Once again we’re supposed to believe that the government is broke and must make our lives more miserable as banks, corporations, and the super rich make record amounts of money. We’re supposed to believe the politicians are desperately at work trying to fight each other on our behalf. What a joke.
The idea that the Democrats and Republicans even disagree in the first place is laughable. They’ve never disagreed over who will feel the impact of these cuts. Instead, they made the decision to cut unemployment insurance, food assistance to low-income women and children, and federal education programs. We’ve always been the target of these cuts. Their only challenge has always been to get us to go along without a fight.
At the same time, thousands of federal jobs are being threatened with automatic furloughs, keeping Air traffic controllers, TSA agents, federal inspectors all on edge as to whether they’ll be able to make next month’s rent. This is just another pay cut when we’re already struggling enough as it is. How arrogant of them to think they can just jack us around like pawns in their game of budget chess.
The Democrats repeatedly say they are willing to cut anything the Republicans are – they just claim they want to close some tax-loopholes to increase revenue. In other words, as far as the cuts are concerned they are already in agreement – they are just nit-picking over how deep they can be.
But all this talk is just a show for the Democrats to appear tougher than the Republicans. It makes no difference whether they close any loopholes. They have already agreed to lower the corporate tax rate from 35 percent to at least 28 percent. So even with the supposed loopholes removed, corporations will still bring home more money than they are now.
Right now the total cuts amount to $85 billion. But what happened to the tax money that was supposed to come from the increases passed in December? Back then the fake crisis was called the “fiscal cliff” and the politicians agreed to increase our payroll taxes two percent, and they put a tiny increase on people making over $450,000. Those increases were supposed to generate $150 billion per year. We were told the whole point of the tax increases was to increase revenue to reduce the cuts. But now we’re told once again, the government just doesn’t have any money to pay for these vital services that we rely on.
But where did all the money go? After-tax corporate profits have gone up 171 percent under Obama, the highest increase under any president in U.S. history. Profits haven’t ever grown that fast, which makes these manufactured crises the best thing for profits since sliced bread.
All this pretending to fight over cuts is only preparing us for even deeper cuts and they’ve made this very clear. Both Democrats and Republicans are already in agreement to cut at least $1.2 trillion from social programs over the next ten years, over $100 billion per year. And Obama and the Democrats have made it clear that they are ready to slash Medicare and Social Security.
So what’s really going on here? Corporations and the wealthy are making more money than they ever have in the history of this country. At the same time, the government has given banks and corporations record levels of bailouts and a bottomless line of credit to use however they want.
And they expect us to be the ones to pay for all of this. We’ve been paying at work as our wages are cut, as part-time jobs replace full-time ones, as new two-tier wage scales are put in place, and as any benefits we might still have are being taken away. We’ve been paying too much for too long.
But there is no such thing as enough for them. They want to take away money for our kids to go to school, for our retirements, for our health care, for housing – for everything that we need on a daily basis. They want to take us for all we got.
It doesn’t matter how much Democrats and Republicans pretend to disagree. We are in this situation not because of any budget crisis but because Republicans and Democrats acted for who they have always represented: corporations, Wall Street and the wealthy.