30 July 2011

Using the Iraq Invasion as a Pattern for Deficit Reduction

The push for radical reform in the budget process reminds me of the Iraq invasion.

Like Saddam Hussein's rule, the deficit is a real problem that makes people with a conscience and reason uncomfortable. This is reality. And then, from this thread of reality, the right-wing weaves a cloth of deceit as follows.

1. Make the real problem suddenly urgent. For no good reason, we had to oust Saddam now. Same with the deficit that the Republicans ignored for roughly a decade.
2. Ignore the problem that "solving" this problem will create other, bigger problems. Occupying Iraq was incredibly expensive, complicated international affairs, and got us into a situation from which there was no easy way out. Reducing the deficit when unemployment is over 9% and the economy is already growing slowly will create similar complications.

And then you simply manipulate the media into the belief that no other issue matters. With Iraq, the neo-cons won once they got everyone to believe that the only thing that mattered was that you had a strong opinion. Their victory did not start with getting people to side with them. Their victory began with getting people to think that this - of all issues - was the one that mattered. So it is with the deficit reduction. Because everyone would agree that Saddam should be removed or that the deficit should be reduced. That is not the question; the question is whether it should happen now and whether it should happen at the expense of any other option or whether this is the best thing for the country.

There are other similarities as well. Blowhards drown out experts. They insist there is only one way to make this happen (shock and awe or budget cuts without tax hikes). They replace nuance or discussion with sheer repetition. I'm sure you could think of other examples.

I fear that the right will again do their damage. Pity. One might have thought that with a Democratic president and Senate, it would have been more difficult for them to destroy the Republic. Still, destruction is always easier than building; just ask the Americans first involved in the defeat of Saddam's army and then involved in building the country.


gabby57 said...

You may have inferred it but I did not see another similarity mentioned in you blog. What was put before the public as the reason for the Iraq war turned out not to be real. (WMDs). Although something that should be a concern and addressed reasonably, I suggest that this "debt crisis" is merely a "lever" for the real issue underneath.

Remember the "spark" that ignited the "Tea Party" was Healthcare reform and the belief that the Federal Government was intruding into the lives of citizens. If the real goal is to reduce the role of government then only "cuts" will be acceptable. Closing the debt with revenue is not acceptable because it continues some government programs.

nunya said...

Saddam was going to sell his oil in other currencies.

The only reason the Congressional finger puppets of the banksters are screaming bloody murder about the debt limit is because the debt has to be serviced.