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Ear to the Ground

Bush Plans Economic Intervention

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Posted on Jan 18, 2008
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What to do about the slumping U.S. economy? President Bush may disagree with congressional Democrats on dozens of issues, but he seems to agree with their call for some kind of temporary stimulus measure to be implemented as soon as possible. Bush’s potential bailout plan will likely focus on income tax rebates to inspire Americans to go out and spend for their country.


AP via Yahoo News:

Taxpayers could receive rebates of up to $800 for individuals and $1,600 for married couples under a White House plan. Although lawmakers were considering smaller rebate checks and more money for food stamp recipients and the unemployed, Bush told congressional leaders that he favors income tax rebates for people and tax breaks for business investment.

Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke entered the stimulus debate Thursday, endorsing the idea of putting money into the hands of those who would spend it quickly and boost the flagging economy.

The scramble to take action came as fears mounted that a severe housing slump and a painful credit crisis could cause people to clamp down on their spending and businesses to put a lid on hiring, throwing the country into its first recession since 2001.

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amunaor's avatar

By amunaor, January 22, 2008 at 2:13 pm Link to this comment

<< In reality, they are corporate and financial criminals but they manipulate the laws and the lawmakers to suit their own ends. Just as with the inside traders and monopolists of the past, their actions will have to be legislated against.
But, can that be done? >>

DOUGLAS, at this stage, I can not fathom how these amassing forces, having infected other cultures, in the form of the persuasive and ubiquitous multi-national, now bending to any language intent on binding it.

It has been the failure of the descendant sentinels whose charge it was to mitigate and reign in the ego. Instead, politicians have disregarded those now distant admonitions, as outdated words on a scrap of paper in need of amendment. With vacant chants, in defense the constitution, deluded by their own egos, the current melodious choir of voices has become hazy and meaningless.

Ever since 1913, these self proclaimed stewards, have failed to heed the lofty insights of the founders, now find themselves swept away by the tidal wave of base human nature; the elevated ego; unleashed in the structure of corporations.

They are worse then mere financial criminals. They are psychotic predators, preying on the mass psyche permeating the ocean of flesh. With the advent of mass communication, this capacity and capability has been greatly magnified. If one where to understand the psychological response resulting from a proscribed set of actions, there is no end to the psychic abuse, murky souls could initiate in order to satisfy the insatiable.

Only a serious revisitation of the Constitution could possibly turn the tidal wave around. Since Corporations are simple creatures of the state, they have absolutely no Constitutional foundation. Depending on the willfulness of the stewards, on these grounds alone Corporations could very easily be challenged. It all boils down to how willing the fishes are to jump out from the placid, warm bath water of consumption provided by the spigots of these entities. I fear that it will need to get much darker, before the inner light clicks on.

When a Great Light is turned into darkness, it can be very dark indeed.

Peace, Best Wishes and Hope

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By GW=MCHammered, January 20, 2008 at 11:53 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

THIS MATTERS! HEAD BUTT THESE ATROPHIED-BRAIN-DEAD-MF AND TURN THEM INTO SOMETHING THAT MATTERS TO HUMAN BEINGS ... DOGFOOD!

You can sit on your hands or you can use them. It’s a personal choice. And America needs China-Free and Botox-Free dogfood. Now do I hear an amen by the FDA?!

Brought to you by the Inject a Little Frigging Human Humor Into the Destruction, Group LLC.

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By Douglas Chalmers, January 20, 2008 at 10:23 pm Link to this comment

Re: Comfortably Numb and Malleable - By zeitgeist, January 20: “None of this machinery seeks to obtain, Maat, the balance between spirit and matter. The ego seeks to take, what it can…”

This is also the moduus operandi of the corporate oligarchs and financiers behind the scenes, zeitgeist. They are the banksters who rule through others to maintain power.

They manipulate and tilt the playing fields of the world’s commercial and financial markets for their own advantage, creating super-profit where a liveable margin would be more than acceptable.

In reality, they are corporate and financial criminals but they manipulate the laws and the lawmakers to suit their own ends. Just as with the inside traders and monoploists of the past, their actions will have to be legislated against.

But, can that be done? Just as they are in a position to manipulate wars into existence, they can re-create themselves through the courts and the legislature or through the military and any form of dictatorship they choose to manufacture.

Try reading through the thoughts of “Another” from the previous global financial crisis started by manipulative hedge funds http://www.usagold.com/goldtrail/archives/another1.html But, what is different today, though, is that there is now a concerted push to establish an enriched uranium cartel which will dictate which countries can have energy and how!!!

Thus, as you say, it is the power-hungry who seek power at any price and regardless of the effect upon their fellow man/woman who are the main problem. The rest lies in the refusal/denial of the frightened cowering populace to accept that their own freedom lies in their own hands - or that they are even in danger or already helplessly enslaved.

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amunaor's avatar

By amunaor, January 20, 2008 at 12:35 pm Link to this comment

Douglas, your concluding sentence, “They do not care as long as they rule”, succinctly sums it all up.

In this the branches of ALL political parties have fallen prey to the towering egos of the corporate oligarchs who spin their webs, whose odious pandering to this inherent weakness in the sea of flesh, gives substance to their illusive thrones.

None of this machinery seeks to obtain, Maat, the balance between spirit and matter. The ego seeks to take, what it can not see, by force, as it drills and blasts its way into the bowels of Gaia. In defense of the ego, illuminating philosophies of the ancients have been burned and trampled into the ground.

One of my most favorite quotes, whose author escapes me:

“The forces in the universe are neither good nor evil, but misappropriated, in the hands of those who perceive those forces as weapons of power then do they manifest as evil”.

Peace, Best Wishes and Hope

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By Dr. Knowitall, PhD, PhD, January 20, 2008 at 11:44 am Link to this comment

Well, I hope it’s working out ok for you.  I’m glad you’re not in trouble with the IRS.  They can be, and usually are, a ruthless bunch.

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By VillageElder, January 20, 2008 at 6:42 am Link to this comment

That’s it Paracelsus.  Helluva choice ain’t?

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By Expat, January 20, 2008 at 4:14 am Link to this comment

“Is it possible. Expat, that you’ve exiled to some foreign country because you failed to file your annual 1040’s and wouldn’t get a bailout, anyway?”

“Aw, c’mon, I kid the Expat.”

Yeah, and I’m relly pissed!  No actually; I swore if the Shrub invaded Iraq I would leave.  Circumstances and the God’s made it so.

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By Douglas Chalmers, January 20, 2008 at 2:47 am Link to this comment

Re: Comfortably Numb and Malleable - By zeitgeist, January 19: “The Wisdom of… the ancient… KNOW THE SELF…”

Well, unfortunately, we actually have a dual role for ritual in modern society, zeitgeist.

One is to reinforce the needs and thus the wants and desires and attachments of the subconscious mind by endlesssly feeding it with anxieties and other turmoil. The other, conversely, as you say, is to suspend or quieten the lower mind in order to rise above the emotions and become aware of the higher mind or the spiritual self.

Again, unfortunately, what actually happens is that the higher mind is kept suspended itself instead by endless distractions in the material world of the senses. Thus, we never discover our latent spirituality unless some tragic life-changing experience brings us into contact with our true inner being.

This is then the trap which has beeen cunningly designed to enslave us. We are never allowed to become free of our own R-complexes or reptilian lower brains. Thus, it takes real effort to become truly free. It is not achieved by desiring or working for comfort and reward in this world alone.

Of course, one of the reasons why the rulers of our world fear this is because they are more or less psychopathic themselves. The materialist paradigm is not a not a real or sustainable one and always leads to failure and disaster. They do not care as long as they rule.

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amunaor's avatar

By amunaor, January 19, 2008 at 11:23 pm Link to this comment

Thanks very much. I’ve sent the link out for a spin on Utube, including numerous emails. I hope the servers on the site don’t crash and we lose it.

Very informative videos! Anyone that is confused as to why things are so rapidly deteriorating must watch these clips.

I’ve got two more episodes to watch. Also, I hope to find out where to purchase this entire set on DVD.

Peace, Best Wishes and Hope

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By amunaor, January 19, 2008 at 11:08 pm Link to this comment

By Douglas Chalmers, January 19 >Anna Freud popularized the idea that imposing conformity strengthened the ego. Thus leading to the conformity of the 50’s.

If you guide the people by moral force and keep order among them by ritual, they will keep their self respect and come to you of their own accord’!
***

Something sorely lacking on the current world stage.

The Wisdom of any one of the ancient High Sciences is to (Gnothi Seauton) KNOW THE SELF and within this rests Understanding.

It was understood, that through ritual and symbol the individual evolved capacity for communicating the rational phenomenal self, with that of the higher self, of which the current scientific community has completely walled out, labeling it as ‘irrational’ because it is beyond the measure of their senses, the senses being the seat of the ego, which in turn act as blinders to that higher element.

The intent of ritual is to kill the ego. By stilling the senses it feeds on, thereby removing those blinders, allows the individual to become cognizant of that ‘irrational’ silver thread connecting us all as one. (Learn to be still)

In essence, ego will not so easily give up its throne, allowing the view. It far too much relishes the realm of senses to relinquish rule. Perhaps the rulers understand and fear this.

I’ve rambled far too long and off topic.

Peace, Best Wishes and Hope

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By cyrena, January 19, 2008 at 7:56 pm Link to this comment

zeitergeist,

Excellent commentary, and thanks so much for the links. I’ve shared the whole piece with my email list.

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By Douglas Chalmers, January 19, 2008 at 6:59 pm Link to this comment

Comfortably Numb and Malleable - By #zeitgeist, January 19: ”...impregnating the public psyche with the notion that war is necessary, war is good and war creates jobs…. the masses languish in its psychic prison, as automatons, a manufactured corporate bubble of consensus reality…”

From your Essential BBC documentaries not shown on US TV - “The Century of the Self”: Studies of traumatized soldiers in WW2 showed their upbringing made them psychologically vulnerable. Anna Freud popularized the idea that imposing conformity strengthened the ego. Thus leading to the conformity of the 50’s.

Nothing is really new. 2,500 years ago, Confucius said: ‘If you rule the people and keep order among them by punishments . . . they may avoid doing what is wrong, but they will also lose self respect. If you guide the people by moral force and keep order among them by ritual, they will keep their self respect and come to you of their own accord’!

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By DennisD, January 19, 2008 at 5:58 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

But what happens two weeks later when that $600 or $800 of monopoly money you’ve given me runs out? Do I get another fix?

Between the criminals on Wall St., Madison Avenue and their(not our)very own government they’ve created the perfect consumer economy. Only this is what happens when you’ve outsourced all the good jobs and have been borrowing to fund every program this country has had for the last 20 years. We’re f**king broke and have been for a long time, just please don’t tell the people they might get upset.

What’s missing from Bu$h Inc. statement is “as soon as we borrow the money from China” we’ll send it to you. By the way the average person’s rate of return is probably $1 for every $100,000 of what Bush Inc.‘s buddies on Wall St. have made on average.

Each and every person in Congress is responsible for this coming disaster and should all be in f**king jail with their Wall St. brethren.

I guess you can’t spend what you don’t have means as much in the government as responsibility and accountability. It’s funny that once again NO ONE seems to be at fault.

Bu$h Inc.‘s perfect record continues on unabated.

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By amunaor, January 19, 2008 at 2:53 pm Link to this comment

In the video documentary, ‘Why We Fight’, the point is quickly hammered home, just how deeply saturated every nerve and fiber of American society has become, impregnating the public psyche with the notion that war is necessary, war is good and war creates jobs. Infected with this same typical, Corporate, Bottom-line mentality the entire body politic has become an infected and compliant pimp to these Merchants of Death.

The corporation’s successful deployment of their Freudian bag of psychic tricks, employed once before to harness the purchasing power of the consuming masses, has now turned an even more hideous corner. Tapping into the deeply rooted xenophobic fears of the Christian psyche, has enabled them to now pit ‘Us’ against ‘Them’, simply to maintain, or create a market for the export and personal use of war material. It is shameful that we have become so comfortably numb and malleable.

This, emotionless, ego driven force has evolved the capacity and of necessity, the psychological tools to incite global dominance, while the masses languish in its psychic prison, as automatons, a manufactured corporate bubble of consensus reality, suitable only to its own egocentric survival.

IF THIS SEEMS TOO FAR FETCHED, JUDGE FOR YOUR SELF THEIR TRACK RECORD
PLEASE SEE:

*****
Essential BBC documentaries not shown on US TV

http://www.dailykos.com/storyonly/2007/12/22/212041/57/454/425671

Adam Curtis exposes the public manipulation we sense but usually don’t understand. His BBC documentaries are legendary in Britain but practically unknown in the US. An American network executive who wouldn’t even let his name be used said “we would be crucified if we showed that here”. These documentaries are like a graduate course in how the American and British public has been herded like cattle since the end of World War I.
*****

Looking closely into the networking tentacles of the defense industry which tap and prioritizes every innovative thought that bubbles to the surface, from each and every institution of American society, it becomes obviously difficult to escape the clutches of its reach into its entire economy. What should be even more worrisome is the continued raising up of mercenary, pseudo-Christian Solders of Fortune.

I live in what used to be a rural area of Virginia and it grows like a cancer. In the county west of me, the local population became outraged, when it became known, that a security firm (CRUCIBLE) wished to take possession of a vast tract of land in order to establish a ‘training camp’ in the midst of a civilian population, which involved ordinance training of all types. One can imagine a parents concern for stray shrapnel, bullets etc. etc. Months later, the judge ruled against the dismayed public, stating that the terrorist training camp qualified as a ‘school’, and as such, did not violate any local ordinances, further stating that it will provide more needed security and ‘jobs’. A nation of consumers, who produce nothing of significance, whose principle exports are munitions for war and terror, can not long survive.

It is not the unwary, sleepy and trusting consumer who is totally to blame, but the deviously successful psychic tricks applied by the corporation’s marketing physiologists, through their ubiquitous public relations firms.

The question to ask now: is the corporate money power, through its useful idiots, now intently collapsing the U.S. dollar, in order to introduce their own solution, devised only to promote and push their hidden agenda further down this road?

When a Great light is turned into darkness, it can be very dark indeed.

Peace, Best Wishes and Hope

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By amunaor, January 19, 2008 at 2:36 pm Link to this comment

It’s the Federal Reserves interpretation for: Freedom of the Press.

Print more, make what’s already in circulation less fattening….worth less, that is.

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By Blackspeare, January 19, 2008 at 2:11 pm Link to this comment

Hey Dr. Dr.——

Me too…..and then we can watch from our ivory towers as the deck of cards comes tumbling down.  But I feel sorry for the under class who will have to pay the piper in the end.

Bush and company have pursued Friedmanian aggressive capitalism to such an extent that they have created a fascist-like government where corporate power is intertwined with government policies and very difficult to dislodge. The trials and tribulations of the next president are going to be quite interesting!

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By Blackspeare, January 19, 2008 at 1:56 pm Link to this comment

Hey DesertDude…

Where yer been?——the answer is simple the money comes from the same funding pyramid as for the war!  It’s called deficit spending——works great in the short term.

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By desertdude, January 19, 2008 at 12:48 pm Link to this comment

Just where are you going to borrow the money to hand out to each American? Our Country is Bankrupt because of your policies. Come on get real!

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By Greg Bacon, January 19, 2008 at 10:38 am Link to this comment

Why not just make the rebate a figure of 666 dollars?

That way, most people will finally understand just what and who we’re dealing with.

Just think of all the horror tales you’ll be able to spin to your grandchildren about the “Great Depression, Part II.”

Look at the positive side: Think of all the weight that will be lost by the obese who are relegated to selling apples on the street corners.

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By Dr. Knowitall, PhD, PhD, January 19, 2008 at 10:23 am Link to this comment

You bet I want a bailout.  It’s the American way.  I have contributed to the downfall of this economy and I’ve based my life on a gov. bailout.  I’ve worked hard for my bailout.  I deserve it and by god, I’m going to get it!

These unbelievable individual bailouts don’t come along very often.  When the iron is hot, ya gotta strike.  Carpe fuckin’ diem.

Is it possible. Expat, that you’ve exiled to some foreign country because you failed to file your annual 1040’s and wouldn’t get a bailout, anyway?

Aw, c’mon, I kid the Expat.

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By G.Anderson, January 19, 2008 at 9:37 am Link to this comment

a clear eyed view of things if ever there was one…

Not driven by a defense of “ego”, because you had your predjudices questioned. Like many of those who support candidates for what they represent “symbolically”.

This time the crash is going to be from the top down, because the bottom is already empty.

Yes, the apologists for corporate greed will say, there’s lots of anger out there. But to them it’s just like insects chirping in the back ground, nothing of consequence. Only something to be spun or barked over.

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By Louise, January 19, 2008 at 8:45 am Link to this comment

“The voodoo economics the Bushies have sold America obscure their systematic fleecing of the nation’s public wealth.
It’s blamed, mostly, on the subprime crisis.

But that’s not the problem. It’s a symptom. It is the logical, and probably one of the necessary results, of Bushenomics.

Along with low, or no, job growth. Little or no business growth. Depressed wages. And the crashing dollar. (The president has a different vision of the economy. In his vision it’s booming! And the number of jobs is growing! Though there is this little blip.)

The idea under which Bushenomics was sold is this:

The rich are the investor class.
If the rich have more money, they will invest more.
Their investments will create more business.
Those businesses will create more wealth, thus improving everyone’s lives and making the nation stronger. They will also create new and better jobs.
Whether or not the people who say such things truly believe them, I cannot say. But that’s their pitch, and the media certainly seems to buy it, as do most of the establishment economists.

A more realistic—and less idealistic—view of Bushenomics is that the Bush administration and its cronies came at the economy with the attitude of oilmen.

They inherited a vastly wealthy country.
They looked at it like the oil under the Alaskan wilderness. They craved to pump it out, turn it into cash and grab as much of that cash as possible.
Wherever possible, they literally sold off the assets. This was called privatization. Our biggest asset—in terms of size—is, of course, our defense establishment. With privatization, one dollar out of every three for direct military operations in Iraq and Afghanistan goes to private contractors like Halliburton and Blackwater. So when someone says, “Support the troops!” with budget appropriations, they should really yell, “Two-thirds support to the troops! One third support to Halliburton, et al.!”
http://www.alternet.org/workplace/74262/

***

So how bad is it?

Pretty bad. The Army is so short of senior officers to keep Bush’s GWOT going, they ‘re borrowing Senior officers from other divisions of the military to oversee troop operations in this unholy war!

But that short term (?) stop-gap measure is really only the tip of the iceberg. Lots of scary facts in this tragedy called GWOT, like this:

*People like John McCain who think things are going swell, and we should just hang tough until we win! Which tells me, John McCain is as ignorant of the reality on the ground as Bush!

*People like Nancy Pelosi who has first hand access to people who not only know the truth, but say it, yet refuses to act on their advice.

*A media with ties [more like strangle holds] to those corps which make billions in profit from Bushes lovely little war.

*Experts who still insist the billions of dollars we spend on GWOT every month have nothing whatever to do with this little “bump” in the economy.

* Sheer terror of saying the word, “depression” which of course will continue to keep ignorance of reality at the fore-front. While the greedy bastards who have been busy looting the treasury are scrapping out whatever’s left till there’s nothing left.

*The side-show distraction of a presidential election, which has successfully re-focused everybody’s attention on things infinitely less important than death and taxes and corruption so deep you need a canoe and a paddle to find your way across to any kind of truth.

Speaking of truth. I heard Obama say that Hillary, when asked if she voted for the bankruptcy bill responded,

“Yes I did. But I really hoped it wouldn’t pass.”

Now that is definitely a W.T. F. statement!

If you hope a BAD bill doesn’t pass, you vote AGAINST it!

I didn’t watch the debate. Did she really say this? Sounds like something Bush would say!

If this is true, we absolutely can not have this person running the country for the next four years! Things are bad enough already!

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By Blackspeare, January 19, 2008 at 8:33 am Link to this comment

I think you mean “Keynesian Economics.” The Bush Republicans follow the economic philosophy of Milton Friedman—-laissez-faire free market enterprise which is akin to social Darwinism—-survival of the richest.  The Bush advisors have pushed aggressive capitalism to the extreme and now it’s time to pay the piper!  Unfortunately, the people who will pay are the under class, but I’l take my “tax rebate” and buy a high speed laptop so I can continue and expand my diatribes on the web!!!

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By RS Janes, January 19, 2008 at 7:47 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

Just think, if not for foreign investors, several major US banks and lending institutions would have closed their doors, just like during the Great Depression; the dollar has dropped to its lowest level in modern history, inflating prices, while our trade deficit and our national debt are at record high levels; our housing market has collapsed, and our unpaid credit card debt is astronomical; oil prices are at an all-time high, and our manufacturing base in nearly non-existent—even our service jobs are going overseas. You don’t have to be an economist to see that we are borrowing ourselves to death, and it simply can’t continue.

You can’t spend what you don’t have and you can’t make something out of nothing, something our benighted media and the jaundiced plutocrats running the show have failed to appreciate as they loot the national treasury. Only in the Ivory Towers of official Washington and the glass canyons of New York are they still worrying about staving off recession; everywhere else, it’s a grim reality and it’s getting worse.

The ‘dismal science’ of economics, tied to the fluctuations of the calcified stock market and the satire of rosy government economic figures, have not yet found a way to calculate the misery index—in other words, the impact all of this is actually having on the average American. Without that, economics is just a lot of polysyllabic hogwash designed to nail a Master’s thesis, blow hot air up the skirts of the affluent, or secure university tenure, without relevance to the real world; no more substantial than Bush’s dizzy bleating that we have a ‘strong economy’ that’s doing so well we need a ‘stimulus package’ to salvage it.

Speaking of that ill-fated Bush ‘stimulus package,’ it will have no long-lasting effect; people will pay off a few bills with their ‘tax rebate’ and we’ll be right back to square one in a couple of months. This economy is an open sucking gut wound and Bush’s stimulus band-aid is not going to heal it. To even begin to correct the damage, we’d have to immediately quit these expensive overseas wars we can no longer afford, cut the defense budget by two/thirds, impose tariffs on corporations that import products and export jobs, crack down on corporate crime, strictly regulate the banking, lending and investment businesses, cancel trade deals like NAFTA and CAFTA that work against our public interest, nationalize health care and bring down the cost, end all forms of corporate welfare and tax dodges, substantially raise taxes on corporations and those making over $200,000 a year, institute FDR-style job programs that pay a decent wage, ban corporate money from our political system, eliminate energy monopolies, and free ourselves from the bondage of foreign oil and the slave masters like Exxon Mobil who peddle the stuff.

Since none of that will be done, we’re fated to watch the US sink to the level of a third-world country over the next twenty years, while other players call the tune economically. I just hope we come out the other side as well as our ancestors emerged from the Great Depression—and without a world war.

Unfortunately, some of us will only get the hint when they are unable to afford batteries for their MP3 player. Don’t worry—that’s coming soon.

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By Expat, January 19, 2008 at 7:35 am Link to this comment

You are still hung up on everything outside of yourselves.  Forget Bush, forget all of the B.S. and worry about your own selves.  Don’t you get it; you’ve been sold a bill of goods and it’s all crap!!  Fiscal responsibility!  Personal and fiscal responsibility; that’s what this is all about!  How can you have any sense of freedom if you are hocked to your chin?  You can’t!  Freedom requires fiscal and personal responsibility.  Wean yourselves from the tit of bigger, better, richer, greater, nicer, and smarter anything.  Get a life and live!  The “tit” promises far more than it can deliver.  We are our own best friend.  Believe in yourself, not the tit offered.  Time is really running out.

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By William DeMente, January 19, 2008 at 7:34 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

It’s War on the Economy now.

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By Expat, January 19, 2008 at 6:57 am Link to this comment

Even before I left the U.S. in ’03; I saw my then girlfriend playing the equity game with her house to finance her extravagant taste and spending.  I just couldn’t fathom how this could ever be a good thing.  We argued a lot over this.  That’s why she is an ex!  We (you) have lost your fiscal responsibility and I have no sympathy for any of this sub prime crap.  Yes, there are people out there who have been exploited and excepting them I have no sympathy at all.  You are all silly fools.  Now, truly, the “chickens come home to roost” and you want a bailout!!!!!!?????  Are you friggin nuts!!!!????  Jeez, that’s why I left, it was a balloon waiting to explode and explode it is………you haven’t seen the end yet…….wait for it.

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By Paracelsus, January 19, 2008 at 12:47 am Link to this comment

This would be the Edwards who went to a Bilderberg conference in 2004.

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By Paracelsus, January 19, 2008 at 12:45 am Link to this comment

That is an interesting thought. There is the willingness by some elites to rescue the financial companies, but there is no forgiveness of student loans, and credit cards.

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By cyrena, January 19, 2008 at 12:29 am Link to this comment

No questions from me Louise. I was one of those Arlington, TX taxpayers that got their property stolen. (and then later, they stole even MORE of my property there.)

Sad as it is to say though, a bunch of those people still don’t know what actually hit ‘em.

And guess what else? While Arlington started out to be just another hick TX outpost just over 2 decades ago, (the population was probably 50,000 back in the early 80’s) it’s now up to 330,000 (give or take) and even after stealing the land for the stadium, and charging the residents to build it, the place STILL has NO public transportation, (I mean NONE) and the infrastructure is none existent. And if ever there were a major natural disaster, (I say major as opposed to the standard floods, tornadoes, and ice storms) that stadium would be about as usuful as the Superdome was in New Orleans after Hurricane Katrina blew through.

Kay Baily Hutchison and the rest could no doubt find shelter down in Crawford of course, or maybe just right there in the Highland Park District of Cheney..just up the road there a piece, in Dallas.

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By G.Anderson, January 19, 2008 at 12:05 am Link to this comment

Isn’t spending money like there was no tomorrow what got us where we are now?

How is doing the same thing going to change that?

Mr. Bush doesn’t have a clue, nor does he care. All that they are trying to do is keep things going until after the election, because they are afraid if there’s a recession too many Republicans will loose.

But, now that the losses are being reported, and the auditors are coming in to examine the books, don’t be surprised if some of those books are scrambled up like rotten eggs. Some of those losses may not just be in the billions but may instead be in the trillons. Bad news for Republican’s in the fall.

But if you really want to help the economy, then why don’t you repeal the credit card reform act that you just passed, it’s killing people. And you could repeal the Bankrupcy reform act, because it’s encouraging people to just walk away from their debts, there’s no protection from the wolves at the door anymore.

Then as nice touch why don’t you do something about those banks ripping off our kids for student loans.

You don’t seem to understand that you allowed your corporate buddies to take, take, take from the middle class until there is no middle class. You took our jobs, you closed our job sites, you kept our kids from going to college, you denied us overtime, you brought in foreign workers on Visa’s to take technical positions away from our tech workers. And you made a bundle on all of that. And now we’re down to the bone, and you still don’t get it.

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By Douglas Chalmers, January 19, 2008 at 12:03 am Link to this comment

President Bush may disagree with congressional Democrats on dozens of issues, but he seems to agree with their call for some kind of temporary stimulus measure…”

Bush has no choice but to act as he desperately tries to keep the GOP ahead of the Democrats in the runup to the presidential elections. I wonder if he realizes that this is his “legacy” come home to roost and that this is his last chance to leave the US citizens with something rather than nothing?

Hillary and even Obama have already put it on him to do something immediately - and the Fed and the Treasury likewise, no doubt. The trouble is that good ol’ mess-it-all-up-again Nancy Pelosi has put her foot down in reserving the main benefit for the middle class. Perhaps if Truthdig had quoted another source, they would know:-

Bernanke voiced his support for a stimulus package in an appearance before the House Budget Committee. He stressed that it must be temporary and must be implemented quickly—so that its economic effects could be felt as much as possible within the next 12 months.

“Putting money into the hands of households and firms that would spend it in the near term” is a priority, he said…...

Senior aides to House Democrats and Republicans said in addition to included tax rebates for individuals, the emerging measure would contain tax breaks for businesses investing in new equipment, increases in food stamps, and higher unemployment benefits. They spoke on condition of anonymity, since the talks are ongoing and lawmakers have promised not to reveal details.

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi said she wanted legislation enacted within a month and said the government must “spend the money, invest the resources, give the tax relief in a way that again injects demand into the economy, puts it in the hands of those who need it most and into the middle class ... so that we can create jobs.” http://edition.cnn.com/2008/POLITICS/01/18/bush.economy.ap/index.html

Bernanke still seems to be under the illusion that the country could skirt a dangerous downturn and that the stimulus package would somehow not be inflationary never mind the issue of where and how the US intends to borrow that money from all of a sudden.

Not spending $40billion in military/arms “aid” in the M.East could be a start. It might even help stop wars in the region. Bringing the troops home from Iraq would help even more. There might even be cash to spare, uhh. That would be a start to reforming social welfare for the better…...

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By Paracelsus, January 18, 2008 at 11:18 pm Link to this comment

It will be okay. The Fed will monetize our debts. I suspect all those insurance and finance cos. will be closed down at 50 cents on the dollar. Unka Sam will make it all okay. I predict inflation will uptick. I don’t know how all that “liquidity” will stimulate the economy. We’ve exported our production.

Too bad we can’t close down some foreign military bases.

I would suggest that people buy storable food with all those rebates.

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By VillageElder, January 18, 2008 at 5:11 pm Link to this comment

Reagan & George H. W. Bush provided us with recessions, a floundering economy, and a massive debt.  Bush II is doing the same thing.  Its a repuglican thing ruin the economy and turn it over to the dems to fix things.  That balance the budget thing.  The repugs are financial anarchists while the dems play economic conservatives using Kensington economics.

So here we are again!  A repuglican screwed economy at the start of an election.  Corporatist disarray fearing they will be caught with their pants down and hand in the cookie jars.  Guess who gets to pay for this – the working/middle class getting no tax breaks.  As they talk about recession and a faltering economy we see that they are 6 – 8 months behind what the rest of us know.  We’ve known it for years.

Must we afford more of a Gomer Pyle, “Surprise Surprise!”? 

Our choices are being rapidly narrowed.  Having dismissed Kucinch the MSM is marginalizing Edwards.

At best we can hope to not have a branded Repuglican regeime.

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By Louise, January 18, 2008 at 4:37 pm Link to this comment

“President Bush, who will go down in history as the great tax cutter, owes almost all of his fortune to a tax increase that was funneled into his pocket.” 

“An oil man named Eddie Chiles wanted to sell his money-losing Texas Rangers baseball team. They played in a little stadium, and couldn’t make any money. So George Bush put together a group of very wealthy investors to buy the team. He put up $600,000 of borrowed money. The partners then gave him a 10% stake as the managing partner. Then they held a special election to increase the sales tax in the town of Arlington, Texas, by one half-cent. That money was used to build a new baseball stadium.
Bush and his friends, were unwilling to go into the market and buy the property they coveted for the new baseball stadium through market economics. So the government used its power of eminent domain to seize the land they wanted from the people who owned it. Another form of government subsidy for the wealthy.”

“The value of this subsidy, according to Ray Hutchison, the husband of Senator Kay Bailey Hutchison, a prominent Republican insider in Texas and the leading authority on municipal bond finance in Texas, was $202.5 million. The profit that President Bush and his partners made when they sold the team was $164 million.”

“Every single penny of additional money President Bush got from that initial investment of $600,000 [borrowed money] his gain, came from the taxpayers. He did not add one cent to the value of that team through his skill as an MBA manager.”

“When President Bush filed his tax return, he should have reported that the 10% share he had, the one that was given to him as compensation for being general manager, was wage income. And, of course, we tax wages at a higher rate than we do capital income, like capital gains. President Bush therefore shorted the government $3.4 million.”
DAVID CAY JOHNSTON: 
“I’ve got the documents” http://www.democracynow.org/2008/1/18/free_lunch_how_the_wealthiest_americans

Any questions?

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By Louise, January 18, 2008 at 4:34 pm Link to this comment

When Bush talks about tax cuts, remember this: Arlington had to impose a new 1/2 cent sales tax just to pay for the subsidy Bush and his partners received. By the way, when Bush has been asked about this, he claims no memory ‘cause everything was handled by others. Which I find easy to believe. You don’t have to be smart, or have a good memory to cheat and get away with it. You just have to know the right people.

What we have all witnessed for the past seven years. Is a well organized pattern of using tax breaks to increase the wealth of the privileged few. Using laws designed to benefit the people through government programs, to give wedge power to the privileged few. And using “others” to bail you out when you screw up. All patterns evident in the presidents history.

Now before we get all excited about a tax rebate remember, Bush and his Treasury Secretary Henry Paulson are calling this an “economic stimulus package.” Remember the last “economic stimulus package?” Huge tax cuts for the wealthy. New investment stimulus, and more shelters to increase profit for the privileged few. Oh, and a pittance in tax relief for the Middle Class.

What did you do with your windfall? I used mine to buy groceries, which have increased by some 40% since. But hey, the Middle Class has really shrunk so maybe a few will get more.

I love what these folks do with figures. It was estimated in 2001 that 150,000 new jobs had to be created every month just to meet demands of people entering the job market for the first time. According to the US Chamber of Commerce, 94,000 new jobs were created in December 2007. Those figures used to head the business news every month. Now we have to hunt for them.

Paulson bragged about all the good “service jobs” available in the US. Yes, we do have the best butlers and maids and chauffers, or so I’m told. However he failed to mention the emergency rooms closing allover the country because of the lack of new graduate doctors, and nurses. He failed to mention the shrinking numbers of police and fire-fighters. And the good teachers who are leaving their profession in droves because they can make more money slinging drinks in a bar.

But no matter what Bush and congress finally settle on, and since Bush is part of the equation, we really have to wonder how many Vetoes will occur before anything really happens?

By definition any tax relief coming out of this republican White House will be directed at bolstering stability in the Stock Market. And increasing profits even more, for the big corps who “create jobs.”

And given who Bush is, and how he is, do we really have any business thinking anything will change in the next year?

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By rage, January 18, 2008 at 3:37 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

This time Dumya is handing out hundreds of bucks per citizen of Monopoly money printed in China. Each one of these is actually worth four Skittles more than a ‘real’ dollar. That, and his handlers encouraged him to back up on pressing the Congress to make permenant his tax cuts for his rich cronies. 

What a maroon!

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By loveinatub, January 18, 2008 at 2:49 pm Link to this comment

It’s not about “just saving.”  Spending will always happen as people need to buy food in order to live!

But saving means they don’t buy as much JUNK that capitalism produces!

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By NABNYC, January 18, 2008 at 1:20 pm Link to this comment

From the time Bush took control of this country, one of his primary goals was to bankrupt the nation.  He has accomplished this by launching unnecessary wars against other countries, hacking and slashing taxes, and inviting his Republican friends to back their pickups up to the treasury and loot the rest of it (i.e. no-bid contracts).

Why?  Even if a democrat is elected, there will be no money available to fund any social programs.  Watch the schools being privatized.  In fact, watch every social program in the country be hacked to the bone.

With both national and personal debt through the roof, how to repay all the loans?  Sell off our country’s assets, just like the third world.  We’ll sell off our water to someone, and they’ll turn around and sell it back to us for a fortune.  Sell our lakes, our forests, our mines and minerals.  Sell off the ports and the airports.  Sell off the roads and the highways.  Want to go somewhere?  Pay tolls every step of the way.  Thirsty?  Get out your wallet. 

And now, desperate to start yet another war, to make a commitment to Iraq to continue to bomb and occupy it for 50 years, to make his tax cuts permanent so rich people will never have to pay taxes, concerned one penny may be left in the treasury, Sherman Bush wants to burn the rest by passing it out to anyone on the street.

Of course we need massive economic changes.  Clinton’s Nafta and related treaties have sent 3 million good paying jobs to China, and tons more follow every day, these from the professions.  But a few dollars won’t solve the problem.

And Congress?  Still having fan club meetings with the baseball players.  Useless corrupt collaborators.  Ye who pass through these gates abandon all hope.

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amunaor's avatar

By amunaor, January 18, 2008 at 12:29 pm Link to this comment

In order to fully grasp what is actually happening, it’s time Dorothy took a peek behind the curtain.

The following link was provided by another member of truthdig, posted under: Court Rules Against Kucinich.

Please take a look:

Essential BBC documentaries not shown on US TV
http://www.dailykos.com/storyonly/2007/12/22/212041/57/454/425671

Peace, Best Wishes and Hope

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By loveinatub, January 18, 2008 at 12:03 pm Link to this comment

What I find particularly gauling about this is how republicans just want Americans to spend, spend, spend instead of practicing sound economics like save, save, save!

But the U.S. economy is now predicated almost entirely on consumer spending. Americans always spend more than what they have. If Americans stop spending the economy tanks. This is where the free market fails and government can and should play a role in stimulating the economy. But NOT by giving taxpayers rebates!

We need to revisit the days of the 1030’s when Franklin D. Roosevelt created all of those federal work programs and put Americans without a job to work. It didn’t get America out of the depression but it did add and build infrastructure and improved the quality of life for millions.

But the republican party has bastardize the notion of “government” so badly that all they can ever offer is a “tax rebate” as if it’s going to get the country out of its structural deficits.

Bush is such an awful president.

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By amunaor, January 18, 2008 at 12:00 pm Link to this comment

It appears the corporations ‘paper tiger’ is gasping for breath!

I wonder what Freudian Physic trick they intend pulling out of their hats in effort to extend their failing illusion?

Peace, Best Wishes and Hope

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By amunaor, January 18, 2008 at 11:49 am Link to this comment

How can you stop spending on war, when you have a nation of consumers, who produce nothing of significance, other than munitions for war?

Peace, Best Wishes and Peace

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By amunaor, January 18, 2008 at 11:43 am Link to this comment

Yes…INFLATION…the hideous, silent, unseen tax.

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By Kevtao, January 18, 2008 at 11:30 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

The chickens are coming home to roost on this “Empire”. 27 years is the answer to the question, “How long does it take for the economy to collapse after the American people have been raped and pillaged by Nazi Republicans and spineless Democrats in our national government?”

And now the Legislative and Executive branches are tripping over themselves cooperating to stimulate the economy. This reminds me of the scene in the movie ‘Blazing Saddles’ where the Governor (Mel Brooks) says, “We have to protect our phony balony jobs!”

When the markets opened Friday morning, they were up about 100 points. I went to work out, came back and found that after the emperor spoke the markets were down 100 points. Very Stimulating!

If I get any of this blood money, I’ll spend it on my $200+ utility bills, not at Walmart.

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By funnyhowitis, January 18, 2008 at 11:14 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

Maybe if there weren’t taxes here and taxes there and grocery tax let alone the gas prices. They wonder why we are going into a recession…some people spend the majority of their paychecks alone on gas. Lower the frickien gas prices and maybe we’d all have some pocket change!

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By GW=MCHammered, January 18, 2008 at 10:37 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

A f*cking temporary rebate for working to create what was once the greatest economy in the world? We prefer equitable pay to rebates and loans you twisted capitaliZing naZis ..... our corporate-greed controlled government destroyed the economy. Wake up Amerika. National Strike Month should be last-generation history. Or is it f*ck posterity too?

Besides wages, what’s really cheaper? Just to stay even with the basics over the past 50 years, Federal Minimum Wage (FMW) should be around $13 per hour:

1957 to 2007 price inflation

Postage stamps .03 > .41 implying $1 FMW then should be $13.66 today.

Gasoline .24 > $3 implying FMW should be $12.50 today.

Bread .19 > $2.50 implying FMW should be $13.16 today.

Average annual income in 1957 $4,494 inflating at 5.156%, the average inflation rate of just the above items, means individual income should equal $58,863 or $28.30 per hour today.

Some argue that raising the minimum wage would raise prices but clearly prices inflated despite wages. So where does our wealth go?

The wealthy top 1% share more than 21% of all income while the poorer 50% share just 12.8% according to the IRS. And the population receiving below 50% of the national median income is 17% in the US - more than double that of Germany, Switzerland, France, Japan and 35% higher than Canada.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Poverty_in_the_United_States

But hey, maybe soon China and India will offer US retirees their hard-earned and paid-for Medicare and Social Security. Sure they will, globaliZts! And now we know that we can’t even print our way out of our trouble. Bu$hCo New World OrderiZts are certain that the rest of the human race are Indulgent Materialistic Pigs too. Sure they are.

EQUITABLE PAY OR NO WORK AND NO TAXES!

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By Blackspeare, January 18, 2008 at 10:13 am Link to this comment

Remember every recession so far has been preceded by an inflationary period——we’re seeing that now.  It’s really part of the economic cycle in fair market capitalism.  Generally, business like an inflationary period because in the long term their profits increase.  However, in the short term, they will take a hit as their material (commodities) cost also increase.  Eventually, the commodities market costs do lessen, but the retail price does not and thus higher profits follow after an inflationary period.  A good example is that of photographic film——some of you may be too young to recall this.  And of course this was before the invention of digital photography.  The silver market was being manipulated by a consortium and the price of silver soared.  Since silver is a main ingredient in producing photographic film, the price of film skyrocketed to 3-4 times what it was virtually overnight.  Not very long after the attempt to control silver, the commodities price returned to normal, but the retail price of film did not.  Kodak, et al, made a fortune.

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By amunaor, January 18, 2008 at 9:58 am Link to this comment

This is what you get when you have ‘Freedom of the Press’.

Shower the egos with a few more worthless trinkets and baubles and hope that none will question why.

Peace, Best Wishes and Hope

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By jackpine savage, January 18, 2008 at 8:39 am Link to this comment

As anyone who has slogged through all 182 pages of the latest GAO report can tell you, we are far up a creek whose name starts with an S and we threw away the paddle a long time ago.

These “stimulus” packages are the equivalent of installing a fan above a fire to remove the smoke…while oxygenating the flames themselves.

A $53,000,000,000,000 structural deficit and interest payments projected to reach 100% of GDP in the not too distant future will not be fixed by handing out $800 here or there.

If history is any guide at all, we’re flying down the freeway at 20 mph above the speed limit with a bunch of loose lug nuts…

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By Dr. Knowitall, PhD, PhD, January 18, 2008 at 5:38 am Link to this comment

Won’t work.  Our gov. and the American people are tapped out.  Anything remotely meant to prop up that behavior will only make things worse.

The way to heal our financial health is to stop spending and pay off the debt.  And that will take immense sacrifice, both by our gov. and by individuals.

Stop the war and war spending. 

Politicians start telling the financial truth.

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