by Floyd and Mary Beth Brown
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The playbook of the Washington establishment is getting old and almost boring.
Play No. 1 is this: Pass billions in unfunded new programs. Tell everyone we will take care of them from cradle to grave. Subsidized food, medical care, housing, and if your employer goes broke like General Motors or AIG, we will step in with a safety net to rescue the businesses with government loans and grants. The criterion for help and rescue is: Does your support come our way at election time?
Play No. 2 is this: If the American people rebel and say we don’t want to pay anymore for Congress’ wasteful government spending, tell Americans that if they don’t capitulate, the end of the world is upon us. And give “destruction day” a specific deadline for added fright power. This time the date is Aug. 2, 2011 – the day the world will end unless you support our out-of-control foolish spending.
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Then the theatrics begin. The media are mesmerized and cued to play their well-honed part in the playbook. Weeks of reporting commence on all of the terrible results from failing to fully fund the government elite’s pet programs. Here are some of the outcomes we have heard referenced resulting from a failure to raise the debt ceiling: Unemployment will skyrocket. Thousands of businesses will shut down. Soldiers in Iraq and Afghanistan will be abandoned without ammunition, pay or a way home. Your credit-card interest rate will double or triple. Your mom won’t get her Social Security check. Your local hospital will close. All stocks on the NYSE will suddenly fall to zero with massive bankruptcies filling the courts. Farmers will stop planting crops. The supermarket shelves are soon empty. One pundit even predicted mass psychosis if Los Angeles doesn’t get its monthly shipment of anti-depressants. He claims one-third of the population is on the government-subsidized pills.
Wow, no wonder John Boehner and the Republicans roll over and fund everything the Washington establishment desires. They would be personally responsible for the end of America, the starvation of 300 million people and the shutdown of your cable TV.
People, take a deep breath. The sun will still rise on Aug. 3, irrespective of what happens in the U.S. Congress. And what does it say for a nation that it is so dependent on debt and additional handouts from the Chinese that it would implode in a matter of hours?
The final play in the playbook is for the media to give us around-the-clock coverage of a great clash. In this latest round, it is the tea party against sane people who want to keep America swaddled in the welfare state. And the great compromise is consummated.
In this case, John Boehner’s plan becomes “the best deal we can get.” It is now time for everyone to get in line. But please don’t give us the details. We might become disgusted with our cowardice.
The Boehner plan enshrines a massive, bloated, socialist state that will go on pretty much unaffected. We would laugh at his plan if it didn’t make us cry.
The blueprint proposed by Boehner gives Obama his increase in new borrowing authority, and then claims 10-year domestic phantom spending reductions of trillions, with the creation of a new committee of senators and congressmen to find these spending cuts.
The plan fails to provide hard numbers for budget reductions in 2012, the only year this Congress actually controls. To translate Boehner’s plan: New borrowing starts immediately and spending cuts may come someday over the rainbow.
The only benefit of the Boehner plan over Obama’s is it doesn’t raise taxes. And debt increase is smaller than Obama wanted, so we have to live through the whole charade again next year.
What they don’t want you to know is that they get over $200 billion a month in revenue, and that is more than enough money to pay our interest bill and fund Social Security, Medicare and essential government services.
We can only pray that the freshman Republicans don’t capitulate to the fear mongering, will reject all the plans and force government to right size now. It will be a crash diet, but it is the best medicine for a healthy economic future. Let’s see who scores.