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For those of you unfamiliar with the history of World War II, Neville Chamberlain was the prime minister of Great Britain just prior to the advent of World War II. He is most remembered for his “Munich Agreement“, in which he deeded over Czechoslovakia to Nazi Germany with Germany’s promise that it would not pursue further aggression. Of course, this was making a deal with the devil; Adolf Hitler was Satan incarnate, for certain. Consequently, his name has become the emodiment of total naivete, if not utter stupidity and idiocy. You cannot make a deal with the devil. Shown here in the picture to the right is Neville Chamberlin upon his return from Munich in 1938 after meeting with Adolf Hitler with the scrap of paper that was to “ensure peace in our time”; the paper was signed by Hitler.
The question now is whether Barack Obama is another Neville Chamberlain. Obama is supporting the tax cuts for the rich, claiming that unless we agree to these demands by the Republicans, our economy may dip back into recession, as Chamberlain asserted that unless England and Europe gave Nazi Germany Czechoslovakia, that a war with Germany might occur. Whether you are for the tax cuts or against the tax cuts, the majority of Americans were surprised, if not flabbergasted, by Obama’s immediate acquiescence to Republican demands for inclusion of the rich in the tax cuts, including a very generous exemption from estate taxes: under the plan, as much as $10 million may be exempt from any estate tax, with the estate tax rate on any excess being reduced from 55% to 35%!
Certainly, Barack Obama is no Winston Churchill. Maybe he does his fighting only on a basketball court; however, he certainly did not fight the good fight before conceding to the Republican demands, merely accepting in return a 13 month extension of unemployment benefits for 2 million Americans, a reduction in payroll taxes, and an extension of a grab bag of tax credits for college tuition and other items. Like Chamberlain, who only received Hilter’s signature on a scrap of paper promising never to go to war again with England, Obama got very little in return for the big gift to the rich and privileged.
A recent CBS poll found 70% of Americans were not in favor of these tax cuts for the rich—resulting in huge deficits of $700 billion dollars—when our national debt is already $14 trillion. Many feel that no tax cuts would have been preferable to this agreement, since no deal would spare us from an additional $980 billion of debt.
Obama is justifying these tax cuts through a fear tactic: unless we give the rich these tax cuts, our country may lapse back into another recession.
Dear President Obama: for your information, we are still in this recession. And in 2012, we will still be in this recession in terms of unemployment. Jobs have been going overseas for years now and with the further consolidations of mega-size corporations, more layoffs are looming. Of course, the unemployment numbers will become meaningless since after a certain period of time, the long-term unemployed are no longer included in the current rate of unemployment.
After hearing Harvard’s Larry Sumners endorsement of these tax cuts for the rich and his prediction of another recession if they are not enacted, I suspect that President Obama may still be listening to the counsel of his former Economic Advisor. Consequently, I am not surprised by Obama’s use of fear tactics today to drum support for these tax cuts for the rich.
If this is the kind of way Obama negotiates with Republicans over tax cuts for the rich, imagine how he would negotiate with the Iranians and North Korea? LOL! And then imagine how Hillary Clinton would have negotiated if she had been elected President of the United States. In the immortal words of Yogi Berra, it’s deja vu [Neville Chamberlain] all over again.