Thursday, August 2, 2012

Dems and Repugs Agree: Kill Social Security and Medicare

I don't know why everybody keeps complaining that there is no bipartisan agreement in Congress; repugs and democrats agree almost unanimously that the only way they can preserve the obscene fortunes of the people who bought their elections for them is to take the last shred of safety net aware from us annoying middles and poors.
There are huge, unfathomable, unbridgable differences between the Democratic Party and the Republican Party - differences so stark that even if you hate 90 percent of what the Democratic Party does, the 10 percent you do like is still vastly better than anything the Republican Party has to offer.
So it remains an impossible mystery to solve why Democratic politicians are racing to embrace repugs on the one issue in which Democratic voters stand united.
Yes, the infamous Grand Bargain, the abortion from the Catfood Commission, the way the Reichwing One-Percenters will take over without a shot being fired – it’s back. 
Steven Pearlstein, the Washington Post business columnist, often writes insightful pieces on the economy, not today. The thrust of his piece is that we all should be hopeful that a group of incredibly rich CEOs can engineer a coup.
While the rest of us are wasting our time worrying about whether Barack Obama or Mitt Romney are sitting in the White House the next four years, Pearlstein tells us (approvingly) that these honchos are scurrying through back rooms in Washington trying to carve out a deficit deal.
The plan is that we will get the rich folks' deal regardless of who wins the election. It is difficult to imagine a more contemptuous attitude toward democracy.
The deal that this gang (led by Morgan Stanley director Erskine Bowles) is hatching will inevitably include some amount of tax increases and also large budget cuts. At the top of the list, as Pearlstein proudly tells us, are cuts to Social Security and Medicare. At a time when we have seen an unprecedented transfer of income to the top one percent, these deficit warriors are placing a top priority on snatching away a portion of Social Security checks that average $1,200 a month. Yes, the country needs this.
Jesus God, is there anyone — A-N-Y-O-N-E — out there beyond the Beltway who still believes that the CEOs of American corporations have any inclination to act in the general national interest? Is there anyone — A-N-Y-O-N-E — out there beyond the Beltway who'd still trust Jamie Dimon to park his car?
Of course, it won't do fck all to put the country back to work, but it'll put a smile on Jamie Dimon's face again, and that's all that matters. I never thought I'd see the living definition of bleeding a country with leeches, but this comes awfully close.
The entire political establishment is aligning to get this momentous change done at the moment of least accountability. And they will say anything to get it done, no matter how dishonest. This is not a choice between highways and clean energy and Social Security. The government can borrow at near zero interest rates to fund those kinds of investments. Social Security can pay out 100% of promised benefits for the next 20 years and if they want to extend that, they can raise the cap so that these millionaires who are so anxious for all of us to "sacrifice" can put some more money in that kitty.
Third Way is a terrible organization in so many ways. But this may be the most dishonest thing they've ever done. The idea of pitting future "investments" against future security for the American people is as low as it gets. I know the older folks won't fall for it because they know very well that social security is what makes the difference between some of them living like animals and living like human beings when they are unable to work anymore. I trust the kids aren't so dumb that they think cutting their own benefits will somehow help them.
We need investment desperately. And there's no reason we shouldn't do what wealthy investors all over the world are dong right now: use cheap money to stimulate the economy and build for the future. This is a very, very big con. I wish I believed that re-electing Obama will insure that this would never be signed into law. Unfortunately, I think we have to depend on the Tea Party. I hate that.
Want an alternative to the middle-class-killing Grand Bargain? Here it is.

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