Our “republican” form of government, or our (representative) democracy, if you prefer, is inconsistent with neo-liberal economics. You can have one or the other, but not both, simultaneously.
According to the MSM, “we’re facing another government shut-down.”
Is that so? Why is that so? Almost every member of Congress, all 535 members, is sworn to implement one or more of the principles of neo-liberal economics. Austerity measures are attempts to take a meat ax to government spending in an alleged effort to “control the deficit” and “pay down the national debt.”
A deficit nothing more than new (IOU) money that has been spent into the economy and has not yet been (IOU paid) taxed. Congressional “budget concerns” as presented to the masses are essentially due to ignorance, or they’re knowingly lying to us, or some combination of both.
The whole shut-down crisis is more absurd theatre in my opinion.
We are not like Greece, or Spain. Euro-zone countries don’t have the ability to create new money. In Europe, sovereign currency ended with the creation of the euro-zone. As long as the U.S. retains its sovereign currency, the government can spend what is needed for our national interests and for our people. Our fiscal policy is directed by Congress. Congress must do its job: Decide where our national spending priorities lie. In theory at least, we get to vote on fiscal decisions, holding our elected representatives accountable for spending that actually furthers the public interest.
The Federal Reserve, on the other hand, conducts monetary policy by controlling the interest rate and money supply. Neo-liberals in Congress consistently abdicate their fiscal duties by trying to pawn off fiscal responsibility to the Fed. No matter how hard Congress tries to dodge its duties, the Fed cannot conduct fiscal policy effectively using monetary policy. This also tends to undermine democratic processes. Citizens cannot vote directly for Federal Reserve board members.
It’s best to ignore Congress’s rhetoric, and the media’s arm-waiving. A sovereign government with a sovereign currency does not fund anything with taxes.
Deficit reduction is just another cruel neo-liberal trick that combines “dollar religion” and some twisted Calvinist ethos that insists that self-sacrifice and suffering are good and necessary for the human spirit. It’s no accident, however, that austerity is imposed from on high as atonement, or cleansing pain, consistently inflicted upon pensions for government workers, welfare programs, government-sponsored health care, and other programs that disproportionately affect low-income earners at a time when they’re most vulnerable. Capital triumphs, democracy loses — every time. It’s been this way since Reagan’s “supply-side,” upside-down economic “order” was imposes by both parties in the 1980’s.
To counter the voodoo, all people need to do, in mass, is demand that spending priorities focus on programs with strong public purpose, and help achieve full employment for all who seek work working. The notion that we cannot afford national defense, and effective domestic spending programs, is baseless, bipartisan nonsense.