"Trump Pushes Tax Cut Designed to Crush Social Security – with Dylan Ratigan"
The Jimmy Dore Show (May 6, 2019)
[0:39] Dylan Ratigan: “. . . the greatest robbery in the history of the world. It’s amazing that we’re here, but it’s interesting to watch it continue to evolve. And I’m glad that you’ve given me an opportunity to talk to you about it.”
[1:05] Jimmy Dore: “I’m glad that you’re available. What are you noticing that’s happening? . . . what we’ve posited at this show [has been that] people don’t know what’s coming. They don’t know how bad this is. Are people starting to figure out that the government is completely not helping them and they’re not actually doing anything? Are they starting to wake up, or no?
[1:13] Dylan Ratigan: “I don’t think really, yet. I mean, I spoke to a couple of people earlier this week and there are huge institutions like Citadel or Ray Dalio. These massive billionaire hedge funds that were bailed out in March. That nobody comprehends that, literally, some of the wealthiest human beings in this country who run some of the biggest, highly leveraged investment funds in this country, or lending funds, were bailed out in March when the market was limit-down. So something like that has not revealed itself yet to people. I don’t think that people understand the contrast between the – I mean – I don’t even have the adjectives for it, so I’ll just say the horror of what was done in terms of the bailout for the super-rich institutions with 40 million unemployed and no support of any kind for the unemployed while simultaneously using the tax dollars to finance the super-wealthy and the super-wealthy’s consolidation of ownership of resources.”
[2:30] “I don’t want to be redundant to our past conversations. I think we have to take what I’ve described and what you’ve described Steph has described and others around your show as fact, I think it’s important that we remind people of that, but I think that for these conversations to be useful, I also think we have to, sort of, move through time as this happens. And I think we’re really now just starting to move into a period of time where people are just, just, just starting to comprehend not just how big the unemployment issue is and is going to continue to be in this country, but how directly the unemployment issue targets the most vulnerable in the country, so it’s not a uniform unemployment.”
[3:19] Dylan Ratigan: “It’s actually a hyper-targeted unemployment. And its a targeted unemployment that directly seeks to unemploy those who have the smallest or shortest financial runway to endure it.
. . . [some talk about Warren Buffet’s annual meeting] . . .
[4:02 . . . and the only reason that there’s not as much panic as there could be or would be is because the financial bailout, those trillions of dollars from the Federal Reserve and from the Treasury have done an incredibly good job of supporting the stock market, and that that has created a false sense of security in terms of the health of our economy. I think you probably remember how people felt when the stock market was down 30 or 40 percent. It was going limit down every day. People were pretty panicked. I think the only reason that there’s any complacency right now is because the stock market has really been completely disconnected from the US economy, and as a result, creates a false sense of security. And at the same time the rate of evolution of the problems is a slower evolving thing, whether it’s the virus and the infection itself, or whether it’s the economic trauma and the social crisis that is coming over the next couple of years. Certainly in this country."
[5:05] "But I think if you’re looking at maybe years – Again, when the financial crisis happened, that was in September 2009. Occupy Wall Street didn’t happen for two years after that. It takes a long time for the awareness of the information. You know, if everybody listened to your show or if everybody listened to my reporting on your show, or if everybody comprehended it and believed it, there would be a more immediate response. But it’s just not the nature of the beast. And there’s such an all-consuming and low-utility pool of information out there from the primary information brokers plus the bubbling effect and all the things to agree what they want, Facebook and all shattering of the information markets make it take longer for this to happen; make it easier to blame different people, all of those things."
[6:03] “But this is going to be a profound and life-changing couple of years for this country, and parts of that are going to be really really awful I think.”
Jimmy Dore: “I saw this on CNBC and it says that
Trump is insisting on a payroll tax cut for workers. Why some experts say it’s a ‘terrible’ idea.
. . . [reads more quotes] . . .
[7:24] Dylan Ratigan: “It’s exactly what you described, Jimmy. Start at the top of the decision-making tree. As soon as there’s a crisis, the first people looked after are the multi-billionaires. So whether it’s the multi-billionaire banking system participants or the multi-billionaire business enterprises that are the most connected to the government, they’re taken care of in the first 24 to 72 hours. Then there is a progression of care-taking, if you will, in terms of the policy making from all the Democrats, including everybody’s leftist favorites, and certainly all the Republicans., including everybody’s populist right-wing favorites that continues to favor those who have the most while simultaneously doing the least for those who have the least. And the idea of prioritizing a payroll tax cut which is basically an increase in take-home pay for people who currently have jobs at a time when the obvious and most catastrophic issue that exists in this country is twenty, thirty percent unemployment, forty million people likely to be unemployed, which is again is not a recession. That is by definition a depression. That’s not an opinion. That is another fact.
[8:47] “And so the idea that the government is not prioritizing basic intervention for those who are the most exposed to the consequences of this depression, and at the same time is doling out money by the trillion to the richest and most privileged or the ones after they’re done with the richest and the most privileged, and then looking to give a raise to those who are among the most stable, is a remarkable window into the insight of the character of the American government. But again this is a character that existed, has existed, certainly going back to Bill Clinton and really before. I mean, this is not a new character insight for the American government. The American government has been taking care of the wealthiest interests, whether it was with NAFTA or with the financial deregulation in the ‘90s, we can go down the list.”
[9:40] “Trump is particularly offensive and crude and barbaric and murderous in his disposition, in his nature, but he is in no way unique in following the standard protocol of using the government to benefit the rich, to consolidate wealth, and to destroy and deprive the most impoverished. I mean, listen. America functionally is a third-world country that is hiding behind the edifice of Hollywood, Silicon Valley, Wall Street, and its military. But if you stripped away the American Military, Wall Street, the Valley and Hollywood, what you would see, and what you are seeing in the context of a consequence of this virus, is a third-world country, both in the nature of the priorities of the government and how it functions, and the resources and opportunities that are available to the vast majority of people who live here.”
[10:32] Jimmy Dore: “So, let me just explain
. . .
[11:30] Jimmy Dore: [reads quote from news article]:
Any plans for payroll tax cuts would have to include ways to replenish those funds, which are currently scheduled to run out in 2035.
At that time, 79% of the promised benefits will be payable.
[11:41] Dylan Ratigen: “Do you understand the absurdity of talking about money as if it’s scarce? The idea that there is an exhaustion date or “Oh, we can’t pay for this” or “Oh, you better go get a job” at a time when literally trillions of dollars are being given away to special interests? It is incomprehensible, the idea of utilizing scarcity or limited funding as a point of leverage for policy making while simultaneously supplying infinite capital for everything from oil companies to airlines to - - - down the list, is an indication of how third-world this government is.”
[12:27] Jimmy Dore: “But, honest. Dylan, aren’t you surprised that no one, no one in the news media, no one in politics is screaming about this? No one. Bernie Sanders and the Squad are voting for this shit”
[12:46] Dylan Ratigan: “Honestly, I am surprised. I would even think that politically it’s to their advantage to speak up on this. Forget their moral character.
[13:00] Jimmy Dore: “Bernie Sanders. It is such a winner, politically, to stand up and fight for people at this moment. Every Democrat in the Congress is ceding that to the Right right now. They’re letting Josh Holly and fucking Mitt Romney out-Left them. It’s happening. I’m not making it up. Trump is out-Lefting them. And no one, including Bernie Sanders is screaming about this. It is stunning.
[13:27] Dylan Ratigan: “I mean, are you surprised? I mean, just to forget even the moral character. I honestly don’t know what they’re thinking. [13:35] Jimmy Dore: “Because, Dylan, here’s what I say, when I’ve had three Negronis, I say, What is in it for them to NOT give people cash payment? They’ve already proven they’re going to print as much money, it doesn’t matter. What would stop them from giving a trillion dollars to people so that people can go out an buy shit?
[13:59] Dylan Ratigan: “I know … I can offer my explanation but I don’t know how meaningful it is. I said it to you last week. I think there’s this sort of false adherence at the, sort of, civilian level of this mythology of American sovereignty and self-sufficiency and people really don’t like the idea of democratic socialism but they seem really enthusiastic for corporate socialism.
[14:26] Jimmy Dore: “Yes. 100%.”
[14:29] Dylan Ratigan:“I mean, America is a Corporate Socialist country. I mean, Rhian Cooperman is one of the most rapacious hedge-fund managers on Wall Street. You know. This is a very aggressive, very experienced, ruthless money man in New York. And he came out recently and said, ‘Listen ...’ I mean, some of these guys are smart enough to worry about the pitchforks, you know, and they’re like ‘I don’t know how you can always expect to always have the fallout on the bottom be protected by the government and not expect the upside, or the progression of resources up to be controlled by the government. He was making the point that you can’t have it both ways.”
[15:14] “Now, remarkably, America has it better than both ways. They have the amplification of the profits for the super-rich and total protection from economic losses for the big companies and the super-rich while simultaneously, literally, no safety net for more than half the country.”
[15:36] Jimmy Dore: “So I just wanted everybody who votes Trump who watches this show and who is a Trumper to know that what Trump is trying to do if fuck you right now. He’s not trying. He’s fucking you. So you’re getting fucked hard by Trump and by Nancy Pelosi and Chuck Schumer and Mitch McConnell. They’re all your enemy. There is no doubt about it. And if you don’t see through that now, then you deserve what you have coming. But let me tell you something. Trump is no friend. He is trying to take away your Social Security right now. That is what Trump is trying to do. Is it his idea? No. It’s not Trump’s idea. This is shit that is being told to him by guys like Larry Kudlow and Steve Mnuchin, those guys who have been waiting their entire fucking lives to do this, to get rid of Social Security and put that money into the stock market. That’s exactly what they’ve been trying to do their entire lives. And now Trump is going to help them do it. And just so you know [shows article quote from tweet from Hugh Mongous Jackman]:
Eliminating Payroll Tax is code for eliminating Social Security & Medicare
Eliminating Capital Gains is code for eliminating all tax on the 1%
[16:34] Jimmy Dore; “And when you hear Trump say we want to eliminate capital gains that’s code for eliminating all the tax on the 1%. That’s what Trump is doing right now. So, I know that there are a lot of people who are conservatives watch this show because they like that I’m a truth teller. Well, it’s the truth that Trump is fucking you as hard as you’ve ever been fucked right now. Harder. And he’s trying to do it more. And the only thing . . . ”
[17:02[ Dylan Ratigan: “… using the biological crisis to seize the opportunity to do all the worst things, which is, if you ever want to know, you see the true character of anyone when you’re in a situation like this. And the character that has been revealed about our government is that it is staggeringly hostile to the people who live in this country.”
[17:20] Jimmy Dore: “None of this is Trump’s idea. That’s the thing you have to understand, that Trump is just a figurehead. Right? And he’s doing everything that Nancy Pelosi, Chuck Schumer, Mitch McConnell, Larry Kudlow, and Steve Mnuchin want him to do. He doesn’t have any ideas about how to handle a fucking pandemic. Or a crisis. Or a banking … He doesn’t hav any idea about how to do anything. He’s doing what he has been told to do. By the business community. And he’s fucking doing it. And guess what Nancy Pelosi is doing? She’s doing what she is being told to do by the business community. And she’s doing it. And guess what the Squad and Bernie Sanders is doing. They’re going along with it and not doing a goddamn thing. Your entire government has just turned its back on you.”
[18:09] Jimmy Dore: “And I just got an email today from Bernie Sanders asking for more money! He’s asking me for money! The fucking balls! That these cocksuckers in fucking DC, unbelievable. If I get one more email from Bernie fucking Sanders asking me for money. Hey. Why don’t you go book your next talk show, because that seems to be his job now. He doesn’t do anything for you in Congress, but he’s hosting a late-night talk show. He’ll have Cardi B on later on this evening.”
[18:38] Here’s what Donald Trump tweeted out today, and I want to get your opinion on it, Dylan:
Well run states should not be bailing out poorly run states, using CoronaVirus as the excuse! The elimination of Sanctuary Cities, Payroll Taxes, and perhaps Capital Gains Taxes, must be put on the table. Also lawsuit indemnification & business deductions for restaurants & [entertainment].
[19:11] Jimmy Dore: “Now I know he didn’t write that tweet because he doesn’t know what lawsuit indemnification of business [means]. But I’ll tell you what that means. It means that when Amazon forces their people to go back to work and doesn’t give them safety supplies or have them social-distance correctly, they can’t be sued. So the capitalists who then sacrifice your bodies for their profits cannot be held responsible for their irresponsibility or on purpose killing you. Like what’s happening at meat-packing plants right now. What’s happening at UPS. What’s happening at Amazon. So, what’s your reaction to him saying well-run states should not be bailing out poorly run states and using the Corona Virus as an excuse?
[19:54] Dylan Ratigan: “I mean, there are layers of absurdity in that and you just did a nice assessment of it. (1) We have to be a whisper away from where we were before the original Union Movement happened in this country, and I’m going to forget the name, but there was a very famous fire where a lot of people died.
[20:22] Jimmy Dore: “The Triangle Shirtwaist Factory fire.”
[20:22] Dylan Ratigan: “There you go. We have to be a whisper away from that type of an event in the context of what’s being discussed here relative to whether it’s Amazon workers, meatpacking workers, I mean there are so many densely populated work environments in this country where that type of architecture of forcing people to work to do everything you just described, I don’t see how it doesn’t become a catalyst for something bigger than what happened in the original Union 
[21:04] “(2) The entire supposition there, I mean, as you know as a California taxpayer or myself as a New York taxpayer, the implication of Trump’s statement is that these states have the bigger economic issues because they have (a) the bigger economies and (b) the more aggressive lock-down policies [and are thus] the ones that don’t deserve the quote-unquote, “bailouts.” If we’re going to go down this road, I think that everybody knows that for every dollar that comes to California or New York from the federal government, two or three dollars from our paychecks we give to California and New York to pay for the subsidized states like Kentucky, Mitch McConnell’s state, right?
So the entire argument, if they want to go down this road, it’s ridiculous. But trust me, if we’re going to break up the United States of America, you would much rather be a resident of the Country of California in terms of its wealth and resources as a nation state or the country of New York than the country of Kentucky. So the very suggestion that Trump wants us to pit the states against each other using the federal government is a real loser for the states that [voted for] Trump.”
[22:27] Jimmy Dore: “So, for instance, Mitch McConnell hails from Kentucky. Now if Kentucky goes bankrupt, guess what goes bankrupt: the teachers’ pension funds; the fireman’s pension funds; the policeman’s pension funds. So all those people’s pensions go bankrupt because Mitch McConnell wouldn’t bail out his own goddamn state. How the fuck is this politically tenable?”
[22:58] Dylan Ratigan: “I don’t know. I mean, you have me speechless, Jimmy. I think I don’t understand the politics. I suppose that because the politics that were designed and created, really, by Bill Clinton, really probably before that, the Lesser of Two Evils, where people are basically not given the opportunity to vote for anything that they believe in, they are just forced to choose between who’s the least abhorrent of the two candidates, with Hillary Clinton versus Donald Trump being sort of the most recent expression of that. And the thing with Lesser of Two Evils voting is that you don’t have to do anything for anybody. You simply have to raise money and run a media campaign that absolutely massacres the identity of your opponent so that however much they hate you, they hate the other one more. ...
[My Note: See H. L. Menken’s long ago dictum: “I never vote for anybody. I always vote against.”]
[23:35] “...and I feel like the Mitch McConnells of this world have actually mastered that Lesser of Two Evils mind game. And once you’re in that Lesser of Two Evils architecture, all these other issues that we talk about become irrelevant because the entire political system is simply based on the ability to massacre your opponent’s identity using money. And as long as you’re confident that you can to that, you can literally rape and pillage people to the point where they’re homeless and dying in the street, and as long as when it comes to campaign time you can rape and massacre your opponent, you’ll still get re-elected. That’s why this is a third world country.”