You are here

Tony Auth | Tim Pawlenty & Sacred Cows / cdn.svcs.c2.uclick.com

Section(s): 

Ten Years Of The Bush Tax Cuts

The lofty rhetoric used by conservatives to sell the Bush tax cuts didn’t match reality.
GOP Can’t Handle The Truth: Taxes Are Lower Under Obama Than Reagan

Pat Garofalo, Progress Report

At a time when corporations are buying up elections – not to mention the 24-hour-news cycle – help ensure that a source for truly independent journalism lives on. Support Evergreene Digest today by using the donation button in the above right-hand corner.

10 years ago tomorrow (June 7), the first of the Bush tax cuts was enacted. That 2001 tax cut was followed up by a second tax cut in 2003, passed after Vice-President Dick Cheney reportedly asserted that “deficits don’t matter.” The tax cuts were sold as necessary economic stimulus that would boost job creation and a moribund economy. “Tax relief will create new jobs, tax relief will generate new wealth, and tax relief will open new opportunities,” Bush said on April 16, 2001 as he was pushing for the passage of the first tax cut. Two years later he said, “These tax reductions will bring real and immediate benefits to middle-income Americans…By speeding up the income tax cuts, we will speed up economic recovery and the pace of job creation.”

\r\n

Bush called the 2001 tax cut, “a victory for fairness and a vote for economic growth.” Then-Speaker of the House Dennis Hastert (R-IL) said that the cuts were necessary to “spur the economy on.” And up through 2008, Bush was still convinced that his tax cuts had been good for the economy. “I think when people take a look back at this moment in our economic history, they’ll recognize tax cuts work. They have made a difference,” Bush said. However, the record of the Bush tax cuts is undeniable: their enactment coincided with the weakest economic expansion of the post-war period, blowing up the national deficit and debt, while not bringing any of the promised gains.

\r\n

More...

\r\n

Related:

\r\n

GOP Can’t Handle The Truth: Taxes Are Lower Under Obama Than Reagan, Pat Garofalo, Think Progress
President Obama met with House Republicans today (June 1) at the White House to discuss ways to move forward on negotiations regarding the nation’s debt ceiling and the budget. During the discussion, talk evidently turned to taxes, and when Obama noted that taxes today are lower than they were under President Reagan, the GOP, according to The Hill, “engaged in a lot of ‘eye-rolling’“

Section(s): 

God Is Not a Christian

Desmond Tutu writes: "We are supposed to proclaim the God of love, but we have been guilty as Christians of sowing hatred and suspicion; we commend the one whom we call the Prince of Peace, and yet as Christians we have fought more wars than we care to remember. We have claimed to be a fellowship of compassion and caring and sharing, but as Christians we often sanctify sociopolitical systems that belie this, where the rich grow ever richer and the poor grow ever poorer."

Archbishop Desmond Tutu, Reader Supported News

This article is made possible with the generous contributions of readers like you. Thank you!

\r\n

The Dalai Lama and Archbishop Desmond Tutu share a lighthearted moment at a panel discussion at the University of Washington in Seattle, 04/15/08. (photo: File)

\r\n

They tell the story of a drunk who crossed the street and accosted a pedestrian, asking him, "I shay, which ish the other shide of the shtreet?" The pedestrian, somewhat nonplussed, replied, "That side, of course!" The drunk said, "Shtrange. When I wash on that shide, they shaid it wash thish shide." Where the other side of the street is depends on where we are. Our perspective differs with our context, the things that have helped to form us; and religion is one of the most potent of these formative influences, helping to determine how and what we apprehend of reality and how we operate in our own specific context.

\r\n

My first point seems overwhelmingly simple: that the accidents of birth and geography determine to a very large extent to what faith we belong. The chances are very great that if you were born in Pakistan you are a Muslim, or a Hindu if you happened to be born in India, or a Shintoist if it is Japan, and a Christian if you were born in Italy. I don't know what significant fact can be drawn from this - perhaps that we should not succumb too easily to the temptation to exclusiveness and dogmatic claims to a monopoly of the truth of our particular faith. You could so easily have been an adherent of the faith that you are now denigrating, but for the fact that you were born here rather than there.

\r\n

More...

Section(s): 

Bill Moyers: "Facts Still Matter ..."

\r\n

    \r\n
  • While "most of us like to believe that our opinions have been formed over time by careful, rational consideration of facts and ideas and that the decisions based on those opinions, therefore, have the ring of soundness and intelligence," the research found that actually "we often base our opinions on our beliefs ... and rather than facts driving beliefs, our beliefs can dictate the facts we chose to accept. They can cause us to twist facts so they fit better with our preconceived notions."
  • \r\n

  • How to Restore Truth in Media Reporting?
  • \r\n

  • Intellectual Prostitution and the Myth of Objectivity
  • \r\n

\r\n

Bill Moyers, Truthout

Thanks to all of you for your welcome - and for the chance to be here among so many kindred spirits. Your dedication to factual broadcasting, to our craft and calling; your passion for telling stories that matter; for connecting the present to the past, has created a community whose work is essential in this disquieting time when "what is happening today, this hour, this very minute, seems to be our sole criterion for judgment and action." It is a sad world that exists only in the present, unaware of the long procession that brought us here. As Milan Kundera’s insight reminds us, the struggle against power "is the struggle of memory against forgetting."

\r\n

I talked about this gathering when I was in California this past weekend and spent time with a good friend and supporter of my own work on television, Paul Orfalea. He's the maverick entrepreneur who founded Kinko's in a former hamburger stand with one small rented Xerox copier and turned it into a business service empire with more than two billion dollars a year in revenue.

\r\n

More...

\r\n

Related:

\r\n

How to Restore Truth in Media Reporting? Mickey Huff and Peter Phillips, Centre for Research on Globalization

\r\n

    \r\n
  • The late New York University media scholar Neil Postman once said about America, “We are the best entertained least informed society in the world." From Jessica Simpson’s weight and Brangelina’s escapades, to Britney Spears’ sister and the Obama’s First Puppy, Americans are fed a steady “news” diet of useless information laden with personal anecdotes, scandals, and gossip.
  • \r\n

  • The media democracy movement
  • \r\n

  • ...And in Other News
  • \r\n

  • Stop Blacking Out Progressive Protests
  • \r\n

\r\n

Intellectual Prostitution and the Myth of Objectivity, Christopher Ketcham, TruthDig
Whence the delusional obsession with “objectivity” in the journalism schools and the pages of the Gray Lady et al.?
The business of the journalist is to destroy the truth, to lie outright, to pervert, to vilify, to fawn at the feet of mammon, and to sell his country and his race for his daily bread.

Section(s): 

Arms and the Budget

\r\n

    \r\n
  • "Even in the face of efforts to bring down the soaring US budget deficit, military spending continues to receive privileged treatment. President Obama's FY2012 budget announced a 5-year freeze on non-security-related discretionary expenditure, but military spending, along with other security spending such as intelligence and Homeland Security is exempt. Such cuts as may occur are likely to be due to the end of the US troop presence in Iraq and the gradual drawdown from Afghanistan, rather than to cuts in the 'base' defence budget. Taken together, these figures suggest that the USA continues to prioritize maintaining its overwhelming military power as the basis of its security and status."
  • \r\n

  • $1.2 Trillion: The Real U.S. National Security Budget No One Wants You to Know About
  • \r\n

  • The Fake Budget Debate in Washington, DC
  • \r\n

\r\n

Jeff Nygaard, Nygaard Notes

Earlier this month SIPRI (the Stockholm International Peace Research Institute) released their annual report on global military expenditures. This major report was covered in four newspapers in the United States: The Wilmington Star News in N. Carolina, the Bismarck Tribune in N. Dakota. the Lewiston Morning Tribune in Idaho and the Monterey County Herald in California. That's not exactly a list of the nation's agenda-setting media, which is disappointing given the importance of the information for U.S. activists and voters, especially in this time of Deficit Mania.

\r\n

While I give credit to these small regional newspapers for covering the report, it's unfortunate that they all adhered to the angle chosen by the single Associated Press wire story on the report. That angle was the fact that the overall rate of growth in worldwide military spending slowed a bit in 2010. It's down quite a bit from the annual average increase of 5.1 percent since 2001, and thus is newsworthy. But still, the role of the United States, which was highlighted in the report for good reason, was ignored by the media in this country. I'll highlight it here.

\r\n

More...

\r\n

Related:

\r\n

$1.2 Trillion: The Real U.S. National Security Budget No One Wants You to Know About, BeforeIt'sNews.com

\r\n

    \r\n
  • If Americans were ever presented with the real bill for the total U.S. national security budget, it would actually add up to more than $1.2 trillion a year.
  • \r\n

  • The simplest way to grasp just how Americans could pay such a staggering amount annually for “security” is to go through what we know about the U.S. national security budget, step by step, and add it all up.
  • \r\n

\r\n

The Fake Budget Debate in Washington, DC, Shamus Cooke, Workers' Compass

\r\n

    \r\n
  • As long as both Democrats and Republicans agree that the U.S. government must be directed to meet the needs of the super wealthy who own U.S. corporations, the country will shift continually to the right, with social programs and living standards evaporating.
  • \r\n

  • However, the stronger that labor and community groups unite and fight to save these social programs, the harder will it be to cut them; out of such a struggle will emerge practical solutions to solving the deficit problems of the country, such as dramatically increasing the taxes on the rich and corporations so that jobs can be created and social programs saved.
  • \r\n

  • Democrats and Republicans escalate campaign against health care programs
  • \r\n

\r\n


Section(s): 

The Mysterious Robert Gates

Defense Secretary Robert Gates is leaving the Pentagon as a Washington “wise man,” admired by both Republicans and Democrats for his supposed judgment and integrity. But does he deserve that reputation — or is he just an especially clever manipulator of the political process?

Robert Parry, Consortiumnews.com

Submitted by Evergreene Digest Contributing Editor Joanne Thielen

As Robert Gates ends his four-plus years as Defense Secretary, he has accomplished one of Washington’s more notable image makeovers, shedding an earlier reputation as a sneaky ideological chameleon for new skin as a respected “wise man” hailed by Republicans, Democrats and the press.

But the transformation may underscore how great a careerist Gates is rather than mark any actual improvement in his judgment. In his early days, he was viewed as a climber who would change colors to match the political hues of those above him; now, it seems his decades of accommodating the powerful have earned him their appreciation and acclaim.

More...

Section(s): 

The Coming Economic Contraction

    \r\n
  • We, in the high consumption regions of the world, must find new ways of being satisfied in life. Of course, we should not be stolen from and taken advantage of by the wealthy oligarchs of the corporate and political elites-a separate species of madmen and madwomen who have lost their association with humanity – and who would accept, even engineer, the suffering and deaths of millions of their fellows to maintain high levels of consumption.
  • \r\n

  • They, like any dangerously diseased animal, must be appropriately responded to, first with attempts at a cure and then with segregation unless they can adapt to living with the rest of us without being a danger.
  • \r\n

\r\n


James Keye, Dissident Voice

Thanks to Evergreene Digest Reader Scott Schneider for submitting this article.

This article is made possible with the generous contributions of readers like you. Thank you!

Economic contraction, the lowering of material wealth standards especially for the middle classes, is more complex than the simple redistribution of tiny increments of wealth from the multitude to the aggressively rich. There is a more serious process in play. It is that those peoples and nations using more than an average of about 2.5 hectares per capita of the earth’s productive capacity must bring down their use (1 hectare = 100 meters by 100 meters = 2.47 acres): this can be done with some equity and social justice or it can be done in dynamic struggle to keep present levels, increase use on the old pattern, if possible, and push want and despair off onto others. (search “Ecological Footprint Atlas 2010” and “2010 NFA data tables” for most resent data)

\r\n

Put another way, this can be done with some serious efforts at fairness or it can be done catastrophically. Our opening efforts, while not irrevocable, seem pointed toward catastrophe. At present the need to reduce average consumption is occurring at the same time as the world’s wealthiest people are increasingly using their power advantage to gather up (steal from other humans and the rest of the living world) and control as much real wealth as possible.

\r\n

More...

Section(s): 

Battlebabble: Selling War in America ~ Thomas Lee

    \r\n
  • An indispensable dictionary for decoding the deceptive words of war.
  • \r\n

  • A 'must-read' for all Americans
  • \r\n

\r\n

Barnes and Noble

If you like reading this article, consider contributing a cuppa jove to Evergreene Digest--using the donation button above—so we can bring you more just like it.

In his new book, 'Battlebabble, Selling War in America', long-time activist Thomas Lee tackles the painfully disturbing subject of government deception and its willing advocates. This book comes to us at a time when people, who were originally beguiled by George W. Bush's war rhetoric, are now having second thoughts.

\r\n

Mr. Lee expertly defines and illuminates the reality lying behind the deceptive...

\r\n

Battlebabble is a dictionary of deception: it lists alphabetically euphemistic terms the government uses to describe wartime activity, what author Dr. Thomas Lee calls 'a tidal wave of deceptive rhetoric poured from the White House, aimed at drowning reason and protest.' Such terms include 'collateral damage,' 'friendly fire,' and 'air campaign,' all of which in fact describe death and destruction...

\r\n

More...

Section(s): 

Pages