Jewish World Review December 24, 2012/ 11 Teves, 5773
B is for bizarre --- also for Boehner, budget and Washington bozos
By Paul Greenberg
How long is this show going to go on in
This year's burlesque is turning into a melodrama (working title: Meltdown) as both sides steer the country right over the dreaded (cue scary music) Fiscal Cliff! Thelma and Louise, here we come. The Mayans couldn't have written a scarier doomsday scenario into their calendar, and this one is about as convincing.
The country is supposed to be petrified as the witching hour approaches without an agreement on the federal budget, all those reviving Bush tax cuts end, and "automatic" cuts go into place for every federal entity, including the
For the moment
The speaker unveiled his
The speaker came back with his
The only sure result of actually raising taxes on millionaires, as the experience of other countries demonstrates, is that millionaires vanish. When the Brits raised the rates for the highest earners, next time Inland Revenue looked around for some, lo and behold, a lot of those British millionaires had become Belgian or Bahamian ones.
Much the same farce is being enacted in
They didn't. Gerard Depardieu, the movie star, may be the best known of the lot to suddenly become a Belgian, but
Meanwhile, the farce in
It's all enough to bring back memories of the Clinton administration's master stroke when the leading roles in this game were being played by a different president and speaker of the House, those two master actors
When the country was headed over that decade's Fiscal Cliff, then known as The Trainwreck, the
The names of the players may change from time to time, but not the game. Over in La Belle France, the astute M. Sarkozy could see what was going on. He called this kind of politicking "mindless demagoguery," but we'd wager it's quite mindful, even premeditated. It's the kind of thing that is carefully planned and meticulously carried out by consultants and campaign managers in political war rooms across the country. The 30-second spots are readied, YouTube videos readied, and the mass data analyzed to target those most susceptible to such low appeals. They even have a category of their own in political adspeak: the Low-income, Low-information audience.
But whether it's the rich or the poor we're being urged to hate at the time by separate but equally cynical the demagogues, the motive behind their game remains the same: to enlist our class and/or racial prejudices in favor of their political goal of the moment. Whether it's to win an election or advance another suspect deal.
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