Monthly Archives: November 2012

Benevolent Despotism

The topic du jour in the mainstream media and other media outlets is the fiscal cliff.  There’s not a single news channel or internet news site that isn’t talking incessantly about it.  In the Dysfunctional City the political kabuki theater is nearing the end of Act I.   The actors portray themselves as upstanding and righteous; defending positions due to Party politics and ideology.  Act II — the final capitulation — will come as we near the date where everyone says we’ll go over the fiscal cliff.

Hogwash.

It’s time to check your premises as Ayn Rand would say.  The premise is whether a deal can be struck to avoid the fiscal cliff.  It’s too late!  Our Wile E. Coyote moment has come and gone.  We are already over the fiscal cliff and free falling towards the canyon floor.  Our dear leaders are lying, deceiving, and evading reality.  In fact, the President is still campaigning.  Democrats are unwilling to discuss spending cuts and entitlement reform.  Democrats are fixated on tax increases.  Meanwhile, Republicans appear disorganized and confused like a deer in headlights.

What the DC’vers won’t state publicly is DC is broke and broken.  It is the quintessential Dysfunctional City.  The masses continue with their herd-like mentality and follow their leaders blindly and loyally.  It is a cult-like devotion to Party and ideology forming a human cohesion that inculcates the individual from critical and independent thinking.  If it is good for the herd it must be good for me.

This is merely propaganda and programming from the two political parties.  They must keep up appearances.  The façade must be beautiful and immaculate while life in America rots from the inside out.  The people must scurry about like mice searching for the crumbs left to them by the government while the house is crumbling around them.

The question isn’t whether the fiscal cliff can be avoided because we’ve already went SPLAT!  The DC’vers are trying to manage the collapse and disintegration of the country, the economy, and civil society.   As conditions deteriorate we should anticipate more laws and regulations, more powers usurped, and an increase in the police and surveillance state.  These increases in government power and activity will be offset with a decrease in liberty; both personal and economic.

The Union was birthed from a system of despotism. What was created was a Constitutional Republic consisting of free and independent states joining together in an Union – creating a federal government – of few and defined purposes.   Over the decades that has slowly changed to a system where the will of the majority is enacted over the rights of the minority.   I refer to this as Managed Socialism.

In my opinion, we will witness the final metamorphosis of the Union.   Act II — final state — is what I call Benevolent Despotism.  We will have a Potemkin government where the façade of legitimacy and freedom is given lip service by those in government and the sycophants in the media.  The people, knowingly or unwittingly, will clamor for more government to keep the system together.  The judiciary will continue to act as the enabler for a government that tramples upon your rights and liberty under the guise of some collective national imperative.  For all intents and purposes the Bill of Rights is a dead letter.  But, more on that later.

The benevolence part of the final state is that government will be generous and caring.  Government will continue spending money.  Government will continue borrowing money until it dries up.  Government will continue printing money.  Government will grow the debt.  Government will expand entitlements.  Government will position itself as the one and only entity that can provide for the needs of 310 million people.  This is the benevolence part.  Sounds pretty good wouldn’t you say?

The despotism part is what has started and will accelerate in the final state.  As the Potemkin government slowly exposes its inner-self the unvarnished truth will be revealed to all.  In fact, this has already started.  Since 9/11 all of this has happened.  And, both Republicans and Democrats are culpable. Note, this list comes from an article written by Professor Johnathan Turley that was published in the Washington Post in early 2012.

1)      Assassination of U.S. Citizens –  Both Bush and Obama claim they have the power to order the killing of a U.S. citizen considered a terrorist or an abettor of terrorism.

2)      Indefinite detention – Under the National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) anyone suspected can be detained indefinitely without due process and trial.  The government decides arbitrarily which citizens it can strip of their constitutional rights and legal protections.

3)      Arbitrary Justice – The president decides who will and will not receive a trial if they are suspected of being a terrorist.

4)      Warrantless Searches – Under the Patriot Act of 2011 warrantless searches were enacted.  Under new powers in the Patriot Act of 2011 the government can “force” organizations to provide information on citizens’ finances, communications, and associations.  The government can use “national security letters” to obtain information on citizens without probable cause and without the order being disclosed to the affected party.

5)      Secret Evidence – Government uses secret evidence to detain individuals. It is also used for dismissal of cases against the United States by simply filing declarations that the cases would result in the government revealing classified information that would harm national security.  Legal opinions under both Bush and Obama have even been classified.  This allows government to use secret legal arguments to support secret proceedings using secret evidence.  The federal judiciary – as the enablers of these crimes – routinely deny constitutional challenges.

6)      Secret Court – The government uses the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court to issue secret warrants against individuals deemed to be aiding and abetting hostile foreign governments.   In 2011, these powers were expanded to include secret searches of individuals who are not part of an identifiable terrorist group.

7)      Immunity from Judicial Review – Both Bush and Obama have pushed for immunity for companies that assist in warrantless surveillance of citizens and they block the ability of citizens to challenge this in court as a violation of privacy.

8)      Continued Monitoring of Citizens – The Obama administration has defended its claims that it can use GPS devices to monitor the moves of targeted citizens without and court review.  Due to technological advances coupled with government acts the surveillance state in the U.S. has far surpassed anything that Lenin, Stalin, or Hitler ever imagined.

9)      Extraordinary Renditions – The government has the ability to transfer both citizens and noncitizens to another country under a system called extraordinary rendition.  This allows for the transfer of citizens or non-citizens to countries where they can be tortured.

These are a handful of the actions government has taken against its citizens in complete violation and contradiction to the Rule of Law, the ideal that the Constitution protects the people from arbitrary and capricious acts by the government.  In addition to the aforementioned violations and usurpations consider the following:

1)      RICO statutes.

2)      There has not been a single constitutionally declared war since WWII.  In fact, we are now in a perpetual state of war with an elusive enemy that transcends any national boundaries.

3)      Asset Forfeiture Laws.

4)      Laws against personal choice — Light bulbs.  Raw milk or cheese.  Shower heads.  Appliances.  Food.  Clothing.  Automobiles.

5)      Forced or compulsory purchases – Health Care.

6)      Unabated printing of money.

7)      Legal tender laws.

8)      Bailouts of private companies and/or industries.

9)      Subsidizing (though grants, loans, tax credits, etc) certain business and industries based on government centric preferences.

10)   Domestic use of drones.

11)   Laws forbidding assembly near elected officials.

12)   Confiscatory taxes.

13)   Unsecured borders and government assistance for those here illegally.

14)   Agenda 21.

15)   Corrupt and fraudulent elections.

The very reason the colonists separated from Britain was due to despotism.  Today we are defined only be the discretionary benevolence of autocratic rulers to take way your rights or your life under their authority.  Rights are not simply abridged, they are obliterated!  Why are people vested with the political right to choose their representatives, yet the people are not capable of making personal and economic choices in their lives.  If people are not capable of making these choices in their everyday lives it is ludicrous to believe that others are capable of making those choices on your behalf.  Just like self-governance, if man is not capable of governing himself then what makes anyone believe that man is capable of governing others?

Benevolent Despotism is the final stage.  I believe it is unavoidable at this point.  Perhaps then we can start anew as the colonists did in the 1770s.  Perhaps then we can rediscover we are all endowed by our Creator with certain unalienable rights.  That these truths are self-evident, transcendent, immutable, and unchanging.  That the proper role of government is to secure those rights – nothing more and nothing less.  That free people in civil society are responsible for their own personal and economic liberty, and their choices are theirs alone to make and to live with the consequences.  That government is not benevolence or compassion.  Nor is government virtuous.  Government is force.  People are compassionate.  People are virtuous.  People can voluntarily do for themselves and others what government can never do.  This is the creed of a free people and a free society.  This represents the desire to live with dangerous liberty instead of peaceful slavery.

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Filed under Constitution, Philosophical

My Post Election Reflection

Let me start off by sharing a story.  On Sunday, two days before the election, I was in line at the grocery store and overheard the cashier talking to the customer in front of me.  She said “well I hope things work out the right way on Tuesday”.  Now, I don’t know what the right way meant, but I did offer these words.  No matter who wins the election on Tuesday, one half of the country will be happy and the other half will be disappointed.  She agreed.  Most people will agree with that statement.

For those that believe the country is lost or we are well on the path to socialism you are wrong.  The country isn’t lost now.  We lost the country a long time ago.  Today is the time to recognize and acknowledge the system is broke and broken.  Today is the time to recognize the system is dysfunctional.  Today is a time for reflection and introspection.  This article summarizes my thoughts, my reflection on what transpired and where we stand as a society today.

In a recent article by Charles Hugh-Smith he wrote, ‘the system we have is an imperial presidency”.  In Arthur Schlesinger’s 1973 book the Imperial Presidency the term is defined as:

A presidency becomes imperial when it relies on powers beyond those allowed by the Constitution. The Constitution established three separate branches of government not for efficiency but to avoid the arbitrary exercise of power.

There has not been a congressional declaration of war since WWII.  Every war has been waged without congressional approval thus every war has been unconstitutional.  Schlesinger goes on to say:

The Constitution and its authors determined that the power to initiate a war belonged to the Congress. The President had the responsibility to conduct ongoing wars and ongoing foreign relations and respond to sudden attacks if the Congress was not in session. As the United States of America became a great world power, and then a superpower, the Presidency acquired more war powers despite the Constitution. This reduced the Congress’ powers and the separation of powers, which is necessary to avoid the arbitrary use of power.

Through various means, Presidents subsequently acquired powers beyond the limits of the Constitution. The daily accountability of the President to the Congress, the courts, the press and the people has been replaced by an accountability of once each four years during an election. These changes have occurred slowly over the centuries so that that which appears normal differs greatly from what was the original state of America.

I cannot emphasize enough Schlesinger’s last sentence.  He said, “These changes have occurred slowly over the centuries so that which appears normal differs greatly from what was the original state of America”.  [Emphasis added.]  He is saying the Constitution established a constitutional republic not an imperial presidency.  He is saying the role of government and the authority of government has fundamental changed to a government without limits and a government that acts arbitrarily and capriciously.

Smith continued on to the expanded powers of executive orders.  Smith wrote, “Events since then (such as the invasion of Iraq in 2003) have revealed how far an Imperial President could go with broadly granted war powers, “presidential immunity,” “signing statements” (declaring which congressionally approved statutes he would ignore or refuse to enforce) and the increasingly popular “executive orders” which enable everything from imprisoning entire ethnic populations (E.O. 9066) to claiming extra-legal powers over the entire U.S. economy.

Presidents before G.W. Bush and Obama managed to perform their duties with a handful of Executive Orders–five per term seemed about average. President Bush issued 160 in his first term while President Obama has so far issued 139. Both of our most recent presidents also made heavy use of Executive privileges such as “signing statements” and other “work-arounds” to feeble limits on presidential powers.”

I have said before we need to choose between uncomfortable truths or comforting lies.  The latter is the rationalizations people go through to avoid uncomfortable truths; about themselves, our government, or society in general.  In some cases these rationalizations amount to mental gymnastics to somehow, anyhow, maintain some semblance of reason and understanding today.  The result is a normalcy bias where people simply cannot digest or understand what is happening around them, thus the need for mental gymnastics to catapult their minds back to a place they understand.  Those are the comforting lies people tell themselves to cope with the unknown and unchartered territory we are headed into.

The problem is exacerbated by rhetoric and fear.  We are headed into unknown and unchartered waters.  At least for us they are unknown waters.  But these waters have been traversed before.  History is replete with examples of great societies rising and falling.  But do not believe for a minute that we are doomed.  Contrast where we stand today with those that voyaged to America on the Mayflower.  Undoubtedly, they truly entered unchartered waters.  The risks they took were orders of magnitude greater than what we have to deal with after the 2012 election.  That doesn’t mean things won’t be difficult as we all try to figure out how to navigate the choppy waters ahead and charter our own futures.

The perspective needs to be on the uncomfortable truths of what we have become as individuals, a society, and a system of governance.  In addition to the imperial presidency there are numerous other uncomfortable truths we must face without performing all the mental gymnastics to rationalize away reality.  As Ayn Rand said, “you can ignore reality but you cannot ignore the consequences of ignoring reality.”

Regardless of who won the 2012 election we are faced with these truths:

Government debt will grow and deficit spending will continue.  The simple truth is both Romney and Obama would continue government’s profligate spending and run annual deficits which increase the national debt.  Albeit the amounts may vary slightly, but nevertheless, the path of fiscal insanity will continue.  Today, government revenues are less than the total expenses for Social Security, Medicare, and the interest on the debt.  All discretionary (non-military) and non-discretionary (military) spending is funded through borrowing.  By the next presidential election I expect the national debt to be between $20 trillion on the low end and $23 trillion on the high end.

To fund their deficits, government will continue to borrow money and print money.  Government will continue to debase the currency.  I’ve written on this extensively and won’t cover it again here, but it is sufficient to say that the purchasing power of a dollar (spent now or savings spent later) will decline.  Government securities that cannot be sold to foreign central banks, foreign governments, or the primary dealers will be bought outright by the Federal Reserve.   Expect prices to rise and your stored purchasing power (i.e. your savings) to diminish.

An interventionist foreign policy will continue.  In addition to the unconstitutional wars U.S. involvement in other countries’ affairs will continue unabated.  In some cases the U.S. will prop up foreign governments whether they are dictatorships or not.  In some cases the U.S. will supply and arm insurgents to combat foreign governments because it’s in our national security interests.  All will be justified under the guise of “national security” or our “national interests”.

The entitlement state would continue unabated.  Neither Romney nor Obama has any plans to reduce or eliminate entitlement programs.  This is how I describe the system to people.  The government confiscates your earnings through a tax and places into a “trust fund” with the Treasury Department.  The trust fund is raided so the current government can spend it and is replaced with an I.O.U.   The money is spent on wasteful and unconstitutional government programs.  Eventually it is replaced by borrowed funds which the government says you have to repay and with interest.  This is referred to as a Ponzi scheme.  The system is unsustainable and government uses its enforcement arm – the IRS – to ensure you comply and participate in the scheme whether you consent or not.

The welfare state is a source of votes for politicians.  In a quid-pro-quo the agreement is we will provide a “government benefit” such as EBT cards, housing, etc. and in return you vote and keep us in power.  In other words, the people are voting themselves largesse out of the treasury.  But that largesse comes from a source other than government.  It comes from taxes or borrowing.  In one case the rightful property of one person is taken by government and provided to another that has absolutely no rightful claim to it.  In the case of borrowing, this is more of the same problem where the debt is increased and you are expected to repay the principle and interest out of your future earnings.

Unalienable rights, liberties, and civil rights will continue to be abridged or denied.  Decade after decade the erosion of our rights and liberties continues unabated.  Asset forfeiture laws, traveling on airplanes, parts of the Patriot Act, parts of the National Defense Authorization Act, and unlawful violations of the 1st, 4th, and 5th amendments continue unabated.  Usurpation of power by Congress, the executive, and the judiciary is considered normal behavior where it was once considered treasonous.  States no longer exercise their constitutional authority by checking the powers of the federal government.  States have been reduced to mere satellites, mere corporations, to the leviathan occupying the ten square miles known as Washington D.C. with its tentacles reaching out to every state, county, municipality, community, neighborhood, and home across our great Union.  All will be done under the guise of “keeping us safe” or “we are doing it for the kids”.

The unfunded liabilities of the federal, state, and local governments combined exceed $200 trillion.

We haven’t had a free market economy in generations.  Today we have a centrally planned economy where the state controls the money supply, the cost of money (interest rates), and forces people to use fiat currency through unconstitutional legal tender laws.  The state redirects capital towards government centric preferences.  Supply and demand is distorted.  Price signals are manipulated through government intervention.  Scarce resources are misallocated primarily for political purposes.  Economic figures and statistics are adjusted and manipulated by government bureaucracies for political purposes.  GDP, CPI, unemployment and other figures are routinely manipulated for political purposes.

Taxes are primarily paid by the top 25% of earners.  The bottom 50% of earners pay no federal income tax.  Estate taxes prohibit family owned businesses from passing on from one generation to another.  Corporate taxes are a farce.  Corporations don’t pay taxes, people pay taxes.  Income taxes are another expense item for a corporation which they pass on to the consumer in the price of the good or service provided.  There are hundreds of other taxes and fees paid at the federal, state, and local levels.

These are the uncomfortable truths.  These things would continue regardless of who occupied the White House.  What is important is what to do next?  As the size, scope, and authority of the federal government expands, and the debt continues to grow, and the currency continues to be debased what should we do next?  What can you do to insulate yourself and better secure your unalienable rights from the leviathan’s tentacles?

The answer is to build a firewall between your family and the federal government.  What I mean by a firewall is a way to insulate the federal government as much as possible while strengthening things around you.  The things that are around you are:

1)      Your family.

2)      Your neighborhood and community.

3)      Your local government.

4)      Your state government.

5)      Your county sheriff.

6)      Your network of like-minded people.

Recently, Hurricane Sandy hit the mid-Atlantic coastline and there are still many people without food and water, shelter, or electricity.  The government is ineffective in these situations.  People suffer.  People die.   People that look to and depend upon government to rescue them, to support them through so-called government programs, to provide for their retirement or medical care, and many other things must face some uncomfortable truths.

The government can’t rescue or save you.  The government cannot be the answer for your everyday needs in life.  The government cannot provide a cradle-to-grave life for you.  The government cannot provide spiritual guidance.  This is nothing more than a comforting lie which allows you to ignore reality; to ignore the uncomfortable truth that there are risks and rewards in life.  That failure is an option.  Success is an option.  Your choices are yours and yours alone to make.  And, you live with the consequences of your choices.

To live in a government imposed and controlled society where choice and individuality is limited, where success is punished, and failure is rewarded is to ensure a constant, pleasant Prozac-like state of mediocrity. It ensures that no individual is unique or different.  Rather, nobody is special and we are all mere cogs in government’s machinery.   It is to live in peaceful slavery as you and your fellow man battle with others in society for the crumbs tossed your way by government masters.  This is wrongful liberty and certainly not how free people live.

The answers must come from us.  We must build a firewall between ourselves and the federal government through local and state solutions.  We must reclaim responsibility for our lives, our liberty, and our property.  We must reclaim our virtues and not allow government to dictate what is or isn’t virtuous.  We must recognize the smallest minority in the country is the individual.  Each individual must exercise rightful liberty to unobstructed action within their own will drawn around the equal rights of others.  Not to exercise superior rights over others or to have others exercise superior rights over you.  Not to have a government use the brute force of institutionalized state violence to exercise superior rights over you and obstruct your actions.  Not to decide winners and losers in life or in the economy.  Not to create a dependent society demanding, by right or precedent, free things from government.  Rather to create an environment, a condition of rightful liberty where each person’s choice of unobstructed action allows them to obtain goods and services they want or need.

Changes indeed have occurred slowly over the generations and have reached a point where America is no longer recognizable.  I encourage each of you to take some time after this election and genuinely reflect about these things.  Cast aside political parties and propaganda, rhetoric and fear, and free your minds to consider your future and the future for your posterity.   God Bless.

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A Glimpse into the Future: Life in America in 2021

Dateline:  May 4, 2021 — For the sixth consecutive week the Federal Reserve’s Treasury auctions failed miserably.  In aggregate, the Federal Reserve planned on selling $150 billion worth of short and long-term securities.  Each sale was progressively worse than its predecessor.  By the sixth auction, a paltry one percent was bought by foreign governments or foreign central banks, and the primary dealers did not purchase anything.  The Federal Reserve took down the ninety-nine percent of the final auction.  Over the six week period the Federal Reserve purchased $145 billion worth of securities.

The Treasury Department responded in kind by printing another $500 billion of Federal Reserve Notes.  Over the next four weeks nearly $300 billion worth of securities are scheduled for sale.  Most likely, the Federal Reserve would be buying that debt outright as well.  The political class’s vapid desire for spending had escalated under President Tucker.  Deficit spending under the prior administration exceeded one trillion dollars every year.  In fact, the annual deficit never dropped below $1 trillion per year from 2009 through 2020.  The national debt stood at $25 trillion and spending on the vaunted entitlement programs now exceeded $4 trillion annually.  President Tucker campaigned on the promise; No more debt!  No more deficit spending!  In other words, pretty much the same rhetoric as every presidential candidate over the past forty years.

Naturally, governing and campaigning are two different animals.  The political class cajoles, lies, deceives, evades, and manipulates during the campaign season.  Some pundits say, “it is the reason for the season”.   President Tucker used the American people like pawns in chess.  Tucker played on their fears.  Tucker pulled on their heart strings.  Tucker was the quintessential politician.  Tucker had all the Ivy League credentials, grew up in a political family with all the right connections, and when he entered the room everyone naturally gravitated towards him.  His political opponents said of Tucker, “he’s so smooth and well versed he could sell you sand on a beach”.  So much for real change!

After Tucker swore an oath to uphold the Constitution of the United States he reneged on his campaign promises.  Two months after being sworn into office, President Tucker submitted his first budget to Congress.  Instead of cutting spending and balancing the budget, Tucker increased spending by twenty percent.  Tucker’s first budget called for $7 trillion in spending.  Social Security and Medicare alone totaled $4.1 trillion.  Then there was another $1 trillion for the Affordable Care Act.  The remaining $1.9 trillion was spent on defense ($1.1 trillion) and $800 billion on everything else.

The projected revenues in Tucker’s budget totaled $3.5 trillion; meaning Tucker had to borrow $3.5 trillion to fund government.  That means the government planned to borrow 50 cents of every dollar spent.

The economic tides had ebbed when they needed to flow.  Unemployment had risen steadily the past ten years from 7.8% in 2009 up to 18.3% in 2020.  Undoubtedly, the real unemployment rate was higher.  Much higher!   Over the past two decades the Bureau of Labor and Statistics manipulated the unemployment data.  Not only had the calculations changed, but “manual” adjustments – referred to as seasonal adjustments – skewed the numbers lower.  In fact, the BLS unemployment figures were no longer economic indicators.  Instead they were politically motivated numbers to be used by the current President, or his challenger, for political gain.

The truth is more people were unemployed in 2020 than in the history of the United States. The unofficial unemployment rate was 23.9%. The traditional labor participation rate hovered around 66% until the early 2010s.  Then it began to drop to 64% by 2012 and to 62% by 2016.  By 2020 the labor participation rate was an abysmal 59.8%.  The unemployment rate of those in the 18-24 age group was 35%.  The unemployment rates for blacks just breached 40% a month before Tucker was sworn into office.  Forty-two million Americans were out of work.  Thirty-five million were on the Supplemental Nutritional Assistance Program (SNAP), colloquially referred to as food stamps.  Fourteen million people received some form of disability payments.

Tucker justified his reckless budget to the American people like any seasoned politician.  He lied.  Tucker said it was for the middle class.  Tucker said he was investing in our children’s education.  Tucker said there were vital national security interests throughout the world.  The same rhetoric spewed out of the mouths of politicians on the left and the right; the conservatives and the liberals.  There’s always some justification for government to confiscate the rightful property of those that labored to earn it.  At least that was the blatant effort.

The more invisible effort happened as a result of years of destructive monetary and fiscal policy.  Over the past ten years the purchasing power of the dollar dropped by 50%.  In other words, prices had doubled in the past ten years.  Meanwhile, more people were unemployed and on some form of government assistance.  While those that were employed did not see their wages keep up with the real inflation rate.  Once again, another government alphabet soup agency was putting out the Consumer Price index(CPI).  According to the government, inflation had been steady the past 20 years.  In fact, the government says the CPI was between .5% and 3.5% over the past 20 years – averaging only 2 percent per year.  Once again, we learn that the CPI calculations were adjusted starting in the early 80s with a major change in the early 90s.  Using the CPI calculations from 1980 the real inflation rate the past 20 years has been 5% on the low end and 12% on the high end.  For prices to double over the past 10 years, the inflation rate was just over 7% annually.

Inflation is the invisible tax.  The tax we all pay regardless of your income level or what’s on your IRS from 1040 every year.  The purchasing power of a Federal Reserve Note (a.k.a. the dollar) has dropped by 50% the past 10 years and by 70% since the year 2000.  A gallon of gas cost $3.60 in 2012 costs $6.75 per gallon in 2021.  A vehicle holding 15 gallons of gas cost $108 to fill up.  Food costs have doubled.  Milk is $5.99 per gallon.  A loaf of bread cost $5.50.  A 5 ounce can of tuna costs $4.75.  Ground beef costs $12 per pound.

In 2021, only 46% of the people pay federal income taxes.  The other 54% pay no federal income tax.  New taxes were enacted over the past ten years.  In addition to all of the new taxes in the Affordable Care Act, a national value added tax (VAT) of 12% was enacted.  Corporate taxes were increased to 42%.  The highest tax bracket for individuals was increased from 36% in 2012 to 48% by 2021.  Most states and localities increased property tax rates as well to compensate for their profligate spending and lack of revenues.  Home prices were 30% lower than the financial crisis of 2008.

Time magazine declared the year 2021 to be the year the middle class officially died.  What remained were the haves and the have nots.  Those privileged few in society or with the right political connections to ensure a reasonably good life style.  For the rest, it was a daily struggle to provide the basic necessities in life.  For many, the daily struggle was to lick the hand of the government official that tossed a few crumbs their way.  A couple hundred dollars on an EBT card was barely enough to feed a family for a few days.  The poorest in society were restless.  Others were simply frightened.  All the talk about how this couldn’t happen here was coming true.  The country was in decline and, by all reasonable thinking people, rapidly deteriorating.  The U.S.A. was Rome.  The bread and circuses were no longer keeping the masses fed and entertained.  The ruling class was concerned by this development.  How long before it burned, was the unspoken question.

Yet, the people clamored for government to do more.  Help us.  Feed us.  Where is my Social Security check?  Where is my EBT card?  Go take it from the rich and give it to us.  Our children are starving.  Medical care was barely available.  When you could get medical care it took months to get an appointment or you’d spend half a day or more waiting for care in the emergency room.

Remember back in 2012 when the Supreme Court ruled in favor of the Affordable Care Act.  Well, a couple of comments on that.  First, it’s no longer affordable for nearly 90% of Americans.  Second, it’s nearly impossible to get any medical attention.  Third, those in the medical profession only act like they care.  The medical profession is reimbursed by the government.  And, the government payments have been reduced, are paid late, or don’t show up at all.  Over the past ten years, nearly one-third of all doctors and nurses has left the profession or went to another country to practice medicine.  Very few doctors come out of medical school.  In fact, nearly half the medical schools in the country have shut down.

Indeed, President Tucker intended to do something.  He was going to spend, borrow, and print.  The country wasn’t going to collapse on his watch.  Tucker will keep things held together with chicken wire and string.  Tucker didn’t want historians writing about how the United States – the greatest country on the face of the earth – collapsed while John J. Tucker was the commander-in-chief.  “Not going to happen”, Tucker told his advisors.  We will spend, borrow, and print.  We’ll let the next administration fight this problem.

During all this the people continued to believe the “next” administration was going to fix the problems.  The next set of elected Representatives and Senators would finally do something about the problems.  The next President –you know the one that promised to end the deficit spending and not add to the debt — has invested in lots of paper and ink.  He’s confident the printing presses will be the answer.

As for the people, they continue to believe the answer lies in the next election.  They believe change will come, only to be disappointed once again.  They continue to defend the lies.  They continue to defend their political party.  The people continue to blame others in society for their woes.  Meanwhile the drumbeat of the status quo rolls on in Washington, D.C.

While the people search for crumbs the country is crumbling around them.

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