Home Budget, Economy The Austerity Emperors and their Virginia Lacky Trudge On

The Austerity Emperors and their Virginia Lacky Trudge On


God, I wish Mark Warner were up for re-election this year. When the time comes, primary the man.  Somebody, please. Come to think of it, though, as we learned in Virginia previously, North Carolina this past year, and in South Carolina this week, voters can be as stupid as hell, voting against their interests over and over. Early polls show Virginia voters may be poised to redefine stupid ever more downward. How else can one explain that some voters actually think Kookinelli preferable in the VA governor’s race or that Mark Warner is actually on their side? There is simply no Democrat more in the pocket of austerity emperor Peter Peterson.  You recall, this buddy of the Koch brothers and 20th/21st Century co-conspirators against the American people for decades, is also co-architect of a plutocracy organized to enrich the 1% (and squash the rest like bugs).  And it is time everyone understand what that means.

The discredited austerity emperors have been shown to have no clothes.  The economic data since the 1980s show trickle down voodoo “economics” does not work. (So now the House GOP is considering legislation to end the collection of economic data so we cannot know the truth.) Similarly, the “research” supporting austerity does not exist. The infamous (Peterson-linked) Harvard duo just made the shit up and dropped data inconvenient to their preordained results.  Ooops.  But Mark Warner persists. (More commentary and the text of his remarks follows.)

In over 150 colleges and universities, including several Virginia public universities, the Kochs’ monies are donated to extract Koch influence into econ department hires. They still hope they can perpetuate the con. All across this country, the Koch-Peterson crowd is trying to rewrite economics into their own twisted, contorted image. If science doesn’t back you up, invent it. Peterson founded his own press, the Fiscal Times, conveniently sounding like the Financial Times in order to confuse readers into thinking it is a legitimate news source. Now his buddies the Kochs are trying to buy up some of the nation’s most prestigious newspapers. And Mark Warner is their biggest acolyte in the Senate. It is Virginia’s shame.

Amid that backdrop, Warner’s grandstand (see video above or text below) is particularly pathetic. He includes the false suggestions that:

*The main thing anyone talks to him about is the deficit and the debt (yeh, sure, everyone wants to bring on austerity and kill jobs).

*Austerity,he falsely suggests, will cure what ails America (when the evidence both research-wise and in practice all over Europe) clearly shows it will not).  

*The real data from the failed Harvard “research,” actually shows austerity does not work (the opposite of what the original authors claimed.

*If only everyone would listen to the boy “genius” the world would be saved. Gag. Only Mark Warner wants to solve problems. No-siree.  No one else.

*In order to be on the right path you have to be in the pocket of Peter Peterson and his crowd of whack-jobs.  

Wow! What we need is JOBS, not austerity.  Americans need living wage jobs that will support a family. We need an end to more expensive privatized formerly public education. We need affordable health care and we need security in our senior years. We need protection against a rigged economy, rigged banks, a rigged tax system and a rigged system of laws and governance that puts the 99% of this country squarely last and the rich like Mark Warner and Peterson first.

The Peterson whack jobs have pored over a billion dollars into the political system misinforming Americans, indoctrinating them, and trying to tip everything more in favor of the 1% than it already is. You see, for Warner and pals, enough is never enough. They have lied to Americans over and over by force feeding them the mythology that if only everyone will just give more tax cuts to the rich all will be A-OK. If only the 99% would just think like Mark all would be well. Warner pretends he is on the middle ground by appearing to support some limited tax increases (tax expenditures, he calls them). Do not be deceived. The man is colluding with Republicans to get a Republican financial agenda. He always was.

BTW, with a real recovery both the deficit and the debt would be drastically reduced. The deficit is dropping already. When the deficit goes down we borrow less and will be able to pay down the debt. A robust recovery is what we need. And such a recovery will enable us to both eliminate much of the deficit and begin paying down the debt. The president already enacted too much deficit reduction before the recovery was complete. Any more deficit reduction too soon and we will go hurtling back into recession.  But never mind. Furthermore, Peter Peterson – and Mark Warner -won’t be happy until you all hand over your health care, Social Security, Medicare, education grants and federal loans, FHA loans, in short anything middle class folks depend upon and the poor depend upon even more.  You paid for your retirement as you work and you should surrender it to no one.  

The only budget crisis we have is austerity freaks (err hawks) holding everyone else hostage. The solution is not more people like Mark Warner but for Harry to grow a pair, to set the rules, and to stop the tyranny by the 40%. No, Mark, we do not need you spinning more bull, puffing yourself up ad nauseum, and conning Virginians and Americans.

For the record, here’s what he said in text form:

“Mr. President, I rise to make a few remarks — and to make a motion.

Mr. President, everyone in this body knows that the issue I believe is most holding back our economic recovery and most holding back our ability to sort through so many issues our nation faces, is the issue of our debt and deficit.

Nearly $17 trillion in debt – a debt that goes up over $4 billion every night when we go to sleep. This problem is structural in nature; time alone will not solve this issue.

For the last four years, my time in the Senate, there’s been no issue on which I’ve spent more time, spent more effort trying to reach out. I understand that many of my colleagues actually avoid me in the hallways now because they fear they’re going to get a ‘Mark Warner harangue’ on the debt and deficit.

I also know that the only way we’re going to get this issue resolved is if both sides are willing to meet each other in the middle. This is a problem that cannot be solved by continuing to cut back on discretionary spending. It will require, yes, more revenues,  and it will require entitlement reform. Those are issues where unfortunately, in many ways, our parties have not found agreement.

We all have agreed as well, at least, that while we don’t have to solve this problem overnight, we do need at least $4 trillion in debt reduction over the next ten years.

The good thing is, while we have lurched from budget crisis to budget crisis, we have gotten over half the way there on our goal. The good news as well is this year, both the Senate and the House adopted budget resolutions.

As I said on the floor in March, I believe the Senate budget was a solid first chapter toward producing a balanced fiscal plan for our country.

My vote for the Senate budget – it was not a budget that I would agree with every component part – but was a vote for the process… for regular order. For regular order that so many of my distinguished colleagues who’ve served here for much longer say was the glue that holds this institution together.

It’s now been 46 days since the Senate passed its budget. And unfortunately there are certain colleagues on the other side of the aisle who seem to block our ability to go to conference.

In a few minutes I will ask my colleagues agree to authorize the chair to name a conference to a Budget Conference. Unfortunately, I expect that request to be objected to. I find that extremely disappointing.

I can only speak at this point for folks from Virginia, but no single other issue is as overriding. I hear it as I travel across Virginia, and I would imagine most of my colleagues as they travel across their states – is that at the end of the day Americans, Virginians want us to work together and get this issue solved.

We’ve seen over the last two and a half years, as we’ve lurched from manufactured budget crisis to budget crisis, the negative effects this has had on the stock market, on job creation, and our overall economic recovery.

Well, we have a chance to put this behind us. We need to find the kind of common ground between the House budget proposal and the Senate budget proposal that so many have called upon us to work on.

Again, I’m going to make this motion in a moment, I just want to make one last point. I appreciate some of the calls that we have had from our colleagues on the Republican side over the last couple of years for the Senate to pass a budget. I believe we needed to pass that budget.

Well, 46 days ago after 100 amendments that took until 5 o’clock in the morning, we passed such a document.

I think it is time now that we allow the Senate to announce its conferees to meet with the House to get a budget resolved for the United States of America, so we’ve got a framework to make sure that we get this issue of debt and deficit behind us, that we allow the economy to recover in the way that it needs.” 


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