The Economic Pie Grows Faster And Is More
Fairly Divided Under Democratic Presidents
Partially hyperlinked to sources.
For all sources, see the data
Most voters peg the economy as their
number one concern.
If someone is still saying they're
undecided, they may well be having a hard time determining whether McCain's or
Obama's economic policies will be better for them, better for the country.
Honestly speaking, most voters don't
have the analytical tools of professional economists, the kind of tools which
would enable them to evaluate a set of economic measures.
So instead of trying to crunch the
numbers to predict what will happen if Obama's plans are implemented vs. if
McCain's plans are implemented, you can look suggest they look at what history
Is there a clear pattern since World
War II as far as Democratic vs. Republican administrations?
If so, you can simply point that out to an undecided voter.
Well, good news, there is such a
Sources you'll hear in this segment
include: the New York Times, the Washington Post, taxfoundation.org,
commondreams.org, the website of the University of Virginia, and gallup.com.
The last time Princeton University
professor Larry Bartels voted,
was for Ronald Reagan in 1984. He's
now, he says, "an unusually apolitical political scientist."
So when he started out on the
research project at hand, he didn't have any preconceived progressive
ideological conclusions he wanted to find evidence for.
He just let the facts do the talking.
And the facts clearly said two
First, the US economy has grown
faster when there were Democratic presidents in the White House, than when
Republicans occupied the Oval Office.
Second, income inequality is reduced
when there's a Democrat in the White House, but income inequality substantially
increases, whenever a Republican is President.
Only Jimmy Carter was an exception.
From 1948 to 2007, there have been 34
years under Republican presidents, and 26 under Democrats.
Under Democrats, the gross national
product grows over one and two-thirds times as fast as under Republicans.
Over an eight year term, that would
produce an income rise over 9% per person. That's
far more than most people could ever get from a tax cut.
A recent example would be, the
Clinton years vs. the Bush years. It
fits the historical pattern.
Many pundits tell you that presidents
can't affect the economy that much. But
as a writer in the New York Times discussing this study put
regularities, like facts, are stubborn things. You bet against them at your
So you can tell any undecided voters
you're speaking with, if they're concerned about getting the economy growing,
expanding the economic pie, then having Obama, a Democrat, in the White House,
would be by far the best bet.
Now maybe the undecided voter is
concerned about economic fairness. After
all, many Americans are well aware that we presently have the greatest
income inequality since the Great Depression.
The richest 1% have nearly tripled
their share of the national income since 1980.
And believe it or not, the 400
richest American families -- all billionaires -- have
as much wealth as the entire bottom half of the nation.
Yes, you heard me correctly.
400 top-of-the-pile families have as much wealth as 57 million other
If someone wants to reverse these
results, and let the fruits of the American economy be shared more equitably,
well then, they'd also want to see Obama in the White House.
With Democratic presidents, both the
rich and poor experience income growth. But
the poor experience income growth a bit faster than the rich, so income
inequality goes down.
But when Republicans hold the highest
office in the land, the wealthy experience income growth as much as six times
faster than poorer Americans. And
thus income inequality rapidly increases.
Since the ascendancy of right-wing
economic rule under Reagan, the reasons for this are clear:
On the other hand, Democrats don't
give tax cuts to the wealthy at the expense of everyone else.
And Democrats increase
the minimum wage, and work to strengthen
unions, both of which lead to increased wages.
Professor Bartels concludes that
economic inequality is, in
substantial part, a political phenomenon.
And what a phenomenon it is!
the Washington Post:
Bartels uses the election
of 2000 to illustrate, with a hypothetical example, how much difference
presidential leadership realistically may make in the distribution of income in
America. In Bush's first four years, families in the top 95th percentile of
income received a 2-percent cumulative increase in real income. Middle-income
families saw a decline of 1 percent, while poorer families saw a decline of 3
percent. Based on historical data for Democratic presidents, Bartels estimates
that if Al Gore had been elected instead of Bush, the working poor would have
seen an increase of about 6 percent, while the wealthy would have seen
essentially no gain.
Ok, those are the facts.
How to appropriately address the
If you're talking to an undecided
voter, they might be a bit uneasy with all this talk of income inequality, and
fairness. You don't hear much of
that on the corporate media.
Well, you've got to reassure him or
her that such economic justice concerns are clearly part of mainstream American
Teddy Roosevelt spoke
of the need for a minimum wage high enough to live on.
So did his distant cousin, Franklin
Listen to FDR speaking
to the 1936 Democratic Convention:
An old English judge once
said: "Necessitous men are not free men." Liberty requires opportunity
to make a living-a living decent according to the standard of the time, a living
which gives man not only enough to live by, but something to live for.
…Today we stand
committed to the proposition that freedom is no half-and-half affair. If the
average citizen is guaranteed equal opportunity in the polling place, he must
have equal opportunity in the market place.
For more of this speech, it's quite,
quite breathtaking, see podcast
And Martin Luther King, Jr. spoke of
this as well.
In an unrecorded speech, he said:
[I]t is a crime for people
to live in this rich nation and receive starvation wages…It is criminal to
have people working on a full-time basis and a full-time job getting part-time
You can also reassure the undecided
voter that they won't be alone if this is the direction their thinking takes.
Tell them that a recent Gallup poll
found 68% of Americans agreeing with the proposition, that wealth in this
country is unfairly distributed.
51% wanted the rich taxed heavily to
redistribute wealth. That's the
highest number since the question was first asked in the Great Depression.
So there you have it:
When Democrats are in power, not only
does the overall economic pie grow faster, but its fruits are shared more
equitably across society.
A fine historical record to share
with everyone, not least of which, any remaining undecided voters in these last
few weeks before the election.
Let me add that, I'm actually not a
Democrat, I'm a registered Green. I'm
far more progressive than Obama. But
I recognize the absolute necessity of throwing the right out of power, of
stopping John McCain.
Only Barack Obama can do that.
Therefore my support for Obama.
I hope you agree.
QuickBlasts: Ayers, Rezko, ACORN, Surge,
Partially hyperlinked to sources.
For all sources, see the data
One of my mantras on Blast The Right
is, everything the right-wing does is designed to accomplish one of two things:
either (a) transfer wealth from everyone else to the already rich, or (b)
distract everyone else from the fact that (a), that wealth transfer, is
In the prior segment, we addressed
the transfer wealth issue.
I usually don't spend much time on
the (b), distractions part of that equation.
Today I'll make an exception, because
I received some emails requesting it.
I'm going to touch on three current
right-wing, GOP distraction attacks: Bill Ayers, Tony Rezko, and the group
I couldn't think of three worse
Which is, of course, why the
right-wing is going crazy with them.
You could devote an entire podcast to
all the ins and outs of each one.
But I'm only going to devote a minute
or two to each.
My reasoning is:
If a true undecided voter, or a
wavering McCain or Obama supporter, a persuadable, has heard some of this trash,
he or she may have questions raised in their mind.
So you give a dispositive fact or two
to debunk the smear.
At this point, a true persuadable
will go yeah, it did sound crazy.
And then if you want to be
aggressive, take a shot back at McCain for an actual true similar transgression.
So at worst it's a wash.
On the other hand, if you get thrown
back at you a litany of additional facts about the smear, intended to show that
Obama truly is the devil incarnate, then you know you're dealing with a
committed right-winger, one who's been diligently studying the viral smear
emails and memorizing Sean Hannity's daily talking points.
Such a committed ideologue may be
worth arguing with at other times, but not now, three weeks before the election.
So at that point in your interaction, I'd suggest you politely disengage,
and go find a truly persuadable person to work your charms on.
With all that in mind, here goes:
Sources you'll hear include: the New
York Times, mediamatters.org, the San Francisco Chronicle, CBS News, the
Washington Post, msnbc.com, politifact.com, foxnews.com, and for audio clips,
YouTube and brightcove.tv.
Our opponent though, is someone who sees America, it seems, as being so imperfect that he's palling around with terrorists who would target their own country
Palin's referring to Ayers.
Ayers was a member of the Weather
Underground in the 60's and early 70's. That
group set off bombs designed to cause property
damage, in protest against the Vietnam War.
Ayers has admitted being a part of this, but he was never convicted
because of government misconduct in connection with his prosecution.
Obama was 8 years old when Ayers was
doing these things.
When Obama met Ayers in Chicago in
the 1990's, Ayers wasn't a radical violently attacking society.
Ayers was a respected professor at
the University of Illinois. His
there is Distinguished Professor of Education.
Not long after Obama met Ayers, the
city of Chicago awarded
Ayers its Citizen of the Year Award.
One of the reasons why, was that
Ayers had secured for the city a $49.2 million dollar grant
from the Annenberg Foundation, to be used for educational reform.
Ayers and Obama both worked on this
educational reform effort.
Some right-wingers claim this was
some radical left project.
The Annenberg Foundation was set up
by Walter Annenberg, a Republican
all his life. He was Richard Nixon's
ambassador to the United Kingdom. His
widow, Leonore, chaired the foundation at the time.
She's currently endorsing John McCain.
So maybe McCain better disavow the
support of this woman and return any contributions she's made.
In fact, send her to Gitmo for
funding a terrorist like Ayers with $50 million.
The foundation's former development
director recently said that
The whole idea of it being
radical when it was…blue-chip, white-collar, CEOs and civic leaders is just
As reported in the press, on not only
this project, but on others
and Democrats alike have collaborated with the present-day Ayers in educational
Obama having a passing
association with a mainstream figure in the world of Chicago politics and
education is not surprising.
What is surprising is how the
right-wing thinks they can get away with lying
and making such a big deal about it.
As for the counter-punch against
McCain on "radical associations," you may recall a guy named G. Gordon
Liddy. Among the many
fine things he's done, are
--serving four and a half years in
prison for the Watergate and Ellsberg office break-ins
--plotting to kill Howard Hunt, and
journalist Jack Anderson
--in the 1990's, telling his radio
audience how best to shoot agents from the federal Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco
Go for a head shot;
they're going to be wearing bulletproof vests.
…Kill the sons of
Liddy has contributed money to McCain
over the years. McCain has been a
guest on Liddy's radio show. Liddy welcomes
McCain as an "old friend." Just
listen as McCain praised Liddy just last year:
Well, you know, I'm proud
of you…[I]t's always a pleasure for me to come on your program, Gordon.
And congratulations on your continued success and adherence to the
principles and philosophies that keep our nation great.
Next right-wing distraction attack is
about Tony Rezko, a Chicago area businessman recently convicted on felony
You can dispose of this one in short
Obama has never
been connected to any Rezko wrongdoing.
The right complains about a 2005 land
deal. Obama bought a house.
Rezko's wife bought the lot next door at the same time.
She later sold the Obama's a piece
of the lot. At that point, Rezko was
Obama has called that last
transaction "boneheaded" and a "mistake."
If someone thinks that disqualifies
Obama from the Presidency, so be it.
You might want to mention to that
person, however, in the counter-shot at McCain, that McCain was one of the
Keating Five in the late 1980's savings and loan scandal.
Keating went to prison. The
Senate in 1991 rebuked McCain for "poor judgment" in his dealings on
behalf of Keating. McCain has called
his conduct a "terrible mistake."
A boneheaded mistake vs. a terrible
mistake. At worst for Obama, a wash.
Finally you have the right-wing
ranting and raving about the low-income community activist group ACORN,
supposedly trying to steal the 2008 election, and how Obama is connected to
ACORN has conducted a nationwide
voter registration drive. They say
1.3 million voters.
First of all, that's less than 1% of
More importantly, this is fraud
against ACORN. It's just low-level
to fill their quota of signatures, without doing the hard, slow work of actually
finding legitimate non-voters to register.
ACORN wants real voters who will be
able to vote. It pays people to get
the forms filled out legitimately. If
the worker submits fraudulent names, ACORN loses.
And the party which has funded ACORN to conduct the voter registration
drive loses as well.
There's zero evidence that ACORN
arranges for people to somehow go vote 20 times, or that it sends people to pose
as the deceased, or as the people whose names the worker copied out of the phone
These fraudulent registration cards
will have no effect whatsoever on the actual voting.
And any connection Obama has with
ACORN, is also therefore a non-issue.
As your counterpunch regarding
What is a real issue of election
wrongdoing, is Republican voter suppression, the Republican Party's long,
well-documented history of throwing legitimately registered minority voters off
the voter rolls. The GOP has for
many years actually been under court
order to refrain from such activities.
You can check out podcast
99 for more on this.
So, the interfering with the vote
shoe is on the foot of McCain's party, not ACORN or Obama.
Ayers, Rezko, Acorn. Nothing
More in a moment.
Ok, here are four more smorgasbord
items you can deploy in your convincing-the-undecideds efforts, to point
undecideds and persuadables in the right direction.
To start off with, a couple of quick
If you're asked, "Wasn't the
surge a success, and McCain was for it and Obama against it?," you can say:
This is like a guy who ignores
repeated warnings and recklessly drives your car into a ditch.
After he gets the car just half way out of the ditch, not only does he
claim he deserves an award for good automotive skills, but says you should
choose him as your exclusive driver for the next four years.
With an option for an additional four-year term.
If you're hit with the argument that
"Bush protected us, no domestic attacks, so his foreign policy was a
success," a good reply might be:
That's like a guy who drives by a
tinderbox-dry forest every day and flicks in a lit cigarette.
A forest fire never starts. Then they guy claims that because he threw in
the lit cigarette every day, that was why there was no forest fire.
Obviously, it's despite, not because of what the guy did, that there was
no forest fire.
Next, a bit of verbal ju-jitsu.
You may already be quite tired of
hearing about how McCain is a maverick, who bucks his party on all these issues.
A good retort might be, of course he has to buck his party on certain
issues, since his party's policies, Republican policies, are so bad.
When he bucks his party, he winds up endorsing Democratic policies.
So why vote for the guy in the wrong party who's forced to buck his own
party on issues. Why not just vote
for the guy who's already in the right party with the right policies already?
Finally, John McCain's hot
Sources are Investor's Business
Daily, the Washington Post, and YouTube for the audio clips.
Here are four reasons to be scared of
John McCain as commander in chief.
Republican Senator Thad Cochran of
Mississippi has served with McCain 30 years.
The thought of him being
president sends a cold chill down my spine. He is erratic. He is hotheaded. He
loses his temper and he worries me.
That's a conservative Republican
Former Senator Bob Smith, Republican
of New Hampshire, knew McCain for 18 years in the Senate.
His temper would place
this country at risk in international affairs, and the world perhaps in danger.
In my mind, it should disqualify him.
Even worse, the hot-headed John
McCain has a cavalier attitude, jokes about going to war.
Here he is earlier this campaign:
That old Beach Boys song,
"Bomb Iran"? Bomb, bomb,
McCain doesn't even pretend to hide
his war-mongering. McCain promised
us at a town hall meeting earlier this year that if he's elected…
This is a tough war we're
in. It's not going to be over right
away. There's going to be other
wars. I'm sorry to tell you,
there's going to be other wars.
More than one even. McCain's
already planning for them.
If you think this information would
be impactful on an undecided voter, please make sure to tell them!