Skip to main content

Why are the billionaires always laughing?

Because they know the corporate media will never call bullshit on their bullshit.

Why are the billionaires laughing?

It’s easy to laugh when the corporate press treats you as a glorious success instead of the epitome of a broken social order. Billionaires laugh because they know the corporate media prefers to fawn over them rather than hold them to account.

Today, we ask you to support our nonprofit, independent journalism because we are not impressed by billionaires flying into space, their corporations despoiling our health and planet, or their vast fortunes safely concealed in tax havens across the globe. We are not laughing.

We are hard at work producing journalism for the common good. With our Fall Campaign underway, please support this mission today. We cannot do it without you.

Support Our Work -- Join the small group of generous readers who donate, keeping Common Dreams free for millions of people each year. Every donation—large or small—helps us bring you the news that matters.

House Minority Leader, Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.), and House Minority Whip, Steny Hoyer (D-Md.) attend a House Rules Committee meeting as negotiations continue on funding the government to avert a shutdown at the U.S. Capitol on December 21, 2017 in Washington, DC. (Photo: Mark Wilson/Getty Images)

Seen as Undermining Bold Agenda, Progressives Rip Dem Leaders' Embrace of 'Absurd' Pay-Go Rule

"The old guard of this pathetic, impotent party needs to retire or be voted out."

Jake Johnson

Embracing the kind of deficit phobia frequently deployed by the GOP and corporate Democrats to undercut ambitious goals like Medicare for All, free public college, and a transformative green energy plan, Democratic leaders are vowing to reinstitute "fiscally hawkish" pay-as-you go rules if they retake control of the House in 2018—a move progressives denounced as severely wrongheaded and "actively harmful."

"There really is no better time to push bold ideas. It's long past time for Democrats to stop letting this albatross hang around their necks."
—Paul Blest, Splinter

"The pay-go thing is an absurd idea," argued Rep. Raúl Grijalva (D-Ariz.), leader of the Congressional Progressive Caucus, in response to The Hill's report on Wednesday that House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) and Minority Whip Steny Hoyer (D-Md.) are putting the so-called pay-go policy at the top of their party's agenda for 2019.

"It would be, I think, irresponsible to try to tie up Congress's ability to respond to economic downturns or, in the current discussion, to slash programs," Grijalva added.

Putting the matter more bluntly in an analysis on Wednesday, Splinter's Paul Blest artfully argued Democratic leaders' embrace of the pay-go rule—which would require all spending that adds to the deficit to be offset by program cuts or tax hikes—is a strong indication that "they'll do fuck all to put forward a positive vision for the country they want to run" if they retake the House in 2018.

Others echoed Blest's sharp critique, declaring that the renewed push for pay-go in the midst of growing calls for a bold agenda show that "the old guard of this pathetic, impotent party needs to retire or be voted out."

While pay-go has long been an obsession of the Democratic Party's right-wing Blue Dog Caucus, progressives argue the rule would hamstring the possibility of achieving ambitious and morally necessary policies like Medicare for All, which is soaring in popularity among the American public.

"Nancy Pelosi and Steny Hoyer remain 100 percent committed to losing, and if against all odds they somehow win, doing nothing good with their power," wrote The Intercept's Jon Schwartz, noting that support for a regressive policy like pay-go is a serious strategic mistake.

As Blest notes, pay-go is a particularly absurd policy for Democrats given that Republicans just completely ditched their deficit fearmongering—which was never genuine in the first place—to ram through massive tax breaks for the rich and massive corporations.

"There really is no better time to push bold ideas that actually make a material difference in the lives of people who the government and business have left behind," Blest concluded. "No one gives a sh*t about the deficit anymore, if they ever did at all. It’s long past time for Democrats to stop letting this albatross hang around their necks."

Our work is licensed under Creative Commons (CC BY-NC-ND 3.0). Feel free to republish and share widely.

This is the world we live in. This is the world we cover.

Because of people like you, another world is possible. There are many battles to be won, but we will battle them together—all of us. Common Dreams is not your normal news site. We don't survive on clicks. We don't want advertising dollars. We want the world to be a better place. But we can't do it alone. It doesn't work that way. We need you. If you can help today—because every gift of every size matters—please do. Without Your Support We Simply Don't Exist.

New Whistleblower Sparks Calls to 'Crack Down on Facebook and All Big Tech Companies'

Hours after another ex-employee filed a formal complaint, reporting broke on internal documents that show the tech giant's failure to address concerns about content related to the 2020 U.S. election.

Jessica Corbett ·

'Catastrophic and Irreparable Harm' to Wolves Averted as Wisconsin Judge Cancels Hunt

"We are heartened by this rare instance of reason and democracy prevailing in state wolf policy," said one conservation expert.

Brett Wilkins ·

West Virginia Constituents Decry 'Immorality' of Joe Manchin

"West Virginia has been locked into an economy that forces workers into low-wage jobs with no hope for advancement, and after decades of this our hope is dwindling," said one West Virginian. "The cuts that Sen. Manchin has negotiated into the agenda hurt our state."

Julia Conley ·

'Texans Deserved Better Than This': Supreme Court Leaves Abortion Ban in Place

The nation's high court set a date to hear a pair of legal challenges to the "horrific" restrictions.

Jessica Corbett ·

'Like It Never Happened': Federal Judge Tosses Trump Attack on Clean Water Rule

Denying a Biden administration request to temporarily retain the rule, the judge reestablished "the careful balance of state and federal power to protect clean water that Congress intended when it wrote the Clean Water Act."

Brett Wilkins ·

Support our work.

We are independent, non-profit, advertising-free and 100% reader supported.

Subscribe to our newsletter.

Quality journalism. Progressive values.
Direct to your inbox.

Subscribe to our Newsletter.

Common Dreams, Inc. Founded 1997. Registered 501(c3) Non-Profit | Privacy Policy
Common Dreams Logo