The deficit commission report issued last week is another Saturday night special pressed to the temple of the American middle class.
“Turn over your money and your benefits or your country will die,” the report screams at workers. “You want your country to go bankrupt? No? Then you gotta delay retirement, get less from Social Security, pay more for health insurance and lose your precious few income tax breaks like the one that helps pay your mortgage while the banker is breathing down your neck right now.”
For 30 years, rich conservatives have successfully threatened the American middle class this way, ever since that rich conservative Ronald Reagan converted the White House into a castle.
The result is a country with greater income inequality than during the age of corporate robber barons at the turn of the 20th century. It is a country whose 21st century robber barons, the richest 1 percent of Americans, take nearly a quarter of all income and demand that politicians relieve them of their obligations. The rich — hedge fund owners who rake in billions, Wall Street banksters handed bonuses in the millions, CEOs paid eight-figure golden parachutes after they mess up — insist that politicians place government debt burdens on the middle class, the unemployed, the elderly, the struggling young, people whose income has stagnated for three decades. . . . Read the rest of this entry →