Today I stood on Vienna’s Heroes Square where, in 1938, more than 200,000 tearfully happy Austrians gathered before Adolf Hitler. The Nazi dictator stood on the palace balcony and stated, “In front of German history, I declare my former homeland now a part of the Third Reich. One of the pearls of the Third Reich will be Vienna.” From that day on, Austrians were forbidden to say the word “Austria.”
Americans often wonder how Austria could so eagerly embrace Hitler. Let me hazard an explanation: Imagine post-WWI Austria. One of the mightiest empires on earth started — and lost — a great war. In a few bloody years, it went from being a grand empire of 55 million people to a relatively insignificant landlocked state of six million that was required to be nonaligned.
The capital, Vienna, was left with little to rule, and now its population comprised a third of the country’s. With the economic crisis we know as the Great Depression, Austria also got a fascist government complete with a dictator named Engelbert Dollfuss. He was as right-wing and anti-Semitic as Hitler, but he was pro-Roman Catholic Church, pro-Habsburg, and anti-Nazi. When an Austrian Nazi assassinated Dollfuss in 1934, it was easy for the German Nazis to take over four years later. By that point, the Austrian fascists had already put down the leftists. The German Nazis just took over their Austrian counterparts’ file cabinets. And, Hitler promised greatness again…and jobs…
The debate goes much deeper than who received money, but these numbers are still important:
In a 51-47 vote, 43 Senate Republicans and four Democrats filibustered to protect $24 billion in tax breaks for Big Oil. Although a majority voted for Sen. Robert Menendez’s (D-NJ) bill, it fell short of the 60 needed. The only two Republicans to break rank were Sen. Susan Collins (R-ME) and retiring Sen. Olympia Snowe (R-ME).
A Think Progress Green analysis shows:
The 47 senators voting against the bill have received $23,582,500 in career contributions from oil and gas. The 51 senators voting to repeal oil tax breaks have received $5,873,600.
Democrats who joined the Republicans in defeating the bill include Sens. Mary Landrieu (D-LA), Ben Nelson (D-NE), Mark Begich (D-AK), and Jim Webb (D-VA).
The oil industry also spent over $146,000,000 on lobbying last year.
55 percent of Americans want to see the subsidies stopped.
This morning I created 150,000 jobs. I put into motion a plan to support small business and fix healthcare.
Don’t believe me?
It turns out you shouldn’t believe the politicians either.
It’s obvious that Obama is struggling with job creation. His main Republican opponents, Rick Perry and Mitt Romney, are playing that against him.
Both claim they created 1,000s of jobs while in office and are even pinning their campaign on it. They directly state that they are responsible for job creation:
They are not alone. All politicians make this claim as if fixing potholes and firing teachers creates jobs. Of course, some of the best will try to convince you that cutting business taxes or creating a “friendly climate” is what it takes.