Monday, March 17, 2008

So You've Defunded Your Government, Now What?

BushCheneyRove set out to defund the government of the United States. It was their policy coming into power in 2000. Like the conquest of Iraq, it had nothing to do with 9/11.

The idea behind defunding government was to dismantle the legacy of Franklin D. Roosevelt's "New Deal," to put America back on an every man for himself basis. Privatize everything, especially Social Security, and by every means keep health care out of the public sector.

Defunding government was a complicated business. One aspect was tax reform to free those who didn't actually work for a living - coupon clippers - from the burden of taxation, shifting their fair share to wage earners. The next step was to direct big tax cuts for the wealthiest income earners, again shifting the burden of those cuts to those "left behind", the working and middle classes.

The War on Terror offered enormous possibilities. For the first time, America privatized warmaking itself with billions of dollars shuffled off to Halliburton and Kellog Brown & Root, among others lining up in Baghdad for corporate welfare on the grandest scale.

Defunding government also entails debt and deficits. Run huge deficits funded by foreign borrowings and so burden the government with debt that it has no choice but to scrap any vestiges of New Deal thinking.

But now there's an even better way to submerge America's taxpaying classes - the subprime mortgage fiasco. It's America's new economy, a legacy of the Reagan years. Grow a bubble, create notional wealth, strip wealth, collapse bubble and clean up the mess with government bailouts.

Now America is in the midst of yet another collapse. The fiscal banditos have made their fortunes and split, leaving the aftermath to society. As ever it's the government that has to step in to protect the economy from total collapse and, as ever, that means pledging the good credit of the taxpaying classes against the chicanery of the non-taxpaying elite. You see, the US government doesn't have the hundreds of billions of dollars, trillions perhaps, this will ultimately cost. It's defunded. That money has to be borrowed and that crushing debt can only serve to suffocate any remaining, reasonable expectations the taxpaying classes may have of their government.

By the way, this is another page that Harper has torn out of the Republican playbook. It's just his cup of tea.


LeDaro said...

Good one, defunding the government. Robin Hood in reverse – take from the poor and give it to the rich. China does not need nuclear weapons to conquer America. All it has to do is keep lending US money until it is deep in debt to China – victory is theirs.

Oldschool said...

Since you grought up FDR . . . here's a few facts!!!

"America has a dictator," Benito Mussolini proclaimed, watching FDR from abroad. He marveled at how the forces of "spiritual renewal" on display in the New Deal were destroying the outdated notion that democracy and liberalism were "immortal principles." "Roosevelt is moving, acting, giving orders independently of the decisions or wishes of the Senate or Congress. ... A sole will silences dissenting voices." That almost sounds like Harry Reid talking about Bush.

Mussolini reviewed FDR's book, Looking Forward proclaiming the author a kindred spirit. The way Roosevelt "calls his readers to battle," he wrote, "is reminiscent of the ways and means by which fascism awakened the Italian people." "Without question," he continued, the "sea change" in America "resembles that of fascism." Indeed, the comparisons were so commonplace, Mussolini's press office banned the practice. "It is not to be emphasized that Roosevelt's policy is fascist because these comments are immediately cabled to the United States and are used by his foes to attack him."

The German press adored FDR. In 1934, the Vlkischer Beobachter, the Nazi Party's official newspaper, described Roosevelt as a man of "irreproachable, extremely responsible character and immovable will" and a "warm-hearted leader of the people with a profound understanding of social needs." Hitler sent FDR a letter celebrating his "heroic efforts" and "successful battle against economic distress." Hitler informed the U.S. ambassador, William Dodd, that New Dealism was also "the quintessence of the German state philosophy."

The New Dealers were not so much mimicking the Soviet Union, Fascist Italy or Nazi Germany. They were attempting to recreate what they had built -up under Woodrow Wilson's war socialism. Today we have no historical memory of how brutal the Wilson Administration was, nor do we realize that many Progressives supported the war not so much because they championed its foreign policy aims, but because they yearned for the "social possibilities of war," in the words of John Dewey, the 20th century's premier political philosopher.

The war provided an opportunity to force Americans to, as journalist Frederick Lewis Allen put it, "lay by our good-natured individualism and march in step." Or as another progressive put it, "Laissez faire is dead. Long live social control."

It was this spirit which informed FDR's administration. By 1944 he made good on Wilson's conviction that the US constitution was outmoded and in need of replacing with a new "living constitution." FDR's proposed innovation was a new "economic bill of rights" which included:
>The right to a useful and remunerative job in the industries or shops or farms or mines of the nation.
>The right to adequate protection from the economic fears of old age, sickness, accident, and unemployment.
>The right of every family to a decent home.
>The right to earn enough to provide adequate food and clothing and recreation.

And of course Wilson . . . another "Progressive Fascist" . . . kind o reminds you of our friend Hugo Chauvez . . .

Under the Espionage Act of 1917 and the Sedition Act of 1918, Wilson's administration shut down newspapers and magazines at an astounding pace. Indeed, any criticism of the government, even in your own home, could earn you a prison sentence. One man was brought to trial for explaining in his own home why he didn't want to buy Liberty Bonds.

The Wilson administration sanctioned what could be called an American fascist, the American Protective League. The APL - a quarter million strong at its height, with offices in 600 cities - carried government-issued badges while beating up dissidents and protesters and conducting warrantless searches and interrogations. Even after the war, Wilson refused to release the last of America's political prisoners, leaving it to subsequent Republican administrations to free the anti-war Socialist Eugene V. Debs and others.

Isn't it amazing how history comes back to bite the ass of the left . . . I guess that is why they work so hard to revise it.

Anonymous said...
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Anonymous said...

Regarding FDR, whatever. Why don't you start your own blog, or if you already have one, post your diatribe there? FDR actually led the US through a successful world war and through the depths of the depression. I think the Democrats would invite a comparison of pros and cons of FDR vs Bush any day. Here's hoping Fox News gets right on that, maybe a week long expose.

Regarding the actual post in this blog, excellent post.

The saddest thing is it has never been a secret objective. Even back in Reagan's era, there was open talk of "starving the beast" (what they consider effectively functioning government entities) by making sure the funds weren't there to support effective government. Of course, their pet areas get hundreds of billions of dollars - no need to enumerate them here since it is so obvious these days.

Is the "incrementalism" that the Harpercrits spew any different?

Anonymous said...

Still retarde I see Oldschool. I guess no cure for that, hey? Mussolini was a far right dictator just liek Harper so whats the bull you are talking about with regard to a far right dictator liking someone on the lefts poloicies?

Their are no progressive fascists you twat, just fascists and they are all regressive and conservative. No matter how you try to help Stevie Harper out by trying to make fascism a left thing and not right, the shoe still fits. And you are a fascist sympathizer.

The Mound of Sound said...

You're right Joseph. It's really not government spending they abhor. They love it, just so long as it goes right where they want it, not to the people.

LD, China has already amassed huge US dollar holdings to the tune of about a trillion dollars. Watch for them to use those holdings to snatch up American companies and resources if the US goes into a fiscal meltdown.

Oldtool, I've saved you for last. It's not good enough that you drag a load of agit-prop out of some right-wingers ass. You're obviously a gullible fool, something you've been displaying since I first heard of you. Empty your drool cup and get back in your cave.

Borges said...

I think this is an excellent post, which has crystalised what has been happening in the country since 9 11 and has been a long time in the making.

The Mound of Sound said...

Oldschool, if you want to spin fantasies about Mussolini being socialist do it somewhere else. Don't drag your boots through here, you've been too long in the stables. Set up your own blog and you'll undoubtedly attract an adoring audience of rightwing nutjobs. Go.

The Mound of Sound said...

An abject cretin who calls himself "Oldschool" has abused the privilege of stupidity to post nonsense here about Mussolini being a socialist and, hence, progressivism being socialist. He's been duped by the fact that Mussolini was, in his youth, a socialist. He later abandoned that and moved to the other side, fascism.

Here are some of Benito's writings on fascism:

In 1932 Mussolini wrote (with the help of Giovanni Gentile) and entry for the Italian Encyclopedia on the definition of fascism.

"Fascism, the more it considers and observes the future and the development of humanity quite apart from political considerations of the moment, believes neither in the possibility nor the utility of perpetual peace. It thus repudiates the doctrine of Pacifism -- born of a renunciation of the struggle and an act of cowardice in the face of sacrifice. War alone brings up to its highest tension all human energy and puts the stamp of nobility upon the peoples who have courage to meet it. All other trials are substitutes, which never really put men into the position where they have to make the great decision -- the alternative of life or death....

"...The Fascist accepts life and loves it, knowing nothing of and despising suicide: he rather conceives of life as duty and struggle and conquest, but above all for others -- those who are at hand and those who are far distant, contemporaries, and those who will come after...

"...Fascism [is] the complete opposite of…Marxian Socialism, the materialist conception of history of human civilization can be explained simply through the conflict of interests among the various social groups and by the change and development in the means and instruments of production.... Fascism, now and always, believes in holiness and in heroism; that is to say, in actions influenced by no economic motive, direct or indirect. And if the economic conception of history be denied, according to which theory men are no more than puppets, carried to and fro by the waves of chance, while the real directing forces are quite out of their control, it follows that the existence of an unchangeable and unchanging class-war is also denied - the natural progeny of the economic conception of history. And above all Fascism denies that class-war can be the preponderant force in the transformation of society...."

"After Socialism, Fascism combats the whole complex system of democratic ideology, and repudiates it, whether in its theoretical premises or in its practical application. Fascism denies that the majority, by the simple fact that it is a majority, can direct human society; it denies that numbers alone can govern by means of a periodical consultation, and it affirms the immutable, beneficial, and fruitful inequality of mankind, which can never be permanently leveled through the mere operation of a mechanical process such as universal suffrage....

"...Fascism denies, in democracy, the absur[d] conventional untruth of political equality dressed out in the garb of collective irresponsibility, and the myth of "happiness" and indefinite progress....

So, that puts paid to all the lunatic drivel posted here and on other blogs by this idiot Oldschool.

Northern PoV said...

oldschool defames his own name

Good post - actually Harpers' four horsemen (Flarety et all) got their practice in Ontario under Harris
The neo-con agenda is to make social programs un-affordable (=defunding). We are still recovering here in Ontario - hence why the Tories poll badly here despite the uninspiring opposition.