Paul Krugman and I agree....the fiscal cliff is a complete and total myth, a creation of the conservative entertainment complex.  The fiscal cliff myth was created by the Radical Republicans to use as a bargaining chip to keep the Bush tax cuts in place a bit longer.

The truth is really quite simple.  The credit rating of the United States doesn't matter because there is no place else for the wealth of the world to go but into US dollars.  The Chinese cannot pour their ill-gained profits into their own currency because that would create rampant inflation that would in turn drive their prices up on the world market.  The US has the only economy large enough to absorb the world's excess capital and therefore US debt instruments are the only storage mechanism available for excess wealth.  This being the case, credit ratings bestowed on US debt instruments by private, for-profit credit grading agencies are completely irrelevant to foreign investment in the US.

The second reasons that the fiscal cliff is a myth is that the world's economies are already so heavily invested in US debt instruments that their failure to continue buying them would result in a crash in the value of those instruments and hence in their investments in those instruments.


The fiscal cliff is a bargaining chip.....and the price of that chip is the privatization of Social Security.

The prospective intention of the Radical Republican movement is to defund the government of the United States, which has been using the Social Security Fund as a piggy bank since the Johnson administration.  By "privatizing" social security, the Radical Republicans would advance their agenda of "starving the beast" by cutting off discretionary funds that the federal government has been using for things like disaster relief and other off-budget expenses.  Privatization would take the annual collections for Social Security out of the federal revenue stream, and add those funds to "cash handle" that private investment firms collect their commissions on.

In 2011, according to the Heritage Foundation, Social Security and Medicare amounted to $818 billion, 35% of the revenue collected by the Federal government.  Removing those funds from federal revenues would result in the immediate crash of the federal government, which would not have sufficient operating revenue to meet obligations. 

Anyone who thinks that privatizing Social Security is about mean-spirited Republicans taking money away from senior citizens is missing the point.  The privatization of Social Security is really about undermining the government of the United States financially for the express purpose of weakening the Union to the point where it would simply dissolve under weight of its unfunded obligations.

Why would such ardent patriots as the Radical Republicans claim to be want to destabilize the American government?

Choice A:  They are really, really stupid and don't understand the consequences of their proposals

Choice B:  They aren't really such ardent patriots at all and are, in fact, a subversive element that has been attempting to reverse the course of history since 1945 to the point where they could install a fascist dictatorship over the United States.

The choice appears self-evident.  They aren't stupid so they cannot be unaware that their proposals will effectively destroy the central government of the United States, which has been their goal since 1865, when they lost their bid for secession, and their efforts to retain slavery as the law of the land.

It is one of the great ironies that the party that preserved the Union has become the party of those who wish to destroy it and the party that abolished slavery is now the party that wishes to restore it.

Left to their devices, the Republican oligarchy would force the American worker back into the abject poverty and wage-slavedom that characterized their lives from the 1860s to the 1930s, forcing people of all colors back into the same subservient relationship to their employers that Negro slaves suffered at the hands of their slave owners.

This is the future that these fools are trying to impose upon us.

Make no mistake about it.  This isn't your grandfather's Republican party.  This is an ugly beast in our midst that wishes to feed off our elders while they enslave our young.

Over my dead body....and  I do mean that literally, because the Republican agenda, if enacted, will leave me starving to death in the street.  I would rather go out standing on my feet and screaming than on my knees and moaning.

Views: 74

Comment by Alan Milner on November 17, 2012 at 8:57am

At the risk of seeming to be self-serving, I was just wondering what people think about this post.  Feedback please.

Comment by koshersalaami on November 17, 2012 at 5:26pm

I'm not sure I agree with your assessment about how smart these guys are. What I think is going on is a bunch of these people think the government is too big and is responsible for functions it shouldn't be responsible for, so they want to starve it back to something that handles far fewer functions and regulates a whole lot less.

The consequences of what they have in mind are so far outside of what most people would forsee as to be utterly disastrous. They don't understand that the greatness of this country comes in part from public functions and they really don't understand that help for the people at the bottom makes the economy healthier rather than in worse shape.

Unfortunately, most Democrats argue back in terms of conscience and not in terms of how bad for business all this would be, so we miss the arguments that those involved in this would really care about.

I was over at OS looking around before we head out, seeing how the, uh, Revolution is going. I happened to stop on Uncle Chri's post, a place I don't think I've ever been before. He congratulated us on our effort because, as far as he is concerned, a left-leaning population finally did something that indicated we understood economics. He is, after all, the sort of guy who would support the stuff you're talking about. Instead of calling him an idiot, I distilled a lot of my posts into a fairly concise lesson in economics. I hope it took, but I don't have any faith that it did.

Comment by Myriad on November 17, 2012 at 6:17pm

I think you're basically right, tho perhaps a little overheated.  But then, having lived in a stable country all my life, the horrors of Nazi Germany, or the Horn of Africa, or the Cultural Revolution or what went on in Burma...these things seem almost unbelievable to me.  But they happened.  And equally terrible things could happen again.  Walmart is in the vanguard...no, the people who use sugar-cane workers and ag workers generally, and run the factory chicken ops where people dressing the chickens are treated almost as badly as the chickens...  When the people you deal with are generally nice, with only the occasional almost-understandable backstabbing, it's hard to grok how ghastly people can be...

Comment by Alan Milner on November 18, 2012 at 11:30am

I'm a pessimist, and history has shown that pessimists are usually right, but rarely disappointed.  You'll never go broke predicting that bad things are going to happen....but making such predictions is one way of attempting to ensure that they don't happen.  We went to see "Lincoln" last night, which is a nearly great film (it's exactly five minutes too long.  The last five minutes pander to those who want every story to have a sharp ending) with an amazingly great performance - again - by Daniel Day-Lewis, whose depiction of Lincoln is absolutely spell-binding.  As the film progressed, however, I was shocked by how similar our political position is today to the situation that Lincoln faced during the last days of his first presidency, during which time he forced the 13th amendment through Congress, achieving a great good through the most corrupt means possible, by buying the votes from outgoing Democratic members with patronage jobs.  On the way home. Satya commented about how ironic it is that the Republican party should have swung from its original platform of standing against slavery to its present, largely prejudiced membership.  She had not yet read this article, by the way.  She also commented on how odd it seemed that Lincoln didn't seem to have much sympathy for Black people and, in this, she was quite correct, because Daniel Day-Lewis correctly depicts Lincoln as a man who is dead set against slavery, but remains uncertain about his feelings toward Black people in general.  Many people are surprised to discover that the word Negro doesn't appear in the 13th amendment because it is an anti-slavery statute, not a civil rights statute.  Other people are surprised to discover that there were White slaves - indentured servants - whose only difference from black slaves was that their period of indentured servitude was for a fixed length of time, not in perpetuity.  I hold to my position that the current Republican Party is the Old South of the Confederacy and the Border states, and that the recent rumblings about Secession is the rising of an old current of absolutism masquerading  as a democratic imperative.

Comment by koshersalaami on November 18, 2012 at 1:24pm
Funny. I left a comment on one of Jonathan's posts a few days ago drawing basically the same parallel, albeit from a slightly differ perspective.

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