What if they held a class war and nobody noticed? For decades, liberals and progressives have been bashed for conducting a "class war" every time they suggest that it would be appropriate for the extremely wealthy to shoulder a bit more of the burden of paying for government. Meanwhile, a swarm of far-right think-tanks and political action committees have been working tirelessly to promote the idea that taxes on the wealthy should be lowered further from their historic lows, and that entitlement programs such as social security and medicare are too expensive to sustain (and in any case, immoral). The latest attempts to delegitimize public employee unions are the logical next step in what genuinely appears to be the systematic dismantlement of the middle class. This blog will highlight some of the more extreme examples of this activity that may not always show up in your news feeds.
Doug J at Balloon Juice nicely captures the bottom line driving this Republican demand that massive entitlement cuts must be made, NOW, or they'll kill the economy. They WANT to screw you. It's not a bug, it's a feature.
I don't necessarily think the deficit should be ignored, though I do think that at this point in time the employment situation is far more destructive than the deficit, and also much more amenable to corrective measures that would actually help on a meaningful time-scale. But IF you really believe that the deficit needs to be addressed sooner rather than later, you need to look at what is contributing to it. The Center on Budget and Policy Priorities offers a very telling discussion of this, with a useful chart. No surprise: Bush's tax cuts for the wealthy and the wars are among the biggest contributors.
Take-home message: irresponsible Republican policies have caused the problem that Republicans now want to fix by reneging on longstanding social contracts.
HuffPo says Columbus, Ohio police maced elderly protesters trying to crash the JPMorgan Chase annual shareholder meeting. Those police so assiduously defending the rights of the financial elite to conduct their business without any interference from the hoi polloi should take a look at Ohio's Senate Bill 5, which removes their collective bargaining rights. Maybe they're macing the wrong people.
In case you're graphically inclined or just don't like to read longer articles, John Cole has it all summarized here. As if anyone should be surprised about what's really going on with all the union busting. Graphics courtesy of the Center for Responsive Politics.
So, today Canada gave a dead-eyed sociopath the parliamentary majority he has been itching for. I'm pretty depressed that things went down this way, even though it was accompanied by a historically strong showing from the NDP. But what really concerns me is that that this power-mad control freak is going to interpret this election as a green light to embark on a whole host of "renovations" to Canada, with inevitable lasting damage.