RSN Fundraising Banner
FB Share
Email This Page
add comment

Excerpt: "The right-wing bullies are emboldened. They will hold the nation hostage again and again. ... All the while, he and the Democratic leadership in Congress refuse to refute the Republicans’ big lie - that spending cuts will lead to more jobs. In fact, spending cuts now will lead to fewer jobs. They'll slow down an already-anemic recovery. That will cause immense and unnecessary suffering for millions of Americans."

Portrait, Robert Reich, 08/16/09. (photo: Perian Flaherty)
Portrait, Robert Reich, 08/16/09. (photo: Perian Flaherty)

Right-Wing Bullies Hold Nation Hostage

By Robert Reich, Robert Reich's Blog

09 April 11

RSN Special Coverage: GOP's War on American Labor


Why the Right-Wing Bullies Will Hold the Nation Hostage Again and Again

hen I was a small boy I was bullied more than most, mainly because I was a foot shorter than than everyone else. They demanded the cupcake my mother had packed in my lunchbox, or, they said, they'd beat me up. After a close call in the boy's room, I paid up. Weeks later, they demanded half my sandwich as well. I gave in to that one, too. But I could see what was coming next. They'd demand everything else. Somewhere along the line I decided I'd have to take a stand. The fight wasn't pleasant. But the bullies stopped their bullying.

I hope the President decides he has to take a stand, and the sooner the better. Last December he caved in to Republican demands that the Bush tax cut be extended to wealthier Americans for two more years, at a cost of more than $60 billion. That was only the beginning - the equivalent of my cupcake.

Last night he gave away more than half the sandwich - $39 billion less than was budgeted for 2010, $79 billion less than he originally requested. Non-defense discretionary spending - basically, everything from roads and bridges to schools and innumerable programs for the poor - has been slashed.

The right-wing bullies are emboldened. They will hold the nation hostage again and again.

In a few weeks the debt ceiling has to be raised. After that, next year's budget has to be decided on. House Budget Chair Paul Ryan has already put forward proposals to turn Medicare into vouchers that funnel money to private insurance companies, turn Medicaid and Food Stamps into block grants that give states discretion to shift them to the non-poor, and give even more big tax cuts to the rich.

There will also be Republican votes to de-fund the new health care law.

"Americans of different beliefs came together," he announced late last night. It was the "largest spending cut in our history." He sounded triumphant. In fact, he's encouraging the bullies onward.

All the while, he and the Democratic leadership in Congress refuse to refute the Republicans' big lie - that spending cuts will lead to more jobs. In fact, spending cuts now will lead to fewer jobs. They'll slow down an already-anemic recovery. That will cause immense and unnecessary suffering for millions of Americans.

The President continues to legitimize the Republican claim that too much government spending caused the economy to tank, and that by cutting back spending we'll get the economy going again.

Even before the bullies began hammering him his deficit commission already recommended $3 of spending cuts for every dollar of tax increase. Then the President froze non-defense domestic spending and froze federal pay. And he continues to draw the false analogy between a family's budget and the national budget.

He is losing the war of ideas because he won't tell the American public the truth: That we need more government spending now - not less - in order to get out of the gravitational pull of the Great Recession.

That we got into the Great Recession because Wall Street went bonkers and government failed to do its job at regulating financial markets. And that much of the current deficit comes from the necessary response to that financial crisis.

That the only ways to deal with the long-term budget problem is to demand that the rich pay their fair share of taxes, and to slow down soaring health-care costs.

And that, at a deeper level, the increasingly lopsided distribution of income and wealth has robbed the vast working middle class of the purchasing power they need to keep the economy going at full capacity.

"We preserved the investments we need to win the future," he said last night. That's not true. The budget he just approved will cut Pell grants to poor kids, while states continue massive cutbacks in school spending - firing tens of thousands of teachers and raising fees at public universities. The budget he approved is cruel to the nation's working class and poor.

It is impossible to fight bullies merely by saying they're going too far.

Robert Reich is Chancellor's Professor of Public Policy at the University of California at Berkeley. He has served in three national administrations, most recently as secretary of labor under President Bill Clinton. He has written thirteen books, including "The Work of Nations," "Locked in the Cabinet," "Supercapitalism" and his latest book, "AFTERSHOCK: The Next Economy and America's Future." His 'Marketplace' commentaries can be found on and iTunes. your social media marketing partner


A note of caution regarding our comment sections:

For months a stream of media reports have warned of coordinated propaganda efforts targeting political websites based in the U.S., particularly in the run-up to the 2016 presidential election.

We too were alarmed at the patterns we were, and still are, seeing. It is clear that the provocateurs are far more savvy, disciplined, and purposeful than anything we have ever experienced before.

It is also clear that we still have elements of the same activity in our article discussion forums at this time.

We have hosted and encouraged reader expression since the turn of the century. The comments of our readers are the most vibrant, best-used interactive feature at Reader Supported News. Accordingly, we are strongly resistant to interrupting those services.

It is, however, important to note that in all likelihood hardened operatives are attempting to shape the dialog our community seeks to engage in.

Adapt and overcome.

Marc Ash
Founder, Reader Supported News

+130 # Sean 2011-04-09 20:00
Unfortunately you Americans are eating your country alive from the inside. You can't smell your own demise. There is a new world order coming...but you are not a part of it.

I haven't seen America this divided in decades...and its all about stupid ideology. Besides for a tiny (super-wealthy) percentage of your population, it isn't about the money - it's simply about who wants to be more right (no pun implied) than the other.

You used to be alternatively liked and hated but always envied. Now, the rest of the world looks at you with scorn. Truth.
-14 # Prophit 2011-04-09 23:49
Sean, you are right, it took us way too long to wake up. Clinton admin with this gentleman above were no different than the bushes before and after him. And notice Clinton did the first terrorist legislation because of OKC and now we find out OKC Timothy McVeigh was working with the FBI and had a handler... further charges were planted in the OKC building just like 9-11 was.

Then we had WACO, the first time the government had used military force against its own citizens and murder 94 children. NEVER IN OUR HISTORY WOULD WE AS A PEOPLE EVER ALLOWED THAT TO HAPPEN, BUT WE DID.


Fear and hate are what they sell to divide us up. Goebels laid out how to do this so the few elite would be save from our United front through division. Most of us are catching on now. For instance, it didn't take even 2 seconds of thought to see what Reich was trying to do. But we are waking up and we are beginning to unite, both left and right together. I see it all the time now.

We know the enemy is within our own walls of the kingdom. I suspect its the same in your country as well.
+8 # in deo veritas 2011-04-10 12:20
Bravo! I am glad someone gets it! Repeal of Glass-Steagall started the ball rolling for the hedgefunds, deriviatives, and all the other abuses perpetrated by the banksters who were then bailed out by Bush and his partners in crime. As we at Larouche have preached for decades, if it is not put back into effect, we and the world will sink into a new dark age. The precipice comes closer every day and the buffoons in Congress and the White House are blind to it.
+4 # Anarchist 23 2011-04-10 18:12
Actually Waco was not the first time gov force was used against citizens. It was done to the Move Comune in Philadelphia in the 80's-they were black- a sort of back to land group that operated in urban cityscape. True they were somewhat of a health hazard-somethin g about garbage disposal-I forget-but they did not deserve to be firebombed-some thing that also destroyed quite a few city blocks-again in poor black neighborhood. As to OK City bombing-air is a very poor conductor of blast force. That truck bomb could not have done the damage it did to that building!
+4 # Anarchist 23 2011-04-10 18:15
Just to set the record straight-the Protocols you refer to were forgeries and fiction-turned up in Eugene Sue book in France 19th century -resurfaced in ficticious dialogue between Machiavelli and Napoleon III written by political opponet-then were used by Okrana in Tzarist Russia for political purpose there as well. Remember Good and Evil are Equal opportunity employers-to blame an entire group for something is to join the Evil side!
+5 # Ken Hall 2011-04-11 00:26
Prophit: There are many examples, prior to Waco, of the US gov't authorizing violence against it's own citizens, starting with suppression of Shay's rebellion in the late 18th century,just a few years after the Constitution was ratified. And, BTW, the correct title is "Glass- STeagal" act. If you want to be taken seriously you should get your facts straight, use good grammar, and lose those caps, they are the literary equivalent of shouting and I, for one, refuse to read something that is all in caps.
+4 # Glen 2011-04-11 16:52
Ken, there have been many instances in which the military has been used against American citizens, or, if you will, the original citizens - the American indians.

The National Guard was used against protesters during the 1960's, McArthur, his military and six tanks were brought in to burn out the camp of WWI veteran camps in D.C. who had been promised assistance in acquiring jobs and support. Many were then sent to Key West to work, only to be killed by the biggest hurricane to hit the U.S. Surrogates of U.S. military have brutalized thousands of citizens, including blacks and unions.

These military citizens went in without hesitation, against their own fellow citizens, just as was done with the Branch Dividian and others. Don't think it could not happen again, or even worse.
+5 # Buster Hapless 2011-04-11 13:23
You're thinking of Robert Rubin. this blog is written by Robert Reich who is one of the good guys.
+6 # heraldmage 2011-04-11 14:29
If Ken Hall's example of the Shay Rebellion is to far back in American history for you try 1968 The Kent State massacre of peaceful protesting students then there was the Washington DC protests where demonstrators put flowers into rifle mussels. It was a spring / summer of protests leading up to the Chicago Democratic Convention where again anti-war protestors were beaten, killed, and arrested.
+6 # heraldmage 2011-04-11 15:28
It's time we stop listening to the rich, their lackeys, & their news corporations and start using common sense. The 1 %ers want profit & power.They are trying to eliminate everything that affects their profits. If the people don't have money they can't buy products needed to create jobs. If the people don't have health care they won't go to doctors or clinics but to emergency room in critical condition. The cost of their care will be 100 xs higher than it would have been if treated earlier & the taxpayers will end up paying.
The 1 percenters want high unemployment with the masses facing starvation & homeless dying of curable diseases in the streets because then the people will accept whatever crumbs they offer under any conditions just to survive. Conditions will be worse than in the early 19th century, because then we had Constitutional rights.
BASICALLY IF WE DON'T STOP THEM NOW WE WILL BECOME THE MODERN DAY SLAVES! and since it is the domestic population not imported SLAVERY is legal under the original Constitution without amendments. WE MUST STOP THEM NOW!
If the Democrats won't stand with the people & tell us the truth we must spread the word throughout the nation ourselves. It is time again for 1968 style massive protests in every city, town & village.
It's time to get rid of the modern feudal system of economics & the divinity of the wealthy.
+41 # Caballero69 2011-04-10 06:19
[quote name="Sean"]

I haven't seen America this divided in decades...and its all about stupid ideology.

The reactionary right is surely about ideology, and they have been pushing their ideology for decades. While doing so, they have lulled many Americans into a trance.

Now is the time for effective leadership on behalf of the Republic and effective citizenship by patriotic Americans to rescue and defend the Republic from those who would be our overlords and masters.

This is a Republic and not a Plutocracy. We, the People, must keep it that way!
+28 # Regina 2011-04-10 11:29
The plutocrats have been in control since their front movie celeb Reagan held the presidency. We are so far over the cliff that it will require a miracle to salvage the republic that we once were. The people have been reduced to dupes by slogans that replace news and "faiths" that override facts. They'll follow any pied piper that feeds them those neato catchy slogans. Corporations are now persons -- people are just stooges and prey.
+46 # genierae 2011-04-10 06:36
Sean: The United States of America is feeling the backlash from centuries of hubris. This country was stolen from the Native Americans by white supremacist slave-owners who created a plutocracy, aka a "democracy". The American Dream has never been real, and now it has become our national nightmare. Most Americans are, as yet, refusing to wake up. They continue to watch reality shows while ignoring reality. Your analysis however, is flawed. The "tiny (super-wealthy) percentage" couldn't care less about being right, what they are after is world domination. They are using the right-wing fanatics as a means to achieve that goal, and the corrupt corporate media is another very useful tool. They have made a giant miscalculation however. Atrophy is imminent. Corrupt intentions carry the seed of their own destruction, they will fall of their own putrid weight. It is true that a "new world order" is coming, but its not quite the one that you envision. There is a global consciousness-r aising now occurring that is waking people up to their own peril, and they are rising up around the world. They will not be denied. America is definitely a part of that awakening, and whether we are liked, hated, or envied is irrelevant. We will take the world's scorn, and we will turn it into humility. Once we have humility we will use it to create peace. Truth.
+25 # in deo veritas 2011-04-10 12:23
Very eloquently stated. The origin of this country as you stated is unfortunately NOT taught in our history classes instead of the drivel being peddled to our kids by textbooks written by neofascists (Texas schools a prime example). Over the 36 years I taught all I saw was the dumbing down of textbooks and learning.
+30 # Cletus 2011-04-10 06:41
Actually, many of us can sense the impending doom. There just isn't much the little guy can do now, with the deck stacked against us.
+9 # in deo veritas 2011-04-10 12:25
When push turns to shove the people will make their presence felt and those who have brought us so low will lose and be held accountable. If not then we do not deserve to be a nation-state.
+22 # globalfamilychild 2011-04-10 07:27
America has not been through two world wars and seen a total collapse and destruction as Europe and other countries that have been devastated by the effects of military conquest and colonialism. That's why the polarizing political debate needs to focus away from simply who's right or wrong. Any discussion that about issues that affect people's lives profoundly needs to address what we as all human beings have in common and have sought for throughout human history and that's about peace and security for ourselves and our loved ones. We all have the same basic needs for clean air, water, food, shelter, health care, and the opportunity to reach our fullest potential for ourselves and our loved ones. But above all, what we want at our most basic is a loving and more peaceful world. That's what people need to stand up for all over this world, especially now in the 21st century, when we finally have have the technology to instantly communicate anywhere and help each other and thus rid the world of the worst scarcity that's controllable by mankind.
+16 # in deo veritas 2011-04-10 12:33
What a shame that our educational system does not teach people to reralize the basic differences between communist, fascist, and socialist and it is especially lamentable that World War II is not taught adequately. If it was, then far more people, especially those born after the fact would realize that the war was fought to save us from fascism, which is the doctrine of our domestic traitors and Wall Street terrorists who believe in corporate control of government, a la Mussolini. Did we sacrifice so many thousands of lives to defeat these vermin only to sit idly by and let their kind take over our country? If so it is the same as going to Arlington and desecrating the graves of these heroes! If so, then we do not deserve to be called a nation-state.
-10 # NoLies-1 2011-04-10 07:28
I think its clear that what Prof. Reich, and (to a lesser extent) Sean say is mostly true.

But that does not also make it necessarily true that the best way out of America's current malaise- and I don't think anyone is denying that- is to keep pouring "money" (i.e. private cartel 'Federal' Reserve notes) down the same old system, however helpful rearranging the percentages paid by certain economic classes into that system may be.

There's a big difference between the "conservatives" [neo-cons; myopic opportunists] on TeeVee and in Washingtoon these days, and the "conservative" [Constitutional ists; 'conspiracy theory' skeptical of big gov't] types. Its the difference between Insiders and Outsiders, and people who conflate the two are providing a highly inaccurate synthesis of other people's political beliefs.

The name of the game is not [or at least should not be] distortion. That (roads of distortion) is how American public society 'got into this mess in the first place'.

More debt is not going to solve the economic problem; and
More distortion is not going to solve the political problem.
+11 # NoLies2 2011-04-10 07:28
...People are not always at their best when they should be. Nonetheless, I don't think that demanding/expec ting standards of truth in Public dialog is too much to ask for in the 21st century.

Its difficult for people not to lie.
Its difficult for governments not to borrow money from Fractional Reserve (private cartel) bankers.

Then again it also used to be difficult for people of a certain class not to have slaves.

Time Marches On.
+30 # Capn Canard 2011-04-10 07:35
Perhaps it is about time we have been punished for our arrogance? I agree that we are on a downhill slide but this is something I've been expecting for 20 years. The problem is that way too many Americans believe in the lie of the American myth. But I haven't had any luck convincing anyone otherwise. Most people are too busy lost in their personal fantasy to be expected to wake up.
-14 # Yup 2011-04-10 20:20
Man Sean,

You can't possibly fathom how little I and millions of others care about what you think.

Don't worry - we've covered your Country's butt for generations and we'll continue to do so.
+3 # pensivegadfly 2011-04-11 11:04
Scorn . . . or just pity. Or befuddlement. I'm American and I can't figure out why we've become so, well, awful!
+3 # Bill Clements 2011-04-11 13:30
I think far more is involved than who wants to be "more right." We're talking about two very different worldviews with very real consequences for each and every one of us.

Unfortunately, especially evident in Congress, we've lost sight of the forest for the trees. There are many reasons for this, but the influence of corporate money is undeniable. The system, as it exists today, is thoroughly rotten. It doesn't appear that there is much chance of reforming this system any time soon. Thinga, I fear, are going to have to get far worse before real change is possible.
-18 # Gerald 2011-04-09 21:58
+84 # Patricia Chang 2011-04-09 22:37
Barack Obama is an Appeaser. He is also the ultimate Wannabee. He has quite likely used appeasement all of his life. It is ingrained in his persona. He wants to be seen as an elite, erudite, gentleman of wealth and class. He has cut his ties with the middle and working class; and cut emotional links to his stint as a community organizer. He has achieved the ultimate position in life, and is intent on ignoring the pleas and suffering of the poor. He also lacks courage and wisdom. He was simply too inexperienced to take on the task of turning this country around after years of incompetent governance. He refuses to look at facts, but clings to his "in-crowd" framing of the economy. Wall Street, corporate Fat Cats and the corporate-owned media are now his cronies. He self-righteousl y proclaims that some of the cuts are going to hurt, but they are necessary. Notice that the cuts do not affect wealthy doners of campaign money. They do not affect the socially elite. They dont affect the military-indust rial complex. They just affect the rest of us. It is obvious that he feels he can afford to ignore or lecture us. I am truly weary of this man. He is the poster boy for broken promises and arrogant self-concern.
-19 # Prophit 2011-04-09 23:53
Its not his fault. He is brainwashed as a child and prepared for this all his life. His mother worked for Tim Geithners father under the ford foundation in Indonesia and CIA plants and helped Kissinger overthrow the indonesian government at the time.

Kissinger is now an indicted war criminal for that piece of work. Someone needs to break Obama's mind control and he might make it. It depends on how long and how deep they went with him.
+2 # billy bob 2011-04-12 09:28
It sounds like they got to you as well.


We're with you man! You can fight this thing!
+36 # Glen 2011-04-10 05:20
But - Patricia - presidents are no longer in charge. They merely represent those who are. Not even Clinton was in charge, and I'm sure you saw how little George W. actually did. The real power is behind the throne.

What is despicable is the ongoing game played out by just about everybody involved in governments, both state and federal. They know it is a game. We know it is a game. They will continue playing their very expensive game as long as they can get away with it.
+6 # True Progressive 2011-04-11 00:08
["presidents are no longer in charge. They merely represent those who are. Not even Clinton was in charge, and I'm sure you saw how little George W. actually did. The real power is behind the throne."]

I'm sorry Glen, but that's a cynical, lazy viewpoint. While the president is far from being a dictator and is "hemmed in" in many respects by many other political and social actors, he is still someone of enormous influence and visibility, with a "bully pulpit" as his main instrument of power. He can choose to use it for our betterment, or he can throw it to the dust bin, as President "Kumbaya" has done. Obama has not just abdicated his presidential powers, he has sabotaged the very ends and "change" that he touted as a candidate. In my mind, that makes him even more despicable than "Dubya."
+7 # Glen 2011-04-11 10:12
The statement is not from a lazy mind, but from one who has researched our government, war/attacks, been an activist, researched the backgrounds of those in government, especially presidents, and those who fund just about everything.

Your statements pretty much back up mine, with the exception of declaring Obama abdicated his powers. I maintain he never had many. As I said. It is a game. The president has his role, but for the overall agenda, they all toe the line. Obama is following, in the pseudo-democrat style, the PNAC.

What people hate more than being lied to is being deceived and played for fools.
+20 # Cletus 2011-04-10 06:47
I had come to the conclusion that Obama was a closet Republican, but your analysis seems dead on. An appeaser is a coward. His cowardice is costing us dearly.
+10 # Ann Rogers 2011-04-10 10:55

Thank you for your clear-eyed assessment of Obama. Now what is to be done?

+4 # in deo veritas 2011-04-10 12:40
I am surprised nobody has mentioned impeachment. However why should the Wall Street wolves and their teabagger jackals think about it since things are going their way?
0 # Robert Griffin 2011-04-13 18:56
Have those who called for impeachment last year and the year before changed their minds?
+15 # DaveW 2011-04-10 11:31
Patricia Chang, "Barack Obama is an appeaser. He is also the ultimate Wannabee." Everything else you write is well put. You only forgot the icing on the cake. Barack Obama is a Republican. The "D" in back of his name is illusory. In point of fact we're basically a one party system now. The citizens v. united Supreme Court rulung made "all" the politicians in the country something akin to permanent street walkers. It now takes enormous sums of money just to achieve office. If one makes it,"favors" must be returned. The interests of the monied few take precadence over the "needs" of the many. It won't make much difference if he's re-elected or not. Our path has been indelibly paved by rapacious Conservatives, in BOTH parties, who now have no other choice than to pander to Plutocrats if they want to stay in office with all its requisite perks,pomp and "paid" health care.
+8 # True Progressive 2011-04-10 12:37

You have very well encapsulated this gladhanding, "Uncle Tom" excuse for a president. He's pushed America far more to the right than either Clinton or Bush did since the entirety of Obama's presidency has been appeasement, capitulation, selling out and doing the bidding for some of the worst political thugs since the National Socialists. He's the best president the Repubs ever could hope to get. When he leaves (or is driven out) of the presidency, he'll probably angle for a well paying, prestigious place in some corporate think tank. The only "change I can believe in" now is what's in my pocket.
+9 # in deo veritas 2011-04-10 12:37
Look what appeasement brought England until Churchill took control!We are not appeasing some foreign power that seeks to destroy us but traitors in our midst. Any public official who puts anything ahead of adherence to the Constitution and the well-being of the American people is a traitor and deserves the traditional punishment for same. The enemy is inside the gates.
+6 # Susan W 2011-04-09 23:09
I can't imagine anyone is surprised by this ghastly capitulation on O's part. The whole thing was nothing but really bad political theather played out for the benefit of those who rarely pay attention.

Now that shill can gallop around trumpeting how he stood up to the mean nasty Rs and prevented them from ruining the country. This will sell his reelection to those he needs. It will not fly with the rest of us. We must defeat this creep in 2012 because enough is enough.
+23 # maddave 2011-04-10 08:20
OK Susan. Point well taken, but who do you suggest we support? More than that , who - other than the GOP's "Clown of the Week" i.e., Trump - will bear the brunt of the attacks leveled upon any Democratic candidate, competent or not, by the great unwashed?

Obama's base, deserted by Obama, stayed away from the 2010 polls in droves, and you see what THAT bought us.

I humbly submit that I am available and would run, but I have a dental that day. You know how it is.
+5 # True Progressive 2011-04-10 12:42
Besides the obvious Dennis Kucinich, how about Richard Trumka, the AFL-CIO president. Listen to him speak sometime. The man is dynamite.

Another more moderate candidate, but one who appears to have the necessary balls and guts is Ed Rendell, the former PA governor.
+7 # DaveW 2011-04-10 16:10
maddave, Whomever we support we'll have to dertermine,earl y on,just where he/she is getting their financing and EXACTLY who'll they'll be indebted to. This was a critical mistake many of us made(myself included)with Obama. The money trail from Wall Street to the coffers of Obama's "war chest" should have tipped us off. After eight years of Bush we were like kids getting our first Xmas present in years. We should of shook that box with all the ornate speeches wrapped around it.If we had,we may have figured out that the only "change" we were going to see was that for the worse.I personally like Feingold or Bernie Sanders. At the very least they appear to have "genuine" populist principles.If GOP takes total control perhaps they'll self-destruct in unadultared aura of power.Or perhaps, a solid majority of America will finally see the corossive and pernicious nature of "Conservatism" in its true predatory light. Self-Aggrandizm ent is now seen as a virtue.How else to explain the "cult of personality" that has enveloped our country. Many Americans will watch a homeless person pushing "their home", a shopping cart, and simply say to themselves "this is America,they had their chance like everyone else",as they rush home and worship at the alter of the big screen, thrilling to the exploits of parasites like Donald Trump, Glenn Beck or Sarah Palin. It will take time to undo all this.
+6 # in deo veritas 2011-04-10 12:41
NOBODY has stopped the predators from ruining the country, least of all the gullible public that believes in elected officials. We have elected the wolves to protect the sheeple.
+10 # Derek Spisak 2011-04-09 23:36
Where are you getting this dribble?

People across america have realized that it is plain theatrics between party actors (both republican and democrat) with only their own selfish interest at heart and no matter how each "side" bluster, they have systemical­ly dismantled the social safety nets, much less the foundation for upward mobility for the lower and middle class in favor of soft money, if not hard money bribes of the super wealthy.

I usually enjoy writing, but to pretend otherwise is showing conditioning as an insider as well.
+14 # maddave 2011-04-10 08:21
What we Americans ned is a second political party,
+3 # in deo veritas 2011-04-10 12:43
NO political parties would be a better answer. Washington warned us about them and he knew what he was talking about.
+6 # True Progressive 2011-04-10 12:43
The word, genius, is "drivel." "Dribble" is what you do with a basketball, or what Republicans do with Obama.
+35 # angelfish 2011-04-10 00:12
Until and unless the Mega-wealthy and the Banks start to pay their fair share of the taxes in this Country, we will continue to sink into third World status and lose ANY credibility we EVER had with our Citizenry or our European Allies. Giving the wealthiest 2% of our population ALL the tax breaks while leaving the over-worked, underpaid, poor and middle Class is UNCONSCIONABLE! We were ALREADY drained dry by the Bush/Cheney Regime and we will be paying off THEIR bills into Infinity! WHEN will some of the Republicans who KNOW BETTER inform the Lunatic Fringe of their Freshmen Congressmen that What they are doing is not only insane it is CRIMINAL! WE are a Government of ALL the people, not just the RICH. NO MORE FREE RIDES FOR BILLIONAIRES! We should and MUST sink or swim TOGETHER!
+37 # giraffee2012 2011-04-10 00:18
Please do not elect a Republican as President in 2012 --- maybe Obama fears for his life -- the R's are racists as well as thieves. THERE MUST BE A REASON for his change!

I hear a difference in his voice and see a difference in his eyes from before 11/2010.

Something weird is going on --- and it maybe in the Supreme Court! There is nothing constitutional about allowing corporations to have right of an individual when it comes to putting $$ into campaigns!

Scalia/Thomas -- both should step down. They were wined/dined and more by the Kock brothers b4 allowing those 2 to BUY our governemnt -- LOOK AT WISCONSIN.
Vote in 2012 -- -do not vote R or w all can ride pickup trucks shooting at --- just like in Libya.

Maybe somebody will beat up on Ryban TParty pimp -- He is taking more than a cup cake. Maybe somebody will wipe that smirk off Cantor's face too. Boner is a hopeless whore who is being bought off to "head the house" ---
WAKE up -- it's not about President Obama -- he is not g-d. It's the republicans (Remember 2001-2009?)
+5 # in deo veritas 2011-04-10 12:45
Right on target!
+16 # DaveW 2011-04-10 16:30
giraffe2012, Yes,Republicans are parsimonious, pseudo-patrioti c, plutocratic pandering bastards. But Bill Clinton was a Democrat. Bill Clinton signed both NAFTA and Glass/Stegall financial industry de-regulation acts. These were MASSIVE steps on our road to perdition. Obama has capitulated on the restoration of once agreed upon taxes on the wealthy. He signed bill allowing guns in National parks. He is suggesting cutting nutritional subsidies to low income children and heating assistance to likewise low income seniors. He continues to advocate both nuclear power and off-shore oil drilling despite recent catastrophes.No t one Wall Street thief has or will see the view looking out of a jail cell. The Guantanamo prisoners will not get the right to a fair and "public" trial. Guantanamo also remains open for business despite promises to close it. Public option in health care bill was "never" adequately explained by this President. Our Commander-in-Ch ief has expanded, not contracted, our military forays in the Middle East. And we continue to "torture" Bradley Manning, a U.S. citizen brave enough to tell the truth. No Obama is not God. I'd be content if he just acted like a man once in a while.
+5 # photonracer 2011-04-10 19:53
maybe Obama fears for his life -- the R's are racists as well as thieves. THERE MUST BE A REASON for his change!
giraffee2012 I agree wholeheartedly. The posture, the speech and the apparent change of course toward the right just triggers my personal paranoia! Maybe I have seen too many movies but the man looks trapped in a cage. Control and power from behind the "throne" has long been accepted but the obvious fascist aspect of the bureaucrats in charge is indeed frightening. No wonder government didn't shut down this weekend. Just more TV drama for the sheeple.
0 # billy bob 2011-04-12 09:07
When Obama decided to run for President he knew what the potential threat to his life was. We can't give him that excuse.
+14 # John Pirtle 2011-04-10 00:26
"They" are doing this by design.
"They" are imploding the country because the American Republic is or could be a resistance to a worldwide dictatorship of the secret super rich.

We are building our own prison and we don't even notice.

Obama is the third Bush Term. He does everything the right wants, gets beat up by them, and is begrudgingly defended by half the Democrats. Sheer Genius move by the plutocracy!!!!

I will be voting for the Ron Paul, Dennis Kucinich Ticket next time!!!!
+25 # pres 2011-04-10 00:46
There is so little "right" about the "right wing" is should be more appropriately called the "wrong wing"
or the "selfish wing"
or, better yet, the "inhumane wing"
+15 # Wes 2011-04-10 08:49
How about "Wing Nuts"
+16 # in deo veritas 2011-04-10 12:46
call it what it is-corporate fascism of the Mussolini kind!
+2 # Anarchist 23 2011-04-10 18:21
Given the fact that the three five- pointed stars on the Republican Elephant Logo-the official one; check it out on the Net-are upside-down, one could equally call it the Party of Satan-or Evil if yoiu don't want to subscribe to a particular theology of Evil.
+22 # hms 2011-04-10 01:36
And as all this mess goes 'roung and 'round, let us keep in mind the guys who put us into the financial toilet we flounder around in daily are currently making more megabucks and not a single one has been hauled into court and then to prison! Now tell me our entire country isn't owned by the corporations and the rich!
+23 # Gurka 2011-04-10 01:49
@Patricia Chang: Unfortunately it seems that you have many good points. Economy is a very difficult science, remember all the "schools" that claim to be the holders of the Truth. And it seems that many (most?) politicians, the President included, plainly do not understand economics. They seem to embrace it as a kind of Faith. Contrary evidence to the doctrine is ignored. The least they could do, after 8 years and more of voodoo economics that amply prove the untenability of the republican economics, would be to give a chance to the kind ecomomics represented by Mr. Reich and Mr. Krugman. Are the power holders too afraid of giving it a try? If it helped the American people, they would hate that, right?
-15 # Bill Harrison 2011-04-10 05:51
When my grandchildren, who have a real stake in the outcome of this debate, find out that we've doomed them to debt owed to those who don't wish us well; they will hold us ALL in deserved disrespect. As we allow the can to be kicked down the road and avoid our responsibility (limit our own stakes in the outcome) we do them a huge disservice. Rather than continuing a mindset of confiscation, redistribution by government, and entitlement; maybe we should get creative and give the "evil rich" more incentive (a bigger stake) to reduce the debt and contribute to social needs. Our leaders fail us daily!
+7 # Spookk 2011-04-10 08:07
Quoting Bill Harrison:
When my grandchildren, who have a real stake in the outcome of this debate, find out that we've doomed them to debt owed to those who don't wish us well; they will hold us ALL in deserved disrespect.

I did my part to prevent that by not having any kids ;D
+7 # Oligarch 23 2011-04-10 18:25
By all means give me, a poor millionaire, more money via a rising stock market and tax breaks! I have my sights set on a small house in the sierras of Cordoba province in Argentina (we millionairs are the poor of the Evil Rich) and having bought 4 properties outright already I have a slight cash flow problem! OTOH if you taxed me more, it might go to rebuilding infrastructure which would create jobs and commerce for your grandchildren! We Oligarchs don't give up money to the Commons unless forced to do so! Jewelry and properts is so much more attractive to us!
+10 # rm 2011-04-10 06:09
Obama is working very hard at making himself a one term president. Very few of his supporters in 2008 want anything to do with him now and the reasons are just as Reich and Patricia Chang have written. He has no courage of his convictions. He may not even have any real convictions. He is turning out to be just like Bill Clinton.

In 2012, the US will probably get for president a teabagger like Scott Walker who will push right wing reforms too far and provoke a backlash. Maybe after something like that the US will begin to try to regain control of its capitalist class. Thing don't look good, however. The capitalist thugs have been emboldened and they won't want to stop looting the wealth of the nation.
+9 # cadan 2011-04-10 12:49
RM --- your scenario of a teabagger in 2012, leading to a backlash in 2016 and a chance for peace then, may be too optimistic.

I think Obama may very well win in a landslide in 2012 precisely because those who control the media feel like they can depend on him to feed the wars ahead of everything else. They will support him.
(Did you see the RSN piece about how pro-war the NYT is?) And, after all, no matter how bad he is on the wars, and on Bradly Manning, and in all the ways Patricia Chang wrote about above----he is still palpably more intelligent than any other mainstream politician. Not more moral, but more intelligent.

So, perhaps in 2016 we'll get our teabagger and in 2020 we'll have a chance for peace and reconstruction?

I hope i'm wrong, and please correct me!

But i think for now the best we can do is support war-opposing candidates from any party in every election (including primaries).
0 # billy bob 2011-04-12 09:04
I agree. Unless an anti-war candidate is ALSO against all social spending.
0 # rm 2011-04-13 05:04
Cadan -- well you are probably right. Obama is smart and a good politician. He's the best politician that the military-indust rial-banking-co mplex is likely to get right now. He stays away from all of the divisive social issues that Teabaggers bring up too often -- abortion rights, gun ownership, and so on. He stays focused on the real agenda of the ruling elites -- endless war and murder in the postcolonial world and endless transfers of wealth from the middle class to the ruling elites.
+20 # David Frenkel 2011-04-10 06:37
Shocking as it this may seem, I think the GOP leadership and strategists do not want the recovery to be robust since their chances of winning the White House and Senate will be far lower if unemployment drops much further.

Their own fiscal policy has been very stimulative over the past 30 years except skewed to spending on wars and tax cuts. It has driven a deep divide between rich and poor. In the end a phyrric victory.

At some stage the people will rise up directly through direct protest and at the ballot box although the latter depends on clean elections, which America really does not have, sadly.
+15 # Regina 2011-04-10 11:47
The Republican Party has amply informed us that their single-minded goal is to make Obama fail. The mere fact that the country at that point would also fail is fine and dandy with those conspirators. Their sole motivation is race, no matter how "cloaked" in birtherism or other insanities. They are funded by the billionaires they serve, having been bought by the Kochs and others in the same super-bracket. As far as they're concerned, the worse the economy gets, the better -- voters will then oppose Obama's reelection because they rarely think below the surface, and it would have happened on his watch. Mission Accomplished!!! !! So when are people who think beyond slogans going to wake up? They didn't even make it in Wisconsin, when ALL the votes mysteriously surfaced.
+35 # liberalman 2011-04-10 06:54
President Obama has attempted to govern from a middle ground, trying to appease the demands of both parties. While a commendable attribute, he must draw the proverbial line in the sand & refuse to capitulate further. The right wing is blatantly ripping the soul of America from her moorings in favor of the upper classes.

I have always given credit to this consistently GOP bashed president but now call upon him to take a moral stand for what is right, or left, in this country. This cannot be accomplished from the Republican gutter but from a higher place of moral dignity. Stop these bullies now.
+12 # maddave 2011-04-10 08:04
True, the Dem's not confronting the GOP begets perpetual bullying, but Reich's declaration that we need more, not less, government spending is not the answer. Government spending is a palliative, but this depression (as it is seen by the hungry & dispossessed poor folks) will persist until Corporate America's plutocrats loosen their pursestrings and create well paying jobs in sufficient numbers to sustain our threatened middle class economy without governmental stimulation.
Tragically, though, the Union-based, post WWII jobs that fueled and sustained our middle class' growth have long since been shipped overseas - where they will stay. Ironically, their transportation costs abroad were financed by the the massive "job stimulating" Reagan and Bush tax cuts.
The nation's wealthiest 400 families' aggregate wealth now exceeds that of the 160 million Americans comprising the bottom half of our economy, and still the rich remain focused upon increasing their obscene hoard. For them, money is no longer a necessity. It is a way of keeping score, and workers, if complacent, are "consumables". If they are unionized & resistant to corporate predation, they are an enemy to be destroyed.
Two universal rules apply here:
1. Nobody lives at the end of a one-way cul-de-sac.
2. He who dies with the most toys . . . is still dead.
+17 # Regina 2011-04-10 11:54
We need more government INCOME, from which we would get the INVESTMENT needed to reverse the degradation of life we are suffering. The government IS the solution to the vast problems that we face. There are needs that can be met ONLY by systemwide resources and action -- we can't build and maintain our streets, roads, bridges, or community services as individuals. It's high time to drop the stupid Reagan slogan and get to work to meet the needs of ALL the people. Reich is right!
0 # billy bob 2011-04-12 08:55
Thank you Regina. Now if we can just convince the President.
+14 # Procyon_Lotor 2011-04-10 08:04
In a democracy, people get what the majority vote for. In the 2010 election, about 60% of eligible voters didn't bother to vote. Voter apathy has given us the government we now have. The most recent winners act as though they have a mandate to make the changes they are forcing on us, when in fact nothing could be further from the truth. Voter turnout was lower yet in the primary elections. The most passionate, ideology-driven voters are the ones who come out for the primaries. Hence the rise of the Tea Party and wingnuts taking over the GOP. One can only hope the anti union, anti lower and middle class policies of the GOP will stimulate greater voter turnout in the next election. When voter turnout is high, the Democratic Party does better.
0 # billy bob 2011-04-12 08:56
Which is why the republiklan party shut down ACORN and wants to make it harder to vote.
+16 # Doctoretty 2011-04-10 08:09
Wake up people! comparing running the government and running an individual household is like comparing apples and oranges. The Republicans want to cut social programs for the poor and middle class to make the rich richer with tax cuts they will never use for one job outside their own circle!
+35 # Smell the bacon 2011-04-10 08:32
Please recognize the real objectives of the R party:

Number 1 is President Obama's FAILURE.

Number 2 is the PREVENTION of job growth and economic recovery from now until at least November, 2012.

Number 3 is the PROTECTION of the wealthy and big business - read campaign donors.

Number 4 is their SOCIAL AGENDA:
No unions
No abortion
Christianity as the state religion

The President and all thinking citizens need to recognize these objectives for what they are and respond appropriately if the collapse of this country is to be avoided. If the Rs win the United States loses!
+9 # Lee Black 2011-04-10 12:20
Perhaps number 4 could read simply - Reverse the New Deal
-1 # NCMike 2011-04-11 14:28
How can a statement like this have a positive rating? It is patently incorrect. The New Deal has nothing to do with any of the falsehoods presented by smellthebacon.
0 # billy bob 2011-04-12 08:58
So you DON'T think the gop wants to reverse the New Deal?
-3 # NCMike 2011-04-12 11:20
Whether the GOP does or does not is irrelevant to the point. The New Deal has nothing to do with unions or abortions or a state religion. If the purpose of this board is to discuss news and facts, it seems important that people get things right.
+1 # billy bob 2011-04-12 12:41
The New Deal ABSOLUTELY deals with unions. If it wasn't for union organizing, the New Deal would NEVER HAVE HAPPENED.

Both the New Deal and union organizing have been labelled "communism" or "socialism" by the right. If you want to "get things right", then let's stop trying to alter the "facts" you claim to be interested in.
+1 # billy bob 2011-04-12 12:51
Besides, you said the entire statement was "patently incorrect".

Now, you want to split hairs and make it "only about number 4"? Seriously, if you're not a corporate lawyer, you should be. Instead of saying, "uh, maybe you should just say number 3 is about reversing the New Deal, instead of number 4", you go off about how incorrect the comment is?

The comment that the gop wants to reverse the New Deal is the ACTUAL point of the comment, whether or not we're refering to "number 3" or "number 4".

Let me spell it out for you: DO YOU THINK THE gop SUPPORTS WHAT'S LEFT OF THE NEW DEAL?
+8 # in deo veritas 2011-04-10 13:24
In short the agenda of corporate fascism as conceived by Benito Mussolini. If they were honest (LOL) they would change the name of their party. A party to which 98% of the people aren't invited to.
+12 # tanis 2011-04-10 09:00
talk aside. Many people in USA call themselves Christians. The solution is simple - people have to cooperate, join together and do the work to be a force demanding that the American people need to be represented. If we keep making speeches and acting individually, we will lose at the moment when we could win and show strength. Americans are afraid to join with their neighbors, support real information, cooperate with one another not the system. That would be following the true Christian message. Not to establish a religion but to give Democracy honor and room to breathe. Democracy is an ideal not a place.
+8 # buckles 2011-04-10 09:03
Obama caved in , had he at least tried to get some of the tax breaks for the rich on the table, like only one year rather then two, or taxing the corporations who have fled with the jobs overseas, no he gave in on programs for the poor. Obama is not a gambler , he folded. Now we have to live with it till the next time the repugs go at it again, for more , more and more,
+16 # reiverpacific 2011-04-10 09:33
The right-wing by default ARE bullies! You'll never hear one of this ilk say (for example) "In my opinion! More "THIS is how it is, or "My way or the Hi-way (or internment"!) -but they will rationalize their defense of those who ALREADY have power and wealth in a desire to emulate them and given the opportunity, to USURP them by the most ruthless means possible. They will ostentatiously give to charities (usually private, high profile establishments) for the tax breaks and then bray loudly about the fact of their "humanity", fund "Junior polo" (I know at least one example of this) but concurrently seek to crush the likes of Head-Start, Planned Parenthood, PUBLIC education and de-fund free contraceptives to other nations (just for a start). There are one or two exceptions but we are dealing with an entrenched mentality spurred by fear of the "other" -or we the powerless. I have lived in Franco's Spain, Suharto's Indonesia and experienced Stroessner's Paraguay and this is where we are headed if the grassroots continues to allow itself to be more subtly bullied by continuous dumbing-down. In my opinion, we need to emulate the people of Indonesia, who know that their government cares little for them and who practice "Kampung" or village Socialism wherein those who have work give 10% of their earnings to head man who distributes it to the rest, including stores of basic staples.
+11 # genierae 2011-04-10 12:41
I agree that the way to create a true democratic system is locally. Communities are the best place to create nonpartisan co-ops that put the common good first. We need a nationwide grass-roots movement to "think globally, act locally". This has real potential for bottom-up change, and its the only way that we can prevail over the corporate elites. By taking back our communities, we take back our country.
+10 # in deo veritas 2011-04-10 13:31
It is a shame that people in this country have no concept of alternative solutions. What we have here is fascism of the type you have experienced and they have no concept achieving goals by sharing resources as well as reponsibility. Contrary to popular opinion, our system is not preparing our young to be more competitive but more susceptible to the role of virtual subservience to the powers on Wall Street.
+19 # wfalco 2011-04-10 10:35
It is time for the Democrats to unabashedly declare class warfare. They must overcome the unreasonable fear of the right wing that they have held for so many years.Why can't the Dems cater completely to their base just like the Rebublicans do? The Dems have to wake up and realize what the Repubs(and the rest of the world) have known for years...-In America no one is listening but the most political and ideological individuals. You only have to address this hard core base of political junkies. Who has a stronger, more influential base of supporters? A case can be made for the Dems as "their base" has stronger arguments across the board-anti-empi re, pro-environment , pro-worker, and a more equitable tax system- helpful to the majority, not the few.
Forget about the apathetic and elusive "center." They only exist in Main Stream Media land with their human interest stories on "middle America." They mean "dumb America." Sorry if it sounds "liberal elitist." Facts don't lie and they are on our side in this war.
+11 # in deo veritas 2011-04-10 13:33
Elitism is synonymous with wealth-therefor e the elitists are the 1-2% who control most of the wealth. They are America's mortal enemies.
+12 # Kayjay 2011-04-10 10:58
What really disgusts me is seeing President Obama "crowing" about the biggest budget cuts in history. Cuts which will affect the working poor in the long run. And corporate heads clinking glasses over another no tax year.
+11 # Realist 2011-04-10 11:12
We are trying to act as the world's police force. But we don't know what we are policing! Let's get our troops home, alive, stop spending money on replacing weapons used in Afghanistan, and renem the space program. At least that brought us as a by product many new products- the war just brings us debt and death.
+9 # in deo veritas 2011-04-10 13:35
Indeed but the Pentagon, defense contractors, and Congress only see dollar signs.They have sold their souls and just hope to live forever knowing what awaits them at the end.
+15 # ellioth 2011-04-10 11:16
Cowards (Dems) rarely confront the bullies (Republicans). They simply cower and slink away, complaining about the bullies while doing nothing. Reality - the bullies are mouthpieces for the elite class that funds the bullies. Who owns OUR government? The funders of the bullies. The masses of Americans have chosen ignorance (not even blissful) over consciousness, "reality" television instead of real life. Until and unless voters - main street business and main street citizens - stand up to the bullies and their puppeteers - we're screwed. Elliot
+11 # Lulie 2011-04-10 11:58
Democratic Party leaders don't cater to their "liberal base" because liberals are NOT the base of the party. The Dems are beholden to the same big-money, corporate interests as the Repubs. They might not instigate the rightist policies, but they go along with them. The Repubs play the tune, and the Dems dance. The Democratic Party doesn't fear the defection of liberals -- they figure "Where else are they going to go?" And sure enough, rather than throw their vote away, liberals vote for whatever Dem-du-jour the party throws up. Many thought Obama represented a change. They were wrong. Until there is a new political party -- a liberal, progressive party -- nothing will get better, only worse. Such a party would have to be funded by huge numbers of bodies, rather than huge numbers of dollars. As much as I long for such a development, I don't see it happening anytime soon.
+6 # fredboy 2011-04-10 12:28
Bullies are most effective if wimps are present. And that's the Democrats' dilemma. That's why I'm pulling my Dem rip cord and going Independent.

Obama has spent so much time attempting to fellate the GOP he forgot about us.
+10 # sallyport 2011-04-10 13:17
People and corporations that shelter their wealth from our taxes should lose their citizenship and charters, their onshore properties be confiscated and any basic manufacturing capacities nationalized through eminent domain. Whatever taxation was still needed to provide for government services would be progressively levied. Is this socialism? Well, sorta. So what's the beef?
+7 # channing brown 2011-04-10 13:50
Oh come now Dr....we simply cant have pesky little things like facts impede Jude Wajinskis "tax cut Santa"..from rewarding all those good little country clubbers who avoid factual debate like they avoid the plague that is the IRS..after all they "believe in a philosophy.. a way of life where a man can rise up and be anything he aspires to be (providing he wins the toss of the sperm of course)..
+9 # erepair 2011-04-10 14:04
The GOP and right in general, want only to demonstrate that they, in fact, have "power" and "consequense" in our society and that they are right (correct) and righteous in their belief system and values and because we couldn't convince and convert for the past decades...we are now going to force our dogma down your pinheaded, do nothing throats.

They really need to be seen as vindictive, sore losers who would use any means at their disposal to get even!

They have no interest in humanity only adherence to their values... they are the fundementalist terrorists of our nation- fascist in operation and single-minded in their conceit that their winning way is the best outcome!
+7 # BishopAndrew 2011-04-10 15:29
The achilles heel of so called free market capitalism is greed which will bring about the demise of this the greatest evil perpetuated on the human race! It may take awhile and we all may go down the tubes with it but ultimately this enslavement of the populations and the very environment of the world will consume itself. Hopefully sooner not later! Obama is the sorriest excuse for a Democrat we have ever had and as likable as old Bill is he and Obama and all the other so called Centrists have created the political climate which allows cowardice in the face of tyranny to be considered an intellectual victory!
-8 # NCMike 2011-04-11 14:36
Capitalism is the "greatest evil perpetuated on the human race"? I understand that emotions get the best of people but hyperbole like this is stunningly uneducated. The same capitalism that allows you to post this drivel is keeping you enslaved? The same capitalism that allows you to use electricity to power your computer to use the internet to read whatever you want is keeping you enslaved? The same capitalism that allows you to work for private companies instead of telling you where you will work is enslaving you? Tyranny is the great evil of this world and capitalism, even with flaws, is the best protection we have against government tyranny.
0 # billy bob 2011-04-12 09:19
Go back and read BishopAndrew's comment. He didn't say "capitalism is the greatest threat..."

UNCHECKED UNREGULATED capitalism IS, however.

Also, most of your comments about how capitalism is allowing us to write sentences, not be enslaved, have electricity, etc. don't make any sense.

Tyranny is not the opposite of capitalism. In fact, the two often go hand in hand.

While we’re at it, what do you think IS the opposite of capitalism? Is it socialism? If it is, then I’m sure you must have a HUGE problem with the existence of corporations. Afterall, corporations do not represent capitalism. They are nothing more than socialistic enterprise, plain and simple. Obviously, you're against the existence of corporations, right? Otherwise, you'd be nothing more than an elitest hypocrite, and we know that can't be true.
-1 # NCMike 2011-04-12 11:18
His statement was never qualified with limiting words. It may be your opinion but it was not his statement.

I was going to respond to the rest of your comments until you called corporations a "socialistic enterprise." At that point, it occurred to me that you have no idea what the words that you throw around actually mean.
0 # billy bob 2011-04-12 12:38
You're right. He didn't "qualify" the comment about the "greatest evil". For instance, he didn't say that "capitalism is the greatest evil..."

YOU put 2 and 2 together and arrived at 5. You filled in blanks that he left open. It IS my opinion that unchecked unregulated capitalism is the greatest evil on Earth. I never "qualified" my comment to say that it was his. IT IS ALL MINE.

Now, let's deal with the definition of a corporation (if you've bothered to keep reading THIS comment before replying):

"The most common form of business organization, and one which is chartered by a state and given many legal rights as an entity separate from its owners. This form of business is characterized by the limited liability of its owners..."


I guess the legal definition of a corporation doesn't know what it's talking about either.

Duh, tell me what "limited liability" means professor? Down here in Realityville, it means that corporations don't pay ALL of the costs of doing business. In fact, MANY of those costs are SHARED by society.


-1 # NCMike 2011-04-12 14:22
I can discuss limited liability and point out just how inaccurate your statement is. It is a legal concept that protects the investors and officers of a corporation from personal liability for the debts of the corporation. It means that anything over and above what the corporation can pay is not a debt of the owners (except in rare instances). You still have no idea about these topics and you still fail to comprehend that Socialism is an economic system for a government, not private actors in society. Would you care to try again or are you done making yourself look like the village idiot?
0 # billy bob 2011-04-12 16:04
No Mr. Professor. Actually, your insults aren't making me look bad at all. In fact they're further proving the point of the article itself.

Please "educate" me some more. Without limited liability, what costs (in more specific terms) could be incurred? Why would they be something that a corporation would want to avoid? If a company is not a corporation, would it be responsible for these costs? More importantly, if a corporation is not paying for these things, WHO IS?

I DON'T fail to understand that the accepted definition of "socialism" is "FOR A GOVERNMENT" (i.e. the BENEFITS ARE FOR EVERYONE since, unlike a corporation, a government is NOT a "person").

I ALSO DON'T fail to understand your idea that having, "anything over and above what the corporation can pay not be a debt" would be a good thing. For some reason, this same logic, that the government can enact laws which help individuals, only applies to individuals who own corporations with you. For some reason people like you consider it immoral to use public money to help individuals UNLESS they own a corporation.

0 # billy bob 2011-04-12 16:08

I think you fail to understand that redistribution of the wealth that only is "for" the profit of private individuals at the expense of everyone else is completely immoral and un-American, whether or not you choose to see it as another version of socialism. The fact is that, at its core, the problem conservatives have with socialism is that it takes money away from one person and gives it to another person based on need. The very existence of corporations relies on that same math. The difference is all in who's benefiting and who's paying the bill.

Would you care to continue this conversation or are you done making yourself look like an elitest hypocrite?
-3 # NCMike 2011-04-13 09:58
This is my last reponse to you because you still do not understand what you are writing. The point of the article is that people in the wrong are taking what isn't theirs and holding the country hostage (a false premise). In our instance, you picked a fight with me and sprinkled it with snarky comments, so I responded by correcting your errors, and then you proceeded to escalate your previous actions.

I am not going into a detailed breakdown of the different types of business entities and the liability that occurs with each (or any) unless you pay for that legal advice. It would be helpful in the future if you would spend some time reading about how corporations work and understanding who pays the debts. It may also be of use for you to spend some time reading about political systems to further your understanding of the concepts.

Morality is an entirely separate subject and you should be careful about making assumptions as to others' thinking. There is a huge difference in what is Constitutional and what any one person thinks is moral (moral relativism anyone?), a distinction that appears to be lost on you.

What exactly stated was elitist or hypocritical? Again, your points will be better taken if you understand the words that you use and support your opinions with evidence.
0 # billy bob 2011-04-13 13:49
Thank you for saying you won't reply again. Now I can say whatever I want.

Do you honestly think you have some monopoly on the facts of what corporations do? I didn't even BEGIN to approach the other forms of socialism associated with corporations (a.k.a. "corporate WELFARE"). I could have, but I didn't. I focused on trying to get you to answer a few simple questions. In sum, I wanted your answer as to who pays the bills that corporations are not responsible for, once their "limited" liability runs out. You couldn't do that. Instead I get a long-winded evasion.

I'd have a little more respect for your constant insults to my intelligence if you'd actually prove your point. Avoiding a simple question wasn't a very good way of doing that. That's seems to be an ongoing theme in your responses: say something is "patently false" and then don't bother backing up your comment with any facts other than further insults to the intelligence of anyone who disagrees with you.

0 # billy bob 2011-04-13 13:51

By the way, "LEGAL ADVICE"? You've got to be kidding me!

So, apparently you ARE a corporate lawyer afterall? HILARIOUS! No, I won't be paying for your legal advice. I already pay for the "limited liability" of the corporations you want to defend as a an American citizen.

About "morality": PLEASE lecture me MORE about "moral relativism"!!! I LOVE IT! Coming from a conservative, the hypocricy is TOO RICH. You ARE an elitest, and YOU ARE a hypocrite. Your own words are ample proof.
0 # billy bob 2011-04-13 13:58
How much personal hardship were the executives and share holders of BP or Exxon forced to deal with? Talk about limited liability. What do you think would happen to you as an individual if you'd caused as much harm to thousands of people, not to mention the human food supply? If YOU as an individual had committed these atrocities, YOU as a "natural human being" would be spending some serious time in jail, and would probably be branded a "terrorist".

Lucky for the individuals who were responsible that they were incorporated. With their "limited liability" they pretty much got away with murder.

By the way, THANKS SO MUCH for promising not to respond to me again!!!
+6 # DPM 2011-04-10 18:51
MacArthur used Federal troops to breakup a WWI veterans protest encampment, in Washington DC, in the 1920's. When the government feels threatened, they will use force against the threat. Covertly, at first, then overtly. If real change is to come, those that call for change must be prepared. Non-violent, but massive calls for change must be made. That means that we must all put aside our own individual selfishness and act in one voice for the good of the nation as a whole. Can you do it?
+5 # angelfish 2011-04-10 21:45
HOW is this possible in a, supposedly, FREE and DEMOCRATIC Society? I don't believe the majority of Americans go along with this lunatic fringe that has over-taken the Republican Party. They are ideologues of the WORST kind, allowing no discussion on ANY subject. THEIR will is the WILL of the masses. NOT! Wait until the 2012 Elections. They will get their clocks cleaned once and for all!
+5 # Karl Pierson 2011-04-11 00:02
We pandered to our dreams, and poured our souls into the fantasy that one man, one lone soul, could keep us from being crushed between the forces of unfettered classic liberalism on one side, and the ignorant masses on the other side, who fight amongst themselves about the hierarchy of their skin color; what sexual identity is allowable; whose god is better; and ad infinitum.

Quit the carping. It is time to act. During his presidential campaign, Obama said "Make me do it", (bring pressure upon me, so I will have to act on your behalf).

Run, don't walk to your nearest investment bank—and shut their doors. Shut down the powers elite who are destroying our constitutional freedoms—our very life force. Do this and he will follow. Act now. More words are an excuse for inaction
+4 # Bill Clements 2011-04-11 13:34
One of the few voices out there that are calling a spade a spade. Obama the appeaser has clearly thrown the working class and the poor under the bus with this budget he has just approved. I fear that the 2012 budget, with his endorsement, will be even more punishing.
+1 # billy bob 2011-04-11 20:10
Apparently I have to reword my comment to get it shown. So be it. Here's a nicer version of it:

I agree with Reich as always. He seems to be the only one (even more than Kruger) who consistently speaks the truth about our economic situation and the power plays involved.



It just makes us look like wimps (formerly "*&$#$%"). If it's true that we're just a bunch of wimps (formerly "*&$#$%"), I propose we learn to fight and stop complaining about "bullies". Millions of Americans have visions of scrawny nerds with "kick me" signs on their backs being laughed at like George McFly. Is that what you want?

Personally, I'd rather win a fight that complain about how my opponent is stronger and tougher than me.

Apparently I'm the only one on the left who cringes whenever I hear people I agree with complaining of being "bullied".
+1 # billy bob 2011-04-12 08:45
Of course I meant "Krugman". Not "Kruger". We've already tried the Nightmare on Elm Street budget. It's not working.
-6 # Gary in Midwest 2011-04-11 21:57
You guys are preaching nothing but doom and gloom, just like Reich (though I like you, Robert). You bemoan the corporate takeover of government, the loss of workers' rights to corporations, the eroding of our standard of living, indeed everything we have known in the past, especially our individual freedoms. I say flow with it; resist it best you can -- but learn to live with it; it's a necessary evil we have to endure and the reason is this-- the population of the earth can not sustain itself economically without the corporations. They are a necessary adaptation of evolution and because they are necessary to our survival as a species they can only become more powerful. So get used to 28 cents an hour average worldly wage. It's coming here sooner than you think and if you want to eat you'll take it, just like they do in Bangladesh and if you want to bemoan the inevitable, let the starving masses come to your doorstep and I dare say you'll wish a corporation could take them off your hands!
-1 # billy bob 2011-04-12 06:55
You should move to Bangladesh.
0 # billy bob 2011-04-12 08:44
After some consideration I think I see your point. Let's apply it to other issues as well:

Like if your house is flooding - "EVERYONE TO THE BASEMENT, QUICK!";

or to the "war on terror" - "LET'S ALL SAVE TIME BY TAKING AWAY OUR RIGHTS FOR THE TALIBAN" (bush liked your logic too)"

or to the "war on drugs" - "P A A A A R - T A A Y !!!"

or to the "war on AIDs" - "P A A A A R - T A A Y !!!"

I sincerely hope you're not a fireman. You'd likely put out the fire by counseling the victims to get used to the heat while pouring gasoline on them.

This reminds me of a Monty Python sketch about burrying a cat:

John Cleese: We just buried our cat. It took 11 hours.
Graham Chapman: Why so long?
Cleese: Well, it wouldn't hold still.
Chapman: It was still alive?
Cleese: Well, it was sick and we were going out of town for a few days, so we decided to bury it now, just to be on the safe side.

For some reason, I always took that was a joke. Now I know better.
-1 # ouizzzl 2011-04-13 05:23
don't forget the duct tape.
0 # billy bob 2011-04-12 09:49
When the starving masses come to my doorstep. We'll join forces. Next we'll be on the doorstep of the corporate elites. When that happens the corporations (the biggest beneficiaries of American socialism) will wish there was a safety net to take ALL of us off THEIR hands!
+1 # billy bob 2011-04-12 18:40
Here's a big chunk of my problem with the complaints about being bullied. Robert Reich explained why he was bullied over his height. He also showed what it took for him to stand up to his bullies.

Obama and the Democratic Party (that was elected on the wishes of a liberal base) is NOT figuratively a foot shorter than the republiklan party. In fact, it's BIGGER. It got beat up in the 2010 election because it refused to fight. It's getting beat up when it "governs" now for refusing to fight.

It's not the size of the dog in the fight, but the size of the fight in the dog. I played a little college football even though I was small for the position I played. It was partially due to the fact that, even in high school, I learned one of the things most football players learn early on. It doesn't matter whether you're the one getting hit or the one doing the hitting. Either way, it often hurts. Once you accept that there's really no way to play the game pleasantly, you start to anticipate and even appreciate the little pains from impact that are just part of the sport.

+1 # billy bob 2011-04-12 18:41

The Democratic Party doesn't want to get a little mud on its jersey. The republiklan party is emboldened by failure and defeat. They're itchin' for full body contact.

Robert Reich may have been small as a kid and may have been teased a little, but from where I stand, he's a badass!

THE NEW STREAMLINED RSN LOGIN PROCESS: Register once, then login and you are ready to comment. All you need is a Username and a Password of your choosing and you are free to comment whenever you like! Welcome to the Reader Supported News community.