This is a forum based out of Pensacola Florida.


You are not connected. Please login or register

Thom Hartmann: How the GOP Used a Two Santa Clauses Tactic to Con America for Nearly 40 Years

Go down  Message [Page 1 of 1]


This scam has been killing wages and enriching billionaires for decades.

By Thom Hartmann / AlterNet February 10, 2018, 8:35 AM GMT


The only thing wrong with the U.S. economy is the failure of the Republican Party to play Santa Claus.
-Jude Wanniski, March 6, 1976

"The Republican Party has been running a long con on America since Reagan’s inauguration, and somehow our nation’s media has missed it – even though it was announced in The Wall Street Journal in the 1970s and the GOP has clung tenaciously to it ever since.

In fact, Republican strategist Jude Wanniski’s 1974 “Two Santa Clauses Theory” has been the main reason why the GOP has succeeded in producing our last two Republican presidents, Bush and Trump (despite losing the popular vote both times). It’s also why Reagan’s economy seemed to be “good.”

Here’s how it works, laid it out in simple summary:

First, when Republicans control the federal government, and particularly the White House, spend money like a drunken sailor and run up the US debt as far and as fast as possible. This produces three results – it stimulates the economy thus making people think that the GOP can produce a good economy, it raises the debt dramatically, and it makes people think that Republicans are the “tax-cut Santa Claus.”

Second, when a Democrat is in the White House, scream about the national debt as loudly and frantically as possible, freaking out about how “our children will have to pay for it!” and “we have to cut spending to solve the crisis!” This will force the Democrats in power to cut their own social safety net programs, thus shooting their welfare-of-the-American-people Santa Claus.

Think back to Ronald Reagan, who more than tripled the US debt from a mere $800 billion to $2.6 trillion in his 8 years. That spending produced a massive stimulus to the economy, and the biggest non-wartime increase in the debt in history. Nary a peep from Republicans about that 218% increase in our debt; they were just fine with it.

And then along came Bill Clinton. The screams and squeals from the GOP about the “unsustainable debt” of nearly $3 trillion were loud, constant, and echoed incessantly by media from CBS to NPR. Newt Gingrich rode the wave of “unsustainable debt” hysteria into power, as the GOP took control of the House for the first time lasting more than a term since 1930, even though the increase in our national debt under Clinton was only about 37%.

The GOP “debt freakout” was so widely and effectively amplified by the media that Clinton himself bought into it and began to cut spending, taking the axe to numerous welfare programs (“It’s the end of welfare as we know it” he famously said, and “The era of big government is over”). Clinton also did something no Republican has done in our lifetimes: he supported several balanced budgets and handed a budget surplus to George W. Bush.

When George W. Bush was given the White House by the Supreme Court (Gore won the popular vote by over a half-million votes) he reverted to Reagan’s strategy and again nearly doubled the national debt, adding a trillion in borrowed money to pay for his tax cut for GOP-funding billionaires, and tossing in two unfunded wars for good measure, which also added at least (long term) another $5 to $7 trillion.

There was not a peep about the debt from any high-profile in-the-know Republicans then; in fact, Dick Cheney famously said, essentially ratifying Wanniski’s strategy, “Reagan proved deficits don't matter. We won the midterms [because of those tax cuts]. This is our due.” Bush and Cheney raised the debt by 86% to over $10 trillion (although the war debt wasn’t put on the books until Obama entered office).

Then comes Democratic President Barack Obama, and suddenly the GOP is hysterical about the debt again. So much so that they convinced a sitting Democratic president to propose a cut to Social Security (the “chained CPI”). Obama nearly shot the Democrats biggest Santa Claus program. And, Republican squeals notwithstanding, Obama only raised the debt by 34%.

Now we’re back to a Republican president, and once again deficits be damned. Between their tax cut and the nearly-trillion dollar spending increase passed on February 8th, in the first year-and-a-month of Trump’s administration they’ve spent more stimulating the economy (and driving up debt by more than $2 trillion, when you include interest) than the entire Obama presidency.

Consider the amazing story of where this strategy came from, and how the GOP has successfully kept their strategy from getting into the news; even generally well-informed writers for media like the Times and the Post – and producers, pundits and reporters for TV news – don’t know the history of what’s been happening right in front of us all for 37 years..."

(much more)

https://www.alternet.org/right-wing/two-santa-clauses-or-how-gop-conned-america-nearly-40-years

View user profile
"even generally well-informed writers for media like the Times and the Post – and producers, pundits and reporters for TV news – don’t know the history of what’s been happening right in front of us all for 37 years..."

Sure but Old Thom knows, after all a far left radio host is a genius at deciphering that all politicians are thieving liars but being far left will only criticize the right. Balanced? From another "Alternet" opinion piece? NOT!!!

View user profile
Republicans are full of shit, and they can afford to be because the people who vote for them are absolute fucking idiots.

The GOP is well aware of this, and actively work to keep their voters stupid, filling 'em with the right-wing version of church while cutting education (and turning what little education they do allow into yet another church program -- call 'em Christian Madrasas, because that's all they are. Just brainwashing. On top of that, they label anyone who tells the truth to be "biased media," while getting their followers to only trust outlets that are complete propaganda. Find them stupid, keep them stupid, and, if at all possible, make them stupider. Then you can do things like they do in the South -- keep getting voted in despite never having good results, at all. Conservative-governed states consistently come in dead last in everything, but they never change. They don't even try to govern better, because... why bother? You'll get re-elected anyway. Results don't matter, your dumb-as-hammered-shit sheep voters aren't ever going to look at results and question things, anyway. And, even if they wanted to, they don't even have the tools to reason things out anymore, anyhow. They wouldn't know a logical syllogism if you tattooed one on their forehead.

If you don't believe me, go read a few right-wing blogs. Look at the non-existent rhetorical skills, the incredibly poor grammar, and a vocabulary size a parakeet couldn't be proud of. Hell, just read this from another window I was just looking at:

You know It all really don't matter much anymore. the man Is dead the Movie made him a hero, And what ever he did or did not do. Is not going to change the minds of people who cared for him. And them are the cold hard facts. And as fare as I am concerned this hole Country Is crooked from Oboma, down to the law officers In just about every town And city in the U.S. I think we now need to eradicate the Gangs And Illegals In this country Just set up hit squads an shot every known Gang member on site. I would start the war and have every one thinkin It was there falt. I remember when a man and a woman could walk down the street At night with out the fear of being shot.I think we need to get mad as hell. And do something.

Not even a political blog, just a random thing, but this is the way most of 'em write. That's a grown-up adult writing that. I know I harp on this and am less-than-charitable about it, but I'm worn out with 'em. I have to deal with these people all day, every day. How much dumb am I expected to tolerate? I just had to teach a Republican co-worker what a semicolon was because she was trying to write an office memo and got me to proofread it because "you know how to write." God. This is a professional person.

Anyway, I digress. (Understatement, I know. Rolling Eyes ).

Republicans do this because they don't have to do any better. They're never going to be called on their bullshit... except by Democrats, and that will only drive their base further into the Republican fold because there's an "oh no, the cult is under attack from its enemies" mentality. Anything a Democrat says will just make a Republican defend whatever atrocity the Republicans are doing... even if it hurts the Republican base. Trump's cutting their Medicare right now but his voters will be just goddamn fine with it because (A) it makes Democrats mad and so it must be good, and (B) some brown person will probably be hurt by it, so it's worth suffering just to know they'll suffer, too.

And there's nobody easier to pull magic tricks on. They scream about Obama raising the deficit, and ignoring that a big share of that was Obama having to pay for two wars that Dubya didn't even put in a budget. Which was another "Santa Claus" move. And it works, because Republican voters will happily blame Democrats for paying a check they got stuck with. That lets the GOP spend, but Democrats pay. Neat trick.

We've seen a long cycle now of Republicans screwing up the economy, and Democrats fixing it, and nobody wising up. The Repubs wail that the Democrats aren't cleaning up the mess Republicans made fast enough, and then Republicans come in, take credit for anything good that's going on, and start screwing it up again.

Rand Paul was grandstanding, but he spoke some truth. Think any of that's gonna stick? No, because Republican voters will forget all about Trump's spending. They'll excuse it all, because, hey, at least he says "Merry Christmas" and that's all sorts of important and gur-gah-glurrggh.

It's frustrating to watch all this. I don't even really love Democrats all that much -- there's a lot annoying about 'em. But they're the only thing viable left to vote for if your IQ's higher than a tomato's.




View user profile
zsomething wrote:Republicans are full of shit, and they can afford to be because the people who vote for them are absolute fucking idiots.  

The GOP is well aware of this, and actively work to keep their voters stupid, filling 'em with the right-wing version of church while cutting education  (and turning what little education they do allow into yet another church program -- call 'em Christian Madrasas, because that's all they are.  Just brainwashing.  On top of that, they label anyone who tells the truth to be "biased media," while getting their followers to only trust outlets that are complete propaganda.   Find them stupid, keep them stupid, and, if at all possible, make them stupider.   Then you can do things like they do in the South -- keep getting voted in despite never having good results, at all.  Conservative-governed states consistently come in dead last in everything, but they never change.  They don't even try to govern better, because... why bother?   You'll get re-elected anyway.  Results don't matter, your dumb-as-hammered-shit sheep voters aren't ever going to look at results and question things, anyway.  And, even if they wanted to, they don't even have the tools to reason things out anymore, anyhow.  They wouldn't know a logical syllogism if you tattooed one on their forehead.

If you don't believe me, go read a few right-wing blogs.  Look at the non-existent rhetorical skills, the incredibly poor grammar, and a vocabulary size a parakeet couldn't be proud of.   Hell, just read this from another window I was just looking at:

You know It all really don't matter much anymore. the man Is dead the Movie made him a hero, And what ever he did or did not do. Is not going to change the minds of people who cared for him. And them are the cold hard facts. And as fare as I am concerned this hole Country Is crooked from Oboma, down to the law officers In just about every town And city in the U.S. I think we now need to eradicate the Gangs And Illegals In this country Just set up hit squads an shot every known Gang member on site. I would start the war and have every one thinkin It was there falt. I remember when a man and a woman could walk down the street At night with out the fear of being shot.I think we need to get mad as hell. And do something.

Not even a political blog, just a random thing, but this is the way most of 'em write.  That's a grown-up adult writing that.  I know I harp on this and am less-than-charitable about it, but I'm worn out with 'em.  I have to deal with these people all day, every day.  How much dumb am I expected to tolerate?  I just had to teach a Republican co-worker what a semicolon was because she was trying to write an office memo and got me to proofread it because "you know how to write."  God.  This is a professional person.

Anyway, I digress.  (Understatement, I know.  Rolling Eyes ).

Republicans do this because they don't have to do any better.  They're never going to be called on their bullshit... except by Democrats, and that will only drive their base further into the Republican fold because there's an "oh no, the cult is under attack from its enemies" mentality.  Anything a Democrat says will just make a Republican defend whatever atrocity the Republicans are doing... even if it hurts the Republican base.   Trump's cutting their Medicare right now but his voters will be just goddamn fine with it because (A) it makes Democrats mad and so it must be good, and (B) some brown person will probably be hurt by it, so it's worth suffering just to know they'll suffer, too.

And there's nobody easier to pull magic tricks on.  They scream about Obama raising the deficit, and ignoring that a big share of that was Obama having to pay for two wars that Dubya didn't even put in a budget.   Which was another "Santa Claus" move.  And it works, because Republican voters will happily blame Democrats for paying a check they got stuck with.  That lets the GOP spend, but Democrats pay.  Neat trick.  

We've seen a long cycle now of Republicans screwing up the economy, and Democrats fixing it, and nobody wising up.  The Repubs wail that the Democrats aren't cleaning up the mess Republicans made fast enough, and then Republicans come in, take credit for anything good that's going on, and start screwing it up again.

Rand Paul was grandstanding, but he spoke some truth.  Think any of that's gonna stick?  No, because Republican voters will forget all about Trump's spending.  They'll excuse it all, because, hey, at least he says "Merry Christmas" and that's all sorts of important and gur-gah-glurrggh.

It's frustrating to watch all this.  I don't even really love Democrats all that much -- there's a lot annoying about 'em.  But they're the only thing viable left to vote for if your IQ's higher than a tomato's.    

I agree with most of this. I don't like it--the reality, not the writing--I think it's somewhat of an oversimplification, but I accept the conclusion.

I just wonder how this happened. FDR was the most popular President in modern history, I think he had about a 70% approval rating. What happened? How did the Republicans gain such a following? How did the Democrats screw the pooch so badly?

There's also this:

“Here is a lesson in creative writing. First rule: Do not use semicolons. They are transvestite hermaphrodites representing absolutely nothing. All they do is show you've been to college.” Kurt Vonnegut

View user profile
Deus X wrote:

I agree with most of this. I don't like it--the reality, not the writing--I think it's somewhat of an oversimplification, but I accept the conclusion.

Very well could be oversimplified... I'm guilty of that from time to time, I admit. Smile

I just wonder how this happened. FDR was the most popular President in modern history, I think he had about a 70% approval rating. What happened? How did the Republicans gain such a following? How did the Democrats screw the pooch so badly?

A lot of it was that LBJ was right when he said the Dems had lost the South for a generation, after he signed the Civil Rights Act and sent the racist wing of the Democratic party scurrying over into the welcoming arms of the Republicans. That nudge sent a snowball rolling that still hasn't stopped. It was a big price to pay, but, given the absolute moral rightness of doing it, it's still worth it. Some things are more important than politics, and equal rights and defeating racism definitely are. I used to think it started with racism and then morphed into being more about religion, but after Trump stirred up racists and so many Republicans have continued supporting him, I think I gave them way too much credit -- they're still motivated by racism far more than I'd liked to think. But religion's another big component of it. The Republicans -- although being far more in line with Ayn Rand than Jesus Christ (and the two could not be more incompatible) -- absurdly convinced Evangelicals that they're the "party of god" and flirted with 'em enough to get them on board, and so they've brought their cultish mentality to politics, and the GOP has ridden it ever since. They've gotten a lot of voting power out of it, but it's also corrupted their politics and now they're so dependent on their religious life-support-system that they're really a theocratic party now. Ironically, it turned out to be a devil's bargain...

There's also this:

“Here is a lesson in creative writing. First rule: Do not use semicolons. They are transvestite hermaphrodites representing absolutely nothing. All they do is show you've been to college.” Kurt Vonnegut

Very Happy Yeah, they're not the best things to use under any circumstances, but it was still kinda surprising that this woman reached a grandma age without knowing about 'em...

View user profile
Thom Hartman is the most intelligent radio host on the air. He is a genius who now just happens to host a show. He had a regular friday lunch with Bernie part of his show six or seven years before Bernie's message went mainstream. I do not agree with him much of the time, but I am drawn to his show by his brilliance.

In regard to the debt cycle, he has nailed it. He has written books about the same. We listened for eight years about President Obama running up the debt, and the Reagan economic miracle......300 percent debt compared to 37 percent debt. Thom nailed it on this one.

View user profile
Why just make shit up? 300%? Cmon... that's multiple level lazy.

https://www.thebalance.com/us-debt-by-president-by-dollar-and-percent-3306296

Barack Obama: Added $7.917 trillion, a 68 percent increase from the $11.657 trillion debt at the end of George W. Bush’s last budget, FY 2009.
FY 2017 - ?
FY 2016 - $1.423 trillion.
FY 2015 - $327 billion.
FY 2014 - $1.086 trillion.
FY 2013 - $672 billion.
FY 2012 - $1.276 trillion.
FY 2011 - $1.229 trillion.
FY 2010 - $1.652 trillion.
FY 2009 - $253 billion. (Congress passed the Economic Stimulus Act, which spent $253 billion in FY 2009. This rare occurrence should be added to President Obama's contribution to the debt.)

George W. Bush: Added $5.849 trillion, a 101 percent increase from the $5.8 trillion debt at the end of Clinton's last budget, FY 2001.

FY 2009 - $1.632 trillion. (Bush's deficit without the impact of the Economic Stimulus Act).
FY 2008 - $1.017 trillion.
FY 2007 - $501 billion.
FY 2006 - $574 billion.
FY 2005 - $554 billion.
FY 2004 - $596 billion.
FY 2003 - $555 billion.
FY 2002 - $421 billion.

Bill Clinton: Added $1.396 trillion, a 32 percent increase from the $4.4 trillion debt at the end of George H.W. Bush's last budget, FY 1993.

FY 2001 - $133 billion.
FY 2000 - $18 billion.
FY 1999 - $130 billion.
FY 1998 - $113 billion.
FY 1997 - $188 billion.
FY 1996 - $251 billion.
FY 1995 - $281 billion.
FY 1994 - $281 billion.

George H.W. Bush: Added $1.554 trillion, a 54 percent increase from the $2.8 trillion debt at the end of Reagan's last budget, FY 1989.

FY 1993 - $347 billion.
FY 1992 - $399 billion.
FY 1991 - $432 billion.
FY 1990 - $376 billion.

Ronald Reagan: Added $1.86 trillion, a 186 percent increase from the $998 billion debt at the end of Carter's last budget, FY 1981. Reaganomics didn't work to grow the economy enough to offset tax cuts.

FY 1989 - $255 billion.
FY 1988 - $252 billion.
FY 1987 - $225 billion.
FY 1986 - $297 billion.
FY 1985 - $256 billion.
FY 1984 - $195 billion.
FY 1983 - $235 billion.
FY 1982 - $144 billion.

Jimmy Carter: Added $299 billion, a 43 percent increase from the $699 billion debt at the end of  Ford's last budget, FY 1977.

FY 1981 - $90 billion.
FY 1980 - $81 billion.
FY 1979 - $55 billion.
FY 1978 - $73 billion.

View user profile

View user profile
What don't you understand?

View user profile
700 billion to 2.1 trillion is 300% from zero debt, and your argument is in Thom's 2.1 trillion to your 1.76 trillion, sorry but I will go with the genius, but for argument sake 200% of pure Reagan debt, but in his eight years we were promised trickle down and increase revenues which would reduce debt, but instead we had 300% debt from the zero of trickle down to his pile of debt which has cursed America.

Thom is right.

View user profile
2seaoat wrote:700 billion to 2.1 trillion is 300% from zero debt, and your argument is in Thom's 2.1 trillion to your 1.76 trillion, sorry but I will go with the genius, but for argument sake 200% of pure Reagan debt, but in his eight years we were promised trickle down and increase revenues which would reduce debt, but instead we had 300% debt from the zero of trickle down to his pile of debt which has cursed America.

Thom is right.

No... he's not. That's just a clickbait talkingpoint for the intellectually lazy... like you.

Ronald Reagan: Added $1.86 trillion, a 186 percent increase from the $998 billion debt at the end of Carter's last budget, FY 1981.

FY 1989 - $255 billion.
FY 1988 - $252 billion.
FY 1987 - $225 billion.
FY 1986 - $297 billion.
FY 1985 - $256 billion.
FY 1984 - $195 billion.
FY 1983 - $235 billion.
FY 1982 - $144 billion.

View user profile

View user profile
We were told that the tax cuts would stimulate the economy and the increased revenue would eliminate the debt. The promise was zero to justify the massive tax cuts for the wealthy, but instead Thom says 2.1 trillion to your stats saying 1.86 trillion.

The government was in deficit every year of the Carter administration, with the national debt of the United States increasing by about $280 billion, from $620 billion in early-1977 to $900 billion in late 1980.

Reagan goes from 900 billion to 2.1 trillion and you think anybody in American history was even close to this disaster. You cried for years about President Obama inheriting Bush's mess and bailouts as if he drove the car in the ditch, and your bitch was that he was not getting the car out of the ditch quick enough.

Thom has nailed why we are where we are now.....tax giveaways to the rich. Period.....no increased revenues and simply more debt until we crash again and Wall street, the banksters, and the one percent steal America.....and you are confused

View user profile
2seaoat wrote: and your bitch was that he was not getting the car out of the ditch quick enough.

Wrong... why make shit up?

View user profile

Sponsored content


Back to top  Message [Page 1 of 1]

Permissions in this forum:
You cannot reply to topics in this forum