A new poll shows public outrage at the government at their highest levels ever. (Some of this is fueled by the stalemate on the hill.)
This jihad on debt was hatched by right wing think tanks and the studies commissioned by billionaire Pete Peterson paint alarmist scenarios about the government going broke through a combination of reckless entitlement programs like Social Security and Medicare and runaway spending. There's no mention of the amount wasted on wars or the debt that finances programs spawned by the Pentagon and the private sector that they believe can do no wrong.
It is in sharp contrast to the debt issue I explored in my 2006 film In Debt We Trust: America Before The Bubble Burst. I focused on mounting consumer debt and how it turned so many families into serfs, living to pay off high interest credit cards, crushing student loans and fraudulent sub prime mortgages.
Not only is this debt crisis that so many American feel deeply and personally not on the Republican agenda, but the kamikazes have fought successfully to neuter proposed reforms to protect consumers and have managed to force the Administration to abandon Harvard Professor Elizabeth Warren who led the fight for government agency to stop the abuses by banks and credit card companies.
These Republicans have no shame in weakening attempts to make the octopus of loan companies more transparent and less predatory.
Protecting people is not one of their priorities. Defending the privileged is.
While their narrative of negativity became dominant, progressives either became a cheering squad for corporate democrats or over focused on the machinations of the flamboyant Michelle Bachman's, Sarah Palins and Glenn Becks.
They mostly reacted instead of acting.
They did not fight their narrative with another one attacking the economic powers in a crusade for justice.
They watched as community organizations like ACORN were driven into the ground and only woke up when the Governor or Wisconsin went after the collective bargaining rights of unions.
Instead of organizing and united around campaigns based on program for substantive change, they went on the defensive designed to hold on existing rights instead of also fighting for new ones for all Americans.
As a result, the left has left itself out of this polarized political war even as the economy worsens while the media focuses on the clash of the gladiators in the hill. Reich reminds us these are not Clinton times:
"When the Great Recession wiped out $7.8 trillion of home values, it crushed the nest eggs and eliminated the collateral of America's middle class. As a result, consumer spending has been decimated. Households have been forced to reduce their debt to 115% of disposable personal income from 130% in 2007, and there's more to come. Household debt averaged 75% of personal income between 1975 and 2000.
We're in a vicious cycle in which job and wage losses further reduce Americans' willingness to spend, which further slows the economy. Job growth has effectively stopped. The fraction of the population now working (58.2%) is near a 25-year low--lower than it was when recession officially ended in June 2009."
Who is talking about this disaster?
News Dissector Danny Schechter directed the DVD Plunder The Crime of Our Time to expose Wall Street Crimes. (PlundertheCrimeOfOurTime.com)