Tuesday, July 12, 2011

Loving money to death

Congressional Republicans -- now using the "debt ceiling" to play chicken with Götterdämmerung -- are traitors.

What remains to be seen is traitorous to whom and what -- swords or plowshares. Or, perhaps, both . . . all of us being much dependent on each.

That, I think, is the most likely scenario in this whole debt-ceiling imbroglio. Congressional Republicans, the frothing-at-the-mouth tea partiers as well as the GOP presidential candidates, are traitors to the nation as a whole. Unfortunately, we are not thus far treating them as such.

Watch Gwen Ifill's
PBS Newshour interview (above) with Jay Powell of the Bipartisan Policy Center. In it, the former George H.W. Bush appointee explains what happens starting Aug. 3 if the debt ceiling is not raised.

IN SHORT, President Obama is right. Social Security recipients likely will be you-know-what out of luck as federal spending, in the span of one day, will have to be slashed by 50 percent.

Given that level of budgetary carnage, what are you going to cut?
Swords or plowshares? The military (now busy with three conflicts) and the Justice Department . . . or Social Security payments, food stamps and welfare?


We have a winner! Sorry, Grandma . . . it ain't you. Or that hungry child over there.

This is what the GOP and the tea party are playing with. This looming human carnage illuminates their treachery.

If humanity isn't your thing, however, consider the economic consequences of vaporizing that much gross domestic product. What do you think that will do to the markets?

And the nation's cost of borrowing.

And yours and mine, too.

And maybe even your job --
assuming you still have one.

IF AMERICA is a faltering empire on life support (and it is), I fear we have just hired the ghost of Jack Kevorkian as a primary-care physician. See, politicians are there to give us exactly what we want or, failing that, convince us what their benefactors want is what we do, too.

But America is built upon love of money as much as love of freedom. As much as we love our money, we hate our taxes, and Republicans have made their modern-day name on promising us more money, fewer taxes and a free lunch, too.

We so love what reality now conspires to deny us behind our façade of bread and circuses.
O! We are Fortune's fools.
With worms that are thy chamber-maids; O, here
Will I set up my everlasting rest,
And shake the yoke of inauspicious stars
From this world-wearied flesh. Eyes, look your last!
Arms, take your last embrace! and, lips, O you
The doors of breath, seal with a righteous kiss
A dateless bargain to engrossing death!
Come, bitter conduct, come, unsavoury guide!
Thou desperate pilot, now at once run on
The dashing rocks thy sea-sick weary bark!
Here's to my love!

O true apothecary!
Thy drugs are quick. Thus with a kiss I die.

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