6 May 2013



The Chicago Tribune is delighted with the pain caused by austerity, and wants much more of it (for you).

“As Americans see officials making choices, lopping needless expenses and living within limits just as families and private-sector employers have to do, the confident claim that spending (and debt) simply can’t be sliced stands exposed as a fraud.”

There it is again, the sick delusion that the government which creates the money is the same as the public which uses the money. Since we must “live within our means,” our federal government must do likewise, even though it has no “means.”

The Tribune rejoices about the sequesters…

“In agency after agency, officials have juggled priorities, reduced travel, sidelined contractors, dropped inconsequential initiatives — all sorts of economizing they haven’t done in the past because nobody made them do so. The meat products that wouldn’t be federally inspected, the federal prisons that wouldn’t have enough guards, the criminals who wouldn’t face justice for lack of federal prosecutors — all these were myths. If we want more for X, we’ll simply take it from Y.”

Excuse me, genius, but when the FAA cancels the construction and maintenance of airports in order to keep air traffic controllers at their terminals (so that the rich are not inconvenienced in their private jets), it erodes transport efficiency and physical airport safety. It also denies payment to the people who build and maintain airports. That means the people who sell them goods and services don’t get paid, which means that advertisers don’t get paid, which means the Chicago Tribune loses subscriptions and ad revenue (which is the only good aspect of austerity).






“Here’s a pretty important fact that virtually everyone in Washington seems oblivious to: The federal deficit has never fallen as fast as it’s falling now without a coincident recession.”

~ Investors Business Daily


“Coincident” recession.

So is it just a “coincidence”?

The Obama administration’s recommended budget for FY 2014 includes $526.6 billion for the Pentagon. (The wars are separately funded.)  It was drawn up under the assumption that austerity would end by the start of FY 2014 (which is on 1 Oct 2013).

However, some Congressmen worry that austerity mania will not end. They voted for austerity, and now they want the Obama regime to do something to stop the austerity they wanted.


Senators Carl Levin (D-Mich.) and James M. Inhofe (R-Okla.) are the two top-ranking members of the Senate Armed Services Committee. They wrote a letter to Obama’s Secretary of Defense Chuck Hagel, saying that if austerity continues past 30 Sep 2013, then the Pentagon will face $52 billion cut in FY 2014.

Inhofe said the Pentagon last year, under Secretary of Defense Leon E. Panetta, operated under the assumption that sequestration was so gratuitous and unnecessary that Congress and the White House would surely end the stupidity. However, austerity mania continues (because of idiots like Inhofe).

“Our military was told last year not to worry about sequestration, that it would not happen,” Inhofe said. “But the failed promise has led to an enormous amount of uncertainty that has prevented our military leaders from properly planning to ensure the capabilities and readiness of our force.”

(When we voted for austerity, you promised you wouldn’t act on it.)

Secretary of the Army John McHugh said that failing to end austerity before 30 Sep 2013 would be “irresponsible” and “devastating.”



On 4 May 2013 the Portuguese government announced a new wave of austerity.

The measures include longer working weeks for public sector workers, layoffs of 5% of them, a reduction in overtime pay, and less spending on pensions and healthcare.

Fruit stand owner Anabela Suarez says, “I don’t know why we should have to pay for social security. By the time we retire, there won’t be any money for anyone.”

Prime Minister Pedro Coelho says his latest attack is necessary to show Portugal’s commitment to its European partners.

“What is at stake is our participation in the euro and respecting its obligations,” he said.

Whoa! He admits it! He is crushing the public in order to protect the euro currency, which is issued and controlled by Germany. He admits that he is a servant of the Troika and Germany (just like all the other politicians in the euro-zone).










Austerity caused the FAA to start furloughing air traffic controllers beginning on 21 April 2013, such that about 10 percent of the 15,000 controllers were off duty every day. This inconvenienced everyone, which is fine with politicians, but when it affected even the rich with their private jets, Republicans sprang into action. Five days after the furloughs began, Republican Tom Latham of Iowa introduced H.R. 1765: the Reducing Flight Delays Act of 2013. That same day in the Senate, Republican Susan Collins of Maine introduced S. 818: the Reducing Flight Delays Act of 2013. Both versions sailed through their respective houses in a single day.

The vote among the Servants of the Rich House of Representatives was 361-41. Obama signed H.R. 1765 on 1 May 2013. Normal operations resumed on 5 May 2013.

<> on January 5, 2011 in Washington, DC.

The bill does not give any more money to the FAA. It simply lets the FAA Secretary transfer funds earmarked for capital improvements to the controllers, so they can stay on the job. That is, it shifts $253 million from airport construction to controllers’ salaries.

So we still have austerity.


The 41 who voted against the Act wanted to make a point that frequent fliers aren’t the only ones feeling the pain of austerity. One of them was Mark Pocan (D-Wisc). On 1 May 2013, the day Obama signed the legislation, Pocan showed up at the Dane County Regional Airport in Madison with seniors, students, and others from the community who are being crushed by austerity, and who want an end to the “piecemeal” sequester games.

“If you were to judge by Congress’ actions, you’d think waiting in line at the airport was more important to us than providing meals to seniors, early education for kids or critical care to cancer patients,” said Pocan. “The sequester is not just a bad idea for one program or group — it’s a bad idea for everyone, and it’s past time we eliminate it from our books and our memories.”

But we still have austerity. After all, Pocan is a Democrat, which means he favors higher taxes, which is still austerity.

One federal department that is immune from austerity is the Department of InJustice, which includes the FBI and BATF. Its 116,000 employees were initially warned that they might have to take up to 22 unpaid days. However, those people are needed to frame innocent Muslims for “terrorism.” Therefore the Treasury created the money on its keyboard to keep the piglets at the trough.  DOJ head Eric Holder claims that his agency avoided the furloughs by “cutting costs.”


“The anti-Keynesian position is, in essence, political. It’s driven by hostility to active government policy and, in many cases, hostility to any intellectual approach that might make room for government policy.”

~Paul Krugman

Yes Krugman it is political, but no, it is not driven by “hostility to government policy.” It is driven by the rich, who love government. They just hate government aspects that benefit the public. Those aspects are condemned as “big government.” By contrast, aspects of government that widen the wealth gap are called “efficient.”


Effects of the federal sequester are increasingly apparent in Washington, as trash collects in the Mall, and museum exhibits are closed.

With summer tourist season fast approaching, tourism firms are scrambling to find places of interest that haven’t been cut off from funding. Tours of the White House have been stopped. On 1 May 2013 the Smithsonian closed three exhibit areas, and canceled the traditional Fourth of July concert. Full-time staff at the Mall has been slashed from six to one. Many rangers at the 14 area parks have been forced to take off days without pay. Tourism officials have changed their focus. They are instead promoting non-federal tourist spots such as Rock Creek Park and the National Zoo, or the U.S. men’s national soccer match against World Cup champion Germany in June.




One Response to 6 May 2013

  1. James Cooley says:

    And I was afraid the Tribune would lurch to the right if the Koch brothers bought it. It can only go to the left if they can keep it on the track at all, but with enough austerity it will simply implode.

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