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Gotterdammerung - Facts & Analysis
of US Wars, Entitlements & Healthcare
|by Gaurang Bhatt, MD|
The US debt is over 14 trillion dollars with a GDP of nearly 15 trillion dollars. Unfunded future liabilities for Medicare, Medicaid, Social Security, Federal Pensions and Veterans benefits are over 65 trillion dollars.
Medicare part A cannot be funded from general tax revenues and will probably run out by 2024 or sooner as the reduction authorized by Obama of payroll taxes to increase jobs, will deplete it sooner, together with the persistent high unemployment which reduces the total receipts. The wars have cost or will cost the US over four trillion dollars.
The prolonged unemployment benefits and the subsidies to state budget deficits are increasing the federal budget deficits. We have been running over one trillion dollar budget deficits for the last two fiscal years and roughly 500 billion dollar deficits under the idiot president “W” since he started unnecessary wars in Iraq and Afghanistan which Obama has extended to Yemen, Libya and Pakistan.
The Republicans have followed their game plan of starving the beast (Grover Norquist strategy of strangling the social safety net by tax cuts causing mounting deficits, till it is small enough to drown in a bathtub) and used filibustering and varied chicanery to thwart the Democrats when the Republicans were in a minority but had more than forty votes in the Senate. When they have been in the majority they have ridden roughshod over the spineless incompetent Democrats, who are equally beholden to nearly the same vested interests and plead impotence, since they are too scared to admit or promote the use of Viagra.
The painful reality is that the US will need to borrow inordinately large sums of money forever, unless it puts its budget and trade deficits in order.
As though all these problems are not enough, many jobless persons are constrained by the negative equity in their homes, which makes it impossible for them to move to another state where jobs maybe available. They cannot afford to continue paying the mortgage on their old home and even rent an apartment at the town where a job is available.
A significant if not a majority of the population then falls back on macho pride, jingoistic hubris and devastating military power, to wage endless wars in the hope of capturing or assuring energy and raw material supplies, while exporting jobs to enrich corporations and CEOs who can cash in on their cheap or crooked options by moving jobs, services and manufacturing to nations with the lowest wages and the least onerous environmental restrictions. All this leads to xenophobia, scape-goating of immigrants, while sweeping under the rug, huge unfair subsidies to corporations involved in energy, ethanol, farming and jet planes, to name a few. The subsidy to farmers and corn devastates farmers in Mexico and Central America, who come to the US as illegal migrants to avoid starvation at the risk of death, or become illicit narcotrafficantes.
Let us look at wars. The foolish attack on Iraq led to hundreds of thousands of civilian deaths and the strengthening of the Shias, who are closely allied to Iran, our enemy whom we are trying to weaken. It raised the oil price and increased our trade deficit, while taxing and depressing the world economy. It was done in the hope of capturing and controlling Iraq’s oil and gas, which the Chinese are exploiting now. We are still hoping for a permanent troop presence, but both Muqtada Sadr and Maliki are unwilling to extend the Status of Forces Agreement. In Afghanistan, blatant lies are put out by the president and Pentagon, about turning the corner while the Taliban carry out mini-Tet offensives in the heart of the capital, Kabul. We have withdrawn from Kunar and Nuristan provinces and even our puppet , the president Karzai, publicly chastises us and cuddles up to our enemy Iran and publicizes that we are negotiating with our opponents, the Taliban.
Did we negotiate with the Nazis or the Japanese to end WW2. Only the losing side is desperate to negotiate, as we did in Korea, Vietnam and Nixon with China. So next time you hear or read a pundit stating that Obama’s troop withdrawal from Afghanistan is a temporary election ploy or a strategic victory move, don’t be a gullible fool and swallow it hook, line and sinker.
The Republicans wish to destroy the social safety net. If they really wanted to cut the budget deficit, they would withdraw US troops from Europe, Korea, Afghanistan, Iraq, close our 800+foreign bases and reduce the size of our armed forces first, eliminate the subsidies to corporations, hedge funds and other fat cats, apply the OASDI tax to all earned income not just the first 150,000, tax capital gains, dividends and all unearned income at the same or higher rate as earned income, reduce the mortgage interest deduction to the median or average price of a home, repeal the Bush tax cuts, and then only talk about increasing the age of eligibility for social security and Medicare and cutting the benefits. The Alan Simpsons and Erskine Bowles are just paid hacks and talking dummies of their ventriloquist special interests, as are the Congress and the presidents, current and past.
That brings us to healthcare. Bush enacted part D Medicare as a Ponzi scheme to fool the elderly and win re-election. The Democrats went along and abandoned fiscal prudence and responsibility. Obama should have stood firm on a single payer government scheme, either as a sole plan or as a competing plan with private insurance. Instead, he like Bush, kowtowed to vested interests and passed a chimeric monster plan catering to private insurance with draconian cuts in Medicare, thus irritating the seniors and mid-wifing the Tea Party. His employer mandates led to hesitancy to hire people for new jobs by small business, worsening the slump. His keeping Geithner, Summers and other partisans of those responsible for the economic debacle shows that Obama is an incompetent fraud, who has sold out to vested interests.
The reality is that the advantages of the US, in the beginning were because the Europeans gained access to a vast land mass with abundant natural resources by genocide of the natives and used military might to enrich themselves by slave labor. The country served as a magnet for immigration from all over Europe and later Asia, which allowed the talent of some immigrants to come up with new inventions which made it the world leader. It used its military might to exact resources from the rest of the world but the infinite greed of its ruling class made it fatten itself by cannibalizing its own weaker, stupid and ignorant population and now the day of reckoning has come.
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07/06/2011 19:10 PM
07/05/2011 19:10 PM
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