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Archive for September 23rd, 2012

Our next Republican President

Posted by Charles II on September 23, 2012

Jason Farago, The Guardian:

Not too long ago, Chris Christie, the obstreperous governor of New Jersey, liked to tout something he called a “Jersey Comeback”. But that phrase somehow didn’t make it into his keynote speech at last month’s GOP convention. And no wonder: unemployment in the Garden State is at a 35-year high of 9.8% – the fourth-worst in the nation – and unlike in the Rust Belt states or other hard-hit regions, in Jersey unemployment is still climbing. Poverty rates are also at their highest in years, according to new census figures. And this week, all three of the big credit rating agencies lashed the state’s economic performance, with S&P cutting its rating to negative and warning that Christie’s budget was a thing of make-believe.

when the head of the state’s nonpartisan office for budget analysis identified the massive revenue shortfall [due to Christie’s false projection of 7.2% growth], Christie responded in typically furious fashion. “Why would anyone with a functioning brain believe this guy?” he yowled, before comparing him to Dr Kevorkian.

Christie first trumpeted his arrival on the national scene by cancelling, at the height of Tea Party anti-government fervor, the largest public works project anywhere in the United States: a vital new tunnel under the Hudson River 20 years in the making….according to a report this April by the Government Accountability Office, Christie had grossly exaggerated New Jersey’s liability for the tunnel. He said the state would have to foot 70% of the bill; it was really under 15%.

Bluster and lying work pretty well until there is impact with reality.

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Big Business: Blaming The Government For Their Own Failures Since 1932!

Posted by Phoenix Woman on September 23, 2012

Richard Wolff speaks: You listen:

Capitalists and the rich remain determined now NOT to bear the costs of the bailouts or the crisis. Unlike in the 1930s, they don’t see organized, determined and militant workers’ movements to worry about today – nor any USSR positioned as an alternative to modern capitalism. So, they push austerity policies for governments everywhere. To sustain governments’ austerity policies, capitalists and the rich lean on their ideological crutches to try to thwart political opposition.

The mainstream ideology that works best as capitalism’s crutch is blame the government. This interpretation of modern society insists that the ultimate root and cause of economic problems is the government, not capitalism nor capitalists. If you are unemployed, foreclosed, or underpaid, the problem is not the capitalist who refuses to employ you, evicts you, or pays you poorly. It is instead partly your own fault, but mostly that of the government: the politicians and the bureaucrats.

Blame-the-government ideology serves capitalists and the rich executives, managers, professionals and advisers who depend on them. They can boost their profits and wealth by cutting wages, jobs and benefits, using toxic technologies, relocating businesses overseas, jacking up prices, foreclosing, evicting, and so on. They can provoke global crises and take massive bailouts with public money. To cover all that, business and political leaders, media spokespersons and academics compose a chorus that endlessly repeats, “blame the government.” They seek to transform that idea into “common sense” so victims of capitalists’ actions will automatically not blame them, but instead get angry at politicians.

If you’re wondering why Big Business backs bigots (whether in terms of race, gender, religion or other markers) via the Southern Strategy, wonder no more:

Mainstream blame-the-government ideology is a fig leaf that hides (and thereby protects and supports) how capitalism works. In crisis times, it intensifies (e.g., Sarah Palin, Paul Ryan and Rush Limbaugh) to shift public attention away from capitalism’s breakdown and gross injustice. Its ideologues then urgently ratchet up blame on the government for taxing us, limiting guns, attacking marriage, religion and heterosexuality, mandating health insurance, imposing regulations etc. Their mission: redirect mass hurt, fear, anxiety and resentment about the effects of capitalist crisis into rituals of resisting the evil politicians and bureaucrats who want to control us.

This is about as simple, elegant and concise a stating of American political reality as can be imagined. Which is precisely why you’ll never see it on the Big Three, CNN, or FOX.

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