Saturday, July 23, 2011


by Keith Cooper

From Broader View Weekly, July 21
, 2011.

As the nation watched the grueling battle last week over the deficit and the debt ceiling, I became convinced of a troubling transformation. I believe we have witnessed, over the last few years, the slow demise of the democratic process in our federal government.

The structure and balance of the United States’ governing mechanism is based on compromise that facilitates the representation of its citizens. We have watched as this productive compromise has given way to power brokering and political posturing.

We have come to mistrust Washington and expect that partisan politics will trump policies that benefit real people. Accepting this fact is depressing enough. However, my fear is that the problem isn’t Washington’s culture. I fear that radio personality Rush Limbaugh is right when he insists that the American people (or at least those who voted for Tea Party Republican candidates in 2010) don’t want to see compromise among our political leaders.

Has every day’s congressional session become like the Super Bowl? Are we all just picking our side to win at any cost? When we watch a sporting event, none of us is rooting for a tie. In fact we have organized our athletic contests in such a way that a tie or draw is impossible, or at least implausible. We want to see a clean-cut victory.

But governing is not a team sport. Yes, we have a two-party system that has become a perpetual election cycle. The Republicans and the Democrats in office are constantly seeking political cover and appealing to the public for approval. Yes, like fans of the Dallas Cowboys or the New England Patriots, the average person identifies with their chosen political party. Indeed, many people proudly wear their affiliation as part of their identity, declaring “I’m a Democrat” (or Republican) as naturally as announcing “I’m a Christian” (or Muslim, or Jew). The problem is that unlike team sports, governing is vital to our existence as a republic. Cuts to safety net programs will have real consequences to real people. Defaulting on our financial obligations will have real consequences — not just for Americans but on a global scale. Failing to address 9.2 percent unemployment will slow the recovery of our economy and prolong the pain felt by the majority of the working class and poor.

Still the game continues in Washington.

Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell made his position clear long ago when he stated his top priority was making Barack Obama a one-term president. Any doubt that politics still outweighs policy for this man was put to rest this week as he scrambled to lay down cover for the Republicans. He even proposed allowing Obama to raise the debt ceiling independent of congressional approval in order to placate the Tea Party base while avoiding a default that could be devastating to the economy. Apparently, McConnell realizes that as the fallout of inaction impacts every American it will be obvious that stonewalling by Republicans puts them squarely to blame.

McConnell warned Republicans that default would make the GOP co-owners of a bad economy and would help Obama win reelection in 2012. Of course, this political cover only works if the American people ignore the fact that a Republican administration ushered in the bad economy the U.S. is currently struggling with. We also have to ignore that although Republican House Speaker John Boehner came to power calling for job creation, the Republicans have not introduced a single bill that would create domestic jobs. Who can blame them? It’s hard to run on economic recovery in 2012 if the unemployment rate starts falling and people begin to see that they are, in fact, better off than they were four years ago.

It is also clear to me that the White House and Congress are unlikely to reach a deal that would accomplish anything meaningful. The president has put programs like Medicare and Social Security on the chopping block (against the will of his Democratic base) to secure a deal that includes revenue increases. Unfortunately, Republicans bound to a Grover Norquist pledge to avoid tax increases refuse to consider rolling back the Bush tax cuts on the wealthy (from 36 percent to the Clinton-era level of 39 percent). They also turned down the repeal of a tax break for owners of private jets on the same principals. To be fair, Mr. Norquist doesn’t deserve all the credit. The greed of wealth and Corporate America still traps both parties in a stranglehold that leaves them impotent to enact policy that benefits any but their benefactors.

I hope I’m wrong. I hope that President Obama is right when he insists that the majority of the American people (Republicans included) want to see a balanced approach to our economic woes. I hope that the average citizen cares more about the consequences of partisan politics than about seeing their team win a battle of power. I hope that democratic representation returns to our republic’s governing bodies. I hope that “We the People” start to again matter to our representatives as more than mere votes in the next election.

I agree with Obama

by Gordon Cooper

From Broader View Weekly, July 21
, 2011.

If one were to read Keith’s column without a clear knowledge of history, one would have to conclude that the era of partisan politics began in the fall of 2008 when the American Electoral College declared Barack Hussein Obama the President of the United States of America. Many, like Keith, believe the Republican party has been having a hissy fit since then. They see the GOP acting as petulant adolescents, opposing everything Obama proposes merely for the sake of opposition.

I suppose Keith, and others who believe as he does, would prefer a nation where one party rules and the other just sits back and nods in agreement. Perhaps that would make for a peaceful news hour, where rhetoric and politics would melt away and choruses of Kumbaya could be heard from the House floor, but I contend it would make for terrible policy. If you doubt me, just think of other nations who have that “peaceful” air of one-party rule, where none dare to utter a word in opposition, where dissent is met with handcuffs and a one-way ticket to a re-education camp.

I would remind Keith, and others who believe as he does, that our nation was born in a spirit of passionate debate. Our founders recognized the fact that truth and progress usually lie somewhere between two polar opposites. In fact, most of the greatest accomplishments and reforms in our nation’s history have come only after many hours of rancorous debate.

However, in the spirit of spreading some goodwill and compromise in this current battle over extending our nation’s debt limit, I am hereby proclaiming my agreement with a Democratic senator. When I read this man’s words, I immediately concurred with his points. Knowing that words can sometimes be taken out of context, I actually did the due diligence of searching the Congressional Record and read the actual transcript. The following are his words copied and pasted from the Congressional Record of the 109th Congress, dated March 16, 2006 on pages S2238 and S2239:

“Mr. President, I rise today to talk about America’s debt problem.

The fact that we are here today to debate raising America’s debt limit is a sign of leadership failure. It is a sign that the U.S. Government can’t pay its own bills. It is a sign that we now depend on ongoing financial assistance from foreign countries to finance our Government’s reckless fiscal policies.”

I said “Amen, brother, preach it!” He went on to add even more:

“…the cost of our debt is one of the fastest growing expenses in the Federal budget. This rising debt is a hidden domestic enemy, robbing our cities and States of critical investments in infrastructure like bridges, ports, and levees; robbing our families and our children of critical investments in education and health care reform; robbing our seniors of the retirement and health security they have counted on.
Every dollar we pay in interest is a dollar that is not going to investment in America's priorities. Instead, interest payments are a significant tax on all Americans – a debt tax that Washington doesn’t want to talk about. If Washington were serious about honest tax relief in this country, we would see an effort to reduce our national debt by returning to responsible fiscal policies.”
Another “Amen!” from me. Then he went even further:

“Increasing America’s debt weakens us domestically and internationally. Leadership means that ‘the buck stops here.’ Instead, Washington is shifting the burden of bad choices today onto the backs of our children and grandchildren. America has a debt problem and a failure of leadership. Americans deserve better.
I therefore intend to oppose the effort to increase America’s debt limit.”

Of course, that senator’s name was Barack Obama – but that was the Obama of 2006 – not the Obama of 2011, just as the Obama of 2008 opposed the surge of Iraq, until the Obama of 2009 ordered the surge of Afghanistan, but I digress.
Keith followed the party line of the Democrats and the tired class warfare tactic of blaming owners of corporate private jets for taking advantage of a tax deduction that was signed into the stimulus package contrived by President Obama and Geithner. The tax deduction merely allows accelerated depreciation for new jet purchases and its repeal would have diminished our deficit by a whopping $3 Billion over ten years! In other words, it is 0.075% of the deficit spending this year alone! Yeah, baby, let’s get that tax deduction repealed even though it has been credited with increasing sales of domestic aircraft by 43% and has pumped $2 Billion into the economy and saved American jobs.

It has often been the tactic of the Democrats to portray the Republicans as favoring the rich, the corporations and the military, while they themselves come across as compassionate and caring for the middle and lower classes. This latest battle over the debt limit merely perpetuates both myths.

The facts are clearly stated in the above quote from Barack Obama of 2006: raising the debt limit without reducing spending is irresponsible “…it is a failure of leadership, and it is shifting the burden of bad choices today onto the backs of our children and grandchildren. America has a debt problem and a failure of leadership. Americans deserve better.

I therefore intend to oppose the effort to increase America’s debt limit.”

I couldn’t have said it better.

Tuesday, July 19, 2011

Why Libya? Why not Syria? Why Yemen?

by Gordon Cooper

From Broader View Weekly, July 7, 2011.

As I watched our president’s latest press conference, I was intrigued by his response to a question from a reporter who asked him about the constitutionality of the War Powers Act. I will not go as far as Mark Halperin went in his description of President Obama’s demeanor (for the story on his comment, follow this link:, but I will say that he was less-than-congenial and that he was very defensive of his position. He claimed that the War Powers Act did not apply to the situation in Libya (our drones are dropping bombs, our planes are flying sorties, our military personnel are involved in strategy and our warships are sending rocket attacks toward a specified target and we have declared a mission that involves the removal of a foreign leader), does not rise to definition of war, therefore he does not need to answer the question about the constitutionality of the legislation that every other president since Nixon has had to deal with.

According to President Obama, war is not war unless our soldiers are “in harm’s way”. ( Right. And according to Bill Clinton, sex was not sex unless…but I digress.

As we examine the reasons for our “involvement” in Libya and our reluctance to get involved in similar uprisings and reprisals in Syria, Yemen and the Saudi peninsula, we have to ask our leaders the right questions. Why Libya? Why not Syria? Why Yemen? Why not the Sudan?

The answers to those questions are important and the American people deserve a better answer than President Obama gave in his press conference.

If our mission in Libya is to protect citizens from a despotic and malicious ruler who is brutally murdering civilians simply because they are protesting his policies, then we must also send missiles and drones into Syria, where, according to the latest reports from the Associated Press, more than 1,400 rights activists have been slaughtered by government forces under the direction of Syrian President Bashar Assad. Why have we basically ignored the situation there?

In Yemen, the poorest country in the Arab world, where poverty and unemployment rates both top 50%, protesters have been marching in the capital city of Sanaa since January, demanding jobs, education and social services. Their demands have been met with gunfire directed by President Ali Abdullah Saleh, killing hundreds of civilians. What has our State Department done in that situation? Did they rush in with humanitarian aid and missile strikes against Saleh’s palaces as we did in Libya?

The answer to the above question is yes and no. Yes, we sent Predator drones, missiles and rockets into Yemen. And yes, we have CIA operatives and Special Forces on the ground there. However, it is not quite the way you think.

You see, in Yemen, the Obama administration has decided to back the Saleh regime in this civil conflict. We have been carrying on military operations in another foreign nation, plotting assassinations, identifying targets and killing civilians – and all of this without congressional consultation or approval or the knowledge of the American people. Meanwhile, our news media finds the Casey Anthony trial worthy of 24-7 coverage! So much for the Fourth Estate!

Please read the following quote from author, Niall Green, writing for World Socialist Web Site, on June 17, 2011 (

Though Washington has been secretive about the extent of its operations, there are reports in the US and Arab media of an increased use of US air strikes in southern Yemen, with six alleged Al Qaeda militants killed in such attacks over the past month.

One such air strike led to the killing of an alleged mid-level Al Qaeda militant in the country last week. The Obama administration is also attempting to assassinate US citizen Anwar Awlaki, a Muslim cleric believed to be living in Yemen, accused of playing a leading role in the group Al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula (AQAP).

There are reports of US Special Forces troops on the ground in Yemen providing intelligence for air strikes and carrying out assassinations of alleged Islamist militants. The Obama administration has denied that any US troops are involved in active operations in the country, but has acknowledged that some armed forces personnel are engaged in providing weapons, advice and training to Yemeni counterterrorism forces.

I agree that this source should be verified with additional sources, but the overall point is clear:

Our foreign policy is a muddled mess of conflicting signals and inconsistencies. We have troops and ongoing military operations in several Arab nations. Our “limited kinetic operation” (as Obama calls it) is looking much like an incremental war as France has begun supplying weapons to the rebels, which, if Khaddafi succeeds in overthrowing them – unless we step up our efforts with “boots on the ground” – will undoubtedly be used against us and our European allies when Khaddafi retaliates, as he has recently vowed to do.

I believe we should re-evaluate all of our missions. If there is no direct threat to our national security, we should not be involved. Our military is not a humanitarian agency – it is a killing machine. Most of these Arab nations have been fighting tribal conflicts since biblical times. We cannot pick and choose sides and expect to foster democracy in an area where loyalty to sects is more powerful than the urge for freedom.

I know Keith will accuse me of changing my stripes and of being inconsistent. Perhaps I am guilty of those charges, but apparently I have company in the White House when we consider the inconsistency of the man who once thought one war was too many; now, he seems to think three are not enough.

A Consistent Foreign Policy

by Keith Cooper

From Broader View Weekly, July 7, 2011.

My brother Gordon and I agree on one point in his column. I do see the views he expressed as a change of stripes and inconsistent with his past views. If he keeps those isolationist views – opposing military action for ethical reasons – when a Republican occupies the White House, I’ll withdraw my criticism and welcome him to the world occupied heretofore by my liberal colleagues and myself. I suspect that there will be a shift, though, back to the familiar trappings of Bush doctrine preemptive war to further American interests with little concern for issues of human rights, justice or international law.

Gordon isn’t alone, though, in departures of this type since a Democrat was elected as the leader of the free world. Conservatives who used to characterize those who would criticize the policies of George W. Bush as unpatriotic, are spewing personal vitriol on a daily basis at Barack Obama. A Democratic Congressman would have been crucified for the disrespect of shouting “you lie” as Bush addressed a joint session. A political pundit would not have been so cavalier as to hurl a derogatory term at the President of United States on national television; a term more likely to be reserved for conversation at a local bar. That has been the transformation from civility and I can only hope it returns once the power shifts to a party of favor.

Of course there is blatant hypocrisy. Gordon was never critical of Bush’s combative tone when dealing with a Democratic Congress. I never heard him judge the casual attitude with which Bush, Vice President Dick Cheney and the rest of the administration discussed the deployment of America’s sons and daughters into harm’s way. I’m glad to see new concern for the expense of life and treasure we invest in military intervention around the globe. I just hope it is genuine and not a knee-jerk reaction to the policies of the “other” team.

I did advocate the United States’ involvement in the NATO operation in Libya. From everything I could see, the danger of a dictator mowing down his own citizens was a destabilizing element in the region. I am concerned about the political consequences of skirting the War Powers Act and the fallout that might bring. However, there has been considerable legal coverage and Obama has been meeting with a legal team for months before and after the 90-day deadline to ensure he was on firm ground. Do I believe that settles the debate over the constitutionality of the action? No. Do I believe that there will be those who will use the lack of formal approval as ammunition? I do.

Gordon’s reference to a socialist blog that discusses specific clandestine missions in the region, at the same time he claims that Obama is reluctant to get involved in similar situations to Libya’s, is really irrelevant. The United States military and the arms of its intelligence organizations have historically and continually engaged in covert missions. These missions by their very definition are secret and have a close circle of officials who are privy to that information. These operations are often reviewed by congressional committees charged with security, defense and intelligence, but they are not brought to Congress for its approval.

I have been concerned with our recent and frequent use of drones and other unmanned weaponry that allows us to execute brutal warfare with precision, and also with the comfort and relative coldness of distance. We had been engaging terrorists and assassinating key personnel constantly during the Bush administration, and are continuing through Obama’s. The CIA operations on the ground in Pakistan were instrumental in the execution of the Osama bin Laden Navy Seal mission. I have severe reservations about much of this and do not support many of the missions in which our men and women engage, but it is consistent with United States military policy.

There were differences in the circumstances of Libya that made action to prevent further killing of protesting civilians a viable solution, when similar action elsewhere was not. The NATO operation had the support of the United Nations, and Arab nations in the region were giving it a nod. A strong coalition of nations signed on to help impose and enforce a no-fly zone over Libya. There were both international and U.S. interests at stake.

Also, despite the implication by my fellow columnist that the Obama administration rejected the interests of Israel (June 9, 2011, Broader View Weekly), Obama respected Israel’s wishes by not acting in Syria. The chaos of regime change in Syria could destabilize Lebanon and threaten Israel. Therefore Israel has been urging caution. For better or worse (more often worse, I fear) the United States and Israel have their wagons hitched together.

I think we need to reevaluate our military involvements. I think we should view each mission through lenses that account for ethical concerns as well as those of justice and international law. Our policies should be consistent, which would also be comforting to other nations who share our interests, and not bend to the winds of party politics.

The Real Reasons for Slow Recovery

by Keith Cooper

From Broader View Weekly, June 23, 2011.

Last week former GOP House Speaker and apparent 2012 Presidential Candidate Newt Gingrich referred to the current economic downturn as the “Obama Depression”. It was an effective sound bite and popular with the conservative media and with the rabid right of the Republican base. Tea Partiers and disgruntled conservatives, angry at Obama and seeking any justification for their visceral disdain ate it up. Radio personalities Sean Hannity and Rush Limbaugh used identical talking-point phrases to imply that the U.S. is headed for a “double dip recession – some say ‘depression’”.

But few people other than those with an agenda tied to economic failure under President Barack Obama’s auspice believe that a second wave of recession is likely. And no one paying attention to the economic indicators is taking the word “depression” seriously. Even the right’s exalted Wall Street Journal discounted reports of a potential relapse. In the article “What it Would Take to Do a Double Dip”, Justin Lahart made the case that it would “take a significant shock to knock the economy off course”.

In all the talk of economic recovery – especially in the conservative media and blogosphere – it is easy to lose sight of the economic facts surrounding the issue. It is true that unemployment remains at nine percent and recovery is moving slower than expected or desired. But blaming Obama for the slow growth ignores factors outside his policies.

One important consideration is that this is not Obama’s recession. The collapse of the financial market, bursting of the housing bubble and decline of industry are the results of decades of failed economic policy, spanning the Reagan, Bush, Clinton and Bush administrations, and culminating in the deepest recession in years.

Since Ronald Reagan’s presidency, Washington’s lopsided policies have benefited the nation’s corporate and elite wealthy, while shortchanging the working poor and the middle class. Through subsidies, deregulation, tax breaks and other legislation the government has feathered the nests of Corporate America at the expense of our children, grandchildren and great-grandchildren – without demanding a return on that investment in the form of job and industry growth.

A recent report illustrates the fact that George W. Bush’s tax cuts for the wealthy “have exacerbated the trend of widening income inequality, accompanied the worst economic expansion since World War II, and turned budget surpluses into deficits.” The Economic Policy Institute released a June 1 report titled “Tenth Anniversary of The Bush-Era Tax Cuts: A decade later, the Bush tax cuts remain expensive, ineffective, and unfair”, in which Andrew Fieldhouse and Ethan Pollack listed how the breaks disproportionately benefited the wealthy, while failing to trickle down to the working class and failing to stimulate economic growth. But, even during Bush’s administration, the lack of stimulus was evident as the country hemorrhaged jobs at a rate of 700,000 per month at the end of his presidency.

Of course, my brother Gordon will claim that Obama continued the Bush tax cuts under the advisement of many economists. It is true that he publicly admitted that some economists did recommend extending the tax breaks for the wealthy, but there is little reason to assume he favored the decision. In fact, Democrats and the president were blackmailed into acting against their will by Republicans who were holding the working poor and unemployed hostage at the end of last year.

Despite the insistence that these policies would allow the “job creators” to boost the economy, Corporate Wealth chose instead to invest overseas, outsourcing jobs and devastating industry. Until we begin investing in real job creators – education, tomorrow’s technology, employment opportunities that pay substantive wages, infrastructure that yields long-term benefits – the United States will fall behind other competing nations and the economy will fail to grow.

There are some who believe that Corporate America is conspiring against Democrats and working to stifle economic prosperity for political reasons. It is true that Republicans have a reputation for catering to the corporate agenda, and blaming Democrats for a faltering economy will certainly help the GOP in next year’s elections. It is also true that despite the fact that profits are rising, job creation has remained relatively stagnant. It is conceivable that big business is holding the working poor for ransom in the form of political power.

One need only look at the power that corporate lobbyists have over legislators of both parties to see the immense power they already exert. Instead of bringing forth legislation aimed at creating jobs, Congress remains mired in fights over repealing the health care reform designed to provide coverage for the neediest Americans, and reinstating the Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell Act – bickering that does not benefit those struggling in a weakened economy.

Congress is also preoccupied in a debate over the national debt and the deficit. In the Wall Street Journal article mentioned earlier, Lahart admits that this protracted battle is debilitating to economic growth. Experts feel that the uncertainty of foreign debt, the impact on credit and the potential of default is creating instability in the market.

The Republicans’ emphasis on the budget deficit (when the primary concern of most Americans is the job deficit) is damaging consumer confidence, which in turn slows economic growth.

All of this, of course, plays favorably into the GOP strategy. A weak economy heading into 2012 will only benefit opposition candidates as they seek to present themselves as a positive change. They may need to propose a viable solution to the ails of the current economy, but in the current climate of public opinion the collateral of political rhetoric outweighs hard facts – bumper-sticker slogans trump real legitimate ideas.

At any rate, don’t look for legislation aimed at creating jobs and growing the economy within the next year-and-a-half. Republicans will be hard at work attacking the Democrats for the deficit George Bush worked hard to create, and obstructing any policy designed to aid real hard-working Americans. Democrats will be busy caving to the whims of a Tea Party minority that imposes its will as if it were the majority voice.

We must either eliminate the current two-party system in which both sides are beholden to corporate interests – and which places political ideology ahead of public service – or we must hold our leaders’ feet to the fire and demand adequate representation. The status quo is unsustainable if we ever again wish to compete in the global economy. I fear, however, corporate-driven policy and partisan politics will continue to hinder our weakened economic system.

“There you go again…”

by Gordon Cooper

From Broader View Weekly, June 23, 2011.

After reading Keith’s column, I was reminded of the above quote spoken by Ronald Reagan during the final presidential debate in the election of 1980. Reagan was responding to President Carter’s repeated fallacious attacks upon Reagan’s Medicare proposals. It was seen as a pivotal point in the debate when Reagan showed that Carter was being misleading in his accusations, and it was used again four years later when President Reagan defended himself against Walter Mondale’s equally false charges that Reagan would have to raise taxes the following year. I humbly use it now to reply to my fellow columnist:

Keith, there you go again.

Now normally I would just grin and shake my head when I encounter misstatements and obfuscations in the press or on TV, however, I feel it is my duty to respond to what Keith sees as the “real reasons for slow recovery”.

First of all, Keith claims the economy (and the current longest recession in history) doesn’t really belong to Obama. Keith should get in touch with Democratic National Committee (DNC) chairperson Debbie Wassermann-Schultz and White House Spokesman Jay Carney, because they both claimed ownership of the economy this week.

Jay Carney said: “We all own the economy. We all work together in Washington to devise policies to improve the economic situation.” And “We own the economy. We own the beginning of the turnaround and we want to make sure that we continue that pace of recovery,” – Wasserman-Shulz
Second point – if, as Keith claims, the “failed economic policies” of the past decades are to blame for the current malaise, then why haven’t the promised results from Obama’s (successful?) policies brought relief? How many years should we wait for the turnaround?

Apparently, the majority of Americans do not follow Keith’s assessment either. Those polled recently (NBC News/Wall Street Journal Survey see the current direction as “on the wrong track” (62%); 54% disapprove of the way President Obama is handling the economy, and over 82% see his policies as “somewhat”, “mainly”, or “solely” responsible for the condition of the economy.

Keith then brought up the reference to Reagan’s presidency as the beginning of the policies which have “feathered the nests of Corporate America at the expense of our children…”. Well, Keith, since you mentioned it, let’s look back at those policies and compare Reagan’s record against Obama’s.

To begin with, Obama inherited a much better economy than did Ronald Reagan. When Carter finished his term, he handed off a 10.8% unemployment rate; inflation was also in double digits as were the interest rates. Poverty was also on the increase – during Carter’s final two years alone, it rose from 11.4 to over 15.2%. Median family income was decreasing and the Dow Jones Industrial Average had lost 70% of its value.

Reagan’s policies initiated an immediate effect upon the economy. In the first 16 months of Reagan’s presidency, unemployment fell from over 10.8% to less than 7.5%, while in the same time frame of Obama’s experimental presidency, unemployment has actually increased. Reagan’s economy created over four million jobs (comparable to six million jobs in our population statistics), and also averaged 7.1% economic growth over the first seven quarters; the Obama recovery has produced less than half that at 2.8%, with the last quarter at a dismal 1.8%.
Need I go on?

Keith continues to blame the Bush tax cuts for the woes of our jobless numbers and budget deficits, and he was right to predict that I would call him out on that, but instead of using the words of Obama (which Keith seems to think were not truly indicative of his real beliefs, hmmm… so does that mean Obama was being disingenuous?) I will use the words of his economic advisor, Peter Orszag, the director of the White House Office of Management and Budget, who wrote in a New York Times editorial, dated September 6, 2010: “…No one wants to make an already stagnating jobs market worse over the next year or two, which is exactly what would happen if the cuts expire as planned. Higher taxes now would crimp consumer spending, further depressing the already inadequate demand for what firms are capable of producing at full tilt.” (

It is also disingenuous of Keith to blame this mysterious entity called “Corporate America” as the sole source of our nation’s ills, capable of “conspiring against Democrats and working to stifle economic prosperity for political reasons” – as if all these corporations with competing interests for labor, market share and consumer goodwill could or would somehow join together in a smoke-filled chamber somewhere and construct a nefarious plan to cut their own livelihood and profit margins for the sake of putting a Republican in the White House. Yeah, right, it makes perfect sense to me.

A better answer seems to be that “Corporate America” (whoever or whatever that is in Keith’s eyes) is, like the rest of us, waiting and wishing for an economic plan that will work. You know, like the one that worked in 1981.