Thursday, December 9, 2010

The death of community

In response to my criticism of Obama yesterday my friend and debate partner provided a bit of insight.

Yes, Chamberlain. Appeasement is the first word I chose.

This represents the death of community, because the gov't won't have the means to fund it. It's hard to imagine tax rates ever increasing again in this country, short of a world war. (And, speaking of short, any modern world war would likely be so short that taxes would be the last thing on our minds.)

That provides an excellent lead-in to today's criticism. This time it's the GOP's turn.

Yes, I've pointed out many times, we know what the GOP is like and what their goals are (see the comment about community above).

We're about to add close to a trillion in debt to appease the rich. Somehow that amount of money doesn't need to come out of other spending. But the big objection to extending unemployment benefits was the money wasn't balanced by a cut in spending. The amount each will stimulate the economy is well documented -- the gov't will get a good deal of the latter back in increased taxes from increased economic activity. The opposite is true of the former.

One little detail of the deal hasn't been mentioned in the mainstream news (though Olbermann mentioned it) -- while unemployment benefits are to be continued, the extension does not apply to those who have already been out of work for 99 weeks.

Which means millions of Americans will be sliding into destitution with no way out. It will expand the ranks of the permanently economically desperate.

If Obama capitulated on the tax breaks for the rich and got only a one year extension of unemployment benefits (though many say he didn't need to) he doesn't have anything to bargain with a year from now to extend them again. Yes, this implies we may be seeing the last of unemployment benefits.

Taxes won't go up. The rich are sitting fat and happy. Economists and Tea Party members are clamoring for the debt and deficit to come down. That essentially means there is one place for this money to come from -- the poor, the working class, and the former middle class. It's going to get desperate out there. Desperate people do violent things. The GOP expects they'll harness that into keeping them in power. Whether they succeed it is going to get ugly out there.

My friend is right. The death of community will be the result. The GOP's demand for lower taxes is disgusting. Alas, we knew that.

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