The day after November’s election, The Boston Globe‘s lead editorial said, essentially, “Now that you’ve won, Mr. Obama, you should immediately implement Mr. Romney’s fiscal policies.” Punditry began to speak incessantly about the deficit, and the “Fiscal Cliff”. Few mentioned that the so-called “cliff”, far from being a fact of nature, was a creation of this Congress, and could be eliminated by them with a vote, if they so wanted. We have been assured that the “cliff” is a looming disaster, that entitlements were to blame, and that belt-tightening would be necessary all around – except for millionaires, who MUST NOT be denied their tax breaks, or the economy would crumble all around us. Another phrase often heard has been “Grand Bargain” – a deal President Obama is supposed to strike with House Republicans so we don’t all “fall off the cliff”?
What is the “Fiscal Cliff”, really? Is it even a cliff, or (as some activists say) at most a “fiscal slope”? In this post-2008 crash, post-Occupy world, how can people still claim with a straight face that austerity for all but the wealthy is the best course to take for the economy? How can we keep the “Grand Bargain” from becoming a “Grand Sell-out”?
Our guests this week are activists who have delved deeply into the facts behind the rhetoric, and will try to help us find some answers to these questions.
Paul Garver is a retired union organizer with intimate experience wrestling with global corporations in a global economy. He is on the National Political Committee of Democratic Socialists of America, and has been a drafter of many recent DSA statements on economic policy.
Charlie Brackett is former Young Democratic Socialist, now a DSA activist who researches fiscal policy and helps write literature for the organization.
With luck, we may also be joined by an activist from the American Friends Service Committee who is active in the Budget for All Campaign in Massachusetts.
Sledding Down the Fiscal Cliff:
Grand Bargains seen from the Democratic Left
Wednesday, 12/5/2012 7:00 pm USA Eastern Time
Occupy Boston Radio – OBR.FM
with rebroadcasts the following Monday 10:00 am
and Wednesday 7:00 am
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