The angst is over. Both Democrats and Republicans are congratulating themselves and one another. All is right again in the political world.
Of course, both parties are crying tears of distress. They have both given, both sacrificed. Both are unhappy with the grave changes that will bring an austere new way of life to America -- so goes the rhetoric.
The truth is that both parties are congratulating one another for once again pulling one over on a dwindling number of hard-working patriotic Americans. Or at least they think they have.
The members of the political elite see taxpayers as fools who cling to outmoded values -- values that made America great.
These arrogant, self-righteous parasites believe they have dodged another bullet. Their only concern is the "pesky," radical, irrational, and extremist tea party fringe. Immediately after agreeing to impose another $2.4 trillion debt on taxpayers, Vice President Biden summarized the views of the elitists by accusing the "fringe" of putting "guns to their heads" and forcing the responsible members of congress to negotiate with terrorists.
The old guard Republican leaders' role was to pretend they really were going to make the beltway bandits tighten their belts. The Democrats' role was to convince the working class in America that it would be heartless to reduce the gravy train of the dependent class they represent by even a single penny.
With the "deal" that was so "hard fought," taxpayers were told real change had been achieved. Irresponsible spending, the hateful rhetoric, the errors of the past were over. America is once again on the road to glory and a new beginning.
There is joy in the land of smoke and mirrors. The joy is that the old boys' club that has ruled Washington for the last 70 years believes it has once again pulled a rabbit out of the hat. The cynical ruling class has fooled the American working middle class into believing something has changed.
Nothing has. It is business as usual.
The "deal" is a mutual agreement to continue spending, as is, until the next general election. In short, while pretending to care about the massive debt on the shoulders of taxpaying Americans -- now fewer than half of all Americans -- both parties will pile another $2.4 trillion dollars of debt on us and our children and grandchildren.
What actually came out of the "deal"? The deal was more debt, two more years of uncontrolled spending, and more promises to possibly rein in spending of some unspecified amount at some unspecified time.
It is clear that neither the Democratic nor the Republican leadership care about the American taxpayers. The only thing these looters care about is spending.
Predictably, the majority of the promised debt reduction is to come from reductions in Social Security and Medicare benefits. Neither are "gifts" from other taxpayers. Both have been paid for by taxpayers. They paid for it with mandatory deductions from their paychecks, just like the federal income taxes withheld from every paycheck.
Little, if any, of the reduction in spending comes from those who receive welfare, grants, giveaways and other largess, or from those who pay nothing, including income taxes. These groups are untouchable.
The Obama administration called the deal "a win for the economy and budget discipline." It went on to say the deal removed "uncertainty" -- until 2013 - that is, until after the next election. This is a win for the looters.
What this deal does NOT do is address actually reducing the national debt. Instead, it projects increasing the debt by more than $2.4 trillion dollars.
America's middle-class taxpayers need to wake up and understand the difference between "deficit" and "debt." Deficit is the amount of spending that exceeds income in each budget cycle. Over 10 years, the "deal" proposes to try to reduce the amount of "deficit" spending by $100 billion a year, while continuing deficit spending by over $1 trillion each year. There is NO debt reduction -- only debt increase.
Every dollar of debt increase will be added to increased income taxes and reduced pre-paid Social Security and Medicare benefits of the dwindling number of taxpayers.
Those of us who pay taxes know what our elected leaders, both Republican and Democrat think of us - we are selfish and must pay more. The pain must be shared. We pay more, and those who get what we pay may actually end up not getting as much. Of course, the "deal" was signed in secret. Why? Because our leaders were afraid we would not miss the smirks on their faces as they once again looted our work effort and our kids' future.
The truth is that we will follow in the steps of Western Europe unless we clean house in Washington, D.C. This requires not simply balancing the budget but using a significant portion of the income collected to reduce the national debt - and to begin to do so now.
- A Voice from FlyOver Country is copyright (c) by Robert L. Hale and the Fitzgerald Griffin Foundation (www.fgfbooks.com).