This is the truest look at the reality of Republicans in power in any branch of government .

They have proven , over and over again , that they care little ( actually not at all) what happens to the rest of Americans after they suck up to wealthiest 1% and crush the rest of us.

They are sleazy, slippery and accomplished liars, all of them .

Im sure there are a few GOP members that disagree with these putrid policies.

However, their silence puts them in the same category as the loathsome Maga’s.

So they continue to destroy our economy , supported by the equally loathsome Heritage Foundation , the Koch brothers and all other supporters of the Republican attempted coup on January 6, 2020.

Make no mistake they are fine with destroying anything or anyone who does not play by their rules of ‘pillage, plunder and blame the other side’.

Something repeatedly thrust on the American people.

Im asking any sane individual that loves our country to support and encourage and remind President Biden to not give in to their lying demands to be allowed to destroy this country. Call your Congress persons and your Senators and your President. Support their no compromise position. Remind them and the people around you of the truth.

Republicans have no problem with destroying ours and the worlds economies.

Stop them now .

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As I read Thom’s factual history of Republican shenanigans since Nixon I realized that most of my life I’ve witnessed the back and forth/seesaw effect of the deliberate funneling of America’s resources to the super rich, year by year,decade to decade. This deliberate theft of our tax dollars and future earnings of our next generations earnings should wake Americans up and you would think inspire a rebirth of actual economic policy legislation to benefit all Americans besides the 1%. But no. The Republicans have the percentage of Americans they need who believe the BS, exist in the Fox snooze bubble and question nothing but “why the Biden crime family hasn’t been arrested yet “, or believe the Republican misfit party is the party of “fiscal responsibility “ when historical facts prove otherwise. Even a recent statement by never -trumper David Jolley (I read The Bulwark also for other perspectives) provided a fact that the tRump administration raised the deficit by an astronomical amount which of course President Biden’s administration is now saddled with. And it was all designed to pass the buck to the incoming administration. I firmly believe the Republican strategy at the time was to force through the 2017 tax cut windfall for the rich then they believed tRump would win the 2020 election based on a number of factors( including a coup as a last resort) and then they would “magically save “ the economy by whatever they would pull out of a hat to make tRump and themselves the heroes. Thus they would be locked in and in power to serve their corporate and billionaire masters in perpetuity. I’m very concerned that with the dearth of factual reporting by MSM outlets (“both sides do it!”) and the dominance of the Fox bubble-loop, not enough tough questioning of Republican BS as well as a lack of accountability by voters has now given us the clown car fascist party in charge of Congress and many local and state government offices. Thus we have the book banners, dress banners, anti-democratic fascist evildoers in all areas of government. And the scary part is that these idiots are in the minority but have dominance over the rest of us (or have the biggest microphone and loudest voices) and too many Americans accept and nod their heads in a mind melt obedience to their exalted rulers. ( Thank you for the opportunity to rant ).

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All too true, but you're preachin' to the choir. What you got in, like, 5 short words for somebody who just came up for air from Candy Crush long enough to hear the word "TAXES" and panic, the Democrats are coming for his new sofa?

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I’m so sick of hearing Social Security and Medicare referred to as “entitlement programs.”

This is OUR money we spend our entire working lives paying into, letting the government use it, with the expectation they’ll pay it back to us come retirement. Am I wrong? If so, please kindly explain just why the hell we must all pay into it if only to have Republicans call them “entitlements” when we’re due to get it back.

And why isn’t every member of the Democratic Congress and the White House screaming about this “Two Santa” scam the republicans have been running for decades? Because it’s nothing more than scam, as they count on Americans to “forget” who actually raised the debt ceiling when it comes time for them to scream and tantrum about it.

We can’t count on any media to get it right. Watching local news out of Houston the other day, for weather, and while waiting they talked about Biden’s NARA documents, equivocating it with Trump’s THEFT and obfuscation for two freaking years, NARA documents. They didn’t explain, at all, the differences between the two situations.

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Me too, about "entitlements." But here is the answer to why the Dems and WH aren't blasting "Two Santas" to high heaven: it's too complicated! The creeps have to just say one word: "Taxes." and their job is done. Even the truth about the Trump deficit takes too many words.

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While the Republican strategy you cite is true, President Obama put Social Security cuts on the table as a negotiating chip with Republicans until Bernie Sanders convinced him not to go through with them. Biden has repeatedly suggested cuts to "entitlement" programs, and when asked by Bernie Sanders if she would join him in raising the cap on Social Security taxes to include those making over $108,000, Hillary Clinton famously refused to respond. So while Republicans are more outward and aggressive regarding Social Security and Medicare cuts, the culture in Washington is such that both parties are hostile to these programs, including Obama and Biden's complicity in expanding the Medicare Advantage scam. Both parties do their damage in different ways in this respect, but the damage is still done. The prioritization of perpetual war and serving the interest of corporate donors, along with the Fed making policy harmful to the vast majority of Americans while protecting the 1% (without a peep from Biden), means that one party offers a more aggressive and rapid decline, while the other is incremental. The incremental change the Democrats offer is one of incremental decline, the unfortunate situation being that the Republicans have become so irrational and combative that the docile, donor-serving and ineffectual Democrats look good by comparison.

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It is hard to tell when pandering to oligarchs is the reason, or triangulation, trying to sound good to the theoretical "middle." If you sit "regular folks" down and tape their eyelids open, with careful repetition and single-syllable words they can get that it's unfair for a guy with a million new walkin' around bucks in his pocket every year to not have to pay into SS after $108K.

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Jan 22, 2023Liked by Thom Hartmann

Good for David Jolly! Gops/repubs lies and times they "step in it" is hardly ever made clear in the media. They squawk so loud and long with their blather and flat out lies, hardly anything else can be heard. But it should be heard, over and over, till more people get the truth about these fascist traitors. Also, "entitlements" ought to be deleted from political discussions. Social Security and Medicare are NOT giveaways. Most working people have paid into them all their working lives. Frankly, some ARE in need of help. So, we should help them. We ALL need help now and then. The rich seem to think they deserve it ALL. The poor should look to charity and family or pull themselves up by their bootstraps, which is one of the stupidest phrases I have ever heard. A big THANKS to Thom Hartmann for telling things like they are. Ruthie B

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Jan 20, 2023·edited Jan 20, 2023

"with terrorists threatening to destroy our economy"

Thanks Thom. There have been many debates about negotiating with terrorists. Non-negotiation now seems well established with 'foreign' terrorists. Unfortunately, our country still equivocates when dealing with domestic terrorists. The fascists in this country hide behind privacy rights, gun rights, legal rights and legislative brinkmanship to create scenarios of asymmetric warfare. These scenarios are designed to allow the fascist minority terrorize to the country into submission.

Of course, the media assists by following their 'bothsidism' reporting norm. Your reveal of the two Santa's strategy shows the explicit adoption of terrorism by the GOP.

It is also unsettling that democratic leadership was ineffective in recognizing and countering this strategy. Both Clinton and Obama had strong initial 2 years of their administration and could (imv) have stopped this terrorism.

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Dear Mr. Hartmann and fellow readers.

I was about to forward this enlightening article to the editorial desk of the venerable New York Times with the query’, “Why isn’t this story headline making news?”, when an asterisk, you know, one of these (*) was triggered in my mind.

You see, ever since I was an inquisitive child growing up in the sixties, I had learned to program my mind to place a mental * when I witnessed an enigma.

Here again, the mysterious silence in the media triggered it.

The last event that triggered one of these * was on January 3, 2023, when the traitors who participated in the plot to destroy our remnant of democracy were inducted into our government, not indicted by it. The media didn’t even flinch over that one.

And where are our trusted leaders? Not a word.


One was also triggered when the Republicans successfully refused to Consider Garland for Supreme Court justice. ‘Too close to the end of O’bama’s

term, went their flimsy argument.

Again. Not a word. But I digress.

It should be obvious by now to anyone who’s been paying attention that their is only one (count them-1) Santa Claus here.

That the two mentioned are both one and the same.

Yes boys and girls, the same oligarchs who purchased our Republican friends have successfully bought our Democratic ones as well.

Now all we need is for one of those crack journalists over at the Times to uncover the paper trail.

I’m not holding my breath.

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It's good to note that Kevin is no Newt, and I think the Republican Party has never been so divided. I guess we'll see how well the new Speaker wrangles his cats.

As the internet became progressively worse, the more young voters learned they need to vet their news. They are figuring out the scams in the process. One thing they know for sure is that they have been screwed. Horror stories abound on student loans, no health care, gun violence, lack of affordable housing and child care, and crap gig-work with no benefits. I think their bull-shit detectors work just fine, and they have been fully educated about bullies.

So I think you are right, Thom. Also, we need to get the message across that young progressives should take over the Democratic Party and make it theirs!

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On the car radio today, the debt ceiling feature did at least mention the question to McCarthy: Cut what, exactly? Other than that, the expert spent most of the time explaining that the "debt ceiing" was a meaningless invention, but even Biden supported keeping it, while refusing to negotiate: what passes for "balanced." (24-hour KCBS, San Francisco.) So that's what Bay Area drivers heard in between "traffic(!) and weather on the eights." On Google News Fact Check section, there is confirmation of Jolley/Snopes. So, that's good. Here is the Problem: Along with not being able to name the First President, the "Man on the Street" has a Pavlov dog response that if taxes are mentioned, THE JACKBOOTS ARE COMING FOR HIS HOUSE! Sorry, I don't yell much, but how do you communicate the slightest finesse or how does, for instance, Obama talking about income over $400,000 get believed by a mass of people who don't get the difference between income and assets anyhow? Help me, Thom! You assert "... the American Public has finally wised up" without showing me any evidence!

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Clinton's surpluses were the direct cause of the recession in 2001. All recessions and depressions in US history have been preceded by a reduction in deficit spending.

GDP is defined as Government Spending + Private Sector Spending + Net Exports. If any of these are reduced, GDP will contract leading to a recession or depression. That's what happened when Clinton cut the social safety net so he could ger a surplus. It just took a few years.

The Fed is trying to do much the same thing right now by raising interest rates. It hopes to reduce spending, especially on wages and therefore consumption (Private Sector Spending), in order to slow inflation.

The irony is that inflation is not caused by excess demand, it's caused by shortages of critical commodities, usually food and fuel. Right now, it's due to the supply chain problems due to COVID. Raising interest rates cannot address this. In addition, inflation has been falling for several months now.

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I'm surprised I haven't heard more "conspiracy theory confirmed" commentary about the charge that Oil was manipulating high prices for the election, and whaddya know, funny how gas has drastically cheapened as soon as the election was over. Now we have a natural gas panic; I haven't looked into what the reason is supposed to be. There's such a long tradition of keeping the Middle Class throttled so it doesn't have time to pay attention to politics; how many American workers will really buy into the argument that them making a little more money is the problem, shame on them? Stay tuned.

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I'm not sure exactly what you mean by a natural gas panic as such. However, increasing natural gas prices right now are most likely due to the amount of LNG we are sending to Europe. It's much more profitable for the gas companies than what they can get by raising prices domestically. The Public Utility Commissions limit the increases the gas companies can impose on their customers.

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Yesterday, I had a conversation with a neighbor of where I am snowed out, who warned me that I might have to wait "weeks" for a gas delivery, because the companies couldn't get supplied. Then I saw news like this: https://ktla.com/news/california/california-natural-gas-bills-are-skyrocketing-what-you-can-do/ Your observation about exports to Europe is noted. What's going on with the PUC?

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Sadly, most PUC's are totally captured by the industries they regulate.

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Wonderful historical summary of GOP strategy on the economic front but I still don't see the forever republicans born into this mindset understanding something they don't want to believe. Hate media is all they look at or ever heard prior to it's emergence. My brother (PHD geography, Syracuse) was running a family construction crew trying to educate members of his crew. They admired him for work ethic and fairness saying he should run for some local office. When told he'd theoretically run as a democrat , the retort was "but then I couldn't vote for you because my family is republican."

They don't educate......

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Politicians lie. For Republican politicians it is second nature and the greatly preferred choice. The “mainstream media” pass on the lies and give them credence and validity, while failing to illuminate the questions and issues with any distinction or discrimination. Huge numbers of the public either listen in with one ear and accept the conceptions and impressions received as gospel, or they tune out and get wind of the most controversial and major arguments as they inadvertently become exposed when accidentally catching a headline, hearing coworkers complaining, or passing a TV (which is ordinarily blaring Fox Noise propaganda).

I wish I could share the optimism. There are some signs that the tide is turning ever-so-slowly. However, I suspect it is still more about personalities, moods and feelings, and relying on the good judgment of a very tiny number of people for holding the line and calling the bluff of the bomb throwers. And, irreparable damage could be done, nevertheless.

Should we be surprised that Reagan was able to sell his bill of goods and had a large following of “Reagan Democrats”? Or that Voodoo economics was not (and still is not) recognized by more people as the scam that it is? Here it comes. How can we be surprised when citizens in training spend twelve years learning that the correct answer is given as one choice in a multiple-choice set-up; that they do not need to figure it out because that has been done for us in advance and we must accept it unquestioningly; that we must remain passive; we should listen mostly in silence in our assigned space, and that good citizenship equals following orders, complying with arbitrary rules and conditions, and recognizing that we are not competent enough to decide when authority is legitimate or illegitimate?

Voting seems a little like choosing whether we will be executed by hanging, firing squad, electrocution, or slow starvation. We seem to have a democracy in name only when we look closely. Democracy is a learned behavior. Democracy requires extensive practice and a level of consciousness that only comes from integrating our own experience with what we learn from theory, history, philosophy, and direct observation. We will only have a democracy when the people are free in their minds and able to accept responsibility as adults, rather than citizens still regretting that they will always remain irresponsible children who do not try hard enough, complete their assignments, pay attention to the authority in charge, and time-wasting indolent scholars, as they have been told repeatedly. It does not look so good for the long-term from where I stand.

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It bothers me to see Democrats, like the Clinton Democrats, argue for and brag about balancing the budget.

Keynes rightfully said, in essence that the government can only do it's job of providing for and protecting it's citizens by spending money, even if that means borrowing money. (Borrow from whom I ask, because when you stop and look at it, money is simply a medium of exchange, and who or what creates that medium of exchange... the government, and how is the government able to do that? The same faith that gold and/or silver was perceived to have value, because people collectively agree that gold or silver of the money issued by government has value.

For those that insist or believe that gold is the standard of value, I suggest obtaining a copy of https://www.amazon.com/Fraudulent-Standard-Arthur-Kitson/dp/1117900320

The United States Government, nor does any modern government, actually "print" or issue money, except to the extent that the government prints limited issues which it sells to the Fed for cost of printing, which the Fed then then sells to member banks, at face value, to meet consumer demand for the small change of modern commerce (vendors, gamblers and drug lords)

Here go, Congress authorizes spending, the government then spends the money, (most of it in the form of 1's and 0's transmitted via twisted pairs of copper, optical fiber cable or even over the air),

The Treasury prints a small amount, as mentioned above, and the Treasury prints government bonds and bills to cover the debt, which it then sells to the Association of Primary Dealers in Government Securies, an association of about 25 financial institutions (investment bankers mostly, the largest of which is Goldman Sachs, but also includes foreign based banks click here for a link https://www.amazon.com/Fraudulent-Standard-Arthur-Kitson/dp/1117900320

The primary dealers then resell the government securities to sovereign funds, individuals or hold them their selves. The U.S. government holds back a block of securities which it sells to retirement funds, corporations, universities or individuals , minimum purchase in 1984 was $5,000.

Subsequently, by some stupid act, the government authorizes the payment of debt on the bonds by passing the "debt limit act", spend first, pay later. Just like the individual does with credit cards.

The money's collected by the IRS, cannot pay down the principal, it merely pays the interest on the debt, and it is the interest on the debt that is the primary cause of "inflation', provided there is no supply or supply chain bottlenecks, incidental or manufactured by the likes of oil producers.

Inflation is of no real consequence, provided that wages and salaries keep pace with the inflation, and they use to, at one time, when there were labor unions with countervailing power.

Financial institutions are allergic to inflation, because it enables the debtor to pay off their debts with devalued money, During the 1922 German hyper inflation, caused by actual authority given by the government to industrialists to overprint their Reichsmark, a worker could pay off a mortgage with one days, and then one hours pay.

Deflation on the other hand profits financial institutions because they can repossess real wealth, hold it at no expense, and when the market rebounds sell it at a huge profit.

Modern financial institutions have got ahead of the game with Adjustable Rate Mortgages (ARMS) which they would love to sell to all buyers, but as of yet have only been able to sell to what they consider high risk (low income) buyers.. which is who took the hit during the Bush recession of 2008

Financial institutions, via their lobbyists and control of congress and the executive (including Clinton, Obama and I am sure Biden, as well as Republican administrations), protect themselves by charging the must usurious interest rates on credit cards up to 29.5%.

Credit cards, housing and government debt are the drivers of so called inflation, because it is the interest on the debt that actually drives prices upwards (besides supply chain problems)

If there were no debt, public or private, there would be no money that is the way the fractional reserve system functions.

The only money the government actually creates is that authorized by the constitution, the coins.

Your money, where printed, is a Federal Reserve Note, in other words a liability of the Federal Reserve.

In 1862 the states and even local banks would issue notes (debt instruments) redeemable in gold, which were the source of runs on the bank,or bankruptcy, the first of which in history was a run on the Bank of Englands gold, which was estopped by the bank hiring the reknown alchemist of the realm, Isaac Newton as 1st Warden of the Mint.

To fund the war, in 1862 Lincoln used U.S. Notes, liabilities of the U.S.Government, called Greenbacks popularly, redeemable in gold, and that is another story involving the election of U.S. Grant.

Federal Reserve Notes were authorized in 1933, when private ownership of gold was banned, however US Notes redeemable in Silver continued until the public circulation of United States Notes, in the form of $2 and $5 bills was discontinued in August 1966, and replaced with $5 Federal Reserve Notes and, eventually, $2 Federal Reserve Notes as well.

In September 1994, the Riegle Improvement Act released the Treasury from its long-standing obligation to keep United States Notes in circulation. Just prior to the Riegle act, the treasury considered releasing its large remaining stockpile of unissued $100 United States Notes into general circulation, but with the recently redesigned series 1996 $100 Federal Reserve Note, it was decided confusion would likely arise with the sudden appearance of two very different $100 notes in circulation.[23] The Treasury announced in 1996 that the remaining stock of $100 United States Notes had been destroyed https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/United_States_Note

The bottom line is that this whole argument about the debt, borrowing, the debt limit is manufactured by financial institutions and perpetuated by industry be it corporate or like the Koch family owned.

We do owe it to ourselves and the national budget is not like the household budget, the household budget has real restraints on income, the national budget does not.

All works well, so long as wages and salaries keep pace with the rate of devaluation of the money, euphemistically called inflation However manufacturers, corporations and sole proprietorships like the Kochs find themselves always trying catch up, so they invest millions in convincing people that the only thing that protects them, the unions, are their enemy, and invest millions in laws misnamed Right to Work.

The government gets in on the scam by having freely purchased congress critters, pass laws that supposedly protect federal wages and retirement incomes called The Consumer Price Index,but make sure to include in it a basket, not of consumables which are immediately effected by rising prices, but

large scale objects, like houses, which are either once in a lifetime or periodic (at avereage every 5 year) purchases.

The price increase of food, clothing, gasoline is much great,in terms of magnitude than the CPI.

And even Mom and Pop shops jump on th wagon train, my local pesticide application business, hiked their bill for spraying by $8 every three months, my local ISP hiked it by $10 monthly, when all of the price hikes are combined, they eat up my measly CPI adjusted income,if I didn't have a reserve to fall back on, and no mortgage or revolving debt like credit card debt, I would shortly find myself going into debt, hooked into perpetual debt, paying minimum payments and dying encumbered by debt which my children would be legally liable for, after my estate was dissolved to pay off my obligations.

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The hypocrisy of Republicans is incredible. They behave like evil firefighters as the house is burning. They ride their brand new and shiny red fire truck they just filled up at their station. We expect it to be water, but it is odorless gasoline. Onlookers can't figure out how those who are to protect life and property are causing the rapid lost of more lives and property. They can't smell what is coming from the hoses because it behaves like water. The onlookers will wake up one day...

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In reading about "Trumps Fiscal Legacy: A Comprehensive Overview of Spending, Taxes., And Deficits (Thanks for the link Thom), I found it limited by its focus on tax, spending and deficits. While those subjects are one way of assessing an Admin's performance, they omit important subjects like who is actually being taxed, or not taxed, who receives most of the tax benefits, what are the tax dollars spent on, how much is spent on deficit reduction, and what are the costs of not addressing our critical challenges? Surely, deferred maintenance has a cost, so ignoring infrastructure repairs, tech upgrades, and climate change mitigation and transition for four years or longer has a significant effect on our economy, especially when viewed over time. Is the money spent wisely or foolishly? Do the expenditures make things worse over a 10 period or better, and worse or better for who? Unless these questions are answered, this type of analysis will not provide sufficient understanding of each administrations economic and political success or failure.

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I can't resist a quote of an old college dormmate: "That's so profound it's obscure!" My existential cry is, make it more simple, not more complicated!

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