Is what the Republicans have been waging against most Americans economic terrorism? Today, former US Treasury chief Paul O’Neill said as much. He says this with specific reference to the GOP threatening to force the US to default, rather than lift the debt ceiling. Terrorism is the intentional creation of extreme fear or panic state among a group of people or a country by using overwhelming threat. When it comes to ordinary lives of working class and poor Americans, the GOP has terrorized Americans day after day. They also did it to push Americans to support the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan. They do it now to impose Shock Doctrine-style Friedman economics upon us. It is economic shock and awe, designed to beat us into submission and to give up everything. Witness the nearly constant threats to, or actions to:
–Use extortion to get their way on every aspect of the economy.
–“Hostage-taking” in “negotiations” concerning the budget, tax cuts, and the debt ceiling.
–Take down our government.
–Default on our nation’s debt and thus harm the US economy and that of the entire world should the US default.
–Stall the economy so Obama doesn’t get reelected, thus punishing all of us.
–Forced joblessness of millions because of insufficient attention to growing jobs due to their relentless antics.
–The continued pushing by GOPhers of laws, tax preferences and policies encouraging the offshoring of US jobs. (Yes, some Dems are guilty of this too.)
–Continue the predatory system by which Wall St. enriches the few while destroying millions of Americans.
–Aid and abet of Wall Street’s war on the rest of us, culminating in the 2007-8 financial debacle.
–Take away sustenance from the poor.
–Eliminate or drastically reduce aid for college for those who cannot afford it.
–Wage war against school children and the right, not the privilege, to an education.
Destroy Social Security though, overwhelmingly, Americans want to protect and strengthen it.
–Continue the 46 year war against Medicare, culminating in the vote last week in the House to end it, and the resulting future insolvency for our nation’s future (and even current) retirees.
–Default on the debt to the Social Security trust fund (and other creditors)–that is theft;
–The theft of our tax dollars to hand over credits and other giveaways to rich people and corporations (the latter of which often do not even pay taxes, so they get a net gain from us). This was never more clear than in Ryan’s bill to cut 4.2 Trillion from programs people depend upon and hand $4.37 Trillion to the rich and corporations in “tax cuts”. When many such corporations pay no takes in the first place, the gifts are massive theft and wealth transfer from ordinary Americans to the top 1-2%. But it is also economic terrorism at its scorched-earth worst.
–The wiping out financially of constituencies which have traditionally voted Democratic, such as labor, teachers, nurses, etc.
–The harassment and attempt at crushing of institutions helping ordinary people (Planned Parenthood, Acorn, AARP). The GOP has threatened and investigated (is Brietbart close behind?) AARP so it remains silent in the face of the rest of these other threats.
–Ruthlessly ratchet down wages of working people. In some cases the minimum wage is even being threatened.
–The continued refusal to change policies which allow absurdly grotesque CEO packages at the expense of jobs.
–The attempt to alter protections against child labor.
It all adds up to economic terrorism against Americans. It is not just threats, though that would be bad enough. Today’s national and statewide GOP is waging war against the citizens. This is not just a difference of opinion, or competing ideologies. The national Republican leaders and some governors have stepped into some sort of macabre effort to destroy much of the economic security, safety and health for America’s overwhelming majority. And they do so with the intention of rendering Americans into a state of helplessness.
This ongoing attempt to terrorize and steal from Americans cannot be turned around with simply the re-election of our president, though that will be crucial too. This cannot be reversed by the gnashing of teeth, followed by shrugging of shoulders. It will take sustained effort by everyone. But the actions will have to be waged through issue advocacy groups and “think tanks” of our own, rather than through elections alone. would that simply working for Dems would do it. But, given the retirement of our one senator we can count on most of the time, and the possible succession by another Catfood Commission wannabe (in addition to Mark Warner), I think there is no chance of that. Far from the ranks of partisan activists, may the lethargy of a beaten-down 98% of Americans give way to a new energy that we will not stand for this. I do not intend to eat catfood. And I hope you do not stand for it either.
What Americans need more than anything at this point is protection from a savage national GOP gone berserk on its own contempt, avarice, out-of-control nihilism, and corruption. Meanwhile, we will not stand for the pathological destruction of lives due to unacceptable policies, laws and behavior levied by today’s national (and some governors) Republicans. May our President, the Democrats in Congress, and a few good Republicans rise to the challenge.