Grand Theater, Beltway Style

Four years ago it was The Affordable Care Act. Last year they gave us The Sequester. Two weeks ago, it was The Farm Bill. This week, it’s a blank budget check via spending-limit dissolution. (The Check’s-Blank Redemption?) The federal government—THE most powerful Corporation in human history—has done it again: performed its theater to give itself the money it wants and called it a win for the people from whom it extorts its unlimited wealth.

The vast lion’s share of the money is for the federal government: THE Corporation. The taxpayers who foot the bill will never see most of it. THE Corporation’s “fabulously well to do,” (as Vonnegut described them)—whose main qualifier is a belief in their entitlement to unlimited riches, luxury, and privilege at others’ expense—and their vast army of two million plus lavishly compensated (non-uniformed) bureaucrats, are sleeping well tonight. They’ve once again fortified their already formidable might.

Please don’t be fooled by the center-stage drama these people allow us to see. This is “THE Corporation,” doing what it does best—giving itself lots of money—as it has routinely done for many decades. Its members never doubted they’d do it. They were going to give themselves the money. The only question was how they’d do it: who’d play what roles this time.

Remember, even the so-called “bad guys”—THE Corporation’s members who voted against these massive cash acquisitions—are going to get their share. So they all get together back-stage and decide who will play what role; who will play the “bad guys” who, as the media will say, are preventing the compassionate “good guys” from getting the money they need to save the “poor, hardworking Americans,” or whomever the needy, dependent victims are this time: single moms, underprivileged minorities, inner-city youth, et cetera, et cetera. The “victims” strongly buy into the melodrama, but their plight never seems to improve. THE Corporation, however, is doing real good.

The media broadcast the melodrama . . . as if the question—whether “THE Corporation” would get its money—really even exists. I say it does not.

This time, Senator Cruz is the “bad guy.” He “forced the senate to go to 60 votes.” But, wouldn’t you know it? By some miracle, Senator McConnell was waiting to play the heroic “good guy,” who came through with the 60th vote. Gee whiz. The media portray some as losers and some as winners. But, as usual, The Corporation—including its “bad guys”— got its money, and everybody in America can be happy about that. They have saved us again.

That’s the story we’re supposed to believe, but I don’t buy it. These people always put on a show: as if some of them are unwilling to give themselves the money they all want. It’s kind of like a movie, with its heroes and villains. Good actors and good directors—and in Washington, we have the very best actors, directors, script writers, and public relations crews (the “news” media)—can make it seem like the bad guys might win, for a while. It can be very entertaining, as we see it unfold in the newspapers and on television. “Will the compassionate good guys ‘save America’ by enriching themselves again, or will evil ‘bad guys’—conservatives, republicans, the Tea Party: Oh, my!—stop them for the sheer, evil, sadistic joy of it? Stay tuned . . . suckers.” But from the very beginning of the movie, you know the good guys—our heroes, how we love them so—will win and, sure enough, they always do.

We’re $17 trillion in debt, our economy is weak, the job market—the American lower- and middle-class workers’ main bargaining tool—sucks, health care and now health insurance are more unaffordable than ever, and these people in THE Corporation are, via the media, trumpeting our victories?

These people will give themselves the money they want. Don’t doubt that. They always have. They always do. They just did it again. They might plan on $900 billion, ask for $1 trillion, scale it back to the $900 billion they’d planned, and then make the $100 billion they didn’t get seem like a big sacrifice. They did that with their award-winning Sequester melodrama; they even closed a few parks and airports to make it look good . . . as if those are the only “cuts” they were able to make: oh, please . . ..

None of them—not even THE Corporation’s “bad guys,” supposedly against the massive cash grab—gave up their luxuries: unlimited travel, private jets, Limousines, vast armies of servants and guards, multiple dwellings, porky projects, the best of everything. But a lousy little budget reduction—a drop in the bucket in the grand scheme—”forced” them to cut direct taxpayer services.


The Sequester was a good example. The Farm Bill is another. They ask for over a trillion bucks, pretend to sacrifice by taking a bit less, and then dramatize the “sacrifice” by reducing services to “the little people”—sorry: no free popcorn this year—but never, ever to themselves.

The Affordable Care Act is “epic theater.” It doesn’t make care “affordable.” It doesn’t lower health-care costs at all. It reduces care—except, of course, for the very wealthy, including THE Corporation’s top execs, who’ve exempted themselves and their own—and it requires people to pay more for health insurance. The money is flowing into THE Corporation . . . and this is to help “poor people”?

This latest melodrama—the dissolution of limits on amounts THE Corporation can borrow for itself: exorbitant amounts that taxpayers have to repay—featured tiny plot differences. But the outcome is the same: the “compassionate good guys” have given themselves all the money they can possibly want, and the “bad guys” who theatrically tried to stop it are now holding out their hands for their slice.

One of my favorite lines, that comes up in every one of THE Corporation’s theatrical melodramas, is, “This will save the poor, hardworking Americans one hundred billion dollars, but . . . not today! Not even this year: check back with us ten or fifteen years from now.

Yesterday I read the term here, at RedState, “male bovine scatology.” (Thanks, Repair_Man_Jack.) It’s a great term, and I think I will henceforth use it instead of my previously favorite descriptive, more wordy phrase: “the stuff hay becomes when bulls are through with it.”

But whatever publicly palatable phrase you use to describe it, that’s what it is. These people have always given, and will continue to give, themselves the money they ran for office, or got their bureaucratic positions with THE Corporation, to get. They’re the top executive echelon of THE largest, most powerful Corporation in human history. They will continue to grow THE Corporation in every scope and—don’t ever doubt it—they surely will not allow among their ranks anybody who’s not on board with that. Some of their number will be cast in the “bad guy” roles to make it look good.

But, as we have seen, in the end, they always get their money, and when they divide up the spoils, the “bad guys” get, and hungrily accept, their share, too . . . just as the actors who play “bad guys” in movies get their share of the box office draw; and our money is Gone With The Wind.