Are we backing into austerity?

flickr/DonkeyHotey

First it was the debt ceiling.  Now we’re cleaning up the fiscal cliff mess, but there are rumblings that we’ll have another debt ceiling showdown in the coming months.  Republicans should be ceding ground as they hold only one of the three houses of power in Washington (gerrymandering aided at that), but instead they’re repeatedly holding the economy hostage for their political gains.  (We already have a reverse Robin Hood system which facilitates an upward transfer of wealth through cartoonishly low tax rates on capital gains and estates.)  If those who could oppose them continue to blink, the situation will continue to deteriorate.  The weak economic recovery will stall and those who wish to dismantle the social safety net will be in a better position to do so.  Hilarity will not ensue.

The old axiom “Never negotiate with terrorists” seems to hold water here, but what do I know, I’m just a poor boy…

I have squandered my resistance

For a pocket full of mumbles such are promises

All lies and jests

Still a man hears what he wants to hear

And disregards the rest

-Simon and Garfunkel “The Boxer”