Oct. 9, 2014 By Jack Jodell.
Americans have long deluded themselves with some pretty ridiculously false notions. One was that, by deposing a democratically elected leader in 1953 in Iran and installing the brutal pro-western, CIA puppet known as the Shah in his place, political and economic stability for the entire region would result. What we actually ended up with, of course, was the rise of radical Islamic fundamentalism, ongoing instability, and a huge increase in anti-American sentiment. Another delusion was that, by equipping Iraq’s brutal dictator Saddam Hussein with millions in military hardware, he would use it against Iran, become victorious and would defeat the fundamentalist regime in Iran. It was envisioned again that peace, stability, and prosperity would result. Instead, he squandered this aid by using it against his own people and nearly bankrupted his country by fighting to a bitter standstill against Iran. After this, rather than achieving political and economic stability there, we got three separate and very costly bloody Iraqi wars, political and economic upheaval there, and ongoing instability resulting in more and stronger anti-Americanism as well as the creation of an even greater potential threat in the establishment of a fundamentalist state known as the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (aka ISIS). An earlier and equally deadly delusion was the belief that, by giving millions of dollars in military aid to Osama bin Laden and his Mujahideen as they fought Soviet occupation of Afghanistan 3 1/2 decades ago we would magically buy their friendship and obtain freedom and lasting peace for that country. Instead, all we got was an inept, weak, and corrupt “government” in and around Kabul only; the installation of a brutal and fiercely anti-American Taliban regime in most of the rest of that country; the horrible 9/11 attacks on New York and the Pentagon; the loss of Americans’ civil liberties; an unprecedented surge in the power of our military / industrial complex; and perpetual warfare throughout the entire Middle East. And those are just some of the many foreign affairs delusions we have been operating under!
On the domestic side of the coin, we have also been deluded by a huge number of costly, false notions. One of these (perhaps the costliest of all) was that by slashing taxes on the very wealthy and by greatly reducing government regulations on corporations and big business, there would be a tremendous rise in the number of good paying jobs and that unequalled prosperity would occur all throughout every level of our economy. With the election of Ronald Reagan in 1980, this absurdly errant economic theory was put into practice. Championed by the very flawed economist Milton Friedman, as well as foolish adherents of the hypocritical and equally flawed author Ayn Rand – like Paul Ryan and Mitt Romney – (plus that rabid number ot blind extremists who now have become the Tea Party-infested, reactionary Republican Party), the adoption and implementation of this crazy “trickle down economics” theory has led not to more prosperity for most of the population, but instead to many disastrous and undeniably bad results. Among these are included the Great Recession of 2008, which COST the world economy untold MILLIONS of jobs; a record disparity in wealth here in America; the destruction of many labor unions (which has led to the elimination of any leverage American workers may have once had to better their wages and working conditions, as well as to the horrible and unjustifiable outsourcing of millions of good-paying American manufacturing jobs to cheaper, even slave wage labor markets outside our borders); the overall lowering of our standard of living for all but the wealthiest fraction of 1% of our population; a large tax cut provided the wealthy by both Presidents Reagan and George W. Bush; a rise in reckless and wasteful financial speculation on Wall Street by the rich which led to the crash of 2008; a precipitous decline in our infrastructure; and a huge increase in the number of bought-out politicians in Washington, due to large gains in special interest lobbying thanks to the horrendous Extreme Court 2010 Citizens United decision. How can we recover from the disastrous consequences of following this disastrous economic path?
I learned one important way by watching the Thom Hartmann Program on Free Speech TV recently. Hartmann, who has long been critical of the trickle down economics theory so prevalent in Reaganomics, discussed how author Larry Beinhart had proven that anytime the wealthy’s tax rate is set at a point higher than 50%, the entire economy does better. By clicking on this link below, you will see and understand this plus more. http://www.huffingtonpost.com/larry-beinhart/weird-tax-myths-2-recessi_b_794592.html. Should that link not work, try Googling Larry Beinhart-Huffington Post. Scroll down his listed entries until you come to one entitled Weird Tax Myths #2 – Recessions, Depressions and Tax Policy. This is clear and concise, well-documented proof which destroys the MYTHS that by giving the wealthy huge tax breaks, a large number of new, high paying jobs will be created and that “the Federal Government has never created even a single new job.” It even destroys another false notion: that, in times of depression or great recession, federal spending must also be reduced. (While you’re at it, read the other fascinating and relevant Beinhart pieces such as Class Warfare I, Class Wargare II, Class Warfare III, Weird Tax Myths #1- Tax Cuts Create Jobs, and all the others).These mean the lies that Libertarians, Tea Partiers, and reactionary Republicans have been bombarding us with ever since Inauguration Day in 2009, about how federal spending is too high and must be reduced at all costs, is patently false. As the information contained within the above link abundantly proves, the path that Paul Ryan, John Boehner, Mitch McConnell, Rush Limbaugh, Glenn Beck, and all the mindless moron parrots over at Fox “News” advocate is DEAD WRONG and has actually slowed – rather than helped – our economic recovery!
For reasons so beautifully detailed by Larry Beinhart, this country desperately needs another New Deal. Our crumbling bridges, roads, train systems, and schools all demand immediate government aid! Government intervention NOW would create millions of new, GOOD-PAYING jobs; would increase tax revenue to pay for these programs; could all but eliminate poverty; would put a lot of money into the hands of those who most need it and would definitely spend it; and would create demand for even more goods and services which would revitalize the entire economy, at all income levels! What are we waiting for, and where do we start? The first and most obvious step would be to remove from office permanently as many nay-sayers and obstructionist, government-hating, reactionary, Tea Party-infested Republicans as possible on Nov. 4! We must also remove the timid, wishy-washy, corporatist conservative Wall Street Democrats who would stand in the way. We must replace all of these nincompoops with PROGRESSIVE candidates who are forward-thinking and visionary in their approach. That is the ONLY way we can implement an action-oriented, fairness and forward-oriented Congress which will enact legislation beneficial and fair to everyone, not just special interests! The next and most obvious step is to greatly increase the top marginal tax rate to at least 56% or greater, and to eliminate all loopholes. Making it a criminal offense with mandatory prison time for the wealthy who set up phony overseas tax shelters to hide their profits in would also be an absolute must. Finally, putting heavy restrictions on campaign donations and tightly regulating special interest lobbyists would help tremendously and is something we MUST concentrate on!
I realize these are revolutionary changes I am advocating here, but they are much-needed if we are to restore this country to a more egalitarian financial setting. To achieve this, though, we must CLEAN HOUSE in Congress on Nov. 4 by voting in a slew of true Progressive candidates. That is why we MUST Vote! Vote! Vote! VOTE!!!! For, if we can raise taxes on the rich to a point higher than what Reaganomics dropped them to, our wealth disparity will be much reduced, and you will definitely begin to see prosperity GROW!
On Nov. 4, VOTE! VOTE! VOTE! VOTE! VOTE! VOTE! VOTE! VOTE! VOTE!!!!!