The victory by Barack Obama on election night has resulted in a huge wave of firings and layoffs all over America. A large number of businesses seem to have suddenly shifted into panic mode. The number of layoff announcements that we have seen in the last 48 hours has been absolutely shocking. So why is this happening? Well, the truth is that the federal government is absolutely suffocating small businesses all over America with rules, regulations and taxes. If you have never tried to run a small business, then you have no idea how oppressive this system actually is for people that are trying to run small businesses successfully. It has steadily gotten worse over the years no matter who has been in the White House and no matter who has controlled Congress. So we shouldn’t put 100% of the blame on Obama. Bush massively expanded government and made things harder on small business people too. But what many small business people were looking for on this election day was just a little bit of help. Many were desperately holding out hope that Obamacare would be repealed so that they would not have to get rid of some of their employees. Many were hoping to get a little bit of relief from the crippling regulations and taxes that are absolutely crushing them. But now that Barack Obama has been given another four years, they understand that there is no hope on the horizon and that things are only going to get worse. So they are making the hard decisions that they feel are necessary in order to survive in this economic environment.
And I certainly don’t blame them. You only want to have employees if you can make a profit on them. And in this environment it is getting harder than ever to make a profit on an employee. You see, the truth is that what you cost your employer goes far beyond your salary or your hourly wage. I think many of you would be absolutely shocked if you learned how much it actually costs your employer to employ you. And now thanks to Obamacare, that cost is going to go up even more.
Many businesses are not even feasible at all in this economic environment. Many small businesses had been holding out hope that somehow this election might turn things around and make it possible for them to keep going, but when Obama won it was kind of like the straw that broke the camel’s back.
You can’t do what the federal government and the state governments are doing to us and expect to have a thriving economy. They are choking the life out of us.
New businesses and small businesses are supposed to be at the heart of our economic system. Unfortunately, the environment that has been created is absolutely killing them. This is a recipe for disaster.
In a previous article, I noted that the number of jobs created at new businesses in 2010 in the United States was less than half of what it was back in the year 2000.
Now we can expect that number to get even worse and we can expect large numbers of small businesses to shrink in size or close their doors completely.
The following is a list of some of the post-election firings and layoffs that we have seen since Tuesday night…
A Utah coal company owned by a vocal critic of President Barack Obama has laid off 102 miners.
The layoffs at the West Ridge Mine are effective immediately, according to UtahAmerican Energy Inc., a subsidiary of Murray Energy Corp. They were announced in a short statement made public Thursday, two days after Obama won re-election.
The layoffs are necessary because of the president’s “war on coal,” the statement said. The slogan is one used frequently during the election by Murray Energy CEO Robert Murray, who was an ardent supporter of Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney.
In its statement, UtahAmerican Energy blames the Obama administration for instituting policies that will close down “204 American coal-fired power plants by 2014″ and for drastically reducing the market for coal.
I work for the oldest and largest health insurer in the state of Ohio in the underwriting department. At 9 a.m.this morning, my department (about 50) were called into a meeting in the executive boardroom. We were informed that due to a provision in the healthcare ‘reform’ effective 2014 called guarantee issue, our services would no longer be needed, and we were offered severance So Obama got to keep his job, and we lost ours. It is maddening that some tyrant 400 miles away can have such a ruinous effect on peoples lives.
A Las Vegas business owner with 114 employees fired 22 workers today, apparently as a direct result of President Obama’s re-election.
“David” (he asked to remain anonymous for obvious reasons) told Host Kevin Wall on 100.5 KXNT that “elections have consequences” and that “at the end of the day, I need to survive.”
Here’s an excerpt from the interview. Click the audio tab below to hear even more from this compelling conversation:
“I’ve done my share of educating my employees. I never tell them which way to vote. I believe in the free system we have, I believe in the right to choose who they want to be president, but I did explain as a business owner that I have always put my employees first. I always made sure that when I went without a paycheck that [I] made sure they were paid. And I explained that I always put them first and unfortunately I’m at a point where I’m being forced to have to worry about me and my family now and a business that I built from just me to 114 employees.
#4 Posted below is a list of layoff headlines from the past few days that was posted on AmericanThinker.com…
Obama was “fired up” and so were the voters, and so now, the mass firings begin. Here’s a collection of today’s headlines. Please say a prayer for the families who will be suffering. Had Romney won, many of these companies would now be hiring.
Teco Coal officials announce layoffs
Momentive Inc plans temporary layoffs for 150
Wilkes-Barre officials to announce mandatory layoffs
600 layoffs at Groupon
More layoffs announced at Aniston Weapons Incinerator
Murray Energy confirms 150 layoffs at 3 subsidiaries
130 laid off in Minnesota dairy plant closure
Stanford brake plant to lay off 75
Turbocare, Oce to lay off more than 220 workers
ATI plans to lay off 172 workers in North Richland Hills
SpaceX claims its first victims as Rocketdyne lays off 100
Providence Journal lays off 23 full-time employees
CVPH lays off 17
New Energy lays off 40 employees
102 Utah miners laid off because of ‘war on coal’, company says
US Cellular drops Chicago, cuts 640 jobs
Career Education to cut 900 jobs, close 23 campuses
Vestas to cut 3,000 more jobs
First Energy to cut 400 jobs by 2016
Mine owner blames Obama for layoffs (54 fired last night)
Canceled program costs 115 jobs at Ohio air base
AMD trims Austin workforce – 400 jobs slashed
100 workers lose jobs as Caterpillar closes plant in Minnesota
Exide to lay off 150 workers
TE Connectivity to close Guilford plant, lay off 620
More Layoffs for Major Wind Company (3,000 jobs cut)
Cigna to lay off 1,300 workers worldwide
Ameridose to lay off hundreds of workers
#5 According to the Blaze, the following major corporations have all announced layoffs in just the past two days…
Research in Motion Limited
Lightyear Network Solutions
Boeing (30% of their management staff)
CVPH Medical Center
Momentive Performance Materials
Vestas Wind Systems
Center for Hospice New York
OCE North America
West Ridge Mine
United Blood Services Gulf
You can get the rest of the details right here.
#6 The following is a list of companies that will be laying off workers just because of Obamacare that was compiled by FreedomWorks…
Dana Holding Corp.
As recently as a week ago, a global auto parts manufacturing company in Ohio known as Dana Holding Corp., warned their employees of potential layoffs, citing “$24 million over the next six years in additional U.S. health care expenses”. After laying off several white collar staffers, company insiders have hinted at more to come. The company will have to cover the additional $24 million cost somehow, which will likely equate to numerous cuts in their current workforce of 25,500 worldwide.
One of the biggest medical device manufacturers in the world, Stryker will close their facility in Orchard Park, New York, eliminating 96 jobs in December. Worse, they plan on countering the medical device tax in Obamacare by slashing 5% of their global workforce – an estimated 1,170 positions.
In October of 2009, Boston Scientific CEO Ray Elliott, warned that proposed taxes in the health care reform bill could “lead to significant job losses” for his company. Nearly two years later, Elliott announced that the company would be cutting anywhere between 1,200 and 1,400 jobs, while simultaneously shifting investments and workers overseas – to China.
In March of 2010, medical device maker Medtronic warned that Obamacare taxes could result in a reduction of precisely 1,000 jobs. That plan became reality when the company cut 500 positions over the summer, with another 500 set for the end of 2013.
A short list of other companies facing future layoffs at the hands of Obamacare:
- Smith & Nephew – 770 layoffs
- Abbott Labs – 700 layoffs
- Covidien – 595 layoffs
- Kinetic Concepts – 427 layoffs
- St. Jude Medical – 300 layoffs
- Hill Rom – 200 layoffs
A lot of other businesses are going to reduce the number of employees they have or reduce the average work week in order to avoid the Obamacare insurance coverage mandate that will soon be implemented.
This is how CNSNews.com describes the choice that many employers will be facing…
That section, known as the employer mandate, requires any business with 50 or more full-time employees to provide at least the minimum level of government-defined health coverage to those employees. In other words, a business must provide insurance if it has 50 or more employees working an average of just 30 hours per week, which is 10 hours per week fewer than the traditional 40-hour work week.
Thus, by cutting employees’ hours to ensure they average less than the 30 per week, employers could potentially avoid the cost of providing the minimum insurance levels mandated by Obamacare.
So if your company trims the number of workers to just under 50 or starts going to “29 hour work weeks”, then you will know who to blame.
All of this is complete and utter insanity. We are committing national economic suicide.
But perhaps we deserve this. After all, Americans willingly chose their leaders on election day. It is getting harder and harder to deny that our politicians are truly a reflection of who we are as a nation.
The American people chose this path, and now we get to see where it leads us.
On social media websites such as Twitter and Facebook, thousands of threats of violence were posted by supporters of Barack Obama on the evening prior to the election. If you doubt this, just go on Twitter and do a search for keywords such as “Romney riot”, “assassinate Romney” and “if Romney wins”. We have seen very serious threats of violence against Mitt Romney and his supporters for weeks, but little action has been taken to shut these threats of violence down, and now they are reaching a crescendo as we reach election day. At the moment, law enforcement authorities and the mainstream media do not appear to be taking these threats of violence very seriously, but they should. Just look at what happened when the San Francisco Giants won the World Series. Horrible rioting broke out in San Francisco and a city bus was even set on fire. But that little bit of rioting is nothing compared to what could happen on a nationwide basis if Mitt Romney wins this election – especially if there are allegations that Romney stole the campaign. If Romney is victorious, expect to see allegations of “voter fraud” and “election fraud” from the other side. If there is a belief that the Republicans “cheated” (whether true or not), this would provide all of the justification that those out committing violence would need. Many of them would actually consider themselves to be “standing up for democracy” or “fighting for their rights”. Hopefully the scenario that I just outlined will not play out. Hopefully Obama supporters will be calm if Romney is declared the winner. But we would be very foolish to ignore the thousands upon thousands of threats that we have seen over the past few weeks.
This is a topic I have written about before, and I received quite a bit of criticism for writing about it. Apparently supporters of Barack Obama should be allowed to endlessly spew out threats of physical violence against Mitt Romney and his supporters and nobody is ever supposed to say anything about it.
Yes, there are a lot of Republicans that are saying some very cruel things about Barack Obama, but people know that if you make a physical threat against Barack Obama you are likely to get a visit from the Secret Service.
Apparently the same thing does not apply to threats against Mitt Romney. Every single hour, large numbers of physical threats directed at him and his supporters continue to pour in. If these people mean just a small fraction of what they are saying, we are going to see American cities burn if Romney wins.
Most of the examples that I could have included below I decided not to post because of the vulgar language used. A lot of children will end up reading this, and so I decided to try to keep it as clean as possible.
The following are just a few examples of some of the “cleaner” threats of physical violence and rioting that have been posted on Twitter just tonight…
If obama doesn not win im gonna go burn down every house who has mitt romney signs outside their house! (Link)
If mitt Romney win tomorrow, point blank, we might just start a riot ! # Team Obama tho, so I got faith in our president. (Link)
If Romney wins, we gona start a riot (Link)
if Obama wins i will burn every romney sign in breezewood! (Link)
I always wanted to be in a Riot , and if Romney wins my dream might come true. (Link)
If Mitt Romney wins; I might go around blowing heads off (Link)
@Ska_Supernova: If romney win imma start a riot! (Link)
Lol but if you go for Mitt Romney i’m not going to burn you alive because that’s whatever you believe in. I’m
#teamobama tho (Link)
Romney better start digging his grave cuz if he become president somebody might assassinate him..ALL BLACKS AND MIDDLE CLASS GONE TURN UP!!! (Link)
I would personally assassinate Mitt Romney if he wins… but I think Al Qaeda will beat me too it! (Link)
If Romney gets elected I’m going to burn down the White House so he doesn’t have a home (Link)
Trust me, it gets a lot worse than what you just read. You can see more threats against Romney and his supporters from recent days in this article right here. But please be warned, some of the language used is quite shocking.
Of course many in the mainstream media insist that we don’t even have to worry about what might happen if Romney wins because Obama “has it all locked up”.
For example, as I am writing this Nate Silver of the New York Times is projecting that Barack Obama has a 92.2% chance of winning the election.
Other publications are expressing similar sentiments. An article on Business Insider today had the following headline: “Either The Polls Are All Wrong, Or Mitt Romney Doesn’t Really Have A Viable Path To Win The Election“.
I honestly don’t know how people get paid to write that kind of stuff. This election is super close and it has been for months. According to the latest Gallup tracking poll, Mitt Romney has a one point lead over Barack Obama with likely voters. A lot of people on both sides are proclaiming that it will be a landslide for their guy, but I simply do not see it that way.
This is going to be close. In fact, we may not have a winner on Tuesday night. In fact, if it goes into the courts we may not have a winner for weeks.
We could very easily end up with another Bush v. Gore scenario. Only this time it might tear the entire nation apart. Obama and Romney both have hordes of lawyers ready to roll, and neither of them would hesitate to contest the results of the election if there is still a realistic chance of winning.
The funny thing is that it really does not matter that much which candidate wins anyway. Our nation has been going downhill for decades no matter who has been in the White House, and it will continue to go downhill under either Obama or Romney. When you take a very close look at their policy positions, they actually agree far more than they disagree, and no matter who wins this race the next four years are going to be worse for America than the last four years have been.
But like so many millions of other Americans, I find election night to be absolutely fascinating. So I will be glued to my television just like so many other Americans will be.
And I think that a number of states will end up being much closer than most people originally thought that they would be.
For example, I believe that Romney has a very real shot of winning Pennsylvania and Wisconsin. I am not predicting that he definitely will win those states, but he does have a legitimate chance.
Romney might even make things interesting in Minnesota, although that is more of a long shot.
It should be very interesting to see how it all plays out.
Many Americans are happy that this election season will soon be over, but unfortunately this election should not really be viewed as the end of something. Rather, I believe that it will be the beginning of a disturbing new chapter in American history.
A whole host of polls and surveys have shown that the American people are angrier today than just about at any other point since World War II. In recent months, this anger and frustration have been bottled up as people have waited for election day. Right now, true believers on both the red team and the blue team are optimistic about the future because they are totally convinced that they are going to win this election.
But when a winner is finally announced, close to half the country is immediately going to be bitterly disappointed. And then when things continue to get worse in this country despite “their guy” winning, the winning side is not going to be so pleased either.
This election could end up being the “release point” for a lot of the anger and frustration that have been building up in this country for a very long time. You can almost feel the tension in the air. All it is going to take is just the right “spark” to set it off.
If you have any political signs in your yard or any political bumper stickers on your car, you might want to start taking them down – especially if you live in a densely populated area. Hopefully cooler heads will prevail, but I wouldn’t count on it. There is just so much hate and anger out there right now.
So pray for peace, but also watch your back.
Will the most divisive campaign in modern American history culminate in massive riots in our major cities? Right now, supporters of Barack Obama and supporters of Mitt Romney are both pinning all of their hopes on a victory on November 6th. The race for the presidency is extremely tight, and obviously the side that loses is going to be extremely disappointed when the election results are finalized. But could this actually lead to violence? Could we actually see rioting in communities all over America? Well, the conditions are certainly ripe for it. A whole host of surveys over the past few years have shown that Americans are very angry and very frustrated right now. In fact, a Pew Research Center poll from late last year found that 86 percent of all Americans are either angry or frustrated with the federal government. We have seen this frustration manifest in protest movements such as the Tea Party and Occupy Wall Street, but right now things are fairly calm as liberals and conservatives both look forward to November 6th. Many Republicans started the countdown to the next election literally the day after John McCain lost back in 2008. All of their hopes of getting Obama out of the White House are riding on a Romney victory. For many Democrats, Barack Obama is a “once in a generation” icon. Just the thought of Mitt Romney replacing Obama in the White House is enough to push many of them to the brink of insanity. In recent years we have seen horrible rioting erupt in cities after major sports championship games. How much worse could the rioting potentially be if this bitterly contested election is decided by a very narrow margin – especially if there are allegations that the election is “stolen”?
The election is nearly four weeks away, and many Obama supporters are already threatening to riot if Obama loses. The following are some very disturbing messages that were posted on Twitter recently that have been reposted on Twitchy.com….
“If Romney wins I’m Starting a Riot….Who’s WIT ME???”
“I Hope The USA Is Well Aware That If In The Event This Character Romney Wins The Election, The People Will Start A Country Wide Riot! #Power”
“If Romney is elected president, its gon be a riot its gon be a riot.”
“If ROMNEY GETS IN THE WHITE HOUSE …U MIGHT AS WELL KILL ME NOW …..CAUSE ITS GONNA BE A ************ RIOT !!!”
“If Romney became President and took away welfare Downtown Cincinnati would become a riot”
“If Romney takes away food stamps 2 Chainzz in this bit IMMA START A RIOT”
“If Romney wins. (which i highly doubt) THERE WILL BE A RIOT—”
The following are a few more tweets that I found which threaten a potential riot if Obama loses the election….
“Need 2 come up wit a game plan if Romney win…. Riot all thru Newark”
“I swear on everything I love if Romney wins ima riot. I don’t even care if its just me.”
Romney supporters are not really threatening to riot, but many of them are proclaiming that they may leave the country if Obama wins. Here are some examples….
“If Obama gets reelected I may leave the country”
“im sorry but if obama were to win again, i might as well leave the country and live in zimbabwe”
This presidential campaign has been getting increasingly heated, and individuals on both sides have been committing some despicable acts.
For example, in a previous article I mentioned that some Romney campaign signs down in Virgina have been smeared with excrement.
Over in Ohio, a huge pile of manure was dumped right in front of Warren County Democratic headquarters early on Tuesday morning….
Volunteers at the Warren County Democratic headquarters, just north of Cincinnati, were shocked and disappointed by a political prank unloaded on them early Tuesday morning – someone dumped a pile of horse manure in the parking lot of the headquarters building on US 42, just north of Lebanon.
It appears that both sides have resorted to literally slinging crap around.
There is so much hate in America today, and this campaign is bringing a lot of it to the surface. It is even being reported that a bus driver told a 12-year-old boy that he should have been aborted because his family has a Romney campaign sign in their yard….
Belling read a letter from the 12-year-old boy’s mother, detailing the alleged abusive behavior by the bus driver.
Apparently, the Romney-Ryan yard sign bugs the bus driver and she’s been harassing the boy, making rude comments to him related to politics.
When the driver engaged the 12-year-old boy in a political conservation, he responded by saying that Obama is pro-abortion.
The bus driver allegedly said to the child, “Maybe your mom should have chosen abortion for you.”
How sick is that?
You can strongly disagree with someone without being mean and without being hateful.
Right now, the United States is a bubbling cauldron of frustration and anger that could be set off at any moment. This election could potentially be a “trigger point” which could end up unleashing a lot of that anger and frustration.
Already, there have been allegations that the Republicans have been committing voter registration fraud. Democrats are furious about this.
Evidence has also emerged that Democrats have been willing to assist voters in registering to vote in two different states. The following is from a recent article by Mac Slavo….
When undercover reporters visited various locations across the country they received the same response from Obama campaign staffers – that it’s basically okay to vote multiple times if you happen to be registered in two or more states.
In Houston, Texas, for example, the Project Veritas reporter made her intentions known, and rather than being rebuffed for her planned illegal activity, she was provided assistance with obtaining the proper forms to be registered in two states and was told to say “I don’t know” if the double-voting ever became an issue.
Similar situations unfolded at other DNC funded community organizations.
It appears quite probable that whichever side loses this election will accuse the other side of stealing the election.
And if millions of Americans feel that the election has been stolen from them, that will make it much more likely that we will see rioting.
Keep your ears open for phrases such as “voter fraud” and “election fraud” following this election. People are so angry already that even allegations that someone stole the election could be enough to set the streets of America on fire.
As always, let us hope for the best, but let us also prepare for the worst.
Did you watch the presidential debate on Wednesday night? It is absolutely amazing how they can have an hour and a half debate about the economy and say so little. It seemed like both candidates were falling all over each other wanting to talk about how much they value education, but will more education really solve our problems? After all, 53 percent of all Americans with a bachelor’s degree under the age of 25 were either unemployed or underemployed in 2011. So perhaps they should just both agree that education is a good thing and start talking about how to create more jobs for all of us. If you want to grade the debate from a technical standpoint, clearly Romney was the winner of the debate. Romney was full of energy and was generally sharp with his answers. Obama looked like he had just popped a couple of antidepressants and was ready for nap time. As a result, this might have been the worst blowout in the history of presidential debates. A CNN/ORC International poll that was taken right after the debate found that 67 percent of all Americans that had watched the debate thought that Romney was the winner. Never before had any presidential candidate crossed the 60 percent mark in the history of their post-debate polling. So Romney definitely had a big night. But the reality is that both candidates were telling the American people what they want to hear. If either Obama or Romney told the truth about what we are facing they would lose votes, and in a race this tight both of them really want to avoid doing that. Obama and Romney both desperately want to win this election, and the words that are coming out of their mouths have been carefully crafted to appeal to the “undecided voters” in the swing states. If you actually believe that they can deliver on everything that they are promising, then you must not have been paying much attention to U.S. politics over the past several decades.
Perhaps the biggest failure on Wednesday night was debate moderator Jim Lehrer of PBS. His questions were about as far from “hard hitting” as you could get.
The hour and a half debate was almost entirely about the economy, and yet almost all of the critical economic issues were ignored.
Yes, Obama and Romney have slight differences when it comes to tax rates and regulations, but those small differences are not going to do much to change the direction of this country one way or another.
Meanwhile, there were some really huge issues about the economy that were not addressed at all last night….
1 – In an hour and a half debate about the economy, the Federal Reserve was not mentioned a single time.
2 – In an hour and a half debate about the economy, Ben Bernanke was not mentioned a single time.
3 – In an hour and a half debate about the economy, quantitative easing was not mentioned a single time.
4 – In an hour and a half debate about the economy, the term “derivatives” was not used a single time. Considering the fact that derivatives could bring down our financial system at any moment, this is an issue that should be talked about.
5 – In an hour and a half debate about the economy, there was no mention of the millions of jobs that have been shipped out of the country. Considering the fact that both Obama and Romney have played a role in this, it is probably a topic they both want to avoid. Overall, the United States has lost more than 56,000 manufacturing facilities since 2001.
6 – In an hour and a half debate about the economy, neither candidate mentioned that the velocity of money has plunged to a post-World War II low.
7 – In an hour and a half debate about the economy, the fact that the rest of the world is beginning to reject the U.S. dollar as a reserve currency was not mentioned a single time, but this has enormous implications for our economy in the years ahead.
8 – The fact that the Social Security system is headed for massive trouble was only briefly touched on during the debate. At the moment, there are approximately 56 million Americans that are collecting Social Security benefits. By 2035, that number is projected to grow to an astounding 91 million. Overall, the Social Security system is facing a 134 trillion dollar shortfall over the next 75 years. When are our politicians going to honestly address this massive problem?
9 – In an hour and a half debate about the economy, the nightmarish drought the country is experiencing right now was not mentioned a single time.
10 – In an hour and a half debate about the economy, the financial meltdown in Europe was basically totally ignored. But considering the fact that Europe has a larger economy and a much larger banking system than we do, perhaps someone should have asked Obama and Romney what they plan to do when the financial system of Europe implodes.
11 – In an hour and a half debate about the economy, the student loan debt bubble was only briefly mentioned.
12 – In an hour and a half debate about the economy, there was not a single word about the fact that the gap between the wealthy and the poor is now larger than it has been at any point since the Great Depression.
13 – In an hour and a half debate about the economy, there was no mention of TARP (which they both supported at the time). Would they both bail out the big banks if another financial crisis erupted?
14 – In an hour and a half debate about the economy, there was no mention of the economic stimulus packages (which they both supported at the time). Would they both want more “economic stimulus” if we entered another recession?
15 – In an hour and a half debate about the economy, neither candidate talked about the fact that most of the jobs our economy is producing now are low income jobs. In fact, since the end of the last recession, 58 percent of the jobs that have been created are low paying jobs.
16 – In an hour and a half debate about the economy, neither candidate mentioned that more than 100 million Americans are enrolled in at least one welfare program run by the federal government or that more than half of all Americans are now at least partially financially dependent on the government. I can’t blame Romney for avoiding this point though – he probably wanted to avoid the phrase “47 percent” at all costs.
Is this really the best that America can do?
Tens of millions of Americans tuned in hoping to become more informed about the candidates, and instead what they got was an hour and a half of tap dancing as Obama and Romney constantly tossed out buzzwords such as “education”, “energy independent” and “middle class”.
I honestly don’t know how you can possibly have a debate about the economy without talking about the Federal Reserve, quantitative easing, the trade deficit, Europe or the decline of the U.S. dollar.
But it just happened right in front of our eyes.
I don’t think that I can ever remember another presidential debate that lacked substance as much as this one did.
So what did you all think about the debate? Please feel free to post a comment with your thoughts below….
Are you better off today than you were four years ago? This is a question that comes up nearly every election. This year the Romney campaign has even created a Twitter hashtag for it: #AreYouBetterOff. The Democrats are making lots of speeches claiming that we are better off, and the Republicans are making lots of speeches claiming that we are not. So are most Americans actually better off than they were four years ago? Of course not. One recent poll found that only 20 percent of Americans believe that they are better off financially than they were four years ago. But the same thing was true four years ago as well. Our economy has been in decline and the middle class has been shrinking for a very long time. The Democrats want to put all of the blame on the Republicans for this, and the Republicans want to put all of the blame on the Democrats for this. A recent CNN headline defiantly declared the following: “Decline of middle class not Obama’s fault“, and this is the kind of thing we are going to hear day after day until the election in November. But obviously something has gone fundamentally wrong with our economy. So who should we blame?
Sadly, you hear very little on the mainstream news networks or the talk radio shows about the institution that has the most power over our economy. The Federal Reserve has far more power over our financial system than anyone else does, but the media and both political parties tell us that the Federal Reserve is “above politics” and that their “independence” must never be questioned.
Unfortunately, most Americans have gone along with that.
But the truth is that the debt-based financial system that the Federal Reserve is at the core of is absolutely central to our economic problems. If you do not understand this, please see this article: “10 Things That Every American Should Know About The Federal Reserve“.
The Federal Reserve has done more to mess up our economy than anyone else has.
So shouldn’t they be held accountable?
That is a very good question.
Have you ever wondered why financial markets move so dramatically whenever Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke gives a speech?
The same thing does not happen when Barack Obama gives a speech.
That is because the financial markets know who holds the real power in our financial system.
But during this election season the American people are told to put all of their attention on the “red team” and the “blue team”. We are told that the two major political parties are philosophical opposites and that they want to take the United States is two completely different directions.
The “true believers” on the blue team are completely and totally convinced that Barack Obama will be able to rescue the economy and save America.
The “true believers” on the red team are completely and totally convinced that Mitt Romney will be able to rescue the economy and save America.
Once upon a time I was one of those political activists. I was fully convinced that America could be turned around if we could just get enough Republicans into office.
But then I noticed that nothing really seemed to change no matter who was in power. I became disillusioned as I realized that Republicans were doing things pretty much the exact same way that Democrats were doing them when they got into power.
Yes, there are some minor differences between the two parties on taxes and regulations.
If we elect one guy over the other our economy might decline at a slightly different pace.
But in the end both political parties are taking us to the exact same place.
Down the toilet.
I wish that wasn’t true.
But we need to be honest with ourselves….
-Both parties fully support the Federal Reserve.
-Both parties supported the nomination of Ben Bernanke to a second term as the head of the Federal Reserve.
-Both parties endlessly push the job-killing “free trade” agenda of the global elite.
-Both parties see nothing wrong with running absolutely enormous trade deficits with the rest of the world.
-Both parties supported TARP.
-Both parties supported the “economic stimulus” packages.
-Both parties supported the auto industry bailouts.
-Both parties have run up massive amounts of federal debt when in power.
-Both parties have greatly expanded the size of the federal government when in power.
-Both parties are full of control freaks and both parties have added more layers of ridiculous regulations to our already overburdened society when in power.
-Neither party supports getting rid of the income tax or the IRS.
-Neither party has any intention of doing anything to prevent the coming derivatives crisis that could bring down the entire global financial system.
-Both parties are absolutely showered with cash from the big Wall Street banks.
-Both parties think that the TSA is doing a great job.
-Both parties supported the NDAA and the renewal of the Patriot Act.
-Both parties have greatly expanded the unconstitutional surveillance of American citizens by government agencies.
-Both parties are extremely soft on illegal immigration.
-Both parties have treated military veterans horribly.
-Both parties are absolutely packed with corrupt politicians that are living the high life at your expense.
-Neither party plans to balance the federal budget in 2013 if their candidate wins the election.
-Neither party has a plan that will fix our deeply broken health care system.
-Neither party has any plans to shut down the Federal Reserve. In fact, both parties see absolutely nothing wrong with our current system.
Of course this list could go on indefinitely, but hopefully you get the point.
But I can understand those that are deeply frustrated with Barack Obama and that desperately want to avoid another four years of his policies.
I also believe that Barack Obama has been the worst president in U.S. history and that he and his entire cabinet should immediately resign in disgrace.
However, the Republican party foolishly chose to nominate the Republican candidate that was most like Barack Obama to run against him.
That was an enormous mistake.
No matter what the talk radio shows are telling you, the truth is that this country will continue on pretty much the same path no matter who wins the election.
I know that statement is going to make a lot of people angry. But it is the sad reality of what we are facing.
Even if you focus on just the economy, the truth is that Mitt Romney’s “five point plan” is almost exactly the same thing that Barack Obama has been saying.
Many Americans believe that since Mitt Romney made lots of money on Wall Street conducting leveraged buyouts of vulnerable corporations that he understands how to fix our economy.
Sadly, that is not the truth.
I have listened to many Romney speeches about the economy and I keep waiting for some pearls of wisdom, but I have found that he is just as clueless about the economy as our other recent presidents have been.
Look, I know that there are a lot of people out there that have good hearts that want to have someone that they can believe in.
They want to believe that things can get better.
They want to have hope.
And I don’t blame them for that.
I just think that it is time to pull our heads out of the sand and realize that things are not going to be getting any better.
A political savior on a white horse is not going to come riding in to save the day.
So by this point in the article a whole lot of Democrats and a whole lot of Republicans are very upset with me.
But I am not against you. There is way too much hate in our society today. Even if we disagree with someone else we can still love them.
I just think that it is very important that we understand that there is not going to be a solution to our problems on the national level and that our economy is headed for collapse no matter who gets elected.
The total amount of debt in the United States has risen from less than 2 trillion dollars to nearly 55 trillion dollars over the past 40 years, and there is nothing that Barack Obama or Mitt Romney can do to prevent the “correction” that is coming.
So are Americans better off than they were four years ago?
Of course not.
But things will soon get a whole lot worse no matter how the election turns out.
The following are 40 statistics that will absolutely shock you….
#1 During the time Barack Obama has been in the White House, median household income has fallen by 7.3 percent.
#2 Back in 2007, 19.2 percent of all American families had a net worth of zero or less than zero. By 2010, that figure had soared to 32.5 percent.
#3 According to the Federal Reserve, the median net worth of American families dropped “from $126,400 in 2007 to $77,300 in 2010“.
#4 According to the Pew Research Center, 61 percent of all Americans were “middle income” back in 1971. Today, only 51 percent of all Americans are “middle income”.
#5 Back in 1970, middle income Americans brought home 62 percent of all income in the United States. In 2010, middle income Americans only brought home 45 percent of all income.
#6 The unemployment rate in the United States has been above 8 percent for 42 straight months.
#7 The percentage of working age Americans with a job has been below 59 percent for 35 months in a row.
#8 In June, the number of Americans added to the food stamp rolls was nearly three times larger than the number of jobs added to the U.S. economy.
#9 Approximately 53 percent of all U.S. college graduates under the age of 25 were either unemployed or underemployed last year.
#10 Since Barack Obama entered the White House, the number of long-term unemployed Americans has risen from 2.7 million to 5.2 million.
#11 Today, the average duration of unemployment in the United States is about three times as long as it was back in the year 2000.
#12 According to a report that has just been released by 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.
#13 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”.
#14 In 2010, the number of jobs created at new businesses in the United States was less than half of what it was back in the year 2000.
#15 The average pay for self-employed Americans fell by $3,721 between 2006 and 2010.
#16 According to U.S. Representative Betty Sutton, America has lost an average of 15 manufacturing facilities a day over the last 10 years. During 2010 it got even worse. That year, an average of 23 manufacturing facilities a day shut down in the United States.
#17 At this point, one out of every four American workers has a job that pays $10 an hour or less.
#18 While Barack Obama has been president the velocity of money has plunged to a post-World War II low.
#19 According to one recent survey, 85 percent of middle class Americans say that it is harder to maintain a middle class standard of living today compared with 10 years ago.
#20 Electricity bills in the United States have risen faster than the overall rate of inflation for five years in a row.
#21 There are now 20.2 million Americans that spend more than half of their incomes on housing. That represents a 46 percent increase from 2001.
#22 Over the past decade, health insurance premiums have risen three times faster than wages have in the United States.
#23 Health insurance costs have risen by 23 percent since Barack Obama became president.
#24 As I wrote about yesterday, back in 1980 less than 10 percent of U.S. GDP was spent on health care but now about 18 percent of U.S. GDP goes toward health care.
#25 In a previous article, I noted that 62 percent of all middle class Americans say that they have had to reduce household spending over the past year.
#26 Family budgets in America are being stretched to the breaking point. Today, 77 percent of all Americans live paycheck to paycheck at least part of the time.
#27 While Barack Obama has been president, U.S. home values have fallen by another 11 percent.
#28 More than three times as many new homes were sold in the United States in 2005 as will be sold in 2012.
#29 The United States was once ranked #1 in the world in GDP per capita. Today we have slipped to #11.
#30 Since Barack Obama became president, the number of Americans living in poverty has risen by 6.4 million.
#31 The number of Americans on food stamps has grown from about 17 million in the year 2000 to 31.9 million when Barack Obama entered the White House to 46.7 million today.
#32 Approximately one-fourth of all U.S. children are enrolled in the food stamp program at this point.
#33 It is being projected that half of all American children will be on food stamps at least once before they turn 18 years of age.
#34 It is estimated that child homelessness in the United States has risen by 33 percent since 2007.
#35 Back in 1965, only one out of every 50 Americans was on Medicaid. Today, approximately one out of every 6 Americans is on Medicaid.
#36 As I wrote about the other day, it is being projected that Obamacare will add 16 million more Americans to the Medicaid rolls.
#37 It is being projected that the number of Americans on Medicare will grow from 50.7 million in 2012 to 73.2 million in 2025.
#38 The number of Americans receiving federal housing assistance increased by a whopping 42 percent between 2006 and 2010.
#39 At this point, well over 100 million Americans are enrolled in at least one welfare program run by the federal government.
#40 Amazingly, more than half of all Americans are now at least partially financially dependent on the government.
So are you better off than you used to be or worse off?
Please feel free to post a comment with your thoughts below….
In the crazy times in which we live, it helps to expect the unexpected. Sometimes you can think that you have it all figured out and then this world can throw a real curveball at you. Very few people anticipated that we would see a massive outbreak of the West Nile Virus in Texas this year or that the Mississippi River would be in danger of drying up after experiencing historic flooding last year. Who would have thought that we would see the worst drought in more than 50 years or that horrific wildfires would burn nearly 7 million acres of land? This is why economic conditions are always so hard to predict. A single “black swan event” can come along and change everything almost overnight. Our world has become incredibly unstable, and so who really knows what the rest of 2012 will bring? Will we see a stock market crash? Will the hurricane season be unusually bad? Will war erupt in the Middle East? Will we see a major earthquake on the west coast or even a volcanic eruption? Will the upcoming election cause an eruption of anger and frustration in America? We don’t know the answers to those questions yet, and the truth is that we will probably see some things happen that very few of us are anticipating at this point.
This is an exciting time to be a “news junkie”, but unfortunately the vast majority of the news these days is bad.
It is almost as if a “perfect storm” is developing. Our weather is going crazy, our financial system is on the verge of collapse, our politicians seem more insane than ever, there is evidence of social decay all around us and the drumbeats of war in the Middle East grow louder with each passing day.
As strange as 2012 has been so far, I fear that things are about to get a whole lot stranger.
Not that we haven’t had some very unanticipated events happen this year up to this point.
The following are 8 economic threats that we were not even talking about at the beginning of the summer….
#1 West Nile Virus
What is up with all of the strange disease outbreaks that we have seen so far this year?
Flesh eating disease and the bird flu have both been making global headlines this summer, but in the U.S. right now it is the West Nile Virus that is getting the most attention.
So far more than 1,100 cases of the West Nile Virus have been diagnosed in the United States and more than 41 people have died from it.
More than half of the cases so far have been in Texas, but we have also seen people come down with West Nile Virus in Mississippi, Louisiana, South Dakota, and Oklahoma.
If you live in any of those areas, you might want to do your best to avoid mosquitos for the rest of the summer.
#2 Historic Drought
This summer, the United States has experienced the worst drought that it has seen in more than 50 years.
This weather has been absolutely crippling for farmers and ranchers all over the nation. As I wrote about the other day, about half of all corn being grown in the U.S. is currently either in “poor” or “very poor” condition.
As the drought has dragged on, many farmers and ranchers have become increasingly desperate. In fact, one farmer has even been feeding his cows candy in an attempt to deal with rising feed prices.
Needless to say, this drought has been causing commodity prices to soar.
On Tuesday, the price of corn closed at a record $8.38 a bushel, and the price of soybeans closed at $17.30 a bushel.
#3 The Mississippi River Is Drying Up
Thanks to this drought, rivers and lakes all over the United States are drying up. In fact, there have been reports that millions of fish have been dying because water levels have gotten so low in many areas.
Even the mighty Mississippi River has dropped to dangerously low levels.
At this point, the Mississippi is lower than most people living along the river can ever remember. If it drops much lower, it could potentially have an absolutely devastating impact on the U.S. economy.
A recent NBC News report described what is at stake….
About $180 billion worth of goods move up and down the river on barges, 500 million tons of the basic ingredients for much of the U.S. economy, according to the American Waterways Operators, a trade group. It carries 60 percent of the nation’s grain, 22 percent of the oil and gas and 20 percent of the coal, according to American Waterways Operators. It would take 60 trailer trucks to carry the cargo in just one barge, 144 18-wheeler tankers to carry the oil and gas in one petroleum barge.
If all traffic along the Mississippi was forced to stop, it is estimated that it would cost the U.S. economy about 300 million dollars a day.
And already there have been stoppages along one 11 mile stretch of the river….
Nearly 100 boats and barges were waiting for passage Monday along an 11-mile stretch of the Mississippi River that has been closed because of low water levels, the U.S. Coast Guard said. New Orleans-based Coast Guard spokesman Ryan Tippets said the stretch of river near Greenville, Miss., has been closed intermittently since Aug. 11, when a vessel ran aground.
So what happens if the Mississippi gets even lower?
The extreme heat has also been responsible for the horrific outbreak of wildfires that we have seen in the western United States this year.
So far in 2012, nearly 7 million acres have been burned up.
That is an area about as big as the states of Maryland and Delaware combined.
#5 The Global Elite Hoarding Gold
In the past, the global elite and the mainstream media would mock those who are hoarding gold in anticipation of a major financial collapse.
But now it is the global elite who are hoarding gold.
In a previous article, I discussed how men such as George Soros and John Paulson are investing mind-boggling amounts of money in gold right now. The amount of money that these two individuals are investing in gold is difficult to comprehend….
There was also news last week in an SEC filing that both George Soros and John Paulson had increased their investment in SPDR Gold Trust, the world’s largest publicly traded physical gold exchange traded fund (ETF).
Mr Soros upped his stake in the ETF to 884,400 shares from 319,550 and Mr Paulson bought 4.53m shares, bringing his stake to 21.3m.
At the current price of about $156 a share, these are new investments of about $88m of Mr Soros’ cash and more than $700m from Mr Paulson’s funds. These are significant positions.
Combined, Soros and Paulson dumped more than three quarters of a billion dollars into gold during the second quarter of 2012 alone.
So what are they anticipating?
The central banks of the world have been very busy hoarding gold as well. According to the World Gold Council, global central banks were net buyers of 157.5 metric tons of gold during the second quarter of 2012.
Over the past 20 years there has never been a time when global central banks have accumulated that much gold during a single quarter.
So just what in the world is going on?
#6 Recession In The UK
Everyone knew that Greece was in deep trouble.
And everyone knew that Italy and Spain were in deep trouble.
But it was a surprise to see the UK economy plunge deep into recession. During the second quarter of 2012 alone, the UK economy shrunk by 0.7 percent.
At this point the British economy has contracted for three quarters in a row.
Hopefully things will not get even worse over there.
#7 Major Economic Slowdown In The United States
Considering the fact that the U.S. economy never even came close to recovering from the last recession, it is a bit disheartening to see that it looks like we are headed for another major downturn.
According to Michael Panzer of Financial Armageddon, measurements of economic activity compiled by the Federal Reserve Bank of Philadelphia indicate that the U.S. economy is rapidly heading into another recession. If you doubt this, just check out this chart.
And for a lot more reasons why the U.S. economy is entering another recession, check out this article.
#8 Hauled Off To A Mental Institution For What You Believe
Do you ever worry that what you post on Facebook could get you involuntarily committed to a mental institution?
Well, that is exactly what happened to one military vet recently.
A former Marine named Brandon Raub was hauled off to a mental institution because of what he posted on his Facebook page.
This is how the Economic Policy Journal summarized what happened to Raub….
The muscle used to grab Brandon Raub was local Chesterfield County, VA police. Also present during the grab were agents of the FBI and of the Secret Service.
Both the FBI and the Secret Service claim that they were only observing and not participating in the grab. The Chesterfield County police initially stated that they were only carrying out a request from the federal agencies.
The police also claim Raub is not under arrest, even though he was led away in handcuffs and is not permitted to leave the psychiatric ward of a hospital—even though it appears that Raub is not in any way in need of psychological care.
I note this happened in the United States of America, with local police, FBI agents and Secret Service taking part.
The claim that Raub is “not under arrest” is completely and totally ridiculous. The authorities came to his door, slapped handcuffs on him and are holding him in a mental institution against his will.
And now he has been transferred to a facility that is 3 hours away from his family, his supporters and his legal team.
What in the world is America turning into?
The Rutherford Institute is defending Raub, and the following is an excerpt from a statement about this case on their website….
“This is not how justice in America is supposed to work—with Americans being arrested for doing nothing more than exercising their First Amendment rights, forced to undergo psychological evaluations, detained against their will and isolated from their family, friends and attorneys. This is a scary new chapter in our history,” said John W. Whitehead, president of The Rutherford Institute. “Brandon Raub is no different from the majority of Americans who use their private Facebook pages to post a variety of content, ranging from song lyrics and political hyperbole to trash talking their neighbors, friends and government leaders.”
This is the kind of thing that we have seen under brutal totalitarian regimes in the past. Dissidents are grabbed by authorities and taken to mental institutions where they are conveniently “disappeared”.
This kind of thing is not supposed to happen in America.
But it is happening.
And you know what? Before the authorities start attacking people for exercising free speech on Facebook perhaps they should clean up their own house.
It turns out that thousands of DHS employees have been convicted of crimes in recent years. The following is from a recent CNS News article….
There have been 2,527 Department of Homeland Security (DHS) employees and co-conspirators convicted of corruption and other criminal misconduct since 2004, according to a federal auditor.
Our world is becoming a very crazy place.
One thing that most people did see coming this summer was the continuing economic decline in Greece.
At this point Greece is experiencing a full-blown economic depression and it gets worse by the day.
If you can believe it, 1,250 companies have shut down in the second largest city in Greece in 2012 alone.
And many in the financial world believe the the situation in Greece is going to go beyond the breaking point fairly soon.
In fact, analysts at Citibank believe that there is a 90 percent chance that Greece will leave the euro over the next 12 to 18 months.
They sound pretty sure of themselves.
Not that the rest of Europe is in such great shape either.
According to Bloomberg, it looks like Europe will soon be losing about half a million auto industry jobs….
Efforts by PSA Peugeot Citroen (UG) and Fiat SpA (F) to end losses in Europe could cost more than 500,000 people their jobs as automakers and parts suppliers grapple with the effects of the European sovereign debt crisis.
We live in very unusual times.
Things are falling apart all around us and we seem to be rapidly approaching another major economic crisis.
Central banks, governments and Wall Street insiders all seem to be preparing for the worst.
What is Barack Obama preparing for? What does Barack Obama actually expect to happen in November? Does he believe that the upcoming election could actually spark rampant civil unrest inside the United States? The conditions are certainly ripe for civil unrest in this country. A multitude of recent polls and surveys have shown that Americans are angrier and more frustrated than ever. Sadly, we are taking a lot of that anger and frustration out on each other. America is more divided today than at any other time since the Civil War era. The left absolutely hates Mitt Romney the Republicans, and the right absolutely hates Barack Obama and the Democrats. If you doubt this, just surf political blogs for a few hours and read the comments that people leave. This country is a boiling cauldron of hatred and anger and all it is going to take is just the right “spark” to cause all of this hatred and anger to absolutely explode. This upcoming election season is likely to be one of the most heated and divisive election seasons in U.S. history, and if there is not a clear winner on election night there is the potential that chaos could be unleashed that would be far, far worse than anything we saw during the Bush/Gore debacle of 2000.
Right now, the polls tell us that this is likely to be a very, very tight election. If you doubt this, just check out the daily Gallup tracking poll.
As I write this, Obama and Romney are tied at 46 percent.
In 2008, a wave of positive emotion helped Obama secure a solid victory on election night where there was no doubt about the outcome.
But this time there is not going to be the same wave of positive emotion behind Obama, and that means that the election is likely to be much, much closer.
One thing that set off alarm bells for me is when various news stories starting discussing the “legion of lawyers” that Barack Obama was recruiting for this election. The following is from a recent article in the Huffington Post….
President Barack Obama’s campaign has recruited a legion of lawyers to be on standby for this year’s election as legal disputes surrounding the voting process escalate. Thousands of attorneys and support staffers have agreed to aid in the effort, providing a mass of legal support that appears to be unrivaled by Republicans or precedent.
Did you catch that?
Obama’s “unprecedented” legion of lawyers is definitely getting prepared for something.
In a tightly contested race, would Obama use every legal angle that he possibly could to take the election away from Mitt Romney?
Would Mitt Romney potentially do the same to Obama?
How would the rest of America respond to another huge legal struggle over the presidency?
Let us hope that we never find out the answers to any of those questions.
But fighting in court is not the only avenue that Barack Obama could potentially use to keep his spot in the White House.
There is also the possibility that Barack Obama could use his executive powers to influence the outcome of the election.
This year, Obama has issued a whole series of very strange executive orders.
Many have been wondering what the true purpose of these executive orders really is.
For example, EO 13603 enables Barack Obama to take total control over all food, all energy, all health resources and all transportation resources with the stroke of a pen.
The following is from an article about this executive order by Jim Garrison in the Huffington Post….
President Obama’s National Defense Resources Preparedness Executive Order of March 16 does to the country as a whole what the 2012 National Defense Authorization Act did to the Constitution in particular — completely eviscerates any due process or judicial oversight for any action by the Government deemed in the interest of “national security.” Like the NDAA, the new Executive Order puts the government completely above the law, which, in a democracy, is never supposed to happen.
Later in that same article, he detailed some of the extraordinary powers that the executive branch would be given if Barack Obama decided that “national security” required it….
• The Secretary of Defense has power over all water resources;
• The Secretary of Commerce has power over all material services and facilities, including construction materials;
• The Secretary of Transportation has power over all forms of civilian transportation;
• The Secretary of Agriculture has power over food resources and facilities, livestock plant health resources, and the domestic distribution of farm equipment;
• The Secretary of Health and Human Services has power over all health resources;
• The Secretary of Energy has power over all forms of energy.
According to this executive order, a “national emergency” is not even required to activate these powers. If Barack Obama decides that there is a threat to “national security” (or to his job security) he could activate these powers at any time.
Another executive order, EO 13618, would potentially give Obama power over all communication resources in the United States.
So does that mean that Obama could potentially pull the plug on the Internet during a crisis?
That is a very good question.
Overall, Obama has issued 130 executive orders during his time as president. The amount of power that he now claims to possess is absolutely mind blowing.
So will he ever actually attempt to use the powers that he has granted himself under these executive orders?
Let’s hope not.
In addition, it appears that the Department of Homeland Security is gearing up for something.
An article posted on RT the other day entitled “DHS gears up for civil unrest prior to presidential elections” detailed some of the purchases that the Department of Homeland Security is looking to make….
The DHS submitted a rushed solicitation to the Federal Business Opportunities site on Wednesday, which is a portal for Federal government procurement requisitions over $25,000. The request gave the potential suppliers only one day to submit their proposals and a 15-day delivery requirement to Alexandria, Virginia.
As the brief explains, “the objective of this effort is to procure riot gear to prepare for the 2012 Democratic and Republican National Conventions, the 2013 Presidential Inauguration and other future similar activities.”
The total amount ordered is about 150 sets of riot helmets, thigh and groin protectors, hard-shell shin guards and other riot gear.
Specifically, DHS is looking to obtain:
– “147 riot helmets” with “adjustable tactical face shield with liquid seal”
– “147 sets of upper body and shoulder protection”
– “152 sets of thigh and groin protection”
– “147 hard-shell shin guards” with “substantial protection from flying debris, non-ballistic weapons, and blows to the leg” and “optimized protective design for severe riot control or tactical situations.”
– “156 forearm protectors”
– “147 pairs of tactical gloves”
The riot gear will be worn by Federal Protective Service agents who are tasked with protecting property, grounds and buildings owned by the federal government.
You can find the DHS solicitation right here.
Also, as I have written about previously, earlier this month FEMA posted a solicitation for a large number of pre-packaged meals. According to the solicitation, the maximum number of meals that would be provided to FEMA under the contract would be 17.5 million meals. The following is from the FEMA solicitation document….
As referred to in paragraph (b) of FAR Clause 52.216-22, “Indefinite Quantity” of this contract, the guaranteed contract minimum is 21,000 packaged meals to include the base and option periods. The contract ceiling amount shall not exceed 17,500,000 packaged meals.
So do those solicitations mean anything special or are they just part of normal government operations?
That is a good question.
But what we do know is that U.S. military personnel are going to be deployed at the Democratic and Republican national conventions in support of U.S. Secret Service personnel. The following is from a recent Stars and Stripes article….
“During the Democratic/Republican National Conventions, Department of Defense personnel will support the U.S. Secret Service,” a Northern Command spokesman said in an email.
“For operational security reasons we do not discuss the numbers of military personnel and resources that are involved,” U.S. Navy Lt. Cdr. William G. Lewis said. “Additionally, we do not share our operational plans.”
Could the same forces be deployed to quell civil unrest sparked by a controversial election result in November?
Let us hope that this upcoming election season is not as bitter and divisive as many are projecting and let us hope that there is a clear winner in November.
The conditions are definitely right for America to be absolutely torn apart if the “perfect controversy” comes rolling along.
At this moment, Americans are incredibly frustrated. Our economy has been in the dumps for quite a few years, and now it look like another recession is starting. The patience of the American people is running out.
Over much of the western United States things are so hot and dry right now that just a single spark is often enough to set off a forest fire that can burn for weeks. Well, the same thing can be said for the political climate in the United States right now.
The American people are so hot and so angry that it would not take much to set off a raging political fire.
Let us hope that cooler heads prevail, because a single spark could set this country ablaze.
The election results from Greece are in and the pro-bailout forces have won, but just barely. It is being projected that the pro-bailout New Democracy party will have about 130 seats in the 300 seat parliament, and Pasok (another pro-bailout party) will have about 33 seats. Those two parties have alternated ruling Greece for decades, and it looks like they are going to form a coalition government which will keep Greece in the euro. On Monday we are likely to see financial markets across the globe in celebration mode. But the truth is that nothing has really changed. Greece is still in a depression. The Greek economy has contracted by close to 25 percent over the past four years, and now they are going to stay on the exact same path that they were before. Austerity is going to continue to grind away at what remains of the Greek economy and money is going to continue to fly out of the country at a very rapid pace. Greece is still drowning in debt and completely dependent on outside aid to avoid bankruptcy. Meanwhile, things in Spain and Italy are rapidly getting worse. So where in that equation is room for optimism?
Right now the ingredients for a “perfect storm” are developing in Europe. Government spending is being slashed all across the continent, ECB monetary policy is very tight, new regulations and deteriorating economic conditions are causing major banks to cut back on lending and there is panic in the air.
Unless something dramatic changes, things are going to continue to get worse.
Yes, the Greek election results mean that Greece will stay in the euro – at least for now.
But is that really a reason for Greeks to celebrate?
Right now, the unemployment rate in Greece is about 22 percent. Businesses continue to shut down at a staggering rate and suicides are spiking.
So far this month, about 500 million euros a day has been pulled out of Greek banks. The entire Greek banking system is on the verge of collapse.
Meanwhile, the Greek government is still running up more debt. It is being projected that the Greek budget deficit will be about 7 percent of GDP this year.
The Greeks went to the polls and they voted for more of the same.
Are they crazy?
Someone once said that the definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results.
Unfortunately, it looks like things are going to continue to get worse in Greece for quite some time.
And the rest of Europe is heading into a very bleak economic future as well.
At the moment, unemployment in the eurozone is at a record high.
Most analysts expect it to go even higher.
To say that Spain has an unemployment problem would be a massive understatement. The unemployment rate in Spain is even higher than the unemployment rate in Greece is. In fact, unemployment in Spain is the highest that it has ever been since the introduction of the euro.
The Spanish banking system is a complete and total disaster at this point. The Spanish government has already asked for a 100 billion euro bailout for its banks.
But that might not be nearly enough.
Spain is facing a housing collapse similar to what the United States went through back in 2008 and 2009. Right now, home prices in Spain are absolutely collapsing….
Fresh data yesterday shows how desperate the crisis is becoming in Spain. The property crash is accelerating. House prices fell at a 12.6pc rate in the first quarter of this year, compared to 11.2pc the quarter before, and 7.4pc in the quarter before that. Prices have fallen 26pc from their peak.
“Fundamentals point to a further 25pc decline,” said Standard & Poor’s in a report on Thursday. It may take another four years to clear a glut of one million homes left from the building boom.
Meanwhile, money is being pulled out of banks in Spain at a very alarming rate. As panic spreads we are seeing slow motion bank runs all over Europe. Over the past few months massive amounts of money have been moved from troubled nations to “safe havens” such as Switzerland and Germany.
Investors are getting very nervous and yields on Italian and Spanish debt are spiking again.
Last week yields on Spanish debt hit their highest levels since the introduction of the euro. Without massive ECB intervention the yield on 10 year Spanish bonds will almost certainly blow well past the 7 percent danger mark.
The credit rating agencies are indicating that there is danger ahead. Moody’s recently downgraded Spanish debt to just one notch above junk status. Spain is heading down the exact same road that Greece has gone.
The situation in Europe is very grim.
Greece is going to need bailouts for as far as the eye can see.
Spain is almost certainly going to need a huge bailout.
Italy is almost certainly going to need a huge bailout.
Ireland and Portugal look like they are going to need more money.
France is increasingly looking vulnerable, and Francois Hollande appears to have no real solutions up his sleeve.
As I have said so many times before, watch Europe.
Every few weeks there are headlines that declare that “Europe has been saved” but things just keep getting worse.
The governor of the Bank of England, Mervyn King, said the following a few weeks ago….
“Our biggest trading partner is tearing itself apart with no obvious solution.”
And that is the truth. There is no obvious solution to the problems in Europe. The politicians could kick the can down the road for a while longer, but in the end there will be no avoiding the pain that is coming.
The equation for what is happening in Europe that I have shared before still applies….
Brutal austerity + toxic levels of government debt + rising bond yields + a lack of confidence in the financial system + banks that are massively overleveraged + a massive credit crunch = A financial implosion of historic proportions
We are watching a slow-motion financial train wreck that is absolutely unprecedented happen right in front of our eyes and our politicians are powerless to stop it.
It is going to be a long, hot summer for the European financial system.
On election day in Greece, the mood was incredibly somber. Instead of celebrating, most Greeks seemed resigned to a very hard future. As an article in the Telegraph described, the entire nation seems to be grinding to a halt….
This is the election that is supposed to decide whether Greece stays in the euro. Yet as it, and Europe, face what could be their Katrina moment, the dominant sense here is not of panic, or fear, or even hope – but of a country in suspended animation, grinding to a halt.
The Athens Heart shopping centre, in the southern suburbs, is polished, full of big brands, and almost totally empty of customers. “We’ve had five sales all day,” says Steryiani Vlachakou, the assistant in the Champion sportswear store. “It’s been getting a lot, lot worse.”
Sadly, it is not only Greece that is doomed.
The truth is that all of Europe is doomed, and when Europe falls the entire globe is going to feel it.
So get ready for the hard times that are coming. The pain is going to be immense and most people are not even going to see it coming.
At a time when America desperately needs to come together, we are becoming more divided than ever. The mainstream media and most of our politicians love to pit us against one another in dozens of different ways, and right now class warfare has become one of their favorite tools for getting us to hate one another. If you are struggling in this economy, you are being told that “the wealthy” are the cause of your problems. If you have money, you are being told that the poor hate you and want to tax you into oblivion. Class warfare has already become a dominant theme in the 2012 race for the White House, and there will certainly be endless speeches given along these lines by politicians from both major political parties all the way up to election day. Class warfare will be used by both sides as a way to divide America and get votes. And the frightening thing is that it is clearly working. There is more hatred between the poor and the wealthy in America today than at any other time that I can remember. But hating people because of how much money they have or don’t have is not going to solve anything. Instead, it is just going to cause more problems.
The other day, Yale economics professor Robert Shiller told CNBC that the globe is already in a state of “late Great Depression“. The United States is heading into unprecedented economic and financial problems and we desperately need to pull together as a country and solve these problems.
But instead, our leaders are tapping into the politics of division in a desperate attempt to get elected in the fall.
Rather than focus on real issues and real solutions, our politicians attempt to make “the wealthy” or “welfare recipients” the focus of our debates.
Well, you know what?
Most people that are rich and most people that are poor are not purposely trying to abuse the system. Most of them are hard working people that are trying to do the best that they can in a world that is increasingly going crazy.
These days, the Occupy Wall Street crowd loves to talk about how evil the “1 percent” is. But most of the “1 percent” are people that have worked really hard and that have been fortunate enough to get some really good breaks in life.
Yes, there are some among the “1 percent” that do some really bad things. The too big to fail banks and the big money managers on Wall Street should be held accountable for the crimes that they have committed.
But most wealthy Americans are not trying to oppress the poor. Most of them are just trying to do the best that they can for themselves and their families.
Neither are most poor people trying to abuse the system either.
Yes, without a doubt there are some that do not want to work and that want to live on government benefits indefinitely.
But that is a minority.
Most Americans that are receiving government benefits today would rather be working good jobs that would enable them to provide for their families.
Most Americans understand that government handouts can never provide dignity and hope for a better future.
But if you don’t demonize the poor and you point out the decline of the middle class, many Republicans will call you a “liberal” or a “socialist”.
And if you don’t demonize the rich and you don’t blame them for all of our economic problems, many Democrats will call you a “pig” or a “fascist”.
Unfortunately, playing the blame game is not going to get us anywhere.
The number of Americans living in poverty increased dramatically under George W. Bush and it also increased dramatically under Barack Obama.
Our country is drowning in debt, millions of our jobs are being shipped overseas, the middle class is shrinking at an astounding pace, and the Federal Reserve continues to destroy our financial system.
Getting angry at the wealthy or the poor is not going to fix those problems.
But it will distract us from the reality that both major political parties have been doing a horrible job.
Sadly, Americans seem to really enjoy blaming one another these days. Just check out some of the slogans that have been seen on various signs at Occupy Wall Street protests….
“They Only Call It Class Warfare When We Fight Back”
“Eat The Rich – Feed The Poor”
“The Rich Are Wrecking The Planet”
So will destroying the lives of the rich solve our problems?
Of course not.
The truth is that we should want millions more Americans to be prosperous. We should be cheering for one another instead of tearing one another down.
But that is heresy to many on the left.
On the right, it is heresy even to mention that our tax system is fundamentally flawed and that it has thousands of loopholes that are being abused by the very wealthy.
In a previous article, I detailed how many of the largest and most profitable corporations in America get away with paying absolutely nothing in taxes.
There is something very wrong with that.
Our income tax system should be abolished altogether, but if we do have to pay income taxes, then it is fundamentally unfair for some people and businesses to be able to pay little or nothing while the rest of us get absolutely obliterated by taxes.
But if you try to say that to many on the right, they will look at you in horror.
The other day, there was a New York Times article that detailed the extreme measures that Apple takes to avoid paying taxes. It turns out that Apple sets up shell offices all over the globe in order to evade taxation….
As it has in Nevada, Apple has created subsidiaries in low-tax places like Ireland, the Netherlands, Luxembourg and the British Virgin Islands — some little more than a letterbox or an anonymous office — that help cut the taxes it pays around the world.
That same article talked about how Apple has become a model which hundreds of other companies have followed. To giant corporations such as Apple, tax evasion has become an art form….
Apple, for instance, was among the first tech companies to designate overseas salespeople in high-tax countries in a manner that allowed them to sell on behalf of low-tax subsidiaries on other continents, sidestepping income taxes, according to former executives. Apple was a pioneer of an accounting technique known as the “Double Irish With a Dutch Sandwich,” which reduces taxes by routing profits through Irish subsidiaries and the Netherlands and then to the Caribbean. Today, that tactic is used by hundreds of other corporations — some of which directly imitated Apple’s methods, say accountants at those companies.
So what is the solution to all of this?
Raising income taxes won’t work too well because the tax lawyers are always several steps ahead of our politicians.
The truth is that when taxes get raised it is always the middle class that gets absolutely clobbered and the wealthy always find more ways to reduce their exposure.
Just take a look at Mitt Romney. He made more than 42 million dollars in 2010 and yet Romney had an effective tax rate of only 14 percent.
If I could find a way to have an effective tax rate of only 14 percent I would be jumping up and down for joy, and so would millions of other Americans.
Our tax system is deeply, deeply broken and needs to be thrown into the trash can.
Abandoning the current tax system would not solve all of our problems, but it would be a start.
Unfortunately, neither political party is willing to even consider this.
Instead, the Democrats want to raise taxes a little bit and the Republicans want to lower taxes a little bit.
But neither alternative will do much of anything to solve any of the real problems we are facing.
Our economy is dying and it is not producing nearly enough jobs for all of us. When Barack Obama took office, the number of “long-term unemployed workers” in America was 2.6 million. Today, it is 5.3 million.
At this point, an astounding 53 percent of all college graduates under the age of 25 are either unemployed or underemployed.
So where is all of the “change” that Obama promised?
Things just keep getting worse.
Since Obama has been in the White House, 14 million more Americans have gone on food stamps, and more than 25 percent of all American children are enrolled in the program today.
How will class warfare help those people?
Will blaming the wealthy make things better for them?
They are already receiving government handouts.
Will increasing those handouts a little bit more fundamentally change their lives for the better?
Of course not.
What those people need are good jobs.
But instead, both the Democrats and the Republicans continue to pursue the same job killing policies that have been destroying American jobs for decades.
Without good jobs, the number of Americans dependent on the government is going to continue to grow.
In a previous article, I detailed the explosive growth of social welfare benefits that we have seen under both Republicans and Democrats….
Back in 1960, social welfare benefits made up approximately 10 percent of all salaries and wages. In the year 2000, social welfare benefits made up approximately 21 percent of all salaries and wages. Today, social welfare benefits make up approximately 35 percent of all salaries and wages.
The goal should not be to rape the rich and give out even more social welfare benefits.
Instead, the goal should be to develop an economy that creates good jobs.
We need have an economy that empowers individuals and small businesses.
Instead, we have an economy dominated by big government and big corporations.
We have an economy that funnels the vast majority of the economic rewards to a tiny elite while most of the rest of us struggle.
Just consider the following statistics….
*Back in the 1970s, the top 1 percent of all income earners in the United States brought in about 8 percent of all income. Today, they bring in about 21 percent of all income.
*The following is how income gains in the U.S. were distributed during 2010….
-37 percent of all income gains went to the top 0.01 percent of all income earners
-56 percent of all income gains went to the rest of the top 1 percent
-7 percent of all income gains went to the bottom 99 percent
*In America today, the wealthiest one percent of all Americans have a greater net worth than the bottom 90 percent combined.
*According to Forbes, the 400 wealthiest Americans have more wealth than the bottom 150 million Americans combined.
So what is the solution to that problem?
Is it to attack the rich and take away all their money and give more government handouts to the poor?
Of course not.
Rather, we need to change the rules of the game so that individuals and small businesses are empowered to succeed.
We need to decentralize economic power and dramatically reduce the undue influence that big government and giant corporations have over our economic system.
We need to create an environment where almost anyone that has a good idea and that is willing to work hard can succeed.
But instead of focusing on real solutions like shutting down the Federal Reserve, converting to debt-free currency, eliminating the income tax, shutting down the IRS, massively reducing the size of government and getting rid of thousands upon thousands of unneeded regulations, the mainstream media and our politicians are going to continue to try to get Americans to blame one another for our problems.
The efforts to divide America are working, and hatred is growing to unprecedented levels in this country.
Eventually this will lead to mass rioting in our major cities and that will make our problems far worse.
Hatred and division are not going to bring us a better future.
They are only going to destroy us from within.
We don’t need hate.
What we need is more love and more solutions.
Unfortunately, our leaders are leading us down a very dark path, and we are heading for a future that is going to be a complete mess.