On Thursday, May 7, President Obama unveiled his budget proposals for the rest of FY 2009 and for FY 2010. He described his priorities as: better health coverage for healthy young adults, more high voltage power lines to decorate the American landscape, record amounts of pork without using earmarks, and massive new subsidies for America’s super rich.
When questioned by an astounded press corps, Obama improvised, “After eight years of horrible ineptitude by the Bush Administration, I wondered why we still have so many Republicans remaining in the Senate. Why didn’t Al Franken win in a landslide? How could a Republican even come close – in Minnesota??
“Then I raised up my eyes and gazed heroically across our once-misgoverned land, searching for those who did not yet accept my message of ‘Change.’ And I beheld Billionaires for Bush marching the streets. My advisors told me it was impossible for us to convert America’s billionaires to the Democratic Party. I rebuked them, shouting, ‘YES, WE CAN!’
“No, it won’t be easy. Billionaires are different from the rest of us. Mere hundred million dollar pork barrel project barely register on their consciousness. That is why I am calling for 1.8 trillion dollars of direct subsidies for the rich in fiscal year 2009 and 1.2 trillion for fiscal year 2010.”
Later, Secretary of Health and Human Services, Kathleen Sebelius, took the podium and explained further, “America’s rich lost the most in the Bush financial crisis; they had the most to lose, after all. And our old money rich have been traumatized most of all: they lack the skills and drive necessary to recover on their own; there lives are purely driven by circumstances, ranging from their large inheritances to the recent financial catastrophe. To expect them to risk what they have left in a volatile financial market would be needlessly cruel.”
Secretary of the Treasury, Timothy Geithner, explained the details of the plan, “America’s old money rich need to be sheltered from today’s harsh realities as rapidly as possible. That is why we have set up the Rich Idiot Proof Online Financial Fund. We have made it easier than ever for trust fund babies to move their wealth out of stocks, corporate bonds and other risky assets and into 100% safe U.S. government debt. And with today’s record high deficits, there’s plenty to go around.”
Fictional Dialog, Real Subsidies
OK, the above press conference is fictional, but the economic implications are real. Deficit spending is regressive. High deficits provide brain-dead guaranteed income for the super rich – especially valuable to the unproductive super-rich. High deficits mean lower wages and higher trade deficits as well. (More details in future posts.)
I’m picking on Obama because he’s the one in power now. That, and it made more sense for Bush to run high deficits; after all, high deficits are a subsidy to the country club wing of the Republican Party. With record high deficits the current administration is betraying its working class base.
So, my sincere message to any liberals left in the audience: please tell your leader to stop subsidizing the unproductive rich and soaking the working class. Tell him you want the truly progressive balanced budgets of the Clinton years.