You come home from work and tell your wife about your day. The boss has laid off ten people today, but you’re not one of them. However, you have been given a choice: either take a pay cut or start paying the entire health insurance premium out of your own paycheck. The boss says rates have gone up another 25% this time, and he just can’t afford to cover you any more. Your wife doesn’t feel well and you wonder if she ought to get her blood pressure checked again, but you don’t say anything because you know she’ll tell you she can’t take another half day off work for the appointment. Your son stomps in. He’s pissed because he is out of college for the summer and still can’t find a summer job. You don’t know how to tell him that he may not be going back to school in August since you just got word that some of his scholarships aren’t going to be available this year after all.
And hot dogs for supper again. You hate fucking hot dogs, which, of course, you make the mistake of saying to your wife who tells you to go do the shopping yourself and see how far you can make the grocery budget go. Food prices are up. Gas prices are up.
After supper, you go to take a shower, but the water pressure is low. What the hell? You call the city’s after-hours emergency number and they tell you there has been another water main break and the pressure should return to normal within a few hours, but to not drink the water for a day or two in case there’s sediment in it. You check the mail. Electric rates are up, so you reflexively yell at your youngest to turn off her lights when she’s not in her bedroom. The credit card company has raised your interest rate again, which doesn’t really matter – yet – since you rarely use the thing, but what if there were some emergency? You know that your wife would be willing to sell this place and move to a smaller house which would be cheaper, but in this market, the house won’t sell. Two houses in your neighborhood went into foreclosure recently and that one across the street looks like shit. Maybe you’ll ask your son to go ahead and mow their lawn tomorrow, no sense letting the place look worse than it already does. Maybe before you get the property tax bill you can take on a second part-time job, except that you know several guys in the neighborhood who lost their jobs and say there are no jobs out there. The car dealership in town just shut down, so did the Starbucks, and the Circuit City went out months ago. There’s lots of people looking for work.
Turn on the news. Wow, damn good thing you went home the back way, a new sink hole opened along the highway and two freaking cars just FELL IN. You wonder how the roads will be this winter. Nobody is fixing anything any more, everything is falling apart in this place. And what’s this? The president wants more money for the war? Thought he said all the war funds were in his budget. Ha, and look here, turns out a pile of that money is going to the International Monetary Fund, those blood-suckers. How the hell do we have enough money to bail out international bankers now? Why is Congress spending your tax money on crap like this?
And when will the GD water pressure be back up?
Here’s the deal:
Bush asked Congress to give the banks 700 billion dollars. So they did. Obama asked Congress to hire a tax cheat to work on our economy, so they did. The same exact people who caused the financial meltdown are now “fixing it”. That seems a little suspicious, and it is. It seems odd that none of the bankers and Wall Street insiders who broke the rules, stole your IRA, and blew a black hole in the financial universe are going to jail, are in fact still getting huge bonuses, and it is. The people were told Congress would reform the mortgage industry and instead the bill for that does not do anything to keep people in their homes. The people were told that Congress would reform the credit card industry and the bill for that only adjusts some of the fees on the credit cards and does nothing about interest rates. The car industry gets some money and factories shut down, dealerships are closed and the people who still have jobs in the factories have to take massive pay cuts and reduced benefits to keep their jobs. This all feels weird, and it is.
Obama promises to close Guantanamo and the next thing you hear is that Congress has added onto the war funding bill a little amendment that makes it difficult to send the detainees to another country and impossible to house them in the US. All the secret crap that Bush was doing, Obama is still doing, and with a vengeance. “Prolonged detention” – what the hell is that? And what if it becomes the law? Would it apply to US citizens? You ought to wonder. You ought to worry.
The banks are getting more money than we are told about. Trillions more. The Fed is just giving them cash, just poking it into their maws as fast as they can eat it and does not have to tell Congress how much, or to whom, and this is the entity Congress is being asked to trust to handle re-regulation and oversight of the financial industries. No doubt Congress will give that power to the Fed. It makes no sense whatsoever, but it will happen.
The new “climate change” bill is just a way for Wall Street to make money speculating on cap and trade, as it turns out. This time next year, utility rates will skyrocket like gas prices did last summer. The cause will be speculators on the market, but that is not what we will be told. Any reporter who talks about speculators will be laughed at by “Morning Joe” and then never allowed on the air again. Health reform will be a giveaway to the insurance industries, and people will be told it has to be that way, or it is not really how it looks, or some such nonsense; but they will be assured many times over that at least it isn’t the scary “socialized medicine” we’ve been warned about. No-one will explain what is so scary about socialized medicine, or will tell us why every other country in the world likes it, or even tell us how it works. We will just hear over and over that it isn’t what we want.
You wonder why Congress does these things, why the president does these things. You wonder how the bankers, the Wall-Streeters, members of Congress, can sleep at night. Don’t they see how America is going down-hill? Don’t they see people are losing their homes, their jobs, how prices are sucking the very blood out of everyone? Don’t they worry about the crumbling of our roads, the outsourcing of our jobs? Don’t they SEE that they are giving all our money to a few already very wealthy people at the top?
Yes, they see it. Yes, they know it. That’s the deal. And they DON’T CARE. The wealthy elites give lots of cash to the members of Congress for their re-election bids. Once a person is elected to Congress, the only thing that matters is re-election. That is all. Once the wealthy become wealthy, the only thing that matters is holding onto the money. It does not matter if the money comes from robbing your IRA or putting your mother out in the street or charging so much for food and medicine that you have to work two or three jobs to keep your children from starving to death.
Do you think Clinton sat up nights worrying what effect NAFTA would have on our jobs here at home? Hell, no. And don’t kid yourself that he wasn’t aware of what he was doing. You think some economist didn’t warn him, when he was repealing the Glass-Steagal Act, “Hey, there, Bill, this will de-regulate the financial structure of this country and lead to serious problems down the road”? Of course he was told. Think when Bush, Cheney, Rumsfeld, Rice, Yoo, Addington, et al hunkered down in the basement like mushrooms growing in the dank dark, planning their Iraq invasion, figuring out how to dismantle the Constitution, they didn’t know what they were about to unleash? They knew. Some big corporations wanted Iraq’s oil, is all, and the big corporations are who they serve.
When Congress allows all our money to go out the door at the expense of our livelihoods, at the cost of ruining our schools, our states, our roads, our health, when they sell our infrastructure to other countries and allow the Fed to wreck our dollar, they know what they are doing. When they allow the Constitution to be by-passed, they do so with full knowledge.
We are not humans to these people. We are bees. They will gather the honey and hoard it for themselves. They know more bees will appear to take our place in the hive. That’s the deal. They care not that in two years we will be facing staggering unemployment numbers and unheard-of inflation. They know, but don’t care, that in five years a larger percentage of us than not will be homeless and that in ten years we will see such repercussions from the climate change they could have stopped that huge areas of the planet will simply be starving to death. None of that matters. They will take what they can from the ones who can still work. It may be that the only jobs left will be in the armed forces; if so, they will gladly invent a new war and send us off to die. And if America dies, they will have the means to move elsewhere, or they will live off the backs of the Chinese who come in to run the place.
We’ve always had political scandals and crooked politicians. Teapot Dome. Tammeny Hall. McCarthy hearings. Iran-contra affair. Watergate. The difference is that the new scandals cause no uproar, cost the politicians nothing. McCain was involved in the Iran-contra affair; yet he just ran for president, for God’s sake. His career should have been OVER some years ago. We allowed him be labeled as a war hero, and nominated him as a presidential contender. We protested Vietnam, but let Iraq happen like we were yokels in a big city for the first time. Cheney (and his spawn) actually get invited to talk on television and admit to war crimes instead of being arrested. The wars in Pakistan and Afghanistan aren’t about a few terrorists hiding in caves, who have no access to nukes; they are about control of oil and a natural-gas pipeline. You think we have spent 4 trillion bucks because we’re worried about (by now, very dead) Osama bin Laden? This same money could have rebuilt our country many times over.
The “teabag” protesters were fighting the wrong thing, at least the few people who had any idea what they were protesting; the stimulus, parts of which ARE wasteful as hell, is the only thing that even pretends to invest in our own country. What should be protested are the bailouts and the war spending. All the money in America is going to Goldman-Sachs, AIG, Deutsche-bank, Royal Bank of Scotland, Halliburton, KBR, Blackwater (Xe), and now the IMF. Soon to be added will be the Exxon, big pharmas and insurance companies. ALL your tax money. All your children’s tax money, and their children’s tax money. Since the tax money isn’t enough now, they are going after it pre-emptively: they will just raise your insurance premiums again, reduce or destroy any safety nets, like Medicare and Social Security and unemployment benefits, raise the price of electricity, water, food, gas, interest rates and sales taxes. They do this and they are telling you they are doing it. That’s another new twist. They are just telling us flat out, “We are going to give your money to the banking industry and to mercenaries to fight in illegal and unnecessary wars and to companies like KBR to build shitty buildings in far-off places. Suck on it.” No-one who took your retirement funds will go to jail, nor will they ever have to give up a dime to pay you back. You hear Congress talking about the IRA’s that were decimated by the financial meltdown? Thought not. Those fuckers get to keep your money, baby. You hear Congress asking Halliburton to repay the billions they “misplaced” in Iraq? Nope. Did Congress tell Obama, look, Bush ran us dry with all this empire building, we aren’t going to give you 700 million for a new embassy in Pakistan? Nah, they just gave him the cash – your cash – and asked him if it was enough.
But MSNBC just did Michael Jackson coverage for an entire day on Sunday. No joke. Eat your cake. Keith Olbermann is wasting his showtime minutes “discussing” Sanford’s paramour in Argentina and spends a third of every show talking about Rush Limbaugh. And Rush Limbaugh just makes shit up and calls it news.
That’s the new deal.
What kind of country is this? Maybe it’s not a country any more at all. It seems to be more of a financial oligarchy, formed by some huge banks which started in the US and now spreading their reach ever further outward. Some of the largest corporations the world has ever seen are funded by these financials and orbit around their hub, sent hither and yon to plunder the world of money and resources. Our Pentagon and military enable the whole process. When the financial interests find a new country to target, it seems our military is somehow involved at some point – openly or clandestinely – to pave the way in implementing economic chaos upon that country. Then the corporations move in, as support for the military or as “re-building and re-structuring” entities. Everyone profits (the banks most of all) except for the plundered country and, of course, us. It would be a mistake to think of the corporations and banks as “us”; they are global now and independent from their starting location in the USA. We, the American people, are but the smallest pieces of this universe. We can be used to fulfill the roles of workers in the corporations and as soldiers in the military, and our tax money is useful to some extent, but we are totally replaceable and largely unnecessary. This thing is global now. We can be replaced with other worker bees from other places, who will be glad to take our places in the lines once they have undergone the relentless procedure. Sadly, because the financials are global, once they run out of countries to exploit and restructure and the game comes to its inevitable conclusion, the devastation will be global. We, the whole world, will be left in economic ruin, with our dwindling resources in the hands of but a few. We will ALL be living within the austerity measures handed down to us from on high.