Thursday, December 02, 2010
Deficit Reduction Nonsense: The Plot to Steal Your Money
The sinister "debt reduction" plan recommended by a panel set up by President Obama is slowly advancing through Congress. Written by two right-wingers hand-picked by Obama, a Republican former Senator, Alan Simpson, and a Democratic advisor to President Clinton, Erskine Bowles, this dangerous bipartisan proposal is an outright grab at the wallets and bank accounts of regular people. It's the one thing the various factions in government can apparently unite about: the need to wring every possible dollar out of people at the economic bottom of society to pay for the excess, privilege, and mistakes, and betrayals of people at the top. Among the scandalous provisions of this plan are proposals to move the retirement age to 69 (for people now being born) and austerity measures including the removal of tax deductions for home ownership, which is fundamental to the ability of middle-class working people to anchor themselves in the face of economic crisis. The proposal rips into social safety nets like medicare. In attempting to split the difference of the toxic meme that Democrats favor increasing taxes and Republicans favor cutting back spending, this proposal manages to take the worst from both and present them as "creative" thinking to solve the country's deficit problem. While this outrageous proposal does face opposition in government, it's not clear that it won't eventually succeed.
It is absolutely disgusting that the Republican politicians, and some number of Democrats, are grandstanding over trying to keep the Bush tax cuts for millionaires and billionaires in place, crying copious crocodile tears over the potential danger to the economy the lapse of such tax cuts might cause, while at the same time they are making devious schemes to keep more money for themselves. While Obama has said he opposes keeping these tax breaks for the ultra-rich, it's not clear that he's actually made a principle of the matter and who knows what he will actually negotiate away. That Obama -- the sponsor of the panel who have made such outrageous recommendations -- continues to be accused of being a socialist by the teabaggers and the far right racist Republican establishment just shows how bad things are. That the richest people in society and their mouthpieces are insisting that poor and working people must be the ones to sacrifice to restore the economy to health is unbelievably brazen.
Taxes are part of the cost of living in a free society: I have no absolute problem with them. What I have a problem with is unjust and regressive taxes and increases which burden regular people while letting the top layer of society off the hook. It's simple math, and here's a completely hypothetical example: one person has $50,000. Take away half, that $25,000 would be a challenge to live off of. Another has $1,000,000. Take away half and that person still has $500,000, still a fabulous fortune and twenty times what the other has. And usually the loopholes and shelters wind up with the richer person paying far less a percentage than the poorer one.
Just as it is a lie that the so-called tea party have no conservative social agenda, it is also a lie that the right-wingers care about deficits or how much money the government has on hand. What they care about is how much money--and power--they have. They want a society unburdened by "entitlements," unburdened by a costly social security net, or by safety regulations, or by people organized defensive organizations like labor unions. Each giveback and takeback is attached to the next, just wait and see. Don't believe the jazzed up hype about debt and deficits. The debt is the fruit of right-wing policies.
Apparently untouchable are the billions upon billions of dollars spent on the war machine fighting stupid and pointless wars killing and wounding untold thousands of innocent people for absolutely nothing at all. And that's because in the end, when this debt reduction plan fails to save the economy, as it surely will, it will be up to the military machine to end the economic crisis in the only tried and true method capitalism knows: repression and world war.
Meanwhile, watch your wallets.