It has passed the House and is on track to pass the Senate and be signed by President Obama this evening. They’re referring to it as a “compromise,” but nothing could be further from the truth. Some Democratic senators, at least, are willing to stand up and cast their votes as “nay” … but not enough to stop it.
Calling this deal a “compromise” would be comical, if it wasn’t so serious. The Republicans get their spending cuts and no new taxes or revenue; in November, a bipartisan committee will vote on more spending cuts and tax increases … but there’s a catch: John Boehner has already said that the Republicans appointed to this committee will not agree to tax increases, and if the committee cannot decide, more spending cuts will happen by default, including cuts to Social Security, Medicare, Medicaid, and other essential programs.
So, where is the compromise? Once again, seniors, the middle-class, and the poor will end up shouldering the entire burden of deficit reduction while the top 1% laugh all the way to the bank. Senator Bernie Sanders (D-Vermont) gave an impassioned speech on the Senate floor today, saying why he would not be voting for this bill. He cited the fact that in the last 25 years, 80% of new wealth in the U.S. has gone to the top 1%; he also pointed out that the top 400 people in this country have more than the bottom 150 million people combined. He called the situation “immoral” and he is absolutely right.
We’re in a real bind; we’re faced with the choice in 2012 of voting for an ineffectual pussy like Barack Obama or whatever greedy Republican hustler ends up getting the nomination … which is why the democratic process in this country is a goddamned farce and amounts to nothing more than a spectator sport—the same as rooting for your favorite team on Sunday afternoon.
Speaking of Sunday, mine was pretty good. I like to spend Sundays with my family—no work, no writing, no politics—just movies and lazy afternoons at the beach. I don’t do this out of observance of some religious rite; it is, quite naturally, the Right thing to do.
Now I’m going to get back to work on my fifth book and try to forget that although the Democrats mean well, in the end they are hopeless, spineless yahoos who somehow have managed to let the Republicans repeatedly bully them into one disaster after another, even though the DFL controls what amounts to 2/3 of our government.
But thank you, Bernie Sanders.