Sunday, March 6, 2011

Republicans and Democrats battle over spending cuts

The situation is metaphorically equivalent to the following:

An unemployed husband, whose gambling debts have bankrupted the family, comes home and, after beating his wife and kids a bit, informs them that the family financial predicament is all their fault. He points to wasteful purchases like shoes for the daughter, a repair to the refrigerator, and a medical bill for the son as examples of the wife's bad fiscal management and the kid's institutionalized dependency.

He then tells them that they will have to cut back or risk losing all they have. He makes a list of things that they can no longer afford, including any new clothing for the kids (who, in any case, have been getting most of their clothes at the local thrift shop), his wife's accounting course (which was going to get her into a higher-paying position at work), groceries, the car, and the dog.

Then he goes off to the casino with his gambling buddies.

The husband is right -- thanks to his profligacy, they are going to lose everything and he's right that they must cut back. Unfortunately, it's hard to chose the high moral ground on cutbacks when you caused the crisis that makes them necessary and when you refuse to cut back on those very activities.

Just in case this has been TOO metaphorical for some readers, the unemployed husband represents the tax-cutting Republicans, whose desire to cut taxes further and further have starved the economy of money and whose insistence on maintaning a perpetual war machine as well as letting Wall Street and large corporations run amuck has sucked up whatever money was left after the tax cuts.

The wife represents the rest of us -- the working poor and middle class -- who try and try to make a living, but can't becaue the destruction of the economy has left us with no money for food, shelter, medicine, you name it. The children represent us, too, and all those who depend on us.

The Rethuglican solution is to do more of what they have already done and to blame the results on the rest of us. The fact they can get away with this sleight of hand may be attributed to the compliancy of the media and decades of grooming of the public for just such an outcome.

The only solution is to roll out the guillotine.