Tuesday, July 12, 2011

And Another Thing.

Prominent "progressive" blogger Steve Benen writes:

On the debt ceiling, Dems are willing to accept a trade-off — they’ll accept spending cuts in exchange for at least a little new revenue. That, to them, seems fair. Indeed, it’s probably too fair — in the last 80 years, no party has ever had to pay a ransom to get a party to do their duty.

Eric Cantor has a very different idea about the nature of the process. They see an alternative trade-off — the GOP will accept spending cuts, and in exchange, they won’t deliberately destroy the economy.

Dems are willing to accept concessions to strike a deal. Republicans are willing to not shoot their hostage in the head in exchange for Dems giving the GOP what it wants.

The former is an example of a party negotiating in good faith. The latter is an example of reckless thugs pretending to be a political party.


This whole thing is being argued from the wrong premise. Note the bolded part of the excerpt from Washington Monthly above. "... and in exchange, they [the Rs] won't deliberately destroy the economy."

What's wrong with this premise and argument?

Simply this: the "economy" is already destroyed. For millions upon millions of Americans, more each and every day, there is no going back to an economy that used to be, there are no jobs, there is no security in even the basics and necessities of living. Poverty and homelessness are growing at a time when social services have already been cut to the bone or eliminated altogether.

The Rs, just like the Ds, are captive to the forces that deliberately -- or was it purely an accident? -- destroyed the economy. The Rs are not agreeing to accept massive additional cuts in government spending in exchange for not destroying what's already destroyed. They are demanding massive additional cuts in government spending because they can and because they have a Partner in the White House.

Failure to raise the debt ceiling will most certainly make a very difficult economic situation worse for the vast majority of people -- oh well, too bad so sad -- but it will make the economic situation of those who own and control both political parties and their apparatchiks thrilled and delighted. It will not destroy their economy. Hell no. It will plump up their bottom line. All those hideous consequences we keep hearing about: higher interest rates, for example, don't hurt the bond-holders and coupon clippers, do they? Of course not, don't be silly.

The Rs aren't promising not to make things worse for the masses. The cuts in government spending themselves will make things worse for the masses, guaranteed. There is no question of it. EVERYONE KNOWS things will get worse for the many while they will get better for the few, no matter what is done under any of the current scenarios.

How much worse, and only that, is being argued by the High and the Mighty, not whether more millions of Americans will be forced into poverty. That's a given.

If we really don't want that to happen, then we have to argue from a completely different premise, one that recognizes that both parties are fully on board with the premise that imposing as much hardship on the American People as they can get away with is what they are doing and what they intend to do for the indefinite future. The "economy" is already destroyed for the masses. Nothing either party is proposing can or will restore the "economy" for the masses. Not gonna happen.

If we truly want a vibrant economy to be restored for the masses, we will have to do it outside the political process -- a process that is intent on ensuring that the common people's economy is never restored.

Got it? Good.

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