In a recent speech Obama said "Instead of strategically applying our power and our principles, too often we set those principles aside as luxuries that we could no longer afford".
The phase caught my ear. I had heard Elijah J. Adlow a judge of the Boston Municipal Court say "You are a luxury society can no longer afford" to a bankrobber picked up off the streets of Boston in 1967."
Among the things I have read Republicans using that exact phrase to claim were "luxuries we could no longer afford" are the Bill of Rights, Liberty, Freedom, Education, Healthcare, Democracy, Climate Change Mediation, Food Stamps, Unemployment Insurance, Generosity, Ethics, Liberalism, Foreign Aid and everything good for the American people.
I wondered where that phrase came from originally and why it has found its way to the lips of everyone from Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia: "Religious liberty is a luxury that we can no longer afford." to Ron Paul "Military adventurism is a luxury we can no longer afford"
Turns out its a phrase that has been placed in the mouths of Demosthenes who claimed "love is a luxury we can no longer afford" and Benjamin Franklin who warned “For surely if we do not hang together, we will most assuredly hang separately.” Hatred is a luxury humanity can no longer afford.
Maybe its time we recognize that Austerity "is a luxury that society can no longer afford.