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$5.25 Million For Senate Hair Care And 21 Other Ways Politicians Are Living The High Life At Your Expense

Barack Obama John Boehner Nancy Pelosi Harry Reid Mitch McConnellIf you want to live the high life, you don’t have to become a rap star, a professional athlete or a Wall Street banker.  All it really takes is winning an election.  Right now, more than half of all the members of Congress are millionaires, and most of them leave “public service” far wealthier than when they entered it.  Since most of them have so much money, you would think that they would be willing to do a little “belt-tightening” for the sake of the American people.  After all, things are supposedly “extremely tight” in Washington D.C. right now.  In fact, just the other day Nancy Pelosi insisted that there were “no more cuts to make” to the federal budget.  But even as they claim that things are so tough right now, our politicians continue to live the high life at the expense of U.S. taxpayers.  The statistics that I am about to share with you are very disturbing.  Please share them with everyone that you know.  The American people deserve the truth.

According to the Weekly Standard, an absolutely insane amount of money is being spent on the “hair care needs” of U.S. Senators…

Senate Hair Care Services has cost taxpayers about $5.25 million over 15 years. They foot the bill of more than $40,000 for the shoeshine attendant last fiscal year. Six barbers took in more than $40,000 each, including nearly $80,000 for the head barber.

Keep in mind that there are only 100 U.S. Senators, and many of them don’t have much hair left at this point.

But hair care is just the tip of the iceberg.  The following are 21 other ways that our politicians are living the high life at your expense…

#1 According to Roll Call’s annual survey of Congressional wealth, the super wealthy in Congress just continue to get much wealthier even though they are supposedly dedicating their lives to “public service”…

Rep. Michael McCaul (R-Texas) is the richest Member of Congress for the second year in a row, reporting a vast fortune that in 2011 had a minimum net worth surpassing $300 million for the first time.

McCaul is followed by Sen. John Kerry (D-Mass.), who reported a minimum net worth of $198.65 million, and Rep. Darrell Issa (R-Calif.), who reported a minimum net worth of $140.55 million. The two lawmakers swapped places since last year’s list.

The lawmakers who round out the top five, Sens. Mark Warner (D-Va.) and Jay Rockefeller (D-W.Va.), also flipped positions from 2010 to 2011, with Warner’s reported minimum worth rising about $9 million to $85.81 million and Rockefeller’s minimum worth rising slightly to $83.08 million.

#2 Amazingly, the 50th most wealthy member of Congress has a net worth of 6.14 million dollars.

#3 At this point, more than half of those “serving the American people” in Congress are millionaires.

#4 In one recent year, an average of $4,005,900 of U.S. taxpayer money was spent on “personal” and “office” expenses per U.S. Senator.

#5 Once they leave Washington, former members of Congress continue to collect huge checks for the rest of their lives

In 2011, 280 former lawmakers who retired under a former government pension system received average annual pensions of $70,620, according to a Congressional Research Service report. They averaged around 20 years of service. At the same time, another 215 retirees (elected in 1984 or later with an average of 15 years of service) received average annual checks of roughly $40,000 a year.

#6 Speaker of the House John Boehner would bring home a yearly pension of close to $85,000 if he left Congress when his current term ends in 2014.

#7 At this point, quite a few former lawmakers are collecting federal pensions for life worth at least $100,000 annually.  That list includes such notable names as Newt Gingrich, Bob Dole, Trent Lott, Dick Gephardt and Dick Cheney.

#8 The U.S. government is spending approximately 3.6 million dollars a year to support the lavish lifestyles of former presidents such as George W. Bush and Bill Clinton.

#9 Nearly 500,000 federal employees now make at least $100,000 a year.

#10 During one recent year, the average federal employee in the Washington D.C. area received total compensation worth more than $126,000.

#11 During one recent year, compensation for federal employees came to a grand total of approximately 447 billion dollars.

#12 If you can believe it, there are 77,000 federal workers that make more than the governors of their own states do.

#13 When Joe Biden and his staff took a trip to London, the hotel bill cost U.S. taxpayers $459,388.65.

#14 Joe Biden and his staff also stopped in Paris for one night.  The hotel bill for that one night came to $585,000.50.

#15 When Biden and his staff visited Moscow for two days in 2011, the total hotel bill came to $665,445.00.

#16 During 2012, the salaries of Barack Obama’s three climate change advisers combined came to a grand total of more than $370,000.

#17 Overall, 139 different White House staffers were making at least $100,000 during 2012, and there were 20 staffers that made the maximum of $172,200.

#18 It is estimated that the trip that the Obamas took to Africa cost U.S. taxpayers about 100 million dollars.

#19 The Obamas only have one dog named “Bo”, but the White House “dog handler” reportedly makes $102,000 per year and sometimes he is even flown to where the Obamas are vacationing so that he can take care of the dog.

#20 There is always at least one projectionist at the White House 24 hours a day just in case there is someone that wants to watch a movie.  Apparently turning on a DVD player is too much to ask.

#21 In one recent year, more than 1.4 billion dollars was spent on the Obamas.  Meanwhile, British taxpayers only spent about 58 million dollars on the entire royal family.

So who pays for all of this extravagance?

The American people do of course.

Unfortunately, what most of our politicians fail to understand is that most families are struggling tremendously right now.

This week, Yahoo featured the story of a 77-year-old former executive that is now flipping burgers and serving drinks to make ends meet.  He says that he now earns in a week what he once earned in a single hour, but he is thankful to have a job in this economic environment…

It seems like another life. At the height of his corporate career, Tom Palome was pulling in a salary in the low six-figures and flying first class on business trips to Europe.

Today, the 77-year-old former vice president of marketing for Oral-B juggles two part-time jobs: one as a $10-an-hour food demonstrator at Sam’s Club, the other flipping burgers and serving drinks at a golf club grill for slightly more than minimum wage.

While Palome worked hard his entire career, paid off his mortgage and put his kids through college, like most Americans he didn’t save enough for retirement. Even many affluent baby boomers who are approaching the end of their careers haven’t come close to saving the 10 to 20 times their annual working income that investment experts say they’ll need to maintain their standard of living in old age.

So many Americans are barely making it from month to month at this point.  Most people work very, very hard for their money, and it is very discouraging to see our politicians waste our hard-earned tax dollars so frivolously.

Fortunately, there are signs that the American people are starting to get fed up with all of this.  According to a stunning new Gallup survey, more Americans than ever before (60 percent) believe that the federal government has too much power.

So what do you think?

Do you think that the government is too big and too wasteful?

Please feel free to share what you think by posting a comment below…

Member Of Congress: Edward Snowden’s Revelations Are “Just The Tip Of The Iceberg”

Iceberg - Photo by Gerald TappAccording to U.S. Representative Loretta Sanchez, members of Congress learned “significantly more than what is out in the media today” during a closed briefing about the NSA on Tuesday, and that what has been revealed so far about NSA snooping is “just the tip of the iceberg”.  During her interview with C-SPAN on Wednesday, she also stated that NSA spying is “just broader than most people even realize” but due to security restrictions she could not reveal more than that.  So precisely what are the American people not being told?  And do our leaders ever plan to tell us the truth?  Many of our politicians have come down extremely hard on whistleblower Edward Snowden, but if it wasn’t for him most Americans would have no idea what the NSA has been up to.  Is the Obama administration going to come clean on this, or do we have to wait for even more whistleblowers to come forward?  The American people deserve to know that they are being spied on, and it appears that those in charge of doing this spying have been flat out lying to Congress about it.

Today, one of the most powerful men in the U.S. government is Keith Alexander, the Director of the NSA.  According to a Wired article that just came out, Alexander “is regarded with a mixture of respect and fear” by those inside the government…

Inside the government, the general is regarded with a mixture of respect and fear, not unlike J. Edgar Hoover, another security figure whose tenure spanned multiple presidencies. “We jokingly referred to him as Emperor Alexander—with good cause, because whatever Keith wants, Keith gets,” says one former senior CIA official who agreed to speak on condition of anonymity. “We would sit back literally in awe of what he was able to get from Congress, from the White House, and at the expense of everybody else.”

And according to that same article, Alexander foresees a day when the entire Internet will be directly under NSA control…

Alexander runs the nation’s cyberwar efforts, an empire he has built over the past eight years by insisting that the US’s inherent vulnerability to digital attacks requires him to amass more and more authority over the data zipping around the globe. In his telling, the threat is so mind-bogglingly huge that the nation has little option but to eventually put the entire civilian Internet under his protection, requiring tweets and emails to pass through his filters, and putting the kill switch under the government’s forefinger. “What we see is an increasing level of activity on the networks,” he said at a recent security conference in Canada. “I am concerned that this is going to break a threshold where the private sector can no longer handle it and the government is going to have to step in.”

Does that paragraph put a chill up your spine?

It should.

The free and open Internet that we enjoy today may not always exist.  The power of government may eventually transform it into something else entirely.

And as Dr. Jerome Corsi has just written about, Alexander has now publicly confirmed much of what Edward Snowden has been alleging…

The NSA director confirmed to Congress today that leaker Edward Snowden had access to a highly sensitive database containing personal information that could be mined to track a target’s thoughts and actions and possibly predict future acts.

U.S. Army General Keith B. Alexander, commander of U.S. Cyber Command and director of the National Security Agency, told the Senate Appropriations Committee that Snowden “had great skills as an IT (Internet Technology) system administrator.”

Yes, in this day and age every nation needs intelligence agencies.  But they should be used to spy on the enemies of the American people, not on the American people themselves.  The Fourth Amendment is supposed to be our guarantee that the government will not invade our privacy or investigate us unless there is probable cause that we have committed a crime.  That means that if they don’t have probable cause they are supposed to leave us alone.

Unfortunately, those running our government seem to have a tremendous disdain for the U.S. Constitution.  In fact, all over the western world we are seeing freedoms and liberties being destroyed.  The following is what Simon Black recently had to say about all of this…

By now it should be clear to anyone paying attention that most of Western civilization is on a dangerous slide into tyranny.

They’re confiscating funds directly from people’s bank accounts. They’re seizing reporters’ personal records and phone logs. They’re digitally spying on everyone’s emails.

They’ve authorized military detention and drone assassination of their own citizens.

They’re using tax offices to harass political opposition groups.

They tell us what we are allowed to eat and drink, what foods we are allowed to put in our own body.

Think about it. These are Soviet tactics, plain and simple.

What’s more, they don’t even care. They think we’re all idiots who are too stupid to even notice what they’re doing.

Now is the time for the American people to stand up and object to all of this.

If you are waiting for our politicians to save you, then you are going to be waiting for a very, very long time.

And most Americans have already figured this out.  According to a new Gallup survey that was just released, the confidence that the American people have in Congress is at an all-time low.  Only 10 percent of all Americans have confidence in our legislative branch at this point.

If the American people do not demand change now, it will be a signal to those doing the snooping that they can push the envelope even farther.

We need to heed the warnings of the whistleblowers.  Our own government has been listening to our most private conversations and they have been totally getting away with it.  Just check out what NSA whistleblower Adrienne J. Kinne told NSA expert James Bamford

I also wrote about Adrienne J. Kinne, an NSA intercept operator who attempted to blow the whistle on the NSA’s illegal eavesdropping on Americans following the 9/11 attacks. “Basically all rules were thrown out the window,” she said, “and they would use any excuse to justify a waiver to spy on Americans.” Even journalists calling home from overseas were included. “A lot of time you could tell they were calling their families,” she says, “incredibly intimate, personal conversations.” She only told her story to me after attempting, and failing, to end the illegal activity with appeals all the way up the chain of command to Major General Keith Alexander, head of the Army’s Intelligence and Security Command at the time.

Do you want the government to listen to your “intimate, personal conversations”, record them and stash them in a giant data center out in Utah where they will be held forever?

If not, then this is your chance to stand up and demand change.

 

The Rest Of The World Is Absolutely Disgusted With Our Big Brother Spying Methods

The WorldThe rest of the world has found out that the U.S. government has been listening to their phone calls and watching what they do on the Internet and they do not like it one bit.  Outrage has been pouring in from all over the planet, and one member of the European Parliament is even comparing the NSA to the Stasi.  But instead of stepping back and reevaluating our Big Brother spying methods now that they have been revealed, Barack Obama and other leading members of Congress are defiantly declaring that there is nothing wrong with these methods and that no changes will be made.  The U.S. government is going to continue to invade the privacy of the citizens of the rest of the world as much as it possibly can, and our leaders don’t seem to really care what the international response is.  And make no mistake – the goal of the U.S. intelligence community is to literally know everything about everyone.  The chief technology officer of the CIA, Gus Hunt, made the following shocking admission back in March: “We fundamentally try to collect everything and hang onto it forever.”  He followed that statement up with this gem: “It is really very nearly within our grasp to be able to compute on all human-generated information.”  In other words, they want it all, and they nearly have the capacity to gather it all already.  So where does this end?  Will the U.S. intelligence community ever be happy until they have every piece of data on every single person on the entire planet?  Do we really want a government that collects “everything” and hangs on to it “forever”?

Thanks to Edward Snowden, the rest of the globe is starting to understand the extent to which the U.S. government has been spying on them.  Needless to say, a lot of people are extremely upset about this.

In Germany (a country that knows a thing or two about Big Brother tactics), some prominent politicians are publicly denouncing the surveillance that the U.S. government has been doing on their citizens.  In fact, one German politician has accused the U.S. of employing “American-style Stasi methods”

In a guest editorial for Spiegel Online on Tuesday, Justice Minister Sabine Leutheusser-Schnarrenberger said reports that the United States could access and track virtually all forms of Internet communication were “deeply disconcerting” and potentially dangerous.

“The more a society monitors, controls and observes its citizens, the less free it is,” she said.

“The suspicion of excessive surveillance of communication is so alarming that it cannot be ignored. For that reason, openness and clarification by the U.S. administration itself is paramount at this point. All facts must be put on the table.”

Markus Ferber, a member of Merkel’s Bavarian sister party who sits in the European Parliament, went further, accusing Washington of using “American-style Stasi methods”.

In Italy, the government official in charge of data protection, Antonello Soro, said that the surveillance that the NSA is doing “would not be legal in Italy” and would be “contrary to the principles of our legislation and would represent a very serious violation”.

In Russia (another country with a long history of using Big Brother tactics), President Vladimir Putin has expressed significant concern about the NSA spying program and there are even rumors that Russia will be offering asylum to Edward Snowden

Alexey Pushkov, head of the Duma’s international affairs committee and a vocal US critic, said on Twitter: “By promising asylum to Snowden, Moscow has taken upon itself the protection of those persecuted for political reasons. There will be hysterics in the US. They only recognise this right for themselves.”

He continued: “Listening to telephones and tracking the internet, the US special services broke the laws of their country. In this case, Snowden, like Assange, is a human rights activist.”

But even more important than what foreign politicians think about the NSA spying scandal is what average people all over the globe think.  This scandal is causing millions of average people all over the planet to look at the United States with disgust and disdain.  How can we hold ourselves out as the “defenders of freedom” to the rest of the globe when we are openly telling them that we are going to spy on them as much as we possibly can?  How do we expect the rest of the world to look at us as “the good guys” when we are selfishly grabbing and recording all of their emails, phone calls and Internet searches without any concern for their privacy whatsoever?

What makes all of this even worse is that our top intelligence officials are making jokes about this scandal.  For example, just check out the wisecracks that the Director of National Intelligence, James Clapper, was making at an awards ceremony on Friday

With the current and past directors of national intelligence at the Omni Shoreham to honor former CIA and National Security Agency chief Michael Hayden, the result in speeches and interviews with intel professionals was a gumbo of outrage, worry and humor.

Director of National Intelligence James Clapper told the black-tie crowd of more than 700 he would “address the elephant in the room” and proceeded, to applause, to denounce “the unauthorized leaks as reprehensible and egregious.” Clapper characterized the program as completely legal, debated and reauthorized by Congress under strict oversight and by court order “to make our nation safe and secure.”

He then cracked a few jokes. “Some of you expressed surprise that I showed up—so many emails to read!” Clapper said. Greeting fellow banqueter John Pistole, the administrator of the Transportation Security Administration who recently reversed a planned policy to permit air travelers to carry certain knives on planes, Clapper said, “John, can I borrow your pocket knife?”

How in the world can he make a joke about reading our emails at a time like this?

This is how arrogant the U.S. intelligence community has become.  They feel like they can do whatever they want and get away with it.

For example, back in March Clapper flat out lied to the U.S. Congress about the surveillance that the NSA is doing.  When he was asked by Senator Ron Wyden if the NSA was collecting any information on the American people, Clapper completely denied it.

The following is from a transcript of that exchange

“Does the NSA collect any type of data at all on millions or hundreds of millions of Americans?” Oregon Republican Sen. Ron Wyden asked Clapper at the March 12 hearing.

“No, sir,” Clapper responded.

“It does not?” Wyden pressed.

Clapper recanted and said: “Not wittingly. There are cases where they could, inadvertently perhaps, collect — but not wittingly.”

Apparently Clapper must have “forgotten” that the government is forcing all of the big telephone companies to turn over all of their call records to the NSA every single month.

And you know what?  The truth is that the government is not just collecting “metadata” about our phone calls.  The content of our calls is being recorded and stored as well.  Just check out this story from the Blaze

Hollywood actor Shia LaBeouf in 2008 during an appearance on the Tonight Show with Jay Leno detailed how he learned phone calls were allegedly being recorded.

Promoting the film “Eagle Eye,” which according to IMDb shows how “technology of everyday life [is used] to track and control,” LaBeouf told Leno that an FBI consultant for the movie said one in five phone calls made are recorded and logged.

“And I laughed at him,” LaBeouf said.

“And then he played back a phone conversation I’d had two years prior to joining the picture,” LaBouf continued.

Both Leno and LaBeouf concluded it was “extremely creepy.”

The American people, along with the people of the entire planet, deserve the truth about this.

Unfortunately, Barack Obama is certainly not going to tell us the truth, and there will probably only be a half-hearted effort by some members of Congress to get to the bottom of things.

That is why it is going to be important to take this to court, and thankfully a couple of lawsuits are already in the works.

According to U.S. News & World Report, one of these lawsuits is being filed by a former Justice Department prosecutor…

Former Justice Department prosecutor Larry Klayman amended an existing lawsuit against Verizon and a slew of Obama administration officials Monday to make it the first class-action lawsuit in response to the publication of a secret court order instructing Verizon to hand over all phone records of millions of American customers on an “ongoing, daily basis.”

Klayman told U.S. News he will file a second class-action lawsuit Wednesday in the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia targeting government officials and each of the nine companies listed in a leaked National Security Agency slideshow as participants in the government’s PRISM program.

And according to USA Today, the ACLU has also filed a lawsuit…

National Security Agency surveillance programs came under more scrutiny Tuesday as the American Civil Liberties Union filed a lawsuit and a prominent senator and Internet giant Google called on the Obama administration to disclose more information.

In its lawsuit, the ACLU said an NSA program that harvests phone calls violates the rights of all Americans.

“The program goes far beyond even the permissive limits set by the Patriot Act and represents a gross infringement of the freedom of association and the right to privacy,” said Jameel Jaffer, the ACLU’s deputy legal director.

Hopefully these lawsuits will reveal more details about the spying that has been taking place.

There is also a “bipartisan coalition” of 86 Internet companies and civil liberties organizations that have sent a letter to Congress demanding action on these issues.  You can read the full letter right here.  Some of the organizations involved include the Electronic Frontier Foundation, Reddit, Mozilla, FreedomWorks, and the Center for Digital Democracy.

Will Congress listen to them?

Probably not.

But at least they are trying to do something about this.

The key will be to get the American people outraged enough about all of this that they won’t forget about it in a week or two.  And that is not an easy thing to do.

There have been a couple of public opinion polls taken over the past few days that show some very curious results.  A Rasmussen survey found that 59 percent of Americans are against the government secretly collecting our phone records and only 26 percent are in favor.  But a Washington Post survey found that 56 percent of Americans consider the collecting of our phone records to be “acceptable” and only 41 percent consider the practice to be “unacceptable”.

How could those two surveys get such wildly different results?

A lot of it is in the way that they ask the questions.

In the end, our politicians don’t really care too much about what the general public thinks anyway.  They are just going to continue to do what they have been doing and the rest of the world will continue to become even more disgusted with us.

We are recklessly destroying our global reputation and our leaders do not even seem to care.  But someday America will need some friends, and when that day arrives we may find that we don’t have too many left.

12 Clear Signals That The U.S. Economy Is About To Really Slow Down

A member of the U.S. Navy aboard the Arleigh Burke-class guided-missile destroyer USS James E. WilliamsA lot of things that have not happened since the last recession are starting to happen again.  As you read the list below, you will notice that the year “2009” comes up again and again.  There is a reason for that.  Many of the same patterns that we witnessed during the last major economic downturn are starting to repeat themselves.  In fact, many of the things that are happening right now have not happened in quite a few years.  For example, manufacturing activity in the U.S. has contracted for the first time in four years.  The inventory to sales ratio is the highest that it has been in four years.  Average hourly compensation just experienced the largest decline that we have seen in four years.  We also just witnessed the largest decline in the number of mortgage applications that we have seen in four years.  After everything that Barack Obama, the U.S. Congress and the Federal Reserve have tried to do, there has been no real economic recovery and now the U.S. economy is suddenly behaving as if it is 2009 all over again.  A whole host of recent surveys indicate that the American people are starting to feel a bit better about the economy, but the underlying economic numbers tell an entirely different story.  The following are 12 clear signals that the U.S. economy is about to really slow down…

#1 The average interest rate on a 30 year mortgage has risen above 4 percent for the first time in more than a year.

#2 The decline in the number of mortgage applications last week was the largest drop that we have seen since June 2009.

#3 Mark Hanson is reporting that “mass layoffs” have occurred at three large mortgage institutions…

This morning I was made aware that three large private mortgage bankers I follow closely for trends in mortgage finance ALL had mass layoffs last Friday and yesterday to the tune of 25% to 50% of their operations staff (intake, processing, underwriting, document drawing, funding, post-closing).

This obviously means that my reports of refi apps being down 65% to 90% in the past 3 weeks are far more accurate than the lagging MBA index, which is likely on its’ way to print multi-year lows in the next month.

#4 It was just announced that average hourly compensation in the United States experienced its largest drop since 2009 during the first quarter of 2013.

#5 As I wrote about the other day, the Institute for Supply Management manufacturing index declined to 49.0 in May.  Any reading below 50 indicates contraction.  That was the first contraction in manufacturing activity in the U.S. that we have seen since 2009.

#6 The inventory to sales ratio has hit a level not seen since 2009.  That means that there is a lot of inventory sitting out there that people are not buying.

#7 According to the Commerce Department, the demand for computers dropped by a stunning 9 percent during the month of April.

#8 As I noted in a previous article, corporate revenues are falling at Wal-Mart, Proctor and Gamble, Starbucks, AT&T, Safeway, American Express and IBM.

#9 Job growth at small businesses is now at about half the level it was at the beginning of the year.

#10 The stock market is starting to understand that all of these numbers indicate that the U.S. economy is really starting to slow down.  The Dow was down 216.95 points on Wednesday, and it dropped below 15,000 for the first time since May 6th.

#11 The S&P 500 has now fallen more than 4 percent since May 22nd.  Is this the beginning of a market “correction”, or is this something much bigger than that?

#12 Japanese stocks are now down about 17 percent from the peak of May 22nd.  Japan has the third largest economy on the planet and it is one of the most important trading partners for the United States.  A major financial crisis in Japan would have very serious implications for the U.S. economy.

If we were going to have an “economic recovery”, it should have happened in 2010, 2011 and 2012.  Unfortunately, as a recent Los Angeles Times article detailed, an economic recovery never materialized…

Real GDP growth — the value of goods and services produced after adjusting for inflation — is 15.4% below the 3% growth trend of past recoveries, wrote Edward Leamer, director of the UCLA Anderson Forecast. More robust growth will be necessary to bring this recovery in line with previous ones.

“It’s not a recovery,” he wrote. “It’s not even normal growth. It’s bad.”

Now we are rapidly approaching another major economic downturn.

But poverty in America has continued to experience explosive growth since the end of the last recession and dependence on the federal government is already at an all-time high.

How much worse can things get?

Sadly, they are going to get much, much worse.

What the U.S. economy is experiencing right now is not just a cyclical downturn.  Rather, we are in the midst of a long-term economic decline that is the result of decades of very foolish decisions by our leaders.

It is imperative that we get the American people educated about what is happening.  If people do not understand what is happening, they are not going to get prepared for the hard years that are coming.

If you have a family member or a friend that does not understand the long-term economic collapse that is unfolding all around us, please show them my article entitled “40 Statistics About The Fall Of The U.S. Economy That Are Almost Too Crazy To Believe“.  It goes a good job of pointing out many of the reasons why we are heading for complete and total economic disaster.

And the point is not to fill people with fear.  Rather, there is a lot of hope in understanding what is happening and in getting prepared.  As we have seen over in Europe, those that get blindsided by economic problems often become totally consumed with despair.  Suicide rates have soared in economically-troubled nations such as Greece, Spain and Italy.

And the same thing is going to happen in the United States too.  In fact, the suicide rate in the United States has already been rising according to the New York Times

From 1999 to 2010, the suicide rate among Americans ages 35 to 64 rose by nearly 30 percent, to 17.6 deaths per 100,000 people, up from 13.7.

In fact, today more Americans are killed by suicide than by car accidents.

Isn’t that crazy?

Unfortunately, this is only just the beginning.  When the system fails, millions of Americans are going to be convinced that their lives are over.  A lot of them are going to do some very stupid things.  We want to try to prevent as much of that as possible.

Thanks to decades of incredibly foolish decisions by our leaders, an economic collapse is inevitable.  This is especially true considering the fact that our leaders in Washington D.C. and elsewhere will not even consider many of the potential solutions which could help start turning our economic problems around.

So since there are no solutions on the horizon, we need to explain to people what is happening and help them to get as prepared as possible.

The years ahead are going to be very hard, but we have a choice as to how we will respond to the challenges in front of us.

We can face those challenges with fear, or we can face them with courage.

Choose wisely.

37 Statistics Which Show How Four Years Of Obama Have Wrecked The U.S. Economy

37 Statistics Which Show How Four Years Of Obama Have Wrecked The U.S. EconomyThe mainstream media covered the inauguration of Barack Obama with breathless anticipation on Monday, but should we really be celebrating another four years of Obama?  The truth is that the first four years of Obama were an absolute train wreck for the U.S. economy.  Over the past four years, the percentage of working age Americans with a job has fallen, median household income has declined by more than $4000, poverty in the U.S. has absolutely exploded and our national debt has ballooned to ridiculous proportions.  Of course all of the blame for the nightmarish performance of the economy should not go to Obama alone.  Certainly much of what we are experiencing today is the direct result of decades of very foolish decisions by Congress and previous presidential administrations.  And of course the Federal Reserve has more influence over the economy than anyone else does.  But Barack Obama steadfastly refuses to criticize anything that the Federal Reserve has done and he even nominated Ben Bernanke for another term as Fed Chairman despite his horrific track record of failure, so at a minimum Barack Obama must be considered to be complicit in the Fed’s very foolish policies.  Despite what the Obama administration tells us, the U.S. economy has been in decline for a very long time, and that decline has accelerated in many ways over the past four years.  Just consider the statistics that I have compiled below.  The following are 37 statistics which show how four years of Obama have wrecked the U.S. economy…

1. During Obama’s first term, the number of Americans on food stamps increased by an average of about 11,000 per day.

2. At the beginning of the Obama era, 32 million Americans were on food stamps.  Today, more than 47 million Americans are on food stamps.

3. According to one calculation, the number of Americans on food stamps now exceeds the combined populations of “Alaska, Arkansas, Connecticut, Delaware, District of Columbia, Hawaii, Idaho, Iowa, Kansas, Maine, Mississippi, Montana, Nebraska, Nevada, New Hampshire, New Mexico, North Dakota, Oklahoma, Oregon, Rhode Island, South Dakota, Utah, Vermont, West Virginia, and Wyoming.”

4. The number of Americans receiving money directly from the federal government each month has grown from 94 million in the year 2000 to more than 128 million today.

5. According to the U.S. Census Bureau, more than 146 million Americans are either “poor” or “low income” at this point.

6. The unemployment rate in the United States is exactly where it was (7.8 percent) when Barack Obama first entered the White House in January 2009.

7. When Barack Obama first entered the White House, 60.6 percent of all working age Americans had a job.  Today, only 58.6 percent of all working age Americans have a job.

8. During the first four years of Obama, the number of Americans “not in the labor force” soared by an astounding 8,332,000.  That far exceeds any previous four year total.

9. During Obama’s first term, the number of Americans collecting federal disability insurance rose by more than 18 percent.

10. The Obama years have been absolutely devastating for small businesses in America.  According to economist Tim Kane, the following is how the number of startup jobs per 1000 Americans breaks down by presidential administration

Bush Sr.: 11.3

Clinton: 11.2

Bush Jr.: 10.8

Obama: 7.8

11. Median household income in America has fallen for four consecutive years.  Overall, it has declined by over $4000 during that time span.

12. The economy is not producing nearly enough jobs for the hordes of young people now entering the workforce.  Approximately 53 percent of all U.S. college graduates under the age of 25 were either unemployed or underemployed in 2011.

13. According to a report from the National Employment Law Project, 58 percent of the jobs that have been created since the end of the recession have been low paying jobs.

14. Back in 2007, about 28 percent of all working families were considered to be among “the working poor”.  Today, that number is up to 32 percent even though our politicians tell us that the economy is supposedly recovering.

15. According to the Center for Economic and Policy Research, only 24.6 percent of all of the jobs in the United States are “good jobs” at this point.

16. According to the U.S. Census Bureau, the middle class is taking home a smaller share of the overall income pie than has ever been recorded before.

17. According to the Economic Policy Institute, the United States is losing half a million jobs to China every single year.

18. The United States has fallen in the global economic competitiveness rankings compiled by the World Economic Forum for four years in a row.

19. According to the World Bank, U.S. GDP accounted for 31.8 percent of all global economic activity in 2001.  That number declined steadily over the course of the next decade and was only at 21.6 percent in 2011.

20. The United States actually has plenty of oil and we should not have to import oil from the Middle East.  We need to drill for more oil, but Obama has been very hesitant to do that.  Under Bill Clinton, the number of drilling permits approved rose by 58 percent.  Under George W. Bush, the number of drilling permits approved rose by 116 percent.  Under Barack Obama, the number of drilling permits approved actually decreased by 36 percent.

21. When Barack Obama took office, the average price of a gallon of gasoline was $1.84.  Today, the average price of a gallon of gasoline is $3.26.

22. Under Barack Obama, the United States has lost more than 300,000 education jobs.

23. For the first time ever, more than a million public school students in the United States are homeless.  That number has risen by 57 percent since the 2006-2007 school year.

24. Families that have a head of household under the age of 30 now have a poverty rate of 37 percent.

25. More than three times as many new homes were sold in the United States in 2005 as were sold in 2012.

26. Electricity bills in the United States have risen faster than the overall rate of inflation for five years in a row.

27. Health insurance costs have risen by 29 percent since Barack Obama became president.

28. Today, 77 percent of all Americans live paycheck to paycheck at least part of the time.

29. It is being projected that Obamacare will add 16 million more Americans to the Medicaid rolls.

30. The total amount of money that the federal government gives directly to the American people has grown by 32 percent since Barack Obama became president.

31. The Obama administration has been spending money on some of the most insane things imaginable.  For example, in 2011 the Obama administration spent $592,527 on a study that sought to figure out once and for all why chimpanzees throw poop.

32. U.S. taxpayers spend more than 20 times as much on the Obamas as British taxpayers spend on the royal family.

33. The U.S. government has run a budget deficit of well over a trillion dollars every single year under Barack Obama.

34. When Barack Obama was first elected, the U.S. debt to GDP ratio was under 70 percent.  Today, it is up to 103 percent.

35. During Obama’s first term, the federal government accumulated more debt than it did under the first 42 U.S presidents combined.

36. As I wrote about yesterday, when you break it down the amount of new debt accumulated by the U.S. government during Obama’s first term comes to approximately $50,521 for every single household in the United States.  Are you ready to contribute your share?

37. If you started paying off just the new debt that the U.S. has accumulated during the Obama administration at the rate of one dollar per second, it would take more than 184,000 years to pay it off.

But despite all of these numbers, the mainstream media and the left just continue to shower Barack Obama with worship and praise.  Newsweek recently heralded Obama’s second term as “The Second Coming“, and at Obama’s pre-inauguration church service Reverand Ronald Braxton openly compared Obama to Moses…

At Metropolitan African Methodist Episcopal Church, Braxton reportedly crafted his speech around Obama’s personal political slogan: “Forward!”

Obama, said Braxton, was just like Moses facing the Red Sea: “forward is the only option … The people couldn’t turn around. The only thing that they could do was to go forward.” Obama, said Braxton, would have to overcome all obstacles – like opposition from Republicans, presumably, or the bounds of the Constitution. Braxton continued, “Mr. President, stand on the rock,” citing to Moses standing on Mount Horeb as his people camped outside the land of Israel.

But it wasn’t enough to compare Obama with the founder of Judaism and the prophet of the Bible. Braxton added that Obama’s opponents were like the Biblical enemies of Moses, and that Obama would have to enter the battle because “sometimes enemies insist on doing it the hard way.”

So what do you think the next four years of Obama will bring?

Please feel free to post a comment with your thoughts below…

Obama Inauguration

The U.S. Economy By The Numbers: 70 Facts That Barack Obama Does Not Want You To See

Why is the economy going to collapse?  Have you ever been asked that question?  If so, what did you say?  Sometimes it is difficult to communicate dozens of complicated economic and financial concepts in a package that the average person on the street can easily digest.  It can be very frustrating to know that something is true but not be able to explain it clearly to someone else.  Hopefully many of you out there will find the list below useful.  It is a list of 70 numbers that show why we are headed for a national economic nightmare.  So why does the title of the article single out Barack Obama?  Well, it is because right now he is the biggest cheerleader for the economy.  He is attempting to convince all of us that everything is just fine and that the economy is heading in a positive direction.  Well, the truth is that everything is not fine and things are about to get a whole lot worse.  Certainly others should share in the blame as well.  Congress has been steering the economy in the wrong direction for decades, the “too big to fail” banks have turned Wall Street into a pyramid of risk, leverage and debt, and the Federal Reserve has more power over the financial system than anyone else does.  Our economy has been in decline for quite a while now, and soon we are going to smash directly into an economic brick wall.  Unfortunately, a lot of Americans are in denial about this.  A lot of people out there doubt that an economic collapse is coming.  Well, if you know someone that believes that the U.S. economy is going to be “just fine”, just show them the list below.

The following are 70 facts that Barack Obama does not want you to see….

$3.59 – When Barack Obama entered the White House, the average price of a gallon of gasoline was $1.85.  Today, it is $3.59.

22 – It is hard to believe, but today the poverty rate for children living in the United States is a whopping 22 percent.

23 – According to U.S. Representative Betty Sutton, an average of 23 manufacturing facilities permanently shut down in the United States every single day during 2010.

30 – Back in 2007, about 10 percent of all unemployed Americans had been out of work for 52 weeks or longer.  Today, that number is above 30 percent.

32 – The amount of money that the federal government gives directly to Americans has increased by 32 percent since Barack Obama entered the White House.

35 – U.S. housing prices are now down a total of 35 percent from the peak of the housing bubble.

40 – The official U.S. unemployment rate has been above 8 percent for 40 months in a row.

42 – According to one survey, 42 percent of all American workers are currently living paycheck to paycheck.

48 – Shockingly, at this point 48 percent of all Americans are either considered to be “low income” or are living in poverty.

49 – Today, an astounding 49.1 percent of all Americans live in a home where at least one person receives benefits from the government.

53 – Last year, an astounding 53 percent of all U.S. college graduates under the age of 25 were either unemployed or underemployed.

60 – According to a recent Gallup poll, only 60 percent of all Americans say that they have enough money to live comfortably.

61 – At this point the Federal Reserve is essentially monetizing much of the U.S. national debt.  For example, the Federal Reserve bought up approximately 61 percent of all government debt issued by the U.S. Treasury Department during 2011.

63 – One recent survey found that 63 percent of all Americans believe that the U.S. economic model is broken.

71 – Today, 71 percent of all small business owners believe that the U.S. economy is still in a recession.

80 – Americans buy 80 percent of the pain pills sold on the entire globe each year.

81 – Credit card debt among Americans in the 25 to 34 year old age bracket has risen by 81 percent since 1989.

85 – 85 percent of all artificial Christmas trees are made in China.

86 – According to one survey, 86 percent of Americans workers in their sixties say that they will continue working past their 65th birthday.

90 – In the United States today, the wealthiest one percent of all Americans have a greater net worth than the bottom 90 percent combined.

93 – The United States now ranks 93rd in the world in income inequality.

95 – The middle class continues to shrink – 95 percent of the jobs lost during the last recession were middle class jobs.

107 – Each year, the average American must work 107 days just to make enough money to pay local, state and federal taxes.

350 – The average CEO now makes approximately 350 times as much as the average American worker makes.

400 – According to Forbes, the 400 wealthiest Americans have more wealth than the bottom 150 million Americans combined.

$500 – In some areas of Detroit, Michigan you can buy a three bedroom home for just $500.

627 – In 2010, China produced 627 million metric tons of steel.  The United States only produced 80 million metric tons of steel.

877 – 20,000 workers recently applied for just 877 jobs at a Hyundai plant in Montgomery, Alabama.

900 – Auto parts exports from China to the United States have increased by more than 900 percent since the year 2000.

$1580 – When Barack Obama first took office, an ounce of gold was going for about $850.  Today an ounce of gold costs more than $1580 an ounce.

1700 – Consumer debt in America has risen by a whopping 1700% since 1971.

2016 – It is being projected that the Chinese economy will be larger than the U.S. economy by the year 2016.

$4155 – The average American household spent a staggering $4,155 on gasoline during 2011.

$4300 – The amount by which real median household income has declined since Barack Obama entered the White House.

$6000 – If you can believe it, the median price of a home in Detroit is now just $6000.

$10,000 – According to the Employee Benefit Research Institute, 46 percent of all American workers have less than $10,000 saved for retirement, and 29 percent of all American workers have less than $1,000 saved for retirement.

49,000 – In 2011, our trade deficit with China was more than 49,000 times larger than it was back in 1985.

50,000 – The United States has lost an average of approximately 50,000 manufacturing jobs a month since China joined the World Trade Organization in 2001.

56,000 – The United States has lost more than 56,000 manufacturing facilities since 2001.

$85,000 – According to the New York Times, a Jeep Grand Cherokee that costs $27,490 in the United States costs about $85,000 in China thanks to all the tariffs.

$175,587 – The Obama administration spent $175,587 to find out if cocaine causes Japanese quail to engage in sexually risky behavior.

$328,404 – Over the next 75 years, Medicare is facing unfunded liabilities of more than 38 trillion dollars.  That comes to $328,404 for each and every household in the United States.

$361,330 – This is what the average banker in New York City made in 2010.

440,00 – If the federal government began right at this moment to repay the U.S. national debt at a rate of one dollar per second, it would take over 440,000 years to totally pay it off.

500,000 – According to the Economic Policy Institute, America is losing half a million jobs to China every single year.

2,000,000Family farms are being systematically wiped out of existence in the United States.  According to the U.S. Department of Agriculture, the number of farms in the United States has fallen from about 6.8 million in 1935 to only about 2 million today.

$2,000,000 – At this point, the U.S. national debt is rising by more than 2 million dollars every single minute.

2,600,000 – In 2010, 2.6 million more Americans fell into poverty.  That was the largest increase that we have seen since the U.S. government began keeping statistics on this back in 1959.

5,400,000 – When Barack Obama first took office there were 2.7 million long-term unemployed Americans.  Today there are twice as many.

16,000,000 – It is being projected that Obamacare will add 16 million more Americans to the Medicaid rolls.

$20,000,000 – The amount of money the U.S. government was spending to create a version of Sesame Street for children in Pakistan.

25,000,000 – Today, approximately 25 million American adults are living with their parents.

40,000,000 – According to Professor Alan Blinder of Princeton University, 40 million more U.S. jobs could be sent offshore over the next two decades if current trends continue.

46,405,204 – The number of Americans currently on food stamps.  When Barack Obama first entered the White House there were only 32 million Americans on food stamps.

88,000,000 – Today there are more than 88 million working age Americans that are not employed and that are not looking for employment.  That is an all-time record high.

100,000,000 – Overall, there are more than 100 million working age Americans that do not currently have jobs.

$150,000,000 – This is approximately the amount of money that the Obama administration and the U.S. Congress are stealing from future generations of Americans every single hour.

$2,000,000,000 – The amount of money that JP Morgan has admitted that it will lose from derivatives trades gone bad.  Many analysts are convinced that the real number will actually end up being much higher.

$147,000,000,000 – In the U.S., medical costs related to obesity are estimated to be approximately 147 billion dollars a year.

295,500,000,000 – Our trade deficit with China in 2011 was $295.5 billion.  That was the largest trade deficit that one country has had with another country in the history of the planet.

$359,100,000,000 – During the first quarter of 2012, U.S. public debt rose by 359.1 billion dollars.  U.S. GDP only rose by 142.4 billion dollars.

$454,000,000,000 – During fiscal 2011, the U.S. government spent over 454 billion dollars just on interest on the national debt.

$1,000,000,000,000 – The total amount of student loan debt in the United States recently surpassed the one trillion dollar mark.

$1,170,000,000,000 – China now holds approximately 1.17 trillion dollars of U.S. government debt.  Yet the U.S. government continues to send them millions of dollars in foreign aid every year.

$1,600,000,000,000 – The amount that has been added to the U.S. national debt since the Republicans took control of the U.S. House of Representatives.  This is more than the first 97 Congresses added to the national debt combined.

$5,000,000,000,000 – The U.S. national debt has risen by more than 5 trillion dollars since the day that Barack Obama first took office.  In a little more than 3 years Obama has added more to the national debt than the first 41 presidents combined.

$5,000,000,000,000 – What the real U.S. budget deficit in 2011 would have been if the federal government had used generally accepted accounting principles.

$11,440,000,000,000 – The total amount of consumer debt in the United States.

$15,734,596,578,458.59 – The U.S. national debt as of June 7, 2012.

$200,000,000,000,000 – Today, the 9 largest banks in the United States have a total of more than 200 trillion dollars of exposure to derivatives.  When the derivatives market completely collapses there won’t be enough money in the entire world to fix it.

The Obama Nation: Even More Debt And Even More Store Closings

Well, it is time to raise the debt ceiling again.  Right now we are about to hit the current limit of $15.194 trillion and the Obama administration is going to ask that it be raised by another 1.2 trillion dollars.  Unfortunately, Congress has already promised not to stand in the way, and so soon the debt limit will be raised to a staggering $16.394 trillion.  Considering how much debt we have already placed on the backs of future generations, what is another 1.2 trillion dollars?  After all, if we are going to sell our children and our grandchildren into debt slavery, we might as well go all the way, right?  Such is the thinking in “the Obama Nation”.  During “the Obama Nation”, the federal government has already accumulated more debt than it did from the time that George Washington took office to the time that Bill Clinton took office.  Of course the Bush administration was nearly as bad at piling up government debt.  Between Bush and Obama (with a big helping hand from the Federal Reserve), they have done a pretty good job of wiping out the financial future of the United States.  If there are future generations of Americans, they will look back and curse those that did this to them.  It is absolutely immoral to steal trillions of dollars from future generations.  Unfortunately, there are very, very few members of Congress that are even objecting to this madness.

Today, more debt just seems to be the answer to everything.  The truth is that debt is not just a government problem.  We are a nation that is addicted to debt.

As of October, total consumer credit in the United States had increased for 12 of the past 13 months.  We simply have not learned the lessons of the past and we are making the same mistakes all over again.

We are living in the greatest debt bubble in the history of the world, and this false prosperity that we are enjoying is simply not sustainable.

But even in the midst of this false prosperity we are seeing a huge number of store closings.

For example, it was just announced that Sears has decided to close between 100 and 120 Sears and Kmart stores.

Once upon a time, Sears was the dominant force in the retail industry, but those days are long gone.  Sears stock has declined more than 45 percent so far this year, and many are wondering how long the company is going to be able to survive.

And there have been other high profile store closings announced during this holiday season as well.  A while back it was announced that all Syms stores and all Filene’s Basement stores will be closing.

Will we all eventually be relegated to shopping only at Wal-Mart?

In the middle of this “economic recovery” that Obama keeps talking about a staggering number of retail stores are closing up shop.  The following is a list of store closings in 2011 that I recently found.  The first number represents the total number of stores being closed for each chain….

405 Blockbuster

633 Borders

200 GameStop

189 Gap

160 f.y.e.

117 Anchor Blue

117 Foot Locker

100 Talbot’s

71 A.J. Wright

69 Metropark

63 Friendly’s

60 Rite Aid

52 Destination Maternity

50 Abercrombie & Fitch

50 Hot Topic

45 Big Lots

45 Family Dollar

43 Select Comfort

43 Sonic Drive-In

35 Denny’s

32 Great Atlantic and Pacific Tea Company, Inc. (SuperFresh, Pathmark Super Market)

30 Ultimate Electronics

28 Dominos

25 Superfresh (Great Atlantic & Pacific Tea Company)

20 Lowe’s

Sadly, it looks like things are going to get even worse next year.  One consulting firm is projecting that there will be more than 5,000 store closings in 2012.

The United States is piling up unprecedented amounts of new debt at a time when our economy is dying and our ability to produce wealth is diminishing.

All over America right now, poverty is absolutely exploding.  Millions of people that never dreamed that they would have to reach out for help now find that they have no other options.  The following comes from a recent article in the Fiscal Times….

For years, the food pantry in Crystal Lake, Ill., a bedroom community 50 miles west of Chicago, has catered to the suburban areas’ poor, homeless and unemployed. But Cate Williams, the head of the pantry, has noticed a striking change in the makeup of the needy in the past year or two. Some families that once pulled down six-figure incomes and drove flashy cars are now turning to the pantry for help. A few of them donated food and money to the pantry before their luck soured, according to Williams.

“People will shyly say to me, ‘You know, I used to give money and food to you guys. Now I need your help,’” Williams told The Fiscal Times last week. “Most of the folks we see now are people who never took a handout before. They were comfortable, able to feed themselves, to keep gas in the car, and keep a nice roof over their head.”

But not everyone will ask for help nicely.  As the economic numbers continue to get worse, desperate Americans will lash out in wild and unpredictable ways.

The following is from a local NBC station down in Texas.  In the days to come, this type of report will become quite common….

A 19-year-old Houston-area man says he was beaten and a friend was slashed in the face as a group of men robbed him of his new pair of expensive Air Jordan shoes.

We will also see more mass protests and more mass riots as the months and years roll along.  This country is going to become increasingly unstable.

Check out this video of a massive brawl that erupted inside Mall of America the other day.  Soon scenes such as this will become so common that they will not even be newsworthy anymore.

In response, many Americans will get sick and tired of waiting for the police to protect them and will take matters into their own hands.

In fact, we are already starting to see this.  For example, just the other day a store clerk down in North Carolina knocked a would-be robber out cold and then forced him to clean up his own blood after he woke up.

There are millions of Americans out there that are not going to put up with a whole lot of nonsense.  When desperate criminals try to rob from their homes or businesses it might not end well for the criminals.

Of course it would be much nicer if the federal government would do some things to actually fix the economy and avoid some the problems that are looming on the horizon.

Ah, but that would interrupt their vacations.  Right now, the U.S. House of Representatives is on vacation until mid-January.

If you can believe it, Congress does not work for most of the year.  Normally they are scheduled to be in session for about a third of all the days on the calendar.

And Obama is certainly taking it easy.  He is enjoying yet another vacation.  As I wrote about yesterday, it has been estimated that the Obama Hawaiian vacation this year will cost somewhere in the neighborhood of 4 million dollars.

Yes, it is tough being the head of the Obama Nation.

Sadly, a lot of Americans still have faith in these jokers.

According to a Gallup poll that was just released, Barack Obama is the most admired man in America by far and Hillary Clinton is the most admired woman in America by far.  If you can believe it, Barack Obama has held the top spot for men for four years in a row, and Hillary Clinton has held the top spot for women for ten years in a row.

When are we going to learn?

Someone once said that insanity is doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results.

Well, the American people keep sending corrupt politicians such as Bush and Obama to the White House and they keep expecting things to get better.

It just isn’t going to happen.

If we stay on the current path that we are on, there will be a lot more store closings, the economy will continue to crumble and government debt will continue to skyrocket.

Minor changes are not going to cut it.  We need massive changes on a fundamental level.

Unfortunately, neither political party is offering massive changes.  The Republicans and the Democrats just keep offering the same tired solutions and they keep promising that they can “fix things” if we will just send more of them to Washington.

Hopefully the American people will wake up and see through these lies because time is running out.

Child Poverty In America Is Absolutely EXPLODING – 16 Shocking Statistics That Will Break Your Heart

If the U.S. economy is improving, then why is child poverty in America absolutely exploding?  If we are experiencing “economic growth”, then why are more than half of all children in major U.S. cities like Cleveland and Detroit living in poverty?  If we are the “greatest economy on earth”, then why are one out of every four American children on food stamps?  The shocking statistics that you are about to read below should absolutely break your heart.  Tonight, millions of precious American children will go to bed without any dinner.  Tonight, millions of American children will shiver as they try to go to sleep because their families cannot afford any heat.  How bad does child poverty have to get before we all finally admit that our economic system is completely failing many of the most vulnerable members of our society?  If you want someone to blame, you can blame Congress, the Obama administration, the Bush administration and the corrupt Wall Street bankers.  But most of all, blame the Federal Reserve and the debt-based monetary system that the Fed administers.  Our economy is in the midst of a long-term decline and is slowly but surely dying.  Many of those that are suffering the most from this decline are children.

The following are 16 shocking statistics about child poverty in America that will break your heart….

#1 Child homelessness in the United States is now 33 percent higher than it was back in 2007.

#2 According to the National Center on Family Homelessness, 1.6 million American children “were living on the street, in homeless shelters or motels, or doubled up with other families last year”.

#3 The percentage of children living in poverty in the United States increased from 16.9 percent in 2006 to nearly 22 percent in 2010.  In the UK and in France the child poverty rate is well under 10 percent.

#4 A higher percentage of American children is living in poverty today than was living in poverty back in 1975.

#5 The number of children living in poverty in the U.S. has risen for four years in a row.

#6 There are 10 different U.S. states where at least one out of every four babies is born to a family living in poverty.

#7 Since 2007, the number of children living in poverty in the state of California has increased by 30 percent.

#8 According to the National Center for Children in Poverty, 36.4% of all children that live in Philadelphia are living in poverty, 40.1% of all children that live in Atlanta are living in poverty, 52.6% of all children that live in Cleveland are living in poverty and 53.6% of all children that live in Detroit are living in poverty.

#9 In the United States today, more than 35 percent of all African-American children are living in poverty and more than 33 percent of all Hispanic children are living in poverty.

#10 There are seven million children in the United States today that are not covered by health insurance at all.

#11 Today, one out of every seven Americans is on food stamps and one out of every four American children is on food stamps.

#12 It is being projected that approximately 50 percent of all U.S. children will be on food stamps at some point in their lives before they reach the age of 18.

#13 In 2010, 42 percent of all single mothers in the United States were on food stamps.

#14 There are 314 counties in the United States where at least 30% of the children are facing food insecurity.

#15 In Washington D.C., the “child food insecurity rate” is 32.3%.

#16 More than 20 million U.S. children rely on school meal programs to keep from going hungry.

So why are so many children suffering so badly?

Well, one reason is that millions of parents are unemployed.  The government tells us that the official unemployment rate is 8.6 percent, but when you take an honest look at the numbers the truth is that the situation is much worse than that.

A recent Washington Post article included the following quote from Ed Luce of the Financial Times….

“According to government statistics, if the same number of people were seeking work today as in 2007, the jobless rate would be 11 percent.”

The U.S. government has artificially reduced “official” unemployment numbers by claiming that millions upon millions of Americans have “left the workforce” over the past 4 years.

In addition, millions upon millions of American parents have been forced to take crappy, low paying jobs because they simply cannot find anything else.

At this point, the share of the economic pie being taken home by U.S. workers has fallen to record lows.

For example, the following comes from a recent CNBC article….

The labor share — the amount paid to workers instead of businesses and other income-earning entities — was reported to have fallen to 57.1 cents on the dollar for the business sector, its lowest level since it was first reported by the Bureau of Labor Statistics in 1947.

Median household income in the United States has fallen for several years in a row, and yet the cost of household basics just seems to keep going up and up.  For example, electricity bills have risen faster than the overall rate of inflation for five years in a row.

American families are being squeezed by this economy, and millions of children are feeling the pain.

Every single day, large numbers of American families get dumped out of the middle class and into poverty.  According to the latest figures, extreme poverty in the United States is now at the highest level ever recorded.  The number of good jobs continues to shrink and the poor are getting poorer.  Things are really bad in America today, and unfortunately it looks like the economy is going to get a lot worse in the years ahead.

But most Americans still do not understand what is happening.  One of the biggest problems we are facing is something called “normalcy bias”.

The following is how Wikipedia defines normalcy bias….

The normalcy bias, or normality bias, refers to a mental state people enter when facing a disaster. It causes people to underestimate both the possibility of a disaster occurring and its possible effects. This often results in situations where people fail to adequately prepare for a disaster, and on a larger scale, the failure of governments to include the populace in its disaster preparations. The assumption that is made in the case of the normalcy bias is that since a disaster never has occurred then it never will occur. It also results in the inability of people to cope with a disaster once it occurs. People with a normalcy bias have difficulties reacting to something they have not experienced before. People also tend to interpret warnings in the most optimistic way possible, seizing on any ambiguities to infer a less serious situation.

Most Americans still believe that things will eventually return to “normal”.

After all, every time the U.S. has had a recession in the past we have always recovered and gone on to better things, right?

Well, the cold, hard truth of the matter is that this is not just another economic downturn.  There are a whole host of very bad long-term economic trends that are ripping our economy to shreds.  We are a nation that is drowning in debt even as our economic guts are being ripped out.  The greatest economic machine in the history of the world is being destroyed right in front of our eyes, and most Americans don’t even realize it.

Sadly, most Americans are so brainwashed by the mainstream media that they are not going to believe you the first time that you tell them about all the statistics that point to a coming economic collapse.

Many of them are going to have to be hammered with articles like this time and time again until they finally get it.

America is in a massive amount of trouble, and because of the economic mistakes that we have made millions of children are going to needlessly suffer.

Please share this article with as many people as you can.  The more people that we wake up, the better off America is going to be.

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?

Joe Biden: There Will Be A Huge Increase In Murders And Rapes If The Federal Government Doesn’t Spend More Money To Help The Economy

An increasing number of politicians and celebrities are openly declaring that if the economy continues to decline, it could lead to civil unrest, more crime and outbreaks of violence all over America.  But instead of loudly denouncing the coming violence, many of them are making it sound like the natural response for those that have lost hope in the economy is to resort to violence.  This is extremely unfortunate.  The truth is that violence is not the solution to any of our problems.  Violence is only going to make things worse.  But right now a lot of big names are warning that if significant changes are not made soon, the only alternative is going to be civil unrest and violence.  In fact, one of the latest to make a bold declaration like this is Vice President Joe Biden.  According to Biden, there are going to be a lot more rapes and a lot more murders if Congress does not pass Obama’s jobs plan.

The following are comments that Biden made about Flint, Michigan during a recent speech he gave to promote the jobs bill….

“In 2008, when Flint had 265 sworn officers on their police force, there were 35 murders and 91 rapes in this city. In 2010, when Flint had only 144 police officers, the murder rate climbed to 65 and rapes–just to pick two categories–climbed to 229. In 2011, you now only have 125 shields. God only knows what the numbers will be this year for Flint if we don’t rectify it.”

So is there some truth to what Biden is saying?

Of course there is.  Many of our cities are rapidly being transformed into hellholes where crime is rising dramatically.

But instead of fixing the underlying problems, Biden is saying that if we don’t spend more federal money in these local communities we are going to have chaos in the streets.

Sadly, this sounds so much like what a lot of other prominent people have been saying lately.

For example, Democratic strategist James Carville recently made national headlines when he told talk show host Don Imus that civil unrest is “imminently possible”….

“You know, look — this is a humanitarian — you know, you’re smart enough to see this . . . People, you know, if it continues, we’re going to start to see civil unrest in this country. I hate to say that, but I think it’s imminently possible.”

Much more frightening is what Michael Moore recently told Keith Olbermann.  The following is a comment that Michael Moore recently made during an interview on Current TV….

“The smart rich know they can only build the gate so high. And, and, sooner or later history proves that people when they’ve had enough aren’t going to take it anymore. And much better to deal with it nonviolently now, through the political system, than what could possibly happen in the future, which nobody wants to see”

Even more bizarre is what Roseanne Barr had to say during a recent appearance on RT….

“I first would allow the guilty bankers to pay, you know, the ability to pay back anything over $100 million [of] personal wealth because I believe in a maximum wage of $100 million. And if they are unable to live on that amount of that amount then they should, you know, go to the reeducation camps and if that doesn’t help, then being beheaded”

Are “reeducation camps” and acts of violent revenge going to solve any of our problems?

Of course not.

But this is a mindset that is growing.

There are millions upon millions of Americans that are deeply suffering right now.  The mainstream media is not telling them the truth about the economy and neither are our politicians.  So the American people simply do not understand what is going on.

That means that they are prime candidates to be drawn into radical protest movements.

So far, the Occupy Wall Street protests have been non-violent, but that doesn’t mean that some of the protesters do not have violence on their minds.

For example, the following is what one speaker at the Occupy Los Angeles protests recently had to say about violence….

“One of the speakers said the solution is nonviolent movement. No, my friend. I’ll give you two examples: French Revolution, and Indian so-called Revolution.

Gandhi, Gandhi today is, with respect to all of you, Gandhi today is a tumor that the ruling class is using constantly to mislead us. French Revolution made fundamental transformation. But it was bloody.

India, the result of Gandhi, is 600 million people living in maximum poverty.

So, ultimately, the bourgeoisie won’t go without violent means. Revolution! Yes, revolution that is led by the working class.

Long live revolution! Long live socialism!”

You can see video of these shocking comments right here.

In past decades, the American population endured tough times with dignity and grace for the most part.

But times are different now.  The American people have become addicted to endless prosperity, and now that things are going downhill they want someone to blame.  As the economy continues to crumble, we are going to see some national “temper tantrums” that are going to be absolutely mind blowing.

For even more on how anger and frustration are rising in America, please see an article I did the other day entitled: “Buckle Up: America Is Getting Very Angry And The Protests Are Going To Become Much More Frightening“.

But let us not diminish in any way the very real pain and suffering that tens of millions of Americans are going through right now.  About a million families a year are losing their homes, the number of good jobs continues to decline and many of our communities are rapidly turning into hellholes.

Unfortunately, there are signs that things will soon get even worse for our local communities.  For example, the largest county in Alabama is preparing for what would be the biggest municipal bankruptcy in the history of the United States.

And this is just the beginning.

Hundreds of other state and local governments from coast to coast are on the verge of bankruptcy.  The cry for bailouts from the federal government is going to get louder and louder, but the federal government has already piled up the biggest mountain of debt in the history of the world and there is only so much more debt that it can take on before our entire financial system collapses.

All of the long-term trends are pointing to a total collapse of the economy.  If you think that people are angry now, just wait until that happens.  We are going to see outbreaks of rioting and looting and crime and violence that will be absolutely unprecedented.

The American people are not morally equipped to handle a severe depression.  We simply do not have the same character that previous generations possessed.  We have gotten very soft and very spoiled and very selfish.

But that doesn’t mean that there won’t be a remnant that will hold on to the truth and that will stand for what is right.

When things are the darkest, that is when the greatest heroes are called for.

Let us work together to wake up America, and let us continue shining a light in the darkness.

We must work while it is still day, because night is coming soon.

Finca Bayano

Panama Relocation Tours




 

ProphecyHour

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