So much of what you read, hear and see in the MSM Lie Machine really needs to be taken with a grain of salt. The debt/deficit hysteria – what’s it all about anyway. The bottom line in the “centrist media” is that we need to start making massive cuts to Medicare, Medicaid and Social Security right now or experience Financial Armageddon 10 years down the road. So Obama is setting up a sickening “Gut the Entitlements” commission which thankfully will get nothing done due to Republican intransigence. None of this really makes much sense.
What’s behind all of this? Turns out that Republican Game Plan since Reagan has been “starve the beast.” This was reiterated by Reagan, Bush, Allan Greenspan (the economic hero of both political parties) and Irving Kristol. Since spending cuts would not be popular, the Game Plan was to push through massive tax cuts, which would be.
Starving the beast means depriving the government of spending. Faced with drying revenue inflows, spending cuts would be sold as necessity. That, or the Republicans would just run up wild deficits and explode the public debt while they were in office, with the obvious though unstated agenda of causing state financial ruin at a later day.
The entire MSM, across the board, from “liberal” to “centrist” to right, would be utterly silent while this financial time bomb was being set off. The tax cuts of Reagan and Bush were greeted with glorious accolades, while the wild deficits were blown off with statements like, “Deficits don’t matter.” Huge armies of columnists and think tank whores were enlisted in this “deficits don’t matter” lie. Just about every Republican asshole you met in real life, if they had an opinion at all, repeated the same insanity.
When a Republican was in, it was all “deficits don’t matter,” but as soon as Bill Clinton came in, everything changed. Once again, the entire “democratic” and “diverse” US MSM was bombarded with a torrent of propaganda about how we needed to “balance the budget,” control the “deficit” and then hopefully start “paying down the federal debt.”
Your average Republican dipshit on the street, if they had an opinion, was repeating the same stuff like a Goddamned Myna Bird. I’d tell them how a few years back they were all, “deficits don’t matter” and they’d either get pissed or act like I was speaking Swahili.
Turns out Bill Clinton was the most fiscally responsible US President in decades, but he got no credit for it. Instead, bizarrely, he was tarred as a “tax and spend” profligate.
Turns out Clinton left office with the US government massively in the black. That was only 2000, ten years ago. The Republicans were freaked, and they were in office. Suddenly there was a “debate” about what to do with “extra money.” Like save it for a rainy day? Hell no.
There was no debate. Once again, the entire “left to right” spectrum of the US media decided that, “It’s your money, so you need it back.” The entire surplus was immediately blown on dumbfuck tax cuts and within a year, the state was badly in the red again. About this, once again, there was silence from the MSN and cheers from the Republican on the street.
Soon Bush beat all previous Presidents in financial irresponsiibility, but there was not a pipsqueak to be heard about that from the “democratic and diverse” MSM media in the US, nor from the Republican on the street. I’d bring it up, and all I got was, “deficits don’t matter” again.
Does any of that make sense? Of course not. Why should deficits be irrelevant and government act like a drunken gambler on a bender with a credit card and when Republicans are in office, but then as soon as a Democrat comes in, it’s all financial responsibility again.
Well, now we have a new Democratic President, and the shit’s started all over again. Remember: as soon as a Democrat comes in, the entire MSM and the Corporate Ruling Class turn into deficit hawks, quick as a chameleon. Your average dumbass on the street, including “liberal Democrats” my late father (and he was a good, solid liberal Democrat too), fall for the con one more time.
Since Obama came in, it’s all debt and deficits and spending freezes, all the time. Furthermore, now the big boys, the Big Three, are on the block: Social Security, Medicare and Medicaid. They could never cut those before, because they are too popular. But the entire US media, from “left to right” has been itching to destroy these programs for over 30 years.
Paul Krugman makes sense of all of it here. It was all just a sinister plot from Day One. And now the Republicans are doubling down: They are deliberately trying to provoke a financial catastrophe so that “emergency measures” will be needed to deal with the Big Three and slash the state to bits once and for all.
A few things are clear. Just as Marx said, you never really have democracy in capitalism. You have in effect a class dictatorship of the ruling class. We know it is a dictatorship because they will steal elections if need to, kill, jail and harass opponents, and if there is ever a threat to their rule, the result is typically either a military coup or a Contra insurgency. A true democracy would allow the Ruling Class state to be replaced by a popular one. Since generally this is not possible, you typically never have democracy under capitalism.
Part of the way that Ruling Class Rule is enforced is by capturing the entirety of private sector media. The Ruling Class then sets up fake “left,” “center” and “right” factions of the Ruling Class media which more or less all say the same thing, with a few variations. Bottom line is they are all part of a project to perpetuate Ruling Class Rule. In fact, all of these outfits, from “left to right” are all run by Ruling Class members themselves, who use the outlets to aggressively propagandize for their class interests.
The Ruling Class then sets up or infiltrates various political parties, once again, “from left to right,” but once again, all of these parties are simply factions of the Ruling Class. Members of society then align with the media outlets and parties somewhere along this spectrum. Some become “liberals,” some “centrists,” some “conservatives.” Most of them don’t realize that these positions are almost meaningless and they are all, liberals to conservatives, simply supporting one faction or the other of the Ruling Class and its mouthpieces.
So you don’t really have much in the way of political freedom under capitalism since all or certainly most of electorate is under the sway of one faction of the Ruling Class or other. Sure, you can form some little popular party, but with no money, you will probably never get elected.
So you don’t have much in the way of freedom of the press under capitalism. Sure, you can say whatever you want, but unless you have a zillion bucks, no one can hear you. You have freedom of the press for those who own one, and everyone else is effectively silenced.
You don’t even have much freedom of thought under capitalism, because due to the fact that the entire media and all of the parties are typically just factionized elements of the Ruling Class, the overwhelming majority of society is effectively brainwashed into becoming a “supporter” of one faction of the other of the Ruling Class.
Through clever use of media and political ideological monopoly (washed together into what Gramsci called “culture”), you have a society that, at the end of the day, is nearly as brainwashed as Maoist China’s. Yeah, you have freedom of thought, but almost everyone is too brainwashed to exercise it. There’s no need for gulags or bullets in the head, as there are few dissenters and their political power is zilch anyway, so they can be ignored.
If through some miracle, a popular regime is ever somehow elected through the fog of Ruling Class Propaganda and Politics (“culture”) there are always contras, military coups, imperialist sanctions and death squads to reverse the progress.