Fakery and Tragedy in the Debt Ceiling Theatrics
We are nearing the end of all the made-for-media theatrics and rhetorical fakery around the “great struggle” between Republicans and Democrats, Obama and the Tea Party, over the US national debt ceiling and thus over budget deficits. So once again the real "bottom line" of what business, the rich, and their government want comes into view, rises up from all the irrelevant political noise. The “Gang of Six” US Senators is thus pushing a proposal that has already won endorsement from Obama. This latest proposal displays the same basic qualities that have characterized most of what the Bush and Obama administrations have done in reacting to the ongoing crisis of our economic system. Like most of their proposals, this one from the six senators has these four basic qualities: (1) no significant net tax increases on the rich or on corporations, (2) large spending cuts affecting the mass of people, (3) limiting tax increases and making them hit middle and upper income people equally, and (4) limiting the combination of spending cuts and tax increases so that they do not begin to stop the use of huge budget deficits and therefore rising national debts over coming years.
The rating agencies (Moody’s, Standard and Poor, Fitch, et al) howl about #4 - on behalf of the US's creditors - but to no avail. The rich and the corporations demand and get #1. The mass of Americans seem resigned to #2 and #3. The decline of the US economy continues.