Tortured by government dysfunction? End the pain with a workers’ party!

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The sky is no longer falling — the 16-day government shutdown ended after costing the economy an estimated $24 billion and furloughing 800,000 workers. But don’t relax just yet. Another round of manufactured and senseless crises are on the way. And attacks on unions, workers, and the poor continue.

The next roller-coaster ride begins on Jan. 15 when funding for the federal government runs out again, quickly followed by another debt ceiling deadline on Feb. 7.

Gridlock is a diversionary tactic. The political theatre of budget gridlock is aimed at making the public forget what we’ve already lost and to distract us from real emergencies: jobs, healthcare, immigrant rights, education, ending war, and saving the environment. It is a fabricated crisis designed to protect and increase the wealth of the ruling class.

In the past decade, working people have endured layoffs, furloughs, and theft of wages and pensions, while politicians cut social programs to the bone. Then the 2013 “sequester” budget began sucking out the marrow — costing 750,000 jobs, eliminating 19 million meals for poor seniors, depriving 125,000 families of housing aid, cutting 40,000 Head Start teacher jobs, reducing unemployment benefits by 17 percent, and much more.

Yet the stock market is hitting all-time highs and surveys show that the richest 10 percent feel quite secure financially. The recession may be over for the wealthy, but it’s getting worse for the rest of us.

During the shutdown, Obama offered up appalling cuts to Social Security, Medicare and Medicaid as incentive for the posturing, obstructionist Republicans to close a few tax loopholes. Two weeks later, on Nov. 1, neither the Democrat nor the Republican party blinked an eye when food stamp (SNAP) cutbacks hit the dinner table for 47 million people. Add to this the glitch-laden Obamacare rollout and it is easy to see why folks are enraged at both parties.

Recent polls show working and poor people are increasingly disgusted with the Dempublicans. Sixty percent think a third party is needed! And close to half of young “millennials” think positively about socialism.

Conditions are ripe for a workers’ party — a party of the besieged majority, totally independent of corporations and their two parties. It’s time to “throw the bums out” — all of them!

Only when labor, leftists, feminists, people of color, poor folks, youth, retirees and immigrants unite to form our own anti-capitalist party will we be able to mount a serious challenge to the powers that be.

With independent, working-class leadership, we can respond to the budget roller-coaster by putting government and industry on “furlough.” Let’s build a party that can help to end the free ride for the war-makers and promise-breakers and shut this system down!

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