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Chronicling the collapse of a failed society
Following yesterday’s passage of the temporary budget bill that includes a disputed $38.5 billion in spending cuts, like many Americans I wanted to know precisely what had been cut. Mainstream media coverage contains only vague language about “social programs” and various “health benefits” being slashed, but offer almost nothing in the way of specifics. The narrative is almost always the painfully familiar story of Democrats versus Republicans, and the epic battle between these seemingly diametric forces that took place before the passage of the final bill. The consensus within the MSM is that the Republicans were victorious in this round, although there is no real indication as to what that victory actually means.
Perhaps the most central hot-button issue of this whole fictional clash was the notion of federal funding for abortions, via Planned Parenthood. Yet federal funding to that organization amounts to a measly $330 million per year, which, while a significant amount of cash by any estimation, is dwarfed in comparison to the billions of unpaid tax revenue we lose each year to massive, multinational corporations, or the near trillion dollar military budget. Headlines abounded proclaiming the travesty of tax dollars being used to fund abortions, but in the end Republicans conceded and the issue was dropped. Yet we still have tens of billions of dollars in cuts, and no one seems to know just what those cuts will be.
First and foremost, it is worth noting that the actual figure of the cuts is unclear. Harry Reid was quoted as saying the number agreed upon was $78 billion, not $38. When taken in the context of the full fiscal year, these cuts will, according to some sources, actually amount to some $116 billion in reduced domestic spending. But where exactly did it come from?
And that is the question that no one can answer, at least in this stage of the game. I spent an hour trying to find the contents of the actual bill but could find it nowhere, and no major news source seems to go into more detail than the vacuous referral to social programs and domestic spending. It does appear, unsurprisingly, that a few wholly unrelated and unwarranted riders have made their way through. Who knew, for example, that removing wolves from the endangered species list was somehow related to a temporary, emergency budget?
The precise cuts will likely never be made clear to the public at large, though the information will quietly become available, at some point, to those who have the patience and energy to seek it out. But in reality, the specifics of the cuts are not all that important, because at the end of the day we can be assured of two things. One, any conflict between the Republicans and Democrats is a fabrication, because both are but arms of the same corporate party, and their allegiance is to their corporate masters rather than the American people. And two, any budget passed by the corporate RepubliDems is guaranteed to follow the golden rule of aiding the rich and shafting the poor, because, after all, that’s the modern American Dream.