America Under Siege - The Enemy Among Us
Democracy Is Dying At The Hands Of Our Government
Who would have ever thought that democracy in America would fall as a result of our elected leaders and the Supreme Court of the United States? There is a power struggle going on in Congress right now. The biggest part of it balances on whether we should continue to enrich the large corporations of America or whether we should take care of the needs of our citizens. Which way it will go is uncertain. The lines drawn between the two ideologies are party lines. The Republicans are for big business. The Democrats are for the people.
There are currently 44 states facing budget deficits of 125 billion dollars. California and Illinois alone represent 35.1 billion of that figure. These two states are home to 50 million people. Many cuts in state budgets will include education and police protection. A recent study by the Wall Street Journal showed that the total compensation paid to employees at publicly traded Wall Street banks in 2010 was 135 billion dollars. This was a combined 5.7 percent increase over the total paid in 2009. So, while 44 states face an economic crisis, bankers on Wall Street were paid 10 billion dollars more in 2010 than these states need to balance their budgets.
The average price per gallon of gasoline in the U.S. on March 7, 2011, three days ago, was $3.52 per gallon for regular. The adjusted gross income (income after expenses) for Exxon Mobil Oil in 2010 was 52.959 billion dollars. The CEO, Rex Tillerman received compensation totaling $27,168,317.00 (27.2 million) in 2009 (latest figure available).
The average monthly health insurance premium for an individual in the U.S. is $218.00 per month, so a family of 4 is averaging about $872.00 per month, if the adult members are under the age of 40. It goes up from there with increase in age. The CEO of Aetna Health Insurance Company made $18,058,162.00 (18.1 million) in 2008 (latest figure available). Aetna's adjusted gross income for 2010 was 1.6 billion dollars.
The average interest rate American Express charges on credit card balances is 14.24% for accounts in good standing. In 2010 the company had adjusted gross income of 4.1 billion dollars. The 2010 compensation for Kenneth Chenault, the CEO was $16,300,000.00 (16.3 million).
The most remarkable thing about all of this is that each of these instances above only represents one large corporation in their industry. All the others, not mentioned, did relatively the same. Now as a result of a ruling by the Supreme Court, corporations can contribute as much as they want to political ad campaigns of our elected officials. In the 2010 mid-term election they paid $300,000,000.00 (three hundred million) for political ads telling us who to vote for and also who to vote against. They are now the proud owners of the Republican House.
Since 2008, 1,006,024 homes in America have been forclosed upon. The unemployment rate is now at approximately 9.5 %. Bankruptcies since 2008 are at 4,099,171. People below the Poverty Threshold at the end of 2009 were numbered at 43.6 million, up 3.8 million from 2008.
So, my question is this, are we already paying too much for corporate greed? Our Republican Party says no! The figures of profit and compensation above tell an entirely different story, though. Could the oil companies lower gas prices by just 50 cents per gallon? No! Could health insurance companies lower premiums by just $10.00 per person each month? No! Could banks lower the interest rate on credit cards by 2%? No! All these moves would take pressure off the already heavily burdened middle-class, but what we are being told is that the big corporations of Wall Street, publicly traded companies, need to increase their profits. And, the Republican held House is telling us that it must come on the backs of the people.
I consider myself to be an independent and have no party affiliation, but I am an American and I care deeply for this country and its people. The insanity that we are allowing to go on, paid for by your local bank, oil company and health insurance company, will be the death of democracy in America. The people already have no voice in the media. These large companies made sure of that in the mid-term election. Now we will have no influence in the Congress, either. The only say we have is in our vote. Please stop selling America out, to giant business interests, with your vote. Please!
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This is not to say that political conservatives have a lower IQ, it is that people with lower IQ's tend toward political conservatism. And for the record, I am a moderate independent myself.