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Running the Nation into a ‘Fiscal Trainwreck'

24 June 2003

1) Vote for Dennis - June 24 - MoveOn Presidential Primary
2) Demand White House Evidence on Iraq.
- - Whimper of Mass Destruction
- - Online Petition: "Demand White House Evidence on Iraq
3) Kucinich - Power Parable for an Unlikely Crusade
- - Ben Cohen endorsed Dennis Kucinich for President
- - Kucinich Videos / DVDs available from
4) Running the Nation into a ‘Fiscal Trainwreck'

Item 4 is an Op/Ed piece by Jim Culleny on the Bush group's plan to wreck the economy.

For the first three items, link to:
KucinichMoveOnUpDate * WMD Accountability * K-Videos

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This Thursday, 26 June 2003, is the anniversary date of a shoot-out at Oglala-Lakota nation at the Pine Ridge Reservation in South Dakota that led to Leonard Peltier's incarceration for more than 27 years. For more information on this and other campaigns, actions, and events at

4) Running the Nation into a ‘Fiscal Trainwreck'

Less Beautiful and Noble
by Jim Culleny

By the time the average U.S. citizen wakes from his-and-her reality tv, comfort, and fear-induced stupor there won't be a single social or regulatory program of the federal government left. For Republican neoconservatives this is exactly the point. To follow their rhetoric, government-funded programs such as public education, social security, medicare, and universal health care coverage, run counter to the dictates of a market economy and thwart the will of God. With George Bush's tax-cut orgies, by the time Dubya supporters John and Jane Doe (at the moment among post-9/11 hyper-patriotic 70-percenters) realize they've participated in their own enronization every single one of those programs will have been sucked into the investment portfolios of the richest among us.

Many economists argue that the so-called economic stimulus tax cuts passed a year-or-so ago, and those just signed into law, are going to the wrong people and will do little to stimulate the economy. By every common-sense criteria the largest proportion of these cuts are flowing uphill. Just follow the money.

The rationale given for this by tax-cut supporters is, the cash will then flow back downhill in rivulets of capital investments to collect in huge job pools. This Reagan-era concept used to be called "Trickle-down" economics (with the emphasis on "trickle"). But the laws governing money don't follow the laws of physics. Money is not affected by gravity. With money, what goes up does not necessarily come down. Much of it simply evaporates into the atmosphere of the corporate class.

Look at immediate stimulus simply. If you put more cash into the hands of someone who has enough to pay the rent many times over, it's not at all certain they'd run out and immediately spend it. They might, but it's not certain because they don't have an imperative need to. But if somebody who already can't make ends meet should get a hold of it, what's he going to do,
shove it under his mattress? No. He'll go buy something. In doing so he'll create demand. And, according to our ultra-orthodox free-market priesthood, demand creates an impetus to supply, supply means production, and production means jobs in pretty short order. But the economic-stimulus excuse for these tax cuts offered by neocons is a red herring as huge and effective as weapons of mass destruction themselves. But they're really nothing more than government gifts to the rich.

I listened to a conversation with Noam Chomsky the other day on C-Span. I know Chomsky is not well regarded by many, but the reason I mention it is, something he said corresponded to an intuition I had a while ago. I was joking back then, but I said I thought that what the administration was up to was bankrupting the country so private corporations could bail us out and run the place. Now I'm not so sure it's funny ...or fantastic. You don't have to consult a talking head to get the gist of the impetus of the age. Simple observation will do.

What Chomsky pointed out was that by running the nation into a "fiscal trainwreck" George Bush could accomplish what conservatives could never accomplish honestly and above board through the vote. Who would have voted for the president if he had campaigned with promises to take us to war by executive proclaimation, threaten global military domination, intend to weaken social security, undermine public education, strip the muscle from regulatory agencies, obstruct the establishment of a fair and equitable health insurance system, and (to cherry the sundae) wax lethargic on the environment? Who but the most cynical? But, by decreasing revenues by means of budget-busting tax cuts which result in stupendous long-term deficits (44 trillion --which is too high for even Alan Greenspan to count!) Republicans could force government --by simple financial default-- into the position of being unable to implement it's constitutional mandate "to promote the general welfare" of the people. Then they turn their back on the corpse flicking the dust from their hands, ...done deal.

Who needs government? they say. The elites of the day, by virtue of their wealth, already possess the means to their own power and security. They don' t need government. They can hire body-guards, gate their communities, and send their kids to private schools. Traditionally, the only reason an elite needs government is to manipulate the people. It's the weak who most need a strong, people-oriented government. This is why neocons loath government. It cramps their style. Equality under the law is what this democracy is supposed to be about, but that was before lobbyists were greasing wheels behind curtains to bend laws big time.

What we live with now is no longer the system envisioned by our founders; it's something else. And whatever else can be said about it, it's less beautiful and noble.

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Jim Culleny can be reached by email at

The above was published in
The Recorder, Greenfield, MA Op/Ed on June 18, 2003

You can visit Jim Culleny's website at following URL address:

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