by Scott Creighton
When you look at the specific cuts being implemented in this second round of austerity measure cuts being slammed on us thanks to the Obama administration’s efforts, you notice something very telling: they are in fact the implementation of the neoliberal agenda. Almost point for point. Surprised that a “progressive” is doing it? Don’t be.
As I pointed out earlier this morning, Obama now has a new neoliberal globalist to put the finer points on the neoliberal plan of attack. Here I found a list of some of the “dumber” cuts. Remember, whenever someone wants to cover-up a deliberate plan, they always seem to try to imply that it’s “dumb” or a “mistake” like the illegal invasion of Iraq they tried to pass off as a “mistake”. It isn’t. It’s exactly what they want.
Check out this list of “dumb” cuts which were created by Obama’s austerity commission and then pushed as a sequestration plan by Obama’s staff onto the leadership of the House and Senate. Notice at the bottom of the list what they say about the “republican’s” reaction to these items: they “need to happen”, it’s a “homerun” to get the “economy going again”. That’s the language of the neoliberals. Also notice “libertarian” sites are busy running around saying these neoliberal objectives are “no big deal”. That should tell you something about the fake alternative sites like Prison Planet and WRH.
$20 million cut from the Maternal, Infant, and Early Childhood Home Visiting Programs
$10 million cut from the World Trade Center Health Program Fund
$168 million cut from Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration
$75 million cut from the Aging and Disability Services Programs
$199 million cut from public housing
$96 million cut from Homeless Assistance Grants
$17 million cut from Housing Opportunities for Persons with AIDS
$19 million cut from Housing for the Elderly
$175 million cut from Low Income Home Energy Assistance
Disaster and Emergency
$928 million cut from FEMA’s disaster relief money
$6 million cut from Emergency Food and Shelter
$70 million cut from the Agricultural Disaster Relief Fund at USDA
$61 million cut from the Hazardous Substance Superfund at EPA
$125 million cut from the Wildland Fire Management
$53 million cut from Salaries and Expenses at the Food Safety and Inspection Service
$13 million cut from the Consumer Operated and Oriented Plan Program (Co-ops)
$57 million cut from the Health Care Fraud and Abuse Control
$51 million cut from the Prevention and Public Health Fund
$27 million cut from the State Grants and Demonstrations
$44 million cut from the Affordable Insurance Exchange Grants program
$633 million cut from the Department of Education’s Special Education programs
$184 million cut from Rehabilitation Services and Disability Research
$71 million cut from administration at the Office of Federal Student Aid
$116 million cut from Higher Education
$86 million cut from Student Financial Assistance
$512 million cut from Customs and Border Protection
$17 million cut from Automation Modernization, Customs and Border Protection
$20 million cut from Border Security Fencing, Infrastructure, and Technology
$79 million cut from Embassy Security, Construction, and Maintenance
$604 million cut from National Nuclear Security Administration
$232 million cut from the Federal Aviation Administration
$394 million cut from Defense Environmental Cleanup
Republicans, who refused to raise any additional revenue to avoid the budget cuts, have described the reductions as “modest” a “ homerun” and something that “ needs to happen” in order to “ get this economy rolling again.” AlterNet
Now compare these aspects of this program to the policies of straight neoliberalism. What you will find is this sequestration move, this austerity plan created and implemented by the Obama/Clinton regime, is exactly what the neoliberals want.
Neoliberalism seeks to transfer control of the economy from public to the private sector, under the belief that it will produce a more efficient government and improve the economic health of the nation. The definitive statement of the concrete policies advocated by neoliberalism is often taken to be John Williamson‘s “Washington Consensus“, a list of policy proposals that appeared to have gained consensus approval among the Washington-based international economic organizations (like the International Monetary Fund (IMF) and World Bank). Williamson’s list included ten points:
Fiscal policy Governments should not run large deficits that have to be paid back by future citizens, and such deficits can have only a short term effect on the level of employment in the economy. Constant deficits will lead to higher inflation and lower productivity, and should be avoided. Deficits should only be used for occasional stabilization purposes.
Redirection of public spending from subsidies (especially what neoliberals call “indiscriminate subsidies”) and other spending neoliberals deem wasteful toward broad-based provision of key pro-growth, pro-poor services like primary education, primary health care and infrastructure investment
Tax reform– broadening the tax base and adopting moderate marginal tax rates to encourage innovation and efficiency;
Interest rates that are market determined and positive (but moderate) in real terms;
Floating exchange rates;
Trade liberalization – liberalization of imports, with particular emphasis on elimination of quantitative restrictions (licensing, etc.); any trade protection to be provided by low and relatively uniform tariffs; thus encouraging competition and long term growth
Liberalization of the “capital account” of the balance of payments, that is, allowing people the opportunity to invest funds overseas and allowing foreign funds to be invested in the home country
Privatization of state enterprises; Promoting market provision of goods and services which the government cannot provide as effectively or efficiently, such as telecommunications, where having many service providers promotes choice and competition.
Deregulation – abolition of regulations that impede market entry or restrict competition, except for those justified on safety, environmental and consumer protection grounds, and prudent oversight of financial institutions;
Legal security for property rights;
You’ll notice that most of the sequestration plan falls under the category of Redirection of public spending, but much of it also contributes to the overall agenda of destabilizing various public institutions with an eye on the eventual privatization.
Almost all of the cuts to Obamacare center around removing any real “socialist” or “universal healthcare” aspects of that plan which simply goes to show they had this in mind long ago when they set the start date for Obamacare to 2014.
General deregulation is also a key aspect to this plan. The list above doesn’t do this justice, you can find far more examples of how the Obama administration is gutting the regulatory infrastructure with this sequestration plan if you go read the official White House version of the plan. But there are certainly enough on this list to show what I am talking about:
- $57 million cut from the Health Care Fraud and Abuse Control
- $61 million cut from the Hazardous Substance Superfund at EPA
- $53 million cut from Salaries and Expenses at the Food Safety and Inspection Service
- $512 million cut from Customs and Border Protection
- $604 million cut from National Nuclear Security Administration
- $232 million cut from the Federal Aviation Administration
- $394 million cut from Defense Environmental Cleanup
This plan has nothing to do with the deficit as the White House memo notes it won’t touch the deficit, just how quickly it increases. But that of course is based on numbers expected to increase. As we all know, there is likely to be another bailout on top of the ongoing 80 billion dollar a month bailout still taking place today. There will be others. So this plan has nothing to do with the deficit. It has EVERYTHING to do with recreating this country in the model they have been working on for years.
This is just a small sampling of the “dumb” cuts that are going to be implemented in the very near future. It is specifically why Obama was ordained to be the president of the United States following Bush and Cheney. McCain and Romney could NEVER have gotten away with doing this via executive order which is essentially what happened. But Obama the “Progressive” could.
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