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Forum Post: Democrats conceal post-election austerity plans

Posted 1 year ago on April 19, 2012, 1:33 a.m. EST by OldCrow (22)
This content is user submitted and not an official statement

Democrats conceal post-election austerity plans

19 April 2012

While the Obama reelection campaign claims to support higher taxes on the wealthy and oppose cuts in Medicare and other programs on which working people depend, the White House and congressional Democrats are already making plans for a bipartisan attack on social programs after the election. These plans are being concealed from the people behind a smokescreen of demagogy about standing up for the “bottom 99 percent” and making the rich pay “their fair share” in taxes. The cynicism of the Obama campaign underscores the phony and undemocratic character of the entire electoral process. The Obama campaign has focused on political ploys such as the “Buffett Rule,” a proposal to establish a minimum 30 percent income tax rate for all those making $1 million or more a year. This is an effort to make the American people forget three years of bailouts of the banks and the super-rich and a worsening of income inequality. According to a study released March 2, the top one percent of the American population garnered 93 percent of all increased income in 2010, the first year of economic “recovery” according to the White House…

...The real attitude of the Democrats to massive budget cuts was seen in Tuesday’s decision by Senate Budget Committee Chairman Kent Conrad, Democrat from North Dakota, to postpone any action on a 2013 budget resolution until after the November election. Conrad announced that his committee would begin drafting a budget resolution based on the deficit-cutting recommendations of the Simpson-Bowles commission, appointed by Obama, but that no actual votes would be taken until after the election—i.e., until it is too late for the American people to react at the polls. Conrad said he had made the decision to postpone a vote after it became clear that not enough Democrats were prepared to support a comprehensive deficit-reduction plan in advance of the elections. “I don’t think we will be prepared to vote before the election,” Conrad said, indicating action would only be taken in a lame-duck session of Congress. The Bowles-Simpson plan would slash $5.4 trillion from the deficit over ten years, cutting discretionary domestic spending as a percentage of gross domestic product from 8.4 percent this year to only 4.8 percent by 2022, and raising taxes, mainly on middle-income families, through abolishing tax breaks such as deductions for mortgage interest and employer-paid health benefits. The plan envisions reductions in income tax rates for the wealthy as well as corporate tax rates. The result of such policies will be a devastating decline in the living standards and social conditions of the vast majority of working people, who will be paying the price for the ongoing bailout of the financial system, the increase in wealth of the super-rich, and the escalating costs of American military operations overseas…

…the period after the November 6 election, when the US Treasury again reaches the legal limit on borrowing and the Bush tax cuts expire December 31, as do other stopgap measures adopted over the past two years, including the extension of unemployment benefits and the payroll tax cut for working people and the deadline for $1.2 trillion in automatic spending cuts….

….These deadlines will be used to create a crisis atmosphere and claim that sweeping austerity measures are unavoidable. The measures that will be brought forward after the election will go far beyond anything proposed publicly by either party. According to New York Times columnist David Brooks, Obama administration officials have given private assurances of support for major spending cuts after the elections and have already proposed, in the most recent budget, to cut discretionary domestic spending from 4 percent of US gross domestic product to only 2.2 percent, far below the level of the Reagan administration. The 2012 election is a political fraud, used by the big business politicians of both parties to give the American people the illusion of choice, while behind the scenes the two parties are preparing measures so unpopular that they cannot be discussed openly for fear of a public backlash. The American two-party system is a political conspiracy against the working class. The two parties defend the interests of corporate America and the super-rich. The people have no say in the policies that are carried out…

http://www.wsws.org/articles/2012/apr2012/pers-a19.shtml

16 Comments

16 Comments


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[-] 3 points by ShubeLMorgan2 (1088) from New York, NY 1 year ago

It's Obama who proposed to Boehner that they get to a deal to slash 4 trillions from the projected deficit, mainly through cuts. Their dispute is over the window dressing the Democrats have to "fight" for in order to entertain their electoral base (not to be confused with their financial base)- raising taxes on the ultra rich. When the election is over the theater will resume if the Dems manage to hold on to the Senate (not at all a safe bet) or by some miracle regain the House, or if Obama squeaks through. The 99 are in for a royal screwing in any event.

[-] 3 points by ShubeLMorgan2 (1088) from New York, NY 1 year ago

"American two-party system is a political conspiracy against the working class. The two parties defend the interests of corporate America and the super-rich. The people have no say in the policies that are carried out…" And that's the truth, Ruth.

[-] 2 points by GypsyKing (9727) 1 year ago

Shube, I have read many of your comments here and respect your opinion, and all I can say is that a great number of people who are likeminded with OWS belong to the Democratic Party. The Democrats split into two factions back in 68, and have been split ever since - the right-wing portion gaining the assendency.

Given the fact and nature of the two party system, I don't think this movement can succeed if it won't even unite with the left wing faction of the Democratic Party. There were many here who were pushing for unity with Ron Paul. I opposed that as vigourously as I could because Ron Paul's views are not compatable with ours, but can we afford to exclude millions whose views are compatable with ours?

The whole point of forming alliances is to stop this disaster from coming to pass, rather than waiting to pick up the pieces.

[-] 2 points by ShubeLMorgan2 (1088) from New York, NY 1 year ago

Alliance with well meaning progressive rank and file Democrats is not a problem, but merging into the Democratic Party is a problem. OWS needs to keep its identity and way of doing things intact. That's key. If individuals want to vote for Obama so be it. That shouldn't trouble anyone.

[-] 1 points by GypsyKing (9727) 1 year ago

Then we are in complete agreement:)

[-] 2 points by JadedGem (895) 1 year ago

Bump! It just gets better and better.

[-] 2 points by hchc (3297) from Tampa, FL 1 year ago

Excellent post. You are correct on many levels here.

Most people dont understand how far into the future they plan these things, with the obvious exceptions of natural disasters, which only help to divert the attention away from them.

Thing is, they can raise taxes and put in austerity measures all they want, this ship is sinking and they cannot stop it. And when the average person who could give two shits about politics decides to get involved, we will finally see the rise of something that has a chance to rebuild in a better matter.

I just hope that rise happens BEFORE the quality of life gets too bad, as opposed to being a reaction to some event.

[-] 2 points by XenuLives (1645) from Charlotte, NC 1 year ago

We haven't reached the tipping point yet, but it will come sooner rather than later if these measures come to pass.

Right now everybody knows somebody or is related to somebody that is going through rough financial times. Soon everybody will know somebody that is homeless. After that everybody will know somebody who ISN'T homeless, and then we'll get there.

[-] 0 points by JenLynn (692) 1 year ago

It depends on what you want to come out of all this. There will never be a change in the political system while most of the population feels they are doing all right. You will only get real change when a majority of the population face real hardship.

[-] 0 points by hchc (3297) from Tampa, FL 1 year ago

True that. And we aren't quite there yet.

What do you think the timeline will be for getting there?

[-] 0 points by JenLynn (692) 1 year ago

I hate to speculate, I'm not sure anyone in real power actually wants things to go that far. That's why the European nations are getting their bailouts and being pushed into austerity. Complete chaos doesn't do the rich any good if money and property are worthless and unable to be defended.

A total collapse in a country where every right winger owns at least one gun and there are hundreds of militias. Who knows what would really happen? I don't think it would be the meek or even the reasonable inheriting the earth. At least not until after significant bloodshed.

Eventually it will be whoever has the best organization, not necessarily the best ideas, will take control. The military could end up running things for a while, maybe unions, if they all unite for a common cause. The military and militias have training and guns though. I'm not sure we could escape a dark ages of several decades under totalitarian rule before people could come together.

[-] 1 points by zoom6000 (430) from St Petersburg, FL 1 year ago

Obama had the perfect opportunity in 2008 he could easly nationalize the banks( too big to fail) he could nationalize the oil compnies eduction and health care but he did not.,

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[-] 1 points by GypsyKing (9727) 1 year ago

So, as a movement, what is our plan of action?

[-] 1 points by francismjenkins (3713) 1 year ago

Democrats, the Pres., etc. need do nothing at this point, and there will be some austerity and tax increases come 2013. Bush tax cuts expire, fairly deep DOD cuts, and some social programs will see cuts. Both parties are in the hands of corporations, so don't expect change from Washington.

[-] 1 points by TheMisfit (48) 1 year ago

We, as a nation, are often fleeced right after inauguration day. The politicians lie, the blind partisans vote for whatever party they have been duped by and the independents hold their noses and swing for the fences. Then those same piece of trash politicians unleash their wildest crap on us hoping that we will go back to sleep until the next election so it can happen all over again.

[-] 1 points by gestopomillyy (1695) 1 year ago

i dont see how you are saying it a democratic smoke screen. they are only admitting that the republicans will win the votes to pass these measures. and democrats will oppose then. read my post about republicans suggesting that they cut 33 billion in food stamps.. while keeping 21 billion in oil subsidies and farmer subsidies. those are republican measures.

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