[Marxism] Pundits to Kerry: Move Right
lnp3 at panix.com
Fri Apr 9 18:18:35 MDT 2004
>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
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,
"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):
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
(Tom Rosenberg, August 31, 2000,
***** 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
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.
***** 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. . . .
Cf. "Statement About Approval of the Family Assistance Act of 1970 by the
House Ways and Means Committee," March 5, 1970,
and "Statement About House Approval of the Family Assistance Act of 1970,"
April 16, 1970,
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,
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