Many thanks for your column which i find to be very interesting indeed.Ye,we’re worried here in Africa about recent developments in the states and we don’t know if things are moving in the right direction.
Thank you for keeping us focused!
I read yr writings, every week and it is so unfortunate that the majority of Americans don’t share similar views, even though they carry only good/common sense. It’s sad that the “majority” is only ready to listen to those populist slogans from the G.O. Tea Party
and similar, that, certainly, will cause more hardship to more Americans, in the not too distant future. But …, keep the faith baby ! (Adam Clayton Powell).
On another, lighter, ‘front’, the title of your article : “slipping into darkness” reminded me of this beautiful tune by the now defunct, Ramsey Lewis Trio, back in the 70’s…. .
Wallace, I want to thank you, for expressing so clearly the opinions/feelings of millions of people, in the U.S. and around the world, as concerns this sharade of democracy whereby anybody can suiscitate a sick debate about the birthplace of the President of U.S.A., the most powerful man in the world.
Many Americans cannot imagine the effect of this “episode”, where President Obama (or his aids) had to show his birth certificate in front of cameras and the images where seen around the world. People where watching in total disbelief and the immediate reaction is “America is a racist country”.
… Talk about democracy and human rights ?… . Don’t give us any lessons, you “guys”. Here in Morocco, that’s the feeling. No one can understand why the President of the U.S.A. is showing his birth certificate on national TV and around the world. It is totally incomprehensible !… Plus people ask, this question must have been settled before he was sworn in, as president and not 3 years later !.
Such (stupid) question would never have been asked had it been a white president. Suddenly, ALL of America is racist.
Where did the sense of decency go, for this cohort of people, followers of the likes of Donald Trump & his (vicious) ideas.
I just feel ashamed for America the “land of the free and home of the brave”. They are turning this into a ‘hollow slogan’… .
Could it be that ‘too much democracy kills democracy’ ?.
Nice Blog with Excellent information
Thank you Wallace Ford for your sensible and knowledgeable reponse to the madness on Capital Hill. It is my unwavering faith in the Lord above that keeps me sane and continually hopeful; however, God has HIS way of making a nation reap what it has sown. Everyone with an ounce of common sense realizes what is happenings in Washington, DC being led by those diabolical people kown as the TEA PARTY. I am standing on the promises of God’s WORD: “If my people who are called by my name will humble themselves and pray and turn from their wicked ways, then will I hear from heaven and heal their land”. Please continue to pray for our President and this nation because I am one that will be hurt as a retired educator depending on my Social Security income as a part of my monthly income. Thank you for your articles.
Mrs. G. in Richmond, VA
Do you know that the Progressive Caucus had an alternative budget? Do you know that the defense budget is 94% of the tax revenues gathered? Who asked Obama to put Social Security on the ” cuts ” table? Do you know that Social Security Trust Fund is covered by taxes paid by each employee!
I thought this kind of puts things in perspective. In 2010, the US government collected $898 billion in federal income tax revenues. The same year, we spent $847 billion on useless wars and national defense. That means that 94% of all federal income tax revenue is equivalent to what we spend on the Pentagon. Who out there thinks it was money well spent?
Also, just to piss you off a little bit more – defense spending is equivalent to 443% of what we collect in total corporate taxes!
Social Security and other payroll taxes provide $934 billion of thegovernment revenues, more money than is spent on benefits.
Truth About Wall Street And Washington »
WAKE UP AMERICA! – The Real U.S. Budget Problem: Defense & War Spending Equal 94% Of All Federal Income Tax Revenues
Obama may not have “surrendered”, but he is no Lincoln . He did not use the tools available to him to raise the debt ceiling to cover any of the war time deficits that he is more than willing to wage while he puts Social Security on the ” cuts” table. He did not raise taxes to cover the wars, nor did he talk about the war time expenditures that are the main source of the budget deficit and the high $14.3 Trillion debt ceiling. Oh forgive me the debt ceiling is now $16 trillion with $2.4 trillion of cuts to come probably mostly from Social Security and medicare..
Obama had two methods he could have used to directly raise the debt ceiling. One was the 14th Amendment. The second was a law passed during the Bush administration. Why? Why? Why didn’t he use those tools? Is he a puppet ? is he ;poorly advised as many have suggested? Robert Reich says that Obama hands are now tied, unless he uses the 14th amendment to increase spending.
Why Obama can’t pivot to jobs and growth.
With the hostage crisis behind him, the President is now ready to talk about the nation’s real problem.
Nine paragraphs into his remarks today announcing the nation has paid most of the ransom the radical right demanded as a condition for maintaining the full faith and credit of the United States (he didn’t use these exact words), the President pivoted to the agenda he should have been talking about all along:
“And in the coming months I’ll continue also to fight for what the American people care most about: new jobs, higher wages, and faster economic growth.”
But what precisely will he fight for now that the debt deal has tied his hands?
He says he wants to extend tax cuts for middle class families and make sure the jobless get unemployment benefits.
Fine, but the new deal won’t let him. He’ll have to go back to Congress after the recess (five weeks from now) and round up enough votes to override the budget caps that now restrict spending. What are the odds? Maybe a little higher than zero.
He says he wants an “infrastructure bank” that would borrow money from private capital markets to pay private contractors to rebuild our nations roads, bridges, airports, and everything else that’s falling apart.
Fine, but the new deal he just signed may not let him do this either – if the infrastructure bank relies on federal funds or even federal loan guarantees to attract private money. The only way he could create an infrastructure bank without sweetening the pot would be by privatizing all the new infrastructure. That means toll roads and toll bridges, user-fee airports, and entry fees everywhere else.
Apart from its potential unfairness to lower-income people, such a privatized infrastructure would have the same effect as a tax increase. After paying more for roads and bridges and all other infrastructure, Americans would have less cash for to spend on goods and services. That means no boost to the economy.
The President also wants to complete trade deals and reform the patent process. These may make the economy slightly more efficient, but they’re not going to have any perceptible positive impact on the lives of the 26 million Americans who are now either looking for work, working in part-time jobs but needing full-time ones, or have given up looking.
More importantly, the deal he just signed makes it impossible for the President and Democrats to launch any major jobs program – no WPA or Civilian Conservation Corps, no major lending program to cash-starved states and locales, no new help for distressed homeowners, and so on. Nada.
“We’ve got to do everything in our power to grow this economy and put America back to work,” the President says, now that the hostage crisis is over.
But the sad truth is he and the nation remain hostage to the ideology of right-wing Republicans who won’t let the government spend more money. Yet if the government can’t spend more – at least this year and next, until the pump is primed and the economy is growing again – we won’t see job growth. And without job growth, the economy will remain anemic.
That’s why even the stock market is reacting badly to the end of the hostage crisis.
If you hadn’t noticed, the number of people unemployed or underemployed keeps growing. (We’ll know Friday how many it added in July, but remember it needs to add 125,000 a month just to keep up with the growth of the labor force. Anything below 125,000 means we continue to slide backward.)
The reason: Consumers, who are 70 percent of the economy, haven’t been able to pick up the slack. That’s because they’re still deep in debt. Their homes have plummeted in value. They can’t borrow. Their jobs are on the line and their wages are dropping.
So where will the demand come from if not government? The radical right points to the alleged “failure” of the stimulus program as evidence that government spending doesn’t work. The fact is it did work – it saved at least 3 million jobs, and would have saved far more if the stimulus was on the scale needed and directed to job creation.
To be sure, pump-priming is more difficult when the well is almost dry, as it is now. And widening inequality – the rich taking home an increasing share of the nation’s total income and wealth – has left the vast middle class with even less purchasing power.
But the pump still needs to be primed.
And the well has to be filled: The nation must also push for real tax reform that reverses the surge toward inequality – raising taxes on the wealthy, cutting them for the middle, and expanding the Earned Income Tax Credit for the poor.
To do this, though, requires that Americans understand the truth. But where will they learn it?
The radical right has not only captured the federal budget. In convincing so many Americans the problem is the size of government rather than their shrinking paychecks and growing economic insecurity, the radical right has also captured the American mind.
The real question is not who has President Obama’s back , but who is protecting the American workers against a double dip economic crash. Americans will have to gird themselves against the austerity program that is to be put in place with the debt Ceiling Deal that was signed into law on 8/2/2011.
http://www.washingtonsblog.com/2010/05/in-great-depression-second-wave-down.html was caused by European defaults As Megan McArdle points out:
The Great Depression was composed of two separate panics. As you can see from contemporary accounts … in 1930 people thought they’d seen the worst of things. Unfortunately, the economic conditions created by the first panic were now eating away at the foundations of financial institutions and governments, notably the failure of Creditanstalt in Austria. The Austrian government, mired in its own problems, couldn’t forestall bankruptcy; though the bank was ultimately bought by a Norwegian bank, the contagion had already spread. To Germany. Which was one of the reasons that the Nazis came to power. It’s also, ultimately, one of the reasons that we, in the USA had our second banking crisis , . Way to Go congress, you are recreating the history of the 1930’s.
You could definitely see your enthusiasm in the work you write. The world hopes for even more passionate writers like you who are not afraid to say how they believe. Always go after your heart.
The Progressives Caucus said the need for the US economy are well paying jobs. The stock market is vbting against the debt ceiling deal that was signed was made into law, with its collapse. . The American people want well paying jobs. Jobs will create demand and sales. Obama says he wants jobs; he will have to create them. Corporations are not going to do it.
When will the congress get the message? The debt ceiling was raised by $2.4 Trillion. Most of it should be used to create well paying jobs. And the Federal Reserve has to provide cash to put liquidity into the shrinking money supply, immediately. We are n the verge of an economic depression.
You really make it seem so easy with your presentation but I find this matter to be actually something that I think I would never understand. It seems too complex and extremely broad for me. I am looking forward for your next post, I will try to get the hang of it!
The lesson from 9/11 has to be one of tolerance, patience and understanding.
Remember that 9/11 was the second bombing attempt in New York from the same perpertrators? The first one should have been a wake-up call that something was wrong with the way the West is conducting itself. Now in the US as in Britain the sequence of international events has created home-grown terrorists. We must learn to tolerate difference and build on it and try to undo the many wrongs and suffering that have been inflicted on all sides.
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Nice Blog…I love to read your posts.
Wonderful job right here. I really enjoyed what you had to say. Keep heading because you unquestionably bring a new voice to this topic. Not many people would say what youve said and still make it interesting. Properly, at least Im interested. Cant wait to see a lot more of this from you.
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A beautiful column. I just learned about you from David Smith, a fellow Dartmouth grad. I signed up and look forward to more
Bruce Bernstein ’57
Bravo!!!!! I have kept a journal of my reactions to all the issues you highlighted and more..no one has ever brought the essence of my joy,dissapointment, and anger home the way that you have…I knew on the day that our president accepted the hoath of office that the head of the snake to trun back the hand of time of difference was yet to come…and it has….thank you for taking 3.5 years of my hopes and fears to a level that my young nephew of 18 understands…I do not have that ability with words that excude wisdom..but you do…Bravo…
My Brother Wallace — What has to be remembered is that no matter what “they” say the truth is that their hearts & souls cannot be saved. The Rep. West, Uncle Clarence, commentator tor Amy Holmes, etc. are mere opportunist sitting by there masters door hoping for some crumbs. Their hearts & souls are also damned. In the future do not assist them (be they white, black or brown) fine tune their game to deceive us. When they speak of “wetbacks” & “N..s” & then apologize (because it is politically the thing to do) they are just full of sh*t.
Bro Jimmy Kirk
This is great stuff!!! I am so excited that you are addressing this issue that the “tea publicans” are trying to undermine our President and hold the country hostage. I will share this with my friends so they can follow your great articles.
Thanks for sharing, Beverly
I can only hope to be half the man my slave ancestors were, with what they endured and achieved; never losing hope! They are forever, our code of conduct!
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