During the Cold War, the U.S. avoided large permanent bases in the Islamic world so as not to enflame anti-Western passions. But that changed with the Persian Gulf War, endangering rather than protecting the interests of the American people — and highlighting why a new national security policy is needed, writes Gareth Porter.
Exclusive: For three decades, the United States has undertaken an extraordinary social experiment, incentivizing greed among the richest Americans by cutting their top tax rates in half or more. The results are now in from Ronald Reagan’s bold gamble and Robert Parry says they aren’t good.
Exclusive: When President Barack Obama suggested a minor adjustment in tax rates for the rich – to make sure they pay at least the same percentage as their employees – Republicans cried “class warfare.” But higher taxes on the rich may be the only way to rebuild the middle class, writes Robert Parry.
President George W. Bush’s response to the 9/11 attacks by launching two open-ended wars in Afghanistan and Iraq, plus the sustained Republican assault on government domestic spending, have contributed to a decline in safety and health at home and abroad, reports Michael Winship.
Exclusive: For half a century – from the depths of the Great Depression until the rise of Ronald Reagan – the U.S. government invested in building the nation and funding key research. And the country flourished. But Reagan then reversed those priorities. The results are in, writes Robert Parry.
Exclusive: The U.S. political climate might change if Americans understood how much the federal government did to create the infrastructure behind many business fortunes, including the Internet and computer technology. That narrative would justify higher taxes on the rich to repay the nation and allow for future R&D, writes Robert Parry.
Anticipating a return to power after Republicans win in 2012, the neocons are now in a delaying game to stop any serious cuts in the U.S. military budget, including in the global network of bases, even in countries like Japan where – as Robert Higgs notes – the national security rationale has long since disappeared.
Unlike Hurricane Katrina on George W. Bush’s watch, FEMA stayed on top of Hurricane Irene rushing help to flood-stricken Americans, from North Carolina to Vermont. But House Majority Leader Eric Cantor and right-wing Republicans are demanding spending “offsets” from other federal programs, as Michael Winship notes.
As the rich get richer, the poor poorer and the middle class smaller, America’s most prominent “populist” movement, the Tea Party, demands more tax breaks for the rich and less help for the rest. Kevin Zeese says only a true populist movement demanding a democratized economy can save the Republic.
Ironically, just as government-spurred technology opened up prospects of greater wealth for all, an anti-government movement took hold, making sure most benefits went to the rich while leaving millions unemployed and the economy a wreck. Michael Winship lists ideas for putting some jobless back to work.