George Will is hypocritical about
Obama's use of the bully pulpit.
I’ve been reading a George Will column in a Gannett syndicate paper entitled “Obama is Just Crying ‘Hamster.’” The column addresses Obama’s claims that the sequester will hurt the economy. Will calls this “synthetic hysteria.” This from a conservative whose party consistently cried “Wolf!” in respect to the terrorism threat with their lame color code for seven years. It rose every time Bush got in trouble, which was a lot.
Admittedly the sequester will cut only 85 billion dollars, half from defense. Why is Rush Limbaugh not having an apoplectic seizure? The military industrial complex is their favorite child. But we don’t really need all those tanks, and F-15 fighters and nuclear subs to fight a stone age culture with AK-15s and IEDs. Unless, of course, North Korea, is stupid enough to follow through with their threats, and China backs them up. China isn’t that stupid. They haven’t been involved in a major war since the 1950s, one of the reasons they’re the number two, soon to be number one thanks to U.S. corporations, economy. The real problem here is government employees will be either furloughed or let go. That’s the real reason the economy isn’t humming along as fast as Will thinks it should be. Doltish conservative voters elected Republican governors and legislatures (see Wisconsin) and they’ve been working hard at getting rid of teachers, firemen, and police officers, while passing dangerous laws making guns more ubiquitous at the same time. During past recessions the government has set the tone for increased hiring, making it easier to amp up the economy.
Another reason Obama has been in the campaign mode is because he hasn’t been using his office to its greatest potential, that is according to the liberal element in his party. He owns the bully pulpit, and it beats the hell out of Fox News. Obama’s point is that millionaires do not need tax deductions. That would be the best deal here, trade the home owner deduction (Remember, John McCain has seven of them and he wasn’t sure how many he had) for anyone who makes over say $400,000 for a raise in the age when Americans are eligible for Medicare. Make it 66 instead of 65; we’re living longer anyway and many aren’t retiring, and the GOP won’t let us fudge on terminal patient MRIs. A huge drag on Medicare is the amount of money funneled into patient care for the sick with less than six months to live. Another idea would be to tax transactions between businesses. Some of our trade partners already do this and they charge Americans, despite the fact that we don’t have a VAT tax. Oh, yeah, let’s raise the minimum wage, too. That’s overhead for small business, and they’ll get it back. Their employees will also spend that money rather than try to hide it in the Cayman Islands or invest it with Bernie Madoff. Read your history. Henry Ford raised wages for his workers to five dollars a day and took over the automobile industry. Just about everybody could now afford to buy a car and it you worked for Henry, you bought your car from him.
Here’s the biggest hole in Will’s smart alec column; George W. Bush borrowed two trillion dollars from China’s banks to fight a war he didn’t have to fight while cutting taxes at the same time. That’s why we really have a budget deficit, not Obama’s necessary stimulus program, which Wall Street endorsed.
Let’s look at Congress for a minute, shall we? Liberals wanted single payer health care. Despite what Limbaugh says, Canadians love it. Obama had to settle for Romneycare because the Blue Dogs in his own party would not support single payer (Medicare for everyone). From the world “Go” it has been the objective of Boehner and McConnell to make sure Obama was a one term president, and the Chamber of Congress has done everything they could to make sure that happened. American corporations have been sitting on four trillion dollars in profits, which they’re finally starting to spend. Yet the Koch brothers and their buddies in the refinery business decide to shut down forty refineries and jack up oil futures on Wall Street when the U.S. has more oil than it’s had in years. Why aren’t these guys in jail? Has Attorney General Holder never heard of fraud or collusion?
Here’s another funny little item from Will’s column. “Obama, who believes government spends money more constructively than those who earn it . . .” Really? Did Donald Trump earn all his money? During the campaign he sounded like he’d just escaped from a booby hatch. What about the Las Vegas zillionaire, Sheldon Adelson, who kept pumping money into Newt Gingrich’s campaign, then Romney’s? He’s not really a Las Vegas zillionaire; he owns the largest casino in the world, located in MaCau, China, and he had to bribe a Chinese official to keep it in business. How about the Walton clan, one of whom hired another girl to write her term papers for her? Did she earn her money?
By the way, George W. Bush once paid a conservative columnist to write a pro column trumpeting his “No Child Left Behind” program. Is this standard practice or what? Why would he need to pay a conservative columnist to write that? Just tell him what to write. I’m begging to think George Will, who used to be a lot more moderate if my memory serves me well, takes money from the Cato Institute and the Heritage Foundation.
Here’s another one. “Federal spending did indeed shrink an enormous forty percent in one year (after WWII). And the economy boomed.” Excuse my language, but “horseshit!”. If the economy was so well off why did Dewey almost beat Truman in the 1948 election? Besides, we also had the Marshall Plan and the G.I. Bill pumping money not only into the U.S. economy but also helping rebuild Europe.
Here’s the kicker. Will claims scientists predicted we were headed for an Ice Age. “Remember reports that ‘the world’s climatologist are agreed’ that we must ‘prepare for the next ice age’” (Science Digest, February 1973). Does it say 97% of climatologist agreed we were headed for an ice age, George?
And did they consistently predict we were headed for an Ice Age as they have regarding Greenhouse gasses? Was there an area the size of the United States that had melted in the Artic? Are climatologists consistently wrong? They weren’t wrong about acid rain, were they? And catalytic converters and smoke stack scrubbers helped to alleviate but not eliminate acid rain. We know acid rain is caused by carbon based fuels. We also know that fluorocarbons caused an opening in the ozone layer and we helped close that, too, didn’t we, George? Scientists have discovered soot in the atmosphere, and there’s a lot of it. It’s not like carbon-based fuels don’t cause pollution. Ask China. And they’re actually trying to do something about it, rather than cater to the oil companies.
Here’s the thing. We need a carbon tax. We can’t take the chance that climate change isn’t happening. We just had the biggest drought in the Midwest since the depression, and 2012 was the warmest year in recorded history, yet George still claims Denial is a river in Egypt.