You know, all you really have to do is cruise around the web to see just how well the richest one percent of Americans lives. I did that just the other day. Googling “America’s largest homes”, I was greeted by a plethora of disgustingly vain, tasteless, wasteful, audacious and ridiculous castles built by some of America’s “protected minority”.
Imagine that: The people with the very least to lose in America’s trumped-up “fiscal cliff” debacle are the ones who are getting the most protection from Congresspeople I would call “agents of business” rather than representatives of the people.
Yes, there seems to be some confusion in Congress regarding the differences between Capitalism and democracy. Some in Congress, particularly the Tea Party Caucus, seem to think that Capitalism is democracy. That’s right. Democracy is all about making money.
I remember as a kid thinking about this strange conflation of two very different value systems. When I saw television commercials and politicians all attesting to the wonders of “free enterprise and the American way”, even at the age of 10 or 11 I could see that there’s really very little in the U. S. Constitution that makes any connection between Capitalism and democracy. At 11, I could see that equating the two was really little more than commercialism latching itself onto values everyone likes. Why? So people would confuse the two. So people would think that buying stuff had something to do with the American way of life.
I also took note at a young age of the distinctly different value systems inherent in two other qualitatively different descriptors: “consumer” and “citizen”.
The propaganda to which I refer has obviously worked. We now have low-information voters-cum-Congressional members who can’t tell the difference between the two. And now look: It is us, the poor and elderly and disabled who are going to be paying for the spendthrift ways of an outlaw administration, Bush/Cheney, while the people who profited from two absolutely stunningly dumb wars and massive tax cuts that primarily benefitted the richest in American society are walking away with the goods.
I’m talking about “The Grand Bargain”, this ridiculous trick-of-the-light being foisted on Americans by a political elite that is under the sole control of the real power center of America: the commercial sector. Public expense for private gain has led to the ongoing obliteration of the American middle class and the shameless display of millionaire politicians working their damnedest to destroy the social safety net.
Who gets hurt? We do.
According to some of the terms of negotiation both sides seem to agree upon, doctors that work with Medicare will be getting 25 percent less than they do right now because some numbskull in Congress has decided that the best way to turn a portion of the real power base in America, the doctors, against Medicare is to force them into working for less money. The incentive for doctors to refuse to work with Medicare will be increased, and who will suffer?
We will suffer. Public hospitals will suffer. Patients who depend on good doctors willing to work with Medicare will suffer. A portion of the safety net will be compromised because of people who’ve never really known poverty and who have never had to live through catastrophic illness.
The negotiators also agree on eliminating something they call “chain CPI”. Attaching Social Security benefits raises to the rise of the Consumer Price Index insures that people who get what some people call “So So Security” will be able to pay for food when the price of food goes up. By eliminating Chain CPI, there will be no Social Security benefits increases—something that means that many of us on Social Security will probably be eating dog food because of people who have really never known poverty and who have never had to live with the piddly benefits the government seems to think are appropriate.
Also being tabled right now is the Farm Subsidies Bill, the system by which the government subsidizes farmers in order to keep food prices low. Because of the Teahadists in Congress, Congress is plain and simply ignoring the Farm Subsidies Bill. What will happen if the bill sits there gathering dust? Food prices will go up. Farmers won’t be able to pay their bills, and while that will not affect the huge agribusinesses very much, it will affect individual farmers and smaller farms, driving them out of business and essentially into the arms of…guess whom? The giant agribusinesses.
Isn’t that sweet? All that mumbo-jumbo about “protecting small businesses”? More lies from the Republicans.
Looks like us Medicare recipients are once again going to have to pay more for our medicine because the millionaires in Congress, people who have never had to worry about paying for expensive medications because they’re given elite prescription care by virtue of having done absolutely nothing as a Congress, want to save a buck off the backs of those who can least afford it.
Now that the fiscal cliff is upon us, I no longer believe that Washington really gives a crap about the poor. Nope. They’re all lapdogs for the real power center: The one percent.
Thanks, Congress. Great prep job for the Marxist revolution to come. After all, once the poor and economically downtrodden realize the government’s no longer in their corner, there’s always the Communist Party.
See you in the future, Tea Party.