Debt Ceiling Debate Charade Masks Planned Entitlement Cuts - by Stephen Lendman
Short of finalizing details and assuring enough bipartisan support, it's a done deal to slash Social Security, Medicare, Medicaid, and other social spending while leaving outsized military budgets and generous handouts to corporate favorites in place.
At the same time, the timeline to accomplish it is undetermined. Political posturing may extend the August 2 deadline until fall or beyond.
It's how corrupted Washington always works, notably since the 1980s under both parties. Obama was elected to assure continuity and accomplish by rhetorical duplicity what Republicans on their own can't do.
Notably after capitulating last December on tax cuts for America's super-rich, he proposed deep budget cuts, affecting disease prevention, children's and community healthcare, education, supplemental grants to poor women and children, community block grants for housing, energy efficiency and renewable energy, and other benefits for people most in need.
He's a charlatan, not a leader who cares. Earlier, he proposed hundreds of billions in Medicare cuts. It was step one ahead of incrementally ending entitlements and other social benefits altogether, including publicly funded pensions, returning America to dark age harshness.
Bipartisan duplicity supports it, including slashing healthcare, education, housing, virtually all social benefits incrementally, eliminating them all altogether. Obama and many Democrats tacitly agree. Timing is mostly at issue with an eye to 2012.
In principle, Obama and Speaker Boehner privately agreed to $4 trillion in Social Security, Medicare, and other social spending cuts, backtracking when word leaked prematurely to a more modest $2.4 trillion package, then resurrecting the $4 trillion one.
At a July 11 press conference, Obama again stressed "shared sacrifice," leaving unexplained he means working households sacrifice to let America's super-rich share.
Also unmentioned was his 2006 debt ceiling position, voting against raising it in the Senate saying:
"The fact that we are here today to debate raising America's debt limit is a sign of leadership failure. It is a sign that the US government can't pay its bills. It is a sign that we now depend on ongoing financial assistance from foreign countries to finance our government's reckless fiscal policies."
"Increasing America's debt weakens us domestically and internationally. Leadership means that 'the buck stops here.' Instead, Washington is shifting the burden of bad choices today onto the backs of our children and grandchildren. America has a debt problem and a failure of leadership. Americans deserve better."
As President, Obama endorsed reckless fiscal policies, including:
-- trillions of bailout dollars to bankers;
-- generous handouts to other corporate favorites;
-- record high military spending for multiple illegal wars and proxy ones;