We’re all heard the hysteria, “If America doesn’t raise the debt ceiling she’ll default on her loans for the first time in our nations history.” Everyone in Washington is in a panic. All the Chicken Little’s are running around proclaiming, “The sky is falling! The sky is falling!” The corporate media picks up the mantra and echoes it throughout the land. “The sky is falling! The sky is falling.” Now everyone’s in a panic, running around screaming, “The sky is falling! The sky is falling!”
What to do? What to do? “I know. I’ve got it,” proclaims President Obama, “We’ll cut Social Security, Medicare and Medicaid. I’m so brilliant.” Really? Why didn’t I think of that?
So is the ‘debt crisis’ just another trumped up scam to steal Social Security?
The so called ‘dept crisis’ mayhem is what Naomi Klein discusses in her international and New York Times bestseller, “The Shock Doctrine: The Rise of Disaster Capitalism.” In her book Klein argues that the free market policies of Milton Friedman and the Chicago School of Economics were able to push through unwanted so called reforms in Chile, Russia and the United States while the citizens were reacting to disasters and upheavals.
The shock doctrine was used in the wake of Hurricane Katrina to privatize the New Orleans Public Schools. It was also used to start the Iraq war by creating hysteria over WMD’s, which did not exist except in the imaginations and think tanks of the Bush Administration and the corporate media who banged the drums non-stop for war. It’s called brainwashing.
I knew there were no WMD’s. I lived through the Vietnam War and since my father served in military intelligence Saigon I paid close attention to what went on. I knew all about the Gulf of Tonkin, My Lai Massacre and a myriad of other lies and atrocities our government used to get their message front and center in order to carry out their misdeeds. You see growing up in the military our government’s lies directly affected my family. For me it’s personal. So I learned to look deeper — look beneath the propaganda to see what’s really going on.
The shock doctrine was used to steal our money and bail out Wall Street and the too big to fail banks by once again chanting, “The sky is falling! The sky is falling!“ Millions of Americans, however, weren’t buying it and wrote and called by the thousands demanding our leaders not bail them out but let the market self correct and for a brief moment there was a glimmer of hope as the first vote did not pass but alas they just tried again and this time it went through and our government handed over 700 billion of our tax dollars to these corrupt institutions and their criminal occupants with the caveat that Wall Street share this money in the form of loans with Main Street which has not happened.
And now they are implementing the shock doctrine once again. This time it’s to steal our Social Security money and get rid of Medicare and Medicaid. It’s all lies. Smoke and mirrors. A game of Three Card Monty. Call it what you will. The goal is to steal Social Security and the safety nets that were put in place by the New Deal to protect Americans from economic tsunamis’.
Don’t take my word for it; according to Michael Hudson, Research Professor of Economics at the University of Missouri, Kansas City, “This is evil working with evil.” They are using this so called ‘debt crisis’ to gut any and all social programs that were set up by the New Deal to protect Americans. Two years ago Obama set up the Debt Reduction Commission and their goals were 1) Cut Social Security 2) When choosing between Wall Street and Social Security to choose Wall Street. “Let no good crisis go to waste.” was Obama’s former White House Chief of Staff, Rahm Emanuel’s, motto.
This is all a charade as Obama says one thing and does another. This is about using the debt ceiling as a chance to ram through this austerity policy so they can steal Social Security and our safety net and instead give our money to Wall Street, the Pentagon and foreign aid. Hudson continues, “Obama has given 13 trillion dollars to bail out Wall Street and nothing for the people.”
In actuality defaulting on the debt is unconstitutional. Section 4 of the 14th Amendment clearly states, “The validity of the public debt of the United States, authorized by law, including debts incurred for payment of pensions…shall not be questioned.” Therefore by threatening a debt default the Republicans are violating the constitution. You certainly don’t hear Obama mention this fact and he is purportedly a Constitutional lawyer but only when it fits his ideology it seems.
On top of that Social Security is solvent. ”Let us be clear,” Senator Sanders said. ”Social Security has not contributed on nickel to our deficit or our national debt.” The program that benefits more than 50 million seniors and disabled has a $2.6 trillion surplus, he stressed, and will be able to provide full benefits for every eligible American for the next 25 years. “I am especially disturbed that President Obama is considering cuts in Social Security after he campaigned against cuts in 2008,” Sanders added.
But regardless of the truth or facts the dog and pony show of Washington continues their hypocrisy and lies. So what else is new? The Associated Press reported, “The House overwhelmingly passed a $649 billion defense-spending bill that boosts the Pentagon budget by $17 billion and covers the costs of wars in Iraq and Afghanistan. While House Republican leaders slashed billions from all other government agencies, the Defense Department will see a double-digit increase in its budget as of Oct 1.” Barney Frank said, “The military budget is not on the table. The military is at the table, and it is eating everybody else’s lunch.” Meanwhile we’re still in Iraq, Afghanistan and Libya’s in its fourth month with no signs of stopping.
Jane Hamsher reported in her piece, “Breaking Point: Obama and the Death of the Democratic Party” that in March of 2009 three administration officials called David Brooks to say Obama “is extremely committed to entitlement reform and is plotting politically feasible ways to reduce Social Security as well as health spending.”
Then Obama appointed Alan Simpson, former Republican senator from Wyoming, as co-chair of the Deficit Commission. Simpson is well known for his stance that old-age entitlements will bankrupt the country. Obama put Simpson there for a reason so he can pretend he has no choice but to balance the budget on the backs of the old and the poor through cuts to Social Security, Medicare and Medicaid. It’s been nicknamed the Cat Food Commission for a reason.
There is a very simple solution to this problem. Merely end the Bush/Obama tax cuts. Just bringing their tax rate back to Clinton era levels would do the trick. Then cut the military budget and end these absurd illegal, immoral wars. Make corporations pay taxes and cut the Cadillac healthcare and pension plans of all members of Congress. They should get the same deal as the rest of us. Put them on Social Security and Medicare and see how all of a sudden none of this would matter. Or, according to Michael Hudson, the Federal Reserve could just print more money.
But “It’s the economy stupid.” The real concern for Americans is lack of jobs and high unemployment. Recent numbers show unemployment is now 9.2% but in actuality it’s closer to 17% and higher for African Americans and Latinos. Where is the jobs bill we were promised? Are they too busy sending our jobs oversees to care or just incompetent?
This is not just about crazy Republicans or the poor little Democrats who can’t stand up to the strain. This is out and out theft. The Republicans pull farther and farther to the right so Obama can say, “See the Republicans are so mean and crazy I had to do this and I’m not as bad as them. It’s not my fault. I tried.” Well, that act isn’t working anymore Mr. President. Let’s face it. The Democrats (except for Bernie Sanders who takes no corporate money) are just as beholding to their corporate puppet masters as are the Republicans. They just try to keep it on the down low.
Let’s be honest here. George W. Bush could never have gotten away with this crap. I believe that’s why Obama was put in the White House. The truth is the so called ‘free market’ has blown up in their global corporate faces and instead of correcting things they’ve decided instead to destroy Social Security and other safety nets for the American people while continuing to dole out corporate welfare and start more illegal wars for oil.
This is not compromise. This is not leadership. This is theft.
According to Joseph E. Stiglitz, Professor at Columbia University and 2001 Nobel Prize in Economics, “Our economic situation is the result of 30 years of unbridled right wing free market ideology. “Unaffordable tax cuts and wars, a major recession, and soaring health-care costs – fueled in part by the commitment of George W Bush’s administration to giving drug companies free rein in setting prices, even with government money at stake – quickly transformed a huge surplus into record peacetime deficits.”
Stiglitz continues, “Regrettably, the financial markets and right-wing economists have gotten the problem exactly backwards: they believe that austerity produces confidence, and that confidence will produce growth. But austerity undermines growth, worsening the government’s fiscal position, or at least yielding less improvement than austerity’s advocates promise. On both counts, confidence is undermined, and a downward spiral is set in motion.”
George Carlin explained it best. They don’t want well-informed educated citizens because then we’ll figure out what’s going on…And now they’re coming for your Social Security money so they can give it to their criminal friends on Wall Street…They use the media to brainwash us. The game is rigged. “It’s called the American dream for a reason; cause you have to be asleep to believe it.”
Jill Dalton is a recovering army brat/writer/performer who has appeared in film and television as well as performing her solo plays in New York and around the country. Most recently she can be seen in and consulted for William Hurt on the HBO film, “Too Big To Fail.” Her articles have been published on: Dandelion Salad, RSN, OpEdNews & Progressive Activists Voice. She can be contacted @ firstname.lastname@example.org.
[DS added the videos.]
Mr. President, Keep Your Word
SenatorSanders on Jul 12, 2011
As high-stakes deficit talks resumed Tuesday at the White House, Sen. Bernie Sanders prodded President Barack Obama to keep his 2008 campaign promise not to cut Social Security. “If you told the American people you’re not going to cut Social Security, then don’t cut Social Security. Keep your word,” Sanders said in a Senate floor speech.
Mr. President, Keep Your Word
Social Security Didn’t Create the Deficit
DJKucinich on Jul 12, 2011
Social Security didn’t create the deficit, but America’s seniors are being presented with a fake Social Security crisis to try to trick them into accepting reduced benefits. Social Security will be able to pay 100% of its benefits through 2037 without any changes whatsoever.
So, why the panic today? If seniors accept cuts to Social Security benefits today, a surplus cash flow will build in the Social Security trust fund. According to the Congressional Research Service, “Social Security’s cash surpluses are borrowed by the U.S. Treasury and can be used for tax cuts, spending or repaying debt.”
Social Security benefit cuts are increasing taxes paid to Social Security or extending retirement age will give more money for tax cuts spending or repaying the debt. Except for one thing: Social Security money belongs to those who have paid into the fund, it’s not the government’s money to use it; it shouldn’t be the government’s money to play with.
Senior citizens should not have to accept a reduced standard of living to finance tax cuts for the rich. We must take a stand for senior citizens and protect Social Security and protect future generations from this raid on Social Security’s funds.
Social Security Didn’t Create the Deficit