The fiscal cliff charade
It seems everywhere I turn, some talking head is scaring people about the fiscal cliff, but none of them are telling the truth. Rush Limbaugh says there’s no common ground between Republicans and Democrats on the issue. The mainstream media says the sides are far apart. That’s a bunch of baloney. The fiscal cliff issue is already resolved. They just don’t want us to know it yet.
To understand the fiscal cliff issue, all we have to do is go back to the presidential campaign. The Christian Science Monitor tells us President Obama’s position on the military cuts, “Defense Secretary Leon Panetta tells the Senate Armed Services Committee on Nov. 15, 2011, that draconian, automatic defense spending cuts set to begin in 2013 would endanger national security, invite aggression and devastate Defense Department operations.” Since Panetta works for Obama, we know Obama won’t let this happen. Mitt Romney also promised if he were elected, he would restore the military spending that is scheduled to be cut if the government goes over the cliff. There’s no difference between the two parties on this issue.
During the campaign, Obama promised to raise taxes on the rich. Mitt Romney also promised to raise taxes on the rich. The only difference is Obama promised to raise tax rates while Romney promised to close tax loopholes to raise the revenue. Before all the votes were even counted, Speaker Boehner announced he would support increased revenue by closing tax loopholes, copying Romney’s position.
The politicians and their propagandists in the media want us to believe these two positions are irreconcilable, but that’s ridiculous. This is a distinction without a difference. Both parties want to confiscate more of our money. The only question is how they fool us into not voting them out of office. At least the Democrats are honest about wanting to steal more of our money. I can’t help but laugh at the contorted statements of Republicans as they promise revenue increases but pretend that doesn’t mean tax increases.
Obama blusters like the Wizard of Oz while Boehner pretends to resist, but both men are distracting us from what goes on behind the curtain. The politicians don’t decide what deal to make. Plutocrats make those decisions. Much like the flourish of an illusionist, the politicians and media capture our attention while plutocrats do the deal. There was never any risk a deal wouldn’t get done because both parties work for the same bankers, CEOs and union bosses. This is why the only measurable difference between the two parties is rhetoric, never policy. This fiscal cliff issue gives Republicans an excuse to raise taxes without losing their jobs, they hope. That’s why they agreed to sequestration in the first place.
In one way, politicians are like everybody else: they want to improve their own standard of living. They want new vacation houses. They want to put their children in expensive private schools because they aren’t going to allow them to become miseducated in government prison schools. That takes more money than they make in salary. Neither poor nor middle class people can make politicians rich, so they sell their votes to the ultra-rich. This is why government always works for the ultra-rich at the expense of everybody else.
But politicians are different from us in pretty much every other way. Because government is a coercive institution, it attracts bullies and thieves to work for it. Because government can never admit its true nature, it also attracts liars. And since government is founded on the amoral principle that the ends justify the means, the best liars rise to the top.
While the talking heads talk about taxes, the real key to understanding the fiscal cliff issue is spending. Government spending enriches the plutocrats and therefore the politicians, but because it takes wealth out of the productive private sector and squanders it in the parasitic political economy, it impoverishes everybody else. But the American people are fed up with trillion dollar deficits. In order for the politicians to be able to increase spending, they have to increase revenue. That’s why both parties want to raise taxes.
The presidential primary illustrated the lengths to which Republicans will go to avoid cutting spending. Ron Paul promised to cut $1 trillion in spending. This was such a popular position, polls suggested he might win the Iowa caucuses. The establishment couldn’t allow that, so after Paul had a strong showing in the caucuses, they absconded with the votes and fled to a secret location in Obama’s home state of Illinois to count the votes in secret. Josef Stalin is attributed as saying, “It’s not the people who vote that count. It’s the people who count the votes.” Republicans understood that well. Establishment Republicans went on to break their own rules, bully and even to initiate violence against Paul supporters during the primary, all to ensure the Republican nominee wouldn’t cut spending.
The establishment will handle this like they did TARP and Obamacare. They’ll produce a bill at the eleventh hour so nobody can read it. They’ll tell everybody to vote for it or our economy will collapse. It will pass. Everybody will complain afterward. Wink, wink.
It’s political theater. The fix is in. Boehner just removed tea party favorites from key committees so they can’t resist. All we can do is bend over and take it.