15 Signs That The Middle Class In The United States Is Being Systematically Destroyed

If your family is really struggling right now, you are far from alone.  I have been publishing The Economic Collapse Blog for more than eight years, and all throughout that time I have seen the middle class in America get smaller and smaller and smaller.  It is almost as if we are all playing a really bizarre game of musical chairs and every month someone pulls a few more chairs from the game.  Yes, there are some people that have gotten exceedingly wealthy over the past eight years, and most of that wealth is concentrated in places such as New York, Washington D.C. and San Francisco.  But meanwhile, most of the rest of the country has been steadily getting poorer.  Just take a look at Detroit – at one time it had the highest per capita income in the entire nation and now it is a rotting, decaying war zone.  Of course dozens of other formerly great manufacturing cities all over the nation have suffered a similar fate.  Since 2001, we have lost more than 70,000 manufacturing facilities and millions of good paying manufacturing jobs.  Those good paying jobs have been replaced by lower paying “service jobs”, and you can’t support a middle class lifestyle on those types of jobs.

In order to have a thriving middle class, you need middle class jobs, and our country is in desperate need of more of those jobs.  At this point most American families are living on the edge, and more are falling into poverty with each passing month.  The following are 15 signs that the middle class in the United States is being systematically destroyed…

#1 78 million Americans are participating in the “gig economy” because full-time jobs just don’t pay enough to make ends meet these days.

#2 In 2011, the average home price was 3.56 times the average yearly salary in the United States.  But by the time 2017 was finished, the average home price was 4.73 times the average yearly salary in the United States.

#3 In 1980, the average American worker’s debt was 1.96 times larger than his or her monthly salary.  Today, that number has ballooned to 5.00.

#4 In the United States today, 66 percent of all jobs pay less than 20 dollars an hour.

#5 102 million working age Americans do not have a job right now.  That number is higher than it was at any point during the last recession.

#6 Earnings for low-skill jobs have stayed very flat for the last 40 years.

#7 Americans have been spending more money than they make for 28 months in a row.

#8 In the United States today, the average young adult with student loan debt has a negative net worth.

#9 At this point, the average American household is nearly $140,000 in debt.

#10 Poverty rates in U.S. suburbs “have increased by 50 percent since 1990”.

#11 Almost 51 million U.S. households “can’t afford basics like rent and food”.

#12 The bottom 40 percent of all U.S. households bring home just 11.4 percent of all income.

#13 According to the Federal Reserve, 4 out of 10 Americans do not have enough money to cover an unexpected $400 expense without borrowing the money or selling something they own.

#14 22 percent of all Americans cannot pay all of their bills in a typical month.

#15 Today, U.S. households are collectively 13.15 trillion dollars in debt.  That is a new all-time record.

When you think of “poverty in America”, you probably think of our blighted inner cities, but that is not where poverty is growing the fastest.

According to author Scott Allard, it is actually our suburbs where poverty is growing more rapidly than anywhere else…

According to a May report from the Pew Research Center, since 2000, suburban counties have experienced sharper increases in poverty than urban or rural counties.

This is consistent with research across the U.S. over the past decade – as well as my own book, “Places in Need.”

This is why tens of millions of square feet of retail space is being closed down and why formerly great shopping malls all over America now resemble ghost towns.

When I was growing up, the shopping mall was the place to be for average middle class kids.  My family was middle class and virtually everyone that I knew was middle class.  In fact, I don’t remember any really wealthy or really poor kids in my school at all.

But today most families have little to no financial cushion and are deep in debt.  As a result, discretionary income has really dried up and that means less shopping.

So we are on pace for the worst year for store closings in American history, and yet the mainstream media keeps telling us that the economy is in “good shape”.

That is a load of nonsense.  The numbers don’t lie, and the U.S. economy is never going to be in “good shape” until the middle class starts growing again.

Is there a solution?

Well, the mayor of Stockton, California seems convinced that the solution is just to give people free money.  The following comes from Reuters

Michael Tubbs, the 27-year-old mayor of Stockton, California, has a radical plan to combat poverty in his cash-strapped city: a “no strings” guaranteed basic income of $500 a month for its residents.

Starting in early 2019, Tubbs plans to provide the monthly stipend to a select group of residents as part of a privately funded 18-month experiment to assess how people use the money.

Wouldn’t it be wonderful if we all just started getting big, fat checks from the government every month?

Why didn’t somebody think about this before?

Of course the truth is that we simply cannot afford to do that.  State and local government debt levels have surged to record highs, and the federal government is now 21 trillion dollars in debt.  We are on a path that leads to national suicide, and we desperately need to start living within our means.

We have been consuming far more wealth than we have been producing for a very long time, but we have been doing it for so long that many of us now think that this is “normal”.  Meanwhile, our long-term debt problems continue to escalate and our once thriving middle class continues to shrink.

If we continue to do the same things, we will continue to get the same results, and right now we are in the process of absolutely destroying the greatest economic machine that the world has ever seen.

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.

The Tens Of Millions Of Forgotten Americans That The U.S. Economy Has Left Behind

The evidence that the middle class in America is dying continues to mount.  As you will see below, nearly half the country would be unable “to cover an unexpected $400 expense”, and about two-thirds of the population lives paycheck to paycheck at least part of the time.  Of course the economy has not been doing that well overall in recent years.  Barack Obama was the only president in all of U.S. history not to have a single year when the economy grew by at least 3 percent, and U.S. GDP growth during the first quarter of 2017 was an anemic 0.7 percent.  During the Obama era, it is true that wealthy enclaves in New York, northern California and Washington D.C. did thrive, but meanwhile most of the rest of the country has been left behind.

Today, there are approximately 205 million working age Americans, and close to half of them have no financial cushion whatsoever.  In fact, a new survey conducted by the Federal Reserve has found that 44 percent of Americans do not even have enough money “to cover an unexpected $400 expense”

Nearly eight years into an economic recovery, nearly half of Americans didn’t have enough cash available to cover a $400 emergency. Specifically, the survey found that, in line with what the Fed had disclosed in previous years, 44% of respondents said they wouldn’t be able to cover an unexpected $400 expense like a car repair or medical bill, or would have to borrow money or sell something to meet it.

Not only that, the same survey discovered that 23 percent of U.S. adults will not be able to pay their bills this month

Just as concerning were other findings from the study: just under one-fourth of adults, or 23%, are not able to pay all of their current month’s bills in full while 25% reported skipping medical treatments due to cost in the prior year. Additionally, 28% of adults who haven’t retired yet reported to being grossly unprepared, indicating they had no retirement savings or pension whatsoever.

But just because you can pay your bills does not mean that you are doing well.  Tens of millions of Americans barely scrape by from paycheck to paycheck each and every month.

In fact, a survey by CareerBuilder discovered that 75 percent of all Americans live paycheck to paycheck at least some of the time…

Three-quarters of Americans (75 percent) are living paycheck-to-paycheck to make ends meet, according to a survey from CareerBuilder. Thirty-eight percent of employees said they sometimes live paycheck-to-paycheck, 15 percent said they usually do and 23 percent said they always do. While making ends meet is a struggle for many post-recession, those with minimum wage jobs continue to be hit the hardest. Of workers who currently have a minimum wage job or have held one in the past, 66 percent said they couldn’t make ends meet and 50 percent said they had to work more than one job to make it work.

So please don’t be fooled into thinking that the U.S. economy is doing well because the stock market has been hitting new record highs.

The stock market was soaring just before the financial crisis of 2008 too, and we remember how that turned out.

The truth is that the long-term trends that have been eating away at the foundations of the U.S. economy continue to accelerate, and the real economy is in substantially worse shape this year than it was last year.

Just about everywhere you look, businesses are struggling and stores are shutting down.  Yes, there are a few wealthy enclaves where everything seems wonderful for the moment, but for most of the country it seems like the last recession never ended.

In a desperate attempt to stay afloat, a lot of families have been turning to debt to make ends meet.  U.S. household debt has just hit a brand new all-time record high of 12.7 trillion dollars, but we are starting to see an alarming rise in auto loan defaults and consumer bankruptcies.  This is precisely what we would expect to see if the U.S. economy was moving into another major recession.

In fact, we are seeing all sorts of signs that point to a major economic slowdown right now.  Just check out the following from Wolf Richter’s latest article

Over the past five decades, each time commercial and industrial loan balances at US banks shrank or stalled as companies cut back or as banks tightened their lending standards in reaction to the economy they found themselves in, a recession was either already in progress or would start soon. There has been no exception since the 1960s. Last time this happened was during the Financial Crisis.

Now it’s happening again – with a 1990/91 recession twist.

Commercial and industrial loans outstanding fell to $2.095 trillion on May 10, according to the Fed’s Board of Governors weekly report on Friday. That’s down 4.5% from the peak on November 16, 2016. It’s below the level of outstanding C&I loans on October 19. And it marks the 30th week in a row of no growth in C&I loans.

Perhaps we will be very fortunate and break this pattern that has held up all the way back to the 1960s.

But I wouldn’t count on it.  Here is what Zero Hedge has to say about this alarming contraction in commercial and industrial loans…

Here’s the bottom line: unless there is a sharp rebound in loan growth in the next 3-6 months – whether due to greater demand or easier supply – this most accurate of leading economic indicators guarantees that a recession is now inevitable.

We are way overdue for a recession, the hard economic numbers are screaming that one is coming, and the financial markets are absolutely primed for a major crash.

As Americans, we tend to have such short memories.  Every time a new financial bubble starts forming, a lot of people out there start behaving as if it can last indefinitely.

But of course no financial bubble is going to last forever.  They all burst eventually, and now the biggest one in U.S. history is about to end in spectacular fashion.

Trump will get a lot of the blame since he is the current occupant of the White House, but the truth is that the conditions for the next crisis have been building up for many years, and the horrors that the U.S. economy is heading for were entirely predictable.

Tent Cities Full Of Homeless People Are Booming In Cities All Over America As Poverty Spikes

HomelessJust like during the last economic crisis, homeless encampments are popping up all over the nation as poverty grows at a very alarming rate.  According to the Department of Housing and Urban Development, more than half a million people are homeless in America right now, but that figure is increasing by the day.  And it isn’t just adults that we are talking about.  It has been reported that that the number of homeless children in this country has risen by 60 percent since the last recession, and Poverty USA says that a total of 1.6 million children slept either in a homeless shelter or in some other form of emergency housing at some point last year.  Yes, the stock market may have been experiencing a temporary boom for the last couple of years, but for those on the low end of the economic scale things have just continued to deteriorate.

Tonight, countless numbers of homeless people will try to make it through another chilly night in large tent cities that have been established in the heart of major cities such as Seattle, Washington, D.C. and St. Louis.  Homelessness has gotten so bad in California that the L.A. City Council has formally asked Governor Jerry Brown to officially declare a state of emergency.   And in Portland the city has extended their “homeless emergency” for yet another year, and city officials are really struggling with how to deal with the booming tent cities that have sprung up

There have always been homeless people in Portland, but last summer Michelle Cardinal noticed a change outside her office doors.

Almost overnight, it seemed, tents popped up in the park that runs like a green carpet past the offices of her national advertising business. She saw assaults, drug deals and prostitution. Every morning, she said, she cleaned human feces off the doorstep and picked up used needles.

“It started in June and by July it was full-blown. The park was mobbed,” she said. “We’ve got a problem here and the question is how we’re going to deal with it.”

But of course it isn’t just Portland that is experiencing this.  The following list of major tent cities that have become so well-known and established that they have been given names comes from Wikipedia

Most of the time, those that establish tent cities do not want to be discovered because local authorities have a nasty habit of shutting them down and forcing homeless people out of the area.  For example, check out what just happened in Elkhart, Indiana

A group of homeless people in Elkhart has been asked to leave the place they call home. For the last time, residents of ‘Tent City’ packed up camp.

City officials gave residents just over a month to vacate the wooded area; Wednesday being the last day to do so.

The property has been on Mayor Tim Neese’s radar since he took office in January, calling it both a safety and health hazard to its residents and nearby pedestrian traffic.

“This has been their home but you can’t live on public property,” said Mayor Tim Neese, Elkhart.

If they can’t live on “public property”, where are they supposed to go?

They certainly can’t live on somebody’s “private property”.

This is the problem – people don’t want to deal with the human feces, the needles, the crime and the other problems that homeless people often bring with them.  So the instinct is often to kick them out and send them away.

Unfortunately, that doesn’t fix the problem.  It just passes it on to someone else.

As this new economic downturn continues to accelerate, our homelessness boom is going to spiral out of control.  Pretty soon, there will be tent cities in virtually every community in America.

In fact, there are people that are living comfortable middle class lifestyles right at this moment that will end up in tents.  We saw this during the last economic crisis, and it will be even worse as this next one unfolds.

Just like last time around, the signs that the middle class is really struggling can be subtle at first, but when you learn to take note of them you will notice that they are all around you.  The following comes from an excellent article in the New York Post

Do you see grocery stores closing? Do you see other retailers, like clothing stores and department stores, going out of business?

Are there shuttered storefronts along your Main Street shopping district, where you bought a tool from the hardware store or dropped off your dry cleaning or bought fruits and vegetables?

Are you making as much money annually as you did 10 years ago?

Do you see homes in neighborhoods becoming run down as the residents either were foreclosed upon, or the owner lost his or her job so he or she can’t afford to cut the grass or paint the house?

Did that same house where the Joneses once lived now become a rental property, where new people come to live every few months?

Do you know one or two people who are looking for work? Maybe professionals, who you thought were safe in their jobs?

Don’t look down on those that are living in tents, because the truth is that many “middle class Americans” will ultimately end up joining them.

The correct response to those that are hurting is love and compassion.  We all need help at some point in our lives, and I know that I am certainly grateful to those that have given me a helping hand at various points along my journey.

Sadly, hearts are growing cold all over the nation, and the weather is only going to get colder over the months ahead.  Let us pray for health and safety for the hundreds of thousands of Americans that will be sleeping in tents and on the streets this winter.

Radical Leftists Unleash Anti-Trump Riots Starting On March 19th

Democracy SpringMany of the exact same groups that participated in Occupy Wall Street and helped organize protest rallies in Ferguson and Baltimore are now promising to bring us “the largest civil disobedience actions in a generation”.  I recently wrote about the trouble that radical leftists have caused by attempting to disrupt Trump campaign events, but now there is a very organized effort to turn this into a national movement.  On March 19th, thousands of angry protesters will descend on Trump Tower in New York City to denounce Donald Trump’s “fascist policies”, and on April 2nd dozens of leftist organizations will join together to launch “Democracy Spring” in Philadelphia.  From there, large numbers of liberal activists will march to Washington D.C. where they will “risk arrest” during a “peaceful” sit-in at the U.S. Capitol from April 11th to April 18th.  If the radical left is this freaked out about Donald Trump now, how bad will things get if he actually becomes the Republican nominee?

I suppose that it was only a matter of time before the radical left began to specifically target Trump properties.  I hope that Trump has good security, because it will definitely be tested starting tomorrow

Left-wing demonstrators have announced their latest anti-Trump event – a march on Trump Tower in New York City to protest against The Donald’s “fascist policies”.

A Facebook page for the rally outlines the plan, organized by a group called ‘Cosmopolitan Antifascists’, to march on the building at 2pm on Saturday afternoon.

“Donald J. Trump has made headlines in recent months with his divisive rhetoric, hate speech, and extremist plans to “make America great again”. We, in fact, believe this will do the opposite to this nation. Trump’s policy threatens many of us in the Black, Latino, LGBT, Muslim, and other communities,” states the page.

According to the Facebook page for “Cosmopolitan Antifascists”, 5,000 people plan to show up and 15,000 more are “interested” in this event.

Will it turn out to be a completely peaceful protest?

Let’s certainly hope so.

Perhaps even more disturbing is what is going to happen in early April.  Dozens of far left groups have gotten behind a movement that has been officially dubbed “Democracy Spring”.

Obviously, that name was chosen to conjure up memories of the “Arab Spring”, and we all remember how “peaceful” that was.

The official website of Democracy Spring tells us the following about the goals…

This spring, in the heart of the primary season, as the national election begins to take center stage, Americans of all ages, faiths, political perspectives, and walks of life will bring the popular cry for change to Washington in a way that’s impossible to ignore: with nonviolent civil disobedience on a historic scale.

We will demand that Congress listen to the People and take immediate action to save our democracy. And we won’t leave until they do — or until they send thousands of us to jail, along with the unmistakable message that our country needs a new Congress, one that that will end the legalized corruption of our democracy and ensure that every American has an equal voice in government.

Do you understand the threat that is being made there?

They are purposely planning to break the law and get arrested.  In fact, their website says that there are already more than 2,000 people that have “pledged to risk arrest” between April 11th and April 18th…

The campaign will begin on April 2nd with a march from the Liberty Bell in Philadelphia to Washington, D.C. where thousands will gather to reclaim the US Capitol in a powerful, peaceful, and massive sit-in that no one can ignore. Over 2,000 people have already pledged to risk arrest between April 11th-18th in what will be one of the largest civil disobedience actions in a generation.

And the list of groups that are backing this movement reads like a who’s who of radical leftist organizations…

15 Now Philly
99Rise
100 Grannies for a Livable Future
act.tv
African American Ministers in Action
American Ethical Union
American Family Voices
American Federation of Labor and Congress of Industrial Organizations (AFL-CIO)
Avaaz
Backbone Campaign
Big Apple Coffee Party
Brave New Films
Catholics United
Center for Biological Diversity
Center for the Working Poor
Citizen Action NY
Code Pink
Coffee Party USA
Columbus Campaign for Arms Control
Conscious Elders Network
Courage Campaign
Ctzn Well
Demand Progress
Democracy Chronicles
Democracy Coffee
Democracy for America
Democracy Matters
Democratic Socialists of America
Demos
Dolores Huerta Foundation
East Coast Cannabis Coalition (ECCC)
East Point Peace Academy
Elder Activists
Elders Climate Action
Every Voice
Energy Action Coalition
Food & Water Watch
Franciscan Action Network
Friends of the Earth
Get Money Out – Maryland
Human Earth Animal Liberation (HEAL)
Hightower Lowdown
Institute for Policy Studies
Interfaith Moral Action on Climate (IMAC)
Iowa Citizens for Community Improvement
Jewish Voice for Peace
Just Foreign Policy
Leadership Development Initiative
March Against Corruption
March Against Monsanto
Maryland Committee to Amend
Massachusetts Communities Action Network (MCAN)
MAYDAY.US
Money Out! People In!
MoveOn
National Organization for Women (NOW)
National LGBTQ Task Force Action Fund
National People’s Action
Network of Spiritual Progressives/ Tikkun Magazine
New Hampshire Rebellion
Occupy Catholics
Office of the Americas
Other 98%
PA United to Amend
Pay 2 Play
Peace Action
People Demanding Action
People for Bernie
People for the American Way
People Over Politics
People’s Empowerment Project
Pride at Work-New York City/Long Island
Progressive Change Campaign Committee (PCCC)
Progressive Democrats of America
Public Citizen
Retail, Wholesale, and Department Store Union (RWDSU)
ReThink Media
RootsAction
Rootskeeper.org
Rootstrikers
Shalom Center
Small Planet Institute
Social Security Works
South Central Wisconsin United To Amend
Stamp Stampede
Stop Police Terror Project DC
Sustain US
Unitarian Universalist Association
Unitarian Universalist Church of Delaware County
United Native Americans
United for Peace and Justice
United Students Against Sweatshops (USAS)
United States Student Association (USSA)
United We Dream
U.S. Climate Plan
Ursulines of Tildonk for Justice & Peace
We are Woman
We the People Massachusetts
WildEarth Guardians
WolfPAC
Women’s Promise
Working Families Party
Workmen’s Circle
World Beyond War
Yes Men
Young Democratic Socialists
Youth Jobs Coalition / We Have a Future

This is just the beginning.  The radical left has won the hearts and minds of millions of our young people, and many of these groups are preaching a message of anger, frustration and direct confrontation.

For now, let’s hope that these “protests” are at least somewhat peaceful.  But throughout history, leftist revolutions have almost always turned violent at least to a certain degree.

And let there be no confusion – the radical left very much wants a revolution.  There is a reason why Bernie Sanders uses that word so much in his applause lines.  It is a buzzword that evokes some very powerful imagery for the radical left.

America is changing, and not for the better.  From this point forward, the radical left in America is going to become much more active, and in the end that is going to have dramatic consequences for all of us.

Do Not Despise Small Beginnings – An Incredible True Story That You May Find Hard To Believe

Michael SnyderIt has been said that a journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step.  Well, I would like to share a little bit of my journey with you, and hopefully this will inspire someone out there.  We live in a day and age when you don’t have to be a celebrity to make a difference.  I know this is true because ten years ago I was about as anonymous as you could possibly get.  I was newly married and working as a lawyer in the heart of Washington D.C. not too far from the White House.  That may sound glamorous to you, but it definitely was not.  Approximately one out of every 12 residents of D.C. is a lawyer according to some estimates, and so they are a dime a dozen.  And my work was about as meaningless as you could get.  If there was a lawyer version of a toilet scrubber, that would have been me.  Nobody knew who I was, and nobody cared who I was.  I was having no real measurable impact on the world around me, but I wanted to.  I just didn’t know how.

In 2008, I started to look into something called blogging.  I learned that there were more than a million blogs already on the Internet by that time, and so I had no idea why anyone would possibly want to read anything that I had to say, but I decided to try it.  I began with a few free Blogger blogs, and my readership in those days could have been measured with a magnifying glass.

But I stuck with it.

And that is one of the keys to success in any area of life.  So many people give up if they don’t have immediate success.  And that is so sad, because all “overnight success stories” had to start somewhere.

So do not despise small beginnings – they can ultimately lead to something great.

Eventually my readership began to grow, and the real turning point for me came when I left the legal world at the end of 2009 and started The Economic Collapse Blog.  Of course that had very humble beginnings as well.  The first month the site was live I only had about 4,800 pageviews.  But that was a whole lot more than I had before.

Very early on I decided that I was going to try to put out the highest quality articles that I could possibly write, and people really responded to that.  They knew that they weren’t getting straight answers about the economy from the mainstream media, and they were seeking out alternative sources of information.  We have seen the “alternative media” absolutely explode in recent years, and I am proud to be part of that revolution.

In early 2010, my wife and I decided to take a leap and move across the country to a little town outside of Seattle, Washington.  We didn’t really have much money, so it was kind of a crazy thing to do.  But we felt called to do it, so by faith we packed up our lives and moved all the way across the continent.  We figured that I could make a little money writing and she could make a little money painting furniture and we could figure out a way to survive somehow.

We spent a little over a year out near Seattle, and during that time The Economic Collapse Blog started to grow by leaps and bounds.  We also had other websites such as End Of The American Dream and The Most Important News that were really starting to grow as well, and so we felt secure enough to seek out a more permanent home.  That was always the plan anyway, because we wanted to get away from the large population centers.

God eventually led us to a wonderful home in the mountains in a very isolated part of the northwest United States.  And my wife and I both agree that this is the best place that either of us have ever lived.  We absolutely love the peace and quiet, and the view that we have across the valley is priceless.  I could have very easily sat up on that mountain living a very quiet life for the rest of my days and been very happy.

But God had other things in mind for us.  When we moved up there, we believed that God was instructing us to prepare for what He wanted us to do.  So we studied, and we prayed and we kept working on our websites.  And then we studied, and we prayed and we worked some more.  We never knew what kinds of doors God was going to open up for us.  By faith we just tried to do what we believed that He was instructing us to do.

And of course many of you already know about the amazing doors that God has been opening up for us over the past few years.  He is doing things that I never even would have imagined asking Him to do.

The reason why I am sharing all of this is to say that if someone like me can be used to make a difference, so can you.

If a completely anonymous Washington D.C. lawyer can move to the mountains in the middle of nowhere and be used to touch millions of lives all over the planet, that just shows that all things are possible with God.

Of course not everyone has a talent for writing.  But we all have some way to make a difference.  Individually, each one of us in limited, but collectively we can make a massive difference in this world if we are willing to work together.

When I was growing up, I wanted to be a rock star someday, but to this day I still don’t have any musical talent.  However, there are people out there with amazing gifts in that area, and I often find myself in awe of their talents.

Other people can make a different in other areas.  What some people are about to do with YouTube videos absolutely amazes me.  Others write gripping novels or host amazing radio shows.  And yet others organize street protests or get heavily involved in local politics.

We all have different gifts and abilities, and we all have ways that we can make a difference.

Part of my message is to warn people about the incredibly hard times that are coming, but part of my message is also to give hope to people so that they can come through those hard times.

You may choose to curse the darkness when it comes, but I plan on lighting a candle.

No matter how bad things get, I will not bend, I will not break and I will not fear.  It is when times are the darkest that the greatest heroes are needed, and we need people that are going to be willing to face the great challenges that are coming with tremendous strength and courage.

Even in the midst of all of the chaos and all of the darkness, my wife and I believe that the greatest chapters of our lives are still ahead of us.

And we invite you to work with us to make a difference.  God took the broken pieces of my life and turned them into a beautiful thing, and He can do the same thing for you.

No matter how hard things may seem right now, please do not give up.

It’s not over.

In fact, your future is only just beginning, and all things are possible…

Just A Coincidence That A Historic Blizzard Named ‘Jonas’ Hit D.C. On The Anniversary Of Roe v Wade?

Jonas - Photo from WikipediaOn January 22nd, one of the worst east coast blizzards in history slammed into Washington D.C. like a freight train.  More than three feet of snow was dumped on some areas, hundreds of thousands of people were left without power, and coastal cities all long the eastern seaboard experienced flooding to a degree not seen since Hurricane Sandy.  Tens of millions of people live in communities that were completely paralyzed by this storm, and it is being projected that the total amount of economic damage done will ultimately be in the billions of dollars.  January 22nd also happens to be the anniversary of the U.S. Supreme Court decision that legalized abortion in all 50 states.  Since that Supreme Court decision, more than 58 million babies have been murdered in abortion clinics in America.  Could it be possible that it is more than just a “coincidence” that both of these events happened on January 22nd?

In a previous article, I noted that this east coast blizzard was officially given the name “Jonas”.  It turns out that “Jonas” is actually a Greek transliteration of the Hebrew name “Jonah”.

In the Bible, Jonah was sent to the city of Ninevah to warn that the judgment of God was about to come.  Some are suggesting that it may not be any accident that a historic blizzard named after this Biblical prophet hit Washington D.C. on the exact anniversary of the Roe vs. Wade decision.

And without a doubt, this was a whopper of a storm.  According to USA Today, some cities broke their all-time records for snowfall from a single storm…

It was the biggest snowstorm ever recorded for three cities — Baltimore (29.2 inches), Allentown, Pa. (31.9) and Harrisburg, Pa. (34), the National Weather Service said. New York City picked up 26.8 inches of snow, missing its all-time record by one-tenth of an inch.

In the D.C. area things were absolutely crazy.  Dulles Airport got a total of 29.3 inches of snow, and Baltimore-Washington International Airport got 29.2 inches of snow.  Some of the outlying areas actually got closer to three feet of snow, and it could take weeks for transportation in the region to get back to normal.

New York City got absolutely pummeled as well.  CNN is reporting that John F. Kennedy International Airport got 31 inches of snow and New York’s Central Park has been buried under 27 inches of snow.

In addition to crazy amounts of snow, vast stretches right along the coast had to deal with tremendous flooding.  In fact, CNN is reporting that the flooding was even worse than during Hurricane Sandy in some areas…

Margate City, just down the coast from Atlantic City, was also affected.

“In a lot of our business areas and our back bay areas, water is coming over the bulkhead in a lot of the same areas as Hurricane Sandy hit,” Lt. Matt Hankinson of the Margate City Police Department said. “Some areas I would say it’s thigh- to waist-deep.”

Farther south in North Wildwood, the high tide was much higher than anticipated and caught many of the town’s 5,000 year-round residents off guard — with flooding levels that actually exceeded those during Hurricane Sandy, said Patrick Rosenello, the city’s mayor.

Meanwhile, a very powerful El Nino pattern continues to send storm after storm slamming into the west coast.  It didn’t get much publicity because of the giant blizzard on the east coast, but the California coastal city of Pacifica just declared a state of emergency due to the damage from these storms.  The following comes from the Daily Mail

As the East Coast is hit with one of the most powerful storms in recent years, the West Coast is continuing to be slammed with storms thanks to El Nino.

The city of Pacifica in northern California declared a state of emergency Friday after continuous El Nino storms slammed into the city’s coastline,KNTV reported.

A sinkhole and a severely damaged sea wall are part of the destruction in the city from the wild winter weather.

‘El Nino is hitting the city’s coastline very hard and creating almost daily reports of impacts to both public and private property,’ City Manager Lorie Tinfow told KNTV.

All of this continues a very unusual pattern of disasters that we have been witnessing over the past six months.  Just consider what we have seen happen since last September…

-Around the turn of the year the middle part of the country experienced absolutely horrific flooding.  The only thing people can really compare it to is the great flood of 1993, and Missouri Governor Jay Nixon says that some communities saw floodwaters get to “places they’ve never been before”.  Normally if the middle of the country is going to see flooding like this, it is going to happen when the snow begins to thaw in the spring.  For something like this to happen in December is absolutely unprecedented.

-Prior to that, a conveyor belt of storms that barreled into coastal areas of Oregon and Washington caused horrible flooding in many areas.  In fact, in early December we witnessed the wettest day in the history of Portland, Oregon.  The resulting landslides and floods made headlines all over the nation.

-Before that, the remnants of Hurricane Patricia caused nightmarish flooding in many parts of Texas.  The flooding was so bad that at one point an entire train was knocked off the tracks.

-Out on the west coast, flash flooding in southern California sent rivers of mud streaming across highways in southern California.  The lifeless body of one man that had his vehicle completely buried in mud was recovered several days later because that is how long it took emergency workers to get to him.

-To kick things off, moisture from Hurricane Joaquin caused horrible flooding all up and down the east coast back in early October.  The governor of South Carolina said that it was the worst rain that some parts of her state had seen in 1,000 years.

All of this flooding has happened since the end of September.

Never before in U.S. history have we ever seen a series of catastrophic floods like this within such a concentrated space of time.

And let us not forget that 2015 was also the worst year for wildfires in all of U.S. history, the state of Oklahoma absolutely shattered their yearly record for earthquakes, and much of the rest of the country has been experiencing highly unusual natural disasters.  In fact, the state of Alaska was hit by a 7.1 magnitude earthquake just today.

In addition, my regular readers already know that global financial markets have just had their worst start to a year in all of modern history.

Could someone be trying to tell us something?

Most people out there would dismiss such a suggestion without even thinking about it.  To most Americans, it must just be a “coincidence” that we have been hit by major disaster after major disaster since the month of September.

But there are others that would point out that you eventually reap what you sow, and this nation has been doing a tremendous amount of evil for a very long time.

As I mentioned at the top of this article, America has murdered more than 58 million babies since 1973.  Instead of being horrified at our crimes, we just continue to shake our fist at God as we celebrate all of the evil that we are doing.  In fact, Barack Obama took time out of his day on Friday to actually celebrate the anniversary of Roe v. Wade

President Barack Obama issued a statement today, celebrating the 43rd anniversary of the Supreme Court’s 1973 Roe v. Wade decision that declared abortion a constitutionally protected right.

“Today, we mark the 43rd anniversary of the Supreme Court ruling in Roe v. Wade, which affirmed a woman’s freedom to make her own choices about her body and her health,” said Obama.

Despite being shown our guilt over and over again, we have absolutely refused to change our ways, and so now we will pay the price for our crimes.

As I have said on television, on the radio and in my articles, 2016 is the year when everything changes.

Why Does Maryland Have The Most Millionaires Per Capita? The Answer Might Make You Angry

Raining MoneyThe fat cats in Washington D.C. are living the high life, and they are doing it at your expense.  Over the past decade, there has been one area of the country which has experienced a massive economic boom.  Thanks to wildly out of control government spending, the Washington D.C. region is absolutely swimming in cash.  In fact, at this point the state of Maryland has the most millionaires per capita in the entire nation and it isn’t even close.  If you have never lived there, it is hard to describe what the D.C. area is like.  Every weekday morning, hordes of lawyers, lobbyists and government bureaucrats descend upon D.C. from the surrounding suburbs.  And at the end of the day, the process goes in reverse.  Everyone is just trying to get their piece of the pie, and it is a pie that just keeps on growing as government salaries, government contracts and government giveaways just get larger and larger.  Of course our founders never intended for this to happen.  They wanted a very small and simple federal government.  Sadly, today we have the most bloated central government in the history of the planet and it gets worse with each passing year.

If you were to ask most Americans, they would tell you that the wealthiest Americans probably live in cities such as New York or San Francisco.  But thanks to the Obama administration (and before that the Bush and Clinton administrations), the state of Maryland is packed with millionaires.  In particular, the Maryland suburbs immediately surrounding D.C. are absolutely overflowing with government fat cats that make a living at our expense.  Every weekday morning, huge numbers of them leave their mini-mansions in places such as Potomac and Rockville and drive their luxury vehicles to work in the city.  As the Washington Post has detailed, at this point approximately 8 percent of all households in the entire state of Maryland contain millionaires, and the rest of the area is not doing too shabby either…

In Maryland, nearly 8 out of every 100 households in 2014 had assets topping $1 million, giving the state more millionaires per capita than any other in the country, according to a new report from Phoenix Marketing International.

The rest of the Beltway isn’t lacking in millionaires either: The District and Virginia ranked in the top 10 among those with the highest number of millionaire households per capita in 2014. In Virginia, which was No. 6 on the list, 6.76 percent of the state’s 3.17 million households are millionaires. And in the District, which rounds out the top 10, 6.25 percent of its more than 292,000 households are millionaires.

And while not too many of them are millionaires, your average federal workers that toil in D.C. are doing quite well too.

Once upon a time, it was considered to be a “sacrifice” to go into “government service”.

Not anymore.

If you can believe it, approximately 17,000 federal employees made more than $200,000 last year.

Overall, compensation for federal employees comes to a grand total of close to half a trillion dollars every 12 months.

In fact, there are tens of thousands of federal employees that make more than the governors of their own states do.

Does that seem right to you?

If you want to live “the American Dream” these days, the Washington area is the place to go.  Just check out the following description of the region from the Washington Post

Washingtonians now enjoy the highest median household income of any metropolitan area in the country, and five of the top 10 jurisdictions in America — Loudoun, Howard and Fairfax counties, and Falls Church and Fairfax City — are here, census data shows.

The signs of that wealth are on display all over, from the string of luxury boutiques such as Gucci and Tory Burch opening at Tysons Galleria to the $15 cocktails served over artisanal ice at the W Hotel in the District to the ever-larger houses rising off River Road in Potomac.

And of course let us not forget the fat cats in Congress.

According to CNN, our Congress critters are now wealthier than every before…

The typical American family is still struggling to recover from the Great Recession, but Congress is getting wealthier every year.

The median net worth of lawmakers was just over $1 million in 2013, or 18 times the wealth of the typical American household, according to new research released Monday by the Center for Responsive Politics.

And while Americans’ median wealth is down 43% since 2007, Congress members’ net worth has jumped 28%.

Not only that, there are nearly 200 members of Congress that are actually multimillionaires

Nearly 200 are multimillionaires. One hundred are worth more than $5 million; the top-10 deal in nine digits. The annual congressional salary alone—$174,000 a year—qualifies every member as the top 6 percent of earners. None of them are close to experiencing the poverty-reduction programs—affordable housing, food assistance, Medicaid—that they help control. Though some came from poverty, a recent analysis by Nicholas Carnes, in his book White Collar Government: The Hidden Role of Class in Economic Policymaking, found that only 13 out of 783 members of Congress from 1999 to 2008 came from a “blue-collar” upbringing.

Incredible.

But even though almost all of them are quite wealthy, they don’t hesitate to spend massive amounts of taxpayer money on their own personal needs.

For example, according to the Weekly Standard, more than five million dollars was spent on the hair care needs of U.S. Senators alone over one recent 15 year period…

Senate Hair Care Services has cost taxpayers about $5.25 million over 15 years. They foot the bill of more than $40,000 for the shoeshine attendant last fiscal year. Six barbers took in more than $40,000 each, including nearly $80,000 for the head barber.

And in one recent year, an average of $4,005,900 was spent on “personal” and “office” expenses per U.S. Senator.

So the grand total would have been over 400 million dollars for a single year.

That seems excessive, doesn’t it?

And even when they end up leaving Washington, our Congress critters have ensured that they will continue to collect money from U.S. taxpayers for the rest of their lives

In 2011, 280 former lawmakers who retired under a former government pension system received average annual pensions of $70,620, according to a Congressional Research Service report. They averaged around 20 years of service. At the same time, another 215 retirees (elected in 1984 or later with an average of 15 years of service) received average annual checks of roughly $40,000 a year.

If you can believe it, there are quite a few former lawmakers that are collecting federal pensions for life worth at least $100,000 annually.  The list includes Newt Gingrich, Bob Dole, Trent Lott, Dick Gephardt and Dick Cheney.

Of course the biggest windfalls of all are for our ex-presidents.  Most Americans would be shocked to learn that the U.S. government is spending approximately 3.6 million dollars a year to support the lavish lifestyles of former presidents such as George W. Bush and Bill Clinton.

So does this make you angry?

Or are you okay with these fat cats living the high life at our expense?

Please feel free to add to the discussion by posting a comment below…