How's this for irony: although the almighty deficit is running lower this year through a combination of government austerity and modest increases in tax revenue, the gains are being offset by a one percent increase in federal spending. And guess where that one percent increase is going? Toward the continuing bailout of the big banks! Even as Congress cuts programs for the poor, even as cities go bankrupt and schools shut down, even as chronic unemployment is creating a permanent underclass of tens of millions of people, the bankster class is still getting theirs.
The latest report from the non-partisan Congressional Budget Office (CBO) says federal spending on the Troubled Asset Relief Program (TARP) grew by $62 billion through June -- offsetting most of this year's corporate, individual and payroll tax revenue growth. (Contrary to popular belief, the banks have not paid back all the money "lent" to them by taxpayers. ProPublica has the facts and figures, and Zero Hedge further debunks the myth that Main Street made some kind of profit from TARP.)
It is a truth universally acknowledged that as the rich get richer, the poor get screwed. Republicans can scream all they want that the Democrats are spending us into a national suicide, and Democrats can promise till the cows come home that if only we all share the sacrifice and the wealthy pay "just a little more" everything will be hunky-dory in about a century.
Meanwhile, the banksters get their $62 billion welfare check in the form of forgiveness for their late TARP payments, and put it toward their bonuses and salaries and perks and bribes to their political friends in Washington and all 50 states. Congress does its part by cutting $28 billion from Medicaid and saving another $20 billion through ending benefits for the long-term unemployed. The one percent increase in spending this year is being squandered on a subset of the one percent at the very tippy top of the pile. Imagine that.
It's not that we weren't warned. Homeland Security Chief Janet Napolitano spoke about the looming threat of domestic terrorism years ago. She just forgot to mention that the terrorists are elite corporate psychopaths and their political minions.