LaRouche `Super-TVA' Leads,by Harley Schlanger
After Dems' Self-Defeat
Once again, the nation's pundits and talking heads had it wrong with their "50-50 America" nonsense-formula; and have it wrong with their now-incessant prattle about a "Bush mandate" in the Nov. 5 election. Despite the outcome—in which high abstention rates by Democratic voters' nationwide, elected Republicans to control over the Senate and increased their margin by five seats in the House of Representatives—the only mandate given was on the Democratic side. It is a demand for a completely new Democratic Party leadership to replace the thoroughly discredited Democratic Leadership Council (DLC, or "the second Republican Party," as Sen. Edward Kennedy and now millions of Democrats call it).
Against all the pundits, 2004 Presidential pre-candidate Lyndon LaRouche had forecast on Nov. 1 (see box), that the vote would be a mandate for the ouster of the DLC—epitomized by Sen. Joseph Lieberman (D-Conn.) and his organized crime-linked cronies—who have disastrously dominated the party's leadership since the 1990s. This cabal had Democrats, from disgraced House Minority Leader Dick Gephardt (Mo.) and Senate Majority Leader Tom Daschle (S.D.) on down, insisting that the key to success was for the Democrats to mimic Bush—including backing war against Iraq—while ignoring the the deepening financial crisis and the collapse of economic infrastructure, which are the greatest threats facing the American people.
The best that could be said about the election, LaRouche remarked, was that it would be over on Nov. 5, and a mobilization around his "November Emergency Infrastructure Program" for economic recovery, could begin.
The Lieberman/DLC campaign strategy was fatal to Democrats' chances. The two incumbent Democratic Senators who lost—Jean Carnahan (Missouri) and Max Cleland (Georgia)—both responded to GOP challenges by following the example of Lieberman, and embracing Bush. In both states, the DLC strategy discouraged African-Americans, who have been a critical part of Democratic constituencies there. The low turnout of these and other Democratic voters doomed Carnahan's and Cleland's chances. The Hartford Courant in Lieberman's home state, reported that he campaigned for six other Democratic candidates for Senate who lost, and for Sen. Mary Landrieu of Louisiana, who fell short of 50% and was forced into a runoff.
The same was true in the House, where four of the five ousted Democratic incumbents were members of the DLC House caucus. It was also true in the gubernatorial race in Maryland, where Lt. Gov. Kathleen Kennedy Townsend, virtually the DLC poster girl, was decisively defeated in a traditional Democratic stronghold. She went so far in this direction as to appoint, as her running mate for Lieutenant Governor, Adm. Chuck Larson, previously a top operative of Lieberman's GOP ally, organized crime-connected Sen. John McCain (Ariz.), during the Presidential campaign in 2000.
It's Still the Economy, Stupid
While most of the Congressional candidates appeared blithely ignorant of the crippling economic crisis, its effects have been more keenly felt at the state level, where at least 47 of the 50 states face serious budget deficits. Since George W. Bush was sworn in as President in January 2001, the real level of unemployment in the nation, as measured by the EIR—in contrast to the fraudulent figures released each month by the Bureau of Labor Statistics—has skyrocketed, especially in the manufacturing industries. This decline in the physical economy, when combined with the crash of the "tech sector" and its associated stock market bubble, forced the dramatic collapse in all government revenues—the "telltale heart" of the economic depression. On the Federal level, the deficit could easily hit $250 billion in fiscal year 2003. The collapse in state revenues has produced record deficits.
California, which had a $24 billion budget deficit in 2001-02, faces a deficit in 2003-04, which could top $20 billion under the most optimistic circumstances. Texas is facing a deficit of more than $10 billion, and New York, $10 billion. The list goes on. Governors and legislatures have foolishly responded with savage austerity, slashing necessary spending in infrastructure, leading to dangerous crises in transport, water, energy, health care, and education. This approach sacrifices the future, while adding to the downward spiral of revenue collapse.
In California, cuts in expenditures have added to already serious problems in transportation and in the ports; in water management, where both cities and farmers face shortfalls; in electricity production, in a state that has not yet recovered from the devastation wrought by Enron, and where consumers face soaring prices and shortages; and in health care, where the City of Los Angeles has already lost half of its trauma centers, and may still lose two of its four major public hospitals. That these issues were avoided, as if by agreement, by Gov. Gray Davis (D) and his Republican opponent, explains why Davis' margin of re-election was only 5%, with voter turnout hitting a record low. A top Davis campaign activist conceded to EIR, before Nov. 5, "[We have] blown it—we could have smashed the Republicans, but we have adopted a play-it-safe strategy."
Because of these state disasters, the exceptions to the Democrats losses occurred where they won governorships from incumbent Republicans. Among these were the formerly industrial Midwestern states of Michigan, Pennsylvania, Illinois, and Wisconsin; and the traditionally Republican states of Wyoming, Kansas and Oklahoma.
With the election over, Democratic pre-candidate LaRouche has launched an initiative to address the real financial and economic crisis. "It's time to face the facts," LaRouche insisted. "The system has collapsed. It's time to shift from the WalMart slave-labor economy; for the Federal government to utilize the Constitutional principle of the General Welfare to embark on a major push for necessary infrastructure projects, with an emphasis on physical goods production." LaRouche said the Federal government must generate huge volumes of credit, to be channeled through the states, to undertake urgently needed projects that will simultaneously create productive jobs and, by doing so, generate an expanded revenue base for the states. For this to occur, states must enact emergency legislation to repeal the deregulation statutes of the last 20-plus years, restore public power utilities, etc. The states must also reorganize existing debt, so that the new credit allocated for infrastructure does not pay old debt instead.
To run this nationally, LaRouche would establish a new "Super-TVA," modelled on one of the most successful anti-Depression, productive projects ever implemented in the United States—the Tennessee Valley Authority of President Franklin Roosevelt. It will require, LaRouche emphasized, 25-30 years to rebuild our nation, and recover from the damage we have inflicted by 30 years of "New Economy" insanity (See candidate LaRouche's Nov. 9 statement).
If the Democratic Party wishes to regain the confidence of voters, so that it may serve as a vehicle to steer our nation away from the course toward permanent war and depression, there is no option, but to adopt LaRouche's leadership now.