Rise of the Econotraitors

Both major political parties agree that deficit-reduction is suddenly the nation’s top priority. As budget cuts risk plunging the economy even further into recession/depression, no one stops to ask: why now?

7 Comments. Leave new

  • alex_the_tired
    March 27, 2013 7:38 AM


    Deficit-reduction (through budget cuts, as opposed to reduction through taxation of wealth) is a standard ploy that goes back (at least) to the Reagan era. When Reagan closed the mental hospitals, the hospitals weren’t the actual target. The actual target was the infrastructure of social welfare.

    Most social programs interconnect with other social programs. The mentally ill need housing. So do single mothers. Both groups need access to health care. Don’t forget about daycare. And there’s also food stamps. It all interconnects. Take out a program here, a program there, and they won’t come back because the institutional skills needed to make them work have scattered to other jobs elsewhere. Get rid of the relatively small number of people who have the connections (political and community) to make a program work, and the program’s gone for good.

    That’s the purpose of the exercise. It’s not about saving money. It’s about the Protestant concept of the Elect, with a soupcon of sadism by the hyperwealthy.

  • aaronwilliams135
    March 28, 2013 12:00 PM

    Great cartoon.

    Thanks for leaving the drone issue for a moment, and coming back to domestic politics.

    It has always seemed odd to me that for “disasters” (hurricanes, wild fires, eathquakes; war) unlimited federal borrow and spending is taken for granted.

    Not so unemployment; foreclosures, etc.

  • aaronwilliams135
    March 28, 2013 12:23 PM

    Of course Paul Krugman is the foremost voice of sanity on the economy. A pro-Krugie-Krug shout-out would not be innapropriate at some point. (And might draw some tag-hits)

  • Alex,

    I had not heard that take on the mental hospital closings. I did hear that recently some of the doctors who helped pimp the idea now regret it.

    I often think about how effective the Reagan strategy has been at helping to further stigmatize homeless and poor populations.

  • aaronwilliams135
    March 29, 2013 7:45 PM

    D’oh! Well played

  • As long as the military-(in)security budget (which comprises over 50 % of the total US federal budget) remains safe from cuts, «we» shall continue to inhabit the best of all possible worlds….


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