Maybe the erstwhile riverboat gamblers who now populate the upper echelons of the financial services industry in this country are beginning to see some of their investments unravel as the ripple of stock market panic, from the Asian markets, to Europe to Wall Street, grows into a tsunami of bad faith and credit in U.S. bonds–the bedrock of the world economy. Maybe.
Most of the smart ones have probably already short-sold their vulnerable investments, and are cooling their heels with their holdings now shifted to gold, and other more secure market hedges. Earlier this Century they cashed-out the U.S. real-estate market. Then they managed to get the government to bail them out with hundreds of billions of dollars because their super, high-stakes “investment” operations were deemed to be “too big to fail.” So, now I’m sure the crafty ones are “making bank” on the impending default on the U.S. debt.
Meanwhile, the political blame-game is going on, as if the elderly, the poor and their defenders in the Democratic Party, are equally culpable for the impending crash, as are the gluttonous corporations, the rich, fat-cats who run them and their wannabe-billionaire protectors in the Republican Party.
First: Social Security is not to blame for budget deficits. If no changes were made in its structure whatsoever, the Social Security system is solvent for the next 40 or more years! The Social Security surplus was lumped into the federal treasury, years ago by these same greedy profiteers, in order to finesse more spending for wars and tax breaks, by counting that money in with the profligate spending projects dreamed up on Capitol Hill. In fact, the Social Security Trust Fund owns almost half of the U.S. national debt!
Don’t believe the right-wing hype! Tripe would be a better word for what House Speaker John Boehner and his Tea Party puppet-masters are handing out.
Thanks to their immoral, illegal, unjustifiable wars and huge tax give-backs to the rich, for every $100 the United States government spends each year, $40 of that is borrowed money. That’s the U.S. deficit spending. It really should come to an end.
In order to rectify this anomaly, the Republicans insist (and I’m afraid our gumption-less President Barack Obama is going to knuckle under to their demands) that the federal government slash spending on everything that’s not nailed down. What’s not nailed down are social programs, and all domestic spending that might get into the hands of ordinary people. “The rich already pay 80 percent of all the taxes that are paid in this country,” a former chief of staff of a retired Republican House leader told me, “so we can’t resolve this crisis by simply dumping more taxes on the wealthy.”
That’s how this blame-game thing works. All of a sudden now, raising the U.S. debt ceiling is a crime, and Democrats and Pres. Obama (who Republicans have vowed to make a one-term president) are the guilty perpetrators. All that would be true if we lived on Kronos, the home planet of Star Trek’s Klingons. But back here in the Good Ole USA, on planet Earth, raising the debt ceiling is normally a routine legislative exercise. It has been done 39 times since 1980–including 17 times under Ronald Reagan, four times under Bill Clinton, seven times under George W (for Worst in History) Bush and three previous times under Obama. Let me repeat that with emphasis. The debt ceiling was raised 17 times while Ronald “The Gipper” Reagan was in the White House, and seven more times under Bush 43, and a bunch of times under George H.W. Bush (Bush 41), meaning, that the vast majority of the debt ceiling increases in the last 30 years have been when these so-called “deficit hawk” Republicans were in charge!
This time however, with a new Republican majority in the House of Representatives, it has become a hot partisan issue, with the Republicans determined to display their fiscal responsibility by demanding that a plan to balance the budget be approved before a deal on raising the debt ceiling is approved.
The fact is, they don’t care anything about the debt, they are just using the issue as an excuse to demand the dismantlement of programs that benefit the poor. For the last 30 years–when the motto “Greed” became the Republican creed–these right-wingers have been engineering a vast transfer of wealth from the bottom 80 percent of the population (most of us) to the top 2 percent of the population.
That’s what’s really going on. That’s who’s really to blame, and don’t let anybody tell you otherwise. The poor and the middle class are not to blame for the wanton extravagances of the rich.