Published on Axis of Logic, by James Petras, Oct 20, 2013 … First a question of the Editor … //
… Introduction: US and world political and economic leaders are faced with what they describe as a ‘systemic catastrophe’: the inability to pay global creditors, including domestic and foreign banks, investors and governments, who hold $16.7 trillion in US Treasury notes … //
… To understand the fight to raise the debt ceiling and to pass a deficit budget it is necessary to analyze the long-term, large-scale sources of State debt.
Imperial Wars, the Ascendancy of Finance Capital and the Debt Crisis:
- The ever-increasing debt and the constant raising of the debt ceiling is a result of long-term, large-scale military spending to build the US Empire. The imperial enterprise has generated a huge deficit: the cost/benefit ratio has been overwhelmingly negative. Contrary to militarist propaganda, the empire has not been ‘self-financing’: Wars and occupation in Iraq, Afghanistan and elsewhere have cost the US taxpayers trillions of dollars, not off-set by incoming imperial plunder or domestic economic expansion.
- Parallel to the cost of wars and occupations, the rise of finance capital has largely resulted from the pillage of the US Treasury. Huge bailouts, low interest loans, large-scale interest payments on bonds, subsidies and tax exemptions have created a financial ruling class based on maintaining a debt-laden, interest-paying State, which meets its obligations to the creditors while it privatizes (and eliminates) social programs. The result is a ‘poor indebted State’ and a rich and prosperous Wall Street. Wall Street stands to gain trillions with the privatization of the multi-billion dollar health (Medicare) and retirement plans (Social Security): this will form an integral component of the “Grand Bargain” to raise the debt ceiling.
Who are the Beneficiaries of Raising the Debt Ceiling? … //
The Samson Solution:
- Given the harsh terms, which accompany the “Grand Bargain” to raise the debt ceiling, it would be better if no agreement were reached. The financial elite is counting on the ‘Grand Bargain’ to leverage their debt collection over the lives and welfare of hundreds of millions of Americans. It would be better to shake the pillars and pull down this Temple of Mammon (the ‘Samson Solution’) making them pay a price!
- The ‘shock and awe’ induced by default would shake the very foundations of the financial pillage of the US Treasury and the taxpayers; default would seriously undermine the financial basis for imperial wars, spying, torture and death squads. The entire empire building project would crumble.
- True, in the short-run, the workers and middle class would also suffer from a default. But the discredit of the ruling political parties, the political elite and Wall Street, could lead to a new political alignment, which would fund social programs by, in David Stockman’s phrase, “soaking the rich” – raising corporate taxes by 50%, imposing a financial transaction tax of 5%, uncapping the social security tax and collecting taxes on overseas US multi-nationals’ profits. Additional billions would be saved by ending imperial wars, closing bases and canceling military contracts. Tax reform, imperial dismantlement and increased domestic investment in productive activity would generate domestic growth leading to a budget surplus, extending MEDICARE to all Americans, reducing the age of retirement to 62 and providing a living wage for all workers!
Links on shale gas:
- Global Frackdown action – LIVE UPDATES, on Russia Today RT, Oct 20, 2013;
- We say no to shale gas: World unites against fracking, on Russia Today RT, Oct 19, 2013;
- shale gas protests on YouTube-search;
- Shale gas on en.wikipedia … is natural gas that is found trapped within shale formations. Shale gas has become an increasingly important source of natural gas in the United States since the start of this century, and interest has spread to potential gas shales in the rest of the world. In 2000 shale gas provided only 1% of U.S. natural gas production; by 2010 it was over 20% and the U.S. government’s Energy Information Administration predicts that by 2035, 46% of the United States’ natural gas supply will come from shale gas … – External Links;
- Shale gas by country;
- shale gas on Google Web-search;
British spy agency has access to global communications, shares info with NSA, on Russia Today RT, June 25, 2013: The British spy agency GCHQ has access to the global network of communications, storing calls, Facebook posts and internet histories – and shares this data with the NSA, Edward Snowden has revealed to the Guardian in a new leak.
US debt surges $328 billion in single day, surpassing $17 trillion for first time, on Russia Today RT, Oct 19, 2013.
Syrian Observatory for Human Rights SOHR on en.wikipedia, it’s /Criticism: SOHR has been accused of selective reporting, covering only violent acts of the government forces against the opposition for the first two years of its existence. Although critics concede that its reports haves become less partisan than during its time under Abdulrahman, the critics charge that as of 2013 it “continues to defend Islamic extremists to avoid losing support among rebel forces” …;
Free, Tarek and John, on Podur.org, by Justin Podur and Dan Freeman-Maloy, Oct 19, 2013;