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Friday, October 07, 2011


Someone once described Havergal Brian's Symphony No. 1 as "All gong and no dinner." That pretty much sums up the Obama administration, doesn't it?

has asked me to direct your attention to Joseph Stiglitz' brilliant piece on how to solve the world economic meltdown.
The prescription for what ails the global economy follows directly from the diagnosis: Strong government expenditures, aimed at facilitating restructuring, promoting energy conservation, and reducing inequality, and a reform of the global financial system that creates an alternative to the buildup of reserves.
Provocateurs: In my first piece on OWS, I predicted that the provocateurs would soon go into action. I'm not the only one sounding a warning.
It isn’t hard. Find a die hard Tea Partier or die-hard left wing Anarchist for that matter. Convince them that “the Man” has to be taught a lesson. They don’t even have to shoot anyone. Just fire some shots in the air and run like hell...
A wide spectrum media campaign to discredit the OWS movement. From all directions, not just Fox News–about corruption in the OWS leadership, tax evasion, jaywalking, whatever. This will come first, as it is needed to turn public opinion against OWS.
When a leader emerges -- that's inevitable, and don't pretend otherwise -- the Fox Newsers will do their oppo research, and eventually they will find something. Maybe they'll discover that the leader ran over a cat in 1983. OWS will then be labeled the "cat-killer movement." Sean Hannity will deliver his broadcasts backed by footage of cute little kittens.

Watch it happen.

Where did the money go? I don't agree with everything written here, but the piece reminds us of the reason we're in trouble. It wasn't the stimulus package: That was $700 billion, much of which went to tax cuts. It wasn't TARP: A lot of that was paid back -- although you'll find varying data as to how much was repaid. No, we went bust because we went into needless battle:
America’s two wars of choice in the Middle East have cost $1.3 trillion in direct costs, thus far. The long-term costs will total over $3 trillion.
On top of that were the irresponsible tax cuts on the wealthy and a whole lot of pork spending throughout the Bush years. (As I often pointed out at the time, the red states were surprisingly happy to suck government teat.)

War, deregulation, red state pork and tax cuts. That's how we fucked ourselves. But you'll never get a Republican to admit the obvious. In fact, it's often quite hard to get Dems to admit it.

All of which brings me to today's new recommendation to the OWS goal-seekers. I favor a Constitutional amendment to insure that if we go to war, mandatory tax increases will kick in. Such an amendment would transform us into the most peace-loving nation the world has ever seen.
Red state pork. That is sacred, how dare you question Government largesse bestowed upon God-fearing white Americans who depend on their military base for their God-fearing living? Commie.
Tax increases, war bonds, tariffs, national sales tax, anything to pay for those stupid wars. Those wars were such a bad, bad idea. We are going to be broke, our infrastructure is crumbling as we speak, and our military is much, much weaker due to us using up our equipment, weapons and soldiers. It is going to take years and years to restock and rebuild.
Your last paragraph contains the best idea I've ever seen to promote peace.
Until we can achieve a Constitutional amendment, and even if we cannot, we could still argue to pass right now a war tax, to help defray the current costs of the wars still on-going, plus the dead lost costs of the wars for the past 10 years, plus beginning to pay for the tail end costs in the coming decades (the long-term care costs of the veterans, and the interest costs of borrowing all that money for war in the intervening years.

As this would be a call for national sacrifice for the holy cause of war (it's not that, but it's treated as that), it would of course require the contribution of the rich.

if we go to war, mandatory tax increases will kick in

I love it!
It's too late to even talk about "go to war" ever again. Obama has already taken care of that with his predator drone warfare. No declarations, no media coverage, no"war zone" ----just CIA-run targets. And drone bases.
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