Whether you admit it or you bury your head in the sand, the plain truth is that this country is completely out of control. I'm not talking about a promising plain speaking congressman that let his lust get in the way of his sanity; I'm talking about how this nation is clearly facing its demise.
In the last two years, this nation has completely turned its
back on the majority of American citizens in favor of those that can afford to
pay for what it is they want. This isn't an article about republicans; the
democrats are equally guilty of ravaging the middle class, the poor, the
elderly and those that are just starting out. Not only is this nation savaging
the bulk of the people that are unlucky enough to be Americans in the 21st
century, the American government is also literally savaging the Muslim world
with missiles, drones, ground troops and radioactive ammunition that will
linger for millennia.
We are now participating in five different wars in five different countries, all of whom just happen to be Muslim countries. That could just be a coincidence, but the older I get, the less I believe in coincidences. These wars have all been started on very shaky premises. In fact, the newest wars are being fought without any authorization from what used to be a co-equal branch of government, the Congress of the United States. For those of you under the age of twenty, before we declared a never-ending "War on Terror", we once had a document, a sort of owner's manual, a set of rules that the government followed called The Constitution of the United States. In this quaint document was a provision that the President had to ask the Congress for a declaration of war before it started to bomb and kill the citizens of another country. To be fair, if it was deemed to be a clear and present danger, the President could defend the United States immediately, but he still had to go to Congress as soon as possible to get authorization for hostilities.
Now it seems that this is no longer the case. When exactly the Constitution became obsolete is still debatable, but the facts are clear, it is obsolete. It is now very clear that the President can now start a war, at any time, in any place of his choosing. Every day, we routinely kill people in Pakistan, Libya and now Yemen, without any input from Congress.
Not to say that Congress doesn't earn their money (and I'm not talking about their salaries, I'm talking about the bribes they receive from lobbyists that represent the bankers, the defense contractors, the insurance companies and scads of corporations that make up the real constituencies of our "elected representatives" in the form of campaign contributions, country club memberships and outright payments for "services rendered"). In case you are wondering what I'm referring to, let me give you a few examples of what I mean, Congress is trying to cut the deficit, which is so high that almost 100% of our nation's tax receipts go toward paying the interest on our national debt. The "solutions" that Congress has come up with go something like this;
A. Cut Social Security Entitlements by raising the age that people can collect, or/and lowering the payments that one receives after paying into it for all of their working lives or eliminating it altogether.
B. Cut retirement benefits even though workers have paid into a "pension fund" their entire career with the Federal Government. This they are calling a "benefit", at one time it was an "entitlement"
C. Eliminate Medicare for our senior citizens that have been paying into for decades and replace it with a "voucher system" that pays a certain set amount. Anything over that amount is the responsibility of the senior citizen or the disabled. That means that once you run out of voucher money, the cost of medical treatment is up to the person who once had coverage under Medicare. If that person has cancer or some other very expensive illness, when the vouchers dry up, and the savings are gone, guess what? You die.
D. Cut military pensions. Yes, even those that "fight for our freedoms" and join up to kill the "evil-doers" and stay for 20-30 years fighting all over the world in back-to-back combat tours will have their pensions cut.
E. Lower Federal payments for education. This is something that is do-able now that most of the workforce is now flipping hamburgers or delivering pizzas. We have seemed to have outsourced most of our industry except for defense contractors and the financial sector anyway.
F. Cut State subsidies for infrastructure. It seems that Congress has realized that good highways, Dams and sewer systems never made the lobbying corporations any money anyway.
Now here is the kicker, nobody has introduced any bill that will make the largest corporations in the country pay the same percentage of taxes that the working people of this country make. For example, corporations like GE, Bank of America and Exxon-Mobile (the largest oil company on Earth) pay no taxes. In fact, they actually got "rebates" from the IRS. Here is Senator Bernie Sanders in a short speech to the Senate:
Doesn't that make your skin crawl, just a little bit?
Now let's talk about the cost of all of these wars we are involved in, saving the World from something that we invented in Afghanistan to cause the USSR to experience their very own Vietnam (al Qaeda);
Global military expenditure stands at over $1.6 trillion in annual expenditure at current prices for 2010 (or $1.56 trillion dollars at constant 2009 prices), and has been rising in recent years (from Global Research http://www.globalissues.org/article/75/world-military-spending#Increasedspendingbeforeandevenduringglobaleconomiccrisis)