Following on yesterday’s post about the use of the “OOH! SHINY PEBBLE!” trick by focusing on deficit reduction, we find that, over at TPM, Rotwang nails the deficit reduction misdirection hooey too:
I beg you all to not get embroiled in the bankrupt pastime of figuring out how to balance the budget. That is what all the very serious people, the economic royalists of The Washington Post (“If you don’t get it, you’ve got a quarter!”), the ignorant television talking heads, and now a parade of bankrupt commentators and commissions would have us do. This is the ultimate sucker’s game.
Amen. Instead we should do this:
In the face of this perverse distraction, what is called for is a doctrine of implacable massive resistance: no discussions of austerity until the current employment situation is adequately addressed. What is called for is a trillion of new spending. It’s time for the WPA and the CCC. High-speed rail. Rebuild the Gulf Coast wetlands. Weatherize tens of millions of houses. Wire the schools. Free municipal wireless broadband. Reverse all state and local government budget cuts.
And before dealing with deficits, something should come first:
Show me an enacted program to raise employment massively, and I’d be willing to talk about ways to fix the budget in a humane way, closing military bases, withdrawing from Afghanistan and Iraq, raising taxes, and plenty of other wholesome devices. Until then, forget it. The notion that we have to do something “now” or else is just a flaming lie. We’ve been told this for twenty years. Who can still believe it?
You would think twice if you lived under a totalitarian regime and some mundane topic like civil service pay, legitimate in and of itself, was raised. No, there are some issues that automatically justify postponement of other discussions. 9.5% unemployment is one of them….
So our children will enjoy less debt and more indigent parents and grandparents. The effective political response is obvious: “WHERE ARE THE JOBS?” You fucks.
I’ll note that, in a recent poll, by a margin of fifteen to one, people thought jobs were important, not deficits.
Apparently, 56% of Americans are now liberals. Or something.