By Olivia LaRosa
December 22, 2010
Recently, I have been amusing myself by posting to the Wall Street Journal online community regarding select Questions of the Day. Today, the WSJ asked us how we graded the Lame Duck congressional session. I gave it a "D" for bad political theater. The only decent work of the session was passing the START treaty and repealing "Don't Ask, Don't Tell." What an embarrassing policy!
In response to: He continues to lead the country from the far left and will push just as hard as he can in this direction as long as he is in office. The notion that President Obama is more centrist than Nancy Pelosi and Harry Reid is ludicrous - though a useful fiction for him. They are all cut from the same socialist cloth.
I replied: I find myself boggled by people who still think that the lowest taxes support the best society. Taxes are the price we pay for civilization. (I gave the lame ducks a D.) The goods that you have, the education you received, the roadtrips you take, the fire department nearby, and so on, were at least partially subsidized by the taxes that your parents and grandparents paid. Furthermore, most of the stories told about how lowering taxes will help the US aren't quite what actually happens. Please take a look at this article for examples.
The 9 Biggest Conservative Lies About Taxes and Public Spending
And in answer to the same man who asserted that Obama was a socialist, I talked about the TWO political axes: right-left, and authoritarian-libertarian. You can take the fun quiz too!
I am far left. I know so because I took a test at http://www.politicalcompass.org. I score at -10, -9.875. I am a libertarian socialist. People get confused about political orientation because we think that there are only two directions to go; left, or right. That constitutes one political axis. There is another, though. It is the authoritarian/libertarian axis. Obama is no more of a socialist than say, Evan Bayh or Bill Clinton. His political acts place him in within the right/authoritarian corner of the political compass. So, it makes no sense to call Obama a socialist or a Marxist when he clearly isn't either one. Here's another example: people can be left/authoritarian like Mao Ze Dong or Joseph Stalin. Or they can be right/authoritarian like Hitler, Mussolini, Hosni Mubarak, Benjamin Netanyahu, Hugo Chavez, etc. Ron Paul is the most prominent example of a right/libertarian. Take the fun quiz and see for yourself where you stand, alongside major historical figures.
In response to this post:
One of the biggest conservative lies is that money simply grows on trees. Taxes can be lowered to zero and the economy will benefit. Borrow from the Chinese to pay for huge deficit spending and pay off the bonds by printing money (quantitative easing). The result will soon be hyperinflation.
Conservatives don't seem to care. But some people do, like many Tea Party activists, who seem to realize what a downward spiral our country's in.
I replied: The Tea Party knows that something's wrong, but they don't know what it is. They have been captured by bumper-sticker politics. If the answers are simple, then we are not talking about the problems of human beings. Sad to say, the Tea Party movement simply plays into the hands of the political agenda of transnational corporations. The political agenda of transnational corporations is to corrupt governments for the sake of profit, as their charters provide. I wish that the Tea Partiers would interrogate their basic assumptions. We need GOOD government, not what we have now. It's impossible to manage a nation of 300 million people without decent people managing the day-to-day business of keeping America together. You don't get that result by ranting about bureaucrats or term limits. You get that result by educating folks on what it really takes to run a pluralistic democracy.