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“Gang of 6″: A fundamental re-alignment of US society

July 20, 2011

The most important point about the “Gang of 6” agreement is that it’s not primarily about deficits.  It’s about a fundamental re-alignment of US society, away from what little of social democracy remains and towards an ever purer form of oligarchy.  It’s fully bipartisan.

One can see this quite clearly by focusing on the revenue side of the agreement, as summarized in this pdf document.  Although the maximum income tax rate will revert by law to 38.6% in 2012, the rate is instead lowered to 29%, a 25% reduction.  Clearly not a document oriented toward deficits.  The stated goals are easily decoded:

Enhance the competitiveness of American businesses and workers against global competition.

Decoded: lower marginal tax rates and continue at full speed in eliminating entitlements and regulation.

Change the debate about taxes in America from rate levels and carve outs to competitiveness, fairness and growth.

Require the Finance Committee to report tax reform within six months that would deliver real deficit savings by broadening the tax base, lowering tax rates, and generating economic growth… Tax reform must be projected to stimulate economic growth, leading to increased revenue.

Orwell would love this!  This is where the propaganda machine is headed – let’s debate only how we can maximize competitiveness and growth (narrowly defined), and of course the way to do so is to lower marginal income taxes.  Never mind the complete lack of empirical evidence or any bit of sound logic on how this could ever occur in today’s world of ever concentrated wealth.  Once we accept the notion that lower taxes increases growth, it’s an easy step to the Orwellian equation: Fairness is “Tax Relief”.  And what audacity! A bipartisan agreement to change the debate away from tax levels!  And of course the call for broadening the tax base only means that those with lower incomes should pay more to support reduced marginal rates at the top.  Pure Laffer!

The propaganda coming out of the mainstream media in support of this fiasco is deafening.  It’s an extremely powerful example of how the corrupt system of oligarchy is fundamentally united.  The passing of this agreement will represent a new era in American history, a near complete rejection of the social democratic experiment of the postwar years.

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3 Comments
  1. From my perspective as a European socialist, marxist, communist, leninist, … I would change the tactic. I would embrace the Republican fanatical drive to impoverish everybody but a few. You want to cut 4 trillion US$ government spending? We can do better! Why not 8 trillion US$? By doing so the (what I would term as) “Karl Polanyi Moment” will happen more sooner than later. Society in large will turn against the logic of finance capitalism imposed on it by the rentier class. Even super conservative grandma wearing a funny hat with tea bags attached to it will then notice that there’s something fundamentally wrong.

  2. Just to clarify my previous post: I would also cheer on your dear Mister President — who is a complete fraud and a notorious liar — to continue with his mission. Change is absolutely possible and starts with slashing unnecessary wasteful expenses by the tune of 8 trillion US$.

  3. I agree 100% – the purer is our capitalism / neoliberalism, the sooner it will reach its demise.

    Let’s bring it on!

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