10 Things That Every American Should Know About The Federal Reserve

What would happen if the Federal Reserve was shut down permanently?  That is a question that CNBC asked recently, but unfortunately most Americans don’t really think about the Fed much. Most Americans are content with believing that the Federal Reserve is just another stuffy government agency that sets our interest rates and that is watching out for the best interests of the American people.  But that is not the case at all.  The truth is that the Federal Reserve is a private banking cartel that has been designed to systematically destroy the value of our currency, drain the wealth of the American public and enslave the federal government to perpetually expanding debt.  During this election year, the economy is the number one issue that voters are concerned about.  But instead of endlessly blaming both political parties, the truth is that most of the blame should be placed at the feet of the Federal Reserve.  The Federal Reserve has more power over the performance of the U.S. economy than anyone else does.  The Federal Reserve controls the money supply, the Federal Reserve sets the interest rates and the Federal Reserve hands out bailouts to the big banks that absolutely dwarf anything that Congress ever did.  If the American people are ever going to learn what is really going on with our economy, then it is absolutely imperative that they get educated about the Federal Reserve.

The following are 10 things that every American should know about the Federal Reserve….

#1 The Federal Reserve System Is A Privately Owned Banking Cartel

The Federal Reserve is not a government agency.

The truth is that it is a privately owned central bank.  It is owned by the banks that are members of the Federal Reserve system.  We do not know how much of the system each bank owns, because that has never been disclosed to the American people.

The Federal Reserve openly admits that it is privately owned.  When it was defending itself against a Bloomberg request for information under the Freedom of Information Act, the Federal Reserve stated unequivocally in court that it was “not an agency” of the federal government and therefore not subject to the Freedom of Information Act.

In fact, if you want to find out that the Federal Reserve system is owned by the member banks, all you have to do is go to the Federal Reserve website….

The twelve regional Federal Reserve Banks, which were established by Congress as the operating arms of the nation’s central banking system, are organized much like private corporations–possibly leading to some confusion about “ownership.” For example, the Reserve Banks issue shares of stock to member banks. However, owning Reserve Bank stock is quite different from owning stock in a private company. The Reserve Banks are not operated for profit, and ownership of a certain amount of stock is, by law, a condition of membership in the System. The stock may not be sold, traded, or pledged as security for a loan; dividends are, by law, 6 percent per year.

Foreign governments and foreign banks do own significant ownership interests in the member banks that own the Federal Reserve system.  So it would be accurate to say that the Federal Reserve is partially foreign-owned.

But until the exact ownership shares of the Federal Reserve are revealed, we will never know to what extent the Fed is foreign-owned.

#2 The Federal Reserve System Is A Perpetual Debt Machine

As long as the Federal Reserve System exists, U.S. government debt will continue to go up and up and up.

This runs contrary to the conventional wisdom that Democrats and Republicans would have us believe, but unfortunately it is true.

The way our system works, whenever more money is created more debt is created as well.

For example, whenever the U.S. government wants to spend more money than it takes in (which happens constantly), it has to go ask the Federal Reserve for it.  The federal government gives U.S. Treasury bonds to the Federal Reserve, and the Federal Reserve gives the U.S. government “Federal Reserve Notes” in return.  Usually this is just done electronically.

So where does the Federal Reserve get the Federal Reserve Notes?

It just creates them out of thin air.

Wouldn’t you like to be able to create money out of thin air?

Instead of issuing money directly, the U.S. government lets the Federal Reserve create it out of thin air and then the U.S. government borrows it.

Talk about stupid.

When this new debt is created, the amount of interest that the U.S. government will eventually pay on that debt is not also created.

So where will that money come from?

Well, eventually the U.S. government will have to go back to the Federal Reserve to get even more money to finance the ever expanding debt that it has gotten itself trapped into.

It is a debt spiral that is designed to go on perpetually.

You see, the reality is that the money supply is designed to constantly expand under the Federal Reserve system.  That is why we have all become accustomed to thinking of inflation as “normal”.

So what does the Federal Reserve do with the U.S. Treasury bonds that it gets from the U.S. government?

Well, it sells them off to others.  There are lots of people out there that have made a ton of money by holding U.S. government debt.

In fiscal 2011, the U.S. government paid out 454 billion dollars just in interest on the national debt.

That is 454 billion dollars that was taken out of our pockets and put into the pockets of wealthy individuals and foreign governments around the globe.

The truth is that our current debt-based monetary system was designed by greedy bankers that wanted to make enormous profits by using the Federal Reserve as a tool to create money out of thin air and lend it to the U.S. government at interest.

And that plan is working quite well.

Most Americans today don’t understand how any of this works, but many prominent Americans in the past did understand it.

For example, Thomas Edison was once quoted in the New York Times as saying the following….

That is to say, under the old way any time we wish to add to the national wealth we are compelled to add to the national debt.

Now, that is what Henry Ford wants to prevent. He thinks it is stupid, and so do I, that for the loan of $30,000,000 of their own money the people of the United States should be compelled to pay $66,000,000 — that is what it amounts to, with interest. People who will not turn a shovelful of dirt nor contribute a pound of material will collect more money from the United States than will the people who supply the material and do the work. That is the terrible thing about interest. In all our great bond issues the interest is always greater than the principal. All of the great public works cost more than twice the actual cost, on that account. Under the present system of doing business we simply add 120 to 150 per cent, to the stated cost.

But here is the point: If our nation can issue a dollar bond, it can issue a dollar bill. The element that makes the bond good makes the bill good.

We should have listened to men like Edison and Ford.

But we didn’t.

And so we pay the price.

On July 1, 1914 (a few months after the Fed was created) the U.S. national debt was 2.9 billion dollars.

Today, it is more than more than 5000 times larger.

Yes, the perpetual debt machine is working quite well, and most Americans do not even realize what is happening.

#3 The Federal Reserve Has Destroyed More Than 96% Of The Value Of The U.S. Dollar

Did you know that the U.S. dollar has lost 96.2 percent of its value since 1900?  Of course almost all of that decline has happened since the Federal Reserve was created in 1913.

Because the money supply is designed to expand constantly, it is guaranteed that all of our dollars will constantly lose value.

Inflation is a “hidden tax” that continually robs us all of our wealth.  The Federal Reserve always says that it is “committed” to controlling inflation, but that never seems to work out so well.

And current Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke says that it is actually a good thing to have a little bit of inflation.  He plans to try to keep the inflation rate at about 2 percent in the coming years.

So what is so bad about 2 percent?  That doesn’t sound so bad, does it?

Well, just consider the following excerpt from a recent Forbes article….

The Federal Reserve Open Market Committee (FOMC) has made it official:  After its latest two day meeting, it announced its goal to devalue the dollar by 33% over the next 20 years.  The debauch of the dollar will be even greater if the Fed exceeds its goal of a 2 percent per year increase in the price level.

#4 The Federal Reserve Can Bail Out Whoever It Wants To With No Accountability

The American people got so upset about the bailouts that Congress gave to the Wall Street banks and to the big automakers, but did you know that the biggest bailouts of all were given out by the Federal Reserve?

Thanks to a very limited audit of the Federal Reserve that Congress approved a while back, we learned that the Fed made trillions of dollars in secret bailout loans to the big Wall Street banks during the last financial crisis.  They even secretly loaned out hundreds of billions of dollars to foreign banks.

According to the results of the limited Fed audit mentioned above, a total of $16.1 trillion in secret loans were made by the Federal Reserve between December 1, 2007 and July 21, 2010.

The following is a list of loan recipients that was taken directly from page 131 of the audit report….

Citigroup – $2.513 trillion
Morgan Stanley – $2.041 trillion
Merrill Lynch – $1.949 trillion
Bank of America – $1.344 trillion
Barclays PLC – $868 billion
Bear Sterns – $853 billion
Goldman Sachs – $814 billion
Royal Bank of Scotland – $541 billion
JP Morgan Chase – $391 billion
Deutsche Bank – $354 billion
UBS – $287 billion
Credit Suisse – $262 billion
Lehman Brothers – $183 billion
Bank of Scotland – $181 billion
BNP Paribas – $175 billion
Wells Fargo – $159 billion
Dexia – $159 billion
Wachovia – $142 billion
Dresdner Bank – $135 billion
Societe Generale – $124 billion
“All Other Borrowers” – $2.639 trillion

So why haven’t we heard more about this?

This is scandalous.

In addition, it turns out that the Fed paid enormous sums of money to the big Wall Street banks to help “administer” these nearly interest-free loans….

Not only did the Federal Reserve give 16.1 trillion dollars in nearly interest-free loans to the “too big to fail” banks, the Fed also paid them over 600 million dollars to help run the emergency lending program.  According to the GAO, the Federal Reserve shelled out an astounding $659.4 million in “fees” to the very financial institutions which caused the financial crisis in the first place.

Does reading that make you angry?

It should.

#5 The Federal Reserve Is Paying Banks Not To Lend Money

Did you know that the Federal Reserve is actually paying banks not to make loans?

It is true.

Section 128 of the Emergency Economic Stabilization Act of 2008 allows the Federal Reserve to pay interest on “excess reserves” that U.S. banks park at the Fed.

So the banks can just send their cash to the Fed and watch the money come rolling in risk-free.

So are many banks taking advantage of this?

You tell me.  Just check out the chart below.  The amount of “excess reserves” parked at the Fed has gone from nearly nothing to about 1.5 trillion dollars since 2008….

But shouldn’t the banks be lending the money to us so that we can start businesses and buy homes?

You would think that is how it is supposed to work.

Unfortunately, the Federal Reserve is not working for us.

The Federal Reserve is working for the big banks.

Sadly, most Americans have no idea what is going on.

Another example of this is the government debt carry trade.

Here is how it works.  The Federal Reserve lends gigantic piles of nearly interest-free cash to the big Wall Street banks, and in turn those banks use the money to buy up huge amounts of government debt.  Since the return on government debt is higher, the banks are able to make large profits very easily and with very little risk.

This scam was also explained in a recent article in the Guardian….

Consider this: we pretend that banks are private businesses that should be allowed to run their own affairs. But they are the biggest scroungers of public money of our time. Banks are lent vast sums of money by central banks at near-zero interest. They lend that money to us or back to the government at higher rates and rake in the difference by the billion. They don’t even have to make clever investments to make huge profits.

That is a pretty good little scam they have got going, wouldn’t you say?

#6 The Federal Reserve Creates Artificial Economic Bubbles That Are Extremely Damaging

By allowing a centralized authority such as the Federal Reserve to dictate interest rates, it creates an environment where financial bubbles can be created very easily.

Over the past several decades, we have seen bubble after bubble.  Most of these have been the result of the Federal Reserve keeping interest rates artificially low.  If the free market had been setting interest rates all this time, things would have never gotten so far out of hand.

For example, the housing crash would have never been so horrific if the Federal Reserve had not created such ideal conditions for a housing bubble in the first place.  But we allow the Fed to continue to make the same mistakes.

Right now, the Federal Reserve continues to set interest rates much, much lower than they should be.  This is causing a tremendous misallocation of economic resources, and there will be massive consequences for that down the line.

#7 The Federal Reserve System Is Dominated By The Big Wall Street Banks

Even since it was created, the Federal Reserve system has been dominated by the big Wall Street banks.

The following is from a previous article that I did about the Fed….

The New York representative is the only permanent member of the Federal Open Market Committee, while other regional banks rotate in 2 and 3 year intervals.  The former head of the New York Fed, Timothy Geithner, is now U.S. Treasury Secretary.  The truth is that the Federal Reserve Bank of New York has always been the most important of the regional Fed banks by far, and in turn the Federal Reserve Bank of New York has always been dominated by Wall Street and the major New York banks.

#8 It Is Not An Accident That We Saw The Personal Income Tax And The Federal Reserve System Both Come Into Existence In 1913

On February 3rd, 1913 the 16th Amendment to the U.S. Constitution was ratified.  Later that year, the United States Revenue Act of 1913 imposed a personal income tax on the American people and we have had one ever since.

Without a personal income tax, it is hard to have a central bank.  It takes a lot of money to finance all of the government debt that a central banking system creates.

It is no accident that the 16th Amendment was ratified in 1913 and the Federal Reserve system was also created in 1913.

They have a symbiotic relationship and they are designed to work together.

We could fill Congress with people that are committed to ending this oppressive system, but so far we have chosen not to do that.

So our children and our grandchildren will face a lifetime of debt slavery because of us.

I am sure they will be thankful for that.

#9 The Current Federal Reserve Chairman, Ben Bernanke, Has A Nightmarish Track Record Of Incompetence

The mainstream media portrays Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke as a brilliant economist, but is that really the case?

Let’s go to the videotape.

The following is an extended excerpt from an article that I published previously….

———-

In 2005, Bernanke said that we shouldn’t worry because housing prices had never declined on a nationwide basis before and he said that he believed that the U.S. would continue to experience close to “full employment”….

“We’ve never had a decline in house prices on a nationwide basis. So, what I think what is more likely is that house prices will slow, maybe stabilize, might slow consumption spending a bit. I don’t think it’s gonna drive the economy too far from its full employment path, though.”

In 2005, Bernanke also said that he believed that derivatives were perfectly safe and posed no danger to financial markets….

“With respect to their safety, derivatives, for the most part, are traded among very sophisticated financial institutions and individuals who have considerable incentive to understand them and to use them properly.”

In 2006, Bernanke said that housing prices would probably keep rising….

“Housing markets are cooling a bit. Our expectation is that the decline in activity or the slowing in activity will be moderate, that house prices will probably continue to rise.”

In 2007, Bernanke insisted that there was not a problem with subprime mortgages….

“At this juncture, however, the impact on the broader economy and financial markets of the problems in the subprime market seems likely to be contained. In particular, mortgages to prime borrowers and fixed-rate mortgages to all classes of borrowers continue to perform well, with low rates of delinquency.”

In 2008, Bernanke said that a recession was not coming….

“The Federal Reserve is not currently forecasting a recession.”

A few months before Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac collapsed, Bernanke insisted that they were totally secure….

“The GSEs are adequately capitalized. They are in no danger of failing.”

For many more examples that demonstrate the absolutely nightmarish track record of Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke, please see the following articles….

*”Say What? 30 Ben Bernanke Quotes That Are So Stupid That You Won’t Know Whether To Laugh Or Cry

*”Is Ben Bernanke A Liar, A Lunatic Or Is He Just Completely And Totally Incompetent?

But after being wrong over and over and over, Barack Obama still nominated Ben Bernanke for another term as Chairman of the Fed.

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#10 The Federal Reserve Has Become Way Too Powerful

The Federal Reserve is the most undemocratic institution in America.

The Federal Reserve has become so powerful that it is now known as “the fourth branch of government”, but there are less checks and balances on the Fed than there are on the other three branches.

The Federal Reserve runs the U.S. economy but it is not accountable to the American people.  We can’t vote those that run the Fed out of office if we do not like what they do.

Yes, the president appoints those that run the Fed, but he also knows that if he does not tread lightly he won’t get the money from the big Wall Street banks that he needs for his next election.

Thankfully, there are a few members of Congress that are complaining about how much power the Fed has.  For example, Ron Paul once told MSNBC that he believes that the Federal Reserve is now actually more powerful than Congress…..

“The regulations should be on the Federal Reserve. We should have transparency of the Federal Reserve. They can create trillions of dollars to bail out their friends, and we don’t even have any transparency of this. They’re more powerful than the Congress.”

As members of Congress such as Ron Paul have started to shed some light on the activities of the Federal Reserve, that has caused many in the mainstream media to come to the defense of the Fed.

For example, a recent CNBC article entitled “If The Federal Reserve Is Abolished, What Then?” makes it sound like there is absolutely no other rational alternative to having the Federal Reserve run our economy.

But this is not what our founders intended.

The founders did not intend for a private banking cartel to issue our money and set our interest rates for us.

According to Article I, Section 8 of the U.S. Constitution, the U.S. Congress has been given the responsibility to “coin Money, regulate the Value thereof, and of foreign Coin, and fix the Standard of Weights and Measures”.

So why is the Federal Reserve doing it?

But the CNBC article mentioned above makes it sound like the sky would fall if control of the currency was handed back over to the American people.

At one point, the article asks the following question….

“How would the U.S. economy then function? Something has to take its place, right?”

No, the truth is that we don’t need anyone to “manage” our economy.

The U.S. Treasury could be in charge of issuing our currency and the free market could set our interest rates.

We don’t need to have a centrally-planned economy.

We aren’t China.

And it goes against everything that our founders believed to be running up so much government debt.

For example, Thomas Jefferson once declared that if he could add just one more amendment to the U.S. Constitution it would be a ban on all government borrowing….

I wish it were possible to obtain a single amendment to our Constitution. I would be willing to depend on that alone for the reduction of the administration of our government to the genuine principles of its Constitution; I mean an additional article, taking from the federal government the power of borrowing.

Oh, how things would have been different if we had only listened to Thomas Jefferson.

Please share this article with as many people as you can.  These are things that every American should know about the Federal Reserve, and we need to educate the American people about the Fed while there is still time.

The Man Without A Plan

Barack Obama is a man without a plan.  When you are young, they often tell you to “fake it until you make it”, but Barack Obama is taking this to ridiculous extremes.  Barack Obama has absolutely no idea what he is doing when it comes to the economy, and yet he continues to give speeches in which he declares that he is the man for the job.  The State of the Union speech the other night was just abysmal.  The federal government is spending way too much money, and yet Barack Obama is proposing even more government spending.  Entrepreneurs and small businesses are being taxed into oblivion and yet Barack Obama is proposing even higher taxes.  Our economy is being strangled to death by crippling regulations, and yet Barack Obama is proposing a vast array of new regulations.  Barack Obama always gives a nice speech, but it has become appallingly evident that he is totally out of ideas.  So our country will continue to drift aimlessly along without a direction and without a plan until the next financial tsunami comes along and makes things even worse.

And the American people are starting to clue in to the fact that Obama does not have a plan and does not have anything new to say.  Just check out how the audiences for his State of the Union addresses have declined each year….

2009: 52.3 million

2010: 48 million

2011: 42.8 million

2012: 37.8 million

His ratings are falling almost as fast as the ratings for American Idol are.

It is amazing how Barack Obama can use so many words to say so very little.

He always tickles our ears but then he never delivers the goods.  Toward the beginning of his speech the other night, he made the following statement….

“Tonight, I want to speak about how we move forward, and lay out a blueprint for an economy that’s built to last—an economy built on American manufacturing, American energy, skills for American workers, and a renewal of American values”

Well, that sounds pretty good.  Except for the fact that everything he has done for the past 3 years has been the exact opposite of that.

It is almost as if he woke up that morning and decided that he would try the whole “do the opposite” thing once made famous by George Costanza on Seinfeld.

Obama says that our employment situation is getting better, but that is not really true.  The only way that the federal government can claim that there is an 8.5 percent unemployment rate is because they have decided that millions of Americans that have been unemployed for a long time should not be considered “part of the workforce” any longer.

If the number of Americans that were considered to be part of the workforce was the same today as it was back in 2007, the “official” unemployment rate put out by the U.S. government would be up to approximately 11 percent.

Sadly, the number of Americans that are dependent on the government continues to soar even higher.

Since Barack Obama took office, the number of Americans on food stamps has actually increased by 14 million.

Things have not gotten better for average Americans.

They have gotten worse.

In fact, 10 million more Americans have fallen below the poverty line since 2006.  And in 2010, more Americans fell into poverty than ever before.

A lot of people out there are really hurting, and the American people deserve some real answers.

But instead, Obama was saying stuff like this the other night….

“I intend to fight obstruction with action, and I will oppose any effort to return to the very same policies that brought on this economic crisis in the first place”

Oh really?

What is Obama actually doing about the things that caused the last financial crisis?

The “financial reform” bill was a complete and total joke.  Obama has been shamefully soft on the big Wall Street banks that caused the last crisis.

Today, the “too big to fail” banks are larger than ever.  The total assets of the six largest U.S. banks increased by 39 percent between September 30, 2006 and September 30, 2011.

So now they are more of a danger to the financial system than ever.

And not a single Wall Street executive has gone to jail for what they did during the last financial crisis.

Thanks Obama.

But of course Obama was never going to seriously go after Wall Street.

After all, they are the ones that fund his campaigns.

Most Americans don’t realize this, but 3 of the top 7 donors to Obama’s campaign in 2008 were “too big to fail” banks.

And the Obama administration has been absolutely packed with ex-Wall Street bankers.  Last year, Michael Brenner wrote the following about the composition of the Obama administration….

Wall Street’s takeover of the Obama administration is now complete. The mega-banks and their corporate allies control every economic policy position of consequence. Mr. Obama has moved rapidly since the November debacle to install business people where it counts most. Mr.William Daley from JP Morgan Chase as White House Chief of Staff. Mr. Gene Sperling from the Goldman Sachs payroll to be director of the National Economic Council. Eileen Rominger from Goldman Sachs named director of the SEC’s Investment Management division. Even the National Security Advisor, Thomas Donilon, was executive vice president for law and policy at the disgraced Fannie Mae after serving as a corporate lobbyist with O’Melveny & Roberts. The keystone of the business friendly team was put in place on Friday. General Electric Chairman and CEO Jeffrey Immelt will serve as chair of the president’s Council on Jobs and Competitiveness.

During his State of the Union address, Obama also promised to bring manufacturing jobs back to America….

“Think about the America within our reach: A country that leads the world in educating its people. An America that attracts a new generation of high-tech manufacturing and high-paying jobs”

That sounds great, except for the fact that Obama has been doing everything he can to get more American jobs shipped out of the country.

The Obama administration has been aggressively pushing new “free trade” agreements with Panama, South Korea and Colombia.  The Obama administration has also made the Trans-Pacific Partnership (“the NAFTA of the Pacific“) an extremely high priority.

And of course we have all seen how wonderfully the first NAFTA worked out.

Our “free trade” policies have been an absolute nightmare for the American worker.

During 2010, an average of 23 manufacturing facilities a day shut down in the United States.  Overall, more than 56,000 manufacturing facilities in the United States have shut down since 2001.

We are bleeding jobs at a pace that is hard to believe.

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

Yet Obama promises more of the same and that is  supposed to help?

During his speech, Obama correctly noted that many foreign manufacturers are heavily subsidized….

“It’s not fair when foreign manufacturers have a leg up on ours, only because they’re heavily subsidized”

So are we going to deeply penalize those that have been cheating?

Are we going to warn them that we will stop trading with them unless they stop?

Of course not.

Obama is going to do next to nothing to stop what China and other predatory nations are doing to us.

Today, the United States spends approximately 4 dollars on goods and services from China for every one dollar that China spends on goods and services from the United States, and the U.S. trade deficit with China in 2010 was 27 times larger than it was back in 1990.

But the Obama administration doesn’t seem to care much about these things.

In fact, just check out what U.S. Trade Representative Ron Kirk told Tim Robertson of the Huffington Post about the Obama administration’s attitude toward keeping manufacturing jobs in America….

Let’s increase our competitiveness… the reality is about half of our imports, our trade deficit is because of how much oil [we import], so you take that out of the equation, you look at what percentage of it are things that frankly, we don’t want to make in America, you know, cheaper products, low-skill jobs that frankly college kids that are graduating from, you know, UC Cal and Hastings [don’t want], but what we do want is to capture those next generation jobs and build on our investments in our young people, our education infrastructure.

Oh, but Obama now says that he is going to toughen up on trade….

“I’m announcing the creation of a Trade Enforcement Unit that will be charged with investigating unfair trading practices in countries like China. There will be more inspections”

Oh boy – “inspections” – yeah, that is really going to have the Chinese shaking in their boots.

Meanwhile, the Chinese just keep hitting us with new tariffs.  According to the New York Times, a Jeep Grand Cherokee that costs $27,490 in the United States will now cost about $85,000 in China thanks to these new tariffs.

So is Obama going to hit China with tough new tariffs in return?

Of course not.

Meanwhile, our economy continues to bleed businesses and jobs.  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.

But if you listen to Obama, he makes it seem like many of our industries are in better shape than ever….

“We bet on American ingenuity, and tonight the American auto industry is back.”

Yes, the American auto industry is no longer on the brink of bankruptcy, but it is not “back”.  Just consider the following stats….

*In 1970, General Motors had about a 60 percent share of the U.S. automobile market.  Today, that figure is down to about 20 percent.

*Back in 2000, about 17 million new automobiles were sold in the United States.  During 2011, less than 13 million new automobiles were sold in the United States.

*Japan builds more cars than anyone else on the globe.  Japan now manufactures about 5 million more automobiles than the United States does.

*Since Alan Mulally became CEO of Ford, the company has reduced its North American workforce by nearly half.

*In the year 2000, the U.S. auto industry employed more than 1.3 million Americans.  Today, the U.S. auto industry employs about 698,000 people.

Obama bailed out the auto industry, and they responded by sending even more of our jobs overseas.

During his speech, Obama declared that there will be no more bailouts….

“No bailouts, no handouts, and no copouts.”

That is kind of funny because Obama is basically the all-time champion of handing out bailouts.

If Barack Obama and John McCain had not aggressively pushed for the Wall Street bailouts back in 2008, they never would have happened.

And once Obama became president, there was a seemingly endless parade of bailouts and “stimulus packages”.

So what do you honestly think he will do when the next financial crisis happens?  Do you think he would actually be able to resist the temptation for more bailouts?

Obama also says that he wants to spend more money on training for American workers….

“Join me in a national commitment to train two million Americans with skills that will lead directly to a job.”

But the American people already have enough training.  There are tons of college-educated Americans that are among the ranks of the unemployed right now.

What the American people need are jobs.

Unfortunately, jobs are leaving this country at an unprecedented pace.

Back in the year 2000, more than 20 percent of all jobs in America were manufacturing jobs.  Today, about 5 percent of all jobs in America are manufacturing jobs.

Not only that, but our incomes are also going down.  Because U.S. workers now have to compete for jobs with workers that make slave labor wages on the other side of the globe, pay in this country continues to decline.

A recent White House reported entitled “Investing in America: Building an Economy That Lasts” actually bragged that our trade policies have driven wages in America down.  The following chart is from that report….

The Obama administration has been very good for the largest corporations.

For the rest of us, not so much.

But Obama now says that he wants America to be a place that encourages entrepreneurs and small businesses to thrive….

“It means we should support everyone who’s willing to work; and every risk-taker and entrepreneur who aspires to become the next Steve Jobs.”

Unfortunately, the reality is that the federal government is strangling entrepreneurs and small businesses to death with taxes and crippling regulations.

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, 16.6 million Americans were self-employed back in December 2006.  Today, that number has shrunk to 14.5 million.

That is not a good trend.

And right now small businesses are extremely hesitant to bring on new workers.

One recent survey found that 77 percent of all U.S. small businesses do not plan to hire any more workers in the coming year.

So obviously what the Obama administration is doing is not working.

During his speech, Obama also spoke of developing our own energy resources….

“A future where we are in control of our own energy, and our security and prosperity aren’t so tied to unstable parts of the world.”

Hopefully most of those watching laughed when they heard this, because this had to have been a joke.

America is absolutely swimming in oil and natural gas, and yet the Obama administration has blocked the development of those resources at every turn.

Instead, Obama has been very busy trying to push green energy companies on us, but they have had a nasty habit of going bankrupt.

During his speech, Obama also spoke of the need for “comprehensive immigration reform”.

But apparently Obama’s idea of “immigration reform” is to grant “backdoor amnesty” to the vast majority of the illegal immigrants in the United States and to continue to leave our borders completely wide open.

The consequences of such a policy are very serious.  As I wrote about the other day, there are now 1.4 million gang members living inside the United States, and that number has risen by an astounding 40 percent since 2009.

The last thing we need is more “immigration reform” from Barack Obama.

Of course the “class warfare” part was the centerpiece of Obama’s speech the other night.

Referring to it as the “defining issue of our time”, Obama said that now is the time to hit the wealthy with higher taxes….

“We can either settle for a country where a shrinking number of people do really well, while a growing number of Americans barely get by. Or we can restore an economy where everyone gets a fair shot, everyone does their fair share, and everyone plays by the same set of rules.”

This is going to be what Barack Obama is going to base his entire 2012 campaign on.  He is going to try to tap into the economic frustrations of the poor and the middle class and he is going to try to get them to blame the rich and the “party of the rich” (the Republicans).

But taxing the rich is not going to solve our problems.  If Bill Gates donated his entire fortune to the U.S. government, it would only cover the U.S. budget deficit for about 15 days.

The truth is that the ultra-wealthy are always several steps ahead of the U.S. government.  The global elite are hiding 18 trillion dollars in offshore banks, and they are absolute experts at avoiding taxes.

No, the people that always get hit when taxes are raised are small business owners that try to do things “by the book” and middle class families that are barely scraping by.

What we need to do is to get rid of the income tax system entirely.  It is deeply corrupt and it is full of thousands of loopholes.

Trust me, I know.  I used to study this stuff.

But Obama seems to think that taxing the rich is the solution to all of our problems….

“We don’t begrudge financial success in this country. We admire it. When Americans talk about folks like me paying my fair share of taxes, it’s not because they envy the rich. It’s because they understand that when I get tax breaks I don’t need and the country can’t afford, it either adds to the deficit, or somebody else has to make up the difference – like a senior on a fixed income; or a student trying to get through school; or a family trying to make ends meet. That’s not right. Americans know it’s not right. They know that this generation’s success is only possible because past generations felt a responsibility to each other, and to their country’s future, and they know our way of life will only endure if we feel that same sense of shared responsibility. That’s how we’ll reduce our deficit.”

Oh really?

If we just accept Obama’s plan the deficit will be fixed?

That worked out so well during his first term.  During the first three years of the Obama administration, the U.S. government accumulated more debt than it did from the time that George Washington took office to the time that Bill Clinton took office.

The truth is that Obama does not plan to fix anything.  Barack Obama’s proposed 2012 budget projects that the national debt will rise to 26 trillion dollars a decade from now.  And his budget numbers are ridiculously optimistic.

Not that our tax system does not need reform.

If we are going to have an income tax system (which we should not), then it should at least be fair.

There is no way in the world that General Electric and Mitt Romney should pay a lower tax rate than you and I do.

In a previous article, I noted some of the big corporations that have made enormous profits and yet have paid less than zero in taxes in recent years….

What U.S. corporations are able to get away with is absolutely amazing.

The following figures come directly out of a report by Citizens for Tax Justice.  These are combined figures for the tax years 2008, 2009 and 2010.

During those three years, all of the corporations below made a lot of money.  Yet all of them paid net taxes that were below zero for those three years combined.

How is that possible?  Well, it turns out that instead of paying in taxes to the federal government, they were actually getting money back.

So for these corporations, their rate of taxation was actually below zero.

If you have not seen these before, you are going to have a hard time believing some of these statistics…..

*Honeywell*

Profits: $4.9 billion

Taxes: -$34 million

*Fed Ex*

Profits: $3 billion

Taxes: -$23 million

*Wells Fargo*

Profits: $49.37 billion

Taxes: -$681 million

*Boeing*

Profits: $9.7 billion

Taxes: -$178 million

*Verizon*

Profits: $32.5 billion

Taxes: -$951 million

*Dupont*

Profits: $2.1 billion

Taxes -$72 million

*American Electric Power*

Profits: $5.89 billion

Taxes -$545 million

*General Electric*

Profits: $7.7 billion

Taxes: -$4.7 billion

Are you starting to get the picture?

Hopefully we can all agree that there is something seriously wrong with those numbers.

But fixing holes in the tax system is one thing – blaming America’s economic ills on the wealthy is another.

During his speech, Obama made the following statement….

“You can call this class warfare all you want”

And yes, we will hear the term “class warfare” over and over again for the rest of 2012.

Obama actually believes that “blaming the 1%” can get him sent back to the White House again.

But that isn’t going to solve any of our problems.

Instead, we should be focusing on the root causes of our economic problems.

I would love to see a president get up during a State of the Union address and declare that we need to shut down the Federal Reserve.

Since the Federal Reserve was created in 1913, the U.S. dollar has lost over 95 percent of its purchasing power.

Since the Federal Reserve was created in 1913, the U.S. national debt has gotten more than 5000 times larger.

Thanks to the debt-based Federal Reserve system, we are going into debt at a pace that is unlike anything the world has ever seen.

Right now, the federal government is stealing 150 million dollars an hour from our children and our grandchildren.

But Barack Obama loves the Federal Reserve.

In fact, he actually nominated Ben Bernanke for a second term as Federal Reserve Chairman even though Bernanke has a track record of incompetence that is legendary.

So no, nobody should be applauding Barack Obama for his absolutely abysmal speech the other night.

He is a man without a plan and he has been an absolute disaster for America.

40 Hard Questions That The American People Should Be Asking Right Now

If you spend much time watching the mainstream news, then you know how incredibly vapid it can be.  It is amazing how they can spend so much time saying next to nothing.  There seems to be a huge reluctance to tackle the tough issues and the hard questions.  Perhaps I should be thankful for this, because if the mainstream media was doing their job properly, there would not be a need for the alternative media.  Once upon a time, the mainstream media had a virtual monopoly on the dissemination of news in the United States, but that has changed.  Thankfully, the Internet in the United States is free and open (at least for now) and people that are hungry for the truth can go searching for it.  Today, an increasing number of Americans want to understand why our economy is dying and why our national debt is skyrocketing.  An increasing number of Americans are deeply frustrated with what is going on in Washington D.C. and they are alarmed that we seem to get closer to becoming a totalitarian police state with each passing year.  People want real answers about our foreign policy, about our corrupt politicians, about our corrupt financial system, about our shocking moral decline and about the increasing instability that we are seeing all over the world, and they are not getting those answers from the mainstream media.

If the mainstream media will not do it, then those of us in the alternative media will be glad to tackle the tough issues.  The following are 40 hard questions that the American people should be asking right now….

#1 If Iran tries to shut down the Strait of Hormuz, what will that do to the price of oil and what will that do to the global economy?

#2 If Iran tries to shut down the Strait of Hormuz, will the United States respond by launching a military strike on Iran?

#3 Why is the Federal Reserve bailing out Europe?  And why are so few members of Congress objecting to this?

#4 The U.S. dollar has lost well over 95 percent of its value since the Federal Reserve was created,  the U.S. national debt is more than 5000 times larger than it was when the Federal Reserve was created and Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke has a track record of incompetence that is absolutely mind blowing.  So what possible justification is there for allowing the Federal Reserve to continue to issue our currency and run our economy?

#5 Why does the euro keep dropping like a rock?  Is this a sign that Europe is heading for a major recession?

#6 Why are European banks parking record-setting amounts of cash at the European Central Bank?  Is this evidence that banks don’t want to lend to one another and that we are on the verge of a massive credit crunch?

#7 If the European financial system is going to be just fine, then why is the UK government preparing feverishly for the collapse of the euro?

#8 What did the head of the IMF mean when she recently said that we could soon see conditions “reminiscent of the 1930s depression“?

#9 How in the world can Mitt Romney say with a straight face that the individual health insurance mandate that he signed into law as governor of Massachusetts was based on “conservative principles”?  Wouldn’t that make the individual mandate in Obamacare “conservative” as well?

#10 If the one thing that almost everyone in the Republican Party seems to agree on is that Obamacare is bad, then why is the candidate that created the plan that much of Obamacare was based upon leading in so many of the polls?

#11 What did Mitt Romney mean when he stated that he wants “to eliminate some of the differences, repeal the bad, and keep the good” in Obamacare?

#12 If no Republican candidate is able to accumulate at least 50 percent of the delegates by the time the Republican convention rolls around, will that mean that the Republicans will have a brokered convention that will enable the Republican establishment to pick whoever they want as the nominee?

#13 Why are middle class families being taxed into oblivion while the big oil companies receive about $4.4 billion in specialized tax breaks a year from the federal government?

#14 Why have we allowed the “too big to fail” banks to become even larger?

#15 Why has the United States had a negative trade balance every single year since 1976?

#16 Back in 1970, 25 percent of all jobs in the United States were manufacturing jobs. Today, only 9 percent of all jobs in the United States are manufacturing jobs.  How in the world could we allow that to happen?

#17 If the United States has lost an average of 50,000 manufacturing jobs a month since China joined the World Trade Organization in 2001, then why don’t our politicians do something about it?

#18 If you can believe it, more than 56,000 manufacturing facilities in the United States have permanently closed down since 2001.  So exactly what does that say about our economy?

#19 Why was the new Martin Luther King, Jr. Memorial on the National Mall made in China?  Wasn’t there anyone in America that could make it?

#20 If low income jobs now account for 41 percent of all jobs in the United States, then how are we going to continue to have a vibrant middle class?

#21 Why do the poor just keep getting poorer in the United States today?

#22 How can the Obama administration be talking about an “economic recovery” when 48 percent of all Americans are either considered to be “low income” or are living in poverty?

#23 Why has the number of new cars sold in the U.S. declined by about 50 percent since 1985?

#24 How can we say that we have a successful national energy policy when the average American household will spend a whopping $4,155 on gasoline by the end of this year?

#25 Why does it take gigantic mountains of money to get a college education in America today?  According to the Student Loan Debt Clock, total student loan debt in the United States will surpass the 1 trillion dollar mark in early 2012.  Isn’t there something very wrong about that?

#26 Why do about a third of all U.S. states allow borrowers who don’t pay their bills to be put in jail?

#27 If it costs tens of billions of dollars to take care of all of the illegal immigrants that are already in this country, why did the Obama administration go around Congress and grant “backdoor amnesty” to the vast majority of them?  Won’t that just encourage millions more to come in illegally?

#28 Why are gun sales setting new all-time records in America right now?

#29 Why are very elderly women being strip-searched by TSA agents at U.S. airports?  Does that really keep us any safer?

#30 The last words of Steve Jobs were “Oh wow. Oh wow. Oh wow.”  What did he mean by that?

#31 How in the world did scientists in Europe decide that it was a good idea for them to create a new “killer bird flu” that is very easy to pass from human to human?

#32 If our founding fathers intended to set up a limited central government, then why does the federal government just continue to get bigger and bigger?

#33 Are we on the verge of an absolutely devastating retirement crisis?  On January 1st, 2011 the very first of the Baby Boomers started to reach the age of 65.  Now more than 10,000 Baby Boomers will be turning 65 every single day for the next two decades.  So where in the world are we going to get all the money we need to pay them the retirement benefits that we have promised them?

#34 If the federal government stopped all borrowing today and began right at this moment to repay the U.S. national debt at a rate of one dollar per second, it would take over 440,000 years to pay off the U.S. national debt.  So does anyone out there actually still believe that the U.S. national debt will be paid off someday?

#35 If the U.S. economy is getting better, then why are an all-time record 46 million Americans now on food stamps?

#36 How can we say that we have the greatest economy on earth when we have a child poverty rate that is more than twice as high as France and one out of every four American children is on food stamps?

#37 Since 1964, the reelection rate for members of the U.S. House of Representatives has never fallen below 85 percent.  So are the American people really that stupid that they would keep sending the exact same Congress critters back to Washington D.C. over and over and over?

#38 What does it say about our society that nearly one-third of all Americans are arrested by the time they reach the age of 23?

#39 Why do so many of our politicians think that it is a good idea to allow the U.S. military to arrest American citizens on American soil and indefinitely detain them without a trial?

#40 A new bill being considered by the U.S. House of Representatives would give the U.S. government power to shut down any website that is determined to “engage in, enable or facilitate” copyright infringement.  Many believe that the language of the new law is so vague that it would allow the government to permanently shut down any website that even links very briefly to “infringing material”.  Prominent websites such as Facebook, Twitter and YouTube would be constantly in danger of being given a “death penalty”.  The American people need to ask their members of Congress this question: Do you plan to vote for SOPA (The Stop Online Piracy Act)?  If the answer is yes, that is a clear indication that you should never cast a single vote for that member of Congress ever again.

So do you have answers to some of the questions posted above?

Please feel free to leave a comment with your thoughts below….

Getting Worse: 40 Undeniable Pieces Of Evidence That Show That America Is In Decline

Is America in decline?  That is a very provocative question.  I have found that most people that hate the United States are very eager to agree that America is in decline, while a lot of those that love the United States are very hesitant to admit that America is in decline.  Well, I am proud to be an American, but I cannot lie and tell you that America is doing just fine.  The pieces of evidence compiled below are undeniable.  Our economy is deathly ill and is rapidly getting worse.  We were handed the keys to the greatest economic machine in the history of the world and we have wrecked it.  But until we are willing to look in the mirror and admit how bad things have gotten, we won’t be ready for the solutions that are necessary.  The truth is that there are things that we can do to reverse the decline.  It does not have to be permanent.  We have gotten away from the things that made America great, and we need to admit that we are on the wrong path and start fixing this country.  But if we choose to continue down the road that we are currently on, it will lead us into the darkest chapters in American history.

The following are 40 undeniable pieces of evidence that show that America is in decline….

#1 Back in 1985, 11 million vehicles were sold in America.  In 2009, only 5.4 million vehicles were sold in America.

#2 In 1990, the median age of a vehicle in the United States was just 6.5 years.  Today, the median age of a vehicle in the United States is approximately 10 years.

#3 The average price of a gallon of gasoline in 2011 has been $3.50.  That is a new all-time record.  The previous record was $3.24 in 2008.

#4 The average American household will have spent an astounding $4,155 on gasoline by the time the year is over.

#5 The number of children in the United States without a permanent home has increased by 38 percent since 2007.

#6 A decade ago, the United States was ranked number one in average wealth per adult.  By 2010, the United States had fallen to seventh.

#7 The U.S. tax code is now more than 50,000 pages longer than it used to be.

#8 American 15-year-olds do not even rank in the top half of all advanced nations when it comes to math or science literacy.

#9 The United States once had the highest proportion of young adults with post-secondary degrees in the world.  Today, the U.S. has fallen to 12th.

#10 After adjusting for inflation, U.S. college students are borrowing about twice as much money as they did a decade ago.

#11 The student loan default rate has nearly doubled since 2005.

#12 Our economy is not producing nearly enough jobs for our college graduates.  The percentage of mail carriers with a college degree is now 4 times higher than it was back in 1970.

#13 Our infrastructure was once the envy of the world.  Today, U.S. infrastructure is ranked 23rd.

#14 Since December 2007, median household income in the United States has declined by a total of 6.8% once you account for inflation.

#15 Since the year 2000, incomes for U.S. households led by someone between the ages of 25 and 34 have fallen by about 12 percent after you adjust for inflation.

#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.  Last year, an average of 23 manufacturing facilities a day shut down in the United States.

#17 In all, more than 56,000 manufacturing facilities in the United States have shut down since 2001.

#18 The United States has lost a staggering 32 percent of its manufacturing jobs since the year 2000.

#19 Manufacturing employment in the U.S. computer industry was actually lower in 2010 than it was in 1975.

#20 In 1959, manufacturing represented 28 percent of all U.S. economic output.  In 2008, it represented only 11.5 percent.

#21 The television manufacturing industry began in the United States.  So how many televisions are manufactured in the United States today?  According to Princeton University economist Alan S. Blinder, the grand total is zero.

#22 The U.S. trade deficit with China in 2010 was 27 times larger than it was back in 1990.

#23 The Economic Policy Institute says that since 2001 America has lost approximately 2.8 million jobs due to our trade deficit with China alone.

#24 According to one study, between 1969 and 2009 the median wages earned by American men between the ages of 30 and 50 dropped by 27 percent after you account for inflation.

#25 Back in 1980, less than 30% of all jobs in the United States were low income jobs.  Today, more than 40% of all jobs in the United States are low income jobs.

#26 The size of the economy in India is projected to surpass the size of the U.S. economy by the year 2050.

#27 One prominent economist believes that the Chinese economy will be three times larger than the U.S. economy by the year 2040.

#28 In 2001, the United States ranked fourth in the world in per capita broadband Internet use.  Today it ranks 15th.

#29 Back in the year 2000, 11.3% of all Americans were living in poverty.  Today, 15.1% of all Americans are living in poverty.

#30 Last year, 2.6 million more Americans dropped into poverty.  That was the largest increase that we have seen since the U.S. government began keeping statistics on this back in 1959.

#31 According to the U.S. Census Bureau, 6.7% of all Americans are living in “extreme poverty”, and that is the highest level that has ever been recorded before.

#32 The percentage of children living in poverty in the United States increased from 16.9 percent in 2006 to nearly 22 percent in 2010.  In the UK and in France the child poverty rate is well under 10 percent.

#33 As I wrote about the other day, since 2007 the number of children living in poverty in the state of California has increased by 30 percent.

#34 A staggering 48.5% of all Americans live in a household that receives some form of government benefits.  Back in 1983, that number was below 30 percent.

#35 Back in 1965, only one out of every 50 Americans was on Medicaid.  Today, one out of every 6 Americans is on Medicaid.

#36 Between 1991 and 2007 the number of Americans between the ages of 65 and 74 that filed for bankruptcy rose by a staggering 178 percent.

#37 Today, the “too big to fail” banks are larger than ever.  The total assets of the six largest U.S. banks increased by 39 percent between September 30, 2006 and September 30, 2011.

#38 Since the Federal Reserve was created in 1913, the U.S. dollar has lost over 95 percent of its purchasing power.

#39 During the Obama administration, the U.S. government has accumulated more debt than it did from the time that George Washington took office to the time that Bill Clinton took office.

#40 The U.S. national debt is now nearly 15 times larger than it was just 30 years ago.

Sadly, most Americans are not fired up about turning this country around.  Way too many of them realize that things are getting worse, but they have “checked out” and are just going through the motions of life.

A perfect example is posted below.  In this video, a FedEx delivery guy just chucks a computer monitor over somebody’s fence….

Can you believe he did that?

The sad thing is that the guy was actually home at the time and all the FedEx employee needed to do was ring the bell.

This is the kind of attitude that is killing America.

We all need to start caring again.  We all need to start taking pride in what we do.  We all need to start working hard again.  We all need to make sure that we are living with a sense of personal integrity.

When a nation simply does not care anymore, even a con man can become president.

During a recent 60 Minutes interview, Barack Obama said that only 3 presidents in U.S. history accomplished more than he did during the first two years of his presidency….

“The issue here is not going be a list of accomplishments. As you said yourself, Steve, you know, I would put our legislative and foreign policy accomplishments in our first two years against any president — with the possible exceptions of Johnson, F.D.R., and Lincoln — just in terms of what we’ve gotten done in modern history. But, you know, but when it comes to the economy, we’ve got a lot more work to do.”

He had to be joking, right?

Sadly, he was not joking.

But it is not just Barack Obama.  The truth is that both political parties are absolutely littered with con men, charlatans and corrupt politicians.

It is going to be up to the American people to get educated about how bad things have really gotten, to start demanding solutions, and to start voting much better people into positions of authority.

If dramatic changes are not made, our economy will continue to get worse and the decline of America will continue to accelerate.

We cannot stay on this road my friends.

It is only going to lead to a total nightmare.

Please share this information as widely as possible, and please try to wake up as many of your fellow Americans as you can while there is still time.

The 9-9-9 Plan: Is The Herman Cain Tax Plan A Good Idea?

As he continues to heavily tout his “9-9-9 plan”, Herman Cain has seen his popularity soar.  But is the Herman Cain tax plan a good idea for America?  Without a doubt, the “9-9-9 plan” is simple and it is easy to remember.  To most Americans, it sounds like a low tax plan.  But is that the truth?  As you will see below, Herman Cain’s 9-9-9 plan will actually raise federal taxes on some middle income Americans to as high as 37 percent.  If the other Republican candidates understood this, they would be jumping all over Cain.  But instead the best that most of them seem to be able to do is to make jokes about it.  For example, Jon Huntsman said that he thought that the 9-9-9 plan “was the price of a pizza when I first heard about it.”  That is a funny line, but the reality is that the future of our tax system is very serious business.  Our economy is dying and our nation is drowning in debt.  We need some very real solutions to our very real problems.  So let’s take a closer look at the 9-9-9 plan that Herman Cain is proposing….

The one great thing about the 9-9-9 plan is that it would completely eliminate the current tax code.  That should be the starting point for any proposal for reforming our current system of taxation.

Under Herman Cain’s plan, all current federal taxes would be eliminated.  Social Security taxes would be eliminated, estate taxes would be eliminated and capital gains taxes would be eliminated.

All current tax deductions and loopholes would be eliminated as well.

So far so good.

Under the 9-9-9 plan, the current tax system would be replaced with a 9 percent personal income tax, a 9 percent business income tax and a 9 percent national sales tax.

Uh oh.

9 sounds like a low number, but when you add tax on top of tax on top of tax they can add up very quickly.  The truth is that some Americans would end up paying significantly more taxes under the Herman Cain tax plan.

Even Herman Cain is admitting this.  The following is what Cain said about his plan the other day on NBC’s Meet The Press….

“Some people will pay more”

So who will be paying more?

Will it be the those at the top of the food chain?

No, the reality is that the Herman Cain tax plan would represent a substantial tax hike for millions of middle income families.

According to ABC News, an average family of four with a yearly income of just under $50,000 (i.e. the median household income), would pay approximately $2,725 more to the federal government in taxes under the 9-9-9 plan.

Well, that doesn’t sound good.

That doesn’t sound like a recipe for economic recovery.

But if you are a middle income small business owner, the news is much worse than that.

Under Herman Cain’s tax plan, some small business owners could end up paying up to 37 percent of their incomes in taxes to the federal government.

Here is how that breaks down….

#1) First they would pay the 9 percent personal income tax.

#2) Secondly, they would pay 9 percent on all business income.  There would not even be a deduction for wages paid out.  This would hit some small businesses incredibly hard.  In fact, small businesses that have a very tight profit margin could be totally wiped out by this.

A lot of people have assumed that the 9 percent tax on businesses is only on corporations.  But that simply is not the case.

In a recent article, Paul Krugman of the New York Times explained what the 9-9-9 plan really says….

From comments I see that some readers believe that Cain’s second “9″ is a profits tax, which I’ve argued in the past probably falls on capital owners. But it isn’t: it’s a tax on all business income, defined as sales minus purchased inputs and dividends — but with no deduction for wages.

Ouch.

Okay, so now we are up to 18 percent for small business owners.

#3) The 9-9-9 plan also calls for a 9 percent national sales tax.  Of course the truth is that very few people will spend all of their money on things that the national sales tax is imposed upon, but theoretically this could add another 9 percent to an individual’s tax burden.

So now we are up to a potential total of 27 percent for small business owners.

The 9-9-9 plan would also make sales taxes absolutely crushing in some areas of the United States.  For example, it has been projected that once you throw in state and local sales taxes, some areas of the country could be facing a combined sales tax as high as 17 percent once the 9-9-9 plan is implemented.

Cain’s plan would also set the stage for a VAT tax to be implemented.  Many countries in Europe have already implemented a VAT tax, and quite a few liberal politicians in the U.S. have been eager to institute one here.

The potential dangers of a VAT tax were described in a recent article by Dean Clancy….

A VAT is a form of national sales tax that is collected at every stage of the process from the initial sale of raw materials to a manufacturer to the final sale of a finished product to an end-consumer. It’s the most insidious of all taxes, because it is built into the price of everything and consumers can’t see how much of the price is due to the tax. When taxes rise, prices rise, but consumers mistakenly assume that’s just market forces at work. Politicians love a VAT: it lets them take a lot more money out of our wallets. And VATs usually exist side by side with income taxes, not in lieu of them. Taxpayers should hate VATs for the same reasons politicians love them.

Politicians love “new revenue streams”, and once they get opened up they rarely ever get closed.

#4) Anyway, getting back to the main issue, so how do we get up to 37 percent for small business owners under the 9-9-9 plan?

Well, Herman Cain has also been heavily touting “the Chilean model” as a replacement for Social Security.

Under the Chilean model, all citizens are absolutely required to contribute 10 percent of all income to private pension plans.  Workers in Chile do not have the option to opt out of the system.

So if “the Chilean model” is adopted to replace the current Social Security system, that would mean that an extra 10 percent mandatory “tax” would be added on top of the 9-9-9 plan.

That would mean that many middle income small business owners could end up paying up to 37 percent of all of their income in taxes.

Is that something that you could afford to do?

When you add in state taxes, local taxes, property taxes and the dozens of other taxes that Americans pay each year, many middle income Americans would end up paying out over 50 percent of their incomes in taxes.

So much for a low tax plan.

So where in the world did Herman Cain get the idea for the 9-9-9 plan?

Well, there are some that are now claiming that he got the 9-9-9 plan from a video game.

Yes, seriously.

The following is an excerpt from a recent article in  The Daily Mail about the 9-9-9 plan….

Though he claims to have received the idea from a bank employee named Richard Lowrie Jr. in Ohio, observers are now questioning if the true inspiration is the tax code used on the SimCity video game.

The game, originally invented in 1989 allows players to plan and run virtual cities. The fourth version of the game, which came out in 2003, taxes players nine per cent for industrial taxes, nine per cent for residential taxes and nine per cent for commercial taxes.

Does that sound familiar?

Let us hope that this is not true.  Let us hope that Herman Cain did not get his tax plan from a video game.

But in any event, perhaps it is time to take a closer look at Herman Cain.

For example, did you know that he was once the chairman of the Kansas City Federal Reserve Board?

That is not a good sign.

As I have written about so many times, the Federal Reserve is at the very heart of our economic problems.

But Herman Cain does not intend to abolish the Federal Reserve.  In fact, he is very fond of the Federal Reserve.  He is on record as saying that a comprehensive audit of the Federal Reserve is not even needed.

The following is what Herman Cain once had to say about the need for an audit of the Federal Reserve….

Some people say that we ought to audit the Fed. Here’s what I do know. The Federal Reserve already has so many internal audits it’s ridiculous. I don’t know why people think we’re gonna learn this great amount of information by auditing the Federal Reserve.

I think a lot of people are calling for this audit of the Federal Reserve because they don’t know enough about it. There’s no hidden secrets going on in the Federal Reserve to my knowledge.

That is so sad.  There is a lot to like about Herman Cain.  But obviously his 9-9-9 plan is not well thought out, and he is a big time apologist for the Federal Reserve.

During the financial crisis, the Federal Reserve made $16 trillion in secret loans to the big Wall Street banks and to their friends.

That dollar figure is larger than the total value of all goods and services produced in the United States for an entire year.

If Congress had not passed a one time limited audit of the Federal Reserve we would have never learned about those loans.

So how in the world can Herman Cain claim that there is no need to audit the Fed?

Once again, there are definitely some things to like about Herman Cain, but when it comes to economics, taxation and the Federal Reserve, he is way out of his league.

So what is the alternative to the 9-9-9 plan?

The alternative should not be to go back to our current system of taxation.  It is broken beyond repair and needs to be abolished.

If we are going to tax income, we need a system that will be fair and not full of loopholes, that will not overly burden the poor, that will encourage businesses to stay in the United States, that will limit the size of the federal government and that will be easy to understand and implement.

But the truth is that until the federal government completely shuts down the Federal Reserve and the IRS we are going to be enslaved to debt and we are going to be paying much higher taxes than we should be.  We are operating in a debt-based monetary system which is designed to transfer wealth away from the American people.  We desperately need to change this.

It is entirely possible that we could have a system that did not tax income at all.  For much of U.S. history, that was the case in this nation.  It would certainly be possible to do it again.

So right now is definitely a time for some bold new ideas.

Unfortunately, the 9-9-9 plan is not going to be the solution to much of anything.

 

12 More Signs That Society Is Collapsing

What we are now witnessing is the slow motion unraveling of America.  Our economy is dying, the American people have lost faith in the government and in almost all of our other major institutions, and our society is collapsing.  Most Americans don’t understand why all of this is happening, but most of them do realize that something has fundamentally changed.  Earlier this year, McDonald’s held a “National Hiring Day” and a million Americans showed up to apply for jobs.  Only 62,000 of them were hired.  That means only 6.2% of the applicants got jobs.  So what are we supposed to tell the 93.8% that didn’t get hired?  Are they supposed to have any hope for the future when they can’t even get a minimum wage job at McDonald’s?  When I was a teenager, I went over to McDonald’s one day, filled out an application and was instantly hired.  My, how things have changed.  Now we have millions upon millions of young people that are staring directly into a very bleak future.  The level of frustration in this country is rising to frightening levels and large numbers of people are already showing that they will stoop to anything in order to survive.

In a recent article entitled “18 Signs The Collapse Of Society Is Accelerating” I focused primarily on the chaos that has been erupting in many of our urban areas.  But the truth is that, as you will see below, there are signs that society is collapsing coming out of very rural areas as well.  This phenomenon cannot just be pinned down to one area of the country or to one group of people.  From coast to coast people are already starting to lose it and the economic collapse has only just begun.

The cold, hard reality of the matter is that what we are experiencing right now is rip-roaring prosperity compared to what is coming down the road.

So if people will behave this wildly now, what is our society going to look like someday when there are millions of Americans that have not had anything to eat for several days?

That is something to think about.

History has shown us that when people are really, really hungry they will do just about anything.

But right now we are not even close to that point and yet people all across America are going crazy.

The following are 12 more signs that society is collapsing….

#1 In my previous article, I detailed how the “mob robbery” phenomenon in Chicago is spinning wildly out of control.  Well, just this morning, the brother of Billy Corgan (the front man for the Smashing Pumpkins) was mugged and had his iPod stolen by a mob of teens while he was riding a Red Line train in Chicago.

Things have gotten so bad that now even The Wall Street Journal is taking notice of the rash of “mob robberies” that have been happening in Chicago.  The following is how a new article in the Journal described one of the recent attacks….

In another incident last Saturday evening, Krzysztof Wilkowski, after shopping on Michigan Avenue, was sitting on his scooter a couple of blocks away checking his phone for a restaurant when he got whacked in the face with a baseball.

At first, he said, he thought it was a prank, but then he looked up and saw 15 to 20 young men approaching. “My first reaction was, ‘I’m about to get robbed, what do I do?’ ” Mr. Wilkowski recalled in an interview.

The 34-year-old insurance company employee from a Chicago suburb grabbed the keys from his ignition and held tight to his phone. A few of the attackers dragged him off his scooter and pulled him onto Chicago Avenue where they punched him, hit him with his helmet and tried to grab his phone.

#2 Sadly, “mob robberies” are not just happening in Chicago.  The following is a video of a mob robbery that took place in Stockton, California….

This next video is an Associated Press video report about how police have become extremely concerned about the “flash mobs” that have been plaguing Philadelphia lately…..

This is a very, very disturbing trend.  Once these videos go up on YouTube, other groups of young people “copycat” them all over the country.

The next 10 signs are from some of my readers.  In response to my previous article that discussed how society is collapsing, a number of people left comments that described what is happening in their particular areas.  Sometimes so many dozens of comments get left that some real gems get overlooked.  The following is a sampling of what my readers have been sharing about how society is collapsing where they live….

#3 Golden Child (Third Richest County In America):

About a month ago I was robbed in broad daylight walking to the store on a picture perfect 75 degree sunny day at 1 PM by two high school dropout teenagers on the path in my nice suburban town which is located in third richest county in America! A few months before that I was beaten unconscious by random drunk young people on the path near my home that I woke up in the hospital getting stitches in my face. This will be one dangerous summer for places all across America.

#4 Chris (Fargo, North Dakota):

I live in Fargo,ND and we have been having a rash of crime lately. In the past 6 months we have had multiple gas station robberies, bank robberies, and the latest, a shooting at one of our three movie theaters.

#5 Sue (Ogden, Utah):

I am a teacher in Ogden, Utah and this last winter I had a second grade student tell me that if I didn’t tell him how old I was that he was going to “shoot me in the back of my head.” He was suspended from school because that is a threat of violence, but nothing changed. His parents are active gang members.

#6 Heather (Columbus, Ohio):

I live close enough to Columbus, OH to follow the news there. (Thankfully far enough away not to be regularly affected by it.) Every day there is a new report of a violent crime. I believe we are up to 70 or so murders on the year. 10 years ago this wasn’t the case. I could (and did) walk into the worst part of the city and be safe as long as I was vigilant. I wouldn’t try that for the world now. I used to be a bank teller there and there’d be maybe 1 robbery a month throughout the city. It’s at least one a week now, probably more than that. And it’s no longer the downtown banks that are getting robbed–it’s the suburban ones.

#7 The Baroness (Atlanta):

I live in Atlanta Georgia. Everyday there are signs. Today’s headlines are: Babysitter kills toddler, 2 shot outside teen party, Brick thrown from I-75 overpass and several more.

#8 Gas Panic (Unknown):

The first, a 21 year old pizza delivery girl who was held with a knife to her throat while making a delivery. They took all the money she had on her and even took the time to search her car! The second was a 30 year old woman who told me she was walking down the street and was solicited by a pimp telling her she could “make good money”. After she told him to get lost, he stabbed her in the back of the arm. She needed over twenty stitches and showed me the wound.

#9 NS (Fairbanks, Alaska):

Even in Fairbanks, Alaska, there has been similar “mob robbing” going on. Yes, it is spreading everywhere.

#10 Katherine (Unknown):

I’ve also seen a huge increase in theft, vandalism, sexual assault, and violence just in the past couple of years. This is in a city that used to make the list in top places to live in the U.S. year after year.

#11 Doktryn (Richmond, California):

I live in Richmond California aka the city with the 2nd highest murder rate next to New Orleans, aka the city where the probability of you being killed is 5x higher. It is getting very serious out here, and luckily I don’t live in the rough part, however I go to the rough part to try to witness and preach. People are walking zombies. At any point their lives can be taken but the fact is, this is all they know. It is completely hopeless and when you wrote about “American Hellholes” I live in one. Richmond, CA is a post-industrial warzone. I work in the manufacturing industry, and I got here not long ago, but if you just drive through the city, the boarded up homes and abandoned warehouses tell the tale of how a deindustrialized city quickly turns to a battlefield.

#12 IWillSurvive (Rural America):

In my area we have been able to sleep well enough and always known our neighbors – up until a few months ago I did not lock my cars or my home most of the time – there was no need. That has changed, neighbors are now siphoning gas out of cars from desperation, and stealing scrap lumber, metal, livestock, produce and anything else they can get their hands on to sell or eat. Over the last year or so the police departments of some areas have started taking these seriously and actually investigated and caught a few. They are sometimes groups of people working together to amass resources to sell. We now keep a vigilant eye on our little flock of chickens and we have a colony of rabbits as well. We no longer “free range” them on our property at all – the risk of theft is too high if others know we have them. We keep any resources away from the road on the back side of our property – we also keep two German Shepherd Dogs for guarding our property. Living in the country is NOT what it used to be.

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Sadly, this is just the beginning.

This is just the tip of the iceberg.

As the economy collapses, the chaos is going to get a lot worse.

I wish that wasn’t true, but this is the world we live in now.

The recent article I did about the “economic hell” that American families are going through right now got a huge response, but honestly what we are experiencing right now is not even worth comparing to how nightmarish things are going to be when our economic system fully collapses.

We have been on the biggest debt binge that the world has ever seen.  Our debt-fueled prosperity has enabled us to enjoy an unprecedented standard of living.  But the largest debt bubble in the history of the world is going to pop, and when it does the party is going to be over.

You better get ready.

The Economic Collapse