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A Brief Note On What’s Going On In DC

Gaslighting and Kabuki Cover For Corporate Capitulation

Neoliberal Economics, Fake Austerity, and Corporate Power Overwhelm Democracy

Rockets, moon shots
Spend it on the have nots
Money, we make it
Fore we see it you take it ~~~ Inner City Blues, Marvin Gaye

While AOC gaslights her celebrity cult followers to cover for her complete and utter capitulation to Democratic leadership (a total sellout of “NO CLIMATE – NO DEAL!, which has been exposed as an empty slogan), we thought we’d post a very, very brief note of what’s really going on, just for the historical record.

[Intro note: AOC is gaslighting on the content of the reconciliation bill and the reversal of her posture to demand linkage between infrastructure and reconciliation. Despite her “NO” vote on the infrastructure bill, it is obviously that this Kabuki was arranged with and approved by Pelosi, who had secured 10 Republican votes to offset the NO votes of AOC and parts of the Squad. Just like the coordinated voting on previous folds by AOC and progressives, no way would AOC’s NO vote actually have blocked passage of the bill. Pelosi would not have allowed that.]

Biden is championing failed Neoliberal economics (i.e. corporate subsidies, corporate tax cuts, privatization under the guise of “public private partnerships”, deregulation under the guise of “streamlining”, and “America is back” economic globalism and imperial militarism under the guise of Obama’s “Pacific Pivot”) while Democrats in Congress use discredited Neoliberal austerity policies to slash public investment and social spending (under the guise of limiting the deficit and controlling inflation).

Biden and the Democrats campaigned on a pledge to make corporations and the rich pay their fair share. Instead of following through, they have now managed to reverse that promise and have not only abandoned a modest Biden proposal to recoup just half of the Trump tax cuts, but now have INCREASED tax cuts for the rich with a $400 billion SALT giveaway to the wealthiest 5%. (are we supposed to be happy not just the 1% benefitted, but another 4% get tax cuts?). And they do all this while claiming to care about deficits!

The list of promises Biden and the Democrats campaigned on and have failed to deliver on or outright abandoned is long, too long to rehash here (no $15 minimum wage even though it should be $24/hour based on productivity increases, no public option (Biden’s alternative to single payer or Medicare for all), no Medicare expansion, no student debt relief, no moratorium on evictions and foreclosures …….)

Democrats actually managed to increase defense spending to record levels and increase spending on and militarization of local police forces.

They abandoned Voting Rights Act reform legislation (John Lewis Act), despite the national Republican anti-democratic racist campaign of gerrymandering, voter suppression, and expansion of control over State electors (a key part of Trump’s strategy to steal the 2020 election via the 12th amendment procedure and very likely to work in stealing the ’24 election).

The Biden administration has increased deportations, expanded Trump’s abuse of public health laws to block legal immigration and send refugees back to Mexico, and abandoned legislative immigration reforms. The US Border Patrol is still out of control.

The Biden Executive Order “pause” on issuing leases for oil and gas extraction on federal lands was quickly abandoned and exposed as sham, as Biden issued more gas, oil and pipeline development approvals than Trump and George Bush. My goodness, US coal power production increased this year!

Seems almost like this is all part of Biden’s promise to Wall Street and Big Donors: “nothing fundamentally will change”.

Meanwhile, the media is focused on the huge reduction in spending under Biden’s “Build Back Better” reconciliation bill. (I think Sanders began the debate at $6 trillion and now were’ looking at a small fraction of that, something like $1.75 trillion)

But the real story is in the substance of the bills.

It’s not just money – the bills include many terrible pro-corporate policies and programs, including massive billion dollar subsidies to fossil (carbon capture and methane grants), privatization, deregulation, attacks on NEPA, and more logging of national forests under the guise of “resilience” and wildfire prevention. The lame Biden Climate Program was gutted by Manchin.

The package of bills actually makes the US emissions profile even WORSE.

Notice that no one has conducted an analysis of how the bills would impact greenhouse gas emissions.

That analysis should be done, just like the Congressional Budget Office “scores” bills for economic impact and effects on the deficit. The road projects alone in the infrastructure bill, not considering economic growth that will result from this stimulus and the promotion of logging et al, would greatly increase emissions (more VMT and massive amounts of high carbon steel and concrete).

The John Muir Project has documented how just the logging programs alone in these bills would increase current huge emission from logging, and wipe out at least one third of any greenhouse gas emissions reductions resulting from the renewable energy programs.

I’ve been documenting all this in multiple prior posts, so will leave it at that.

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