2012-11-17 I guess it's time to sticky this post again.
Because when you've got Socialist stalwart Bernie Sanders buying into the "shared sacrfice" meme, you know the Big Wienie is on its way. Bernie's heartfelt plea:
Everyone [in official Washington] understands that over the long-term we have got to reduce the deficit - a deficit that was caused mainly by Wall Street greed, tax breaks for the rich, two wars, and a prescription drug program written by the drug and insurance companies [unlike ObamaCare. Not]. It is absolutely imperative, however, that as we go forward [in the midst of a never-ending recession?] with deficit reduction we completely reject the Republican approach that demands savage cuts [so mild cuts are OK?] in desperately-needed programs [but other program are fair game?] for working families, the elderly, the sick, our children and the poor, while not asking the wealthiest among us to contribute one penny [so cuts are OK if taxes on the wealthiest are raised?].
Mr. President, please listen to the overwhelming majority of the American people who believe [they do?] that deficit reduction must be about shared sacrifice. The wealthiest Americans and the most profitable corporations in this country must pay their fair share. [100%]. At least 50 percent [why not 100?] of any deficit reduction package must come from revenue raised by ending tax breaks for the wealthy and eliminating tax loopholes that benefit large, profitable corporations and Wall Street financial institutions. A sensible deficit reduction package must also include significant cuts [yeah, lets start by scuttling some aircraft carriers] to unnecessary and wasteful Pentagon spending [there's some other kind?].
Do you hear Bernie Sanders, the second coming of Eugene V. Debs, calling for "Not one penny of cuts?" No, me neither. In practice, in the world of sausage making, the position crypto-Democrat Sanders has staked out is indistinguishable from Obama's: The wealthy are to pay more in taxes and the rest of us will get even worse social insurance. But all parties know this is bogus; no matter that the wealthy are supposed to pay "a little more" (Obama) or some "pennies" (Saunders), the only real cost to the rich will be the accountants they hire to avoid or evade what isn't even real money to them; but the costs will be very real to us, and will come out of our hides in the form of food, or shelter, or health.
Here is what the baseline should be: "Not one penny of cuts to Social Security, Medicare, Medicaid, or any other social insurance program, and any savings to be paid out as benefits." Hear that from Bernie? Any Dems? Didn't think so.
We have already had ample sacrifice shared with us, whether through the loss of our jobs, our health, or our homes, or from real wages being flattened for the last forty years, or from paying some well-fed smiling weasel a percentage every time we turn around.
The proper percentage of additional sacrifice for us is, precisely and exactly, zero. So whenever you hear the words "shared sacrifice" ask yourself who's doing the sharing, and how, and how much.
So fuck you, Bernie.
2011-04-13. And I guess it's time to sticky this again, in time for Obama's speech this afternoon at not-yet-occupied George Washington University. After all, when you're getting ready to justify killing off old people* so the banksters can keep charging us interest on our own money -- and all to no purpose, as MMT shows -- it's important to do so on a thoroughly bipartisan basis.
As for "shared sacrifice," I've already done that, and so have the rest of us. Paying for my parent's retirement, as well as my own, and real wages flat for thirty years while the rich got richer and richer -- that's our sacrifice. The sacrifice that the banksters should be making is jail time in orange jumpsuits. But no, they're "savvy businessmen."
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2011-04-11 Guess it's time to sticky this again. Says Susie Madrak, who attended "a conference call with Congressional Budget Office spokesman Ken Baer and White House adviser David Plouffe. Baer’s opening remarks focused on “shared sacrifice.” Alrighty, then.
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SOTU PROPHYLACTIC: Got yer "shared sacrifice" right here:
Who do you think's going to be doing the "sharing"? Hilariously, the WSJ says this:
The president is expected to call for "shared sacrifice" from both parties, and to reach out to the GOP with a nod to possibly lowering the nation's corporate income-tax rate as part of an overhaul of the corporate-tax code, according to people familiar with speech preparations....
C'mon. The parties are going to sacrifice anything at all? Pull the other one, it's got bells on!
The president will try to keep the deficit conversation in broad terms, fearing that detailed proposals would put Republicans, Democrats and Washington interest groups into a defensive crouch before real negotiations can take place, according to those officials. White House officials, for instance, have assured Democratic lawmakers that the president will not explicitly call for cuts in Social Security benefits, though he will say changes are needed to put the program on a solid fiscal footing.
Kabuki. Lying. Social Security is already on solid fiscal footing.
At the same time, Mr. Obama will call on both parties to be prepared to put everything on the table. [Our Beloved Leader's constant theme since IA 2008.] That means Democrats have to be ready to look at changes to Social Security, and Republicans to consider tax-code changes to increase revenue
Ah, changes. Classic Obama, even if you're crazy enough to think that he's playing honestly: Give up something that doesn't need to be conceded as your opening move. In fact, the trade is Social Security cuts, where the recipients have no power, for tax code changes, which those with power will simply game.
Obama is so full of shit.
NOTE * Because, statistically, that is exactly what is going to happen. All so the neo-liberals can take a swipe at a program that actually works....
UPDATE Apparently, Obama has courageously pulled back from Social Security cuts, though of course he could still be lying about that, and cut programs that prevent the poor from freezing to death, and other such. Well done, that man.
UPDATE We're #3! We're #3!