The Beginning Of The End
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Obama And Romney Both Favor A One World Economic System That Kills American Jobs

Either way this election turns out, American jobs are going to continue to get slaughtered by the millions.  During this campaign, Mitt Romney and Barack Obama have both attempted to portray each other as the “outsourcer in chief“.  Unfortunately, they are both right.  Barack Obama and Mitt Romney have both participated in the outsourcing of American jobs, and both are openly admitting to the American people that they favor the emerging one world economic system which will continue to destroy millions of American jobs.  In fact, they argue with each other about which of them will be more aggressive in pursuing more “free trade” agreements over the next four years.  Unfortunately, the “free trade” agreements that the U.S. government enters into are never “fair trade” agreements.  As a result, over the past decade we have lost tens of thousands of businesses, millions of jobs and trillions of dollars of national wealth.  This year alone, we will buy about half a trillion dollars more stuff from the rest of the world than they will buy from us.  This trade deficit will be about 7 times larger than the trade deficit of any other nation on earth.  Our economy will continue to bleed jobs at a horrifying pace, but Obama and Romney insist that the answer to our problems is even more “free trade”.  What makes all of this even more dreadful is that most Americans continue to fall for this nonsense.

It doesn’t take a genius to figure out that merging our labor pool with the labor pools of nations where it is legal to pay slave labor wages was going to kill American jobs and drive down wages for the jobs that remain in the United States.

Why should some giant predator corporation pay you 15 dollars an hour plus benefits when they can pay a worker on the other side of the planet a dollar an hour with no benefits to do the same job?

During the second presidential debate, when Obama was asked why high tech products such as the iPhone could not be made here in the United States, Obama openly admitted that there are some jobs that aren’t ever going to come back.

But why does that have to be so?

Why can’t those jobs come back to America?

It seems to me that if you cracked down on nations that are cheating such as China, imposed a system of common sense tariffs and cut the corporate tax rate to a level more consistent with the rest of the world that you could get a lot of those jobs flooding back in by the end of next year.

But Obama is so blinded by his faith in the emerging one world economy that such measures are unimaginable to him.

In recent years, the Obama administration has entered into new “free trade” agreements with Panama, South Korea and Colombia.  In addition, the Obama administration is making the Trans-Pacific Partnership (“the NAFTA of the Pacific“) a very high priority.

Considering what a nightmare the first NAFTA was, do we really need another one?

The Trans-Pacific Partnership is a treaty that would essentially ban all “Buy American” laws.  It is being touted as one of the most comprehensive “free trade” agreements in history, and it would open up the door for millions more good jobs to be shipped out of the country.

The workers of America simply cannot afford another four years of Barack Obama.

In fact, the Obama administration has actually spent billions of taxpayer dollars to create jobs in other countries.  The following is from a pro-Republican website

Over his four years in office, Obama promised that he would focus on creating “jobs that pay well and can’t be outsourced.” However, as he racked up trillions in new debt, billions of dollars did go to create jobs that were outsourced or spent overseas. Whether it is electric cars made in Finland or solar panels in Mexico, taxpayers would be astonished to learn that their hard earned money went abroad for jobs that weren’t created in the United States.

You can get all the details right here.  Needless to say, the Obama administration has been an absolute disaster on these issues.

So would Romney be an improvement when it comes to trade?

That is very doubtful.

The truth is that Mitt Romney was involved in outsourcing jobs while he was at Bain Capital.  The following is from a recent article posted on Forbes.com

David Corn of Mother Jones reports that “according to government documents . . . Romney, when he was in charge of Bain [Capital], invested heavily in a Chinese manufacturing company that depended on US outsourcing for its profits—and that explicitly stated that such outsourcing was crucial to its success.”

This didn’t happen after 1999, when Mitt Romney says he left Bain Capital to run the Salt Lake City Olympics (Corn was one of the first reporters to raise questions, now gaining wide exposure, of whether Romney really left Bain then), but the year before. On April 17, 1998, Brookside Capital Partners Fund, a Bain Capital affiliate of which Romney was the sole shareholder, sole director, president, and chief executive, invested an estimated $14.2 million in Global-Tech, an appliance maker in Dongguan, China. Global-Tech made products for American companies like Sunbeam, Hamilton Beach, Mr. Coffee, and Proctor-Silex. In September 1998 Global-Tech’s CEO announced that the company was postponing a factory expansion because Sunbeam was slowing its rate of outsourcing, and said, “Although it appears that customers such as Sunbeam are not outsourcing their manufacturing as quickly as we had anticipated, we still believe that the long-term trend toward outsourcing will continue.”

Since Romney left, Bain Capital has become even more aggressive with outsourcing jobs.  In fact, Bain Capital has been forcing American workers to train their Chinese replacements even in the midst of this campaign.  Aren’t they concerned that they are making their former boss look bad?  The following is from an article written by an American worker that is having his job shipped to China by Bain Capital…

On Monday, November 5th Bain Capital is outsourcing my job to China. On Tuesday, November 6th I’m casting my vote against Mitt Romney.

Yes, I blame Mitt Romney for the loss of my job. Here’s why.

I’ve worked at the same factory in Freeport, Ill. for thirty-three years, making sensors and controls for the auto industry. It’s tough work, but it pays a living wage with health benefits that folks can count on, and it fuels our town’s economy and tax base.

That’s been changing since Bain Capital came to town. Two years ago, our factory was sold to Sensata Technologies, a company created by Bain Capital, and they told us that by December 2012, all 170 of our jobs would be shipped to China. They even made us train our Chinese replacements.

Layoff notices have been sent out, and some folks have already been laid off. Where there was once lots of people and energy and life, now there’s only the discoloration on the floor where the machinery used to be. It’s depressing. They’re not just dismantling the equipment and the plant; they’re dismantling our community.

All of this outsourcing is killing America.

Back in 1950, the population of this country was less than half of what it is now, and yet there were more Americans working in manufacturing back in 1950 than there are today.

The decline in manufacturing jobs in the United States has been really dramatic since the year 2000.

In 2000, there were more than 17 million Americans working in manufacturing, but now there are less than 12 million

I think that it is interesting to note that China joined the WTO in 2001.  Since that time we have been losing jobs to them at an astounding pace.  According to a new report by the Economic Policy Institute, U.S. trade with China “cost more than 2.7 million jobs between 2001 and 2011″.

The Chinese slap huge tariffs on many of our goods, they manipulate currency rates to make sure that U.S. companies cannot compete, they steal our intellectual property and they deeply subsidize their own businesses.

And yet Obama and Romney insist that this is “free trade”.

What a joke.

And our tax structure is absolutely killing us as well.  The following is from a recent article by Ernest F. Hollings

A U.S. manufacturer exporting to China pays the 35% Corporate Tax and a 17% VAT when its exports reach Shanghai.  A China manufacturer exports tax free to the U.S.

Are you starting to get the picture?

Our trade policy is a complete and total disaster, and yet Obama and Romney continue to insist that we just need to become even more integrated with the emerging one world economic system.

Well, in a previous article I listed 22 statistics which prove that the current path that we are on has been absolutely disastrous for American workers…

#1 One professor has estimated that cutting the U.S. trade deficit in half would create 5 million more jobs in the United States.

#2 The United States has a trade imbalance that is more than 7 times larger than any other nation on earth has.

#3 Overall, the United States has run a trade deficit of more than 8 trillion dollars with the rest of the globe since 1975.  That 8 trillion dollars could have gone to support U.S. businesses and pay the wages of U.S. workers.  Federal, state and local taxes would have been paid on that 8 trillion dollars if it had stayed in the United States.

#4 When NAFTA was passed in 1993, the United States had a trade surplus with Mexico of 1.6 billion dollars.  In 2010, we had a trade deficit with Mexico of 61.6 billion dollars.

#5 In 2001, American consumers spent 102 billion dollars on products made in China.  In 2011, American consumers spent 399 billion dollars on products made in China.

#6 The Chinese undervalue their currency by about 40 percent in order to gain a critical advantage over foreign competitors.  This means that many Chinese companies are able to absolutely thrive while their competition in the United States goes out of business.  The following is from a recent Fox News article….

To keep Chinese products artificially inexpensive on US store shelves, Beijing undervalues the yuan by 40 percent. It pirates US technology, subsidizes exports and imposes high tariffs on imports.

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

#8 The U.S. trade deficit with China during 2011 was 295.4 billion dollars.  That was the largest trade deficit that one nation has had with another nation in the history of the world.

#9 Back in 1985, our trade deficit with China was only about 6 million dollars (million with an “m”) for the entire year.

#10 U.S. consumers spend about 4 dollars on goods and services from China for every one dollar that Chinese consumers spend on goods and services from the United States.

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

#12 According to the Economic Policy Institute, America is losing about half a million jobs to China every single year.

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

#14 During 2010 alone, an average of 23 manufacturing facilities closed their doors in America every single day.

#15 Since the auto industry bailout, approximately 70 percent of all GM vehicles have been built outside the United States.

#16 As I have written about previously, 95 percent of the jobs lost during the last recession were middle class jobs.

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

#18 The percentage of working age Americans that are employed right now is actually smaller than it was at the end of the last recession.

#19 The average duration of unemployment in the United States is nearly three times as long as it was back in the year 2000.

#20 Due in part to the globalization of the labor pool, only about 24 percent of all jobs in the United States are “good jobs” at this point.

#21 Without enough good jobs, more Americans than ever before are falling into poverty.  Today, more than 100 million Americans are on welfare.

#22 In recent years the U.S. economy has embraced “free trade” and the emerging one world economy like never before.  Instead of increasing the number of jobs in our economy, it has resulted in the worst stretch of job creation in the United States in modern history….

If any single number captures the state of the American economy over the last decade, it is zero. That was the net gain in jobs between 1999 and 2009—nada, nil, zip. By painful contrast, from the 1940s through the 1990s, recessions came and went, but no decade ended without at least a 20 percent increase in the number of jobs.

At this point, more than 41 percent of all working age Americans do not have a job, and the vast majority of the new jobs that are being created are low paying jobs.

Median household income has fallen for four years in a row.  In fact, median household income is down by more than $4000 since Barack Obama entered the White House.

One recent survey found that about 40 percent of all Americans have $500 or less in savings.  We are a country that is full of broke people.

What we need are more good jobs.  But Obama and Romney are both determined to keep shipping good jobs out of the country.

The path that we are on will only lead to disaster.  Please wake up America.

16 Critical Economic Issues That Obama And Romney Avoided During The Debate

Did you watch the presidential debate on Wednesday night?  It is absolutely amazing how they can have an hour and a half debate about the economy and say so little.  It seemed like both candidates were falling all over each other wanting to talk about how much they value education, but will more education really solve our problems?  After all, 53 percent of all Americans with a bachelor’s degree under the age of 25 were either unemployed or underemployed in 2011.  So perhaps they should just both agree that education is a good thing and start talking about how to create more jobs for all of us.  If you want to grade the debate from a technical standpoint, clearly Romney was the winner of the debate.  Romney was full of energy and was generally sharp with his answers.  Obama looked like he had just popped a couple of antidepressants and was ready for nap time.  As a result, this might have been the worst blowout in the history of presidential debates.  A CNN/ORC International poll that was taken right after the debate found that 67 percent of all Americans that had watched the debate thought that Romney was the winner.  Never before had any presidential candidate crossed the 60 percent mark in the history of their post-debate polling.  So Romney definitely had a big night.  But the reality is that both candidates were telling the American people what they want to hear.  If either Obama or Romney told the truth about what we are facing they would lose votes, and in a race this tight both of them really want to avoid doing that.  Obama and Romney both desperately want to win this election, and the words that are coming out of their mouths have been carefully crafted to appeal to the “undecided voters” in the swing states.  If you actually believe that they can deliver on everything that they are promising, then you must not have been paying much attention to U.S. politics over the past several decades.

Perhaps the biggest failure on Wednesday night was debate moderator Jim Lehrer of PBS.  His questions were about as far from “hard hitting” as you could get.

The hour and a half debate was almost entirely about the economy, and yet almost all of the critical economic issues were ignored.

Yes, Obama and Romney have slight differences when it comes to tax rates and regulations, but those small differences are not going to do much to change the direction of this country one way or another.

Meanwhile, there were some really huge issues about the economy that were not addressed at all last night….

1 – In an hour and a half debate about the economy, the Federal Reserve was not mentioned a single time.

2 – In an hour and a half debate about the economy, Ben Bernanke was not mentioned a single time.

3 – In an hour and a half debate about the economy, quantitative easing was not mentioned a single time.

4 – In an hour and a half debate about the economy, the term “derivatives” was not used a single time.  Considering the fact that derivatives could bring down our financial system at any moment, this is an issue that should be talked about.

5 – In an hour and a half debate about the economy, there was no mention of the millions of jobs that have been shipped out of the country.  Considering the fact that both Obama and Romney have played a role in this, it is probably a topic they both want to avoid.  Overall, the United States has lost more than 56,000 manufacturing facilities since 2001.

6 – In an hour and a half debate about the economy, neither candidate mentioned that the velocity of money has plunged to a post-World War II low.

7 – In an hour and a half debate about the economy, the fact that the rest of the world is beginning to reject the U.S. dollar as a reserve currency was not mentioned a single time, but this has enormous implications for our economy in the years ahead.

8 – The fact that the Social Security system is headed for massive trouble was only briefly touched on during the debate.  At the moment, there are approximately 56 million Americans that are collecting Social Security benefits.  By 2035, that number is projected to grow to an astounding 91 million.  Overall, the Social Security system is facing a 134 trillion dollar shortfall over the next 75 years.  When are our politicians going to honestly address this massive problem?

9 – In an hour and a half debate about the economy, the nightmarish drought the country is experiencing right now was not mentioned a single time.

10 – In an hour and a half debate about the economy, the financial meltdown in Europe was basically totally ignored.  But considering the fact that Europe has a larger economy and a much larger banking system than we do, perhaps someone should have asked Obama and Romney what they plan to do when the financial system of Europe implodes.

11 – In an hour and a half debate about the economy, the student loan debt bubble was only briefly mentioned.

12 – In an hour and a half debate about the economy, there was not a single word about the fact that the gap between the wealthy and the poor is now larger than it has been at any point since the Great Depression.

13 – In an hour and a half debate about the economy, there was no mention of TARP (which they both supported at the time).  Would they both bail out the big banks if another financial crisis erupted?

14 – In an hour and a half debate about the economy, there was no mention of the economic stimulus packages (which they both supported at the time).  Would they both want more “economic stimulus” if we entered another recession?

15 – In an hour and a half debate about the economy, neither candidate talked about the fact that most of the jobs our economy is producing now are low income jobs.  In fact, since the end of the last recession, 58 percent of the jobs that have been created are low paying jobs.

16 – In an hour and a half debate about the economy, neither candidate mentioned that more than 100 million Americans are enrolled in at least one welfare program run by the federal government or that more than half of all Americans are now at least partially financially dependent on the government.  I can’t blame Romney for avoiding this point though – he probably wanted to avoid the phrase “47 percent” at all costs.

Is this really the best that America can do?

Tens of millions of Americans tuned in hoping to become more informed about the candidates, and instead what they got was an hour and a half of tap dancing as Obama and Romney constantly tossed out buzzwords such as “education”, “energy independent” and “middle class”.

I honestly don’t know how you can possibly have a debate about the economy without talking about the Federal Reserve, quantitative easing, the trade deficit, Europe or the decline of the U.S. dollar.

But it just happened right in front of our eyes.

I don’t think that I can ever remember another presidential debate that lacked substance as much as this one did.

So what did you all think about the debate?  Please feel free to post a comment with your thoughts below….

Are You Better Off? 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….

The Global Elite Are Hiding 18 Trillion Dollars In Offshore Banks

In recent days, the fact that Mitt Romney has millions of dollars parked down in the Cayman Islands has made headlines all over the world.  But when it comes to offshore banking, what Mitt Romney is doing is small potatoes.  The truth is that the global elite are hiding an almost unbelievable amount of money in offshore banks.  According to shocking research done by the IMF, the global elite are holding a total of 18 trillion dollars in offshore banks.  And that figure does not even count any money being held in Switzerland.  That is a staggering amount of money.  Keep in mind that U.S. GDP in 2010 was only 14.58 trillion dollars.  So why do the global elite go to such trouble to hide their money in offshore banks?  Well, there are two main reasons.  One is privacy and the other is low taxation.  Privacy is a big issue for those that are involved in illegal enterprises such as drug running, but the biggest reason why people move money into offshore banks is in order to avoid taxes.  Some set up bank accounts in foreign nations because they want to legally minimize their taxes and others set up bank accounts in foreign nations because they want to illegally avoid taxes.  You would be absolutely amazed at what some large corporations and wealthy individuals do to get out of paying taxes.  Unfortunately, the vast majority of the rest of us don’t have the resources or the knowledge to play these games, so we get taxed into oblivion.

So why do they call it “offshore banking”?

Well, the term originally developed because the banks on the Channel Islands were “offshore” from the United Kingdom.  Most “offshore banks” are still located on islands today.  The Cayman Islands, Bermuda, the Bahamas, and the Isle of Man are examples of this.  Other “offshore banking centers” such as Monaco are actually not “offshore” at all, but the term applies to them anyway.

Traditionally, these offshore banking centers have been very attractive to both criminals and to the global elite because they would not tell anyone (including governments) about the money that anyone had parked there.

These days some governments (particularly the U.S. government) are trying to change this, but we certainly will not see the end of offshore banking any time soon.

The amount of money that goes through these offshore banks is absolutely astounding.

It has been estimated that 80 percent of all international banking transactions take place through these offshore banks.  $1.4 trillion is being held in offshore banks in the Cayman Islands alone.

One article in the Guardian estimated that a third of all the wealth on the entire globe is being held in offshore banks, and others believe that as much as half of all the capital in the world flows through offshore banks at some point.

Obviously, all of this tax avoidance means that governments around the world are missing out on a whole lot of money.

It has been estimated that the U.S. government is missing out on $100 billion a year because of these offshore banks.  Others would put that figure significantly higher.

Avoiding taxes is a game that the global elite have mastered.  They are playing a whole different ballgame than you and I are.  They don’t just sit there like idiots and get blasted with taxes.  Instead, they hire the best experts and they employ every trick in the book to hold on to as much money as they possibly can.

These days, taking advantage of offshore tax havens is not that complicated to do.  The following is from a recent Politico article….

A plausible scenario plays out like this: I hire an accountant. Doing her job, my accountant tells me that if I sign a few legal documents and route my money through a small Caribbean island, I could keep more of my paycheck and pay a lower tax rate. I may have earned my money in the United States, but legally I can claim that it was, in fact, earned in a tax haven.

If it is legal, perhaps more of us should look into this.

After all, if playing these kinds of games is good enough for Mitt Romney, then why isn’t it good enough for all the rest of us?

During a campaign stop recently, Romney said the following….

“I can tell you we follow the tax laws”

I certainly believe him when he says that.  But it is what he said next that is troubling….

“And if there’s an opportunity to save taxes, we like anybody else in this country will follow that opportunity.”

I certainly believe him when he says that too.

ABC News recently revealed that Bain Capital has established an astounding 138 different offshore funds in the Cayman Islands.

Something has got to work pretty well to want to do it 138 times.

But Bain Capital was also very busy over in other offshore banking centers as well.

One of the largest shell companies that Bain set up down in the Caribbean was called Sankaty High Yield Asset Investors Ltd.  It did not have an office in Bermuda and it had no staff in Bermuda.  But it helped clients of Bain Capital avoid a whole lot of taxes.

The following comes from a 2007 Los Angeles Times article….

In Bermuda, Romney served as president and sole shareholder for four years of Sankaty High Yield Asset Investors Ltd. It funneled money into Bain Capital’s Sankaty family of hedge funds, which invest in bonds and other debt issued by corporations, as well as bank loans.

Like thousands of similar financial entities, Sankaty maintains no office or staff in Bermuda. Its only presence consists of a nameplate at a lawyer’s office in downtown Hamilton, capital of the British island territory.

“It’s just a mail drop, essentially,” said Marc B. Wolpow, who worked with Romney for nine years at Bain Capital and who set up Sankaty Ltd. in October 1997 without ever visiting Bermuda. “There’s no one doing any work down there other than lawyers.”

The amount of money being funneled through Sankaty today is absolutely stunning….

Today, Bain Capital manages $60 billion in assets, according to a spokesman. The total includes $23 billion in Sankaty debt and credit funds. Half a dozen Sankaty affiliates now are active in Bermuda, corporate registry records show.

The Sankaty debt hedge funds are organized as partnerships in Delaware that produce taxable business income by investing in fixed-income bonds and other debt instruments. Under tax law, even tax-exempt U.S. institutions may face a 35% tax if they invest directly in such hedge funds. By investing instead through a Bermuda corporation, the taxes are legally blocked, experts say.

Of course all of this is perfectly legal.

So nobody gets into trouble for any of this.

By keeping money offshore, even those managing these kinds of funds can avoid being taxed.

Victor Fleischer, a tax professor at the University of Colorado Law School, recently explained how this works….

“The idea behind some of the Cayman Island strategies was that the income that the fund managers receive for managing the money would be kept offshore in the Cayman Island — and the chief benefit is that you can defer when you recognize that income until a later date and you can reinvest the money from the Cayman islands and none of those reinvested funds get taxed until you bring them back either”

So was Romney doing this?

We may never know unless he shows us his tax returns.

What we do know is that Romney has millions of dollars of his own personal wealth invested in offshore tax havens.

The following comes from ABC News….

In addition to paying the lower tax rate on his investment income, Romney has as much as $8 million invested in at least 12 funds listed on a Cayman Islands registry. Another investment, which Romney reports as being worth between $5 million and $25 million, shows up on securities records as having been domiciled in the Caymans.

But Romney does not just have money invested down in the Cayman Islands.  Apparently his money is invested in a whole host of offshore tax havens.

The following quote comes from a Reuters article….

Bain funds in which Romney is invested are scattered from Delaware to the Cayman Islands and Bermuda, Ireland and Hong Kong, according to a Reuters analysis of securities filings.

So is there anything wrong with this?

Well, it depends on how you define “wrong”.

What Romney is doing is perfectly legal.

But it also stinks.  Washington lawyer Jack Blum recently told ABC News the following about Romney’s finances….

“His personal finances are a poster child of what’s wrong with the American tax system”

So now we may have a few hints as to why Romney may not want to release his old tax returns.

But as noted above, what Romney is doing is just small potatoes compared to what the ultra-wealthy do.

The U.S. Congress has been trying to clamp down on offshore banking, but the ultra-wealthy are always two or three steps ahead of them.

The ultra-wealthy will go to just about any extreme in order to avoid paying taxes.

In fact, the Washington Post has reported that an increasing number of wealthy individuals are actually deciding to renounce their citizenship rather than face the wrath of the IRS.

The ultra-wealthy aren’t really concerned that much with national citizenship anyway.  If they want to influence an election, they can have far more influence by donating a few million bucks to a “Super PAC” than they can by casting the few votes that they have.

In a previous article, I described how the ultra-wealthy use offshore banks as a “shadow banking system” that plays by rules that most people don’t even know exist….

It is a shadow banking system that most Americans don’t know anything about. Most Americans don’t have the resources to be able to set up shell companies in half a dozen different countries so that they can “filter” their profits.  Most Americans don’t know a thing about complicated tax avoidance plans that tax lawyers use such as the “Double Irish” and the “Dutch Sandwich”.  Most Americans would have no idea how to eventually have most of the money that they make end up in Bermuda so that it can avoid taxes.

Most among the global elite simply do not care that U.S. debt is climbing into the stratosphere.  All they care about is keeping as much of their own money in their pockets as they possibly can.

Of course there are always exceptions to this rule.  Warren Buffett recently wrote a check to the U.S. Treasury for a little more than $49,000 to help pay off the national debt.

But considering the fact that the U.S. national debt is increasing by more than 100 million dollars an hour, that didn’t exactly do much to help.

Our system is deeply broken and the global elite are getting away with bloody murder.  Over the decades, they have carefully crafted the rules so that as much wealth as possible is funneled into their pockets, and they have carefully crafted the rules so that as much wealth as possible stays in their pockets.

Of course if we got rid of the personal income tax and the corporate income tax entirely and replaced them with a completely new system we could get rid of all of this game playing once and for all.

But what do you think the odds are of that happening?

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