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Median Household Income Has Fallen For FIVE YEARS IN A ROW

Five - Photo by woodley wonderworksIf the economy is getting better, then why do incomes keep falling?  According to a shocking new report that was just released by the U.S. Census Bureau, median household income (adjusted for inflation) has declined for five years in a row.  This has happened even though the federal government has been borrowing and spending money at an unprecedented rate and the Federal Reserve has been on the most reckless money printing spree in U.S. history.  Despite all of the “emergency measures” that have been taken to “stimulate the economy”, things just continue to get worse for average American families.  Americans are working harder than ever, but their paychecks are not reflecting that.  Meanwhile, the cost of everything just keeps going up.  The Federal Reserve insists that inflation is “low”, but anyone that goes grocery shopping or that stops at a gas station knows that is a lie.  In fact, if inflation was calculated the exact same way that it was calculated back in 1980, the inflation rate would be somewhere between 8 and 10 percent right now.  Paychecks are being stretched more than ever before, and that is probably the reason why about three-fourths of the entire country is living paycheck to paycheck at this point.

According to the Census report, the high point for median household income in the United States was back in 1999 ($56,080).  It almost got back to that level in 2007 ($55,627), but ever since then there has been a steady decline.  The following figures come directly from the report, and as you can see, median household income has fallen every single year for the past five years…

2007: $55,627

2008: $53,644

2009: $53,285

2010: $51,892

2011: $51,100

2012: $51,017

How far does that number have to go down before we admit that we have a major problem on our hands?

The new Census report also revealed that 46.5 million Americans are living in poverty.  As CNSNews.com noted, this is far higher than when Barack Obama first entered the White House…

During the four years that marked President Barack Obama’s first term in office, the real median income of American households dropped by $2,627 and the number of people on poverty increased by approximately 6,667,000, according to data released today by the Census Bureau.

So why does Obama continue to insist that things are getting better?

Right now, one out of every five households in the United States is on food stamps.

One out of every five.

How bad does it have to get before we acknowledge that what we are doing economically is not working.

Will half of us eventually end up on food stamps?

In addition, the new Census report also says that 48 million Americans are currently without any kind of health insurance whatsoever.

The biggest culprit for this is the stunning decline of employment-based health insurance.  Back in 1999, 64.1 percent of all Americans were covered by employment-based health insurance.  Today, only 54.9 percent are covered by employment-based health insurance.

And of course as I noted yesterday, even more companies are going to be dumping health insurance plans because of Obamacare.

All in all, what we have been witnessing over the past decade and a half is the systematic evisceration of the middle class.

After accounting for inflation, right now 40 percent of all U.S. workers are making less than what a full-time minimum wage worker made back in 1968.

Over the years, our incomes have certainly gone up, but inflation has increased even faster.

Back when I was growing up, $50,000 a year sounded like a whole lot of money.  I thought that anyone should be able to live a very comfortable lifestyle on that amount of money.

Unfortunately, $50,000 a year doesn’t go nearly as far as it once did.

If you take the current median household income ($51,017) and divide it up by 12 months, it comes to just a little bit more than $4000 a month.

And as I noted last year, it is not easy for the average American family to do everything that it needs to do on $4000 a month…

So can an average family of four people make it on just $4000 a month?

Well, first of all you have got to take out taxes.  After accounting for all forms of taxation you will be lucky if you have $3000 remaining.

With that $3000, you have to pay for all of the following…

*Housing

*Power

*Water

*Food

*Phone

*Internet

*At Least One Vehicle

*Gasoline

*Vehicle Repairs

*Car Insurance

*Health Insurance

*Dental Bills

*Home Or Rental Insurance

*Life Insurance

*Student Loan Debt Payments

*Credit Card Payments

*Furniture

*Clothing

*Pets

*Entertainment (although it is hard to imagine any money will be left for that)

Have I left anything out?

The truth is that $3000 does not go as far as it used to.

No wonder American families are feeling so stretched financially these days.

The new Census report also noted that the gap between the wealthiest Americans and the rest of us continues to grow.  There is certainly nothing wrong with making money, but if the economy was working properly all Americans should be able to have the opportunity to better themselves.

According to CNBC, the 400 wealthiest Americans now have more money than the poorest 50 percent of all Americans combined.

So why is this happening?  Well, certainly there are a lot of reasons, but in recent years quantitative easing has definitely played a role.  As I noted in my recent article about the Federal Reserve, quantitative easing has been incredibly good for those with stocks and other forms of financial investments.  All of that liquidity has juiced the financial markets, and the extremely wealthy have been loving it.

Meanwhile, things just continue to get even tougher for most of the rest of the American people, and the frightening thing is that the next major wave of the economic collapse has not even hit us yet.

How bad will things be for average American families once that happens?

And there are certainly lots of troubling signs as we get ready to head into the fall season…

-Total mortgage activity has dropped to the lowest level that we have seen since October 2008.

-One of the largest furniture manufacturers in America was just forced into bankruptcy.

-According to the Wall Street Journal, the 2013 holiday shopping season is already being projected to be the worst that we have seen since 2009.

Hopefully the slow and steady economic decline that we have been experiencing will not accelerate into a full-blown avalanche any time soon.

But I would definitely get prepared just in case.

The Audit The Fed Bill Gets Passed By The House But Obama And The Democrats Are Going To Kill It

On Wednesday, Ron Paul’s bill to audit the Federal Reserve was overwhelmingly passed by the U.S. House of Representatives.  The vote was 327 to 98.  You would think that a bill with such overwhelming support would easily become law.  But it won’t, because Barack Obama and the Democrats plan to kill it.  Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid has already said that the Senate will not even consider the bill.  But of course if Barack Obama called Harry Reid and told him that he wants this bill to get through the Senate so that he could sign it then Harry Reid would be singing a much different tune.  Sadly, we all know that is not going to happen.  Barack Obama’s good buddy Ben Bernanke called the Audit the Fed bill a “nightmare scenario” last week, and Obama is certainly not going to do anything to upset Bernanke – especially this close to the election.  Obama needs Bernanke to do everything that he possibly can to stimulate the economy so that Obama will look as good as possible in November.  The sad truth is that there is absolutely no chance that the Audit the Fed bill will become law and that is a crying shame.

So why is an audit of the Federal Reserve so important?

Why does Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke consider an audit of the Federal Reserve to be a “nightmare scenario” that must be avoided at all costs?

Well, perhaps it is because there has never been a true comprehensive audit of the Federal Reserve since it was created back in 1913.

The Federal Reserve has more power over the economy than anyone else in the country does, and yet they are virtually unaccountable and the American people have very little idea what has been going on behind closed doors over at the Fed for the past 100 years.

A very limited audit of the Fed that was passed a couple of years ago that examined transactions during the last financial crisis discovered that the Federal Reserve had actually loaned out more than 16 trillion dollars in nearly interest-free money to the “too big to fail” banks between 2007 and 2010.

Keep in mind that U.S. GDP for the entire year of 2011 was only slightly more than 15 trillion dollars.

The Federal Reserve loaned out trillions upon trillions of dollars to their friends and never told the American people about it.

Whoa.

You would think that Congress would be quite eager to see what else has been going on over at the Federal Reserve.

But instead, many Democrats are completely and utterly opposed to auditing the Fed any further.

U.S. Representative Barney Frank (a Democrat) seemed to regard the bill as a joke even after it overwhelmingly passed in the House.  Frank stated that “nobody here thinks this will ever become law“.

According to Politico, there is zero chance that the bill will get through the U.S. Senate….

Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) has said the Senate will not consider the bill, effectively killing its chances of becoming law.

But we all know that if Obama wanted this bill to become law that it would be a done deal.

If Barack Obama came out tomorrow in front of the television cameras and declared his support for this bill it would sail right through the Senate.

Unfortunately, the Obama administration has made it very clear that it considers a comprehensive audit of the Federal Reserve to be a really, really bad idea.

For example, Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner once stated that auditing the Fed is a “line that we don’t want to cross” and that if we did audit the Fed it would be “problematic for the country”.

So what exactly did he mean by that?

That is a very good question.

In any event, people should take this as an opportunity to confront Barack Obama about the Audit the Fed bill wherever he goes.

Perhaps Obama will prove me wrong.

Perhaps Obama will show that he is willing to stand up to the Federal Reserve.

In fact, if Obama gets this bill pushed through Congress and signs it into law, I will not criticize him for an entire month.

But we all know that will never happen.

The Federal Reserve is going to be able to continue to keep their secrets hidden from the American people.

The following is what Ron Paul had to say following the vote on Wednesday….

“I think the whole idea that they can deal in trillions of dollars and know that nobody is allowed to ask them a question is a moral hazard.”

And Ron Paul is right.

If the Federal Reserve can zap trillions of dollars into existence out of thin air and loan that money to their friends at the big banks and to central banks in other countries, then it should not be too much to ask them to be accountable to the American people.

Over the coming months, the American people will heatedly debate whether Barack Obama or Mitt Romney would be better for the U.S. economy.

But the truth is that the Federal Reserve has far more power over the U.S. economy than the president of the United States does.

The Federal Reserve has been called the “fourth branch of government” because of how much power it has.  The Federal Reserve sets our interest rates, it determines the level of our money supply, it regulates and secretly bails out our banks, it determines the “target rates” for unemployment and inflation, and every small move the Fed makes causes global financial markets to swing wildly.

The Federal Reserve does all of this without ever having to be accountable to the American people.  In fact, whenever a bill is introduced that would shed some light on their activities they whine and cry about how important their “independence” is.

In a previous article, I described how preposterous this all is….

For a moment, imagine that there is a privately-owned organization in the United States that can create U.S. dollars out of thin air whenever it wants and can loan that money to whoever it wants to.  Imagine that this organization is able to act with the full power of the U.S. government behind it, but that nobody in the organization is ever elected by the American people, and that for all practical purposes the organization is not accountable to the president or to Congress.  Imagine that the organization is able to make trillions of dollars of secret loans to banks, to foreign governments and even to their close friends without ever having to face a comprehensive audit.  Does that sound preposterous?  Well, such an organization actually exists.

The American people need to stand up and demand an audit of the Federal Reserve.

We deserve to know what is going on over there.

Sadly, the mainstream media makes it sound as if hell has a better chance of freezing over than this bill does of becoming law.  The following is from a USA Today article that was posted on Wednesday….

The bill stands no chance of becoming law because the Democratic-controlled Senate will not take it up. The vote, however, served as a symbolic swan song for Paul, who is not seeking re-election. It is also an indicator of how Paul’s economic views have gone more mainstream, particularly within the Republican Party, in the wake of the 2008 financial crisis that shook Americans’ confidence in Wall Street and the federal government.

Well, let us hope that this kind of a bill keeps getting introduced in Congress.

Perhaps someday we actually will get a real audit of the Federal Reserve.

When that happens, the following is a list of questions that I would like to see asked by those auditing the Fed….

If the Federal Reserve is supposed to prevent shocks to our economy, then why have there been 10 different economic recessions since 1950 and why are we about to enter another one?

Was the Federal Reserve involved in the manipulation of Libor?

What role did the Federal Reserve play in creating the housing bubble that resulted in an unprecedented housing crash?

Why has the value of the U.S. dollar fallen by 83 percent since 1970?

Why is the Federal Reserve paying U.S. banks not to lend money?

Why did Barack Obama nominate Ben Bernanke for a second term as head of the Federal Reserve when Bernanke has a track record of failure that makes the Chicago Cubs look like a roaring success?

Why is the U.S. national debt more than 5000 times larger than it was when the Federal Reserve was created in 1913?

Why were the Federal Reserve and the personal income tax both pushed through Congress in the same year in 1913?

Why does the Federal Reserve argue that it is “not an agency” of the federal government in court?

Why do all 187 nations that belong to the IMF have a central bank?

Do you have any other questions that you would like to have asked during an audit of the Federal Reserve?  Please feel free to post a comment with your thoughts below….

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