I really sat down to write about something more pleasant than the chicanery and “Bah! Humbug!” spirit reflected by Trump, the Republican Congress, think tanks, many on Wall Street, and the GOP’s wealthy donors. Who wants to think about “starving the beast” when it snowed for the first time in years? But alas, Trump has only let a few days elapse since Christmas before he is in austerity mode. Apparently, the Ghost of Christmas Past was fired immediately after appearing late at night in one of Trump’s mansions (where he spends about one-third of his nights), rather than changing the man’s soul. Many of us suspect his soul is impregnable by goodness and light.
Gosh, I wish I got paid to write about “starving the beast,” as Grover Norquist calls it. It seems like a frequent topic for my writing. That must be because Republicans in Congress are getting more and more plutocratic, oligarchic, and extremist. And of course, Trump is just absolutely off the moral and political rails. He is longing for autocracy and to have his narcissistic dream come true: worship and attention 24/7 by all.
This article is a forehead-slapping report and analysis about the GOP moving even more quickly than expected to cutting social safety net type benefits. They passed a fairly obnoxious tax bill, and the dust from that moral debacle hardly settled before they are reaching down into their dark bag of chicanery to pull out a surprise for the rest of us to gulp down, just as the Christmas season is ending.
The first aspect of outrage is the fact that, true to form, the GOP strong-armed a tax bill through Congress using various nefarious methods which is bound to offer a bit of stimulus but a lot of debt. $1,500,000,000,000. And liberals were supposed to be the wing that spends and spends us into debt! If this were a $1.5 trillion infrastructure or jobs bill, that might be one thing. But this was tax breaks in a boom-time. The bill was a give-away to the wealthy and powerful more than it was meant to help the lower- and middle-class. Note that it doesn’t “overhaul the tax code,” ostensibly a goal for the GOP since Reagan; it merely reduces the revenue the country can expect in future years. It’s a Christmas gift for the Scrooges who lobbied for it. No sooner did it pass than hyper-creep Orrin Hatch (R-UT) hinted that Congress probably won’t have enough money to fund useful social programs and entitlements.
No sooner did it pass than hyper-creep Orrin Hatch (R-UT) hinted that Congress probably won’t have enough money to fund useful social programs and entitlements. The GOP, at least since I have been paying attention, will find money for war and to feed the military-industrial complex, or to give tax breaks to the already-supremely-rich class, but when it comes to helping families, they can’t find the money. There is even yet another debt ceiling. You read that right: there is a government shutdown looming even as the GOP rammed through a tax cut that puts us further in debt. It’s just outrageous. It’s unscrupulousness and chicanery, plain and simple.
It’s akin to austerity. It’s very cynical; political gamesmanship at its worst. Here is a New York Times article that supports that contention. Here is a snippet: “Republicans don’t care about budget deficits, and never did. They only pretend to care about deficits when one of two things is true: a Democrat is in the White House, and deficit rhetoric can be used to block his agenda, or they see an opportunity to slash social programs that help needy Americans, and can invoke deficits as an excuse.” I couldn’t agree more.
It’s a prime example of “starve the beast.” If you don’t know what that nasty little phrase means, check this link out.
Here is a summary of the strategy of starving the beast:
“In the summer of 2001, during the first months of the George W. Bush administration, a bill was passed that slashed taxes for almost all taxpayers, but especially those in the upper tax-brackets. Proponents of Reaganism cheered this on as the start of a new era of starving the beast. Then along came 9/11 and the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq, as well as the coverage of prescription drugs under Medicare; just as in Reagan’s presidency, the national debt nearly tripled. Whoops!
A more recent example of starving the beast is the set of rules put in place in the House of Representatives by the new Republican majority, which is called “Cut-Go,” short for “cut as you go.” Under this policy, all new spending must be balanced by a cut in some other spending, but a tax cut does not have to be balanced by raising some other tax, because Laffer curve, duh.” – RationalWiki
What kind of leaders do the following, and in what kind of society do these events occur?! Follow this thread and see where it leads you:
- jobs are paying less than they did in decades-past;
- jobs are going overseas;
- automation and robotics are taking over jobs;
- the American middle-class is shrinking;
- uber-wealthy people own as much wealth as 90% of the rest of the population;
- more wealth simply equals more capital for investing and political capital to lobby Representatives;
- money equals free speech, and it is relatively unlimited and secretive when used for bribing Representatives;
- child poverty is alarmingly high;
- infrastructure is grossly unmanaged;
- food stamps are used by huge numbers of Americans;
- the real unemployment rate is probably 10-15%;
- tax cuts are passed that primarily benefit corporations who often pay no tax or store profits off-shore;
- $1,500,000,000,000 is expected to be lost due to the cut;
- the party in control is so adamantly against debt that there is frequently a threat of a government shutdown unless austerity measures are taken;
- due to the budgetary pressures, it is recommended by the party in control that social services, social safety net programs, and entitlement programs be curtailed, shorn, and ended.
I ask again, what kind of leaders do such things? In what kind of society do the following things occur? It’s just outrageous. It’s a bizarre, voluntary type of austerity meant to create a two-class society, and it is gross governance. It’s not what the people want, and it costs real people dearly. Starving the beast is a cynical and dark excuse for proper government.
If you still have the stomach for this benighted concept, check this blog out. Here is one in the same vein, too. If you want to see a good site that is pro-government-providing-needed-and-helpful-social services (authentic governance), try this link.