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AUDIT OF THE FEDERAL RESERVE REVEALS $16 TRILLION IN SECRET BAILOUTS

AUDIT OF THE FEDERAL RESERVE REVEALS $16 TRILLION IN SECRET BAILOUTS

The first ever GAO (Government Accountability Office) audit of the Federal Reserve was carried out in the past few months due to the Ron Paul, Alan Grayson Amendment to the Dodd-Frank bill, which passed last year. Jim DeMint, a Republican Senator, and Bernie Sanders, an independent Senator, led the charge for a Federal Reserve audit in the Senate, but watered down the original language of the house bill (HR1207), so that a complete audit would not be carried out. Ben Bernanke(pictured to the left), Alan Greenspan, and various other bankers vehemently opposed the audit and lied to Congress about the effects an audit would have on markets. Nevertheless, the results of the first audit in the Federal Reserve’s nearly 100 year history were posted on Senator Sander’s webpage earlier this morning.

What was revealed in the audit was startling: $16,000,000,000,000.00 had been secretly given out to US banks and corporations and foreign banks everywhere from France to Scotland. From the period between December 2007 and June 2010, the Federal Reserve had secretly bailed out many of the world’s banks, corporations, and governments. The Federal Reserve likes to refer to these secret bailouts as an all-inclusive loan program, but virtually none of the money has been returned and it was loaned out at 0% interest. Why the Federal Reserve had never been public about this or even informed the United States Congress about the $16 trillion dollar bailout is obvious — the American public would have been outraged to find out that the Federal Reserve bailed out foreign banks while Americans were struggling to find jobs.

To place $16 trillion into perspective, remember that GDP of the United States is only $14.12 trillion. The entire national debt of the United States government spanning its 200+ year history is “only” $14.5 trillion. The budget that is being debated so heavily in Congress and the Senate is “only” $3.5 trillion. Take all of the outrage and debate over the $1.5 trillion deficit into consideration, and swallow this Red pill: There was no debate about whether $16,000,000,000,000 would be given to failing banks and failing corporations around the world.

In late 2008, the TARP Bailout bill was passed and loans of $800 billion were given to failing banks and companies. That was a blatant lie considering the fact that Goldman Sachs alone received 814 billion dollars. As is turns out, the Federal Reserve donated $2.5 trillion to Citigroup, while Morgan Stanley received $2.04 trillion. The Royal Bank of Scotland and Deutsche Bank, a German bank, split about a trillion and numerous other banks received hefty chunks of the $16 trillion.

“This is a clear case of socialism for the rich and rugged, you’re-on-your-own individualism for everyone else.” – Bernie Sanders (I-VT)

When you have conservative Republican stalwarts like Jim DeMint(R-SC) and Ron Paul(R-TX) as well as self identified Democratic socialists like Bernie Sanders all fighting against the Federal Reserve, you know that it is no longer an issue of Right versus Left. When you have every single member of the Republican Party in Congress and progressive Congressmen like Dennis Kucinich sponsoring a bill to audit the Federal Reserve, you realize that the Federal Reserve is an entity onto itself, which has no oversight and no accountability.

Americans should be swelled with anger and outrage at the abysmal state of affairs when an unelected group of bankers can create money out of thin air and give it out to megabanks and supercorporations like Halloween candy. If the Federal Reserve and the bankers who control it believe that they can continue to devalue the savings of Americans and continue to destroy the US economy, they will have to face the realization that their trillion dollar printing presses can be stopped with five dollars worth of bullets.

The list of institutions that received the most money from the Federal Reserve can be found on page 131 of the GAO Audit and are as follows..

Citigroup: $2.5 trillion ($2,500,000,000,000)

Morgan Stanley: $2.04 trillion ($2,040,000,000,000)

Merrill Lynch: $1.949 trillion ($1,949,000,000,000)

Bank of America: $1.344 trillion ($1,344,000,000,000)

Barclays PLC (United Kingdom): $868 billion ($868,000,000,000)

Bear Sterns: $853 billion ($853,000,000,000)

Goldman Sachs: $814 billion ($814,000,000,000)

Royal Bank of Scotland (UK): $541 billion ($541,000,000,000)

JP Morgan Chase: $391 billion ($391,000,000,000)

Deutsche Bank (Germany): $354 billion ($354,000,000,000)

UBS (Switzerland): $287 billion ($287,000,000,000)

Credit Suisse (Switzerland): $262 billion ($262,000,000,000)

Lehman Brothers: $183 billion ($183,000,000,000)

Bank of Scotland (United Kingdom): $181 billion ($181,000,000,000)

BNP Paribas (France): $175 billion ($175,000,000,000)

and many many more including banks in Belgium of all places

View the 266-page GAO audit of the Federal Reserve(July 21st, 2011): http://www.scribd.com/doc/60553686/GAO-Fed-Investigation

Source: http://www.gao.gov/products/GAO-11-696

FULL PDF on GAO server: http://www.gao.gov/new.items/d11696.pdf

Senator Sander’s Article: http://sanders.senate.gov/newsroom/news/?id=9e2a4ea8-6e73-4be2-a753-62060dcbb3c3

http://www.unelected.org/audit-of-the-federal-reserve-reveals-16-trillion-in-secret-bailouts

July 21, 2011

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Semantic Propaganda Feeds Stupidity: : Lies are being fed to the Public by America’s Two-party Plutocracy

By Joel S. Hirschhorn

Semantic Propaganda Feeds Stupidity: Lies are being fed to the Public by America’s Two-party Plutocracy

We would already have had a much needed American revolution in response to the tyranny of the money-fed two-party plutocracy that is destroying the middle class except for one big problem: so much of the American population is just plain stupid. Too stupid to behave like angry Greeks and rise up in the streets to rebel against the dysfunctional government.

In the never ending fight of Republicans and their cancerous (make that stupid) Tea Party members to gain even more control of the US political system, economy and culture they have fixed on another semantic weapon. The latest attack on intelligence is the constant use of the term job creators in place of words like the rich or wealthy. Not just plain Republicans in Congress are doing this, but especially the large crop of Republican presidential candidates.

This bit of cleverness surely was deemed necessary because much of the nation was beginning to appreciate the class warfare going on. Rising economic inequality, unemployment set in concrete, and merging of the middle class into the poverty stricken lower class were all becoming clearer.

Keep this in mind: As Zuckerman pointed out, the US “experienced the loss of over 7 million jobs, wiping out every job gained since the year 2000. From the moment the Obama administration came into office, there have been no net increases in full-time jobs, only in part-time jobs. This is contrary to all previous recessions. Employers are not recalling the workers they laid off from full-time employment.” Business sectors have discovered that they can maximize profits with smaller US work forces; they export jobs and their capital investments. And they benefit from all kinds of tax loopholes protected by Republicans so that they pay very little if any US taxes.

A terrific new new article by Jeff Reeves makes the case that unemployment will actually rise to over 10 percent, because of anticipated layoffs in the financial, technology, and aerospace and defense sectors. The data are compelling. All this despite high profits.

Apple is sitting on an amazing $76 BILLION in cash. Other than understanding that people are paying too much for their products, just imagine if they invested a big fraction of that on moving manufacturing of its products from foreign countries to the US. An enormous number of good jobs could be created here.

What were Republicans to do, especially as they used the current crisis surrounding the need to raise the national debt limit to seek huge cuts in federal spending affecting ordinary Americans and prevent higher taxes for the greedy rich and corporate forces?

What better way than to falsely claim and constantly presume that those that should be paying higher taxes are exactly the ones who create jobs and that they would not do so if hit by higher taxes. In truth, this is a bold lie. The richest Americans have been paying the lowest taxes in many decades and corporate profits have been enormous, and this reality has clearly had absolutely no positive impact on the unemployment and underemployment plaguing at least 30 million Americans and their family members.

Go back to the post-World War II era when the richest Americans paid very high taxes and you discover that jobs and fairly distributed wealth were created in abundance.

Neither wealth nor jobs trickle down from the Upper Class. Proper government policies are required to prevent criminally large fractions of the nation’s wealth going to the most greedy and selfish elites. Those NOT rich that support Republicans are very stupid; they have been brainwashed by the steady stream of Republican lies and propaganda that are used to serve the rich and corporate interests sustaining Republicans with much money. The return on their investment has proven more than adequate to justify their endless input of money to Republicans.

We probably will soon see President Obama cave in and giver Republicans much of what they want. There will be major cuts in federal programs that will place millions of Americans in even more precarious economic uncertainty and pain. And there will probably be far too little increases in taxes on the rich and corporations. Medicare, Medicaid and Social Security may all be cut in ways that harm many people.

Lies are constantly being fed to the public. Will you be smart enough to see them for what they are? The more you face this ugly, disturbing reality, the more embarrassed you will be about the US political system and, hopefully, the more inclined you will be to stop voting for any Republicans or Democrats and participating in our delusional democracy.

Contact Joel S. Hirschhorn through delusionaldemocracy.com.

Joel S. Hirschhorn is a frequent contributor to Global Research.  Global Research Articles by Joel S. Hirschhorn

Copyright © Joel S. Hirschhorn, Global Research, 2011

The West Is Trapped In Its Own Propaganda

By Paul Craig Roberts

The West Is Trapped In Its Own Propaganda

One of the wishes that readers often express to me came true today (May 11). I was on the mainstream media. It was a program with a worldwide reach–the BBC World Service. There were others on the program as well, and the topic was Hillary Clinton’s remarks (May 10) about the lack of democracy and human rights in China.

I startled the program’s host when I compared Hillary’s remarks to the pot calling the kettle black. I was somewhat taken aback myself by the British BBC program host’s rush to America’s defense and wondered about it as the program continued. Surely, he had heard about Abu Ghraib, Guantanamo detainees, CIA secret torture prisons sprinkled around the world, invasion and destruction of Iraq on the basis of lies and deceptions, Afghanistan, Pakistan, Yemen, Somalia, Libya. Surely, he was aware of Hillary’s hypocrisy as she demonized China but turned a blind eye to Israel, Mubarak, Bahrain and the Saudis. China’s record is not perfect, but is it this bad? Why wasn’t the Chinese Minister for Foreign Affairs criticizing America’s human rights abuses and rigged elections? How come China minds its own business and we don’t?

These questions didn’t go down well. None of the other interviewees or guests thought that Hilary had made a good decision, but even the Chinese guests were not free of the common mindset that frames every issue from the standpoint that the West is the standard by which the rest of the world is judged. By pointing out our own shortcomings, I was challenging that standard. The host and other guests could not escape from the restraints imposed on thought by the role of the West as world standard.

What has happened to the West is that it can see itself and others only through the eyes of its own propaganda. There was a great deal of talk about China’s lack of democracy. As the BBC program was being broadcast, the news intruded that Greeks had again taken to the streets to protest the costs of the bailout of the banks and Wall Street–the rich–being imposed on ordinary people at the expense of their lives and aspirations. The Irish government announced that it was going to confiscate with a tax part of the Irish people’s pension accumulations. It simply did not occur to the host and other guests that these are not democratic outcomes.

It is a strange form of democracy that produces political outcomes that reward the few and punish the many, despite the energetic protests of the many.

Political scientists understand that US electoral outcomes are determined by powerful monied interests that finance the political campaigns and that the bills Congress passes and the President signs are written by these interest groups to serve their narrow interests. Such conclusions are dismissed as cynicism and do not alter the mindset.

While the program’s host and guests were indulging in the West’s democratic and human rights superiority, the American Civil Liberties Union was sending out a bulletin urging its members to oppose legislation now before Congress that would give the current and future Presidents of the United States expanded war authority to use, on their own initiative, military force anywhere in the world independently of the restraints imposed by the US Constitution and international law.

In other words, in the great American “democracy,” the president is to become a Caesar.

A Recipe For Fascism

November 8, 2010 1 comment

Chimera

© unknown

By Chris Hedges

A Recipe For Fascism

American politics, as the midterm elections demonstrated, have descended into the irrational. On one side stands a corrupt liberal class, bereft of ideas and unable to respond coherently to the collapse of the global economy, the dismantling of our manufacturing sector and the deadly assault on the ecosystem. On the other side stands a mass of increasingly bitter people whose alienation, desperation and rage fuel emotionally driven and incoherent political agendas. It is a recipe for fascism.

More than half of those identified in a poll by the Republican-leaning Rasmussen Reports as “mainstream Americans” now view the tea party favorably. The other half, still grounded in a reality-based world, is passive and apathetic. The liberal class wastes its energy imploring Barack Obama and the Democrats to promote sane measures including job creation programs, regulation as well as criminal proceedings against the financial industry, and an end to our permanent war economy. Those who view the tea party favorably want to tear the governmental edifice down, with the odd exception of the military and the security state, accelerating our plunge into a nation of masters and serfs. The corporate state, unchallenged, continues to turn everything, including human beings and the natural world, into commodities to exploit until exhaustion or collapse.

All sides of the political equation are lackeys for Wall Street. They sanction, through continued deregulation, massive corporate profits and the obscene compensation and bonuses for corporate managers. Most of that money—hundreds of billions of dollars—is funneled upward from the U.S. Treasury. The Sarah Palins and the Glenn Becks use hatred as a mobilizing passion to get the masses, fearful and angry, to call for their own enslavement as well as to deny uncomfortable truths, including global warming. Our dispossessed working class and beleaguered middle class are vulnerable to this manipulation because they can no longer bear the chaos and uncertainty that come with impoverishment, hopelessness and loss of control. They have retreated into a world of illusion, one peddled by right-wing demagogues, which offers a reassuring emotional consistency. This consistency appears to protect them from the turmoil in which they have been forced to live. The propaganda of a Palin or a Beck may insult common sense, but, for a growing number of Americans, common sense has lost its validity.

The liberal class, which remains rooted in a world of fact, rationalizes placating corporate power as the only practical response. It understands the systems of corporate power. It knows the limitations and parameters. And it works within them. The result, however, is the same. The entire spectrum of the political landscape collaborates in the strangulation of our disenfranchised working class, the eroding of state power, the criminal activity of the financial class and the paralysis of our political process.

Commerce cannot be the sole guide of human behavior. This utopian fantasy, embraced by the tea party as well as the liberal elite, defies 3,000 years of economic history. It is a chimera. This ideology has been used to justify the disempowerment of the working class, destroy our manufacturing capacity, and ruthlessly gut social programs that once protected and educated the working and middle class. It has obliterated the traditional liberal notion that societies should be configured around the common good. All social and cultural values are now sacrificed before the altar of the marketplace.

The failure to question the utopian assumptions of globalization has left us in an intellectual vacuum. Regulations, which we have dismantled, were the bulwarks that prevented unobstructed brutality and pillaging by the powerful and protected democracy. It was a heavily regulated economy, as well as labor unions and robust liberal institutions, which made the American working class the envy of the industrialized world. And it was the loss of those unions, along with a failure to protect our manufacturing, which transformed this working class into a permanent underclass clinging to part-time or poorly paid jobs without protection or benefits.

The “inevitability” of globalization has permitted huge pockets of the country to be abandoned economically. It has left tens of millions of Americans in economic ruin. Private charity is now supposed to feed and house the newly minted poor, a job that once, the old liberal class argued, belonged to the government. As John Ralston Saul in “The Collapse of Globalization” points out, “the role of charity should be to fill the cracks of society, the imaginative edges, to go where the public good hasn’t yet focused or can’t. Dealing with poverty is the basic responsibility of the state.” But the state no longer has the interest or the resources to protect us. And the next target slated for elimination is Social Security.

That human society has an ethical foundation that must be maintained by citizens and the state is an anathema to utopian ideologues of all shades. They always demand that we sacrifice human beings for a distant goal. The propagandists of globalization—from Lawrence Summers to Francis Fukuyama to Thomas Friedman—do for globalization and the free market what Vladimir Lenin and Leon Trotsky did for Marxism. They sell us a dream. These elite interpreters of globalism are the vanguard, the elect, the prophets, who alone grasp a great absolute truth and have the right to impose this truth on a captive people no matter what the cost. Human suffering is dismissed as the price to be paid for the coming paradise. The response of these propagandists to the death rattles around them is to continue to speak in globalization’s empty rhetoric and use state resources to service a dead system. They lack the vision to offer any alternative. They can function only as systems managers. They will hollow out the state to sustain a casino capitalism that is doomed to fail. And what they offer as a solution is as irrational as the visions of a Christian America harbored by many within the tea party.

We are ruled by huge corporate monopolies that replicate the political and economic power, on a vastly expanded scale, of the old trading companies of the 17th and 18th centuries. Wal-Mart’s gross annual revenues of $250 billion are greater than those of most small nation-states. The political theater funded by the corporate state is composed of hypocritical and impotent liberals, the traditional moneyed elite, and a disenfranchised and angry underclass that is being encouraged to lash out at the bankrupt liberal institutions and the government that once protected them. The tea party rabble, to placate their anger, will also be encouraged by their puppet masters to attack helpless minorities, from immigrants to Muslims to homosexuals. All these political courtiers, however, serve the interests of the corporate state and the utopian ideology of globalism. Our social and political ethic can be summed up in the mantra let the market decide. Greed is good.

The old left—the Wobblies, the Congress of Industrial Workers (CIO), the Socialist and Communist parties, the fiercely independent publications such as Appeal to Reason and The Masses—would have known what to do with the rage of our dispossessed. It used anger at injustice, corporate greed and state repression to mobilize Americans to terrify the power elite on the eve of World War I. This was the time when socialism was not a dirty word in America but a promise embraced by millions who hoped to create a world where everyone would have a chance. The steady destruction of the movements of the left was carefully orchestrated. They fell victim to a mixture of sophisticated forms of government and corporate propaganda, especially during the witch hunts for communists, and overt repression. Their disappearance means we lack the vocabulary of class warfare and the militant organizations, including an independent press, with which to fight back.

We believe, like the Spaniards in the 16th century who pillaged Latin America for gold and silver, that money, usually the product of making and trading goods, is real. The Spanish empire, once the money ran out and it no longer produced anything worth buying, went up in smoke. Today’s use in the United States of some $12 trillion in government funds to refinance our class of speculators is a similar form of self-deception. Money markets are still treated, despite the collapse of the global economy, as a legitimate source of trade and wealth creation. The destructive power of financial bubbles, as well as the danger of an unchecked elite, was discovered in ancient Athens and detailed more than a century ago in Emile Zola’s novel “Money.” But we seem determined to find out this self-destructive force for ourselves. And when the second collapse comes, as come it must, we will revisit wrenching economic and political tragedies forgotten in the mists of history.

Chris Hedges, who writes a weekly column for Truthdig, is the author of “Death of the Liberal Class.”

Related:

George Orwell, “Politics and the English Language,” 1946

The Top Censored Stories From 2009-2010

By Project Censored

The Top Censored Stories From 2009-2010


1. Global Plans to Replace the Dollar


2. US Department of Defense is the Worst Polluter on the Planet


3. Internet Privacy and Personal Access at Risk


4. ICE Operates Secret Detention and Courts


5. Blackwater (Xe): The Secret US War in Pakistan


6. Health Care Restrictions Cost Thousands of Lives in US


7. External Capitalist Forces Wreak Havoc in Africa


8. Massacre in Peruvian Amazon over US Free Trade Agreement


9. Human Rights Abuses Continue in Palestine


10. US Funds and Supports the Taliban


11. The H1N1 Swine Flu Pandemic: Manipulating Data to Enrich Drug Companies


12. Cuba Provided the Greatest Medical Aid to Haiti after the Earthquake


13. Obama Cuts Domestic Spending and Increases Military Corporate Welfare


14. Increased Tensions with Unresolved 9/11 Issues


15. Bhopal Water Still Toxic Twenty-five Years After Deadly Gas Leak


16. US Presidents Charged with Crimes Against Humanity as Universal Jurisdiction Dies in Spain


17. Nanotech Particles Pose Serious DNA Risks to Humans and the Environment


18. The True Cost of Chevron


19. Obama Administration Assures World Bank and International Monetary Fund a Free Reign of Abuse


20. Obama’s Charter School Policies Spread Segregation and Undermine Unions


21. Western Lifestyle Continues Environmental Footprint


22. 1.2 Billion People in India to be Given Biometric ID Cards


23. Afghan War: Largest Military Coalition in History


24. War Crimes of General Stanley McChrystal


25. Prisoners Still Brutalized at Gitmo


Censored 2011- New Book Release on 9/15

Project Censored’s “Censored 2011: The Top Censored Stories of 2009-2010″ is now available for pre-order here! This year’s volume is truly Media Democracy in Action. Not only does it cover the most under-reported stories the corporate media ignore, but this year’s Censored Deja Vu, Junk Food News and News Abuse, Signs of Health, and FAIR’s 10th anniversary of Fear and Favor in the News Room. A full Truth Emergency section debuts this year for “Censored 2011″ to address State Crimes Against Democracy as well as analysis of the corporate media spin that led to the Iraq War and continues to hide US allied atrocities in the Middle East. Project Censored now has over 30 college and university affiliates contributing on our expanding websites and we introduce this year the Project Censored International section of the book, reviewing global trends in media control and censorship. Former director Peter Phillips and new director Mickey Huff describe the new directions of the Project and research methodology plus an update from Dave Mathison on Being the Media, London’s Index on Censorship and much, much more! From now to September 15th, anyone donating $30 or more to the Project will receive a signed copy of “Censored 2011″ by the editors. Regular orders can be sent through the store on the Project Censored website for $19.95 plus $3 shipping and handling. Mail orders can be sent to Media Freedom Foundation, P.O. Box 571, Cotati, CA 94931. Thank you for your support of Project Censored and for helping fight media censorship.

available for pre-order here!
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© Copyright Project Censored, Project Censored, 2010

Wrecking the American Dream

October 6, 2010: By Steve Lendman

Wreaking the American Dream

Long planned, the current economic storm erupted violently in late 2007. It wasn’t by accident. It was engineered years back, so financial racketeers could profit from wrecking global economies and destroying their middle class, including America’s.

On February 1, 2009, former high-level Wall Street and government insider, Catherine Austin Fitts, explained it an article headlined, “Financial Coup d’Etat,” saying:

A global financial cabal “engineered a fraudulent housing and debt bubble; illegally shifted vast amounts of capital out of the US; and used ‘privatization’ as a form of piracy – a pretext to move government assets to private investors at below-market prices and then shift private liabilities back to government at no cost to the private liability holder….Clearly, there was a global financial coup d’etat underway,” its magnitude overwhelming and incomprehensible to most people, as planned.

Many trillions of dollars have been stolen, shifted from public to elitist private hands – by far, the greatest ever wealth transfer in history, a global heist, sucking capital out of one country after another, including America. It’s an ongoing “de-moderniz(ation)” process, transforming Western countries into third world ones – in real time, in plain sight, yet few people understand.

In stark terms, Fitts says it’s more than just “a process designed to wipe out the middle class. This is genocide (by other means) – a much more subtle and lethal version than ever before perpetrated by the scoundrels of our history texts.”

It’s a government-business cabal for enormous profits through “legislation, contracts, regulation (or lack of it), financing, subsidies,” and massive handouts to Wall Street favorites. Carefully rigged for powerful elitists, the public is so cleverly harmed that few understand what’s happening – literally that their livelihoods, welfare and lives are being destroyed in real time. The America older generations knew no longer exists, the dream of millions wiped out, and it’s also happening throughout Europe.

In his September 30 article titled, “The Neoliberal Experiment and Europe’s anti-Austerity Strikes,” Michael Hudson explained sinister plans “to drastically change the laws and structure of how European society will function for the next generation. If (successful, they’ll) break up Europe, destroy the internal market, and render that continent a backwater. This is how serious the financial coup d’etat has become. And it is going to get much worse – quickly….The bankers are demanding that (governments) rebuild their loan reserves at labor’s expense.” It’s also Obama’s scheme, shifting greater wealth to the rich, impoverishing the rest.

Throughout the West, neoliberals are in control. “From Brussels to Latvia, (they) aim to shrink their economies to roll back wage levels by 30 percent or more – depression-style levels – (for) ‘more surplus’….to pay in debt service,” tribute to global bankers, turning Europe “into a banana republic.” It’s also planned for America.

“This requires dictatorship.” Labor is targeted for destruction. “Europe (like America) is entering an era of totalitarian neoliberal rule.” So-called “free markets” aren’t possible without it. But wait – “This is economic suicide, taxing labor, not the rich, and at the same time “slash(ing) wages and pensions, cut(ting) back public spending and employment, and shrink(ing) the economy,” turning Western societies into dystopian backwaters, a dark future unfolding in real time.

In his October 2 International Forecaster report, former insider and long-time financial expert Bob Chapman adds more about America, saying:

“There is no question that those who control our government from behind the scenes are bound and determined to take over the $6 trillion in private pension plans. Whether they’ll be successful remains to be seen. The Department of Labor wants to force all IRAs and 401ks into the arms of a corporate fascist government, that knows (best what’s) good for you.” They want public investments exchanged for “a guaranteed, government annuity that is not worth the paper it is written on.”

“Small amounts would go into” government retirement R-bonds, the larger portion earmarked for Wall Street – the usual suspects profiting, including Goldman Sachs, JPMorgan Chase, Citigroup, Bank of America, and other giants for even greater market control than already, and far more capital to manipulate for profit. Chapman calls it “monopoly control and subjugation of worldwide investments, a total hold on the control of all investments” to scam the public more than ever and head them deeper into poverty, exactly what Washington and Western governments propose.

On the pretext of reform, destroying Medicare and Social Security are also planned by privatizing them, earmarking them for Wall Street, the same way 401ks killed corporate pensions.

The House Republicans’ “Pledge to America” aims to wreck them by promising to save them, including by “reviewing Social Security and other entitlement programs” – meaning, let Wall Street bandits, not Washington run them.

A longtime GOP priority, congressional Republicans, Reps. Paul Ryan, Kevin McCarthy, and Eric Cantor explained it in their book, titled “Young Guns: A New Generation of Conservative Leaders,” proposing privatizing Social Security and replacing Medicare with a voucher system that amounts to the same thing. If enacted, of course, it will leave workers and seniors high and dry by providing Wall Street racketeers with a new opportunity for pillage.

Democrats have the same plan, to be unveiled in the lame duck session on the pretext of deficit reduction and fiscal austerity, ideas Obama endorses. On February 18, he signed an Executive Order, establishing a “bipartisan National Commission on Fiscal Responsibility and Reform” (a deficit reduction commission) to slash social spending, focusing heavily on Medicare and Social Security.

Stacked with neoliberal ideologues, Congress will get its recommendations during the lame duck session, and according to observers, then enact legislation before the 112th body’s first session in January. On the pretext of saving the economy, bipartisan chicanery plans to wreck it, leaving millions high and dry on their own.

Fiscal responsibility means class warfare, the agenda Professor Carroll Quigley explained in his 1966 book, titled “Tragedy and Hope,” saying:

“(T)he powers of financial capitalism (have a) far-reaching aim, nothing less than to create a world system of financial control in private hands to dominate the political system of each country and the (entire world economy). This system (would) be controlled in a feudalist fashion by (global, privately run central banks), acting in concert” secretly.

With bipartisan support, their plan is virtually complete. It will be advanced in the lame duck session, then further by the 112th Congress until all social programs end and finance capital has full control.

America’s Economic Landscape

On September 19, the Business Cycle Dating Committee of the National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER), “determined that a trough in business activity occurred in the US economy in June 2009. The trough marks the end of the recession that began in December 2007.”

Stacked with corporate economists (practicing what Michael Hudson calls “junk economics”), the types featured on business channels and in mainstream publications, the NBER is a Wall Street tool.

Non-member David Rosenberg has another view, saying “it is very difficult (getting) excited about (today’s) economic landscape.”

Unemployment is dangerously high. It’ll worsen, not improve, and there’s “absolutely no recovery in bank lending – especially to households.” In fact, consumer loans and real estate credit keep dropping, hardly a sign of recovery, besides disturbing consumer sentiment levels, a deep housing depression, and any number of other indicators showing a hugely troubled economy. It’s why independent observers like Hudson and Chapman expect worse to come, a tsunami of economic pain, hitting ordinary people hardest.

In 2008/09, the Fed’s near zero interest rate policy and quantitative easy money (QE1) failed. Sustainable economic growth, job creation, revived consumer spending, and normalized housing haven’t happened. No matter. Though already underway, on September 21, the Federal Open Market Committee (FOMC) announced QE2, saying:

“Measures of underlying inflation are currently at levels somewhat below those the Committee judges most consistent, over the long run, (and are) likely to remain subdued for some time….”

“The Committee will continue to monitor the economic outlook and financial developments and is prepared (read has already begun providing) additional accommodation (as) needed to support the economic recovery….”

In other words, money creation and asset buying will continue even though nearly two years of doing it failed. Key indicators show deep economic weakness. Gold is at record highs, and bond markets are signaling a depressed economic climate.

According to investment analyst Claus Vogt, the economic picture is “bleak….With the housing market in shambles, bank lending contracting, and consumers tapped out, there is no base for a sustainable recovery.”

“Will QE2 help? QE1’s failure showed even “the mighty Fed was not strong enough to” reverse the trend. “I can’t see a single reason” to think this time is different. “If anything, I expect the Fed’s efforts to prove even more ineffective this time around” because QE2 is its only remaining tool. QE1’s failure proved it ineffective.

Moreover, Bernanke knows it, having argued (with former Fed vice chairman Alan Blinder) against this type multiplier in 1988. In addition, bank reserves aren’t being loaned. They’re being stockpiling or held at the Fed for above-market rates. As a result, QE2 ad infinitum won’t work without lending, what’s not happening, nor will it under Bernanke’s scheme to prevent it. Further, under the fractional reserve system, banks don’t need credit to make loans. They do it by creating money out of thin air every time they issue one.

Thus, expect stagnation and more slowdown ahead, exacerbating existing problems, especially with bipartisan support for fiscal austerity at a time massive stimulus is needed. In addition, the Fed needs to put its money where our mouths are instead of handing it over to Wall Street.

Instead counterproductive policies are planned, Rosenberg saying, “It does not leave us with a very warm and fuzzy feeling.” In other commentaries, he’s expressed alarm, believing economic conditions describe depression, a conclusion he’s repeated several times.

A Final Comment

On September 28, the US Census Bureau provided more evidence of economic trouble, reporting America’s highest ever income gap. In 2009, median household income fell nearly 3% from $51,726 to $50,221, the second consecutive annual drop.

Moreover, among all developed nations, America has the highest income disparity, and it’s showing up in record numbers needing Medicaid, food stamps, and emergency food help. In addition, higher levels of poverty, homelessness and other worrying signs show economic weakness, not strength.

Yet, with growing human depravation, bipartisan indifference cares only about serving wealth and privilege. Expect that attitude to harden post-election, leaving growing millions on their own, out of luck, and if new legislation passes as expected, eventually without Social Security and Medicare, once Wall Street bandits gets their hands on them.

On September 18, Obama explained it when he told the Congressional Black Caucus, “You didn’t elect me to do what was popular. You elected me to do what was right,” his hidden message meaning populism will be sacrificed for privilege. As a result, expect lots tougher times ahead because political leaders plan it – wrecking the American dream for business at the public’s expense unless enough outrage erupts to stop it.

Stephen Lendman lives in Chicago and can be reached at lendmanstephen@sbcglobal.net. Also visit his blog site at sjlendman.blogspot.com and listen to cutting-edge discussions with distinguished guests on the Progressive Radio News Hour on the Progressive Radio Network Thursdays at 10AM US Central time and Saturdays and Sundays at noon. All programs are archived for easy listening.

http://www.progressiveradionetwork.com/the-progressive-news-hour/.

Related stories:

October 8, 2010: America’s Third World Economy by Paul Craig Roberts

October 2, 2010: “A Financial Coup d’Etat” European Neoliberals Raise Ante in War on Labor; Fateful Struggle Will Set Course for a Generation by Michael Hudson

March to Nowhere

October 5, 2010: By Chris Hedges

March to Nowhere

We can hold One Nation marches every week. It will not make any difference until we revolt against the formal structures of power.

The liberal preoccupation with positive forms of propaganda ignores the root of our problem. The tea party and hate mongers on Fox such as Glenn Beck, however repugnant, are the manifestation of the crisis, not its cause. The forces assaulting the remnants of American democracy will not be cowed or discredited with rallies, such as the one in Washington on Saturday. We will blunt these rising anti-democratic forces only when we organize outside conventional systems of power. It means dismantling the permanent war economy and the corporate state. It means an end to foreclosures and bank repossessions. It means a functional health care system for all Americans. It means taking care of our poor and unemployed. And it means a system of government that is freed from corporate interests.

Mass support for anti-democratic movements and public acceptance of open violations of human rights are not caused, in the end, by the skillful dissemination of misinformation or brainwashing. They are caused by the breakdown of a society and the death of a liberal class that once made reform and representative government possible. The timidity of our liberal class was on public display during the march in Washington. Speakers may have called for jobs, but none would call on citizens to abandon the rotting hull of the Democratic Party and our moribund political system or put Wall Street speculators in prison. The speakers at the rally proposed working within the current electoral system, although most Americans are aware that it has been gamed by corporate interests. This is hardly a call, especially given the failures of the Obama administration, that will fire up the unemployed and underemployed.

“We need jobs,” the Rev. Al Sharpton said at the march. “We’ve bailed out the banks. We bailed out the insurance companies. Now it’s time to bail out the American people.”

But Sharpton and the other speakers, too close to the power elite in the Democratic Party, did not call for rebellion. There was no war cry against Wall Street and the purveyors of death in the defense and health industry. There was no acknowledgement that unfettered capitalism and globalization are killing our ecosystem and creating a worldwide system of neo-feudalism. There was no acceptance that the corporate state must be dismantled if we are to save ourselves. Any effective resistance must begin with a condemnation of our political elite and liberal institutions, including the press, the universities, labor, the arts, religious institutions and the Democratic Party, for selling us out. But the speakers on the mall in Washington would not go there. And I suspect, for this reason, the Americans who are hurting most found nothing they said of interest.

All totalitarian movements, even those that are openly criminal, succeed because they have widespread mass support. They are the expression of a yearning that sweeps through a nation that has been convulsed by economic dislocation, a loss of hope and flagrant political corruption. And in these times of lament and deprivation the absurdities, crimes and excesses of reactionary forces do not matter. It wasn’t hard to find out what Slobodan Milosevic was doing in Bosnia. It wasn’t hard in Nazi Germany to hear about the widespread massacres of Jews in Poland. It is not a secret to most Americans that Muslim detainees, held for years without charges, are tortured in black sites around the world. The murder of tens of thousands of civilians by our forces in Iraq, Afghanistan and Pakistan is tacitly acknowledged by the public as the price of war. The massive human suffering in the open-air prison that is Gaza is not a mystery. We know what happens to the millions of undocumented workers who live as stateless citizens among us and have become a kind of modern day slave labor force.

The rising proto-fascist movement in America is caused by a hatred and alienation so profound that the crimes of the state, along with the buffoonish antics of those who defend and champion these crimes, do not matter. We will not discredit the right-wing with facts, a demand for a respect of law or rational discussion. Propaganda or counter messages of tolerance are not the issue. The issue is societal collapse. This issue is a corporate state that has carried out a coup d’etat. The issue is the rupture of all mechanisms within the political process to protect citizens from accelerating impoverishment, internal control and corporate abuse. Those who refuse to acknowledge this bleak reality cannot offer solutions.

The right-wing propagandists have not created the problem. They have tapped into the moral void that has left tens of millions of Americans yearning for a profound and radical change. And if torture, war, racist attacks on immigrants, gays and Muslims, along with increased repression against internal dissidents, is the price for moral and economic renewal, many Americans are ready to sign on. If those who lead this rising proto-fascist movement insist on a Christian nation, teach creationism and believe in the physical existence of Satan, many Americans will sign on for this too. Hatred, when mobilized, is a very effective political force. And hatred, including the hatred for a liberal class that abandoned the working class, is what we face.

The decimation of our working class through outsourcing and globalization dynamited two of the most important props of the democratic system—class consciousness and class conflict. This has left traditional political parties, which once represented differing class interests, with nothing to offer the public beyond fringe issues such as abortion or gay marriage. Those in the liberal class who cling to the corpse of the Democratic Party do so not because they believe in the policies of the party—it does not differ in any significant way from the Republican Party—but because they hope against hope that the party will somehow restore itself to its former position as a defender of liberal values and the working class interests. It is the politics of nostalgia.

Our political theater has orphaned citizens who once looked to political parties to express and defend their interests. It has engendered apathy toward traditional social and political structures and an inchoate rage. This mixture of apathy and rage is a volatile cocktail. It finds its expression outside normal systems of dissent and in leaders who, in times of prosperity and stability, would be dismissed as lunatics.

No rally, no positive message, no effort to expose the idiocies of those arrayed against us will work until we restore to the political process mechanisms by which ordinary citizens can be heard. Hannah Arendt in “The Origins of Totalitarianism” cites the collapse of traditional political mechanisms, which now plagues us, as the opening needed for all totalitarian movements:

“The fall of protecting class walls transformed the slumbering majorities behind all parties into one great unorganized, structureless mass of furious individuals who had nothing in common except their vague apprehension that the hopes of party members were doomed, that, consequently, the most respected, articulate and representative members of the community were fools and that all the powers that be were not so much evil as they were equally stupid and fraudulent.”

The One Nation March in Washington, which lacked moral and political courage, did nothing to educate or rally our most important constituency—those out of work, those being foreclosed, those without hope. It refused to confront the real, corporate structures of power. It refused to disown Barack Obama and the Democrats. And in the end it only confirmed what those who hate us think of liberals.

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