Today a bunch of rich white guys held a "Fiscal Summit" and agreed that:
1. Despite the fact that unemployment is causing untold suffering for millions of people, it's not very important.
2. Despite the fact that wage stagnation is destroying the middle class, that's not important either.
3. Despite the fact that we need the social safety net more than ever after what they've done to the economy, it's expendable.
4. Despite the fact that our government can borrow money at record low rates and use it to put people to work, thereby ending the recession and jumpstarting the economy, that option's not even worth discussing.
5. Despite the fact that these men all possess great power, wealth, and/or influence, everything that's wrong with the economy is your fault.
6. Since it's all your fault, you better get ready to pay up.
Oh, and one other thing:
7. They're all very smart and very brave. It's too bad the rest of you people are such jerks.
Any questions? Let's hope not, because they're all busy men and it's great golfing weather this week in DC.
(Sure it's hot, but the weather calls for refreshing bouts of rain. Those are the perfect moments for cooling off under a rain-soaked cabana or golf cart umbrella. Precious moments, meant for breathing in the smell of wet grass as waiters marinated in Maryland raindrops refresh your gin and tonic. Mr. President? Mr. Speaker? Last one to the clubhouse is a rotten egg!)
The Summiteers convened in a nation wracked by unemployment and filled with crumbling schools and bridges. There they concluded that our most urgent problem is ... government deficits. That's like preaching about water conservation when your house in on fire.
Stuff White People Like
The best that can be said about this billionaire-funded display of arrogance, ignorance, and self-satisfied moral decay is this: If bullish*t were nickels they could have ended the deficit today.
Then there's the self-congratulation. It doesn't matter what nonsense they spout: They think their long years in insulated, oak-lined boardrooms means they know more than you do. It wouldn't have surprised me if one of them had suddenly burst into Rutger Hauer's soliloquy as a dying android in Blade Runner:
"I've seen things you people wouldn't believe. Attack ships on fire off the shoulder of Orion. C-beams glittering in the dark near the Tannhäuser Gate. All those moments will be lost in time, like tears in rain."
And yes, all of these guys are rich. Some have more money than others, but nowadays anybody with a guaranteed income and a lavish source of retirement income is. Fat pensions? They all have 'em -- at your expense. Until then they can bank on some sort of cushy job or income stream from the Pete Petersons of this world if things turn sour for them politically.
The behavior of Reps. John Boehner and Paul Ryan was, if nothing else, predictable. Sure, it's always shocking to observe the callous indifference of rich people toward those in financial need. But their callousness is baked into their politics.
I Got Mine 2012
The low point of the day was the spectacle of former President Clinton mouthing false platitudes designed to gut everything his party once represented. The bogus arguments put forward by Clinton and the session's other willfully uninformed participants have been decisively refuted time and time again since they were first raised -- in 1935!
And they were decisively put to rest by a bipartisan committee (doesn't the sacred word "bipartisan" help?) assembled by a Republican President -- in 1958.
Think of it: The Bowles/Simpson plan touted by Clinton would gut student loans and other educational programs that might someday help some other young kid from Hope, Arkansas follow in his footsteps. You'd think that would mean something. But then, like today's other major participants, Bill Clinton's already got his.