The facts about austerity are incontrovertible. There is every good reason to generate more income and not cut entitlement programs. Do NOT let the Right Wing media,which is most television media, persuade you to give in to cutting social services.
Ronald Reagan put people onto the streets. There were days in the 1980s that you could not walk into the vestibule entering Grand Central Station in the morning without tripping over half a dozen people who had nowhere else to go to stay warm. This is what the Fascists want now. Sixteen million children are homeless now….up two million from a year ago. Children. Homeless. In the United States of America…send us your tired, your poor….wretched refuse. How much more wretchedness will the Republicans create?
Those are cold, hard facts. The average health care CEO makes $14 million a year, while 47 million people go without health care at all.
You need the facts. But, once you have them, you need to write them down and pass them on to others, spread the word, because the opposition…the Fascists, Neocons, Conservatives, Right Wing…have engineered a huge propaganda machine against the truth.
We need a quick primer on Fascism, so bear with us on this. A Fascist is someone who believes that a government should be a collusion of the military, the central government, huge industrial corporations and a dedicated, isolated group at the top. They make the decisions. They decide…not for you…but for them. Does that sound like anyone you know? A group that will not tax the rich, only give them tax breaks? A group that will not cut subsidies for giant food corporations and giant oil companies… but will gladly charge you $4.20 a gallon for gasoline? A group that will not even remotely consider cutting the military budget, larger than all of the other countries in the world…all of them…combined? They don’t hate the Jews or the Blacks as much as they just want money…more money!
We have that group, these Fascists, in this country right now. We have huge global corporations, including oil companies, tied to government so tightly that they have enormous benefits, tax breaks, and pay no taxes on billions of dollars. We have other international corporations who have been given a law by the Bush Administration, which President Obama was not able to overturn because of the rules of the Senate that allows them to simply technically locate in the Bahamas and pay no U.S. taxes. We have a huge military-industrial complex that spends $700 billion each year. Every year, generals leave the military and become top executives in these companies, going back to Washington, to the Pentagon to lobby their former colleagues for more weapons systems.
Since Ronald Reagan, the Republican governments have spent $14 trillion more than they took in. Why? Because the richest Americans, instead of paying their taxes, went from one recorded billionaire in 1980 to 412 billionaires in 2011. They went from a few hundred thousand earning a million dollars a year to over a million people a year earning a million dollars a year!
Nothing wrong with someone making a million dollars a year, or even more. But it is wrong to leave 47 million people without health care and 16 million children homeless while paying almost no taxes on those billions and millions. It is a disaster of major proportions.
We have the media tied in knots by a handful of billionaires who own them. We have advertising taking up 40% of all television broadcasting and on some channels more than that, so that no message of any kind can be longer than about 1 minute. In fact, according to a survey of TV journalists by TVWEEK, the average news story is now 45 seconds!
And here’s how they get the “news.” About ten percent of news, for example, is about health. Where does that come from? It comes from what are called independent news sources, “single source” news items. Do you know what that means? It means that these short items come from a p.r. company like Ivanhoe or Medstar, or some other health organization’s p.r. firm.
You get “news” from p.r. firms whose job it is to direct your attention to what they want you to know. That’s how the 60% of the news air time that is not paid commercials, the part that you think is “news,” is being prepared. P.R. firms give you the news, with some local station or national channel stooge or bimbo reading it off a teleprompter.
So that’s where we are. Lobbyists and outright Party propagandists control the message. A large number of dedicated Fascists, motivated by money–purely money–control the Republican political agenda…everything from Congressmen and their thought-controlled aides to lobbyists with their average $300,000-a-year salaries to people like Sean Hannity and Rush Limbaugh with their $20 million and $40 million annual salaries respectively.
Oh yes, there are also the former Congressmen and Senators and the scientists and economists who work for the paid Right Wing “think tanks” whose job it is to decry global warming for the oil companies or how the EPA is over-regulating for the chemical companies or the anti-Interior Department economists who tell us that without logging every log or drilling every square inch of the National Parks we will go jobless.
People like William Mellon Scaife spend millions to earn billions from their investments in drilling and mining by creating organizations like the Mountain States Legal Defense Fund. It uses people who only care about money, like Gale Norton, who should have been indicted while Interior Secretary under Bush, and who gave away large tracts of your land to developers, stole it basically from the People.
Or others like the now infamous Koch Brothers, founders of the Tea Party movement, who earlier organized the Cato Institute to simply take the opposite view from anything that sounded like it would benefit the Middle Class. The Koch Brothers, you see, do not want a Middle Class. They want an oligarchy of which they will be a key part.
Now here are the facts. Raising the income to a much higher level for the contribution to Social Security will solve that problem for 75 years. By that time, all those who would start tomorrow on a contributory-type plan, which might be combined with a small insurance component, would solve the Social Security problem without hurting any…any… of those people who have contributed one dollar to Social Security. We do not need to cut Social Security.
We can solve the health care problem very simply. We can simply cut military spending by an amount equivalent to the Medicare shortfall….until Obamacare kicks in. The fact is that private health insurance, as we know it, will simply cease to exist, and Americans will pay far, far less for health care than we do now. Everything you hear about health care…and the reason you hear the words “repeal” constantly, instead of “amend” or “modify” or “adjust” is that health insurance companies know that over the long haul they are doomed.
Private, for-profit health care insurance does not work. It is not a good business model. That was proved 40 years ago by Dr. Kenneth Arrow, but the insurance industry…making huge profits….and helping doctors, hospitals, clinics, drug companies…everyone to share in the looting of Americans….have snuffed out any remnants of that argument until now. They have been able to hide their scam. Until now.
They have successfully persuaded many Americans, using the same hundreds of millions of dollars that they used to fight Obamacare, that every other country where people live better than we do is wrong. They have succeeded in persuading many Americans that our health care system, where you can be denied care, dropped at any time, charged an additional 15% on average every year and does not cover 47 million Americans is actually somehow good.
What they have done is two things. First, they have sold the jingoistic idea that our health care is the best in the world. And they neglect to mention that those of us who are lucky enough to have it, pay twice as much as the rest of the world. So is it twice as good as anywhere in the world? Well, first of all, it is about 36th best in the world, even without the fact that our ratings drop because we have 47 million uncovered and because Medicaid stinks compared to coverage of poor in other countries (they are treated as well as the wealthy.)
So, we are not the best, and we pay more. So, the second thing they have done is to persuade us that we are getting what we pay for. We do get good treatment if we have health insurance. The problem is that there is so much waste in the private system, so much counter-productivity, and so much greed among all the players, that the system is costing us about double what we should pay to get the exact same health care services. That is the problem. And the government has to pay the same amount as the private insurers pay…but the private insurers simply raise rates. They don’t try to make things more efficient. They do it by denying more expensive procedures wherever they can.
So, we will bring health care costs down when we get Obamacare’s competitive regional insurance pools. The health industry knows this and they are fighting to keep anything from happening because they know that some people will be more competitive and rates and profits will go down and some companies will actually go out of business. But your health care costs will be lower and Medicare, which is a big, big government cost will suddenly start to take a big, big drop in costs. The bigger the increase, the bigger the decrease. It ain’t complicated, though they are doing everything they can to make you think it is.
Do we need to make some cuts in government? Are you kidding? Have you seen some of the things we spend money on? I love watching rockets go up, although I don’t care much for fireworks. How much more valuable would NASA have been if we had been working on alternative fuels and on electric-battery powered cars and on improved techniques of getting natural gas out of the ground and converting it to fuel for transportation?
By comparison to what we have done on energy alternatives, it would have been massive…massive. We would be driving around right now in cars that get 45 miles to the gallon at a minimum. Our economy would benefit from not spending at least $250 billion a year in the Middle East and turning terrorists into beggars and street performers. We would have that money strengthening our economy here at home with those new energy alternatives that would have created new industries…not merely some idiotic space travel novelty acts for multi-millionaires who want to see what zero gravity feels like.
We need to return to common sense. Not Conservative-sponsored, billionaire-funded Tea Party “common sense” where you cut out everything that we have worked for since the Revolutionary War. We need to return to the era of our greatest President, Franklin Delano Roosevelt, who won election 4 times because the people loved him and supported him. He loved the people. He, like his Republican cousin, Teddy Roosevelt, loved the American ideal of a good life for all Americans, according to their talents and their industry.
Today, Republicans do not believe in the American People.They pander to the old segregationists in the South. They trick suburbanites by telling them that there is a terrorist under every bed and a job at the end of every tax cut. But they lie. Their real constituents are the billionaires and the millionaires. The last tax cuts for the rich…made by blackmailing the President with a threat of starving millions of unemployed Americans…should have made that very clear.
Anyone who would vote for a Republican any longer is a fool. Not merely the unemployed. Not merely those in unions, or teachers, or those who need health care or equal rights. Even a millionaire does not agree with the greediest among us and the huge international corporations should vote against these Fascists.
That millionaire, if he or she were thinking clearly, would go out and shout as loudly as possible that they voted against the Fascists, so that, one day, if the Fascists continue to succeed, the average Americans would know their names. One day, it could be very important, especially for millionaires, not to be identified with the Fascists. Sooner or later, the Fascists always lose. And there is always a terrible, horrible retribution.