The protests against health insurance reform has laid bare the war between the oligarchy (Ruling Class) against the citizenry. Obama should have described the health insurance problem as class warfare in order to focus the debate. Now, the corporate powers have unleashed a barrage of attacks, most of which are simply false (death panels, abortion payments). The ruling class media eliminated the single payer debate at the outset, and has since limited the discussion from the necessary step of a public option. By the time you read this the public option will be a dead issue. Instead the propaganda machine (TV) is focusing on the false debate created by industry and the ruling class resulting in an apparent fight between right and left, when the fight should be against the ruling class.

Thom Hartman correctly pointed out that the angry people on the right and the angry people on the left are angry at the same thing: corporate power. Everyone feels the American way of life is slipping quickly away. Our children can no longer expect to achieve the standard of living that we older folks enjoyed during our lifetime. NAFTA did what the populist critics expected it to do when passed in 1993: which is to lower the standard of living and enrich the ruling class. Ross Perot predicted the "giant sucking sound" of job loss. On the heals of NAFTA, corporations gained more power when the banks were deregulated during the Clinton administration (repeal of Glass Steagall Act). This lead to a near total meltdown of our economic system in 2008. The fix was to have the taxpayers fund the losses. The first TARP request was $800,000 million dollars, eventually turning into $296 billion spent of $350 billion allocated. Subsequent to bailout, Citigroup reported a 2nd quarter profit of $3 billion. Even those who still believe that unrestrained predatory capitalism is the greatest (or only) economic system can see that the Citigroup profits should belong to the taxpayer but instead is money that has been transferred from the taxpayer to the Ruling Class. You would think that a longer time frame would have been necessary to disguise this theft, but when you control the "news", you don't even have to hide your crimes.

Obama will find it impossible to take on the ruling class if he allows them to choose the terrain of the battlefield. Like Robert E. Lee at Gettysburg, the enemy holds the high ground. But American presidents have challenged the Oligarchy in the past. Franklin D. Roosevelt was raised in a wealthy family but famously challenged the "Economic Royalists". (see: Traitor to His Class: The Privileged Life and Radical Presidency of Franklin Delano Roosevelt’). FDR fashioned social security, which brought on charges of “socialist” and the wrath of the oligarchy. For his trouble, the ruling class decided to overthrow his government via a military coup known as the Business Plot in 1934, but the plot was thwarted by General Smedley Butler.

Theodore Roosevelt used the Sherman Antitrust Act to break up Standard Oil and the Northern Securities Company. Eisenhower warned of the rising power of the Military Industrial (congressional) Complex. John F. Kennedy challenged the power of the Federal Reserve, as well as the secret government as represented by, but not limited to, the Central Intelligence Agency. Kennedy challenged this power outright by ordering withdrawal from Vietnam and was killed for it. President Carter was the last man to use the Sherman Antitrust Act, breaking up AT&T.

Predatory Capitalism was turbo-charged by Ronald Reagan, who did indeed achieve a revolution. Tax rates on the rich fell from 70% to 35%. He declared war on the unions, with the first salvo being his firing of the air traffic controllers. He used the secret government ruthlessly to fight the popular government in Nicaragua, resulting in the Iran Contra affair and the Keating five scandal. During his administration, the CIA ran cocaine into inner city neighborhoods in Los Angeles, Detroit, and beyond as described by Gary Webb in his book Dark Alliance. Webb was later “suicided”. The BCCI banking scandal brewed during the Reagan administration but broke in 1991, under George Bush, Sr.

Democratic President Bill Clinton facilitated the corporate onslaught with his support of NAFTA and the repeal of banking regulations. Today, there are 15 million people out of work who were not unemployed ten years ago. Clinton should be credited for paying down the deficit which resulted in an increase of jobs and even middle class prosperity, which now appears to be on life support. The first of two stolen elections gave us George W. Bush.  To discuss his support of the ruling class, we must somehow ignore the warnings Bush received of an impending terrorist attack, and his utter failure to protect America from 9/11.  We must set aside the lies about Weapons of Mass Destruction and the lies about ties between Hussein and 9/11. Let's ignore the failed war itself, and its costs in dollars (3 trillion) and lives (4500 American soldiers). Let's ignore the torture, warrantless wiretaps, the outing of a CIA agent, the attorney general firings, political prosecutions, oil company profits, environmental destruction, and Katrina. For sake of this discussion, let's ignore Dick Cheney.

Instead, let us focus on the Bush tax cuts for wealthy Americans, which reduced their tax rate from 39.6% to 35%. Let us take note of the unfunded "War on Terror" which is financed with over $500 billion borrowed from China. Recall the runaway Wall Street power and the Madoff pyramid scheme that was allowed to continue despite the documentation presented to the FEC. All of this resulted in Treasury Sec. Henry Paulson asking for a bailout of Wall Street, the additional bailout of AIG, and a bailout of the automakers. The Federal Reserve is creating money, but how much? Congress does not have the power to audit the Fed.

The economic meltdown of October 2008 should have been the end of unrestrained predatory capitalism. Instead, predatory capitalism has taken on the challenge. The effort to reform health care is met with claims of “socialism,” charges once leveled at Social Security and Medicare. Be afraid of socialism! Insurance companies are paying $1.4 million dollars every day to shape reform. The idea of taxing the rich to pay for reform is fading from view as Obama retreats from the fight and mainstream media protects the interests of the wealthy.

The oligarchy appears poised to kill real reform involving a public option. The government will find a way to fund health care for those not currently able to obtain coverage, which will be a windfall to the health insurance industry. You will be forced to buy insurance from private health care companies. This will result in a nice fat pay raise for Edward Hanway, CEO of Cigna, who's current five year compensation is $120.51 million, and who has unexcersized stock options worth $28,881,000.  The compensation for CEO of United Health, Stephen Hemsley, was $13.2 million in 2007 with stock options of over $3 million.

The distribution of wealth in the United States continues to favor the wealthy, which is an understatement to say the least. Real middle class income fell by $2000 per family between 2000 and 2007, despite significant productivity increases. America needs a progressive President who will take on the economic royalists. The health care debate is class warfare. The ruling class is winning. Again.