Poll after poll has shown that most Americans, including a majority of Republican voters, oppose cutting Social Security and Medicare to balance the federal budget. Yet the GOP is aggressively pushing for cuts, and for dismantling Medicare altogether through a voucher system.
And rather than fight for these popular and highly successful programs, too many Democrats are undercutting them by endorsing the far-right "Bowles/Simpson" plan. The voices of reason are being drowned out by a conservative consensus and battered by a false "bipartisanship."
The smart (and politically popular) approach would be to increase our inadequate Social Security benefits and rein in the for-profit health-care system that's harming Medicare and endangering the government's long-term fiscal security. Instead they keep talking about a "Grand Bargain" that would do the opposite.
Mayday. Mayday. Mayday. We're abandoning our elderly and disabled. We can't afford medicine for our sick and injured. We have 311 million souls on board. We are in urgent need of assistance.
As austerity economics destroys Europe, our leaders continue to pursue it at home. The Ryan/Romney budget would essentially board up the government -- except for legally mandated programs, and of course the war machine. And at a time when there's an urgent need for government investment in the economy, too many Democrats would rather boast that they'd cut the deficit more than the Republicans would.
Most Americans think that millionaires and corporations should pay more taxes. But even the president's tepid "Buffett rule," which only mandates that they pay at least the same percentage of their income as their secretaries, has no chance of passage. We won't be able to lower the deficit without taxing millionaires and billionaires more fairly.
Calling someone a "tax-cutting deficit hawk" is like saying they're a "vegetarian butcher." It doesn't make any sense.
Sure, the deficit needs to be addressed -- after we've fixed our economic emergency. But making it our number-one priority now is like worrying about water conservation when your house is on fire.
Mayday. Mayday. Mayday. When it comes to the economy we're losing altitude, and the pilots want to point the nose down even further. The only thing they're debating is how much further down to aim. We have 311 million souls on board. We are in urgent need of assistance.
We're arguing over the scientifically settled fact of climate change -- even as tornadoes and hurricanes rip through our cities and towns. And with no apparent sense of irony, Congress keeps cutting funds for storm prediction and natural disaster response.
Bank deregulation created the financial crisis, and environmental deregulation allowed BP's greed and negligence to devastate the Gulf. Yet we keep hearing stale rhetoric about "wasteful regulations." Most of it comes from Republicans, but not all of it. A lot of Democrats are still repeating that worn-out mantra, too much for their own good -- or ours.
Mayday. Mayday. Mayday. Our cities and towns are defenseless against storms and floods. We're losing our last protections against the environmental and economic devastation wrought by unrestrained greed. We have 311 million souls on board. We are in urgent need of assistance.
Civil liberties? Our government reserves the right to kill anyone -- even its own citizens -- anywhere in the world. Nowadays its weapon of choice is the flying death-robot known as a "drone."
And while it's been lenient enough not to kill most of us yet, the government spies on us every day with digital edifices that rival the Great Pyramid of Cheops. These electronic antennae of the NSA, as wide and great and vibrant as the world's great cities, probe our communications and our computers. The catacombs and skyscrapers of electrons and silicon invisibly inspect both our hard drives and our habits. They trace the electronic fingerprints of each digital touch, map the intimate geographies of our social landscape.
Warrant? We don't need no stinkin' warrant!
Democracy? Citizens United was the act of a body whose majority members were identified, filtered, and trained through radical groups like the Federalist Society. They were appointed because they possessed the only quality that mattered: a willingness to use the law to impose corporate rule where democracy once stood.