Monday, January 9, 2017

Don't Even THINK Of Comparing TRUMP to JFK!

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Seems now some addle-pated conservo bloggers with too much time on their hands have taken the fake news idiom even further - to fake history. That is, actually trying to argue (presumably with straight face) that Donald J. Trump and John F. Kennedy are both cut from the same cloth. Not bloody likely! Or let me put it this way, about as likely as Ike Eisenhower being a commie.

Let's start with some basics: irrespective of whether dad Joseph P. Kennedy was a "Bootlegger" or not, this did not make Jack one too, or mean that Jack inherited all or part of Joe's money to launch his own bootlegging business!

Most significantly, JFK would never in a billion years have kept Kennedy business interests while President, nor would he have turned them over to close family members and called it a "blind trust" as Trump has.  Thus, Jack like other real presidents, divested himself completely of any and all business entanglements (including investments) unlike Trump.

JFK, like my dad, served in the Pacific Theater in WW II and actually helped save a number of his men. Trump, by contrast, has no military service at all, nor saved anyone in ANY war. He did spend some time at a New York Military Academy, basically because his parents couldn't keep control of him. (No wonder when you see his lack of impulse control now)

JFK read profusely, up to twenty complete newspapers a day. In addition, he read books - whole books - not comics like Trump, or National Enquirer gossip pieces.  JFK could do this because he read at a rate exceeding 1200 words per minute. This compares to Trump's 50 words per minute, which is why he must stick to tweets.

JFK held full news conferences, more than any other president where he took on the press, media openly and ably. His vocabulary and wit never failed to astound the gathered press corps. Trump has yet to call a major press conference, and if he does is unlikely to say anything more than "Yeah that there idea sounds good".

The extent of Trump's  vocabulary runs to about 200 words, as captured by his twaddle-filled tweets.

Contrary to the misbegotten trope that JFK voted against Civil Rights, in fact he was the one who proposed the original civil rights act which HE would have signed into law had he not been assassinated.  While it is true Bobby did worry about the political implications of supporting civil rights, JFK actually took on the segregationists directly.

But maybe these bloggers have short memories or none at all.

I am writing, of course, of his ballsy federalization of the Alabama National Guard, 17,000 strong, in September of 1963 to ensure integration in Gov. George Wallace’s state. Wallace, recall, was memorialized in Southern Secessionists’ lore by his infamous remark: “Segregation now, segregation tomorrow, and segregation forever!”

JFK at NO time supported "supply side" tax cuts, because technically these did mot exist until Arthur Laffer (with his "Laffer curve") invented them in the 1980s.   Laffer's curve become the basis of Reagan's tax cuts and the whole supply side definition which meant cutting taxes more for the wealthy than the lower or middle class to enable "trickle down" effects. (Laffer argued that higher tax rates on the rich would only cause them to work fewer hours, or if REALLY rich, invest in fewer projects, enterprises, hence create fewer jobs.)

In their examination of supply side tax cuts,  authors James Medoff and Andrew Harless, The Indebted Society, 1995, found, p. 23:

"For the health of the economy, Reagan's policies turned out to be just about the worst thing that could have happened: investment did not increase, growth continued to stagnate, and the federal deficit ballooned to new dimensions....In 1981, the year Reagan took office, the public debt was 26.5 % of the gross domestic product (GDP)....In 1993, the year that Bush left office, the public debt was a staggering 51.9 percent of the GDP."

JFK's  targeted tax cuts, by contrast, were more for the lower and middle class  far less for the wealthy and combined with his strategic deficit spending, allowed the economy to grow, unemployment to dive to 4 %..

 Don't take my word for it, just consult the financial press at the time, to see how they actually felt about JFK's proposed policies and initiatives. One of these, which appeared in Fortune accused him of an attempt to "manipulate the tax level against the business cycle". ('Activism in the White House', June, 1961, p. 117). Two years later, Fortune implored Congress to stop JFK from using tax policy "as instruments to manage the economy". ('The Dream Businessmen Are Losing', Sept. 1963, p. 91).

These aren't just fiction, but historical records of the press of the JFK era and what THEY actually thought of his tax proposals. They are available to anyone with the diligence to seek them out.

Along the same lines, the "central organ of finance capital" - The Wall Street Journal, launched various articles and diatribes accusing JFK of being a "statist" and other things. Some of those articles include:

- 8/6/62 'No Cause for Celebration'; p. 6;

- 3/26/63 'Too Much Money, Too Little Thought', p. 18;

- 8/15/63 'When Friends Become Foes', p. 8

Meanwhile, Henry Hazlitt, contributing editor at Newsweek (The Washington Post's sister publication) was airing many of the same complaints against JFK. These polemics, appearing regularly in Hazlitt's 'Business Tides', included taking JFK to task for his tax policies - including the proposed tax on U.S. business earnings abroad while he also chastised Kennedy for "welfare spending".

JFK was the epitome of the classy intellectual, who appreciated intellectual things, and often used the White House as a venue to present special musical or other events (poetry reading) . Trump, by contrast, is  the embodiment of the Vulgarian and anti-intellectual. He is only interested in using his Trump-branded crap to try to make more money.

The best proof of that? Just look at the brains appointed to JFK's cabinet, as opposed to the grubby lot of misanthropes and degenerates numbered among Trump's appointees. Derelicts who are likely to destroy the very agencies to which they've been appointed.

Lastly, JFK had firm impulse control and would never brag about "pussy grabbing", nor brand Mexicans as "rapists" or impugn a captured warrior (John McCain) for being captured.

JFK's impulse control was tested most severely during the October, 1962 Cuban Missile Crisis when the Joint Chiefs, especially Gen. Curtis Lemay, implored him to invade and bomb Cuba.  A move that would have triggered a release of at least 93 IRBMs and initiated a nuclear exchange.

Would Trump have been able to exert such control and opt for a peaceful alternative? I doubt it. Had Trump been in power for such a situation, likely none of us would be around to relate the story.

Thank whatever power there is or was that JFK was at the helm then and mot "The Donald".

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