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FDR example forgotten

June 15, 2019 Letters to the Editor

Over three decades, Rush Limbaugh has captivated radio audiences by injecting a daily dose of gut-wrenching incivility into the bloodstream of his misguided listeners. Today, treacherous “talking heads” at Fox News sway their viewers into believing that socialism and communism are joined at the hip. Fact is, socialism protected political and civil liberties against inequities throughout the 20th century, under Democrat dominance.

Limbaugh played no small role in “the changing of the guard” in America, when Republicans controlled America’s destiny, in the new millennium.

The proof is in the pudding. In the fleecing of America’s treasury, beginning with Ronald Reagan, three Republican Presidents slashed taxes to favor America’s rich, costing trillions, while America’s middle-class struggled through decades of stagnant wages. No thanks to Limbaugh and Fox News, America got less than it bargained for, over two decades of divisive Republican greed and self-serving politics. At the turn of the century, George W. Bush’s preemptive strikes on Iraq and Afghanistan turned the Middle East into a perpetual powder keg, costing precious American blood and treasure, still mounting. Ten years of Bush tax cuts for the rich, starting in 2003, extended America’s growing national debt. The greatest depression in 80 years, in 2008, saw Republican friends at “regulation free” Wall Street squander investor money, followed by a lavish bail-out costing $1.5 trillion as President Obama entered the Oval Office.

In December 2017, President Trump slashed top bracket and corporate tax rates, in his confiscating $1.5 trillion from America’s treasury, borrowed over 10 years, extending America’s national debt to $22 trillion and growing. The savings derived from these corporate cuts were to be expended on plant investments and worker pay hikes. Instead, greedy corporations spent billions buying back their own stock, artificially raising share prices.

Today, Trump tampers with retiree safety nets by slashing critical entitlements. When he first entered The White House, 10% of American families owned 76 percent of America’s wealth, now certain to exceed an alarming 80%. In 2018 Trump canceled potential pay raises for postal workers, slated for 2019. Giant corporations have escaped paying annual income taxes, and so has our billionaire President. Trump’s 54 attempts to overturn The Affordable Care Act failed, with no viable remedy to replace it.

In his January 2018 State of The Union address, he promised to refurbish America’s broken infrastructure, yet another Trump fairy tale. All the above represents only the tip of the iceberg.

We children of The Great Depression and The Great War were obviously too young to appreciate Roosevelt’s legendary genius. In later years, this beneficiary of America’s greatness was inspired by Democrat policies that lifted America’s middle class throughout a 20th century of prosperity, through Democrat political dominance. Roosevelt’s successors oversaw civil rights legislation, strong labor unions, cost of living wage increases, affordable health care, pensions, profit-sharing, unemployment benefits, and passbook savings accounts that earned 5% interest.

So, thanks for the memories, Franklin, H, JFK, Lyndon, Jimmy and Bill. A special tip of the hat to Republican Ike, who built America’s highway system in the mid-fifties, through a 90%-plus top tax bracket, never below 70%, until Reagan cut it to 28% — the beginning of deficit spending?

Looking ahead to this Fourth of July, I can’t help but wonder how so few could motivate so many into abandoning those valued principles that guided America through the glorious 20th century.

Let us pray that America’s voters will make the right choice in the 2020 Presidential election. America’s future depends on it.

Gino Mariotti, Butler