Having lost all of our reasoning abilities at some point, we the people elected outright idiots, jack-booted thugs, or the corporately bribed to offices at all levels all across the land. The inevitable result, which nonetheless surprises us, is that we have descended back into the medieval times in the US. The middle class is getting bitch-slapped into extreme poverty while the wealthiest reap ever greater rewards, confident that our elected leaders have their backs. The large corporations off-shore jobs and cut wages and benefits for the ever-decreasing number of workers left in the US, while politicians find new and inventive ways to save these same corporations from having to pay taxes or suffer from any regulatory oversight, and grant them tax-payer subsidies to save the companies some of their cost of doing business. That the companies then use the money to pay more to the CEO’s while at the same time laying off even more workers is somehow touted as the Free Market At Work.
A Super Congress is set up to reduce the deficit. The deficit, created by never ending wars, tax breaks to the wealthiest and giving trillions to the same banks that made the economic mess in the first place, will be eased by taking away as much as possible from the poor – which is pretty much 99 % of the population. No-one says out loud that the Super Congress is an unconstitutional politburo, and we the people seem unable to grasp the fact that our representational government has just been taken away from us. We need to find 1.5 trillion bucks in savings, say the Republicans. Shucks, says the Democrat Obama, make it 5 or 6 trillion. (“Give us what we want or we shoot the hostage” – Republicans. “I already shot the fucking hostage. Now let’s play some golf.” – Oblahblah.)
So determined are we to commit hara-kiri that any politician who suggests doing away the minimum wage, public education, the Civil Right’s Act, the EPA and “gradually easing” us into the complete death of Social Security is a viable contender for President. The current President is called a socialist while at the very same moment he is gathering huge contributions from Wall Street, refusing to investigate the MERS (robo-signing) bank fraud, granting new regulatory-free deep-water drilling rights to BP, pushing for the destruction of SS and Medicare, and overseeing massive, never-ending bailouts of the big banks.
Some statistics about where we are as a nation:
Last year, 2.6 million more Americans descended into poverty. [My note; No, they were bitch-slapped into poverty.] That was the largest increase that we have seen since the U.S. government began keeping statistics on this back in 1959.
Today, 15.1% of all Americans are living in poverty.
The poverty rate for children living in the United States increased to 22% in 2010.
In Washington D.C., the “child food insecurity rate” is 32.3%.
More than 20 million U.S. children rely on school meal programs to keep from going hungry.
One out of every six elderly Americans now lives below the federal poverty line.
In 2010, 42 percent of all single mothers in the United States were on food stamps.
The number of Americans on food stamps has increased 74% since 2007. [There has been an 8% increase just in the past year.]
It is being projected that approximately 50 percent of all U.S. children will be on food stamps at some point in their lives before they reach the age of 18.
One out of every six Americans is now enrolled in at least one government anti-poverty program.
The number of Americans that are going to food pantries and soup kitchens has increased by 46% since 2006.
It is estimated that up to half a million children may currently be homeless in the United States.
The number of households applying for home-heating assistance has dramatically risen this year; however, the federal funds for this program are slated to be cut in half.
The true number of unemployed and underemployed stands roughly at 20%.
Lenders filed a record 3.8 million foreclosures in 2010, up 2% from 2009 and an increase of 23% from 2008, according to RealtyTrac. But 2011 could be even worse.
Of the 55-million families with mortgages, 10.4-million of them “are sliding toward failure and foreclosure”—a tragedy that will depress the U.S. housing market for years to come, a result of too many houses for sale and too few buyers.
That’s the blunt conclusion of distinguished economics journalist William Greider, to be published in an article in the November 14th issue of The Nation magazine.
The median income for American workers in 2010 was $26,364.
What shall we do? I know, let’s get some advice from current and past Leaders, Political Movers and Shakers, and Very Important People.
All the cities and states are having financial difficulties. Let’s check in with Rahm Emanuel, mayor of Chicago, to see what he plans to do about his city’s fiscal issues. He must have some very progressive and liberal ideas about taxing his wealthiest citizens and what not; he is a Democrat, after all, and the former Chief of Staff for the socialist Obama.
Mayor Rahm Emanuel‘s plan to raise money for the city in 2012 includes higher taxes, fines, and fees.
The Chicago Sun-Times reports a list of options in the mayor’s revenue ordinance.
Having your car impounded after it was used to commit a felony could cost you a $2,000 fine, which is double of what it costs today.
Tampering with parking meters or pay-and-display boxes would carry a fine ranging from $500 to $750.
There’s also a list of so-called nuisance fees.
Having weeds that grow past ten inches go from $500 to $1000 per day, to $600 to $1,200 per day.
Letting trash accumulate: $300-to-$600, up from $250-to-$500.
Collecting junk on any open lot, but not on open racks: $300-to-$600, up from $250-to-$500.
Failing to maintain vacant lots: $300-to-$600.
Neglecting to register or renew registration of a vacant building: $500.
The mayor’s budget also raises Chicago’s hotel tax, fees on downtown parking, and doubles water and sewer rates.
Oops, guess he’s not that much of a socialist. Well, what would Bill Clinton do? He anticipated our questions, so he already had an answer prepared. Here’s his plan:
Offer homeowners underwater a lower principle on the note; turn the note into a long term “lease” (giving the banks ownership of the home); then expedite foreclosures for everyone else. Change the corporate tax code – to lower it. Allow companies with profits overseas to bring them back to the US at less than half the current tax rate (down to 15% from 35%) and drop it to 0% if they promise to use the money to create jobs in the US. [http://money.cnn.com/2011/11/08/news/economy/bill_clinton/index.htm?iid=Popular]
What does Condi think we should do? She knows a lot of stuff. Appearing on Sunday’s “This Week” on ABC, former Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice said Washington should consider tougher penalties against Iran’s government and “do everything we can to bring it down.” To be honest, she wasn’t trotted out on TV to answer economic questions. But had she been, her answer would still be to bomb another country, preferably Iran. This is pithy advice, applicable in a myriad of situations. Hell, applicable in virtually every situation. She, Cheney, and the Pentagon just can’t understand what is taking Obama so long: World War 3 was scheduled to start way before now.
Let us not dwell on these ugly matters. Let’s watch Michael Jackson dance. He’s been much in the news lately too, despite being somewhat dead and all. No-one can dance the way he could.