The Great American Scam: “The Fiscal Cliff”

(10 am. – promoted by ek hornbeck)

Cross posted from The Stars Hollow Gazette

This interview with economist James K. Galbraith, by Paul Jay of Real News Network about why the “fical cliff” is a scam, was posted at naked capitalism in two parts by Yves Smith and Lambert Strether.

This is a very good, high level interview of Jamie Galbraith by Paul Jay of Real News Network. It explains how the fiscal cliff scare was created and why Obama and the Republicans are united in fomenting a false sense of urgency. This is the sort of piece I’d suggest sharing with friends and relatives who’ve been unable to miss the news coverage and want to get up to speed.

Lambert made note of this passage:

[GALBRAITH:] If, for example, [incompr.] suggestion which has been in the news, you raise the eligibility age for Medicare, then what you’re doing is privatizing it in part. What you’re saying is that people who have employer-based insurance or other forms of private insurance have to hang on to that when they’re 66 and into, say, 67 [incompr.] they hit the age when they can shrug it off and get onto Medicare. That’s privatization. That’s what it is. And I think that should also be off the table.

Six Reasons the “Fiscal Cliff” is a Scam: A Mechanism for Rolling Back Social Security, Medicare and Medicaid.

by James K. Galbraith at Global Research

Stripped to essentials, the fiscal cliff is a device constructed to force a rollback of Social Security, Medicare and Medicaid, as the price of avoiding tax increases and disruptive cuts in federal civilian programs and in the military.  It was policy-making by hostage-taking, timed for the lame duck session, a contrived crisis, the plain idea now unfolding was to force a stampede.

In the nature of stampedes arguments become confused; panic flows from fear, when multiple forces – economic and political in this instance – all appear to push the same way.  It is therefore useful to sort through those forces, breaking them down into separate questions, and to ask whether any of them justify the voices of doom. [..]

In short, Members of Congress: if you can, just pass the President’s bill on middle-class taxes, and, if you can, eliminate the domestic sequester. Then, please go home.  Enjoy the holidays. Come back in January prepared to extend unemployment insurance, to phase out the payroll tax holiday gradually, to restore stable funding to necessary programs and to start dealing with our real problems:  jobs, foreclosures, infrastructure and climate change.


  1. TMC
  2. banger

    Of anything in the news. If it’s reported it in the mainstream one assumes now that it is some kind of PR trick or stunt or pure propaganda. We live in the world of the con and the under-the-table deal. It’s become so sordid it’s boring now.

    Every tempest in a teapot in Washington is suspect from Patreus to this weird “cliff” everybody talks about. There’s never a rational discussion about whether it is, indeed, valid to worry about the deficit in economic downturns or what our real needs are let alone actually looking into how the government actually cut corporate welfare and help the economy at the same time by increasing competition rather than basically giving big corporations a competitive advantage in every industry starting with banking of course.

    Who knows, maybe all this flim-flam will be all to the good in some mysterious way.  

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