The Canary plus The Good Old Days

This Is a Get Smarter Opportunity

We are sometimes given a gift – a chance to see into the future, if only we will look at what is before us. That’s what we have right now.

You’ve heard of the many democracy, freedom and rights abuses Ron DeSantis and his rubber stamp Republican Florida legislature have inflicted on the citizens of Florida. He has sucked up to as many White supremacist grievances, fears and hatreds as he could in order to get extremists to support his bid to become an authoritarian president.

His assaults represent far worse than oppression of Floridians: DeSantis and his extremists are normalizing fascism.

DeSantis’ actions leave us with an obvious clarity about what he would do to our entire country were he to get his hands on the reins of power. That is why I believe that

Florida is the canary in the fascist infested coal mine.

If you’re skeptical about this, read Thom Hartmann’s take. You won’t be skeptical anymore.

You don’t have to be a Floridian to be worried about this, because we see similar things happening elsewhere. That’s why I’m encouraging you to get smart about this, wherever you are.

My friends Jim and Karen Nathan have co-founded Floridians For Democracy, a group dedicated to protecting democracy in Florida and, by extension, where you live. It is to that end that they are inviting you to two informative Zoom sessions:

    • White Supremacist Activities in Florida: A brave sheriff and a state representative
    • Jun 7, 2023, 7:00PM EDT. Co-Sponsored by SWFL Voices for Racial Justice
    • and Concerned Citizens of Lower Lee County
    • “Saving Democracy” with Author David Pepper
    •                                                          June 15, 2023, 5:30PM EDT. Co-Sponsored by Floridians for Democracy and SWFL Voices for Racial Justice

Here’s a link to full program descriptions and the Zoom link to each session. Note that these sessions come to you without cost and they are not fundraisers. They are education that is offered because you need to know.

Make no mistake: this is not just about DeSantis attacking minorities or even just about Florida. This is about all the anti-democracy bullies all over America stealing education from our children, cheating Americans of their voting rights, reducing women to second class citizens, refusing gun safety and all the rest.

This matters to you because one day DeSantis and the bullies will be coming for you and you’re going to hate it when they crash through your door.

The Good Old Days

As the default/budget bill was being readied for a vote in the House last Wednesday, Ron DeSantis was pontifi-whining about it, stupidly saying that we’re going to go bankrupt. Other idiot extremist Republicans were saying similarly stupid, apocalyptic things.

They all long so dearly for the good old days when fiscally responsible Republicans were in charge and they never added to our national debt. That made me wonder which days those were, so I dug around and the chart below is the product of that digging.

The numbers represent the total each president added to our national debt over the course of their administrations. Harding and Coolidge delivered surpluses. All the rest gave us more debt.

Most notably, each administration added billions of dollars of debt until Reagan came along and ratcheted that up to trillions. He put six times more debt on the U.S. than his Democratic predecessor did. In fact, he added just shy of twice the debt of all preceding presidents combined!

You can blame his supply side economics for much of that. He truly was Saint Ronny the Reverse Robin Hood, patron saint of giveaways to the rich. Republicans still genuflect at the sound of his fiscally larcenous name.

Simple fact: In large measure our national debt is a function of both low and lowered taxes matched with increased spending. Somehow such debt, while a big DUH! to the rest of us, is not easily understood by supply-siders, who believe Tooth-Fairy-like that we will have increased revenue by means of decreased revenue.

George W. Bush dramatically lowered taxes while starting two “off balance sheet” wars. I still don’t know what that term means. He doubled our national debt over all previous presidents combined, including Reagan! Oddly, that failed to impress voters.

The debt Dubya left for us is hardly a surprise, given his wars and his tax cuts. What is surprising is how Trump managed to increase our national debt in one term even more than Dubya did in two terms.

The Dubya and Trump tax cuts for the rich cost the U.S. nearly $10 trillion and included tax breaks for yachts and private jets.* We’re left with the glow of enhancing the lives of rich people and with the bill they left for us.

Someone please tell me which are the Republicans’ good old days when they were in charge, were fiscally responsible and didn’t add to our national debt.

Take a look at the chart and see if the “tax and spend” label that Republicans like to staple to the chests of Democrats makes sense to you. Or the Republican claims of fiscal responsibility. Or the moronic belief in supply-side economics. If any of that makes sense to you, you will immediately be sent to a 3rd grade remedial math class to see if you can keep up with 8-year-olds doing flash cards.

Source: The Balance


* It’s heartwarming to know that the new budget just squeezed out of the Congress cuts $21 billion in funding from the IRS. That was a critical thing for Republicans. Two points about that:

  1. The non-partisan Congressional Budget Office (CBO) projects that hobbling the ability to go after tax cheats will result in $40 billion in lost revenue, resulting in an increase to the debt of $19 billion.
  2. Gotta answer this question: Why was it so important for the Republicans to inhibit the IRS from chasing down rich tax crooks? Hint: Can you say “donors” boys and girls?

  • Today is a good day to be the light.


  • Our governance and electoral corruption and dysfunction and our ongoing mass murders are all of a piece, all the same problem with the same solution:
  • Fire the bastards!
  • The days are dwindling for us to take action. Get up! Do something to make things better.

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2 Responses to The Canary plus The Good Old Days
  1. Frank Levy Reply

    Jack – From my perspective, the short answer to your question is, Christianity, and the hubris of believing that white Christians have been chosen, by their God, to rule and conquer the world.

  2. Frank Levy Reply

    Jack, In the second paragraph of today’s blog you write “You’ve heard of the many democracy, freedom and rights abuses Ron DeSantis and his rubber stamp Republican Florida legislature have inflicted on the citizens of Florida.” I agree with you that DeSantis and the Florida legislature are dangerous, anti-democracy, racist, homophobic, anti-Semitic, xenophobic, ethno-fascist Christian nationalist authoritariam ideoligues. But, DeSantis could not do what he does without the active support of a majority of Florida voters. After all, he was recently re-elected by a huge percentage margin over his Democratic opponent. While authoritarian demagogues like Trump, DeSantis, Greg Abbott, and others cause very real concern for the future of our very fragile democracy, that concern is heightened to almost panic level when I acknowledge the truth that these evil men have the active and sometimes violent support of so many of the people we run into at the grocery store, at PTA meetings, who live down the street, and who control our local school boards and libraries, and police and fire departments.

    We endanger our democracy when we fail to understand that the Republican Party is its base, and that Trump, DeSantis, Greg Abbott, Kay Ivey, Kevin McCarthy, and Marjorie Taylor Green, Lauren Boebert, among others are not only the voice of the base, but a part of the base.