Category: Fiscal irresponsibility

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End Of The American Dream
The American Dream Is Becoming A Nightmare And Life As We Know It Is About To Change

The Trans-Pacific Partnership: Permanently Locking In The Obama Agenda For 40 Percent Of The Global Economy

Obama Laughing


We have just witnessed one of the most significant steps toward a one world economic system that we have ever seen.  Negotiations for the Trans-Pacific Partnership have been completed, and if approved it will create the largest trading bloc on the planet.  But this is not just a trade agreement.  In this treaty, Barack Obama has thrown in all sorts of things that he never would have been able to get through Congress otherwise.  And once this treaty is approved, it will be exceedingly difficult to ever make changes to it.  So essentially what is happening is that the Obama agenda is being permanently locked in for 40 percent of the global economy.

The United States, Canada, Japan, Mexico, Australia, Brunei, Chile, Malaysia, New Zealand, Peru, Singapore and Vietnam all intend to sign on to this insidious plan.  Collectively, these nations have a total population of about 800 million people and a combined GDP of approximately 28 trillion dollars.

Of course Barack Obama is assuring all of us that this treaty is going to be wonderful for everyone

In hailing the agreement, Obama said, “Congress and the American people will have months to read every word” before he signs the deal that he described as a win for all sides.

“If we can get this agreement to my desk, then we can help our businesses sell more Made in America goods and services around the world, and we can help more American workers compete and win,” Obama said.

Sadly, just like with every other “free trade” agreement that the U.S. has entered into since World War II, the exact opposite is what will actually happen.  Our trade deficit will get even larger, and we will see even more jobs and even more businesses go overseas.


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Trans-Pacific Partnership Deal Struck As “Corporate Secrecy” Wins Again

Once again the corporatocracy wins as the so-called “Trojan horse” Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) trade agreement has been finalized. As WSJ reports, the U.S., Japan and 10 countries around the Pacific reached a historic accord Monday to lower trade barriers to goods and services and set commercial rules of the road for two-fifths of the global economy, officials said.

For the U.S., the TPP (reportedly) opens agricultural markets in Japan and Canada, tightens intellectual property rules to benefit drug and technology companies, and establishes a tightknit economic bloc to challenge China’s influence in the region (likely forcing their hand into separate trade agreements).

However, Obama is likely to face a tough fight to get the deal through Congress(especially in light of presidential candidates’ opposition).

The US, Japan and 10 other Pacific Rim economies have reached agreement to strike the largest trade pact seen anywhere in two decades, in what is a huge strategic and political win for US President Barack Obama and Japan’s Shinzo Abe.


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‘Massive’ Media Hype for TPP

It is amazing how the elite media can be dragged along by their noses into accepting that the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) can have a big impact on trade and growth. If I had a dollar for every time the deal was described as “massive,” or that we were told what share of world trade will be covered by the TPP, I would be richer than Bill Gates. The reality is that the vast majority of the trade between the countries in the TPP is already covered by trade agreements, as can be seen:

TPP countries with and without current trade agreements with the US. Source: International Monetary Fund

We continue to hear superlatives even as the evidence suggests the trade impact will be trivial. For example, the New York Times reported that US tariffs on Japanese cars will be phased out over 30 years. Wow! The most optimistic growth estimates show a cumulative gain by 2027 of less than 0.4 percent, roughly two months of normal GDP growth.

This doesn’t mean that the TPP can’t have an impact. It will lock in a regulatory structure, the exact parameters of which are yet to be seen. We do know that the folks at the table came from places like General Electric and Monsanto, not the AFL-CIO and the Sierra Club. We also know that it will mean paying more for drugs and other patent and copyright-protected material (forms of protection, whose negative impact is never included in growth projections), but we don’t yet know how much.

We also know that the Obama administration gave up an opportunity to include currency rules. This means that trade deficit is likely to persist long into the future. This deficit has been a persistent source of gap in demand, leading to millions of lost jobs. We filled this demand in the 1990s with the stock bubble and in the last decade in the housing bubble. It seems the latest plan from the Fed is that we simply won’t fill the gap in this decade.

Economist Dean Baker is co-director of the Center for Economic and Policy Research in Washington, DC. A version of this post originally appeared on CEPR’s blog Beat the Press (10/6/15).

This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs 3.0 Unported License.

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October 2, 2015 2:18 PM MS

Wall Street

Wall Street
Photo by Spencer Platt/Getty Images


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There Are Not Enough Jobs, And Austerity Is To Blame

The September jobs report is spooking even the optimists.



The especially poor September jobs report reinforces what many economists have been saying for months: The six-year recovery from the Great Recession has been too weak to create enough jobs for America’s growing population, let alone restore significant wage growth. 

Domestic fiscal austerity, not recent global volatility, is primarily to blame for the inadequate job growth, these economists argue.

The U.S. economy created 142,000 jobs in September, bringing average monthly job growth to 198,000 this year — way down from the monthly rate of 260,000 in 2014. Average hourly wages decreased slightly in September, meaning pay has risen just 2.2 percent in the past 12 months. 

In addition, the percentage of the population working or looking for work has dropped to 62.4 percent, the lowest it has been during the Obama presidency. The progressive Economic Policy Institute estimates that we need 2.6 million more jobs to keep up with population growth.


Warren Increases the Pain Factor for Choosing Corporate-Friendly Democrats

Unofficial _Sources

Sep. 8 2015, 4:11 p.m.

A little-noticed report on candidates for an open spot on the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) reaffirms that the reformist wing of the Democratic Party is winning the tactical battle over financial regulatory personnel.

Luis Aguilar, one of three Democratic SEC commissioners on the five-member panel, announced he would step down in May. Initially, the White House floated as a replacement Keir Gumbs, who has passed through the revolving door, from SEC staff to the white-collar corporate law firm Covington & Burling.

Covington & Burling counts most major U.S. banks among its clients, and is the home of former Attorney General Eric Holder and several of his top deputies. While at Covington, Gumbs allegedly gave CEOs tutorials on how to avoid disclosing their corporate political spending. He also represented the American Petroleum Institute before the SEC.


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Hillary Clinton’s campaign said the former secretary of state did not personally sign the paperwork that shifted then-Deputy Chief of Staff Huma Abedin’s position to a “special government employee” status, allowing the longtime Clinton aide to work at the State Department at the same time she was advising a private consulting firm and the Clinton Foundation.

Clinton spokesperson Brian Fallon confirmed to CBS News that Cheryl Mills, the then-secretary’s chief of staff, was the official who signed off on Abedin’s change to SGE status.

Through a Freedom of Information Act request, conservative watchdog group Judicial Watch obtained documents authorizing the title change that showed the former secretary of state listed as an “Immediate Supervisor” to Abedin. The form, in a “supervisory certification,” reads: “I certify that this is an accurate statement of the major duties and responsibilities of this position and is organizational relationships, and that the position is necessary to carry out Government functions for which I am responsible.” Hillary Clinton’s typed name and title appear in the box below it.

The documents were signed March 23, 2012, though the State Department has blocked out the signature.


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Huma Abedin, long-time aide of former Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton, was paid by a private firm to help stage an event with former President Bill Clinton. (Associated Press)
Huma Abedin, long-time aide of former Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton, was paid by a private firm to help stage an event with former President Bill Clinton. (Associated Press) more >
– The Washington Times – Tuesday, September 29, 2015

While still working at the State Department, Hillary Rodham Clinton confidante Huma Abedin was paid by the private consulting firm Teneo Holdings to help stage a star-studded reception that included her boss’ husband, Bill Clinton, along with George W. Bush and former British Prime Minister Tony Blair as speakers just days after the Benghazi tragedy, The Washington Times has learned.

Ms. Abedin’s work on the Sept. 20, 2012, event at the glamorous Essex House in New York City, helped entertain potential Teneo clients, wowing them with access to three former world leaders on a single stage.

It was one of the specific projects she worked on with Teneo during a seven-month period in which she earned a $15,000-a-month consulting fee from the firm while simultaneously receiving pay as a “special government employee” advising Mrs. Clinton at the State Department, according to interviews and documents.

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Hillary Rodham Clinton personally signed the controversial deal in 2012 that let her top aide Huma Abedin simultaneously work for the State Department and a private New York firm with deep ties to the Clinton family, according to records made public Thursday. (Associated Press)
Hillary Rodham Clinton personally signed the controversial deal in 2012 that let her top aide Huma Abedin simultaneously work for the State Department and a private New York firm with deep ties to the Clinton family, according to records made … more >
– The Washington Times – Thursday, September 24, 2015

Hillary Rodham Clinton personally signed off on the controversial deal in 2012 that let her top aide Huma Abedin simultaneously work for the State Department and a private New York firm with deep ties to the Clinton family, according to records made public Thursday.

The State Department emails released to select congressional committees and the watchdog group Judicial Watch also show that almost immediately after Ms. Abedin got permission to work in New York for the Teneo Group, she tried to get the federal government to pay the cost of her commuting back and forth to Washington to serve as a senior adviser to Mrs. Clinton, who was then the secretary of state.

“I need to come down to state tomorrow. Can state start paying for my travel since ny is now my base?” Ms. Abedin asked in an email to a top State Department administrative official on March 27, 2012, around the time her deal to become a special government employee (SGE) was struck.


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Huma Abedin, a longtime assistant to Hillary Rodham Clinton, has been under investigation for a $33,000 payout from the State Department. (Associated Press)
Huma Abedin, a longtime assistant to Hillary Rodham Clinton, has been under investigation for a $33,000 payout from the State Department. (Associated Press) more >
– The Washington Times – Wednesday, September 9, 2015

Federal investigators formally investigated top Hillary Rodham Clinton aide Huma Abedin for the crime of embezzlement after confirming she took a “Babymoon” vacation and maternity time at the State Department without expending her formal leave, resulting in thousands of dollars of pay she wasn’t entitled to receive, The Washington Times has learned.

The probe also gathered evidence she filed time sheets charging the government for impermissible overtime and excessive hours after she converted from a full-time federal employee to a State Department contractor.

Those time-cards were filed during a period that remains under investigation over questions about possible conflicts of interest, documents gathered by the State Department inspector general show.


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© Zoran Milich
Responding to a New York Post report stating that more than 300 New York City municipal employees didn’t earn enough to be able to afford a place to live, the mayor has offered to find them permanent housing.

During a press conference on Monday, New York Mayor Bill de Blasio admitted there were people working for the city that were homeless, though he disputed the number initially reported.

What we’re facing now, this is becoming more and more of an economic problem. Meaning people have been displaced from their homes by the high cost of housing, even if they’re working,” de Blasio said at City Hall.

We’re going to make sure in every case, particularly with working folks, that we look for every opportunity to get them to permanent housing.

The mayor questioned whether the number of homeless city employees was over 300, with his spokeswoman Ishanee Parikh saying records showed that only 83 shelter residents have identified themselves as city employees.

View image on Twitter

De Blasio vows to put a roof over homeless city workers’ heads 

Municipal union leaders told the Post, however, that the actual number is over 300, but many don’t report their employment status to shelters out of shame.

“There’s a social taboo that they believe comes with being homeless,” Joseph Puleo, president of Local 983 of District Council 37, the city’s largest blue-collar municipal-workers union, told the Post.


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– The Washington Times – Saturday, September 5, 2015
possible federal government shutdown is still nearly a month away, but
President Obama on Saturday began to lay the blame for such a shutdown
at the feet of Republican leaders in Congress
his weekly address, the president said Republicans are playing games
with the economy by once again allowing the end of the fiscal year to
draw near without a budget deal in place. The fiscal year ends Sept. 30.
If Congress doesn’t reach a budget agreement by then, the government will shut down for the second time in two years.

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The Inquisitr News.

November 15, 2014

Government Shutdown 2014: Obama’s Executive Order On Illegal Immigrants’ Amnesty Triggers Threats

of a 2014 government shutdown have already been threatened by
Republicans in response to President Barack Obama claiming he would
issue an executive order giving illegal immigrants amnesty before the
end of the year. While some in the GOP would prefer to roll back this
10-point plan, others believe a government shutdown would be enough of
reason for Obama to hold back his plans.
In a related report by The Inquisitr,
a group of Senate Republicans are pressing House Speaker John Boehner
to oppose funding a program contained in the Affordable Care Act, giving
another reason for the GOP to trigger another government shutdown in 2014 over Obamacare.

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Obama blames House GOP for imminent shutdown


Obama blamed an imminent government shutdown on House Republicans on
Monday and said his health care plan is “moving forward” despite GOP
efforts to defund it.
“You don’t get to extract a ransom for doing
your job, for doing what you’re supposed to be doing anyway … just
because there’s a law there that you don’t like,” Obama said in the
White House briefing room.
Late Monday, Obama spoke by phone with
House Speaker John Boehner, R-Ohio, and other top lawmakers, but there
did not appear to be a breakthrough in the impasse that would trigger a

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Who Needs The United States? Not Russia And China


Russia and China have just signed what is being called “the gas deal of the century”, and the two countries are discussing moving away from the U.S. dollar and using their own currencies to trade with one another.  This has huge implications for the future of the U.S. economy, but the mainstream media in the United States is being strangely quiet about all of this.  For example, I searched CNN’s website to see if I could find something about this gas deal between Russia and China and I did not find anything.  But I did find links to “top stories” entitled “Celebs who went faux red” and “Adorable kid tugs on Obama’s ear“.  Is it any wonder why the mainstream media is dying?  If a particular story does not fit their agenda, they will simply ignore it.  But the truth is that this new agreement between Russia and China is huge.  It could end up fundamentally changing the global financial system, and not in a way that would be beneficial for the United States.

Russia and China had been negotiating this natural gas deal for ten years, and now it is finally done.  Russia is the largest exporter of natural gas on the entire planet, and China is poised to become the world’s largest economy in just a few years.  This new $400 billion agreement means that these two superpowers could potentially enjoy a mutually beneficial relationship for the next 30 years

Russia reached a $400 billion deal to supply natural gas to China through a new pipeline over 30 years, a milestone in relations between the world’s largest energy producer and the biggest consumer.

President Vladimir Putin is turning to China to bolster Russia’s economy as relations sour with the U.S. and European Union because of the crisis in Ukraine. Today’s accord, signed after more than a decade of talks, will allow state-run gas producer OAO Gazprom (GAZP) to invest $55 billion developing giant gas fields in eastern Siberia and building the pipeline, Putin said.

It’s an “epochal event,” Putin said in Shanghai after the contract was signed. Both countries are satisfied with the price, he said.

Of course countries sell oil and natural gas to each other all the time.  But what makes this deal such a potential problem for the U.S. is the fact that Russia and China are working on cutting the U.S. dollar out of the entire equation.  Just check out the following excerpt from a recent article in a Russian news source

Russia and China are planning to increase the volume of direct payments in mutual trade in their national currencies, according to a joint statement on a new stage of comprehensive partnership and strategic cooperation signed during high-level talks in Shanghai on Tuesday.

“The sides intend to take new steps to increase the level and expansion of spheres of Russian-Chinese practical cooperation, in particular to establish close cooperation in the financial sphere, including an increase in direct payments in the Russian and Chinese national currencies in trade, investments and loan services,” the statement said.

In my recent article entitled “De-Dollarization: Russia Is On The Verge Of Dealing A Massive Blow To The Petrodollar“, I warned about what could happen if the petrodollar monopoly ends.  In the United States, our current standard of living is extremely dependent on the rest of the world continuing to use our currency to trade with one another.  If Russia starts selling natural gas to China without the U.S. dollar being involved, that would be a monumental blow to the petrodollar.  And if other nations started following the lead of Russia and China, that could result in an avalanche from which the petrodollar may never recover.

And it isn’t just the national governments of Russia and China that are discussing moving away from the U.S. dollar.  For example, the second largest bank in Russia just signed a deal with the Bank of China “to pay each other in domestic currencies”


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File:VH-3D Marine One over Washington DC May 2005.jpg

Official U.S. Marine Corps photo 050521-N-0295M-097 [1] from the USMC website [2]

A U.S. Marine Corps Sikorsky VH-3D Sea King helicopter, assigned to Marine Helicopter Squadron 1 (HMX-1), in flight over Washington D.C. on 21 May 2005.

By  :  PH2(AW) Daniel J. McLain



Monday, 12 May 2014 09:47

$1.2 Billion for New White House Helicopters Just the Beginning

Written by 

It didn’t take long for critics to scoff at the costs of the latest effort to upgrade the fleet of presidential helicopters announced by the Defense Department on Wednesday, May 7. They say the $1.2-billion contract awarded to Sikorsky Aircraft Corporation will be just the beginning.

There are at least two reasons to be skeptical: the open-ended nature of the White House requirements, and recent history.

The Department of Defense outlined its requirements, stating that Marine Helicopter Squadron One, which currently operates 19 presidential helicopters, must provide “safe and timely transportation for the President and Vice President of the United States, heads of state and others as directed by the White House Military Office.”

In addition, each aircraft must be equipped with various self-defense features such as bulletproof glass and body panels, as well as specialized communications equipment that allows the president to maintain “critical command functions” while airborne. Each helicopter must be large enough to carry up to 14 passengers and several thousand pounds of baggage while being small enough to operate from the White House lawn.

Each must have a minimum range of 300 miles and carry a full complement of defensive countermeasures to thwart heat-seeking and radar-directed missiles and also be hardened against an EMP (electromagnetic pulse), either from an enemy or from the sun. It must be able to send and receive encrypted communications and hold secure teleconferences while in flight.

And each must have air-conditioning and a toilet.

Under the contract Sikorsky promises to deliver two prototypes by 2016, with another 21 fully operational aircraft six years later.

Several questions arise. First, why so many? After all, there’s just one president and one vice president. According to, anytime the president flies somewhere by helicopter, four other helicopters are alongside him. They fly in varying formations to keep the president’s aircraft as disguised as possible. This is often referred to as the presidential “shell game.” In addition, with a helicopter’s range of just 300 miles, a longer trip must “cache” additional aircraft along the route.


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Collapse in pay lies behind Britain’s return to work: Self-employed are hidden victims of recession, report warns

The study by the Resolution Foundation think tank reveals the dark side of the sharp growth in self-employment, which has helped the Government to maintain its boast that unemployment is falling as more and more people find work.

Since the start of the recession five years ago, the number of self-employed has risen by 650,000 to 4.5 million. They now represent 15 per cent of the active workforce.

But the new analysis reveals that the average weekly income of someone in self-employment is 20 per cent lower than in 2008.  As a result, a typical self-employed worker now earns 40 per cent than a typical employee.  An Ipsos-Mori survey commissioned as part of the report also found that 27 per cent of those who became self-employed in the past five year do so because they had no other choice – up from 10 per cent five years ago.

Gavin Kelly, chief executive of the Resolution Foundation, said: “Self-employment is often a highly precarious existence which isn’t that well supported by public policy. High levels of self-employment seem likely to be here to stay and policy-makers have some catching up to do.”

The grim truth about pay and living standards in some the regions of the UK has also been highlighted by official EU figures showing that parts of Britain are effectively poorer that countries from  former communist countries in Eastern Europe.

People in Cornwall and the Welsh Valleys are worse off than residents of Estonia and Lithuania, according to Eurostat figures comparing wealth across the EU using a measure known as “purchasing power standards” – which takes into account GDP per person and cost of living.

In addition, Durham and the Tees Valley, in the north east of England, are poorer than those in the wealthiest regions of Bulgaria and Romania, the two most deprived countries in the EU.

By contrast, the Eurostat figures show that London is the richest place in Europe.

According to the Resolution Foundation report, self-employed people are more likely than people in full time employment to complain of being under employed.


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Pension fears for rising number of self-employed

Higher levels of self employment have become a permanent feature of the UK economy as a result of Britain’s ageing workforce and a greater desire for Britons to “work for themselves”.

The Resolution Foundation said the increase in self-employment also presented a “worrying picture of the security and vulnerability of self employed people”, who have traditionally saved less for retirement than employees. Photo: PA

Higher levels of self employment have become a permanent feature of the UK economy as a result of Britain’s ageing workforce and a greater desire for Britons to “work for themselves”.

The number of people who are self employed has grown by 650,000 since the 2008 financial crisis, to 4.5m, meaning one in seven workers is now self employed.

While some of the shift towards self-employment has been caused by cyclical factors, the Resolution Foundation said 73pc of workers had chosen to become self-employed. “The high self-employment numbers are here to stay,” said Laura Gardiner, a senior policy analyst at Resolution Foundation.

The rise in self employment has attracted attention from the Bank of England, where policymakers have argued over whether the increase reflects structural changes in the UK economy or “disguised labour market slack” because many of these workers would prefer to be working full-time.

While the Foundation said there was less slack in the economy caused by self-employment than some policymakers believed, it said underemployment among these workers was “marginally worse than for employees”, representing a reversal of the pre-crisis trend.


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