Mar 24, 2023
Mar 24, 2023
The US Senate includes the single largest collection of native bloodsuckers of the American public (see my article “How I Discovered A New Species”). You may remember how a senator aptly named Bogus railroaded the healthcare bill by nixing the public option and kowtowing to insurance company interests with the tacit consent and co-operation of a supine Obama, lacking principle or policy, intent on winning re-election by selling the American public down the river and catering to the military industrial cabal by starting and continuing wars to the point of national bankruptcy.
|As long as the American electorate remains ignorant, stupid, unthinking and susceptible to manipulation by its elected leaders, there is no hope for the nation.|
Nearly 30 years ago Ronald Reagan set the country on the path of fiscal insanity. He first appointed Greenspan, the Trojan horse of Wall Street to increase the payroll tax for social security and medicare to bring both those programs back into sustained solvency even as he reduced income taxes on the rich and went on a profligate military spending spree, generating ballooning budget deficits. He, Greenspan and Congress lied that the extra taxes collected for social security and medicare would be sequestered in a lock box and reserved for their designated use only. The legislative and executive branches used those surpluses for general budget spending and stuffed the lock box with IOUs currently worth 2.7 trillion dollars. Reagan then appointed the incompetent Greenspan as the Federal Reserve Chairman as a fox to mind the henhouse.
The annual collections from social security (OASDI) taxes have exceeded the annual payout to retirees and disabled every year from the eighties to the current year 2011. Within five years the annual payout to the retirees is due to exceed the annual collections as the number of retirees increase and the ratio of workers to retirees goes down to 2 to 1 because of retiring baby boomers. Since the lock box now only has IOUs which the SSA can redeem for cash from the treasury and the treasury and the Federal Reserve has issued debt and printed money to the extent of the Congress granted Federal Debt Limit, Obama needs to get a resolution from the legislature to increase the debt limit. To hide their own malfeasance, the president and Congress are using the debt limit deadline to hide their own misappropriation and renege on their debt incurred by borrowing from the fund, by reducing future commitments while exonerating the rich thieving banksters who looted the public treasury.
The rolling over of spineless Obama, who for purely political reasons (to be sure of getting campaign contributions from fat cats for his re-election) chose not to extend the debt limit, rescind the Bush tax cuts and pass a genuine people oriented health care bill, when he had a thumping majority in the House and a filibuster proof Senate majority of 60 Democrats before the 2010 midterm elections, started the problem. The death of Kennedy of Massachusetts led to the election to the Senate by a maverick Republican whose greatest public service was to pose naked for a “Cosmopolitan” magazine center spread (just shows the idiocy of the American public like their election of “W” as president and Conan, the barbarian as governor of California). He, with typical Republican blackmailing torpedoed the public option in the Obama health plan. The Republicans use this strategy routinely and the stupid American electorate is too blind, dumb or disinterested to catch on.
When they are in an overwhelming majority, they ride roughshod to enrich the vested minority by cutting their tax rates preferentially and starting new wars. If they are in a simple majority they can always get collaborating blue dog democrats to collude and promote the same agenda. When they are in a minority in the House and Senate, they filibuster in the Senate (as long as they have more than forty senators) and hold all legislation hostage till the Democratic opponents including the president, caves in because they need the rich guys to finance their blood sucking campaigns, which will ultimately kill the nation. They play the game till time runs out and then in the middle of the night they either pass bogus and harmful bills, as making the best of a bad situation in politics which is the art of the possible, not the good or the best. At other times they first refuse to pass a bill and roar loudly by platitudes and principles and then when their co-conspirators who had shorted the markets in advance, manipulate a crash and make a killing, reverse their vote as they did in passing the TARP bill, after first rejecting it.
This time, the extension of the debt limit and the budget and trade deficits have nothing to do with social security and medicare which are going to have surpluses till 2036 and 2025 respectively. Now the Republicans are lying through their teeth by saying that social security and medicare have to be cut immediately to make the US solvent.
The Budget deficits are mainly due to tax cuts for the rich and the multiple wars which the brainless Bush is responsible for. The bubbles and subsequent meltdowns are due to the ignorant enfant terrible Greenspan (with help from Rubin, Summers, Geithner, Gramm) sitting in the Federal Reserve bathtub and inflating the money supply every time the market went down to rescue his buddies at Long Term Capital and other hedge funds and investment banks, while refusing to raise the margin for buying stocks or interest rates and encouraging exotic adjustable rate mortgage instruments by abandoning all regulations and regulating responsibilities.
The trade deficits are due to the passage of NAFTA and repeal of Glass Steagall Act and other free trade agreements by Clinton and his successors, which allowed the greedy CEOs to de-industrialize America by shifting manufacturing and even service jobs to countries with the cheapest labor and zero environmental restrictions. Reagan like his demented buddy Thatcher of Britain started the destruction of unionized labor which had in its own hubris, reached the point of 25 dollars per hour wages with over generous fringe benefits, after the deprivation by criminal intimidation by force of the nineteenth and early twentieth century robber barons like Frick, Carnegie etc.
Social Security will be able to pay benefits without cutbacks till 2036 and even if nothing is done after 2036 benefits can be paid at the rate of 77% of current dollars for the next 50 years. Medicare will go broke by 2025 but this is due to poor policing of hospital shenanigans for Part A and inadequately low premiums for Part B.
In addition idiot “W” passed a burdensome part D without providing adequate premiums and hamstringing medicare by prohibiting negotiating of drug prices with pharmaceutical companies. This was a bonanza for the drug companies, which Congressman Billy Tauzin mid-wifed while holding the dominating position in the congressional committee and then resigned to take up a million dollar plus job with the pharmaceutical industry. He has now resigned that job to start his own lobbying firm in the hopes of even more riches.
This is the kind of rotating door which our legislators and presidents move through. Reagan, GHW Bush and Clinton after their presidency accepted millions of dollars for services to private industries. Bob Dole, Senate leader and Republican presidential candidate appeared in TV ads touting Viagra and Speaker Tip O’Neill jumped out of suitcases in TV ads. Newt Gingrich and Rudy Giuliani started consultancies.
Social security can be saved by taxing entire incomes for OASDI instead of the limit of 106,000 at present. Medicare and Social Security can be saved by raising the tax rate from 15.2 (7.6% for employer and employee each) to 18%. Other ways are to cut 500 billion dollars annually from the trillion dollar annual defense budget. Eliminating waste from Medicare can save up to 150 billion dollars a year and tax breaks for corporations including oil companies, jet plane fleet operators, farm and ethanol subsidies can save 100 billion dollars a year. Certain restrictions on Medicaid like the Oregon State Health Plan and wasteful exploitation by healthcare providers of the elderly by playing on the guilt complex of their children or prohibiting the dumping of seniors into medicaid supported nursing homes while the children take over the senior’s property and assets could save 50 to 100 billion dollars per year. Eliminating farm subsidies to corporations could save 25 billion dollars a year.
Now, with time constraints and daily scare tactics by the bought and paid for hacks of the media, (as the hacking scandals of the Murdoch empire show), Obama is going back on his word and pre-election promises by making the current elderly and future retirees sacrifice more than a pound of flesh to ensure his financing for re-election, as are the gang of four, six or however many thieves currently involved in the most recent conspiracy. What can one say to these elected officials who like McCarthy of the past have no sense of decency or shame. As long as the American electorate remains ignorant, stupid, unthinking and susceptible to manipulation by its elected leaders, there is no hope for the nation. There should be an easier path to new parties and no one should ever vote for Democrats or Republicans and both parties should be pushed quickly on to their well deserved path to oblivion.
More by : Gaurang Bhatt, MD
|Plato had laid down tyrannical restraints on what kind of persons could become guardians or philosopher kings.|
1)There are simpler rules.-- There should be no salaries or remuneration for any elected politicians. They must be forbidden to take up any remunerative occupation once they leave offic and forbidden to acquire further wealth at the cost of a death penalty. They should be restricted to no more than a decade in all elective offices. Budget deficits should be allowed for no more than two consecutive years and then only if voted by a two-thirds majority of both houses. Deficits in the third consecutive year would be only after a successful public referendum. When a war is started, whether it is declared or undeclared, the president, both houses and their entire nuclear family adults will immediately be sent to the front to fight actively and new elections held to replace them. No war can be stopped till all those elected politicians and every member of their nuclear family has perished, at which time the new president, senate and house can reassess the situation and make a new decision.
2) Any corporation with most business in the US should not be allowed to transfer its headquarters to tax free havens. Thus sundry insurance companies, tool makers and machinery makers who have moved their headquarters to tax havens to escape US taxes should be severely penalized. People like John Templeton and Elizabeth Taylor who gave up their citizenship to save on taxes should not be lauded even if they set up charitable foundations because they are essentially free riders without a true sense of responsibility to their nation.
3) All free trade agreements should be abolished in favor of fair trade. Every nation has a majority population with minimal skills and for them to survive it is essential to restrict the export of jobs. The ridiculous licensing regulations for hairdressers, physicians, lawyers etc. are just a legal way of preventing cheap foreign competition. Why should the jobs at call centers not get the same protectionism as those for lawyers or real estate agents?
4) Instead of blaming teachers, the onus should be equally on students. There should be national exams for promotion to high school from middle school and for high school graduation. Those who fail must repeat the year and those with limited ability must be shunted to technical and vocational schools. The rip off on line schools need to be closed as they neither provide education, nor marketable skills and are meant to rip off naive fools with access to easy government grants. Every approved college must have a core curriculum of math, science, economics, logic, English and one foreign language and gut courses need to be eliminated. This will reduce college professors and fees. Students with exotic interests can learn about gender and ethnic studies etc. on their own time and expense. Any college which pays a higher salary to its sports coaches than its professors should lose its accreditation.
5) Corporations are not immortal persons and should not have the right of free speech or political rights. Campaign expenses should be restricted to the national per capita annual income with free access on TV and radio in regular debates. If the candidate avoids answering the modeerator's question he should be immediately stopped, silenced, warned and disqualified after a second evasion. They should be mandated to look after their employees, shareholders and towns where they are located in descending order and should have no stock options but restrict management salaries to no greater than 20 times the average worker's salary.
Of course all the above is draconian wishful thinking on my part and will never happen. The reality is the present generation of Americans consists of bimodal peaks of rich vested interests controlling the media, dialogue, wealth and power, and a second peak of stupid, ignorant, ill informed, unthinking idiots and these two groups will vote Republican. Others will vote Democrat without understanding that they are both the same self serving shameless crooks like Ali Baba Obama and his forty, fifty or more thieves. The third group in the graph is a plateau of disillusioned, frustrated, ignorant and disinterested individuals who don't even vote. So within a decade at the most, the US will become a third rate nation like Britain and Greece and will take refuge in nostalgia, past grandeur and live a life of delusion, until bankruptcy forces it to live in penury or commit harakiri like the Japanese did by attacking Pearl Harbor.
|This is an accurate assessment of the situation. Voters should put a recall on the ballot or put term limits on people serving in Congress/Senate with a further restriction on their getting involved with lobbying firms for a sufficiently long time after leaving office.|
All government employees should be made to join medicaid/care along with serving public servants, like congress/senator members and they should be bound by the same policies that they pass into law for the rest of the US public.All their pension etc should be rescinded as they advocate this for the rest of the working US public by allowing jobs to be sent to other countries.
Fix the employment by requiring reciprocal tax . If China levies 24% import duties, then all imported goods coming into the US with a Made in China label should be levied with 24% import duties. Enough of this nonsense. WTO / NAFTA should be scrapped or made more fair to US workers.
WAKE UP AMERICA or become a 4th world nation.