Sunday, February 24, 2013

Fix the Debt: bipartisans fooling some of the people all of the time (a primer on the solidarity of the 1%)

Gaius Publius is upset with bipartisan support for Fix the Debt, and points out the class-based solidarity of the rich (which of course aligns interests both within and beyond the nation state in ways that appear unprecedented to us today, but remind us of how things were during the last gilded age). He says:
Most left-side commenters paint "Fix the Debt" — the well-funded campaign to scare Americans into believing the debt is not only going to destroy us all, but that massive cuts to Medicare, Social Security and Medicaid are the only way to "fix" the "problem" — as a billionaire-led, CEO-led operation to kill (or at least seriously maim) the social programs by delivering one blow after another. But Fix the Debt is also a bipartisan operation.
This is about bipartisanship — real bipartisanship, bipartisanship in the bad way. 
...The real divide in this country is not Left versus Right — it's the Rich versus the Rest. It's the horizontal division between the people taking all the money they can, and those they're taking it from.
Among the rich, there's a widely-agreed center position — more for us, less for everyone else on the planet.
GP directs us to research done by watchdog group SourceWatch: a Fix the Debt portal, where they say:
The Campaign to Fix the Debt is the latest incarnation of a decades-long effort by former Nixon man turned Wall Street billionaire Pete Peterson to slash earned benefit programs such as Social Security and Medicare under the guise of fixing the nation's "debt problem." Through this special report -- and in partnership with The Nation magazine -- the Center for Media and Democracy exposes the funding, the leaders, the partner groups, and phony state "chapters" of this $60 million "astroturf supergroup," whose goal is to achieve a grand bargain on austerity by July 4, 2013.
SourceWatch lays out the various supporters and their bipartisan credentials, corporate ties and conflicts of interest; most have transitioned at least once from politician to lobbyist and/or vice versa, and big pharma, big oil, big finance, and the health insurance industry are all well-represented.  This is a delightful romp through the revolving door of democracy, American style.

GP says many (or most) of these individuals also have big-time conflicts of interest, as documented by Source Watch; they stand to benefit personally if what is now public becomes private and for-profit. They are all simple rent seekers, in other words, and the national debt is their trojan horse (or is it a rabbit).  This is not (or should not be) news, yet time and time again we see that you can fool some of the people all of the time...and, per George W. Bush,  "those are the ones you want to concentrate on.”

For an absolutely terrifying view of what that kind of concentrating looks like, GP ends with this video (which I can't even get all the way through so I can't tell you how it ends). The sheer number of rhetorical games played in the first 15 seconds alone is enough for me; when they get to the dancing I just want to weep.

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