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.
Exclusive: Ronald Reagan’s anti-government philosophy inspires Tea Party extremists to oppose any revenue increase, even from closing loopholes on corporate jets. Democrats try the spin that “even Reagan” showed flexibility on debt and taxes. But Robert Parry says it is the “Reagan cult” that is at the heart of America’s crisis.
Exclusive: Wisconsin Republicans lost two Senate seats in recall elections Tuesday but won four others to keep control of the state Senate – and they have a chance to oust two Democrats next week. But the two Democratic victories prove the potential of grassroots organizing, says Lisa Pease.
One enduring lesson of the Reagan administration is that it makes no sense to negotiate with hostage-takers; they only take more hostages. That is a lesson that President Barack Obama and the Democrats must learn in dealing with the today’s right-wing Republicans, writes Michael Winship.
The debt-ceiling crisis has revealed that Republicans have found a valuable hostage and Democrats have shown they will pay the ransom. So, the prospects that the federal government will address other problems, like joblessness and a staggering middle class, are even dimmer, as Danny Schechter notes.
The dispiriting battle over the debt ceiling has set many to wondering how America’s profoundly dysfunctional political/media system can and must be overhauled to serve the interests of the broad population, not just the privileged elites and their deluded defenders. Poet Phil Rockstroh addresses that dilemma.