What America’s Budget Tells You About America’s Values
American President Joe Biden said, “don’t tell me what you value, show me your budget, and I’ll tell you what you value.” Well, look at the broad 2020 budget above and tell me what values America has.
The two biggest line items are Social Security/Medicare and War. The World War II generation got benefits for themselves and their kids, and every future American can go to hell. And the world can have forever war. America’s budgetary values—across administrations—are old people at home and dead people abroad.
The country is a genocidal gerontocracy, and Joe Biden is the walking, creaking personification of that. The past standing athwart the present, completely fucking the future up.
Gerontocracy means rule by the old, and America’s leaders are old as the color TV. Biden is 79, Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi is 82, Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer is 71. Former President Trump is now 75. Biden first ran for President in the 1980s and just kept trying. In America you can just fail upwards until you die.
The median age of this 117th Congress is 60 years old, much higher than the national median of 38. They’re also much richer than the average American, so they really represent rich old people, as you may have noticed during the pandemic. Unprotected old people could just fuck off and die for the stock market’s sake, as long as Nancy Pelosi’s portfolio was safe.
America has social programs that the ‘greatest generation’ fought for—Social Security and Medicare. These are now so ensconced that they’re called mandatory spending. Every latest generation, however, has to fend for themselves. Younger Americans have to pay for everything themselves, including Social Security and Medicare.
The people working now pay for the benefits being given out now. Given changing demographics and circumstances, it’s not clear that these programs will even be solvent by the time current workers retire.
Hence it’s not just working class people that get screwed in America, it’s working age people. They pay for old people to have ‘socialist’ healthcare and UBI while living under predatory capitalism themselves.
It’s generational theft really. This is not to say people shouldn’t take care of elders, of course we should. But the broader principle of ‘we should care for everybody’ has never taken hold in America. That’s what the budget shows.
In fact, instead of spending on the lives of its own people, the next biggest line item is killing people abroad.