CRomnibus: A Hint Of Things To Come

Sanders- Republican agenda

Americans have been conditioned by our news cycles and our lifestyles to get worked up about something today only to have it stroked from our memories tomorrow. For all but a few, stitching today’s thread of news into the fabric of a continuing project that eventually becomes a completed work is extremely hard to do. Media used to assist us in that, especially newspapers and magazines. However, such work does not sell well, or at least well enough to satisfy the profit motives of the corporations that now own most of the print and broadcast medium. Even NPR and Public television are more prone to report what happened today without weaving today’s thread into the tapestry of history.

The stories of Travis Martin and Eric Garner are truly incomplete without understanding the history of race relations in America. Yet most of the reporting done on these stories focus on yesterday’s confrontation without much background.

Humans like meaning with their stories so they can understand what the causes are and what they can anticipate. But they need the whole story to be able to do that. Thus we had a story that made major headlines for about a week and has once more disappeared without much serious analysis and context for the mass of Americans. That is the whole rigamarole concerning the passage of the Continuing Resolution / Omnibus funding bill in the Us congress. This bill is commonly referred to as the CRomnibus bill. There are so many aspects to this bill that are scary that Americans really need to understand the whole story and where it leads us to.

The CRomnibus bill grew from 1,500 pages to nearly 3,000 before it was finally passed. By the time it was done, there were so many poison pills and seeds of destruction that can really help nudge America as we once knew it into a death spiral. Thank goodness internet neutrality is still in force for the most part. The democratic (small ‘d’) voices of the internet allow for in depth analysis and discussion of cobbled together Frankensteins such as the CRomnibus bill.

For instance, blogforiowa contributor Paul Deaton takes on a little known portion of the CRomnibus bill that greatly affects how the ACA will continue to function (or maybe noir function) in Iowa. It seems that buried deep in CRomnibus was a section that contained the seeds of a health insurance cooperative created to handle the ACA in Iowa. It is a very interesting read on how one of the poison pills within CRomnibus will kill a a small section of the ACA as Republicans continue their assault on health care for all Americans.

The Des Moines Register has a rather surprising take on yet another aspect of the CRomnibus. One section of the bill lowered pension payments for a precise sector of pensioners. This was in answer to the fact that over years and decades employers had failed to properly fund retirements or invested in financial products that never produced results. Rather than punishing employers, Cromnibus essentially punishes the victims by taking away large portions of their pensions. This will devastate individuals. The old “privatize the profits, socialize the costs” method. The Register saw no problem with this.

Many other aspects of the poison pill/seeds of destruction of CRomnibus are discussed at taxpayer.net. They point out lots of little Christmas presents for the Pentagon, things like nuclear fuel and other favorites of the so-called “market force” folks. Do a little searching. There are many analysis blogs out there discussing some aspect of CRomnibus. This bill stunk to high heaven, yet our mainstream media said little but that it passed and that President Obama would sign it.

Beyond all the poison pills the other aspect that is really scary is the method in which it was rammed through. This was done while Democrats still had a majority in the senate. But in typical Democratic fighting fashion they opted to back this loser because “it is the best deal we will get. When Republicans have majorities in both houses, the next bill will be much worse” (note: a paraphrase by me). Thus, simply by threatening a worse bill, Republicans got Democrats to back down and abandon their principles.

Basically, Republicans will bring government to brink after brink of crisis and give an ultimatum- “do what we want or the government gets it!” And within their legislation will be many more poison pills that will be presents to the wealthy while killing anything that protects workers, the elderly and disabled or any minorities. They will not go for big kills in one shot, but will slowly kill things like Social Security and Medicare, any unemployment insurance, any welfare little by little by taking out sections or by letting states take over pieces.

If they let states take over pieces of say Social Security, the overwhelmingly state Republican legislatures will slowly kill such programs claiming they have no money. While doing this they will continue to cut taxes for the wealthy. This is what Republicans see as a win-win.

And what of President Obama? He signed the bill. Will he be signing bills in the next two years because “it is the best we can get?” There are aspects of this process that just scare me when I think of the next two years and the long term effects that could come from other bills of this ilk.

2015 already has an ominous feel of severe pessimism even before it starts.

About Dave Bradley

retired in West Liberty
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