Wednesday, November 7, 2012

The Special Interests Won Again

Cory Michael Skaaren Art
Paul Craig Roberts, Contributor
Activist Post

The election that was supposed to be too close to call turned out not to be so close after all. In my opinion, Obama won for two reasons: (1) Obama is non-threatening and inclusive, whereas Romney exuded a “us vs. them” impression that many found threatening, and (2) the election was not close enough for the electronic voting machines to steal.

As readers know, I don’t think that either candidate is a good choice or that either offers a choice. Washington is controlled by powerful interest groups, not by elections. What the two parties fight over is not alternative political visions and different legislative agendas, but which party gets to be the whore for Wall Street, the military-security complex, Israel Lobby, agribusiness, and energy, mining, and timber interests.

Being the whore is important, because whores are rewarded for the services that they render. To win the White House or a presidential appointment is a career-making event as it makes a person sought after by rich and powerful interest groups. In Congress the majority party can provide more services and is thus more valuable than the minority party. One of our recent presidents who was not rich ended up with $36 million shortly after leaving office, as did former UK prime minister Tony Blair, who served Washington far better than he served his own country.

Wars are profitable for the military/security complex. Israel rewards its servants and punishes its enemies. Staffing environmental regulatory agencies with energy, mining, and timber executives is regarded by those interests as very friendly behavior.

Many Americans understand this and do not bother to vote as they know that whichever candidate or party wins, the interest groups prevail. Ronald Reagan was the last president who stood up to interest groups, or, rather, to some of them. Wall Street did not want his tax rate reductions, as Wall Street thought the result would be higher inflation and interest rates and the ruination of their stock and bond portfolios. The military/security complex did not want Reagan negotiating with Gorbachev to end the cold war.

What is curious is that voters don’t understand how politics really works. They get carried away with the political rhetoric and do not see the hypocrisy that is staring them in the face.

Proud patriotic macho American men voted for Romney who went to Israel and, swearing allegiance to his liege lord, groveled at the feet of Netanyahu.

Obama plays on the heart strings of his supporters by relating a story of a child with leukemia now protected by Obamacare, while he continues to murder thousands of children and their parents with drones and other military actions in seven countries.

Obama was able to elicit cheers from supporters as he described the onward and upward path of America toward greater moral accomplishments, while his actual record is that of a tyrant who codified into law the destruction of the US Constitution and the civil liberties of the American people.

The election was about nothing except who gets to serve the interest groups. The wars were not an issue in the election. Washington’s provoking of Iran, Russia, and China by surrounding them with military bases was not an issue. The unconstitutional powers asserted by the executive branch to detain citizens indefinitely without due process and to assassinate them on suspicion alone were not an issue in the election.

The sacrifice of the natural environment to timber, mining, and energy interests was not an issue, except to promise more sacrifice of the environment to short-term profits. Out of one side of the mouth came the nonsense promise of restoring the middle class while from the other side of the mouth issued defenses of the offshoring of their jobs and careers as free trade.

The inability to acknowledge and to debate real issues is a threat not only to the United States but also to the entire world. Washington’s reckless pursuit of hegemony driven by an insane neoconservative ideology is leading to military confrontation with Russia and China.

Eleven years of gratuitous wars with more on the way and an economic policy that protects financial institutions from their mistakes have burdened the US with massive budget deficits that are being monetized.

The US dollar’s loss of the reserve currency role and hyperinflation are plausible consequences of disastrous economic policy.

How is it possible that “the world’s only superpower” can hold a presidential election without any discussion of these very real and serious problems being part of it?

How can anyone be excited or made hopeful about such an outcome?

This article first appeared at Paul Craig Roberts' new website Institute For Political Economy.  Paul Craig Roberts was Assistant Secretary of the Treasury for Economic Policy and associate editor of the Wall Street Journal. He was columnist for Business Week, Scripps Howard News Service, and Creators Syndicate. He has had many university appointments. His Internet columns have attracted a worldwide following.



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Anonymous said...

Another shill full-of-bull article. Our gov is controlled by the NWO who wants to genocide us, not special groups who want timber. Obama is non-threatening and inclusive? What a joke. Paul Craig Roberts, you are a whore for the NWO.

Anonymous said...

And how dare Roberts say there was no vote fraud. What a bad liar. And look at his other writings re: 9/11 truth. Roberts is a 9/11 cover up criminal and traitor. May the traitor hang with the rest of them.

Anonymous said...

Can I ring Obama when my Obama-phone malfunctions?

Thought not.

Just like so many politicians, their actions speak louder than words... and they can't keep to their promises that they make. But hey, they will do anything to get 'elected'.

Anonymous said...

Ronald Reagan was the last president who stood up to interest groups, or, rather, to some of them," wrote Dr Roberts, in yet another mythical defense of his hero and former boss, Ronald Reagan.

Unstated is that Reagan tripled the debt, with most of this unprecedentedborrowing/spending going to the Military/Industrial Complex, the largest form of corporate welfare (ie facism) in existence. 220 billion a year go to wealthy industries, while family assistance for the poor and unemployed, children, the disabled, and poor seniors costs 18 billion a year.

Reagan's profligate borrowing and spending has set the course for the 33 yrs since he left office, leading (along with union busting) to a steady decline of over 30% in the median wage while the rich have tripled their income.

Dr Roberts says:
"Wars are profitable for the military/security complex."

And it was the M/S complex which Reagan borrowed so heavily to subsidize, his favorite special interest. He also was very kind to big oil, rejecting the green energy initiatives of
Carter. He set the nation back 30 years in terms of a rational energy policy.

And helied and lied, he broke the law, he traded missiles to a "terrorist" nation and used the proceeds to fund a terrorist militia in Central America, two impeachable offenses in one secret deal. In this way, as well as other stealth wars (including arming both Iran and Iraq in their war), he accelerated the evolution both the imperial President, who is above the law, and the secrecy of executive operations: both are key features of dictatorship.

DR Roberts is not rational about Reagan. Perhaps it is guilt for having served him. Dr Roberts usual defense of Reagan is that you should look at what he did (such as arming terrorists?) not what he said. In other words, he lied; what he did, hidden from view, justified the means.

And PCR never deals with the fact the "robust economy" he claims Reagan created was done on the credit card...and we are still paying for it.

The economy was robust for the rich, disasterous for the workig class.

To Dr Robert's view of Reagan, I would contrast that of the former President who is the only President to end his term with a higher approval rating than when he started, our own Bill Clinton, in 1991 said:

“The Reagan-Bush years,” he declared, “have exalted private gain over public obligation, special interests over the common good, wealth and fame over work and family. The 1980s ushered in a Gilded Age of greed and selfishness, of irresponsibility and excess, and of neglect.”

Private wealth is the core of special interests, and Reagan, of all President's, most shifted public treasury to private corporations, the very definition of putting special interests above the Constitutional mandate to
"promote....and provide..for the general welfare."

Sadly, Dr Roberts has lost it; he dreams of a return to a mythical Reagan and a fictional economy while feeding cynicism and fear to a motley crew of preppers, fake libertarians, anti-semites, anti-blacks, anti-immigrant, semi-educated depressos. I am beyond being saddened by the gloom and doom of this old Reagan shit-kicker; I am finally bored. Heard it........
got it: enslavement, nuclear war, boycott voting,
suck up to the Old Confederacy, and finally a total inability to tolerate or learn from criticism. Don't go down that road.

Anonymous said...

11:21 Anonymous is spot on. Roberts actually worked for Reagan. He's sort of got this school girl crush on him, not unlike the Lew Rockwell crush on Ron Paul.

Roberts has even gone so far to say the mass atrocities in South America were for the best because "communism was taking over". Well---communism was never taking over; it was controlled from above. The cold world was all a dream. It would seem that's about where Roberts is stuck. Yes---race and gender are inventions being used to advance an agenda but they are not being used for checks and balances. It's like an NGO getting people thinking they're doing good when in fact they're paying to bury the child prostitute a few lobbyists just killed. Some sort of god is being served here and it's never the one we know.

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