The second hour takes up the function of precepts, the “Access Hollywood” tapes, sexual harm, forgiveness, a critique of Thich Nhat Hanh’s views, American Buddhism, economic benefits and doubts about Trump’s administration and introduces the topic of nationalism.
Below is the podcast (43 minutes) and the transcript.
NEWS/TALK 710 KNUS
DR. MARVIN TREIGER
PROF. ROBERT MARGESSON
No Buddhist Can Support The 5 Mindfulness Trainings
& Support Donald J. Trump
Views of Liberalism, Leftism, Conservatism,
Nationalism & Globalism
JIMMY SENGENBERGER: Time now for the second hour of “The Jimmy Sengenberger Show” here on NewsTalk 710 KNUS. Thanks for joining us… So once again, we spent our first hour and we’re going to continue it throughout the second hour talking with Dr. Marv Treiger, retired psychotherapist, former Marxist radical – very far to the left, but saw the light of the right, as I say, about 2001 around the same time as 9/11, he is a Buddhist teacher and a Trump supporter. Dr. Rob Margesson, Associate Professor of Communication at Regis University, my alma mater, where he is chair of the Communication Department and in his Ethics and some other courses talks about Buddhism, does some teaching of Buddhism in those classes at Regis and finds a disconnect between being able to be a Buddhist and a Trump supporter.
It’s a very interesting conversation.
So earlier, it was brought up about the Access Hollywood Tape from the 2016 elections, and I know both of you are very eager to talk about that, especially in the context of these Buddhist teachings. And so, as we go through – by the way, then, since this is a new hour – Precepts. If you’re bringing up a Precept, let’s explain what the Precept is again. But Rob, I’ll go to you to start and explain why you think maybe there’s an issue here with Access Hollywood comments and this Buddhist Precept in regards to a Buddhist like Marv being supportive of President Trump and then we’ll get Marv to take on that issue.
PROF. ROB MARGESSON: Oh, sure. The Third Precept is about sexual morality and sexual behavior, it’s a fairly conservative little Precept, actually. But one of the things it talks about is that, you know, when you engage in any sort of physical sexual behavior or your thoughts around sexual interaction need to be, come from a place of love and respect for the people you’re – I’m trying to be really gentle on public radio and [inaudible] radio here [chuckling] but I have to do this in class, too – that you have to ~~ that sexual relations and your thoughts around the issue of human sexuality need to be grounded in respect and love and reverence and care for the other. And I think the Access Hollywood tape is one example that we can discuss where it seems that President Trump is very, very much at the opposite end of that spectrum, at least in how he talks about sex and women. So that’s just another area of disconnect for me.
SENGENBERGER: Okay. Marv Treiger, your thoughts?
DR. MARVIN TREIGER: Yeah, well, the Precept you’re referring to, which Thích Nhất Hạnh calls “True Love” – and after we talk about this object, I have some criticisms of Thích Nhất Hạnh that I’d like to mention.
TREIGER: But you’re right, that they are conservative. And I’ll just read you this one thing so we’ll be clear about what he’s saying. “Knowing that Sexual desire is not love, and that sexual activity motivated by craving always harms myself as well as others, I am determined not to engage in sexual relations without true love and a deep long-term commitment made known to my family and friends.” And that sounds very much like long-term monogamous marriage, and he includes that in the Precept. That’s not in the original Precept but that’s his kind of little updating of it. And so that’s Thích Nhất Hạnh’s position on that, he doesn’t include consensual sex. And by the way, I think consensual sex should not be included, I think that that’s – I think of course, sex shouldn’t happen unless it’s consensual, for certain. I mean that is, you know, violates the law and would be a criminal activity. But, you know, I know from my own past experience that a lot of consensual sex – in fact, the only kind of sex I ever entered into as consensual sex – actually was kind of harmful. There was a lot of love-‘em-and-leave-‘em involved, there was a lot of being a player and all those kinds of things that had to do with the 60’s Sexual Revolution. And I’m a part of that whole thing and I can now see, learning from experience, the suffering caused by that for the little passing little pleasures that one might get.
Okay, so now we come to Trump. Well, you know, Trump, you could say, was in his milieu – I mean, what was that milieu, it was way different from mine, but it was even way more engaged in the whole business of the Sexual Revolution in terms of the celebrities and the players and the people with money and fame and fortune and there was a lot of power and loving power and getting connected to power, that was all part of that whole kind of a thing. And within all of that was male braggadocio.
And when – and by the way, Trump never said this publicly, as you mentioned, Rob, in the first hour. This was something said in a bus, which he thought was a private conversation with another male and men so often just talk this way – especially if they’re single, but sometimes they do it because they’re married – but because they’re men. And a lot of men don’t engage in it. But one thing I’m pretty sure of is that almost never will a man correct another man if he makes an allusion, sexually, to a woman. It’s just part of the male psyche. And so, Trump was very much into that whole world. And, you know, one has the impression, particularly with his marriage to Melania, an extraordinary being in her own right ~~ I remember from the first show of “The Apprentice” that all these women who were part of the, you know, trying to be The Apprentice, came into their place, their home, you know, very kind of golden, all of these things, and they all looked at her and they said, ‘Oh my God, you’re so lucky’. And she looked at them and she said, ‘He’s the lucky one’, – –
TREIGER: – – in her marvelous Slovakian accent. So anyway, I think that, you know, Christianity, Buddhism, John Milton in his wonderful Paradise Lost and Paradise Regained, he said that, ‘Heaven welcomes the goodly man, but Heaven and the angels are so thrilled for the prodigal sons that they throw down their spears.’ And I think Trump is a man who has integrated life experiences and lessons on this count. And the respect with which he treats women the number of people he has hired way beyond any previous president, in positions of power, the chances he’s given the people who were pretty dubious like Omarosa, the respect for his daughter. And you can see it you know, at these rallies, you can see it in interviews, I mean the man has deep regard and respect for women. And I think – –
SENGENBERGER: Okay, Marv, can I jump in there?
TREIGER: – – that’s my view.
SENGENBERGER: Okay. And I want to get Rob to get in here, also as someone who does teach Ethics courses as well, so – and who’s a man, so —
SENGENBERGER: Go ahead and chime in Rob.
MARGESSON: Yeah, I mean, the fact that it was said in private doesn’t make any difference to me. I mean, if you say it to someone then you believe it, and if someone overhears it, so be it. And maybe he has taken strides in his administration to put women in positions of power, but I don’t – maybe Jimmy can correct me if I’m wrong – I don’t think there was any sort of apology for what he said on that. Am I mistaken, that he ever said, I was wrong to say that, I was ~~ because when I listen to Marv talk —
SENGENBERGER: I don’t recall him apologizing.
MARGESSON: And, and, and, and —
TREIGER: Yeah, he did. He did.
MARGESSON: Did he?
TREIGER: Yes he did. He did.
SENGENBERGER: I’m going to double-check on just the specific quote.
TREIGER: You know, but it was, like… What can I say, you know, it was a necessary apology, so to speak, you know, without explanation, which he couldn’t get into and who could get into those kinds of things. You know, they have to do with a whole life and a whole arc of life —
SENGENBERGER: Yeah, you’re right, Marv. Marv is right, he did apologize at the time. In a press release, a video statement and during the Presidential debate. So, in multiple ways he – and I have some quotes here on that regard, so —
MARGESSON: Okay, I wasn’t sure.
SENGENBERGER: Yeah. No, and now I remember that, I —
MARGESSON: I’m not claiming he didn’t. I mean, what I hear from —
TREIGER: So, you forgive him, then?
MARGESSON: Do I forgive him?
MARGESSON: I don’t know —
TREIGER: He apologized about the behavior, so far as we know.
MARGESSON: I mean, I guess. I don’t think he cares if I forgive him but I’ll forgive him, I guess, for —
MARGESSON: I don’t think it’s super-relevant to the President of the United States —
TREIGER: Yeah, how would you like it if I were to say, I think he does care if you forgive him?
MARGESSON: Um —
TREIGER: I think he cares about all of us.
MARGESSON: Okay. I’m —
TREIGER: That’s my view.
MARGESSON: Okay. I don’t know if he’ll hear the apology, but I’ll —
TREIGER: No, that’s more truthful.
TREIGER: Unlikely to hear.
MARGESSON: Yeah, what I hear – and I love listening to you talk, Marv, you’re absolutely brilliant. I mean, when you talk about your experiences around the same time, and then he, obviously, he was at a different level in terms of access to all of those carnal pleasures – well, I’m assuming, yeah – but you talk about having learned from it and having recognized the suffering that that behavior caused. And he still in that tape, even though he apologized, for it – which I will forgive him, again – he was still celebrating it. It was ~~ he didn’t learn – at least up until that point, maybe he’s had some sort of, I don’t know, epiphany since then, I don’t know if hiring women into positions of power necessarily satisfies my, you know, me. But yeah, but he’s celebrating something – you learned from something, you took it and you thought on it and you meditated on it and you recognized the suffering that was caused, and chose to be a better person as a result of it – and I’m still just struggling with his, you know, celebrating the very behavior that you acknowledge causes suffering in the participants. So, I mean —
SENGENBERGER: A final minute to Marv for this —
TREIGER: Yeah, I mean, look, you know, somebody apologizes – and they do it multiple times – and that there’s nothing in their current behavior that seems to indicate it’s going on and that the stuff that is going on is all really positive with relationship to women, I mean, you know, maybe not forgiveness, maybe mercy, which is undeserved forgiveness, which is a higher compassion. Maybe, you know, I mean, maybe that’s the place to go on our hearts.
MARGESSON: I could go with that.
SENGENBERGER: Alright. Let’s –
MARGESSON: I’m learning a lot from Marv. I’m loving it.
SENGENBERGER: Wonderful, wonderful. Well, he is a thoughtful guy and I do appreciate the both of you coming on the program. We’ve still got a lot more up ahead… We will get to some criticisms of one of the Buddhist thinkers from Marv, we also talk about Nationalism, and Leftism, and what’s going on in the political dynamics of the day…Join us and stay with us.
SENGENBERGER: Coming back on ‘The Jimmy Sengenberger Show”, little Gov’t Mule, as we groove along, 710 KNUS. Thanks for joining us being a part of the program. So, we are very pleased to have two good friends of mine from very different perspectives on politics and other issues, Dr. Marv Treiger on the line… and Dr. Rob Margesson… who is, as I’ve said earlier, a man on the Left, most certainly, but we discussed once, maybe not well-described as a Leftist —
MARGESSON: Yeah, I don’t want that on my [cross-talk] —
SENGENBERGER: We won’t retread that ground again. But, we do have joining in to the conversation, Bruce in Denver, here on 710 KNUS, (303) 696-1971. Good evening, Bruce. How’re you doing, sir?
BRUCE: Pretty good, Jimmy. This is Bruce of the Political parody songs. Now, I’ll have to do one that’s a real Blues number so that you can use it for some bumper music.
SENGENBERGER: I would love that, send it my way. If you do a Blues parody tune, I’d love to check it out. So, what’s on your mind this evening?
BRUCE: Um, well, the recent election and how the Democrats are just frothing at the mouth to start getting things done, and we have to keep an eye on them.
SENGENBERGER: I think that’s a very important point, because what’s going on – and Colorado’s going to be ~~ we could see some dramatic changes when you’ve got a Democratic House, a Democratic Senate and the Governorship and all the other, just about all the statewide offices. We’ve got Heidi Ganahl, UC Regent-At-Large and we’ve got Cory Gardner as US Senator, but I think that’s a very apt point to keep watching. And we’re going to talk, coming up in a bit, a little bit more about understanding the dynamics, Bruce, nationally about what’s going on on the Left, what’s going on on the Right as far as sort of Leftism or Progressivism and also Nationalism, coming up, so I think you might enjoy that conversation.
SENGENBERGER: So, okay. Thank you for the call.
SENGENBERGER: Alright, so I want to go to Marv on one more topic just briefly, in regards to the Buddhism question. And, you were wanting to express some criticisms a little bit, of a thinker who’s kind of produced these Five Mindfulness Trainings, Thích Nhất Hạnh. And I wonder if you could please just share some of your thoughts on that for folks.
TREIGER: Yeah. Well, first of all, let me just say, Rob, this is really important to bear in mind: Buddhism came into America kind of like on the trade winds of the Orient, you know, kind of under the Golden Gate Bridge and kind of wafted into American culture, and it connected with the counterculture. So it connected with a segment of America that was already kind of, you know, you might say, mmm, maybe disillusioned with America in some ways or maybe they felt that their home religions, it wasn’t taught in a way that they could connect to, there was a big strong Liberal-Left countercultural feature around which this exotic foreign religion was appealing. And so that’s all to the good – and by the way, Buddhism has really positively affected Christianity and Judaism in terms of particularly with Christianity, helping it reconnect to that part of itself which is meditative and concentrative in the form of their prayers, not simply just discursive, and so all of that’s very good. The problem is this: that the mainstream Buddhist community in America has simply wrapped itself around the politics of the Left, and they do it in the retreats, they do it on their blogs, they do it on their ~~ it’s really deeply, deeply unfortunate, because one has the impression that they’re really, that Buddhism is simply an ornament on the tree of their Liberalism. Now, I don’t believe that this is true, but that’s the impression it gives and it keeps Buddhism from reaching half the country, and that is terribly sad to me.
So, now, you get Thích Nhất Hạnh. So Thích Nhất Hạnh, who’s from Vietnam and who escaped the terrible warfare there, is established in France at a place called Plum Village and he’s an internationally-acknowledged teacher, puts out these Five Mindfulness Trainings. And he includes in them that people should, in their livelihood, you know reduce the suffering of living beings on the Earth and stop contributing to climate change. Now, sticking that into the Five Precepts really does not help. First of all, it’s a completely utopian concept – what does that mean, we can’t drive to work? I mean, it becomes just too narrow. Then, he changes things in the Buddhist teachings, so the great Four Immeasurables, the wonderful Loving-Kindness, Compassion, Appreciative Joy and Equanimity, he has the first three and then he changes Equanimity to “Inclusiveness,” a very delightful Leftist trope these days but completely far away from equanimity —
SENGENBERGER: Marv, I’ve got to stop you there, we’re up against a hard break —
TREIGER: So anyway, many, many things like that, Rob, I just wanted to point out. They’re all through his trainings —
SENGENBERGER: Fair enough. Alright, we’re going to commercial, hard break. “Jimmy Sengenberger Show,” stay with us.
SENGENBERGER: Coming back on “The Jimmy Sengenberger Show” with a little Lonnie Mack from the album Strike Like Lighting, which also features the great late Stevie Ray Vaughan, as we continue here on 710 KNUS. So, here’s, I guess we’re not going to shift gears from Buddhism yet. I was going to but Hank in Denver would like to speak about Buddhism and we’ve got Dr. Marv Treiger on the line… and Dr. Rob Margesson… both on the program, Rob here in studio. Good evening, Hank. How are you?
HANK: Well, good evening, Jimmy, and thank you so much for bringing these two wonderful people together for this very interesting discussion.
SENGENBERGER: Thank you, appreciate it. Aren’t they wonderful, indeed?
HANK: They are, both, and they both come at it from different sides but I appreciate both their interest. I have a few comments. I come at this from a rather Christian background of being raised in that, but I’ve gone out of my way to study through the help of Wayne Dyer and Deepak Chopra introducing me to the Eastern Religions and different things that I find metaphysically and religiously and spiritually interesting. Deepak, as you know, has a wonderful three-volume commentary on the prophets, first he wrote about Buddha, then he wrote about Jesus, The Third Jesus: The Jesus You Cannot Ignore, and then he wrote about Muhammed, and I find both of those, all of those are very interesting.
I do see, there’s an old Christian tenet of forgiveness, and I would like to comment on this Trump phenomenon, as I think Trump is a man on an incredible learning curve. I think you see him going through this metamorphosis of having to engage in things that he never did before. Before he became President, he never killed anybody, but unfortunately, all American Presidents and any other President has to all of a sudden once they take the oath of office become a killer, because they have to send men in harm’s way, killers on both sides. So, religion and spirituality are Man’s feeble attempts at explaining the unexplainable. And I really think that we have to give him some benefit of the doubt, because I have seen him go through these transitions.
And I think both of these men have their own points of view. I tend to come down a little more with Dr. Treiger, I believe, trying to allow him some error in his ways, and he is a certain personality that sees himself from his own, probably, inadequacies in his childhood, as trying to be superior, trying to do the good. He does have his extra quotient of energy through not being a drinker, a participant, as many of the politicians are and that bleeds off a lot of their energy, I think we could get a lot more done in this —
SENGENBERGER: Right. Hank, I want to jump in there, Hank, because you said a bunch of thoughtful things and I really appreciate the call and I want to get our guests to comment and then give you one more opportunity to respond and I want to go to Rob first, as the more Liberal-leaning guy who’s not a Trump supporter who’s in this conversation right now.
MARGESSON: I’m – and there’s not a lot to disagree with there. One of the problems I think Jimmy has with me on this show is I’m not often disagreeable enough [chuckling] and he tries. And I respect that anyone in that position is worthy of a learning curve. Again, what continues to trouble me are certain behaviors that I find are representative of a deficient moral character, and I think that I’m still seeing signs of those deficiencies. So, you know, I didn’t come here to necessarily disparage the President of The United States as much as have a thoughtful and educational conversation with Marv to figure out how you grapple with a strong connection to those principles and a strong connection to someone, who in my mind, does not exhibit those principles. So, I’m not going to disagree with you, I’m still in flux in terms of all of this.
SENGENBERGER: Fair. Marv Treiger, you thoughts?
TREIGER: Well, I was just going to say, Hank, I thought you just said it so beautifully and so correctly: if you become a President of The United States, you’re going to be killing. And these Precepts ~~ see, the problem with Precepts, any precept, is that it’s a collection of words and it’s not the Truth, it points to things that are true, and so there are different levels on which to take them. And because of the limitations of precepts, there are different sets of precepts. So, for example, amongst Tantric Buddhists, one of the Precepts is that if you do not kill when it is appropriate to kill, you have violated the Precept, and people take that as a vow, and so, you know, that’s really a big deal. And so that’s an important factor there.
So I’m so happy, Hank, that you’re one of these people that is open to the different paths, because I think the truth of it is, if we go deeply into a true religion, where it’s pointing, where its words point, into that experience of the mystery, we will come to someplace that is very similar. And that’s what’s beneath it, in my opinion, and Buddhism helped me do that, and it also opened me to Christianity and Judaism to do that through those things. And I really feel such a love and kinship for Jesus, I have a relationship with Jesus, and all of that was made possible because of the wonderful openness and directness of experience that is cultivated in Buddhism.
SENGENBERGER: Hank, a final thought from you before we’ve got to let you go, Sir?
HANK: Thank you, Marv, I can hear that in your voice. I think my final word for the day would be that of Order. Some higher power put all of this world in some kind of order. Man has tried to rearrange in his own idea what they should be. I think Trump, in his way, is trying to keep things in order, put things in the order that he feels is right for this country. If we don’t have order, with our laws and our structure, then we don’t have anything. And I think that sapiens could benefit from trying to be more spiritual and God-like or Christ-like or Buddha-like or Muhammed-like or whomever you wish to set up as a prophet, but we all could be nicer to each other and try to help each other. And that’s my final thing.
SENGENBERGER: Thank you, Hank. Very wise words and I really appreciate it. You have a good night, Sir. I really do appreciate it.
Okay, I want to shift gears here to a different topic, and to actually lay this out, I have a clip that I’d like to play, from the man behind this:
[plays Howard Dean’s “Dean-Scream”]
SENGENBERGER: Mr. Howard Dean [laughing]
SENGENBERGER: On MSNBC. [laughing] Got to hear that again, don’t we?
[plays Howard Dean’s “Dean-Scream” again]
SENGENBERGER: So, lets ~~ the other day, a few days ago, he was on MSNBC, being interviewed, and he had these comments about President Trump:
HOWARD DEAN: “I actually think there’s a dichotomy in what people think of America and what people think of Trump. I think people are beginning to understand that Trump does not represent American values, that he doesn’t even really represent the values of most people who voted for him. And so, I think there’s this ~~ I think people don’t actually really consider Trump a legitimate President. And not – he was obviously elected and all this business – but he does not represent American values. George W. Bush did represent American values and our numbers went down as a result. Trump is so far off the screen about what people know about Americans that I actually don’t think he’s doing as much – he’s doing damage to our place in the world and our economic clout, for sure – but I actually am not entirely sure that people don’t divorce Donald Trump from the United States of America.”
SENGENBERGER: “Divorcing Donald Trump from The United States of America,” Dr. Marv Treiger. That’s what he thinks most Americans are doing. And this brings us to the idea of what his attitude is, this notion of Nationalism, as he’s been talking about and facing some criticism for, and then also the more Left-leaning ideas that we hear espoused in Howard Dean’s thoughts just in that comment. So, as kind of a lead-in, we’d love for you to comment on what Howard Dean said, but also how did you think we should be examining President Trump in this year of 2018 as we come to a close for it?
TREIGER: Well, to begin, where Dean says that Trump does not represent American values. Well, a terribly critical and important and fundamental part of American values is American Nationalism, and the whole concept of Nationalism, which basically has to do with the self-determination and independence of peoples. And it turns out that America has particularly brought that to a very high level.
Interestingly enough, that high level was begun by the Jews in Biblical time. They fought against Empires, the Egyptian Empire, the Assyrian Empire and the surrounding empires, and they formed – and the instructions of God to the Jews was to not encroach upon your neighbors, to not disturb others but, you know, to be yourselves and to be independent. And it was – and at first, God was in support of the Tribes idea but then in the Book of Judges and all that stuff, it changes and he realizes that in fact, a Nation was a higher thing than simply the tribes and the King – and King David was the first – represented that leap. But it was a kingship that was not in itself imperialistic, and that is the fundamental distinction.
And American values are fundamentally nationalistic but, in our core, no foreign-entangling, no entanglements, not Imperialism, but the Imperialist temptation has, you know, the most powerful country, it always licks at our heels, and there are a number of occasions when it has done that, but at each time we have moved back to our basic American values. And Donald Trump is precisely 100% on the button with regard to that. He’s not for these foreign wars that go on endlessly without any seeming end to them. And he’s been in a struggle, by the way, with the Generals whom he acceded to in the first part of the Administration and I think that’s going to change here with regard to Afghanistan, he’s wanting to get out of the Middle East as much as we can. The danger of America being the policemen of the world is that that begins to become a Pax Americana, in other words, an empire of the world run by America, and that is against fundamental American values. So, Donald Trump on that score, I give him 98%.
SENGENBERGER: Rob, what do you think about this question of whether or not Donald Trump represents American values?
MARGESSON: Um… Oh yeah, I’ve got to get closer. Um, I mean, there’s definitely some – I’ve been exposed to a significant amount of rhetoric from people that supported him in 2016 that are starting to question whether or not what he values is what they value. You know, foreign policy aside, for now, you know, there are a lot of people who feel let down by – you know, I don’t have the hard facts in front of my, forgive me, did not come prepared for this exact question – but I do think there are a lot of disillusioned Trump voters who are wondering if he really is doing what they need to have done to ease the burden of everyday life. You know, things like the big tax cut that was supposed to kind of lift this burden off of people and then suddenly we get right before the midterm, oh no, we’re going to have another tax cut for those people. So I think, you know, and I’d love to talk about the term ‘Nationalism’, I don’t think we’ll have enough time before the next break to get into that particular discussion —
SENGENBERGER: No, we won’t, but we will.
MARGESSON: Yes, yeah, because I do want to have that discussion. But I mean, I think if we narrow values down to foreign entanglements and Nationalism, I don’t think that’s a broad-enough discussion. I think there are other values out there that a lot of people feel he does not adequately represent. And not just disillusioned Trump voters, I’m sure that he still has strong support amongst his base. You have to also look at the other 50% – I’ll say 50-50 just for the sake of it – you know, if there are another 50% of Americans who didn’t vote for him because they didn’t believe then he represents their values and they don’t believe now that he represents their values. So ~~ but Nationalism I want to talk about.
SENGENBERGER: [laughing] Alright, we’ll get to that. Alright this is fascinating. We’re going to continue the conversation, Dr. Marv Treiger on the line, Dr. Rob Margesson here in studio. NewsTalk 710 KNUS, you’re listening to “The Jimmy Sengenberger Show.” Give us a call, (303) 696-1971. Don’t go anywhere.
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Continuing our conversation, wrapping up this second hour with Dr. Marv Treiger on the line and Dr. Rob Margesson here in studio. And Rob just shared some thoughts on the issue of American values and touching on nationalism a little bit and so forth, and I want to give Marv a chance to make some comments as we wrap up this hour. Marv.
TREIGER: Well, Rob, you mentioned some folks who were disillusioned about the tax cuts. And, you know, respectfully, I don’t know who they are or whatever, but I would suggest that they’re not paying attention. The tax cuts have had amazing amazing positive repercussions throughout the entire economy for everybody. Particularly, it has meant that the whole economy has jumped forward. And we’ve had, like, a 3.5% quarter, a 4.2% quarter, we’ll probably come out the end of the year with around 3.5% overall, and these are numbers that Obama said we would never have again. He said, these were numbers that we had to get used to the “new normal,” which would be 2%. And what is the difference of that, that those numbers are not just numbers but they’re the difference of jobs, of moving forward in life, of meeting your dreams. We have the lowest unemployment rate in the history of African-American people, in the history of Hispanic peoples, of women for the last sixty-five years, all of these people are benefitting from the tax cuts.
Now, the tax cuts were across the board. They were corporate, to be sure, that was key, particularly, but they were also individual tax cuts and they also applied to the middle class and the working class. Now, most of the benefit of that direct tax break will not be seen by people until next April because they haven’t actually seen their taxes drop yet because of when the tax cuts were implemented, but what it’s done to the economy, that’s completely clear —
SENGENBERGER: Well, some of the withholdings have actually gone down, so their paychecks have gone up a little bit, but we haven’t seen the final bill that you won’t until April, just to be more precise.
TREIGER: Exactly, exactly. Good detail. So, and, you know, and then there are other policies along those lines, so I don’t really ~~ you know, the Democratic trope is that it’s all trickle-down, and it’s just tax breaks for the rich, and it, you know, it’s sort of fanning the class divide. But I think what it’s doing, in fact, is it’s enabling the solidification of the middle class, of people moving upward into ~~ it’s restoring a degree of social mobility.
So, for example, wages now have reached a 3% increase in the last quarter. That – more can be done, so Trump is looking at this and he said, hmm, let’s have a special additional 10% tax for the middle class without particularly, necessarily changing the corporate rate any more. Okay, will the establishment go along with that? We’ll see. The Republicans, they may have some excuse and the Democrats may decide, oh, we’d better not give Trump a victory, especially with the middle class —
TREIGER: Because he’ll claim it in 2020 —
SENGENBERGER: Well, Marv —
TREIGER: Yeah, we’ll see how all that goes.
SENGENBERGER: Let me jump in because we’re out of time in this segment, and then we’ll get to Nationalism in the next hour. But I do want to say this, and this is as reported from the US Treasury Department but reflected in an article from HotAir.com, that record tax revenues in October, the first month of the fiscal year, $2.052 billion, $692 million, more than $11.4 billion above revenue for last October and the bulk of that is because of a whopping increase over $5 billion in tax revenue, excuse me, over $4 billion in tax revenue coming from corporations, so important to keep that in mind. Spending is the issue, folks, not taxes.
[End of Hour 2]
The Jimmy Sengenberger Show
Dr. Marvin Treiger, Prof. Rob Margesson (2nd Hour)
November 24, 2018