We won’t see Rep. Peter King (Neo-Fascist, N.Y.) bring it up in his hearings into domestic terrorism but if I were Ayman al-Zawahiri, the new leader of Al Qaeda, I would be finding ways to send all of the bin Laden billions and any change I could shake out of the sofa cushions to the Tea Party and the Republican Party. Flying planes into skyscrapers and government buildings isn’t anything compared to destroying the “full faith and credit” of the United States government. I have believed that the Republican Party has essentially been a criminal conspiracy since at least the 1950s. But with the passing of control from the old guard oligarchs to the young Turks of the supply side, Ayn Rand true believers who came in with Ronald Reagan and Newt Gingrich in the 1980s the Republicans have become a full blown terrorist organization.
I give some credit to President Obama on two issues. First, he has kept in mind that he is the President of the United States of America, not just the leader of the Democratic Party. He has consistently acted in the interest of the nation as a whole rather than following the Republican paradigm of acting solely in the interests of the relatively small number of super-rich backers who control the money that buys power for the Republican officeholders and finances the Astroturf movement known as the Tea Party. It was President Obama’s job to save the American economy in the face of Republicans, particularly Tea Party Republicans, who expressly stated that the nation’s economy was of less importance to them than making a statement about their perverse political ambitions and philosophy. The Tea Party and Republicans more broadly have read too, too much of that proponent of fanatical sociopath, Ayn Rand, and decided that they were collectively Howard Roark. Their stated solution to America’s problems was to blow up the nation in the hope that they could gain something by demagoguery while standing in the rubble. After all, they blew up the economy in 2008 after 30 years of relentless work at doing so and created the Tea Party by demagoguing in the ruins. The president is president of all the people regardless of how stupid, misled, craven or sociopathic they are. Barak Obama deserves immense credit for understanding that basic principle.
The second issue on which President Obama deserves credit for giving a nod to the “leaders of the Republican Party” in his statement following reaching the agreement on the debt ceiling on Sunday, July 31st. Again, in the interest of responsible governing, President Obama has put aside partisanship, if only minimally, while Republicans have not. By contrast Speaker Boehner’s subsequent statement that same night was a purely partisan polemic.
Still, regardless of attempts at conciliation by the president, make no mistake, the terrorists won this round. The lunatic wing of the Republican Party (as opposed to the neo-fascist mainstream) embraced extremists like Michelle Bachmann and Ron and Rand Paul to create a crisis where none existed before. Their voices magnified by Majority Leader Mickey Kantor nearly wrought complete destruction of the economy in the name of saving future generations from onerous debt. So let’s look at that issue of “onerous debt”.
I could go into a history lesson but the fact is that Republican insistence on low tax rates has kept revenues low while spending has increased. Most of those increases have come from useless, pointless and unjustifiable wars and military excesses whether in Vietnam, Granada, Nicaragua, Afghanistan in the 1980s, the Persian Gulf and Iraq not to mention the similarly unjustifiable covert actions in places like Chile, Bolivia, and other parts of the world, especially the Middle East. Deficits rise under Republicans because of their commitment to a grossly unfair tax system that exempts the wealthy and burdens the middle class. During the 1990s after a tax increase the nation’s economy boomed and we were on track to reducing the nation’s debt. But the Republicans then switched tunes. Instead of allowing the Federal government to run at a nominal surplus which would reduce the debt, they insisted that governments shouldn’t have more tax money than was absolutely necessary to pay for operations. That gave us the Bush tax cuts that reduced taxes on the wealthiest 10% of the population more than on the entire remaining 90% and just to make matters worse the Republicans created a much needed Medicare prescription drug benefit but refused to fund it, they initiated two wars, one in Afghanistan that had some justification and one in Iraq that had no justification whatever and they either deregulated or refused to regulate industries and markets at home. The result of reduced revenues alone was that any surplus available to reduce the national debt ceased to exist and the continuing Republican waste and mis- or non-management ballooned the debt quickly and immensely.
In the meantime prices for goods and services kept increasing, often out of all proportion to actual costs while wages for most workers remained stagnant and the real value of those wages declined. Pressed by stagnant wages and rising costs the middle class was encouraged by banks, investment firms and the financial media to use credit especially to mortgage their homes to the hilt on the false promise that real estate prices never, ever fall.
We saw the result in 2008. The joy ride came to a screeching, crashing halt just in time for President Dubya and his crew of criminals to slink out of office and leave the mess for someone else to clean up.
There is only one tried and proven way to clean up an economic collapse on the world wide scale that befell us in 1929 and 2008. That solution is massive government spending on programs that put people to work and which also subsidize lower branches of government faced also with falling revenues. It increases the debt in the short term while reducing the economic disruption for states, counties, cities, towns and families. The subsidies to the lower branches of government prevent job losses in those sectors and generate private jobs by promoting municipal projects like road improvements, construction of and improvement to public buildings, parks and such. Programs such as the Civilian Conservation Corps (CCC) and Works Progress Administration (WPA) in the 1930s put people to work who might not have been able to support themselves otherwise and trained those people in trades that they frequently pursued in private employment for the rest of their lives. Both the CCC and WPA were major creators of middle class employment both in their time and for the rest of that generation yet they are reviled by the neo-fascists as “make work” programs.
Once again the Republican propaganda machine changed tack and went into overdrive. Having piled up a massive debt then wrecked the economy so that current revenues could not keep up with that debt the Republicans decided that debt was bad per se. It was an evil that must be stamped out, however, those most able to help reduce that debt, those who benefited most by running it up had absolutely to be exempted from paying a penny more in taxes. They conveniently ignored the fact that many of those wealthy ultra-right wing oligarchs already pay not a penny in taxes.
The neo-fascists party line is that we are burdening “our children and grandchildren®” with a massive debt. There is no question that our national debt is large but if the ultra-right wingers were truly concerned with anyone’s children or grandchildren they would pony up and use their billions to help reduce the debt by paying another percentage point or two in taxes.
But aren’t those people the “job creators” we here so much about?
If they are, where are the jobs?
Well, they can’t create jobs because of “uncertainty”!
What “uncertainty”? They have bought themselves a minority of a minority in Congress that makes retaining the huge subsidies for their corporations not just certain but holy writ. That same minority insures that they will never have to worry about increases in taxes so what, pray tell is the “uncertainty” that stymies these alleged “job creators”?
Well, look at Europe! There’s a debt crisis there that could tank the world economy.
If those poor, beset “uncertain” “job creators” were truly worried about a collapse of the world economy their money would not be flowing at phenomenal rates out of the United States into investments in China, India, Brazil and elsewhere. The “debt crisis” in Europe is no more real than Standard and Poor’s reasoning in reducing the U. S. bond rating or the tooth fairy. That “crisis” is the creation of bond rating agencies which are the wholly owned subsidiaries of the ultra-right wing oligarchs whose corporations those agencies purport to rate. Standard and Poor’s, for example, is all in a tizzy over the debt of Greece, Spain, Portugal, Italy, Ireland and a few other smaller countries besides the United States. By contrast they were just ecstatic about the bonds of Enron, AIG and all those mortgage backed securities that destroyed the world economy when we found that they were worthless in 2008. The European “debt crisis” is a fiction created by some enormously wealthy people speculating in currencies and bonds while using that speculation to destroy the social fabric of nations purely for their own profit.
The end of all this is that the ultra-right wing propaganda machine led by Fox News and the various Foundations and Institutes that those oligarch have established to give a veneer of rationality to their irrational greed promotes a bunch of “Big Lies”. The “Big Lie” was not invented by Nazi Propaganda Minister Joseph Goebbels but he did bring it into the age of mass media. The “Big Lie” is a lie shouted often enough and loud enough that some fools begin to believe it. Worse yet, in the age of 24-hour news networks desperate to fill air time, people and media that should know better talk about those “Big Lies” as if they had some credibility. They trot out the con men of the Heritage Foundation, Hudson, Manhattan and Cato Institutes and their odious kin and allow them to peddle their snake oil as if it were efficacious medicine.
The result is terrorism. The American public lives in constant fear and anger. The purveyors of the “Big Lie” direct public anger away from the rich who pay little or nothing toward maintaining the American social fabric and direct it toward the poor and the unemployed. They dare not talk about eliminating Social Security or Medicare so they pontificate about reducing “entitlements”. The paid liars for the ultra-right wing oligarchs won’t say that your child shouldn’t have coverage on your medical insurance policy until he or she finishes her education or that a cancer patient should be denied care because he or she forgot to mention a minor surgery 20 years before the person got coverage but they can rail against “Obama-care”.
And should someone have the temerity to demonstrate how false and empty their arguments really are, they fall back to the equally craven and empty position of pretending to be protectors of “our children and grandchildren®”. These con men so concerned about the financial burden on “our children and grandchildren®” are simultaneously arguing that government should not intervene to protect those same children and grandchildren from contaminated food, water, air and unsafe products.
The true terrorists are the monied sociopaths like the Koch Brothers, Richard Mellon Scaife and their ilk who bought and paid for the Tea Party Republicans. They have done more to destroy America than ever Mohammed Atta and the rest of the September 11th hijackers did or imagined that they could do. It’s time to treat them with the horror and disdain that we reserve for those Al Qaeda murderers because they are the true enemy within, the true domestic terrorists.