‘Propaganda’ can cut two ways
The propaganda letter (03-23 issue of The Times), warned us of the effects of propaganda.
Using words like “vulnerable” and “dangerous” to make us wary of listening to “one person or group’s ideas,” is how propaganda works. Propaganda doesn’t necessarily have to be bad (promotion of ideas). It is through misuse that it becomes a problem.
More than several points in the aforementioned letter were direct quotes from a six-year-old book review (opinion) by talk show host Thom Hartmann and what was re-posted by many unmanned bloggers. Refuting it’s claims and citing references would not fit on this page. I will give a few examples and encourage you to go to my website to read more, or simply research it for yourselves.
Use of deceptive, class warfare propaganda: “Reagan’s tax cuts for the wealthy...” An honest statement might read: The tax cuts were 25% across the board—for everyone—not just the wealthy. A bipartisan Congress passed the bill, Reagan signed it.
Propaganda unbased in fact: “This year’s deficit came about as a result of two unpaid for wars, two unpaid for Bush tax cuts...” Truth based on facts: Spending for the Iraq war under Bush was less than 25% of Medicare spending during the same time period. If Medicare is “war x 4,” why can’t I proclaim it the cause of the current deficit? The deficit under Bush, shrank to $165 billion by the end of 2007 (wars included).
If anything, blame the prescription drug program for perpetuating the deficit. When Democrats took control of Congress the deficit began to rise again. The (bipartisan) “federal intervention” of TARP, greatly increased the deficit up to that point. It’s true that the Obama administration “inherited” a large deficit, but their big spending programs put it in orbit. The deficit for last February alone, was over $222 billion.
Stop and think for a minute about the premise of unpaid for tax cuts. Government (Bush) stole less money from you than normal (tax cuts) and it was not being paid for! Now stop laughing, some blame the tax cuts for lost surplus. For those with that way of thinking, the CBO set the figure at 14% (1.5% of Obama’s deficit).
The bottom line is, if government continues to spend money we don’t have and there is little or no chance of repaying what they have borrowed, everything goes unfunded.
Class envy propaganda: The problem with Medicaid is “...governments would rather cut payments to the poor than raise taxes on the wealthy.” My propaganda opinion: Medicaid is an parasite, coming up out of a monetary black hole, sucking the life out of the economy. Pointing out falsehoods about entitlements, the TARP intervention and Reagan bankrupting the country, will have to wait. In the meantime, let’s comfort ourselves by demonizing the wealthy for paying most of the taxes, so we don’t have to.
Neil A. Davis, Gothenburg
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