Sunday, July 31, 2011
Neither of the two pro-business parties, Republican or Democrat, will allow the US to default. They are playing a game of chicken. But, from the sounds of it, they are close to arriving at some sort of "deal". The present "deal" includes a punishing, cruel $3 trillion cut (of historic proportions) to the living standard of the majority of Americans. That means cuts to education, cuts to scholarships, cuts to health care, cuts to pensions, massive cuts to public transportation, cuts to unemployment insurance, cuts to the arts, cuts to cutting edge scientific research. It will mean worse infrastructure, canceling desperately needed maintenance on our country's bridges and roads, massive layoffs and severe pay-cuts for public sector workers, worse sanitation services, worse libraries, worse public parks. It means that Obama and the Democrats will sign off on all of this as their own. (The beauty of it for Obama and friends, of course, is that they can push through austerity while externalizing culpability by claiming that "Republicans made us do it", thus pacifying liberal discontent with the slashing and burning of the very policies and programs for which the Democrats have any "progressive" credentials at all).
But I'm telling you: just wait for it. When the "deal" is struck, we will be barraged by a celebratory chorus about how the Republicans and Democrats "put partisanship aside" and "did what was best for the whole country". We will hear endless praise for the "reaching across the aisle" to "compromise", to "come together as one", etc. etc.
We won't hear a word, however, about what the two parties came together to do. We won't hear a word about how this will represent the largest cut to public services in the history of the world. We won't hear a word about the fallout of this harsh plan of austerity for the majority of ordinary Americans. We won't hear a word about all of the consequences of the two parties' long-standing, unchallenged, stable agreement on the "need" for austerity, on the "need" to continue funding wars and occupations, on the "need" to extend to the Bush tax breaks for the richest of the rich.
But, you know, hip hip hooray that they "came together" and "put partisan bickering" aside or whatever. That warms my fucking heart.