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Old 07-23-2012, 01:16 PM
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Austerity's Big Winners Prove To Be Wall Street And The Wealthy

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The poor and middle classes have shouldered by far the heaviest burdens of the global political obsession with austerity policies over the past three years. In the United States, budget cuts have forced states to reduce education, public transportation, affordable housing and other social services. In Europe, welfare cuts have driven some severely disabled individuals to fear for their lives.

But the austerity game also has winners. Cutting or eliminating government programs that benefit the less advantaged has long been an ideological goal of conservatives. Doing so also generates a tidy windfall for the corporate class, as government services are privatized and savings from austerity pay for tax cuts for the wealthiest citizens.

U.S. financial interests that stand to gain from Medicare, Medicaid and Social Security cutbacks "have been the core of the big con," the "propaganda," that those programs are in crisis and must be slashed, said James Galbraith, an economist at the University of Texas.

Advocates of austerity measures have sold their proposals as a means to improve the economy.

"It is an error to think that fiscal austerity is a threat to growth and job creation," declared European Central Bank President Jean-Claude Trichet in July 2010.

"We're going to cut spending to get the debt down, help create jobs and prosperity, and reform government programs," vowed Rep. Paul Ryan (R-Wis.), chairman of the House Budget Committee, in a February 2011 commentary for Real Clear Politics. Ryan would later declare that his budget plan, with far more aggressive austerity measures than those ultimately enacted by Congress -- including $6.2 trillion in spending cuts -- would have spurred $1.5 trillion in economic growth and created 2.5 million jobs.
http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2012/0...n_1690838.html

Do you think austerity's big winners are Wall Street and the wealthy?
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