved. And the President hasn’t even mentioned that the $61 billion Republicans are demanding in budget cuts this fiscal year is what richer Americans would have paid in taxes had he not caved.”  In his post today, March 30, Reich suggests that with the increase in oil prices, decreasing prices of homes and sharp decline in consumer confidence we are headed toward a double dip recession.  He laments, as do I, that NO ONE in Washington will be honest about what is really going on in the economy!

If there is any one here reading this post and thinks it is “partisan” let me try to dispel that thought.  President Obama loudly explained during the 2010 campaign when he made a “deal” with McConnell and Boehner that he was buying a car that had run into a ditch (the economy). I complained vehemently at the time that this used car was a very bad deal.  So I ask you today, would you buy a used, wrecked car from McConnell or Boehner? The FACT is that the Corporatists have totally taken over the Republican Party.

The Tea Party, with a commitment to street action, made a difference.  Unfortunately, they didn’t have the right reasons or causes and they were corrupted by the same sources that caused the problem–the Corporatists.  So let’s commit ourselves to Democracy again (a democratic republic ) and let’s do it for the right reasons, huh?  Leonard Cohen has it exactly right in this inspirational challenge/mission if you wish you accept it! And you must do that if you want to save this Republic.

Democracy is Coming to the USA

Two Old Hippie Men “Do” (a demo in) Biloxi

On March 19, 2011 responding to the International Day of Action, my friend Glen and I arranged for a demonstration in beautiful downtown Biloxi.  It was scheduled to be a busy day:  A St. Patricks Day parade and a day of celebration at Keesler Air Force base featuring flights from the Blue Angels.

When I was ready to drive the few miles to arrive I was singing Zippety Do Da, Oh What a Beautiful Day. It was and the temperature was predicted to be 75 degrees with clear sky.  Glen and I had discussed the details;  we had both sent out announcements to at least 80 people to invite them to join us.  I arrived right on schedule at 10:45a.m. and saw Glen tugging some 2×4′s to this beautiful site just east of the Hard Rock Casino and right across from the Biloxi Greens where a St. Patrick’s Day fair was being held. We appeared ready to “go”!

Glen had checked with the Biloxi police and everything appeared in order.  Unfortunately, he had not told them that he planned to erect this enormous sign and lean it against this beautiful oak tree in this little park area.  We spent about an hour putting this 150 lb. thing together to lean it against the tree and rope it so it was secure. Imagine two old men doing this right in full daylight!  At the moment of the placement, a young policeman drove up to tell us we couldn’t do that. The sign came down and we proceeded with some much smaller ones which were “portable.”

Our emphases in the protest were:  Corporations Are Not People, Keep Corporations Out of Elections, Jobs Not War, Heart The Troup and Hate the War, etc.  The traffic on Beach Blvd. was fantastic.  People would honk and give us thumbs up.  About two hours later one more person joined up and then a second.  By that time the St. Patrick’s Day parade had begun and they were throwing beads from their floats.  Carol started giving the ones thrown to us to passengers in cars and shouting “honk for peace.”

It turned out to be a memorable event and I heartily recommend it to others.  Just make small signs (perhaps 2′ x 3′) you might take with you, (professional if you can) to emphasize the core issues we are dealing with today. Keep it simple and stick to issues and not to personalities.  Use to educate and inform first.

It was a good first effort.  Demonstrating on a busy street, especially where there are stop lights is really useful.  I recommend that we share experiences even if they aren’t the best!!  And stick with your efforts;  feet to the ground will count!  Chris Hedges describes it as good for the soul and that’s the way it feels.

We will prevail. All you Fascist Bound to Lose!

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VwcKwGS7OSQ

Love and peace from Tom

The Republican Governors’ Recipe for “Fascist Stew”

 

by Dr. Tom Baldwin, Biloxi, MS,

March 19, 2011

The performance of several state Governors since the 2010 election would be almost entertaining if it were not so serious.  It is imminently clear that they went into office with an authoritarian, almost dictatorial ambition to assume total control of every aspect of state government and show everyone who is “boss”.

Very good reporting during the course of the election also showed clearly that these Governors were financed by big money, including some billionaires like the Koch Bros. and Rupert Murdoch at News Corp (i.e. Fox).  These billionaires are not new to politics but were given free reign especially with the Citizen’s United decision of the Supreme Court, which opened the flood gates for coporate financing of elections.  They are all known to be Coporatists–corporate fascists, a term used first in Europe early in the last century. It defines a condition where the corporations gain full control over the government and control every aspect of the people. My colleague, Jill Dalton, has written an excellent blog to elaborate on this subject entitled “Just Call me Paul Revere“, which can be accessed on this site.

Mussolini defined it well in the 1920′s in Italy:  “Fascism should more properly be called corporatism because it is the merger of state and corporate power.” Hitler, in 1933, then built on that concept.  On May 2nd, 1933, the day after Labor Day, Adolf Hitler outlawed trade unions along with collective bargaining and the right to strike. Nazi groups raided union halls and labor leaders were arrested. For another excellent presentation of what it means to be a Fascist, please see this by Kingsbury at the Mimir Report. The Corporatists attempt to eliminate public employment, and sell off public properties and services in the name of  “privatization”. That is exactly what they have been trying to do with social security;  it represents an incredible potential for big profits in Wall Street and big banks.  Basically, they will do everything possible to eliminate all social functions of government; they emphasize and maintain “defense” industries over which they also have full control.  Also, having “internal” enemies like Muslims, Mexicans, Blacks, Homosexuals, etc. helps. The result is a dictatorial, fascist, militarist  government which achieves total control over the population. Does anyone see these behaviors and attempts by the Republican Party in Washington and the states today?

Just who are the Governors involved in this clandestine affair?  The best known one, of course, is Scott Walker of Wisconsin.  He was the first to be clearly indentified because he stupidly took a prank telephone call from Ian Murphy (recorded at his post, the Koch Whore at the Buffalo Beast.)  Walker thought he was discussing his “progress” with someone who was his corporate master, David Koch.  In that call, Walker revealed: 1. He was to be the first “domino” case (for Mr. Koch) to be an example for the nation for their new government order, 2. He was going to abolish the power of the unions in Wisconsin, starting with public employees, 3.  He was going to sell off public assets to the private sector and the corporations and give big tax breaks to the corporations.  He was, after all, to be a champion for the “free market” system and reduce “government spending.”  This, along with big tax cuts for corporations, was what he actually proposed to the Republican legislature in Wisconsin. But Walker had also “spilled the beans”  from his evil stew mixture oozing with Teabaggers and state and national Republican National Committee people (like Haley the “Chief” Barbour!)

Walker went on to reveal that he had daily telephone calls with Governor Kusich in Ohio, and was in touch with Governor Sandoval in Nevada, Governor Snyder in Michigan and Governor Scott in Florida.  He also said that “this is our moment” and that it would occur with “other governors that got elected to do something big.”  So it is quite natural that we are seeing these same policies being practiced in these states, isn’t it?

Reportedly, Snyder in Michigan has proposed bills in his legislature to drastically cut funds for education (K-12 and higher education) and eliminate earned income tax credits for the working poor. Then, this is the big one: establish a system of Emergency Fund Managers (EMF’s) (appointed by him) to completely take over city and school districts and replace them with a “corporate” entity with dictatorial powers to end contracts.  This would include teachers, firemen and policemen and city employees.

To give a simple report on the plans and intent of Governor Scott of Florida perhaps the best description is from a report in February from Time.com: Shortly before Governor Rick Scott was sworn in in January, a report showed that Florida had the U.S.’s leanest state workforce — 117 employees per 10,000 residents, compared with a national average of 215. That reality seemed to challenge the urgency of Scott’s campaign promise to cut 5% of that workforce as part of his crusade to significantly reduce government spending. Still, a pledge is a pledge, especially when your Republican base is angry, antigovernment Tea Party voters who helped you squeak through to victory in November.

So last week, Scott — speaking not from the state capital, Tallahassee, but from the Tea Party hotbed of Eustis, Fla., to show his disdain for all things public sector — delivered a budget proposal that slashes $4.6 billion (7% of current spending) and pink-slips 8,700 state employees, while gutting aid for disability services and juvenile justice.“Reviewing a government budget is much like going through the attic in an old home,” said Scott, a health care industry multimillionaire who resigned in disgrace as CEO of the world’s largest hospital corporation in 1997, when it was accused of massive Medicare fraud (though he never was).”

In Ohio, their fascist Governor Kasich, in the pretense of budget cuts, has proposed that 230 million dollars in liquor revenue from state owned stores be handed over to his corporatist friends, claiming, as do these other governors that the “state is broke”.  In New Jersey, Governor Christie is giving away at least 200 million dollars to corporations.  In Arizona, Governor Brewer is giving at least 250 million dollars in tax breaks to corporations. She has also made a strong effort to “privatize” all the state prisons. As people are beginning to understand this evil plot that these fascists have in mind, they are beginning to facing stiff opposition and voters are expressing buyers remorse. But it should be noted in all of these states the people, especially the workers, are strongly protesting and rebelling.  Wisconsin is “leading” the way and suits were filed on March 18 to contest Governor Walker’s violations of the Open Meetings Act. Demonstrations are occurring in Michigan, Ohio, Indiana, and Florida with other states to follow. Jon Stewart of the Daily Show gives a good summary of the “comedic, idiotic” actions of the Fascists.

It should be noted that all states are dealing with fiscal crises because of the “great recession” and many are attempting to deal with it practically. Some are not giving away large amounts of money to corporations and the rich in the name of  “reducing their budgets.”  But what’s the status of this all out war by the Republican Governor Fascists? Well fortunately these mass protests of people occurring in many of these states with Wisconsin are a model for us. The opponents of Walker have also begun to file suit and recall petitions are circulating; it will obviously continue.

Where is the President and the national Democratic Party (DNC)? They are simply as described in: President Obama: MIA. There should no longer be a pretense that Obama and the Democratic Party, except in these individual states, really gives a damn about the middle class, working Americans and even the poor.  They are either negligent and incompetent, or possibly complicit, in this surrender to the Corporatists. It is time to watch what they DO and not what they SAY! Since the President and his Democratic advisors seem to have forgotten what the Party has stood for, I provide them with some simple history from FDR: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3nuElu-ipTQ&NR=1

Since the 2010 election, Obama, in his efforts to attract the “independents,” has become as Republican as any other major leader in the Republican Party.  He has reneged on his position on tax cuts for the rich (Senator McConnell said he got 75% of what he wanted), supporting workers rights in collective bargaining (Obama said he would march with them), ending absurd wars, and even advocacy of a clean energy environment.  He doesn’t represent ME and most of my friends; he doesn’t even represent the Democratic Party principles. Obama needs to learn from this song by Tennessee Ernie Ford, 16 Tons, about selling his soul to the company store. And he has left us without leadership to fight this evil effort by the Corporatists to create a fascist nation. And the Democratic Party needs to listen to this song by Pete Seeger who gave us a perspective on this issue many years ago:  http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5iAIM02kv0g&feature=related The DNC in particular needs to be reminded and they are, after all, under the direction and control of President Obama the leader of the Democratic Party.

My hero of the last century (I am a physicist, too) was Albert Einstein.  He defined Insanity as: “Continuing to do the same thing again and again and expecting to get different results.” That’s exactly what keeps happening to us in the political sector. We must simply change that and mobilize new leadership among those who consider themselves Democrats or progressive independents. We have many leaders and millions of people on a national scene who will buy that concept. This “fascist stew” not only tastes really bad but it smells like crap. As Jill said in her blog “The Corporatists are Coming.”  So I say, SCREW THE TWO PARTY SYSTEM. The consequences of not doing so will permanently damage our Republic. I leave you with this song:   All You Fascists Bound to Lose

Editorial comments by Jill Dalton and graphics by Tracy Knauss.

Just Call Me Paul Revere: “The Corporatists are Coming”

Just Call me Paul Revere

The Corporatists are Coming”

by Jill Dalton

I awoke recently in the middle of the night with the clarion bell ringing in my head. Okay I don’t mean to be alarmist but this is what I heard.

America is under attack. Our democracy is under attack. This attack is not from foreign ‘terrorists’ as the corporate media would brainwash us to believe but from the inside. Our enemies are within and they are rich and powerful and will stop at nothing to bring down our Republic. They are licking their chops in anticipation, drunk with power, enfolded in hubris and saturated in greed.

It turns out this is a full scale war by Republicans who’ve been bought and paid for by the right wing billionaire Koch brothers, Rupert Murdoch and others to destroy our democracy by killing our unions, public institutions and the rights of all workers in the United States. This is as serious as a heart attack. Trust me, we ignore this at our own peril.

And if these right wing extremists succeed we are finished. We’ll be living in every maniacal capitalist’s wet dream, a corporate fascist state where the individual is reduced to serfdom. Sounds alarmist and ridiculous? Call me Paul Revere if you must, but take it from Mussolini, one of the creators of fascism when he said: “Fascism should more properly be called corporatism because it is the merger of state and corporate power.”

This concept is difficult for most Americans to wrap their brains around, as we’ve never experienced this first hand. Let’s see how this works: According to David G. Mills’ article, It’s the Corporate State Stupid, “The structure of fascism is corporatism, or the corporate state. The structure of fascism is the marriage, merger or fusion of corporate economic power with governmental power.” And the reason the employee unions must be destroyed is because they stand in the way of a complete corporate takeover. Thus corporate fascism is known as Corporatism.

Mill’s also references Dr. Lawrence Britt’s “The 14 Defining Characteristics of Fascism” and I will too.  #10 on the list is the “Power of labor is suppressed or eliminated.” For the record, on May 2nd, 1933, the day after Labor Day, Adolf Hitler outlawed trade unions along with collective bargaining and the right to strike. Nazi groups raided union halls and labor leaders were arrested.  This was the beginning of a consolidation of power by the fascist regime in Germany, which systematically wiped out all opposition groups, starting with unions, liberals, artists, and intellectuals, anyone who understood what was going on and disagreed with them.

The Koch brothers (pronounced “Coke”), who helped fund the Tea Party, have brought their enormous economic power into play by buying many of the ‘Party of No’ Republican members of congress and Republican governors across the country. The Koch’s shelled out enormous funds to ensure the election of Governor Scott Walker in Wisconsin while Murdoch funded the campaign of now Governor John Kasich, the multi millionaire from Shearson Lehman in Ohio with the intent of killing unions and workers rights. And we are now seeing the ramifications of these elections. Walker exposed himself as a little man with delusions of grandeur and dictatorial ambitions in a faked phone call by Ian Murphy posing as David Koch!

This attack on American workers did not begin with the Koch brothers. It actually began 30 years ago on August 5, 1981 when Ronald Reagan fired 11,000 air traffic controllers who ignored his demand to return to work. And this attack has continued and escalated until we now have an out and out blatant effort to destroy not only all unions, but also the rights of all American workers to bargain collectively.

The way I see it, corporate fascism is controlling almost everything in America today and intentionally creating great inequities in income/wealth within the population. We have the run a muck military industrial complex, the corrupt financial system of Wall Street and the Too Big to Fail banks. The banks are now bigger than before the bailout began in 2008; the health care industrial complex operates like a drug cartel with immunity and draconian agri farming and dirty energy companies rule supreme. Ever wonder why there’s no clean energy policy in this country and we are literally being held “over a barrel?” Well, it turns out the megalomaniac Koch brothers also have a chokehold on clean energy because of their vested interests in oil, natural gas and coal. They spend huge amounts of money fighting EPA regulations everywhere.

Our illegal wars are no accident. #4 on Britt’s list is “The supremacy of the military/avid militarism.” Our corporate military industrial complex eats up ½ of all our discretionary spending. We spend more money on defense than all the other nations of the world combined and the insane part is we do it at the expense of our own welfare. We continue to borrow billions of dollars from China to prop up our military Empire as our cities go bankrupt, our infrastructure collapses, and our failing educational system has us hovering in the 20’s in critical areas like math and science.

We have no economic justice. Britt’s #13 is “Rampant cronyism and corruption. Within a 30-year span we have gone from being the greatest democracy in the world to stealing from our citizens pension plans to fund these illegal wars to rewarding the self serving criminal class with obscene amounts of money. After Wall Street received their hundreds of billions in bailouts, Lloyd Blankfine received a 12.5 million dollar bonus and had his yearly salary tripled as a reward for his corrupt actions at Goldman Sachs. Wall Street’s big banks engaged in illegal gambling, took outrageous risks and brought down the world economy, which continues today, and not one of these scumbags has been investigated, charged or prosecuted for this global meltdown except Bernie Madoff. Madoff went to prison because he had the “gall” to steal from rich people. Hello!

Our government bails out Wall Street and the banks but gives no help to the American homeowners who’ve been foreclosed on because these shysters tricked them. There were over 1 million foreclosures last year and this year they will be at least a million more. The housing market has declined nearly 30% and is still completely depressed.

Our taxes are paid for on the backs of the middle class while #9 the “Power of corporations is protected.”  Nearly 2/3 of U.S. corporations, while basking in billions in profits, pay NO taxes to the United States. Exxon and Bank of America both paid $0 in taxes last year all the while screaming corporate taxes are too high. And President Obama has continued the cronyism by extending the Bush tax cuts for the rich, creating hundreds of billions of dollars more in deficits as the unemployment rate lingers between 9-10%. Actually it’s more accurately between 17-20% if we count the people who are no longer eligible for benefits or have just given up. Millions of Americans are trying to subsist on a measly $200-$400 a week unemployment check if they are “lucky” enough to qualify for it. And let’s not forget the 99ers that have exhausted their unemployment benefits along with their savings and retirement accounts and are now nearly destitute.

Now I know we have a fiscal crisis in this country and let’s face it in politics no crisis goes to waste. Like they say, “Follow the Money.” Well, we’ve had the largest transfer of wealth from the lower and middle classes to the wealthiest members of society. The figures in wealth disparagement range from the top 1-5% now own 45-95% of the wealth. Obviously, whatever was supposed to “trickle down” with Reaganomics has, for the past 30 years been “gushing up” while workers wages remain stagnant and this is only getting worse under Obamanomics.

And where is our jobs bill? Better yet where are our jobs? Turns out Bill Clinton did a lot more than “not have sexual relations with that woman.” He also promoted and signed NAFTA into law claiming this would help American workers. Instead, most of the “free trade” agreements allow American corporations to take all their jobs overseas where in China, for example, slaves work for less than a dollar a day. Ever wonder why things are so cheap at Walmart?

During the Great Depression, FDR pushed back against these corporate interests calling them out as fascist. In 1936, FDR proclaimed, “Government run by organized money is the same as government run by the organized mob.” (FDR 1936 Speech) And where is our president?  He’s off making his amends to the Chamber of Commerce and offering to “sell” their stuff to foreign countries without charging them a commission! But Obama alas is no FDR in fact he has completely sold out.  He recently moved three more persons into his office with strong connections to Wall Street, the corporations and the Chamber. Bill Daley and Gene Sperling are now economic advisors and Jeffrey Immelt CEO of GE who has moved thousands of our jobs offshore is his “Job” advisor.

Obama’s new budget protects the corporate interest while taking it out on hungry children, college students and people who can’t pay their heating bills. What’s a president to do? After all, these large corporations fed huge amounts of money into his 2008 campaign; there is now discussion of Obama needing to raise one billion dollars for the 2012 campaign. Where do you think those huge sums of money are going to come from? Let’s face it; Goldman Sachs contributed almost one million dollars to his campaign whereas I, for one, felt grateful to be able to fork over a couple hundred bucks.

The truth is our unions, especially public servants, are being scapegoated for our economic woes when in reality this economic crisis was created by greedy Wall Street crooks. And not only were they fully bailed out they continue to rake in record profits and nothing has changed. Wall Street is still being run like a casino. Where is the economic justice in this?

However, this is no time to lose heart. We must stay strong. Deregulating corporations has unleashed a horror on humanity that is killing the planet and will stop at nothing to destroy us. Corporations have no soul, no conscience, no compassion; their value system is to maximize profit. And last year the Supreme Court decided they should be treated like “persons” and allowed to contribute unlimited funds to political campaigns. But the last time I checked our constitution still read, “We the People” not “We the Corporations.” But make no mistake we are at war with them to protect our way of life; our very survival is at  stake.  Woody Guthrie sang  about it in the 1940′s. All You Fascists Bound to Lose

I attended the Save the American Dream rally in New York City along with thousands across the nation to stand in solidarity with our brave brothers and sisters of Wisconsin. Wisconsin is our Cairo and we, like Egypt, must over throw this tyranny. If Egypt can do it then we can too. The rhetoric of the corporate state is used to divide us but we are one and we must stand together against our oppressors if we are to save our Republic and ourselves. The time is now. Just call me Paul Revere. We need feet on the ground in order for our voices to be heard. We are our only hope. From every mountainside let freedom ring.

And listen to Joan Baez from our past ( We shall Overcome–Joan Baez)  and Leonard Cohen from our present. Democracy is Coming to the USA

Edited by Dr. Tom Baldwin and Graphic by Tracy Knauss



OBAMANOMICS IS HERE: HOUSTON WE HAVE A PROBLEM

This is a repeat of a blog published in December 2010.  It is still applicable today, March 4, 2011, and I would add that my contention that President Obama shows no negotiation skills is clearly applicable.  Now that he is negotiating the budget with Republicans, he  is also not representing Democratic principles nor certainly those of Progressives.–Dr. Tom Baldwin, 3/4/11

____________________________________________

Senator McConnell claimed on CNN-Sunday December 19, that the bill was 76% Republican, 12% Democratic and the rest could be argued.  That’s about 80/20, exactly what Ronald Reagan said it would take to be a Republican.  Interesting, huh?

Does anyone remember the calls from astronauts in space when they perceived that they had a serious problem? Their calls were very calmly:  “Houston we have a problem.”  Now Americans in the space outside of Washington don’t know who you call.  Is it Ghostbusters?

The events we witnessed in passing the Tax Cut Bill were really inconceivable to anyone with a degree of common sense.   The President set the stage by “negotiating” with John Boehner and Mitch McConnell,  those Republicans he labeled as holding him hostage, to agree to a tax cut for millionaires in exchange for obtaining payments for the unemployed through unemployment insurance.  That was the beginning of this episode. Once they had an agreement it was sent to Congress for consideration.

Congress took this proposal and worked it to completion. The result was a bill that the President declared “mission accomplished”, the bill was signed and the glorification of compromise and bipartisanship was declared. Everyone was supposed to receive a Merry Christmas and Happy New Year from Washington.

No matter how one looks at this he/she can make some or all of the following obervations and perhaps have some of the following questions answered:

1.  This place called Washington is a “Cuckoo’s Nest”.  Maybe we need to call Jack Nicolson to tell us what to do.

2.  Explain to us how a continuation of Reaganomics (Voodoo, trickle down, supply side) is going to get us out of this mess by continuing the Bush economic policies which brought us to our knees.

3.  Explain to us how acceptance of a cut in payroll tax (social security contributions) is going to strengthen the social security system.

4.  Tell us what is in this bill to solve the unemployment problem we have when this is simply a continuation of what we have been doing for the past ten years.  The Bush years were the worst on public record for creating jobs.

5.  Tell us what this is going to do for us about the deficit/debt problem which the Republicans have been screaming about and have been quite quite willing to contribute additional debt. This bill will increase the debt immediately starting in January.

6.  Tell us how this “plan” is going to change the incredible wealth/income inequalities that have been going on for the past 30 years.

7.  Tell us why corporations are not going to see this as an excellent opportunity to invest in foreign nations instead of here and tell us why banks are not going to see this nation as a bad investment.

Nope, I don’t see this as a good “deal” of the President buying this used car.  It costs us at least 850 billion dollars and we’re going to borrow it from the Chinese. Frankly, I don’t want the President negotiating anything else for me in the future.  And apparently there are a lot of progressives and Democrats that feel the same way.

The President tried to put lipstick on this Republican pig and make it look better, but that pig is sitting there with a big smile on its face and a big red R in the middle of its forehead.

But the torch has finally passed clearly from Bush to Obama.  It is flaming out of control as we now enter an era of Obamanomics. As Robert Reich discusses in his excellent article in the link below it is basically a continuation of what we have had, with the eight year exception of the period that President Clinton gave us. The deficits are now President Obama’s, the unemployment is his, and  the responsibility for the economy is his.  In other words the buck stops right on his desk and he has alienated much of his base.

May I also add that the responsibility for the Afghanistan war is his as he has decided to increase the size of that war and spend more than 2 billion dollars a week  there.

So how do I feel about this?  I’m extremely disappointed and almost depressed.  I had great hopes that there would be some significant change in 2008.  I bought into, hook line an sinker, the theme of the campaign.  But now when I hear the question from an obnoxious Sarah Palin who asks:  “How’s that hopey, changey thing working out”? ; I will respond by saying:  Not worth a shit!

I plan to respond, however, by moving on with some positive suggestions about our future.

Please see this article by Robert Reich recently posted to place this blog in the proper context:

http://robertreich.org/post/2337421398

Dr. Tom Baldwin, Biloxi, MS  12/18/2010