Textbook definition of insanity is to continue doing things exactly as you have and expect a different result. Well welcome to Herbert Hooverville, global financial chaos edition where the US and UK governments think the way to change the situation is to… carry on and do nothing differently.
An NBC News poll Tuesday placed US Congress’ disapproval rating at 83%. That means they only can count on support from their extended family and lobbyist advisors. Parliament, having returned from summer holiday, sees Murdoch’s News of the World phone hacking hearings, not the economy, sucking all the media oxygen from the room.
On Thursday evening the US President will make a speech about jobs and the economy, one day after the GOP dwarfs debate and 30 minutes before the first American NFL football game of the season… because we would not want to interrupt favourite shows and focus on real issues now would we?
UK Chancellor George Osborne revised the Government’s economic forecasts downward without acknowledging the UK slouches towards a double-dip recession. Yet he insisted we ‘stay the austerity course.’ This despite indications NHS healthcare service reforms will effectively privatise large pieces of the only global healthcare system that works. And unions are being excluded from discussions and hearings globally (or being legislated out of existence) because everyone knows the global economy cratered not because of Wall Street or City bankers fleecing the public for billions, rather it was the fault of those collective bargaining layabout teachers, fire fighters and police demanding their exorbitant £30,000 a year salaries and pensions, right?
In the USA Texas burns and Vermont is underwater. While in the UK rain and high winds batter us after an August of record cold temperatures. After 40 days of 100 degree plus drought inducing temperatures and a forecast today of 6” of rain to fall upon already drenched and swollen grounds in the mid-Atlantic, serious discussions of climate change or fracking’s dangers are tabled because 99% of real science MUST bow to the whims of the 1% ‘nutter’ denier class. And this is because archaic ‘equal time’ standards let anyone in any party say anything at any time and that, is what passes as ‘news.’
Want jobs, China has plenty… in sweat shops… making iPhones and iPads… for $1 a day. Want insurance, unemployment benefits or to own your home? Too bad. Can’t afford to choose between fire/flood insurance, paying the mortgage on a house you owe more than is worth and food? Too bad. Just pay up or forget about it. Want advance warning of hurricanes in the future? Too bad. Congress just cut NOAA’s tracking budget for serious storms and the earthquake monitoring services. Oh, and that one North to South polar orbiting weather satellite in space tracking them? It will die in 2013 and nothing to replace it is even on the drawing board.
If you live in Texas and just lost everything to fires? Your Governor and GOP Tea Party Presidential frontrunner Rick Perry (who once advocated for seceding from the Union) has little sympathy. He cut the volunteer fire department budgets in Texas by 75% this year and now (wait for it) is asking for federal government help with… fires.
Even those astronauts orbiting the globe aboard the International Space Station may have to abandon it because the US Space Shuttle programme ended, nothing is in place to replace it and a Russian supply rocket with 3.5 tonnes of food and supplies crashed 3 weeks ago on takeoff.
Been wiped out by storms or fire and expect FEMA to help? Their budget’s been cut and if you need more, rather than a normal, routine supplemental spending bill passing? Eric Cantor and the GOP want you to know help is on the way as long as we cut school lunches, Pell grants, npr, PBS, National Foundation for the Arts and all science programmes as “budget offsets.” And after the recent air safety fiasco shutting down the FAA before going on summer holiday, the possible shuttering of the US Postal Service is in the queue as the next political chip the obstructionist GOP/Tea Party will play on the board. No Post Office or mail will not remotely influence this craven lot. Talk cutting the Pentagon though and suddenly it is a vital threat to Democracy! Defence of the Realm!
Banks in the EU are poised to collapse like dominos, EU finance ministers are in denial about the shakiness of sovereign debt and only in the USA can you see a ratings agency like Standard & Poors rate housing collateralised debt obligations (yes, the ones that brought the world’s banking and housing systems to their knees in 2007) higher (AAA+) than US Treasury obligations (AA+).
And looking to future candidates for help? Mitt Romney hired the former Bush financial advisor who proposed two rounds of tax cuts in ’01 and ’03 that wiped out the US surplus and path towards debt freedom as the country headed into 2 unfunded wars to run his financial operation. Michele Bachmann fired her lead campaign staff and replaced them with the potato-gate gaffe staffer who ran the event defining former VP Quayle – mis-spelling of the word potato (‘e’ at the end) and the GOP is no longer content just to fight abortion, they now see 50-year-old Demon birth control pills as the cause of all social ills?
Nope, the lunatics run this asylum. With so many sacred cows, one cannot touch anything that is of real substance in either country. Even if both nations cut Pentagon or MOD’s budget by 50%, they would still, combined, be the world’s largest military force by a huge margin.
Nurse Ratched, I’ll take my blue pill now please and have the Indian hit me over the head with this mallet repeatedly. I don’t want to be awake for this.