On the ‘Inside and Outside’ Game

Webster says deceit is the ‘act of deliberately misrepresenting what is false
as truth to further one’s ends; a dishonest action or trick’

DEFINITION

Book sales prove that Americans no longer read as we once did. There are plenty of reasons for that: public schools can’t teach reading or much else pushing America way down on the list of educated countries; it’s more fun to play with phones and pick up info on the run.

Cell phone imageThe difficulty is that while we have broadened what we know because of the instant info at our fingertips, we know less of the details that make for learning and understanding. If you don’t understand what you are listening to you can’t possibly know what you don’t know. And when that happens, there’s trouble.

There’s trouble. Deceit is everywhere within our society – whether mortgage loans that can’t be repaid; student loans that aren’t being repaid; political promises that are meaningless no matter how much hope is generated and how often those promises are repeated ad nauseum.

Where there is deceit in our society, there are the deceivers who practice it. They are numerous; found everywhere. Because we are a political party, our interest here is in those policies and actions practiced by deceivers who want to believe that we don’t know what they are doing – and don’t care.

Wrong.

IN THE NATION

We are not going to write of Donald Trump. Enough is being written and discussed and will continue to be. But nothing much has been done and so we will wait until we see that the words are no longer mere words but lead to policies and action.

Photo of Ronald Reagan
Ronald Reagan
Rather we look here at a deceit that has been with us since the days of Ronald Reagan. His Presidency essentially ended the years of FDR’s New Deal that made America a liberal and successful nation – and a world leader of unparalleled strength and productivity.

The deceit at that point was that government was the problem, less money to government meant less government support and involvement, less regulation over everything and a new freedom for the power of money and those who had it to rule America’s destiny.

For those concerned about the tens of millions of Americans who depended upon government for all sorts of services that held them together, there was the promise of a safety net.

What was promised – and here is where the deceit is found – was that tax cuts and deregulation would reliably produce awesome growth and new jobs. That promise has continued from Reagan’s day to this without a single instance on the historical record to show that it ever has.

Yes Reagan produced growth at first but by the time Poppy Bush became President he had to raise taxes despite his infamous promise to read his lips ‘no new taxes’.

Bill Clinton produced growth and jobs faster than Reagan and raised taxes significantly to help America out of the largest deficit it had EVER known. President Obama produced faster private-sector job growth than George W. Bush even if you leave out the 2008 collapse caused by the Bush administration. Even Obama’s large corporate tax hike in 2013 and the implementation of the Affordable Care Act in 2014 produced no slowdown in growth and jobs.

Meanwhile State Governors and the legislatures they work with saw the endless promise of tax cuts to their personal advantage and electability and began cutting away at state income taxes. Kansas led the way until bringing itself to the edge of bankruptcy when they finally called a stop to the carnage and raised taxes significantly. California did the same things under Governor ARNOLD until it saw collapse ahead and raised taxes under Governor Jerry Brown.

The evidence that cutting taxes and slashing regulation produces anything ‘better’ at all doesn’t exist. So why does the deceit – that they are wonderful for the economy – continue? Because Paul Ryan and the members of Congress who continue the deceit (and that undoubtedly includes the New Administration) are the deceivers who know this: that slashing taxes is good for the billionaires who support them; that scammers in housing and student loans and industries that pollute are getting what is best for them; that campaign finance being what it is, politicians have a clear incentive to deceive the public by continuing to talk about a false policy – as long as it produces the money they need to serve in office.

No more, no less.

IN THE STATE

Here the deception practiced by ‘the Governor for life or until the next Presidential campaign’ is of a different sort.

Here again the rhetoric is set to deceive. The ‘progressive agenda’ championed seems full of accomplishment…but even that is open to a closer look.

Yes, the Governor stopped NYC Mayor Bill DeBlasio from attempting a millionaire’s tax to raise money for more pre-K classes by providing the State funding for the expansion. But while State audits have looked critically at health and safety standards in all sorts of Pre-Kindergarten classrooms, nothing has been done to learn whether these classes are providing the educational advantages they can provide if they are done well.

Photo of David Paterson
Former Governor David Paterson
Yes, the Governor structured the effort to make marriage equality law in New York State and helped arrange for the private money to make key Republican votes available. But he never provided the continued vocal support and leadership that Governor David Paterson did in his shortened term in office.

Yes, millions of advertising dollars have been spent to bring new businesses and jobs to New York State. But even a cursory accounting indicates a tiny return on that multi-million dollar investment. Job development is miniscule.

Spending in New York State on public education is still at the top of the list with results that don’t come close to showing significant improvement in learning. Graduation rates are totally contrived.

What Andrew Cuomo promised is what liberals know must exist: good, clean government is more important than any single program or policy. No one in New York State believes that the corruption which has made the State Legislature the most dysfunctional in America has changed at all despite arrests, convictions and jail terms…and the Governor’s promises.

The Legislature is the creature of the Governor. The Assembly all Democrat. The Senate just barely Republican. The Independent Democratic Caucus, the balance of power. It is growing larger and more influential as the Governor promises to help make the Senate Democrat but never quite fulfills that promise.

The Governor’s closest staff members have been indicted for bribery and other felonies. There will be trials and the pressure will be on the Governor to finally do something about corruption and pay to play. But other than his words of deceit, the Governor will continue to be a deceiver not the architect of what could have been a major change in the way New York State is governed. He will win reelection for a third term because there are other deceptions at work in the State.

There is no indication that the ‘inside game’ will change. When political parties collude they do so to make certain that the status quo remains intact and manageable.

There is no indication other than words of deceit, that the Republican Party can or wants to make a change in the leadership structure. Everything depends on the election of a Governor and we have already been told that the Republican candidate will be the same ineffective man who lost to Cuomo by a considerably comfortable margin. Put a loser up again? That’s the inside game…the game of deceivers who act to remain in power.

The difference will be in the selection of a Lt Governor…they will need someone to take care of things, while the Governor runs for President. Ask New Jersey how super that was.

IN THE CITY

The deception here is at first accidental. The deceiver someone who actually thought he was competent to be Mayor of New York.

The public was never really sure. It was the audience for a long and exhausting Mayoral primary campaign three years ago which saw one candidate after another get knocked to the side of the road until only Bill DeBlasio and Bill Thompson were left. DeBlasio trailed in the polls throughout the year of campaigning. Thompson was so weak that he was the least well known of the large group of candidates even though he had actually run against Mayor Bloomberg in his first reelection campaign and got a large chunk of a losing vote. Yet several years later as he tried again, no one knew him.

So DeBlasio helped by a commercial starring his son and his giant Afro and by unions working through their own political party, got out the vote in a boring General Election where DeBlasio clearly wanted the job and his opponent Joseph Lhota, didn’t seem so anxious.

But the truth is that Lhota could have done the job and DeBlasio cannot. Despite a progressive rhetoric which always sounds good and seems well meant, DeBlasio who has never held a job that wasn’t essentially political, cannot manage the city. Perhaps he could manage a Girl Scout cookie campaign. We will never know. But we know that everything he tries in one field after another falls on its face.

And we know this, that he is under a cloud of at least four potential indictments for illegal campaign arrangements. The ‘inside game’ says he will never be indicted but that the cloud of possible indictments will not go away during his campaign for reelection. It will just sit there.

And his deceptive words about new jobs and really affordable housing are just words. His State of the City speech omitted any mention of how new jobs would be attained and how he could build really affordable housing. Nor did it say a word about education…a clear failure of inaction and deceptive graduation rates passing as success. Now he suggests he is looking for a new Chancellor. And failed to tell us how he has helped his largest constituency – African-American voters – especially the 500,000 people who live in the slums we call the New York City Public Housing Authority (NYCHA). He has done nothing. Now he says he wants one billion dollars to fix the roofs at NYCHA in the next ten years. An election is coming.

Summing up DeBlasio’s first term we hear words that have no bearing in action…words designed to tell us about something we will not see. Sadly, the very definition of deceit.

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