Wall Street and the big banks owe $1.5 trillion for the bailout (at least). The Super Congress needs to cut $1.5 trillion over ten years. Get the money from Wall Street and cancel the Super Congress. Problem solved.
In George Eliot's Victorian novel Middlemarch, set around 1830, just prior to the queen's ascension to the throne, one of the main characters, Dr. Lydgate, comments:
In this stupid world most people never consider that a thing is good to be done unless it is done by their own set.
180 years later, and things haven't changed a bit.
If we defaulted on our debt when we were perfectly capable of paying it, we would be be prosecuted for fraud. But when Congress does it, they call it politics.a
The crazies in the United States House of Representatives would have you believe it were so. They say fix that budget before we'll raise the debt ceiling. If we don't get our fix, they announce, there's no deal. We'll just default until things get straightened out. (Image: George Romero)
Let's see what would happen to you or me. We are unable to pay our bills, unless we tap a special line of credit that we've used in the past, one that has never failed us. We'll have to raise some money and cut some expenses too.
We're tired of paying bills and just want to stop for a while. We file for bankruptcy following all of the required procedures. The minute we file, we're granted an automatic stay on our debt. We are now protected, no bills to pay.
This president will never do a single thing to oppose the the agenda of the ruling financial elite unless, of course, members of the ruling elite tell him to oppose something meaningless just for the sake of appearances.
Answer: The president is not in office to represent those people. He was selected, funded and carried over the finish line by corporate America. Look at the appointment of Wall Streeter Timothy Geithner, the bailouts, and the failure to prosecute any of the crooks who caused the current recession. He's serving the people who put him in office. Those people don't need Social Security and Medicare.
It's time for Plan B. The White House is about to be sold to the same people who bought it in 2008. The front page of today's New York Times says it all. President Obama is on the hunt for campaign cash and the Wall Street crowd represents his main target. After all, he and his "good friend Tim" (Geithner) delivered in the biggest way possible. Obama must be thinking that it's payback time! Pony up fellas.
This much is clear. There will be no federal prosecutions of Wall Street crooks for the 2008 financial collapse, no day of judgment for massive mortgage fraud before, during and after the housing bubble, and no representation for the people the in the White House, no matter who wins in 2012. Populist rhetoric will guarantee a place on the no-fly list for any who stray from the new party line.
The Times article resorts to irony right out of the gate:
"Mr. Obama, who enraged many financial industry executives a year and a half ago by labeling them “fat cats” and criticizing their bonuses, followed up the meeting with phone calls to those who could not attend." New York Times, June 13
The ForeclosureGate scandal poses a threat to Wall Street, the big banks, and the political establishment. If the public ever gets a complete picture of the personal, financial, and legal assault on citizens at their most vulnerable, the outrage will be endless. (Image)
Foreclosure practices lift the veil on a broader set of interlocking efforts to exploit those hardest hit by the endless economic hard times, citizens who become financially desperate due medical conditions. A 2007 study found that medical expenses or income losses related to medical crises among bankruptcy filers or family members triggered 62% of bankruptcies. There is no underground conspiracy. The facts are in plain sight.
Akin to the futile cycle of bipartisan outreach, citizen and union advocates, natural persons, and others were joined by sometime presidential candidate Ralph Nader in trying to be heard by sometime champion, President Obama, as he walked to the Chamber of Commerce side of Lafayette Park.
Before it ever arrived at the president's desk for signature, the health reform act contained a fatal poison pill.
The most creative sector of the business community has a dagger at its heart in the form of the relentless, unyielding, and over burdening cost of health insurance. The self-employed and very small businesses have seen their insurance premiums climb 20% to 75% since 2009. To purchase an adequate family plan, a self-employed person will pays an amount 50% to 70% of the nation's median personal income, $32,000 a year, for family health plan. This includes premiums, deductibles, and out of pocket expenses. That is twice the cost for relatively generous plans at medium to large size companies. Very small businesses, two to twenty employees, pay about the same (Image: Paul Henman)
Wasn't health reform supposed to take care of just this sort of inequity? Didn't the title of the bill say it all? The Patient Protection and Affordable Health Care Act There is no protection for the self-employed when they have these stark choices facing them due to unaffordable insurance rates. They can give up working for themselves; buy adequate insurance and take a huge hit to income; buy a substandard plan and hope that whatever comes up is covered; or, abandon insurance at real risk to their health and, in some cases, their lives.
The attempted assassination of Representative Gabrielle Giffords raises the bar for political lies and hate to a new level. Previously, incendiary political lies stopped just short violent imagery. Sarah Palin's Take Back 20 campaign presented a violent threat in the form of rifle site crosshairs placed over the congressional districts of 20 Democratic supporters of health care reform.
Ironically, Giffords sent Palin a clear message to end the violent allusion in the ads. In this brief video, she warns:
Some of us have known this for a long time. Some of us just found out and some will find out very soon. There are few, if any, elected officials who really care about our interests unless we're one of the few thousand ultra rich who control Congress and the White House.
(Washington) President Barack Obama has confided his plans to become a registered Republican some time before the end of the lame-duck session of the 111th Congress. Speaking to his inner circle, he lamented failing to bring the two major parties together. One of his confidants reported Obama saying, "It's really just one party anyway and clearly the Republicans have the confidence of the people. I can finish my original mission much easier within the GOP." Sources wouldn't elaborate on what that mission is. (Image: juvetson)
Obama clearly signaled his intentions through two recent tactical moves. He relented on ending the Bush-era tax breaks for the top 1% of income earners. The 3% reduction in the top rate accounts for over $1.0 trillion in lost revenues. Prior to the 2010 midterm elections, Obama hinted that he opposed a renewal of the tax breaks. It looked like the president might win this one with speculation that the tax breaks would likely die due to the post midterm atmosphere.
Internet poster Jonathyn over at The Agonist came up with the most innovative and probably accurate explanation of the Democrats plans for social security. He asked the question, why aren't the Democrats making threats to Social Security the centerpiece of their congressional campaigns? The answer is as enlightening as Sherlock Holmes observation about the dog that didn't bark. If they're going to blow up Social Security in the lame duck session of Congress by endorsing Obama's Deficit Reduction Commission, there's a real risk to campaigning on saving the program. Can they be this vile? Are they this stupid? - Michael Collins (Reprinted with the permission of the author.)
And, no, I don't mean Obama, though Newt Gingrich (channeling Dinesh D'Sousa and his Forbes piece) has called him that, I mean a real Luo--and one of the people with great influence upon me as I was growing up.
His name was Alphonse O'Kuku. I first met him in 1963, and last saw him in 1990, not too many years before he died.
The White House snatched back one of the few bones it's thrown to the people outraged at the looting of the United States Treasury by failed financial concerns - the big banks and Wall Street. The promised appointment Elizabeth Warren as head of the new agency to protect consumers from the financial services industry has been seriously downgraded. Instead of running the Consumer Finance Protection Agency, Warren's role has been diminished to that of special assistant to the president and adviser to Treasury Secretary Tim Geithner.
"President Obama, sidestepping a possibly heated confirmation battle, will appoint Harvard law professor Elizabeth Warren as a special advisor to the Treasury Department to launch the government's powerful new Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, according to two Democratic officials familiar with the decision." LA Times, Sept 15
An interim appointment would have given the no-nonsense Warren the full authority to structure consumer bureau in the interests of the people. A special adviser role is defined in a New York Times article as follows:
"Ms. Warren will be named an assistant to the president, a designation that is held by senior White House staff members, including Rahm Emanuel, the chief of staff.
"She will also be a special adviser to the Treasury secretary, Timothy F. Geithner, and report jointly to both men." September 15
The title of the Times article says it all: Warren to Unofficially Lead Consumer Agency.
Of course, President Obama could have set it up for Warren to officially lead the agency through an interim appointment. Warren's outstanding efforts and her extraordinary record of being right on the issues are more than enough justification for that.
A revealing article appeared in Voice of America (VOA) on August 12. Defense Secretary Robert Gates made the following statement:
"I think we have an agreement with the Iraqis that both governments have agreed to, that we will be out of Iraq at the end of 2011," he (Gates) said. "If a new government is formed there and they want to talk about beyond 2011, we're obviously open to that discussion. But that initiative will have to come from the Iraqis." Robert Gates in "US Military Prepares to Leave Iraq, But May Stay If Asked", Voice of America (VOA), Aug 12