War On Cryptocurrencies: Wells Fargo, J.P. Morgan Chase, Bank of America, Citigroup And Capital One Have Banned Their Customers From Buying Bitcoin With Credit Cards

A war on cryptocurrencies such as Bitcoin, Ethereum, Ripple and Litecoin has begun, and it threatens to destroy the entire cryptocurrency industry.  If you think that I am exaggerating, just keep reading.  Government agencies are cracking down hard, Bitcoin traders that don’t file the proper paperwork are being sent to prison, Facebook and other online ad platforms have banned all cryptocurrency advertising, and now major credit card companies are banning their customers from using their credit cards to buy cryptos.  What is an industry supposed to do if it can’t advertise and it can’t take credit cards?  Such moves would kill virtually any consumer-oriented industry, and right now the cryptocurrency industry is absolutely reeling.  If this war on cryptocurrencies continues to intensify, I honestly don’t know how the industry is going to survive.

On Monday, another shot was fired in the war.  Wells Fargo formally announced that their customers would no longer be permitted to purchase Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies with Wells Fargo credit cards

Wells Fargo customers can no longer buy cryptocurrencies such as bitcoin on their credit cards, the company announced Monday. But they can still buy firearms.

The San Francisco-based bank joined some of its Wall Street peers in banning the purchase of cryptocurrencies on credit cards and said its decision is “in line with the overall industry.”

Of course this follows decisions by virtually all of the other major credit card companies to ban cryptocurrency transactions as well

J.P. Morgan Chase, Bank of America and Citigroup announced in February they would no longer let customers buy cryptocurrencies using credit cards, and like Wells Fargo cited credit risks and market volatility.

Capital One Financial said it has decided to ban cryptocurrency purchases with its cards, and Discover Financial Services has effectively prohibited cryptocurrency purchases with its credit cards since 2015.

All of these banks are deeply tied in to the existing world order, and obviously the elite have decided that now is the time to make a move against cryptocurrencies.

In the online world, cash and checks are rarely used.  And so if people can’t use their credit cards to buy cryptocurrencies, what are they supposed to do?

There is always Paypal and other online platforms, but it is probably only a matter of time before they start banning cryptocurrency transactions as well.

And the same big banks that have already banned credit card transactions could very easily start banning direct bank transfers as well.

The 800 pound gorilla in the room has started to wake up, and that is really, really bad news for the cryptocurrency industry.

It is absolutely absurd for banks to be telling us what we can and cannot buy with our own money, but unless somebody does something they are going to get away with it.  A few of them have even started putting restrictions on gun transactions, and they will keep pushing the envelope until they are stopped.

Meanwhile, government agencies have decided that now is the time for a crackdown on the cryptocurrency industry as well

The SEC investigation, which Bloomberg reported last month, is the U.S.’s latest effort to crack down on the booming Bitcoin and cryptocurrency industry and will look into illegal practices that can influence prices.

On Friday the Wall Street Journal reported U.S. government investigators demanded several bitcoin exchanges hand over trading data, putting the price on the back foot ahead of today’s sell off.

Federal prosecutors are working with the U.S. financial regulator that oversees derivatives tied to Bitcoin, the Commodity Futures Trading Commission.

And it isn’t just the exchanges that are getting hit.

Individuals that have not filed the “proper paperwork” with the government are being arrested and sent to prison

This week in Southern California a Los Angeles woman who called herself the ‘Bitcoin Maven’ will be sentenced this Monday after pleading guilty for illegal money transmission. According to law enforcement, the woman made close to $300,000 USD annually by selling BTC on the peer-to-peer exchange Localbitcoins.

U.S. law enforcement has arrested and convicted another Localbitcoins seller who reportedly made $300K per year selling digital assets. The 50-year-old Theresa Tetley used the alias ‘Bitcoin Maven’ and sold bitcoins without registering with the financial authorities. Prosecutors say Tetley’s operations “fueled a black-market financial system in the Central District of California that purposely and deliberately existed outside of the regulated bank industry.”

So where do things go from here?

Are these just temporary bumps in the road to a promising future for the cryptocurrency industry, or is this the end of the road?

Well, cryptocurrency evangelist John McAfee believes that now is a perfect time to buy more coins…

“Do not panic about the drop in Bitcoin’s price. It is an overreaction to the news that Bitstamp, Coinbase, itBit, and Kraken are being investigated for price manipulation. This will delay the bull market by no more than 30 days. Don’t buy into the fear. Buy the coins.”

On the other hand, Mike Adams believes that we are witnessing the collapse of a Ponzi scheme that was always destined to implode at some point…

Even though Bitcoin is clearly an electricity-wasting Ponzi scheme built on zero real assets, some newbies are just now hearing about it, and they think they’ve discovered a perpetual motion get rich quick scheme that will allow them to acquire wealth without effort. (This is, of course, the key selling point among Bitcoin speculators, who have convinced themselves they’re actually “shrewd investors.”) In truth, they’re just being suckered into a collapsing crypto-fairy tale that never panned out because it was based on bad economics in the first place. Remember when Bitcoin enthusiasts promised that Bitcoin transactions would be extremely low cost and almost instant? Yep, and Obama said if you like your doctor, you can keep your doctor, too. Both promises turned out to be utter nonsense.

If the major banks and governments around the world had left the cryptocurrency industry alone, it probably would have done just fine.

But now a full blown war against the cryptocurrency industry has begun, and it is going to be exceedingly difficult for “crypto mania” to survive in this type of environment.

Michael Snyder is a nationally syndicated writer, media personality and political activist. He is the author of four books including The Beginning Of The End and Living A Life That Really Matters.

Government Crackdowns In China And India Threaten To Absolutely Crush The Cryptocurrency Bubble

Taxation and regulation are weapons, and governments often use these weapons to target things that they do not like.  Cryptocurrencies such as Bitcoin, Ethereum, Ripple and Litecoin threaten to shatter the existing paradigm of financial control that the elite have carefully crafted, and that is making government officials all over the planet very nervous.  So the latest rumblings about “government crackdowns” on cryptocurrencies in China and India shouldn’t come as any sort of a surprise.  Those two governments hate anything that even smells like freedom, and so it was only a matter of time before they pulled the trigger.  And the bigger the cryptocurrency bubble becomes, the more national governments around the world are likely to take action to “get it under control”.

The reason why I have always been so cautious when it comes to cryptocurrencies is because government intervention is the ever-present elephant in the room.  At any time big national governments can step in and ruin the party, and that now appears to be happening in China and India.  The following comes from TruNews

China, arguably the biggest market for cryptocurrencies as many citizens aim to avoid the government-controlled economy, recently released a report that showed more than 400 fake cryptos occupying its domestic marketplace. In response the Ministry of Industry and Information Technology signaled it’s going to crack down hard, citing “certain risks that cannot be ignored” with initial coin offerings, pyramid schemes, and fraud.

Simultaneous to that bit of bad news, CoinTelegraph reported the Central Board of Indirect Taxes in India is considering an 18 percent tax on cryptocurrency exchanges, deeming the digital currencies as “intangible goods.” Last month the Reserve Bank of India formally banned domestic banks from servicing any cryptocurrency business but that failed to ebb the increase in new exchanges in its marketplace.

Let’s talk about India first.  As I mentioned earlier, taxation is a weapon, and a massive 18 percent tax is being proposed on all cryptocurrency trading…

The Indian government is in talks of levying an 18% tax on cryptocurrency trading. The knowledge allegedly comes from people with a direct knowledge of the matter.

The news, as reported by Bloomberg, states that cryptocurrencies could be taxed pending their declaration as intangible goods. Even as they are on par with software with respect to their classifications, the source added that their use in illegal activities would have to be regulated using other laws.

The proposal is currently under consideration by the Central Board of Indirect Taxes and Customs and will be submitted to the GST Council after its finalization for approval.

Needless to say, such a tax would absolutely devastate the emerging cryptocurrency industry in India.

In China, in addition to cracking down on “fraud”, the government has also come out with a list of their preferred cryptocurrencies

The Ministry of Industry and Information technology of China has decided to release its own ranking sheet, in which it created a list of 28 cryptos. The cryptos were ranked according to three criteria, which include technology, application, as well as innovation.

According to China, the best crypto seems to be Ethereum (ETH), which is dominating the list. It is closely followed by Steem and Lisk, as well as Neo and Komodo. These five are also making the top 5 according to China. It is surprising that Komodo managed to rank this high since it is a lesser-known platform that holds the 58th place according to market cap. Another one that stands out from the rest is Steem, which does not allow for creating smart contracts, while the rest of them do.

It turns out that Bitcoin was only number 13 on the list.

At least China is not banning cryptocurrencies yet, which many feared that they might do.  Cryptos have become wildly popular in China, and even though the Chinese government is one of the most repressive regimes on the entire planet, at least they are trying to be at least somewhat reasonable in this case.

Of course all of this troubling news was going to have a major impact on cryptocurrency prices, and on Wednesday we witnessed quite a bloodbath

Digital currencies were in free fall Wednesday, with some major coins in the red by more than 10%.

Bitcoin, the world’s biggest digital currency, fell through $8,000 late Tuesday and the slide has not abated. Bitcoin tumbled to a multiweek low of $7,442.92. Bounces have been limited, with a single coin last worth $7,528.89, down 7.1% from late Tuesday Eastern U.S. levels on the Kraken exchange.

The collapse in cryptocurrencies has seen the total value of all coins fall to $326 billion, down some $50 billion in just 72 hours, according to Coinmarketcap.

Overall, the value of all cryptocurrencies has fallen nearly 500 billion dollars from a peak of 820 billion dollars in January.

That is not just a crash – that is a cataclysm.

However, it is important to note that cryptocurrencies are still way, way up from where they were a year ago at this time.

So those that got in early are still big winners.

And there are many that believe that cryptos will do extremely well during a “flight to safety” during the next great economic crisis.  Omid Malekan, the author of a new book entitled The Story of the Blockchain: A Beginner’s Guide to the Technology That Nobody Understands, is entirely convinced that many will view Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies as very safe alternatives when a coming crisis forces national governments to impose draconian capital controls

Government officials don’t like cryptocoins because they transfer the sovereignty of money from their control to a decentralized consensus mechanism, a transfer that they view as a downgrade in the quality of money. If our existing system of money and banking was always stable, they would have a point.

But every time there is a crisis, it reminds the public that the folks in charge are not as smart as they think they are. When those same leaders respond to the crisis with draconian capital controls (or selective bailouts for their once and future employers on Wall Street) they remind the public that they aren’t as fair as they think they are, either. Bitcoin might be volatile and hard to understand, but it’s always fair, because math does not discriminate, nor does it change the rules when people start to panic.

In addition, it is very interesting to note that the Rothschild banking dynasty also appears to be investing very heavily in the cryptocurrency industry

“In February, it became known that the Tether accounts of Bitfinex were opened in the Dutch bank ING, owned by The Rothschild Group. At the same time, the profit indicators of this bank have grown significantly. On February 26th, the Fintech company, Circle, the main shareholder of which is Goldman Sachs (also The Rothschild Group), acquired Poloniex, a US-based crypto exchange”, – Zycrypto states.

It has recently come to light that not only Rothschilds dynasty invest in cryptocurrency, they are actively preparing several projects of their own. Private discussions have been sparked among large cryptocurrency investors following the leak which subsequently flowed into the open crypto community. One of the Rothschild’s projects name has emerged: IMMO. As Coindoo writes “… the implementation of IMMO is being monitored by Alexandre de Rothschild himself”.

Do they know something that the rest of us do not?

In the end, the debate over cryptocurrencies will rage on.  The skeptics will continue to point out that cryptos have no intrinsic value and that national governments can end the party any time that they wish.  And advocates will continue to point out that government intervention has not ruined the party so far, and that some national governments and some big financial institutions are actually embracing the cryptocurrency revolution.

Ultimately the jury is still out on whether or not this revolution will be successful, and it will be fascinating to see how everything plays out.

Michael Snyder is a nationally syndicated writer, media personality and political activist.  He is the author of four books including The Beginning Of The End and Living A Life That Really Matters.

Study Finds That 22 Percent Of Bitcoin Investors Are Using Debt To Fund Their Investments

Investing in cryptocurrencies such as Bitcoin, Ripple, Ethereum and Litecoin is extremely risky, and experts all over the country are warning that people should only invest what they are willing to lose.  Unfortunately, many are getting swept up in the current euphoria surrounding cryptocurrencies and are not listening to that very sound advice.  A disturbing new survey that was just released found that 22 percent of all Bitcoin investors are either directly or indirectly investing in Bitcoin with borrowed money…

According to LendEDU, a personal loan research firm, more than 18 percent of Bitcoin investors have used borrowed money to trade the cryptocurrency. In a global survey of 672 active Bitcoin investors, researchers asked traders the method they used to fund their cryptocurrency trading accounts. The majority of investors used banking systems such as credit cards and ACH transfers to fund their accounts.

But 22 percent of traders revealed that they have not paid off their credit and debit cards after purchasing Bitcoin, effectively investing in the cryptocurrency with borrowed money.

Credit card debt is one of the most toxic forms of debt that you could ever carry, and investing in anything when you still have credit card balances is extremely unwise.

Yes, cryptocurrencies went on an epic run in 2017, but there is absolutely no guarantee that they will continue to rise in 2018.

In fact, there is a very real possibility that we could see a cryptocurrency crash, and there are many investors that are actually eagerly anticipating one

Well, as many traders expected, it appears that institutions are using the futures product to slowly but surely build a short position in bitcoin. According to the CFTC Commitment of Traders report (available CBOE futures), non-commercial traders held a net short position of around $30mn as of Tuesday Dec 26, or around half of the total open interest.

Separately, the Traders in Financial Futures breakdown provided by the CFTC show that the leveraged funds category that consists largely of hedge funds and various money managers had a short of around $14mn, or around a quarter of the total open interest.

In other words, spec investors have used the futures contracts to establish Bitcoin shorts.

On the other hand, there is also the possibility that cryptocurrencies such as Bitcoin could continue to defy gravity and soar even higher over the next 12 months.

In fact, a rumor that Amazon.com will soon start accepting Bitcoin has lots of people buzzing

As a backdrop to all of this, there is a strong rumor that Amazon is about to accept Bitcoin as a method of payment. Patrick Byrne, the CEO of Overstock, has stated that Amazon will soon have no choice but to start accepting it. He is quoted as saying, “… they have to follow suit. I’ll be stunned if they don’t because they can’t just cede that part of the market to us if we are the only main large retail site taking Bitcoin.” Scott Mullins, an Amazon executive has confirmed that Amazon is, “working with financial institutions and crypto-experts to spur innovation, and facilitate frictionless experimentation.”

If the Amazon rumor turns out to be true – Bitcoin will probably go into orbit! Be prepared…

If someone knew exactly what would happen throughout 2018, that individual could make an absolutely obscene amount of money.

Unfortunately I don’t know where cryptocurrencies are heading, but it does appear that things are about to get a whole lot more interesting.  According to Reuters, it looks like you will soon be able to invest in Bitcoin using leveraged ETFs…

The new idea is to build “leveraged” and “inverse” funds that would rise – or fall – twice as fast as the price of bitcoin on a given day.

Direxion Asset Management LLC plans to list such products on Intercontinental Exchange Inc’s NYSE Arca exchange if U.S. securities regulators give the nod, according to a filing by the exchange this week.

In the filing, the exchange said the listing “will enhance competition among market participants, to the benefit of investors and the marketplace.”

So if Bitcoin rises or falls a thousand dollars in a single day, those financial instruments will be designed to move by about twice as much.

That should be fun.

Meanwhile, some are asking what will happen to cryptocurrencies such as Bitcoin, Ripple, Ethereum and Litecoin if the long-awaited collapse of global financial markets finally happens this year.

Well, some believe that it would be doom for cryptocurrencies, but others believe that cryptocurrencies would be like gold and would actually do extremely well during the next great financial crisis…

The question is what will happen to Bitcoin and Cryptocurrencies once the financial collapse takes place. The signs are that when economic circumstances start to deteriorate the price of Bitcoin rises. A prime example of this is during the Cyprus and Greece bailout which saw the price of BTC rise considerably during this period. With banks stopping access to cash in ATM machines, Bitcoin was the perfect solution to be able to store it safely out of the banks and Governments’ hands.

What also happens during a depression is interest rates skyrocket and start to see hyperinflation. This will mean it is extremely hard to get finance from banks and the cost can make it unsustainable. The ICO market is a perfect solution to this problem and as the banking sector suffers, ICOs will boom. More companies will look to these as a cheap way to raise money and will create their own cryptocurrency.

It will be fascinating to see how all of this plays out.

There are some financial experts that believe that Bitcoin is going to zero, and there are others that are absolutely convinced that it is going to a million dollars.

As with so many things in life, timing is everything.  If you are investing in Bitcoin, let us just hope that you got in at the right time and that you will also get out at the right time.

Michael Snyder is a pro-Trump candidate for Congress in Idaho’s First Congressional District, and you can learn how you can get involved in the campaign on his official website. His new book entitled “Living A Life That Really Matters” is available in paperback and for the Kindle on Amazon.com.

Is Ripple The Next Hot Cryptocurrency? Some Are Calling It ‘The Bitcoin That Banks Like’

After Bitcoin, can you name the second largest cryptocurrency?  Until recently it was Ethereum, but now it is Ripple.  At the start of last year, Ripple was trading for less than a penny, and even just a few months ago you could still get Ripple for about 20 cents.  But now the price of Ripple has absolutely exploded, and as I write this article it is sitting at $3.15.  At this point Ripple has a market cap of more than 120 billion dollars, and those that got in when Ripple was under a penny have seen their investments go up by more than 40,000 percent.

If you can believe it, the price of Ripple is up more than 1,000 percent in the last 30 days alone.  So why is Ripple doing so well right now?

Well, many analysts are pointing to the very strong relationships that Ripple has been building with financial institutions

XRP’s price has benefited significantly from Ripple’s new partnerships with banks, noted Chris Keshian, co-founder of the Apex Token Fund, a tokenized crypto fund-of-funds.

He added that as XRP “surpassed ETH as the second largest cryptocurrency, market hype continued to drive the price.”

There are some that believe that Ripple will eventually surpass Bitcoin simply because it is a better way to send and receive money.

And without a doubt, functionality is the key for the long-term survival of any cryptocurrency.  Speculative investment can take a cryptocurrency a long way, but at the end of the day it needs to function well in the real world, and that is one key advantage that Ripple appears to have.  According to the Express, Ripple is being called “the Bitcoin that banks like”…

Bitcoin is feeling the pressure from another cryptocurrency hot on it’s heels.

Ripple has attracted tens of millions of dollars worth of investment leading to it being dubbed the Bitcoin that banks like.

The company uses block chain technology, powered by its own cryptocurrency, to send money across the world in real time settlements, according to the company’s CEO Brad Garlinghouse.

It does not hold the level of anonymity that bitcoin does, which makes the currency more favourable to banks.

One thing that has been holding back the price of Ripple is the fact that it is not listed on some of the key exchanges.  But there are persistent rumors that Ripple will be listed on Coinbase very soon, and that could potentially drive the price of Ripple much higher.

Before you get too excited, let me share a word of caution.  Investing in cryptocurrencies is extremely risky, because they are purely digital creations that do not actually possess any intrinsic value at all.  Right now there are more than 1,000 cryptocurrencies in existence, and most of them are eventually going to zero.

But for the moment, those that were able to capitalize on the cryptocurrency trend in a major way have become incredibly wealthy.  Ripple’s co-founder Chris Larsen is now worth an astounding 37 billion dollars, and that makes him the 15th richest person in America.

Of course he doesn’t actually have 37 billion dollars.  If he does not sell his coins and Ripple eventually goes back to zero, all of that “paper wealth” will be gone.

The big danger is that global governments will start cracking down on cryptocurrencies in a major way, and in late December we did see South Korea impose restrictions on the trading of cryptocurrencies in order to “limit speculation”.  If more governments start piling on, that could absolutely crush the cryptocurrency bubble.

For now, Bitcoin has been rebounding from that announcement, and Ripple just continues to roar higher.  But let us not forget that a single big announcement could change all of that in a single moment

The South Korean Government’s threats of shutting down exchanges seemed to have little influence on Ripple at the end of the year, but with news hitting the wires of just how much of an impact South Korean exchanges had on Ripple’s December rally and it’s not surprising that Ripple has been defending its gains at the start of the year.

Bitcoin may have been the fallout guy when it came to the regulatory chatter at the end of the year, but if the exchanges are closed, it’s not just Bitcoin that will suffer and, if the reports are correct of the South Koreans driving up Ripple trading volumes, things could get messy very quickly.

Whatever happens in the short-term, it appears that Ripple has a real chance to be a long-term solution for global payments.  In a recent statement, the Ripple team noted that using Ripple is faster, cheaper and more efficient than using Bitcoin…

In a year punctuated by the dramatic rise of digital assets, XRP has out performed the entire sector and looks likely to end the year up more than 45,000%. XRP’s performance is driven by a keen focus on solving a real global payments problem for real customers – and at fractions of a penny and about 3 seconds per transaction – it is cheaper, faster and more efficient than BTC or ETH. As others have pointed out, Bitcoin isn’t going to solve a payments problem when a transaction costs $40 and takes hours to complete.

The market seems to increasingly understand that there’s real utility for XRP in solving a massive cross-border payments and liquidity problem that is measured in the trillions of dollars.

It is that sort of utility that could make Ripple a long-term success.

But of course new competitors are coming online with each passing day.  The “Facebook of cryptocurrencies” may not have even been invented yet, and this industry is evolving at an absolutely breathtaking pace.

So Ripple may be the hottest cryptocurrency for the moment, but that could change completely by next week.

Nobody knows exactly what is going to happen next, and that is what makes the cryptocurrency market so exciting.  Fortunes will be won and lost in the blink of an eye, and there will be some very big winners and some very big losers.

Michael Snyder is a pro-Trump candidate for Congress in Idaho’s First Congressional District, and you can learn how you can get involved in the campaign on his official website. His new book entitled “Living A Life That Really Matters” is available in paperback and for the Kindle on Amazon.com.

44 Numbers From 2017 That Are Almost Too Crazy To Believe

2017 went by way too quickly.  Donald Trump’s first year in the White House shook up the entire planet, and nobody is quite sure what is going to happen next.  Personally, as 2017 began I was still having a hard time actually believing that Trump was going to be our president.  Once he was finally inaugurated on January 20th I was able to relax a little bit, but at that point I had no idea that I would soon be running for Congress here in Idaho as a pro-Trump candidate.  As 2018 begins, I think that it would be good to look back and remember some of the most important things that happened over the past 12 months.  The following are 44 numbers from 2017 that are almost too crazy to believe…

#1 During Donald Trump’s first year, ISIS lost 98 percent of the territory that it gained while Barack Obama was in the White House.

#2 The price of Bitcoin rose more than 1,300% during 2017.

#3 According to the Washington Post, one out of every ten young adults in the United States has been homeless at some point over the past year.

#4 The United States has lost more than 70,000 manufacturing facilities since China joined the WTO in 2001.

#5 On Donald Trump’s first full day in office he was 70 years, 7 months and 7 days old, and it happened in year 5777 on the Hebrew calendar.

#6 The all-time record for the number of retail store closings in the U.S. was absolutely shattered in 2017.  According to the latest figures, a total of 6,985 store locations were shut down last year, and we are expected to break the record again in 2018.

#7 Incredibly, the number of retail store closings in 2017 was up 229 percent compared with 2016.

#8 When Ronald Reagan entered the White House, the federal government was about one trillion dollars in debt.  Now we are 20 trillion dollars in debt with no end in sight.

#9 Prominent names in the financial world such as John McAfee and James Altucher are predicting that the price of Bitcoin will eventually reach one million dollars.

#10 According to the most recent numbers that we have, 41 million Americans are currently living in poverty.

#11 A recent CNN poll found that only 37 percent of Americans have a favorable view of the Democratic Party.

#12 Ever since the beginning of April, Congress has had an average approval rating of less than 20 percent.

#13 The Dow Jones Industrial Average was up more than 5,000 points in 2017, and that absolutely shattered the previous record of 3,472 points in 2013.

#14 At one point in 2017, the total market cap for all cryptocurrencies combined (Bitcoin, Ethereum, Ripple, Litecoin, etc.) surpassed the half a trillion dollar mark.

#15 Wildfires burned an astounding 9,791,062 acres over the past year.

#16 It is being reported that less than 50 percent of all third, fourth and fifth grade students in the state of California meet minimum standards for literacy.

#17 At one very poorly performing elementary school in California, 96 percent of the students are not proficient in either English or math.

#18 Back in 1960, an average of $146 was spent on healthcare per person for the entire year, but today that number has skyrocketed to $9,990.

#19 Thanks to Obamacare, an appendectomy is ten times more expensive in the United States than it is in Mexico.

#20 Thanks to Obamacare, a family of four in Virginia is now facing the prospect of paying $3,000 a month for health insurance.

#21 It is being projected that the average rate increase for Obamacare plans will be 37 percent in 2018.

#22 In 2017, we found out that 264 cases of sexual harassment involving members of Congress have been settled for a grand total of $17,250,854 since the start of 1997.

#23 Economic growth is starting to pick up under President Trump, but the U.S. economy only grew at an average rate of just 1.33 percent over the 10 years prior to 2017.

#24 It is being reported that homelessness has become so pervasive in ultra-liberal Seattle that “400 unauthorized tent camps” have popped up around the city.

#25 One survey that was conducted in 2017 discovered that 78 percent of all full-time workers in the United States live paycheck to paycheck at least part of the time.

#26 According to the Federal Reserve, the average U.S. household is now $137,063 in debt, and that figure is more than double the median household income.

#27 A staggering 59.8 percent of younger Millennials (18 to 25) are now living with relatives, and overall an all-time record 38.4 percent of all Millennials are currently living with family.

#28 Boston University professor Larry Kotlikoff says that the federal government is facing a fiscal gap of 210 trillion dollars over the next 75 years.

#29 According the National Center For Health Statistics, nearly 40 percent of all U.S. adults are now officially obese. That is an all-time record.

#30 Our obesity epidemic is now costing us 190 billion dollars a year.

#31 Bill Gates, Jeff Bezos of Amazon.com, and Warren Buffett now have more money than the poorest 50 percent of the U.S. population combined.

#32 At this point, 20 percent of all U.S. households have “either zero or negative wealth”.

#33 U.S. stocks have have increased in value by more than 5 trillion dollars since Donald Trump was elected.

#34 For the season, NFL television ratings were down about 9 percent, and many believe that the anthem protests were the primary cause for the ratings decline.

#35 One very disturbing survey found that less than one out of every four Republican members of Congress support building Trump’s border wall.  This is just one reason why we need to vote out the RINOs and replace them with pro-Trump candidates that will support President Trump’s agenda.

#36 Another survey discovered that 50 percent of all Americans favor a pre-emptive strike on North Korea even though many of them cannot even find North Korea on a map of the world.

#37 Last year criminals were able to hack into Equifax and make off with the credit information of 143 million Americans.

#38 Venezuela, the 11th largest oil producing country in the entire world, decided to stop using the petrodollar in 2017.  This was one of the biggest news stories of the entire year, and yet the mainstream media in the U.S. didn’t want to talk about it.

#39 It has been reported that only 25 percent of all Americans have more than $10,000 in savings right now.

#40 A study conducted by the Federal Reserve found that 44 percent of all U.S. adults do not even have enough money “to cover an unexpected $400 expense”.

#41 In the early 1970s, 70 percent of all men in the United States from the age of 20 to the age of 39 were married, but today that number has fallen to just 35 percent. Instead of getting married and starting families, a lot of our young men are still living at home with their parents. Today, 35 percent of all young men from the age of 21 to the age of 30 “are living at home with their parents or a close relative”.

#42 In 2017, the federal government spent more than 4 trillion dollars for the first time ever.

#43 Our government continues to waste money in some of the most insane ways imaginable. For example, in 2017 we learned that the U.S. military actually spends 42 million dollars a year on Viagra.

#44 One survey discovered that 40 percent of all Americans now “prefer socialism to capitalism”, and so we have much work to do if we intend to have any chance of turning this country around.

Michael Snyder is a pro-Trump candidate for Congress in Idaho’s First Congressional District, and you can learn how you can get involved in the campaign on his official website. His new book entitled “Living A Life That Really Matters” is available in paperback and for the Kindle on Amazon.com.