In my last post, I took issue with a recent column by Catherine Rampell, who tries to make the case that seniors haven't paid for their Social Security and Medicare because they “generally receive” more in benefits out of these programs than they pay into them. Rampell relies on an Urban Institute study to make her case. Since that post, she's offered another that replies to some of the questions raised by commenters on her earlier effort. I'll reply to that new post shortly, but first I want to present key points emerging from my analysis of Federal monetary operations in my reply to her earlier post. See that post for the full argument.
First, once Congress mandates spending, there is no way that the Treasury can be forced into insolvency or an inability to pay its obligations as long as it is willing to make use of all the ways it can cause the Fed to create reserve credits in Treasury spending accounts which can then be used for its reserve keystroking into private sector account activities that today represent most of the reality of Federal spending. Read below the fold...
Some of the favored children of the economic elite who have a public presence, work hard in their writing and speaking to divert attention from inequality and oligarchy issues by raising the issue of competition between seniors and millennials for “scarce” Federal funds. That's understandable. If millennials develop full consciousness of who, exactly, has been flushing their prospects for a decent life down the toilet, their anger and activism might bring down the system of wealth and economic and social privilege that benefits both their families and the favored themselves in the new America of oligarchy and plutocracy.
Here and here, I evaluated Abby Huntsman's arguments for entitlement “reform,” and, of course, Pete Peterson's son, Michael fights a continuing generational war against seniors in pushing the austerian line of the Peterson Foundation. Now comes Catherine Rampell, who, in a recent column, sets forth the position that seniors haven't paid for their Social Security and Medicare because they “generally receive” more in benefits out of these programs than they pay into them.
I'll reply to all of the main points in Rampell's argument, by quoting liberally and then replying to the points she makes in each quote. She says: Read below the fold...
Don’t hold your breath about a minimum wage increase from $7.25 to $10.10 per hour. But even if it did happen, what would it really mean for a struggling American working -- or, formerly working -- class? Read below the fold...
We are now up to the latest of the interviews, 2013, podcast at link, about 20 minutes long. I'll let Stinnett himself sum this up, from his dedication in Day of Deceit –
– to the conclusion of his 2002 interview with Douglas Cirignano, Do Freedom of Information Act Files Prove FDR Had Foreknowledge of Pearl Harbor?
Transcript below the fold.
Continuing on in the series, we're up to the 2012 interview now, podcast about 20 minutes long. More about McCollum and his memo, a lone spy in Honolulu, wandering carriers and Battleship Row, and those who objected and those who obeyed. P.S. A comment by a great-nephew of the admiral who objected.
Transcript below the fold.
Continuing on with the 2011 interview. Covers FOIAing, going through the McCollum memo A through H, the monitor stations and talking to the cryptographers, a lingering puzzle for a new book, and America First.
P.S. Another headline:
(Waraning, NY Times?)
Podcast here, about 20 minutes. Transcript below the fold.
FDR and Pearl Harbor: Scott Horton's December 10, 2010 interview of Robert Stinnett, author of Day of Deceit
Continuing on in the series, this is the second interview from December 2010, this one from Scott's weekly KPFK radio show. The blog page air date is December 17 but the audio link file name date is December 10, which I think is the date the interview was recorded, so I'm using December 10. New terms for me are "revisionism without a grudge" and Roosevelt's "vacant sea" declaration.
Robert Stinnett: ...beginning on November 26th, 1941, and Washington, once they realized that the Japanese fleet was heading towards Pearl Harbor and was in the North Pacific, they declared it a vacant sea, which kept all warships out of the vacant sea, meaning American warships and British warships. The only warships allowed were the Japanese warships that proceeded to cross over the North Pacific and then come down the 157th longitude which headed to Pearl Harbor.
Also, a new name is introduced: Obama.
Scott Horton: Mmhmm. Well, and even though you weren’t in the need-to-know loop during the war, it seems like they could have told the truth after the war, but they didn’t. They lied for decades about the extent to which they had broken the Japanese code. Isn’t that right?
Robert Stinnett: That is right. The breaking the codes is the important thing to know, and it’s still secret. You still can’t get a lot of records out, and even though I’ve written personally to President Obama to release the records, he’s not replied to my requests.
Transcript below the fold.
FDR and Pearl Harbor: Scott Horton's December 7, 2010 interview of Robert Stinnett, author of Day of Deceit
There were two interviews for 2010, both about 20 minutes each, a few days apart. Here's the first, which aired 12/10/10 but the audio link name tells me it was recorded 12/7/10, so I'm using that date. If you've been following along, one of Stinnett's consistent themes has been that the commanders in Hawaii were kept in the dark. That changes here:
Scott Horton: And now I believe you write in your book, sir, that Admiral Kimmel and General Short, I think they were the commanders in charge there in Hawaii, and I think you say that the men who were actually decrypting, men and women actually decrypting the military codes, were beneath Admiral Kimmel and yet – they were under his authority, and yet he was cut out of the loop, that their information was going to Washington D.C. but it was not coming back to the highest levels of naval command in Hawaii. Is that correct?
Robert Stinnett: That’s what I learned in the 1980s, but I’m getting new information now that President Roosevelt called Admiral Kimmel to the Oval Office in June 1941 and apparently told him about this, because Admiral Kimmel was claiming he was not getting information. But neither the White House or Admiral Kimmel or his family have released information on that. ... I think that Roosevelt probably convinced him that it was necessary to make the Pacific Fleet a lure to Japan as it was to end the isolation movement in this country so he could really get to war with Germany. That’s what he wanted to do.
Transcript below the fold.
Continuing on, here's the 2007 interview transcript, below fold. Can't find the audio anymore on the original Antiwar Radio page, nor on Scott's current website page, nor at Internet Archive, but it looks like it's on youtube. 43 minutes. More about McCollum, Stinnett answers a challenge letter from a cryptologic museum curator, and a look back at some November 1941 headlines.
Yesterday I posted a transcript of Scott Horton's 2003 interview of Robert Stinnett; today I'm posting the 2005 interview, which is shorter, only 20 minutes this time, but does add more information. The audio is still available on Internet Archive, e.g. here and here. (A 2010 comment on this page has links to several Stinnett interviews including Scott's, though many of the links no longer work and I can't track them down elsewhere.)
Anyway, 2005 transcript below the fold; 2003 transcript is here, and ahead it looks like Scott did interviews in 2007, 2010, 2011, 2012 and 2013. Having listened to all or most of them at one time or another, I can tell you that Stinnett comes to question his statement that the commanding officers in Hawaii, Admiral Kimmel and General Short, were not informed, or comes to think that they were; otherwise the story remains essentially the same. Read below the fold...
Philip Dru: At some point, Mr. Stinnett, somebody’s got to ask, what makes us better than the Germans? If we provoke every war that we’ve fought since the Mexican-American War?
Robert Stinnett: Well, that’s what my book is about, and I want your listeners and my readers to be aware of all this so that they can form their own opinions and do away with all this 60 years of censorship we’ve had on Pearl Harbor.
Usually on or around December 7th, hit or miss going back to 2003, Scott Horton interviews Robert Stinnett on his radio program. The 2003 interview podcast, which was a full hour, is thankfully still available on the Internet Archive (e.g. here). At that time Scott was using the on-air pseudonym Philip Dru, Administrator. Transcript below the fold. Read below the fold...
The favorite defense of Social Security by progressives harkens back to Franklin Roosevelt who famously said:
”I guess you’re right on the economics. They are politics all the way through. We put those pay roll contributions there so as to give the contributors a legal, moral, and political right to collect their pensions and their unemployment benefits. With those taxes in there, no damn politician can ever scrap my social security program. Those taxes aren’t a matter of economics, they’re straight politics.”Read below the fold...
It's been nearly 35 years since we've had a “tax and spend” political party. During the 1970s, the Democrats gave up fighting the Republicans about the “tax and spend” label, and the Carter Administration tried to escape from that charge by making very serious attempts to balance the budget. During the 1980s, more and more Democrats emphasized their concern for reducing deficits and balancing budgets as a way of distinguishing themselves from the Reagan Administration's unprecedented peacetime deficits. Read below the fold...
Given the problems the United States has been having and the unnecessary, misplaced, and wrong-headed, but very real angst of people about becoming insolvent if we continue to increase the size of the deficit, I find myself wondering why we have not turned to another time-tested and very effective New Deal solution to the problem of growing employment. That solution is the Fair Labor Standards Act. Read below the fold...
The corporatist-centrist politicians, such as Judd Gregg, Kent Conrad, Evan Bayh, no longer afraid of a total collapse of the world economy, are using deadly innocent frauds, scare, myths, and lies about the deficit and the national debt to undermine the possibilities of progressive change in the United States. Read below the fold...