We are broke
You can practically break a search engine if you start looking around the Internet for those words. They're used repeatedly with reference to our local, state and federal governments, almost always to make a case for slashing programs -- and, lately, to go after public-employee unions. The phrase is designed to create a sense of crisis that justifies rapid and radical actions before citizens have a chance to debate the consequences.
but E.J., you dumb ass, we are going broke, we are spending a LOT more than we are taking in, we have been for a while, things are going to get worse and we can't even eliminate Cowboy Poetry.
Just one problem: We're not broke. Yes, nearly all levels of government face fiscal problems because of the economic downturn. But there is no crisis. There are many different paths open to fixing public budgets. And we will come up with wiser and more sustainable solutions if we approach fiscal problems calmly, realizing that we're still a very rich country, and that the wealthiest among us are doing exceptionally well.
Gotta slam the rich don't you E.J., just can't wait to take a poke. Ummm...so folks are not really broke until they are out on the street? How long to you think we can spend 40% more than we take in until we become broke. You really think that folks who don't want to wait until your little "game" runs its course are wrong? Really?
Consider two of the most prominent we're-brokers, House Speaker John Boehner and Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker. "We're broke, broke going on bankrupt," Boehner said in a Feb. 28 Nashville speech. For Boehner, this "fact" justifies the $61 billion in domestic spending cuts House Republicans passed (cuts that would have a negligible impact on the long-term deficit). Boehner's GOP colleagues want reductions in Head Start, student loans and scores of other programs voters like, and the only way to sell them is to cry catastrophe.
Walker, of course, used the "we're broke" rationale to justify his attack on public-worker collective bargaining rights. Yet the state's supposedly "broke" status did not stop him from approving tax cuts before he began his war on unions and proposed all manner of budget cuts, including deep reductions in aid to public schools.
You mean those tax cuts used to attract businesses? Really E.J.? You are that...much of a...E.J., you just can't tell the truth.
In both cases, the fiscal issues are just an excuse for ideologically driven policies to levy lower taxes on well-off people and business while reducing government programs. Yet only occasionally do journalists step back to ask: Are these guys telling the truth?
Right, the goal is to hurt the poor and help rich people. Honestly don't your children ever read what you write? Have you no soul? We can't just want individual rights and fiscal sanity?
The admirable website PolitiFact.com examined Walker's claim in detail and concluded flatly it was "false."
"Experts agree the state faces financial challenges in the form of deficits," PolitiFact wrote. "But they also agree the state isn't broke. Employees and bills are being paid. Services are continuing to be performed. Revenue continues to roll in. A variety of tools -- taxes, layoffs, spending cuts, debt shifting -- is available to make ends meet. Walker has promised not to increase taxes. That takes one tool off the table."
GM continued to do all that "business" stuff also, and E.J., they were pretty much busted, wouldn't you say? And the whole anti-union thing? E.J. if you took time to read this blog or perhaps the thousand of other available opinion, government unions need to be be busted, they don't make sense, their workers have no "boss" and no financial incentive to limit benefits, in fact just the opposite.
And that's the whole point.
Bloomberg News looked at Boehner's statement and declared simply: "It's wrong." As the agency's David J. Lynch wrote: "The U.S. today is able to borrow at historically low interest rates, paying 0.68 percent on a two-year note that it had to offer at 5.1 percent before the financial crisis began in 2007. Financial products that pay off if Uncle Sam defaults aren't attracting unusual investor demand. And tax revenue as a percentage of the economy is at a 60-year low, meaning if the government needs to raise cash and can summon the political will, it could do so." Precisely. A phony metaphor is being used to hijack the nation's political conversation and skew public policies to benefit better-off Americans and hurt most others.
There you go again with the rich pot shot stuff. Hey E.J., how did the borrow low and hedge your bets work out for Wall Street in 2008, so now you want us to go ahead and go broke, just at a low interest rate? So what happens, Mr. E.J., you dumb shit, after 2 years interest rates skyrocket?
We have an 8.9 percent unemployment rate, yet further measures to spur job creation are off the table. We're broke, you see. We have a $15 trillion economy, yet we pretend to be an impoverished nation with no room for public investments in our future or efforts to ease the pain of a deep recession on those Americans who didn't profit from it or cause it in the first place.
As Sen. Al Franken, D-Minn., pointed out in a little-noticed but powerful speech on the economy last December, "during the past 20 years, 56 percent of all income growth went to the top 1 percent of households. Even more unbelievably, a third of all income growth went to just the top one-tenth of 1 percent." Some people are definitely not broke, yet we can't even think about raising their taxes.
Al Franken, Senator, now there is a scary thought, anyway, you did threaten to raise taxes on the rich, they hid, they sat on their hands, they were pissed at being blamed for being successful and Holy Crap the POTUS said..let's not raise their taxes, we need them to create jobs.
E.J., you should read this blog more, we told you all this stuff was going to happen, now it is and you just can't handle it.