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Debt Ceiling Deal Contains A Trojan Elephant

An enduring and educational story emerged from the Trojan War of around 13BC to 12BC concerning the tale of the Trojan Horse. Here’s how it goes – “In one version, after a fruitless 10-year siege, the Greeks constructed a huge wooden horse, and hid a select force of 30 men inside. The Greeks pretended to sail away, and the Trojans pulled the horse into their city as a victory trophy.

That night the Greek force crept out of the horse and opened the gates for the rest of the Greek army, which had sailed back under cover of night. The Greek army entered and destroyed the city of Troy, decisively ending the war.” – Wikipedia

The Republicans planted their Trojan Elephant on Sunday, July 31, 2011 when they cemented a deal with the Democrats and the White House to allow the debt ceiling to be raised. They aren’t planning to destroy their feeding trough, the city of Washington, DC, but they are continuing their war against ordinary Americans. A war fought for large corporations, including foreign ones, and the richest few percent of Americans. The deal places conditions on the raising of the debt ceiling and involves a complex sequence of decisions and outcomes. The chart below spells out the steps involved and the consequences.

Understanding The Debt Ceiling Deal – Source: Washington Post

The “Super Congress”
The Trojan Elephant is the innocent looking Joint Committee. It will consist of six Republicans and six Democrats tasked with hammering out the exact details of the cuts to be made. Note that there are no revenue increases, such as removing the Bush tax cuts fro the extremely rich. The Joint Committee only deals with cuts. Their recommendations will be formed behind closed doors, with no monitoring or publishing of their activities, making them prime lobbyist prey. Even worse, their recommendations can’t be debated or changed when they are presented to congress, but merely be given an up or down vote.

Some people think that the whole “Super Congress” notion that the Joint Committee embodies is unconstitutional or just plain illegal. However, in principle, it’s no different from many other task forces and committees that congress appoints to deal with detailed business, so it will probably endure. The kinds of cuts that it is supposed to cover are distasteful to both parties, so you have to hope that they will come out with sensible recommendations. Given the whole unwarranted debate over this particular debt ceiling housekeeping task, the signs aren’t encouraging. If the Republicans send in six Tea Party members here won’t be a meaningful debate.

What’s inside the Trojan Elephant?
It really doesn’t matter what the Joint Committee recommends. If they don’t do anything, stalemate, or send completely unacceptable recommendations to congress, cuts will start happening automatically, across the board. That will cause a little pain to the Republicans, but a lot more pain to the vast majority of Americans, as social programs that have been developed over decades are shredded. The cuts won’t stimulate our economy, but may very well bring on a “double dip” recession. That, unfortunately, is exactly what the Republicans want. They don’t want to see thriving middle and working class Americans. They are hell-bent on bringing down President Obama and delivering a nation of serfs who are subservient to the rich and powerful.

The Republicans’ Trojan Elephant is in place and the President has allowed it to be brought inside the walls of the city. Only the populace at large can defeat whatever emerges from it – preferably by voting the libertarian economic terrorists out of office in 2012.

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