There are many more important topics out there than The Deficit, the scary, hairy monster that haunts the dreams of David Gregory and only the blood of the poor and elderly can appease its wrath. Climate change comes immediately to mind, as do income inequality, the vast inequities of our tax code, the ongoing upward translation of the nation's wealth, why more bankers aren't in federal prison, and whatever did I do to the baby Jeebus that he allowed Notre Dame to play for a national championship. But the biggest reason why we should shut the national piehole on the topic is not that we have more serious problems, or even that any discussion violates the blog's first rule of economics — Fk The Deficit. People Got No Jobs. People Got No Money.
The real reason we should stop talking about it for a while is that the people who are insisting that it will eat us and our posterity on toast are lying swine who would sell your white-haired granny to the Somali pirates for another three points on the Dow. Until we all acknowledge the fact that organized wealth in this country has become downright sociopathic in the heedless damage it does, any discussion of The Deficit can and will be hijacked by that quarter in order to gain absolution for its grievous sins and the right to go on committing them against the rest of us, over and over again.
Listening to these people talk about the national economy is like listening to a burglar tell you that you should really polish the silver more often.
The latest confirmation of this obvious truth comes from the good folks at the Institute Of Policy Studies, who took a look at the various plutocrats and pirates who are behind Fix The Debt, the latest scam from the phony deficit scolds, albeit one made up almost exclusively of people who helped threw the national economy into the abyss for a decade, and then came looking for government handouts when it all went to hell. In a sensible world, the whole notion of taking seriously the economic proposals emanating from this particular bag of rancid marsupials would occasion an immediate takeout order from Wanda's House Of Tar And Feathers. Instead, we have the people at IPS, to whom none of our courtier press will pay attention, but who have done us the invaluable service of showing us in detail how the folks behind Fix The Debt do business in their day jobs.
These are the people, of course, who are so concerned about The Deficit because of the impact it will gave on their children and grandchildren, most of whom, of course, will not have to work a day in their lives, because Grampy stole the country back in the day. The report is a truly remarkable look at who's really running things.
The 71 Fix the Debt CEOs who lead publicly held companies have amassed an average of $9 million in their company retirement funds. A dozen have more than $20 million in their accounts. If each of them converted their assets to an annuity when they turned 65, they would receive a monthly check for at least $110,000 for life. The Fix the Debt CEO with the largest pension fund is Honeywell's David Cote, a long-time advocate of Social Security cuts. His $78 million nest egg is enough to provide a $428,000 check every month after he turns 65. Forty-one of the 71 companies offer employee pension funds. Of these, only two have sufficient assets in their funds to meet expected obligations. The rest have combined deficits of $103 billion, or about $2.5 billion on average. General Electric has the largest deficit in its worker pension fund, with $22 billion.
(Cote is the sweetheart to whom Gregory gave such an elaborate private dance in the VIP Room of his show on Sunday. When it comes to speaking mush to power, there's nobody quite like the Dancin' Master.)
Look at those numbers. Only two — ! — of these gombeens run companies that intend to fulfill the bargains they have made with their workers. They have feathered their own nests so luxuriously that they make the Ottoman sultans look like Franciscans. And they now have organized themselves to lobby for a program that will cut Social Security and Medicare, and they are trotting it out in public, and nobody has yet greeted them with the flying clumps of horse manure that are really the only answer to this shameless audacity. My god in heaven, the average Social Security recipient receives a little over $1200 a month, or roughly 400 times less than will David Cote who, on Sunday, said this to David Gregory who, alas, declined to spit on him.
We have a significant problem with entitlements. Medicare, Medicaid in - in particular. Those things need to get resolved together. If we could actually develop a four trillion dollar credible market credible plan that would cause everyone out there to say, wow, we can govern again.
It is hard to believe, given the very real look into how these people think that was the essence of the Romney campaign, that so many people now covering our politics seem unwilling to admit what is plainly in front of their face. We need government more than ever to protect us and our political commonwealth from a rapacious business and financial elite that sees the country as something to be pillaged, and that doesn't have the basic patriotism that god gave the common sea slug. These people have no more business directing the politics of the country than does your drunk uncle who watches Fox News. These people ought to have less influence in our politics than do the people who leave the mints on their pillows every night. There is nothing for the rest of us but self-government, which occasionally must show the right people its fangs so they do not wreck the country and loot what's left. It is all that the rest of us have.