How Money Controls Politics: Thomas Ferguson Interview


we’re very pleased to have with us today Thomas Ferguson who will discuss with us the 1988 election tom is a visiting professor of political science at the University of Massachusetts at Boston and is a professor of government at the University of Texas at Austin he’s also the co-author with Joel Rogers of right-turn the decline of the Democrats in the future of American politics for the last several elections Tom has been very closely focusing on the candidates the economic interest behind them the shifts and party alignment and the basic developments of politics in the United States so Tom we’re very happy to have you with us today to talk about the 1988 election this yesterday Michael Dukakis named Lloyd Bentsen of Texas as his vice president designate what does that signify for you well my initial reaction frankly is pretty much like Carter glasses reaction when he Al Smith was nominated on the Democratic ticket in 1928 I’m a Democrat still very still that I have to confess that you know you’re once first look at this is to say that in Benson well he’s not an ogre and it’s a party at where there’s you know presumably going to be different points of view you’re not going to have a political party sits from the extreme right end of the party eye in the sky if you look at his Senate voting record over the last 10 or 15 years while it’s true as Dukakis said when I introduced him that his civil rights record is quite reasonable nevertheless he is consistently among the most conservative Democratic senators indeed one of my colleagues has done some multi-dimensional scaling maps of Senate voting tells me the guy whom Benson most strongly resembles most of the time is Sam Nunn I remember back in the old days seeing pictures of Benson though saying by gosh we got to drop the bomb the a-bomb yeah on Korea and he also won the election here by beating Ralph Yarborough for the Democratic nomination for Senator you can say that this is crystal yeah McCarthy I dread mate on the other hand one has to note that Benson for instance if you look at his staff in Congress this is a subtle point but it’s true it really reflects the political diversity in the state you’re not looking at a staff for instance it’s monolithically conservative Benson particularly in the last few years you know he tried to move along various Democratic initiatives as response to Reagan from 86 to 88 no he for example did make some noise for instance about the corporate minimum tax and he’s a look the guy is a conservative Democrat on things like the Contras I mean he’s been an enthusiastic backer of the Contras and unless you’re wild about war in Central America which I’m not it’s hard to see the point why anyone would further that and you know your caucus has said no Contras we’re wiping them out well we might want to explore that a bit my judgment is that both I’m hope this I believe it when I see it that policy remains to be defined but you may get a very good index of this because it does appear that the administration is going to come back with another contra aid bill and watching how Senator Benson and the candidate Dukakis respond this I think is a very good index of trying to find out what will be the future yeah let’s look at why Benson was chosen the caucus had several choices senator Benson is after all the Niagara Falls of American political finance I mean the party is going to get very rich as a result of this and there is no question that it’s been born in powerfully on me when I was doing some studies of financing in a 76 campaign and that was a campaign in which Benson they quickly stepped out and sort of into the pool swam around for a few laps and then got got right back out of the pool I mean y’all I for practice didn’t go anywhere yeah but he certainly raised an impressive pile of cash and what’s even more impressive than just the the pile of it is where it came from it came not only from Texas but from the work you’re dealing and he has after all been a major player and I chairman of the Senate Finance Committee yeah this is an absolutely central position in American life and that sense you know he is well known to a lot of well big business interests in America he’s known for years he’s known and trusted and understood yeah in other words more money more people would contribute more money with Benson in his vice president and say these other guy I don’t think there’s any quick the tip-off is probably when I think Robert farmer who has been doing the fundraising for Dukakis said he wanted to raise more than forty million in soft money this year soft money is money that’s outside the Federal Election Commission a regulatory process it should go or into the possibly he meant into the DNC all the soft money is not Democratic National Committee all the soft money is not formally usually counted into that at any rate everybody scoff Fortune magazine just said a couple weeks ago that that was probably unrealistic they’re going to make it easy now they have done some systematic campaign finance surveys pretty much along the lines of the statistical appendix that we present in a right turn in 1984 the Democrats gets smashed and they got wiped out now what’s different about 1988 and in what way did how did you get from 84 to 88 and what you could do that you know by tracing issues by tracing events around gate and things like that but if you look at it in sort of corporate terms what you see is this in 84 as we said in right turn and I think demonstrated in the appendix is that the Democrats get an overwhelming percentage of there are sort of big business cash out of the top of the pyramid not total money but out of sort of the major actors in IBM big fortune 500 companies yeah without saying those are all Democratic kind that’s the kind of company I’m talking about these were playing both sides no I mean though they just pursue this the they got a huge amount of money from investment bankers and real estate the investment banking money was very clearly directed toward the deficit I mean they said this it makes perfect sense at least on many economic theories they’re known to hold so let’s assume it’s true since they were saying and then the real-estate people were running were contributing these were largely Northeast and Midwest with San Francisco and some Atlanta thrown in these were real estate magnets who were put simply their buildings dependent on large-scale funding from the government of urban aid that urban aid contributes what it competes one-for-one with the defense budget and so these guys were necessarily anti defense what would they get in real estate well the mass transit put simply as somebody said to me very elegantly the is just a plain fact if you build a large building in New York it isn’t going to pay off unless you’ve got mass transit you simply can’t bring enough people in unless you’re planning to bring them and sort of stacked on top of each other plus urban development the urban development grants are you DAGs which have just disappeared are nearly so in central city funding the question the democratic problem expressed in sort of corporate terms is what do you do to branch out from investment bankers and real estate and a huge amount of the campaign I think can be seen as efforts by people to sort of pick up a pocket pocket a business support to add that to that basic level when you look at what faux that that cash financing use discover Frances get part went very clearly to American industry which is a rarity for America for a democratic political candidate and usually the industrial people end up in the Republican Party it’s pretty clear that the labor issue there usually keeps them divided and it worked in the sense that it got him some initial support I wrote this up at one point in the nation briefly and you could find I mean Lee Iacocca some of the car companies quite a lot of companies in a fairly sharp competition with Japan which is an issue one probably needs to pick up on in detail in a few minutes but from there you can see get Park got some real money from industry you know gore campaigned heavily on his Pasiphae identified himself with sort of the Laocoon parties issues on israel well I was no secret that David Garth was his campaign manager and the kids a media person in a recent election there now he also did a fair amount of money from defense contractors and so forth I mean guy runs on a camp he’s the only Democratic candidate to sort of contemplate building those two aircraft carriers now they were under discussion for example it wants to complete the sort of build up with a navy all of that was fairly straightforward everybody dukakis went to the high tech people that was the initial I mean he did a fair amount of early financing from real estate and investment banking including a number of the people who were prominent in the Mondale effort are very clearly and the chair the chairmen are senior figures in a large number of the biggest wall street houses for Dukakis many in some cases those people back biden first and when biden disappeared they went that was a big help to Dukakis and the caucus had so much more money than anybody else all throughout the campaign and I saw where he spent something like 27 million compared to Jesse was able to get something like 12 well yeah I won’t vouch for that figure do what Jackson started out with almost no money I mean paradoxically the the more his chances of election diminished the more money he got I don’t think there’s much doubt that that was he gots he attracted some money because it looked like he was actually going to win he attracted some from various groups in the black community ranging from I mean there are now black professionals in corporations and so forth I mean it’s no secret that I mean the stuff the papers harped on endlessly but I was 25 or 27 McDonald’s franchisees there were black who gave him some cash and he certainly got some money because of his position on the Middle East by people who disagreed with the the Middle East positions of Gore somebody yeah well it’s it’s often said I don’t know this I haven’t seen anybody solidly researched that but there’s hardly any question that some of the Arab groups in the United States were out and fairly close to Jackson I mean it’s just you know these everybody this is the way the American political system works Jackson got a third of the vote in the primaries basically and it is probable that a lot of people one would have to say enough to get 10 or 15% votes more probably agreed with them on most issues except the middle-east and if you sort of start adding that and try to define that as the rock-bottom sort of Liberal Democratic with a small L majority in the party you come close to at least half the party is prepared to sort of swallow a huge amount of the program that Jackson took place I mean there are serious differences on Middle East with this we know and we don’t need any sort of basic lectures on it but you look at that and you wonder how you’re going to win an election with let’s let’s say half the electorate at least probably is in it is basically demanding a much more expansive economic policy more little bit than Dukakis yeah with a small L because there’s there’s no question as I think the Dukakis campaign has realized and they’ve done very well on this is if you ask people do you like liberalism only about 20% of the pot with a big L about 20% of the population will say yes and the rest will describe themselves as moderates unless you like the programs you want to go or you know do you want to cut the defense budget I mean take for example the question well all right let’s let me just finish the thought on Dukakis and then we’ll just go sort of through the electoral both sort of polling evidence here and sort of where the party’s at I mean the problem is is that it’s conceivable there have been people in the Democratic Party who have urged the party to in effect write off most of the black vote indeed the liberal vote they don’t like them and they just a lot of them are conservatives many were no doubt enthusiastic about Senator Benson although as I say I don’t think Benson’s view of his what he how he conducts himself in Texas follows that model I mean in all fairness it’s not that hardline conservative and I haven’t been read out of the Texas Democratic Party no as far as centrist and wants to incorporate he understands a political reality the but you know there certainly are a lot of people in the Democratic Party who’ve essentially urged the party I mean this makes no sense in terms of electoral model of politics because the other party should be able to just leap frogging go back to that vast 40 or 50 percent of the population you’re ignoring but if you think politics is driven by cash and then you run in an electoral system after sort of setting up your basic sort of cash contributions fine natural interests and power block arrangement then what you get you can be absolutely sure the Republican Party is not going to run to your left so you can effectively if you want to and got some estimate of how many votes you’ll lose on your left just move to the right and in effect turn the Democratic Party into a close to a carbon copy of the Republicans and essentially compete with the the four conservative Republican votes now until a Benson suggests election I would have said for sure that was probably not what Dukakis was planning to do now I have to say I’m not so sure I still believe that common sense as well as is on it you know a lot of people I know know think the guy is quite reasonable let’s pursue this theme and indicate what the issues of the election are and starting with your historical point about the right turn in which business abandons the Democrats and goes to the Republicans in the Reagan years what was the results of the Reagan years for big business and what is the position of business now visa vie the Democrats and Republicans let’s go through a little the history leading up well elections all right some of the issues is the emergence well as we say straightforwardly in right turn I think common sense will tell you this is that it’s very clear that say in 1981 the bulk of the American business community was certainly lined up behind Reagan this is not news what is interesting and if you want to understand the world since then you have to come to grips with is the fact that Reagan then did not run you can’t treat Reagan as simply or reaganism as a sort of expression of sort of the entire business community and alliance against the rest of the population you’re not going to get anywhere with that model as we said in our I turn very quickly when the issue in the the tax issue was perfect for this kind of a coalition because it involves sending money to everybody especially the people who were rich in that sense you’re not going to find it break up over that but as soon as they face the question with the tax the enormous tax cut opened the way for a huge budget deficit night and then when they went to get offsetting expenditures the business community divided the real estate people walked out and the investment bankers and chunks of the insurance industry began to gang up on them for letting the deficit grow so much I mean these buyers and sellers of long-term bonds significant parts of the evidence community move away and then what the when the administration initially they let the dollar go way up trying to drive inflation out of the system and that was extremely lucrative not for a whole bunch of people who use the opportunity especially in manufacturing to get rid of a lot of workers I mean like the auto companies got rid of thousands of workers and you probably couldn’t have done that except in a huge recession no and so for a while even though the high interest rate policies were raising the dollar making it tough to sell abroad bringing in Japanese goods and crashing the sort of domestic income that people will have the bulk of business code is quite happy with this but then you see as the income loss gets acute and then you know their cost reductions won’t carry them all away they start getting off and there are a lot of unhappy people in 1983 82 83 walking around even talking about the Democrats Reagan then countered with star wars and I think the thing you really want to keep your eye on thereafter is the way the American relationship with Japan developed you know because what was the sort of the main line well alright and Jackson I think this is I must say an issue that is fundamental and if you don’t understand it you will make no progress toward understanding what’s happened or what is about to happen because it this issue isn’t going to go away and it’s it’s there the question of what how what’s the American posture of Japan and maybe the easiest way to sort of get into it in a couple minutes is to sort of go through start from the stuff that’s all around now about is the American Empire collapsing and are we overextended the sort of Paul Kennedy book in particular in Paul Kennedy’s historical study the decline of empires is a great deal of writing about is the American Empire past its peak and are we being succeeded by Japan well if you want to understand what the American business community’s response to this is you understand is that many of them are not embarrassed by the Imperial comparison but they think of it exactly the opposite way a very nice illustration of this implicitly isn’t as a big new Brzezinski essay and foreign affairs not long ago in their position is is if the American Empire wants to hold together problem is not over extension is it is that it must have a position in the new fast-growing area in the world which is the Pacific and for that they think their relationship with Japan is utterly fundamentally as Brzezinski said in this piece there you can’t imagine how you could develop the Pacific except in partnership with Japan in that sense a happy relationship between the sort of American multinational firms that want to go into the Pacific and Japan is fundamental on the other hand Japan is killing a good chunk of American industry I mean what with completely legal competition are well we can discuss the economic interest in the US and well keep Japan the distance and to one well the question is incredibly complicated and you’re not going to get anywhere with a simple approach which says well it’s the US versus Japan what you got to understand is first of all many American multinationals respond to this question by simply transferring production abroad as Jackson said in this campaign then they go they go to Taiwan or to the other parts of Asia now that gives them a big stake in Southeast days you’re not gonna you’re not going anywhere with a program in the American business community it says let’s retract from Southeast Asia on the other hand what these people then do is start exporting to the rest of the world and indeed back in the United States indeed as you there’s some very nice studies even coming out of the National Bureau of Economic Research which essentially say that well if you look at sort of the way the US export position is declined in the world you’ll see a fairly significant decline although a good deal of its concentrated saying earlier than one would have thought but then when you look at sort of incorporate sort of exports from Southeast Asia and other countries where US firms are there there’s been no decline in US exports as if you count those firms over there it’s entirely the domestic issue now in many cases some of those firms even export in Japan indeed you can see the Japanese sometimes when they’ve now recently tried to as the Reagan administration’s had to put more pressure on them they sometimes respond by buying more goods from Southeast Asia a policy which you can’t understand let you understand in many cases that the American firms that are pushing the government that are getting their exports bought there that does them good it doesn’t do the rest of the population much good anyway that’s one strand of the relationship on the other so you ask yourself well then who’s the natural opponents of this policy you can see there how from the standpoint of the general population in effect they’re asked to sort of pay the fabulous military and foreign policy cost that’s over extension such as tax dollars that underwrites the military power the foreign aid the sort of money for intelligence operations and so forth this is big what you might call the Imperial overhead it’s very costly now the beneficiaries of that are largely American multinationals who in many cases are exporting jobs out of the United States all right that’s just fairly that’s just perfectly clear on the other so you might ask yourself why would any multinational or indeed any large firm then not find this that’s very attractive when all the criticism of Japan well the short answer is is that while a fair number of people just go overseas some people can’t the high-tech industry is one that while it moves a lot of assembly overseas does a lot of product development things over here and or in many cases it’s small farms for whatever they can’t move or they can’t move all their production easily fast enough what the Reagan people had to live with this – after all the Republicans are traditionally the party of industry the party of business and they’ve got to have a Japan policy what they did is they started out they they preached free trade and they then tried to make accommodation with like the most powerful sectors like auto and steel got import quotas that very quickly turned out not to be enough and so what they did for a while was protest with the Japanese and try to get him dope they would try a sort of dual policy of trying to get him to open their markets and sort then I came up with Star Wars that was the other half of the dual policy just looking at it as a scheme to funnel cash to high technology industries it was an interesting response and it’s not I think an accident that it was announced a few months after the Democrats Industrial Policy program but then what the 84 eleven that got them through the 84 election the combination of general Recovery Star Wars and so forth and then of course the Democrats on and basilic all we will do for you is raise your taxes well we want to come back because Mike Dukakis is possibly in the position of now telling you maybe all he’ll do for you is raise taxes and negotiate creeping Mondale as well now he hasn’t said that yet he has he said you know the question is not a tax rise it’s clear when you look at like the last ball Gallup polls which I thought were the most ways to ask the question does the population want the budget balanced yes how do they want it balanced it’s clear that as the majority of the population wants or at least of those with opinions want it balanced by cutting military spending and they basically would like to spend more on social spending and I mean this is this is what we said in the first chapter right turn and it’s it’s not news even this morning’s New York Times or yesterday’s makes the point again a survey that yeah does seem the population is rather more to the left of the government they don’t quite put it like that but that’s what they’re saying but now let me that’s creeping creeping Mondale ISM is saying all you’re going to do people is raise taxes you could do the tax issue if you’re going to give them something for what you can’t do is tell them we’re going to raise taxes so we can spend more money abroad to aid American multinationals that you cannot do and expect to win an election and that I think is I mean I don’t think this is in the it’s settled that’s why I think that one wants to watch very carefully how the dukakis people approach the Jackson people because the question of and they say they want to hold the line on defense spending but they don’t want to cut it what are they planning to do for the population I don’t think it’s probably going to be enough to say we promise you somehow that we will get you good jobs at good wages if you’re going to pull them out of a hat but let me come back to the Japanese question okay what the Reagan administration did since 84 is essentially it began to spend more and more money in direct subsidies not so not through Star Wars but through other programs like the supercollider product of the semiconductor program SEMATECH that they set up here in Austin is an example of that they have an effect channel more and more money to I mean they’ve met the the sort of Japanese problem by in effect without saying so they have built up they begun to build up the Defense Department not so much through Star Wars which is a separately designated program as an effect in American media they’re doing rather more industrial targeting now than they admit they’re trying to respond to the Japanese by a good deal more targeting and I think with the wholly salutary claim usually they will usually the Democrats on this will usually say we should also like to shift there is a critique of the uses of military surely military focus in this spending a lot of people think they could do better with more civilian spending emphasis on my products that somebody wants to buy is Jackson said so nicely during the campaign you know how many of you you know own a VCR some lots of people raise their hand how many of you own an MX missile nobody wants to buy that well that’s of course one thing the election is about but so the Japan question is the Democrats definitely embody I’d say a joint business labor response now the labor response here is quite it’s probably worth pursuing this I mean the Jackson himself said very powerfully and I think it’s very important that the point get made again and again the one major way the us sort of has lost out an international economic competition is that sort of the American defense budget and foreign aid policies go to regimes in the third world that essentially wipe out independent trade unions right and in effect they hold workers wages down and they use the resources of the United States and often the to do it to put it simply and bluntly indeed I think you could you can generalize this point which is is that a huge amount of the American tax problem the fiscal problem is about how are you going to divide the costs of empire in the population and the plain facts are is that we spend a huge amount of our money and time supporting regimes in the third world that basically make it attractive for businesses from here to move and uh Jackson I think did everybody service and raising that issue even as much as for instance the New York Times quoted unnamed people and one or two people who claim to be Democrats ridiculing the whole approach to that there’s nothing crazy about the view I think and is certainly no there’s no economic logic in saying that a regime that sort of in effect murders trade unionists who are sort of trying to form reasonable trade unions should not get the support of the United States I think it’s a really important questions that one thing you can do to sort of restructure the United States economy is stop subsidizing this indirect form of subsidy and out abroad as the one short term of us not so much indirect their tax breaks for the companies overseas American company overseas and so it’s grants I’m here yeah I may add that another aspect I think of Jackson’s campaign that it was extremely interesting is the way that point was developed the Jackson campaign just says look you’ve got if you stop holding down workers wages abroad and indeed join in general efforts to sort of reflect the rest of the world you can develop the United States and not at the expense of the rest of the world and that this is unfortunately Jackson’s position which is a minority one here what’s the difference exactly between the Democrats and Republicans essentially what the bush people are talking is I mean they are doing more industrial targeting under the guise of defense spending but apart from that they’re continuing to talk what I think is fairly traditional free trade trying to pressure the Japanese and to sort of do more military spending to spend more of their trade surpluses on foreign aid and they’re eventually we’re also looking for the third world bank bailout they are certainly got their eyes fixed I think first on the Pacific the dukakis people on the other hand partly because of those two know the plain solid trade question which you can’t get around from in which storms it forms the perfect flying buttress between a chunk of American industry and a chunk of the American labor movement the afl-cio which would love to block out Japanese goods the or most of the most the unions would they do seem to be rather less interested in Japan parsley for that and spending somewhat more interested in NATO and European concerns they are well aware I think of a fact which is I think shortly to destabilize American politics again in which in my opinion will help shape it’s sort of long-run fundamental problems a great deal which I think probably in a way that squeezes the domestic population which is very simply this is by 1992 the european economic community has to merge its its financial rules and they’re going to have open capital mobility and in general one mark at least that’s their aim yeah and they’re likely to do that they’re in effect while that’s not a United States of Europe it’s a major step toward it now that as they do that that’s going to stimulate tremendous economic competition for a lot of people who’ve never had it well you can see when foreign friends have been coming into the US you can all argue about whether that’s good or bad but the plain fact is a lot of people don’t like it and you know even in this country which has you know is basically an enormously open market in financial terms there’s a lot of pressure to close it the same thing is true in Europe why won’t your Appiah new pians close it the answer is because the US will do them services like pay for their defense for example I mean again the military and foreign aid budget is going to be used to subsidize American firms doing business in Europe now that’s the question is who’s going to pay for that they are mostly not going to be charged for that in the sense of what the Reagan tax programs meant is that you’re going to throw more and more the tax burden the net effect that is certainly to throw the tax burden on the poor and the middle classes now then what’s going to happen cuz in effect I mean that this right now the line among all the US business groups is we have to reach wrench we must make the allies pay more the the what’s going to happen when they don’t or when they move they will do something obviously but then the US has to keep paying the deficit grows and so tax pressures well the key to this seems to me is that in fact they are paying for our for our military because it’s the Europeans and the Japanese who by and large are buying holding the American debt well that’s that’s correct that you got a problem here and that it’s hard to think of any earthly reason given the sort of present condition of the Soviet Union why anybody in Europe is really going to want to pay more for Defence I mean the it’s surely the case their chances of being invaded in Europe have never been less than the post-war period than they are now it’s very hard for me to imagine how the population in America can be persuaded to sort of go to inferior schools sort of have a worse social welfare system generally have sort of more poor in meager lives in order to sort of build up sort of the American contribution to European defenses without the threat of sort of world communism I think how the parties play Gorbachev is very important and there now let me just swing to the question you ask how’s Bush playing this well we know what the Reagan administration did I think initially motivated in part by the sheer fact that once Gorbachev said he wants to deal the West Germans work very clearly willing to deal and we’re going to deal whether the United States did it or not now Bush in one of my things that came to light of my campaign finance study is that in many parts of the defense industry are anxious as can be about the top there was a powerful anti d’etat bloc and it’s interesting to see that Bush in his campaign has moved very much against the Reagan policy in the last couple of months in other words after dole folded he sort of took over some of the issue there and the question is what will Dukakis do and I think you will get air I mean at the moment he’s sort of saying well some people are telling me the Gorbachev is sincere I saw him I saw I’ve said that the other day on the other hand the main lines coming out of his advisors are it would be folly to negotiate rapidly with the Soviet Union and it’s true you could make a stupid deal that would there any number of ways these things can miscarry but the truth of the matter is is that they could make an agreement fairly rapidly if they wanted to now the question is do they want to the trouble is if you do that I don’t know how you persuade the population to sort of spend on a cash on on overseas military Varian foreign aid the sort of whole question the American Empire I really think there is a fundamental issue here is that you have got to have a large chunk of the population just sit there and believe that they are going to be swept away by the red tide at the first sign of any sort of you know if the Navy dropped to say 500 ships instead of 559 listen this was something that was that was brought home as I’ve read about Truman that he was saying that they were going to have these big commitments to Europe and all unless there is no way to do that is you’re going to have to scare the hell out of the American people and they decide to scare the hell out of the American people to justify all this expense with the red I don’t think there is any question a number of people in the Truman administration now that the documents have recently come out on some of the things on the background papers to the NSC 68 and some of the other sort of major foreign policy pronouncements there we’re perfectly well trying to crank up the domestic politics of the United States by using international arguments international foreign policy arguments do I think that’s exactly right the question I have for the election is what will the position of say Bush and Dukakis be visa vie Gorbachev in the Soviet Union obviously the Reagan administration did the biggest defense buildup in history the defense industries have been absolutely not percentage Charles yeah being behind Reagan Bush the Republicans 100 percent Bush is also indicate he’s going to keep a high level of defense spending well alright well there’s a sector of industry retreat policy that’s going to be sharply Republican now Dukakis on the other hand is saying he wants to cut back on defense spending it’s not what he’s saying well look again what he’s actually saying is he wants to sort it he does not want to chop it any further and he wants to hold the defense spending roughly constant now this is kind of interesting to follow it’s clear that if you abstract from what the Reagan administration is saying I mean Bush now but the Reagan administration the policy that Carlucci is actually following on military spending which is a sort of try to hold it steady is very close to what Dukakis is talking I have to add to that I think the budget pressures in the next administration would make a difficult all even Forbush to increase military spending I think you’re looking at both parties I think maybe converging on not something the population wants the population clearly wants the budget cut the defense budget cut I think that is just you I don’t know how you can escape that conclusion you look at for instance the Gallup polls and so forth even when you give them choices you know but they want to hold it even and then the interesting question is where do you go to get new money for programs thank the Republicans won’t do many new programs the Democrats have a bigger problem now this brings us to the tax question in to the sort of heart of some of the interesting economics of the Dukakis administration I I don’t think they’ve shown their hand they’re open on this question in a sense the future is open much of it is couched in the discussion of we have to get the savings rate ox now let’s just talk about that for a minute because this is the fraud in your future the savings rate question the see the one starts out with you know scare figures usually pit the US personal rate of saving not that sort of total rate which include corporate savings and pettite but the personal rate against the sort of full Japanese figure and then your our urge to believe that there’s some ironclad link between sort of economic growth and tolls saving because that’s linked to total investment and then what they’d like to do is have you buy less and export more and get and cut government spending a substantial amount less – yeah we import less and export more I’m sorry maybe I didn’t make that yes the net balanced export more and it’s it’s simply deficit reduction it is not different basically from what Mondale was talking about and the interesting question is whether they’ll go ahead with it there’s a lot of people there are some people around Dukakis that are cautioning them about this just telling you no why would anyone vote for this and what’s going to happen when you do it I don’t know the the the United States does not need another bout of austerity if the Democrats bring another bout of austerity I think the key point to sort of understand here is that you’re not going to have to worry about the memory of Franklin Roosevelt you’re going to have to worry about the specter of Grover Cleveland the guy who wrecked the Democratic Party for a generation with his response to a populist movement in 1894 what about to the Republicans Bush talked about voodoo economics you know Bush is going to do exactly the sink was I think but Bush is saying the same thing you say look we got these big deficits we got to get them down we got to keep military spending up and we don’t want to raise taxes he would like to the deficit Eli Bush would like to chop social spending a good deal more I think I think much already they’re all one they talk about you look at what they say it’s that the Republican line repeated by by us can repeat it by Bush’s we got to get at entitlements read Social Security not that much to chop away well it seems that Reagan went about as far as he could not true shot look you’re still getting my mother is still getting her Social Security check that set could either be eliminate or reduce politicians have seen that that’s something that can’t be tampered with that was a lesson Reagan learned early I hope you’re right but when George Bush says he’ll never never never raise your tax that means Annie wants to cut the deficit what does he mean by that Tom we’ve talked a lot about the big issues in the election some of the historical background the economic forces the different candidates and their programs what does this leave us now as we look at the future of American politics what would be a better road say for the Democratic Party to take as they move into the election and then into the next regime well let’s question about a better road let’s just take it for almost from a clinical standpoint for a minute which will then very quickly lead to a consideration of what they are what in some sense would be better policy for the vast majority of us this is think the really key question here is how the Jackson movement fits into the Democratic Party okay and here you have to sort of deal with a number of facts first it is it is plainly true that the sort of left or liberal sort of voting population the Democratic Party is larger than the Jackson in that sense the Jackson is a lower bound estimate of that because there are very clearly people who don’t agree with them on other issues especially the middle east one which certainly created a lot of turmoil in the campaign in that sense you’re actually looking at a substantial may I think it’s clearly the case that candidates in the future who want to take a flyer in the party in the National Campaign Ron including maybe Jax himself again could conceivably win so let’s focus in on the Jackson Carradine and the Jackson phenomenon with impact okay and in us it’s worth thinking about this a fair amount because one line was I mean the one thing you have to settle up in your mind is did is it true that he had no media support and did he do this all without the media or not they’re busy without money yeah and they’re basically two lines here the Jackson people complain I think with a good deal of justice somebody has shown for example a nice comparison that Reagan had plenty of openly racist comments in his past record that you could show on TV they didn’t cut to those in 1980 when he was running for president although people were always cutting back to the Farrakhan remarks in the Jackson Canada hymie town New York yep that that’s one on the other hand it’s also true I think and there are some evidence to suggest that Jackson got a lot of sort of favorable comment there’s one little Institute in Washington that claims he got quite favorable treatment now it turns out when you look at what they mean by favorable treatment they mean simply somebody saying anything good about him at all and then they admit in the next breath that well there were no issues discuss well how do you discuss Jesse Jackson without issues well you know there I think there was some suggestion well he’s black it would be nice to have a black run for president for a while plus it was a sensitive issue and he may have benefited for a while there’s no question that when Jackson got close after he destroyed Dukakis in Michigan you know that the media turned on a man he was certainly vicious and it was one of the worst example most outrageously unfair press campaigns anybody will ever see now this brings in the liberal media to like NPR and all those people and they were all I didn’t almost without almost without exception now this brings us to a really important point part of that campaign was a Washington post/abc poll which came out a story in the post then was widely ventilated which claimed that Jackson had not brought in any new voters now when I read that and that became quickly the official line I was at Amazon watched a couple weeks ago I was Brittany do when was this when was this oh I escaped Smee now you’ll have to check back exactly what day that story came out when this came out I said to myself there’s something wrong so I called up first the post and then ABC where I would have to say we’re two of the rudest conversations I’ve ever had they were extremely upset and would not more the point I asked them I said look you know I would like to check this could I see I had a hunch as to what was wrong at that point I said could I see your Pole no I couldn’t see the pole now that’s pretty outrageous Lang is just a scandal when a major Network and a major newspaper will not release to reasonably qualified people their poll and you can’t do things like that and a sort of reasonably honest system at any rate well I then very la Times people very kindly made available to me a poll and then after I looked at that for a while it was pretty easy to see what was going on which is this is that we know we’ve been some several excellent validation studies it turns out when you ask people did you vote in the last election they are often about 25% of them will often say they did when in fact they didn’t now what the able will you read the story of the post you know since I don’t know exactly what they did since I wouldn’t talk tell me I don’t feel but it’s clear they didn’t make that correction instead what they did is they tried to estimate the percentage of people who really voted just using their self-reported voting but that was too high in other words a lot of those people who said they vote all that they didn’t vote that’s right a lot of those people who said they voted did not and then of course that’s that there you go now when you try to find a direct measure of what did Jackson actually do there is a question that is a very good one on the LA Times poll and there of the people who said they didn’t vote you know which is that too has report problems but if they’re willing to say they didn’t by much more likely they didn’t of those people who said they didn’t vote in the New York primary where the turnout was incidentally enormous much higher than it the than 8480 the r84 I didn’t check the 80 figures but I’m sure and any right there something like 64 percent was people who said they didn’t vote said they voted for Jackson I don’t think there’s any question that as long as it seemed this guy had a reasonable chance to win at all and indeed even before that in the sense that Wisconsin had a relatively high turnout and so the some southern states did others had normal turnouts and then people are fighting as to whether it was the Democrats or Republicans who turned out it’s very clear Jackson did probably bring in new voters claims by them you know the major media ABC Washington Post stuff that he didn’t his III don’t like there’s any warrant for that all it’s very clear that the whole question of voter registration the Democratic Party has so far largely walked away from it no and you know I think if the Dukakis administration is serious about being an inclusive administration I think you should watch very closely their response to that see the original Democrats do not want a big voter registration turnout because that means the more radical candidates the more left candidates at least I think there’s no doubt well are exactly that that is precisely what worries them well you made that point in right turn on our program previously that the rich people whose part there the Democrats are much better served if a conservative if the they would say they would lose by winning if they won with a with a fully mobilized electro yeah I’d much rather have that yeah the conservative Democrats much rather have Reagan and then they led there on the other hand we know and Michael Dukakis knows and all the big Democratic leaders know that Jackson did bring in a lot of people I’m I took people for the election if they want to win so that means there’s got to be some accommodation by the Democrat okay and there’s been certainly big incentives on the particular with the Supreme Court uh you got the Supreme Court appointments to be made and you go judiciary that is it almost destroyed in a rares with all these right-wing it’s you I think that and the the Republican administrations recent moves on civil rights have been just outrageous I mean in terms of trying to roll back some of the legal protections there so in that sense handle I wouldn’t suggest he should take a walk I do think though that people it would be helpful to think I do believe it if if the if as I hope he doesn’t the Dukakis administration too a conservative course is I but if he does it then I would expect a of real brittle administration and I think you’ll probably find that the first time they get a shock they’ll find themselves without much public support and so you’d have to look for sort of a mid-course correction or midterm sort of reassembly the coalition which might get a bit of something of a New Deal coalition which would include the Jackson forces as his support and then he would have to give them social programs cut back on military spending have a policy that incorporates traditional New Deal issues yeah and it’s not clear Dukakis wants to do this so it’s going to be very interesting yeah like I said the shorty the Democrats in 1988 is between Roosevelt and Grover Cleveland

Maurice Vega

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