Wednesday, January 2, 2013

Minimal soap opera in Washington by micro-men

If anyone in the Capitol building thinks s/he has participated in some epic drama of reform legislation, by passing the "fiscal cliff" bill, they need to think again!
This is, to put it bluntly, the "least" they could do. With all the hype, and all the public wringing of hands and wailing of protests and gnashing of teeth, the mountain roared and produced a mouse.
Nothing was really done to cut spending; nothing was done to prevent the "debt ceiling" debacle that repeats like a sad and mournful 'riff' in a political tune that will never make it to the top 100.
There is a kind of adolescent and yes, "macho" irrelevance to so much of the talk coming from the House of Representatives mostly, and mostly from that body, from the Republican 'rump' that wants to hijack the government for the purposes of their exclusive funding agents, those rich barons whose cheques greased their election campaigns, and promise to repeat, should their limited, narrow and excessively selfish interests be enacted in legislation.
  • No environmental protection
  • No tax increases
  • No reductions in pentagon spending
  • No infrostructure projects, especially on green energy
  • Cuts to social programs, directed at the most needy
  • Cuts to Medicare and Medicaid
These together constitute a prescription for slow or no growth...just when the U.S. economy is creeping back from the hole the financial services sector, with Congressional help, created in 2008-9.
Next the Republicans can be expected to shout out for another military operation, in order to justify their addiction to the Pentagon's need for additional funds, linked not so incidentally to the military contracts that so support too many members of Congress back home.
War is not a "jobs-creation plan"!
War is not an "investment in infrastructure"!
War is not an investment in research and development!
War is, nothing more and nothing less than war!
And when the Pentagon is reduced to a size commensurate with the legitimate need for protection and for limited engagements, the rest of the budget cuts will be unnecessary.
Do you think such a perception can even penetrate the thick skulls in the Republican Party? Clearly not!

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