Hidden in the tedious language of “sequestration,” which is guaranteed to lull Americans into disinterest, is an epic battle between the interests of the rich and the poor. Since the rich tend to chronically have the upper hand, having the fiscal cliff conflict come out favorably for the poor seems improbable, though there’s always hope. When the poor come to the government for welfare, they are stigmatized and degraded. When the rich come to the government for welfare, they convince everyone they earned it.
Many of the same individuals who received billions of dollars from the government in the bank bailouts, such as Lloyd Blankfein and Jamie Dimon, are currently spearheading a campaign to demand billions of dollars in cuts to social programs while billions more are requested for corporate “incentives” like tax breaks. These men, and many other CEOs of companies ranging from TimeWarner and Honeywell to Boeing and General Electric, are all part of Campaign to Fix the Debt, a project of the Center for a Responsible Federal Budget. Fix the Debt is really just an advocacy organization for people who deeply believe in disaster capitalism and austerity measures. Their solutions for resolving the debt “crisis” always revolve around funneling more money toward the wealthy through tax breaks for both corporations and upper income people while making dramatic cuts to the social safety net.
Naomi Klein called the ideology practiced by Fix the Debt, “the shock doctrine,” albeit this time the disaster is being generated in the form of a “fiscal cliff.” Across the world, powerful financial interests like the World Bank or the IMF have declared countries, regions, or other localities “disaster zones” where they could go in and impose “restructuring.” This was always a conservative’s fantasy come true: 1) cut off government services, 2) sell off government assets 3) privatize remaining government services, and 4) focus the entire economy on paying off debt. If you follow up with the countries or other localities that endured disaster capitalism and its austerity measures, they are decimated societies that have fallen to the bottom on nearly every measure of well-being. Now, organizations like the Center for a Responsible Federal Budget want to impose the shock doctrine with the most ambitious target yet, the whole American government.
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