[THS] !!!! Obamas Budget and the Rot of American Capitalism
The Harder Stuff in news and commentary
ths at psalience.org
Wed Feb 16 15:10:52 CET 2011
[America will not be a promising place for even an educated yougster to try and make a career and live honestly and prosperously, as according to the 'American Dream'. I ADVISE YOU TO EMIGRATE! Do it before you get enmeshed in this rotton and decomposing political system. Are things better elsewhere? YES - concerning just health care and other social services, there are MUCH better places to live and work. -ths]
Obamas Budget and the Rot of American Capitalism
By Patrick Martin
February 15, 2011 "WSWS" -- On Monday, the Obama administration released its
proposed federal budget for fiscal year 2012. After committing trillions in federal
bailouts to the banks and billionaires, the White House is demanding cuts that will
devastate the working class, and particularly its poorest and most vulnerable sections.
The $1.1 trillion in cuts for the next decade proposed by the White House is to be
only the starting point for further cuts, as spokesmen for both big business parties
acknowledge. Senate Budget Chairman Kent Conrad, a Democrat, declared, Weve
got to do substantially more than $1 trillion worth of deficit reduction in the next
decade. Republican House Speaker John Boehner said, Theres no limit to the
amount were willing to cut.
Democrats and Republicans agree on gargantuan military spending, an
uninterrupted flow of funds to the financial aristocracy, and continued tax breaks for
corporate America and the wealthy. As a top White House official told the press at a
background briefing on the budget, The debate in Washington is not whether to cut
or to spend. We both agree we should cut. The question is how we cut and what we
The Obama budget projects that the ten-year cumulative deficit will reach a
staggering $10.4 trillion. By attempting to wring such vast sums from the hides of the
population, the ruling elite is trying to set American society back to conditions not
seen for generations.
Programs to be cut include not only those targeted by Obama and the Republicans in
the current budget debatehome heating assistance, Pell Grants, WIC, Head Start,
etc.but the much larger entitlement programs, Social Security and Medicare, which
will face cuts later in the budget process.
The social impact will be incalculable. As hundreds of thousands of people face the
bitter cold of winter without heat and gas, Obama is proposing halving the grossly
inadequate federal assistance that is available. As students graduate with record debt
and no job prospects, the administration is proposing significant cuts in government
aid. Such gross indifference to social distress is repeated in every sphere.
Significant cuts to Social Security and Medicarewhich amount to denying Americas
elderly their right to pensions and health carewould have an even broader impact.
Behind the debate in Washington and the media over the budget is a massive
liethe claim that the budget deficits are a product of excessive social spending.
Obamas budget director Jacob Lew summed up this grotesque falsification an op-ed
column published in the New York Times February 6, under the headline, The Easy
Cuts Are Behind Us. Lew claimed that the causes of the projected budget deficits
were decisions to make two large tax cuts without offsetting them and to create a
Medicare prescription drug benefit without paying for it, combined with the effects of
This list is notable for what it leaves out: the cost of two wars, in Afghanistan and
Iraq, which runs into the trillions; and the bank bailouts, where more trillions in
public funds were placed at the disposal of the financial aristocracy, with no
questions asked. The military budget by itself accounts for the lions share of the ten-
year deficit: more than $7 trillion of the projected $10 trillion.
Lews more fundamental omission, however, is the grotesque class inequality that
pervades American society. The top one percent of the US population owns over one
third of the countrys wealth. The greatest wealth, however, is concentrated in an
even smaller layer. Indeed, the $1.1 trillion in proposed cutswhich will have a
terrible impact on the lives of millions of peopleis somewhat less than the combined
wealth of only the 400 richest Americans.
The arguments presented by the ruling elite for the cuts are staggeringly hypocritical.
As they drown in floods of cash, they insist that no money is available for workers
most basic needs.
Workers must reject this argument out of hand. They are not responsible for the orgy
of swindling and profiteering that produced the 2008 Wall Street crash and pushed
the world economy into the deepest slump since the Great Depression. On the
contrary, an essential feature of the speculative binge was that the share of national
income received by workers has shrunk to the lowest level in nearly a century.
Underlying the rise of the financial aristocracywhich exercises control over the
entire political systemis the failure of the world capitalist system as a whole. In
amassing its wealth, this tiny layer of the population, concentrated above all in the
United States, has overseen a vast destruction of industry and social infrastructure.
The ruling classes of every country now openly proclaim that the maintenance of
their system depends upon an unprecedented destruction in the living conditions of
the broad masses of the population.
These measures will provoke mass opposition. The revolutionary struggles in
Egyptin which protests and strikes of millions of workers and youth forced the
resignation of a US-backed dictator that ruled the country for more than 30
yearspoint to the forms of struggle that will spread worldwide in the coming period.
Mass unemployment, record inequality, and the corruption of the political system are
common to Egypt and the United States, and are in fact universal. At the foundation
of this system is the principle that economic life must be subordinated to private
profit and the maintenance of the wealth of those who control the giant banks and
The working class can secure its interests only through the overturn of the capitalist
system as a wholethat is, the reorganization of economic life to meet social need. In
every aspect of its policies and of its social being, the ruling class itself makes the
case for socialist revolution.
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