Loony Tunes

A just released poll of 2000 Republican voters :


  • 39 percent of Republicans believe Obama should be impeached, 29 percent are not sure, 32 percent said he should not be voted out of office.

  • 36 percent of Republicans believe Obama was not born in the United States, 22 percent are not sure, 42 percent think he is a natural citizen.

  • 31 percent of Republicans believe Obama is a "Racist who hates White people" -- the description once adopted by Fox News's Glenn Beck. 33 percent were not sure, and 36 percent said he was not a racist.

  • 63 percent of Republicans think Obama is a socialist, 16 percent are not sure, 21 percent say he is not

  • 24 percent of Republicans believe Obama wants "the terrorists to win," 33 percent aren't sure, 43 percent said he did not want the terrorist to win.

  • 21 percent of Republicans believe ACORN stole the 2008 election, 55 percent are not sure, 24 percent said the community organizing group did not steal the election.

  • 23 percent of Republicans believe that their state should secede from the United States, 19 percent aren't sure, 58 percent said no.

  • 53 percent of Republicans said they believe Sarah Palin is more qualified to be president than Obama.

From Glenn beck's mouth to their lips. This poll did not include independents identifying with the tea party! What is wrong with these people? These percentages are much higher than I thought. 

To the other Republicans that don't hold these extreme beliefs, take hold of your party!


EvesHarvest EvesHarvest 51-55, F 109 Responses Feb 2, 2010

Your Response


What do you base that on, Zeroz?

Thanks for the 'great' article daerosdaimeyez, and great statement Mr.C, I couldn't agree more! GODP (Grossly Old DELUSIONAL Party) advancing their Senility onto their extremely naive, gullible and ignorant constituents. They are the perfect example and result of their own cuts in the funding of education, leaving us fall so far behind the rest of the world that our competing with them will only be at the "labor' level.

Thanks again for your post Eve and everyone for their comments....right or wrong, at least your 'here' which is extremely important.

Thumbs up to you, Mister C! This statistics are mind-boggling, aren't they? I love changing GOP to GODP. It fits!

31 percent of Republicans believe Obama is a "Racist who hates White people" (??????????)

Do these people know that our President's mother & the grandparents who helped raise him were all "white people"? Are their minds so full of paranoia & hatred that they forget that then-Senator Obama had to leave the campaign trail to see his WHITE grandmother before she passed away? When she died 2 days before Election Day (AFTER having voted via absentee ballot, thankfully) , Senator Obama wrote of his WHITE grandmother, Madelyn Dunham , that she was "the cornerstone of our family, and a woman of extraordinary accomplishment, strength, and humility." That doesn't sound like a racist to me...or to most people who put more than a few seconds' thought into the subject.

63 percent of Republicans think Obama is a socialist

Just WOW! I think the political pachyderms should change their initials from GOP to GODP (Grand Old DELUSIONAL Party...though, I personally haven't seen anything "Grand" about that party since Teddy Roosevelt). Of course, considering the herd that's running that party now, they probably think that Attila the Hun was a Socialist!

And finally...

53 percent of Republicans said they believe Sarah Palin is more qualified to be president than Obama.

Ex-half-termer Governor Sarah Palin who couldn't even make it through one interview with that monster, Katie Couric, without sounding like an illiterate moose-killer, and who said that her foreign policy experience consisted of watching Russian President Putin from her kitchen window, and whose eye twitched so much when she talked that you couldn't even pay attention to the palaver she was regurgitating from McCain's stump speeches? THAT Sarah Palin? Sarah "pitbull-with-lipstick" Palin is more qualified to be President that President Obama?

I think I finally figured out what's wrong here! The Republicans have ventured so far down the rabbit hole that they are living in another dimension where up is down & night is day & genius is ineptitude. They just happen to be living in that dimension at the same time the rest of us are living in the real world.

That's the ONLY thing that explains poll results like this.

Tonight, I say an extra prayer for President Obama and our wonderful country!

this is a deeply cynical group of plutocrats who see the writing on the wall. The demographics are against them. They know it. That's why Karl Rove was so intent on creating a permanent single party majority, y'know... like those socialist autocracies. East Germany, Soviet Union.

Hey There, Daero, thank you for jumping in. Paul Krugman does a great ob of laying it all out there, doesn't he?

as you can see conservatives are to blame for 100% of this.

Starving The Beast

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"We're not talking about minor policy adjustments,” says Paul Krugman. “If taxes stay as low as they are now, government as we know it cannot be maintained."

The large tax cuts promoted by the right-wing are intentionally designed to force government to cut back severely on social spending.

For decades, a key part of the anti-government agenda of conservatives has been to cut spending on social programs. Their targeted programs have included: health care for the elderly and poor, welfare and food stamps, military retirement, drug abuse centers, unemployment compensation, aid to education, college student loans, nursing homes, employment training, childcare centers, housing subsidies for the elderly and disabled, and school nutrition. They believe that these programs have grown too large and cost taxpayers to much money.

But attacking social spending has not been easy. Most Americans think that these programs do a lot of good and do not want to see them cut. Indeed, as another article on this site points out, most of us want the government to actually spend more on education, retirement, and health care – not less.

So Republicans have developed a tactic for attacking social spending that they hope will not trigger the ire of the public – an indirect attack on these programs. The tactic? Tax cuts. The idea is simple: if we keep cutting taxes, eventually there won’t be enough money to spend on these social programs and they will have to be reduced. They call this tactic “starving the beast.” Taxes are what nourish government, and so if that source of nourishment is taken way, government must inevitably shrink. For anti-tax advocates like Grover Norquist, this is the ultimate purpose of tax cuts: “The goal is reducing the size and scope of government by draining its lifeblood.”1

Milton Friedman, the arch-conservative economist, speaking of ways to limit or reduce the size of government, offered this prescription: “How can we ever cut government down to size? I believe there is only one way: the way parents control spendthrift children, cutting their allowance. For the government, that means cutting taxes. Resulting deficits will be an effective – I would go as far as to say, the only effective – restraint on the spending propensities of the executive branch and the legislature.”2

So underneath all the Republican rhetoric about cutting taxes – all the talk about stimulating the economy and giving money back to hardworking Americans – there is another, deeper political goal: to strangle government social programs. But this is rarely discussed publicly. Conservatives focus the public’s attention on what they will gain from the tax cuts, not what they will lose by reducing social programs.

This strategy was first tried in the Reagan administration. He came into office in 1980 promising to balance the federal budget. But he quickly cut taxes and raised military spending, creating huge budget deficits. (Sound familiar?) This made little sense to many people at the time and was not understood until Reagan’s budget advisor, David Stockman, later revealed that this was a conscious effort to “starve the beast” – a phrase he is reputed to have coined.3 The idea was to put increasing financial pressure on social programs in order to make it easier to cut them. And indeed, it had some effect, with domestic discretionary spending, falling from 4.5% of the economy in 1981 to 3.3% in 1988.3

A series of massive tax cuts during the George W. Bush administration revived this strategy and implemented it in a much more extensive way. These tax cuts cost the federal government over two trillion dollars ($2,000,000,000,000) in lost revenue from 2001 to 2010 alone.5 As economist Paul Krugman observed at the time, “‘starving the beast’ is no longer a hypothetical scenario. It’s happening as we speak. For decades, conservatives have sought tax cuts, not because they’re affordable, but because they aren’t.”6

The Goal: Massive Cuts in Social Programs

So what kinds of drastic cuts in government social programs are conservatives really after? To see, we need only look at the 2007 budget proposal made by President Bush. His proposal covered budget goals for the five years from 2007 to 2011. Bush targeted programs such as education, housing, job training, environmental protection, community development, and children’s services for $221 billion in cuts. These would have been severe and unprecedented reductions in these programs. But it is important to see that these kinds of cuts in discretionary spending – whether they were in education or environmental protection – were only part of the starving-the-beast strategy. Anti-government activists were also out for much bigger game: cuts in mandatory spending for the large entitlement programs like Social Security, Medicare, and Medicaid. These programs form the bulk of federal spending and they were the ultimate targets. The President’s 2007 proposal also hacked away at this kind of mandatory spending – detailing $65 billion in cuts for these programs. This included $36 billion to be taken from Medicare programs and $14 billion for Medicaid. Over $650 million would also have been cut from Food Stamps, thus denying them to over 300,000 people in working families.7

But as draconian as these proposed cuts were, they paled in comparison to the budget reductions being demanded that same year by some Republicans in Congress. The Republican Study Committee, a groups of conservatives members of the House of Representatives, proposed to establish an “entitlement cap” that would have limited the total federal expenditures for entitlement programs other than Social Security. This cap would have required that projected entitlement spending be slashed by $1.8 trillion over the next ten years. That translates into $766 billion cut from Medicare, $405 billion from Medicaid, $114 billion from federal civilian retirement and disability, $66 billion from military retirement and disability, $63 billion from unemployment compensation, and $50 billion from food stamps.8 The Committee argued that such these program cuts were necessary for the “restoration of the American dream.” They were obviously not taking into account the dreams of the elderly, the sick, the disabled, the jobless, and the poor who would have to pay the price for these truly staggering reductions in federal programs.

Ironically, despite having advocated such deep cuts in spending, these conservative budget plans would have done little or nothing to reduce the deficit because they included a new round of large tax cuts – $1.7 trillion in new tax reductions in the case of the President’s budget.

The Deficit Trap

There is an obvious problem with this starving the beast strategy. On the federal level, cutting taxes does not necessarily require spending cuts: the government may only just borrow money and increase its debt to continue spending. And this is exactly what happened during the Bush administration. Along with this tax cuts, Bush also oversaw some large increases in government spending – mostly in the area of defense. The wars in Iraq and Afghanistan cost an estimated 900 billion dollars between 2001 and 2009. This combination of increased spending and huge tax cuts caused budget deficits to soar during the Bush years. This led some conservatives to complain that Bush had abandoned the idea of limited government. David Brooks concluded in one of his New York Times columns that all this spending and the growing deficits heralded “the death of small government conservatism.”9

But these accusations were misplaced. They ignored one key fact: growing deficits were entirely consistent with the long-term plan to reduce government. The hope was that soaring deficits and a rapidly growing national debt would eventually force policymakers to reduce government spending – whether they liked it or not. From its very first days, the Bush administration embraced deficits as a good way to reign in government. In August of 2001, as the federal budget surpluses began to disappear and new deficits began to loom, the president had an unusual fit of candor and described these developments as "incredibly positive news," arguing that this would now put Congress in a "fiscal straitjacket."10 Republicans in Congress also came around to this point of view. As conservative Rick Santorum explained it, he first hated deficits, but then came to like them because they made it harder to pass any new spending bills. “I came to the House as a real deficit hawk but I am no longer a deficit hawk. I’ll tell you why. …Deficits make it easier to say no.”11

Clearly if the Republicans had remained in power in Washington and their program of massive tax cuts had continued, deeper reductions in spending for mandatory programs, even including Social Security, would eventually have become inevitable. Deficits and public debt simply cannot continue to grow forever. At some point, the federal government eventually has to start paying its bills. As Paul Krugman has explained, the crunch would most like come when baby boomers begin to retire and start making increasing demands on the Social Security and Medicare systems. At that point, the gap between the government’s income and its outlays would become alarmingly large. The government would have no choice but to either rapidly raise taxes or drastically cut spending. Given the difficulty of raising taxes, the most likely scenario – and the one anti-government conservatives would favor – would be for government to dramatically slash spending. "We're not talking about minor policy adjustments,” says Krugman. “If taxes stay as low as they are now, government as we know it cannot be maintained."12 He predicts that we could experience cuts of up to 40% on some of the largest government programs: "Social Security will have to become far less generous; Medicare will no longer be able to guarantee comprehensive medical care to older Americans; Medicaid will no longer provide basic medical care to the poor."13

When the Democrats took control of the White House and Congress in 2008, it seemed that finally the tax cuts and the attacks on social spending would stop – which did in fact occur. But the huge deficits and growing national debt of the Bush era continue to act as a “fiscal straightjacket” for the Democrats and have been preventing them from increasing funding for badly needed programs. To make matters worse, the severe recession that started in 2008 greatly reduced federal revenue and required a surge in spending for an economic stimulus package – all of which created large yearly deficits. In reaction to this, President Obama proposed a three year freeze on most domestic spending – an idea that made many Republicans positively gleeful. Unless Democrats are willing to raise taxes – and many are reluctant to do so – there is a good chance that the “starving the beast” strategy of the anti-government movement will strangle any efforts to increase social spending and eventually create a fiscal crisis that will require large cuts in social programs. A very worrying situation to say the least.

Starving the States

Today, while the Democrats are firmly in control of Washington, conservatives still control many state and local governments. And it is on this level that we see the most dramatic effects of the starving-the-beast strategy. In large part, this is due to an enormous advantage that anti-government activists have on these levels of government: virtually all states and cities must balance their budgets. So when revenues fall or expenses increase, these governments cannot borrow to make up the difference; they must either cut programs or raise taxes. Conservatives have often been successful in blocking tax increases, which has meant that states have had no choice but to reduce spending on social programs.

During the recession that began in 2008, most states cut their social spending – often in disturbing ways. Many of these cuts fell on these states’ most vulnerable residents. Several states cut reimbursements to nursing homes or made it more difficult for the elderly to qualify for nursing home care. Twenty-one states implemented cuts that restricted low income children’s access to health insurance. Services for the elderly and disabled were cut in 22 states. Educational spending also took big hits, with state aid for K-12 education reduced in 24 states. Funds were also cut for higher education in 32 states, forcing some to raise tuition by more than 10%. 14

Clearly, the decline in state revenues caused by the recession played a large role in these budget cuts. But that is not all that was going on. Many states have had ongoing fiscal problems, and in many cases those problems have been caused or exacerbated by conservative forces who have attacked the abilities of states and local governments to raise needed taxes. For example, the foundations for many states’ fiscal problems were laid in the 1990s when state-level anti-government groups waged successful campaigns to reduce taxes. Between 1994 and 2001, under political pressure from conservatives, 44 states passed significant tax cuts. The effects of these cuts were masked at first by the stock market boom that increased the states’ returns on investments in the late 1990s. But now, with the stock market boom long gone, those cuts have come home to roost and are costing the states an estimated $40 billion or more a year in lost revenue – a significant cause of the long-term fiscal difficulties in many states.15

Conservatives have also been successful in many states in installing caps on certain tax rates. In Massachusetts, for example, local property taxes cannot be increased by more than 3.5% a year. In many years, city expenses have risen faster than that rate and tax revenues have not kept up. This has forced many cities to repeatedly cut public school budgets – firing teachers, reducing courses offerings, eliminating sports, and increasing class sizes. Cities have also been forced to reduce fire and police staffing and limit essential public services like snow plowing and road repair.

Fourteen states also now require supermajorities for the raising of some taxes – and this has become particularly problematic. Supermajorities require that 60%, 67%, or even 75% of the legislators must agree before taxes can be raised – rather than the simple majority of 50% plus one that applies to other kinds of legislation. This allows a anti-tax minority to block majority rule. In some states, for instance, a majority of citizens in local school districts have often voted to raise taxes to help fund education – but they have been frustrated because they couldn’t marshal the needed two-thirds majority. Statutory requirements like supermajorities and tax caps are the some of the best political weapons used by anti-government forces, because they make it all but impossible to raise taxes and this forces state and local governments to cut spending on programs.

Making matters even worse, conservatives are now pushing efforts to establish constitutional caps on state government expenditures – plans that would limit spending growth to the rate of inflation plus population growth. The first state to adopt this approach, Colorado in 1992, saw its public services deteriorate significantly. For example, it dropped from 35th to 49th in K-12 spending as a share of personal income, and from 35th to 48th in higher education funding as share of personal income.16 In 2005, citizens in Colorado voted to suspend this amendment for five years so that they can restore needed funding to vital services. The disastrous results in Colorado have not stopped anti-government activists from launching campaigns to pass similar amendments in 15 other states.

The Case of California

The severe and ongoing budget problems in California are a good example of the kind of damage that anti-government activists can do on the state level. During the recent recession, the state ran into billions of dollars of deficits and was force to make draconian cuts in states programs and services. The main problem was not excessive spending, but excessive restrictions on the taxing ability of the state, which made it all but impossible for it to raise taxes to deal responsibly with its fiscal crisis.

The problems for California began decades ago when obstacles to tax increases were introduced into the state constitution by an anti-tax campaign. Proposition 13 was passed in 1978 and capped property taxes at ridiculously low levels. Cities and counties were then forced to try to raise other assessments and fees in order to continue to supply basic public services. But anti-tax zealots were then able to pass Proposition 218, which prevented cities from raising those fees without the approval of two-thirds of the voters – usually an impossible barrier to overcome.

This left localities no choice but to go begging to the state government for needed revenues. But Proposition 13 actually worked to restrict this source of funds as well. It mandated that the state could not increase taxes without the approval of two-thirds of both houses of the legislature. This anti-democratic arrangement has allowed a minority of tax-hating lawmakers to frustrate the majority and consistently block any efforts to raise needed revenues.

Faced with these anti-tax restrictions, the state had no choice but to institute a series of very damaging cuts in state services. Severe cuts were made in aid to K-12 school systems. California’s public schools already ranked 34th among the states in per-pupil expenditures and 49th in teacher-student ratio – a disgraceful situation that could only be worsened by new budget cuts. Millions of children have been denied medical coverage. Large cuts have also been made in many other essential programs, including mental health services, mass transit, home health care, food stamps, prisons, and aid to the blind and disabled. State colleges and universities have become more expensive and less accessible.

The Effects of Starvation on Education and Infrastructure

Sometimes the effects of starving the beast are serious, but not immediately obvious. Some vital public sector programs have been reduced so gradually that the effects may not be clear to many in the public. Two examples of this are the effects of funding cuts on higher education and infrastructure development.

In recent years, spending for state higher education institutions has taken a hard hit. States have been cutting budgets for public colleges and universities – which produce three quarters of all degrees in the United States. Teaching positions are being cut, class sizes are spiraling, and needed maintenance is being neglected. Some colleges are now unable to provide students with the required courses they need to finish their degrees. In addition, states have been raising their tuitions and cutting financial aid. A study by the National Center for Public Policy and Higher Education gave the public college and university systems in 43 states a grade of “F” for affordability.17 This means that many low and middle-income students simply cannot afford college anymore – in one year alone a half million were turned away for lack of money.18

Crucial infrastructure spending is also being neglected. A study by the American Society of Civil Engineers found that America’s infrastructure is in terrible shape and blamed low levels of investment by state and federal governments. They estimated that over the next five years it would take at least $1.6 trillion to bring our national infrastructure into an acceptable state. 19 Some excerpts from the report:

Roads and transit systems are in peril. Funding at the federal, state and local levels is in danger of drying up and citizens are failing to invest in their communities' futures. The nation is failing to even maintain the substandard conditions we currently have, a dangerous trend that is affecting highway safety, as well as the health of the economy. … 27.5% of the nation's bridges (162,000) were structurally deficient or functionally obsolete. …The nation's 16,000 waste water systems face enormous needs. Some sewer systems are 100 years old and many treatment facilities are past their recommended life expectancy. Currently, there is a $12 billion annual shortfall in funding for these infrastructure needs. …Due to either aging, outdated facilities, severe overcrowding, or new mandated class sizes, 75% of our nation's school buildings remain inadequate to meet the needs of school children. While school construction spending has increased, the cost to remedy the situation remains more than $127 billion.

Clearly this failure to invest in our infrastructure has produced a looming crisis – one that can only be addressed with higher taxes and more spending on the state and federal level. But in 2006, the Republican Study Committee of the U.S. House of Representatives actually proposed that federal spending for highways, bridges, mass transit and other infrastructure development and repair be cut by $103 billion by 2011.

Seeing the wide spread negative effects – and human costs – of all of these cuts in services, programs, and investments on the state level, you might expect that conservatives would have second thoughts about their anti-tax and anti-spending policies. But amazingly, these kinds of problems have actually been welcomed by anti-government activists. Reports indicate that the Bush White House was happy to see states and their citizens caught in a fiscal crunch and forced to cut programs, and had no desire to help bail them out. Numerous administration officials stated privately that the states’ fiscal problems would play a useful role in shrinking state governments.20 And anti-tax activist Grover Norquist seemed almost gleeful about the fiscal troubles being faced by states, remarking that “I hope a state goes bankrupt.”21

There is an Alternative

It doesn’t have to be this way in state governments. In fact, it hasn’t always been this way. In the days before the anti-tax movement took hold in the U.S., many states had a vibrant public sector with healthy investments in infrastructure projects and adequately funded social programs for state residents. In his book, Paradise Lost, Peter Schrag offers the following descriptions of pre- and post-Proposition 13 California:

California was once widely regarded has both model and magnet for the nation – in its economic opportunities, its social outlook, and its high-quality public services and institutions. With a nearly free and universally accessible system of public higher education, a well supported public school system, an ambitious agenda of public works projects – in irrigation and flood control; in highway construction and park development – and a wide array of social services and human rights guarantees that had no parallel in any other state California seem to have an optimism about its population, possibilities, and future....

But California ... is no longer the progressive model in its public institutions and services, or in its social ethic, that it once was. California's schools, which 30 years ago had been among the most generously funded in the nation, are now in the bottom quarter among the states in virtually every major indicator – in physical condition, in public funding, in test scores – closer in most of them to Mississippi than to New York or Connecticut or New Jersey. The state, which had almost doubled in population since the early 1960s, has built some 20 new prisons in the past two decades, but has not opened one new campus of the University of California for nearly three decades. Its once celebrated freeway system is now rated is among the most dilapidated road networks in the country. Many of its public libraries operate on reduced hours, and some have closed altogether. The state's social benefits, once among the nation's most generous, had been cut and cut again, and then cut again. And what had once been a tuition-free college and university system, while still among the world's great public educational institutions, struggles for funds and charges as much as every other state university system, and in some cases more."22

Schrag laments what he has termed the “Mississippication” of California. He has nothing against Mississippi, but is simply referring to the reputation that state has for stingy social programs, abysmal schools, inadequate health care programs, and a poor quality of life. This is what could be in store for all of us if government is reduced to an emaciated state. If the anti-government and anti-tax crusaders have their way, we will all be living in Mississippi, whether we want to or not.


For more on how anti-government activists have been attacking vital government programs, see Stealth Deregulation.

how bout we start by bush deciding a 10 trillion dollar ddeficit was a good thing because it locked the liberals into a "fiscal strait jacket" and if you don't believe me just google "fiscal strait jacket" and for some reason their "followers" still delusionally believe that republicans are better at finance. Then let's point out that they wrecklessly invaded a country that didn't attack us and bungled it, wrecklessly endangering our troops and seventeen kinds of havoc Thus proving themselves weak on defense too, then let's look at their family values and compare to say mark foley, Ensign, all of the gay bashers who turned out to be you know, gay.

how bout we start by bush deciding a 10 trillion dollar ddeficit was a good thing because it locked the liberals into a "fiscal strait jacket" and if you don't believe me just google "fiscal strait jacket" and for some reason their "followers" still delusionally believe that republicans are better at finance. Then let's point out that they wrecklessly invaded a country that didn't attack us and bungled it, wrecklessly endangering our troops and seventeen kinds of havoc Thus proving themselves weak on defense too, then let's look at their family values and compare to say mark foley, Ensign, all of the gay bashers who turned out to be you know, gay.

Hey ELFINSONG, pleased to see you here my friend. I thought that I may have to send my draft team out to gather you up, and I hate having to get out those ropes and duck tape. Pleased to have you as a friend!! Yes, it does seem to flow too easily from their tongues. Maybe thats because of the fork, and how easily snakes flip it out there. Neocons....they're like monkeys! They no sooner let go of one branch, and they've already got their grip on another!

It is amazing how thoughtless some people are and how easily the terms flow off their tongues.

I would like to say what a thoughtful story this has been.

I read it start to finish while my wife watched a movie........I was engrossed.

I hadn't seen this thread before and was surprised to see how incredibly late to it I was.

Thank you for the welcome EvesHarvest and I would like to thank all the sane members for their input on this story.......I am proud to be in your presence.

It is certainly, without a doubt, psychological civil warfare. Dumb down the masses so they are malleable and play them like Play Doe. From the day we are born, we are taught delusions and as soon as we loose one, they give us another and that happens throughout our entire lives. The Kings of thousands of years had psychological conditioning down to manipulate the gullible masses, but now it's an art-form! They know full well how to stir the fires of fervor and hate, because they are the ones who install it. Thats exactly what they are doing right now! The labels pinko commie, socialist, liberal, Nazi, etc. come into the every day language. The religious base is the largest right wing base and we feed them with ''our'' tax dollar. For every church you drive, you have paid for it because they are tax exempt ''business'' and you/we the people ''make up for that dollar''. I'm really sick of helping to pay for their fancy churches, while they stack 'billions' of dollars into the church bank, and actually help very few, and even then...its their own that they help...not the people that pay their taxes for them.Most people don't even know those facts if you ask them.

A few years ago I heard ''retard'' come into the collages across America....I cringed! It took so long to remove that bigoted word and I have a disabled daughter. One of her developmental techs was working with her one day, and accidentally used that word while talking to me, and I blushed with a cringe...she went oh. She finally realized how inappropriate the expression was. I never heard her use it again.

Welcome, Elfinsong. MusicMouse, it mystifies me. I was scared of George W. and all that went on with his administration. I just couldn't believe he got elected for a second term. And people are so afraid of a moderate like Obama! I just have to think that his name, heritage, and the color of his skin touch on deep, unconscious fears in people that they don't even know that they have. And then the far right puts things out that give a place for their ego-dystonic fear to land and coalesce.

This story is an historic document .

I am sorry I arrived so late

I think public lynchings could be on the horizon if the American people awaken to what has truly happened because of the Bush/ Cheney/ Rumsfield/ Rice gang.

I for one wouldn't lift a finger or a voice to stop it

Yes...certainly, gullible, naive, and extremely ignorant, but I know of some very capable people, even activist that know better, who are being pulled into the anti-Obama scene. I'm wondering how to turn them stubborn they are! Especially with the health changes on the table because no one actually ''reads'' the damn thing! Its long and hard to learn all the word tricks.

I have to say, they don't seem good at their lies. People seem gullible, unquestioning, and easy to manipulate!

Yes, I think it worth starting a new post also and keep this topic .. on the rise, so to speak. We have an extremely important election coming up, and one that could drastically change the direction our country is going, And..I don't trust the 'Neo's" [Robber Barron's] any farther than I can spit! They are doing the most 'outrageous' propaganda smear campaign ever witnessed in human history, and are actually getting the public to buy into it! We The People are now considered Socialists Nazi's! They are so good at their lies and's remarkable!!

Well, this is the most comments I have ever gotten on a post, Music Mouse, so thanks for helping it thrive.

I think your comment with all that info deserves to be its own story. I encourage you to post it separately! Start a new thread.

Really sad...well, beyond sad that this has been going on for decades and several have tried to inform the general public, but end up dead...or worse, as there are actually much worse things than assassination or the firing squad. Now, far too many people know about it to do anything about it...thanks to the great Internet and getting info to thousands in seconds. Darn though, I didn't want this thread to stop, and I hope I didn't do that with the long post. 11 pages though, that must be an EP record of some type! This is the longest post that I've seen here, and its great! Thanks Eve.

Thank you for that well-researched historical perspective, MusicMouse. Very informative.

Someone asked for statistics and in order to understand what has happened to us you must look at a little history. Below are the rich and poor statistics when I posted these facts a few years ago. Even though it is much worse now with the ''bank robberies'' as of late, the same sequence of events are happening today.


Year 1982 25 million

Year 2002 43.6 million


Year 1982 13

Year 2002 229

A band of rich thugs has mugged the United States of America. For the second time in twenty years, the Bush Gang-otherwise known as The Family or The Dynasty-is pilfering our pockets and emptying the public treasury. Under the direction of George W, **** Cheney, and Donald Rumsfeld, the members of this criminal clique are plundering our country t: again, just as they did in the 1980s and early l990s. What is more, as the nation slips inexorably toward economic chaos, the Bush Gang is drowning out criticism with the noise of war drums and blinding the American people with a frenzy of waving flags. Rather than fix things at home, they want to enlist our help in plundering the world.

America's destiny is now linked to the reckless and selfish pursuits of a corporate elite who are disregarding the well-being of the United States. Like the "Robber Barons" in the Late nineteenth century, the Bush Gang is devoted to the business of fleecing the American people and buying out the last vestiges of honest government. Through their policies, their political alliances, and their personal behavior, the members of Bush Gang I encouraged various kinds of criminal behavior in the 1980s-massive financial fraud in the Savings and Loan industry, "junk bond" scandals on Wall Street, and widespread government malfeasance. When they left office in the early 1990s, they saddled us with a long recession and a tremendous national debt. When Bush Gang 11 returned to the scene in 2001 and 2002, we immediately became aware of their participation-at Harken and Halliburton, Enron and Arthur Andersen-in a massive corporate crime wave that included many of the nation's biggest accounting firms, insurance companies, manufacturers, and financial institutions.

On top of this corporate criminality, the members of the Bush Gang were the central agents in thievery of even greater magnitude, the "mega-crime" of our era. They began to engineer the systematic robbery of the income and wealth of American working people during the 1980s, then pressured a weak Democratic administration to acquiesce to most of their demands in the 1990s, and finally resumed their project with renewed vigor with George W. Bush's election in 2000. This mega crime has resulted in the wholesale redistribution of money to a very small minority of wealthy Americans, thus leading to inexcusable levels of economic and social inequality in the United States. Consequently, our political system now resembles, as it did a century ago, a plutocracy-a government of the rich, by the rich, and for the rich.

... more importantly, the Bush Gang represents a much larger group, the ultra-conservative, corporate upper class that has taken over our country just as they did a century ago. The last time a tiny, self centered minority held so much power, dominating the United States through their control of "Money Power" and the Republican Party, they were called the "Robber Barons." Though it might seem unfair to pick on a particular family by recasting the Robber Barons as the Bush Gang, these guys deserve the attention. The roots of Bush family power extend back to the beginning of the 20th century-George W and Jeb really are the great-grandchildren of the Robber Barons. The Bush family has a long record-their involvement in upper-class investment schemes, their promotion of dangerous intrigues in foreign affairs, their long-time participation in Republican politics, and their membership in a variety of elite institutions-that makes them ideal examples of how the corporate upper class maintains and wields its power in the United States.

The Bush Gang is throwback to "The Gilded Age," that time over a hundred years ago when wealth was worshiped in all its forms and the nation was ruled by a band of notorious financiers and capitalists, which is why people called them Robber Barons.

The economic and social evidence is overwhelming: the Bush Gang and the new generation of thieves have orchestrated a massive redistribution of America's wealth. They have taken from the poor, from the working class, and from a wide swath of the middle class, and given to the rich-that is, to themselves. The share of national income that goes to the bottom nine-tenths of the American people, the large majority who reside at the base of the economic pyramid, shrank from 67% of the total in the late 1970s to about 52% twenty years later. Analysis of statistics kept by the Internal Revenue Service shows that almost all of this missing income was redistributed to the very richest Americans, the top one percent of our population-in fact, their take of the loot, already a robust 9.3% of all American income in 1979, had more than doubled, to 20.8%, by 2000.

When you are being dispossessed, when your assets and income are shrinking due to the activities of others, then you are being robbed. When the perpetrators organize themselves purposefully to dispossess you, when they plunder your savings, then it is fair to call them a "gang." One dictionary definition fits them perfectly: "Gang-a group of people working together for criminal, disreputable ends."

Our whole notion of freedom in the United States is based upon a the willingness of citizens to speak up and throw self-satisfied elites out of power. Those who fought against the "Money Power" in the past, such as the Kansas farmers who helped invent the term "Robber Barons" in the 1880s, never apologized for calling them a criminal class. Mary Ellen Lease, an outspoken Populist leader of the time, told her Midwestern audiences that they could not afford to be shy. "Raise less corn and more hell!" she said.

She also told them where to go to recover their lost farms and stolen wages: "Wall Street owns the country. It is no longer a government of the people, by the people, or for the people, but a government of Wall Street, by Wall Street and for Wall Street."

Over the past few decades in the United States, there has been little popular criticism of the "elite," the small class of people who dominate corporate ownership and management. Obviously many critical voices are blocked by the corporations themselves, since they have successfully monopolized the major media. But there is another factor. There are no prominent politicians castigating members of the monied elite and calling them "malefactors of great wealth." And though some of us have heard vague references to "The Gilded Age," we seldom hear it applied to the society we live in today. Was the slogan invented by cranky losers who missed out on the American success story? Not so. The United States' most famous and humorous writer of the nineteenth century, Mark Twain, wrote his wickedly satirical novel, The Gilded Age, in 1873, thus giving a name to the first great wave of American corporate and financial thievery. The theme reappeared constantly in his writing for over forty years. When one of the most famous criminals of the era, the railroad scam artist and financier known as Jay Gould, died in 1892, Twain offered a mock eulogy:

The people had desired money before his day, but he taught them to fall down and worship it.... The gospel left behind by Jay Gould is doing giant work in our days. Its message is 'Get money. Get it quickly. Get it in abundance. Get it in prodigious abundance. Get it dishonestly if you can, honestly if you must.

In those days, the powerful indictments of a variety of outraged Americans-populist Democrats, trade union organizers, progressive Republicans, home-grown and immigrant socialists-changed our political culture. With their strong sense of morality and their powerful voices, they condemned "Money Power" for creating a culture of greed and dishonesty. The struggle against the corrupt supremacy of the rich went on for so long, roughly from 1865 to 1935, that three or four generations of Americans had to rebound from discouraging defeats before they finally triumphed. Along the way, they recruited the help of people from all social classes. One of them, President Theodore Roosevelt, the descendant of a wealthy New York family and a Republican, had the courage to defy a substantial sector of his own party and say: "We hold it to be a prime duty of the people to free our government from the control of money." In the same fashion, Woodrow Wilson, a fairly conservative Democrat, echoed the rhetoric of the populist chorus: "The masters of the government of the United States," he said, "are the combined capitalists and manufacturers of the United States."

Even with such contributions at the presidential level, the popular campaign to promote more honest politics and progressive taxation faltered in the early decades of the 20th century. After World War I, the rich counterattacked by mounting an extraordinary celebration of the glory of their own money. Their exuberant excesses-cutting taxes, speculating in finance, and buying every possible extravagance (three attributes which reappeared in the 1980s and 1990s)-eventually brought the Roaring Twenties down to earth with an abrupt crash.

The Great Depression led to the disgrace and the downfall of the aristocracy of money. Franklin Roosevelt, backed by a massive popular coalition of working people, realized that it was in the interests of his party to keep the rich at bay and he was determined to keep it that way after his re-election in 1936: "I should like to have it said of my first Administration that in it the forces of selfishness and lust for power met their match. I should like to have it said of my second Administration that in it, these forces met their master."

That never quite happened. But for decades the equality and dignity fostered by the New Deal kept the nation focused on the health and happiness of middle-class and working-class Americans. The ultra-rich paid their high taxes, and lo and behold, they survived quite well, just slightly less wealthy than before. No aristocrats were marched off to the guillotine, nor did the nation's industries and businesses starve for capital. In fact, the United States lived through a golden era, from the 1940s to the 1970s, in which most of its citizens enjoyed unprecedented levels of economic growth and prosperity.

In recent decades, citizens of the United States of America developed amnesia about the financial piracy of the past. Many of us slipped into a delusional state, worshiping the gods of finance and luxury, tantalizingly displayed in ubiquitous advertising but not really within our reach, while forgetting that our real priorities still concerned work, family, and community. Some, it seemed, were bowing down before the false idols of Dow Jones and Wall Street and chanting the incantations they found in Money, Invest, and Fortune. Meanwhile most families were struggling to stay afloat, with mothers and fathers working many more hours per week simply to avoid slipping behind and going further into debt.

I will end these historical facts above with a quote from where it it originally started.

I am a most unhappy man. I have unwittingly ruined my country. A great industrial nation is controlled by its system of credit. Our system of credit is concentrated. The growth of the nation, therefore, and all our activities are in the hands of a few men. We have come to be one of the worst ruled, one of the most completely controlled and dominated governments in the civilized world. No longer a government by free opinion, no longer a government by conviction and the vote of the majority, but a government by the opinion and duress of a small group of dominant men."

As many of you might know, the famous quote was said by Woodrow Wilson. President Woodrow Wilson said this after he signed in an 11th hour law that allowed for the creation of the Federal Reserve.

President John F. Kennedy also tried to warn us, but was assassinated for doing so, as was Bobby Kennedy, Martin Luther King, and the list is long!

Thanks for the clarification EvesHarvest, but that 'could' and 'should' have been sent to you in a message or even to your personal page, rather than to use those rude remarks in a public forum. I would say that what Puck writes in 'public' is fair game to be witnessed. Maybe thats a lesson for him.

Thanks to all of you for your hard work. I've been an advocate for the elderly and disabled sense I was a child...literally, and they are desperate for ''real'' health reform. In fact, their very lives are depending on it. This is an extremely serious topic.

The Queen of Loonnies has just been introduced at the tea party convention. Check out CSPAN.

I need to clarify something--I found out Puck was teasing me with that over the top and lengthy description of me.

It is mind-bending how twisted the conversation is about health care reform. A real trip down the rabbit hole.

Yes Tzech, they have so twisted the definitions of words that everyone is confused which was one on purpose and plays in their favor. This is one of the reasons that I belong to the ''logic party'' and no longer listen to unreasonable rant..from either side of the isle. As a people, divided we fall, and we are falling because of all the lies and counter lies and so on! We need to look very hard at who's talking, and if there's self interests. We have politicians and not representatives, agents and not leaders.

Yes Tzech, they have so twisted the definitions of words that everyone is confused which was on purpose and plays in their favor. This is one of the reasons that I belong to the ''logic party'' and no longer listen to unreasonable rant..from either side of the isle. As a people, divided we fall, and we are falling because of all the lies and counter lies and so on! We need to look very hard at who's talking, and if there's self interests. We have politicians and not representatives, agents and not leaders.

The core problem is that right now about 30% of every health care dollar goes to insurance conglomerate and big pharma overhead and profit, a large part of which represents medical care WRONGFULLY and purposely denied. If you are looking for so-called death panels (actually death czars), they are the EXISTING business model in place for the corporate medical insurance industry, where single bureaucrats are under the directive to deny as much care as they can get a way with. Every other major industrial country long ago switched to some kind of single payer system, where full and comprehensive health care is deemed a right of every "tax paying" citizen. And not one of those countries has switched back to their previous inefficient, private for profit systems. Hmmm...sounds odd! Maybe they like it just the way it is...hmmm?

And yet all we hear on cable TV are unrelenting lies and smears about the systems of these other countries, including demagoguery about how it's basically all some kind of commie conspiracy, as if that language was not old and tired enough already. How many times have we heard that garbage here on EP?

*Comment-Posted by puck61 on Feb 2nd, 2010 at 8:22PM

No problem. You commie marxist socialist pinko bleeding heart tree huggin hippie left wing loon of a liberal!

Sean Hannity recruited some guy with a British accent to denigrate his own country's health care (which he had never actually used), only to be denounced himself by actual members of the British parliament. An investor's paper asserted that Dr. Stephen Hawking would have died if he had depended on UK health care, when in FACT it had saved his life. And when you call these liars out on their lies they just tell new and fresh ones and keep on trucking.

What single payer does in essence is pool the medical interests of those who need care, and thereby gives them the power to negotiate, through whatever is established as the funding agency, favorable and truly competitive pricing from the medical service providers. Government does not "take over" health care, it just takes responsibility for paying for it. And by eliminating complicated coverage bureaucracies it is a much more efficient system with lower overhead. And THAT is why it is so mortally opposed by those profiting off our existing inefficient, uneconomical system now. We are hearing alot of talk about a so-called "public option". What exactly is the difference between that and single payer health care, you ask? The first thing you must understand about what is being alled the "public option" is that it was designed to be a distraction, to give the American people a FALSE choice. What the corporate interests orchestrating this whole charade want to do is transform the debate, such as it is, into an argument about whether there should be a "public option" or not.

But as designed, the "public option" being propounded would do NONE of the effective things that a single payer system would do. It would not give itself the clout to actual compete with the existing corrupt system. It would not eliminate the byzantine overhead as compared to the miserable mess we have now. In other words, it is being designed to FAIL. Heads they win, tails we lose. They last thing the medical insurance industry wants is actual meaningful competition, and that is why they have tried to keep true single payer out of the debate entirely, as sick as that sounds.

One symptom of this is talk over the weekend that the Senate is working on a "streamlined" proposal, because even the congressional budget office recognizes what a massive, honking scam this all is. But why do we have to reinvent the wheel? HR 676, a true single payer bill, Medicare for All, has been on the table for years already, with more sponsors in the House than any other proposal. So why don't they just pass it already? Because the insurance companies won't have it?? What about the interests of the American policy? When is it time for actual good public policy in this country for a change?

Even worse, under the guise of so-called reform, the one proposal you can count on surviving is a REQUIREMENT that you pay for whatever they come up with. You say you can't afford health insurance now and that is why you have no coverage? Well guess what, they want you to

be FORCED to become a customer of these same greedy medical conglomerates, or pay effectively NO LESS for a phony "public option", all the cost of single payer with NONE of the real benefits, and it is just as sick as it sounds. much as it hurts!

The false choice debate was in high gear, with Pelosi demanding a "public option". Then just the next day Steny Hoyer piped up and said the "public option" might have to go. Well, it is beginning to appear more and more like Steny Hoyer will have to go, and probably Pelosi as well, if we are ever going to ever have real policy reform in this country. And the first step in that direction is to keep speaking out, something that frankly NONE of those on our side are doing enough of right now. Pelosi, isn't she the one that got in the way of removing a certain President which the 'people' wanted? Seems she might be sleeping with Joe!

The entire so-called debate, such as it is, is being driven by a tiny handful of loudmouths given over-sized coverage in the corporate media, from a couple lunatics disrupting town halls to right wing reactionaries with giant media megaphones, and those not on the corporate payroll are just too stupid to demand their salary. Yet and still, the only way they can possibly win is for us to NOT raise our voices and keep demanding the wishes of the people!


ANNOTATION BY POSTER: (it might be a good idea for a few of us to go and leave comments)

I see that our friend the CPA guy evidently couldn't keep up in this thread, so he started a new one called > """If Canadian Healthcare System Is So Good Why Is Their Premier Coming To United States For Heart Surgery?"""

*My comment about his story title >

Well, thats a silly question! The reason the Premier is coming here is because he has enough ''money'' to do so, which has absolutely nothing to do with whether the US healthcare system is ''affordable'' to the average citizen, but just the opposite! It's the perfect example with whats wrong with the system in the US. Its for ''RICH PEOPLE ONLY!! Also, you should get your facts straight before entering into this debate....your way off base!! The US is #37 in the world and that disgusts me as we pay more that most other countries for healthcare.

Fearmongering is one of the tactics that is used. Truth be told, most conservatives really don't understand the things they say the advocate. But... when pushed they refer to 'those people".

There was an interview done with one of the orgizers of the Tea Party convention this weekend. In it, she and actually a couple of the other organizers said "they are afraid, and they are angry".

Never once do they say who or what they are afraid of, nor do they say why they are angry.

They do however say they are having a hard time truly organizing because they haven't clearly said what their goals are. Group A wants this, Group B wants that, and neither group wants want C,D, and Z want.

They also have a strong tendency to give ideas for solutions when pushed...but they are ones usually already in circulation, and when told that, they withdraw.

It's amazing to watch at times... But these people, who claim conservativism, scare me.

With good reason. They are "afraid" and they are angry, and they are heavily armed. Scary combination.