Wednesday, August 3, 2011

Our 4F Government in Full Fancy

OK, Uncle Sam's checks won't bounce -- for a while, at least.  Big deal.

The feckless frauds, falsifiers, freaks and fanatics in Washington have achieved nothing else with their comedy of errors.  Economic problems abound and the "deal" brokered by these nut cases will only make them worse.  "It's a step," they tell us.  A step off a cliff.

Today, for example, came the news that in July, the number of planned job cuts surged to a 16-month high of 66,414 -- a 60 percent increase from June.  What's worse: most of the new cuts come in segments of the economy that had been relatively immune to layoffs.

This comes at a time when some 50 million Americans are jobless.  Economists say the Raw Deal from Washington will kill another 1.8 million jobs.  That's on top of the 8.7 million jobs that have vanished since January, 2008.  The economy added 18,000 new jobs in June.  In the 1990s we added jobs at the rate of 350,000 a month.  If the 1990s rate were to be magically restored, it would still take four years to get the unemployment rate down to a tolerable 5 per cent.  At the current rate, it will take 11 years -- if even the current feeble rate can be sustained. The number of jobless Americans has increased at the rate of more than 120,00 per month since March of this year. If the 4F's in Washington continue the present course, the labor force participation rate in the national economy will reach an historic low later this year.

In the first quarter of this year, corporate profits increased by more than $140 billion. Double-digit profits are continuing into the second quarter, especially in pharmaceuticals and health care -- two areas planning big layoffs.  (If we cut taxes on bidness, the 4Fs tell us, bidness will add jobs.  GE, a really enormous corporation whose former CEO is a top economic advisor to Kidglove, paid NO taxes last year -- and shipped thousands of jobs overseas just a month ago.)

While the 4Fs were doing their silly dance about an imaginary "crisis" cause by the deficit bogeyman, they didn't bother to renew funding for the FAA, forcing it to shut down.  The central issue was $163 million (M=million) in subsidies paid to small, rural airports.  The right-wing kooks wanted that cut. Their shut-down snit is costing us $1.2 billion (B=billion) in ticket-tax revenues.  These jerks can't even do simple arithmetic.

It's clear that Kidglove and his playmates in the 4F Gang want to gut our so-called "entitlements" -- Social Security, Medicare and Medicaid in particular.  If the appointment of Alan Simpson to head his austerity committee didn't make that clear, his eagerness to make these programs bargaining chips in his sell-out to the far right last week absolutely proved it.

Like the GOP, Kidglove is turning "entitlements" into a dirty word in the national dialogue, like "liberal" and "socialism" and "Obamacare."  But "entitlement," the dictionary tells us, is another word for "right" -- "the fact of having a right to something."

We, the People, have a right to these benefits.  That is a fact.

But "fact" isn't one of the 4Fs in Washington.

There's another four-letter "f-word" that fits the situation.  It's a verb and it's what the President and the Congress are doing to the American people.


And what does the GOP's beloved Market think of the Raw Deal?  The Dow closed down 500 points Thursday, the worst one-day plummet since 2008.

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