BENEATH THE SPIN • ERIC L. WATTREE
SELLING GUCCI BAGS IN A HOMELESS SHELTER
The American people must be out of its collective mind to allow these people to run a game on us like that. And what really gets next to me is, while the rich are getting this kind of kickback, I can’t even write off the interest on my credit cards - Ronald Reagan, that other gangster, took that from us. I’ve got to tell you - they say Bush is not all that bright, but he certainly knows how to stuff his pockets. This guy puts Iceberg Slim to shame. He never saw any problem that taking "mo money" from his whoes wouldn't fix.
Here’s the game they’re running: They’ve convinced America that if we give the rich enough money, they’ll use some of that money to create jobs for the poor and middle class. Now, I don’t claim to be an intellectual giant, and I haven’t spent more than 30 minutes studying Economics, but it doesn’t take a great mind to understand that demand fuels supply, not vice versa. If I made my living selling Gucci Bags, for example, I don’t care how much money you give me, I’m not going to produce any additional Gucci Bags if I'm being forced to sell them in a homeless shelter. It wouldn’t make sense, because no one has the money to purchase them. The only way that you’re going to get me to hire people to produce Gucci Bags is if you gave that money to the people in the shelter so they’d have the money to buy my merchandise.
Reagan ran the same game on us twenty years ago with his now infamous “Reaganomics” - or, the “Trickle Down Theory” as they called it at the time. Supply- Side Economics was a scheme hatch by U.S.C. economist Arthur Laffer and the Reagan crowd which was supposed to cut the deficit and balance the budget. The theory behind Reaganomics was ostensibly, if you cut taxes for business and people in the upper tax brackets, and then deregulated business of such nuisances as safety regulations and environmental safeguards, the beneficiaries would invest their savings into creating new jobs. In that way the money would eventually "trickle down" to the rest of us. In addition, the resulting broadened tax base would not only help to bring down the deficit, but also subsidize the tremendously high defense budget. When the plan was first floated, even George Bush Sr., Reagan's vice president to be, called it "voodoo economics."
Reaganomics, for the most part, sought to undo many of the safeguards put into place during the Roosevelt era and create a business environment similar to that which was in place during the Coolidge Administration. What actually took place, however, was even more like the Coolidge era than planed. Instead of taking the money and investing it into creating new jobs, the money was used in wild schemes and stock market speculation. One of those schemes, the leveraged buy out, involved buying up large companies with borrowed funds secured by the company's assets, then paying off the loan by selling off the assets of the purchased company. That practice destabilized our manufacturing base and cost the citizens of this country millions of jobs that we haven’t recovered from to this day. In addition, the bottom fell out of the stock market. On Monday, October 19, 1987 the Dow-Jones Average fell 508.32 points. It was the greatest one-day decline since 1914 - 15 years before the Great Depression.
And what about Ronald Reagan's promise to balance the budget and lower the deficit? By the time Reagan left office he was not only the most prolific spender of any president in the history of this nation, but he also added more to the deficit than all of the other presidents from George Washington to his own administration combined - but of course, now Bush makes Reagan look like a tightwad. And what does the Republican Party propose to do about that? One of the Republican proposals in their "contract with America" was a capitol gains tax cut - for the rich.
History is clear. Conservative Republicans don't mind spending money at all. They just don't want to spend money on those who need it - us. Remember, they're the party of Alexander Hamilton, one of this country's founding fathers who believed that only those who owned property should even be allowed to vote. He also said:
“All communities divide themselves into the few and the many. The first are the rich and wellborn, the other the mass of the people.... The people are turbulent and changing; they seldom judge or determine right. Give therefore to the first class a distinct, permanent share in government. They will check the unsteadiness of the second, and as they cannot receive any advantage by a change, they therefore will ever maintain good government.”
(Debates of the Federalist Convention (May 14-September 17).
So I've found that a good rule of thumb is to not believe a word that comes out of either Bush or the GOP's collective mouth. As comfortable as I am in my heritage, if the GOP voted a resolution on the floor tomorrow assuring me that I was Black, I’d feel obliged to go and have my DNA tested.
Eric L. Wattree
Citizens Against Reckless Middle-Class Abuse (CARMA)
Religious bigotry: It's not that I hate everyone who doesn't look, think, and act like me - it's just that God does. Sphere: Related Content