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12 Facts About Money And Congress That Are So Outrageous That It Is Hard To Believe That They Are Actually True

Do you want to get rich?  Just get elected to Congress.  The U.S. Senate and the House of Representatives are absolutely packed with wealthy people that are very rapidly becoming even wealthier.  The collective net worth of the members of Congress is now measured in the billions of dollars.  The people that we have elected to the House and Senate are absolutely swimming in money.  Unfortunately, it is not easy to get elected to Congress.  In this day and age you generally have to be heavily connected to those that are very wealthy to get into Congress because it takes gigantic amounts of cash to win campaigns.  But if you can get in to the club, you pretty much have it made.  The numbers that you are about to read are very difficult to believe and they should deeply sadden you.  They show that Congress has become all about money.  Congressional races are mostly financed by wealthy people, most of the people that we elect to Congress are very wealthy, and they rapidly get wealthier after they are elected.  All of this money has turned our republic into something far different than our founding fathers intended.

The following are 12 statistics about money and Congress that are so outrageous that it is hard to believe that they are actually true….

#1 The collective net worth of all of the members of Congress increased by 25 percent between 2008 and 2010.

#2 The collective net worth of all of the members of Congress is now slightly over 2 billion dollars.  That is “billion” with a “b”.

#3 This happened during a time when the net worth of most American households was declining rapidly.  According to the Federal Reserve, the collective net worth of all American households decreased by 23 percent between 2007 and 2009.

#4 The average net worth for a member of Congress is now approximately 3.8 million dollars.

#5 The net worth of House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi increased by 62 percent from 2009 to 2010.  In 2009 it was reported that she had a net worth of 21.7 million dollars, and in 2010 it was reported that she had a net worth of 35.2 million dollars.

#6 The top Republican in the Senate, Mitch McConnell, saw his wealth grow by 29 percent from 2009 to 2010.  He is now worth approximately 9.8 million dollars.

#7 More than 50 percent of the members of the U.S. Congress are millionaires.

#8 In 2008, the average cost of winning a seat in the House of Representatives was $1.1 million and the average cost of winning a seat in the U.S. Senate was $6.5 million.  Spending on political campaigns has gotten way out of control.

#9 Insider trading is perfectly legal for members of the U.S. Congress – and they refuse to pass a law that would change that.

#10 The percentage of millionaires in Congress is more than 50 times higher than the percentage of millionaires in the general population.

#11 U.S. Representative Darrell Issa is worth approximately 220 million dollars.  His wealth grew by approximately 37 percent from 2009 to 2010.

#12 The wealthiest member of Congress, U.S. Representative Michael McCaul, is worth approximately 294 million dollars.

So how are members of Congress becoming so wealthy?

Well, there are lots of ways they are raking in the cash, but one especially alarming thing that goes on is that members of Congress often make investments in companies that will go up significantly if legislation that is being considered by Congress “goes the right way”.

This is called a “conflict of interest”, but it happens constantly in Congress and nobody seems to get into any trouble for it.

The following is video of Steve Kroft of 60 Minutes ambushing Nancy Pelosi about one particular conflict of interest involving credit card legislation.  As you can see, she does not want to talk about it….

As noted above, insider trading is perfectly legal for members of Congress.

A law that would ban insider trading by members of Congress has been stalled for years on Capitol Hill.

So has this been a significant benefit to members of Congress?

Well, there has been at least one study that appears to indicate that members of Congress have been much more successful in the stock market than members of the general public have….

A 2004 study of the results of stock trading by United States Senators during the 1990s found that that senators on average beat the market by 12% a year. In sharp contrast, U.S. households on average underperformed the market by 1.4% a year and even corporate insiders on average beat the market by only about 6% a year during that period. A reasonable inference is that some Senators had access to – and were using – material nonpublic information about the companies in whose stock they trade.

Of course all of this could just be a coincidence, right?

Meanwhile, members of Congress keep telling the rest of us that we are just going to have to cut back because times are tough.

For example, during an interview with George Stephanopoulos of ABC News, Nancy Pelosi actually claimed that we should try to encourage poor people to have less children because it costs the government so much money to take care of them….

PELOSI: Well, the family planning services reduce cost. They reduce cost. The states are in terrible fiscal budget crises now and part of what we do for children’s health, education and some of those elements are to help the states meet their financial needs. One of those – one of the initiatives you mentioned, the contraception, will reduce costs to the states and to the federal government.

STEPHANOPOULOS: So no apologies for that?

PELOSI: No apologies. No. we have to deal with the consequences of the downturn in our economy.

This elitist attitude extends all the way into the White House as well.  Earlier this year, Barack Obama made the following statement….

“If you’re a family trying to cut back, you might skip going out to dinner, or you might put off a vacation.”

Meanwhile, the Obamas are living the high life at taxpayer expense.  In a previous article I mentioned one outrageously expensive vacation taken by the Obamas that was paid for by our taxes….

“Back in August, Michelle Obama took her daughter Sasha and 40 of her friends for a vacation in Spain.

So what was the bill to the taxpayers for that little jaunt across the pond?

It is estimated that vacation alone cost U.S. taxpayers $375,000.”

There is a massive disconnect between what our politicians say and what our politicians do.

The high life is good enough for them, but the rest of us have got to “cut back” and suffer becomes times are hard.

But when it comes to money and Congress, the most corrupting influence of all is probably all of the campaign money that gets thrown around.

In America today, it takes gigantic mountains of money to run a successful campaign.

Sadly, the candidate that raises the most money almost always wins.  In federal elections the candidate that raises the most money wins about 90 percent of the time.

More than 5 billion dollars were spent on political campaigns back in 2008.

That represents a huge number of favors that need to be paid back.

In 2012, it is being projected that 8 billion dollars could be spent on political campaigns.

When big corporations and wealthy individuals shovel huge piles of money into political campaigns, it is generally because they expect something in return.

Most of those that get sent to Congress realize that they never would have won if wealthy donors had not showered cash on them.  Most of them understand that they should not bite the hands that feed them if they want the cash to keep rolling in.

Politics in America has become a game that is played by the elite for the benefit of the elite.

Average Americans have the perception that they are involved in the process and that their opinions really matter, but mostly it is just an illusion.

It is so sad.

Meanwhile, members of Congress rapidly get wealthier and average American families continue to suffer.  In fact, the standard of living in the United States has fallen farther over the past three years than at any other time that has ever been recorded in U.S. history.

But for members of Congress the good times just keep on rolling.

Just as it has been for most of human history, the rich rule over the poor.

Does anyone out there believe that we have any hope of changing this?

  • mark

    I have the only way to correct this problem, term limits. My term limits would allow a Congressman to only serve one two year term in their life. Yes, I know this sounds extreme and they would not learn the ropes in that short amount of time. Do we really need profesional Congressmen? Did our Founding Fathers want profesionals serving? Send them home without a pension or benefits.

    • Curtis

      Who’s going to pass term limits?

      • mark

        Curtis, that is a fair question. We could elect Tea Party people that would run with this cause. If this did not work, maybe the Tea Party or another group might start a protest movement in support of this topic. At the same time we could work on removing the 17th amendment so that that states might have some of the balance of power that our Founding Fathers had in mind.

    • Kevin2

      Mark

      Having a two term Congressman leave office and only to be replaced by a Senior State Senator or big city Mayor that fed at the same political bowl (just receiving a smaller portion) will accomplish nothing.

      Vote out the incumbents in their respective primaries and replace them with political unknowns. Put Doctors, Engineers and Teachers on the ballot. Vote them out with the same process after a term or two.

      • mark

        Kevin2, I did not say two terms, I said one two year term. That is the time given in the Constitution for the House. The term limits would be for one two year term. I would hope that the voters would elect lay people to office and not profesional pols to office.

    • Ms. Wiseman

      Even better, fire them all. We no longer live in horse and buggy days when it took several days for individuals to get to Washington. So in those days, there was a need to have representation. Today we have the Internet and planes and trains and even snail mail is faster than the days of the pony express.
      There is absolutely NO need for more laws. My book of Wisdom says the more laws you have, the more crime you will have. The same book of Wisdom also says that with each generation the next “king” is worse than the one before. Civilization waxes worse and worse.

    • REED RICHARDS

      mark,

      I could not disagree with you more. If the people do not have the presence of mind or the force of intellect to elect people based on merit instead of cha-ching! Republican or cha ching! Democrat, then they are getting exactly what they deserve: Corruption at the highest levels of government and iron fisted rule of the rich wealthy elites over them.

      I have no sympathy for amerikans because their wounds are self-inflicted. Congress has a 9, get it 9 percent approval rating. The question then becomes, how on earth can these buffoons ever win re-election with an institutional approval rating of 9 percent? Because useful idiot republican and democrat voters will then take the illogical position that “their” individual Representatives and Senators are not the problem, all the others are. Which will result in roughly 90 percent plus of the same corrupt dirtbags getting re-elected again, and again, and again. Bottom line is this: Until the masses figure out that their interests do not lie with the republicans and the democrats, they will continue to get the short end of the stick. And deservedly so……………

      • McKinley Morganfield

        RR,

        The bell curve is real. 50% will always be to the right of the mean and 50% will be to the left of the mean. Unless we institute intelligence tests to screen voters we have to deal with this simple fact. Terms limits, limits on the span of campaigns, and other measures are necessary to protect those to the right side of the bell curve from the capricious actions of those to the left side of the bell curve. The ideal is to create a society governed by just laws, not a society governed by the whims of a fickle, often ill-informed majority.

        • SSW

          Which is why our founders formed a Republic, NOT a democracy!

        • REED RICHARDS

          McKinley Morganfield,

          Only the far right democrat voters are a problem here? Seriously?

          Well, given that mindset and your own criteria, this effectively eliminates you from the equation.

      • igivachit

        Damn right!Best post I’ve seen in years.Keep up the wisdom!

    • Granite Prepper

      Research Vernon, NJ to see how to, non-violently, change your government. I’m not saying this is the roadmap for our federal government but it shows it can be done…….this is what we need to do.

    • mondobeyondo

      Fine, have Congress vote amongst themselves as to whether to give their members term limits. Are you kidding?! Of course they won’t. They want to ride the gravy train for as long as possible.

  • Sparky

    Let them eat cake!

  • Colin

    The politicians are working on a proposal put forth by President Obama this summer in the deficit reduction talks. This proposal would reduce social security increases and raise taxes on the poorest of Americans. It’s called Chained CPI.

    Here is the definition of Chained CPI:

    http://www.investopedia.com/terms/c/chain-linked-cpi.asp#axzz1d5ertvci

    And, here is the article describing the effects of this program on seniors and the poor:

    http://finance.yahoo.com/news/New-formula-would-reduce-apf-365864943.html?x=0&sec=topStories&pos=7&asset=&ccode=

    If you live to 65, you will a decrease of $136. If you are fortunate to live another thirty years, you will see a decrease of $1392 – the balance of your social security check.

    If you make between $10,000 and $20,000 in 2021, you will see your taxes increase by 14.5%. The richest Americans will see their taxes increase by 0.1%.

    If these changes are enacted, there will be less people who qualify for government assistance.

    The politicians claim that they are saving money when they talk about the prospect of passing this program into law. However, from my perspective, the politicians would be enacting a policy that kills seniors quicker and drives the poor into even greater desperate straits, while benefiting the rich even more. One representative, Rep. Xavier Becerra, openly admits to this when he said,

    “”If you’re going to simply try to save money by changing the CPI, you can do that. But then be up front and tell seniors what you’re doing. You’re throwing them under the bus to save money.”

    • mark

      Colin, why should government pension payments even be increased with inflation. Private world pensions do not increase each year. If you are blessed to have a defined benefit pension, they stay at the same amount that you recieved when you retired. The government world is a fantasy in dreamland. Get your heads out of the clouds.

      • twenty.paws

        NOT true about defined benefit plans not having increases – most have COLA of some level each year, usually tied to some percentage of the CPI.

    • twenty.paws

      From Colin’s post:

      If these changes are enacted, there will be FEWER (NOT less) people who qualify for government assistance.

      Seeing too much of the wrong use of fewer vs. less, drives me nuts.

  • 007

    The tea party can push these corrupt politicians out of the republican party. The tea party is going to rein down holy hell on RINO politicians. They will be assaulted in the primaries. We will clean out the republican party and then defeat every radical leftwing nut case in the democratic party.

    • bobbobbobbob

      why dont uhave universalhealth ins? because uuurrrstupidamerikkkans

  • Georgiaboy61

    The problem of influence-buying and the money corrupting our political process won’t be solved unless a high “wall” is erected between politicians and those trying to use money to buy their influence and favor. The same applies for the rich using their money to essentially “buy” a seat in Congress.

    Term limits are a start, but publicly-funded political campaigns may also be needed. Yes, it would cost the taxpayers – but the cost would be minor in return for the benefit. Establish a cap on how much can be spent on political campaigns, and then bar corporations and individuals from giving more than a token sum individually. If every candidate has the same taxpayer-funded cap in place, it disincentivizes the buying of votes by taking away one of the most powerful levers of the corrupt, namely the ability to outspend opponents and “buy” votes via campaign contributions.

    We should also make it illegal – with stiff penalties to match – for any former politician or govt. worker to serve as a lobbyist for 10 years after holding any public office. Regs governing lobbyists should be rewritten to prohibit lobbyists from contributing language to bills in committee, as is often done now.

    • McKinley Morganfield

      I agree with much of what you say. I favor a constitutional amendment to limit representatives to 2 four year terms, senators to 2 six year terms, and a ban on pensions for all elected federal officials. I also favor strict rules that would limit campaigns to 6 months before the general election. I especially agree with this: “We should also make it illegal – with stiff penalties to match – for any former politician or govt. worker to serve as a lobbyist for 10 years after holding any public office. Regs governing lobbyists should be rewritten to prohibit lobbyists from contributing language to bills in committee, as is often done now.”

  • Georgiaboy61

    Re: “Just as it has been for most of human history, the rich rule over the poor. Does anyone out there believe that we have any hope of changing this?” That’s exactly the defeatist response our permanent political class wants to read. Our system has been corrupted, true, but it can be saved if we the people are willing to make the necessary sacrifices and stay strong.
    Such change may involve the “blood of patriots and tyrants, and the tree of liberty,” but that didn’t faze our forefathers – and it shouldn’t faze us. No wants wants an American revolution or civl war, pt. 2 – but our leaders must have no doubt that our demands for the restoration of the republic are non-negotiable. The motto of New Hampshire shold be our motto, “Live Free or Die!”

    • DownWithLibs

      Well said!

    • Pitchfork Ready

      It should be, Georgia, but we Americans have become pacified by our modern modern and often decadent lifestyles.

      While the “relative” few that visit this site know what’s at stake, the rest of the country could probably honestly care less unless it interferes with their lives.

      I have come to believe the system is broken and needs a complete reset. Individual liberty and collective tyranny cannot coexist forever. Throw in self indulgent elitist that seem hell bent on collapsing the economy and you have a recipe for bloodshed.

  • Paul

    Well, it’s not new. If only those guys win who spend most on the elction campaign, then people from the People have no chance to ever get elected.

    And look at yourself – whom do you elect to represent you? Not someone like you, but the handsome, rich, beautiful and famous.

  • Paul

    “members of Congress often make investments in companies that will go up significantly if legislation that is being considered by Congress “goes the right way”.”

    You could also call it insider trading which is criminal.

  • shypuffadder

    If every Congressional District in this country presented to their representative an identical list of demands that We the People want to be put to a vote on the House Floor, this country’s downward spiral would begin to reverse. If they ignore and/or try to ridicule our demands, they are recalled. We the People should relentlessly pursue this course of action until the cesspool called Congress is cleaned up. Unfortunately, Fox and others would crank up the noise machine against any action of this type and prompt (certain) Americans to fight each other in the street before they allowed us to take command of our own destiny. It could be done – but paid troublemakers are everywhere.

  • Harold Crews

    Term limits would be counter productive. A short time to profit would only cause Congress critters to increase their leverage. It would increase corruption because it would shorten time preference. There would be less incentive to behave ethically. Additionally the article fails to mention that insider trading is also legal for Congressional staff. Term limits would only increase the power of professional staff and K Street. The problem is power. Congress has power to sell and there are plenty of bidders. Unfortunately what unites ‘America’ is politics. We lack a common culture or religion and what is possessed is rapidly lessening. That leaves the government to impose order and resolve disputes. Law is a poor substitute for culture when it comes to resolving disputes and bringing social harmony. The only solution is to break up the United States into genuine nations, each possessing a genuine culture.

    • McKinley Morganfield

      “The only solution is to break up the United States into genuine nations, each possessing a genuine culture.”

      I disagree with regard to term limits, but I wholeheartedly agree with the above comment. I have long favored breaking apart the union and forming regional sovereign entities. Here in Iowa I want nothing to do with anything east of the Mississippi, west of the Rockies, or south of the Arkansas River.

  • Mike

    I agree with you Mark, 1 term period.

    And lets eliminate those big paychecks they get too.

  • John Rambo

    Please join Crimes Against Fathers

    http://www.crimesagainstfathers.com

    Please take the time to read a FREE short 100 page book called “Living Free in a Fem-Nazi World”. This book is about freeing you from the fem-nazi, fem-fascist state you live in to live your life as you choose. This book will show you how to no longer be subject to the fem-nazi ‘legislation’ that claims you are a slave with no rights at all.

    After reading this short 100 page book, you will understand how to become completely legally free of the feminist legal system worldwide. That is, no woman will ever be able to persecute you or harm you through false DV charges, false rape accusations, feminist divorce courts, etc. In short, you will indeed be a free man in a world of feminism, free and safe from being harmed by feminism.

    Download the ‘Living Free in a Fem-Nazi World’ eBook for free here:

    http://www.crimesagainstfathers.com/LinkClick.aspx?fileticket=yZdxTPgDMtE%3D&tabid=82&mid=409&forcedownload=true

    YES! NOW IS THE TIME TO FIGHT BACK!

    • DownWithLibs

      Did you not get invited to the Prom or something? What is your deal?

  • Lennie Pike

    A Greek commenter to this site once wrote that in the original election system of Greece, the birthplace of Democracy, representatives were elected by lottery – every citizens name was placed in a hat. A Ditch Digger could get a knock on his door (or hers?) and be informed that they were now a Senator.

    A much much better system – that is if immigration laws are enforced and if amnesties of Illegal Aliens are unconstitutional.

    • sharonsj

      I agree with the lottery idea. In fact, I decided a while ago that this would be a better system. We stick a pin in a phone book and send that person off to a job for one term, with the provisos that if they take bribes, if they give preference to friends, if they let a lobbyist write the laws, and if they leave to take a job with some company who profited via their legislation, we shoot them.

    • DownWithLibs

      Yes, this harkens back to our humbler beginnings. Rag-tag farmers taking turns running the show – worked just fine!

  • William

    Be sure to reelect your local US Representative or US Senator in Nov of 2012. Do that, and there will NEVER be any chance for substantive change for the better for average American citizens. And, while you are voting for the worthless cretin, check out the number of people in America living in DEEP POVERTY. Check out the number of children with food insecurity, or the number of elderly living in poverty. Americans do get what they vote for…..

  • Tim

    “Average Americans have the perception that they are involved in the process and that their opinions really matter, but mostly it is just an illusion.”

    Bingo!

  • tr

    There is only one way to bring this to an end now.
    We all,or the ones who read this know what that is.
    The Boston Tea Party started with much less taxes than we face now and they keep growing with more taxes or hidden taxes called FEES.
    Good luck USSA (united socialist states of america)

  • what?

    an article like this burns me up.
    I have to calm down and leave judgement and wrath to the Creator.

  • http://1776solution.blogspot.com Republicae

    The 17th Amendment, along with a few others, should be repealed since it nationalized the Senate. Additionally, both Senators and Representatives should no longer be “employees of the federal government”, they should be employees of their respective States and the Legislatures of their States should determine the salary and benefits of their Congressmen. Such decisions should not be in the hands of Congress itself. Being responsible to their respective States would restrict not only Congressional pay raises, but it would also tighten the control over the Congress since they would no longer have a free reign to legislate as they like, but would be accountable to their individual States and the People.

  • Donald Wilson

    What will eventually happen and it will be very unfortunate, it will take another revolution like what ocurred in the late 1700s.

  • r.bitting

    America – God = no more America…..

    • trent

      close…
      america – god = america
      america * god = nothing
      america + god = a few less intellegent con-men telling the masses they all suck and will suffer in hell for eternity, unless they give enough money to the church
      america / god = division by zero does not compute

      • r.bitting

        The foolishness of a man perverts his way, and his heart rages against the Lord… Prov. 19:3. The fool has said in his heart, there is no God.

    • Christian for Israel

      Your absolutely right!

  • Silver Bean

    Try a little balance in your reporting. Name a few of the Democrats that have become very wealthy as well besides Pelosi.

    • Michael

      I think that I am extremely, extremely hard on the Democrats in my articles.

      Does anyone else think that I am too soft on them?

      Michael

      • SMASH THE CONTROL MACHINE

        YOU EXPOSE BOTH DEMS AND REPUBLICANS CORRUPTION. I DONT THINK SOFT IS IN YOUR VOCABULARY WHEN IT COMES TO CONGRESS!!

      • josh

        maybe you should be calling more people out on both sides i think that would help wake people up. one big list.

      • Tripseven

        I don’t think you’re hard on them. Rather I think you maintain a dispassionate analytical view, and are above degenerative name calling and habit bashing. You let people form their own opinions on the members of either party.
        777

    • mondobeyondo

      Al Gore, just to name ONE…

  • sabretooth

    I do not believe there is any hope of changing this. Why would any one making the rules change the rules to their own detriment? The unfortunate fact is most of us would do exactly what they do if given the opportunity. They are not dependent on our piddly donations for re-election. They care about the big money from the corporations and the wealthy. The Republicans said they would focus like a laser on “Jobs-Jobs-Jobs” after the election. They have done nothing but pander to the rich and corporations and repetitiously put out redundant anti-abortion bills and stupid bills about the national motto and baseball coins. Nothing will change until a revolution takes place. Occupy Wall Street is just the beginning.

    • bobbobbobbob

      yee haaa

  • Nancy

    What would work better than term limits is to take away all of their perks, pensions, free everything and they can’t lobby after they leave office (for LIFE). They must be under our Social Security, health plans and NO pension (that would get them out of office fast). It would also save us a fortune.

  • Highspeed

    Its the Old Boys Club on steroids. I see the same thing in local politics. There is no possible way to fix this mess.

  • knightowl77

    I agree with term limits, but not 1 term…I’m thinking 4 two year terms for the House, 2 six year terms for the Senate…and no more than 14 years combined time in the Congress….
    No pension, no lifetime medical. No “lifetime” ID cards that mark you as a member of the elite..

    I worked for the TSA in a former life and saw a number of former senators and congress critters come through flashing their their senate or house ID cards even though they are no longer in elected office….Additionally, even though they were no longer in office they were always flying back to DC, I’m guessing to lobby some former colleague on this issue or that. The system is broken….badly broken.

    The History Channel recently ran documentary done by DHS on how the government would continue should a nuke be set off in DC. You would be amazed by the level of shadow government already in place to “control us” should a terrorist attack occur.

  • Americans For Stopping Treason

    Term limits are not the solution.

    The problem is the systemic corruption and failure to uphold existing laws which would stop some of the plundering that is occuring.

    We don’t need mre laws, we need them to simply be enforced better, in particular, with members of congress.

    Moment Of Truth: The Republic is dead.

    The only way to save the US is to abolish the treasonous Federal Gov’t and ALL its criminal agencies to the last, THEN reinstatute a Constitutional Gov’t and band ALL forms of corporate and even private contributions. Require each candidate to itemize each expense and where the money came from, and ANY candidtate caught circumventing these anti-corruption laws goes to jail,.. for life, bar none.

    The last officaial act of a any government – To loot the country! (and that is exactly what we are witnessing.)

  • Caroline

    While I agree that you should not have insider trading going on anywhere, especially in congress. We all should be playing on a level playing field as far as our access to the same information. I do agree that people who cannot afford to take care of themselves should be encouraged not to have children. I don’t even know why they would need to be encouraged. I myself, would not want to have children if I was already on government assistance without them. Or I knew I would have to get on it, if I had them.

    There is such a “one side or the other” mentality going on right now. Here is what I think. Government will not solve our problems they lied to us when they crated most of the social programs we have. We do need to take care of ourselves and stop believing that the Government is going to take care of us. Limit the size of them and taxes. Yes, there wont be social programs, just people helping people in need. I think the money will go a lot longer and further if it was in our pockets and we could give it to who we wanted to instead of giving it to the government to squander it away.

    Just a thought, yes what we have sucks…its not right, and it needs to be fixed. What are we going to do to be part of the solution and not part of the problem?

  • Bill

    There IS a reason our capital is called the “District of Criminals”.

  • Rick

    Is it worth the time to get out and vote?

    • D

      No. It’s all an illusion created swiftly and perfectly by the elite. All politicians are bought by the private, international bankers (elite) who fund their terms.

  • REED RICHARDS

    Michael,

    As institutions, from the Executive Branch, (both President and Vice President) to both houses of Congress (House and Senate), to the U.S. Supreme Court, all institutions as a whole are bought and paid for, lock, stock, and banker………….

    I do not now, and I never will have any confidence in any US government institution, at the federal, state, or local level. Anything that has establishment republican or democrat fingerprints on it is suspect at best, and irredeemably corrupt at worst. No branch of government can or should be trusted. And I will continue to laugh in the faces of the suckers and useful idiots who continue to support and vote for the establishment democrats and republicans who, using an apocalyptic scorched earth policy are responsible for destroying their (now asylum) state and turning the entire planet into a third-world mad-max style police state gulag which would cause even wild animals to flee in horror…………..

    • Old Man

      “… bought and paid for…”

      Well then there is not a moment to waste. You should hurry up and buy up your favorite politicians!

  • shannon

    I totally agree with term limits. There are congressmen that have been in office for several years. We need fresh ideas in order to help our economy.

    Also, any law that congress passes, should apply to them as well. No more special cadilac health care plans. Let them use the same thing they are passing down to the rest of the US.

  • JON DONALDSON

    SEE LESLIE STAHL INTERVIEW OF JACK ABRAHAMOFF

  • Dr. Bill Lemoine

    Is it any wonder that national legislators don’t represent the middle class? Despite campaign finance provisions, Citizens United corrupts the entire financial picture for candidates and already elected congressmen. It’s not limited to any party, but the richest happen(?) to be right wingers.

    I use the ‘campaign checkoff’ 1040 box to donate to federal elections, but won’t any more till there is less voter suppression, more direct election participation/voting and election financial reform. The fat cats are buying everything and everybody in sight with no relief for the struggling middle class.

    I’m going to let my money do more talking nowadays by moving it/spending it where it ‘obstructs’ the wealth interests and promotes middle class values.

  • John S

    My guess when the house of cards finally falls, Congress will be removed. Either by the military to prison or by U.S. citizens to the ***********.

    • D

      That would be nice, but Congress will actually use the military as their pawn to create their ideal world and send us to WWIII. They are no better than the private, international bankers. In fact, the are hired by them.

      • Highspeed

        You are 100% on target with that comment. “Reports are being leaked that Iran definately has Nukes now. Just an excuse for more war.

        Better keep prepping.

  • Grey

    Why do we bother calling what congressmen do “service”? What are they sacrificing in their “service”? Certainly not their wealth, not their lives. Instead of service, we should call it what it really is, being elected to a term of being the “Object of Servitude”. If you want to know what service is, talk to a young enlisted man serving on the ground in a combat zone overseas, or an Occupy (insert city name here) Activist!

    Here’s my 3 point plan to crack the democracy code:

    1. Term limits: House (1 term) AND Senate (1 term).

    2. As far as money goes, only evenly distributed public money to fund ALL Federal campaigns (probably state too) to the exclusion of ALL private monies (foreign and domestic) will crack that code. All candidates, semi-finalists and finalists in primaries and elections will receive equal distributions from the federal or state government, and the state will purchase equal air time on all participating networks for each candidate. Use or collection of private money will automatically disqualify a candidate for the remainder of the election cycle. (Oh by the way, The “Federal” Reserve has GOT TO GO!) Monetary Reform NOW!

    3. Lastly, return the integrity of the vote. Do away with electronic voting machines that can be tampered with, and servers that compile the votes in a partisans basement two states away, and institute a 3 part paper voting receipt. One that goes to the local grand jury, one that goes to the sec of state via voting channels and one that the person keeps.

    The two party monopoly on our political system is crippling our country. Dissolve the monopoly on debates and dissolve the monopoly on our choices. Repubocrats are not the answer.

    Recommendations –
    Watch: Murder, Spies and Voting Lies and The Secret of Oz (Bill Still),
    Stop watching TV and Stop reading corporate media publications.
    Look into Ron Paul 2012, he may be our best chance for the future of America.

  • Greg

    Now you see why they will never cap executive pay, lol.

  • Paula Occupies

    I have an MBA, IQ between 132 -137 (testing ranges)make Under 100k a year and I now have negative wealth for loss of equity on home…Elect People Like ME (No I am not running) But what if we stop electing politicians and start electing smart informed people?

  • shypuffadder

    Yes, Michael, you are extremely hard on Democrats. You are also extremely hard on Republicans. Too bad they deserve it!

    We all agree there should be term limits – that should be the people’s #1 demand that Congress fix. The #2 demand should be that no Member of Congress is allowed to work for K Street – ever. #3, corporate contributions to election campaigns are prohibited, and individual contributions are capped. #4, they are on the same social security and health care programs as the rest of us. #5, no insider trading or you go to jail like Martha Stewart and the rest of us.

    Is that too much for this country to agree upon? It would be a pretty good start. Wouldn’t hurt if they had to make public all financial holdings. We would then begin to see knowledgeable candidates that care about the well-being of this country.

    How can we have a strong country if the majority of the citizens are down-trodden, sick and distrustful of the government?

    • knightowl77

      I would just add to your campaign contributions, only individuals that are eligible to vote may contribute….
      No money from Corporations, unions, people with green cards, no money from overseas, period.
      I like more reasonable caps, and no more $38,000.00 dinners and $10,000.00 Photo Ops….What BS

  • R. N. Paling

    See what did i tell you ,you are slaves and you always will be.

  • Tom

    Let’s play the Devil’s advocate here, and see what this does:

    ———————————————–

    From Congress:

    Listen to all these comments. What is the matter with you people? Is it the fault of Congress if you are all losers and can’t fend for yourselves? We in Congress live very good lives. If you don’t, well, whose fault is that, ours?

    We care about our families, and aren’t afraid to work for a living. Just remember, if it wasn’t for us, you people wouldn’t have Food Stamps, Medicaid, Public Assistance, Unemployment insurance, or HEAP. We don’t need those things, you do, because the American people have no moral values against taking advantage of their neighbors; they have no motivation to get ahead; and they are always looking for a free meal ticket on the back of somebody else. Get a life.

    As far as term limits are concerned, do you really think that we would pass any law against our own best interests that restricts our ability to ensure that we do the best we can to support the laziness of the people of the United States? Guess again.

    We didn’t put you out of work. There are plenty of jobs out there if you want them, but it’s just too bad that you all can’t earn $50 an hour. Who do you think you are, some kind of special elite who deserves the good life like those of us who actually do something do?

    In tough times, you flip a hamburger for minimum wage, and I don’t care if you have an Masters, or PHD degree. If you do, and have thousands of dollars of student loans hanging over your head, is that our fault? Nobody told you to use that money to party all the time, did they? And, you will pay it back if it takes the rest of your miserable lives to do so.

    So, if you don’t like how we live on your tax dollars, live with it. We do, and we enjoy every minute of it. Eat your hearts out!

    Sincerely,

    Congress

    PS: Just make sure you have your taxes ready by next April, as we intend to make the penalties for not paying your income taxes far more severe than they are now. After all, this nation is suffering economic hard times. I can’t write anymore here, because I have to leave for a vote on a new package that will extend our 100% medical benefit coverages for our selected friends.

    ———————————————–

    What do you people expect? Do you really think they are going to tell you what they think about you and your family before you get off your duffs and actually do something about this mess?

  • Antonio Gonzalez

    This is the American Dream and what you can do? Nothing.
    This is a democracy.

  • http://thelethalcommission.org/ Lethal Commission review

    Money is now controlling the decision making of almost a lot of people as the economy is going down. many considerations in going upward again. it is really crucial and wise things must be considered and done.

  • dodiligence

    I don’t know why I even waste time posting no one listens.
    the Bible says:
    1. a gift in the hand perverts judgement
    2. they frame mischief by a law
    3. the LOVE of money is the root of ALL evil
    4. you can not serve God and mammon(money)
    5. choose you This day who you will serve
    people have forsaken the right way and then marvel when the wicked have rule over them. its not a big mystery why this is allowed to happen. the only answer is repent and turn to the Lord Jesus with all your heart,.

    • Highspeed

      You are wrong. People are listening. I read every comment on this blog and so do many others. I happen to agree with every point you make. You can’t give up. His Word will not return unto Him void.

    • knightowl77

      We read…it sinks in…slowly

  • BraneFrees

    Calling for term limits is one the silliest wastes of time I can imagine.

    Who in the world do you expect to vote themselves out of a HIGHLY lucrative and powerful position, with benefits that Joe Sixpack can’t even dream of?

    Not gonna happen.

    Next subject.

  • yardbird

    there are some noble ideas listed here, they may or may not make a difference. however i believe there is a way to fix the problems we have with congress. we must insist that all elected members of congress serve a mandatory two terms.
    one term in office and one term in prison. problem solved.

  • Christian for Israel

    How on Earth are we going to change the way Congress does business when they wont pass any legislation that would regulate there Earnings and Term Limits. You cant even elect new officials into congress because they become corrupt as soon as they are in office. The only way I see that we can do to change things is to have a Revolution, peaceful or not something has to be done. I would hope that a peaceful revolt would solve our Country’s problems but I don’t think it will be that easy.

  • mondobeyondo

    Congress: Of the money, by the money, and for the money. That’s it in a nutshell.

  • mondobeyondo

    Congress is the opposite of Progress. Don’t you already know that?! Heh!

  • http://www.gamingblogonline.com Mark

    This system is so ********************** up! :(

  • Game Over

    My Demands? Simple:

    1) Revolution
    2) ****************************

  • DownWithLibs

    I say we all nominate Gary2 to the House, that way he will FINALLY be swimming in money and we can all pound on his door when we are in need. Lets just see how Mr. “Tax and Spread” handles that!!!!

  • DownWithLibs

    Michael:

    All this tells me is that come the Tribulation you will be infinitely grateful not to be in their shoes. The transfer of wealth is annoying to see, however, a few measly billion fiat dollars isn’t worth eternity in a very warm place (and I don’t mean Florida!).

    • pete anderson

      You don’t mean “revelation”, do you, you ignorant twit? We all experience “tribulation”, noone yet has experienced “revelation”. Why? Because “revelation” in the religious sense is a tool to dominate others as is religion in general. Do you also believe in Santa Claus? No? Why not? Like god you never see him, he knows everything about you (when you are asleep or awake, whether you’ve been bad or good, etc.) Just like god, yes? Gadzooks people are gullible. More people have suffered horribly due to religion than to all wars in history. A warm place? I will take hell over heaven anytime!!!

      • DownWithLibs

        For your information, God hates religion too. It’s true. Religion is man made rules which, unfortunately, get twisted…not what God intended. Get a bible and look it up. As for not seeing God, I can tell you as a Christian, I have heard him (mostly non-verbally. Yeah, it’s a little hard to explain. And no, I am not psychotic!;-)).

        I really don’t think you need to resort to name-calling just because you choose not to believe the Truth. It really shows how ignorant, intolerant and close-minded you are. Besides, what do you care what I believe? And, hey, why all the hate? You really need to find the Truth soon, if for any other reason then to find happiness!!!

        As for your last statement…well, I really feel bad for you. Because as the bible says, “God will not be mocked”. You just mocked him big time.

  • http://EconomicCollapse Already Gone

    Reality Speaks The Cold Hard Truth,There Is No Hope What so Ever That These People Will Change,
    The People Of This Country Were Fooled Again,And Again,And Again.I Just Do Not Understand How People Can Be So Gulliable,Blind And Ignorant To What Has Been Going On Over The Years That It Took To Come To This Point in Life.Now They Are Getting Screwed And Screwed Royally And They Don’t Like It.In One Of MY Previous Comments I Said That If A Politican Tells You “*************** You And The Horse You Rode In On” And To Believe Them,Well What Else Do You Need To Know? There is No Real Answer To This
    Problem,We Must Remember That The Politicans Are
    Well Protected,State Of The Art Bunkers,Food For Years,Military,Secret Service,The List Go’s
    On, For A Long Time They Have Been Preparing For Trouble And At The Same Time Telling People Not To.That Everything Is Fine,How Many People Were Fooled By The Glib Tongue? Who Knows? How
    Many Really Care? But Still Every Election Year They Go Out And Vote For The Same Politican That Is Screwing Them,So They Must Like The Results. I Do Not Feel Sorry For AnyBody That Cannot Figure It Out. In Other Words,”Get A Life”

  • Matty

    It is coming…. the OWS crowd is coming Nancy. You think they like you with all your millions? I would be watching my back if I were you Nancy. They will come to take your money and ****************. I would hate to be a politician in Washington these days.

  • gary2

    Hey I got a great idea? How about we tax all the ass clowns in congress and the White house and spread the wealth???Any takers besides me?

    • JEFFY

      For once i agree with gary2!

    • pete anderson

      I’m with you, but let’s include the uber-wealthy, too.

      • Jackro

        Really Pete.
        How are you going to do that? It has been tried many times, but those pesky “uber-rich” will simply move to another country that wont tax their effort.

        Just so you know, you cannot raise the income tax to get at them. You cannot raise the capital gains tax and get at them. Why? As soon as you do, their money goes elsewhere. They could simply take it out of the system altogether and live out their life in the Bahamas and it wouldn’t hurt them one iota.

        The US on the other hand will die, slowly and painfully as all of the banks close up and the government defaults. Then all of your money will be worthless.

        If you are talking about taking their money from them directly, then you are a THIEF!!! You have also started a slippery slope which WILL eventually get to your and YOUR money.

  • Barn Cat

    That doesn’t take into account the money extorted from industries they’re about to “reform”. I’d love to know how many congressmen and senators have Swiss bank accounts.

    • DownWithLibs

      Yes, while denying us average citizens the wealth protection of off-shore accounts. Good question!!!!

  • http://www.youtube.com/safearmsreview SafearmsReview

    Wow so much money being spent by congress on themselves (those greedy bastards) and yet we have McCain proposing that we cut the retired military pensions & reduce their medical care.

    WHAT A CROCK OF CRAP!

    Our politicians vote for their own pay raises, get a TON for cost of living raises AND gigantic retirement pensions that continue to increase on top of what this article points out.

    IF only there was a way to get all those crooks out of office & replace them with ppl of honor & integrity.

    sigh…

    • expatriot

      Not to mention an elite health care account for the rest of their lives. Even if they only serve two years.

      It sucks having to listen to super rich people debate issues that effect us poor and middle class people.

  • JEFFY

    These stats are thoroughly disgusting, and most Americans have no idea. I have realized for years the corruption, but not to this extent. I’am a small buisness owner and try to educate my employees and customers about the corruption, but most people do not want to hear
    anything about it and they keep reelecting the
    same old/new loosers.

  • http://theeconomiccollapseblog.com/archives/12-facts-about-money-and-congress-that-are-so-outrageous-that-it-is-hard-to-believe-that-they-are-actually-true fred castle

    Are you kidding. All that money is the spillover they couldn’t hide. IMO they got away with lots more, but their laughter will be for but a season.
    fc

    • Kevin2

      You know you have a namesake that is a MOH Recipient?

  • r.bitting

    Jesus is the way, the truth, and the life. No man comes to the Father except throuh him… John 14:6… For God did not send his son to condemn the world,but that the world might be saved through him… John 3:17…. He who believes in him is not condemned; but he who does not believe is condemned already, because he has not believed in the name of the only begotten Son of God.

  • PioneerGirl

    Once upon a time, federal congressmen were chosen by the states (state legislators were chosen by their fellow state legislators to head to the Hill) rather than elected independently. Then, in the early 1900s, that was changed to the popular elections we have now (apparently they thought more democracy would be better). Perhaps if we went back to the orignal method of choosing federal congressmen, we would not have quite as many oligarchs in power. The cost of getting elected to a state legislator is not near as expensive as getting elected to the federal level. The only problem would be getting the genii back in the bottle.

  • jed

    Thank you for another interesting, fact-filled article.

    I have a request. If you have the time and the inclination, how about an article on how our representatives are elected?

    The idea in a democracy is that the people choose their representatives. But with the way congressional maps are gerrymandered these days, we now have a situation where the representatives choose who can vote for or against them. We basically have a Soviet system that, in about 70% of cases, draws district boundaries to ensure that only one party can win any given district. That party then thumbs its nose at the electorate and appoints a candidate who has no interest whatsoever in the welfare of his/her constituents.

    This system encourages extremism and discourages centrist problem solving. We don’t need term-limits; we need genuinely competitive congressional districts.

    • Michael

      I will have to put that story idea up in my head and have it start bouncing around. :)

      Michael

  • Gay Veteran

    “#9 Insider trading is perfectly legal for members of the U.S. Congress – and they refuse to pass a law that would change that.”

    If a peon did that they would go to jail.

    The elites (financial and political) do NOT have to obey the laws like the rest of us.

  • A.S.

    Pelosi is a typical politician: lie, cheat, steal, mislead, and deny/avert important questions. She knew 100% what the question meant: is it unethical/conflict of interest for you (or anyone else for that matter) to make insider trading investments? Duh! Just answer the question! Say it is, but…for congress it is legal!

  • A.S.

    It brings to mind the movie, “Distinguished Gentleman.” The hero, played by Eddie Murphy, a conman himself, got elected to Congress because he wanted to make easy money. In the end, he saw that lies making mountains of money in the end hurt actual people. So, since he had a conscience (Thank G-d), started to destroy members from within.

    Help me get elected to congress and the only promise I can give is to do my best to destroy the wealth of every member that lies, cheats, steals, misleads, and engages in insider trading. And while doing that I promise not to do any of that myself. I only have G-d to answer to, whom I fear.

    Pelosi, watch out! You are going down faster than Berlusconi lost his position!

  • A.S.

    Forgot something…

    I can only promise not to have so many children (since I am poor)(G-d forbid I will actually do this) if and only if every member of congress who engaged in insider trading serves a minimum of 10 years in general population prison.

  • Gary2

    Taken together, the Bush years exposed the bankruptcy behind the theory that tax cuts for the rich will spur economic growth. “Let the rich get richer and everybody will benefit?” says Stiglitz. “That, empirically, is wrong. It’s a philosophy of trickle-down economics that’s belied by the facts.” Bush and Cheney proved once and for all that tax cuts for the wealthy produce only two things: “lower growth and greater inequality.”

    The GOP’s frenzied handouts to the rich during the Bush era coincided with the weakest economic expansion since World War II – and the only one in modern American history in which the wages of working families actually fell and poverty increased.

    This proves we need to TAX the rich HARD.

  • Carol M. Kimball

    As your article holds true to government members/ elected or appointed who are already RICH (1%) they got the money while in business and/or after holding office or government (job) through inside trade information, contacts, rules and regulation info. or changes, and bills/laws passed to take advantage of opportunities to line their own pockets. So when they “cut” a social service, public schools, infrastructure, funding for research…etc. by a percentage that 2.5% for them is a drop but for the middle class it’s huge. The poor will always be poor because they really are trapped. The middle class is paying an unfair burden in taxes, fees, penalties, interest, and other costs while the people voted and ‘hired’ by our tax money to get extras is shameful. ONE- argument to have government jobs keeping pace with corporate America is to avoid under the table passing of money and favors (but that happens anyways) SECOND- for corporate America to ‘respect’ our politicians as ‘equals’ but corporate America tells government what to do anyway.THIRD- BUT with a soldier’s pay and the risks they take the pay is not good enough; even if they do get discounts on housing, food, supplies, (PX?), education, retirement pensions…etc. IF they survive battle conflict(s). SOCIAL SECURITY income is diminished by SOCIAL SECURITY BENEFITS which should be called DISABILITY BENEFITS since younger and disabled collect from SOCIAL SECURITY funds. AND government takes from SS anytime they want for OTHER things. Still – sadly – many people pay into SS and die before they tap in on what they put into the system – either way SS isn’t something to live off of but our pensions are being emptied and sold off, our 401K’s and IRA’s and our stocks, bonds, and CD’s are diminished all the time. Can you imagine if SS was rolled into the stock market? BUT BORROW BILLIONS from CHINA!? WHY? Why not raise import tax on stuff from China that’s putting American’s out of work? Why not demand China follow a fair trade agreement and buy our stuff?I’m not sure WHAT the answer is and my heart is with the ‘Occupy Wall Street’ peep who express many reasons the 99% is/should be upset – as well as the ‘Tea Party’ having some points to make AND just like the Harvard students are proving – even one of the biggest college endowments is playing the market with BIG money and not acting responsibly. Follow the Roman Empire’s demise and you’ll see similarities to (our) America’s possible demise. I’m not saying America isn’t worth saving, I’m saying we (99%) need to save our country from a pack of wolves eating from the inside. I consider American people who don’t protect the American citizen from financial ruin and a better quality of life, education, health, safety, and the pursuit of – gain of happiness are all traitors.

    • pete anderson

      A small comment. You say ” The middle class is paying an unfair burden in taxes, fees, penalties, interest, and other costs”. These monies would be OK if the gov didn’t blow it all on stuffed shirt dictators (Saddam Hussein, Afghan gov, Iraqi gov, Noriega, the list goes on and on and on) to support our theft of other nations’ natural resourses. We have and continue to ship arms to these unbelievable criminals in order that they may continue to stuff their own pockets to the detriment of the citizens. History will record the current times as the rise and fall of corporate greed.

  • Carol M. Kimball

    Government members/ elected or appointed use contacts and bills/laws passed to take advantage of opportunities to line their own pockets. So when they “cut” a social service, public schools, infrastructure…etc. by a percentage that 2.5% for them is a drop but for the middle class it’s huge. The poor are trapped. The middle class is paying an unfair burden in taxes, fees, penalties, interest, and other costs while the people voted and ‘hired’ by our tax money to get extras is shameful. ONE- argument to have government jobs keeping pace with corporate America is to avoid under the table passing of money and favors (but that happens anyways) SECOND- for corporate America to ‘respect’ our politicians as ‘equals’ but corporate America tells government what to do anyway. THIRD- BUT with a soldier’s pay and the risks they take the pay is not good enough; even if they do get discounts on housing, food, supplies, (PX?), education, retirement pensions…etc. IF they survive battle conflict(s). SOCIAL SECURITY income is diminished by SOCIAL SECURITY BENEFITS which should be called DISABILITY BENEFITS since younger and disabled collect from SOCIAL SECURITY funds. AND government takes from SS anytime they want for OTHER things. SS isn’t something to live off of but pensions are being emptied and sold off, our 401K’s and IRA’s and our stocks, bonds, and CD’s are diminished all the time. Can you imagine if SS was rolled into the stock market? BUT BORROW BILLIONS from CHINA!? WHY? Why not raise import tax on stuff from China that’s putting American’s out of work? Why not demand China follow a fair trade agreement and buy our stuff? ‘Occupy Wall Street’ peep who express many reasons the 99% is/should be upset – as well as the ‘Tea Party’ having points to make AND just like Harvard students are proving – even one of the biggest college endowments is playing the market with BIG money and not acting responsibly. Follow the Roman Empire’s demise and you’ll see similarities to (our) America’s possible demise. I’m not saying America isn’t worth saving, we need to save our country from a pack of wolves eating from the inside. I consider American people who don’t protect the American citizen from financial ruin and a better quality of life, education, health, safety, and the pursuit of – gain of happiness are all traitors.

  • Harry

    I find it pathetic that people will re-elect the same bureaucrat to office knowing this type of unethical practice goes on. I never re-elect the same person to office in order for them to not have a chance of getting rich on our money, no matter how good they are. The temptation for them is too risky. These shysters should be one-termers only.

  • http://theeconomiccollapseblog.com/archives/young-girls-banned-from-selling-girl-scout-cookies-on-their-own-front-lawn Haalen

    These guys get up and parade themselves in mainstream news and get elected by telling Americans just what they want to hear. I have nothing in common with any of these guys so I don’t vote. Why should I believe that someone who is a corporate executive, lawyer or professional politician has my best interest.

    There was a time in America when anything used in the construction of a public works job had to be made in America; And everything purchased in government offices had to be produced in America. This created jobs for Americans.

    It was once said: if it is good for America, it is good for business; if it is good for Americans it is good for business. Who turned these principles upside down? Those people who supported the Ronald Reagan trickle down nonsense and free-trade can see the consequences of that policy today with fewer jobs left in America.

    I retired when I was 49 years of age and I am just a carpenter, and a high-school dropout as well. I know a lot of high school dropouts who have done well and have successful businesses. Why don’t we elect some carpenters, plumbers, cement finishers, cocktail waitresses and janitors? Let’s throw these elite money-masters out.

  • bill habedank

    Numero Uno always seems to come first these days and the people who do this don’t care one iota about those left behing – a fact hard to refute. I don’t expect things to change without a massive revolt. If you haven’t participated in the Occupations, now is the time to do it.

  • http://righthand-lady.blogspot.com/2011_11_01_archive.html Isobel

    Could you please compare the SAME years… that way it becomes a better tool to discuss things with fools who still think things are better.

    #1 The collective net worth of all of the members of Congress increased by 25 percent between 2008 and 2010.

    #2 The collective net worth of all of the members of Congress is now slightly over 2 billion dollars. That is “billion” with a “b”.

    #3 This happened during a time when the net worth of most American households was declining rapidly. According to the Federal Reserve, the collective net worth of all American households decreased by 23 percent between 2007 and 2009.

  • Timo44

    The problem is there is to many problems and things are so out of control that God is the only one that can fix all this mess. The bible say satan rules this world and if we follow the money we will find satan behind all the mess in the world. The problems are so huge and so many people in power are the main reasons we have these problems because all these people care about is staying in power and stepping on the people below them. So if you don’t believe in God well now is a time to start because things are only going to get worst.

  • http://www.argosy.edu Michael

    To Carrol Kimball.., since when did China LEND the US anything? China has PURCHASED yours and mine, all of this Nations’s Debt.., and thereby is crippling it’s own interests, because Americans want it all NOW, use no restraint, love long-winded excuses, and speak as you.., without one thumb on the reality that this is a WORLD-WIDE issue, and if you’re going to lambast and despise the power and money it will take to keep this Nation afloat, by also despising Individual Right to HAVE Wealth, whether you are born into it, work your ass off for it, play the stock arket or barter with baron for it.., it is still granted by virtue of an intellectual property which is YOUR OWN TO BEGIN WTIH, AND AN ATLAS-LIKE decision to sacrifice yourself in public service (to even those who will despise you) and SHARE IT WITH OTHERS. You love topoint your flaccid fingers at ones who do have the wherewithal to make some changes. When you are one of them, perhaps you will not be so ready to despise your own Nation, as those Congress/wo/men, are there because either you DID or DID NOT.. take a stance. It is easy to be a blogpost-Rambo and rival pedant. But when you stand before the Nation.., I wonder what your belly-aching will do for any of We The People..(yes, The Good, The Bad, and the Congressional alike)

  • CLARENCE SWINNEY

    EASY TO WRITE HARD TO DO
    a. Public financed campaigns.
    Candidates take O money or use O personal money
    B. Members and staff of Congress and White House take no gifts of any type. No $-No free meals No trips No sex O O O

    middle claas can get elected

  • CLARENCE SWINNEY

    THNKS TO STAFF HERE THIS IS ONE GREEEEEAT ARTICLE NEEDS PUBLICATION

  • http://www.god-economics.webs.com Jasper Jones

    The Governments of the People of America: National Lottery to Retire National Debt and Fund Citizen Needs Grant Act!

    ONCE ENACTED CONGRESS’S WILL NOT NEED TO BE IN session(i.e. OPERATING) AS Much AND TO PARAPHASE MARK TWAIN CITIZEN WEALTH AND LIBERTY WILL NOT BE IN JEOPARDY AS often as it is now with Congres in session!

    Why This Is Important
    THE NATIONAL & STATE DEBT RETIREMENT AND NATIONAL COMPREHENSIVE UNEMPLOYMENT INSURANCE FUNDING LOTTERY AND MARTIN LUTHER KING DAY CITIZEN NEEDS FUNDING GRANT ACT!
    WHEREAS, Society’s common social needs such as defence, schools, public roads, comprehensive unemployment compensation, social welfare needs, that cannot be provided for by the single individual citizen alone, are paid for by tax levies and/or government enterprise revenues, such as state sponsored lottery’s and government bond debt finance. Since the majority of States have State sponsored lotteries and we as a Nation have need for a reliable national common pool revenue source, the time for a federated national lottery has arrived!
    WHEREAS, The rich of our society (i.e. our modern day money-changers) are not going to pay tax levies voluntarily and our society’s common social needs must be paid for we are proposing the NATIONAL & STATE DEBT RETIREMENT AND NATIONAL COMPREHENSIVE UNEMPLOYMENT INSURANCE FUNDING LOTTERY AND MARTIN LUTHER KING DAY CITIZEN NEEDS FUNDING GRANT ACT!
    WHEREAS, OUR GOVERNMENT REPRESENTATIVES HAVE DEMONSTRATED THAT THEY DO NOT NOW HAVE THE INTEGRITY AND CAPACITY TO MANAGE OUR GOVERNMENT FINANCES (I.E. OUR MONEY) BY THE NATIONAL DEBT MESS AND THE workings of the American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC) http://www.alecexposed.org/wiki/ALEC_Exposed/ that have been exposed as a MONEY-POLITICAL- CORRUPTION circus.. A MONEY-POLITICAL- CORRUPTION circus that has given our country twenty-five percent of the people in the world in prison while being only four percent of the world’s population. It is time NOW to put in a Legislated Money Management System in place to systematically retire the NATIONAL & STATES DEBTS AND NATIONAL COMPREHENSIVE UNEMPLOYMENT INSURANCE, PLUS AUTOMATICALLY FUND OUR SOCIAL AND ECONOMIC ADVANCEMENT NEEDS!
    WHAT, ENACT A VOLUNTEER PARTICIPATION NATIONAL LOTTERY TO SYSTEMATICALLY RETIRE THE NATIONAL & STATES GOVERNMENT DEBTS, AND NATIONAL COMPREHENSIVE UNEMPLOYMENT INSURANCE, PLUS THE ENDOWMENT FUNDING OF AN INDIVIDUAL DEVELOPMENT ACCOUNT TRUST AGREEMENT (IDATA) FINANCIAL SUPPORT SYSTEM FOR CITIZENS IN FINANCIAL AND/OR SOCIAL DISTRESS SITUATIONS!
    SHORT NAME OF LAW, THE NATIONAL & STATE DEBT RETIREMENT FUNDING AND NATIONAL COMPREHENSIVE UNEMPLOYMENT INSURANCE LOTTERY AND MARTIN LUTHER KING DAY CITIZEN NEEDS FUNDING GRANT ACT!
    WHY, THE WORLD IS LOOKING AT US ASTONISHED THAT WE THE PEOPLE OF THE UNITED STATES THE SOVEREIGN CITIZEN RULERS OF OUR SOCIETY HAVE ALLOWED OUR SYSTEM OF GOVERNMENT TO BE CORRUPTED TO THE POINT OF SELF-FINANCIAL-DESTRUCTION! THE ACT WILL TAKE STRUCTURAL MANAGEMENT OF GOVERNMENT DEBT OUT THE HANDS OF OUR GOVERNMENT REPRESENTATIVES AND PLACE IT IN THE HANDS OF THE PEOPLE – BECAUSE THE ACTS APPROACH TO RAISING GOVERNMENT REVENUE IS CITIZEN VOLUNTARY PARTICIPATION, THE BORROW AND SPEND – TAX AND SPEND SPECIAL INTEREST GROUPS DO NOT HAVE AN OPPOSITION PLATFORM BASIS TO BLOCK THE PASSAGE OF THE ACT!
    FYI…sounds good to me
    PREAMBLE
    *I have totally cleaned this e-mail from all other names, sending it to you in hopes you will keep it going and keep it clean. This is something I will fight for and I hope you all read it all the way through. You will be glad you did.
    LEGAL ACTION ARCHETYPES
    *The 26th amendment (granting the right to vote for 18 year-olds) took Only 3 months & 8 days to be ratified!
    Why? Simple! The people demanded it.
    That was in 1971…before computers, before e-mail, before cell phones, etc.
    Of the 27 amendments to the Constitution, seven (7) took 1 year or less to become the law of the land…all because of public pressure.
    HOW THE ACT WOULD WORK
    The purpose of the act is to create a National Lottery Enterprise Revenue and Volunteer Tax Levy System that funds National & State debt retirement with comprehensive unemployment insurance funding pool; an access to capital credit resource for all businesses, especially small and medium size for their advancement and to create a Permanent Individual Citizen Economic Security Advancement FINANCE Support System. The National Lottery Enterprise Revenue and Volunteer Tax Levy System will function to MOBIILIZE THE GREAT ASSET WEALTH OF THE CITIZENS OF THE UNITED STATES TO WORK FOR THEIR MAXIMUM BENEFIT. INFORMATION ON THE GREAT ASSET WEALTH OF THE CITIZENS OF THE UNITED STATES CAN BE OBTAINED BY VISITING THE WEB SITE http://cafr1.com/
    The current economic and social distress created by the corruption of our society’s FINANCIAL AND HUMAN SUPPORT institutions requires that we address the situation immediately by creating a source of revenue to fund a cooperative banking financial institution system by volunteer citizens contribution through an INSTITUTION CREATION BILL THAT WOULD BE OFFICIALLY KNOWN AS THE NATIONAL & STATE DEBT RETIREMENT AND NATIONAL COMPREHENSIVE UNEMPLOYMENT INSURANCE FUNDING LOTTERY AND MARTIN LUTHER KING DAY CITIZEN NEEDS FUNDING GRANT for Citizen’s in Distress Bailout and for Small Business Development and for Permanent Individual Economic Security, Act!
    THE FUNDING MECHANISM OF THE BILL IS BY VOLUNTARY PARTICIPATION THIS APPROACH WILL ACT to NEUTRALIZE. the BORROW AND SPEND – TAX AND SPEND SPECIAL INTEREST GROUPS whose institutionalized OPPOSITION PLATFORM POLITICAL LOBBYING WOULD ACT TO BLOCK THE PASSAGE OF THE ACT!
    NATIONAL & STATE DEBT RETIREMENT FUNDING AND NATIONAL COMPREHENSIVE UNEMPLOYMENT INSURANCE LOTTERY AND MARTIN LUTHER KING DAY CITIZEN NEEDS FUNDING GRANT for Citizen’s in Distress Bailout and for Small Business Development and for Permanent Individual Economic Security, Act – which is to be the legal FULL NAME OF THE LEGAL APPROPRIATION vehicle to provide the Training-to-Work Support Services needed in our Computer Age Economy and the Community Family Job Life Instruction Social Support Services needed in our community with Neighborhood Business Development and Participation Benefits for Our Tax Dollars!
    That in this time of on-going Economic Depression and Global Physical cataclysm by Climate Change we would All do well to take heed of Almighty God’s instructions and participate in the implementation of the Economics of God Almighty – by the IDATA Process – Our Modern Times Jubilee as a stopping measure to the on-going 2009 Economic Depression via the enactment of the NATIONAL & STATE DEBT RETIREMENT FUNDING AND NATIONAL COMPREHENSIVE UNEMPLOYMENT INSURANCE LOTTERY AND MARTIN LUTHER KING DAY CITIZEN NEEDS FUNDING GRANT for Citizen’s in Distress Bailout and for Small Business Development and for Permanent Individual Economic Security, Act!
    Act National Lottery Ticket Sales and Funding Grant Awards
    Each State or Territory of the United States shall establish a branch of the National Cooperative Bank (NCB) in their State or Territory Capital Seat except for the State of North Dakota which already has a taxpayer owned State banking operation. The Capital Seat NCB Branch shall serve as the depository institution for lottery ticket sales. Sales of the Act Lottery Tickets shall be by the United States Postal Service Offices in the State or Territory, unless the State has a State Liquor Store System. If the State has a State Liquor Store System then Act Lottery Tickets shall be by the United States Postal Service Offices in the State or Territory, and by the State’s Liquor Store System sales sites.
    State or Territory Act award drawings shall be held on a monthly basis. The monthly Act award drawing amounts shall be apportioned and awarded as follows:
    – Half of all Act net revenue shall be apportioned to pay down the National Debt;
    – Act net revenue means the amount net of the costs of ticket sales including an overhead allocation to State or Territory Postal Service Office and the State’s Liquor Store System sales sites.
    – Monthly award drawings shall be held in the Capital Seat of each State or Territory, each State or Territory award drawing will be apportioned as follows: the revenue available to each State or Territory shall be equivalent to their monthly percentage portion of that months national ticket sales, half of the proceeds shall be apportioned to pay down the State or Territory Debt and of remaining net revenue State Territory amount one half is to be awarded to the taxpayer whose ticket number was selected in the monthly drawing and the remaining amount is to be apportioned to fund the State or Territory’s COMPREHENSIVE UNEMPLOYMENT INSURANCE, which is the ENDOWMENT FUNDING OF AN INDIVIDUAL DEVELOPMENT ACCOUNT TRUST AGREEMENT (IDATA) FINANCIAL SUPPORT SYSTEM FOR ALL IN FINANCIAL AND/OR SOCIAL DISTRESS SITUATIONS!;
    The selected taxpayer at the award ceremony is to receive their award check and to hand the States or Territory debt payment award check to the State or Territory’s Treasurer; the monthly award drawing held in the District of Columbia will also feature the taxpayer winner of the award handing the national debt payment award check the Treasurer of the United States of America in addition to the District of Columbia (DC) Territory Treasurer’s check for the DC Territory debt pay-off.
    The Act is a legal vehicle for financing Institutional Guardianship – (individual development account trust agreements – [IDATA’’s] through the Martin Luther King (MLK) National Cooperative Bank Endowment for Economic, Education, Environmental and Social Justice Promotion Grants/Loans funded by every other year working on MLK Federal Holiday with federal taxes going to off federal budget balance sheet endowment for funding the MLK Bank!
    An example of an institutional guardianship program is the Community Rebirth Organization Plan (CROP™) – Action Team® IDATA Programs. The MLK Bank Program must begin NOW to dampen the ON-GOING Depression of 2009. We have had the Money Market Panic of 2008 to end the on-going 2009 Depression the Federal Congress needs to draft and enact the NATIONAL & STATE DEBT RETIREMENT FUNDING AND NATIONAL COMPREHENSIVE UNEMPLOYMENT INSURANCE LOTTERY MLK Individual Development Account Trust Funding Grant Act (i.e. the IDATA Funding Act A.K.A. the John Q. Public Bailout for Small Business Development and Permanent Individual Economic Security Act) Now ! The IDATA Funding Act would be funded on odd number years the next even number year would be a management review, program improvement and modification year.
    We must now take the financial and social needs of our society out of the hands of Congressional whims and make access to health and wealth development support a permanent program of our government! Recession and Depression cycles are a permanent part of our economic system yet there is no permanent economic and social distress vehicle for John Q. Public to advance via ownership of a business to make a living!
    See web site – http://www.god-economics.webs.com/ for more information
    Demand THE NATIONAL & STATE DEBT RETIREMENT AND NATIONAL COMPREHENSIVE UNEMPLOYMENT INSURANCE FUNDING LOTTERY AND MARTIN LUTHER KING DAY CITIZEN NEEDS FUNDING GRANT ACT – i.e. the John Q. Public Bailout for Small Business Development and Permanent Individual Economic Security Act be enacted now!
    MONEY – FEDERAL RESERVE FACTS & STATISTICS TO KNOW
    The overarching issue is the money! The government operation finance money is being obtained in a manner that is not equitable and it does not provide adequately for the common welfare. In order for the common welfare to be adequatedly address at this time in our history requires a COMPREHENSIVE UNEMPLOYMENT INSURANCE FUNDING AND CITIZEN IN NEED SUPPORT RESOURCE DISTRIBUTION SYSTEM. The Untied States Constitution on the subject of the common good “We the People of the United States, in Order to form a more perfect Union, establish Justice, insure domestic Tranquility, provide for the common defence, promote the general Welfare, and secure the Blessings of Liberty to ourselves and our Posterity, do ordain and establish this Constitution for the United States of America.”

    The money that We the People use is to be created and regulated in the following manner per the Untied States Constitution “Section 8 – Powers of Congress
    The Congress shall have Power To lay and collect Taxes, Duties, Imposts and Excises, to pay the Debts and provide for the common Defence and general Welfare of the United States; but all Duties, Imposts and Excises shall be uniform throughout the United States;
    To borrow money on the credit of the United States;
    To regulate Commerce with foreign Nations, and among the several States, and with the Indian Tribes;
    To establish an uniform Rule of Naturalization, and uniform Laws on the subject of Bankruptcies throughout the United States;
    To coin Money, regulate the Value thereof, and of foreign Coin, and fix the Standard of Weights and Measures;
    To provide for the Punishment of counterfeiting the Securities and current Coin of the United States;
    To raise and support Armies, but no Appropriation of Money to that Use shall be for a longer Term than two Years;
    To make all Laws which shall be necessary and proper for carrying into Execution the foregoing Powers, and all other Powers vested by this Constitution in the Government of the United States, or in any Department or Officer thereof.”
    NOTE, PER THE CONSTITUTION, THAT OUR CONGRESSIONAL REPRESENTATIVES DUTY IS TO MANAGE OUR MONEY NOT A CENTRAL BANK (i.e. The Federal Reserve Bamking System [the Fed])!
    Paraphrased Quotes from other writers on this subject!
    “This collapse is thoroughly detailed by the prescient Mike Ruppert in his book Crossing the Rubicon, the book Collapse: The Crisis of Energy and Money in a Post Peak Oil World, and the film Collapse. His web site Collapsenet continues to report on events as they happen.”
    “If the Fed has been creating money out of thin air, and some of that money has found its way into the stock market to support stock prices, why would the stock market crash, and why can’t the Fed just continue to do this forever?”
    That’s the $64 trillion dollar question and the explanation is quite complex, but I’m going to try my best to present the simplified answer.
    In response to the financial crisis of late 2008, the Fed announced their plan of “quantitative easing,” which is nothing more than printing money out of thin air.
    That is a destructive process, but the Fed is selling it to the public as beneficial.
    It is not beneficial, and here is what is happening (this is the reason the Fed can’t continue along this path forever):
    1. The Fed creates trillions and uses the new money to make outright purchases of agency debt (mortgage-backed securities) and U.S. Treasury debt. (most of 2009 into the first quarter of 2010) This forces down interest rates immediately; but currency debasement is longer-term inflationary because it dilutes the value of the currency.
    2. The lower interest rates failed to spur a recovery in the housing market or an increase in bank lending, so the Fed continues with QE lite (using the money from the expiring agency bonds to purchase additional U.S. Treasury securities – summer of 2010).
    3. The economy still suffers, so the Fed on September 22, 2010, announces they stand ready to engage in further easing (i.e. a bigger dose of quantitative easing).
    4. Wise investors know that printing money out of thin air will lead to higher inflation, and smart money begins to flow into items that will protect against inflation, such as gold, silver, and basic raw commodities. (latter half of summer, 2010, right up till today, as in right now.)
    5. With the cost of raw materials rising rapidly, prices of finished basic goods begin to rise rapidly as well, which shows up in the official inflation figures a few months later.
    6. With inflation rising, the free market refuses to lend at record low interest rates, and interest rates begin a rapid climb.
    7. Rising interest rates cause the $449 TRILLION interest rate swap market to blow up, just like the $60 trillion credit default swap market blew up in late 2008.
    8. Game over.
    I know without a doubt the sequence above is accurate. I also know we have started into step 5. Just this morning, CNBC came out with this list FOR THE QUARTER:
    Oil +8%
    Gasoline +7%
    Corn +15%
    Sugar +26%
    Oats +21%
    Copper +9%
    O.J. +8%
    Soybeans +9%
    Meanwhile, the Dollar -9% AND FALLING FAST!
    It has been said over, and over, and over again: debasing the currency is destructive.
    It leads to dilution of the purchasing power of the currency, which shows up as rising prices, which the mainstream media calls “inflation.”
    How long will it take to reach step 8, game over? I don’t know for certain, but I’d say we are just a few months away.
    You know what a disaster the blow up of credit default swaps was in 2008.
    Well, the interest rate swap market is 7 times bigger than the credit default swap market was at its largest.
    “When interest rates go up, and they will as explained above, the interest rate swap market will turn into an epic disaster, and ruin our financial system.”
    By Ben Bernanke’s own words, we came close to that happening in 2008. Next time, I don’t believe we will be so lucky.
    It’s not a matter of if, it’s only a matter of “when.”
    Federal Reserve gave 16 Trillion of your dollars to their buddies
    The first ever GAO (Government Accountability Office) audit of the Federal Reserve was carried out in the past few months due to the Ron Paul, Alan Grayson Amendment to the Dodd-Frank bill, which passed last year. Jim DeMint, a Republican Senator, and Bernie Sanders, an independent Senator, led the charge for a Federal Reserve audit in the Senate, but watered down the original language of the house bill (HR1207), so that a complete audit would not be carried out. Ben Bernanke, Alan Greenspan, and various other bankers vehemently opposed the audit and lied to Congress about the effects an audit would have on markets. Nevertheless, the results of the first audit in the Federal Reserve’s nearly 100 year history were posted on Senator Sander’s webpage earlier this morning. What was revealed in the audit was startling: $16,000,000,000,000.00 (TRILLION) had been secretly given out to US banks and corporations and foreign banks everywhere from France to Scotland. From the period between December 2007 and June 2010, the Federal Reserve had secretly bailed out many of the world’s banks, corporations, and governments. The Federal Reserve likes to refer to these secret bailouts as an all-inclusive loan program, but virtually none of the money has been returned and it was loaned out at 0% interest.
    Why the Federal Reserve had never been public about this or even informed the United States Congress about the $16 trillion dollar bailout is obvious – the American public would have been outraged to find out that the Federal Reserve bailed out foreign banks while Americans were struggling to find jobs.
    To place $16 trillion into perspective, remember that GDP of the United States is only $14.12 trillion. The entire national debt of the United States government spanning its 200+ year history is ‘only’ $14.5 trillion. The budget that is being debated so heavily in Congress and the Senate is ‘only’ $3.5 trillion. Take all of the outrage and debate over the $1.5 trillion deficit into consideration, and swallow this Red pill: There was no debate about whether $16,000,000,000,000 would be given to failing banks and failing corporations around the world.
    In late 2008, the TARP Bailout bill was passed and loans of $800 billion were given to failing banks and companies. That was a blatant lie considering the fact that Goldman Sachs alone received 814 billion dollars. As is turns out, the Federal Reserve donated $2.5 trillion to Citigroup, while Morgan Stanley received $2.04 trillion. The Royal Bank of Scotland and Deutsche Bank, a German bank, split about a trillion and numerous other banks received hefty chunks of the $16 trillion.
    -This is a clear case of socialism for the rich and rugged, you’re-on-your-own individualism for everyone else.- Bernie Sanders(I-VT)
    When you have conservative Republican stalwarts like Jim DeMint(R-SC) and Ron Paul(R-TX) as well as self identified Democratic socialists like Bernie Sanders all fighting against the Federal Reserve, you know that it is no longer an issue of Right versus Left. When you have every single member of the Republican Party in Congress and progressive Congressmen like Dennis Kucinich sponsoring a bill to audit the Federal Reserve, you realize that the Federal Reserve is an entity onto itself, which has no oversight and no accountability.
    Americans should be swelled with anger and outrage at the abysmal state of affairs when an unelected group of bankers can create money out of thin air and give it out to megabanks and super-corporations like Halloween candy. If the Federal Reserve and the bankers who control it believe that they can continue to devalue the savings of Americans and continue to destroy the US economy, they will have to face the realization that their trillion dollar printing presses can be stopped with millions of ballots and petition signatures asking for the NATIONAL AND STATE DEBT RETIREMENT FUNDING LOTTERY AND MARTIN LUTHER KING DAY CITIZEN NEEDS FUNDING GRANT ACT!.
    [Regardless of whether this money is fiat money (money printed with nothing of value to back it), if it is a currency forced on society and the world, with enforcement by the Fed, IRS, the U.S. military, et al, –which it is– the acts of the Federal Reserve are, in essence, the transfer of greater wealth to the rich insider banks and corporations, while the rest of the world grows poorer, and as the value of this funny money grows less and less in purchasing power. These insider banks, etc., then, exchange this funny money for gold and silver, the real wealth of the world, which, then, re-inflates the world with more and more devaluing federal reserve notes. This, then, creates hyper-inflation, increasing the cost of all resources and commodities, while gold and silver climb to never-seen-before levels of value.
    This is how the Federal Reserve insiders steal the wealth of the world and why the rich get richer while the poor get poorer. It’s the world’s largest Ponzi scheme! The Federal Reserve is nothing but a front for a small group of families who run a very large and successful white collar criminal Ponzi scheme. This criminal institution should be seized by the U.S. Treasury department and all assets frozen, and returned to the coffers of the U.S. Treasury in order to settle the U.S. debt and help begin to balance the U.S. deficit. All banks (listed below) should be forced to return the money received by the Federal Reserve. All families in ownership of the Fed and their agents should be located, caught, tried and jailed for grand larceny and treason against WE the People of the U.S.A., Per the Constitution our money is to be managed/crated by our Congressional Representatives. All government agents who protect and help facilitate this criminal organization should be fired from the positions and similarly tried and jailed for grand larceny and treason. Meanwhile, Congress should return our country to its original monetary system (Lincoln greenbacks backed by precious metals) and, again, do its duty to regulate the coining of the currency of America as per the U.S. Constitution.]
    The list of institutions that received the most money from the Federal Reserve can be found on page 131 of the GAO Audit and are as follows..
    Citigroup: $2.5 trillion ($2,500,000,000,000)
    Morgan Stanley: $2.04 trillion ($2,040,000,000,000)
    Merrill Lynch: $1.949 trillion ($1,949,000,000,000)
    Bank of America: $1.344 trillion ($1,344,000,000,000)
    Barclays PLC (United Kingdom): $868 billion ($868,000,000,000)
    Bear Sterns: $853 billion ($853,000,000,000)
    Goldman Sachs: $814 billion ($814,000,000,000)
    Royal Bank of Scotland (UK): $541 billion ($541,000,000,000)
    JP Morgan Chase: $391 billion ($391,000,000,000)
    Deutsche Bank (Germany): $354 billion ($354,000,000,000)
    UBS (Switzerland): $287 billion ($287,000,000,000)
    Credit Suisse (Switzerland): $262 billion ($262,000,000,000)
    Lehman Brothers: $183 billion ($183,000,000,000)
    Bank of Scotland (United Kingdom): $181 billion ($181,000,000,000)
    BNP Paribas (France): $175 billion ($175,000,000,000)
    Is the Fed Pumping up America’s Oil bill?
    The Fed’s double barreled rate cuts in January, ricocheted into the foreign exchange market, weakening an already wobbly US$, which in turn, put a floor under the crude oil market at $87 /barrel. Nymex traders figure another half-point Fed rate cut could lift crude oil above $100 /barrel, and boosted their net long oil positions to 60,873 contracts last week, compared with 39,933 in the previous week.
    The United States imported a record $331 billion worth of crude oil last year, at an average price of $64.25 per barrel. Ironically, if the US is forced to import crude oil at $95 per barrel or higher this year, due to the Fed’s aggressive rate cuts, the import bill for 2008 could jump by roughly $150 billion, and completely negate Washington’s upcoming $152 billion economic stimulus package.
    In other words, Washington is going deeper into debt, to help American motorists pay for the higher cost of imported oil, which in turn, will flow into the hands of Iran’s Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, Saudi king Abdullah, Venezuela’s strongman Hugo Chavez, and the Kremlin’s FX reserves, already at $480 billion. On Jan 15th, Saudi’s oil minister Ali al-Nami pointed out that, “Financial speculators are adding $20 to $30 to the price of oil. If you look at who is in the market, you’ll find a lot of financial institutions, players who are speculating, using the market as a hedge against a weak dollar.”
    The US dollar is in a terminal decline marked by a loss of confidence in the Fed, and weakened by big budget and trade deficits. A budget surplus of 2.4% of gross domestic product greeted Mr Bush as he took office, but under Bush, the US Treasury’s outstanding debt is about $3.6 trillion higher to a record $9.2 trillion. To compensate for the dollar’s weakness, OPEC oil producers are aiming for higher oil prices. On Feb 22nd, Chavez said $100 per barrel is a fair price. “This is not a situation that is a peak that then falls. We are sure of this and will do everything we can in OPEC to keep supporting the price of our oil,” he said.
    Venezuela produces 2.2 million barrels per day, and ships 1.5 million bpd to the United States. But Chavez has warned that crude oil may reach $200, if Exxon Mobil wins a court battle over Venezuelan assets. “If you don’t stop trying to freeze, doing us damage, we can do you damage. We won’t send oil to the US. Get this, Mr Bush, Mr Danger. If the economic war continues against Venezuela, the price of oil will reach $200 a barrel. Venezuela will take up the economic war,” he warned.
    Iran expects to earn a record $63 billion from oil sales in the year ending in March, and has boosted its oil output to 4.2 million barrels per day, the highest since its 1979 Islamic revolution. Following the collapse of the Bush administration’s campaign to economically isolate Iran, Tehran signed a contract with China’s Sinopec for the development of its giant 18.3 billion barrel Yadavaran oil field. Russia’s Gazprom also signed a deal to develop Iran’s South pars gas field.
    In return, Russian kingpin Vladimir Putin shipped 85 tons of nuclear fuel to Iran after a US intelligence report released on Dec 3rd, concluded Tehran had stopped its nuclear weapons program in late 2003 and had not resumed it since. Yet on Feb 24th, Iran said it started using new centrifuges that can churn out enriched uranium at more than double the rate of the machines that now form the backbone of its nuclear program. A former UN nuclear inspector, David Albright, estimated that Iran could produce enough material for a nuclear warhead in a year.
    Tension in the Middle East and saber rattling from Tehran and Caracas are familiar tactics to pump up the price of crude oil. But can the global economy live with crude oil prices ranging around $100 /barrel or higher? As far as the US stock markets are concerned, the Fed has pumped so much monetary morphine into the system, that equity traders don’t feel the pain of sky high oil prices.
    OPEC oil producers can hardly believe their good fortune. The Bernanke Fed has driven US dollar deposit rates into negative territory, adjusted for inflation, and inflated the price of crude oil to $100 /barrel. For OPEC, the windfall could reach $1 trillion in oil revenue this year. Iran and Saudi Arabia are expected to lower their oil output by 200,000 bpd next month, to prevent a sizeable slide in the oil market, when global demand normally recedes in the second quarter.
    “Commodity Super Cycle” sweeps into Japan,
    Japan is an industrial powerhouse, but imports all of its oil, most of its raw materials, and almost two-thirds of its food consumption. So it wasn’t surprising to hear that Japan’s annual wholesale inflation hit a 27-year high of 3% in January, due to rising oil, raw material and food costs. Tokyo says its economy is still wrestling with deflation, but the truth is, Japan escaped the deflation trap four years ago.
    Still, the Bank of Japan pegs its overnight loan rate at only 0.50%, the lowest on the planet, and far below the 3% inflation rate. In other words, Japanese bank deposits and bond yields offer negative interest rates, whetting the speculative appetite of Tokyo gold traders, who are bidding up the yellow metal to stay ahead of global inflation, and the arrival of a new Bank of Japan policy chief.
    Despite the surge in inflation to multi-decade highs and soaring commodity prices, BoJ chief Toshihiko Fukui said he won’t react hastily to short-term developments. “Companies won’t be comfortable if we suddenly tighten or ease,” Fukui said, adding that the BoJ was examining both downside risks to the economy, and long-term risks of inflation overheating, before deciding on adjusting interest rates.
    Want to add to your learning curve?
    USA.gov is government data base search engine.
    The following link is where you want to start to find CAFR reports in adobe .pdf format:
    http://search.usa.gov/search?utf8=%E2%9C%93&input-form=advanced&query=CAFR&query-limit=&query-quote=&query-quote-limit=&query-or=&query-or-limit=&query-not=&query-not-limit=&filetype=pdf&sitelimit=&siteexclude=&fedstates=all&per-page=10&filter=off&x=34&y=21
    The search line will already have in it: “CAFR filetype:pdf”
    Put any State or city or school district or county or enterprise authority in after “CAFR filetype:pdf” and hit search.
    EXAMPLES: CAFR filetype:pdf New Jersey
    CAFR filetype:pdf Alaska
    CAFR filetype:pdf Dallas
    You will find CAFRs for your local governments that you never knew existed. There were about 14,400 hits for .pdf files to download or view local government CAFRs with the above search phrase used.
    With the search phrase “Annual Financial Report” filetype:pdf now things get very interesting. The hits were approximately 91,300,000 hits (91 million 300 thousand) .pdf file hits.
    http://search.usa.gov/search?utf8=%E2%9C%93&input-form=advanced&query=&query-limit=&query-quote=Annual+Financial+Report&query-quote-limit=&query-or=&query-or-limit=&query-not=&query-not-limit=&filetype=pdf&sitelimit=&siteexclude=&fedstates=all&per-page=10&filter=off&x=31&y=12
    Now do the same and hit search, putting after “Annual Financial Report” filetype:pdf already in the search line any State or city or school district or county or enterprise authority in after “Annual Financial Report” filetype:pdf
    EXAMPLES: “Annual Financial Report” filetype:pdf “City of Prescott”
    “Annual Financial Report” filetype:pdf Florida
    “Annual Financial Report” filetype:pdf Massachusetts
    “Annual Financial Report” “Arizona State University”
    **Learn how wealthy your local governments are in spite of the smoke screens to the contrary that are put up by the political parties; syndicated Print-TV-Radio media sound bites that are selectively presented; and your own local political and educational government’s contrived rhetoric.
    The world of control and ownership is much different than you imagine or were ever taught by your control handlers. (mostly elected or appointed attorneys to our own severe detriment)
    Want to add to your learning curve?- Sent FYI from.
    Walter Burien – CAFR1
    P. O. Box 2112
    Saint Johns, AZ 85936
    Tel. (928) 458-5854
    http://CAFR1.com/ and http://TaxRetirement.com/
    FOLLOW-UP ACTIONS
    CONTACT YOUR STATE GOVERNMENT REPRESENTATIVES & FEDERAL SENATORS AND CONGRESSIONAL REPRESENTATIVE DEMAND THAT THEY CO-SPONSOR AND PASS THE NATIONAL & STATE DEBT RETIREMENT AND NATIONAL COMPREHENSIVE UNEMPLOYMENT INSURANCE FUNDING LOTTERY AND MARTIN LUTHER KING DAY CITIZEN NEEDS FUNDING GRANT ACT!
    *WE THE PEOPLE are asking each addressee to forward this email to a minimum of twenty people on their address list; in turn ask each of those to do likewise.
    In three days, most people in The United States of America will have the message. This is one idea that really should be passed around.
    *If each person contacts a minimum of twenty people then it will only take three days for most people (in the U.S. ) to receive the message. Maybe it is time.
    *THIS IS HOW WE THE PEOPLE FIX THE MANAGEMENT OF OUR MONEY-ECONOMY !!!!!*
    *REMEMBER FREEDOM IS NOT FREE THE COST OF FREEDOM IS ETERNAL VIGILANCE!
    *RESTORE THE REPUBLIC!
    *If you agree with the above, pass it on. If not, just delete.
    *You are one of my 20+. Please keep it going.
    SIGN THE ONLINE PETITION – http://www.ipetitions.com/petition/national_state_debt_retirement_lottery_mlk_grant_a/
    THE WORK IS COPYRIGHTED © TO THE UBCA COMMUNITY TRUST FOR FAMILY LIFE IMPROVEMENT AND IS PROVIDED UNDER THE TERMS OF THE CREATIVE COMMONS PUBLIC LICENSE (“CCPL” OR “LICENSE”). THE WORK IS PROTECTED BY COPYRIGHT AND/OR OTHER APPLICABLE LAW. ANY USE OF THE WORK OTHER THAN AS AUTHORIZED UNDER THIS LICENSE OR COPYRIGHT LAW IS PROHIBITED.

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  • louis bassano

    Only the wealthy have the time to serve. People with a nine to five job, who have to work for a living need not apply. Most members of congress have family wealth or a family business that others handle on their behalf. The public needs to demand a change on the insider trading law. Nancy Pelosi made millions on insider trading as speaker as reported on T.V She broke no law because it was legal. Being rich and being in congress is O.K. with me. Insider trading as a member of Congress is not. Maybe we should make congressional service like jury duty. Put everyone’s name in a hat. If your name is picked, you serve a term in Washington.

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