Archive for Reagan

The welfare freeloaders in this country…

Posted in Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , , on December 19, 2008 by unvarnishedtruth

homelessonstreet

Yep, the conservatives were right.  It’s the welfare freeloaders in this country who are bringing the nation down.  Ronald Reagan first went after them in 1980, and they continue to plague the government today.

You know them: they take money from the government with a sense of entitlement and give nothing back.  They do nothing productive; they don’t work.  They are a drain on the financial system of the U.S.

Here’s a brilliant article in Salon.com on the most recent egregious offenders.  What I don’t understand is, almost 30 years after the Reagan Revolution, why do we still coddle these welfare cheats?!?  As a taxpayer, I am angry…and you should be too.

A snapshot of twenty-five years (more of less) of Repiglican deregulation and Reagan-Bush “pro-business” philosophy…

Posted in Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , on November 22, 2008 by unvarnishedtruth

nuclearexplosion1.

Not putting their money where their votes are…

Posted in Uncategorized with tags , , , , on August 28, 2008 by unvarnishedtruth

An anecdote from the late, great Art Buchwald: Once in the 1980s he was giving a talk in an auditorium filled with CEOs.  He asked how many had voted for Reagan, and every hand went up.  Then he asked them how many would let Reagan run their own companies, and no one moved a finger.

The Bush Legacy, unveiled today…

Posted in Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , , on July 29, 2008 by unvarnishedtruth

Somewhere amidst stories of Amy Winehouse’s latest medical emergency and McCain calling Obama names and Obama talking about “change” without providing specifics, there was a real, concrete piece of news that managed to escape onto the wires today.  I’ll quote the first sentence from the Associated Press article:

Washington – The government’s budget deficit will surge past a half-trillion dollars next year, according to gloomy new estimates from the White House, a record flood of red ink that promises to force the winner of the presidential race to dramatically alter his economic agenda.

My first inclination was to say, “Here’s what Iraq did for us.”  But actually, upon further reading, that would not be accurate.  The projection does not take into account the Iraq war past 2009, nor does it consider recent Medicare legislation and the massive housing rescue package Bush will sign this week.

Let’s not even consider extra money he should be spending on developing new forms of energy, to end our dependence on oil that he’s been promising to attend to for two terms now.  (Ha ha ha, I know, I know.)

So the truth, after the fudging is done, is that the deficit is actually a lot higher than the $482 billion in the “gloomy” new estimates.  Once again, they’re sugar-coating it.  Yes, this is the sugar-coated version, so imagine how high the numbers would be if they were straight with us.  And the Republicans are supposedly the fiscally-responsible party?!?  (For a great cartoon about that myth, click here.  For a more serious article that sums it up well, click here.)

During the Reagan era they had “the previous administration” to blame.  Every time someone pointed out that, despite claiming to “get the government off of people’s backs,” Reagan was actually increasing spending, he’d say he had to, because the previous administration had cut back on military expenditures so badly that the Russians, Sandinistas, Iranians, Lybians and a whole bunch of other boogiemen were going to be at our doorstep any day, ready to overthrow the Shining City on a Hill.  But several administrations of Republicans and defense buildups have not blunted spending.  Recently, Condi Rice said she was afraid of mushroom clouds coming from Iraq.  Now there are whiffs about the same thing with Iran.  (Interestingly, North Korea lobs four or so nuclear rockets towards Hawaii two Fourth of Julys ago and we don’t do much about that.  Wouldn’t you be afraid of real North Korean weapons of mass destruction more than imaginary Iraqi and Iranian ones?  I’m betting the Bushies are too, which is why they’re not beating their chests over that one but engaging in quiet diplomacy.)  You can’t blame any increasing spending now on the wimpiness of “the previous administration,” yet that spending continues unchecked.

I remember when The Great Communicator first took office back in 1981, he gave a televised speech to illustrate the size of our national debt.  He said that if you had a stack of $1,000 bills four inches high you would be a millionaire. A trillion dollars would be a stack of $1,000 dollar bills 67 miles high, which was the size of our national debt then.  Well, now that stack would be 670 miles high, not compensating for compression due to weight of the paper (something I’m told Reagan did not account for either in his example), because the debt today is around ten trillion dollars, give or take some billion.

Those horrible times Reagan inherited from ol’ tax & spend Jimmy Carter are looking pretty damned good now!  We’ve given Republicans most of the last three decades, except for some Clinton years, and look at what they’ve left us.   Reagan campaigned back in 1980 by saying your children will be paying for the debt.  Now your children’s children’s children’s children’s children’s children’s children’s children’s children will be paying for it—with more to come, much more.  The Boomers have just started to retire.  We get to watch all those free-market lovin,’ down-with-handouts-from-the-government types belly up to the buffet table for their slab of roast beef, served to them by the “do nothing” slacker generation.

Oh, before I go, another myth to burst, the one that says Repuglicans are good for Wall Street.  We all know the stock market historically does better under Repugs because they’re so business-friendly, right?  I mean, just the other day I saw an article that said a poll taken of economists revealed that most think McCain will be better for the Dow than Obama.  They say this about the GOP candidate in every presidential election.  And I thought they learned something at Wharton and Stanford and the Harvard Business School.

Sorry, Charlie—I mean Ann and Rush.   The opposite is actually true.  Dems are better, and by quite a margin, too.  I guess this isn’t The Way Things Ought To Be, as ditto-heads see it.

Oh, by the way, go back to that AP article and reread the last part of the sentence.  I wonder if Barack Obama, should he win, will be able to blame “the previous administration” for broken promises.  Do you think the Repugs will agree to take the fall?  Do pigs fly?

That “Can’t Do” Spirit of America

Posted in Uncategorized with tags , , , on July 20, 2008 by unvarnishedtruth

In a New York Times column today (July 19th) Bob Herbert asks the very important question, “When did the United Stated become a Can’t Do nation?”

Here’s the whole editorial if you’re interested. You should be.

I immediately had an answer for Mr. Herbert (and I emailed it to him; we’ll see if I’m lucky enough to get a response; if I do, I’ll post it). I too have been wondering when this great change in national attitude came about, marveling at the difference between this flea-bitten, undernourished and bony version of America in contrast to the strong, proud country that existed less than two generations ago. When the mighty fall, they fall fast and hard.

I believe the change started, though we didn’t realize it at the time, when Ronald Reagan, having newly won the presidency, uttered the immortal words, “It’s time to get government off the people’s backs.” He then went on to paint the federal government as a bloated, helpless, inefficient and impotent nuisance, completely overlooking many of the great accomplishments of the past, such as the Manhattan Project and the moon landing.

Instead we were told that private corporations, driven to efficiency and perfection by the profit motive, were the answer. They would reign flawlessly, because they had The Free Market [bow head reverently here] to keep them honest. The gov’ment, meanwhile, was peopled by coffee-break taking, resource-wasting, overpaid and lazy workers who no longer had any incentive to strive for The American Dream.

Thus began a nearly three-decade love affair with chasing profits and markets at the expense of everything else, and deploring government intervention in anything–or at least anything civil. You’ll notice the government is still perfectly fine and not wasteful (or at least not alarmingly such) when it comes to waging war, aka foreign policy, imposing the American way of life on other countries (and if you reject it you suddenly are some sort of rogue state with shadily-define weapons and you must be taken out), or propping up what Eisenhower–a military veteran and a Republican no less–so accurately called The Military Industrial Complex.

Need I also point out how well we’ve done letting the private sector reign almost entirely unregulated? From Enron to big oil to the S&L crisis to the banking and mortgage collapse, we’ve seen what a great policeman the so-called “free markets” really are. When will it be time to get the private institutions, in the form of public bailouts, off the people’s backs?

With Reagan’s philosophy and outlook, we’d never have gone to the moon, undertaken the Manhattan Project or completed many other tremendous and ambitious efforts over the last century. Yet he is held up as some sort of great visionary and leader, when he is, no matter how you slice it, the true genesis of our current rot, our current slouching towards mediocrity and defeatism in the face of every challenge. As Europe makes real advances in the fields of alternate energy, conservation, technology and higher standards of living, we keep wringing our hands and pointing fingers at each other as to why we can’t agree on even the simplest things anymore. “Government isn’t the answer, taxes aren’t the answer,” Reagan and his followers have been telling us for three decades. Funny, though, it’s working elsewhere. Maybe it depends on the quality of your government officials and not the very fact of government itself. What do you say to that, Mr. Reagan, you fucking hypocrite who got rich off of governance, first in Hollywood, where you were never more than a B-actor but very successful Screen Actor’s Guild president (governance) and then governor of California and of course, president of the U.S. Funny that a man who thinks so little of government spent nearly his entire life and amassed all his riches in the very field. (By the way, he was also the conservative values president who was divorced as well as estranged from his own kids.) And yet people believed the words that came out of this asshole’s mouth.

Watching it all come crashing down

Posted in Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , on July 18, 2008 by unvarnishedtruth

One of the joys of watching the U.S. “superiority” in the world go up in flames is being able to laugh and say “I told you so” to so many people. After 30 years of dittoits worshipping at the tit of the Free Market, that perfect machine that always knows best and can never be questioned, seeing its principles being exposed for the utter con artist scam they are is highly gratifying.

“It’s time to get government off our backs,” said Ronald Reagan in 1981. The myth Repiglicans created was that government couldn’t do anything right, bloated and corruption-prone that was, but the Private Sector [enter choir of angels here] could. A generation later, in the wake of the HP Spying Scandal Adelphia, Enron accounting fraud, involving Arthur Andersen, Exxon overreporting of oil reserves, Fannie Mae underreporting of profit and who currently knows what else, Firestone Tire and Rubber Company, Halliburton overcharging government contracts, Harken Energy Scandal the Lockheed bribery scandal in Germany, Japan, and the Netherlands , Nortel executives overstate post-dot-com recovery earnings in order to earn bonuses, One.Tel collapse, the Phar-Mor Pharmacy collapse, Refco, Inc. commodities & futures scandal , Rite Aid accounting fraud, Royal Dutch Shell, Tyco International, Worldcom, many others I can’t even think of and no doubt dozens I don’t even know about, does anyone besides these idiots still think corporations are the answer to our problems of waste and corruption?

Free Markets are a religion, a dogma, a cult, the same as Creationism, Fundamentalism, Christian Science, Faith-Healing, and so many of the other irrationalities that conservative wackos believe in without a shred of proof. For years I read the writings of the corporate apologists of the world, from Harvey Mackay to Jack Welch, and thought these people were self-serving media whores, the modern day equivalent of hedonistic, underperforming megalomaniac rulers who were for the most part tossed off their throne (often without their heads) in the late 18th/early 19th century around the world as people wised up. After such a deposing the world advanced faster and became fairer to a larger number of people more quickly than ever before in history. If ever there was a history lesson to learn something from, that was it. But your average modern American, proud of his 5th grade education and basic functional illiteracy, didn’t want to know about history or anything else that might conflict with his worship of Reagan’s and the GOP’s glorious Free Markets–you know, those institutions chock full of tariffs and lobbyists and special tax exemptions for corporations, courtesy of Congressmen and women who’d rather you not know their fingerprints are attached to bills that bail out the wealthy at your expense. But you needn’t dust the bills for fingerprints: just study to what corporate boards said Congresspeople go after their terms expire. That will show you for whom they did the most favors while in office. Funny thing is when someone who’s not in office does it, it’s called prostitution, if not treason.

And now we’re seeing the result of 30 years of Reagan and Bushomics. The only backs the government has gotten off of is big businesses, and the result has been worse than the most liberal “doom and gloomers” ever predicted. As Herb Morrison might have said, “Oh the humanity!” A whole generation of ill-educated dogmatists is starting to realize they’re never going to share in those gold-paved streets, a realization Phil Gramm is calling a “mental recession.” He should know; he profited from it more than most, at the expense of a bunch of wide-eyed, small-brained once-Young Republicans who are starting to see that that power suit and power tie are about as close as they’re ever going to come to the power they were promised by private leaders whose address is now a P.O. box somewhere in the Canary Islands. I’m loving it. Hope we crash to the bottom and the future is bleak for hard-working college-“educated” Americans as Europe and much of the rest of the world—which by the way has relied on “big government” just to outperform us in education, GDP, healthcare, longevity, innovation, R&D, and the rest—pass us in the fast lane of the 21st century. Guess what? We’re not nearly as relevant on the world stage as we 1) used to be, and 2) think we are. Our standard of living isn’t nearly as high compared to theirs either, but few Americans today realize this because only 20% own a passport and even fewer than that have actually been out of the country even once, Mexico and Canada not counted. We’re a nation of provincial morons, and our leaders love us that way. Where’s the incentive in our government for a strong dollar if our currently flaccid paper keeps us deaf and dumb to how the rest of the world is advancing?

To paraphrase that GOP and Free Market hero Reagan, Are you better off than you were four presidents ago?  A lot of people are, but I’ll bet they don’t live in your zip code.  In fact, many don’t even live in your country anymore, dittohead.