What Will You Do When The Government Checks Stop?

Submitted by Tom Chatham via Project Chesapeake, Preppers talk about the day when paper currency becomes worthless and how they plan to barter when things fall apart. But, what will most people do when the government check they depend on stops forever more. Over 50% of the people in America now get some kind of government check every month. That is a question that I think many people have not come to grips with yet. At some point, the checks will stop. Social security and Medicare are running dry fast and it is only a matter of time before they stop paying out in whole or in part. If someone relies on these payments then they likely do not have sufficient money stored away to survive on in the event payments stop. Not only that, the many other entitlement payments sent out monthly that are keeping the population clothed, […] Read More

American Middle Class “Wealth” Worse Than Every Nation But Russia & Indonesia

Submitted by Mike Krieger via Liberty Blitzkrieg blog, One of Liberty Blitzkrieg’s most popular posts in 2013 was titled: How Does America’s Middle Class Rank Globally? #27. Here’s an excerpt: We are number 1 right? USA! USA! No one can beat our wealth creation machine, our economic dynamism, our level playing field and our bastions of higher education. We have a middle class that is the envy of the world, right? Well, like so much of the “American dream” we have been force fed for a generation or more, this perception is not based in reality whatsoever. Sure it may have been the case for a couple of decades immediately after World War 2. Before the military-industrial-Wall Street complex fully took over the political process, but it certainly isn’t true any longer. Myths die hard and this one is particularly pernicious because it prevents people from changing things. The data in that […] Read More

6 Numbers That Show How Out of Whack America’s Priorities Are

Americans constantly hear about the threat of “entitlements,” which in the case of Social Security and Medicare are more properly defined as “earned benefits.” The real threat is the array of entitlements demanded by the very rich. The following annual numbers may help to put our country’s expenses and benefits in perspective. $220 Billion: Teacher Salaries According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics there are just over four million preschool, primary, secondary, and special education school teachers in the U.S., earning an average of $54,740. $246 Billion: State and Local Pensions Census data shows a total annual (2012) payout of about $246 billion. Only about $100 billion of this came from state and local governments, with the remainder funded by employee contributions and investment earnings. A recent Pew study showed a little over $100 billion in annual state contributions to pensions, health care, and non-pension benefits. $398 Billion: Safety Net The 2013 safety net (non-medical) included the Supplemental […] Read More

2014: David Stockman’s “Born Again Jobs Scam”: The Ugly Truth Behind “Jobs Friday”

Submitted by David Stockman via his Contra Corner blog, The mainstream recovery narrative has an astounding “recency bias”. According to all the CNBC talking heads, the 192,000 NFP jobs gain reported on Friday constituted another “strong” report card. Well, let’s see. Approximately 75 months ago (December 2007) at the cyclical peak before the so-called Great Recession, the BLS reported 138.4 million NFP jobs. When the hosanna chorus broke into song last Friday, the reported figure was 137.9 million NFP jobs. By the lights of old-fashioned subtraction, therefore, we are still 500k jobs short—notwithstanding $3.5 trillion of money printing in the interim. The truth is, all the ballyhooed “new jobs” celebrated on bubblevision month-after-month have actually been “born again” jobs. That is, jobs which were created during the Fed’s 2002-2007 bubble inflation; lost in the aftermath of the September 2008 meltdown; and then “recovered” during the renewed bubble inflation now underway. Stated differently, back when the NFP jobs count first clocked in at 137.9 million in the […] Read More

2014: A List Of 97 Taxes Americans Pay Every Year

If you are like most Americans, paying taxes is one of your pet peeves.  The deadline to file your federal taxes is coming up, and this year Americans will spend more than 7 billion hours preparing their taxes and will hand over more than four trillion dollars to federal, state and local governments.  Americans will fork over nearly 30 percent of what they earn to pay their income taxes, but that is only a small part of the story.  As you will see below, there are dozens of other taxes that Americans pay every year.  Of course not everyone pays all of these taxes, but without a doubt we are all being taxed into oblivion.  It is like death by a thousand paper cuts.  Our politicians have become extremely creative in finding ways to extract money from all of us, and most Americans don’t even realize what is being […] Read More

Will Obama Abandon Tens of Millions of Seniors to Get a Budget Deal with Right-Wing Republicans?

Are cuts to Social Security and Medicare on the table? The next few days may be the most perilous for ordinary Americans in Obama’s presidency, as the White House is looking for a deal with far-right Republicans that takes Obamacare off the budget-cutting table, reopens the federal government and raises its debt ceiling. As the government shutdown continues, Democrats have seen their approval ratings soar, prompting pollsters to say that the GOP will be punished in the next federal election. But what’s shaping up 13 months from now is less important than what will shape up in the next 13 or so days. That’s because the White House’s openness to revive “grand bargain” talks with GOP radicals over future funding for entitlements like Social Security and Medicare, and more tax cuts for the wealthy, can only end badly for the middle- and working-class Americans. “If we went into serious […] Read More

Health Policy Malpractice

The administration has made health care policy choices consistent with its private sector ideology and the preferences of supportive special interest groups even though there is strong evidence that other choices would provide better health outcomes at a lower cost: Health Policy Malpractice, by Paul Krugman, Commentary, NY Times: Let me tell you about two government-financed health care programs. One, the Veterans Health Administration, is a stunning success — but the administration and Republicans in Congress refuse to build on that success, because it doesn’t fit their conservative agenda. The other, Medicare Advantage, is a clear failure, but it’s expanding rapidly thanks to large subsidies the administration rammed through Congress in 2003. … The key to the V.A.’s success is its long-term relationship with its clients: veterans, once in the V.A. system, normally stay in it for life. This means that the V.A. can … make much better use […] Read More