The forces of darkness are gathering for a carefully orchestrated all-out assault on Social Security and Medicare during the post-election lame-duck session. And, they are using the same hysteria tactics that they used for the Iraq war, the Protect America Act of 2007, the FISA Amendments Act of 2008, and many others: “Time is running out. We have to act now. Otherwise, we’ll suffer a disaster.” That same train is coming again, this time to tear down the social safety net.
Make no mistake about it, this is “class warfare.” It’s not right vs. left or GOP vs. Dem. It’s the 1% vs. the rest of us. The official pitch is that we are caught between a “mountain of debt” and a “fiscal cliff” over which we are scheduled to fall on New Years Day, unless we act quickly. They’ll start counting the days down the minute the elections are over.
Here is a July 23, 2012 C-Span interview of Maya MacGuineas, President of the Committee for a Responsible Federal Budget, and New America Foundation, Fiscal Policy Program Director, by C-Span host, Libby Casey. (h/t commenter Blue Onyx.) Maya is an official pitch lady, a pretty face, for this assault. And it’s mostly all lies prepared by a network of bought-and-paid-for think-tanks, journalists, politicians, and lobbyists funded by the likes of Peter G. Peterson, who has dedicated the past several years to battling “entitlements”:
Peter G. Peterson (born June 5, 1926) is an American businessman, investment banker, fiscal conservative, author, and politician whose most prominent political position was as United States Secretary of Commerce from February 29, 1972, to February 1, 1973 under Richard Nixon. He is most well known currently as founder and principal funder of The Peter G. Peterson Foundation, which he established in 2008 with a $1 billion endowment. The group focuses on raising public awareness about U.S. fiscal-sustainability issues related to federal deficits, entitlement programs, and tax policies. [Wikipedia]
The anvil against which the forces of darkness hope to smash the New Deal and the Great Society is the dreaded “fiscal cliff,” over which they claim we’ll plunge, like Thelma and Louise, on New Years day unless we sacrifice the social safety-net. But, the Congressional Budget Office estimates that if the laws currently in place take effect, the economy will contract at a 1.3 percent annual rate in the first half of 2013 and then grow again in the second half at a 2.3 percent annual rate. That’s a far cry from a cliff. It’s more like a six-month pot hole that could be filled in with a bit of stimulus funded by zero-interest borrowed money. The forces of evil however, want to fix that six-month short-term problem by making long-term cuts to our “entitlements,” which they hate.
It’s time for pitch forks and torches. Let’s smoke them out now rather than waiting for their assault.