Health Care “Reform”
(and Credit Card “Reform”, and so forth and so on)

While congress congratulates itself on passing health care “reform” I seethe with anger. A few days ago when it was announced that agreement had been reached on this bill, I received mail from my health insurance company informing me of a 60 percent increase in my premium and that of my wife. Cost control? Sixty percent in one year?

My wife is a cancer survivor, and medications cost her $800 per month when she is in the “donut hole,” which is true most of the year. As I understand it, she will get no relief at all for at least five, count ’em, five years.

A goodly number of those seniors Washington claims will be helped by this alleged reform will actually be dead before they get any relief.

Congress has also supposedly passed legislation to curb the worst excesses of credit card companies. To be sure, some fees will be capped, or at least so we are told. Yet, incredibly, a credit card company recently offered a card carrying an interest rate of 79.9 per cent! This used to be called loan sharking, stuff we associated with organized crime. Yet it is perfectly legal, and will remain so after “reform” goes into effect next year. You may well ask, who would take such a card? Indeed. Yet the same could be asked of those desperate enough to avail themselves of loan sharks.

The government of the United States of America is a kleptocracy. The really sad thing is that the citizens don’t seem to see this. In today’s (24 Dec. 2009) New York Times an article appeared describing how banks such as Goldman Sachs created “collateralized debt obligations,” an extremely risky sort of investment, then bet against their success, and made huge profits thereby. Then the whole Ponzi scheme collapsed. So? So the U.S. government threw hundreds of billions of dollars to these same predatory banks, and the money came from poor schmucks such as yours truly and others like me, that is, powerless. Kleptocracy. Picking our pockets. Corruption on a simply colossal scale.

Here’s the kicker. We, the voters who supposedly hold the reins, and can simply “throw the bums out” are actually totally without any means of redress. With virtually no exceptions, Senators and Congressmen are wealthy, and if they weren’t so when elected, they soon became such. Yet “citizens” continue to vote as though it made any difference whatsoever. With a vanishingly small number of exceptions, it is a waste of time and effort.

The function of government has become to take money from the poor and the middle class and transfer it to corporations, financial institutions, and even individuals with no questions asked. This can take the form of direct subsidies, such as the corn subsidy that along with NAFTA allows U.S. producers to sell genetically modified corn to Mexico below cost, thereby contaminating the birthplace of maize with GMOs with unknown consequences, and bankrupting peasant farmers for their own good. Or it can comprise taking our money and giving it to the professional thieves on Wall Street. As usual, the government “spreads the wealth” all right, but from the poor and middle class to the wealthy. Were the money to flow in the opposite direction, the capitalists would label it socialism. There are many other ways government can move money from you and me to the corporate and banking pickpockets.

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