Social Security and Medicare is not one of them. But soon the middle class will be forced to work longer for their SS and pay more for less in Medicare.
It is no coincident that the spiraling of US government debt and the redistribution of the wealth occur simultaneously.
The tunneling of the wealth from the coffers of the taxpayers into the hands of the wealthy elite is no accident nor is it a conspiracy. It occurs in broad daylight for all to see. Four of the top ten highest paid CEO's are from the Media industry. Do you think they will ring alarm bells signifying the destruction of the US middle class? Of course not.
Corruption and incompetence, the rewarding of failures, is an institutionalized aspect of the US government. The failures of Bernanke, Geithner, Wall St. and others were epic in the destruction caused, but all these parties have since been rewarded with greater wealth, more than had before the crisis, or appointments and re-nominations to positions of greater power and authority.
I once read that you believe in things because you needed to; what you believe in has no value of it's own, no function. A dog scratches where it itches. Different dogs itch in different places. I'm sure this is true.
The latest iteration of this decades long process began soon after the 9/11 attacks as the country was at best misled, at worst lied into an invasion and occupation of Iraq. An exercise in flag waving, jingoism and patriotism. A manipulation of one's belief system. A war who's final price tag has been put at $3 trillion dollars. The financial crisis was another opportunity to instill fear in the citizens and to prey on their belief systems. Give us $700 billion or Martial law will be imposed and ATM's won't spit out pieces of green paper. The ruling by fear and manipulation of long held beliefs appears to be the only tool available to the US government. Without them, the country is ungovernable so expect much more of this in the future.
The newest example. Hot off the press:
"If investors around the world thought that the full faith and credit of the United States was not being backed up, if they thought that we might renege on our IOUs, it could unravel the entire financial system," Obama told a CBS News town-hall meeting.
"We could have a worse recession than we already had, a worse financial crisis than we already had."
More spreading of fear from Obushma. Bernanke is currently purchasing 70% of Treasury debt. It is impossible for the current debt load of the US to be paid in full without inflation or a massive spike in hiring and wage growth that would create vast sums of revenue for the US Treasury. Don't hold your breath. Fear of not raising the debt ceiling is invalid, a red herring and an attempt to kick the can further down the road. If you reach your debt limit and your costs exceed your income more debt doesn't change that fact. It just delays the inevitable. The spineless and captured politicians have no desire to lead and make the difficult choices that are needed.
One small example is the belief in affordable housing for all. "HUD for America, one big neighborhood." I share in this belief but am also aware the due to corruption and incompetence the US government is incapable of accomplishing goals outside of anything that doesn't include bullets, bombs and banks. The US defense industry, Wall St. and the financial sector thrive as the bottom 80-90% are being ground into dust.
"In Inglewood, Calif., a sprawling, overgrown lot two blocks from city hall frustrates senior citizens who were promised a state-of-the-art housing complex more than four years ago. Although the city invested $2 million in HUD funds, the developer doesn’t have the financing to move forward.
In Newark, two partially completed duplexes sit empty in a neighborhood blighted by boarded-up homes lost to foreclosure. The city paid nearly $400,000 to build the houses, but after a decade of delays, the developer folded and never finished. The money has not been repaid.
In Orange, Tex., 35-year-old laborer Jay Breed lives next to a dumping ground littered with tires and other trash, where a nonprofit developer was supposed to build 50 houses for the poor. Five years later, with $140,000 in HUD money gone, no homes have gone up.
“It’s a wasteland,” Breed said."