“The time for austerity is not today,” said the most under-worked guy in DC, Jacob Lew, Obama budget-guy-turned-chief-of-staff on NBC’s Meet the Press on Sunday. “If we were to put in austerity measures right now, it would take the economy in the wrong way.”
Is that Greek for strikes, riots, burning buildings?
The sudden, deliberate introduction of the word “austerity” into the progressive lexicon ought to give the country cold chills as Greece burns. Class warfare might no longer simply be a political metaphor for taxing the rich.
Instead it might be a budget tactic where real violence is employed to give politicians cover to do what they normally would not do, like passing the suicidal 2012 Obama budget.
Any regime that’s willing to threaten seniors with the withholding of social security checks in the debt ceiling debate, could be willing to ratchet up the stakes quite a bit more. Remember these are the folks from Fast and Furious running our country. Violence is not out of the question.
This fragile recovery will either continue kind of sluggishly or it will slow down considerably. And in either case, it’s not a net positive for Obama.
If the economy continues to improve- it won’t, but I’ll get to that in a second- it only makes Obama’s claim for higher spending and higher taxes seem out of place, dated, an emperor leading from behind a fig-leaf.
If the economy slows down, as I think it most likely will, look for the Occupy army to start protesting “austerity” measures in support of Obama’s rhetoric. And this time they won’t be banging drums in a circle.
The only thing that can help Obama is a real crisis of political collapse, like Greece- not unemployment climbing 150 basis points more or less like the U.S. circa 2011.
The images from Greece where politicians are desperately trying to placate the mob looks like a much better negotiating ploy than anything else the Democrats have tried since they regretted passing Obamacare.
That’s why liberal and main stream media outlets are suddenly crying “austerity!”
“The reaction has been decidedly political on both sides,” writes the HuffPo about the Obama budget “with the White House making a major bet that the country is tired of austerity measures.”
Tired of austerity measures? Yeah-ha!- maybe.
If, you know, any austerity measures had been tried yet, I suppose one could make the case.
“To paraphrase the Occupy Wall Street chant,” writes Forbes regarding Greece, “this is what austerity looks like,” as they point out that in Greece so far “48 buildings were set on fire, 150 stores were looted, 100 people (including 68 police) were wounded, and at least 130 had been detained.”
“The British government came under more criticism on Tuesday for its far-reaching austerity program,” writes the New York Times “after Moody’s Investors Service warned that the country could be next in line to lose its AAA credit rating.” Moody’s is looking at cutting the country’s rating based on economic factors in Europe, not because the government in the UK isn’t spending enough.
“In America,” writes Newsweek, “[George Soros] predicts riots on the streets that will lead to a brutal clampdown that will dramatically curtail civil liberties. The global economic system could even collapse altogether.”
Isn’t this the type of thing that “radical conservative” Glenn Beck has been warning us all about for the last few years; a conspiracy to radically transform America under the guise of protecting America?
“We are now far into the fifth year since a policy was initiated with the avowed object and confident promise of putting an end to slavery agitation,” said Abraham Lincoln in the opening of his House Divided speech. “Under the operation of that policy, that agitation has not only not ceased but has constantly augmented. In my opinion, it will not cease until a crisis shall have been reached and passed.”
The Obama anti-austerity budget offers the opportunity for just such a crisis from a guy who made the confident promise of putting an end to the country’s agitation. And Occupy Wall Streets, unions and community organizers will offer the muscle.
“We are the ones we’ve been waiting for,” Obama declared almost four years ago today.
And who would have thought it would end like this?
Yeah, yeah; I know.
Glenn Beck did.
But at least we know now what they’ve been waiting for.
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