January 14, 2014

Of Budgets and Propaganda

By In Politics

Let’s talk budget.  The Washington Post’s headline this morning reads: “Lawmakers unveil massive $1.1 trillion spending bill in bipartisan compromise.”  A political compromise.  Immediately, we ought to check our back pockets.  Are our wallets still there?

Beware the bipartisan compromise.

In a move which only verifies the libertarian’s (and most others who don’t buy into the dog-and-pony-show called American politics), suspicions regarding the lack of seriousness in both parties in regards to budgeting (another word rendered meaningless), “lawmakers” have decided to put forth a bill that eradicates the non-cuts of the so-called sequester.  So while we were lambasted last year with the alarmist propaganda that the sequester cuts were going to tank the economy (they didn’t), in reality the sequester actually did not cut anything.  The rate of increase of spending was simply lowered, but the arrow was still going in the same direction: up.  But now, to counter-act the cuts that did not happen, we are given a remarkably large nine month budget, which is being sold to us as a compromise.  The crooks in Washington want us to lavish praise upon them.  But what is compromise in politics except for both groups getting what they want?

If passed, the bill ” would ease sharp spending cuts known as the sequester while providing fresh cash for new priorities, including President Obama’s push to expand early-childhood education.”

“Fresh cash” and “new priorities”!  We’ve “never had it so good!”

Where’s the fresh cash coming from?  Check your pockets again.

What are the new priorities?  Allegedly, the children.  A frightening proposal.

The Post continues: “The 1,582-page bill would fully restore cuts to Head Start, partially restore cuts to medical research and job training programs, and finance new programs to combat sexual assault in the military. It would also give all federal workers a 1 percent raise.”

Times are hard for many people.  Not included among those people are the individuals on the Federal Government’s dole.  Who needs a recession when you can get a raise?  And not only is the government pursuing a bill which would give itself increases in income, but they are also attempting to shuffle more money into the crony agencies and programs where I am sure the bosses are squealing in delight.  And new programs to combat sexual assault?  How about, instead, firing assaulters, kicking them right out of the military in preparation and practice for an even better proposal: gutting the military down to 25% of its current size (Admittedly, I’m one of those crazy folks that think we could function if we eliminated the entire military and focused on voluntary and private militias).  Talk about potential budget cuts.  The standing military, warned against by America’s founding fathers, is one of the biggest disgraces in American history.  You can’t solve problems in a ruthlessly immoral pillar of the American empire by funneling in more money.  Get to the heart of the problem.

“The White House and leaders of both parties praised the measure [no kidding], which would fund federal agencies for the remainder of the fiscal year and end the lingering threat of a government shutdown when the current funding bill expires at midnight Wednesday.”

The lingering threat of a government shutdown was proven disingenuous and deceitful last year when, much to the crooked glee of the wicked state which is ever trying to prove itself right, such a shutdown actually took place.  What did it look like?  Well, for one, 85% of federal workers kept working.  For another thing, the only functions that were closed were meaningless and superfluous.  Breitbart has a decent list of examples of the theatrics and stagecraft that took place that notorious week.  And check out Michelle Obama’s melodrama via Twitter:

So there is no such thing as a government shutdown.  Where does the Federal Government get the right to fund national parks, memorials, and the like anyway?  What about eliminating this part of the budget and selling the land to private parties?  The proceeds of this could paying the interest on our debt that will soon be spiking.  Even if there was a (real) shutdown, such a blessing is an advantage, not a threat.  Yes, we can survive without the largest empire in the world breathing down our necks.

And what is a national headline story without a bit of jamming the “official narrative” down our throats?  “Despite the increases, the bill would leave agency budgets tens of billions of dollars lower than Obama had requested and ­congressional Democrats had sought. That represents a victory for congressional Republicans, who, after three years of fevered battles over the budget, have succeeded in rolling back agency appropriations to a level on par with the final years of the George W. Bush administration, before spending skyrocketed in an effort to combat the recession.”

The narrative present in this paragraph patently false, as proved by the present budget proposal itself.  The narrative is this:  Democrats want to spend more.  Republicans want to spend less.  They must work together.  Why is this false?  Because both parties want to spend more on the expropriations which interest them.  The Republicans will give the arms, oil, and farming industries whatever they want and the Democrats will give the green energy, medical, and education industries whatever they want.  And there is plenty of overlap too, don’t be blinded by first appearances.  Meanwhile, both parties cater to the banking industry, the military, and insurance industries with uncompromising fervor.  The budget debates are a sham.  And a shame.

It is patently false to claim that the Republicans have “rolled back” anything.  They have done nothing of the sort.  Budgets keep growing and off-budget spending too, something that is never talked about, is astounding.  I’d say that the Republicans keep selling out.  But the truth is, they have nothing to sell.  There is no principle.  Only jibber jabber and empty words.  They’ve always been for deficits and big spending.  Whenever the Republicans have had the executive branch, where has their been cuts?  One would have to back to Eisenhower in the 50’s to find anything.  The Democrats want to maintain their Marxist talk and the Republicans want to maintain their capitalist talk.  But neither party is what they claim to be and both parties are tried and true fascists –corporatists.

The Post list other examples of expropriations included in the bill:

All told, the bill would provide $1.012 trillion to the Pentagon and other federal agencies. An additional $92 billion would be set aside for overseas operations, including military activity in Afghanistan and assistance for the growing flow of refu­gees fleeing the war in Syria. The bill also authorizes $6.55 billion for domestic disaster relief.

The measure authorizes a 1 percent pay increase for civilian federal workers and U.S. military personnel. But in response to several examples of excess spending by federal agencies, the bill would put in place new limits on certain conferences, official travel and employee awards.

The National Institutes of Health would receive $29.9 billion, $1 billion more than under the sequester but $714 million less than the agency was due to receive last year before the sequester hit last March.

The Department of Education would get $70.6 billion, including full restoration of Head Start funding. And while Republicans refused to finance Obama’s push for universal pre-kindergarten classes, they granted his request to expand Head Start partnerships that benefit toddlers and infants.

The Department of Homeland Security would face a reduction in funding of about $336 million, with most of the cuts at the scandal-ridden Transportation Security Administration. In a victory for Republicans who have sought for years to boost the use of private security contractors, the agreement increases funding for private security screeners and caps the TSA’s overall screening personnel at 46,000.

More spending, more spending.  Insane, insane.  I fear that so many are spending their efforts waiting for a better Congress, and better president, and better Federal Government.  Such hope is misguided.  The American government is systemically corrupt and there is nothing there to find hope in.  The proper methods for liberty are nullification and secession.  Hoping for Washington to change itself is absurd.  The recent budget bill agreement is bad news.  I do expect it to pass though.  I also expect there to be bipartisan back-slapping and hand-shaking in front of flashing cameras and all too serious party leaders who are going to tell us that “both parties did what was right.”  Indeed, just like in ancient Israel, people in wicked nations have a propensity to “do what is right in their own eyes.”

Written by C.Jay Engel

Editor and creator of The Reformed Libertarian. Living in Northern California with his wife, he writes on everything from politics to theology and from culture to economic theory. You can send an email to reformedlibertarian@gmail.com