461 Comments

The population is aging so the cost of Social security must be curtailed by cutting benefits. There is no mention by the GOP to increase revenue,which could be efficiently done by removing the cap on wages. Everyone would pay into the fund, no matter how much a person earns. Right now payroll deduction on wages stops at $125,000 per year. The problem is not that the population is too old, or the spending is too high. The problem is that more revenue is needed and the rich are sitting on a mountain of cash, and so are the corporations. We should relieve them of about half of it.

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Damn, then the two biggest tax cheats won’t be able to fund their own space programs. And maybe NASA could afford to fund their operations.

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Jeri Chilcutt - "Damn, then the two biggest tax cheats won’t be able to fund their own space programs."

or

"𝑀𝑎𝑟𝑘 𝑍𝑢𝑐𝑘𝑒𝑟𝑏𝑒𝑟𝑔 𝑖𝑠 𝑟𝑒𝑝𝑜𝑟𝑡𝑒𝑑𝑙𝑦 𝑏𝑢𝑖𝑙𝑑𝑖𝑛𝑔 𝑎 $100 𝑚𝑖𝑙𝑙𝑖𝑜𝑛 𝑐𝑜𝑚𝑝𝑜𝑢𝑛𝑑 𝑖𝑛 𝐻𝑎𝑤𝑎𝑖𝑖 — 𝑤ℎ𝑖𝑐ℎ 𝑖𝑛𝑐𝑙𝑢𝑑𝑒𝑠 𝑚𝑜𝑟𝑒 𝑡ℎ𝑎𝑛 𝑎 𝑑𝑜𝑧𝑒𝑛 𝑏𝑢𝑖𝑙𝑑𝑖𝑛𝑔𝑠 𝑤𝑖𝑡ℎ 30 𝑏𝑒𝑑𝑟𝑜𝑜𝑚𝑠 𝑎𝑛𝑑 30 𝑏𝑎𝑡ℎ𝑟𝑜𝑜𝑚𝑠 𝑖𝑛 𝑡𝑜𝑡𝑎𝑙. 𝐼𝑡 𝑎𝑙𝑠𝑜 𝑖𝑛𝑐𝑙𝑢𝑑𝑒𝑠 𝑎 𝑎 ℎ𝑢𝑔𝑒 𝑢𝑛𝑑𝑒𝑟𝑔𝑟𝑜𝑢𝑛𝑑 𝑏𝑢𝑛𝑘𝑒𝑟. 𝐼 𝑑𝑜𝑛’𝑡 𝑤𝑎𝑛𝑡 𝑡𝑜 ℎ𝑒𝑎𝑟 𝑡ℎ𝑎𝑡 𝑏𝑖𝑙𝑙𝑖𝑜𝑛𝑎𝑖𝑟𝑒𝑠 𝑐𝑎𝑛’𝑡 𝑎𝑓𝑓𝑜𝑟𝑑 𝑎 𝑤𝑒𝑎𝑙𝑡ℎ 𝑡𝑎𝑥." --Robert Reich

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Why a huge underground bunker...worried about the future of climate change or maybe the natives will get restless.

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'why a Bunker'?

.

ask the Kochs

who'll emerge from

their Bunkers in 1499 years

(sans old Sol, whiter than White!)

to rule planet Earth like the Kingly Gods

they've always felt Destined to finallly Become.

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When I was a child (I'm near 70 y/o) My dad built a house and he made a bunker, that was back in those days that we were afraid Russia would atomic bomb us.

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Actually, I figure only cockroaches and rats will survive.

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with kochroaches

who needs rats?

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That sounds about right. They are the ones who will emerge from the bunkers

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Yep! Sounds about right!

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Maybe he found out what happened to Captain Cook.

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Maybe money really can't buy everything.

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Nuclear war? If so, why would you want to shelter? There would be nothing left.

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A nuclear war with itchy fingered trump and no generals to argue with him. Who cares about a bunker? There would be very little left. It would be like Australia in a Mel Gibson Max Max movie

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Do you ever notice that the richer a man becomes, the more his mental health deteriorates? I am thinking Zuck, Musk, and Bezos, and oh yes, Vladimir Putin who is rumored to be the wealthiest man on earth, but whose fortune is cleverly hidden in assets that belong to shell companies et al.

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And many decades ago, there was Howard Hughes.

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I believe it has to do with several things. One of those is that you have no one placing limitations on you, and people around you are not truthful to you, so you have nothing that helps us to understand ourselves in society. I had a friend in college whose parents had given her a trust fund, which she would get access to in her early 30s, until then, she had people managing it and giving her an allowance from it. I felt she did a lot of self destructive things, and imagined a lot of personal slights that were not there. It was instructive to see how many of the incredibly rich are very self destructive, but of course not all. So, there is no overgeneralizing, just the understanding that with no boundaries people often flounder unless they have the will and wherewithal to place them on themselves.

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Don't like, but there is no bottom to the outrage that we all should be feeling. I know it drains energy but it needs to light our flame. Maybe he's betting on hunkering down instead of zooming off to Mars. Either way, get gone all ye vermin.

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Zuckerberg might want to read a captivating new novel, "The Future," to see how luxury bunkers work out for billionaires who think they can survive an apocalypse. Why does writing this make me smile?

https://www.theguardian.com/books/2023/nov/27/the-future-by-naomi-alderman-review-survival-of-the-fittest

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Read it as soon as it came out—-basically because I also liked her thought-experiment book “The Power”. Fast-paced & a good read. One point that is often made by those weighing in on the bunker craze of the Richie-riches is that they can’t go it alone & who, exactly, is going to protect them/work for them obediently? Droids maybe??

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This has always been my question.

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Take a look at the book, "Survival of the Richest" by Douglas Rushkoff. If you liked Reich's comment, you'll appreciate the book.

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A NASA failure results in program cuts. A Bezos or Musk failure results in tax deductions at the expense of U.S. government revenue...to say nothing regarding the placement of National Security in the hands of individual private wealthy white males.

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"Musk failure results" James? I thought Elon called it "rapid disassembly". : )

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That is spoken like the attorney you are, LOL!

Best of the holidays to you, Bryan!

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Well I can see a good straight line set-up. ... :)

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I worked at NASA in the 60's. Don't remember any such cretins on the premises. (Did have a co-worker who was a John Bircher; he was my introduction to political evil)

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We had a few Birchers locally here in Indiana.

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then they became Tea Party, Magats, just the same bull schitt

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lose, lose, lose, and we do indeed pay. Never the Elons

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Excellent point, James!

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The GOP has privatized our space program through the Bush tax cuts …. 8 trillion dollars gone to the wealthiest 1% …. No wonder Bezos can have the world’s largest private yacht and Bezos and Musk can head to Mars while the rest of us swelter on a dying earth. And Zuckerberg can buy up Hawaii.

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They have screwed us with zeal.

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This is so obvious. I just don’t understand why Dems don’t hammer it relentlessly. Crazy

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Unfortunately, most USians are economically ignorant. I learned this when I lived in the UK in the mid-1970s. I already knew that the UK, and most European democracies, have a major labor (labour) party, whereas in the US no party focused on labor has ever been more than fringe. Why is this?

HCR has discussed this more than once: how going back well into the 19th century, Big Money interests have hammered home the idea that labor rights and concern for economic justice are communist! socialist! anarchist! FDR's New Deal drove them crazy, and so did the decades of prosperity that followed WWII. But McCarthyism and other factors (like the myth of rugged American individualism) made it hard, even dangerous, to talk about economic justice.

Finally, *finally* some members of the Democratic Party (often people of color) are talking about it -- but notice how other Democrats edge away from them and refer to them as "radical" or "far left"? We remain an economically ignorant people, and it's costing us.

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Dec 23, 2023·edited Dec 23, 2023

Susanna, While I largely subscribe to your thesis, I believe we need to remember that in late Spring 2020, after Biden had become the Party’s presumptive presidential nominee, he and Bernie Sanders created 6 policy task forces which, according to Sanders, “had some of the most knowledgeable people in the country coming together” to deal with education, climate change, healthcare, the economy, criminal justice, and immigration reform. Sander had stated that if the compromises they had achieved were implemented, “life would improve for tens and tens of millions of working people.

Because Senate Republicans refused to allow regular order, Democrats had to cram the entire President’s agenda into one bill that only could be passed through the procedural maneuver we know as budget reconciliation. Despite certain items disallowed by the Senate Parliamentarian into the plan, the legislation (the social infrastructure piece), nonetheless, would have helped to remedy much of the country’s grotesque inequalities of wealth and income.

Regrettably, the reconciliation package, in January 2022, failed to pass by 2 votes (Manchin & Sinema) and was replaced by the massively edited down Inflation Reduction Act. Still, I would note that because in late Spring 2020 there had been serious discussions with serious people engaged in an honest effort to arrive at a compromise that Sanders had said, if implemented, would have made Biden “the most progressive President since FDR,” the work must continue.

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I'm not seeing how this has anything to do with my thesis. Biden *is* the most progressive president since FDR, and what his administration has achieved with such a divided Congress is amazing. But, allowing for the passage of decades, it's not a radical departure from what we (mistakenly, self-deludedly) took for granted in the postwar era, before Reagan and the radical right came along. And "socialism" is still a dirty word in mainstream political discourse.

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I believe that much of the good that is attributed to FDR was the brainchild of Frances Perkins. Just imagine if she could have gotten universal healthcare (one of the issues she pressed on FDR) through? Imagine how COVID might have been better contained and the lives saved?

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Perkins was a powerhouse for sure, but keep in mind that western European countries generally instituted universal health care *after* WWII, when some of them were in far worse shape than the U.S. The U.S. could have done likewise, but I'm not surprised it didn't. McCarthy and others were ranting and raging about communism, and once the civil rights movement got well underway, plenty of white people were dead set against extending any benefits to people of color. (The racial disparities of the New Deal have been well documented. Ditto the GI Bill and other postwar measures that fostered the growth of the white middle class.)

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My spouse is one of her cheerleaders.

She was a doer.

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Dec 23, 2023·edited Dec 23, 2023

Susanna, To explain myself, I start with the 117th Democratically controlled U.S. House whose session began on Jan. 3rd 2021 and ended Jan. 3rd 2023. The 117th, you might recall, had passed 362 bills that had marked a “radical departure” from the Reagan era through 2020. Because virtually none of it could move to the Senate floor for debate and an up or down majority vote due to the filibuster, as stated in my original comment, Dems had to cram whatever qualified for reconciliation into one bill that would have passed, but for Manchin & Sinema. Moreover, I would note by Jan. 2022 forty-eight Democratic Senators had voted to pass filibuster reform that would have allowed far more legislation passed in the House to move to the Senate floor for debate and an up or down majority vote. Again, the measure was blocked by Manchin & Sinema.

My point is what Dems, save two, tried to deliver in that time period would have entailed investments reminiscent of Johnson’s “Great Society” and, in my view, would have restructured the mindset of our country, inducing far greater receptivity to democratic socialism, replete with its protective guardrails that ensured a modicum of social and economic justice for increasing numbers of people. Hence, my closing statement from my original comment: “The work must continue.”

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Are you seriously discounting the investment that's happening as a result of the American Rescue Plan Act and other Biden administration initiatives? As to "inducing far greater receptivity to democratic socialism" -- I'll believe it when I see it happening.

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That passage of "decades" had very few Democratic Executive and Congressional Branches. Johnson, despite ruining all his accomplishments by enhancing the war in Vietnam, did get a lot of meaningful (to 'common' people) legislation. Johnson's 6 years were followed by Nixon (R) 6, Ford (R) 2 Carter (D) 4, Reagan( R) 8, Bush (R) 4, Clinton (D) 8, Bush (R) 8, Obama (D) 8, Trump (R) 4. Two more years of Republicans than Democrats, and Obama faced 8 years of Republican blockage. The only meaningful legislation Obama got through was the Affordable Care Act, and that was also significant for the working people. FDR held the nation together for 11 years, Truman for 5. Eisenhower was the last truly good, caring Republican President this Nation has seen. From 1953 to 1961 he had the first intercontinental highway system built and while it decimated rail traffic and led to the worsening of our climate disaster, it did improve the economy of the US and the condition of the working and middle classes. Since then every Republican President from Nixon on has worsened the plight of 2/3 of the people in this country. (I'll exclude Ford's year and a half year interlude, he was more of a placeholder)

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See my comment elsewhere. P.S. Your profile has too many "o's" in "Physiology." You're welcome. ;-)

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Great summary Barbara Jo! This effort and game plan is exactly what has kept me in this fight. We have to get it done for the younger, and for the future generations.

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Thank you, Angela, for writing. Your words will be with me on Christmas Day as I gather with several young folks and we discuss their future plans.

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here is an interesting thought about that "rugged individualism" myth. The West was not conquered by those individuals. White man on their own would neve have been able to annihilate the native americans without the U.S. Army. It is a myth that Heather has so eloquently driven home. Without the federal government, the settlers would have had to live beside the natives in a collaborative way. It was only because of the U.S. Army did they conquer the West. The Bundy's of this world forget about that.

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That, Rickey, is an excellent point, one that I myself (and millions of others) forget. It's not just the Bundys.

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Very good point, though I'm not sure white settlers would have been willing or able to live alongside the Native peoples. The concepts of land ownership vs. stewardship were essentially incompatible, especially when previously "empty" space started filling up.

I'd also add that incentive was provided by the transcontinental railway, which business interests desperately wanted -- that too got protected by the military. Anyone interested in the role of the military might check out the middle volume of Paul Magid's monumental and very readable biography of Gen. George Crook: THE GRAY FOX: GEORGE CROOK AND THE INDIAN WARS (U of Oklahoma Press). Crook was a dedicated and capable soldier, but he also developed a respect for his opponents that was rare for the time.

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I love getting suggestions here for further reading. thanks.

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The final volume of Magid's biography of Crook is AN HONEST ENEMY: George Crook and the Struggle for Indian Rights. Also worth reading. In the interest of full disclosure, I should add that Paul and I have been in the same writers' group for years, and I read multiple drafts of all the chapters in his three books on Crook. :-)

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Crook County, Oregon and Crook County, Wyoming are named for General Crook.

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We don't have a far left in this country. Heck! We don't even have a Center left, compared with most European countries!

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Well done Cheryl I have been writing this for months!

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"WHY IS THIS?"

ANSWER: CORPORATE GREED

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Greed, corporate and otherwise, is nothing new. It's the lack of effective restraints on corporate power that has made a huge difference since the advent of Reaganomics.

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Capitalism at its most basic tenet is greed, or the accumulation of resources and wealth beyond one's need. So, we must initially challenge capitalism.

But to challenge capitalism is to howl at the moon, or piddle into the wind, unless one is a Jewish US Senator from ... Vermont. (You can't make-up life's inconsistencies!)

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NO Your system is owned by money.

You have a 2 party system both corrupted.

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Evidence supports the human disposition toward cognitive dissonance. Without the skills to apply the rules to eonomic justice, the drivel delivered on MSM becomes the soundboard for the uninformed - opinion based belief system

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I often refer to economic power as the fourth branch of government. Jane Mayer, in DARK MONEY, and others have done a lot to expose how it works, but it still hasn't trickled down to the MSM -- at least in part because so much of it is owned by Big Money interests.

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The left (whatever that is) has not learned that we must make media - by continually advocating our vision before the microphones and cameras, either our own, or the MSM's cameras and microphones.

The MSM will NOT simply present a democratic socialist vision. We must know what our vision is, and continually advocate. Like, at all times.

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As a much-expatriated Brit familiar with other European countries (and others) I notice, I notice. The ignorance runs so deep and seems to go so far back in time. What's more, there's a built-in aspect to it, meaning that those who have always believed only in oligarchy, rule by the moneyed, have done their damnedest to keep the less fortunate under-educated. A sort of economic apartheid to add to that imposed by segregation of the non-white sections of the population.

This has done so much to undermine democracy. Unsurprisingly, natural reactions to dumbing-down customs and policies are themselves often affected by the disease they mean to combat. Naturally enough, because the kind of pseudo-education encouraged by those who don't want anyone to "rise above their place" involves inculcating facts, techniques and approved attitudes, but does nothing to help students learn to think for themselves. This echoes the blowback racism to be found among black, brown and other minority populations who have had to endure close contact with WASPs, both in the States and wherever there is a large military or civilian American presence.

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This is my favorite comment of the week, the month, and maybe the year. More when I get my act together -- editors on deadline have a hard time with this! The ability to get out of the "U.S. = normal" paradigm is too rare.

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Thanks, Susanna, some appreciation is always welcome, but this particular comment of mine happens to have been quite marginal to my thinking today -- mostly concerned with supply-side economics and other unnatural top-heavy aberrations.

When writing, I was well aware of the extraordinary range and depth of FDR's New Deal, to which Fay Reid draws your attention, and of the vast panoply of instruments devised to implement it. Yet I never forgot the venomous resentment, the unquenchable hatred for Roosevelt on the part of those who had brought America to the brink of ruin -- blind to the fact that the man they so detested had saved them from total chaos and the tender mercies of violent revolution. Generation after generation, they never let up, and their orange-skinned golem is the infernal machine with which they hope to crush utterly all that resists the rule of, by and for money and money alone.

That said, I feel that your closing sentence says as much as or more than the entire passage that you so appreciated.

The ability to get out of the "U.S. = normal" paradigm is indeed too rare. Even among those whose perspective is wider and deeper.

Let us never allow this to discourage us, yet human beings are so prone to the frog-down-a-well world view, and even when we speak of a US = normal paradigm, that will often boil down to a view that barely ventures beyond the county line...

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Uh, Susanna, you might want to read accounts of Franklin Delano Roosevelt and the Democratic Party of the 1930's through the early 1960's. After Republican policies of laissez faire threw us and the entire world into deepest depression of modern times. FDR pulled up back up by creating jobs, managing the budget in favor of working class people and got us through WW2 without another recession. I agree that Clinton was not strongly on the side of working people, but he didn't favor the wealthy to the extent of Reagan, Bush, Bush, and Trump - the final blow.

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I've actually read quite a bit about that period, including copyediting a book that contained a lengthy section on the role of FDR's treasury secretary, Henry Morgenthau, and reminded me of the antisemitism of the State Department at that time. If you've read much about the New Deal, you're almost certainly aware of the acute racial disparities in the New Deal (FDR had to defer to the white Southern Democrats, who were very powerful in Congress), which were continued in the GI Bill after the war.

If you haven't -- well, I recommend Heather McGhee's excellent THE SUM OF US: What Racism Costs All of Us and How We Can Prosper Together.

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Yes, Susanna, I am aware of the inequities from Colonial days and continuing. We were discussing gains for the working and middle class - which until very, very recently included primarily white people and of those, predominantly Anglo Saxon and Scot.

America has long been a name-your-own-people to abuse, fear, hate, and distrust. Persons with darker skin are an easy target, but Americans also include Asian/Pacific, Irish, Italians, Poles, Arabic, Indian, Indigenous People (who were in fact the first Americans - having inhabited these two contents more than ten thousand years prior to the Norsemen and Columbus arrivals. Americans also manage to throw in religious bigotry too, including members of the current Supreme Court. I well remember 1960 when people insisted that if JFK was elected the pope would rule the US.

That is why I participated in the Civil Rights Movement. The nicest compliment I ever received was that I was color blind - the person saying that to me was referring to my view of Homo sapiens. I have a full complement of cones and rods and can see all the colors most Homo sapiens see.

That aside, does not diminish what FDR and his cabinet and Congress accomplished from 1933 to 1944 (when FDR died) He was not a perfect human, few are. In my opinion, given the state of the globe at that time, FDR did better than anyone else in any Country.

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My view too Suzanna.

The fact that you have a 2 party system both owned by big money. Dems. are right wing and the Repubs are facist.

What to do?

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Is it really useful to refer to the Dems as "right wing"? The Democratic Party *is* a big tent, which is both an advantage and a disadvantage. For now at least, I fall back on "There are plenty of mediocre Democrats, but *all* the really stellar elected officials are Democrats, and that counts."

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Useful? From where I am sitting it looks like right wing to me!

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Maybe the problem is with where you're sitting? OTOH, if you're looking for reasons not to get involved in electoral politics (and I totally get that), there are plenty of other ways to get involved.

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Joan, Regrettably, as we speak, a substantial swath of working Americans are preparing, in 24, to vote Republican, the party, which, on every single issue, has supported policy that runs counter to workers’ interests and concerns and has accelerated massive income and wealth inequality.

In my view, Democratic leadership needs to be far more focused and disciplined and not allow Republican deceptions and distortions related to the state of the economy to go unanswered. While I don’t expect taking the fight to the Republican Party will have much, if any, impact on far-right MAGA extremists, I believe there are sufficient numbers of “persuadables,” who could help Dems retake the U.S. House, hold their 49 (excluding Manchin & Sinema) U.S. Senate seats, flip one Republican Senate seat (Missouri seems promising), hold the White House, and also win contests in battleground state and local elections.

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Vote out everyone who signs onto to cutting Social Security and Medicare. My parents, my in-laws, my grandmothers would have been up Schitt Creek had it not been for those two programs. Social Security and Medicare enabled them to live decently in their old age. They didn't live extravagantly; they were able to eat and live indoors at the same time. Leaving elderly people with little or no financial resources opens them up to poverty and abuse.

The morbidly rich want to hoard money at the expense of everyone else in society. When corporations and the wealthy benefit the most from policies, everyone else suffers. When policies tax the rich and corporations according to their ability to more people across the board benefit. The tax policies don't harm the wealthy, they just can't rake in obscene amounts of cash. The wealthy don't want to pay their fair share for being able to prosper in this country, but they want to address budget issues at the expense of people like my 87 year old aunt who relies on Social Security and Medicare and a small pension to meet het expenses. Her family also steps in to meet her needs. Why should someone like her pay for benefits for billionaires?

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@JennSH, Clearly, we have to press for a laser-focused exposure of the GOP’s Project 2025, which would cause immeasurable suffering for a broad range of people including elders, who, as you say, would be unjustifiably harmed by the severe cuts to Social Security and Medicare.

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Heavily cutting or stopping Social Security and Medicare would bring on a depression worse than the 1930s, in a country far less able to contend with that situation than they were back then. I would expect much buyer's remorse.....

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We've paid into the Social Security system over the course of our working lives. It's not an entitlement. The cap on wages needs to go. That would raise enough money to keep the system going for a long, long time.

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Yes, Ellen, my head nearly blows apart whenever anyone starts using 'entitlement' in the same sentence with Social Security!

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Good ole LBJ said it best: convince the lowest man that he has others to blame for his plight and they will vote against their interest every time.

What concerns me more is the number of people that will NOT vote. One of my coworkers sees no reason. I suggested that if she wants to have some say for her and her kids, she might reconsider. Non-participation is even more of my concern as well as the folks that are one issue voters. Democracy and governing takes compromise. One issue voting does not help nor does third party voting. America for all its political faults is a 2 party system, not a multiparty system. Since we have unlimited money flowing in, there is no way a third party can gain traction. Until the money is removed, we will not have politicians that work for the people in the majority.

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Rickey, Commenting specifically on people who are not planning to vote, I start every conversation by quoting American writer Rebecca Solnit, who stated, “a vote is a chess move, not a valentine.” For what it’s worth, I have been enormously heartened by the impact of her words.

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I've recited the LBJ quote a number of times myself, Rickey! Before I retired, I worked in a medical lab where most of the phlebotomy team were women of color and/or recent immigrants. Those eligible to vote expressed their views, they were very disenfranchised. Taylor Swift is doing a fine job getting young people to vote (which is why, I think, the MAGA dislike her and try to dismiss her). I would really like to see Beyonce urge young women of color to register and VOTE.

Earlier this week, another LFAA commenter suggested Biden sit down with AOC and do a TicTok clip (sorry, I recall who said this. Rex, perhaps?) and I think it is a splendid idea.

Merry Christmas and Happy 2024 to you, Rickey.

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The statement by Johnson clearly explains the fulcrum that cynical wealthy white male “christian’s” have used to fool Americans since into voting against their economic self-interest.

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Yes. Get rid of citizens United. And the electoral system must be removed. That is what keeps our system a two party system.

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I do not believe that much of trrump's support is based on economic policy. it is a cover for racism, for Christian nationalism, for the secure multi-generation American worried about losing their cultural anchors in a changing world. It is the ugly fear of the other, it is unspoken, it is visceral. Trump gets cheers when he speaks of the vermin who live off our society. He embodies our worst instincts. Perhaps Biden does not recognize the evil that trump represents. Our underclass built our railroads, did all the dirty, dangerous jobs at little pay that no one else wants to do. That continues to now. Who do you find working in nursing homes, running the dishwasher at restaurants, washing cars, mowing your lawns, collecting your garbage, etc?

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...but they feel better as they are told “others” are keeping them down by stealing their jobs and raping their daughters.

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James, The people to whom you are referring are the ones, quoting award winning citizen-journalist Bill Moyers, who have been “made morbidly obese in mind and spirit by the junk food of propaganda,” rendering them irreversibly susceptible to an authoritarian option in order seemingly to provide some sense of normalcy and security in their lives. I would not count them among the “persuadables” I referenced in my comment.

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Since all too many who fall into the maga mindset live at or just above poverty level, tax cuts have no real significance to them.!

Tragically, ‘once the cool aid is consumed’ their is no getting them to switch to reality!

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Louis, I mostly agree. Still, if my experience is any indication, there are a sufficient number of “persuadables” who can tip the scales in tight races.

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Who then cannot get abortions...

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Wrong. The larger issue is reproductive health care, not who can or can't get abortions.

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Valid point, but the fear of rapists is amplified if forced to carry to term the product of that attack.

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Barbara, in my heart, I want to subscribe to the "when they go low, we go high" but that attitude doesn't seem to transfer to the MAGA. I believe they see it as weak. I applauded Biden in the SOTU address where he backed the heckling GOP into a corner. He needs to call them out repeatedly.

Merry Christmas and happy 2024 to you.

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Part of this difficulty is dissatisfaction by those less well off about inflated food prices, home ownership out of reach, lack of opportunity to move up while living paycheck to paycheck, a belief that immigrants threaten their livelihood, etc. I’m writing this as a progressive Democrat. We need to deliver and can’t do that with GOP obstruction, and we need better messaging.

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What I like about removing the cap on SS payroll tax is that they can’t get out of it, it goes straight to Washington. Bonuses and stock options should be subject to the same tax. Tax accountants should be unable to touch it, close all the loopholes.

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YES! I just don't get it! It's so obvious and takes NO economic understanding whatsoever.

This is a serious messaging problem. Meanwhile Biden plugs away. He is remarkable.

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Yes Biden is a magician when it comes to bringing progress. His second term could be the second New Deal. I like him.

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Dec 23, 2023·edited Dec 23, 2023

Even when I was working, I could never figure the logic of stopping contributing to SS after the first $125K of annual income. It's like giving those same high earner a mid-year raise when they cross the threshold. Meanwhile, many, many retirees actually look to SS for their sustenance. They need to eat. And the fat cats get fatter. There is little integrity in our tax code.

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I can't figure it out either -- unless it goes something like "people making more than $125K a year don't need Social Security because they have investments so they shouldn't have to pay the same percentage into it as less fortunate mortals." Which is crap, because $125K a year doesn't make you financially secure in the US, given our porous so-called "safety net."

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Nor does it mean they don’t take their Social Security benefit.

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Or, for the upper echelons, their tax breaks.

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IRAs and 401-k plans were supposed to be the primary retirement income when people reached retirement age. Anyway, that was what the Republicans told us.

Many of us are still working long past 65 to pay for basic essentials. A good friend of mine is 77 years old and is still working at Home Depot because him and his wife have only SS to live on. His 401-K plan at Home Depot was depleted by the time he was 66 years old.

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CONservatives. IRAs and 401Ks were rooted in the "Freedom" idea. You have control of your money. Once the predators got involved, that changed for the average American, not the for the wealthy that have advisors. SS was not designed to be the end all, but a supplement. There are a lot of retirees still working out there, not because they want to work, but NEED to work financially. Many are working because their 401ks did not grow as expected or their pension funds went belly up.

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So many people dip into their 401-Ks or cash in their IRAs to buy a new car or house, which only makes their current and future financial situations worse.

Another problem(?) with 401-Ks is the employer matching. So often, employers choose to match by percentage rather than amount. So the people that put in more money get a larger match than the ones that don't. Employers could give flat amounts to each 401-K which would help each employee equally.

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What 401ks did was add a ton of liquidity to the market and liquidity is very valuable to traders. 401ks became more common--more and more companies offered the benefit--and it became less possible to earn interest in a savings account. Company healthcare plans went from a benefit to something you had to pay toward. Now Payday loan stores and credit cards are how lots of working people make ends meet week to week. Reminds me too, once most folks got a weekly pay check and then we went to every two weeks which puts a limit on cash flow. But all of this made things better for company shareholders and the traders of stocks and commodities. Working people need to beg for every benefit (even public education for their children). I may be wrong but my understanding is our mostly do nothing federal legislators get great health benefits and a pension and I think their healthcare benefits are for life if they manage to stay in office for 12 years. We are paying the price for not understanding how our economy works. But even without understanding I think folks know at a gut level they have been had.

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. . . and many lost their employer, their job and their IRA’s/401-k’s to the Great Recession of 2008-2012!

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I will be 75 this coming June, and I will continue to work as long as I am able because Social Security doesn't even cover my monthly rent. I have asmall IRA and a small 401-K, but they net me, together, about $2,000 a year with the required distribution. That helps, but doesn't go very far. And if I should have any serious medical problems, we'll . . . We all know how that goes.

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Due to a 401k that ran out a while back, and to stretch my Social Security, I retired to Mexico. Many of my expat neighbors of varying degrees of wealth did the same. I was formerly a legal secretary, I'm 82 and I now live solely off my SSA payments. Reverse migration!

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Cheryl, I don't want to "like" your post, but I wish to say that I understand. Before I retired (a medical lab worker) I heard a lot of sad stories of the impact of the inability to pay for preventative care which resulted in tremendously high hospital bills.

I wish you a Merry Christmas and the best of health in the new year!

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And those high wage earners

draw the most from SS when they retire whether they need it or not.

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Since the intake from higher wager-earners was limited, how about limiting (or dispensing with) their intake during retirement years? I doubt that they 'need' it.

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Dec 23, 2023·edited Dec 23, 2023

In today's GOP telling of the ancient tale, Ali Baba is the villain and the heroes are the 40 Thieves.

So Ali's to be consigned to a deep dungeon while the Thieves' vast treasure stays sitting in the ground.

Likewise, King John's the hero, he and the Sheriff of Nottingham, while Richard the Lionheart stays hostage in a foreign castle and Robin's corpse hangs from the gallows.

Fine stories.

LET'S KEEP TELLING THEM...

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Dec 23, 2023·edited Dec 23, 2023

So, in other words, all Americans that pay the SS payroll deduction of 6.2% make 125k (I think it's moved up to $160k or so) or less. Any American making more that ~$160k no longer pays 6.2%. They pay the 6.2% rate of $160k (~$9920) even if they make more than $160k.

So Americans making $160k or less pay 6.2% (~$9920 or less) and the very rich, who get SS benefits, pay the same $9920 even with enormous incomes (above $160k).

So if every American paid their fair share of 6.2%, would Social Security have enough revenue to pay for itself? Would we need to raise the minimum age to receive SS benefits? Would we have to cut benefits?

This begs the question, why do Americans making $160k or less need to sacrifice by cutting our benefits or raising the eligible age so that the people making more than $160k don't have to pay their fair share of 6.2%?

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The income cap has been raised to $168,200 for 2024.

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Still not nearly enough.

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In 2023 the cap on wage deductions in 2023 is $160,200 up from $147,000 in 2022. The rate you and your employer pays is 6.2% each. https://tax.thomsonreuters.com/news/2023-social-security-wage-base-increases-to-160200/

It increases to $168,600 in 2024.

Covid-19 deaths reduced some of the stress on the system as over 1,000,000 people over age 65 perished. Their untimely deaths also resulted in lower payouts for Medicare and Medicaid.

Inflation has resulted in COLA increases which has helped almost 50 million people with increased benefits, but these recipients also have to pay more for food and other essentials.

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SSA Payroll deductions are not '$125.00 per year' in 2023.. Back in 1949 when the Wave of the daughters & sons of the 'Greatest Generation' began, the SSA Cap was a bit below $40,000 per year.

The SSA Payroll TAX has steadily increased over the decades & will reach $168,600.00 per year on 1/1/2024. Boomer Professionals have exceeded the SSA Tax limit from the early 1980's. High income folks (Docs, Finance & Lawyers) have been sheltered by the the SSA Tax limit for decades -- so let's go to a $1 Million SSA Tax Limit next year through 2030 & audit.

I also recommend that we stop calling SSA "Social Security" & change the name of the insurance system to "PERKINS' SSA" or Perkins Social Security Program.

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BRAVO Bryan! I mentioned Frances Perkins above!

I'd like to say great minds are alike, but I've read enough of your comments over the year to know if we average our two IQs, sadly, I bring the average down. LOL

Merry Christmas and Happy 2024 to you. Keep the comments coming.

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Miselle - I look forward to, and learn so much from, your comments and Bryan's. This crowd has many levels of expertise and a wealth of experience to share. Wishing holiday blessings for all our LFAA friends!

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I also contend that any person with an R next to his/her name who claims to be "concerned" about the budget deficit is actually lying through his/her teeth. They are "concerned" about deficits only when a Dem is in the White House and running Congress because their Dear Leaders are the ones who have run all of them up. I lived through the Reagan recession: it was glaringly obvious that the goal was to enrich the top .01% at the expense of everyone else.

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All good points. But it IS true that the population is aging. And our birth rate is below replacement. So...proportionately we are running out of younger workers to pay into the system.

Guess what? There are hundreds of thousands of hard working young people knocking on our door. We should answer the damn door and hire them!

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Exactly!

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Yes, take the cap off, if for nothing else to stop giving the already rich even more money and make it fair. However, I read analyses that seemed valid, that while raising the cap would help that still wouldn't make Social Security wholly solvent. We also need to gradually raise the age at which people take Social Security, just 3-5 years and the program would be in the green. We are living longer, so that makes imminent sense.

Social Security actually runs pretty well, and while there is some fraud (people claiming payments that do not belong to them) rates of losses are remarkably low, considering the scale of what that agency has to do. While it is a heck of a bureaucracy, it does its job for an extremely reasonable cost, we'd be delighted if a charity distributing our contributions operated at such a low operating cost. People need to look at that and realize government isn't always bloated and less efficient than capitalistic companies.

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raising the age to collect ss is not wise, too many either have unfortunate health issues or are marginalized or forced to "retire" so that business may hire younger less expensive but not so talented workers. Folks should pay social security tax on ALL income earned or not. And lower income folks should be paying less in ss not more or the same as those with higher income. And the budget problem began sadly with LBJ who decided to unlock the lockbox that Al Gore was laughed at for wanting to re establish. Social security should never have been in the federal budget at all but LBJ was playing a trick on folks by making it look like domestic spending was respectable compared to the cost of the pathetically foolish and expensive Vietnam War! LBJ's fatal flaw in an otherwise progressive administration, a tragedy of his own making.

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We may be living longer, but that doesn't mean that we remain healthy as we age. Raising the age at which people can begin collecting Social Security would be terrible for a lot of folks.

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This is a very valid point, thanks for bringing it up. People who stand on their feet through the day (checking out our groceries for instance or working in our factories) or those who do very physical work will definitely be in worse shape sooner.

There have been some proposals to basically expand what already exists for people with disabilities--if you can prove the wear and tear is there, you get your Social Security sooner. I'd even support giving a slight bump to these folks; don't cut their payments if they have to start on Social Security early due to the profession they worked in for years. It's the least the rest of us can do for people who are doing the necessary work that literally wears a body down.

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Going through the enormous hoops one has to deal with to qualify is intimidating and the decision makers treat prospective beneficiaries as if they're LYING, even if the individual is NOT doing so. My friend who had multiple physical problems had to hire an attorney and had to try THREE times to get her benefits.

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I've read about that. Plainly needs to be reformed, you shouldn't need a lawyer to prove your disability. Part of the trouble with the current disability assessments is there are people who are indeed trying to 'game the system', who ruin it for legitimate applicants. For this particular situation, they could put laws in place to track people who do this type of work that leads to more wear and tear on the human body--capture that data from the employer end, perhaps. Very little remaining to prove the need--you were doing a job that is categorized as physically challenging for X number of years, paying into the tax system, and are automatically eligible. As a final step, your doctor submits a form showing what the impact has been...no more investigation needed, unless someone is forging the docs (again, this emphasizes the need for a strong investigatory and enforcement branch, to winnow out the corrupt folks). Just noodling. Don't have all the answers, but it seems to me doable with the right investments and a competent agency.

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BS. We put that money away, taken from out salaries. Why should retirees make up the cost of drastically reduced taxes on the 0.1% multimillionaires/billionaires? I don’t own a yacht, a jet, a mansion or multiple, high priced residences--but I’m taxed like I do.

Trickle Down Economics is meant to wipe out the middle class--it is a fascist plan of greed, aimed at making the rest of us subservient to the ultra rich. It is the Shock Doctrine.

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As someone who has been financially independent since the age of 20, I learned two things early on. If I couldn’t pay my bills, I had two choices: spend less, or make more. I see this concept as the main driving difference between our two major political parties today. Republicans subscribe to the “pay less” option to the detriment of those who already HAVE LESS while the Democrats subscribe to the “make more” option with an eye toward HELPING those who have less.

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I was financially responsible for myself starting at age 18. Put myself through college etc. I, too, learned harsh economic lessons that I still use today. Our politicians should all be forced to go to our same “School of Life.” Maybe they would legislate differently?

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Actually, the cap for 2023 was $160,000, but your point is well taken.

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I suspect that every Republican proclaiming Social Security should be privatized to ensure its survival is accepting polite bribes (aka campaign contributions) from financial firms. They desperately want our money to invest and make commissions off it.

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It actually will cap at $168,000 in 2024, but I absolutely agree with you. I recently posted this on my FB page, and a friend who is a financial advisor told me that the cap is there because it's benefit is capped. It is intended to provide only 40% of a person's retirement income. Ok, I say, that 40% is still crucial and no matter how you want to look at it, anyone earning less than 168k/year will continue to pay into it by 100% of their income while the more wealthy will not but still be eligible for up to 40% of their retirement income. I just don't see how cutting benefits will do anything but make our elderly (soon to be me) poor. What will happen to the money we currently pay into social security? Will they convert it to another form of taxation? Makes. No. Sense.

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I don't think we're dealing with anything rational here.

Supply side talk just serves as a ruse. It doesn't work in fact, as Heather Cox Richardson notes in her summary of the effort to push it in the Reagan era.

But it does work to gild the lies by which the billionaire classes seek to turn Americans into serfs.

Dems can't counter with demand side talk, because MAGA-land won't listen to facts, doesn't care about facts. All there have been to schools totally dehumanized, so they know only the language of slogans, group labeling, and all the packaging of hatreds which the social media billionaires have engineered.

I long for our best Dems -- four or five dozen of them by my count nationwide -- to speak together in public in pairs and trios, not just to talk the demand side talk, but to set the successes of the past three years in the contexts of real people who've needed the good programs we've gotten. Also quote humanities -- characters from novels and films primarily who illustrate the challenges so many inhabit.

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Phil - you got that right. Free market followers like the libertarians are hell bent on their philosophy. Even when I get them to admit regulation is necessary, they balk at commonsense regs. Kind of like 2A folks. Any regulation is the first step to taking all our guns away!

Ask them about the need for safe water, clean air, they say sure. Okay, let'regualte. NO, the free market (as if it is a living breathing thing) will take care of it. I like to ask them if they know the history of seat belts. They say no, I suggest they look it up. Ford tried to install seatbelts as an option but people did not want to pay the few extra dollars so they dropped them. So much for the free market. It took regulation to get safety measures installed in cars. Yes, it drove up prices, but look at how much safer cars are today. Free markets without regulation are predatory, not free. Biden knows that. We just need to get people to understand.

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I like, Rickey, the "free" in the "free market" gambit.

It frees predators -- as the billionaire classes were "free" to underwrite, capitalize, all the worst former Soviet nomenklatura from 1991 on (and so create Putin and his oligarchs).

Same U.S. billionaire classes were "free" to offshore the millions of U.S. working class jobs after the 1971 Powell memo freed the Heritage Foundation, the Hoover Institution, and ALEC first killed humanities in U.S. schools so elites would no longer see or cite arts on those damages.

Same billionaires were "free' to prescribe OxyContin and Fentanyl to the abandoned deplorables, free to sic them to the hate algorithms of the social media billionaires, free to let the standardized tester billionaires monetize all "life," free to let the gun manufacturers terrorize all life, free to let the dictator classes dictate life to all women.

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That’s brilliant, Phil

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Sorry Rick (I'm with you but), your statement: "We just need to get people to understand" is an effort in futiity. Here's what I think: We need to "understand" that the wingnutz won't be confused by 'facts' because their mind(?) is made up.. taxes are bad bad bad..never-mind the fact they probably only pay sales tax at wally-world. So, we need to "understand" better ways to deal with those folks. That's what is needed. And, you know what "THAT" is? Hahahaaa.. it's feed them bullshidt with a candy-coating. They'll believe that... they'll eat it right up, just like they eat that 24% interest charge on their credit card balance.

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And Democrats need to talk about kitchen table stuff that needs fixing. Crowing about great stats is elitist. Talk about we are going to fix child care, health care, the Climate Crisis.

We need to get people excited about fixing the nightmarish existence of today's economy.

Yes, things are getting better. But if you are a young family right now, everything is impossible. Cost of child care, one step away from health emergency bankruptcy, can't buy a home, student debt. It all piles up into a desperate sense of frustration.

Talking about how much better the economy is to people faced with impossible to solve problems is a recipe for encouraging populism.

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Rather than talking TO people, Democrats need to learn to talk WITH people. Instead of repeatedly touting how much Biden has improved their lives, perhaps Democrats could show a little humility and curiosity and ask the people they are trying to persuade WHY they are so discontented. Citing lowered inflation and unemployment rates is meaningless to a mom or dad struggling to buy food or pay the rent.

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Dave, Good points there.

The best of the holidays to you and yours!

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Yasssss. I’d love to see Dems on groups of 2 to 4 — shouting from the top of their lungs about the successes of these policies. And especially combinations of Senators and Representatives.

Can you imagine a Hakeem Jeffries-AOC-Nancy Pelosi tour? Or Chris Murphy-Katherine Clark - Pete Aguilar? Or Gretchen Whitmer and Jaime Raskin?

We need strong voices to combat the misinformation fire hose!

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The young voters don't purchase newspapers or watch tv news, they get it all on social media. There was a suggestion earlier this week in the forum that Biden do a sit down with AOC and release it over TikTok. I think that is a brilliant idea.

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Interesting idea.

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Interesting idea, progwoman?

Practical. Needs trying, testing.

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Well, it's certainly worth a try. I'm a big fan of Sheldon Whitehouse, Liz Warren, and Sherrod Brown, and I just read a great campaign piece by Corey Booker, but I don't know how they'd do on the road.

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"We just need to get people to understand." IMHO any large group of people, who vote consistently against their best interests and cannot see every day the massive wealth inequality we have in our nation are not capable of understanding.

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That assessment rings true, Marilyn.

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I'm always hoping that a few of the many inspirations imprisoned in Substack, especially in LFAA and our comments thread here, WILL break out and hit the road.

The 40 Thieves and Monopolists Miscellaneous can't be allowed to buy up or steal ALL the bright ideas.

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Supply-side economics is fundamentally hierarchical. It assumes that producers know what consumers want, need, and will buy better than consumers themselves do. Sounds a bit like the Soviet five-year plans. Also sounds authoritarian. It makes sense that the people who believe in a social hierarchy also believe in trickle-down economics. Thank you for helping me connect the dots, Dr. Richardson!

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Linda H, Excellent insight! A clear, concise metaphor that captures the fundamental deception of supply side economics.

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Exactly. Everyone in my family that's voted Republican at their core are authoritarians. They don't believe in natural consequences but think you should be heavily punished and pushed further down the ladder when you make a poor decision.

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I have wondered to what extent the way they were disciplined as children makes them keen on punishing others. As a teacher I have seen parents encouraging a sense of entitlement in their kids, besides.

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As long as you are not part of the white wealthy class

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well said Linda. Friedman's head would explode.

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Interesting assessment. I hadn't gotten there yet, but your comment makes a lot of sense to me.

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[The economic numbers] "illustrate the administration’s return to an economic theory under which the U.S. government operated from 1933 to 1981.

In those years the federal government focused on supporting people on the “demand side” of the economy in the belief that what drives economic growth is demand for goods and services. This theory means that the government should work to make sure workers and those at the bottom of the economy have money to afford the goods and services they need. This theory suggests that education and good wages and a basic social safety net are good for the economy because they enable people to have enough disposable income that they can buy things."

What a concept!!! vs tfg cutting taxes for the 1% and thus hurting not helping the typical middle class American.

Thanks, Dr. Heather. Please sleep well!

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I have always thought the Republican practice of cutting taxes without cutting expenses is fiscally irresponsible and politically cowardly. Logically (not really), applying supply side economics to medicine would mean doctors, nurses, ans other medical professionals should go out and cause diseases and catastrophes in order to supply treatments. The world does not work that way. Need (demand) always supplies the impetus for the provision of goods and services. All successful start-ups conform to this reality.

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Steve, we need to throw back to them of running the government like a business. What business would ever cut revenue without cutting expense - FIRST?

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What business provides non-profitable services? Sure, stores may have a “loss leader” product or two to bring in the customers who will buy up the profit margin. But how is regulating the quality of air and water a business? How about providing housing subsidies to extremely low income people? Government is not a business. And frankly, government was better able to do all this when Richy Rich paid his fair share of taxes. It’s revenue that needs to be increased, not cutting services for the Common Good.

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Exactly. Govt needs to effective first.

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Rickey, this is the most nefarious part of the GOP strategy. They have been cutting funding and emasculating the regulatory power of government to make it incapable of fulfilling its responsibilities (to make it small enough to “drown it in a bathtub”). The more government is hamstrung into ineffectiveness, the easier it will be to convince the electorate that it is unnecessary and unworthy of further funding.

Prime example: cutting the budget and staffing of the IRS to the point it is incapable of auditing the complex games played by the wealthy’s expensive attorneys. Thus, even without formal tax cuts became a tax cut by cheating. Republicans were irate when Biden wanted to restore funding/staffing to the IRS. Why? Obviously, they didn’t want government to be able to control the cheating!

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Right on target Marge. However, the term CONservatives is a better choice.

I saw this as a public educator - over regulate, under fund, blame the schools, then call for school "choice", then vouchers.

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Let's see, cut taxes for the rich and for corporations then complain about older people and the poor...sounds like a GQP plan to run America! Why is it that whenever our government is run by the republicans it goes down the tube and then the Democrats come in and have to clean up their mess...it's been like that ever since 1981! What will it take to convince people to start believing in the Biden Administration??? He had the biggest mess to clean up!

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Dec 23, 2023·edited Dec 23, 2023

Colette, please ... it’s been like that since - at least - the 1920’s and 1930’s. Ever heard of Hoovervilles? There were three republicans administrations preceding the crash of the stock market and the U.S. economy - the Great Depression. The country’s presidential savior who was then elected to four (4) successive terms was FDR - a democrat. Obama and the democrats came to the country’s rescue following W’s Great Recession. The Clinton years left us with a surplus. So yes, democrats have been cleaning up economic messes caused by and during republican controlled administrations with economic policies geared primarily to the rich and financially wealthy among us!

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a reminder - Clinton was the best conservative (republican) POTUS since Eisenhower.

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Huh. I thought it was Obama. You do have a valid point, however, since Obama did get rid of DADT.

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Both tried to get things done, dealing with the reality of the day. The seed didn't slow down. In fact, Obama's election sprouted more racists in Texas than I had a clue existed in the country.

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I'm sure you've seen my opinion that Obama's election tore the scab off the badly healed wound of racism to reveal the pus and infection underneath. fpotus just fed that line with hatred, and here we are today...

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A keeper, well-said for posterity

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I'm sure you are right Jim but in my lifetime (I'm 73), Regan put a definitely spin on it!

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Colette, I’m only five(5) years older than you; but there’s a history - our party’s recent history, assuming that you’re a Democrat, which younger individuals and those low-informed voters should be made aware of ... that’s one of the reasons why we study history and although it may seem to be ancient history to you and me, it’s important that we present the history of and since our country’s worst economic disaster to make others aware of what the more relatively recent - and favored history - of the Democratic Party represents. As a person of color living in the south, I am fully aware the “old southern democratic” history!

The best thing I attribute to Mr. “Progress is our most important product” was nominating Sandra Day O’Connor to the Supreme Court!

Happy Holidays to you!

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Way before 1981.

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Dec 23, 2023·edited Dec 23, 2023

Jeri, today's article, as many in the past, have made me reflect, again, on my 20 years (1980 to 2001) as a Republican. During about 2/3 of that time I lived in Texas.

I do think that The Battalion (the TAMU school newspaper) which ran George Will and William F. Buckley twice a week (or it seemed like that) had a very large impact on me.

I was cured when, after the on the ground Weapons inspectors in Iraq repeatedly pointed to their reports of zero weapons of mass destruction in Iraq we STILL invaded.

Then, I finally saw the lie that is all Republicans' have to offer......lies.

By the end of Bush II's 2nd term I completely understood the role of cutting taxes on rich folks to get campaign donations and screw the rest of us.

But, Americans flock to this "tax cut" philosophy because they don't realize reduced taxes don't apply to them.

However, Americans also flock to this "tax cut" philosophy because, I think, white Americans buy into the "tax cut" theory because, 1) they THINK it does apply to them even though it does not AND 2) white Americans are just mean spirited where social programs are relevant.

Many, many white Americans, when you hear them talk at parties after a few drinks, are just plan ole mean Jerri. Folks just don't want to share what they have with others.

Jeri. I was like that when I was young and getting started. I did not want to share any of the hard earned money I had. I had nothing when I started out.

Now, I don't mind sharing but I am not on the edge anymore either.

Mike

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Thanks, Mike. I remember at work when the Pmrut tax cuts went into effect. Everyone was crowing about how much they were "saving" (need you guess that most of them went out and bought great big trucks). I pointed out that what I had lost in my ability to "write off" work related expenses was far greater that the tiny bit more money in my paycheck, they dismissed it. I wish I could peek in and see what they say when their "cuts" go away and the rich folks keep theirs.

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Great insight, Mike, and useful right now, I think.

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very useful. I never signed on to Buckley's world, in that I never expected much. Never had much but helping others was an OK position

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There’s always a tiny tax cut for the masses to keep the propaganda going. Such tiny tax cuts mysteriously go away - Republican elites laughing at the thought that the cuts may end during a Democratic Administration so they will get the blame.

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From the trenches, thank you. My b-i-l put Hoover signs out with his mother as a child. W/Dickie was too much for him. Probably spinning in his grave over this current crop of "republicans."

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Texas State Rep James Talerico. Remember his name. This guy is going somewhere. https://twitter.com/jamestalarico/status/1736923190964740402?ref_src=twsrc%5Egoogle%7Ctwcamp%5Eserp%7Ctwgr%5Etweet

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Impressive, sounds sincere ... hope that he remains that way in his philosophy and that he backs it up with his actions.

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What I don't really get is that the American people are much better and more progressive than the politicians they elect, going by every single poll. Must be the identity politics.

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In my opinion, the minority have better funding (billionaire oligarchs), messaging (based on Goebbel’s propaganda rules), and following Reagan’s all out plan to reimagine our political/social/constitutional landscape. This was laid out by Lewis R. Lehrman in 1985, and has been undertaken, with great success, by Rupert Murdoch’s lying machine. Dems are finally getting the message that it’s not politics as usual. “Identity politics” is a right-wing slur aimed at inclusion. We are better, more diverse, stronger if we stopped pretending that we’re all fighting the same battle. Sadly, the right-wing battle is against Dems, and has been since Rush, Lee Atwater and their ilk. We have tried to keep this struggle from being an internal battle, but chump has made it so.

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Thank you, Jeri, for helping to clarify this for me.

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Oh, and thanks, I miss-understood the term "identity politics", I understand now. :)

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What's your guess - how long will it take until the kettle blows?

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Sadly, I fear it will

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Very articulate, thank you Jeri.

Wishing you a merry Christmas and a Happy New year. And offering a smile (I hope!) to you.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=K8Q_oLavuik

Not to offend, but I liken Foil Arms and Hog's grandma to you having to deal with the MAGA loonies in your living facility. Perhaps "grandma" on here can give you some ideas!! LOL

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Ooh I love Foil, Arms and Hog!!

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Great present while I recover from my Christmas present from the universe, Covid.

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Jeri, I hope you have a speedy recovery. I caught it on Dec 4th last year, and while I didn't get horribly sick, I was amazed to have odd vague symptoms linger for about 6 months. Thankfully, I was vaxed and boosted, but still. I'm good now, but you can bet I got the newest booster in October!

Someone on this forum mentioned Foil Arms and Hog, which is how I discovered them. They've apparently been posting YouTube clips for years, so I spent many a night viewing them and getting my mind off the Sore Loser and the circus of fools.

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Don't you mean Lewis Powell?

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Don't know how I missed the Powell memo for so long. I didn't miss the "think tanks" that emanated from it, but the seed got buried out of my sight. Thank you for digging it up. So much has been selectively exposed, but so much is still buried or ignored. Repubs have scandal archeology, that keeps the Dems on the defensive while keeping their crap below the radar. Rupert, Roger Stone, and that clown car of evil never takes a break.

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Powell’s infamous memo was in 1971, right?

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Yup.. and repeating/hearing the DJT BS sermon over and over and over gets the simple decent minded or NRA-holic into a totally morphed frame of mind that democracy is just short for Democrat, liberal, immigrant, drug dealer, rapper, LGBTQxxx, communist, socialist, X-ist, x-cetera, ad infin-x-itum. So.. what's the answer? My answer: Use the same tactic of 'repeat, repeat,repeat,repeat. Make it simple language, one-liners, and do it using techniques known to have the desired effect. Sell it? Sell it, just like the Marlboro man made us smoke ourselves into the oxygen tent.. get lung cancer.., and die. Consult with the Ad teams on Madison Avenue. They know how to do it. Go Joe! "Repeat".. over and over, what your administration has done in the short time you've been there. Go now, before it's too late.

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Yep, the advertisers know how to sell schitt. Until the ads make me puke. I'm there. Seems that to many don't remember a time when ads took 15 seconds for 15 minutes content. But you are right. Message, message, message

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Jeri,that is spot on!

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Progwoman,

Lewis Powell’s BS needs to be repeated over and over until a majority of voters understand the horrible impact it has had.

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And lots of gerrymandering.

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All emanating from the seed of evil that has sprouted more grief and pain for "all the people" than a garden of thorns. And has more underground "shoestrings" than the Armillaria gallica mushroom fungus.

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1981 with Regan's election and the Koch libertarian platform being infiltrated into the Republican party solidified the plan.

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What I don't understand is how tax cuts can be made permanent. Forever and ever? Everything else seems fungible.

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nothing is permanent. Just ask the republicans. They want to change the Constitution. The post office is in the Constitution, but they want to privatize it.

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Yeah, I've lost track of all the petitions I've signed about the post office. Still not sure why Biden hasn't gotten around to new appointees.

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