Friday, December 13, 2013

Democrats and Populist Causes

If any event ever disproved the liberal position that electing Democrats is necessary, or even valuable, for the populist cause, this new budget deal should certainly do the job. It won’t, of course, because liberals hold fast to the position that “my mind is made up so don’t confuse me with any facts.” They also steadfastly focus on what Democrats promise and staunchly ignore what they actually do in office.

Neither side will mind the fiction, to repeat myself, that this budget is a false pretense; promising to do something in ten years while being only a two year deal. Nor will they mind that it doesn't even actually do what it proclaims to do; actually reduce the deficit to any meaningful degree. It actually replaces a $6.3 billion deficit reduction with a $2.3 billion reduction, which looks like a $4.0 billion increase to me. Even if you ignore reality and accept the $2.3 billion reduction; the CBO estimates the deficit to be $6.3 trillion over the next ten years, so that $2.3 billion amounts to a reduction of one third of one percent.

If I tell a prospective client that I am going to solve one third of one percent of his problem, and that I am going to take ten years to do it, he is going to tell me to take a long walk on a short pier. But I’ve covered all that before; back to Democrats and their claims to populism.

Democrats should be the ones screaming about the horrors of this budget deal, but other than a few mild squeaks about the failure to extend jobless benefits they ate not objecting to it at all. Rather than mild objections, they should refuse to accept a budget that did not include an extension of unemployment benefits, and that’s just the starting point. This entire budget is supported on the backs of the working class and gives an entirely free ride to the oligarchy.

Revenue increases are not in the form of a more progressive income tax, which certainly should be the case, but are in the form of “user fees” which will fall heavily on the working class. You will, for instance, pay a higher fee for the privilege of being groped by a uniformed thug at the airport every time you take the kids to visit Grandma. Government workers will pay a higher fee for their pension, and that is not a higher contribution which they will get back when they retire, that is a higher fee for the same retirement benefit. Many of our military retirees will have their cost of living adjustments reduced.

Democrats are saying they will get the unemployment benefits done at a later date, but it obviously will be a lot harder to do that as an “off budget” item. Not to mention that Obama promised to eliminate the “off budget” spending that Bush made so common.

Is there any evidence in this budget that Democrats are standing up for the working class? There is not, because they are not doing so.

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