Posts tagged hostage taking
Posts tagged hostage taking
Standard & Poor, explaining their decision to downgrade the credit rating of the US for the first time in history.
So let’s revisit this:
"I think some of our members may have thought the default issue was a hostage you might take a chance at shooting. Most of us didn’t think that. What we did learn is this — it’s a hostage that’s worth ransoming. And it focuses the Congress on something that must be done." - Republican Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnnell, on his party’s handling of the debt ceiling.
Was it worth it? You incorrigible bastards still wounded the hostage. And now, for acting like deadbeats, you all tarnished the full faith and credit others have in the US to make good on its obligations.
(Source: The Wall Street Journal)
Goddammit. Is every single session of Congress going to be like this? One day, we’ll say, “No, Mitch McConnell, you bitter, turtle-esque asshole. We know you won’t shoot the hostage.” And then one day, those batshit bastards are going to shoot.
I’m glad you learned a lesson. By flat-out stating the economy, plus the full faith and credit of the US are worth taking hostage for ransom, you have officially revoked your right to bitch when someone calls you terrorists. Who takes hostages again? Riiiiight… criminals and terrorists.
The US deficit reduction plan makes no sense – until you remember who’s behind the Tea Party movement.
By George Monbiot. Published in the Guardian 1st August 2011
There are two ways of cutting a deficit: raising taxes or reducing spending. Raising taxes means taking money from the rich. Cutting spending means taking money from the poor. Not in all cases of course: some taxation is regressive; some state spending takes money from ordinary citizens and gives it to banks, arms companies, oil barons and farmers. But in most cases the state transfers wealth from rich to poor, while tax cuts shift it from poor to rich.
So the rich, in a nominal democracy, have a struggle on their hands. Somehow they must persuade the other 99% to vote against their own interests: to shrink the state, supporting spending cuts rather than tax rises. In the US they appear to be succeeding.
Partly as a result of the Bush tax cuts of 2001, 2003 and 2005 (shamefully extended by Barack Obama), taxation of the wealthy, in Obama’s words, “is at its lowest level in half a century”. The consequence of such regressive policies is a level of inequality unknown in other developed nations. As the Nobel laureate Joseph Stiglitz points out, in the past 10 years the income of the top 1% has risen by 18%, while that of blue collar male workers has fallen by 12%.
The deal being thrashed out in Congress as this article goes to press seeks only to cut state spending. As the former Republican senator Alan Simpson says, “the little guy is going to be cremated.” That, in turn, will mean further economic decline, which means a bigger deficit. It’s insane. But how did it happen?
The immediate reason is that Republican members of Congress supported by the Tea Party movement won’t budge. But this explains nothing. The Tea Party movement mostly consists of people who have been harmed by tax cuts for the rich and spending cuts for the poor and middle. Why would they mobilise against their own welfare? You can understand what is happening in Washington only if you remember what everyone seems to have forgotten: how this movement began.
On Sunday the Observer claimed that “the Tea Party rose out of anger over the scale of federal spending, and in particular in bailing out the banks.” This is what its members claim. It’s nonsense.
The movement started with Rick Santelli’s call on CNBC for a tea party of city traders to dump securities in Lake Michigan, in protest at Obama’s plan to “subsidise the losers.” In other words, it was a demand for a financiers’ mobilisation against the bail-out of their victims: people losing their homes. This is the opposite of the Observer’s story. On the same day, a group called Americans for Prosperity (AFP) set up a Tea Party Facebook page and started organising Tea Party events. The movement, whose programme is still lavishly supported by AFP, took off from there.
omg this is wonderful
I imagine this was slipped under the Oval Office door this morning.