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Middle Fingered

Now that the new fiscally responsible Congress has addressed the crucial issue of extending tax cuts for the wealthy, it’s time to get down to the real business of further impoverishing America’s middle class (motto: “Didn’t we used to be in the middle?”).

Our national economy continues to perform with the same mix of hope and futility as Hugh Hefner on his wedding night. The latest blow to our flaccid economy: a projected 1.5 trillion dollar budget deficit for 2011, nearly a third earmarked to pay for the Bush Tax Cuts. (Expect a déjà vu moment sometime in the near future when Michelle Bachman has a hard time looking you squarely in the eye while calling this Obama’s deficit.)

While we could easily offset those costs with the sale of bumper stickers to Republicans proclaiming, “You Can Have Your Tax Cuts Back When You Pry Them From My Cold Dead Fingers,” the new Congress has other ideas: on the table are Social Security, Medicare, education, social programs, municipal jobs, health care, the home mortgage deduction, and feeding poor people to underground-dwelling Morlocks so they’ll leave us in peace. (One of these may not be true, and don’t assume it’s the obvious one.)

In other words: nothing that would cause our wealthiest citizens to spill their sherry or drop a monocle. Because to ask the nation's top earners to help trim the deficit—by, say, resuming a tax rate that was temporary anyway and under which America enjoyed unequalled prosperity—would be “punishing success.” And it’s a lot easier to punish those who have enjoyed absolutely no success over the lost decade of the Bush presidency and its aftermath, the working middle class. 

But help is on the way from President Obama in the form of… um, looser regulations for business. In his State of the Union address before a united Congress forced to hold hands, Obama distinguished himself as only the second president to avoid using the words “poverty” and “poor” in an SOTU address since 1948, while pledging to remove “rules that put an unnecessary burden on businesses,” and to “knock down barriers that stand in the way of their success.” He sure talks funny for a Socialist!

There’s just one problem: the only visible barrier standing in the way of business seems to be a giant pile of cash. After growing profits for two years at some of the fastest rates in history, American business had its best earnings ever in the third quarter of 2010: more than $1.67 trillion. Yet even with enough stockpiled wealth to dive into and swim around like Scrooge McDuck, businesses refused to hire and unemployment remained at roughly 9-1/2% through the run-up, even approaching 10% in November before falling in December, when we needed more part-time Santas.

A reasonable man could argue that America’s business interests have already been given their greatest incentive—record profits—and wonder why, larded with wealth as they are, they still aren’t hiring? Because they do the same thing with an unexpected windfall that the rich do with a tax cut: hoard it. Which is why a future episode of A&E’s “Hoarders” may take us inside a millionaire’s home to see all the money he’s not spending, squirreled away in custom mattresses, bedazzled coffee cans and the mummified remains of the family patriarch whose death went unreported to avoid paying estate taxes. 

Simply put, if you give a fat kid more cookies, he’s just going to eat the cookies, not share them with the skinny, hungry kid. Unless he’s told to, but that would be Socialism.

So with corporate America and its wealthiest citizens taken care of, the responsibility to save the nation falls--as it always has--on the over-burdened shoulders of the working middle class. Because if they haven't been smart enough to fund a hedge or leverage a buyout or bundle a toxic asset here in the land of opportunity, they deserve what's coming to them. Even if that means ending up Morlock food.

Click here to watch "BALLS," a video allegory of greedy pricks.

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Disclaimer: This website is satirical in nature and naturally satirical.  Although many of the facts, figures, statistical information, and events both current and historical contained herein are true and accurate, "Eat The Poor" also contains elements of parody, including exaggeration and ridicule, regarding events, public figures, corporations, government institutions, and others we find deserving of unwanted attention.  No harm is intended to figures both public and private and/or institutions or corporate entities mentioned herein.
The use of the phrase "herein" herein is hereby acknowledged to be unnecessary and excessive.

A Modest Proposal for a film by Kurt Engfehr and Ken Pisani.
© 2006 Ken Pisani and Kurt Engfehr.  All rights reserved.
All "Blogging Poorly" posts © Ken Pisani.