A Short History Of US Government Handouts

Linked with Stephen Lendman, USA and his blog.

Published on Countercurrents.org, by Stephen Lendman, 13 February, 2009

Global economies are withering while Washington conceives “Financial Recovery Plan(s) from Hell,” according to economist Michael Hudson in his latest February 11 article. Bankers demand more trillions, “or (they’ll) plunge the economy into financial crisis.” What they want they’ll get, and here’s where things now stand …

… Woodrow Wilson, for example. He based his 1912 campaign on individualism. A new freedom against corporate wealth controlling government. As a Jeffersonianism heir, “he decried paternalism of every kind.” But look at the laws enacted under him:

  • the Federal Reserve Act subverting the Constitution by giving a private banking cartel the right to print money, control its supply and price, and charge government interest on what it would not have to pay if it printed its own;
  • the Federal income tax to service the federal debt owed to bankers;
  • the trainmen’s law virtually fixing wages on interstate railways for certain classes of employees;
  • the shipping board law that put the government in the shipping business and let it regulate rates;
  • the Farm Loan Act that established 12 regional Farm Loan Banks to serve members of Farm Loan Associations;
  • federal aid for highway construction;
  • the Alaskan railway;
  • the Water Power Act that created a Federal Power Commission with extensive authority over waterways and the construction and use of water power projects; and
  • various other acts belying the notion of “the less government the better” so increasingly more of it for business became the law of the land.

Republicans regained power in the early 1920s on a slogan of returning to normalcy and getting government out of business. In fact, they repealed none of Wilson’s laws. They and their ideological forebears “came honestly by subsidies, bounties, internal improvements, tariffs, and other aids to business.” It was their kind of normalcy. Individualism, with no interference, lots of handouts, and nothing changed under Republican and Democrat administrations through today.

Handouts to Business: the American Way of Life:

American business is defined by Socialized costs and privatized profits – more than ever today with trillions in handouts plus all sorts of other generous benefits: … ( 12 items – full long text).

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