Essay by Johnny Kramer
This is an era when the following problems, among others, confront the United States:
Americans spend more money per year on taxes than they do on food, clothing and shelter combined – and receive virtually nothing of value in return. Even worse, governments use citizens’ own money against them to further erode their standard of living and persecute them for peaceful, voluntary behavior.
As Lysander Spooner wrote in No Treason: The Constitution of No Authority, “. . . whoever desires liberty, should understand these vital facts, viz.:
1. That every man who puts money into the hands of a ‘government’ (so called), puts into its hands a sword which will be used against him, to extort more money from him, and also to keep him in subjection to its arbitrary will.
2. That those who will take his money, without his consent, in the first place, will use it for his further robbery and enslavement, if he presumes to resist their demands in the future.”
Prior to the Iraq War, the Bush administration balked at estimates that it could cost even $100-200 billion. To date, it has cost over $500 billion. The most conservative estimates are that 655,000 Iraqi civilians have been killed; 3.4 million Iraqis have fled their homes; as of May 14, 4,079 U.S. service people have been killed, and another 30,004 have been wounded. Every rationale for the war has been proven false. And there is no end in sight.
The neocons are agitating to start a similar debacle in Iran, another comparatively poor country (and another former U.S. ally) with a military budget about 1% of the size of that of the United States.
The federal government is about $9 trillion in debt.
The president now has the authority to detain anyone – even American citizens – indefinitely, without charges.
The United States has the highest number of people in prison of any country on earth, both in absolute terms and as a percentage of its population, and over 50% of them are incarcerated for non-violent drug offenses.
According to David Walker, the Comptroller General of the U.S. Government Accountability Office, if present trends continue, by 2040, 100% of the federal budget will be consumed just by Social Security and Medicare, and even that will require annual confiscation of 40% of the private sector’s output. At that point, the government’s only option for balancing the budget would be cutting the federal budget by 60% (and defaulting on the Social Security and Medicare promises) or doubling federal taxes – meaning the government would be confiscating 80% of the private sector’s output just to fund Social Security and Medicare. And the economy would have to grow by double-digits every year until then to grow its way out of this outcome. When was the last time we had double-digit growth for even one year?
In addition to gasoline prices (which are rising due to various distortions in the economy imposed by government, including inflation and regulations that prevent sellers from increasing production to lower prices), the media has reported the following snapshots of inflation during the past week, courtesy of the Associated Press, since they pertained to people’s Memorial Day plans: since last Memorial Day, the average price of hot dogs is up 7%; a bag of chips and a two-liter of soda are each up 10%; and hamburger buns are up 17%. (Unfortunately – but not surprisingly – none of the reports I saw went on to explain that rising prices are a symptom of inflation, not inflation itself; and that inflation results from the government printing money out of thin air – which is called counterfeiting when a citizen does it; and that its main purpose is to transfer wealth from the poor and middle class to the power elite. Then again, I don’t blame the reporters, because I doubt many of them even know this, and it’s even more doubtful that their bosses would let them report it if they did.)
Despite these facts, the following are questions one is likely to hear currently from the mainstream media:
Why doesn’t Obama wear a U.S. flag pin on his lapel all of the time?
Who will be McCain’s running-mate?
Michelle Obama said that she only recently became proud of America for the first time. Does that mean she hates America?
Who leads in the popular vote, Obama or Hillary?
Does Obama endorse the views of Jeremiah Wright since he attended Wright’s church for years?
Is Obama an elitist, or a Regular Joe?
Does John McCain endorse the views of preachers who endorsed him, like John Hagee and Rod Parsley?
How many delegates are at stake in the remaining Democratic contests?
Will Obama and Hillary run on the same ticket?
Who would fare better against McCain, Obama or Hillary?
The False Choice
Wise up: There is only one political party in America: The Government Party. The phony left-right paradigm is a shell game perpetrated by the ruling elite to distract people from that fact, because if it were overt that there’s only one party, the entire political system would quickly become widely despised, and the people would be more likely to overthrow it.
And elections – especially presidential elections – are basically scams where the elite field two basically interchangeable candidates – both of whom are acceptable to them and are in their pockets – to con the rubes into thinking that they are running the government.
Politics at high levels of government basically consists of a symbiotic relationship where politicians and bureaucrats earn higher incomes than they could earn on the market in exchange for perpetrating the structures (like the pharmaceutical-industrial complex, the military-industrial complex, and the Federal Reserve System) from which the power elite profit at the expense of the average person.
Ron Paul summarized the political shell game on The Alex Jones Show on May 20, when he said about Clinton, Obama, and McCain, “There really is no choice there; they all belong to the same group, they are beholden to the military industrial complex and the medical industry, the media industry, the whole works, the banking industry. The rhetoric is different but they’re all after power, and there is not going to be a lot of difference.”