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Published by: River Cities Reader on Aug 03, 2011
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River Cities’ Reader 
• Vol. 18 No. 784 • August 4 - 17, 2011
Business • Politics • Arts • Culture • Now You Know • RiverCitiesReader.com
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River Cities’ Reader 
• Vol. 18 No. 784 • August 4 - 17, 2011
Business • Politics • Arts • Culture • Now You Know • RiverCitiesReader.com
interested in containing spending, let aloneshrinking government, regardless of howunsustainable it is, now or in the future.Suggesting that this recent deal to raisethe debt ceiling significantly cuts federalspending is complete fiction. It does nosuch thing. The $900-billion reduction isfrom the increase in projected spending for2012. Congress did not agree to cut a singlecurrent expenditure.To illustrate, let’s say I budgeted andspent $1,000 in 2011. But for next year, Ibudgeted $2,000. However, I made a “deal”and agreed to cut my spending by $900in 2012. This means that I have agreed toonly spend $1,100 next year. There is noreduction in actual spending. I am goingto spend another $1,000 plus an additional$100! But I tell you that I’m reducingspending by $900.This is the kind of disingenuousmanipulation that Congress considersfair play these days because Americans enmasse do absolutely nothing about suchdeceptions – except bitch, of course. Thefact is that this is the largest federal debt-ceiling increase in history – $2.4 trillion!Be clear: Congress will
spendingin 2012 by $1.6 trillion, and even moreevery year after that. Another dirty littlesecret is that “baseline budgeting” buildsautomatic, future spending increases intoCongress’ budgetary forecasts (RCReader.com/y/baseline).Furthermore, any credit-ratingreduction is also political theater. First, any organization that needs to raise its debtceiling to borrow 40 cents on the dollar topay its bills deserves a demotion in its creditrating, especially where no credible plan forreducing its current spending is in play.But whether the rating agencies act isirrelevant, because these nefarious agencieshave irrevocably demonstrated their ratingsare not to be trusted. It is ludicrous on itssurface. Their past bad acts have renderedthem just short of organized crime – only because they were not prosecuted. Notlowering the rating would only confirmthe point, so they have little choicelest they lose all hope of redemption.Consequently, these agencies are insteadconsidering creating a new rating category exclusively for governments. It is a schemeto potentially avert reducing the rating thatwould trigger increases in interest rateson borrowing, which in turn results ininflationary pressure on the dollar, erodingmore of Main Street’s net worth than WallStreet’s. It is a horror of a predicamentattributable to gross incompetence by ourleaders.To add insult to injury is any pretense of 
TARP, Stimulus, Now Debt Ceiling Increase: Back in the Woodshed
by Kathleen McCarthykm@rcreader.com
ere we go again. The newphilosophy of government is tonever underestimate the stupidity of Americans. After all, we will swallowanything these days. There is no lineCongress can draw in the sand that wewill not step over in terms of complacentconsent for politicians and bureaucrats,including the courts and police, to abusetheir authorities.Do Americans not understand thatas long as we remain silent, doingnothing in response to these outrageousfinancial manipulations by Congress,they will continue to burden taxpayerswith unsustainable governance? Howmany times do we have to be taken tothe woodshed before we resist? Just asthe majority of the world’s economistspredicted, TARP and both stimulusexpenditures were eventually exposed asboondoggles. But how quickly Americansforget.
Once again Congress, with the fullcooperation of the mainstream media,created a faux crisis to justify evenmore astronomical spending. For weeksAmericans have been hammered withmisinformation, half-truths, and, insome cases, outright lies relative to thedebt ceiling. Broadcasters, with the soleexception of Judge Andrew Napolitano,warned in dire terms that to not raise theceiling meant economic “Armageddon,”borrowing President Obama’s descriptortime and again.Meanwhile, Congress participated inpure theater throughout this past six weeks,pretending to argue over terms of a “deal”to raise the debt ceiling that promisedgenuine reform in congressional spending.It was political posturing with one goal:to keep the coliseum mentality thrivingamong Americans by ensuring that wecontinue to blame one political party overthe other. It absolves us from personalresponsibility for not getting involvedby giving us a place to assign blame. By supporting one party over the other, weconvince ourselves that we are civically participating. And that is at the core of how the two parties guarantee their ownsurvival. It has become a pathetic system of codependence.The silver lining in this debt-ceilingdeal is the final proof that America has just one political party with two branches– Democrats and Republicans. Thiscarefully crafted illusion of a two-party system is finally over. The debt-ceilingfiasco has outed the political truth thatcharacterizes both sides of the aisle:Neither Democrats nor Republicans are
credibility given to Treasury Secretary TimGeithner, whose financial wisdom amountsto the latest Goldman Sachs dictum. If we have learned anything, it is to do theopposite of whatever that scoundrel advises.The debt-ceiling deal also establishes a“Super Congress” of handpicked legislators– six chosen each by Senators Harry Reid(D-Nevada) and Mitch McConnell (R-Kentucky), both of whom are establishmentcongressmen and among the worstoffenders of overspending in congressionalhistory.More importantly, this givesunprecedented control to a mere 12members of Congress, who decide spendingpriorities for approximately $2 trillion overthe next decade. The rest of Congress canonly vote their picks up or down. However,the deal provides that only about $25billion needs cutting between now and 2013– which represents about a week’s worthof federal spending. And nearly 70 percentof the cuts will not occur until 2016 andbeyond!Once again, Congress was duped by thethreat of default constituting economiccollapse if they didn’t raise the debt ceiling.But similar to the TARP and stimulusbills, once the debt ceiling increase wasapproved, and amidst legislators’ lamentingthe bill, we’re learning that the legislationis full of deferments/loopholes, reducing itto nothing more than another performanceorchestrated by both parties to push theissue beyond the next election in hopesthat voters will forget their disgracefulabdication. How supporters of the Tea Party can equate this with a political victory willforever be a mystery to this editor.The mainstream media has also provenbeyond question it cannot be relied on forthe whole truth on any subject, and thedebt ceiling deal is no exception. If youremember nothing else, remember this:The government is projected to collect$2.2 trillion in tax revenues in 2012 but isprojected to spend $3.7 trillion, leaving itshort $1.5 trillion. Congress deal raised thedebt ceiling by $2.4 trillion, giving Obamaan extra $900 billion to spend as he seesfit! The federal debt will now increase to$16.7 trillion in Obamas first term, anunprecedented increase that has no closerival.Consider this: Because we have nospending reform, we must pay the intereston our debt, Social Security, Medicare,Medicaid, and military personnel. If wedo this, and wish not to increase spendingbeyond this point by borrowing thedifference, then we must cut approximatel85 percent of every other federaldepartment.So ask yourself: Is this country better off after three decades of increased spendingby government on countless programsaffecting education, defense, transportation,food and drugs, environmental protection,commerce, health care, and energy, to nameonly a handful of numerous categories forwhich a governmental agency has beencreated?In other words, is education substantially better in America today as compared with20 years ago, when the majority of urbanschools are failing under both Bush’s NoChild Left Behind and Obama’s Race tothe Top? Is our environment cleaner/saferwhen chemtrails are abundant across thenation’s skies, dispersing contaminants intothe atmosphere that corrupt the pH balancein soil, all under the guise of protecting theEarth from global warming?Of the wars we have engaged in overthe past three decades, how many havewe actually won, including those ondrugs, poverty, and terrorism? Where isthe science behind the official claims thatgenetically altered seeds and hormone-injected meat and poultry are safe toconsume? Has the condition of our roads,bridges, and infrastructure systematically improved, and how much of it have wealready sold to foreign countries?How viable is the country’s energy policy,considering we’ve had an entire departmentdevoted to energy for 30-plus years nowbut still have no official energy policy? Thefundamental purpose of this agency is tomanage the distribution of huge subsidies
In “How Beautiful English Can Be”(
River Cities’ Reader 
Issue 782, July7-20, 2011), Pat Flaherty’s PrenziePlayers credit is
Troilus & Cressida
, andthe actor’s former high-school directoris Tom Hogue.In that same issue’s “Bursting at theSeams,” the names of performers SteveLasiter and Krianna Walljasper weremisspelled – both of whom the story’sauthor actually knows personally.And in our review of 
Harry Potter &the Deathly Hallows: Part II 
River Cities’ Reader 
Issue 783, July 21-August 3,2011), the name of Harry’s nemesis is,of course, Voldemort. You know: HeWho Must Not Be Named ... Or SpelledIncorrectly.Mike Schulz, author of all threearticles, apologizes for the errors, andinsists/hopes this won’t become amonthly feature in the paper.
Continued On Page 20

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