Economic Policy

100 Days To What? Another “Fixed” Election, Solidifying Trump Authoritarianism As Future Of Our Democracy, Now Under Attack?

We are down to 100 days tomorrow to the Midterm Elections of 2018, which will have a dramatic effect on America and its future, more than any previous midterm election.

Usually, much more attention is paid to the years of presidential elections, but with Donald Trump in the Presidency, and threatening the economic and foreign policy stability of the nation, and posing an authoritarian threat unseen in American history, these upcoming elections are crucial.

42 House seats that were Republican are now vacant or the sitting member will be leaving office, and will have a new Congressperson, and that seems to insure a gain of seats by the Democrats, who only need 23 seats minimum to have a majority of the House of Representatives.

But with Russian interference and hacking again taking place, who can say whether we will get fair, honest election results?

The news media must continue to focus on the facts, and not be diverted by fake accusations of Donald Trump, and his attack on them as “enemies of the people”, a typical totalitarian statement made by Fascist and Communist dictators past and present.

Even as Secretary of Defense James Mattis, FBI head Christopher Wray, Director of National Intelligence Dan Coats, CIA head Gina Haspel, and many others in the intelligence and national security community continually warn of Russian interference, Donald Trump continues to attack intelligence information and the news media for reporting it.

if that is not treason, then what is it?

Trump’s “Bromance” with Vladimir Putin, including his now delayed invitation for Putin to come to the White House, and Putin inviting him to Moscow, with the likelihood of more private meetings without the participation of Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, Secretary of Defense James Mattis, or National Security Adviser John Bolton, or other key individuals, is an alarm bell in the night, that must concern and alarm all patriotic Americans.

Imagine A President Trump Confronting Speaker Paul Ryan, The Intelligence Agencies, And The Military Hierarchy!

Imagine just for a minute a President Donald Trump and a Speaker Paul Ryan, and the constant clash they would be engaging in for ultimate control of domestic and economic policy!

Trump has no clue as to how Congress works, and he fails to understand that the Speaker of the House wields great power over anything that goes through the House of Representatives.

So be assured that Paul Ryan would not allow any kind of mass deportation of Muslims, or the building of a Mexico wall, along with many other ideas that Donald Trump has!

And be assured that the intelligence agencies and the military would never follow through on what a President Trump wanted to do in foreign and military policy, and this has already been made clear by people in the intelligence agencies and the military hierarchy! This includes David Petraeus, Michael Hayden, Leon Panetta and John Brennan, and many others!

President Dwight D. Eisenhower discovered that he could not “bark orders” and get things done, as had been true in the military!

Donald Trump would discover that he would be put in a “strait jacket” in both domestic and foreign policy, and the likelihood of an impeachment is likely, since he is a very dangerous man, with his ignorance and shortcomings in both domestic and foreign policy are massive.

The greatest danger would come from the “mob psychology” of the crowds who come to cheer him on, thinking they are at a football game or some such event.

But even scarier is the image of the Nuremberg rallies where Adolf Hitler spewed for this antisemitism and his belligerent war threats, as Trump’s “minions” are totally terrifying.

Trump represents an evil that must be overcome, and this idea of disillusioned voters staying home creates perfect conditions for a Trump victory, and an attempt at a Trump dictatorship, which would turn the American nation upside down and inside out, far worse than the threat of Richard Nixon!

2014 Best Year For Job Gains Since 1999! But Will Obama Get Credit From Critics?

As it turns out, the year 2014 will be the best year for job gains since 1999, with 321,000 jobs added in November.

The greatest economic recovery in American history is in full swing, but yet Barack Obama will NOT gain credit from critics.

Instead, the right wing ignores the abysmal record of George W. Bush on the economy, even before the Crash in 2008, which led to the Great Recession.

The American people were bamboozled to think that Obama was at fault because the economy did not recover over night, when the reality is that the damage done by the Great Recession would take a few years to overcome, just as in the Great Depression under Franklin D. Roosevelt.

The point to be made is that the Bill Clinton Presidency saw great economic gains, and now the Obama Presidency is showing it after a long hard struggle.

So despite the critics, and the work that must still be done to create new jobs that pay a decent wage, progress has been made, and should be commended!

Barack Obama Success Versus The Public Opinion Polls

Barack Obama has been the most successful President in economic affairs in modern times, surpassing Bill Clinton and Ronald Reagan.

So says the conservative journal FORBES, and who is to argue with them coming up with this conclusion?

Obama has presided over the greatest stock market growth in American history, but also has seen tremendous economic expansion and creation of jobs not seen since the Clinton Administration.

Of course, unemployment is still 6.1 percent and many people have dropped out of the job market, and unemployment compensation has not been extended.

And of course, the minimum wage has not been increased, and should be, if based on the cost of living, would be triple what it is now–$7.25 an hour!

Infrastructure spending is essential, but has been prevented by the Republican Party.

The point is that despite the inherited Great Recession, Barack Obama has done miracles on the economy, and has succeeded in killing more Muslim terrorists than anyone else, including Osama Bin Laden and Libya’s dictator, Muamarr Gaddafi.

And yet, despite all this and much more, recent public opinion polls show a low point in the 30s for Obama, including one third disillusioned Democrats.

But it is clear that these polls are not to be relied on or believed, and it is obvious that those polled do not understand what has happened, and are clueless as to public affairs, and are more reacting to the right wing attacks on Obama, rather than using their own intellectual abilities.  It is scary how a large portion of the nation is ignorant, and ill informed!

Reassessing Presidents On Presidents Day

Here we are again, Presidents Day, and time for reflection on Presidential leadership, and there will be much disagreement, but it seems clear certain Presidents will move up in image, while others will move down in the ratings. Except for Abraham Lincoln and George Washington, all of the below are 20th century Presidents, undergoing the greatest change in ratings. In each category, listing is chronological.

Who remains high in ratings?

George Washington
Abraham Lincoln
Theodore Roosevelt
Franklin D. Roosevelt
Harry S Truman
Lyndon B. Johnson
Bill Clinton

Who is moving up in ratings, if one is honest?

William Howard Taft
Dwight D. Eisenhower
Jimmy Carter
Gerald Ford
George H. W. Bush

Who is moving down in ratings?

Woodrow Wilson
John F. Kennedy
Richard Nixon
Ronald Reagan
George W. Bush

Whose rating does not really matter, as insignificant, historically?

Warren G. Harding
Calvin Coolidge
Herbert Hoover

And finally, what about Barack Obama? What rating would this controversial occupant of the White House gain, in the mind of this blogger and author?

B to B PLUS—very solid in social policy, solid in foreign policy, more difficulty in economic policy! Of course, on economic policy, the Congressional Republicans have caused a lot of the problem!

Where should he be put in the ratings? With three years to go, Obama is certainly in the top 15 of 43 Presidents, and this author would put him closer to 12-13 in the ratings, but subject to change. And one must realize to ignore the Right Wing whackos, as their judgment will have no long range effect, any more than they had with FDR or Lincoln, both bitterly criticized in their tenure in office!

I welcome comment and debate on this listing!

Paul Krugman And Robert Reich: Sages On The Economy Too Much Ignored!

We have two brilliant, courageous educators who have promoted the understanding that the only way to get out of the economic downturn we have been in, is to do more stimulus spending, and have proved by what is going on in Europe that austerity is a disastrous policy, but they are too much ignored by many people, who choose to believe the conservative and Republican mantra on the economy, which is to do more of the same economic policies that have failed, those of George W. Bush, and Ronald Reagan before him.

Paul Krugman of Princeton University, winner of the Nobel Prize in Economics, and columnist for the New York Times, is a brilliant economist, and has called for a budget package that does not destroy the middle class any more than it is already!

So has Robert Reich, former Secretary of Labor under President Bill Clinton, and Professor of Political Economy at the University of California, Berkeley, who has advised policies that make sense, but is also ridiculed by those who do not understand our history, and the economic cycle!

To promote austerity is seen as wrong headed, and would lead to a disastrous downturn in the economy, something Great Britain’s government has discovered, and both men advise us NOT to follow the same course!

The future of the middle class and the poor is at stake, and we would be wise to respect and follow the advice and counsel of both Krugman and Reich at this delicate time!

The Battle For Congress Now Will Get Greater Attention For Last Seven Weeks Of Election Campaign!

With the implosion of Mitt Romney evident, with the release of the tape at the fundraiser’s meeting, attacking 47 percent of the population as looking for handouts, being moochers and being dependent, enough to insult all kinds of voters across the nation, attention will now be paid, to a much greater extent, to the competition for control of Congress.

The Democrats will need to gain 25 seats to become the majority in the House of Representatives, and to prevent the Republicans from gaining four seats in the US Senate and becoming the majority in the upper chamber.

More campaign money will now be spent on those Congressional races, as that will determine just how effective Barack Obama will be in a second term in the White House.

It seems evident, however, that the ability to accomplish great goals will likely be stymied by close votes for control of Congress, and the ability of Senate Republicans, whether the majority or not in the next two years, to utilize the filibuster to stop any major initiatives.

So while President Obama may use the authority of the executive branch wherever he can, there will be no lack of drama or confrontation likely in the next four years, a regrettable, but unavoidable reality!

The ability to move the nation forward in both economic and foreign policy, and even the Supreme Court and lower courts, will be affected by how the citizenry decides to vote on the legislative races, nearly impossible to predict with any certainty!

Mitt Romney: The “Stealth” Candidate— We “Hardly Know Ye!”

Mitt Romney has turned out to be the “Stealth” candidate, who refuses to open up and tell us who he is!

After running for President twice, and being a public figure for two decades, we do NOT know much about the following areas of Mitt Romney’s life:

His Mormon religion
His activities at Bain Capital
His tax returns
His economic plan
His foreign policy views
His friends and associates
His plans if he became President

Mitt Romney is a total unknown, who leaves the impression that he is always changing his mind; is always secretive; is not interested in people as much as acquisition of wealth; has no concern for the average American; has no great knowledge or interest in the outside world; has no great intellectual thoughts on any subject; prefers to be accepted on face value, rather than open up; and is just, simply, not very likable.

These facts and traits about Mitt Romney is what will ultimately doom his candidacy this November!

Romney And Ryan: Spreading Lies And Myths Unashamedly!

Mitt Romney and Paul Ryan are setting a record for spreading the most lies and myths of any Presidential campaign team in American history!

Apparently, it does not matter that even Fox News Channel and the Wall Street Journal are calling them out for making their own facts, along with other news media!

What are the lies and myths?

Barack Obama is cutting Medicare benefits for recipients, when Paul Ryan’s plan is to make Medicare a voucher system and raise the age for eligibility for future recipients from 65 to 67.

Barack Obama is to blame for the downgrading of America’s credit rating, when it was the GOP Congressional leadership that refused to raise the debt limit before the deadline, and everyone knows that to be the fact.

Barack Obama has added more to the national debt than all Presidents before him, while in reality the Republican Presidents are responsible for more debt than Democratic Presidents, and much of the debt increase is due to Bush policies, including war spending, the unpaid for prescription drug plan, the Great Recession that occurred under George W. Bush, and the constantly growing interest on the national debt, no matter who is the President.

Barack Obama is ending the work requirement under welfare, while in fact that is not the case, and many GOP Governors have asked for the right to use different plans on welfare that change the requirements under the Bill Clinton welfare to work plan.

The Janesville, Wisconsin auto plant, in Ryan’s home district, was shut down by Barack Obama, while it was actually ordered to close in 2008 during the Bush Administration, and Obama worked to save the auto industry in the Midwest successfully, once he came to office, and Mitt Romney wanted the industry to go bankrupt.

The Republicans want to protect the poor and the sick, when in actual fact, they wish to cut food stamps, Pell Grants, and other assistance to the poor, including a drastic cut in Medicaid, under the Ryan budget plan.

Barack Obama raised taxes on the middle class, when in actuality, he LOWERED taxes for the middle class.

Paul Ryan and Mitt Romney are against the statements of Todd Akin about rape and abortion, when in reality Ryan sponsored legislation on the matter with Akin, and both Ryan and Romney had no problem with the party plank on abortion, which opposed abortion on any grounds whatsoever.

Higher taxes on the wealthy and corporations harm economic growth, when pursuing exactly that policy spurred the greatest economic growth in American history under Bill Clinton in the 1990s.

Barack Obama has created no job growth, when he has, in reality, presided over greater job growth in the past three and a half years than eight years under George W. Bush.

Barack Obama has been involved in his administration in an “apology tour”, and has favored Muslim nations, when in fact he has never “apologized” for America, and has been aggressive in pursuit of Muslim terrorists in Al Qaeda and the Taliban, killing more terrorists than anyone could ever have imagined, and also was able to get rid of Osama Bin Laden and Moammar Gaddafi.

Both Romney and Ryan and other Republicans wanted Obama to succeed, when there is no doubt that all Republicans made it their mission to insure that Obama would be a one term President with no accomplishments, which they well know has not been the case, as he has accomplished more in one term than any President since Lyndon B. Johnson domestically, has changed the image of America to a positive one in the world, and has made as much progress in the worst times of an economic downturn as Franklin D. Roosevelt did in his first term during the Great Depression, similarly making progress against difficult economic times, but not resolving the crisis in one term, but being attacked as Socialist, Communist, radical, Fascist by right wing critics!

The lies and myths will not carry the day, and Barack Obama will be reelected as FDR was in 1936, although not by the massive landslide of FDR!

David Stockman And Bruce Bartlett, Former Reagan Economic Policy Advisers, Condemn The Romney-Ryan Republican Ticket As Out Of Mainstream!

The Republican Party loves to invoke Ronald Reagan as their patron saint, even though his record clearly shows he would not be very happy with the trend in the GOP, as even his son Ron Reagan Jr claims.

But beyond Ron Reagan, Jr., two leading economic policy advisers under President Reagan, Bruce Bartlett and David Stockman, have condemned the Republican Party and its candidates and economic policies as out of the mainstream of American politics.

Bartlett says the party has gone insane, dreams of anarchy and the end of government, and has lost all reasonableness.

Stockman has ridiculed the Ryan budget plan, and condemns the idea of Ryan that more defense spending is necessary, and more tax cuts to the wealthy, while the middle class and the poor are victimized. Stockman see the Ryan Plan as not serious, and lacking any common sense!

It is not just Bartlett and Stockman who are critical of the Ryan Plan, and of the turn of events in the Republican Party.

Many past Republican leaders are privately shaking their heads, and see an electoral disaster coming, and we are seeing moderate conservative Republican Senators such as Olympia Snowe of Maine, Kay Bailey Hutchison of Texas, and Richard Lugar of Indiana, all three leaving, with Lugar not by his own choice, bemoaning the turn of events toward unreasonable extremism, and failure to be willing to cross the aisle for support from Democrats.

Former Senate Majority Leader Bill Frist of Tennessee is one of many former Republican leaders who have promoted that states led by GOP Governors stop fighting ObamaCare, and to start exchanges for the uninsured, required under the law by 2014, or else the federal government will do so for those states against their will. Frist, himself a surgeon, says these Republicans leaders are misguided, and that the Obama plan was originally a Republican idea in the mid 1990s., an absolutely true statement!

Former Senator Wyoming Senator Alan Simpson is another Republican who has condemned present Republican attitudes, and many former George H. W. Bush aides quietly have joined the Reagan former advisers in calling for an end to the extremism of the present Republican Party.

But, as in 1964, when we had an ideological election defeat for the GOP with Barry Goldwater, it is clear that there will be a need for a defeat of the ideological environment that Mitt Romney has provoked by selecting ideological Congressman Paul Ryan of Wisconsin as his running mate!