"That agenda ends"
I wish there were more stories like this one by Andy Kroll in Mother Jones called The United States of Austerity. It explains why, beyond the usual tribal loyalty and team spirit, the activist liberal base is nearly apoplectic about the disaster capitalist agenda of America's ruling class. We hate the debt deal in the abstract of course. On a macro level it's terrible for growth and employment. And we hate it on a political level because it's further empowered a bunch of right wing lunatics and smug centrist millionaires to create even more chaos and destruction. But the ultimate reason we are so agitated is because of this:
The Obama-GOP plan cuts $917 billion in government spending over the next decade. Nearly $570 billion of that would come from what's called "non-defense discretionary spending." That's budget-speak for the pile of money the government invests in the nation's safety and future—education and job training, air traffic control, health research, border security, physical infrastructure, environmental and consumer protection, child care, nutrition, law enforcement, and more.This isn't just an abstract set of numbers. These are devastating cuts to vital government programs for real human beings. And it's going to go on and on and on because nobody in our political system will even make the argument that such government programs are necessary to a thriving first world nation.
The White House's plan would slash this type of spending nearly in half, from about 3.3 percent of America's GDP to as low as 1.7 percent, the lowest in nearly half a century, says Ethan Pollack, a senior policy analyst at the left-leaning Economic Policy Institute. Pollack's calculations suggest the cuts in Obama's plan are almost as deep as those in Rep. Paul Ryan's slash-and-burn budget, which shrunk non-defense discretionary spending down to just 1.5 percent of GDP. The president has claimed that the debt deal will allow America to continue making "job-creating investments in things like education and research." But on crucial public investment, Obama's and Ryan's plans are next-door neighbors. "There's no way to square this plan with the president's 'Winning the Future' agenda," Pollack says. "That agenda ends."
I know that many right wingers take immense pride in the fact that they have never set foot in another country. Dick Armey used to boast about not having a passport. But it would be useful for them to travel to some banana republics and see whether or not that's what they really want as their legacy because for all their caterwauling about "the children and the grandkids" that's exactly what they're leaving behind them.
Look at this picture from Mother Jones that illustrates perfectly what America's future is going to be if we stay on this track:
The Detroit Public Schools book depository, built in the 1930s and designed by famed architect Albert Kahn, now stands abandoned, its floor covered in rotting textbooks. Thomas Hawk/Flickr