Left Coast Voices

"I would hurl words into the darkness and wait for an echo. If an echo sounded, no matter how faintly, I would send other words to tell, to march, to fight." Richard Wright, American Hunger

Archive for the tag “reaganomics”

Genocide of the Middleclass – Roger Ingalls

James Carville has just released a new book (It’s the Middle Class, Stupid) and the President is now shaping his re-election rhetoric around helping the middleclass so I feel it is prudent to repost (with edits) one of my earlier articles about the subject.

It is mind-boggling that so many Americans have a god-like fascination with Ronald Reagan. This is the man who set in motion the financial destruction of the middleclass. Unbelievably, a significant portion of Middle America still loves the man. Why? Is it some sort of Battered Wife Syndrome  or is the conservative middleclass too embarrassed to admit that they were duped by the Republican Party?

But, here we are, repeating stupidity. Instead of trying to reverse Reaganomics, conservatives are still trying to enhance it; more tax cuts for the rich and for corporations, more union busting, deregulation and privatization of government programs.

To increase our understanding, let’s review history: today, many Americans believe that middleclass society magically appeared with the birth of our nation and grew over time. This is not true. With the market crash of 1929 and the subsequent Great Depression, the country fell into economic chaos and floundered under Republican President Herbert Hoover. Prior to that, there were a few rich people, a lot of poor folk and a handful of in-betweeners. Franklin D. Roosevelt became president in March of 1933, quickly launched new legislation and executive orders that would become known as the New Deal.

The New Deal increased taxes on the wealthiest Americans, increased corporate taxes, regulated banks and Wall Street, created government programs (social security, unemployment insurance and minimum wage), and created pro-union alliances. FDR’s policies pulled our Nation out of the depression and gave rise to Middle America. In less than a decade, the middleclass would grow to become the largest demographic in the country and the envy of the world—The Great American Middleclass.

From the late 30s through the late 70s America prospered, the Middleclass would live comfortably and we became the undisputed world power. In steps the B-movie cowboy with his traveling show of Reaganomites and the genocide begins. Middle America was forced to save less just to maintain living standards, eventually leading to the necessity of financing their way of life. Wealth transferred from the Middleclass to banks, corporations, the rich got richer and this trend continues today. Wealth disparity now sits at the largest level since the robber-baron days of the late 1800s through the 1920s.

Americans need to act by educating ourselves on what policies actually work based on historic proof. We must not listen to money-influenced mainstream media. We must not let ourselves get polarized (against each other) through agenda promoted by today’s corporate-financed politicians—it’s their tactic to divide and conquer.

Genocide of the Middleclass, begun by Ronald Reagan, must stop. Hopefully the influential power of James Carville will help bring attention to proper change. And maybe, just maybe, the President’s renewed commitment to the middleclass is more than the normal lip-service.

Deficit Straight Talk: Bush Out Spends Obama 3 to 1 (by Roger Ingalls)

I’m tired of the Republican trash talk about how fiscally irresponsible the Democrats are when it comes to government spending and economic policy. Those that point fingers and yell the loudest are usually the ones with something to hide. It’s time to set the record straight.

Republican administrations are responsible for nearly 80% of the $14 Trillion deficit. This massive debt building started with Ronald Reagan and skyrocketed under George W Bush. The chart below must be painful for conservatives to look at, especially for the followship that can comprehend such data (Democrats are in blue and Republicans are in Red, source: U.S. Dept. of the Treasury). Democrats have historically maintained or decreased the deficit while the Republicans recklessly spend.

click chart for larger view

Let’s compare our two most recent presidents. The chart below is from the New York Times and is based on data from the Congressional Budget Office. This chart shows contribution to the deficit from policy decisions made during each administration. Obama’s figures are forecasted as a two term president. As we can clearly see, Bush’s massive debt is three times greater than Obama’s.

click chart for larger view

Most striking is the debt contribution from Bush’s tax cut policy that predominately benefited the wealthiest Americans. This policy change alone increased the deficit by $1.8 Trillion and is the single biggest debt building event in American history.

Conservatives are hell-bent on maintaining the Bush tax cuts arguing they help stimulate the economy by giving the rich more money to invest (a revisit of the failed Reaganomic trickle down philosophy). Just one problem, it doesn’t work. GDP growth during Bush’s presidency was a dismal 1.66% – the lowest since the 1940s. Even if the negative affects of the 2008 financial crisis are removed from the data, the Bush era is still a 60 year low with a GDP of 2.39. During this same six-decade period, the Democrat administrations of Kennedy/Johnson, Clinton and Carter had the best GDP growth performances (5%, 4.3% and 3.7% respectively). Does it get any clearer than that, folks? This data comes from the U.S. Dept of Commerce Bureau of Economic Analysis.

Takeaways:

1)      The Republican policy of lowering taxes to benefit the rich and sold to main-street America as a growth stimulus, does not work. It failed under Reagan and it was catastrophic under Bush.

2)      Republicans spend heavily on defense because it is an easy sell to the public and it benefits big businesses that contribute heavily to their political campaigns. Keep in mind, 75% of the jobs created in America come from small businesses, not the big ones chased by Republican politicians.

3)      To offset their heavy spending, conservatives try to look responsible by cutting social programs that help the poor and elderly. They sell this by highlighting government excesses that they have created in the first place.

4)      Financial policies created by Democrats have historically out-performed Republicans ones because they are inherently balanced with responsible spending and appropriate taxation for a modern society.

Important Note: The Bush tax cuts now expire at the end of 2012. We must hold our representative’s fingers to the fire and make sure they don’t vote to extend this rich man’s benefit package. Again, trickle down Reaganomics never has and never will work!

Closing Challenge: Show me some unbiased government data that even remotely suggests Republican financial policies are better for main-street America than the ones used by Democrats. Real data, not uneducated Tea Party trash talk!

——————————————————————-

Roger Ingalls is well travelled and has seen the good and bad of many foreign governments. He hopes his blogging will encourage readers to think more deeply about the American political system and its impact on US citizens and the international community.

The 1981 Epoch: Ronald Reagan’s Genocide of the Middleclass

Staring at the extinction of their middleclass way of life, you’d think Americans would be ‘mad as hell and not going to take this anymore’.

It is mind boggling that so many Americans have a god-like fascination with Ronald Reagan. This is the man who set in motion the financial gang-raping of the middleclass. Unbelievably, a significant portion of Middle America still loves the man. Why? Is it some sort of Battered Wife Syndrome, the ongoing reality-clouding propaganda by Citizens United or is the conservative middleclass too embarrassed to admit that they were duped by Reaganomics?

But, here we are, repeating stupidity. Instead of trying to reverse Reaganomics, we are now trying to enhance it; more tax cuts for the rich and for corporations, more union busting, deregulation and privatization of government programs.

To increase our understanding, let’s review history: today, many Americans believe that middleclass society magically appeared with the birth of our nation and grew over time. This is not true. With the market crash of 1929 and the subsequent Great Depression, the country fell into economic chaos and floundered under Republican President Herbert Hoover. Prior to that, there were a few rich people, a lot of poorfolk and a handful of in-betweeners. Franklin D. Roosevelt became president in March of 1933, quickly launched new legislation and executive orders that would become known as the New Deal.

The New Deal increased taxes on the wealthiest Americans, increased corporate taxes, regulated banks and Wall Street, created government programs (social security, unemployment insurance and minimum wage), and created pro-union alliances. FDR’s policies pulled our Nation out of the depression and gave rise to Middle America. In less than a decade, the Leave It To Beaver and Ozzy And Harriet society would grow to become the largest demographic in the country and the envy of the world—The Great American Middleclass.

From the late 30s through the late 70s America prospered and the Middleclass would live comfortably. In steps the B-movie cowboy with his traveling show of Reaganomics and the 1981 epoch begins. Middle America starts to save less to maintain living standards, eventually leading to the necessity of financing their way of life. Wealth transfers from the Middleclass to banks, corporations and the rich get richer. Wealth disparity now sit at the largest level since the robber-baron days of the late 1800s through the 1920s.

We need a call to action. We need leaders with intellect and integrity but most importantly we need leaders with the political will of FDR. We need a champion of the Middleclass.

Americans need to act, educating ourselves on what policies actually work based on historic proof. We must not listen to money-influenced mainstream media. We must not let ourselves polarize against each other with agenda promoted by today’s corporate-financed politicians—it’s their tactic to divide and conquer.

Social media can be the great equalizer; we’ve seen its power in the Middle East. We can use it to educate, organize, create an agenda and protest. Once we have an alliance with critical mass, change will come. Here’s an example: use social media to organize home owners to not pay their mortgages for a few months. Even if a portion of home owners participated, the financial institutions would be chewing on the politicians’ asses to find a resolution before the markets tank.

Change is easier than we realize.

Genocide of the Middleclass, begun by Ronald Reagan, must stop.

-Roger Ingalls

———————————————————–

Roger Ingalls is well travelled and has seen the good and bad of many foreign governments. He hopes his blogging will encourage readers to think more deeply about the American political system and its impact on US citizens and the international community.

Post Navigation

%d bloggers like this: