Monday, June 19, 2017

Robert A. Taft: The Senator who saved capitalism

Senator Robert A. Taft was the son of former President William Howard Taft. He was elected to the Senate in the 1938 Republican landslide lead by Republican efforts to stop the expansion of FDR's New Deal. A bill he would later write is often credited as saving capitalism in the United States.

He was a conservative, and actually went as far to speak the truth about the New Deal, referring to it as, "Socialistic." He was the leader of the "Conservative Coalition" that controlled Congress from 1939 to the 1960s.

Most people may not realize this, but Thomas Dewey was a liberal republican. For lack of a better way of describing it, he was the republican version of John McCain in the 1940s and 50s. Taft ran against him for the republican nomination in 1948, although he lost. Taft ran again in 1952, but lost to Dwight D. Eisenhower. However, to gain Taft's support, Eisenhower promised to curve back spending and to continue the fight against socialism.

After the death of FDR, he effectively became known as the arch nemesis of Harry S. Truman. It was often said that nothing made it through Congress without his stamp of approval, so this type of power would thwart much of Truman's domestic agenda. He ultimately worked to prevent Truman from advancing his liberal agenda, and that was a very good thing.

Among his best achievements was writing and getting passed through Congress what became known as the Taft-Hartley in 1947.

At the end of WWII, labor unions controlled about 25% of the work force. They had a lot of power. They promised not to strike during the war as not to disrupt the war effort. However, after the war they wanted higher wages.

But, President Truman, decided to continue on with FDR's price controls in an effort to ease the transition from a war time to a peace time economy. In August of 1945, in an effort to ease the transformation from a war time to a peace time economy, Truman decided to continue on with FDR's price controls.

This gained the ire of producers, who refused to sell products at artificially low prices. It gained the ire of labor unions, who wanted wage hikes. Since producers could not afford wage hikes, labor unions were unhappy. This lead to a series of strikes in the steel, coal, auto, and railroad industries. They involved over 800,000 workers, the largest in American history.

Consumers were opposed to the strikes. So to were Conservatives, who wanted to conserve capitalism in America. So, this is what inspired Taft to work with republican Representative Fred A. Hartley Jr. to work the Taft-Hartley Act through Congress. They succeeded.

But, Truman called it the "Slate Labor Act," just prior to vetoing the bill.

Fortunately, Congress succeeded at overriding Truman's veto.

This was a huge achievement for capitalism. The bill significantly limited the influence of labor unions in politics, and thereby conserved capitalism in the United States. Democrats to this day hate this Act, and have made various failed efforts to overturn it.

He was taciturn, and a relatively poor speaker. He was also an isolationists, and even opposed entry into WWII. He also opposed the draft and NATO. During his years as a Senator, he was often referred to as "Mr. Republican."

In 1953, he was selected as the Senate Majority leader. However, shortly afterwords he succumbed to cancer. He was honored in 1949 as one of the "most significant" Senators of all time.

Monday, June 12, 2017

Harry S. Truman: The Fair Deal, or the Liberal Deal

Initially, after becoming President, Truman followed the FDR domestic agenda. His goals were to lead the U.S. to victory in WWI, and then to lead the nation from a depression-time and war-time to a peace-time economy. He ultimately would set his own agenda by creating what would become "The New Deal." 

In order to get through the depression, and to win the war, FDR used his executive mite, and his New Deal Policies, to create a large central government. You had rations on what people could purchase, and you had the government ordering the transformation of factories to the production of goods and services to the production of war goods. 

So, the government had a scary amount of power over the American people. It was almost totalitarian-like, socialistic-like, fascist-like powers. Okay, it was not good. Truman's role was to transform America away from this type of a system and back to a system that put consumers back in power. He would transform America away from a government run economy to a consumer-run economy. 

So, he decided he needed to sway from the New Deal agenda Or, actually, to build upon the new deal. He decided he had a mandate, and decided to be aggressive with his new agenda. He therefore, in January, 1949, during his State of the Union Speech,  presented 21 points to Congress. It would become known as the Fair Deal.  It essentially involved 21 points, including:
  • An Expansion of Social Security. Passed in 1950. 
  • Full Employment Program. It passed as the Employment Act of 1946, but it failed to gain any traction and was a failed program. 
  • Permanent Fair Employment Practices Act.  He failed. 
  • Public Housing and Slum Clearance. Passed in 1949. 
  • New Public Works Programs.  He failed. 
  • A Higher Minimum Wage.   Passed through Congress. 
  • Extension of the Fair Employment Practices Committee. A wartime committee that worked to prevent against discrimination of African Americans in government and military. He failed to extend it. 
  • National Health Insurance System. He failed. 
  • Liberal immigration policies. He failed
  • Repeal of Taft-Hartley. He failed. 
  • Brannon Plan. Meant to help provide income support for family farmers. Failed. 
As you can see, the Fair Deal was pretty much a failure. Truman didn't have the mandate he thought he did.
This was mainly due to pressure from conservative democrats in the south (who would 35 years later become Reagan democrats), and republicans in the north, did not want any more liberalism. They did not want any more power to be given to the government. They had had enough. 

This is similar to what happened in the election of 1920, where Americans had simply had enough of rules and laws and taxes They wanted smaller government, less government, less regulations, and a simpler approach to government. They wanted more power to the people. They wanted a return of liberties. They wanted a return to a capitalistic economic system.

In 1949, they economy took a step back, and unemployment rose while inflation rose as well. This made people think the post war economic boom had ended. Truman set high post-war taxes, which remained around 90%. This was in an effort to balance the federal budget. This, as economics 101 teaches, does not bode well for a good economy.

He did, however, attempt to limit spending, with any surplus going to pay off the national debt. After several months of worsening economic numbers to begin the year, he gave up on his efforts to balance the budges and allowed for some tax cuts to go through.

This set the stage for Eisenhower to become President in 1952. Although, that was two years away. In the meantime, Truman got the United States involved in another war. 

Monday, June 5, 2017

Harry S. Truman: Squeaking past Dewey

The Chicago Tribune was a notoriously republican newspaper.
It's writers had previously referred to Truman as a "nincapoop.
Printers had been on strike protesting the Taft-Hartley Act.
And a new printing method made it so the paper had to
go to print seven hours before publication.
A combination of these factors lead to the error,
of which Truman touted during a train ride
back to Washington on November 3, 1948. 
After WWII was finally over, Truman had the goal of transforming the U.S. economy from a wartime economy to a post wartime economy. He also had to work with different factions of his own party to keep together the democratic dynasty that FDR had built. This would prove very difficult for Truman.

Republicans in the north and Southern Democrats would post problems for the liberal President. However, labor and unions, two factions that traditionally sided with democrats, gave Truman even more trouble than republicans and conservatives.

The war was expensive, so Truman wanted to cut back on military spending as soon as possible. Of course, a problem here was that the country had just gotten over a depression (or so the media would have us believe. Conservative historians speculate that the depression never really ended until the post-war boom. Based on the evidence I've seen, this is what I tend to believe). So, there was hesitation regarding anything that might impact the economy.

There was no consensus what to do with the American economy. Further complicating matters was thatTruman would have to deal with conservative democrats in the south and republicans in the north.

After the war, there was a housing shortage, labor conflicts, and inflation. Inflation in one month had hit a whopping 6 percent.

Truman's efforts to convert from a war-time to peace-time system were also slow, and resulted in many of the products consumers yearned to start purchasing again, things they had sacrificed during war-time, were slow to get on the shelves. Some products, such as meat, were so costly in 1946 (inflation) that they weren't even worth buying. So, this earned the ire of consumers.

So, this made consumers unhappy, and it also made labor and unions unhappy. This lead to price controls. Complicating matters is that labor wanted wage increases.

In August of 1945, Truman said he decided he would continue price controls. But, labor still sought wage increases. This prompted a series of strikes to occur in the steel, coal, auto, and railroad industries. These strikes involved over 800,000 workers, the largest in American history. Truman's stark efforts to end these strikes earned the ire of unions and the labor industry. I will get to this in a moment.

Add to this that consumers were opposed to the strikes, producers were unhappy with price controls, and producers were unwilling to sell their products at artificially low prices. Farmers, for instance, refused to sell grain for several months in 1945-46 until they were able to get paid better for their product. This was despite the fact that consumers really needed the grain that was being withheld.

To end the railroad strikes, Truman took them over. Despite this, two railroad unions went on strike anyway. This shut down the entire railroad industry. Consumers were really upset by this. Over 175,000 passengers stood without transportation.

What did Truman do? He wrote a letter to Congress calling for them to call on veterans to form a lynch mob to destroy union leaders.

Um, not good.

Even his own staff was stunned by this and tried to tone it down. But the damage was done.

To make matters worse, democrats in the Congress actually wrote a bill in response to this. However, and thankfully, it was killed in the Senate by Truman's arch nemesis (a man I plan on studying and writing about in the  near future) Robert Taft.

The striking did subside quite a bit, although some continued until the end of his presidency. Truman's popularity plummeted from 82% to 52%, and the democrats lost Control of Congress during the 1946 mid-term elections.  (Here we have the first time election of republican Congressmen Joe McCarthy and Richard Nixon).

Before the election, his popularity had plummeted to a pitiful 32%. There were actually calls from one fellow democrat (William Fulbright) for him to resign. These calls, of course, were rejected by Truman.

Okay, so not only did he have southern democrats and republicans opposed to him, he also had traditional democratic factions such as labor and unions opposed to him. 

So, for this and other reasons, it was expected that Truman would lose the election of 1948. Republicans thought he would lose, and so too did Democrats. Nearly every poll had New York Governor Thomas Dewey defeating the incumbent President.

In fact, it was this belief that lead to the Chicago Tribune accidentally publishing the famous headline, "Dewey Defeats Truman." (see photo)

However, on election night, it was learned that Truman won 28 of 48 states, and won 303 out of 531 electoral votes.

How did he win? Well, according to what I have read, he kind of used the above failures to his advantage. As noted, during the mid-term elections, Republicans took control of Congress. In his State of the Union address in January of 1947, he said a resolution needed to happen regarding labor unrest and strikes. He offered no solutions, and left that to Congress.

Congress passed the Taft-Hartley bill, which limited union intervention in politics and thereby limited their power. Truman vetoed it, and Congress overrode this veto. (This bill was good, by the way. By his veto, along with some of the stupid, socialistic things mentioned above, Truman moves down our ranking of great presidents. Sorry, but sometimes when you read history you learn the truth about people not taught in schools). People should not have to join unions, especially when they support politics that the people do not support).

They also approved "right to work laws" which made it so labor workers did not have to sign up for unions. This made labor and unions mad at republicans.

There was still inflation in 1947 and 8, although not as much as in 1946. Truman called for a return to price controls and rationing, knowing Congress would disapprove of this. They did reject the idea. However, they did pass a price control and rationing bill, although it was vetoed by the president because he believed it was not enough.

So, once again, even though Truman was guilty of causing the problem, republicans in Congress were to blame.  To make matters worse, of the republican bill regarding price controls and rationing, Truman's arch opponent, Senator Robert Taft, said, Americans should "eat less mean, and eat less extravagantly."

In a speech, Truman purposefully misquoted him, saying, "Eat less." So, in this way (which is typical of liberals to misinterpret and misquote for their own political gains) Truman managed to make Taft look like the guilty party here, when it was him. Truman made it look like inflation was the fault of Taft and republicans.

He rejected republican tax cut bill (it was a good bill). He rejected republicans tariff bill to raise tariffs on wool (it as also a bad bill). Truman said the tariff bill was "isolationist."

So, with republicans taking some of the blame for the problems in the nation -- well, it still didn't look good for Truman's prospects in 1948.

He was still the underdog going into election day. Republicans and Democrats alike thought he would lose. John Dewey was even, at one point, declared the winner.

However, Dewey was a very liberal republican, and Truman used the Power of the Pulpit to go on a last minute jaunt across the country. He took a train tour across the country. It was called a "Whistle Stop tour."
and came out a winner. His victory is still used to this day as inspiration for underdogs. 

References and further reading:

Monday, May 29, 2017

Harry S. Truman: A good wartime president

Harry S. Truman was a liberal democrat. And this makes sense, considering he was Vice President to FDR, among the most liberal Presidents we ever had. But I thought it was neat to learn, that while he was liberal on domestic issues, he was very conservative when it came to foreign policy.

I also found it very iinteresting to learn that he apparently had no knowledge of the Manhattan Project, or that the world's best scientists were working to develop an atomic bomb. Some say this was because he had basically no contact with President Roosevelt during the short time he served under him. However, it may also be a testament to the secrecy of the project, and the success of the nation amid a war to keep it a secret.

He also was unaware of what was happening inside the Soviet Union regarding their development of weapons and their development of a socialist government. So, two of the most significant markers of the Truman administration evolved around events Harry S. Truman was not even aware of prior to becoming President: The nuclear bomb and the Cold War.

On April 12, 1945, shortly after becoming the only President to be inaugurated President for a fourth term, Roosevelt died as a result of a stroke, and Truman became the 33rd President. A few months later, on May 8, 1945, victory in Europe was declared. Britain and the United States celebrated, and this day became known as Victory in Europe Day, or V-E day.

War with Japan was coming to a close, please were sent to the Emperor of Japan to surrender, and the alternative was "complete and utter destruction."  The Emperor ignored the pleas, and so the war in the Pacific continued. The United States and Britain were preparing for a very costly invasion of Japan.

This prompted Truman, under the direction of his advisers, and with the permission of the British, to drop atomic bombs on Japan's military cities. After papers were dropped on the cities warning the people of what was going to happen, giving them plenty of time to get out, the bombs were dropped. On August 8, 1945, Little Boy was dropped on Hiroshima.

Truman issued another warning for Japan to surrender, or a ruin will fall from the sky like no other seen in history. Japan still refused to surrender. So, on August 9, 1945, Fat Man was dropped on Nagasaki. There were orders for two more bombs to be dropped if necessary, but this wasn't needed, as Japan finally got the message.

The effects of the bombings were huge. Around 90,000-146,000 were dead or dying in Hiroshima, and 39,000-80,000 were dead or dying in Nagasaki. This is not even to mention all the other damage to Japan made by these horrendous bombs. This time Japan finally got the message, and on August 15, 1945, the Prime Minister offered Japan's complete surrender.

The majority of Japanese were happy the war was over, because they had suffered much loss and suffering. However, there were reports of some Japanese warriors continuing the fight in the Philippines and other places.

According to David Powers, the Japanese Emperor made his first broadcast to the Japanese people on August 15, 1945. He never spoke of "surrender" or "defeat," and so many soldiers would keep on fighting. This was testament to the importance of using the atomic bombs. If they had not been dropped, it would have come at grave costs to the United States and its allies.

In retrospect, many people still criticize Truman for dropping the bomb. They say it was a senseless act of terror on many innocent civilians. However, we must also consider the fact that the people are responsible for the people ruling over them. Truman later said that attacking Japan saved thousands of both American and Japanese lives. Estimates had a war on mainland Japan lasting over a year, and costing 250,000 to 500,000 American lives

So, the war was over. There was much celebrating. But there was also a lot of destruction caused by the war and rebuilding to do. Of course, there as also the fact that the Russians had created the Soviet Union and were pent on spreading Communism around the world. Hence, this began the reconstruction of both Europe, Japan, and the Cold War.

References and further reading:

Saturday, May 27, 2017

Obama Was Only President To Never Sustain 3% Economic Growth

In my article, "Obama: The Abysmal Statistics," I shared with you the following economic statistic: 
"First president not to see a single year of 3% economic (GDP) growth. This makes Obama the forth worst on record. This is sad, because "The rate of real economic growth is the single greatest determinate of both America’s strength as a nation and the well-being of the American people."
So, every U.S. President from George Washington all the way to George W. Bush saw an economic growth of 3%. Obama kept telling people how many jobs he created. He kept telling people how well the economy was doing. And people accepted this.

Think of it this way. People with jobs who are under the age of 30 have never had a job in a booming economy. So, to them, it was easy to accept what Obama said. Because, to most people, history starts the day they are born. So, when you tell these people the economy is doing great, even when it isn't, they don't know any better. So they accept what they are told.

People who lived through the 1980's saw real economic growth and prosperity. Even people who lived through the 1990's and through the Bush tax cuts in 2000 saw it. And many of these folks tend to accept Obama's statistics: they are told that this is the new normal.

We are told this is the way it is in a progressive world. That in a world where you have to fight global warming with high taxes and regulations, this is the new normal. That is a world where you have to create needy people and solve their problems so that you can be seen as loving and caring so you can get re-elected, this is the new normal.

Trump came along and said it doesn't have to be this way. His economic plan is to get the economy running at the 3% clip again. This is not to say that GNP needs to increase, it's saying that economic growth should be running at a 3% clip, at least once in a while.

When this happens -- when we get to 3%, it will mean that the economy increases by 100%. When this happens, every person living in the U.S. will see it. Businessmen and entrepreneurs will have an incentive to take risks, because there will be a good chance at getting a return on their investment. You will see businesses expanding, you will see new businesses going up. You will see jobs, jobs, jobs and jobs galore.

You will also see wage and salary hikes. During the Obama years, much like the economy, wages were stuck in stagnation. They did not increase. In fact, they didn't even increase to keep up with inflation. So this meant that the value of the dollar decreased. For instance, a dollar could have been used to buy one loaf of bread in 2000, but now a dollar will only buy you a half of a loaf. I'm not saying those were the actual prices, I'm just giving you an example to explain the value of the dollar.

This would explain why our grandparents and parents were able to get by on just my dad working, or just my grandpa working. They also lived in huge houses. Today, I have to work and my wife has to work just to afford to live in a small run down house.

You can't just blame this all on Obama, but there were quite a few people in Washington, both republicans and democrats, who let him get away with it. There were no efforts by republicans to fight Obama's budget increases. I mean, they said they would do it when they ran for office, and they were voted in because they said they would do it. But once they got into office they never did anything.

And this is why Trump was elected.

Friday, May 26, 2017

There are no budget cuts in Trump's proposed budget

So, I have friends emailing me left and right, or texting me, or Facebooking me, telling me how they are going to lose their jobs, or how we will lose libraries, or how the environment will become polluted, if Trump's tax cuts go through. Here is my response to all of them.
You know (so and so), the media kind of blows this out of proportion. Trump's budget doesn't cut anything. There are no budget cuts. It's just cuts in the rate of growth. The way the government is run, budgets increase every year (unlike how businesses are run, where the rate is determined by income). So, labor might get an increase of 2% as opposed to 6%. And, by the way, that's the cutest baby I ever saw.
I don't tell people this, but my friends who tell me they are afraid they are going to lose their jobs. What I want to say it, "Millions of people sacrificed their lives for our country." But, in our politically correct world, in a world full of snowflakes, I'm not sure they would be able to handle that.

But it's true. My grandma, my mom's mom, could have collected Social Security if she wanted to. In fact, she earned it if anyone did. And I asked her about this once, and she said, "I put my country before myself."

We don't seem to have people like that anymore.

I get tired of the media blowing things out of proportion. I think they hate Trump so much they that they have gotten lazy in their reporting. They have gotten emotional. Seriously. Even Fox.

It's almost as though one person says something and everyone else repeats it without doing any fact checking. I quit watching the news because I started thinking: "If everyone is saying the same thing, then no one is thinking."

If I wrote the same thing as everyone else on my blogs, no one would have an incentive to read my stuff. I want to be different. I want it to be factual, but unique. I think this is why media ratings are so low. If I said the same thing you did on my blog, no one would go there either.

One of my friends sent me a picture of his baby. He did this as if to show me that it's my fault her daddy might be out of a job; to make me feel guilty. If these people truly want to be mad at someone, they should be mad at the people who created the spending problem (democrats) and the people who did nothing to stop it (republicans).

Trump is trying to fix the problems of the previous administrations. And, of course, someone is going to have to lose a job. I'm sorry, but that's the way it has to be. It's no different than if you are running a business. If you are operating under the red line, you have to make cuts. 

Thursday, May 25, 2017

Radical Islamist Terrorism: The Enemy In The War On Terror

We have been in a war with terrorism for 16 years now, and we are not even close to victory. The reason is because, when you are at war, you have to change your perspective.

For one thing, you have to recognize who you are at war with and call them for what they are. And, for some reason, nations run by progressives -- which most western nations (France, England, the U.S. before Trump) are, refuse to do.

Why? Because they are afraid to offend Muslims.  For some reason, they are under the guise that Muslim is the religion of peace. If this is true, if Muslims are peaceful, then why are we so afraid to offend them?

I actually got that quote from Rush Limbaugh from his May 24, 2017, show. The full extent of the quote is this:
I have a question, ladies and gentlemen. If Islam is so peaceful, why is everybody so damn frightened of offending them? And on the other hand, if Christianity is so violent as people like Whoopi Goldberg and others tell us, why is nobody afraid to offend Christians? People laugh at, make fun of, and mock Christians all day long with no fear whatsoever. But you so much as think anything offensive about Islam, and they descend on you and they accuse you of violating political correctness and they beg you to shut up.
After the terror attack in the United Kingdom, the Mayor of London said that terrorists were nothing more than a nuisance, or "part and parcel" to living in a big city. That they will just have to learn to deal with. Suck it up!

This is poppycock! Tell that to the people who died as a result of this terrorist act. Tell that to all the people who died in the many, many, many acts of terror perpetrated by Muslims over the past 16 years. It's ridiculous.

Here is another example of the ridiculousness of how the left responds to terror. In an act of solidarity to the victims of terror, the French turned out the lights in the Eiffel Tower one night a few days ago. This is the extent to their war on terror, an effort to show solidarity to all those who died due to the effects of terrorism, of which they refuse to admit is caused by Radical Islamist Terrorists, by the way. They can't do it.

They can't say those words due to political correctness. And they are so intent on being politically correct that they have no ideas for solving the problem. That is why there are so many acts of terror. It's because we aren't doing anything to stop. Of course, until Trump comes along.

Then you have people like Trump actually calling them out on it, actually blaming them for the acts of terror they commit, and he is scalded. Trump. You know why they get mad when we speak the truth about Radical Islam. Because in their minds, they somehow see the United States, the west, as the bad guys. Rather than blaming Islam for acts of terror caused by Islamists, they blame the United States.

In fact, they just blame us. Progressives don't want to credit Muslims for their terror acts, they blame us. They blame us. They say we are too arrogant. We are too successful. So, they believe that if we open our borders and let in more Muslims, they will like us more. If we appease them, they will like us more. That is the whole premise behind open borders. That is the whole premise of their political correct policies to these "random acts of terror," as they call them.

So, we have had 16 plus years of open borders. We have had a massive influx of Muslims in to western nations. We have been politically correct to them for 16 years. What has been the result? Less terrorism? No. It's more terrorism. And worse, many of these their heinous acts are insidious: done right side the walls of western nations. Terrorism from within.

Do you want to know the safest country in the world? Do you want to know what country has had zero acts of terror? It is Poland. Poland has a no-Muslim policy, because it has acknowledged who the enemy is. Nearly all the acts of terror are within country's that openly admit Muslims. No offense, but it's just true. It's a fact. And if you don't want to hear the truth, you are a snowflake.

This is not racist to say that. The people who say you are racist for admitting the truth, for stating a fact, are simply politically correct idiots. They are snowflakes.

We know full well who the terrorists are. Nearly 100% of the time they are Muslims. Liberals are afraid to say who they are for fear of being seen as racist. But it is not racist to say that 100% of the acts of terror on U.S. soil were the result of the works and evil deeds of Muslim people.

That is not to say that all Muslims are evil people. Okay? It is saying that some Muslims planning acts of terror against western nations, and they must be stopped. It doesn't even matter why they are doing it: they are. It's a fact. They, for some stupid sick reason, want to kill people. It's not random acts of terror, like Obama said. They are not random. They are planed in cold blood. They are all done under the name of Allah.

The part of this that really boggles my mind is: why don't you ever hear peaceful Muslims speaking out against the acts of terror. Truly, the true radical Muslim's are those who don't speak out. It's obvious that only a few Muslims are evil. So, I ask, why don't the ones who are peaceful stand up and speak out against their brethren?

We are at war. This is not criminal action. When you are at war the rules of engagement must change. You must create border security to keep radical Muslims out. This is not racist: it is smart.

And face it, world leaders beside for Trump do not want to face radical Islamist terror. They don't want to do it. They have no balls. And that is why terrorists continue to get away with it.