Financial Tyranny: ‘We the People’ Are the New Permanent Underclass in America
By John W Whitehead: Americans can no longer afford to get sick and there’s a reason why. That’s because a growing number of Americans are struggling to stretch their dollars far enough to pay their bills, get out of debt and ensure that if and when an illness arises, it doesn’t bankrupt them. This is a reality that no amount of partisan political bickering can deny.
Many Americans can no longer afford health insurance, drug costs or hospital bills. They can’t afford to pay rising healthcare premiums, out-of-pocket deductibles and prescription drug bills.
They can’t afford to live, and now they can’t afford to get sick or die, either.
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It’s a gamble any way you look at it, and the medical community is not helping.
Healthcare costs are rising, driven by a medical, insurance and pharmaceutical industry that are getting rich off the sick and dying.
Appallingly, Americans spend more than any developed country on healthcare and have less to show for it. While Obamacare (a.k.a. the Affordable Care Act) may have made health insurance more accessible to greater numbers of individuals, it has failed to make healthcare any more affordable. Indeed, health care in America has become just another way of making corporations rich at consumer expense.
This is how the middle classes, who fuel the nation’s economy and fund the government’s programs, get screwed repeatedly.
We’re living a financial nightmare.
We have no real say in how the government runs, or how our taxpayer funds are used, but that doesn’t prevent the government from fleecing us at every turn and forcing us to pay for endless wars that do more to fund the military industrial complex than protect us, pork barrel projects that produce little to nothing, and a police state that serves only to imprison us within its walls.
If you have no choice, no voice, and no real options when it comes to the government’s claims on your property and your money, you’re not free.
Consider: The government can seize your home and your car (which you’ve bought and paid for) over nonpayment of taxes. Government agents can freeze and seize your bank accounts and other valuables if they merely “suspect” wrongdoing. And the IRS insists on getting the first cut of your salary to pay for government programs over which you have no say.
Unsurprisingly, the government has used its tax powers under the 16th Amendment to the Constitution to advance its own imperialistic agendas and the courts have repeatedly upheld the government’s power to penalize or jail those who refused to pay their taxes.
All the while the government continues to do whatever it likes—levy taxes, rack up debt, spend outrageously and irresponsibly—with little thought for the plight of its citizens.
If Americans managed their personal finances the way the government mismanages the nation’s finances, we’d all be in debtors’ prison by now.
Still, the government remains unrepentant, unfazed and undeterred in its money grabs.
While we’re struggling to get by, the police state is spending our hard-earned tax dollars to further entrench its powers and entrap its citizens.
For instance, American taxpayers have been forced to shell out $5.6 trillion since 9/11 for the military industrial complex’s costly, endless so-called “war on terrorism.” The 16-year war in Afghanistan, which now stands as the longest and one of the most expensive wars in U.S. history, is about to get even longer and more costly, thanks to President Trump’s promise to send more troops over.
In this way, the military industrial complex will get even richer, and the American taxpayer will be forced to shell out even more funds for programs that do little to enhance our lives, ensure our happiness and well-being, or secure our freedoms.
This is no way of life.
Yet it’s not just the government’s endless wars that are bleeding us dry.
We’re also being forced to shell out money for surveillance systems to track our movements, money to further militarize our already militarized police, money to allow the government to raid our homes and bank accounts, money to fund schools where our kids learn nothing about freedom and everything about how to comply, and on and on.
Are you getting the picture yet?
The government isn’t taking our money to make our lives better. Just take a look at the nation’s failing infrastructure, and you’ll see how little is being spent on programs that advance the common good.
We’re being robbed blind so the governmental elite can get richer. This is nothing less than financial tyranny.
“We the people” have become the new, permanent underclass in America.
It’s tempting to say that there’s little we can do about it, except that’s not quite accurate.
There are a few things we can do (demand transparency, reject cronyism and graft, insist on fair pricing and honest accounting methods, call a halt to incentive-driven government programs that prioritize profits over people), but it will require that “we the people” stop playing politics and stand united against the politicians and corporate interests who have turned our government and economy into a pay-to-play exercise in fascism.
We’ve become so invested in identity politics that label us based on our political leanings that we’ve lost sight of the one label that unites us: we’re all Americans.
As I make clear in my book Battlefield America: The War on the American People, the powers-that-be want to pit us against one another. They want us to adopt an “us versus them” mindset that keeps us powerless and divided. Trust me, the only “us versus them” that matters anymore is “we the people” against the police state.
We’re all in the same boat, folks, and there’s only one real life preserver: that’s the Constitution and the Bill of Rights.
The Constitution starts with those three powerful words: “We the people.”
The message is this: there is power in our numbers.
That remains our greatest strength in the face of a governmental elite that continues to ride roughshod over the populace. It remains our greatest defense against a government that has claimed for itself unlimited power over the purse (taxpayer funds) and the sword (military might). As Patrick Henry declared in the last speech before his death, “United we stand, divided we fall.”
This holds true whether you’re talking about health care, war spending, or the American police state.
Constitutional attorney and author John W. Whitehead is founder and president of The Rutherford Institute. His new book Battlefield America: The War on the American People (SelectBooks, 2015) is available online at www.amazon.com. Whitehead can be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org.