If you add up the “deficit reducing budget cuts” agreed to so far (because, remember, yesterday’s weren’t the only cuts the Democrats have agreed to – we have done this for several weeks in a row now), you get to 78 billion. Oh, and it turns out that Obama and Reid agreed to “around” another 2 billion late last night in return for Title X funding being left alone. Okay, so that’s 80 billion in cuts in services to poor and middle class people; stuff like heating assistance, Pell grants, community grants, frozen wages for federal employees, food stamps, etc.
The newly extended Bush tax cuts for the wealthy will cost the economy about 800 billion over a ten year period, or 80 billion a year. [Note: figures for the cost of the Bush tax cuts vary. By some accounts, extending the tax cuts to the wealthy will cost us 200 to 300 billion a year. I have used the lowest figure I have seen.]
Just coincidentally. It is NOT planned that way, I promise. It is magic.
And we aren’t going to bring up the 14.2 trillion the Fed gave to the big banks in the past two years, or the 1 trillion/year the wars and Pentagon cost, not going to talk about the 2.3 trillion Donald Rumsfeld said were “lost” by the Pentagon prior to 9/11 (because he said that on 9/10, and then, well….)
On the bright side, I hear McDonald’s is going to hire 50,000 people in April, so there’s that. MSNBC is seriously talking about that this morning as though it, like, TOTALLY changes the jobs picture in the US. We’re good to go, as long as Mom and Dad still have a basement you can live in while you work at your new minimum-wage job at Micky-Dee’s. After talking about this amazing prospect for a few minutes, they switched over to discussing some brohaha on American Idol. I am not making that up.
Last week-end, there was a very long and “erudite” discussion on MSNBC with a guy (who claimed no particular field of expertise) who was adamant that our jobs salvation will come as more Americans look to the hospitality/hotel industries for jobs. Lots of foreigners have money now, he said, and the tourism and hotel industries will be aboomin’. So if you can’t get one of the coveted McD’s jobs, maybe you can bellhop at the better hotels, pulling your forelock in an attempt to attract the attention of some wealthy Chinese businessmen.
Or, do as they do in India. Send your kids out to beg coin at the hotel entrances. American kids can be darn cute.
Let’s be serious here. The President is calling it a victory that he has made the biggest cuts in history. He is playing Hoover. This will end the same way it did when Hoover did it; in a time of recession, cutting government spending on needed social programs and infrastructure, reducing regulatory oversight, and giving tax breaks to the mega-rich and the largest corporations the world has ever seen will lead to further economic depression. We are going to suffer for this. I don’t think there is a Roosevelt to pull us out this time.
Obama and the Republicans may call it “victory”. So may the wealthiest individuals in the country. But the people have lost, the country as a whole has lost.
We are done now. Finally and completely ruined by a Democratic President riding the horse of austerity, eyes wide open, straight into the Armageddon of self-imposed economic depression.
I will see you in the breadlines.