Daily Archives: February 26th, 2011

Greenspan’s Fraud – How Two Decades of His Policies Have Undermined the Global Economy

“People called him a maestro, a visionary, the best economist ever. But who was this person who had catapulted into the spotlight from virtually nowhere? Did the world really know Alan Greenspan?…He may be a legendary figure in the eyes of many but when you carefully explore what he has wrought, the aura of public reverence around him can evaporate quickly…”

–Excerpt from ‘Greenspan’s Fraud’ by Ravi Batra


Press Release

Greenspan’s Fraud

How Two Decades of His Policies Have Undermined the Global Economy

In this hard hitting and comprehensive look at Alan Greenspan’s career over the last two decades, bestselling author Ravi Batra reveals the devastating economic effects of the Federal Reserve Chairman’s ideas and policies. Greenspan has reigned over the U.S. economy since 1987, if not since 1981, outlasting at least three presidents. His views have shifted so frequently with the political tides that his actions, in Batra’s opinion, amount to an intellectual as well as a tax fraud against the people. This is unfortunate, because the chairman’s words resonate loudly around the world.

Greenomics, Batra argues, has extracted trillions of dollars in excess taxes from the American middle class, lowered wages for working families, and hurled millions into poverty. He pinpoints Greenspan’s glaring inconsistencies on Social Security, income tax cuts, free trade and the minimum wage and shows that many of his views are illogical and deeply flawed. Batra demonstrates how Greenspan unwittingly brought about a global crash; how he helped spread the virus of regressive taxation, which is the main culprit behind stagnating wages around the world.

In this revealing portrait, the enigmatic head of the Fed stands exposed. Few realize that he once regarded President Kennedy as a fascist dictator, considered America’s big business as a persecuted minority, argued that inflation hurts the stock broker more than the elderly, and paid lower wages to female employees while taking “better quality” work from them. In short, Greenspan emerges as a true friend of the rich and a covert foe of the poor and toiling workers. Not surprisingly, the U.S. economy, shepherded by the chairman for over two decades, now stays afloat on a subsidy of nearly $2 billion per day from the rest of the world. Such a pitiful state cannot endure. Batra offers practical economic reforms to do away with Greenomics and restore the comforts of the middle class that have vanished in the Greenspan era.

This book is a must read for anyone interested in bringing sanity to the global economy, which is currently afflicted with numerous debts, deficits and special interests. It is also a must read for those seeking an objective evaluation of the Bush administration’s policies making headlines today. The simplicity with which Batra presents his arguments and counters the orthodoxy will astound you.

The book also includes Batra’s forecast made in 1980 that Islam would convulse the western world around the year 2000. The 9/11 massacre was clearly foreseen by the author.

More: http://www.ravibatra.com/gsfrd.html


Reviews of Book:

Book Review: Greenspan’s Fraud, by Ravi Batra

December 05, 2005

Here is a book by an outstanding professor of economics, who predicted the date of the crash of the end-of-’90s economic bubble. Ravi Batra deflates Greenspan’s reputation as an economic wizard by presenting in great detail how Greenspan undermined the global economy. Batra calls Greenspan a fraud because Greenspan flip-flopped often in order to stay in the good graces of powerful people. Although supposedly a conservative, the main principle he followed was to always please the rich and powerful.

Greenspan, as head of the Federal Reserve, was supposed to maintain an economy that supports us all. But Batra says this about Greenspan’s approach:

“Greenspan’s economics may be abbreviated to Greenomics, which essentially turns out to be Greedomics, signifying a view that nothing should be done to interfere with business greed and the pursuit of profits.”

Greenspan believes in rugged individualism and laissez faire. He and Ayn Rand were of the same mind about the virtue of selfishness. I had read some time ago that Ayn Rand said that Big Business is America’s “persecuted minority.” From Batra I learned that she got that idea from Greenspan.

More: http://www.watchblog.com/democrats/archives/002990.html


“Greenspan’s Fraud” — Thom Hartmann’s Independent Thinker Review


What do you do when you want to screw only the working people of your nation with the largest tax increase in history and hand those trillions of dollars to your wealthy campaign contributors, yet not have anybody realize you’ve done it? If you’re Ronald Reagan, you call in Alan Greenspan.

Through the “golden years of the American middle class” – the 1940s through 1982 – the top income tax rate for the hyper-rich had been between 90 and 70 percent. Ronald Reagan wanted to cut that rate dramatically, to help out his political patrons. He did this with a massive tax cut in the summer of 1981.

The only problem was that when Reagan took his meat axe to our tax code, he produced mind-boggling budget deficits. Voodoo economics didn’t work out as planned, and even after borrowing so much money that this year we’ll pay over $100 billion just in interest on the money Reagan borrowed to make the economy look good in the 1980s, Reagan couldn’t come up with the revenues he needed to run the government.

Coincidentally, the actuaries at the Social Security Administration were beginning to get worried about the Baby Boomer generation, who would begin retiring in big numbers in fifty years or so. They were a “rabbit going through the python” bulge that would require a few trillion more dollars than Social Security could easily collect during the same 20 year or so period of their retirement. We needed, the actuaries said, to tax more heavily those very persons who would eventually retire, so instead of using current workers’ money to pay for the Boomer’s Social Security payments in 2020, the Boomers themselves would have pre-paid for their own retirement.

More: http://blog.buzzflash.com/hartmann/10015


More on Greenspan:


Obama is planning to allow 100 million Muslim immigrants into the USA as a plot to Islamize the USA by the end of his second term

Special Guests: Promoting Conspiracy

Richard Bartholomew


A few days ago, a publicity agency called Special Guests received some attention for a press release promoting Avi Lipkin, an Israeli pundit who has reportedly spoken “in over 1000 churches and synagogues in the United Sates, Canada, England, Greece, Israel, and other countries”. Lipkin claims that Obama is planning to allow 100 million Muslim immigrants into the USA as a plot to Islamize the USA by the end of his second term; this somewhat extravagant conspiracy theory caught the attention of David Corn at Mother Jones, and Corn took a closer look at Lipkin’s promoter:

“According to its website, the organization has collaborated with the National Right To Life Committee, the Catholic Family and Human Rights Institute, the Second Amendment Foundation, and other conservative groups. The site boasts, “We regularly place guests on radio shows including Rush Limbaugh, Glenn Beck, Sean Hannity Radio, [and] Michael Savage.” The group says it only promotes causes that “are pleasing to The Maker, our Creator.” It asks potential clients, “What is your special message? Is it helpful to humanity? Is it God-honoring?”
Apparently, it pleases God to accuse the president of covertly plotting–and implementing!–a Muslim takeover of the United States.”

Special Guests’ other clients include Walid Shoebat, and he and Lipkin are packaged as “available as guests individually or together as a panel.”

MORE: http://www.talk2action.org/story/2011/2/26/123531/114

This movie was my first eye opening of the horrors of war and US’s imprint on the world: “Casualties of War

Casualties of War is a 1989 war drama directed by Brian De Palma, with a screenplay by David Rabe, based on the actual events of the incident on Hill 192 in 1966 during the Vietnam War. It starred Michael J. Fox and Sean Penn. An article written by Daniel Lang for The New Yorker in 1969 was the movie’s primary source.” Source: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Casualties_of_War


Casualties of War (1989) IMDb:



Related article:

‘There Is Yet More to Casualties of War’

Wednesday, Aug 30 1989

A few rare films stun the senses. They send you reeling from the theatre. They set you brooding about them for days. This is how it is with Casualties of War, Brian DePalma’s tale of an atrocity in the Vietnam War. All at once it is stunning, frightening, depressing–and a mesmerizing and unforgettable piece of moviemaking. For more than two hours you are unwillingly drawn to the awful events unfolding on the screen.It is a picture so powerful that having seen it once, you may never dare to view it again.

More: http://www.phoenixnewtimes.com/1989-08-30/news/there-is-yet-more-to-casualties-of-war/1/

The Vanishing Middle Class

The Vanishing Middle Class

By Jake Whitney

“Thirteen years ago, the economists Sara Solnick and David Hemenway conducted a study that revealed a great deal about how Americans define happiness. Subjects, all of whom were middle class or lower, were asked which they wanted more: to earn $50,000 while everyone else got only half as much, or to earn $100,000 while everyone else earned $200,000. The increase in the subject’s earnings from the first scenario to the second was, of course, dramatic. But that didn’t matter to most. What mattered was how rich they were compared to others: 56% said they would take $50,000 less as long as they were richer than everyone else.”


“And it’s gaping in a lot of places. In case you haven’t heard, the gap between the rich and poor in the US is currently wider than it’s been since the Great Depression. It’s even worse here than in Egypt or Tunisia, where the income gap helped ignite the unrest. In the last 30 years, the richest 1% of Americans has seen its share of wealth jump from under 9% of the total pie to approximately 25%. Many fiscal conservatives argue that this is good because of the trickle-down theory that says increased riches for the wealthy eventually find their way to everyone else. But this simply hasn’t happened. Over the past three decades — the period when the rich have become superrich — real wages for the middle class have declined and the poor have only gotten poorer. The truth is that the dramatic increase in the wealth of our richest citizens has had devastating consequences for our middle and lower classes.”


“What political and corporate pressures? Congresswoman Marcy Kaptur (D-Ohio), the longest serving woman in the US House of Representatives, told me in an interview that when Republicans took control of Congress in 1994, one of the first things they did was to impose fees on savings accounts to encourage spending. At about the same time, as a recent book about the 2008 financial crisis reveals, the large banks and mortgage companies undertook an advertising campaign to de-stigmatize second mortgages and home equity loans. These efforts went far in changing American thinking that had previously held saving money and fiscal responsibility in high regard. Suddenly being in debt wasn’t frowned upon. In fact, it became the norm — for the middle and lower classes, that is.”


2005: Vatican-backed course on exorcism taught at the Pontifical Academy Regina Apostolorum, run by the Legion of Christ, a controversial, notoriously authoritarian conservative religious order.

Exorcism and religious intolerance

Diane Vera

“Exorcism and “spiritual warfare” are often accompanied by religious intolerance and attempts to impose theocracy — at least in the context of the “New Apostolic Reformation,” as has been pointed out many times, by Rachel Tabachnick, Bruce Wilson, and others, here on Talk To Action.

Question:  To what extent is this also true of Catholic exorcism?

Recently there’s been a flurry of mass media attention to Catholic exorcism, due to the premiere of the movie The Rite, loosely based on the book ‘The Rite: The Making of a Modern Exorcist’ by Matt Baglio.”

MORE: http://www.talk2action.org/story/2011/2/1/84633/59450

The “Patriot” movement (aka T-Baggers, Conservative Christians, Racists…) is becoming more overt.

Patriot Movement more overt


“A couple of incidents including a news story suggest that the patriot movement is becoming more overt.

Today in the news, there is an article about a homicide detective being fired because he had publicly renounced his American Citizenship and declared himself a “Sovereign Citizen”.  Sunday, my wife and I were driving to church and ended up behind a van advertising that they were members of the Patriot movement.

I’ve had people hit me up to join the patriot movement for years.   When I was in the Assemblies of God, several members were tax protesters and were having meetings (which I never attended in spite of pressure from those individuals).  After walking and going back to the Episcopal church, I encountered a few more Patriot movement types who tried to get me to join over the 24 year span we attended those churches.  (Most of those people were ‘ex-Assemblies’*, although there were a couple of life-long Episcopalians who also tried to get me involved.)  The point is, they were all very hush-hush about it, and expressed fear that the government would persecute them for their beliefs.  They didn’t want to be caught.”

MORE: http://www.talk2action.org/story/2011/2/22/11821/5514

ALL A LIE – Conservative Christian with heart-wrenching story about the event that changed her from being a pro-choice advocate to becoming an anti-abortion spokesperson?

Anti-Abortion Dream Team: Former P P Director Joins Lila Rose’s Live Action

Bill Berkowitz

Abby Johnson, a former director of a Texas Planned Parenthood clinic, has been hired by Lila Rose’s Live Action, the group surreptitiously video taping visits to Planned Parenthood clinics in order to entrap staffers into illegal behavior, as its Chief Research Strategist. What if the heart-wrenching story she’s been telling for more than a year about the event that changed her from being a pro-choice advocate to becoming an anti-abortion spokesperson isn’t true? As a result of her story, she’s gained a measure of celebrity, financial security and has become a sought after speaker at anti-abortion events and a frequent guest on conservative radio and television programs. Now, her story, as explained in her new memoir, has led her to Lila Rose’s anti-abortion group, Live Action.”

MORE: http://www.talk2action.org/story/2011/2/25/14359/3508

“In a world marked by profound class divisions and social inequality, to talk about “democracy”….

“What we see in contention here with Jihad on the one hand and McWorld/McCrusade on the other hand, are historically outmoded strata among colonized and oppressed humanity up against historically outmoded ruling strata of the imperialist system. These two reactionary poles reinforce each other, even while opposing each other. If you side with either of these ‘outmodeds,’ you end up strengthening both.”

~ Bob Avakian, Chairman of the Revolutionary Communist Party, USA (RCP,USA). From the talk, “Why We’re in the Situation We’re in Today… And What to Do About It: A Thoroughly Rotten System and the Need for Revolution


“In a world marked by profound class divisions and social inequality, to talk about “democracy”— without talking about the class nature of that democracy and which class it serves—is meaningless, and worse. So long as society is divided into classes, there can be no ‘democracy for all’: one class or another will rule, and it will uphold and promote that kind of democracy which serves its interests and goals. The question is: which class will rule and whether its rule, and its system of democracy, will serve the continuation, or the eventual abolition, of class divisions and the corresponding relations of exploitation, oppression and inequality.”

~ Bob Avakian, Chairman of the RCP,USA

AMERICAN TAX PAYER’S: Federally Funded ‘Missionaries’ Now Teach in Florida Public Schools

EXCERPT: “US law forbids organizations receiving federal funds from evangelizing, but every abstinence event I attended [in Uganda] involved much praying and discussion of Jesus. As Human Rights Watch points out, it was sometimes hard to tell what the aim of these organizations actually was–preventing AIDS or saving souls. “

Bruce Wilson


“Government funded missionaries in public schools? The idea would flabbergast many of America’s founders, most certainly the architects of the United States Constitution. Here’s the background: As a February 23rd, 2011 story from the Florida Independent, by Andy Kopsa, describes, the American leader of the Florida-based abstinence-only education program Project SOS endorses Martin Ssempa, a leading Uganda backer of the so-called “Kill the gays” bill that may soon come up for a vote in Uganda’s parliament. Project SOS has received over six and a half million dollars in federal funding, from the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services since 2002, to teach abstinence education in Florida public schools. The funding continues into the present – in September SOS received over $450,000 from HHS.

But the Uganda tie is far from the most controversial aspect–the founder and head of SOS says the program was inspired by God, and her church identifies the Project SOS program as one of the “ministries” it supports, with SOS head Pam Mullarkey as a “missionary”…federally funded, that is.”

MORE: http://www.talk2action.org/story/2011/2/24/141125/808


Americans: Don’t you want to go back to the times when you had to piss your pants at work…..

Don’t you want to go back to the time when you had to piss your pants at work because your boss wouldn’t allow you a bathroom break?

You better be good at “holding it” at least 16 hours, otherwise you will surely be shunned due to the smell when can’t.

I am sure doing this in the 6 sometimes 7 days a week you work, will not do much damage to your body.

Besides, you don’t have health care, and do not accrue any “sick days” and certainly cannot ask for a day off.

What would be the point of asking, and why would you be welcoming a heavy beating or rape from your bosses, to teach you a lesson?

My advice would be to remember not to drink fluids, and god-forbid, do not eat any food prior to arriving at work…that opens up a whole list of images and aromas.

You can thank your bosses for helping you with the food issue, because they do not allow you a break for lunch or even a snack.

Just keep a stiff upper lip.

You may say “Well at least I got a job, and I can buy new clothes and do some laundry”.

But, will this be possible when you make an hourly wage, your boss decides on?

This most likely will be lower than what could offer you at least a “living standard” that many believe should be bestowed upon all, to fulfill their unalienable Rights, that include; “Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness” and not live like a slave.

Either way, all the “income” you make goes back to your employer, when you utilize the cot you rent at the factory that your employer so graciously has awarded you for all your hard work.

You will be spending most of your time at work, so this seems like the most logical reason for not renting a room outside your work place.

Keep in mind too, that it is all about “location, location, location” as the old saying goes.

Living at work, helps you eat too.

You need to make sure you are in the dark back alleys, where trash is deposited by the resturants where the wealthy go out to eat.

This allows you the ability to dig through the trash being put out, before someone else does, so you can get a meal.

If you are lucky, it will still be warm and you grab it before a rat or stray dog starts chewing on it, tainting it with some unknown virus that would surely make you ill, or even be deadly.

All this, and you being only 12 years old must make you feel lucky when others have less.

You also need to be grateful you spend most of your time inside and in no danger of being shot because you are never going to join those crazy people who stand in their lines trying to “have their voices heard”, and get shot dead by one of those hired by your bosses to shut them up.

You want to stay on your employers good side.

What a great early American life to have before Socialism (Democratic Socialism, Unions, “We the People”) took hold.

When Americans get their head’s out of their asses, and find out what America was like at one time, the better off we will all be.

I doubt I will live to see it get bad as it once was, but I’ll bet my left lung and kidney that these dark days are coming and maybe that is what it will take to change America for the better.

The leader of the free world.” That’s what they always say about this country. But this is a Big Lie.

The Revolution We Need…  The Leadership We Have

A Message, And A Call, From The Revolutionary Communist Party, USA

This Is NOT The Best of All Possible Worlds…  And We Do NOT Have to Live This Way

Full article: http://www.rwor.org/a/170/Revolution_we_need-en.html


“The leader of the free world.” That’s what they always say about this country. But this is a Big Lie.

The truth is that we live under a system that, from the start in this country, built up its wealth and power by enslaving millions of Black people, stealing land from Indians and Mexicans through war and genocide, and working many people, including children, literally to death. It is by such murderous means that this system has expanded “from sea to shining sea” across this continent—and around the whole world.

It is a system of capitalism-imperialism…a system in which U.S. imperialism is the most monstrous, most oppressive superpower…a system driven by a relentless chase after profit, which brings horror upon horror, a nightmare seemingly without end, for the vast majority of humanity: poverty and squalor…torture and rape…the wholesale domination and degradation of women everywhere…wars, invasions and occupations…assassinations and massacres…planes, missiles, tanks and troops of the USA bombarding people in faraway lands while they sleep in their homes or go about their daily lives, blasting their little children to pieces, cutting down men and women in the prime of life, or in old age, kicking down their doors and dragging them away in the middle of the night…while here in the USA itself the police harass, brutalize and murder youth in the streets of the inner cities—over and over again—and then they spit out their maddening insults, insisting that this is “justified,” as if these youth are not human beings, have no right to live, deserve no respect and no future.

Throughout the world, as a result of this system, a billion people or more go hungry every day…with many facing the threat of starvation. Hundreds of millions of children are forced to work like slaves and to live in putrid slums, in the midst of garbage and human waste. Waves of immigrants, unable to live in their own homelands, travel the earth in search of work—and if they find it, they are worked until they can hardly stand and are forced into the shadows, with the constant fear that they will be deported and their families broken apart. Growing numbers of people cannot find work at all now, with many losing their homes as well as their jobs, while others are worked even more mercilessly. Everyone is lured and driven to consume more and more, at the cost of ever-mounting debt and the loss of any sense of larger purpose or meaning to life or any deeper connection with other human beings. Many are being pushed to the edge…growing numbers are going over the edge, often lashing out in crazed desperation.

Young women in the millions are traded like cattle and forced into sexual slavery, shipped across countries and continents, while women everywhere are degraded, demeaned, and brutalized in a thousand ways—beaten and raped in huge numbers, treated as objects of sexual gratification and breeders of children instead of full human beings. The idea of an intimate loving relationship with another human being is made into a sick joke, perverted into a property or commodity relation, weighed down by repressive patriarchal tradition and denied or restricted for people of the same sex.

The environment and human destiny itself is being taken to the brink of disaster.

All this because of the dictates of this system—because of its stranglehold on humanity. All this while technology and wealth exist on a scale and in forms never before imagined—technology and wealth produced by millions, billions, throughout the world who are nameless and faceless to the powers that be—technology and wealth that could and should be a resource belonging to humanity as a whole and used to meet the needs of people everywhere for a decent and ever-enriched material, intellectual and cultural life.

Look at what this system is doing to youth right here in the USA. For millions in the inner cities, if they are not killed at an early age, their likely future is prison (nearly 1 in 8 young Black men is incarcerated, the prisons are overflowing with Blacks and Latinos, and this country has the highest rate of incarceration of women in the world). This system has robbed so many youth of the chance for a decent life and has got far too many living, dying and killing for nothing—nothing good—nothing more than messing up people and murdering each other on the streets of the cities here…or joining the military, being trained to be murderers on a mass scale, massacring people in countries across the globe. A system which offers millions and millions of youth no greater purpose, no better fate, than crime and punishment, or to become a mindless killing machine for the system itself—that alone is reason enough to sweep this system from the face of the earth!

And, despite the good intentions of many teachers, the educational system is a bitter insult for many youth and a means of regimentation and indoctrination overall. While, particularly in some “elite” schools, there is some encouragement for students to think in “non-conformist” ways—so long as, in the end, this still conforms to the fundamental needs and interests of the system—on the whole, instead of really enabling people to learn about the world and to pursue the truth wherever it leads, with a spirit of critical thinking and scientific curiosity, education is crafted and twisted to serve the commandments of capital, to justify and perpetuate the oppressive relations in society and the world as a whole, and to reinforce the dominating position of the already powerful. And despite the creative impulses and efforts of many, the dominant culture too is corrupted and molded to lower, not raise, people’s sights, to extol and promote the ways of thinking, and of acting, that keep this system going and keep people believing that nothing better is possible.

Look at the lies they constantly tell us—with all their honeyed words about “democracy” for the people and “human rights,” while they are ruthlessly dictating over people, with force and violence, all over the world, and right here at home. Oh, and now they come on with Obama…to make us think they will be bringing some kind of change for the better. But Obama represents this system, and all this system can bring is more of the same: more torture and torment, more oppression and brutality, more war and destruction.

Some say this is all “god’s will” and we just have to “put it all in god’s hands.” But it was not some god that got us in this situation…and it won’t be some god that will get us out of it. The truth is, there are no gods…and we don’t need them!

MORE: http://www.rwor.org/a/170/Revolution_we_need-en.html

Should the Judicial Ethics Code Apply to Supreme Court Justices Like It Does To Other Federal Judges

“The Washington Post explains here that 100 law professors have asked Congress to subject Supreme Court justices to a judicial ethics code like the one that all other federal judges apply to themselves. One concern is the recent attendance of Supreme Court justices at events sponsored by conservative groups.”

MORE: http://pubcit.typepad.com/clpblog/2011/02/should-the-judicial-ethics-code-apply-to-supreme-court-justices-like-it-does-to-other-federal-judges.html

The majority of politicians, on the evidence available to us, are interested not in truth but in power and in the maintenance of that power.

“[T]he majority of politicians, on the evidence available to us, are interested not in truth but in power and in the maintenance of that power. To maintain that power it is essential that people remain in ignorance, that they live in ignorance of the truth, even the truth of their own lives. What surrounds us therefore is a vast tapestry of lies, upon which we feed.”

~ Harold Pinter, Nobel Lecture (Literature), 2005

Nobel Lecture by Harold Pinter(46 minutes)

Harold Pinter’s Nobel Lecture was pre-recorded, and shown on video on 7 December 2005, in Börssalen at the Swedish Academy in Stockholm.

Murdering Abortion Doctors is NOT “Justifiable Homicide” – Bills in both Iowa and Nebraska could put abortion providers at serious risk

Dangerous Anti-Choice Laws Spread

Emily V., Care2 Action Alerts

I thought we were through with legalizing the murder of abortion doctors when South Dakota shelved its “justifiable homicide” bill. Public sentiment was loud and clear: Making loopholes that encourage violence against abortion doctors is not acceptable

But the trend is spreading. Now anti-choicers are going after women’s rights in Iowa and Nebraska too. Bills in both these states could put abortion providers at serious risk.

Supporters of the bills insist that the point isn’t to declare open season on abortion doctors. But they need to face up to facts. In the past, people who’ve killed abortion providers have tried — and thus far, failed — to invoke the “justifiable homicide” defense. Law enforcement is worried the bill, if passed, could lead to more violence and killings.

But at their core, the bills seeks to take away the hard-fought rights of women by granting rights to fetuses.

Public outcry killed the bill in South Dakota, but we need to keep up the pressure.

Sign the petition in support of women in Nebraska and Iowa and spread the word to your friends in these states and around the country. Post the petition to Facebook, Tweet it to your network, or email your friends.

The Republicans’ insistence on cutting back government spending is ultimately a disguised way to advance their agenda

The Role of Government

By Angela Bradbery, 2-25-2011

The Republicans’ insistence on cutting back government spending is ultimately a disguised way to advance their agenda of selectively limiting the role of government in society. (It is selective because they and their corporate backers DO support an aggressive role for government when it comes to policies and activities that benefit big corporations.)

That the real issue is the role of government itself is underscored by congressional Republican budget proposals. As Congress debates a short-term government funding bill, not only are the Republicans proposing to slash vital programs, they are seeking to block, stop or undermine government restraints on Big Business — an array of rules, regulations, programs and enforcement schemes that have little or no budgetary impact, but are hugely important for protecting the public and the environment from predatory corporations.

Among many, many other troubling measures, the House Republican proposals would:

  • Eliminate funding for a new consumer product safety database. Removing its funding would deprive consumers of a critical tool — three years in the planning — to report and research safety incidents on toys and other products.
  • Slash the budget for the Commodity Futures Trading Commission by roughly a third. Saving only $50 million, this measure would completely hamstring the agency charged with implementing some of the most important components of the Wall Street reform law.
  • Stop the Environmental Protection Agency from listing coal ash as hazardous waste, enforcing rules that would curtail mountaintop-removal coal mining, issuing new rules that would protect rivers from coal waste, or improving air quality standards.

It’s important to emphasize in this discussion that the Obama administration budget proposals, while far superior to the Republican alternative, accept many of the Republican premises — including the most important one, that the government should be reducing spending.

At a time when one in six people who would like a full-time job are unable to find one, the government should be spending more money to put people back to work, get the economy moving and prevent the waste of letting workers and plants remain idle. Instead, the Obama administration has essentially conceded the need for austerity.

Adopting the false politics of scarcity, the president needlessly proposes to shortchange vital public programs. A distressing example is his proposal to slash $3 billion from the Low Income Home Energy Assistance Program, which provides cash assistance to poor people to help them pay their utility bills.

One can go program by program, or rider by rider, and explain how misguided are proposals from both the Republicans and the administration. But even more important is to insist on what we want our government to do. We need a strong government. There are of course government programs that should be eliminated or improved. But we do need a government that is able to educate our children, ensure access to health care for all, move us to a clean energy future, keep the economy working, provide a social safety net, and protect us from corporate predations. We need a government that takes seriously its duty to advance the General Welfare.

MORE: http://www.citizenvox.org/2011/02/25/on-wisconsin-and-america/

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