The U.S. auto industry is gone. Small parts of Ford survive, but pieces of G.M. and Chrysler are being picked over by people speaking German, Japanese, and Korean. The vast parts supplier network is also gone and with it hundreds of thousands of jobs. AIG collapsed many months ago, shortly after the inaugural, and then J.P. Morgan, Citicorp, and Chase. Wall Street has gone dim, almost dark. Don't mention Broadway. It is dark. And New York City's appeal for financial support has been rejected by the U.S. Government. Congress has cut Fanny Mae and Freddie Mac adrift to the glee of the Tea Party. Foreclosures are sky-rocketing nationwide and tent cities have sprung up across the country. The unemployment rate is officially fifteen percent, but the real number is over twenty. Bank failures nationwide are in the thousands.
President Obama's first state of the union address is a celebration of free markets and the end of big government. "The people have spoken," is his theme. "We cannot govern if American citizens do not want us to govern," he continues. Quoting his predecessor, Bill Clinton, Obama continues, "the era of big government is totally over." President Obama states that the economic rescue programs begun under the George W. Bush administration went much too far, and he is proud to take credit for ending them.
Though he does not say so in his speech, plans are being made to severely cut Social Security and Medicare (Medicaid is already gone; that was for poor people), because high unemployment has reduced revenues so drastically they cannot be afforded. He also will not announce the planned cuts in the FBI, federal aid to education, the highway program, and school lunches. Those funds are being transferred, under public pressure, to continue the build up in Afghanistan.
The initially huge Tea Party rallies across the country have become drastically smaller. Its supporters cannot afford gasoline and their private health insurance coverage has either ended or skyrocketed in costs. Meanwhile, private clubs in New York are full of happy bankers and CEOs, who crawled from the wreckage with tens of billions of dollars. They are raising their glasses nightly to the final defeat of the New Deal, government regulation of markets, the return of the government of Herbert Hoover, and to hell with climate change.
All the scoundrels in Congress (never mind that they had all been elected by the voters of their States and districts) have been replaced by hard-headed, unsentimental anti-government members. They meet one day a week, soon one a month, to vote against everything. It doesn't take long, because nothing is being offered. "The markets know what's best," they speechify. "We have finally given the people what they have wanted."
The remaining few people without guns have hocked household goods to buy them. Crime has also skyrocketed. And local and State police forces have been sharply reduced. No taxes. No money to pay them.
Those who claim to love their country the most, but who hate its government, have finally got the country they want.
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