In case you missed it several thousand people gathered in Washington on Saturday to protest everything they hate about the current administration. The theme, egged on by their talk radio puppet masters, seemed to be that Washington was stealing money from middle-class Americans and giving it to undeserving people – ie. poor people. Glenn Greenwald writes that such thinking is peasant thinking.
It wasn’t the poor or illegal immigrants who were the beneficiaries of the Wall St. bailout; it was the investment banks which, not even a year later, are wallowing in record profits and bonuses thanks to massive taxpayer-funded welfare. The endlessly expanding (and secret) balance sheet of the Federal Reserve isn’t going to fund midnight basketball programs or health care for Mexican immigrants but is enabling extreme profiteering by the very people who, just a year ago, almost brought the global economic system to full-scale collapse. Our endless wars and always-expanding Surveillance State — fueled by constant fear-mongering campaigns against the Latest Scary Enemy — keep the National Security corporations drowning in profits, paid for by middle-class taxes. And even health-care reform — which supposedly began with anger over extreme insurance company profiteering at the expense of people’s health — will be an enormous boon to that same industry, as tens of millions of people are forced by the Government to become their customers with the central mechanism to control costs (the public option) blocked by that same industry. That’s why those industries are enthusiastically in favor of reform: because, as always, they will benefit massively from it.
If Fox News, Glenn Beck and Rush Limbaugh were truly opposed to expanded government power, where were they when George Bush and Dick Cheney were expanding federal power in virtually every realm, driving up the national debt to unprecedented proportions, destroying middle-class economic security in order to benefit the wealthiest, and generally ensuring government intrusion into every aspect of people’s lives? They were supporting it and cheering it on.