Thursday, January 20, 2011

As Debt Increases, Freedoms Decrease; Hence Our Indentured Sevitude.

John Adams once stated, "There are two ways to enslave a nation. One is by the sword. The other is by debt." And Benjamin Franklin said, "Think what you do when you run in debt; you give to another power over your liberty." And that's where we are. Right where Alexis de Toqueville predicted when he said, "The American Republic will endure until the day Congress discovers that it can bribe the public with the public's money.

However, having said that, it's not always easy to see the leaves of freedom shriveling and falling to the ground when you are embedded deeply in a forest of debt, especially when that debt serves as the foundation of the economy.  In other words, debt is not a choice, despite all the effort that goes into making each and everyone of us believe that it is.

Right out of the gate, in order to get ahead, most of us must steep ourselves in debt, because without a college education, starting a career is next to impossible. Then, after graduation, it takes anywhere from 10-years to sometimes as much as an entire lifetime to pay this debt off. And, that's just the very beginning of the albatross of debt most people can expect to accumulate over an American lifetime.

The bottom line is that people are slaves to their debt. We're so conditioned into believing debt is as natural as the air we breathe that it's very hard to think of ourselves as indentured servants, but, that's exactly what most of us are.

That's why it's so egregious that President Obama would even consider what White House fiscal commission co-chairs Erskine Bowles and Alan Simpson - in favor of brutalizing the middle class while being favorable to the very wealthy - had the nerve to offer as a debt reduction plan:  a proposal that cuts Social Security, in addition to Medicare, Medicaid, and anything else that might possibly offer relief to middle-class America. So, now, every source of retirement income is under siege.   Social Security, personal savings, occupational pensions, including Medicare for retirees,  are potentially up for grabs. Not to mention, Medicaid, that if cut, will leave millions vulnerable to  catastrophic illness costs. In fact, Arizona is already denying organ transplants to people on Medicaid.

Here's the thing. They have no right to touch Social Security. Why?  Well, despite all of the attempts to associate Social Security with the federal budget, it's important to note that Social Security is not part of the federal budget. It is a separate account, a trust, which is funded from our contributions, through payroll taxes. SS has not added one dime to the national debt. The program's payouts have never exceeded revenues, that is, until last year...for the very first time.

Moreover, the  powers that be have plundered SS to fund their destructive agendas for decades. If left alone, the Social Security Trust Fund has a surplus of $2.6 trillion and is expected to remain solvent in its current form until 2037, according to its trustees report.  That's why the tax deal the president struck with Senate Republicans last month that includes a one-year cut in the payroll tax – the source of Social Security's funding – from 6.2% to 4.2% is a little suspicious.  

Only mass outrage can stop the slashing of Social Security, Medicare, Medicaid, and other social programs. Meanwhile, as usual, Wall Street is raking in the profits at our expense, even though they continue to torment the innocent, and continue the same practices that initially caused the economic collapse in the first place.


Anonymous,  18:28  

Did I hear right? Food stamp use up 40% in two years? That's unbelievable!

Roth's stepchild 22:33  

"Paper is poverty,... it is only the ghost of money, and not money itself." --Thomas Jefferson

Keep that in mind, and it all makes sense. To understand and master the ability to get people to accept illusion as reality is the key that unlocks the door to power.

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