U.S. Congress Dumps Its Speaker, But Not Its Failed Axioms

The unprecedented ouster of the Speaker of the U.S. House of Representatives, Kevin McCarthy, generated headlines about “chaos” engulfing Congress. Indeed, that is true, as far as it goes. The budget crisis was not resolved, but kicked down the road until mid-November (cf. SAS 40/23); the increased funding requested by Joe Biden for the Ukraine war was temporarily derailed — in a huge defeat for the President; and there were indications that the reality of the dysfunction of the U.S. economy has been recognized, at least by a few.

However, those expecting the “chaos” to yield positive results will have to wait for bigger shocks to come, as the false axioms which dominate the U.S. political class remain largely unchallenged. Positive change must come from outside, forced by pressure from the increasingly dissatisfied population, as the vast majority of elected officials remain loyal to the imperial war policies of the Military-Industrial Complex, and classic British liberalism remains the controlling outlook shaping economic debate.

The most important points during the debate on McCarthy’s ouster were made by his fellow Republican Matt Gaetz, who tied together opposition to Biden’s war policy with the failed economic policies, which have produced more unpayable debt and inflation. Gaetz denounced McCarthy for cutting a secret deal to put through Ukraine funding after the short-term budget compromise was passed. Why give billions to a losing war, to prop up a corrupt, undemocratic regime in Ukraine, he asked, while “people are going to be crushed, and debt and inflation are driven by government spending that cannot continue?”

His opposition to the war is shared by a growing sector of the population. Yet the majority of Representatives in both parties, who backed his motion to remove McCarthy largely for pragmatic, partisan reasons, remain fully committed to funding the Ukraine proxy war, with many also clamoring for more defense spending for a war against China! As for the ongoing decline of the physical economy, while Republicans say the main problem is too much spending by the government, the Democrats are ignoring the growing desperation of productive workers, which used to be their base, even as strikes are hitting key sectors.

In addition to a well-placed denunciation of the practice of corporate cartels controlling the narrative, through media lies and censorship, funding the major think tanks, and contributions to political campaigns, Gaetz warned of the danger of “de-dollarization”, citing the example of the BRICS. “This worries me,” he said. His worry reflects the belief that the U.S. must remain the sole superpower. And that is a big problem in Congress.

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