Monday, October 7, 2013

1/4 The GOP's Billionaires: Why They Ordered the Shut Down

The Reign of Morons? Maybe Not

"We did this. We looked at our great legacy of self-government and we handed ourselves over to the reign of morons.

This is what they came to Washington to do -- to break the government of the United States. It doesn't matter any more whether they're doing it out of pure crackpot ideology, or at the behest of the various sugar daddies that back their campaigns, or at the instigation of their party's mouth breathing base. It may be any one of those reasons. It may be all of them."

Charlie Pierce 

(Read Pierce's Esquire editorial here. MeanMesa enjoys listening to Charlie Pierce, a frequent guest on the Stephani Miller Show.)

While Pierce's understandable irritation with the visible side of events such as the shut down is enticing, it is also evidence of the carefully obscured fundamentals in the situation.  Those visible "morons" have been quite decisively purchased and placed in the easily criticised positions where we now find them.  They are little more than craftily deployed "ground troops," obedient and expendable, assigned the mission of sacrificing themselves for a far more sinister intention than the one we seem to see in their actions.

These four posts are about the billionaires behind the scene -- behind this scene.

Every time the US government "buckles" from a shut down, a debt ceiling tantrum or the like, interest rates go up from the "uncertainty" these episodes are designed to cause.  If you are a billionaire desiring to place your wealth in an investment somewhere, but as you look at the possible global choices, you currently see too much risk, you will naturally be drawn to US Treasury bonds.

If you can manipulate politics in a way which perturbs this market, sending bond interest rates higher, your bonds will make even more money.  Those higher rates will be paid for -- quite silently -- by the entire US economy.  Every price in a transaction conducted in US currency will be "inflated" just a tiny bit to compensate for the money's slightly reduced buying power, a reduction necessary to pay the increased interest on the Treasury bonds which give the dollars their value.

As a billionaire, the scheme you have just implemented amounts to a synthetic kind of universal inflation, one conveniently over looked by official statistics. What could possibly be better than that?  You get to set the interest rate on your own savings account.

It is, by the way, far too late to think of a US federal budget that can function without borrowing money. The moneyed class simply won't have it.

A "balanced budget" is absolutely the last thing that the "interest rich"  GOP billionaires might possibly want. If you still think the "big boys" went after Bill Clinton because of Monica, get over it.  The federal budget surpluses of 1998 and 2000 amounted to an ice pick in the temple for the plutocratic holders of mountains of Treasury bonds.

 A US Federal Budget: The Abandoned Child

If you are a Republican Congressman with an invisible GOP billionaire or Super PAC as your sponsor and benefactor, you have a constituency of one.  You will still be allowed to name Post Offices and answer requests or complaints -- so long as they're not too expensive -- from your district voters, but when it comes to your part in the construction of a Federal Budget, you will never need to so much a "break a sweat."

That little sliver won't be enough. (image source)

While this may seem somewhat mysterious, a quick trip to the archives should clear up everything right away.

In the "old days" this country actually had annual federal budgets, and we can locate copies of those budgets amid the written records of the US government.  A close look at one of these historical examples will go a long way toward explaining our Congressman's abhorrence with so much as "dirtying his hands" preparing one now.

Those old budgets did a few things which our modern oligarchs really don't like.

When one of those federal budgets had been thoroughly negotiated between the Parties, had endured "conference committees," and had finally been signed into law by the seated President, that final document spelled out all sorts of things.  Those "things" were chiefly focused on tax law to generate revenue, and mandatory spending to implement the partisan political agendas hammered out in the Congressional debate.

This sensible outcome would be the equivalent a room temperature Martini, a migraine headache and a crushing case of gout for the typical GOP billionaire.  Naturally, as the plutocratic orders dribbled down from the palaces, through the Super PACs and into the dismal political reality of a clutch of dutifully obedient, totally sold out Republican Congressmen and Senators, the word was simple: "No Budget.  Whatever crazy, half baked thing you might be thinking of doing, block any effort to create a budget as if your life depended on it."

The GOP's billionaires have quite a different concept about "how things should be run," and that "concept" has everything to do with taxes and spending.  In fact, we can spot evidence of this in a noticeable "faltering" in the extortion scheme unfolding in the House.

When the heat went on, the billionaires began "selecting" certain government expenditures which they would grudgingly allow -- opening the the Veterans Memorial on the Washington Mall, for example.  The price was right, and the press was all over it.

For the plutocrat the mere mention of mandatory spending causes hives.  Every expenditure must be debated, under cut, exploited and, ironically, utterly uncertain until the very last minute if our little billionaire was to be satisfied with it.  On the "revenue side" Reagan's onslaught of middle class tax increases, the tax payer bailout of Wall Street banks and the perpetual -- perhaps eternal -- protection of the Bush W. tax cuts were the right idea; spending on infrastructure, jobs programs, education and the like were the wrong idea.

Further, in the billionaires' eyes -- and consequently also deeply embedded in the faux ideological "souls" of the obedient Congressional puppets -- once these wrong ideas were actually in writing, they would become even more odiously wrong.

The Prospects of a Not So Happy Ending

MeanMesa is convinced that the 2014 election will very likely flood the House of Representatives into a slender Democratic majority control.  However, in terms of dealing with the GOP's billionaires and their tea bag ground troops, this may not be any sort of politically genteel "changing of the guard."

Instead, the fulcrum may well shift to another mad house populated with legislators almost as extreme as the tea bags -- except of course, liberally extreme.  Additionally, all these Democrats will have leaned quite a lot from the constantly bad manners of the GOP clown car.  

These new House Democrats will not be breathing a sigh of relief and optimistically searching for a more constructive future.  Instead, they will be still stinging from the disrespect, vengeful far beyond the imaginary civility of the Congress and, most importantly, completely aware of the now revealed, cancerous "probity" of the owners of the Republican Party.

During the most violent period of the French Revolution the guillotines were dropping with the regularity of an OCD meth addict swatting flies.  Further, the silk bodice on one of those recently modified, headless corpses cost more than a year's salary of the man who pulled the rope to drop the blade.

No doubt, this astonishing lack of historical knowledge helps the GOP's billionaires drop off to sleep.

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