The Truth About Sequestration And Democracy, According to One Humble American

“Sequestration” went into effect in America this week, reducing U.S. government spending by $85 billion.

What does it mean? It means that the United States has accepted “Austerity.” 

It’s not the end of the world. The vast majority of U.S. government spending will continue as usual. The government will not grind to a halt, at least not because of sequestration. It’s still possible that Congress could force a shut-down of government sometime in the future, but not likely this year.

Failure of Government Decision-making

Most interestingly, Austerity was NOT imposed by the normal processes of legislative or executive action.  Continue reading

Advertisements

Can A Ship Sail Right Over The Edge Of The Earth?

“The U.S no longer has a well-functioning self-government. . . .  American democracy has been hacked. The United States Congress, the avatar of the democratically elected national legislatures in the modern world, is now incapable of passing laws without permission from the corporate lobbies and other special interests that control their campaign finances.” 

The above quote is from Al Gore’s new book, “The Future.” It makes sobering reading as the U.S. ship of state drifts, apparently rudderless, toward “sequestration.” Is the bridge abandoned? Have the helm and the engine room broken down?

I don’t understand the panic over sequestration, but I am concerned about the ability of U.S. government institutions to function. Continue reading

Returning Now To Our Regular Program, “The Fiscal Cliff”

Photo by John Hayden

It’s 10 days since I last posted on Work In Progress. The Earth continues to spin. Gen. John Petraeus and Paula Broadwell, et al., were pushed from the front pages by a deadly rocket battle between Israelis in Israel and Palestinians in Gaza.

Full-out war appeared imminent, according to cable TV news. But a ceasefire was called in time for Thanksgiving.  (Appropriate that it’s an American holiday. We have so much to be thankful for, compared to the rest of the world. And we take it all for granted.)

The waning of the Middle East crisis made room for a seasonal story: Walmart employees threatening to disrupt kickoff of the Christmas shopping frenzy. (Starting time for the frenzy advanced from Black Friday to Thanksgiving Day, henceforth to be known as Black Thursday.)

The Walmart protests fizzled, naturally. They had as much impact as Y2K. Walmart workers stand exposed as powerless against the energy of American consumerism.

Now we return to the dreaded “Fiscal Cliff,” at least until the next distraction. Be not faint-hearted! In the grand scheme of things, the fiscal cliff is a bump in the road.

Most importantly, the fiscal cliff provides a unique opportunity to put the brakes on the runaway military-industrial defense complex.  Seize the day!    Continue reading

The Fiscal Cliff — Seize the Day, Cut Military Spending Now

The U.S. defense budget, worldwide military overreach, and the influence of the military-industrial complex — these are the root of America’s economic and debt crisis.

Not Social Security, not Medicare, not Medicaid, not government pensions, not anything else you want to label as “entitlements.”

Continue reading

Debt Madness Was Always About Killing Social Security (via roger hollander)

Below is a commentary worth reading. Conservative ideologues have hated Social Security from the beginning, in 1934.

Social Security is not the cause of the U.S. public debt, and neither is Medicare. To blame Social Security and Medicare is to lie! The methodic run-up of defense spending, starting in 1971, and the extension of U.S. military influence to every corner of the globe over the past four decades — those are the primary causes of the U.S. public debt, in my opinion. — John

Debt Madness Was Always About Killing Social Security Published on Wednesday, July 27, 2011 by TruthDig.com   by  Robert Scheer This phony debt crisis has now passed through the looking glass into the realm where madness reigns. What should have been an uneventful moment in which lawmakers make good on the nation’s contractual obligations has instead been seized upon by Republican hypocrites as a moment to settle ideological scores that have nothing to do with the debt. Hypocrites, because their rad … Read More

via roger hollander