An economy destroyed By Paul Craig Roberts Recently, the bond rating agencies that gave junk derivatives triple-A ratings threatened to downgrade US Treasury bonds if the White House and Congress did not reach a deficit reduction deal and debt ceiling increase. The downgrade threat is not credible, and neither is the default threat. Both are make-believe crises that are being hyped in order to force cutbacks in Medicare, Medicaid, and Social Security. If the rating agencies downgraded Treasuries, the company executives would be arrested for the fraudulent ratings that they gave to the junk that Wall Street peddled to the rest of the world. The companies would be destroyed and their ratings discredited. The US government will never default on its bonds, because the bonds, unlike those of Greece, Spain, and Ireland, are payable in its own currency. Regardless of whether the debt ceiling is raised, the Federal Reserve will continue to purchase the Treasurys debt. If Goldman Sachs is too big to fail, then so is the US government. There is no budget focus on the illegal wars and military occupations that the US government has underway in at least six countries or the 66-year old US occupations of Japan and Germany and the ring of military bases being constructed around Russia. The total military/security budget is in the vicinity of $1.1-$1.2 trillion, or 70% -75% of the federal budget deficit. In contrast, Social Security is solvent. Medicare expenditures are coming close to exceeding the 2.3% payroll tax that funds Medicare, but it is dishonest for politicians and pundits to blame the US budget deficit on "entitlement programs." Entitlements are funded with a payroll tax. Wars are not funded. The criminal Bush regime lied to Americans and claimed that the Iraq war would only cost $70 billion at the most and would be paid for with Iraq oil revenues. When Bushs chief economic advisor, Larry Lindsey, said the Iraq invasion would cost $200 billion, the White House Moron fired him. In fact, Lindsay was off by a factor of 20. Economic and budget experts have calculated that the Iraq and Afghanistan wars have consumed $4,000 billion in out-of-pocket and already incurred future costs. In other words, the ongoing wars and occupations have already eaten up the $4 trillion by which Obama hopes to cut federal spending over the next ten years. Bomb now, pay later. As taxing the rich is not part of the political solution, the focus is on rewarding the insurance companies by privatizing Medicare at some future date with government subsidized insurance premiums, by capping Medicaid, and by loading the diminishing middle class with additional Social Security tax. Washingtons priorities and those of its presstitutes could not be clearer. President Obama, like George W. Bush before him, both parties in Congress, the print and TV media, and National Public Radio have made it clear that war is a far more important priority than health care and old age pensions for Americans. The American people and their wants and needs are not represented in Washington. Washington serves powerful interest groups, such as the military/security complex, Wall Street and the banksters, agribusiness, the oil companies, the insurance companies, pharmaceuticals, and the mining and timber industries. Washington endows these interests with excess profits by committing war crimes and terrorizing foreign populations with bombs, drones, and invasions, by deregulating the financial sector and bailing it out of its greed-driven mistakes after it has stolen Americans pensions, homes, and jobs, by refusing to protect the land, air, water, oceans and wildlife from polluters and despoilers, and by constructing a health care system with the highest costs and highest profits in the world. Read more VDARE.com: 07/21/11 - The Enemy Is Washington The way to reduce health care costs is to take out gobs of costs and profits with a single payer system. A private health care system can continue to operate alongside for those who can afford it.