When the current American Right Wing propaganda machine heats up it is very difficult to sift through the lies and the deliberate distractions to go directly to the facts. There are a dozen obfuscations along the way. And not merely for the overview of the last ten years, but for each single affront to American life.
We have previously discussed the horrific damage to the economy that George W. Bush caused–the swing of $6 trillion in government revenues from the tax cuts. In other words, if we had used the $3 trillion Bush gave away in tax cuts for debt reduction instead, our debt would have gone down to $2.6 trillion. But because we added it to the debt, the result was an increase in the debt to $8.5 trillion just from the tax cuts. But it didn’t stop there. He then added $3 trillion in wars. So then our debt became $11.5 trillion. But then he didn’t stop there.
Many people think he deliberately ignored warnings about 9/11. We know for sure that he ignored a specific report about potential hijackings of domestic aircraft less than two weeks before the Twin Towers terrorist attacks. So whether by ignorance, or inattention or merely successful concealment by the terrorists, we had a catastrophe that set off a recession.
But instead of addressing it, Bush launched his tax cuts anyway…and two major wars. Those two wars cost us as much as the tax cuts. And they were not paid for by other cuts or taxes…so we went another $3 trillion into debt. And we’re still in both wars 8 years. But then he left us a deep recession or mild depression…you can classify it yourself depending on your situation.
And after all this…plus Enron, plus the other corporate scandals, we still face an intractable group of pro-Bush hangers-on. We are now affronted by this group that we call Neocons. They are an ideological propaganda group, a political party dedicated to totalitarianism. And if you ask: why…why would anyone in the middle or lower classes participate in such a disastrous policy…a policy that will become more disastrous for them the more it succeeds….there is an answer.
It is disaffection and ignorance. Disaffection because they see society as overbearing. They see a society that will live free within majority rules as one that will dash their cherished hopes. And now you must hold your nose for a bit while we state what those “cherished hopes” are.
You see, the deviants in the Neocon Party are not merely those Senators, like Senator Vitter, Senator Ensign or Senator Craig who have paraded themselves as better Christians than you or me and then were discovered to have sexual fetishes revealed by the prostitutes or other women–or men–with whom they had relationships. And, by the way, It is not the sexual part…it is the misrepresentation that makes them so disreputable. If they had said that they were not concerned about the way the rest of us lead our lives….but they were.
The Neocon Party has rid itself of all the old Republican Party moderates and even many of the original conservatives. The people in the Neocon Party are those who were formerly unacceptable in the Republican Party. They are the former Southern segregationists, the Fundamentalist Christians…the ones who think that Jesus will return and remove them from their clothes and take them to heaven…their physical bodies.
The Neocons are those who think that science has not yet explained the progression of the human species. They want to teach not just their children but all children that the Bible Story and the idea of dinosaurs and men living in the same caves makes more sense. Of course their science is based upon somehow changing five loaves and a handful of perch into thousands of happy meals and bringing some worthless clunk back to life after his death for longer than a short trip to the hospital on a donkey and on ascending into Heaven, in which, at forty thousand feet , a person would virtually turn into a popsicle. But that’s just science…not important!
The Neocon Party is that group who believe that we should somehow pay no taxes, return to the wild, apparently, carry guns and live with our true “cowboy” roots. They are a group who do not believe in a multi-cultural society, who do not think that, despite the fact that many of their ancestors came to this country without a word of English, that only English speakers should be allowed to have jobs.
The Neocons are people, by and large ignorant, some probably incapable of education who still, in a free society, have the right to their prejudices. The problem is that they are only one segment, although rather vociferous, of the Neocon Party. There are two others, and they are much, much worse. The second group is the opportunists.
These people are the elected officials at all levels who have decided that politics, far from being a citizen responsibility, is a career, like being an attorney. These are people like Steven King from Iowa, Louie Gohmert and Joe Barton from Texas and Judy Biggert or Peter Roskam from Illinois.
They are literally attorneys, some of them, and their clients are the Super-rich and International corporations.
Of course a prime example is Michelle Bachmann, dumb as a stone, sort of a female George W. Bush, only without the family name. Rather than being than initially supported by oil executives, she is supported by religious nuts, and by the health insurance industry that she touted for during the health reform bill. She was willing to sell her stuff on the steps of the Capitol for a hunk of support while the average citizens in her district apparently don’t care that she is selling out to the health insurance industry, Wall Street and BP…not only voting for them in Congess but spending a great deal of time spreading lies that will help them.
In the case of the Neocon elected officials, their client is the big corporation and the group of miscreants we have just described–the disaffected. The Neocon elected officials support those who are disturbed by advances in society– race relations, science, or simple humanity, like understanding of people with built-in sexual differences. But those Neocon elected officials don’t do it all by themselves. The Senators, House members, governors and local elected officials all have help from small businesses and others for whom they are the patrons, like printers and voting machine manufacturers and public relations propaganda hacks.
The third segment is by far the most dangerous and their power has increased exponentially in the last year. If you ever worried about our Democracy, this is the time to do it. This third group is mad up of multi-national corporations and the very, very wealthy. While there are many people that comprise this group, like any group there are pressures to conform. A small group of very rich men, and some women, are out to change America from a Democracy to a Plutocracy.
Of course that it is not popular among the vast majority of Americans. So these people hide behind organizations. But make no mistake. They are the big, big corporations, like Halliburton for example, a corporation that has moved its headquarters to Dubai, and like Walmart, founded by a hard-working man named Sam Walton but now run by a committee of people who care nothing about the American citizens to whom they market their products. They care only about profits and about eliminating inheritance taxes on money that they never earned but inherited.
So, since these owners of big corporations are the very rich, the top .5% of taxpayers, they are naturally allied with corporate objectives. They build artificial organizations to promote their goal…control of government, control of the tax system, control of the regulations about corporate behavior, control of trade and tariff policy, control of publicly owned natural resources and some influence over the use of the State Department and the Department of Defense.
Unlike the disaffected, slightly unhinged Tea Party segment, this top group is personally tolerant, educated, sophisticated, benevolent, and for the most part agreeable, friendly, and socially conscious on a personal level. But as one might expect with people who have either earned a minimum of an eight-figure annual income or inherited it, which is often the case, they have multiple motivations. Furthermore, because they are the leisure class, and intend to continue to be the leisure class, they have developed an entirely new classification of wealthy society: the manager.
Despite the fact that George W. Bush somehow graduated from Harvard Business School without learning how to spell “deficit” or even write the sentence, “Go, Spot, Go” there are indeed a number of very skilled, shrewd and intelligent men who have come from our business schools and our law schools in the last 40 years, who aspire to become CEOs.
The owners of corporations, desiring to remove themselves from public view, but control everything in society that they can, have cultivated this layer of management by agreeing to outrageous salaries, bonuses and stock options, hundreds of times what the average worker makes. The management class for its part has agreed to subordinate all their personal feelings and philosophies to the greater good of the corporation (the owners) in return for increasing wealth and introduction into the thin top layer of society.
Let’s stop for minute to return to one prime example of this…the health care debate. In the election, Candidate Obama made the promise that he would create an affordable health care system in which all could participate (similar to that of every other advanced country in the world, many not even as culturally advanced as we…which, at present, is not saying much..but…)
Why did he do that? Because there are between half a million and a million people each year who must declare bankruptcy because they either had no health care or their health care refused to pay the legitimate claims for care. In addition, a full 70% of people expressed the desire for some kind of action.
The lower poll numbers for health care came after a literally $400 million campaign of lies had been spread by the health care industry. Even then three-quarters of Americans who were told the facts and then re-polled said that they wanted health care reform. In addition, many of those who objected, when asked in depth what was wrong with health care said that what they wanted was a public option, which was never even offered. .
So legislation was introduced. And when we saw who opposed it and what they did, we then understood the power of the new Rovian (for the sinister mastermind of evil tricks in politics…Karl Rove) approach, the Neocon approach to being the opposition Party. And we realized who that opposition was. It was the Neocon group…the super-rich and corporations.
And their stooges. It came out in the press, that the average CEO of a health insurance company makes $14 million dollars each year and in many cases more in stock. The president of United Health care made something like $100 million dollars in stock. And he is not even the owner, as are most of these CEOs not the owners. They are only the hired gunslingers, the guys who do the dirty work of cutting off health care for many people to make the profits better.
Rick Scott was the president and leader of a company, Hospital Corporation of America, that was fined one billion dollars for Medicare fraud. Rick Scott didn’t go to jail. He walked away with his own $100 million in stock. When the people wanted health care reform, Rick Scott, now the founder of a new company (we hesitate to say a new “fraud”) with a network of health clinics, lobbied against health care reform in a series of television commercials.
So we have a man responsible for so much fraud that the company he headed was given the largest fine in our country’s history but he did not go to jail. And he is now still not in jail and somehow still alive and unharmed, and recently campaigning against regulations that would provide affordable health care for the American People. He is one of the Neocon leaders.
A Neocon leader is the kind of man who when he gets to a certain age, having cheated society, having hurt and perhaps, in fact probably, caused the deaths of thousands of people, will then get to decide which group gets the hundreds of millions of dollars he has stolen. Or more likely, as one of those Neocons who relentlessly campaign for what they finally got in 2010, no Inheritance Tax, he will pass his fortune along to children who have been taught by him to be just as intolerant and just as greedy as he was.
So those are the examples of the health care problem and we have discussed many of these people under our health care category in the past, during the health care debate. But this whole syndrome exists in the manufacturing sector, the packaged foods sector where the tobacco companies used their wealth to buy up the food companies. Now, controlling much of the packaged goods with a handful of corporations, set prices at whatever they choose.
Of course Neocons dominate the oil industry. There, prices can float up to $3.50 per gallon and literally at a whim. It exists in the pharmaceutical industry, more profitable, if that is possible, and it is, than even the oil industry. Americans pay more for drugs than Canadians or Europeans and many other countries. In cases where Americans pay $50.00 for prescription medicine, it may cost as little as $10.00 in other countries. It is all to make profits for the owners and managers.
Each industry is now finally once again comprised of a merely a handful of corporations. Those corporations are owned by a handful of families. Those families sit on the boards or put their people on the boards of those corporations. Those board members select the “good soldiers,” the smart and impassive CEOs who do the one thing they are hired to do: make as much profit as possible.
The families will decide where the profits go. They will decide. They are the philanthropists, you more and more will be the recipients of that philanthropy. They will decide if the Boy Scouts are worthy to continue or whether, because Aunt Sarah got breast cancer, they will fund breast cancer research. It is about continuing to amass wealth and control. They will decide for you.
We used to say…”oh yes, the very rich and the very poor are always with us…but wealth has its privileges.” That is true. But in some places around this country we also used to gather in groups and mobs and call out: ”Hang that nigger!”
We don’t do that any more. We don’t even use that word, except to see it and let it shock us to the awareness that we have somewhat changed for the better and how ruthless and intolerant we used to be. Now we even have a strong, brilliant, resilient President who is African-American. Thank God. Neocons are those in society who have not changed with the times.
And it must be said that African-Americans in general have been left behind. For the most part they do not fit into the pattern of philanthropy of most multi-millionaires and billionaires. They’ve gone from slavery to destitution with the tiniest fraction escaping the crushing pattern of poverty leading to ignorance leading to another generation of poverty. Ghettos are still ghettos. Even the enormous humanity and philanthropy of Bill Gates and Howard Buffett does not touch them.
Owning the corporations is not in itself enough. The rich need to control more than the shares in corporations because the great mass of people do have consciences, most of them, whereas corporations operate like robots, relentlessly seeking profit. Consequently, some of the rich own the means of communications. A half a dozen families own the television networks. Another dozen own the radio networks. Some of those same people own the distribution of electronic information through the cable channels, satellite television, newspapers and periodicals.
And on those networks they put the most vile, the crudest, the most racially divisive people that they can find. They pay these rich hired hands to lie distort and create emotions of hate and create mistrust of Liberal and Progressive institutions and goals. The people who listen and agree with those messages are these Neocons. By listening and spreading these propaganda messages, they perpetualte the lies equally as much as the Savages, the Limbaughs, Hannitys, Becks, O’Reillys and Ingrahams.
Of course they are all stooges. None of them have a thimble full of intelligence between them. It is not required. Limbaugh is not paid $40 million a year because he is intelligent. He is paid to attack the established order, to create a division in society between one group in American society against another. He does it by creating simple lies. It is what these corporations pay him to do. It is divide-and-conquer, Neocon rather than Nazi style.
The Neocons will never admit that they made a mistake in voting for George W. Bush. They didn’t. They didn’t. These are the disaffected, the disturbed, in our society. They are happy with what happened. They somehow believe that bringing down society, that keeping what tiny little fraction of the world they can inhabit with their prejudices is better than lifting up society, as happened in the Clinton years, sharing a worthwhile society with others. These Neocons are selfish people. They are a post-Reagan era group who only care what is in it for them.
As for these average Neocons, these Tea Party Neocons one might call them, only when their job is gone to India, or when their house is foreclosed and they rent the house of someone else or when their child has a rare illness and is refused care and they face the awful choice between a child and bankruptcy will they understand that they do not live on television or in a castle surrounded by a moat. They cannot escape society. It is the place we all live. The only question is…what kind of society will we all inhabit?
The organizations invented by the Super-rich, by the huge international corporations and by the Neocon Party will tell you that you are to blame. You expect too much in Social Security and Medicare and Medicaid. You don’t deserve those union pensions. You’re weak and lazy.
Ignore the fact that the Bush Administration bankrupted your country..says the Heritage Intsitute, the American Enterprise Institute, the National Association of Manufacturers, the American Chamber of Commerce, the American Petroleum Institute, the Hoover Institution, the Hudson Institure, the Cato Institute or the lame-brained Tea Party (created by Dick Armey’s FreedomWorks Foundaton, funded by arch-conservative oil-fortune inheritors, the Koch brothers.)
Never mind, they all say…that George W. Bush and our policies put you into a Depression and cost tens of millions of working men their jobs, 500,000, 600,000, 700,000 jobs a month. We’ll just continue to have all our stooges on radio and television repeat endlessly the obvious lie that all the problems began in 2009, not 2001.
And never mind that the job losses and the foreclosures and the bank closings would have continued except for the Stimulus and the other actions taken by the brain trust that Obama brought in. Even then it took about six months just to stop the job losses.
Listen to Rush Limbaugh, say the Super-rich and the International Corporations. Forget that these people are merely here to gather their corporate welfare and to soak up whatever consumer dollars are left. Do not look into the fact that their headaquarters are elsewhere…the Middle East, Europe or the Cayman Islands…to take advantage of the Bush-era corporate tax breaks. Ignore the fact that the Neocon corporations pay the lowest corporate taxes in our history, less than 7% of our revenues.
Why is it that we now focus so much of our attention on taxes? It isn’ that complicated when you think of it. When you are wealthy and you keep more of your money, you spend more. When you spend more without earning more, you want more of the tax breaks that gave you more money to spend from the same amount of earnings. So lower taxes are the way to do it.
Before Reagan, we were all better capitalists. We paid a lot of taxes unless we reinvested some of that money in businesses. We had businesses then. We made more money eventually because a lot of those businesses succeeded. But it was deferred income. We couldn’t borrow and spend it today, knowing that we would get it back in tax rebates tomorrow.
There was some risk. But then, we were Americans. Then, we were all Americans. In this coming election, we will find out who we are now…Neocons or still Americans.