[Marxism] Pundits to Kerry: Move Right

Louis Proyect lnp3 at panix.com
Fri Apr 9 18:18:35 MDT 2004


>Louis:
>
>Will you post the URL for her "stunning reply" please?

I posted the entire text actually.

I am reminded of the legendary Watson who was a DeeJay on the classical 
station WNCN in the 1960s before it was turned into a typical shit-ass rock 
station (by a company owned by William F. Buckley no less.) Watson would 
come on at midnight and play the Well-Tempered Clavier without a break. At 
3 am or so, when the piece had finished, he'd say, "That was really 
beautiful" and play the whole thing over again.

So in the spirit of Watson, here's Yoshie's post on Nixon to LBO-Talk all 
over again:

On Health, Safety, & Equal Rights:

"In retrospect, some would call the Nixon presidency the 'last liberal 
administration.' This was not only because of the imposition of economic 
controls. It also carried out a great expansion of regulation into new 
areas, launching affirmative action and establishing the Environmental 
Protection Agency, the Occupational Safety and Health Administration, and 
the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission. "Probably more new regulation 
was imposed on the economy during the Nixon administration than in any 
other presidency since the New Deal," Herbert Stein ruefully observed" 
(Daniel Yergin and Joseph Stanislaw, _The Commanding Heights_, 1997, pp. 60-64,

<http://www.pbs.org/wgbh/commandingheights/shared/minitext/ess_nixongold.html>).

"While Clinton's Colombia Plan was being formulated, senior administration 
officials discussed a proposal by the Office of Budget and Management to 
take $100 million from the $1.3 billion then planned for Colombia, to be 
used for treatment of U.S. addicts. There was near-unanimous opposition, 
particularly from "drug czar" Barry McCaffrey, and the proposal was 
dropped. In contrast, when Richard Nixon -- in many respects the last 
liberal president -- declared a drug war in 1971, two-thirds of the funding 
went to treatment, which reached record numbers of addicts; there was a 
sharp drop in drug-related arrests and number of federal prison inmates, as 
well as crime rates" (Noam Chomsky, "The Colombia Plan: April 2000," _Z 
Magazine_, June 2000, <http://www.chomsky.info/articles/200006--.htm>).

Cf. J. Brooks Flippen, _Nixon and the Environment_ (2000): 
<http://www.ubcpress.ca/search/title_book.asp?BookID=4275>.

On the Guaranteed Annual Income, COLA, etc.:

***** If our leaders were determined, America could eliminate poverty 
within a decade. We almost made it a few years ago under a plan proposed by 
a conservative Republican president. Richard Nixon introduced a guaranteed 
annual income as a floor against poverty. Fearing that most Americans 
viewed a guaranteed annual income as a reward for the idle and promiscuous, 
the plan was euphemistically called the Family Assistance Plan or FAP. When 
the bill was introduced in the House, one of its sponsors was then 
Congressman George Bush.

Nixon recognized that only a radical change in policy could control the 
growth of AFDC, that cash supplements were more efficient in the long run 
than sustaining a welfare bureaucracy, and that including assistance to 
poor working fathers kept families together. Nixon also recognized that a 
liberal policy co-opted by a conservative gained credibility.

The Family Assistance Plan twice made it through the House of 
Representatives, but it died in the Senate. Northern liberals argued that 
the plan failed to help welfare mothers in the North and West. Organized 
labor feared a guaranteed income threatened the minimum wage and argued 
that it would subsidize sweatshop employers. Southern conservatives saw the 
guaranteed income as forcing up wages and giving new political power to 
African-Americans. The welfare bureaucracy opposed FAP out of self-interest 
and many Democrats hated the idea that Republicans should get credit for a 
basic reform.

(Tom Rosenberg, August 31, 2000, 
<http://www.tompaine.com/feature2.cfm/ID/3579>) *****

***** 12/30/69 -- President Nixon signed the Federal Coal Mine Health and 
Safety Act. Monthly cash benefits were provided coal miners who became 
totally disabled because of Black Lung disease, and for their dependents 
and survivors.

07/01/72 -- President Nixon signed into law P.L. 92-336 which authorized a 
20% cost-of-living adjustment (COLA), effective 9/92, and established the 
procedures for issuing automatic annual COLAs beginning in 1975.

10/30/72 -- Social Security Amendments of 1972 signed into law by President 
Nixon -- creating the Supplemental Security Income (SSI) program.

<http://www.ssa.gov/history/reports/briefhistory.html> *****

***** Nixon's Statements on Social Security

1. SPECIAL MESSAGE TO THE CONGRESS ON SOCIAL SECURITY -- SEPTEMBER 25, 1969

. . . I propose an across-the-board increase of 10% in Social Security 
benefits, effective with checks mailed in April 1970, to make up for 
increases in the cost of living.

I propose that future benefits in the Social Security system be 
automatically adjusted to account for increases in the cost of living.

I propose an increase from $1680 to $1800 in the amount beneficiaries can 
earn annually without reduction of their benefits, effective January 1, 1971.

I propose to eliminate the one-dollar-for-one-dollar reduction in benefits 
for income earned in excess of $2880 a year and replace it by a one dollar 
reduction in benefits for every two dollars earned, which now applies at 
earnings levels between $1680 and $2880, also effective January 1, 1971.

I propose to increase the contribution and benefit base from $7800 to 
$9000, beginning in 1972, to strengthen the system, to help keep future 
benefits to the individual related to the growth of his wages, and to meet 
part of the cost of the improved program. From then on, the base will 
automatically be adjusted to reflect wage increases. . . .

The proposed benefit increases will raise the income of more than 25 
million persons who will be on the Social Security rolls in April, 1970. 
Total budget outlays for the first full calendar year in which the increase 
is effective will be approximately $3 billion. . . .

Benefits will be adjusted automatically to reflect increases in the cost of 
living. The uncertainty of adjustment under present laws and the delay 
often encountered when the needs are already apparent is unnecessarily 
harsh to those who must depend on Social Security benefits to live.

Benefits that automatically increase with rising living costs can be funded 
without increasing Social Security tax rates so long as the amount of 
earnings subject to tax reflects the rising level of wages. Therefore, I 
propose that the wage base be automatically adjusted so that it corresponds 
to increases in earnings levels.

These automatic adjustments are interrelated and should be enacted as a 
package. Taken together they will depoliticize, to a certain extent, the 
Social Security system and give a greater stability to what has become a 
cornerstone of our society's social insurance system. . . .

Richard Nixon The White House September 25, 1969 . . .

4. Statement About Approval of the Welfare Reform and Social Security Bill 
by the House Committee on Ways and Means--May 18, 1971. . . .

--A basic floor of dignity for every low-income family with children. It 
establishes a payment standard of $2,400 for a family of four, while 
eliminating the cumbersome and restrictive food stamp program, replacing it 
with cash payments. . . .

<http://www.ssa.gov/history/nixstm> *****

Cf. "Statement About Approval of the Family Assistance Act of 1970 by the 
House Ways and Means Committee," March 5, 1970, 
<http://www.nixonfoundation.org/Research_Center/1970_pdf_files\1970_0071.pdf>; 
and "Statement About House Approval of the Family Assistance Act of 1970," 
April 16, 1970, 
<http://www.nixonfoundation.org/Research_Center/1970_pdf_files\1970_0118.pdf>.

The Nixon administration's record in comparison to all subsequent 
administrations' demonstrates that what we can get depends on the level of 
social movement mobilization and economic conditions (the rate of profit, 
etc.).



Louis Proyect
Marxism list: www.marxmail.org 





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