Moyers & Company

Season 3, Episode 7 of 52

This week on Moyers & Company (check local listings), former Capitol Hill insider Mike Lofgren talks with Bill Moyers about "Anatomy of the Deep State," an essay he has written exclusively for the Moyers website, Mike Lofgren was a numbers man, a congressional staff member for 28 years with the powerful House and Senate Budget committees. Over the years, as he crunched the numbers, he realized they didn't add up. Instead, they led him to what he calls America's Deep State - a phrase he borrowed from British spy novelist John Le Carre -- a government just beneath the surface where elected and unelected figures collude to protect and serve powerful vested interests. "It is the big story of our time," Lofgren tells Moyers. "It is, I would say, the red thread that runs through the history of the last three decades. It's how we had deregulation, financialization of the economy, the Wall Street bust, the erosion of our civil liberties, and perpetual war." In his essay, Lofgren describes the Deep State as "a hybrid association of elements of government and parts of top-level finance and industry that is effectively able to govern the United States without reference to the consent of the governed." But, as he says to Moyers in their conversation, the power and wealth generated by this Deep State "does not trickle down. Our inequality is as great or greater than any time since the 1920s. Nevertheless, corporate profits are at record highs, while unemployment remains very high and tens of millions of people are on food stamps. That isn't a natural evolution. Something made it happen." That something, Lofgren says, is the Deep State. Now retired from congressional politics, Mike Lofgren is author of the book, "The Party Is Over: How Republicans Went Crazy, Democrats Became Useless and the Middle Class Got Shafted."

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