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American Political Commentary
Veritas Veneratio Virtus
I. W. Parkins
IN THIS ISSUE– Reflections of the coming Election
-For Better or Worse, How-Now?
-History of Partisanship over the last 50+ years
-Equal Partisan Blame for Financial Crisis is Erroneous
-50 years of National Budgets
-On the Side
Links to Articles and Items of Interest
· WSJ editorial on “The $6400.00 Myth”
· Ann Coulter, “Why Liberals Behave the Way They Do”
· WSJ, Bret Stephens on “Paul Ryan’s Neocon Manifesto”
· Erich Erichson on “Evil Preaches Tolerance”
· Amy Payne on “Assange, Wikileaks, and Anti-Americanism by Ecuador”
· Betsy Woodruff on “How Did Harry Reid Get So Rich”
· Katie Nielson on “How the Obama Admin. Stifles Energy Production”
· Rasmussen’s “Daily Tracking Poll” on Presidential race
· Breitbart.com– stories which are not seen in “the media”
· The Drudge Report—website by Matt Drudge
FOR BETTER OR WORSE:
FOR ME, THIS IS LIKELY TO BE MY LAST PRESIDENTIAL ELECTION
By Ivan W. Parkins
For better or worse, America’s Presidents have become, in the minds of many Americans, the personifications of our national government. The need to simplify for quick description, especially in mass media references, a system that is huge, often self contradictory, and varied in both its habitual routines and erupting transformations makes all simplified descriptions fragile. What I offer here is, admittedly, an inadequate summary. It is my account of several perspectives that changed me from my beginning during the time of FDR as a staunch Democrat to what is now a longer experience, since the 1972 election of Nixon, as a loyal Republican.
That is not to deny that I have sometimes been blind to faults in only one or the other party. I have seen as my political duty to choose, and not to flutter between, that party which was most apt to lead America well, and the principal alternative to it.
In 1948, I completed a master’s paper on the American mass media, then mainly news papers and magazines. And my course since then has been mostly opposite to that of our dominant media.
I have been voting in Presidential Elections since 1944 and this year 2012, will make my 17th. Presidential election. For me, this is likely to be my last Presidential Election. So, in this issue, I have selected several articles which reflect relevant circumstances for the coming election. For a view of the man who is, in many respects small, but trying to appear much larger than he is, or is capable of becoming, please check out the links below :
AND IRRESPONSIBILITY FOR
FISCAL POLICY, 1961-2010
THE FAULT FALLS AT THE DEMOCRAT’S CONTROL OF CONGRESS
By Ivan W. Parkins
The frequent suggestion that our political parties are equally responsible for our present fiscal crisis is mostly nonsense. It can be checked in almost any almanac or other factual record.
Of course both parties have held some offices at all times. But, only by narrow margins, recently, and for a brief period, the Republicans have held the
Actually, the Republicans have had 28 of the 50 years in the Presidency, and have done so twice by record or near record popular margins. Only Johnson did similarly. (Which party got rid of him?) Johnson had some of the largest partisan majorities in Congress in our nation’s history. Although he was succeeded by Nixon, it was pretty much the same heavily Democrat Congress that provided Nixon’s ordeal. That kind of situation was unprecedented in America history. Prior to 1952, every President who won a popular majority got a Congress of this own party to go with it. And, that still holds for Democrat Presidents.
The next Democrat to win the Presidency was Carter, with 50.1% of the popular vote. That “landslide” gave him one of the largest Democrat majorities in Congress in our entire history. Now, President Obama’s majority in Congress is larger than any partisan congressional support for a Republican since Herbert Hoover was elected in1928.
The Constitution of the United States gives the power to initiate all taxes to the House of Representatives. Budgeting was left largely to the Executive Branch and was consolidated under the President, by law, in the early twentieth century. Additionally, in 1974, with Nixon struggling to avoid impeachment out, the Congress gave itself more time and power to compete with the President in budgeting.
Too much of the blame for budget outcomes has been assigned to Presidents who faced hostile and spendthrift Congresses.
DID YOU KNOW?
Comments on the Side
…NOT ALL PARTIES
On August 1, 1946, in Athens TN, the local Sheriff, also known as Boss, took all ballot boxes into the court house, protected by scores of armed deputies. They were soon surrounded by hundreds of armed WWII veterans. After losing the porch of his “fortress” to dynamite, the sheriff surrendered. A veterans’ slate won the election and not much more that was newsworthy happened.
…….. According to Wikipedia, a March 2009 atmospheric measure of CO² showed 387 parts per million (p.p.m). At 10,000 p.p.m. people get drowsy. At 70,000 to 100,000 they get ill or die. 10,000 p.p.m. can be reached in a poorly ventilated auditorium.
….. At the time that Congress ordered a halt to all financial, air, and military equipment support to our allies in South Vietnam, it appeared the South Vietnamese were successfully and willingly holding off the attacks of the Communists, without support from American ground forces.
….Both of the major presidential impeachment efforts of recent Congresses, Nixon’s and Clinton’s, were subsequently denounced as improper in books by the Chief Investigative Counsels chosen by the House Judiciary Committees to pursue them—and those Chief Investigators were both Democrats. In Nixon’s case the charges were drawn by the Judiciary Committee in such a way as to exclude evidence of any similar behaviors by earlier Presidents; in Clinton’s case they were drawn so as to exclude Clinton’s most obviously official and illegal acts, grants of citizenship to persons not eligible and severe campaign finance violations.
….. Since the Korean War, the trend of military spending, as a portion of this nation’s gross domestic product , has been downward to a little less than half of what it was in 1951-52. Meanwhile, spending for education, health, and other welfare have all taken increasing portions, and together have taken much more than spending for defense.
…..One hasty act of the Environmental Protection Agency, joining with the World Health Organization in the ban on DDT, resulted in more deaths (of Blacks from malaria) than all the deaths from all ethnic conflicts and American military engagements in our nation’s history.
EQUAL PARTISAN BLAME FOR THE
FINANCIAL CRISIS IS FALSE
By Ivan W. Parkins
The partisan makeup of Congresses since FDR demonstrates why equal partisan responsibility for our financial crisis is unlikely to be true.
Congress, especially the House of Representatives, by terms of the Constitution and in practice, plays a major role in our national finances. For the past eighty years
Democrats have held majorities in the House of Representatives 80% of the time. Also, the sizes of Democratic majorities have exceeded greatly the sizes of the few Republican majorities. The Republicans’ best was the 57 votes in the 80th Congress following the off-year election as Harry Truman was finishing the term that he inherited from FDR.
Most Republican majorities since have been less than half that large. And 57 votes is well below the average advantage that Democrats have had.
In 1952 President Eisenhower won and got a House majority of 10 votes. He lost that in the 1954 off-year. And no Republican President saw a Republican majority in the House for the next forty years. Nixon’s record setting popular plurality of 1972 was accompanied by large Democrat majorities in both Houses of Congress. Democrat Carter’s slim win in 1976 was accompanied by a 149 vote Democrat majority in the House. That majority was larger than any enjoyed by a Republican President, ever, and larger than the total of all the six Republican wins since then. Presidents Reagan and G.H.W.Bush won three successive elections, all by margins larger than Carter’s, but enjoyed during their twelve years at the helm no Republican majority in the House of Representatives. Newt Gingrich’s “revolution” brought in small Republican majorities that lasted for twelve years and produced balanced budgets in four of them, the only such budgets since LBJ bequeathed one to Nixon.
FIFTY YEARS OF OUR
Only five have balanced!
By Ivan W. Parkins
In only five of the last fifty years have the Congresses and Administrations in power produced budge surpluses.
The first, for Fiscal 1969, was enacted in the last part of Democrat President Lyndon Johnson’s Administration and carried over into the Administration of Republican President Nixon. Both Houses of Congress were controlled by Democrat majorities throughout that time period.
All four of the other budget surpluses occurred late in the Administration of Democrat President Clinton. That was after Newt Gingrich had won control of the House and the Senate had turned Republican, fiscal years 1998, 1999, 2000, and 2001. Fiscal 2001 extended until a few weeks after 9/11/01.