The Politics of Cut and Run


Federal cuts. State cuts. City cuts. But cut with what?

President Obama said, “I think it’s important that we don’t try to make a series of symbolic cuts this year that endanger the recovery. We’ve got to be careful… Let’s use a scalpel, not a machete.”

Barack Obama. Former Chicago community organizer.

Now Surgeon General of the United States.

Democrat Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid is angry because, “For the Republicans to say we’re not cutting anything, they’re being disingenuous and unfair.”

According to Opensecrets.org, Reid’s personal wealth in 2008 was between $2,827,056 and $6,307,999.

Judy Biggert, a representative from Illinois, believes, “We have a mandate from the American people to cut spending.”

Republican Speaker of the House John Boehner threatened, “When we say we’re going to cut spending, read my lips: we’re going to cut spending.”

Ghost of Papa Bush past. Remember when he famously said, “Read my lips. No new taxes.”

In 2010, Democrats and Republicans kissed each other’s lips. They extended all of baby Bush’s tax cuts for super-wealthy Americans. The cost for maintaining the tax breaks for the richest 2 percent: $700 billion over ten years.  

Boehner wants to use heavier, blunter instruments to cut: machetes, meat cleavers, chain saws, and axes.

So take your pick from all the weapons. There will be blood. There will be pain. It will be painful to be cut.

In the 21st century there are only packages of painful cuts.

Obama said, “We’re going to have to make some tough choices.”

Republicans and Democrats have to summon the “courage” to make “tough” decisions to slash “non-defense discretionary spending” otherwise known as your: health care, pensions, jobs, wages, unemployment compensation, education, heating assistance, libraries, transportation, personal care attendants, abortion, medication assistance programs, Medicaid, and the right to collectively bargain.  

The House got tough, got courageous and used their discretion. They voted to cut $60 billion from the federal budget. They kicked ass!

Fiscal restraint. Fiscal responsibility. Fiscal reform. Fiscal challenges. Fiscal security.  Fiscal sanity. Fiscal reality check.

John Boehner quipped, “If some jobs are lost, so be it. We’re broke.” But he won’t lose his job and he’s not broke. According to OpenSecrets.org, in 2008 his net worth was between $1,700,021 and $6,626,000.

Speaker Boehner is a serial killer.

And he can’t feel your pain. He’s pain-free.  

Or he has a prescription for pain medication.  

Politicians can no longer feel your pain. That was Bill Clinton in 1992.

Deficit spending. Deficit reduction. Deficit panel.

Obama doesn’t want to “endanger the recovery.”

Your life could be endangered, though, by all the cuts in the areas of non-defense discretionary spending.

But what’s up with defense discretionary spending?

A Wall Street Journal headline warned, “Pentagon faces the knife.”

Pain at the Pentagon? Knives gutting military spending? Troop cuts?

Are you scared for your homeland security?

Don’t be.

Defense Secretary Robert Gates announced a Pentagon budget of $553 billion.

Full funding for the wars and occupations in Iraq and Afghanistan, for torture at Bagram and Guantánamo prisons, for the State Department, FBI, CIA, DEA, counter-terrorism, counter-insurgency, intelligence-gathering, domestic spying, unmanned Predator drones, foreign arms sales, Abrams tanks, Apache helicopters, cluster bombs, landmines, tear gas canisters, and nuclear weapons production.


You should be scared.

Shared sacrifice? Shared pain?

All belts tightened?

Not in democracy loving America.

Not anywhere.  

A sign held up by an Egyptian protester.

It read: “One World-One Pain.”

Malcolm X understood knives, getting stabbed in the back, painful cuts.

“If you stick a knife in my back nine inches and pull it out six inches, that’s not progress. If you pull it all the way out, that’s not progress. The progress comes from healing the wound that the blow made. They haven’t even begun to pull the knife out. They won’t even admit the knife is there.”

HELEN REDMOND is a freelance writer in Chicago. She can be reached at redmondmadrid@yahoo.com


Weekend Edition
October 9-11, 2015
David Price – Roberto J. González
The Use and Abuse of Culture (and Children): The Human Terrain System’s Rationalization of Pedophilia in Afghanistan
Mike Whitney
Putin’s “Endgame” in Syria
Jason Hribal
The Tilikum Effect and the Downfall of SeaWorld
Paul Street
Hope in Abandonment: Cuba, Detroit, and Earth-Scientific Socialism
Gary Leupp
The Six Most Disastrous Interventions of the 21st Century
Andrew Levine
In Syria, Obama is Playing a Losing Game
Louis Proyect
The End of Academic Freedom in America: the Case of Steven Salaita
Rob Urie
Democrats, Neoliberalism and the TPP
Ismael Hossein-Zadeh
The Bully Recalibrates: U.S. Signals Policy Shift in Syria
Brian Cloughley
Hospital Slaughter and the US/NATO Propaganda Machine
John Walsh
For Vietnam: Artemisinin From China, Agent Orange From America
John Wight
No Moral High Ground for the West on Syria
Robert Fantina
Canadian Universities vs. Israeli Apartheid
Conn Hallinan
Portugal: Europe’s Left Batting 1000
John Feffer
Mouths Wide Shut: Obama’s War on Whistleblowers
Paul Craig Roberts
The Impulsiveness of US Power
Ron Jacobs
The Murderer as American Hero
Alex Nunns
“A Movement Looking for a Home”: the Meaning of Jeremy Corbyn
Philippe Marlière
Class Struggle at Air France
Binoy Kampmark
Waiting in Vain for Moderation: Syria, Russia and Washington’s Problem
Paul Edwards
Empire of Disaster
Xanthe Hall
Nuclear Madness: NATO’s WMD ‘Sharing’ Must End
Margaret Knapke
These Salvadoran Women Went to Prison for Suffering Miscarriages
Uri Avnery
Abbas: the Leader Without Glory
Halima Hatimy
#BlackLivesMatter: Black Liberation or Black Liberal Distraction?
Michael Brenner
Kissinger Revisited
Cesar Chelala
The Perverse Rise of Killer Robots
Halyna Mokrushyna
On Ukraine’s ‘Incorrect’ Past
Jason Cone
Even Wars Have Rules: a Fact Sheet on the Bombing of Kunduz Hospital
Walter Brasch
Mass Murders are Good for Business
William Hadfield
Sophistry Rising: the Refugee Debate in Germany
Christopher Brauchli
Why the NRA Profits From Mass Shootings
Hadi Kobaysi
How The US Uses (Takfiri) Extremists
Pete Dolack
There is Still Time to Defeat the Trans-Pacific Partnership
Marc Norton
The Black Panthers: Vanguard of the Revolution
Andre Vltchek
Stop Millions of Western Immigrants!
David Rosen
If Donald Dump Was President
Dave Lindorff
America’s Latest War Crime
Ann Garrison
Sankarist Spirit Resurges in Burkina Faso
Franklin Lamb
Official Investigation Needed After Afghan Hospital Bombing
Linn Washington Jr.
Wrongs In Wine-Land
Ronald Bleier
Am I Drinking Enough Water? Sneezing’s A Clue
Charles R. Larson
Prelude to the Spanish Civil War: Eduard Mendoza’s “An Englishman in Madrid”
October 08, 2015
Michael Horton
Why is the US Aiding and Enabling Saudi Arabia’s Genocidal War in Yemen?
Ben Debney
Guns, Trump and Mental Illness