9th Circuit Court American Idol A People's History of the United States Barack Obama Beacon Broadside Beacon Press Belvie Rooks Bill Clinton Bill O'Reilly Brown University Bruce Springsteen Cape Coast Center for Justice & Peacebuilding Center for Justice and Peacebuilding Children's Defense Fund Civil Rights CNN Coming to the Table Dr. Martin Luther King Eastern Mennonite University Facebook Gather at the Table Ghana Goodwin Liu Inheriting the Trade James DeWolf Perry Jim Crow Jon Stewart Jr. Melissa Harris-Perry Michelle Obama MSNBC NPR Our Black Ancestry PBS President Obama Sharon Leslie Morgan Sharon Morgan STAR Summer Peacebuilding Institute Susan Hutchison The Daily Show Thomas Jefferson Traces of the Trade Trayvon Martin
Most recent posts
Yes, Bill O’Reilly, there IS such a thing as White Privilege
Satisfaction from Physical Things
Remembering Wiletta Woodson with a big smile on my face
My Salinger Year – a book review
Hangin’ out with Robin Williams at the Springsteen gig
A Message for Peace
Sometimes my life gets in the way of my life
Coming to the Table National Gathering
Most recent comments
Yes, Bill O’Reilly, there IS such a thing as White Privilege (2)
robbyn swinton: If theres one thing the African American community wants the world to...
iain mclennon: People have forgotten the ability to distinguish between entertainers...
Satisfaction from Physical Things (3)
Faith Gilpin: Hey, Tom, I GET what you're saying! I, too, get great satisfaction...
William Terrall: Building things … that I can see the lasting impression, of...
Rose: I 'm a writer too, that prefer not to read fiction. Which i consider is a...
Appearances by Tom
Author Stuff, Writing
Coming to the Table
Gather at the Table
Inheriting the Trade
Race, Oppression, Privilege
Traces of the Trade
Trauma and Healing
Blog: Here's what Tom says about that!
It’s obvious to me now. Chicken Little has taken over Washington, DC. A tiny fowl succeeded in a fiendish coup d’etat in which almost every member of Congress (with the possible exception of Senator Bernie Sanders) and many political pundits have been replaced by exact duplicates. Chicken Little’s accomplice? Must’ve been the Body Snatchers. What else can explain the hysterics being spewed by pod people who scream, THE SKY IS FALLING!
THE SKY IS FALLING!
THE SKY IS FALLING!
THE SKY IS FALLING!
Notice Cesca’s and McCaskill’s use of the word “chicken.” Coincidence? I don’t think so! Unfortunately, this ain’t no cartoon or science fiction movie. I also don’t anticipate a happy ending.
Like most Americans that pay attention to such things (outside of Congress, anyway) I’m frustrated by the inability of those in positions of power to compromise on our national debt, the deficit, the debt ceiling, tax loopholes, tax increases and budget cuts. The reason is the same as always: the very power, and the lust for more power, that those in positions of power crave. Everyone wants to retain power and will go to great lengths to do so.
Sadly, when the credits roll and the curtain falls on this lousy show, I expect the greatest burden to fall where it has always fallen: on the most vulnerable among us.
Logical people (in my opinion) know this posturing on both sides of the political aisle is all about politics and power and how to control both. But too few in power seem to be listening to logic.
Consider the opinion of Bruce Bartlett, policy adviser to President Reagan and Treasury official under G.H.W. Bush:
Read Corporate Cash Con by Nobel Prize winning economist Paul Krugman. Watch “liberal” Mark Shields and “conservative” David Brooks calmly discuss these issues on PBS. Watch “liberal” Thom Hartman explain who ran up the national debt. Read what the pro-private-sector, anti-big-government magazine The Economist has to say. Billionaire Warren Buffett recently pointed out that, “We raised the debt ceiling seven times during the Bush Administration” and “We had debt at 120 percent of the GDP, far higher than this, after World War II and no one went around threatening that we’re going to ruin the credit of the United States.” I think his pod person then took over to claim that the Republican-controlled Congress is “trying to use the incentive now that we’re going to blow your brains out…”
Finally, consider the thoughts of John Avlon of the Daily Beast regarding the pathetic failure of both Republicans and Democrats:
Republicans won’t budge on taxes and Democrats (other than Obama) won’t budge on entitlement reform. Most people, according to a recent Pew/Washington Post poll, will blame the Republicans if a deal isn’t reached. If we want to play the blame game it appears the Obama Administration and congressional Democrats will win this game of chicken.
And who loses as a result of this childish insanity? Not the Republicans. Those who lose will be the people who can least afford it. And here is where the insidious specter of structural racism (as much as most of those in power, and many outside the halls of power, will deny it) can be clearly seen.
First read “Unnecessary Austerity, Unnecessary Shutdown” published by the Institute for Policy Studies to understand that “…we’re not broke. Not even close. The United States of America is awash in wealth.” But two factors “have unleashed a fiscal nightmare.” Most of America’s wealth is concentrated at the very top and the wealthiest among us are paying significantly lower taxes on there windfall wealth.
Most of the wealthiest people in America and most of the people in power in Congress and throughout corporate America look like me: white men. President Obama and Herman Cain notwithstanding, the overwhelming share of power and wealth has always been, and continues to be, concentrated in the hands of powerful and wealthy white men. Those on the opposite end of the scale are disproportionately poor people of color.
Read The Children’s Defense Fund “Portrait of Inequality 2011,” a report showing the gross inequalities facing black children compared to white children, across all critical indicators of wellbeing. This report explains how “the economic crisis of the last three years has pushed black children and youth deeper and deeper into an abyss of poverty, hunger, homelessness and despair.”
Finally, United for a Fair Economy has published “The State of the Dream 2011: Austerity for Whom?” Here is the Executive Summary. This report surveys the impacts of a tax-cutting, government-shrinking economic agenda on communities of color. If such an agenda advances, “the dream of a racially equal society, as described by Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. over forty years ago, will be pushed even further out of reach.”
The sky is indeed falling. I wish the pod people in Washington understood, and cared about, upon whom it falls.