Voices from Russia

Wednesday, 23 November 2011

23 November 2011. Mission to Moscow? We’ll Have to See…

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A correspondent informed me that an unnamed high OCA cleric is going to Moscow on 1 December… does it have anything to do with Dickie Wood being kicked off the oca.org clergy list and his bio being pulled from patriarchia.org? Perspirin’ minds wanna know. This is high-level scuttlebutt… believe it or not, as you will. I’ll give it a 50-50. If this is legit, who’s paying for this junket and what’s the purpose? I wonder what Alexander Lebedeff would say… “the widow’s mite”, and all that, dontcha know! Pass me the jug… the world’s being its usual ol’ self… take a hit yourself, too… it’s not getting any purer any time soon or any time later…

BMD

The “Independent” via VOR: Dangerous Impasse for the US Economy

The Republican Party persists in a tax policy that mainly benefits the top 0.1 percent of the American population… Jay Gould and John D Rockefeller Sr would’ve approved. Don’t forget… TR fought the corporate hydra… the present-day Republican Party is the corporate hydra’s loyal lickspittle… which one would you follow? I know where I stand! Stop the feeding of the fatcats at the Defence Department slop-chute and restore taxes on the rich at the level that they were in 1980… that’s the only way out. Otherwise, it’s just futile…

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Editor’s Foreword:

This is my English translation of a Russian translation of an English perspective on the American economic/political crisis. I present it so that you can see what a semi-official Russian agency is offering the Russian public (VOR is a state-run enterprise). Russians know more about the USA and the West than vice versa. One reason is that Russian translations of Western media output are available to the Russian public. How many English translations of Russian media output are available to the Anglosphere public? I can see where the censorship is… and it’s NOT Russia! The dictatorial jackboot of the Gestapo lives… in the US Republican Party (Herman Cain, Rick Perry, or Newt Gingrich anyone?) and the Conservative Parties of the UK and Canada … and none dare care it treason…

BMD

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From a political point of view, the fiasco of the super-committee plays into the hands of President Obama

The failure of the so-called “super-committee” of the US Congress to offer even the most modest package of measures to reduce government debt was evident to everyone in Washington for several weeks. Nevertheless, on Monday, the official recognition of this fiasco was another proof that the American political system’s highly dysfunctional. This situation isn’t only disgraceful; it’s very dangerous for the United States. The fact is, the committee, which had 12 members, six members each from the Republican and Democratic Parties, didn’t have to recreate the universe. They just had to find a way to reduce the budget deficit by 1.2 trillion USD (37.6 trillion Roubles. 895 billion Euros. 770 billion UK Pounds) over the next ten years. This figure represents only a fraction of the 4 trillion USD (125.3 trillion Roubles. 2.99 trillion Euros. 2.57 trillion UK Pounds) that most economists say is necessary to reduce the deficit to put the country’s finances in order.

Moreover, the committee had exceptional powers, including the ability to vote in an expedited fashion, to take decisions by simple majority, and a ban on the use of blocking tactics as obstructions. However, even under these circumstances, the congressmen failed to carry out their mandate. As usual, the stumbling block was ideological. The Democrats didn’t want substantial reductions in budget expenditures on healthcare and pensions, and the Republicans refused to approve any tax increases, even on the incomes of the wealthiest citizens. Now, what happens? If you want a brief answer, almost certainly nothing will happen, at least until the end of the presidential election. In theory, mandatory measures to cut costs affecting even the usually sacrosanct Pentagon budget will go into effect automatically, but not earlier than January 2013. President Obama insists that he’ll checkmate Congress by vetoing any attempt to bring these measures to naught. Well, let’s wait and see.

From a political point of view, the fiasco of the super-committee plays into the hands of President Obama. The President wisely rejected a proposal to take part in this enterprise doomed to failure. Instead, he actually began his re-election campaign by painting the Republicans as heartless people who act on behalf of the “fat cats”, and he called Congress an assembly of “idlers and do-nothings”. Surveys show that Americans agree with this approach. More than two-thirds of respondents were in favour of raising taxes on the rich, considering it one of the essential points of a programme to reduce state debt. Whilst only a little over 40 percent of the voters support Mr Obama’s policies, which is extremely low for a president who wants to be re-elected to a second term, he, nevertheless, is far ahead of his rivals from the Republican Party, and that’s no coincidence.

Meanwhile, public hostility for the Congress, whose ratings in the country were down in the single digits even before the fiasco of the super committee, certainly will turn into a sense of deep disgust. Yes, the results of recent elections indicate that Americans want to see a government composed of members of both parties in Washington, but Americans want to see a compromise, not this paralysis and impotence. Today, healthy scepticism of government’s at risk of becoming “toxic”. However, the likelihood that the coming elections would solve all the current problems is extremely low. The result of the vote scheduled for November 2012 could lead to a new occupant in the White House, and a change in the balance-of-power in one or both houses of Congress. However, no matter what happens, no party has received a majority allowing it to advance their ideological position, not to mention gaining a 60 percent majority in the Senate, which ensures that the other side can’t block one’s decisions. In short, no way other than compromise exists.

The current situation is a great danger for the anaemic US economy. The failure of the congressional super-committee seriously shook the confidence of businesses and consumers, giving Americans the impression that Congress is unable to act in the interests of the country. Today, even a child knows the parameters of the deal, and what we need to do to reverse the situation… raise taxes, close loopholes in the tax laws, and reduce subsidy programmes. Despite this, the parties can’t reach an agreement. So far, luck’s been on America’s side. Partly due to the Euro-zone crisis, the US Treasury Department had access to very cheap credit. However, this can’t last forever. If the US takes no action, the creditworthiness of the country will fall, and its economy will weaken even more… sooner or later, the price that society will have to pay for congressional impotence will become apparent to all.

23 November 2011

Independent (UK)

As quoted by Voice of Russia World Service

http://rus.ruvr.ru/2011/11/23/60881541.html

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