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The Expansionist
Monday, July 16, 2012
 
Is Obama Trying to Lose?
The Obama organization has run a miserably inadequate campaign that seems designed to turn the White House and both Houses of Congress over to the Republicans this November. Can they possibly be that inept? Or do they actually intend the Republicans to take over, then fall flat on their collective face when they can't do a damned thing to reverse the Great Recession because of all the international components beyond the control of any one country?
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The Democrats may relish becoming The Party of No — indeed, The Party of HELL No! — and blocking every single thing the Republicans try to do. Turnabout is fair play, and the Republicans have paid essentially no price for their refusal to tend to the people's business in a cooperative, bipartisan way. So why shouldn't Democrats look forward to blasting every measure of every type the Republicans try to get thru Congress, as long as Democrats can maintain at least a filibuster strength of 41 solid votes in the Senate?
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But if Democrats realize that that is a loser's game, that will do the Nation more irreparable harm — and make no mistake, the behavior of the Republicans since 2009 but esp. since 2011 has caused the Nation harm that promises to be irreversible and permanent — they must make a sharp (Left) turn, and focus the rage of the Nation at what the rich have done to the poor and middle class, and use ballots to undo the Plutocratic Revolution that is destroying our society.
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The behavior of the Republican Party and its Tea Party loons has produced a fracturing of the body politic into two camps so close to outrite military or paramilitary hostilities — bullets — that we are already in a rhetorical civil war, in which each major party (but esp. the Republicans and their idiot Tea Partiers) vilifies the other as the veritable Devil, and "compromise", which is literally a 10-letter word, has become a 4-letter word. I am not overstating the case that we risk actual violent revolution if the Radical Right manages to block the aspirations of the poor and middle class to advance themselves. The bulk of the electorate must be made to see that they have LOST GROUND in the 25 years of the Plutocratic Revolution begun by the Reaganite Tax Reform Act of 1986 (hereinafter sometimes "TRA86", which you can say as "Trady-6"), and that we must REVERSE that Act to undo the mischief it has produced, most specifically the mass debt slavery that has developed since interest on consumer debt was made non-deductible for income-tax purposes.
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We must RESTORE the deductibility of consumer interest, and require credit-card issuers, auto-loan companies, and other consumer debtholders to provide an annual statement of consumer interest paid, well in advance of the April filing date for income taxes. Not only would this alert people to the need to itemize such interest payments, but it would also alarm a great many people about all the money they have WASTED on consumer debt service. That in itself would induce many people to pull back from conspicuous consumption on stupid things.
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Rather than restore the deductibility of consumer interest, however, the current talk in Congress is of eliminating deductibility of mortgage interest! That would WORSEN — perhaps INFINITELY worsen — our personal-debt crisis, and produce even more foreclosures. How is it that Congress seems to be drawing the lesson that the solution to the debt crisis is to make it worse?
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The national economy depends on consumer spending, and making interest on consumer debt tax deductible AGAIN — this is not a revolutionary, brand-new idea; consumer interest WAS deductible before TRA86 — will mean that the Federal Government will forfeit some tax payments, but this measure will free up money for new purchases that is now locked down in the vaults of consumer lenders. Take it out of the vault of the banks and credit-card companies. Put it back in the pockets of consumers, and they will use much of it to spur the economy. Not all of it will be spent again, however, since many people will have been chastened by the interest statements they receive each year into changing their spending habits and living more within their means.
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"Obama's Policies". The Romney mantra is that President Obama's economic policies have failed. The President has let that lie stand unchallenged. Why has he not said:
My policies didn't fail. They were blocked, and continue to be blocked, by The Party of No, which has DELIBERATELY worked to PREVENT the economy from recovering, for the express purpose of making tens of millions of Americans miserable so they will vote against Democrats on the premise that the Democrats have failed to fix the economy. Republicans are certain that voters are too damned STUPID to realize that Republicans have willfully blocked all measures to fix the economy, for the express PURPOSE of prolonging the Recession.
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What you see at work in the economy today is not MY policies but REPUBLICAN economic policies, which are to pretend that the best way to deal with a recession, no matter how deep and destructive, is to do nothing. They will tell you, tho not in so many words, that the free market is MAGIC! It will self-correct. All those jobs the rich have exported will be replaced (tho not, likely, returned) by other, BETTER jobs, in new industries or new products developed by those college grads we are crushing under a mountain of debt. Sure they will. And Santa will deliver winning lottery tickets to every stocking in the Nation.
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Republicans will as well tell you that the best way to increase prosperity is to lower taxes on the rich and super-rich, "the job creators". This "trickle-down" theory has been in force for much of the past 25 years. It has worked real well, hasn't it? Decreasing tax rates increases tax revenues — they would have you believe. No, it really doesn't. The counterintuitive assertion that lower rates bring more revenue has been proved, by actual experience over the last 25 years, to be as crazy and wrong as it sounds. That whole "trickle-down" scam has been denounced as "voodoo economics" — again, the "magic" of the marketplace. There's another term for this myth of economic magic, "supply-side economics". But Ronald Reagan's budget director, David Stockman, said in so many words that "supply-side" IS "trickle-down", and doesn't work. The current crop of advocates of the mythical-magical economics of give-the-rich-everything-and-they-will-take-care-of-you dare not give their 'theory' a name. You don't hear Republicans speak of "trickle-down", "supply side", or "voodoo economics". But Democrats must confront this whole issue of economic madness that has twisted the United States entirely out of shape since the top income-tax rate was lowered from 70% to 28% under Ronald Reagan. Before 1981, the rich really did pay 70%; and under Eisenhower, 90%. And they were still rich! That wasn't good enuf for some of them, however, because other people lived comfortably, and we were able to fund all Governmental programs to make life good for ordinary people. That, Government must not do. Because the rich aren't happy if everybody does well. They are so psychologically deviant that they can be happy in their economic splendor only if other people are miserable. No, they prefer today's huge gap between the rich and the rest of us, which is on the order of the worst Latin American oligarchies of yore, or present-day kleptocracies in Africa.
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Why, if trickle-down, voodoo economics has been so thoroughly disproved by economic history, do Republicans continue to push it? Because they think voters are profoundly STUPID. Are  you stupid? Will you buy that load of crap again this year? Or will you finally wake up to the fact that the rich and super-rich who keep pitching that garbage do NOT have your best interests at heart, but their OWN. YOU count for nothing to them. Truth counts for nothing to them. The Nation's economy, political cohesiveness, and social equity mean nothing to them. Only THEY mean anything to them. And Mitt Romney is the very face of, the very poster boy for, this endless trickle-down scam.
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Don't let Romney get away with not releasing his tax returns for the past 12 years, as his father, George Romney, did when he ran for President. GEORGE Romney was a decent and honorable man. His son? Not so much. It's not enuf for Mitt Romney that taxes on the super-rich (Romney has a personal fortune of some $250 MILLION) are now less than half what they were when his father ran for President in 1968. No, Mitt has to put some of his money in offshore bank accounts to shelter it from U.S. taxes. And that tax evader dares to brazen it out, pretending that his tax shelters are nobody's business, and the voters have better things to worry about. Do we? Do we really have better things to worry about than that a candidate for President of the United States hides money in offshore tax havens? Doesn't that raise serious issues of character and loyalty? Why would you elect a tax evader, when you have to pay tax on every dollar you earn — and MORE tax to make up for the money tax evaders shelter?
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Look at 'Richie Rich" when he insists that two years' tax returns are enuf and he won't release more. There is FEAR in his eyes. He is a WEASEL who has PLENTY to hide. Don't trust any candidate for President who won't release his tax returns for public scrutiny. Don't trust him at all.
That is the kind of attack the Obama campaign must make if it is serious about winning this election, and waking the electorate to the terrible things being done to them by the rich and their servants in the Republican Party and its ragtag covey of loons, the Tea Party. Sadly, the bulk of the Tea Party's followers are not rich themselves, but merely mental-defective racists used mercilessly by the rich — rode hard and put away wet.
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I have been sorely neglecting this blog of late, to focus instead on my "Newark USA" fotoblog, which gives me more personal satisfaction. But I don't see other people addressing things I feel strongly about in politics, so must contribute more to the public discourse here. Alas, few people see this. I hope that if you who do read it agree with points it makes that other people aren't making, you will send this blogpost to them (by means of the envelope icon, below) to bring to their attention ideas they should consider.



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