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The Republic of Inequalstan invades Planet Mahers
Sep 26th, 2011 by Admin Mugsy

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Conservative economicsDuring a recent campaign stop, Mitt Romney was asked about President Obama’s “Buffett Plan”, calling for “a minimum tax on the rich”. Romney’s response was to criticize the plan as “Class warfare” (natch), adding, “I want everyone to be rich!” Bill Maher made the observation on his show, “Real Time”, last week, “if everyone were a millionaire, who would do all those things that millionaires hire people to do for them? Like clean their homes, drive them around, do their laundry…” This reminded me of something I saw on “Up! with Chris Hayes” over the weekend (h/t C&L):
 
 

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Briefly, Hayes, in the context of Republicans REPEATEDLY bemoaning that “the top 10% pays 70% of all income taxes”, imagines “a fictional Libertarian paradise” called “Inequalstan”. “Inequalstan” has a population of just ten people, nine of whom earn just $10 a year, while one guy makes 10 times as much: $100 a year.” Inequalstan has a flat tax “where everyone pays exactly 10% of their income in taxes.” The nine “poor” people pay $1 a year each in taxes while the one rich guy pays $10 in taxes (10%). Total annual tax revenue: $19 a year. That means the rich guy is paying more than 50% of all the taxes. This is where Hayes should of reminded people that “This is under a FLAT TAX!” Even in “Libertarian utopia”, the rich pay a majority of the taxes. “That’s because they own a majority of the wealth”, Hayes rightly points out. “Conservatives are using evidence of inequality to defend inequality.” Well said.

Plato used this same method more than 2000 years ago (around 360BC) in one of the most famous/ancient books of all time, “Plato’s Republic”. The object of his story: To prove that selfishness and immorality don’t produce a happy healthy person. By “maginfying” the behavior of a single person by applying it to the behavior of an entire city, Plato attempted to answer a series of morality questions such as, “Is it okay for a man to steal a loaf of bread to feed his starving family?” The point of the exercise: “if EVERYONE does it and it’s still okay, then it’s okay for just one person to do it.” Hayes did something very similar with “Inequalstan”, creating a pure island environment, unaffected by the outside world, to illustrate a point.

Plato believed that wealthy leaders were pursuing their own self interests at the expense of the people. Sound familiar? Nearly 2500 years later, you could reprint that same headline today. Plato disagreed with Sophists (today’s Libertarians) that believed happiness comes from the pursuit & acquisition of material wealth, believing instead that happiness comes from personal achievements and spiritual fulfillment.

As I noted at the beginning, Bill Maher quoted Mitt Romney saying he wants “everyone to be rich”. But “everyone” can’t be rich. Maher pointed out that SOMEONE still has to do all the work. But let’s take this one step further. Imagine a clean-slate planet with no people. Let’s call this planet “Mahers” because I love puns.

“Mahers” is colonized by the people of “Inequalstan”. It’s so far away, traveling there is a one way trip. No going back for more supplies. The people of Inequalstan then proceed to turn it into the same Libertarian paradise they enjoyed back home. Flat tax, all public services privatized, and Mitt Romney was appointed President by the Inequalstan Supreme Court before they left. Only the richest citizens of Inequalstan can afford the trip to Planet Mahers, so everyone living there is a millionaire. There are no “natives” to do any work and it’s too far to transport people from home. So if you want to gas up the Moon-Range-Rover, better “drill Baby, drill” for oil in your backyard (Mahersians don’t believe in whimpy things like “electric vehicles” that run on “batteries” or “solar power”.) How much do you think a Millionaire would have to pay fellow Millionaires to drill the oil for him? Suddenly, everyone with just “ten” million dollars is working for the guy worth $1 BILLION dollars. If EVERYONE were “rich”, it wouldn’t last for long.

Why? Because on Planet Mahers, since “everyone is rich”, the moment someone needed something from someone else, they would either pay someone to provide it (a transfer of wealth, making one richer than the other), or they would “barter” for it (rendering their cash worthless). A loaf of bread would cost $100 because it costs a lot of money to convince a millionaire to accept a job baking bread. And since everyone is a millionaire, everyone can afford to pay the exorbitant price. Devalued currency. Instant hyper-inflation. So Romney’s utopia where “everyone is a millionaire” is an impossibility. Someone is always going to end up “poor”.

I can’t tell you how many stupid Right-wing chain letters have found their way into my inbox denouncing “the Stimulus” and opting instead that “we simply give every American” some absurd amount like “$1-million dollars”. I end up having to point out the obvious: that $1,000,000 times three-hundred-million people is $300 TRILLION DOLLARS. “Okay, so maybe not $1-million”, is always the response. “Maybe $10,000?” “That’s still $3 Trillion dollars.” “$1,000?” “$300 billion.” Next of course is “$500″… which I point out was what Bush’s “tax rebate/refund checks” were back in 2004 & 2008. “And look how well that worked!” $59 & $75-Billion were added (respectively) to the Debt and the economy is STILL in the crapper. People used their windfalls either to pay off PAST purchases OR they put the money in the bank out of fear the economy would get worse. Bush’s “tax refund” scheme did almost NOTHING to boost the flagging economy. As far as “bang for the buck” goes, tax cuts are the worst of the worst in terms of “stimulus”.
 

Just as on “Planet Mahers” where Millionaires became the working poor serving the Billionaires, it’s not the AMOUNT of money you have, it’s how much money you have RELATIVE TO the wealthiest in society. The more they’ve got, the less you’re worth.

And that’s the problem with Conservativism in a nutshell. They NEVER look two steps down the road to the consequences of their policies (I think I’ve said this before).

PS: If you haven’t already, remember to vote for your favorite “Ways President Obama can revive the economy and create jobs TODAY without spending ONE DIME. Results will be published in a future edition.


Sign my petition for GREEN JOBS TOMORROW fast & cheap. Use those $4 Billion in oil subsidies to put Solar Panels on the roofs of 40,000 government buildings, or order 100,000 hybrid mail-trucks. Not only would this INSTANTLY CREATE JOBS, it would spark ENTIRE INDUSTRIES with a future, reduce our dependency on oil, reduce greenhouse emissions, and quickly pay for itself (and cut future expenses) with the energy savings. We need 5,000 signatures by December 20th.

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Ten Ways President Obama Can Revive the Economy and Create Jobs TODAY Without Spending ONE DIME
Sep 19th, 2011 by Admin Mugsy

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Republican jobs plan

Don’t forget to vote for your favorites below!

One month ago, I asked for your ideas to jumpstart the economy at little to no cost. Everyone (even President Obama now) recognizes the fact that Republicans are more interested in spending the next 14 months making sure President Obama loses HIS job than helping unemployed Americans find one of their own. On Friday, New York Mayor Bloomberg told Washington that if they don’t stop fighting and doing something about unemployment soon, we could see “rioting in the streets”. Republicans’ growing ideological unwillingness to raise taxes on anyone they consider a “job creator”… while actually making the case that the poor & middle-class aren’t paying enough in taxes (or are actually getting richer)… means that the only way Democrats are going to fix the economy is without the GOP’s help.

We all know our country is in desperate need of updating our crumbling infrastructure. But infrastructure costs money, and with current high unemployment and Republican’s steadfast unwillingness to approve increased spending (not just out of a growing insane adherence to a failed ideology, but to hurt Obama in 2012), we must come up with creative new ways to do what’s needed without additional spending. “Sounds perfect! Why do it any other way?” Because it’s SLOW. You can create MORE jobs (like wholesale rebuilding of our infrastructure) in a shorter period of time when there’s no limit on spending. Ronald Reagan tripled the National Debt to spend the economy out of Recession back in the 80’s (back when Conservatives weren’t obsessed with “deficit spending”.) Republican’s don’t obsess over spending until a “Democrat” takes the White House.

A number of Progressive websites like DailyKOS and Jane Hamsher’s “Fire Dog Lake” have cited economists listing “quick & easy” ways for President Obama to create jobs “on his own” without having to seek the approval of Republicans unwilling to consider anything other than “tax cuts” (but only for the rich; also here). Add to that, Republicans believe The Stimulus (which spent more on “tax cuts” than actual job creation) was “a total failure”, and will NEVER agree to ANY additional spending to save the economy. I looked through KOS’s and FDL’s lists and felt most of their ideas wanting, relying heavily on ending the wars and using the defense budget to rebuild our infrastructure as “a matter of National Defense”. Sounds good, but wars don’t end overnight, and it’s not realistic to think we can.

So here is my list of Ten Ways President Obama Can Revive the Economy and Create Jobs TODAY Without Spending ONE DIME:
(vote for your favorites below:)

  1. You’ve likely seen by now my Petition to re-appropriate the $4 Billion dollars a year we give to oil companies, and spend that money to put *American-Made* solar panels on the roofs of some 40,000 government buildings or issue a contract for 100,000 *American-Made* hybrid mail-trucks. Not only would these contracts immediately create tens of thousands of Green Jobs with a future (not to mention all the tangential jobs), they would jumpstart entire industries, and encourage companies to modernize by investing in new equipment, technologies, and skilled personnel. Such investments would also reduce Greenhouse gas emissions and pay for themselves with the energy savings (saving even more tax-dollars over the long-run.)
  2.  

  3. Raise tariffs on imports from countries that use tariffs to undercut us. You may not know this, but ONE-HUNDRED AND SIXTEEN countries charge import taxes on the stuff we sell to them. Among that list: China, Mexico, India, even Iraq, Kuwait and Saudi Arabia all charge import duties on the stuff we try to sell in their countries. Few Conservative ideas have done more harm to the American labor market than “Free Trade”. Economically, it makes perfect sense NOT to charge tariffs on things we can’t produce here at home. But it is INSANE to allow countries like India & China that pay their workers a pittance (who then live in tin-roofed slums) to undercut American workers. The net effect of 20 years of this “free trade” nonsense has left us with a HUGE $53 BILLION dollar trade deficit, with American products undercut by imports made using cheap foreign labor, destroying sales and costing jobs. Republicans LOVE “free trade” because the OWNERS of a company profit no matter where their products are made. And the cheaper they can make it, the higher their profit margin. The only way American workers can compete is if they agree to work for less. Eventually, we’ll all be living in tin-roofed slums if we continue the Republican race to the bottom. You want a HUGE tax cut and economic stimulus? Consider this: Up until the Civil War, 100 PERCENT of the American economy was paid for wholly through import tariffs. Today, our expenses are too high to do that again, yet it is conceivable we could give the Middle-Class a MASSIVE tax cut as revenue is supplanted by import taxes on foreign corporations. Add to that, making it economically feasible to create jobs in the U.S. once again, as American-made products become competitive with cheap imports, rather than giving tax breaks to companies that INCENTIVIZE them to move their manufacturing someplace where the labor is cheaper. (Not to mention, raising the standard of living in the rest of the world as their employers no longer have an excuse to pay their workers pennies a day.)
  4.  

  5. (From KOS) Issue an executive order to “end the diversion of federal small business contracts to corporate giants.” Economists agree that the best way to stimulate the economy is to redirect federal infrastructure spending to small businesses. Ending this abuse would infuse the nation’s middle class economy with billions of dollars a month in existing federal infrastructure spending. One of the nice things about this idea is that President Obama can do it all by himself with an “Executive Order” without bargaining with obstructionists Republicans.
  6.  

  7. LOWER the retirement age to 55. This is an incredibly counter-intuitive idea frequently suggested by Progressive Radio’s Thom Hartmann. Years of Conservative conditioning has led us to believe that we need to “raise” the retirement age “to save Social Security” and that adding all those people to the rolls would rapidly bankrupt the program. In fact, the opposite is true. As Thom points out, taking all those people out of the workforce would open up MILLIONS of new jobs, with all of those people paying into Social Security. Arguably though, this idea depends upon passing #2 above first (ending “free trade” policies that make it cheaper to hire overseas.)
  8.  

  9. Reader “kfreed” proposed: Repealing ALL subsidies going to corporate polluters and Big Agra-business, and use that money to create jobs in a green energy market – something on the order of the WPA under Roosevelt. The private sector is sitting on nearly $2-trillion in unspent cash reserves, yet Republicans insist all these companies need is MORE money (via “tax cuts” and “deregulation”) to convince them to start spending it (per the US Chamber of Commerce’s July 2010 “Open Letter to the President, the United States Congress and the American People” – and Paul Ryan’s budget – “The Roadmap” to Nowhere.) At least five Tea Party freshman Republicans in the House collect over $8-Million dollars in Farm subsidies. Parasitic corporations engaged in extortion and exploitation don’t deserve our support.
  10.  

  11. Also from “kfreed”: G. W. Bush’s faith-based initiatives are sucking billions (while I am unable to find current budget figures, the 2005 FBCI budget was $161 million, up nearly 40% from 2004. – Mugsy) from the public trough while redirecting our tax money into the pockets of “Christian” Reconstructionist programs and churches which produce lawyers who are taught law from a “biblical perspective” at “Universities” such as Liberty University and Oral Roberts (i.e. tea party politicians like Michele Bachmann). Our tax dollars also fund religion through abstinence-only sex ed, gay “reparative therapy” clinics, and Christian schools that teach kids to believe that climate change is a liberal hoax, that the earth is 6,000 years old, and that Adam and Eve frolicked with dinosaurs (just to name a few examples). This is waste, fraud, and abuse, and it needs to stop . 80% of the money going to school voucher programs is ending up in the hands of these so-called schools and programs run by the Dominionist “Christian” cult. We need to be pushing hard on Obama to end these tax giveaways that fund religion.

“Crooks & Liars” posted some interesting links to some job creation programs that are definitely worth inclusion in our list:

  1. A report by “The New Bottom Line Campaign” shows that at least 1,000,000 new jobs would quickly be created if we just forced the big banks to write down the mortgages of underwater homeowners to current market levels. I would go one further and propose converting every distressed ARM (Adjustable Rate Mortgage) to a FIXED loan 1.5% higher than the originally agreed upon variable rate. Not only would this allow hundreds of thousands to keep their homes, but would free up lending as banks see mortgage payments flowing in once again.
  2.  

  3. Another C&L entry asks about all the big American mega-companies demanding “tax breaks in the name of job creation” that have actually CUT jobs in America only to INCREASE their workforce OVERSEAS. Repeal tax breaks for companies that create jobs overseas. If a company receiving tax breaks in the name of “job creation” uses that money to create jobs overseas and not here at home, not only should they not be receiving that tax cut, but I’d argue that’s fraud worthy of a hefty fine.
  4.  

  1. (****) My September 8th op/ed explained how regulations can be used to CREATE jobs without costing the government a dime. President Obama needs to stop believing Republican BS that “Regulations cost jobs”. (Gerry Connolly D-VA11 said on Thursday, “If regulations and economic growth were inversely related, then sub-Saharan Africa would have the most productive economy on earth.” Click the link for context. You’ll never believe what prompted it.) Not only is it a total lie, but (as Connolly points out) the exact OPPOSITE can be true. You can force companies sitting on TWO-TRILLION in cash reserves to either buy new equipment and/or hire new employees that help them comply with the new regulations. 60 years ago, a top corporate tax rate of 91% was used to encourage corporations to reinvest in their own infrastructure, hire workers, raise salaries and provide benefits in order to avoid paying incomes taxes on those profits. The end result of years of Republican tax breaks for “job creators” was to give them LESS incentive to spend that money creating jobs and MORE incentive to pocket the savings. Today’s GOP will NEVER allow us to return to the tax rates of 1955, but we can still force corporations to modernize and reinvest in their companies through increased regulations on Greenhouse gas emissions, raising auto mileage standards, waste production/management and safer working conditions for their employees.
  2.  

  3. And finally, simply let the Bush tax cuts expire. Nothing easier than “doing nothing”, and as I point out in #9 above, higher tax rates on corporations ENCOURAGES REINVESTMENT in their own companies. “Reinvestment” means “spending” and spending means “jobs”. Conservatives think that if you raise taxes on “job creators”, they won’t have the money to hire anyone new. No. That’s just stupid. Companies don’t suddenly hire someone for $50K a year in exchange for a $5,000 tax cut, to meet a demand that’s not there and already met by their current workforce. If all these tax cuts have proven anything, it’s that companies don’t base their hiring on how much cash they’ve got in the bank. If all it takes to convince a company to start hiring is more money in the bank, then why haven’t all these tax cuts created any jobs? DEMAND creates jobs. It doesn’t matter what a company’s tax rate is, if they have customers, they’ll hire people to fulfill that demand. Economics-101. In fact, a companies tax burden doesn’t have to go up one dime if they simply reinvest that money back into their business (as described in #10 above). Republicans CONSTANTLY blame “uncertainty” for why their tax cuts have failed to create any jobs. “Uncertainty” over whether their taxes will go up under President Obama. The only people creating “uncertainty” are Republicans promising a tax cut they may or may not ever get. You wanna talk “uncertainty”? Try figuring out how you’re going to feed your kid after Dad’s been unemployed for two years. The fastest/easiest way to end that “uncertainty” is to simply agree to let the Bush tax cuts expire. I mean, if “uncertainty” is what’s holding our economy back, why create more of it? It’s time to stop managing the worlds largest economy with the economic reasoning of a five year old: “Taxes bad! Cuts good!”

So that’s the list. You may have already thought of some ideas that I missed. Feel free to add them in the Comments section. Originally, I had included two others: “Re-regulating oil price speculation” and doing away with “private contractors” in Iraq and Afghanistan. Every one-penny increase in the price of gas is equal to a $1 Billion tax increase on the American people, and we’re all familiar with how much Halliburton has soaked the American taxpayer for providing private contractors to do jobs once performed by U.S. troops. Last May, House Republicans tried to CUT funding for CFTC oil price regulators by 15 percent, but were stopped by Senate Democrats Friday night. And regarding Contractors, I found (after much research) that there are tangential issues of “efficiency” to consider that led the CBO to conclude (questionably IMHO) that using contractors actually costs less than using troops to do the same jobs. (The CBO’s reasoning is questionable because they did not factor in things like “no-bid” contracting.) On a case-by-case basis, I suspect you may find MANY instances where this claim of savings is not true, but the overall savings would probably not be significant, so I dropped it from the list as well.

Time to vote on your favorites (choose up to three):



Poll closes on December 20th, 2011. Results will be reported in a future column.


Sign my petition for GREEN JOBS TOMORROW fast & cheap. Use those $4 Billion in oil subsidies to put Solar Panels on the roofs of 40,000 government buildings, or order 100,000 hybrid mail-trucks. Not only would this INSTANTLY CREATE JOBS, it would spark ENTIRE INDUSTRIES with a future, reduce our dependency on oil, reduce greenhouse emissions, and quickly pay for itself (and cut future expenses) with the energy savings. We need 5,000 signatures by December 20th.

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The TRUE Legacy of 9/11 is the failure of Conservatism.
Sep 11th, 2011 by Admin Mugsy

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Plaque at Eisenhower LibraryI must have mulled over a dozen different ways to commemorate the 10th Anniversary of 9/11 here on Mugsy’s Rap Sheet. Back on the first anniversary, I created a “Tribute video” that was mostly news clips from that day showing both towers being hit and smoking wreckage at the Pentagon & Shanksville. But I decided we’ve all seen enough of that and you don’t need me to remind you to “be afraid; be very afraid.” I thought of telling you my own personal story of 9/11 and how I found myself working a temp job on the 25th floor of the Enron building (I was auditing them, not swindling Grandma)… first time in my life to work in a skyscraper and my third day on the job, terrorists were flying planes into skyscrapers. (I was working a temp job because Bush & Cheney had spent the presidential campaign “talking the country into a Recession” – Feb.2001 (more here – Dec.2000) and job opportunities had already started drying up like a Texas riverbed. Companies stopped hiring fulltime in the months BEFORE 9/11, so it makes me crazy when I hear people blame “9/11” for Bush’s bad economy.)

Then I thought about telling you about these little guys:
 

The Mob

…whom I found under the hood of my car five years later on the fifth anniversary of 9/11. They grew up to be my own private terrorists (I could tell you stories). But i decided not to go for “cute”.

No, when *I* think of 9/11 now, I think about how much America has changed… or has it? I mean, if “9/11” did anything, it gave the most paranoid, xenophobic, militaristic political party on the face of the Earth an EXCUSE to be paranoid, xenophobic and militaristic. They were always there, they just had no power for the eight years prior. 9/11 gave them an excuse to launch a second unprovoked war against a cold-blooded brutal dictator in Iraq that THEY supported for over 20 years. During the Clinton Administration, PNAC… the “Project for the New American Century”… a neocon think-tank founded by Irving Kristol, father of neocon columnist Bill Kristol, tried to convince President Clinton to overthrow Saddam Hussein on the grounds he was developing “Weapons of Mass Destruction”. Clinton bought into their nonsense and launched missile strikes against Saddam’s supposed “WMD facilities” in 1997-98. When nothing was found after two strikes, it was decided Saddam had been disarmed, freeing them up to concentrate on the rising threat of al-Qaeda, who had been behind several hotel bombings in Africa and East Asia, and were expected to try and strike during the big New Years Eve-2000 celebrations.

The PNAC membership list read like a Who’s-who of Reagan/Bush-41/Bush-43 Administration Officials, chickenhawks, moral-majority hypocrites and Religious-Right crazies:
 

The PNAC website homepage before it was taken down in 2006.
PNAC homepage - 1997  –  PNAC members - 1997

Its founding members included: Elliot Abrams (the pardoned architect of Reagan’s Iran/Contra), Gary Bauer (Evangelical former head of the “Family Research Council” and Reagan’s under-sec of Education), Bill “Place You Bets” Bennett (Reagan’s Sec of Education, author of “Book of Virtues”, moral crusader head of the astroTurf teanut organization “FreedomWorks”), Jeb Bush (then gov of Florida), Dick Cheney (Bush-41’s Secretary of Defense who saw Iraq as unfinished business), Francis Fukuyama (co-founder of “Neo-Conservatism”, who famously renounced neo-conservatism following the failure to find WMD’s in Iraq and years of costly war), Frank Gaffney (former Assistant Secretary of Defense under Reagan, now making headlines as an extreme anti-Muslim asshat that calls Pres.Obama “America’s first Muslim President”, as well as adviser to the Michele Bachmann campaign), “Scooter” Libby, former VP Dan “potatoe” Quayle, Donald Rumsfeld and Paul Wolfowitz… just to name a few.

As this 10th anniversary of 9/11 neared, I noticed a sudden uptick in the number of Bush-apologists commenting to my YouTube video archive defending things like President Bush “sitting motionless in that classroom for seven minutes” (defenses like: “he didn’t want to frighten the children”, “was planning his response” and even “they didn’t need him to do anything”) after being told the nation he JUST swore an oath to defend, was “under attack”, WHILE claiming “Clinton did NOTHING” after the first WTC attack in ’93 (to which I had to point out that we were not attacked again until Bush took office, kinda debunking the idea Clinton did “nothing” to keep us safe for eight years.)

I already pointed out above that the economy was already in Recession before 9/11… a fact Republicans don’t dispute, claiming “Clinton handed them a Recession” (while the Republican Congress lay blameless… unlike now, where the exact opposite is true) to excuse their own economic failure, followed by blaming “9/11” for prolonging that Recession. But if “tax cuts” and Conservative economic principles are “like steroids” for economic growth, why was the economy STILL in the toilet in 2005-2006… more than FOUR YEARS after 9/11 and still with GOP control over both Houses of Congress? Are they REALLY about to argue that “four years wasn’t long enough” WHILE attacking President Obama for not fixing the economy in two?

I frequently refer you, my readers, to a video of mine of an economist just two weeks before the invasion of Iraq warning everyone that an invasion “could cost us over Two-Trillion dollars and cause economic disaster by doubling the price of oil to $75/barrel”:
 

Economist predicts Iraq War might cost $2-Trillion and create $75 oil – March 5, 2003

His critics at the time instead foresaw “an economic boom” from ousting Saddam, freeing up all that lovely oil, and predicting the price of crude to fall from a pre-war price of just $35/barrel to a mere $20/barrel. If a 40% decrease in the price of oil would be enough for an “economic boom”, and a 200% increase would be “catastrophic”, what do you think the eventual 500 PERCENT increase in the price of oil (peaking at $147/barrel in mid-2008… nearly TWICE what they once called “catastrophic”)… did to the economy?

No, if there is one thing 9/11 proved, CONSERVATIVE ECONOMICS DON’T WORK. If they worked that well, the economy wouldn’t have still been in the dumps four-to-eight years later. After the first attack on the WTC in 1993, the economy rebounded quickly BEFORE “The Gingrich Revolution” retook the House in 1995. Democrats raised the tax rate on the highest income earners in 1993… which NOT ONE SINGLE REPUBLICAN VOTED FOR on the grounds that they said it would “destroy the economy” and return us to the Recession we just emerged from under George HW Bush. Yet, the economy ended up creating over 22 MILLION jobs and leaving newly appointed President George W. Bush a surplus of $250 Billion dollars a year to put towards paying off the National Debt. But as I pointed out last month, the good economy was used to justify “tax cuts”, and the bad economy to follow was used to justify still more “tax cuts”. The result was the worst annual job growth since Herbert Hoover and an exploding National Debt.

Conservative policies couldn’t overcome the devastation of 9/11 (and to be honest, I’m STILL waiting for someone to explain to me how 9/11 supposedly suppressed our economy). Their reaction (IMHO) to their catastrophic failure that day was to “over-compensate” by creating the largest new government bureaucracy in history (“the Dept of Homeland Security”) and push through a piece of legislation called “The USA-PATRIOT Act” (“Uniting and Strengthening America by Providing Appropriate Tools Required to Intercept and Obstruct Terrorism”) that looked like a page torn from George Orwell’s “1984”. They tweaked Americans’ insecurity with their “traffic-light of fear” every time their polls dipped, a scandal broke, or bad economic news was reported. The Deficit and National Debt broke the $10-Trillion threshold as the cost of two unfunded wars and simultaneous tax cuts made things worse, only to leave office with NONE of it resolved.

And now we are left with cleaning up the mess. In the “Circus” that has become American politics, who would YOU rather be? The guy that has to clean up after the donkey, or the guy that has to clean up after the elephant? One thing’s for sure, Osama bin Laden won’t be “celebrating” the 10th Anniversary of 9/11 today, and we have a Democrat to thank for that.
 

Post your own 9/11 thoughts and stories in the Comments section below. Be forewarned though, Mugsy’s Rap Sheet is a “No Stupid Zone”, so any “9/11 was an inside job” conspiracy theories WILL BE DELETED… WITH PREJUDICE. If you TRULY believe the most incompetent administration in history was able to pull off the largest most sophisticated conspiracy in history after just eight months in office, you need to check yourself into a rubber room where they’ll give you a coat that lets you hug yourself all day long.


Sign my petition for GREEN JOBS TOMORROW fast & cheap. Use those $4 Billion in oil subsidies to put Solar Panels on the roofs of 40,000 government buildings, or order 100,000 hybrid mail-trucks. Not only would this INSTANTLY CREATE JOBS, it would spark ENTIRE INDUSTRIES with a future, reduce our dependency on oil, reduce greenhouse emissions, and quickly pay for itself (and cut future expenses) with the energy savings. We need 5,000 signatures by December 20th.

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ATTENTION WHITE HOUSE: Regulations CREATE jobs. Stop believing the RW lie.
Sep 8th, 2011 by Admin Mugsy

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GOP strategy to help Obama fix the economyMYTH BUSTING

This week, the Obama Administration angered a LOT of Progressive Democrats by announcing that they would delay pending new EPA clean-air regulations until 2013 in the name of “jobs”. Senator Barbara Boxer (D-CA) even encouraged environmentalists to sue the White House over it. Conservatives hailed this as a victory for business, declaring that “finally, President Obama is starting to get it” that “burdensome regulations cost jobs.” Their reasoning? Not having to comply with burdensome new regulations will leave companies with more money to hire more people, rather than freeze current hiring (or worse, fire people) in order to afford the cost of complying. Really? Not having to comply with new regulations that don’t even exist yet means those companies will suddenly start hiring? You mean they won’t just put that savings in their pocket? They are going to start hiring people to meet a nonexistent demand? Sorry, I call bullsh!t.

For over four decades, Republicans have been on an anti-regulatory Jihad. They have been telling Americans that “Regulations cost jobs” for so long that it has almost become conventional wisdom. Answer honestly: When was the last time you seriously questioned the claim?

So let’s think this thing through. If a company must comply with new regulations, what is the first thing they’re going to do? MAKE CHANGES necessary to comply. That means ACTIVITY. And if there’s one thing a stagnate economy needs is “activity”. Whether that means buying new equipment or hiring specialists to tweak the equipment they already have to get into compliance, THAT MEANS JOBS.

Republicans would respond that companies will then not hire anyone new because they need that money to “comply with the new regulations”. Baloney. It is nonsense to believe that companies sitting on mountains of cash right now will “freeze hiring” (or worse “fire” employees) for the extra money just to “comply” with new regulations. Companies employ as many people as needed to meet demand. NEVER less. If they cut their workforce so low they can’t meet demand for their own products/services, they are only slitting their own throats. But even if they do stupidly fire people to meet their immediate expenses, those near-term job losses are quickly offset by the increase in employment needed to comply with the new regulations. And as the economy recovers and demand increases, companies will have no choice but to start hiring again. And if you are one of the companies SUPPLYING that equipment to meet those new regulations, you’re going to HIRE more people, not “fire” them.

Add to that, creating new Small Business opportunities for developers of cheaper/better products or methods to help companies comply with the new regulations.

In the 1970’s, American auto-makers suddenly found themselves in big trouble as Americans started buying cheaper smaller Japanese cars that got better gas mileage in the midst of “The Energy Crisis”. The EPA raised CAFE (MPG) standards for American car makers, who started producing automobiles that could compete with the Japanese, saving the industry (until tax credits and lax pollution/mpg standards in the 1990’s/2000’s encouraged mass-production of high-profit gas-guzzling SUV’s that no one wanted once gas hit $4/gallon under George W. Bush in 2008, nearly crushing the industry once again).

President Obama, PLEASE, I implore you, stop buying into the “conventional wisdom” of fiscal Conservatism. It’s total nonsense, looking out only for the interests of Billionaires and corporate coffers. And they way Republicans do it is by convincing people with no critical-thinking skills to just accept what they say as fact because it “sounds right”; convincing the poor & middle class to vote against their own best interests.

Regulations can be used to CREATE jobs if employed correctly.

(UPDATE 9/8: Just finished listening to President Obama’s speech on Job Creation, which included a call to “eliminate some 500 burdensome regulations.” I’m wondering just what “burdensome regulations” he thinks we can do away with? Clean air? Clean water? Workplace safety standards? And when corporations that are already recording record profits no longer have to spend money complying with these regulations, will THAT finally provide them with enough incentive to SPEND that savings on hiring new employees to meet a demand that just isn’t there? I don’t think so.)

 


Sign my GREEN JOBS TOMORROW petition. Use those $4 Billion in oil subsidies to put Solar Panels on the roofs of 40,000 government buildings, or order 100,000 hybrid mail-trucks. Not only would this INSTANTLY CREATE JOBS, it would spark ENTIRE INDUSTRIES with a future, reduce our dependency on oil, reduce greenhouse emissions, and quickly pay for itself (and cut future expenses) with the energy savings. We need 5,000 signatures by December 20th.

 

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ACTION ALERT: 5,000 SIGNATURES for “Green Jobs Tomorrow Fast and Cheap”.
Sep 2nd, 2011 by Admin Mugsy

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ACTION ALERT

The White House announced on September 1st that they “will consider any petition that gets 5,000 signatures”. So I dashed off the following petition:

Green jobs TOMORROW, fast & cheap. Here’s how.

The fiction that “tax cuts create jobs” needs to be put to bed once and for all. After ten years of the Bush Tax Cuts and soaring Corporate profits, WHERE ARE THE JOBS? Republicans seem to think that “If we just give them a little more money, corporations will hire people for no reason.” That’s nonsense. Why would any company hire anyone when there is no DEMAND, and they can meet their current demand with the workforce they have now?

You could cut the taxes of a company that makes “kazoo’s for dogs” to zero AND IT WOULDN’T CREATE ONE NEW JOB because there would be NO DEMAND for that product. Simple economics.

DEMAND CREATES JOBS. And when people aren’t buying, the government HAS to be “the customer of last resort.” If the government placed a huge order tomorrow, there would be JOBS TOMORROW.

Simple proposal: Rescind the $4-Billion in tax subsidies for oil companies and use that money to PUT *AMERICAN-MADE* SOLAR PANELS ON THE ROOFS OF 40,000 GOVERNMENT BUILDINGS, OR ORDER 100,000 *AMERICAN-MADE* HYBRID MAIL TRUCKS. Not only would this INSTANTLY CREATE JOBS, it would spark ENTIRE INDUSTRIES with a future, reduce our dependency on oil, reduce greenhouse emissions, and quickly pay for itself (and cut future expenses) with the energy savings.

Or we could just give Paris Hilton another tax cut. I’m sure that will create millions of jobs as well.

The petition can be found HERE. Please sign and send it to everyone you know. Deadline: we need 5,000 signatures by December 20th.
 

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