unastronaut*

Feet on the ground – head in the clouds.

Lou Dobbs is my hero for tonight

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This man just said something so dead on and frankly, dangerous to say on a network owned by a corporation. Keep in mind there are two other pundits on the show, utterly silenced by this exchange. Lou told the truth about corporate America being the problem, which is really at the root of some of these debates in the economic realm. It’s the no-bid contracts fueling the war. It’s the bailouts for JP Morgan Chase and none for homeowners in real trouble of ceasing to be a family. Here is the transcript, from CNN’s This Week – 04/12/08.

Diana West: Yes, I think you’re exactly right. He put his finger in the air and decided you better have a housing bailout plan, too that doesn’t allow the market to correct and makes the president into a father figure rather than a president who leads and tries to help the country get back to…

Lou: I am supposed to be going to break but I’ve got to say something to…I’ve got to say something here. You start talking about conservatism, and we’ve got some other folks talking about liberalism and democratism and republicanism. Let’s be honest here, whether you are on the left or the right of this panel or in the United States, the reality is, if this government had carried out its responsibilities and actually regulated these financial markets, as is their absolute and unequivocal responsibility we wouldn’t be in this mess having to listen to conservative pandering, liberal pandering and all of the nonsense in between, would we?

Diana: That may be true, but I think…

Lou: No, that is true.

Diana: Well, I think there’s also a deeper problem there which speaks to the…

Lou: Deeper than that, deeper than?

Diana: Yes, in the American personality. It is expected that the government will bail you out when you have a problem, that doesn’t fix things and again we get farther and farther from self-reliance. [Lou trying to get in, she mumbles for a second.]

Lou: Please, you show me an American who is walking around here expecting this federal government, this disfunctional institution called the federal government to bail them out, expecting it? The only people expecting it are the same free trade, free market non-sensical blathering public officials and CEOs and business leaders in this country who talk big about Mr. Market and as soon as times get tough, they are the ones who start screaming for a bailout and forget about their ideological position, right?

Diana: Maybe, I…

Lou: No, what do you mean maybe? It is!

Diana: I’m no free trader, Lou, but I do believe that the government candidates who are now running for president are trying to outbid each other in trying to buy the votes. You have every kind of program: billions here for housing, billions for student loans, billions for heating oil.

At that point another pundit jumps in and talks about the direct links to each candidate in the campaign.

The base argument here is interesting to me. When you ask for anything that simply benefits people, and doesn’t really help corporations all that much, it’s called welfare. The same people who tell you that is welfare then receive $300 from every American to bail them out after giving bad loans. Then they talk about free trade and the free market when you tell them this is an issue where government is necessary. There are many issues where the special interests have forced so much propaganda down our throats that we believe anything they say, and they don’t have to be correct to be well-funded.

The response to Hurricane Katrina tearing the scab off the issues of race and socio-economic disparity. Welfare recipients aren’t part of a problem that true community activism cannot fix. When police departments see large reductions in crime by working with area mothers and grandmothers to talk to children and grandchildren about gangs and drugs, you must see that some spending is worthwhile.

Again, this makes my argument for transparent government. We need to know where every tax dollar goes. We need to know what loans the government takes out in our name, and have a say when the Fed decides to flood the market with more money, making everyone’s dollar worth less.

Stop a welfare and food stamp program that is beatable to a degree of having many cashiers and checkers complaining about welfare recipients buying booze and alcohol through loopholes in the system, or simply with the extra money they should be using to work themselves off the welfare program. We need to model more programs off those that are effective, and cut anything in our government at all that does not pass a basic criteria of having a positive cost-benefit analysis. This means cutting the Department of Education. There already exist fifty state education departments, we don’t need government bloat and more money going to Washington, we need it in the local schools.

Get rid of the IRS and create a Fair Tax system, where everyone pays based on what they consume, not what they make. This doesn’t spur work and growth and takes into account problems created for the government as negative externalities; driving creates smog (which is hard to deny from a hill overlooking a city). This smog and pollution, not to mention related breathing-related health issues are then a burden on the government in many ways. With a Fair Tax, if you consume a ton you will pay more. If you make a lot of money but don’t consume a gaudy amount, you won’t necessarily pay as much.

End the tax credits for people just looking for sly ways to fund propaganda. End tax credits for shipping jobs overseas. As Lou points out, they created this mess by their inactivity and deregulation, in some cases. Now we line up on two sides and argue whodunit, we know who the culprits are, we need a change of direction for Washington. We need someone who will at least say they will try and kick the special interests out, and so on that mark all three have said that in some form or another.

Reschedule drugs based on actual, scientific evidence. Drugs proven to be dangerous and of no use should truly be actively prosecuted and rehabilitated, wherever appropriate. So-called drugs which are more efficient and less harmful should be scheduled, tested and available as such. Stop wasting billions of dollars a year paying for incarceration of non-violent drug offenders, and decriminalize marijuana for medical use. The value of hemp as a crop option to farmers is also great, you would be surprised at how many farmers in the Kansas and Oklahoma know they could make more money planting hemp. Hemp has no real potential to get people high as well, so there would be no risk of raids of crops.

Lou Dobbs hits a lot of nails on the head and basically pulls back the curtain on people who are his bosses in reality. I’m sure it will have little splash anywhere else, but it’s nice to know he’s with many Americans on the economy.

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