The ‘fiscal cliff’ is an artificially deadline created in earlier negotiations as a weapon against the working class. It was designed to create conditions that would allow the implementation of measures otherwise deemed too unpopular to pass.
Should Washington ‘go over the cliff,' working people will bear the brunt of the impact. The effect will be:
- Tax increases that cut worker take-home pay by 7%.
- Unemployment insurance for 2 million long-term jobless will end immediately.
- Benefit cutoffs for another million people.
- Federal workers get unpaid furloughs.
- Essential social programs [energy assistance, child nutrition, education grants will take across-the-board cuts.
And this is only the beginning of horrors.
The fiscal cliff is merely the first in a series of artificial deadlines slated for 2013. Another deadline comes late February. It concerns raising the federal debt ceiling, the very issue that served a pretext for a bipartisan agreement in August ‘11 to cut $1+ trillion in social spending over the next decade. In March, the “continuing resolution” adopted before the election to authorize federal spending for six months will expire. And so the charade will continue.
Expect each deadline to become a phony excuse for butchering key federal social programs: Social Security, Medicare and Medicaid, retirement income and pay for health care for tens of millions of elderly, disabled and poor people.
The minuscule tax increase for the rich fake is a fake debate. It diverts attention from a reactionary agenda [comprehensive reform] to lower working class income and corporate taxes next year.
The current ‘agreement’ is a victory for the whole bourgeoisie over the whole working class. What President Bush could not do, President Obama does. President Obama is managing these changes in the interest of the ruling plutocracy, while pretending to be a working class hero.
To use the imagery of the Hebrew prophet Micah, the Democratic Party [like the Republican Party] is led by blood-spattered priests of wealth and power who strip the bones of the poor of flesh and grind what is left for the cooking pot. Is this what we voted for only two months ago? Is this the social contract on which we agree? Is this the 'America' for which our parents, children and we ourselves struggle to support, fought and died? Is it?
It is now clear that in political parlance, ‘strengthening’ a social program means permanently slashing benefits. ‘Balance’ and ‘fairness’ mean gutting the lives of tens of millions of working people, and expecting them to cheer because CEOs and bankers get a temporary token tax. In President Obama’s mind, ‘everybody doing their share’ means that millionaires and billionaires pay slightly higher taxes, while the hungry eat less, poor children see the doctor less often, and the elderly lower their thermostats because they can’t pay the fuel bill.
President Obama is prosecuting a social counterrevolution. It being implemented by the ruling class worldwide. In every country, the representatives of the finance class plundered national treasuries to bail out the banks and speculators. Now they are utterly determined that working people everywhere pay for their economic malfeasance and political abuse. Your role is to 'accept' this with gratitude.
The very framework of the so-called budget ‘debate’ is a lie. The lie pretends that no money exists for health care and education, or for decent wages and benefits for the working class. Corporate profits and the fortunes of the financial elite continue to soar. Social inequality reaches to the skies. It is estimated that US corporations are currently sitting on $3 trillion to $5 trillion in cash reserves. How much money must the finance class extract from the economy before we accept slavery to it, or else rise in mass against it?
The actions of world governments, led by the US, are dictated according to class interests. If you see where the present direction is leading, you can be certain that your leaders do. There is a reason that domestic security is one of the few business sectors which is booming. Republicrats know precisely where the measures they implement at the demand of the finance/investment class will lead.
Capitalism is hitting the wall. As the conditions of economic crisis deepen, the ruling class means to fight to the end to defend its stolen wealth, even if at the social price of driving the masses into poverty/slavery. They revile Marx and socialism because these things are just as Marx predicted 160 years ago. Now that we're arriving, the last thing your fiscal/political masters want is for you to educate yourself [let alone be educated] in Marx' thoughts and writings. Socialism alone offers us a principled, systemic response.
In present conditions, bipartisan policy means implementing austerity Capitalism together. Can it be resisted? Yes. How? Only as the working class makes a complete break with the Democratic Party. The platform of the Socialist Party IS the answer to the implementation of austerity/hegemony/Capitalism. To join and support the Socialist Party is to take up the struggle against the Obama administration and the capitalist two-party system.
It is time to build an independent, mass movement committed to a thoroughly socialist program that defends the social rights of the working class to jobs, homes, decent wages, health care, education and a secure retirement over and against corporate profits stolen from the working class. Look at your children and your grandchildren. Do it for them.