Category: bush

The Bush tax cuts did the opposite: $3 trillion worth of tax cuts were predicated on the premise that we were returning the people “their” money. As it turned out, the money wasn’t there to return. Even without the tax cuts, the wars, or anything else, the government would have entered 2011 with $1.3 trillion in debt, not $2.3 trillion in savings. Basically, in the grip of careless enthusiasm about the economic future, we borrowed $3 trillion from bond markets and handed it out to citizens in rough proportion to how rich they already were. In the middle of a recovery. This is not a useful thing for the government to do.



Deficits: There never was a surplus | The Economist.

And for the third straight year, American families and businesses will pay less in federal taxes than they did under former President George W. Bush, thanks to a weak economy and a growing number of tax breaks for the wealthy and poor alike.

Taxes (As A Percentage Of Economy) Drop To Lowest Level In 60 Years.

Making fake history every day
You can’t expect a culture that conveniently fabricates history to restrict that practice to the distant past. So it’s not surprising to see conservative opinion leaders arguing, contra history, that Nazism is a liberal ideology (Extra!, 3/10) or that government spending made the Great Depression worse.

Nor is it surprising to see such commentators ignoring facts to distort current events. Witness the trend among conservatives who dismiss global warming science, fantasize imaginary “death panels” in healthcare legislation, or declare Barack Obama to be a Kenyan, a Muslim or maybe even the Antichrist (CNN, 8/15/08).

Indeed, the ascendance of a black, Democratic president seems to have sent irrational conservative tendencies into overdrive. Commentators Rush Limbaugh (10/23/09) and Michael Ledeen (Pajamas Media, 10/21/09) heatedly pointed to a socialist thesis they said was written by Barack Obama while a student at Columbia University. Like one of the the fake Lincoln or Jefferson quotes, the thesis was a hoax (St. Petersburg Times, 10/26/09), but it met the contemporary conservative standard: If  it makes your point, run with it.

Putting the Founders to Work
When widely syndicated columnist Cal Thomas posted a commentary on his website (1/15/09) opposing federal bailouts, he cited quotes from Thomas Jefferson to bolster his argument:

“The democracy will cease to exist when you take away from those who are willing to work and give to those who would not”; It is incumbent on every generation to pay off its own debts as it goes. A principle, which, if acted on would save us one-half of the wars of the world”; “I predict future happiness for Americans if they can prevent government from wasting the labors of the people under the pretense of taking care of them”; and, “My reading of history convinces me that most bad government results from too much government.

Thomas described these quotes as “ancient wisdom,” which, he said, “is almost always better than what people come up with today. Consider that it became ancient because it was wise.”

But consulting The Works of Thomas Jefferson available in full at the Online Liberty Library, as well as the Library of Congress’ online Jefferson site, Ed Darrel of Millard Fillmore’s Bathtub (2/1/09) could find no evidence authenticating any of the quotes. As Darrel, whose website targets historical falsehood, observed, “Jefferson seem[ed] oddly prescient in these quotes, and, also oddly, rather endorsing the views of the right wing.”

Excerpts: Committee voted to repeal a 10-year ban on the research and development of “low-yield” nuclear weapons—defined as nukes having an explosive power smaller than 5 kilotons. (The House committee will take up the measure this week.) The Bush administration has lobbied heavily for the repeal. Democrats oppose the idea on the grounds that “mini-nukes”—by blurring the distinction between nuclear and non-nuclear weapons—make nuclear war more thinkable and, therefore, in the minds of some, more doable.
Some in the Bush administration are living proof of this objection. They want to demystify nuclear weapons, strip away the taboo against their use, and insinuate them into the arsenal of U.S. war-fighting tools. A key figure in this effort is Keith Payne.

Note the phrasing. It’s startling enough that Payne suggests attacking (even non-nuclear) mobile missiles with nukes. But he goes further, suggesting that we attack whole “areas” where mobile missiles are merely “suspected” to be deployed. And he suggests attacking these with “multiple” nuclear weapons. Payne also argues that nuclear weapons might be needed to destroy “deeply buried facilities … such as underground biological weapons facilities.” He leaves unanswered why simply disabling such a facility—which he admits can be done with conventional weapons—wouldn’t be good enough. He then says the need to destroy these sorts of targets means we cannot afford to make deep cuts in our nuclear arsenal but should instead continue to build new types of nuclear weapons.

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