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Archive for September, 2009

Second Stimulus – What Ended the Depression?

Wednesday, September 30th, 2009

There’s been a lot of shouting since the end of summer and name-calling in the Capitol. On the outside, meanwhile, respected economists say a second stimulus (including healthcare reform) is necessary to pull us out of this ‘Great Recession.’

Nevertheless, Republican leaders say the President is “bankrupting America,” that we can’t possibly spend any more, borrow any more.

Let’s look at some facts; about calamitous crashes and the climbs back out of them.

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Great Recession Unemployment: Since December 2007, employment has fallen by 6.9 million. As of August 2009, 14.3 million people were unemployed. [Bureau of Labor Statistics]

Great Depression Unemployment: At the height of the Depression in 1933, 12.8 million people were unemployed. [Franklin D. Roosevelt Presidential Library and Museum]

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Obama Stimulus Cost: $816 billion over ten years (2009-2019). Jobs saved/created: 1.5 million as of the fourth quarter of Fiscal Year 2009. And an estimated 3.5 million as of this time next year.

New Deal Cost: (adjusted for inflation) $500 billion over six years (1933-1939). Over the course of the New deal, the government created jobs for more than 8.5 million people. Still, millions remained unemployed.

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WWII Cost: $5 trillion in inflation-adjusted dollars, 16.1 million enlisted; 406,000 died.

Instead of unemployment, we had a labor shortage. But it took a war to do it.

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“The New Deal brought jobs and relief to millions of Americans. It did not, however, end the depression. The depression ended because of World War II. During the war the nation’s economy was devoted to the production of weapons and other materials necessary to win the conflict.” [Yale-New Haven Teachers Institute]

The point of all this is to show that, in a catastrophic emergency, we have the capacity to do whatever it takes to save our nation. As patriots, as citizens, as human beings, we have to believe it is worth saving.

So, which would you rather have; a second stimulus to create jobs for the 14 million citizens out of work? Or another massive war with hundreds of thousands of deaths?

The choice is up to you.

Call 202/224-3121 and tell your members of Congress which one you prefer.

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Oh, and the ‘bankrupt’ idea didn’t seem to come up when the previous administration was on these two spending sprees:

The bailout of the banks: after 30 years of the conservative ‘Reagan Revolution’ that ripped up regulations and let the bankers run free: $700 billion and no jobs for ordinary folks.

Iraq War Cost: $3 trillion and 4,344 deaths (as of 9/15/09).

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That ‘Big Crowd’ Photo of the Anti-Obama Crowd? Fake.

Thursday, September 17th, 2009

Oh what fools we mortals be…

The roar and riot and political rot of those who would ‘Bury Obamacare with Kennedy’ (an actual sign from the ‘protest’) seems to have gotten carried away with their organizers’ attempts to dissemble and deceive. Not only did one of their ilk disrespect the entire nation during our Presidents’ address to a Joint Session of Congress, but the various right-wing organizers of the event widely circulated an alleged photograph of their little ‘uprising.’

According to the political fact-checking site, politifact.com:

“Pete Piringer, public affairs officer for the D.C. Fire and Emergency Department, said the local government no longer provides official crowd estimates because they can become politicized. But the day of the rally, Piringer unofficially told one reporter that he thought between 60,000 and 75,000 people had shown up.

“‘It was in no way an official estimate,’ he said.

“We asked Piringer whether there were enough protesters to fill the National Mall, as depicted in the photograph.

“‘It was an impressive crowd,’ he said. But after marching down Pennsylvania Avenue to the Capitol, the crowd ‘only filled the Capitol grounds, maybe up to Third Street,’ he said.

“Yet the photograph so widely posted showed the crowd sprawling all the way to the Washington Monument, which is bordered by 15th and and 17th Streets.

“There’s another problem with the photograph: It doesn’t include the National Museum of the American Indian, a building located at the corner of Fourth Street and Independence Avenue that opened on Sept. 14, 2004. (Looking at the photograph, the building should be in the upper right hand corner of the National Mall, next to the Air and Space Museum.) That means the picture was taken before the museum opened exactly five years ago. So clearly the photo doesn’t show the ‘tea party’ crowd from the Sept. 12 protest.

“Also worth noting are the cranes in front of the Smithsonian Museum of Natural History. According to Randall Kremer, the museum’s director of public affairs, ‘The last time cranes were in front was in the 1990s when the IMAX theater was being built.’

“It appears that the photo was actually taken in 1997 at a rally for Promise Keepers, a group for Christian men.”

Don’t you hate nasty facts? They always seem to get in the way of deceitful propaganda.

Well, our President’s no fib-teller. And he needs our support. Go to BarackObama.com and see what you can do to make his vision for change a reality. He needs you; our country needs him; and this moment is too important to our nation’s history for us to allow it to pass without his agenda achieved.

As he said when he arrived, “Let’s get to work!”

The President at Wakefield

Wednesday, September 9th, 2009

Has there been anything as unreal as the enormous row — created by the far right and ‘covered’ by cable news — over our President’s visit to Wakefield?

First, his opponents claimed he wasn’t born in the United States, even though his birth certificate was on his website all of last year.

Then he was ‘taking away our freedom’ and ‘creating death panels to pull the plug on grandma,’ according to the folks who brought you the ‘town hall’ riots last month.

Things seemed to be spiraling out of control as extremists began appearing with guns at some of the President’s events, the most outrageous of which was in Phoenix where police said the gun-toters were not breaking the law, but if something untoward should happen with those guns, “we will intervene at that time.”

Imagine the outcries that would have erupted, had an officer of the law expressed that attitude about a display of guns in the presence any other president.

Now it’s gotten personal. The crazies decided they would use Arlington’s Wakefield High School as the scene for their next showdown with the most intelligent and wise president we’ve had in generations.

And what was their issue this time?

The President was going to preach ‘socialism’ to our children and use a national speech to indoctrinate them into a foreign ideology.

Well folks, it’s over; and his speech was inspiring.

His message could not have been clearer to the students for whom it was intended: “I expect great things from each of you. So don’t let us down. Don’t let your family down or your country down. Most of all, don’t let yourself down. Make us all proud.”

No demagogic forest fires; no Karl Marx or Adolph Hitler apparitions. Just our impressive new President, setting aside time to tell kids to get with it, and take school as seriously as he — a troubled young man — did when he turned around his life in his youth.

Now it’s back to our starving economy, hemorrhaging jobs, bank fraud, Israeli settlements, torture committed in our name, and wars and untold crises that never appear on our radar but engulf him every moment.

Thanks for coming over, Mr. President. We in Arlington are grateful for your visit and hope you’ll stop by any time you, Michelle or the girls want.

You see, America, we’re proud of our President, and embrace him openly. We want the world to know that we welcomed him to our wonderful community.