Are You Better Off? 40 Statistics That Will Absolutely Shock You

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….

Does Barack Obama Expect The Upcoming Election To Spark Rampant Civil Unrest?

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.

Epic Failure: The Supercommittee Was A Super Joke

Does anyone need any additional evidence that our political system is completely broken?  The bipartisan congressional supercommittee that was given two months to come up with at least $1.2 trillion in deficit cuts over the next decade has failed to reach an agreement.  It is an epic failure and a national embarrassment.  The truth is that they never even came close to an agreement.  In fact, as you will read below, the two sides on the panel have been barely even talking to each other.  In the end, the supercommittee was a super joke.  Meanwhile, the U.S. national debt has passed the 15 trillion dollar mark and we are facing trillion dollar deficits as far as the eye can see.  We are heading directly for a national financial disaster, and our “leaders” seem powerless to do anything about it.

According to the supercommittee’s rules, any plan would have had to have been submitted to the Congressional Budget Office by Monday in order to give the CBO 48 hours to analyze how much the plan would reduce budget deficits over the coming decade.

When the supercommittee was announced, it made headlines all over the world, but now it is ending with a whimper.

The supercommittee was never a good idea in the first place, but you would have thought that they could have come up with something over the course of two months.

But instead all they are giving us are a whole bunch of excuses and a whole lot of hot air.

What a joke.

Is it really that difficult to come up with $1.2 trillion in cuts over a decade?

It isn’t as if they would even be cutting very deeply.  $1.2 trillion in cuts would not even cut the budget by $150 billion a year.  We would still be talking about trillion dollar deficits way into the future.

But instead of agreeing to some token cuts, they have chosen to do nothing and to blame each other.

So now $1.2 trillion in “automatic budget cuts” will go into effect starting in 2013.  But even that $1.2 trillion figure contains a lot of “fuzzy math”.  For example, it includes $169 billion in “projected savings” from “reduced interest costs” on the national debt.

I would love to see how they came up with that figure.

In any event, the truth is that none of these numbers really matter at all.

Why?

None of the budget cuts go into effect until after the 2012 election.  That means that this Congress can vote to repeal the automatic cuts well before then.

Some in Congress are already pushing for this.  For example, U.S. Senator John McCain said the following recently….

“It’s something we passed. We can reverse it.”

Or, even more likely, once the new president and the new Congress are elected in 2012 they will almost certainly choose to abandon this agreement.

When it comes to politics, the only thing that matters is what happens before the next election.

All of this talk of future cuts is just an illusion.  When the next president and the next Congress come to power, they will want to do their own thing.

So after all of the huffing and puffing over the last couple of years, what has actually been accomplished as far as reducing our horrific budget deficits?

Not much at all.

We racked up a $1.3 trillion budget deficit during the fiscal year that just ended, and this fiscal year we will be somewhere in the same neighborhood.

We have been living in the greatest debt bubble in the history of the world, and at some point all of this is going to end very, very badly.

The total amount of debt in this country (government, business and consumer) has been rising much, much faster than our national income has.  If you don’t believe this, just check out this chart.

In particular, government debt is totally out of control.  When Barack Obama first took office, the national debt was 10.6 trillion dollars.

It is now over 15 trillion dollars.

We are in debt up to our eyeballs and we desperately need our leaders to do something about it.

But according to a recent Politico article, the members of the supercommittee haven’t even been talking to each other….

The supercommittee last met Nov. 1 – three weeks ago! It was a public hearing featuring a history lesson, “Overview of Previous Debt Proposals,” with Alan Simpson, Erskine Bowles, Pete Domenici and Alice Rivlin. The last PRIVATE meeting was Oct. 26. You might as well stop reading right there: The 12 members (6 House, 6 Senate; 6 R, 6 D) were never going to strike a bargain, grand or otherwise, if they weren’t talking to each other. Yes, we get that real deal-making occurs in small groups. But there never WAS a functioning supercommittee: There was Republican posturing and Democratic posturing, with some side conversations across the aisle.

Can you believe that?

Could it really be true that they have not met since November 1st?

Is Congress really that much of a joke?

According to Real Clear Politics, the approval rating for Congress is sitting at about 12 percent right now.

After this, it may get even lower.

Instead of working on a solution to our problems, the members of the supercommittee have been busy going on television and telling us who to blame.

The following is a short exceprt from a recent article in the Washington Post….

Republicans on the supercommittee held a conference call Saturday morning, and aides said members from both parties continued to talk by phone. But neither side was predicting a last-minute breakthrough. Instead, seven panel members booked appearances on the Sunday talk shows, as both sides readied their best arguments for why the other is at fault.

Our politicians are obsessed with finding someone else to blame and with getting ready for the next election.

Meanwhile, the ship is going down and people are starting to panic.

And this is not going to look good to the rest of the world at all.  There is a very real risk that one of the other major credit rating agencies will decide to downgrade U.S. debt.

The second downgrade of debt is often more important than the first.  When the first downgrade happened, U.S. debt still had a AAA rating from the other two major credit rating agencies.

But after another downgrade, the average credit rating of U.S. debt will be less than AAA.  That will mean that U.S. debt will no longer be a cash proxy.  A lot of transactions that take place right now in the financial world would not be able to happen if that takes place.

So what do our leaders need to do?

Well, the truth is that we should recognize that they are in a really, really tough position.  Decades of nightmarish decisions have left us out of good options under our current financial system.

The reality is that members of Congress are damned if they do and they are damned if they don’t.

This is what I mean – if we don’t deal with our national debt now, everyone agrees that a massive day of reckoning is coming down the road.  Greece is an example of what happens when debt catches up with a nation.

However, if we did cut the federal budget very deeply right now, it would almost certainly bring on a huge economic contraction.

Right now, insane federal spending is one of the only things keeping this economy afloat.  If you were to suddenly pull half a trillion dollars (or more) of federal spending out of the economy, it would have a devastating impact.

A lot of people out there correctly argue for a huge reduction in federal spending, but they greatly underestimate the amount of pain that it would cause.

Let there be no doubt, all of this federal debt has enabled us to enjoy a “false prosperity” for several decades, and when we dramatically cut back on spending a lot of that “false prosperity” is going to disappear.

Our “real economy” is rapidly being gutted and America is becoming poorer as a nation every single day.  One way that we have been making up the difference is by going into almost unbelievable amounts of government debt.  When the government debt bubble pops, the pain is going to be enormous.

If you do not believe this right now, you will believe it soon enough.

Not that we should keep going into huge amounts of debt.

Every dollar that we “borrow” is actually being stolen from our children and our grandchildren.

In fact, that is what Thomas Jefferson believed.  According to Jefferson, when the federal government borrows money in one generation which must be paid back by future generations it is equivalent to stealing….

And I sincerely believe, with you, that banking establishments are more dangerous than standing armies; and that the principle of spending money to be paid by posterity, under the name of funding, is but swindling futurity on a large scale.

We have got to stop stealing from future generations.  If they get the chance, they will curse us for what we have done to them.

Anyone out there that supports our current system of running endless budget deficits is supporting a horrific crime against our children and our grandchildren.

But once again, we all need to clearly understand that when the borrowed money stops flowing out of Washington D.C., our economy is going to get much worse.

Are you prepared for the unemployment rate to double?

Are you prepared for foreclosures to soar to unprecedented heights?

Are you prepared for economic pain unlike anything you have ever seen before?

According to the New York Times, there are 100 million Americans that are either living in poverty or that are considered to be among the “near poor” right now.

So how bad will things get if we plunge into a depression?

Anyone that believes that we can drastically cut the federal budget and improve the economy at the same time under our current system is not being rational.

Just look at what is happening to Greece.  They implemented substantial budget cuts (although not nearly big enough to bring them to a balanced budget) and they have plunged into a nightmarish economic depression.

Right now, we are in a position where we are going to experience a horrific amount of pain whatever we do.  If we keep piling up debt at this rate we will experience a nightmare, but if we pop the debt bubble and try to live within our means we will also experience a nightmare.

There is a way out of this, but our politicians are not talking about it.  As I have written about previously, if the federal government abolishes the Federal Reserve and starts issuing debt-free money, we could eliminate our federal budget deficits, cut taxes and improve the economy all at the same time.

But nobody is even talking about debt-free money.

Instead, all of our politicians are talking about “fixing” the current system.

Well, let me tell you, it is impossible to solve our problems under the current system.  If we insist on maintaining our current debt-based financial system, it will only end in a massive amount of pain.

The American people need to get educated about our financial system.  They need to learn that the Federal Reserve and the debt-based currency that they issue are at the very heart of our economic problems.

Back in 1913, prior to the passage of the Federal Reserve Act, the national debt was only about $2.9 billion.

Today, our national debt is over 5000 times larger.

Debt-based central banking is a perpetual debt machine.  It is at the heart of our financial problems and it is also at the heart of the financial problems that Europe is experiencing.

Unfortunately, the American people don’t understand this, and there are virtually no politicians out there that are even talking about this.

Very dark days are ahead for America.

You had better get prepared.

Political Theater: It Turns Out That The Republicans And The Democrats Were Both Lying To Us And That The Real Budget Cut Number Is Far Less Than $38.5 Billion

Guess what?  The Democrats and the Republicans are both lying to us again.  So what else is new?  The truth is that the great “budget crisis” which supposedly took us to the verge of a government shutdown was just a whole bunch of political theater.  Even the Associated Press is declaring that our politicians used “accounting sleight of hand” to reach the $38.5 billion budget cut figure.  Not that $38.5 billion was an impressive number to begin with.  $38.5 billion would just be one percent of the federal budget.  But once you strip away the accounting charades, the real budget cut number is somewhere around 14 billion dollars.  It turns out that the “budget cuts” include money left unspent from previous years, earmarks that were going nowhere, unused census money and programs that Obama was already planning to cut.  The more you examine the “budget deal”, the more it becomes obvious that the Republicans and the Democrats had no intention of doing anything serious about our debt problems.  The U.S. government is still going to run a record-setting budget deficit in 2011 and both the Democrats and the Republicans are to blame.

So should we be surprised that our politicians have been lying to us again?

Of course not.

But if something is not done about our soaring debt it is absolutely going to crash our financial system.

According to the IMF, the U.S. government will have to borrow an amount of money equivalent to 29 percent of GDP this year alone in order to finance its budget deficit and its maturing debt.

That is what you call a crisis.

But neither political party seems the least bit serious about the national debt.

The Republicans are proposing even more tax cuts without saying how they are going to pay for them, and they even tucked an increase in military spending into the “budget cut” deal.

The Democrats don’t seem to want to cut much of anything.  In fact, most Democrats seem to believe that government debt is not much of a crisis at all.

Our politicians love to talk about “cutting the budget”, but nothing ever gets done.  Both parties have been promising us “fiscal responsibility” for decades but both parties have never delivered.

Sadly, the American people have not held our politicians responsible for this.

This latest episode just reveals how much of a joke Washington D.C. has become.  In the 8 days leading up to the “historic” $38.5 billion budget deal, the U.S. national debt increased by $54.1 billion dollars.

Our politicians are standing by and doing nothing while the financial future of this nation is being destroyed right in front of our eyes.  It is now being projected that by the year 2021, interest payments on the national debt will amount to $1.1 trillion dollars a year.

Fortunately, some bloggers out there are starting to wake up to just how pathetic this latest “budget deal” really was.

For instance, Tim Fernholz of the National Journal recently posted the following….

For example, the final cuts in the deal are advertised as $38.5 billion less than was appropriated in 2010, but after removing rescissions, cuts to reserve funds, and reductions in mandatory spending programs, discretionary spending will be reduced only by $14.7 billion.

In fact, some conservative bloggers are becoming absolutely furious with the duplicity of the Republican party.  In a recent article on Business Insider, John Ellis really let John Boehner have it….

It turns out that the budget agreement that all parties were hailing this past weekend as a “great achievement” is in fact a joke.  Any Republican who was elected with even a sliver of Tea Party support is now duty-bound to vote against it on Friday.  Every 2012 Republican presidential hopeful is now duty-bound to demand that it be voted down.

But Boehner is already saying that it is time to “move on” and that he is really going to “get tough” during the next battle.  Boehner is claiming that the “war” over the debt ceiling is going to be about “trillions” instead of “billions”.

The American people are certainly in the mood for something to be done about our debt crisis.  According to a new NBC/WSJ poll, the vast majority of Republicans and the vast majority of independents do not want the debt ceiling raised.  Even Democrats are roughly split on the issue.

John Boehner is promising that the Republicans will not agree to raise the debt ceiling without “serious steps in the right direction”.

So what pathetically low number will cause John Boehner to cave in this time?

Obama is already taking a strong stand on the debt ceiling.  He is demanding that the Republicans send him a “clean bill” and is warning that they must not “play politics” with U.S. government finances.

On Monday, White House press secretary Jay Carney stated that “the consequences of not raising the debt ceiling would be Armageddon-like in terms of the economy.”

You know what?  To a certain degree Carney is right.  If the U.S. government hits the debt ceiling the financial markets will likely go haywire.  That would cause the big boys up on Wall Street to start putting tremendous pressure on Boehner.  There is no way that Boehner would watch chaos unfold on Wall Street and not end up flinching.

Not that Boehner was ever serious about cutting the federal deficit.  He was not serious about it during the Bush years and he is not serious about it now.

This is all just a whole lot of political theater.

Meanwhile, most Americans are not even paying attention to all of the financial fraud being committed by the “fourth branch of government”.

Of course the Federal Reserve is not actually part of the federal government at all.   But they do get to spend trillions and lend trillions without ever having to get the approval of Congress, the president or the American people.

For example, most Americans don’t realize this, but the Federal Reserve has been handing out hundreds of millions of dollars in nearly risk-free loans to their friends and even to the wives of their friends.

Unfortunately, the Federal Reserve is above the law and is not accountable to anyone.  In fact, we can’t even get our politicians to authorize a comprehensive audit of their books.

The truth is that our system is soaked in so much fraud that there is no way that it will ever recover.

We have turned our backs on the principles of our founding fathers and so now we pay the price.

The U.S. national debt is now over 14 times larger than it was 30 years ago and it is currently rising by well over 4 billion dollars every single day.  This debt will destroy our financial system.  We are stealing the future from our children and our grandchildren.

It is so sad to see what is happening to America.

So what do all of you think about what is going on in Washington D.C.?  Feel free to leave a comment with your opinion below….

Shut It Down?

If the U.S. government were to shut down for a while, would that really be such a bad thing?  Right now everyone in the mainstream media is freaking out as if the world is going to end, but the truth is that there have been government shutdowns before.  The apocalypse is not going to happen if there is another shutdown.  If Congress could find a way to get our troops and our border patrol agents paid, then what would be so bad about the government taking a “vacation” for a while?  After all, when was the last time that either the Republicans or the Democrats did anything that was actually good for America?  It has not mattered which political party has been in power – over the past couple of decades our “representatives” in Washington D.C. have passed an endless parade of bad laws and have gotten us into the biggest mountain of debt in the history of the world.  They literally seem unable to do anything right.  So would it really be so bad if a government shutdown slows them down for a while?  If our politicians are going to act like a bunch of idiots, why not let them shut it down?

Think of it this way – if you could eliminate all of the laws passed under George W. Bush and Barack Obama would you do it?

I think that most Americans would.

Almost every single law that has been passed over the past couple of decades has been bad for America.

But many Americans seem to be going into a panic at the thought that the “almighty government” might not be operating for a few days.

Many Americans seem to have bought into the lie that the federal government is the most important institution in our country.

But this is never what our founding fathers intended.  Our founding fathers intended for the federal government to be very limited.  Unfortunately, we have turned our backs on the principles of our founding fathers.

So exactly what is this fight between the Republicans and the Democrats all about?  Why have we been brought to the brink of a government shutdown?

We keep hearing that it is all about cutting the budget.  In fact, House Speaker John Boehner says that his party is “damn serious about it”.

But that is a joke.  The federal budget deficit for this year is going to be approximately $1.6 trillion dollars.  The Republicans were asking for just $61 billion in budget cuts (3.8% of the budget deficit) and there are rumors that Republican and Democratic negotiators have agreed to a figure of $38 billion in budget cuts.

$38 billion?

Is this why the Tea Party was sent to Washington?

$38 billion would just be 2.4 percent of the $1.6 trillion dollar deficit.

Wow, that is really wielding the budget cutting axe!

Look, the U.S. government cannot spend a single penny from now on without Republicans going along with it.

The Republicans control the House of Representatives.  Barack Obama and the Senate will not have a single dime to spend unless they can get the House to go along with it.

If the Democrats want money to implement Obamacare then they have to get the Republicans to go along with it.

If the Democrats want to give money to the EPA to implement Obama’s “green agenda” then they have to get the Republicans to go along with it.

In fact, pretty much whatever the Democrats want to do, they have to get the Republicans to agree to fund it.

So if you don’t like what Obama and the Democrats are doing, don’t just blame them.

Blame the Republicans as well.

Both parties are deeply corrupt and both parties have gotten us to the point we are at.

Sadly, it looks like any deal that the Republicans and the Democrats are going to agree to is going to include virtually everything that the Democrats want.

It is going to include full funding for Obamacare.

It is going to include full funding for Planned Parenthood.

It is going to include full funding for NPR.

It is going to include full funding for the EPA.

So what are the Republicans going to get?

$38 billion in spending cuts?

Is that supposed to be a “deal”?

The truth is that Boehner is a joke and he is not serious about cutting the federal budget.

But if we don’t start seriously cutting the federal budget we are heading for complete and total disaster.

David Stockman, who served as budget director under Ronald Reagan, says that if Congress is not serious about getting our financial house in order that a government shutdown could be precisely the kind of wake up call that we need….

If the Smithsonian, the Parks Service and the Cherry Blossom Festival get delayed or canceled, it’s the wakeup call that we really needed. The fools inside the Beltway are borrowing $100 billion month in and month out, and there’s nobody left in the world buying except the central banks—the Fed and the people’s printing press of China. There’s no way that’s sustainable or viable. It’s simply building up pressure in the monetary system that’s going to blow sky-high.

Look, the United States is heading straight for financial armageddon.  This is a crisis of historic proportions.  In a previous article on U.S. government finances, I detailed some absolutely horrifying statistics about the debt crisis that the U.S. government is facing….

*If you divide the national debt up equally among all U.S. households, each one owes a staggering $125,475.18.

*The federal government has borrowed 29,660 more dollars per household since Barack Obama signed the economic stimulus law two years ago.

*During Barack Obama’s first two years in office, the U.S. government added more to the U.S. national debt than the first 100 U.S. Congresses combined.

*In the new budget that the Obama administration has proposed, the U.S. government would spend 3.7 trillion dollars in 2012 and by 2021 the U.S. government would be spending a whopping 5.6 trillion dollars per year.

*The U.S. government currently has to borrow approximately 41 cents of every single dollar that it spends.

*The total compensation that the federal government workforce earned last year came to a grand total of approximately 447 billion dollars.

*The U.S. national debt is currently rising by well over 4 billion dollars every single day.

*The U.S. government is borrowing over 2 million more dollars every single minute.

*The U.S. national debt is over 14 times larger than it was just 30 years ago.

*Unfunded liabilities for entitlement programs such as Social Security and Medicare are estimated to be well over $100 trillion, and nobody in the U.S. government seems to have any idea how we are actually even going to come close to meeting all of those obligations.

*If you were alive when Jesus was born and you spent one million dollars every single day since that point, you still would not have spent one trillion dollars by now.  But this year alone the U.S. government is going to go about 1.6 trillion dollars more into debt.

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

But even if the Republicans got every single thing that they have been demanding it would make essentially no difference as far as our national debt crisis is concerned.  It would basically be like spitting into Niagara Falls.

So which political party has the correct position in this battle?

Neither of them.  In fact, both political parties are a joke.  They are both acting like a bunch of idiots just like they have been for decades.

So let them shut it down.  The truth is that the number one threat to our liberties and freedoms right now is our own federal government.

In a recent article, J.B. Williams talked about why he thinks that it would be a really good idea to shut the government down….

I say, shut it down! The federal government has done as much to harm the union of states as it has ever done to improve freedom and liberty in America. We will be better off without a federal government, with each state able to fund and govern itself better than the Fed ever could.

Extreme threats demand extreme measures, and nothing threatens the future freedom and prosperity of the United States more than our own federal government. Enemies beyond, we can deal with. It’s the enemy within which threatens us most today. It’s time to shut it down and reset.

Just think about a few of the ways that our own federal government violates our liberties and freedoms every single day….

*If you want to get on an airplane in America today, you must either go through one of the incredibly intrusive full body scanners that are going into all U.S. airports and let airport security goons gawk at your exposed body, or you must allow airport security goons to feel you up using the new “enhanced pat down” techniques they are being instructed to employ.

*Thanks to the Patriot Act, if you are identified as a “terrorist”, you suddenly lose all of your constitutional rights.  We are told that detaining American citizens indefinitely and subjecting them to “enhanced interrogation” techniques will keep us all safer.

*The federal government controls our lives so tightly that now they even tell us what kinds of light bulbs we are allowed to buy.

*Barack Obama has been pushing a plan that would create a national database that will store the DNA of all individuals who have been arrested, even if they end up not being convicted of a crime.

*Just about anything can be used against you in court these days.  In one of the very first military commissions held under the Obama administration, a U.S. military judge ruled that confessions obtained by threatening the subject with rape are admissible in court.

*The federal government listens to our cell phones whenever they want and they require that all cell phone companies must be able to pinpoint the locations of all of their customers to within 100 meters.

*According to FBI Director Robert Mueller, “homegrown terrorists” represent just as much of a threat to American national security as al-Qaeda does.

*In Washington D.C., if you do not submit to “random bag checks” while riding the Metro there is a good chance that you could receive a follow-up visit by the FBI or by the Department of Homeland Security.

*If you make food “incorrectly” there is a good chance that you will get raided by the federal government.  In fact, the feds raided an Amish farmer at 5 AM in the morning because they claimed that he was was engaged in the interstate sale of raw milk in violation of federal law.

So in light of how extreme our federal government has become, is there anyone out there that still thinks it would be a “crisis” if the government was to shut down for a while?

If our government is going to take away our liberties and freedoms instead of protecting them, then why would it be a bad thing if it shut down for a short time?

It might just get some of the control freaks off our backs for a while.

Yes, we do need to make sure our military men and women are paid.  We also need to make sure that our border patrol agents are paid.  But if Congress could actually get that accomplished it wouldn’t be too bad at all if the government were to shut down for an extended period of time.

So what do all the rest of you think?  Feel free to leave a comment with your opinion about the possibility of a government shutdown below….

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