Mind and Destiny

“I make no pretension to patriotism. So long as my voice can be heard ... I will hold up America to the lightning scorn of moral indignation. In doing this, I shall feel myself discharging the duty of a true patriot; for he is a lover of his country who rebukes and does not excuse its sins. It is righteousness that exalteth a nation while sin is a reproach to any people.”- Frederick Douglass

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Location: Delhi, N.Y., United States

The author and his webmaster, summer of 1965.

Monday, February 29, 2016

Obama’s Second Term


When it comes to the basic governing value of compromise, congressional Republicans prefer the tactic of obstruction.  Back in early 2008, Democrats started doing a stimulus bill, Dave Obey the chairman of the appropriations committee told the ranking Republican member of that committee Jerry Lewis: “We want to work with you.  Go to your members, let us know what things you like, what things you don’t like.”  Rep, Lewis laughed and said: “I’ve got orders from on high.  We are not going to cooperate.”  Mitch McConnell, the Senate minority leader said that his number one goal was to make Barack Obama a one-term president.  

Fortunately, that didn’t happen, because nearly 66 million Americans voted to re-elect Obama in 2012.  He was re-elected to put forward a balanced approach of shared sacrifice.  Regrettably, after congressional Republicans took control of Congress, they refused to ask millionaires and billionaires to pay more.

Our country isn’t ever going to be able to cut it’s way out of a recession and towards prosperity by cutting taxes for the rich.  That is the fallacy, that congressional Republicans always promote during a deficit reduction debate.  Historically, our economy has continued to grown, when the middle class, and people who are striving to get in the middle class, do well.

When middle class consumers have less money to make purchases businesses will have fewer customers.  Consequently, those businesses would be less likely to hire and the whole economy would have again begin to slow down at a time when the economy was picking up and the employment numbers improving.

Eventually, a compromise was reached, and Congress prevent taxes from going up for the vast majority of Americans.   Although, the very wealthy are paying a little bit more, corporate loopholes and subsidies still need to be addressed, because one out of every four profitable corporations don’t pay any taxes.

Nick Hanauer is a technology entrepreneur, and a billionaire venture capitalist insists: “If there was no one around who could afford to buy what we had to sell, all those companies and all those jobs would have evaporated.  That’s why I can say with confidence that rich people don’t create jobs.  Nor do businesses large or small.  Jobs are a consequence of a circle of life-like feedback loop between customers and businesses.  An ordinary consumer is more of a job creator than a capitalist like me.”

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