As I read propagandizer- PR specialist Robert Samuelson's article ('1960s Deficit Spending Led to Today's Grief') this morning, I nearly lost it, wondering how many more outright lies will be confabulated about Kennedy and the 1960s before this election season expires. Where do these numbnuts - like Thomas Sowell, and Amity Shlaes, George Will et al, dig up this crap? Is there some wingnut-conservo crap- Bullshit recycling plant which endlessly churns this out for possible mass consumption?
More to the point, why aren't DEMOCRATS - i.e. in the form of media strategists, think tank specialists, defending Kennedy and his 1961-63 tax or deficit spending policies, as opposed to a card-carrying SOCIALIST like me? It redounds to their favor to do so, as higher taxes will be needed to pay for the benefits of Obama's health care act, as well as deficit spending to drive the slow economy forward!
Anyway, as noted before, unless one challenges this crap it tends to build up, and as Hitler once bragged, "the people will always believe a big lie to a small one".
Let us then dissect Samuelson's blather for the BS it is. According to him:
"Until the 1960s Americans generally believed in low inflation and balanced budgets."
This is a flat out LIE, because during World War II - as Prof. Donald Gibson notes ('Battling Wall Street: The Kennedy Presidency', Sheridan Square Books, 1994), the federal policy was one of deficits. To quote Prof. Gibson (p. 84):
"The War was paid for primarily through borrowing and deficit spending on an unheard of scale."
Moreover, as my dad (a WWII vet) frequently told me, Americans accepted this deficit spending, which also meant - obviously - that balanced budgets couldn't have existed. So we see off the bat Samuelson lies. He then goes on to compound this, asserting:
'President Kennedy shared the consensus but was persuaded to change his mind. His economic advisers argued that, through deficit spending and modest increases in inflation, government could raise economic growth. lower unemployment and smooth business cycles. None of this proved true."
Which again is BS! I mean we are talking major, hyper-stink BULLSHIT of the species that the late George Carlin used to wax honestly on.....warning that BULLSHIT was America's No. 1 product.
As Gibson observes, during the eight years after WWII deficit spending stopped, the major feature was "stagnation and three recessions". Meanwhile (ibid.):
"What Kennedy attempted to effect .....in the three years he was in office, was a moderate peacetime version of the federal policy during World War Two."
What was the result? Professor Gibson once more:
"During the years affected immediately by Kennedy's policies , 1962 to 1964-65, the U.S. economy returned to and even exceeded the rapid growth displayed during the pre-stagnation period" (of WWII).
In other words, contrary to Samuelson's lies, not only did Kennedy's policies raise economic growth, but they did so at a rate comparable to WWII deficit spending! So, one must ask, what is Samuelson smoking, or what planet is he living on? Is it some parallel Earth where history is different? Maybe in the recorded history of that alternate Earth Kennedy's deficit spending didn't succeed, but that's not the one we're on!
Gibson again (p. 85):
"The huge expansion of debt and growth in the money supply during World War II did not lead to significant problems after the war, because these were accompanied by rapid growth in real production."
By real production Gibson means each man, woman producing to fullest capacity...whether while riveting a B-29 wing or finishing assembly of a machine gun, as opposed to the pseudo production of today: meaning one worker to do the work of four who were either downsized or whose jobs were outsourced, say by Mitt's Bain Capital.
Gibson goes on to point out (p. 85):
"President Kennedy did not seek anything close to the level of deficits incurred during World War Two, and by almost any standard they were modest"
"In an economy far more rooted in real production than today's there was a 5 percent growth rate by 1964. Wages and profits were rising, unemployment fell in 1964 to 4% and there was a high level of optimism."
All of which exposes Samuelson as an inveterate liar, or maybe we ought to use the more polite term, dissembler. Like Amity Shlaes.
Unmentioned in any of Samuelson's crappola is that the federal deficit even by the end of the 1960s was barely $800b, compared to more than $3 trillion by the end of Reagan's second term. He castigates JFK's "deficit spending" for initating a mindset of accepting slow growth and inflation (when it had the opposite effect) but says nothing of Reagan's military bullshit deficit spending (think $3,000 Pentagon toilets, and $400 hammers) which ran up a $2.2 trillion bill that basically converted the USA into a debtor nation. We've been going downhill since, driven by supply side, low tax nonsense.
Kennedy knew, meanwhile, that there was a basis for deficit spending in a low aggregate demand environment if other key factors were operative. The chief among those was that one had real productivity as opposed to the specious form accepted today ...based on shrinking employees and piling on the remaining work for those left over. Not a recipe for success.
What Samuelson and the other PR peddlers, hacks and disinformationists need to do is bring themselves up to speed on JFK's actual policies, if they intend to write about them!
I wouldn't hold my breath though!