Link to OccupyLewisburgPa http://www.facebook.com/groups/132952800139539/OccupyLewisburgPA

Lewisburg Pennsylvania is a small (Pop 5500) town in central Pennsylvania, It is located in the 2nd most republican county in Pa. with a 2-1 D-R voter registration. More than 300 people showed up for the Occupy Lewisburg event on 10/15 The highlight of the event was a 10 year old speaker saying very simply "Please help me have a future"

I'm impressed with how the Occupy movement in reaching out to each other is also forming alliances with other grass roots groups that are alienated from the system. The OWS folks in State College have joined with citizens protesting fracking, the coalition building of groups that might have separate agendas, but the same underlying complaint - the injustice of crony capitalism - is something the powers that be could not have forseen. Just as the Arab Spring caught the power elite in the Middle East by surprise, the national suicide watch that Congress made the nation endure this past spring absolutely enraged Americans, a few took to the street, their numbers grew, the government/finance axis of evil was not only caught off guard, but in their stupidity engaged in acts certain to grow the movement. The one thing that revolutionaries have historically had going for them is the stupidity and blindness of the ruling class. And it appears todays situation is no different, Wall Street better hope Obama can pull a FDR and save capitalism.

Occupy Wall Street: Coming to a small town near you!Posted on October 15, 2011 by Alyssa Haglund 7 Votes

The Occupy Movement from New York City has spread across the globe and popped up in Lewisburg, PA on Saturday, October 15th. Venturing down to the Lewisburg Post Office, I was not sure what I would find, but was definitely surprised to see the crowd that was swarming the front of the building. While looking for a parking spot, I thought that I was doing something wrong because everyone kept honking, but I soon realized that there was a man on the edge of the crowd (which pushed into the street) with a sign that read “Honk if you are fed up!”

I first stood on the outside and observed as various leaders, students, and children spoke, but then worked up the courage to make my way in. I wanted to see if the citizens of Lewisburg had the same reasons for protesting as the citizens of New York. I was wondering if the reasons I found in my last blog of corporate greed, economic inequality, and function of banks were relevant to the citizens of Lewisburg.

The first lady I spoke to was a middle-aged woman who has Type One Diabetes and has been unable to get medication. She believes that health insurance is tied directly to employment and that people that are unemployed do not have the opportunities for proper healthcare. If the 1% was taxed more heavily, it could be used to create better healthcare programs for everyone. She then told me about a documentary called, “Apology of and Economic Hit Man,” which showed how Americans would go into Latin America and demand them to follow certain rules. She related this to the current ties between politics and Wall Street, saying that Obama is just a puppet of Wall Street.

I was next drawn to a family with captivating signs and they expressed their concern of the Marcellus Shale debate. Owning property in the region for over 300 years, they were concerned for the effects on the environment. According to the family, drilling in this region would lead to exploitation of the land. The elderly man of the group even joked about Pennsylvania becoming “Pennsyl-tucky” or “Pennsyl-ginia.” The family has put their land into conservation for these reasons. (If you are interested in taking a field trip to his beautiful property, let me know because he gave me his number!)

The last people I spoke to were two students from Susquehanna University. Their biggest concern is that Americans in power don’t care and that our entire system is based on elitism. The male student explained his concern with the cost of higher education (which seems to be mandatory for a good job) and how difficult this made it for families with lower incomes to get the same opportunities as those with higher incomes. This perpetual cycle beats down the poor and further elevates the rich. The students compared America to other countries, such as Austria and Denmark, where healthcare and college education are free. Their solution is to tax the corporations and the rich. I was still curious about their thoughts on economic inequality and the students’ response was that “people on Wall Street think that nobody is working as hard as they are, so they deserve such high pay.” Instead, they believed that employees of Wall Street had connections, which led them to these jobs, not because of a superior work ethic. Most interestingly, the female student concluded by saying everyone should think twice about taking these opportunities to use connections because it is not fair to those people who don’t have those opportunities. Although this would make sense in a morally equal world, I am not sure if it could ever actually be implemented in today’s world.

The people who I spoke with today all had completely different concerns and reasons for occupying Lewisburg, but still came together under the common belief for a need for change in America (Della Port et al’s framing idea).

Let's meet in Lewisburg, PA Saturday, November 5, 2011, 1:00 PMSelected By: David Kristjanson-Gural

Post Office Building, Downtown

Lewisburg, PA (map)

Selected by: David Kristjanson-Gural

Occupy Lewisburg will rally on Saturday, November 5th from 1-2pm to support Bank Transfer Day along with MoveOn's campaign's Make Them Pay. Bring a sign; come prepared to speak your mind.

The Act-Up to follow the rally (2-3:30) will be a chance to organize local actions with other members of the community. It will be held at the Campus Theater on Market St.

We will also have a free public showing of the movie Inside Job, starring Matt Damon at 10:30 AM at the Campus Theater.

We hope you can join us. Spread the word.

http://www.meetup.com/occupytogether/Lewisburg-PA/418362/?a=bn5_l1#754492

Let’s Occupy Together by David Kristjanson-Gural

I’m not sure why the media are having such trouble figuring out the demands of Occupy Wall St. Recently, a seven-year-old girl, Celia Cooley, went down to Zuccotti Park and, posing as a reporter, she asked people why they were there (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=x12iOQYY0w8). What they said was quite consistent and quite reasonable and quite comprehensible to this young girl. They said: We want our democracy back.

Anyone who is confused about what the protesters want has probably been listening to too much corporate news. Corporate news stations present themselves as trustworthy and unbiased, but they are owned by large multinational corporations like General Electric and Westinghouse, and these are the folks that are benefitting from the policies that the protesters decry.

These news outlets don’t want the message of Occupy Wall St. to be heard. They don’t want the protesters portrayed as ordinary Americans who have been bilked of their savings and booted out of the middle class and who are justifiably demanding that things change. If you’ve been watching corporate news and you are confused, the first thing to do is to broaden your sources of information. Go to the non-commercial news sites on the Internet and listen to the chorus of ordinary Americans who are saying very clearly what’s wrong and who are making sensible suggestions about how to go about fixing it.

Here is some of what you will learn:

The economic crisis did not start because suddenly poor people started taking out mortgages on homes they couldn’t afford to pay for. It didn’t start because of some corporate bad apples. Think about it. The job of a lender is to determine if a person is credit worthy. The reason loans were given to people who couldn’t afford them was simply that banks no longer had an incentive to find out if people were credit worthy. Why? Because banks were permitted to sell the mortgages to other companies for a profit, rather than waiting to collect on the loan. The big banks pushed loans on people because they were making profit, hand over fist, from selling these loans to investors.

Why were the investors buying bad mortgages? Because they were permitted to bundle them together with other loans to look like safe investments. Why did these investments look safe, because the folks in the rating agencies, who were supposed to rate these investments, were not sufficiently regulated and worked in cahoots with the big banks.

The problem, in short, was not individual behavior; the problem was that the system was jury-rigged. Corporate lobbyists took over Congress and rewrote the banking laws in their favor. As long as home prices went up, banks made a killing. When the music stopped, instead of taking their consequences, big banks got their insiders at the Fed and the Treasury Department in D.C. to bail them out. Then they got their friends their in corporate media affiliates to point their fingers at the borrowers ( the ones who are now homeless) and at big government (for wasting taxpayer money). Meanwhile, Wall St. banks go on their merry way, paying out bonus, rewarding failure, avoiding the consequences of their actions, and continuing to use our Congress as their personal playground.

That’s just wrong. That’s why folks are on the streets.

If you are in the Tea Party, you probably believe many of the same things that Occupy Wall St. supporters believe. People should play by the rules. People should be punished when they do something wrong. If you reward people for cheating, they are likely to continue to misbehave. Like supporters of OWS, you probably believe that our government should be accountable to us, we the people, and that the government should not collude with powerful elites to deprive people of the right to a livelihood, or to kick them out of their homes. You probably believe that government shouldn’t write laws that favor powerful interests in order to raise enough money to get re-elected.

I support Occupy Wall St. You and I may have our differences, but I think we share a commitment to restoring the integrity of this democracy. I think we can agree that when a government no longer is responsive to the desires of the citizens, that it is the responsibility of citizens to act together. The government itself is not the problem; the problem is that the government has been taken over by wealthy elites who do not have our interests at heart. It is time for us to stand together, shoulder-to-shoulder, Republican and Democrat, on the streets of this great country and take our democracy back.

Turn off the corporate news, talk to your fellow Americans, one by one, until you decide for yourself whether what I am saying is true. That’s what Celia is doing. There is no other test in a democracy but that of the ability of ideas to stand the test of evidence and reason. The values that our forbearers fought and died for are at stake. Nothing less.

Link ot Occupy Lewisburg On the Rachel Maddow Show - http://maddowblog.msnbc.msn.com/_news/2011/11/08/8700203-and-how-did-you...

Spilling Ink- Voices for Radical DemocracyNovember 16, 2011Occupy Wall St.: Getting to know youFiled under: Activism,Media — davekg @ 3:16 am
Tags: , , ,

Occupy Wall St. befuddles the corporate media but that’s only because the message is so simple, so reasonable, and so unwelcome to corporate interests. We want our democracy back; we want economic justice. By occupying public space in approximately 350 cities and towns across the country, Occupy Wall St. is creating a dialogue about what has happened to our economy and democracy, how we can act to restore integrity to our democratic institutions and how we can restore fairness to our economic lives.

The occupations are making it possible for this debate to occur but they are doing more. The occupiers themselves are also demonstrating, by their internal organization, what real democracy looks like. The occupiers are taking their responsibilities as citizens seriously. They are informing themselves, discussing issues, formulating tactics and engaging in non-violent civil disobedience in an effort, as Mahatma Gandhi recommended, to “be the change they want to see in the world.”

If we believe their two key messages – that our democracy is not working and that we need to restore economic justice – then we have a civic responsibility to take heed of the example of these, our fellow citizens. We have a responsibility to inform ourselves of the arguments and evidence concerning our economic and political institutions, to decide what we believe to be true, and to then take what actions we deem to be appropriate.

We cannot rely on corporate media sources to uncover the message and meaning of Occupy Wall St. To paraphrase Ronald Reagan, the corporate media is not the solution to the problem; the corporate media is the problem. By all means, examine what these folks are saying about this movement, but then check this version of the facts with other sources, sources not beholden to shareholders or corporate money.

Here is a short list of a few sources that will provide you with a powerful antidote to what the corporate media has been selling, sources that will help you to determine, for yourself what is true, and what is to be done.

For an overview of the causes and consequences of the financial crisis that began in 2008, see the documentary Inside Job, produced and directed by Charles Ferguson. You can purchase this film inexpensively on-line and it is well worth the small investment, or you can borrow the film from Netflix or a local library.

http://www.sonyclassics.com/insidejob/

For ideas concerning how ordinary citizens can act to restore control of government regulation and insist that elected representative represent the will of the people:

1. Learn about how Iceland is responding to the crisis by using referenda to wrest control of the economic lives from the corporate financial elites.

http://www.commondreams.org/view/2011/11/15-3

2. Learn about how Maine has passed electoral reform to support public financing of elections.

http://www.newrules.org/governance/rules/campaign-finance-reform/campaign-finance-reform-maine

For news and editorial coverage that is supportive of the aims of the Occupy Wall St. movement :

http://www.commondreams.org

http://www.truth-out.org/

http://www.democracynow.org/

For economic facts, figures, humor and analysis:

http://anticap.wordpress.com/

For local information on Occupy Wall St. actions.

http://www.facebook.com/groups/132952800139539/

http://spillingink.net

If you support the value of democratic participation, inform yourself by confronting information in both corporate and non-corporate forms of media. You find some surprising information and points of view. And you will come to hold your beliefs with the secure foundation of having grappled with others who think differently.

In 1980 Howard Zinn published "A People's History of the United States" in his conclusion, which follows, he predicts the Occupy Movement.

"THE COMING REVOLT OF THE GUARDS

People with time, in friendly communities, might create a new,diversified, nonviolent culture, in which all forms of personal and group expression would be possible. Men and women, black and white, old and young, could then cherish their differences as positive attributes,not as reasons for domination. New values of cooperation and freedom might then show up in the relations of people, the upbringing of children. To do all that, in the complex conditions of control in the United States, would require combining the energy of all previous movements in American history--of labor insurgents, black rebels, Native Americans, women, young people-along with the new energy of an angry middle class.

People would need to begin to transform their immediate environments-the workplace, the family, the school, the community-by a series of struggles against absentee authority, to give control of these places to the people who live and work there.These struggles would involve all the tactics used at various times in the past by people's movements: demonstrations, marches, civil dis-obedience; strikes and boycotts and general strikes; direct action to redistribute wealth, to reconstruct institutions, to revamp relationships; creating-in music, literature, drama, all the arts, and all the areas of work and play in everyday life-a new culture of sharing, of respect, a new joy in the collaboration of people to help themselves and one another.

There would be many defeats. But when such a movement took hold in hundreds of thousands of places all over the country it would be impossible to suppress, because the very guards the system depends on to crush such a movement would be among the rebels. It would be a new kind of revolution, the only kind that could happen, I believe,in a country like the United States. It would take enormous energy,sacrifice, commitment, patience. But because it would be a process overtime, starting without delay, there would be the immediate satisfactions that people have always found in the affectionate ties of groups striving together for a common goal.

All this takes us far from American history, into the realm of imagination. But not totally removed from history. There are at least glimpses in the past of such a possibility. In the sixties and seventies,for the first time, the Establishment failed to produce national unity and patriotic fervor in a war. There was a flood of cultural changes such as the country had never seen-in sex, family, personal relations-exactly those situations most difficult to control from the ordinary centers of power. And never before was there such a general withdrawal of confidence from so many elements of the political and economic system. In every period of history, people have found ways to help one another--even in the midst of a culture of competition and violence-if only for brief periods, to find joy in work, struggle, companion-ship, nature.The prospect is for times of turmoil, struggle, but also inspiration.

There is a chance that such a movement could succeed in doing whatthe system itself has never done-bring about great change with little violence. This is possible because the more of the 99 percent that beginto see themselves as sharing needs, the more the guards and the prisoners see their common interest, the more the Establishment becomes isolated, ineffectual. The elite's weapons, money, control of information would be useless in the face of a determined population. The servants of the system would refuse to work to continue the old, deadly order, and would begin using their time, their space-the very things given them by the system to keep them quiet-to dismantle that system while creating a new one. The prisoners of the system will continue to rebel, as before, inways that cannot be foreseen, at times that cannot be predicted. The new fact of our era is the chance that they may be joined by the guards. We readers and writers of books have been, for the most part, among the guards. If we understand that, and act on it, not only will life be more satisfying, right off, but our grandchildren, or our great grandchildren, might possibly see a different and marvelous world."

Images

Occupy Lewisburg Pa 10/15/29
Occupy Lewisburg Pa 10/15/29

Videos

Comments

RobinJarrell's picture
RobinJarrell 8 years 3 weeks ago
#1

Hi Fred! Good blog. The video from YouTube is footage I shot. I feel the same way you do -- so many different kinds of people, and yet we all seem to be on the same page. As an Episcopal priest, I can only tell you it feels very graceful to be a part of this.

Fred Wilder's picture
Fred Wilder 8 years 3 weeks ago
#2

Robin, for 45 years I've been atoning for sins I committed as an 18 and 19 year old, I am beginning believe that our children and grandchildren are beginning to force our nation to atone for its sins. I just hope it doesn't take as long for my country to find peace as it took me, in spite of the fact that the search for that peace gave meaning to my life. Hope to see you at the next meetup. Bless you for your commitment to humanity.

Fred Wilder's picture
Fred Wilder 8 years 3 weeks ago
#3

Why I Protest Injustice. by Fred Wilder on Saturday, October 29, 2011 at 1:35pm

I am 64 years old, the child of parents who lived through the Great Depression, fought in Europe and on the home front in World War II, fought for union rights in the post war years, had high school educations and managed to have 7 children all get higher education.

  • I am old enough to remember when this was a fairer nation.
  • I am old enough to remember when what is normal behavior on Capitol Hill and Wall Street today was a crime.
  • I am old enough to remember when education was a right, not a commodity.
  • I am old enough to remember when courts usually dispensed justice.
  • I am old enough to have had to sit in the white's only section of the airport and bus station waiting room while a fellow sailor, in uniform, had to sit in a different waiting room.
  • I am old enough to remember being teased for keeping my mouth shut in first grade at the end of the Lords Prayer.
  • I am old enough to remember what my grandparents told me about their lives, and the little battles they had to fight. Two of those grandparents were immigrants who did not speak the language, who looked and acted 'funny'.
  • I am old enough to remember what I saw with my own eyes over a lifetime, what I heard with my own ears, what I've experienced in my own life to determine that as fulfilling as my life has been, my child and my grandchildren are facing a much more difficult life than I've had.
  • I am old enough to remember what shared sacrifice really meant, what national community really meant when there was no debate about helping our neighbors cope with disaster.
  • I am old enough to remember when the Republican Party put Country ahead of Party.
  • I am old enough to remember when the Democratic Party represented working people.
  • I am old enough to remember what I was taught in elementary school, secondary school and college and to use it to help make my community a better place to live rather than taking advantage of it as a resource to exploit.
  • I am old enough to remember when tuition was free at the state colleges in Pennsylvania.
  • I am old enough to remember when people were encouraged to vote rather than legally denied their right.
  • I am old enough to remember a time when America had declared a War on Poverty and was actually winning it until another war took precedence.
  • I am old enough to remember what that war was like for those who fought in it, as well as those who fought against it since I did both.
  • I am old enough to remember the Governor of Pennsylvania stopping by to visit my dad whenever he was in town, simply because the two of them served in the same air crew in WWII.
  • I am old enough to remember when America was truly a kinder and gentler nation, long before the birth of compassionate conservatism.
  • I'm old enough to remember where I was when Rosa Parks rode the bus, when Ike warned about the 'military-industrial complex', when Dr. King had a dream, when 4 little girls were killed in Birmingham, when a President was shot in Dallas, when Dr. King was killed in Memphis, when Bobby Kennedy was killed in LA, when man landed on the moon, when a President resigned (was right outside the WH for that one), and to see a black man elected President (helped out in that one).
  • I am so incredibly grateful that I have lived in interesting times. I am so incredibly ashamed that my generation will be the first generation in human history to leave its children and grandchildren materially poorer than them. Let us hope future generations are spiritually richer.
  • I'm old enough and I hope wise enough to appreciate the history I've witnessed and to try to use that wisdom to help those who's unselfish goal is to better mankind.
  • I'm old enough to be cynical, yet I'm still an idealist.
  • I'm old enough to not care about the consequences of my action enough to do what I believe is necessary (non-violently) to help assure my grandchildren a life of dignity.

I may be old, I may have slowed down physically, but my mind still works and my idealism is still strong and my motivation strong enough to say that the only way I will give up is when I breathe no more.

Bush_Wacker's picture
Bush_Wacker 8 years 3 weeks ago
#4

Very well said Fred. There are so many similarities between the 30's and now that it's almost scary. I thought that we were supposed to learn from the past in order to brighten the future. Great posts.

Fred Wilder's picture
Fred Wilder 8 years 1 week ago
#5

Perhaps President Obama should read this to discover what leadership in a time of crisis is.

FDR's Philadelphia, Pa. Speech, 1936

ROOSEVELT: Mr. Chairman, Governor Earle, my friends of Pennsylvania:

A baseball park is a good place to talk about box scores. Tonight I am going to talk to you about the box score of the Government of the United States. I am going to tell you the story of our fight to beat down the depression and win recovery. From where I stand it looks as though the game is pretty well "in the bag."

I am convinced that when Government finance or any other kind of finance is honest, and when all the cards are on the table, 4 there is no higher mathematics about it. It is just plain, scoreboard arithmetic.

When the present management of your team took charge in 1933, the national scoreboard looked pretty bad. In fact, it looked so much like a shut-out for the team that you voted a change of management in order to give the country a chance to win the game. And today we are winning it.

When the new management came to Washington, we began to make our plans—plans to meet the immediate crisis and plans that would carry the people of the country back to decent prosperity.

You and I and everybody else saw the millions out of work, saw the business concerns running in the red, saw the banks closing. Our national income had declined over 50 percent—and, what was worse, it showed no prospect of recuperating by itself. By national income I mean the total of all income of all the 125,000,000 people in this country—the total of all the pay envelopes, all the farm sales, all the profits of all the businesses and all the individuals and corporations in America.

During the four lean years before this Administration took office, that national income had declined from eighty-one billions a year to thirty-eight billions a year. In short, you and I, all of us together, were making forty-three billions—spelled with a "b," not an "m"—forty-three billion dollars less in 1932 than we made in 1929.

Now, the rise and fall of national income—since they tell the story of how much you and I and everybody else are making-are an index of the rise and fall of national prosperity. They are also an index of the prosperity of your Government. The money to run the Government comes from taxes; and the tax revenue in turn depends for its size on the size of the national income. When the incomes and the values and transactions of the country are on the down-grade, then tax receipts go on the down-grade too. If the national income continues to decline, then the Government cannot run without going into the red. The only way to keep the Government out of the red is to keep the people out of the red. And so we had to balance the budget of the American people be-fore we could balance the budget of the national Government.

That makes common sense, doesn't it?

The box score when the Democratic Administration came to bat in 1933 showed a net deficit in our national accounts of about $3,000,000,000, accumulated in the three previous years under my predecessor.

National income was in a downward spiral. Federal Government revenues were in a downward spiral. To pile on vast new taxes would get us nowhere because values were going down-and that makes sense too.

On top of having to meet the ordinary expenses of Government, I recognized the obligation of the Federal Government to feed and take care of the growing army of homeless and destitute unemployed.

Something had to be done. A national choice had to be made. We could do one of two things. Some people who sat across my desk in those days urged me to let Nature take its course and to continue a policy of doing nothing. I rejected that advice because Nature was in an angry mood.

To have accepted that advice would have meant the continued wiping out of people of small means—the continued loss of their homes and farms and small businesses into the hands of people who still had enough capital left to pick up those homes and farms and businesses at bankruptcy prices. It would have meant, in a very short time, the loss of all the resources of a multitude of individuals and families and small corporations. You would have seen, throughout thpre Nation, a concentration of property ownership in the hands of one or two percent of the population, a concentration unequaled in any great Nation since the days of the later Roman Empire.

And so the program of this Administration set out to protect the small business, the small corporation, the small shop, and the small individual from the wave of deflation that threatened them. We realized then, as we do now, that the vast army of small business men and factory owners and shop owners—together with our farmers and workers—form the backbone of the industrial life of America. In our long-range plan we recognized that the prosperity of America depended upon, and would continue to depend upon, the prosperity of them all.

I rejected the advice that was given to me to do nothing for an additional reason. I had promised, and my Administration was determined, to keep the people of the United States from starvation.

I refused to leave human needs solely in the hands of local communities—local communities which themselves were almost bankrupt.

To have accepted that advice would have been to offer breadlines again to the American people, knowing this time, however, that in many places the lines would last far longer than the bread. In those dark days, between us and a balanced budget stood millions of needy Americans, denied the promise of a decent American life.

To balance our budget in 1933 or 1934 or 1935 would have been a crime against the American people. To do so we should either have had to make a capital levy that would have been confiscatory, or we should have had to set our face against human suffering with callous indifference. When Americans suffered, we refused to pass by on the other side. Humanity came first.

No one lightly lays a burden on the income of a Nation. But this vicious tightening circle of our declining national income simply had to be broken. The bankers and the industrialists of the Nation cried aloud that private business was powerless to break it. They turned, as they had a right to turn, to the Government. We accepted the final responsibility of Government, after all else had failed, to spend money when no one else had money left to spend.

I adopted, therefore, the other alternative. I cast aside a do nothing or a wait-and-see policy.

As a first step in our program we had to stop the quick spiral of deflation and decline in the national income. Having stopped them, we went on to restore purchasing power, to raise values, to put people back to work, and to start the national income going up again.

In 1933 we reversed the policy of the previous Administration. For the first time since the depression you had a Congress and an Administration in Washington which had the courage to provide the necessary resources which private interests no longer had or no longer dared to risk.

This cost money. We knew, and you knew, in March, 1933, that it would cost money. We knew, and you knew, that it would cost money for several years to come. The people understood that in 1933. They understood it in 1934, when they gave the Administration a full endorsement of its policy. They knew in 1935, and they know in 1936, that the plan is working.

All right, my friends, let us look at the cost. Since we could not get the money by taxes we borrowed it, and increased the public debt.

President Hoover's Administration increased the national debt in the net amount of over three billion dollars in three depression years, and there was little to show for it. My Administration has increased the national debt in the net amount of about eight billion dollars and there is much to show for it.

Put that figure of eight billions out here on the scoreboard, and let me tell you where the dollars went.

Over a billion and a half went for payment of the World War Veterans' Bonus this year instead of in 1945. That payment is now out of the way, and is no longer a future obligation of the Government.

As for the other six and a half billions of the deficit we did not just spend money; we spent it for something. America got something for what we spent—conservation of human resources through C.C.C. camps and through work relief; conservation of natural resources of water, soil and forest; billions for security and a better life. While many who criticize today were selling America short, we were investing in the future of America.

Contrast those expenditures and what we got for them with certain other expenditures of the American people in the years between 1920 and 1930. During that period not merely eight billions but many more billions came out of American pockets and were sent abroad—to foreign countries where the money was used for increasing foreign armaments, for building foreign factories to compete with us, for building foreign dwellings, swimming pools, and slaughter houses, for giving employment to the foreign unemployed—foreign boondoggling, if you will.

Those dollars, billions of them, were just as good American money—just as hard-earned—just as much the reward of our thrift—as the dollars we have spent during these three years at home giving work to the unemployed. Most of those dollars sent abroad are gone for good. Those billions, lost to us under previous Administrations, do not, by the way, include the other billions loaned by the United States to foreign Governments during and immediately after the War.

I ask you the simple question: Has it not been a sounder investment for us during these past three years to spend eight billion dollars for American industry, American farms, American homes and the care of American citizens?

I have used the figure of eight billion dollars as representing the net increase in our national debt. Immediately people will rush into print or run to the microphone to tell you that my arithmetic is all wrong. They will tell you that the increase in the national debt is thirteen billions instead of eight. That is technically and morally just as correct as if someone were to try to scare you about the condition of your bank by telling you all about its liabilities and not telling you about its assets.

That is technically and morally just as correct as telling you good people here in Pennsylvania that none of your bank deposits or insurance policies is sound.

When you are told that the United States Treasury has thirteen billions more of liabilities than it had in 1933, you should also be told that it has six billion dollars of increased assets to set off against these liabilities.

In three years our net national debt has increased eight billions of dollars. But in two years of the recent war it increased as much as twenty-five billion dollars. National defense and the future of America were involved in 1917. National defense and the future of America were also involved in 1933. Don't you believe that the saving of America has been cheap at that price? It was more than defense—it was more than rescue. It was an investment in the future of America.

And, incidentally, tonight is an anniversary in the affairs of our Government which I wish to celebrate with you and the American people. It is October first, and it marks the end of a whole year in which there has been not a single national bank failure in all the United States. It has been fifty-five years since that kind of record has been established. You and I can take this occasion to rejoice in that record. It is proof that the program has worked.

Compare the scoreboard which you have in Pittsburgh now with the scoreboard which you had when I stood here at second base in this field four years ago. At that time, as I drove through these great valleys, I could see mile after mile of this greatest mill and factory area in the world, a dead panorama of silent black structures and smokeless stacks. I saw idleness and hunger instead of the whirl of machinery. Today as I came north from West Virginia, I saw mines operating, I found bustle and life, the hiss of steam, the ring of steel on steel—the roaring song of industry.

And now a word as to this foolish fear about the crushing load the debt will impose upon your children and mine. This debt is not going to be paid by oppressive taxation on future generations. It is not going to be paid by taking away the hard-won savings of the present generation.

It is going to be paid out of an increased national income and increased individual incomes produced by increasing national prosperity.

The deficit of the national Government has been steadily declining for three years running, although technically this year it did not decline, because we paid the Bonus this year instead of 1945. Without the Bonus the deficit would have declined this year also.

The truth is that we are doing better than we anticipated in 1933. The national income has gone up faster than we dared then to hope. Deficits have been less than we expected. Treasury receipts are increasing. The national debt today in relation to the national income is much less than it was in 1933, when this Administration took office.

The national income was thirty-eight billions in 1932. In 1935 it was fifty-three billions and this year it will be well over sixty billions. If it keeps on rising at the present rate, as I am confident that it will, the receipts of the Government, without imposing any additional taxes, will, within a year or two, be sufficient to care for all ordinary and relief expenses of the Government—in other words, to balance the budget.

The Government of this great Nation, solvent, sound in credit, is coming through a crisis as grave as war without having sacrificed American democracy or the ideals of American life.

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Come Cruise with Thom Hartmann in July 2020

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We Know How Far Trump Will Go - How Far Will Republicans Go?

Thom plus logo Colonel Vindman's testimony pretty much proves that Trump was trying to shake down Ukraine for information on Biden, and that the Republicans are doing everything they can to cover up this extortion attempt.