Drip down economics
All Republicans want to be like Ronald Reagan and have canonized him. They have named an airport after him and some Republicans have suggested putting his portrait on Mount Rushmore. I would like to give those of you who aren’t familiar with these phenomenas a definition you won’t hear or find in most history books or on the media.
I liked Reagan and have known of him since I was six years old. I have been a Chicago Cubs fan since the 1930’s. During my youth there were two leagues; the America and National. Each league had eight teams that had the same players each year as there was no free agency; so the only changes were from a retirement or adding a rookie. Therefore we were knowledgeable about all the players. There were no playoffs and the winners of each league played in the World Series.
The reason for this information is our neighborhood always listened to the Cub games on the radio. When the team played at Wrigley Field the regular announcer, Pat Flannigan, announced the games, but for the out of town games the announcer didn’t travel with the team and the games were covered from a small town in Iowa. The announcer received the play by play over a ticker tape and attempted to make the broadcast as real as possible. They had audio of the crowd, the click of the bat etc making us feel he was really at the game.
My reason for this introduction is to introduce you to my first relationship with Ronald Reagan. He was from a small town in Illinois and had a difficult childhood as his father was an alcoholic. He was one of the announcers of out of town Cubs games and he was the best. He made the game very realistic.
From this start he went to Hollywood and became an actor in B movies. He didn’t make much money at this, so did some radio commercials. He was an avid Democrat and became the president of the actors union. He was also an admirer of Franklin Roosevelt.
He married a popular actress Jane Wyman and had a daughter Maureen who died of cancer just a few years ago. He divorced Jane and eventually married an actress Nancy? Nancy came from a wealthy family who were conservative Republicans. Reagan found life with the well to so enticing that Nancy and friends converted him to the Republican style of life. He made some money as an announcer for a number of popular TV programs.
He was an outstanding orator and received his big break by making a moving speech for Barry Goldwater when Goldwater was running for president against Lyndon Johnson. A group of multi millionaires decided that Reagan had the qualities to be a successful politician, so took over his financial life, making him a wealthier man and started to groom him for a run as Governor.
He then became a new man politically. As my father always said; a man with no coins to jingle in his pocket is a Democrat. Give him a few coins and he becomes a Republican.
His kitchen cabinet, consisting of a number of multi millionaires, put him in Sacramento as Governor. He began by raising taxes for the middle class while lowering taxes for upper income citizens. We first noticed this when our real estate taxes nearly doubled. His terms as Governor and President were like double feature movies. Every move was expertly choreographed and he finally became a top political star. He was more successful as an actor politician than when he was in the movies.
An example of his cleaver choreography was the time he took 500 million dollars out the teacher’s retirement fund to balance the budget, which was illegal and the courts made him return the money. His chief of staff Ed Meese set up a photo shot of him donating the 500 million to the teachers, making him look like a friend of education.
He was a handsome man, had a great personality, an outstanding public speaker and had a good sense of humor. He stole the respect of most of the public. His kitchen cabinet expected two major goals for Ronnie; cut the top tax rate for the wealthy and get rid of the Union movement. He did both. The top income rate was reduced from 50% to 38% and the firing of the Air Controls put a fear in other unions to strike. This was the death of the union movement and the results are just coming into view today.
His administration and others would pat you on the back and shake one hand while having their other hand in your pocket. Remember; beware of politicians bearing gifts. Don’t believe that the Stimulus check you are to receive is a present from heaven. It was borrowed from China and my grandchildren and great grandchildren will pay for it. The government advertized that everyone would receive $600 and $300 for each child, which wasn’t quite true. When the checks arrived citizen found that the amount you received was based on the taxable income the family reported on their tax form. As usual those making the most money received the largest tax stimulus check while the people with the lowest income received much less. One would think it would be the other way around.
I blame many of the problems we have today on his administration and will just bring a few to light. The Bush administration continued Reagan’s philosophy of trickle down economics, another name for Reaganomics, and we are experiencing the results today. Observing our declining economy and the widening gap between the haves and have not, the oil crisis and using fear as a means of controlling the electorate can be traced to Reaganomics..
Anti trust laws such, as the Sherman Act, were enacted in the 1800s to allow fair competition and protect small business and consumers. Reagan destroyed antitrust. Large companies can now limit small businesses’ access to vendors and suppliers, drive up their operating costs and use predatory pricing to eliminate competitors. Those old enough will remember when gas stations were owned by private parties and they would compete by lowering their prices. We then had gas wars where oil companies took over a few stations and lowered the prices to the point where small stations went out of business. The oil companies now own all the stations and control the price of gas. This has happened in industry after industry.
We now have little competition with all the mergers in industry, the media etc and use predatory pricing to eliminate small competitors. Wal-Mart is one of many examples.
In 1979 President Carter made a speech to congress that contained the following paragraph: I refer to this as foresight ignored by the public and Carter’s successor.
Ours is the most wasteful nation on earth,” “We waste more energy than we import. With about the same standard of living, we use twice the energy per person as do other countries like Germany, Japan and Sweden.” Carter directly challenged the fossil fuel and automobile industries. “One choice,” he said, “is to continue doing what we have been doing before. We can drift along for a few more years. “Our consumption of oil would keep going up every year. Our cars would continue to be too large and inefficient. Three-quarters of them would continue to carry only one person — the driver — while our public transportation system continues to decline. We can delay insulating our houses, and they will continue to lose about 50 percent of their heat in waste. “We can continue using scarce oil and natural gas to generate electricity, and continue wasting two-thirds of their fuel value in the process.
He then presented and installed a ten point energy program. By the time Carter left office, imports had dropped to 7 million barrels a day. Within a few years, they fell to 5 million. The plunge was the result of higher oil prices, a weak economy, the Alaska oil pipeline and new federal policies such as the auto efficiency standards. The slide in oil imports defanged the grip of oil-exporting countries on the world market and helped achieve considerable independence from foreign suppliers.
This was the start of an energy program that would have freed us from dependence of foreign oil many years ago. This program was eliminated by Prince Reagan his first year in office. He even removed solar panels from the White House roof and we are feeling the results of his actions today. Our idiot in the White House today wasn’t even aware of this program as in his State of the Union address he stated that we had never had an energy program. Who really is responsible for $4 a gallon gasoline which won’t be lowered by either of our presidential candidates in my lifetime.
The Reagan economy was a one-hit wonder. Yes, there was a boom in the mid-1980s, as the economy recovered from a severe recession. But while the rich got much richer, there was little sustained economic improvement for most Americans. By the late 1980s, middle-class incomes were barely higher than they had been a decade before — and the poverty rate had actually risen. Doesn’t this sound like our idiot in the White House’s tax cut for the wealthy? I call it Bushonomics.
The media and public refuse to mention this or other accomplishments of Carter, but dwell on high interest rates stagflation and the hostage’s crisis. The hostages were all released alive and would have been, but Regan’s movie directors bribed Iran with promises of arms to hold them to after his inauguration.
It is alleged that the Reagan campaign, or one of Reagan’s election campaign staffers, communicated with the Iranian government and asked them to extend the hostage crisis long enough to ensure that he won the 1980 elections. The main cause for suspicion was the seeming coincidence of his inauguration and the hostages’ release six minutes after Reagan was sworn into office on January 20th, as well as the Reagan administration’s later decision to provide arms to the anti-U.S. Iranian government, allegedly in return not for freeing the hostages, but for delaying their release until after Reagan was in office.
The economic crisis we are experiencing today had its roots during Reagan’s Monarchy. “Rich man’s appetite never satisfied.”