We are all familiar with the final words of the play spoken by Julius Cesar when he saw that Marcus Brutus was about to betray him. The realization that he was betrayed by his friend was more painful than the cold steel entering his back. We too have been betrayed by those of whom we trusted most. The president of the United States and the Democrats in Congress are no more trustworthy on this day than was Brutus some 2000 years ago. And I fear that the knife struck in the back of the middle class by the Democratic Party this week will finally finish us off.
The deficit reduction bill that just passed is a cold-hearted piece of legislation that does nothing more than accelerate the dismantling of an already fading middle class while preserving the ever increasing perks and wealth of corporate America and the uber rich. As Missouri Congressman Emanuel Cleaver so elegantly stated via Twitter, "This deal is a sugar-coated Satan sandwich. If you lift the bun, you will not like what you see." Many have already begun lifting the bun and indeed it is ugly.
According to William Gale of the Tax Policy Institute, "The deal is all spending cuts, no tax increases. In practical terms, that means that the burden of closing the gap will be placed on poor and middle-class households, rather than high-income or wealthy households." What that means in plain English is that the Middle Class has gotten screwed once more.
Someone once told me that if you throw a frog in a pot of boiling water, he would immediately jump out. But if you put a frog in a pot of room temperature water and slowly bring it to a boil, he will not realize that he is slowly being cooked and will never jump out. Well, we have been slowly cooked over the last 30 years and the heat has just been turned up.
The Middle Class never felt the water getting warmer as greedy, rich corporations have taken our jobs and shifted them off to third world countries, have turned education and healthcare into luxuries that most people can not afford and have taken our retirement and gambled it away. It has been a slow, deliberate and methodical process engineered by the most powerful and the wealthiest people the world has ever known and they did it with the help of political whores in Washington who sell their souls every single day for the price of re-election.
But worst of all, the rich have managed to take away something even more valuable, our pride. And once our pride is gone, they will have completed their victory. For without pride, we lack the reason to fight back. Without our pride, nothing separates us from the beasts of burden that work the fields for little more than a drink of water and a mouthful of hay at the end of the day.
Even our dreams have been diminished. Forget hoping for job security, two-week vacations and a happy retirement. Now, all most people wish for is for the bill collectors to stop calling, for our meager jobs to still be there on Monday morning and for our child's flu to go away on its own without the need for expensive medication. It's a sad day in America.
This week, like the Roman Senators who lined up one by one to stab Julius Cesar 2000 years ago, our last line of defense, the Democrats in Congress, the protectors of the middle class if you will, have lined up to do the same to us. The final knife in the back came at the hands of our very own president who signed this cruel and greedy bill into law. Et tu, Mr. Obama?
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