The Beginning Of The End
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America The Divided: Everyone Knows We Have Problems But There Is Very Little Agreement On Solutions

Argument - Public DomainA house divided against itself will surely fall.  America is more divided today than it has been in decades, and the deep divisions that are tearing us apart continue to get even worse.  In fact, a newly released Rasmussen Reports national survey discovered that 67 percent of voters believe that America is even more divided now than it was four years ago.  We are angry, we are frustrated and we love to fight with one another, but none of this strife and discord is getting us anywhere.  What most Americans can agree on is that we are facing tremendous problems as a nation.  One average of recent polls found that only 26 percent of Americans believe that this country is heading in the right direction and 63.8 percent of Americans believe that this country is heading in the wrong direction.  Unfortunately, there is very little agreement on what the solutions to our problems are.  That is where the division is.  As a nation, we no longer have a shared set of values or principles that provides a foundation for our decisions.  Everyone just kind of does whatever is right in their own eyes, and the result is chaos.  At a minimum, the U.S. Constitution was supposed to bond all of us together, but it has become clear that very few of our lawless politicians have any respect for that document at this point.  And the American people must not have too much respect left for the Constitution either, because they keep sending the very same politicians back to Washington over and over again.  Unless a miracle happens, everyone is going to keep pulling in different directions, and that is going to continue ripping our country to shreds.

The issues that divide us are countless.  The following are just a few examples…

-Illegal Immigration

-Taxes

-Obamacare

-Government Debt

-U.S. Military Intervention In Foreign Countries

-Gay Marriage

-Abortion

-Racial Relations

-Unemployment

-Shipping Our Jobs Overseas

-Cost Of Living/Inflation

-The Gap Between The Wealthy And The Poor

-Social Security/Medicare/Entitlements

-The Size And Role Of Government

-Welfare

-Political Correctness

-Sexual Morality

-Global Warming/Climate Change

-Guns/Gun Control

-Common Core

-Corporate Corruption

-Government Surveillance

-The Emerging Big Brother Police State

-The War On Drugs

-The War On Terror

-U.S. Relationship With Israel

-The Role Of Faith In Society

I could go on and on with this list, but I think that you get the point.

If you pick just about any issue on that list, there are large numbers of Americans that want to take us one way and large numbers of Americans that want to take us exactly in the opposite direction.  In many instances, both sides consider their opponents to be the epitome of evil.

Sadly, the fights that take place among those that are supposed to be on the same side are often even more disturbing.  Some of the most bitter fighting that I have ever witnessed has been between people that should be working together.  In fact, it often seems like a lot of people would rather fight others in their own “movement” than do something constructive.

And actually the establishment loves when we fight with one another.  The more divided that we are, the easier we are to control.

I am often asked if I think that there is any hope for a political solution in this country.

I wish that I could be more optimistic when I answer, but as divided as this country is right now I see absolutely no hope for a political solution on the national level any time soon.

Even though Darth Vader has a higher favorability rating than any 2016 White House contenders, it is inevitable that one of them (with the full backing of the elite) will be our next president.  And even though a few incumbents will be knocked out of Congress in 2014 and 2016, history has shown us that incumbents typically have a victory rate of more than 80 percent in election after election.

We keep sending the same jokers back to D.C. again and again and yet we continue to keep expecting different results.

Are we insane or what?

In a previous article, I noted a whole bunch of other polls and surveys that show how dissatisfied the American people have become with our government…

#1 65 percent of Americans are dissatisfied “with the U.S. system of government and its effectiveness”.  That is the highest level of dissatisfaction that Gallup has ever recorded.

#2 66 percent of Americans are dissatisfied “with the size and power of federal government”.

#3 70 percent of Americans do not have confidence that the government will “make progress on the important problems and issues facing the country in 2014.”

#4 Only 8 percent of Americans believe that Congress is doing a “good” or “excellent” job.

#5 Only 4 percent of Americans believe that it would “change Congress for the worse” if every member was voted out during the next election.

#6 60 percent of Americans report feeling “angry or irritable”.  Two years ago that number was at 50 percent.

#7 53 percent of Americans believe that the Obama administration is “not competent in running the government”.

#8 An all-time low 31 percent of Americans identify themselves as Democrats.

#9 An all-time low 25 percent of Americans identify themselves as Republicans.

#10 An all-time high 42 percent of Americans identify themselves as Independents.

Clearly the American people are sick and tired of politics as usual.

But even if we voted out every single member of Congress, who would we replace them with?

That is where not having a shared set of values and principles comes into play.

Even if we could start from scratch, the new politicians that the American people would send to Congress would not suddenly look like the founding fathers.

That is because we no longer believe in the same values and principles that they did.

Instead, an entirely new Congress would probably end up looking very much like the old Congress did.

I wish that national unity was just as easy as saying something like this: “Come on guys – let’s all just get together and agree to do what is right for the country.”

That sounds really good, but what is right for the country?

In America today, there is very little agreement about what is right and wrong anymore.

And politically, it is hard enough to get a handful of people to agree on much of anything these days, much less the millions upon millions of people that would be required to form a viable political movement.

So no, I don’t believe that there will be a political solution on the national level any time soon.  The government that we have already reflects what is in the hearts of the American people.

Until we start seeing hearts change on a widespread basis, we are not going to see any significant change in Washington.

12 Numbers Which Prove That Americans Are Sick And Tired Of Politics As Usual

Barack_Obama_and_John_Boehner_enjoying_Saint_Patrick's_Day_2014The American people are increasingly waking up to the fact that nothing ever seems to change in Washington D.C. no matter which political party is in power.  In fact, as you will see later on in this article, an all-time high 53 percent of all Americans believe that neither party “represents the American people”.  Over the past several decades, we have sent a Bush, a Clinton, another Bush and an Obama to the White House, but the policies coming out of Washington have remained pretty much the same the entire time.  The mainstream media would have us believe that the Republicans and the Democrats are constantly fighting like cats and dogs, but the truth is that the Republicans want to take us to the same place that the Democrats want to take us – just a little more slowly perhaps.  And behind the scenes, Republicans and Democrats have a good time with one another and they are ultimately controlled by the same set of oligarchs.  The Americans people are really starting to recognize what a sham our system has become, and the numbers show that they are quite fed up with it.

I truly wish that things were different.  When I was much younger, I was actively involved in politics and I enthusiastically campaigned for certain candidates.  But then when they got to Washington D.C., they never did most of the things that they promised to do during their campaigns.

I was quite bewildered by this.  At the time, I concluded that we just needed to send even more “good politicians” to D.C. and then things would finally turn around.

But things never did turn around.  No matter which party had the upper hand, the same garbage continued to spew forth from Washington.

Ultimately, like millions of other Americans, I have come to see that there is not really much of a difference between Barack Obama, Hillary Clinton, Harry Reid and Nancy Pelosi on one side, and John Boehner, John McCain, Mitch McConnell and Jeb Bush on the other side.

Sure, if you listen to their campaign speeches you might be tempted to think that they were polar opposites, but when you watch what they actually do there is not that much that really separates them.

Fortunately, large numbers of Americans are starting to see through this disgusting charade.  Most of our politicians are con men that tell us what we want to hear during their campaigns, and then after they are elected they forget all about us.  Dissatisfaction with these politicians has risen to unprecedented levels in recent years, and that could be a good thing.  The following are 12 numbers which prove that Americans are sick and tired of politics as usual…

#1 A national Rasmussen Reports survey has found that an all-time high 53 percent of all Americans believe that neither major political party “represents the American people”.

#2 According to a Real Clear Politics average of national polls, only 29 percent of Americans believe that the country is heading in the right direction.

#3 According to a Real Clear Politics average of national polls, Americans disapprove of the job that Barack Obama is doing by a 52.2 to 43.7 percent margin.

#4 According to a Real Clear Politics average of national polls, Americans disapprove of the job that Congress is doing by a 77.6 percent to 14.2 percent margin.

#5 52 percent of Americans “do not think the economy is fair to those willing to work hard”.

#6 65 percent of Americans are dissatisfied “with the U.S. system of government and its effectiveness”.  That is the highest level of dissatisfaction that Gallup has ever recorded.

#7 Only 4 percent of Americans believe that it would “change Congress for the worse” if every member was voted out during the next election.

#8 An all-time low 31 percent of Americans identify themselves as Democrats.

#9 An all-time low 25 percent of Americans identify themselves as Republicans.

#10 An all-time high 42 percent of Americans identify themselves as Independents.

#11 60 percent of Americans report feeling “angry or irritable”.  Two years ago that number was at 50 percent.

#12 70 percent of Americans do not have confidence that the federal government will “make progress on the important problems and issues facing the country in 2014″.

Of course at the heart of much of this dissatisfaction is the continuing problems in our economy.  For example, check out the Gallup daily employment tracking survey that you can find right here.  As you can see, the payroll to population number (those Americans working 30 hours a week or more) has been flatlining in the low forties for more than four years now.  The truth is that there never has been an employment recovery in this nation since the last recession. For much more on all this, please see my previous article entitled “This Is What Employment In America Really Looks Like…

The last wave of the economic crisis really devastated the middle class, and as a result record numbers of Americans have become dependent on the government.  As I mentioned in one recent article, ten years ago the number of women working outnumbered the number of women on food stamps by more than a 2 to 1 margin. But now the number of women on food stamps actually exceeds the number of women that have jobs.

No wonder so many Americans are so angry.  Things are not nearly as good as they used to be.

Unfortunately, even though so many people are angry and frustrated, there is very little consensus on the solutions to our problems.

Many Americans even want to throw out the principles that this country was founded upon entirely.  For example, one recent survey discovered that 59 percent of all Americans believe that the U.S. Constitution is “outdated”.

That is a very chilling number.  We live at a time when Americans are becoming increasingly ignorant about who we are, where we came from and how we get here.

And a lot of our fellow citizens do not even know how our system of government works.  One survey actually found that only 25 percent of all Americans knew how long U.S. Senators are elected for (6 years), and only 20 percent of all Americans knew how many U.S. senators there are (100).

In the final analysis, it is hard to be optimistic about a political solution to any of our major problems in the near future.  Most of our politicians are deeply corrupt, the American people are incredibly angry and are deeply divided, and the vast majority of campaigns for federal office are won by the candidate that raises the most money.

But perhaps there is something that I am missing.  So what do you think?  Do you believe that there is hope that we can get Washington D.C. turned around in the near future?  Please feel free to share your thoughts by posting a comment below…

The Coming Food Stamp Riots

Riot Control - Photo by James McCauleyIt may not happen this month, or even this year, but food stamp riots are coming to America.  In fact, we got a small preview of the coming food stamp riots this past weekend when a “temporary system failure” caused food stamp cards to stop working in 17 U.S. states.  Within hours, there were “mini-riots” at Wal-Marts and other retailers that rely heavily on food stamp users.  So what would happen if food stamp benefits were cut off or reduced for an extended period of time?  As you will see below, if Congress had not pushed through a “deal”, the USDA would have started cutting off food stamp benefits on November 1st.  Considering the fact that 47 million Americans are on food stamps and more than 100 million Americans are enrolled in at least one welfare program run by the federal government, that could have sparked massive rioting.  So the good news is that the coming food stamp riots will probably not happen in November.  The bad news is that the “deal” in Congress only delays the political fighting until after Christmas.  In just a few months we will be dealing with a potential “government shutdown” and a debt ceiling deadline once again.

Most Americans have no idea what almost just happened.  According to Reuters, the state of North Carolina had already cut off some welfare benefits for the month of November…

North Carolina has become the first state to cut off welfare benefits to poor residents in the wake of the partial federal government shutdown, ordering a halt to processing November applications until a deal is reached to end the federal standstill.

More than 20,000 people – most of them children – receive monthly benefits aimed at helping them buy food and other basic supplies through North Carolina’s welfare program, called Work First, which is fully funded by the federal government. Recipients must reapply each month.

And as Mac Slavo recently detailed, the USDA was already planning to cut off food stamp assistance to millions of Americans on November 1st…

We say next month because the USDA, which oversees the Supplemental Nutritional Assistance Program (SNAP), has just issued an order to SNAP agency directors calling for their respective States to implement an emergency contingency program because of government funding issues. In a letter obtained by the Crossroads Urban Center food pantry, the USDA is directing state agencies to, “delay their November issuance files and delay transmission to State Electronic Benefit Transfer (EBT) vendors until further notice.”

What this means is that should Congress fail to increase the debt ceiling this week, come November there will literally be millions of people in the United States who will have exactly zero dollars transferred to their EBT cards.

What will happen to the nearly 50 million people who depend on these benefits to survive?

In fact, there have been quite a few news reports that have confirmed this

In Utah, Fox News 13 in Salt Lake City reported that a local provider recently received a letter from the USDA sticking to the November 1 cut-off date.

“This is going to create a huge hardship for the people we serve here in our food pantry,” Bill Tibbits, Associate Director at Crossroads Urban Center, told Fox News 13.

“What this means [is] if there’s not a deal, if Congress doesn’t reach a deal to get federal government back up and running, in Utah about 100,000 families won’t get food stamp benefit,” added Tibbits.

The USDA letter says in part, “in the interest of preserving maximum flexibility, we are directing states to hold their November issuance files and delay transmission to state electronic benefit transfer vendors until further notice.”

So what would have happened if tens of millions of Americans suddenly had their food stamp benefits cut off without warning?

Well, what happened last weekend can give us a few clues.  Just check out what happened at one Wal-Mart in Mississippi

Customers staged a disturbance then walked out of a Mississippi Walmart store with groceries that hadn’t been paid for Saturday night after a computer glitch left them unable to use their food stamp cards.

People in 17 states found themselves unable to buy groceries with their Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program cards after a routine check by vendor Xerox Corp. resulted in a temporary system failure.

Shortly after the mini-riot, managers decided to temporarily close the store, citing customer safety.

Due to this technical glitch, many parents were left wondering how they were going to feed their families.  If this is the kind of anger that is unleashed over a single failed trip to the grocery store, what would we see if this kind of thing went on for an extended period of time?

At some Wal-Mart stores down in Louisiana, EBT cards were not showing any limits on Saturday night, and within two hours many store shelves in the grocery section were completely cleared of merchandise…

Shelves in Walmart stores in Springhill and Mansfield, LA were reportedly cleared Saturday night, when the stores allowed purchases on EBT cards even though they were not showing limits.

The chaos that followed ultimately required intervention from local police, and left behind numerous carts filled to overflowing, apparently abandoned when the glitch-spurred shopping frenzy ended.

Springhill Police Chief Will Lynd confirms they were called in to help the employees at Walmart because there were so many people clearing off the shelves. He says Walmart was so packed, “It was worse than any black Friday” that he’s ever seen.

Sadly, this was only a very small preview of the massive food stamp riots that are eventually coming to America.  I like how Mike Adams explained what we are likely to see in the future…

Why does any of this matter? Because this is exactly the same way these people will behave when the federal government goes into default and nearly 50 million EBT cards stop working nationwide.

Fifty million. Consider that for a moment. Most of those 50 million people live in high-density cities. Many are proud owners of Obama phones, Obama food stamps, Obama unemployment checks and Obama subsidized housing. They have absolutely no clue that the government upon which they wholly depend to put food on the table is teetering on the verge of permanent collapse. (Seriously, they cannot conceive of the idea of government “running out of money” because they do not understand where money comes from.) Because of this distorted belief, they do not prepare for any future events other than more Obama handouts. Their entire “preparedness” plan is to vote for Democrats, because that’s who they know will give them the most handouts. And they will always win the popular vote, too, because any politician promising to restore responsible fiscal spending to the government by cutting programs will be viciously accused of being “mean” or involved in “hating poor people.” So the government handouts will only ratchet higher and higher, ensnaring more and more people, until the entire system is unsustainable and collapses under its own weight.

When that system of dependence fails, those who depend on it will panic in mere hours. As proof of this, consider the fact that this mass looting of Wal-Mart stores happened in less than three hours after the Saturday EBT card glitch struck. Police had to be called in to prevent the situation from getting completely out of control, and it was offline for only part of one day.

Now imagine what will happen when EBT cards go offline for 24, 48 or even 72 hours. And imagine it happening in every U.S. city simultaneously.

Of course not all Americans would go wild when food stamp benefits are cut off.

Other Americans express their desperation in other ways.  According to Bloomberg, an increasing number of people are starting to sell hair, breast milk and their own eggs in a desperate attempt to make ends meet…

Hair, breast milk and eggs are doubling as automated teller machines for some cash-strapped Americans such as April Hare.

Out of work for more than two years and facing eviction from her home, Hare recalled Louisa May Alcott’s 19th-century novel and took to her computer.

“I was just trying to find ways to make money, and I remembered Jo from ‘Little Women,’ and she sold her hair,” the 35-year-old from Atlanta said. “I’ve always had lots of hair, but this is the first time I’ve actually had the idea to sell it because I’m in a really tight jam right now.”

The mother of two posted pictures of her 18-inch auburn mane on www.buyandsellhair.com, asking at least $1,000 and receiving responses within hours. Hare, who also considered selling her breast milk, joins others exploring unconventional ways to make ends meet as the four-year-old economic expansion struggles to invigorate the labor market and stimulate incomes.

We have moved into a time when things are becoming increasingly unstable and when people are becoming increasingly desperate.

In an attempt to keep order, the authorities will become increasingly forceful in the years ahead.  At this point, many law enforcement officers already believe that there is very little that they cannot do to exert their “authority” over the rest of us.  Just check out video of a drunk off-duty police officer “arresting” a woman that refused to go out on a date with him right here.  Sadly, this type of behavior is becoming way too common these days.

And it looks like major financial institutions are getting ready for the chaos that is eventually coming as well.  In fact, according to an article by Paul Joseph Watson, Chase Bank is now placing a limit on cash withdrawals and is banning business customers from sending wire transfers out of the country…

Chase Bank has moved to limit cash withdrawals while banning business customers from sending international wire transfers from November 17 onwards, prompting speculation that the bank is preparing for a looming financial crisis in the United States by imposing capital controls.

Numerous business customers with Chase BusinessSelect Checking and Chase BusinessClassic accounts have received letters over the past week informing them that cash activity (both deposits and withdrawals) will be limited to a $50,000 total per statement cycle from November 17 onwards.

Fortunately, the chaos that would have been unleashed if Congress had not made a deal has now been delayed for a few months.

But by kicking the can down the road, our politicians continue to make our long-term problems even worse.  Either we are going to have tremendous pain now, or we are going to have even worse pain later.  Peter Schiff explained the choice that we are facing this way…

If Republicans were to inexplicably prevail, and the federal government were to cut spending so that its expenditures matched its tax revenues (a truly radical idea) the country’s financial mess would be laid bare. The government would have to weigh the relative costs and benefits of making interest payments on Treasury debt (primarily to foreign creditors) or to trim entitlements promised to U.S. citizens. But those are choices we will have to make sooner or later anyway. In fact we should have dealt with these issues years ago. But generations of mechanistic debt ceiling increases have allowed us to perpetually kick the can down the road. What could possibly be gained by doing it again, particularly if it is done with no commitment to change course?

The Democrats’ argument that America needs to pay its bills is just hollow rhetoric. Paying off one’s Visa bill with a new and bigger MasterCard bill can’t be considered a legitimate payment of debt. At best it is a transfer. But in the government’s case, it doesn’t even qualify as that. Treasury debt is primarily bought by the Fed, foreign central banks, and major financial institutions. None of that will change with a debt ceiling increase. We will just go to the same people for greater quantities. So it’s like paying off your Visa card with a bigger Visa card.

We are living on borrowed time that has been purchased by stealing money from future generations.

We are literally destroying the future in order to make the present more palatable.

But whether it is this year, or next year or the year after that, at some point we are going to experience the pain that results from decades of incredibly foolish decisions.

I hope that you are getting ready.

Power Mad Obama Offers Two Choices: Unconditional Surrender Or Default

Obama SleepingBarack Obama is warning that if he does not get everything that he wants that he will force the U.S. government into a devastating debt default which will cripple the entire global economy.  In essence, Obama has become so power mad that he is actually willing to take the entire planet hostage in order to achieve his goals.  A lot of people are blaming the government shutdown on the Republicans, but they have already voted to fund the entire government except for Obamacare.  The U.S. Constitution requires that all spending bills originate in the House of Representatives, and the House did their duty by passing a spending bill.  If the Senate or the President do not like the bill that the House has passed, then negotiations need to take place.  That is how our system works.  And the weak-kneed Republicans have already indicated that they are willing to give up virtually all of their prior demands.  In fact, if Obama offered all of them 20 dollar gift certificates to Denny’s to end this crisis they would probably jump at that deal.  But that is not good enough for Obama.  He has made it clear that he will settle for nothing less than the complete and unconditional surrender of the Republican Party.

Why is Obama doing this?  Why is Obama willing to bring the country to the brink of financial disaster?

It isn’t hard to figure out.  Just check out what one senior Obama administration official said last week

“We are winning…. It doesn’t really matter to us” how long the shutdown lasts “because what matters is the end result,” a senior Obama Administration official told the Wall Street Journal last week.

This is all about a political victory and crushing the Republicans.  Obama doesn’t really care how long this crisis lasts because he believes that he is getting the end result that he wants.

According to Obama, the Republican Party is just supposed to roll over and give him the exact spending bill that he wants and also give him another trillion dollar increase in the debt limit.

If the Republicans do not give him that, he is willing to plunge us into financial oblivion.

The funny thing is that most Americans do not want the debt limit increased.  According to one new poll, 58 percent of all Americans do not even want the debt ceiling to be increased by a single penny.

And recent polls show that Americans are against Obamacare by an average margin of about 10 percent.

But the pathetic Republican Party is actually willing to hand Obama a trillion dollar debt ceiling increase and fully fund Obamacare if Obama will at least give them something.

Unfortunately, Obama won’t even give them the time of day.

So don’t blame the Republicans for what is happening.  The Republicans have already compromised themselves to the point of utter disgrace.  If Obama had been willing to even compromise a couple of inches this entire crisis would already be over.

And nobody should be claiming that the Republicans won’t vote to end this shutdown.  They have already voted to end it.  The following is from a recent article by Thomas Sowell

There is really nothing complicated about the facts. The Republican-controlled House of Representatives voted all the money required to keep all government activities going — except for ObamaCare.

This is not a matter of opinion. You can check the Congressional Record.

As for the House of Representatives’ right to grant or withhold money, that is not a matter of opinion either. You can check the Constitution of the United States. All spending bills must originate in the House of Representatives, which means that Congressmen there have a right to decide whether or not they want to spend money on a particular government activity.

Whether ObamaCare is good, bad or indifferent is a matter of opinion. But it is a matter of fact that members of the House of Representatives have a right to make spending decisions based on their opinion.

Once again, the Republicans have already indicated that they are willing to fund Obamacare.  They just want Obama to throw them a bone.

And Obama will not do it.

So either the Republicans are going to cave in completely (a very real possibility) or we are going to pass the “debt ceiling deadline”.

What happens then?

Well, we would have more of a “real government shutdown” than the fake shutdown that we are having right now.

Once the federal government cannot borrow any more money, it will only be able to spend what it actually has on hand.  That means that a lot more government functions will have to shut down.

Money will still be coming in to the government, but it won’t be enough to fund everything.  According to the Wall Street Journal, the federal government will still have enough money to pay interest on the debt, make Social Security payments, make Medicare payments, make Medicaid payments, provide food stamp benefits and pay the military if they cut almost everything else out.

The other day, I suggested that the federal government could potentially start defaulting on interest payments on the debt as early as November.  But that would only happen if the federal government manages their money foolishly.

If the federal government managed their money smartly and saved cash for the interest payments as they came due, they would not have to miss any.

But when was the last time the federal government ever did anything “smartly”?

For the sake of argument, however, let’s assume that the federal government can manage money wisely and can save up enough cash ahead of time for large interest payments as they come due.

If that could somehow be managed, then according to Paul Mampilly the government would never need to actually default…

The U.S. Treasury always has money coming into its accounts. So its always got some amount of cash that it can use to pay interest on bonds. That’s especially true right now because the government is partially shutdown and there’s no cash going out from its accounts.

In fact, when you look at it the U.S. Treasury should simply have no trouble making interest payments on bonds that it has issued.

And there’s no restriction on the U.S. Treasury prioritizing interest payments. Why?

The obligation to pay interest is set by the 1917 Second Liberty Bond Act and laws that commanded the Treasury to pay interest on the debt. You can look this up in section 3123 of Title 31 of the U.S. Code and section 4 of the 14th Amendment of the Constitution and in Supreme Court precedent (Perry v. United States). It’s all there in black and white.

So the only possible way the U.S. defaults on its debt is if Barack Obama, President of the United States, instructs his Treasury secretary Jack Lew to default on the debt.

And according to the Washington Post, Moody’s has just issued a memo that also indicates that the federal government should be able to make all interest payments even if the debt limit is not increased…

In a memo being circulated on Capitol Hill Wednesday, Moody’s Investors Service offers “answers to frequently asked questions” about the government shutdown, now in its second week, and the federal debt limit. President Obama has said that, unless Congress acts to raise the $16.7 trillion limit by next Thursday, the nation will be at risk of default.

Not so, Moody’s says in the memo dated Oct. 7.

“We believe the government would continue to pay interest and principal on its debt even in the event that the debt limit is not raised, leaving its creditworthiness intact,” the memo says. “The debt limit restricts government expenditures to the amount of its incoming revenues; it does not prohibit the government from servicing its debt. There is no direct connection between the debt limit (actually the exhaustion of the Treasury’s extraordinary measures to raise funds) and a default.”

Of course the federal government would have to stop throwing money around like a drunk gambler at a casino in Las Vegas in order for this to work.

On the very first day of the government shutdown, the feds gave $445 million to the Corporation for Public Broadcasting.  Apparently Elmo is considered to be “essential personnel” by the Obama administration.

And according to CNS News, the U.S. Army has committed more than $47,000 to buy a mechanical bull during this “shutdown”…

The government shutdown may be keeping furloughed federal workers at home, but on Monday the U.S. Army contracted to buy a mechanical bull.

The $47,174 contract was awarded on Oct. 7 to Mechanical Bull Sales Inc. of State College, Penn.

So needless to say, there is some serious doubt about whether the federal government would be able to manage their money effectively in the event that the debt ceiling deadline passes.

And if the U.S. did start defaulting on debt payments, it would be absolutely disastrous for the global economy as I discussed in a previous article

“A U.S. debt default would cause stocks to crash, would cause bonds to crash, would cause interest rates to soar wildly out of control, would cause a massive credit crunch, and would cause a derivatives panic that would be absolutely unprecedented.  And that would just be for starters.”

Other nations that we depend upon to lend us money would stop lending to us and would start dumping U.S. debt instead.

Could you imagine what would happen if China started dumping a large portion of the 1.3 trillion dollars in U.S. debt that they are holding?

It would be a total nightmare.  The collapse of Lehman Brothers would pale in comparison.

And already some banks are stuffing their ATM machines with extra cash just in case the general public starts to panic.

But none of this has to happen.

If Obama decides to negotiate with the Republicans, this crisis will likely end very rapidly.

If not, and we pass the “debt ceiling deadline”, the federal government will still have enough money to make interest payments on the debt as long as they manage their money correctly.

Unfortunately, Obama seems far more interested in playing political games than he is in solving our problems.

In fact, Park Service rangers have been ordered to “make life as difficult for people as we can” during this government shutdown.  Obama has apparently decided to punish the American people in order to get leverage on the Republicans.  Just check out the following example from a new Weekly Standard article

There’s a cute little historic site just outside of the capital in McLean, Virginia, called the Claude Moore Colonial Farm. They do historical reenactments, and once upon a time the National Park Service helped run the place. But in 1980, the NPS cut the farm out of its budget. A group of private citizens set up an endowment to take care of the farm’s expenses. Ever since, the site has operated independently through a combination of private donations and volunteer workers.

The Park Service told Claude Moore Colonial Farm to shut down.

The farm’s administrators appealed this directive​—​they explained that the Park Service doesn’t actually do anything for the historic site. The folks at the NPS were unmoved. And so, last week, the National Park Service found the scratch to send officers to the park to forcibly remove both volunteer workers and visitors.

Think about that for a minute. The Park Service, which is supposed to serve the public by administering parks, is now in the business of forcing parks they don’t administer to close. As Homer Simpson famously asked, did we lose a war?

The hypocrisy that Obama has demonstrated during this “government shutdown” has been astounding.

He has barricaded open air war memorials to keep military veterans from visiting them, but he temporarily reopened the National Mall so that a huge pro-immigration rally that would benefit him politically could be held.

He has continued to fund al-Qaeda rebels in Syria that are trying to overthrow the Syrian government, but he has been withholding death benefits from families of fallen U.S. soldiers.

The conduct of the Obama administration during this shutdown has been so egregious that is hard to put into words.  Obama has chosen to purposely harm the American people in order to score political points.

But this is how our politicians view us these days.  As Monty Pelerin recently explained, most of our politicians have absolutely no problem with exploiting us for their own purposes…

The concept of political service has been replaced by that of masked exploitation. The public is no longer viewed as clients or constituents to be served. Instead they have become political prey. Politicians see the public as a collection of wallets and votes, fair game to be hunted as the means to expand power and wealth. Constituents are now the Soylent Green of the political food chain.

The political class assumes the public exists to serve them, not the other way around. Public participation beyond the lightening of wallets or the provision of votes is unwelcome. It is considered “interference” that must be deterred by the ruling class.

The political class is now a huge, voracious parasite. Like the plant in the Little Shop of Horrors, its needs have grown to the point where it threatens anything productive. Its needs now exceed the willingness for continued sacrifice on the part of the productive. The parasite threatens the very existence of the host.

The political Ponzi scheme of tax, borrow and spend has reached its limit. Either it will die when citizens turn on it or it will kill the productive, ensuring its own destruction.

It perishes in the end. Whether it takes civilization with it is the bigger question.

Is there anyone out there that still does not believe that our system is broken?

Hopefully cooler heads will prevail and power mad Obama will decide to toss the Republicans a few crumbs and this crisis will be resolved.

Because if this crisis is not resolved soon, it could have consequences that are far beyond what any of us could possibly imagine.

Extreme Hypocrisy! Obama Orders Federal Workers To “Make Life As Difficult For People As We Can”

Barack Obama On The Phone In The Oval OfficeWhy would the president of the United States try to purposely hurt the American people?  Well, in 2013 this is done in order to score political points and force the opposition in to doing what you want them to do.  A few days ago, an angry Park Service ranger publicly admitted that he and his fellow rangers have been ordered to “make life as difficult for people as we can” during this government shutdown.  That Park Service ranger would never have received such an order unless it came from the very top.  Apparently the Obama administration plans to cause as much pain as possible until Obama gets everything that he is demanding.  In many cases, it is actually going to cost far more money to put up barricades and use guards to keep Americans from visiting open air memorials, driving on roads, and fishing in bodies of water than it would to put up a “closed” sign and simply go home.  As you will see from the examples posted below, the Obama administration is being extremely spiteful and vindictive.  And the level of hypocrisy that we are now witnessing is hard to fathom.  For instance, the National Mall has been totally closed to the public, but the Obama administration is specifically reopening it for a massive pro-immigration rally that will benefit the Democrats politically.  The abuse of power that is taking place is absolutely staggering, and the American people need to demand that those that are abusing it be held accountable when all of this is over.

The following are just a few examples of how Obama is using this shutdown to make life as difficult for people as possible…

#1 The Obama administration is doing all it can to keep Americans from even getting a glimpse of Mount Rushmore, but Barack Obama’s chefs have been deemed “essential” and are still preparing his meals.

#2 Small businesses cannot get loans, but the exclusive gyms that are only for members of Congress have been deemed “essential” and remain open.

#3 The National Mall has been closed to the public, but it will be opened for a huge pro-immigration rally being held by Obama supporters.

#4 Last chance cancer treatments for children with cancer have been suspended, but the IRS continues to collect taxes from us.

#5 The NIH has stopped therapy dogs from visiting sick children, but Obama and Congress are still getting paid.

#6 The USDA website has been shut down, but Michelle Obama’s Let’s Move website is still operating.

#7 A runner has been fined $100 for jogging through Valley Forge National Historical Park, but the military golf course that Obama uses regularly is still open.

#8 The Obama administration has shut down the Grand Canyon, but the new two billion dollar NSA spy center is still spying on all of us.

#9 The federal government has forced an elderly couple out of their home on Lake Mead during this shutdown, but the operations of the Federal Reserve have not been affected at all.

#10 In South Carolina, the Obama administration is actually using Park Service rangers to keep people away from a privately-owned hotel.

#11 In Tennessee, the feds have totally shut down the Foothills Parkway, a major thoroughfare that runs through Blount County.  At this point the feds are not even letting people visit the graves of their dead relatives.

#12 The Obama administration has actually removed all of the well pumps along a 184 mile trail that goes from Washington D.C. to Pittsburgh just so that anyone that decides to use the trail will not be able to get any water to drink.

#13 The Obama administration is actually attempting to close 1,100 square miles of ocean off of the coast of Florida.  It is going to take a tremendous amount of time, money and energy to keep fishing boats out of that area.

#14 According to one news report, “Gestapo tactics” were used against one tour group made up mostly of senior citizens at Yellowstone National Park…

Pat Vaillancourt went on a trip last week that was intended to showcase some of America’s greatest treasures.

Instead, the Salisbury resident said she and others on her tour bus witnessed an ugly spectacle that made her embarrassed, angry and heartbroken for her country.

Vaillancourt was one of thousands of people who found themselves in a national park as the federal government shutdown went into effect on Oct. 1. For many hours her tour group, which included senior citizen visitors from Japan, Australia, Canada and the United States, were locked in a Yellowstone National Park hotel under armed guard.

The tourists were treated harshly by armed park employees, she said, so much so that some of the foreign tourists with limited English skills thought they were under arrest.

When finally allowed to leave, the bus was not allowed to halt at all along the 2.5-hour trip out of the park, not even to stop at private bathrooms that were open along the route.

#15 Of course one of the most disturbing abuses of power is how the Obama administration is using barricades and guards to keep military veterans away from open air memorials such as the World War II Memorial, the Vietnam War Memorial and the Iwo Jima Memorial that are normally open to the public 24 hours a day.

It is beyond disgusting for Barack Obama to take these memorials hostage for political gain.

And a lot of military veterans have decided that they are not going to take this slap in the face.  In fact, one group is organizing a “Million Veteran March on the Memorials” this weekend.  You can find their Facebook page right here.  According to their page, a mass protest is being planned for 9 AM this Sunday morning…

“Join fellow Veterans at the war memorials in Washington DC on Sunday October 13th at 9 AM and at memorials across these United States.”

And veterans will not be the only ones in D.C. this weekend.  An organization known as “Truckers Ride for the Constitution” will also be there.  You can find their Facebook page right here.  The truckers are planning a three day strike and protest which will stretch from Friday to Sunday…

“The American people are sick and tired of the corruption that is destroying America! We therefore declare a national protest in support of our nation’s truckers on the weekend of October 11-13, 2013! Truck drivers will not haul freight! Americans can strike in solidarity with truck drivers! Truckers will lead the path to saving our country if every American rides with them!”

Many truckers are even planning to take their trucks right into the heart of Washington D.C. itself.

It will certainly be interesting to see what happens.

Personally, I have never seen anything like what we are witnessing right now.  The president of the United States is actually trying to purposely hurt the American people in order to put pressure on Congress.  He isn’t even being subtle about it.

Whether you are a Democrat, a Republican or an Independent, you have got to be absolutely disgusted by what Obama is doing.  He is showing an astounding lack of respect for the American people.

It is one thing to play hardball with Congress.  That is acceptable.  It is quite another thing to spitefully abuse the American people in order to get what you want.

What Obama has done goes way over the line.  If the American people are not outraged by this, what will it take to wake them up?

Government Shutdown? 36 Facts Which Prove That Almost Everything Is Still Running

The West Front of the U.S. CapitolAll of this whining and crying about a “government shutdown” is a total joke.  You see, there really is very little reason why this “government shutdown” cannot continue indefinitely because almost everything is still running.  63 percent of all federal workers are still working, and 85 percent of all government activities are still being funded during this “shutdown”.  Yes, the Obama administration has been making a big show of taking down government websites and blocking off the World War II Memorial, but overall business in Washington D.C. is being conducted pretty much as usual.  It turns out that the definition of “essential personnel” has expanded so much over the years that almost everyone is considered “essential” at this point.  In fact, this shutdown is such a non-event that even referring to it as a “partial government shutdown” would really be overstating what is actually happening.  The following are 36 facts which prove that almost everything is still running during this government shutdown…

#1 According to U.S. Senator Rand Paul, 85 percent of all government activities are actually being funded during this “government shutdown”.

#2 Approximately 1,350,000 “essential” federal employees will continue to work during this “government shutdown”.

#3 Overall, 63 percent of the federal workforce will continue to work during this “government shutdown”.

#4 The U.S. Postal Service will continue to deliver our mail.

#5 U.S. military personnel will remain on duty and will continue to get paid.

#6 Social Security recipients will continue to get their benefits.

#7 Medicare recipients will continue to get their benefits.

#8 Medicaid recipients will continue to get their benefits.

#9 Food stamp recipients will continue to get their benefits.

#10 Those on unemployment will continue to get their benefits.

#11 Federal retirees will continue to get their pensions.

#12 The federal school lunch program has enough money to go through at least the end of this month.

#13 Public schools all over the country will continue to stay open.

#14 Almost all federal law enforcement officials will continue working.

#15 The Federal Reserve will remain “completely functional“.

#16 The Supreme Court will continue to operate normally and federal courts have enough money to keep going for at least two weeks.

#17 TSA employees will continue to molest travelers at our airports.

#18 Air traffic controllers will continue to monitor traffic at our airports.

#19 Hopelessly outmanned border patrol agents will continue to try to stem the tide of illegal immigration.

#20 Visas and passports will continue to be issued by the State Department.

#21 The Veterans Administration will continue to offer substandard medical services, and it will be able to continue processing benefit payments at least for now.

#22 The Obama administration apparently has plenty of money to spend on closing open-air memorials that are usually open to the public 24 hours a day.

#23 The Department of Defense announced the awarding of 94 new contracts worth a combined total of more than 5 billion dollars on September 30th – the day right before the “government shutdown”.

#24 The “government shutdown” has not prevented the new two billion dollar NSA spy center from opening up.

#25 Federal prisons will continue to operate normally.

#26 Amtrak trains will continue to run.

#27 The Patent and Trademark Office will be open.

#28 The Consumer Product Safety Commission will continue to issue product recalls if the products “create an immediate threat to the safety of human life“.

#29 The National Weather Service and the National Hurricane Center will continue to track weather patterns.

#30 If the federal government needs to respond to a natural disaster, this “shutdown” will not affect that.

#31 NASA will continue to support the Mars Rover and the two American astronauts up on the International Space Station.

#32 All city employees of the D.C. government have been deemed “essential” and will continue to go to work.

#33 Even though the Obamacare exchanges are not working properly, people will still be able to access them.

#34 The IRS will continue to collect taxes, but it will be suspending punitive audits of conservative organizations.

#35 Barack Obama will continue to get paid for the full duration of this “shutdown”.

#36 The U.S. Congress will continue to get paid for the full duration of this “shutdown”.

Of course not everything is operating normally during this government shutdown.  Government parks are closed.  The EPA and the Department of Energy have almost totally closed up shop.  But overall, most Americans are not going to notice much of a difference.

And perhaps now is a good time for the American people to evaluate whether or not they actually need a gigantic federal government that wastes enormous mountains of our money.

For example, our federal government recently spent $98,670 to construct a single outhouse in Alaska.

That is more than a lot of Americans pay for their entire houses.

For many more examples like this, please see my previous article entitled “The Waste List: 66 Crazy Ways That The U.S. Government Is Wasting Your Hard-Earned Money“.

It is about time that Washington D.C. started experiencing some of the “belt-tightening” that the rest of the country has been going through.  For far too long, the fatcats in D.C. have been living in an alternate reality where they have been able to live the high life at our expense.  A recent blog post by Daniel Greenfield discussed how this shutdown is going to affect the alternate reality that the Obamas have been living in…

The government shutdown has forced Obama to make do with only a quarter of his 1,701 person staff. That would leave 436 “vital” employees. The 90 people who look after his living quarters would be slashed to 15 to “provide minimum maintenance and support”.

Buckingham Palace, which is twelve times the size of the White House and has its own clockmaker, only has an 800 person staff. King Harald V of Norway and his court make do with 152 staffers. King Carl XVI Gustaf of Sweden gets by with 203.

On Twitter, Michelle Obama announced that she is unable to Tweet on her own without the aid of all of her sixteen assistants; many of whom take home six figure salaries. There are more directors, associate directors and deputy associate directors on Michelle Obama’s staff than there were in George Washington’s entire administration.

Presidents have fought wars and made peace, explored and annexed vast territories and built a nation out of a handful of colonies with fewer senior staffers than are needed to handle Michelle Obama’s Twitter account.

Oh the humanity!  Will Michelle Obama ever tweet again?  And how will the White House continue to function without at least one projectionist on duty at the White House 24 hours a day?

No wonder Barack Obama is so upset about this shutdown.

In the end, this shutdown could turn out to be very good for America.  We have a government that is wildly out of control and that desperately needs to be reigned in.

During the Obama administration, federal debt held by the public has risen by 90 percent, and overall federal government spending has risen by a whopping 317 percent since 1990.

So is it really a bad thing that the federal government has been forced to cut back for a little while?

Our politicians can whine and cry all they want.  They won’t be getting any sympathy from me.

An Even Bigger Scandal: Why Are IRS Audits Being Used To Punish Obama’s Political Enemies?

Obama Using IRS Audits To Attack His Enemies?Is it right for Barack Obama to use IRS audits to punish his political enemies?  As crazy as that sounds, there is a mounting body of evidence that indicates that this is actually happening.  And if this can be proven, it is a much, much larger scandal than the IRS giving “extra scrutiny” to the applications of conservative non-profit groups.  Let me be clear – if Barack Obama has been using IRS audits to punish his political enemies, that is an impeachable offense.  Of all of the other scandals that are out there right now, this is the one that could actually bring down the presidency of Barack Obama.  That is how serious this is.  As you will read about below, there is a huge amount of circumstantial evidence that political enemies of Barack Obama have been singled out for IRS audits.  We need to find out who initiated these audits.  Whether you are a Republican, a Democrat or an Independent, this kind of abuse of government power should sicken and horrify you.  If it can be proven that Barack Obama has been using IRS audits to attack his enemies, every single U.S. citizen should be calling for him to resign.  This is something that is beyond politics – this is a direct threat to the very integrity of our system.

The recent revelation that the IRS has been specifically targeting patriot groups and Tea Party organizations for “extra scrutiny” has opened up the floodgates.  In recent days, a large number of highly respected people have come forward claiming that they were the subject of IRS audits that were politically motivated.

For example, Larry Conners, a respected local news anchor at KMOV Channel 4 in St. Louis, Missouri says that he was hit with an IRS audit almost immediately after he conducted an interview with Barack Obama in April 2012

Shortly after I did my April 2012 interview with President Obama, my wife, friends and some viewers suggested that I might need to watch out for the IRS.

I don’t accept “conspiracy theories”, but I do know that almost immediately after the interview, the IRS started hammering me.

At the time, I dismissed the “co-incidence”, but now, I have concerns … after revelations about the IRS targeting various groups and their members.

Originally, the IRS apologized for red-flagging conservative groups and their members if they had “Tea Party” or “patriot” in their name.

Today, there are allegations that the IRS focused on various groups and/or individuals questioning or criticizing government spending, taxes, debt or how the government is run … any involved in limiting/expanding government, educating on the constitution and bill of rights, or social economic reform/movement.

In that April 2012 interview, I questioned President Obama on several topics: the Buffet Rule, his public remarks about the Supreme Court before the ruling on the Affordable Care Act. I also asked why he wasn’t doing more to help Sen. Claire McCaskill who at that time was expected to lose. The Obama interview caught fire and got wide-spread attention because I questioned his spending.

I said some viewers expressed concern, saying they think he’s “out of touch” because of his personal and family trips in the midst of our economic crisis.

The President’s face clearly showed his anger; afterwards, his staff which had been so polite … suddenly went cold.

That’s to be expected, and I can deal with that just as I did with President George H. Bush’s staff when he didn’t like my questions.

Journalistic integrity is of the utmost importance to me. My job is to ask the hard questions, because I believe viewers have a right to be well-informed. I cannot and will not promote anyone’s agenda – political or otherwise – at the expense of the reporting the truth.

What I don’t like to even consider … is that because of the Obama interview … the IRS put a target on me.

Can I prove it? At this time, no.

But it is a fact that since that April 2012 interview … the IRS has been pressuring me.

Reverend Franklin Graham, the son of Reverend Billy Graham, recently wrote a letter to Barack Obama claiming that the Billy Graham Evangelistic Association and Samaritan’s Purse were both hit with IRS audits very shortly after they ran full-page ads supporting North Carolina’s Marriage amendment.  In fact, both organizations were notified about the audits on the same day.  The following is from a recent article posted on redstate.com

The man known as America’s pastor was among those targeted by the Internal Revenue Service after the Billy Graham Evangelistic Association ran newspaper advertisements promoting traditional marriage and biblical values.

“I am bringing this to your attention because I believe that someone in the Administration was targeting and attempting to intimidate us,” wrote Franklin Graham in a letter to President Obama. “This is morally wrong and unethical – indeed some would call it ‘un-American.’”

Graham is president of the Billy Graham Evangelistic Association as well as the international charity Samaritan’s Purse. Both organizations received word of audits on the same day – not long after they ran full –page ads supporting North Carolina’s Marriage amendment.

The ads encouraged voters to “cast our ballots for candidates who base their decisions on biblical principles and support the nation of Israel.”

The ad concluded with the words, “Vote for biblical values this November 6, and pray with me (Billy Graham) that America will remain one nation under God.”

Graham said on Sept. 6, 2012 they received notification that the IRS would audit their taxes.

“In light of what the IRS admitted to on Friday, May 10, 2013, and subsequent revelations from other sources, I do not believe that the IRS audit of our two organizations last year is a coincidence – or justifiable,” Graham wrote.

You can find a full copy of Franklin Graham’s letter to Barack Obama right here.

The Blaze is reporting on another example of this phenomenon.  A respected Catholic professor that had written things critical of the Obama administration was hit with an IRS audit that she believes was politically motivated…

On Wednesday, Dr. Anne Hendershott, a devout Catholic and a noted sociologist, professor and author, exclusively told The Blaze that she believes she may have been one of the IRS’s targets.

According to Hendershott, the IRS audited her in 2010 and demanded to know who was paying her and “what their politics were.”

It all started with a phone call she received at her home in May of that year — a call during which Hendershott was told she would be audited. A letter that followed on May 19, 2010 solidified the IRS’s request to meet her in person two months later in July.

Unfortunately, these are not just isolated incidents.  In fact, attorney Cleta Mitchell recently told Newsmax that she has seen a systematic pattern of politically motivated IRS harassment that only began once Barack Obama entered the White House…

In the case of one such client, she and her family subsequently became targets for audits to their personal and business tax returns, and were even visited by three different government agencies. She also knows of other groups who had surprise visits from the FBI after they applied for IRS status.

Mitchell said she doesn’t believe the president or the White House was uninvolved in the IRS activities, as the administration has claimed.

“I’ve thought for some time that this is politically motivated and that’s the reason it was happening. And, as I said, I’ve been doing this for more than 20 years and I’ve never seen anything like this until 2009, 2010. And the only thing that changed was we had a different administration,” she said.

There are some that have been trying to bring awareness to these politically motivated audits for quite some time.  One of these individuals is a former classmate of Obama’s named Wayne Allyn Root

“I feel like a million bucks. I feel absolutely vindicated. I knew this was going on,” Wayne Allyn Root told WND.

Root, the Libertarian Party vice-presidential candidate in 2008 who has claimed Obama was strangely unknown to him and his fellow Columbia University classmates, recounted his story to WND last October of becoming the target of unusual audits, beginning in January 2011, despite a “spotless” 30-year tax record.

He charged in October that the order to audit him came from Obama himself, and he is even more convinced now.

“I believe this is not rogue agents, who would be risking their pension and careers,” he said.

In October, Root said the order to audit him “must have come from the highest levels of government.”

“Obama is using the power of the IRS and other government agencies to punish his political opposition and intimidate and silence his critics,” Root charged at the time.

In that same article, a number of other examples of this phenomenon were cited…

Last year, billionaire Frank VanderSloot became the target of investigations by both the IRS and the Labor Department after he gave $1 million to a super PAC that supported Republican presidential nominee Mitt Romney. The GOP’s biggest donor, Las Vegas casino magnate Sheldon Adelson, said a federal criminal investigation into his company’s business practices was politically motivated. Another casino giant, Steve Wynn, also has been investigated.

This week, Root has received many emails from people who identify as conservative and believe the IRS has been harassing them for political reasons.

What happened to businessman Frank VanderSloot is particularly noteworthy.  The following is from an article that Rob Bluey authored last year…

On April 20, President Obama’s campaign named VanderSloot to the first presidential “enemies list” since the Nixon era. Eight private citizens were singled out for their donations to Romney. They committed no crimes, sought no attention, and yet they became the subject of Obama’s scorn.

VanderSloot is now facing persecution from the federal government. Kimberly Strassel reveals in The Wall Street Journal that two federal agencies — the Internal Revenue Service and Labor Department — both launched investigations of VanderSloot after his name appeared on Obama’s enemies list.

No matter what you think of Obama’s politics, shouldn’t we all be deeply alarmed that he has an “enemies list”?

With each passing day, the similarities between Barack Obama and Richard Nixon become more glaring.

And Obama has even joked about sending the IRS after people that he does not like.  When Obama found out that he was not going to be receiving an honorary doctorate from Arizona State University, he made the following statement

“President [Michael] Crowe and the Board of Regents will soon learn all about being audited by the IRS.”

The IRS is not supposed to be used as a weapon, and the White House is not allowed to use information gathered by the IRS for political gain either.  But apparently last year someone at the IRS was leaking tax information to someone within the Obama campaign.  The following is from a recent article by Matt K. Lewis

A little over a year ago, I reported that, ”It is likely that someone at the Internal Revenue Service illegally leaked confidential donor information showing a contribution from Mitt Romney’s political action committee to the National Organization for Marriage, says the group.”

Now — on the heels of news the IRS’s apology for having targeted conservative groups — NOM is renewing their demand that the Internal Revenue Service reveal the identity of the people responsible.

“There is little question that one or more employees at the IRS stole our confidential tax return and leaked it to our political enemies, in violation of federal law,” said NOM’s president Brian Brow, in a prepared statement. “The only questions are who did it, and whether there was any knowledge or coordination between people in the White House, the Obama reelection campaign and the Human Rights Campaign. We and the American people deserve answers.”

The IRS has been doing all sorts of things that they should not be doing.  They are a rogue agency that is completely out of control.

In fact, one new lawsuit alleges that the IRS stole the health records of approximately 10 million Americans

The Internal Revenue Service is now facing a class action lawsuit over allegations that it improperly accessed and stole the health records of some 10 million Americans, including medical records of all California state judges.

According to a report by Courthousenews.com, an unnamed HIPAA-covered entity in California is suing the IRS, alleging that some 60 million medical records from 10 million patients were stolen by 15 IRS agents. The personal health information seized on March 11, 2011, included psychological counseling, gynecological counseling, sexual/drug treatment and other medical treatment data.     “This is an action involving the corruption and abuse of power by several Internal Revenue Service agents,” the complaint reads. “No search warrant authorized the seizure of these records; no subpoena authorized the seizure of these records; none of the 10,000,000 Americans were under any kind of known criminal or civil investigation and their medical records had no relevance whatsoever to the IRS search. IT personnel at the scene, a HIPPA facility warning on the building and the IT portion of the searched premises, and the company executives each warned the IRS agents of these privileged records,” it continued.

And guess what?

The IRS is going to be the primary government agency in charge of implementing Obamacare.

Will we soon see the IRS use health information to attack the political enemies of the man or woman sitting in the White House?

Unfortunately, thanks to new “Big Brother” technology that the IRS has been implementing, pretty soon there will be very little about us that the IRS does not know.  The following is from a recent article by Richard Satran of U.S. News & World Report

Consumers are already familiar with Internet “cookies” that track their movements and send them targeted ads that follow them to different websites. The IRS has brought in private industry experts to employ similar digital tracking—but with the added advantage of access to Social Security numbers, health records, credit card transactions and many other privileged forms of information that marketers don’t see.

“Private industry would be envious if they knew what our models are,” boasted Dean Silverman, the agency’s high-tech top gun who heads a group recruited from the private sector to update the IRS, in a comment reported in trade publications.

So what is the IRS going to do with all of this information?

Well, the following are just a few of the things that they have already said that they plan to do with it…

• Charting and analyzing social media such as Facebook

• Targeting audits by matching tax filings to social media or electronic payments

• Tracking individual Internet addresses and emailing patterns

• Sorting data in 32,000 categories of metadata and 1 million unique “attributes”

• Machine learning across “neural” networks

• Statistical and agent-based modeling

• Relationship analysis based on Social Security numbers and other personal identifiers

So are you alarmed by all of this?

You should be.

As I discussed in my previous article entitled  “100 Years Old And Still Killing Us: America Was Much Better Off Before The Income Tax“, Congress should close the doors of the IRS and throw away the key.  It is a deeply, deeply corrupt government agency that has gotten wildly out of control.

After what you have just read above, is there anyone out there that would disagree with me?

34 Signs That America Is In Decline

The United States is clearly in an advanced state of decline.  Many people around the world (and even inside America) rejoice at this, but not me.  I mourn for the country that I was born in and that I still love.  Yes, the United States has never been perfect, but the Republic that our Founding Fathers started truly has been a light to the rest of the world in a lot of ways over the centuries.  Unfortunately, our foundations are badly rotting and our nation is collapsing all around us.  Many Americans like to think that the United States is greater today than it has ever been before, but the truth is that America is like a patient that has stage 4 cancer that has spread to almost every area of the body.  Our nation is being destroyed in thousands of different ways, and more distressing news emerges with each passing day.  This article will mainly focus on the economic decline of America, but much could also be said about our social, political, moral and spiritual decline as well.  We are simply not the same country that we used to be.  Americans are proud, selfish, greedy, arrogant, ungrateful, treacherous and completely addicted to entertainment and pleasure.  Our country is literally falling apart all around us, but most Americans are so plugged into entertainment that they can’t even be bothered to notice what is happening.  Most Americans seem to assume that we will always have endless prosperity just because of who we are, but unfortunately that simply is not true.  We inherited the greatest economic machine the world has ever seen and we have wrecked it, and now a very painful day of reckoning is approaching.  But most people will not understand until it is too late.

The following are 34 signs that America is in decline…

#1 According to the World Bank, U.S. GDP accounted for 31.8 percent of all global economic activity in 2001.  That number dropped to 21.6 percent in 2011.  That is not just a decline – that is a freefall.  Just check out the chart in this article.

#2 According to The Economist, the United States was the best place in the world to be born into back in 1988.  Today, the United States is only tied for 16th place.

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

#4 According to the Wall Street Journal, of the 40 biggest publicly traded corporate spenders, half of them plan to reduce capital expenditures in coming months.

#5 More than three times as many new homes were sold in the United States in 2005 as will be sold in 2012.

#6 America once had the greatest manufacturing cities on the face of the earth.  Now many of our formerly great manufacturing cities have degenerated into festering hellholes.  For example, the city of Detroit is on the verge of financial collapse, and one state lawmaker is now saying that “dissolving Detroit” should be looked at as an option.

#7 In 2007, the unemployment rate for the 20 to 29 age bracket was about 6.5 percent.  Today, the unemployment rate for that same age group is about 13 percent.

#8 Back in 1950, more than 80 percent of all men in the United States had jobs.  Today, less than 65 percent of all men in the United States have jobs.

#9 If you can believe it, approximately one out of every four American workers makes 10 dollars an hour or less.

#10 Sadly, 60 percent of the jobs lost during the last recession were mid-wage jobs, but 58 percent of the jobs created since then have been low wage jobs.

#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 U.S. trade deficit with China during 2011 was 28 times larger than it was back in 1990.

#13 Incredibly, more than 56,000 manufacturing facilities in the United States have been shut down since 2001.  During 2010, manufacturing facilities were shutting down at the rate of 23 per day.  How can anyone say that “things are getting better” when our economic infrastructure is being absolutely gutted?

#14 Back in early 2005, the average price of a gallon of gasoline was less than 2 dollars a gallon.  During 2012, the average price of a gallon of gasoline has been $3.63.

#15 In 1999, 64.1 percent of all Americans were covered by employment-based health insurance.  Today, only 55.1 percent are covered by employment-based health insurance.

#16 As I have written about previously, 61 percent of all Americans were “middle income” back in 1971 according to the Pew Research Center.  Today, only 51 percent of all Americans are “middle income”.

#17 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.

#18 According to the U.S. Census Bureau, the poverty rate for children living in the United States is about 22 percent.

#19 Back in 1983, the bottom 95 percent of all income earners in the United States had 62 cents of debt for every dollar that they earned.  By 2007, that figure had soared to $1.48.

#20 Total home mortgage debt in the United States is now about 5 times larger than it was just 20 years ago.

#21 Total credit card debt in the United States is now more than 8 times larger than it was just 30 years ago.

#22 The value of the U.S. dollar has declined by more than 96 percent since the Federal Reserve was first created.

#23 According to one survey, 29 percent of all Americans in the 25 to 34 year old age bracket are still living with their parents.

#24 Back in 1950, 78 percent of all households in the United States contained a married couple.  Today, that number has declined to 48 percent.

#25 According to the U.S. Census Bureau, 49 percent of all Americans live in a home that receives direct monetary benefits from the federal government.  Back in 1983, less than a third of all Americans lived in a home that received direct monetary benefits from the federal government.

#26 In 1980, government transfer payments accounted for just 11.7 percent of all income.  Today, government transfer payments account for more than 18 percent of all income.

#27 In November 2008, 30.8 million Americans were on food stamps.  Today, 47.1 million Americans are on food stamps.

#28 Right now, one out of every four American children is on food stamps.

#29 As I wrote about the other day, 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.”

#30 Back in 1965, only one out of every 50 Americans was on Medicaid.  Today, one out of every 6 Americans is on Medicaid, and things are about to get a whole lot worse.  It is being projected that Obamacare will add 16 million more Americans to the Medicaid rolls.

#31 In 2001, the U.S. national debt was less than 6 trillion dollars.  Today, it is over 16 trillion dollars and it is increasing by more than 100 million dollars every single hour.

#32 The U.S. national debt is now more than 23 times larger than it was when Jimmy Carter became president.

#33 According to a PBS report from earlier this year, U.S. households that make $13,000 or less per year spend 9 percent of their incomes on lottery tickets.  Could that possibly be accurate?  Are people really that foolish?

#34 As the U.S. economy has declined, the American people have been downing more antidepressants and other prescription drugs than ever before.  In fact, the American people spent 60 billion dollars more on prescription drugs in 2010 than they did in 2005.

So what are our “leaders” doing about all of this?

Not much.

They just continue to insist that everything is “just fine”.

Sadly, the truth is that they live in a world that is very different from most of the rest of us.

Barack Obama is getting ready to take a 20 day vacation to Hawaii.

When was the last time you got to take a 20 day vacation?

And most of our “leaders” have no idea what it is like to struggle from month to month on a paycheck.

Overall, more than half of the members of Congress are millionaires.  We are led by wealthy men who are serving the interests of other wealthy men.

But the problem with our system is not limited to the president and the members of Congress.  The truth is that the political system in America has become a colossal beast that just continues to grow no matter who is in power.  The political establishment of both parties is totally dependent on this beast, and they will continue to feed it and serve it because it has been very good to them.  The following is from an outstanding article by Steve McCann

The Republican and Democratic political establishments are made up of the following: 

1) many current and nearly all retired national office holders whose livelihood and narcissistic demands depends upon fealty to Party and access to government largesse;

2) the majority of the media elite, including pundits, editors, writers and television news personalities based in Washington and New York whose proximity to power and access is vital to their continued standard of living;  

3) academia, numerous think-tanks, so-called non-government organizations, and lobbyists who fasten onto those in the administration and Congress for employment, grants, favorable legislation and ego-gratification;  

4) the reliable deep pocket political contributors and political consultants whose future is irrevocably tied to the political machinery of the Party; and

5) the crony capitalists, i.e. leaders of the corporate and financial community as well as unions whose entities are dependent on or subject to government oversight and/or benevolence .

Do you think that there is any chance that this insidious system will be uprooted any time soon?

Of course not.

We will continue on the same path that we are on right now and America will continue to decline.

Many will rejoice as America falls, but I will not.

I will mourn for a mighty Republic that has fallen and for a dream that has been lost.

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