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New York Times Fiscal Cliff Duplicity

by Stephen Lendman Thursday, Dec. 20, 2012 at 11:29 PM

class war

New York Times Fiscal Cliff Duplicity

by Stephen Lendman

A previous article explained what's at stake. Both parties agree on destroying America's social contract. Fiscal cliff hokum conceals their agenda. Media scoundrels don't explain.

Ongoing debate refers to expiring yearend tax breaks and unemployment benefits. Automatic sequestered/largely discretionary yearend $1.2 trillion in cuts address them for starters. Trillions more will follow.

Bipartisan agreement occurred long ago. Daily reports conceal what's ongoing and planned. Ordinary households will be hardest hit.

Wall Street, war profiteers, other corporate favorites, and America's super-rich can rest easy. Their gain is middle and poor America's loss.

It's baked in the cake and agreed. Final language remains to be reported. Expect something by yearend or sooner. Headline news won't explain what's happening and why it matters.

The New York Times reflects scoundrel media misreporting. It conceals what readers most need to know. Its November 9 editorial headlined "The Fiscal Cliff Opener," saying:

Voters "re-elected a president who promised to fight for higher taxes on the wealthy, for more public investment and for careful cuts in spending."

"Three days later, President Obama challenged Republicans to extend the Bush tax cuts for the middle class, right now, and said he would not accept a deal that does not require the wealthy to pay a bigger share."

Fact check

Obama's February 18, 2010 Executive Order 13531 established the Simpson-Bowles National Commission on Fiscal Responsibility and Reform (NCFRF).

He authorized identifying "policies to improve the fiscal situation in the medium term and to achieve fiscal sustainability over the long run."

"Specifically, the Commission shall propose recommendations designed to balance the budget, excluding interest payments on the debt, by 2015."

"This result is projected to stabilize the debt-to-GDP ratio at an acceptable level once the economy recovers. The magnitude and timing of the policy measures necessary to achieve this goal are subject to considerable uncertainty and will depend on the evolution of the economy."

"In addition, the Commission shall propose recommendations that meaningfully improve the long-run fiscal outlook, including changes to address the growth of entitlement spending and the gap between the projected revenues and expenditures of the Federal Government."

Deceptive language hid dark intentions. Anti-populist commission members were charged with institutionalizing austerity, eroding middle America, increasing unemployment and poverty, destroying future hopes for millions, and ending the nation's social contract incrementally over time.

At the same time, increased corporate and elitist rights were planned. Robin Hood economic recommendations followed. They included sharply lower corporate taxes and permanent research and development tax credits.

Other proposals offered ways to implement budget cutting on the backs of people least able to afford it. The train left the station. Yearend initial measures will be announced. If not then, expect early 2013 clarity.

They'll conceal what's really at stake. Destroying America's social contract is planned. Key is eroding Social Security, Medicare, Medicaid, and public pensions en route to eliminating them altogether in their present form.

Before taking office, Obama fully agreed. Otherwise, someone else would have been the Democrat's standard bearer. Only those willing to spurn essential rights, erode those in place, and wage war on humanity need apply.

Obama qualified long before arriving in Washington. He was chosen for his support for wealth, power and privilege. He proved it multiple times in office.

He instituted numerous austerity cuts. Biggers ones lie ahead. He and House Speaker John Boehner are close to announcing initial measures. They'll impose crushing burdens on millions least able to afford them.

Robin Hood economics best describes them. New York Times duplicity portrays Obama as people friendly. His anti-populist harshness is hidden.

Times rhetoric reinvented him as opposing "budget cuts in a weak economy," demanding "Bush tax rates expire," and offering Republicans "no give on his campaign promise to ensure that the rich will pay more as part of" any deal struck.

He's "show(n) more determination and will to fight than he has at time in the last four years."

Republicans practice "political extortion." They're "used to (his) yielding to it. They may be waiting to see it he blinks again."

He campaigned and won on a pledge to "reduce the deficit while still making the investments we need to build a strong middle class and a strong economy."

Economist Paul Craig Roberts appears often on the Progressive Radio News Hour. He cuts through deceptive rhetoric, promises and policy.

Sham deficit cutting and tax increases over the next decade will do little to address the problem, he says. Whatever both parties agree, "the 'fiscal cliff' is going to happen either way."

Economic straight talk explains that "double-barrel (forced) austerity delivered to a faltering and recessionary economy" assures a greater problems than it solves.

Honest economists explain say stimulus, not austerity, is needed during hard times. Humans aren't nourished by starving them. Economies can't expand without growth producing investment.

Times editors didn't explain. Neither did writer Jonathan Weisman. On December 17, he headlined "Obama's New Offer on Fiscal Crisis Could Lead to Deal," saying:

Obama's "new offer (may) resolve the pending fiscal crisis, a deal (to) raise revenues by $1.2 trillion over the next decade but keep in place (Bush) tax rates for any household with earnings below $400,000."

Boehner proposed something similar. Both sides "expressed confidence that they were (close to agreement) well before January."

Fact check

For starters, both parties agreed months ago to cut around $4 trillion over the next decade. Out years will be most affected. Future announcements will explain.

Greater cuts are also planned. Spending won't decline so deficits will keep rising exponentially. Neither party worries about them or debt. Saying so is doublespeak deception.

"Comprehensive tax reform" is agreed. Minor increases on super-rich elites will be offset by major corporate and personal income tax cuts.

Whatever's agreed on includes serious erosion of Social Security, Medicare, Medicaid, public pensions, and other longstanding safety net obligations.

Obama's on board. He agreed to wreck these programs over time. TimesSpeak conceals what's planned. Readers weren't told what they most need to know.

Bipartisan complicity planned selling out ordinary households long ago. It's coming incrementally in stages.

Social programs will be sacrificed on the alter corporate welfare, super-rich elitism, and America's addiction to permanent wars.

Crushing new burdens will be imposed on people least able to bear them. Poverty will grow exponentially. So will unemployment, homelessness, hunger, despair and public rage.

Instead of prepping readers and viewers for what's coming, The Times and other media scoundrels suppress what they most need to know and how to fight back. The worst of times awaits.

A Final Comment

Planned cuts are supposed to include domestic and military ones. Don't be fooled. America's war machine will be generously funded annually.

Military spending cuts will be for administration, inefficiencies, weapons Pentagon officials don't want in lieu of others they won't sacrifice and new ones planned, force reductions on least important overseas bases, and veterans benefits most of all.

Retirees will pay higher healthcare premiums and co-pays. Overall benefits will be cut.

Naked Capitalism explained more in an article headlined "Stealth Target of Defense Spending Cuts: America's Highly Effective Socialized Medicine Provider, the VA System, and Military Benefits Generally."

Covert efforts plan "gut(ting) military benefits by privatizing them." Doing so rarely (if ever) deliver(s on promised) better performance and/or lower costs."

As part of America's military budget, it's "an egregious (scheme) for looting."

Wall Street and Pentagon spenders do it best. Trillions of dollars disappear in black hole pillaging. Contractors steal taxpayers blind. It's part of their business model.

Pentagon waste is replete with thousand dollar wrenches and toilet seats. They're pocket change. They reflect much greater scams. Billions are stolen. Over time they become trillions.

At the same time, neoliberal harshness transformed America's military from one taking care of its own to a new version preparing vets to fend for themselves.

Privatizers dream of running healthcare and pensions. Goldmine profits await. Under false claims about choice, military programs are eroded to benefit profiteers.

"On the healthcare side, this is simply an excuse for the medical industrial complex to get its blood suckers into the huge military budgets."

Limitless amounts await to be plundered. Profiteers will benefit hugely at the expense of vets. What used to be guaranteed is disappearing. Even wounded and disabled ones increasingly are on their own.

Promises were made and broken. Deficit scaremongering is being used to rape federal programs. Whatever government can do, business does better is claimed. Truth is turned on its head. Kids sent to war theaters are spurned when they return.

Obama, Boehner, and congressional conspirators plan hitting them harder. It part of their grand scheme to consign America's social contract to history's trash bin.

A special place in hell awaits them. In the meantime, unconscionable human suffering awaits America's poor, disadvantaged, elderly, war weary/wounded/and disabled. Political duplicity sold them out. So did media scoundrels for not explaining.

Stephen Lendman lives in Chicago and can be reached at

His new book is titled "Banker Occupation: Waging Financial War on Humanity."

Visit his blog site at and listen to cutting-edge discussions with distinguished guests on the Progressive Radio News Hour on the Progressive Radio Network Thursdays at 10AM US Central time and Saturdays and Sundays at noon. All programs are archived for easy listening.
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