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OpEdNews Op Eds    H2'ed 1/4/11

An Answer to 2011's Austerity Arguments: 'We Won't Pay For Their Crisis'

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from The Nation

First, Washington squandered our tax dollars enriching the corporate contractors that profiteer upon unnecessary and seemingly endless wars. The cost figure just for the Iraq imbroglio is now far in excess of $3 trillion, according to The Washington Post.


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Next, Washington bailed out the big banks and the multinational corporations that got so greedy they wrecked themselves and the U.S. economy. How much did that cost? In addition to the initial $800 billion shifted their way by President Bush and the Congress in 2008, there's the little matter of the Federal Reserve's "backdoor bailout": low-interest loans and other deals doled out to the largest banks and corporatuions. According to data obtained by U.S. Senator Bernie Sanders, I-Vermont, the 21,000 transactions from December 2007 through July 2010 that totaled more than $3 trillion.

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Three trillion here, three trillion there... sooner or later, we're talking about real money.

And a real big hole in the federal budget.

In 2010, the new theme of the Washington elites was that the U.S. had spent itself into a financial mess. President Obama's "Deficit Commission," Republicans in Congress and even some Democrats were all saying that the country was broke and that it was going to be necessary to put Social Security, Medicare, Medicaid and other social programs at risk to balance the books.

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That's right. They want working Americans to sacrifice in order to pay off the debts they ran up on their wars and bailouts?

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John Nichols, a pioneering political blogger, has written the Online Beat since 1999. His posts have been circulated internationally, quoted in numerous books and mentioned in debates on the floor of Congress.

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