No. 2 in a series of quick-takes on the Debt Crisis of 2011.
Today’s question: Whatever happened to the first and foremost issue of the 2010 election, JOBS?
Remember when every politician was chanting in unison: “Jobs, jobs, jobs!” That’s what they said, because that’s what the voters cared about. Jobs. But “Jobs, jobs, jobs!” was more a prayer than a promise.
All politics is local, remember, but the job market is now global. It is not within the power of locally elected politicians to create jobs in a global job market.
It is, however, within the power of politicians to kill jobs. Soon as the class of 2010 took residence in the governor’s mansions and state legislatures, they set about writing austerity budgets focused on two goals: Reduce spending and cut taxes. The way to reduce spending is to eliminate as many state programs and state jobs as possible. Wisconsin got the lion’s share of publicity for austerity, but nearly every state has joined the movement.
Now the focus has turned to Washington, where they’re busy cutting jobs on a larger scale. The debate is not over whether to cut the federal budget, but how deeply to cut. And where to cut.
The Republican Party is determined to cut the budget by gutting the hated “Entitlement Programs.” They use the words, “Entitlement Programs” because they fear to say, “Medicare, Medicaid, and Social Security.” The main budget target this year is Medicare for the elderly. Republicans hope, as soon as possible, to move on to cutting Medicaid and the most popular “Entitlement,” Social Security.
Keep your eye on the goal. Forget about Jobs, jobs, jobs! The attention span is short. Jobs, Jobs, Jobs! is over. That was last year’s goal.
The goal for 2011 is reducing the national debt. So they say. Spending cuts are the means to that end.
But the real goal is to reduce taxes for wealthy individuals and for corporations. Republicans plan to hand over to the wealthy and corporations, all the money saved by spending cuts. In a few years, presumably, Congress would begin to use some of the savings to actually reduce the debt. Possibly.
When pressed, Republicans say that the way to create Jobs, jobs, jobs! is by gifting large amounts of money to the wealthy and corporations, who would invest the money. Eventually, it might trickle down to the masses in the form of jobs.
Remember that wealthy people invest their money in corporations. As in, “International Corporation” Or “Global Corporation.” So, even if you believe in trickle down, exactly where in the world do you suppose new jobs would be created?
In my opinion, any jobs resulting from U.S. spending and tax cuts would go to some developing country offering cheap labor, far from the U.S.
America with no jobs and no Medicare will be a sad and dreary place.
The first post in this series on the American Debt Crisis is here. The next installment will be “Starve The Beast.”
— John Hayden
(Does a 525-word post qualify as a short-take?)
- Help! We’re Being Brain-washed! (tccartoons.wordpress.com)
- Cold War Over U.S. Budget Priorities Turns Hot: Albert R. Hunt (businessweek.com)
- To Fix Budget Reform Tax Entitlement Before Gutting Medicare (usnews.com)
Well said… its not just in the US that these same issues arise John,, here in the UK its the same… The way they are cutting public spending is to Axe Jobs.. Im now one of those statistics- But what makes me cross is that while all this is taking place, Government here still are sending aid to countries such as China and Russia, and while I have no objections to poorer nations being helped.. I think its about time that we helped those who are on the Bread-line and poor here at home…
I just wish I could understand the ‘Banking System’ of the World where by we owe All this money … Where is ALL this money going?.. And why are we ALL in this same melting pot of economic crisis …
I said before to you I think that Chaos would reign and we will I feel see that, not only within the way we see more Natural disasters taking place around our Globe.. But the disasters of Economic collapse is I feel very close.. Now I am not political minded, or by any means very clever.. But I see what is happening around the world.. and its repetitive patterns of what happened the last time around when we had a huge Crash..
Not long after we start a war…. and around it goes….
This time however I feel the world is experiencing a new experience… that of evolving—and its starting to Question, and understand the underlying Power Struggles and identify who is actually pulling the strings of the Puppet placed in office.. People Power I feel John will soon be coming to many places and we will not be just experiencing it via satellite from some foreign land.
Sue, in my opinion we have all this debt because Wall Street wasted untold billions on corrupt and stupid investments, first in the dotcom bubble, and then in fraudulent mortgages and worthless financial instruments which were sold around the world.
Also, the U.S., and to a lesser extent, Britain, wasted more untold billions on wars in Iraq, Afghanistan, and Libya. And now they want ordinary people to sacrifice to pay off the war debts and the Wall Street debts. I agree with you that ordinary people will stand up at some point and refuse to pay. As you say, chaos feels very near . . . but what it will look like is unpredictable.