Tuesday, January 4, 2011

What's going on here?

i started off this morning soaking in all the happy talk about the economic recovery. a CNN international story on the news aggregative site set the mood: new opportunities for job seekers (albeit that bringing out the discouraged workers could actually raise the unemployment rate), and as people move out of their parents' basements, they'll spend money, which in turn will further stimulate the economy.

while i have no doubt there will be some pickup in the anemic growth rate here in the US, even this story acknowledged that we'd still be down some 8 million jobs since the crash, and there's nothing in sight to restore them. but that seemed to be merely a nuisance compared with the surge in activity to come. i'm not so sanguine about it.

consider, for example, that the GOPpers are about to take over one house of the national legislature, after a hard-bought political campaign funded by giant corporate interests on behalf of their wealthy patrons. the GOPpers campaigned on the promise that they'd tame runaway government spending. (not that it matters, but during the 6 years of the bush presidency, when they controlled all three branches of government, they did no such thing, but let's not be shitty about it.) let's consider their basic premise: if they free business from government regulation and taxation, it will result in an explosion of economic activity, and like a volcano, the tsunami wave will lift all boats -- or something like that.

because explosions and the aftermath of a tsunami looks a lot like what we ended up with by following 30 years of the GOPpers' programme -- ever since the arrival of ronnie reagan, the great budget cutter who tripled the deficit during his watch. wreckless military spending coupled with irresponsible tax policies that deliberately aimed to cause a budgetary meltdown were the program in the 80s, and they're pushing the identical program today. in that respect, past is prologue.

of course, you can't convince the american public anything's wrong with abetting this kind of profligate "government", while the opposition party, for its part, seems to be more concerned with holding onto the perks of power than to use power on behalf of its constituency. you see this most clearly with the recent "compromise" between president zero and his tormentors across the partisan divide, where tax cuts for the wealthy were to be preserved without reservation (it's easy to say you didn't want to do it, so that doesn't count).

i feel for the unemployed, who were made the fall guys for this demonic deal in DC. as if being called lazy by the GOP leadership wasn't insulting enough, the tax cuts for fat-ass crony capitalists were the condition for giving the out-of-luck a break. then, to have to hear that this was the only way -- what a nauseating spectacle, courtesy of the slimy bagmen of today's robber barons.

when the GOPpers get on TV now, their priority will be overturning zero-care, a healthcare reform without the reform -- just a few sweeteners for the many while providing a bonanza for the insurance companies. since the GOPpers have no way in hell to repeal the law, it's obvious that this is only spectacle for the inFOXicated right-wing -- red meat to get their dander up, while the real game is to defang any regulations that might have put on industry's ass (although it's hard to imagine much was allowed when president zero's team hashed out the law "stakeholders" while it was being written).

so we'll go around in circles, have a big, knock-down, drag-out battle over the debt ceiling before some other cherished social program is gutted, while at the same time we continue to flush billions and trillions of dollars down the military-industrial commode on pointless, futile wars in south asia and the persian gulf.

it's a recipe for catastrophe. the only question is, how much can the plutocrats steal before the bottom falls out. more on this later...

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