Were We Bought Off
Good Day my friends. Today, I sit angry somewhat. Mostly at myself, because I didn’t see what I’m about to tell you. At least I’m not alone, because no one was able to understand what was happening. We were sheep. We were bought off so that we would be docile and quiet. It worked as many Americans pushed forward with life, electing a new President in 2008. But, with a new President came a new dissent, and yet another bribe, except this time, the bribe was specifically structured to target a certain group of Americans, the working class. The bribe worked as intended, although dissent seemingly rose with the tea party movement, there was still a peaceful sense of being throughout. The calls for revolt and revolution were quickly dispelled as an act of insanity. Those who dispelled these calls were the insane ones.
What we are seeing in the Middle East and North Africa should give us all an opportunity to see that the people hold the power, not the tyrannical corrupt dictator led governments. I can safely say that in our nation, our military, the most powerful in the world, is made up completely of the people. They are our sons and daughters, grandsons and granddaughters, uncles and aunts, cousins and best friends, and in many cases mothers and fathers. Most Americans know this, but don’t understand how powerful it really makes them. A great deal of Americans are fed up with our corrupt government, and political leanings don’t matter. The banks are screwing us openly, the government don’t listen anymore, and both political parties are equally guilty. But yet we sit back and do nothing but bitch about it.
In February of 2008, President Bush signed the Economic Stimulus Act of 2008. At the time the economy was in decline and gas and food prices were on the rise. Americans were restless, all the while both parties were in campaign mode for the upcoming election. The package included tax breaks for equipment purchases by businesses, as well as payments to disabled veterans and some senior citizens. The bipartisan measure moved through Congress at relative break-neck speed, going from initial discussions to enactment in less than four weeks. The package will pay $600 to most individual taxpayers and $1,200 to married taxpayers filing joint returns, so long as they are below income caps of $75,000 for individuals and $150,000 for couples. There is also a $300 per child tax credit.Watch Bush sign stimulus bill into law The rebates will put about $120 billion in the hands of individuals in the hope that they will spend it and boost a faltering U.S. economy. In short, bribe #1.
In 2009, President Obama was inaugurated and the Democrats won a super majority in Congress. The economy was tanking and unemployment was on the rise. Americans were restless and angry over the bailouts of Wall Street. The government knew this, and soon rolled out the American Recovery & Reinvestment Act of 2009. This Act provided the following:
- Workers get a tax credit of 6.2% of their earned income, up to $400 for individuals and $800 for couples.
- Nonresident aliens and individuals claimed as dependents are not eligible.
- The credit phases out at 2% of income over $150,000 for couples and $75,000 for single filers, with the credit completely eliminated for couples earning more than $190,000 and singles earning more than $95,000.
- The credit is reduced by any other payments associated with the stimulus package, such as the Social Security benefit of $250.
The credit will come by way of a reduction of paycheck withholdings, meaning your paycheck will be slightly larger than before. It won’t seem like a lot but it’ll be $400 or $800 (or less, based on your income). This, combined with all the other cookies included, was supposed to save the economy and creat millions of jobs. It did neither! Bribe #2.
Now, in 2011, our economy is in serious jeopardy of a major catastrophe. We are seeing the rising food prices (but there is no inflation, they tell us), oil prices are on the rise due to the devaluing dollar and now because of the turmoil in the oil producing nations in the Middle East and North Africa. Calls from across the globe have been made to replace the dollar as the worlds reserve currency. March 11, 2011 has been announced as the “day of rage” in Saudi Arabia. A vast amount of the U.S. oil imports come from Saudi Arabia. If those imports cease because of civil unrest there, it will cripple the U.S. economy almost overnight. As an answer to this dilemma, The Saudi monarchy has taken a page from our government.
King Abdullah has responded to the building public discontent with a $37 billion package of subsidies, unemployment benefits, pay raises and housing promises, including the creation of 1,200 jobs and a 15% pay raise for all government employees.
Criticism was swift with critics calling the king’s gesture bribery and a bet against revolution. “People don’t revolt because they are hungry,” Saudi expat Ahmad al-Omran noted on his Saudi Jeans blog, “Money won’t solve our issues. We need true political and social reform.”
Leading intellectuals also warned the $37 billion in advance of protests did not substitute for meaningful political reform. In a released statement February 24, Saudi scholars, academics and a poet called on the royal family to learn from the unrest sweeping the region saying Arabs are looking for freedom, dignity and democracy.
As in Egypt, the people are fed up with oppression, especially the young. Here in America, we are beginning to see the high price of food, and with higher prices of oil driving up gas prices, the pinch is beginning to hurt. Our unemployment is far too high, government budgets are leading to further reductions in disposable income for government workers, plus losses of public service workers like police and firefighters. All the while, Americans have been bribed into literal silence by the very people that will lead us into destitution. As the Federal Reserve and big bankers continue to bankrupt America, it’s citizens are silenced by government peanut handouts. Shameful!
We the people have been bought off, bribed by the very people that are leading us into the abyss. We unknowingly accepted that bribe, because we were fooled into believing it was something else, when the something else failed to materialize, we were silent, because we got ours. Like the sheep being led to slaughter, we do nothing. If we continue to leave the fate of this nation in the hands of a corrupt Federal Government, the Federal Reserve and the ultra wealthy, we deserve our destiny. But we can change that destiny, and like the Egyptians, rise up in peaceful protest. Or, we can sit back and watch our destiny unfold on the TV and the internet and accept it.