Tuesday, August 2, 2011

Ian Welsh Explains It All For You

These are just the headlines of his bullet points. Read the whole thing for extra savory goodness:

What the Debt Limit Crisis Should Have Taught You

  • This is not primarily about the Tea Party

  • Where are you going to go?

  • The deals being offered will cause a second downleg of the Depression and a worse one

  • Representatives work for the people who pay them

  • This is a representative plutocracy

  • This “Crisis” is what Obama wanted

  • You should have been working on nothing but primarying Obama since the day after the midterms

  • There is no war but class war

  • Yes. Well. There you are then.

    I'd only add that this has all been in the pipeline for a very long time, at least since the Collapse -- which was what, three, four years ago now? -- and the handwriting was on the wall well before that. Ian's last point, that this all part of an ongoing Class War [ed:that "they" the Overclass is winning hands down], is the fundamental realization that simply does not penetrate the minds of most of those who are in hysterics over the Debt Crisis Crisis Deal. They just don't get it.

    The hysterics seem to make it impossible to comprehend what is in the Deal -- in fact, its initial phase seems to be kind of the opposite of what the hysterics would have you believe. It cuts defense spending right away and actually starts to shore up Social Security by allowing the FICA tax holiday to lapse at the end of the year (thus, in effect, "raising taxes on working and middle class families." So there is that.) This is so, regardless of whether it is only meant to lull us for the cuts to come, but even those cuts -- assuming they really do happen -- are not nearly as severe (and economically stupid) as previously believed.

    The Class War is not won, in other words, with this measure, far from it. And yet nothing good for the masses can come from it. The best it can do is continue a semblance of a really craptastic Status Quo for most Americans, and put the screws to the Unemployed -- who have been taking hit after hit throughout this Period of Misery.

    Krugman was literally quaking in Anger on Sunday over what is being done and not done to address the Economic Catastrophe we've been living in for years and years. The "solutions" are obvious and were easily available at the outset; they become less and less available as time goes on. And that's the policy being adopted over and over again. Do nothing at all to improve the economy for the masses. Take more and more from them.

    But the Debt Crisis Crisis Deal is not the End of the Ongoing Process by any means, and the hysteria is, I think, masking that fact. The assault will continue indefinitely. And the suffering will become more and more visible.

    Unfortunately, it may not be "seen", just as the media -- including much of New Media -- doesn't "see" the suffering already taking place. (For example, I've been reminding people that Medicaid cuts have been underway for years, and there is real suffering, right now and for years past, because of it. But that's "new information" that has not been processed yet, whereas "Ezra says" -- or whoever the Oracle of the Moment is -- that Medicaid cuts are "on the table" so you better get to working yourself up into a froth and frenzy over it. Uh. What about cuts already made??? Blank stare. "What cuts? We're frothing to prevent cuts. They haven't been made yet. Get with the program!") (Me, sotto voce: "Psst: yes they have.")

    So. When the hysteria dies down, we may be able to sort this out and begin to piece together some kind of coherent "resistance" -- after all, "revolution", a word that could not even be breathed online during the Bush II Reign because the Stasi was watching everything -- is now a commonplace consideration, even on the haughtiest of Haute Gauche blogs.

    Arise, ye slaves! To the barricades!

    Stop the Machine! Create a New World!


    1. Yo, Che,
      And everyone seems to forget that we already had some HUGE cuts to all kinds of stuff (WIC, food stamps, energy assistance, Headstart, etc.) in the several debt ceiling raise "negotiations" conducted prior to this one. The extension of the Bush tax cuts was granted in exchange for a temporary agreement on the debt ceiling back in Nov. (everyone forgets that was a debt ceiling thingie) and that deal included 40 B in cuts. The debt ceiling deal in April cut another 68 B - the largest cut in current year spending in the history of the US.
      Obama is the first President to allow the inclusion of budget cuts into discussions of raising the debt ceiling.
      I wish the media would put down their freaking red or blue pom-poms and just tell everyone the game was over some time ago. Oh, wait, then they might have to actually do some research - never mind.

    2. I have long been banging the drum about all the cuts that have been underway since what seems like forever now, and all the human suffering and wreckage in their wake, but unless people hear it from a "recognized authority", they don't hear it at all.

      For the most part, the "recognized" media never breathes a word about the ongoingness and continuity of the Austerity Measures.

      It's always "just starting."