Lyndon B. Johnson And The Great Society

Time To Make Clear That “Social Infrastructure” Bill Is Over TEN Years, NOT One Year, And Essential!

It is very disconcerting to see West Virginia Senator Joe Manchin, Arizona Senator Kyrsten Sinema, and some moderate Democrats in the House of Representatives, make clear their opposition to the proposed $3.5 trillion “Social Infrastructure” legislation, while supporting the $1 trillion “Physical Infrastructure” bill that has bipartisan support in the Senate.

The “Physical Infrastructure” bill covers roads, bridges, airports, rails, water systems, clean drinking water, cleaning the environment, and high speed internet access, and is urgently needed, gaining a 69-30 bipartisan vote in the Senate.

But the “Social Infrastructure” bill, over TEN years, NOT one, would cover many urgent matters, including:

Expansion of Child Tax Credits and establishment of paid family and medical leave
Expansion of Medicare to include dental, hearing, and vision benefits and possibly lower the Medicare age from 65 to 60
Funding for Elder Care and Disabled Care in their homes
Funding for Child Care so young children would have two years of publicly funded pre-Kindergarten Education
Funding for two years of Community College Education for students after high school
Funding for Climate Change legislation and promotion of electric vehicles
Provisions to lower the price of prescription drugs
Infrastructure investment for Native American communities
Increase in taxes on wealthy people and corporations, which in many cases pay ZERO taxes right now
Bolstering the Internal Revenue Service’s staff and enforcement resources to do its job of raising tax collection

If passed into law, it would be the biggest expansion of the social safety net since the Great Society of Lyndon B. Johnson in the 1960s!

The lie that is being spread is that the $3.5 trillion bill is all in one year, when it is actually over ten years, or $350 billion per year.

Meanwhile, the defense budget, bloated with lots of projects that are not needed but bolstering the profits of defense corporations which pay bribes to get their programs funded, is $700 billion per year, double the amount for the infrastructure bill.

This means that defense over the next ten years would be 7 TRILLION, double the social spending, but of course, defense is presented as one year at a time, while social reforms are portrayed as all at once, when it is totally false!

It is urgent that both pieces of legislation pass, and not be derailed by lies and deception. Government for all the people, not just the privileged, is long overdue!

Remembering Ted Kennedy, John McCain, Lyndon B. Johnson, WEB DuBois,19th Amendment Anniversaries In Time Of Turmoil

Late August is a time to remember the contributions of three political leaders who were true statesmen, one civil rights leader and educator, as well as the celebration of the 19th Amendment to the Constitution.

Senator Ted Kennedy of Massachusetts died on August 25, 2009; Senator John McCain of Arizona died on August 25, 2018; President Lyndon B. Johnson was born on August 27, 1908; WEB DuBois died on August 27, 1963; and the 19th Amendment (Women Suffrage) was ratified and declared in effect on August 26, 1920.

These four individuals had a dramatic effect on American history, and the woman suffrage amendment has transformed American history as well.

Ted Kennedy is one of the greatest US Senators of all time, with his 47 plus years of service on all kinds of crucial issues.

John McCain is one of the heroic Senators, who also sacrificed years of torture and imprisonment in Vietnam, and was the true conscience of the Republican Party.

Lyndon B. Johnson promoted the greatest series of domestic reforms (“The Great Society”) since Franklin D. Roosevelt’s New Deal, and those reforms still impact America today.

WEB Dubois was the most significant early leader of the Civil Rights Movement before Martin Luther King Jr. and impacted the concept of Black History, and holding America to a higher standard of racial advancement.

The 19th Amendment overcame the long discrimination against women participating in public life, and has had an immeasurable effect on the American promotion of democracy.

56th Anniversary Of Medicare And Medicaid: A Salute To Lyndon B. Johnson And The Great Society!

The nation is celebrating the 56th Anniversary of Medicare and Medicaid, a time to salute President Lyndon B. Johnson and the Great Society of the 1960s.

It is impossible to imagine how much worse off this nation would be if Johnson had not used his powers of “Wheeling and Dealing” to accomplish the health care legislation which has saved millions of American lives in the past half century, and made the lives of the elderly, the disabled, and the poor far better.

Government is not there just for the wealthy to get tax breaks, but also to serve the needs of the American people, and it is soothing to know how much Medicare and Medicaid have changed the lives of the American people.

Along with Social Security, passed into law under Franklin D. Roosevelt and the New Deal in 1935, Medicare and Medicaid have transformed lives over the decades, despite the naysayers, mostly conservatives and Republicans, who love to call these laws “Socialism”!

If these transformational legislative achievements are “Socialism”, so be it!

The Disaster Of The US Senate

This author, scholar, and blogger has long studied and been fascinated by the institution of the US Senate, only second to the office of the American Presidency.

There have been many great US Senators, out of the nearly 2,000 who have served in that body.

But there have also been many disgraceful, disastrous US Senators, who have undermined the reputation of that institution, and too often, have stood in the way of progress and democracy.

This reality has become much more prevalent in recent years, as one party, the Republicans, have set out to promote only the interests of the wealthy and corporations, while utilizing the race card, to keep working class and lower middle class whites loyal to a party which promotes racism, nativism, misogyny, and promotion of Christian theology!

And as the population of the nation continues to grow, the undemocratic nature of the US Senate becomes ever more tragic and unrelenting.

The facts are that 15 states, with 38 million people, elect 30 Republican Senators dedicated to negativism and stalemate, while California, with 40 million residents, elects two Democratic Senators.

With the population trends of the nation moving forward, by two decades from now, 2040, close to 70 percent of the nation will be represented by 30 Senators, while the remaining Americans, disproportionately whiter, older, and more rural, will have 70 US Senators!

This reality will, long term, harm any possibility of major reforms and change, such as represented by the New Deal of Franklin D. Roosevelt and the Great Society of Lyndon B. Johnson!

Biden First Press Conference A Complete Contrast To Donald Trump Attacks And Rants!

President Joe Biden held his first formal Press Conference on Thursday, and it was a home run.

The President showed knowledge, expertise, empathy, confidence, and respect for the news media, totally opposite of Donald Trump who held no press conferences most of the time, and when he did, he showed his authoritarian, Fascist leanings by dividing the nation and attacking the news media as the enemy.

Biden had an air of optimism about the future, and his public opinion ratings are in the low 60s to high 50s, a range of support NEVER reached by Donald Trump!

Biden is ambitious, and hoping to accomplish change on the level of Franklin D. Roosevelt’s New Deal and Lyndon B. Johnson’s Great Society, and this will require a modification of the present Senate rules, that allow a filibuster without any speaking commitment by those who wish to wage one.

There is a need for direct action on the Southern Border migration, climate change, infrastructure, gun regulation, minimum wage, and voting rights, and Biden is moving toward bold action on these issues, at a time when we have a nearly equally divided House of Representatives, and an evenly divided US Senate, and the future of this nation is at stake.

But the first Biden Press Conference demonstrated that Joe Biden is up to the task, that he has mental agility as compared to the irrational lunacy much of the time during the Trump Presidency!