WEALTH AND MONEY PART XXVI: WHO IS BANKRUPTING AMERICA?
U.S. House Speaker Paul Ryan said: “Because of Obamacare, Medicare is going broke.” But the Medicare trustees themselves, along with a host of experts, say the Affordable Care Act’s changes to Medicare – including holding the line on spending and raising taxes [a surtax on high income earners] – actually puts Medicare in better shape than before the law was adopted. That’s a long way from making Medicare go broke. We rate Ryan’s statement Pants on Fire. – – Tom Kertscher, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel
“Pants on Fire” has become standard operating procedure for all of the politicians like Ryan who are working for – or are a member of – the wealthiest .01% now fully in control of the U.S. Government. But we are about to see “Pants on Fire” go into hyper-drive as America’s financial elite move in for the kill.
Among the first targets will be the earned and paid for benefits of social security and Medicare. Privatizing these programs will be a windfall for Wall Street “investors” and insurance company CEO’s. But Speaker Ryan, a major proponent for “privatizing” social security and Medicare, will likely phrase the attack like this: “Entitlements are bankrupting America.” It will be the epitome of “pants on fire,” and the calculated use of the terms “entitlements” and “bankrupting” are intended to paint those receiving social security or Medicare as lazy freeloaders rather than responsible senior citizens who have invested in these programs their entire life.
Of course Ryan will propose “plans” to “save” social security and Medicare, but all of them will be deceptively designed to frighten Americans into transferring ever more riches to the rich at the expense of average working people. Ryan will also assiduously avoid any suggestion of the obvious solution to long term problems with these programs: raise the payroll tax cap so the rich pay their fair share.
But social security and Medicare are just the opening victims. All things public will be targeted. The carefully chosen sound bites, long since embedded in the mass intellect, will be increasingly repeated by corporate mainstream media: “runaway government spending;” “soaring government debt;” “failing public schools;” “people must tighten their belt and sacrifice (implying the moral solution to profligacy)” “business is efficient;” “government must be run like a business;” “privatize,” “privatize.” The messaging will continue: “taxes kill jobs;” “regulations kill jobs;” “illegal immigrants take jobs.” The “Job Creators,” the Savior Gods of Wall Street and the Titans of Industry are the only ones who care, the only ones who know how save us. And the lambs are led to slaughter.
Of course all of these statements (except “the lambs are led to slaughter”) are false or deliberately misleading. But America is being colonized and this is the process. Destroy the people’s faith in traditional institutions, throw in “smoke and mirrors” to create scapegoats, spread divisiveness and hatred, and, above all, drive the nation and anything public into bankruptcy. With a people and their nation in debt, all things become possible. Ownership of the real assets – the land, mineral rights, water rights, public buildings and infrastructure (roads paid for by the public become private tollways), prisons, public schools, etc. – are transferred to corporations and the rich. The nation, and the people, are “privatized.”
America is awash in true wealth ((Matter + Energy) X Human Knowledge) but control of money (the claim to wealth) dictates who lays claim to the riches and the power. These are but a few of the methods being used to transfer money upward and methodically indebt our nation:
- The private banking cartel has swindled the U.S. Government out of its constitutional right to create the nation’s currency, thus forcing us to borrow what should be our own money at interest.
- Wall Street banks and hedge funds have made an art form out of using fraud, corruption and deception to con people out of their hard earned money (think Wells Fargo).
- Lobbyists for the plutocracy write America’s tax laws so that “our” “noblest” corporations – Apple, Microsoft, Berkshire Hathaway, Exxon Mobile, Bank of America, Goldman Sachs, JP Morgan, General Electric, Verizon, Boeing, Honeywell, Corning, Time Warner, Merc, Deere and Company, Tenneco, Ford, International Paper and on and on – offshore trillions in tax free dollars and often receive publicly funded subsidies on top of this.
- The income of the richest Americans is taxed as capital gains, or avoids taxation altogether through the gimmickry of carried interest, and as such the very wealthiest pay the lowest tax rates.
- The preemptive wars in Afghanistan, Iraq, Libya, and elsewhere represent the first time in U.S. history that taxes were not only never raised to pay for war, but tax breaks were simultaneously given to the rich.
- The military/industrial complex, whose major function at this point in history is to perpetuate corporate imperialism, now absorbs over $600 billion per year, or over half of the U.S. discretionary budget.
There is no question who is bankrupting America, and it is not publicly funded programs or what little is left of our plutocratically, oligarchically ravaged government.
Part XXVII will be: Public Banking Revisited