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Commentary Last Updated: Dec 21st, 2007 - 00:47:23

Wealth and Hellness� -- the Bush years
By Jerry Mazza
Online Journal Associate Editor

Dec 21, 2007, 00:16

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Yes, it was a Freudian slip for Health and Wellness. But I was talking to someone about the expanding void in health care, rising rates for private insurance, higher co-pays, along with the trimming of Social Security, Medicare and Medicaid benefits in relation to the net bonanza in HMO and insurance company revenues. These factors, added to the general decay in the quality of life in America in the Bush Years, more aptly fits with a state of Wealth and Hellness.

In fact, include in that Hellness the uninsured. The National Coalition on Health Care reports �Nearly 47 million Americans, or 16 percent of the population, were without health insurance in 2005, the latest government data available. The number of uninsured rose 1.3 million between 2004 and 2005 and has increased by almost 7 million people since 2000. The large majority of the uninsured (80 percent) are native or naturalized citizens. Read the rest and weep.�

Yet the Wealth side of the Bush years is that the rich are getting richer, the poor getting poorer. Thanks to the free market mentality that rules America and its world. The rich are being taxed with a retrogressive system, shamefully cutting their liability to the very system that provides their bulging incomes. These tax cuts eliminate literally trillions of dollars in treasury income from now into the foreseeable future.

The progressive tax, favored for its fairness by FDR and the New Deal -- i.e., the more you earn the more you pay in taxes -- provided a major income stream to the federal government and supported the strength of the infrastructure that held the financial as well as political system together. That tax system has been seriously diminished. Remember that Clinton for all of his faults left Junior Bush with a $260 billion budget surplus, long since gone; annual deficits running in the $400 to $500 billions ever since; our annual trade deficits have been running even higher.

It is the neocon dream to totally destroy New Deal gains, along with Social Security, Medicare, Medicaid, and any other social assistance. Better to underwrite Blackwater, Bechtel, Halliburton, KBR, Enron, Rupert Murdoch, and Warren Buffett, the second richest man in America, who boasts that he pays less in taxes than his employees. FYI, Buffett�s been called in his Gen Re Reinsurance Company trial, accused of helping AIG (another beauty, formerly headed by Hank Greenberg) manipulate its financial statements to the tune of $500 million.

This while the muscle of labor unions has been destroyed wholesale to reduce our work force to a low-rent service labor, challenged by illegal immigrants for work. Manufacturing plants have been destroyed along with their hundreds of thousands of jobs to tighten the noose around American workers, who are hardly expected to stop consuming. This makes America hardly the industrial giant that churned out the arsenal to win WW II.

This while war (excuse me) defense expenditures have been drastically increased, sending us into the deepest national debt hole in our history, some $9 trillion and counting.

Wired�s Dangeroom reports �It's not just the troops that are surging. War costs are up for American operations in Iraq and Afghanistan* -- way up, more than a third higher than last year. In the first half of this fiscal year, the Defense Department's "average monthly obligations for contracts and pay is running about $12 billion per month, well above the $8.7 billion in FY2006," says a new report, obtained by DANGER ROOM, from the nonpartisan Congressional Research Service.

�Additional war costs for the next 10 years could total about $472 billion if troop levels fall to 30,000 by 2010, or $919 billion if troop levels fall to 70,000 by about 2013. If these estimates are added to already appropriated amounts, total funding about $980 billion to $1.4 trillion by 2017.�

Add to this, the Washington Post report, The Army�s $200 Billion Makeover -- March to Modernize Proves Ambitious and Controversial, not to mention outrageous costly. Read it.

One can say that debt is us. In fact, some of the recent subprime debt has been financially engineered by hedge funds (highly worthwhile reading) to make still more money for Wall Street. That with help from the money-spewing Federal Reserve, which recently gave the Street another quarter-point cut in interests rates. Thank you again, Ben.

More surge in Hellness

Increasing also are hellacious numbers of the dead and wounded in our two ongoing preemptive wars, a million or more Iraqis and Afghans dead, nearly 4,000 American troops gone, Iran looming in the focused scopes of the mad Cheney/Bush Company, raising those numbers even higher on both sides, perhaps on both sides of the world, presenting the potential for a world conflagration.

In the shadow of this apocalypse is, by the inciting incident of 9/11, which now the former President of Italy as myriad others say was an inside job. So, we all live in a yellow-orange-pink-red-color-coded submarine -- submerged beneath the daily generated angst, the reality of depleted uranium infecting our air, threatened dirty bombs about to explode in our midst, and the very real plagues of AIDS and genocide savaging America and the Third World. Behind this is a CIA whose main business seems to be creating as much chaos as possible. Today, there is the rampant fear that no place is safe, not Canada, Cucamonga, the Caspian basin, Calcutta, Colorado, Cancun, Chile, Chicago, save for the Cayman Islands (at least from taxes).

We are instead in Dante�s Inferno, walking through the nine circles of this Hellness, waiting for the stream of light to lead us out of the very center of human corruption, which parenthetically is also corrupting the natural world that sustains us. Was it ever like this before? No, and yes.

Where did Wealth and Hellness come from?

One could say that the Bush Years are the culmination of a post WW II, 60-year attempt to have the CIA�s shadow government work for shadow leaders above and beyond the titular leaders of our government. Shadow leaders such as the Bilderbergers, the Elites, the Bribers, the Mafias of the world, the criminal (and government) arms and drug dealers, the stokers of the flames of this Hellness. Their sole end is to facilitate the bankrupting of the US Treasury and working people, transferring the wealth to the rich and super-rich.

Consequently, we see our infrastructure crumble; in fact being privatized like so many toll roads to loot even more money from the average citizen and enrich the likes of Rudy Giuliani, a partner in the Giuliani Bracewell Texas law firm, now busy making private deals with Australian and Spanish firms to take over American highways and byways. Right action has gone so far to the right that it is lost on the neocon highway to hegemony�s Nowhere.

And behind the guns, tanks, armies, airplanes, rockets, bombs and armored vehicles, walk the rest of us, like an ever-increasing crowd of Dickens-like stragglers, the Brechtian Beggars Opera. We are a nation whose treasury has been/continues to be looted, whose pockets have been picked and whose health and welfare has been tossed in the garbage.

And from the remains of that garbage, once legitimate healthcare plans, pensions, retirement funds, savings, 401(k)s, grows the ever-blossoming money-tree of multi-national corporate profits, the ever-climbing (until it explodes) Dow Jones Average and NASDAQ Index. All to yield billions in bonuses to the Wall Street boys; that Wall Street that runs around the world like an animated green/gold paved thoroughfare, circling and circling until you can no longer see the blue planet, just a glimmer of gold/green (money green).

These are the people who created the capital drought panic with subprime lending. These are the people who allowed the banks to pass on all their bad loans to the investment community, to collateralize it until it vanishes, as they make fortunes passing the bad paper from one hand to another, and, ironically, scoop up the sold-on-the cheap properties by debt-drowning �owners.� There is no bottom to this pit, except to pave it and its practitioners over like hell with concrete and let them experience Hellness.

Pre-WW II to now

Previous to the Second World War and the post-war economic surge, we had the Depression, and before that the Roaring 20s, Prohibition and the drunken growth of criminality and low-margin lending, so that America could stay drunk one way or the other. And before that, came World War One and that slaughter, manipulated by the Morgans, the Rockefellers, Rothschilds, Robber Barons of the late 19th and early 20th centuries. And so it goes.

But we must fight our way out of this condition of Wealth and Hellness. Fight to find the light back to our world and reclaim it from those who want the whole pie and then some. It won�t come easy, but it will come if we fight. It won�t happen if we don�t fight. At the root of all depression, economic or psychological, is the individual (collected into a society) that won�t fight back and thus feels disempowered, impotent, depressed. Anti-depressants are not the answer. Kicking ass is.

Let us not be the elites� desired �reduction in population.� We have by far the greater numbers, but we must have an equal will, the collected strength to beat their bums into the ground. That�s what it comes down to; simple as that. This government, once the protector of the oppressed is now the oppressor of the unprotected. It�s time to show the oppressors who�s the boss, constitutionally and every other which way.

Jerry Mazza is a freelance writer living in New York. Reach him at

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