by Scott Creighton
Republicans love Bill Clinton. That’s what I learned watching that painful thing they called a debate last night.Either that or they’ve been tricked into adapting his ideology.
(They don’t call it the Washington Consensus for nothing (wink wink))
Who said this?
“We know big government does not have all the answers. We know there’s not a program for every problem. We have worked to give the American people a smaller, less bureaucratic government in Washington. And we have to give the American people one that lives within its means. The era of big government is over. Today our federal government is 200,000 employees smaller than it was the day I took office as President.”
Any guesses? Reagan? Thatcher? Bush I or Bush II? Nixon perhaps?
No. No. No. No. and definitely … no.
That was Bill Clinton during his state of the union address back in 1996
Last night the republican candidates had a solution to every problem: attack “big government” because obviously, “big government” is the root of all evil.
Our deficit problem? Fix it by ending the Fed or stopping the endless wars of terrorism we fight on behalf of the Military Industrial Complex and the IMF? Hell no… attack ‘big government”
Too big too fail banks? Well, according to the only woman on the stage, that’s because of evil “sooOooOooOocialism” and in order to stop the concentration of wealth in the hands of a few, is to go after “big government” because the too big too fail banks and businesses are only getting bigger in order to protect themselves from ‘big government”. So obviously, in her mind, we need to deregulate business altogether and privatize every money-making element of the government, so those institutions wont be scared of “big government” anymore and, I guess, decide to make themselves smaller for the fun of it…
And of course, Ben Carson said in order to combat companies that try to charge thousands of dollars for a medicine that costs a buck to make, we have to completely deregulate Big Business, including those pharmaceutical companies, and to do that we need to break up… “big government”
Every Goddamned answer they gave to every Goddamned question had to include the words “big government” last night. And if you think I am exaggerating, just pull up the transcript of it somewhere. I’ll give you a dollar for every answer that doesn’t include those words if you give me one for the ones that did and we’ll see who comes out on top.
Yes folks, the republicans last night made it painfully clear they fully support the Bill Clinton ideology. Why is that? Why did they do that?
That’s simple folks… because the Bill Clinton ideology made Bill Clinton extremely rich and got him selected (not “elected”) to serve as president. That’s WHY they were all about letting the REAL audience last night (the billionaire class they serve) hear them ranting about “big government”
This is the Washington Consensus, also known as neoliberalism… and for as much time as they were up there bemoaning how the republicans and dems were all working hand in hand to screw you over, turns out the very ideology behind that betrayal they were screeching about, is the exact same ideology they were promoting to the loud cheers of the audience.
Kinda ironic that way huh? Beggar to their own demise doesn’t quite do it justice.
Here’s the Washington Consensus folks a.k.a. neoliberalism. Championed by the Bush clan as well as the Clintonistas. You “outsider” libertarians pay close attention. You may just notice you aren’t as much of an “outsider” as you have been lead to believe (remind anyone of the election of 2008? Anyone?)
- Fiscal policy discipline, with avoidance of large fiscal deficits relative to GDP;
- Redirection of public spending from subsidies (“especially indiscriminate subsidies”) 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;
- Interest rates that are market determined and positive (but moderate) in real terms;
- Competitive 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;
- Liberalization of inward foreign direct investment;
- Privatization of state enterprises;
- Deregulation: abolition of regulations that impede market entry or restrict competition, except for those justified on safety, environmental and consumer protection grounds, and prudential oversight of financial institutions;
- Legal security for property rights.
Any of that look familiar, libertarians?
If you paid close attention to Ben Carson last night, he practically quoted this list as his “to-do” list but to a person, all the candidates made sure they included some aspect of this neo-liberal ideology in their statements. Some more than others, but for the most part, they all made it clear, the Washington Consensus (neo-liberalism) is at the core of their ideology. In that way, they successfully book-ended the parameters of debate for the republican party, essentially calling for more of the same austerity that we are now seeing is painfully failing at producing the “pro-growth” promises they made when they passed it in the first place.
Is this IMF/neo-liberal medicine making the country sick? Well, here. Take some more of it. That’s the message delivered last night to the republican party. And it was the message sent by each and every one of the candidates.
Here’s a little more info on the neo-liberal Washington Consensus:
Since the 1980s, the term has been used by scholars in a wide variety of social sciences and critics primarily in reference to the resurgence of 19th century ideas associated with laissez-faire economic liberalism. Beginning in the 1970s and 1980s, its advocates supported extensive economic liberalization policies such as privatization, fiscal austerity, deregulation, free trade, and reductions in government spending in order to enhance the role of the private sector in the economy. Neoliberalism is famously associated with the economic policies introduced by Margaret Thatcher in the United Kingdom and Ronald Reagan in the United States. The transition of consensus towards neoliberal policies and the acceptance of neoliberal economic theories in the 1970s are seen by some academics as the root of financialization, with the financial crisis of 2007–08 one of the ultimate results.
… In the 1960s, usage of the term “neoliberal” heavily declined. When the term was reintroduced in the 1980s in connection with Augusto Pinochet’s economic reforms in Chile, the usage of the term had shifted. It had not only become a term with negative connotations employed principally by critics of market reform, but it also had shifted in meaning from a moderate form of liberalism to a more radical and laissez-faire capitalist set of ideas. Scholars now tended to associate it with the theories of economists Friedrich Hayek and Milton Friedman.
Neo-liberalism simply doesn’t work. It never has worked. Since we forced it on the people of Chile in 1973 with Milton Friedman running down their with his Ayn Rand books and his Chicago Boys and their “economic brick” of structural reforms, we have all seen, if we care to pay attention, that these reforms do not improve the lives of the people of nations, but rather, they destroy them while enriching a very small class of well connected oligarchs (and whatever politicians they get to help them along the way (Bill Clinton? the Shah of Iran? Pinochet? Mubarak? Bush inc.? starting to see a pattern?)
One thing is clear from debates at the third Helsinki Process conference, underway here: there is agreement among economic development experts, civil society representatives and government officials attending the meeting that the neoliberal Washington consensus is not a solution to the problems of developing countries, but rather one of the causes of these problems.
… The Washington Consensus is the term commonly used since the late 1980s to describe the set of neoliberal economic and social policies imposed on developing countries by Washington-based international financial institutions (IFIs) such as the World Bank and the International Monetary Fund, through structural adjustment programmes.” Julio Godoy
Here’s the real insult passed off to the right wing of America last night. I bet you didn’t even notice it…
imposed on developing countries
Try to tell me all those candidates last night weren’t campaigning for neo-liberal Washington Consensus ideology. You can’t do it. Each and every one of them were promoting these structural reforms in one way or another… and look at who they used to try to impose them on… “developing countries”
That’s right republicans… all you heroes think of you and your nation as a 3rd world developing country.
Yes, the Washington Consensus has been around for a while and people thinking they can change the current climate of our government can do so by voting for yet another neo-liberal need to be reminded or educated in the simple truth that they are being suckered… once again. They are being asked to vote for more of the same, disastrous ideologies that have put us here in the first place.
For all of the ranting about the Clintons last night and all the praise of Reagan… people on the right need to be made aware (just like all the Obamaites back in 2008 needed to be made aware) that there really isn’t a dime’s worth of difference between the two of them.
You republicans and libertarians out there think you were applauding some kind of radical, outside the box, Washington outsider ideology last night? Give me a break;
“Previous government programs gathered dust. The reinventing government report is getting results. And we’re not through. We propose to cut $130 billion in spending by shrinking departments, extending our freeze on domestic spending, cutting 60 public housing programs down to 3, getting rid of over 100 programs we do not need, like the Interstate Commerce Commission and the Helium Reserve Program. And we’re working on getting rid of unnecessary regulations and making them more sensible. The programs and regulations that have outlived their usefulness should go. We have to cut yesterday’s Government to help solve tomorrow’s problems.
And we need to get Government closer to the people it’s meant to serve. We need to help move programs down to the point where States and communities and private citizens in the private sector can do a better job. Taking power away from Federal bureaucracies and giving it back to communities and individuals is something everyone should be able to be for” Source: Pres. Clinton’s 1995 State of the Union message to Congress , Jan 24, 1995
Last year we began to put our house in order by tackling the budget deficit that was driving us toward bankruptcy. We cut $255 billion in spending, including entitlements, and over 340 separate budget items. We froze domestic spending and used honest budget numbers.
Led by the Vice President, we launched a campaign to reinvent Government. We cut staff, cut perks, even trimmed the fleet of Federal limousines. After years of leaders whose rhetoric attacked bureaucracy but whose action expanded it, we will actually reduce it by 252,000 people over the next 5 years. By the time we have finished, the Federal bureaucracy will be at its lowest point in 30 years. Source: Pres. Clinton’s 1994 State of the Union message to Congress , Jan 25, 1994
“Smaller government”. “Entitlement” reform. Deregulation in order to let Big Business thrive.
Folks, that was the plan, the big plan, to save our economy and get us back on track.
But lookie here. It’s simply more of the same. More of the same IMF/World Bank economic medicine they’ve been shoveling down our throats for decades people.
It’s the fucking same plan promoted and implemented by the Great Satan himself… Bill Clinton.
Wake up republicans. You aren’t voting your way out of this one. Not with that freak-show of a cast I saw last night anyway. If I wanted Bill Clinton or Margaret Thatcher in the White House, I’d knock him off whatever underage child he’s currently passed out on and vote for him or dig up her corpse and prop her up on stage. She would at least have more energy that Carson and Bill would be a little easier to listen to than Jeb.
Jesus. I thought “W” was the dumb one… wow.
Anyway, just some thoughts I had on the republican WWE event last night. Hope you enjoyed reading them. Don’t expect me to do much more on the “election”. I don’t deal in fiction on this website.
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