Our good friend Shane of the Government tipped us off to this post from Capital Gains and Games about the religious underpinnings of the Tea Party’s deficit fetish. It’s grim stuff, but it does a good job of outlining why an agreement in Congress about such basic concerns as funding the federal government is likely to remain elusive.
The populist disdain for experts — marked in debate over evolution and climate change — has entered economics. “The fact that we may be completely ignorant to the process here, God bless us, because our ignorance has just saved the American people more money,” Tim Scott, a freshman Republican from South Carolina, told CNN. What we are witnessing is the rise of a new strain of politician: the budget fundamentalist.
“What you’ve got to understand is this is an emotional issue, not a rational issue,” says budget guru Stan Collender, a veteran of both House and Senate budget committees who puts the likelihood of a shutdown at 90 percent. “As far I can tell it has no theoretical economic underpinnings, which is why it’s so difficult for the budget these days to be discussed, because statistics don’t mean anything, equations don’t convince anybody. It is almost a religious belief.”
Viewed in this light, it’s easy to see why the GOP youngbloods are targeting, say, Planned Parenthood. Yet it’s also indicative of a larger trend, which puts Biblical Capitalism ahead of any form of social or civic advancement. This movement is subsidized by mega corporations like Koch Enterprises, which care nothing for the American middle class. Meanwhile, income disparity in our great nation puts us at the bottom of international rankings. If you think you’re gonna strike it rich here, think again. The charts don’t lie, but the politicians — and their corporate paymasters — sure do.
One of these days, we’re going to publish an in-depth article about how Ronald Reagan — the Bill Brasky of the Right — sold America a shockingly effective fairy tale about exceptionalism, while simultaneously eviscerating the labor force and presiding over the greatest transfer of wealth in history. But we’re simply too sick to our stomachs at the moment.