National Commentary

Wall Street Eager For the Sequester

The first key to problem solving is to figure out what the problem really is. In our world where appearances all too often disguise underlying realities, real problems can go unrecognized and untreated even for lifetimes.

This is compounded by the fact that many in our culture deliberately perpetuate smoke screens and obfuscations that obstruct our capacity to get at the truth. One way of doing that is to insist on chopping up the news we get into discrete parts, each unrelated to the other, a process that has been advanced under the socio-cultural cover of post-modernism and that makes the job of a lazy 24-7 news cycle media easier.

This week’s threat of a federal sequester is a case in point, acting like a blindly wielded injustice in the fashion of the most detached of cruel monarchs. Americans could be reminded that they made a revolution against such arbitrary assaults on notions of justice and fair play, but the ones crying the loudest about their patriotic zeal these days are the driving the process toward that unhappy outcome.

The major scions of Wall Street and the banking community, generally, are jumping with joy at the prospects of the sequester. They don’t care who gets hurt, as long as money spent by government on things other than paying the debt and reducing the deficit gets saved for such purposes.

Nobody seems to care that the nation’s priorities, in addition to the perpetuation of its democratic form of government, have been tilted on their head. Instead of spurring growth, jobs and economic recovery, the Wall Street engineers of the impending sequester have succeeded in convincing all of us that nothing matters as much as shoring up the nation’s ability to pay its debts.

This is done by the same kind of intimidation that we, as individuals, experience whenever we are late with a car, credit card, mortgage or student loan payment. That’s when our phone starts ringing incessantly and foul-mouthed angry (also underpaid) phone bank brutes snarl at us to pay up right now.

These thugs don’t care that our baby needs shoes or our pantry is bare. There is no place in that phone call for consideration of such matters. We owe money, and that money has to be paid before someone shows up to tow away our car, evict us from our home and nails the door shut.

Congress and official Washington are bullied in the same way to divert attention away from national economic recovery needs to do the bidding of the holders of debt, and everyone is being cowed by this notion.

While President Obama appears to recognize this, even he doesn’t say so with enough clarity and passion to help the American people get it, as well.

But he’s right when he says things like, “We cannot cut our way to prosperity.”

The Wall Street mantra is that “government spending” is the culprit, no matter what. That is just like the debt collector on the other end of your phone line insisting that your spending money on food and baby diapers is the problem, because that money needs to be coming to him, instead.

What gets a lot of average citizens in a lather about the cost of government is rooted in the clever way Wall Street has made them pay for the bulk of the cost of that government. It’s set up for the average family to bear the cost, and whenever it is suggested that the privileged pitch in more, mighty howls escalate.

The fact is, America has come under a brutal tyranny of vipers who are stripping us of our independence, our enfranchisement and the promise of a brighter future. Citizens are strapped with “debt slavery” from the time they enter college, buy a home or try to live a middle class life until they die or win the lottery (the former far more likely than the latter to happen).

Our choices do not lie in the choices between left or right, Democrat or Republican, big government or tax cuts. They lie in the choice between investing in our collective future or paying Simon Legree.