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OpEdNews Op Eds    H2'ed 9/25/10

They're Foxed In the Head

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"We praise a man who feels angry on the right grounds and against the right persons and also in the right manner at the right moment and for the right length of time."

Aristotle (384322 B.C.), Greek philosopher. The Nicomachean Ethics, chapter 4, section 5, subsection 3 (written c. 340 B.C.).

"Don't make me angry. You wouldn't like me when I'm angry."

Bill Bixby, as Dr. David Banner, in almost every episode of CBS-TV's The Incredible Hulk.

Every time I turn over a historical or political Re-publican rock, I discover enough creepy-crawlies to make an entomologist blanch.

My recent exploration of the Taft-Hartley Labor Act of 1947 while writing "The Daft-Heartless Act" (, September 11, 2010), is a prime example of this phenomenon. It was, according to Congressman Fred A. Hartley, the first step in undoing FDR's New Deal, and returning America to the quasi-feudalistic purgatory for the working class that it was before the Great Depression. It was designed (although Congressman Hartley did not say this) to help return the United States to a time when half of the nation lived in poverty;the elderly often died homeless; children died for lack of health care; employers could reduce a worker's wages without cause; and if you became unemployed during an economic downturn, and there were no jobs to be had, you and your family starved or froze to death.

But it is not enough for these crypto-fascists to want to roll back our nation to the 1920s. They want to roll back the entire Twentieth Century, just as they have with the active enforcement of antitrust laws, and return to what Mark Twain called the "Gilded Age." In fact, the reactionaries at Fox News are quite overt about this desire:

We all know of the Re-publicans' desire to "privatize" Social Security. What they want us to ignore is the simple fact that a downturn of the Stock Market (such as happened in 2007), or major bank failures (as nearly happened in 2008), would wipe out the money in these private retirement accounts. I am all for people saving up for their retirements, so that they can have a more comfortable time in their sunset years. However, Social Security is everyone's fall back position: if you have your retirement money stolen or wiped out just before you retire, with Social Security you are not left living cold and hungry in the streets, or working until you are eighty. The way to fix Social Security is simple: remove the cap, so that everyone pays Social Security tax on all of their wages, salaries, and non-exempt (e.g., health care) compensation for the money they earn in a given year. If you have deferred income, e.g. stock options, you would still have to pay the Social Security tax on the current value of those options in that year.

These are the same people who want to get rid of Medicare and Medicaid. The real--if unspoken--reasons are that these two programs are cutting into the earnings of the for profit insurance companies, and they are much more efficiently run than those for profit companies, with an overhead of one-quarter or less that of the insurance firms. Of course, Medicare and Medicaid aren't paying their CEOs' multi-million dollar annual salaries.

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Richard Girard is a polymath and autodidact whose greatest desire in life is to be his generations' Thomas Paine. He is an FDR Democrat, which probably puts him with U.S. Senator Bernie Sanders in the current political spectrum. His answer to (more...)

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