Category Archives: Debt

America Has More Political Appointees In Its Federal Government Than Any Other Developed Democracy

Debt, Federal Reserve Bank, Government, Political Economy, Politics, Republicans

“Shut the hell up”: That’s what you say to the next Republican who bleats at you about the GOP being the party of small government.

If GOPers then argue that governments have grown the world over, but the American government is still the smallest: Yet more lies.

Reports the Economist:

America has far more political appointees in its federal government, some 4,000 in all, than any other developed democracy, according to David Lewis, a political scientist at Vanderbilt University. No one ever really stops to wonder whether, if so many roles can sit empty, all these jobs are needed in the first place. [Of course we wonder out-loud; you just don’t listen]

Presidents used to be free to hand out every job in the government. But in 1881 a spurned office-seeker assassinated President James Garfield. His successor, Chester Arthur, signed into law the act creating the civil service and, with it, the seeds of a permanent bureaucracy that would grow from administration to administration, developing many fine public servants along with an unknown quantity of rot.

In the case that Republicans then tell you that the Democrats have, exclusively, presided over the growth of government that, too, is tummy rot.

“Contrary to popular myth,” wrote James Ostrowski, President of Free Buffalo, in 2002, “every Republican president since and including Herbert Hoover has increased the federal government’s size, scope, or power—and usually all three. Over the last one hundred years, of the five presidents who presided over the largest domestic spending increases, four were Republicans.”

“Include regulations and foreign policy, as well as budgets approved by a Republican Congress, and a picture begins to emerge of the Republican Party as a reliable engine of government growth.”

The Evil Party and the Stupid Party are a political match made in hell.

Most ludicrous is that these huckster Republicans still believe there’s a case to be made for “small government.” Have they looked at the debt clock? Do they think the American State will ever again be small; can ever be shrunk?

National debt stands at over $28 trillion. Each individual taxpayer owes $225,000—and while government will just print money to satisfy and procure voters—Quantitative Easing ad infinitum—taxpayers will still be expected to pay-up on pains of imprisonment.

The Small-Government ship has sailed and some Republicans don’t even know it.

Cryptocurrency’s Max Keiser Vs. Gold’s Peter Schiff

Argument, Debt, Democrats, Donald Trump, Economy, Federal Reserve Bank, Foreign Policy, Republicans, Russia

I’ve never known what to make of the financial expert RT has stuck by, Max Keiser of the eponymous Keiser Report.

I had been more of a Peter Schiff gold devotee. Thing is, the devotion was not returned. Most of Schiff’s clients, especially the small fry, fared poorly over time and seldom or never heard from the money maestro (who himself is very wealthy; broker fees and all).

Schiff is still calling “Bitcoin the latest iteration of fool’s gold and anybody buying it [the] ultimate fool.” Keiser, the choice on the business page of RT (Russia Today), is a Bitcoin guy. Bitcoin is holding the value of assets and then some. Gold? It has been fractionalized (spelling?)—fractional reserve banking has bad connotations!—and manipulated by the brokerages.

Speaking of RT (which once published this writer’s weekly column): Republicans, like the Democrats, speak of that TV station as an arm of the Kremlin (presumably nothing like CNN or MSNBC or WaPo which are never an arm of the Democratic Party).

In truth, Trump conservatives never defended President Trump’s conciliatory position toward Russia and Vladimir Putin. Rather, Republican defense of Trump’s correct stance toward Russia consisted of bolstering his alleged anti-Putin credentials, and boasting that he was ACTUALLY tougher on Russia than the Dems. So weak. So dumb.

It’s never about principled argument with Republicans. In their narrow little minds, the American Empire is supposed to war with Russia. That Trump came to power opposing that position was no reason to reexamine their asinine assumptions.

Since they invariably always fall in-line with neocon and neoliberal foreign-policy orthodoxy—Republicans and conservatives only ever tried to nudge Donald Trump toward America’s wrongheaded, Russia monomania.

*Image courtesy of RT.

Rich Republicans Denying Desperate Americans Funds Don’t Get That The Small-Government Ship Has Sailed

COVID-19, Debt, Economy, Foreign Aid, Government, Hollywood, Politics, Republicans, Ron Paul, The State, Welfare

From Mitt Romney to Rand Paul, quite a number of oleaginous Republicans are opposing President Donald Trump’s push for bigger $2,000 stimulus checks.

These Republicans have “expressed concerns that $2,000 checks would cost the government too much money. Increasing the original $600 direct payments would mean the government would have to borrow another $464 billion.”

Has Rand Paul lost it? He says,

“I think giving money to people, though, who are already working—look, my kids are working and don’t need a check. They’re not rich, but they don’t need a check. And most working Americans don’t need a check right now,” he said.
“It’s a really foolish, eggheaded, left-wing, socialist idea to pass out free money to people,” Paul went on. “So I part ways with the president on giving people free money.”

It’s when politicians point to their kids as exemplars of ordinary working stiffs—that the gag reflex kicks in.

As to “free money”: The money is the people’s money returned to its rightful owners. You, sir, are getting free money. Politicians, paid out of taxes, are thieves–never wealth creators, but, rather, wealth consumers–and worse, parasites.

The Bill squanders minted money overseas and stateside, such as on  authorizing “a Smithsonian Women’s History Museum and a National Museum of the American Latino.” Foreign aid, of course, being a government-to-government grant, seldom helps anyone but the corrupt bureaucrats in charge of its dispersal.

Here is what’s in the “$2.3 trillion COVID-19 relief and government funding bill“:

  • $4 billion for New York’s MTA as part of bailouts for mass-transit systems.
  • $15 billion earmarked toward grant programs for live entertainment venues such as Broadway.
  • $7 billion toward expanding broadband access.
  • $1.4 billion for a construction of a wall on the southern US border.
  • A new law saying that violating copyright laws with unauthorized online streaming will become a felony punishable by five years in prison for first offenses and 10 years for repeat offenses. Sen. Thom Tillis (R-NC) pushed the provision.
  • A rule saying the US Postal Service can no longer deliver e-cigarettes.
  • $500 million earmarked for Israeli defense purchases, including to equip the Iron Dome missile defense system.
  • $250 million over five years for Palestinian economic aid, which was pushed by New York Democratic Rep. Nita Lowey.
  • $2.5 million for “Internet freedom programs in closed societies”
  • $10 million for “gender programs” meant to help women get education and start businesses in Pakistan.

To their credit, Trumpian Republicans—Senators Lindsey Graham, Marco Rubio, Susan Collins, David Perdue, Kelly Loeffler and Deb Fischer—have distanced themselves from the inappropriate objections, coming from their camp, to money for desperate Americans whose livelihoods have been destroyed by state response to COVID.

However, other Republican senators—John Cornyn, James Inhofe, Martha Blackburn, Pat Toomey, Roy Blunt, Rand Paul, Mitt Romney—have demonstrated a corporate, Beltway sensibility, as detached as that of the Democrats.

Most ludicrous is that these Republicans still believe there’s a case to be made for “small government.” Have they looked at the debt clock? Do they think the American State will ever again be small; can ever be shrunk?

The Small-Government ship has sailed and some Republicans don’t even know it.

On Motherhood

Debt, Ethics, Family, Gender, Kids, Morality

Via LinkedIn (where you can join me, too):

On being a mother: A little long, but still achingly poignant. Every single mother can identify:

Related reading is “Are you My Mother?”

Emily Wilson, a classicist, offers these insights:

“There is a deeply rooted idea in our culture that mothers, far more than fathers, are responsible not just for picking up the toys and changing the nappies, but also for how the child turns out in the end, for good or ill.”

Ms. Wilson’s conclusion:

“Mothers are all different, because they are all human. The good enough mother is one who gives her child what it needs to grow up. The good enough child is one who manages to grow up, and in doing so, is able to recognize her mother’s humanity.”