Warning: include_once(/home/expres12/public_html/wp-content/plugins/akismet/akismet.php): failed to open stream: Permission denied in /home/expres12/public_html/wp-settings.php on line 203

Warning: include_once(): Failed opening '/home/expres12/public_html/wp-content/plugins/akismet/akismet.php' for inclusion (include_path='.:/usr/local/lib/php') in /home/expres12/public_html/wp-settings.php on line 203

Warning: Cannot modify header information - headers already sent by (output started at /home/expres12/public_html/wp-settings.php:203) in /home/expres12/public_html/wp-content/plugins/woopra/woopra-php-sdk/woopra_tracker.php on line 426
The Mortgage Guy Blog

The Mortgage Guy Blog

Thanks to Control Fraud, Just Another Guy's Blog

Illegal Immigration &Politics | 24 Jun 2013

The GOP Faces of Treason

Don’t ever forget the GOP traitors who voted to move the treasonous amnesty legislation along.

GOP Faces of Treason

The Republicans who voted “yes” were Sens. John McCain (Ariz.), Lindsey Graham (S.C.), Marco Rubio (Fla.), Jeff Flake (Ariz.) — the four authors of the legislation — and Sens. Bob Corker (Tenn.), Lamar Alexander (Tenn.), Kelly Ayotte (N.H.), Jeff Chiesa (N.J.), Susan Collins (Maine), Orrin Hatch (Utah), Dean Heller (Nev.), Mark Kirk (Ill.), John Hoeven (N.D.), Lisa Murkowski (Alaska) and Roger Wicker (Miss.).

Our work will be done not when we defeat amnesty but when we end the political careers of the GOP traitors.

THE STORIES THEY TOLD

By: Erick Erickson

June 25th, 2013 at 04:30 AM

Republicans (and red state Democrats) used to tell voters amazing things about their opposition to amnesty. Then they got elected and supported legislation that actually weakens border security and puts people on a path not just to legalization, but to citizenship, before ever securing our borders.

1. Rubio: “I would vote against anything that grants amnesty because I think it destroys your ability to enforce the existing law and I think it’s unfair to the people who are standing in line and waiting to come in legally. I would vote against anything that has amnesty in it.”

2. Corker: “We need a new immigration policy that reflects America’s values. First, secure this border. Allow people to work here but only if they’re legal. No amnesty. Those employed but here illegally must go home and return through legal channels.”

3. Wicker: “I agree that illegal immigration is a major issue that needs to be addressed. However, I oppose amnesty as the solution.”

4. Ayotte: “For the people who are here illegally, I don’t support amnesty; it’s wrong. It’s wrong to the people who are waiting in line here, who have waited for so long. And we need to stop that because I think that’s where the Administration is heading next.”

5. Flake: “I’ve been down that road, and it is a dead end. The political realities in Washington are such that a comprehensive solution is not possible, or even desirable given the current leadership. Border security must be addressed before other reforms are tackled.”

6. Hatch: “We can no longer grant amnesty. I fought against the 1986 Simpson-Mazzoli bill because they granted amnesty to 3 million people. They should have to get in line like anybody else if they want to come into this country and do it legally.”

7. Heller: “I believe it is an amnesty program, a back-door amnesty program for the 12 to 15 million people who are here illegally.”

8. Alexander: “We cannot restore a system of legal immigration “which is the real American Dream “if we undermine it by granting new benefits to those who are here illegally.”

9. Collins: Before 2008 reelection, voted no on McCain-Kennedy amnesty.

10. Hoeven: Hoeven said the U.S. needs to secure its borders and crack down on employers who hire illegal immigrants.

11. McCain: “Complete the danged fence.”

12. Graham: Amid withering criticism from his constituents, Graham, who is up for reelection next year, began to argue that it was time to approach the immigration problem in stages. On Thursday, he likened the decisive vote to pass his amendment to “having been robbed 12 million times and finally getting around to putting a lock on the door.”

13. Kirk: “The American people believe our borders are broken. It is a fundamental duty of our government to know who is entering the country, making illegal entry nearly impossible. In the coming Congress, we have an overwhelming bipartisan consensus to restore confidence in the security of our borders “before we pursue other immigration proposals.”

14. Murkowski: “With regard to undocumented aliens, I believe that those who illegally entered or remained in the United States should not be granted amnesty. Granting amnesty to illegal aliens sends the wrong message and is not fair to the vast majority of immigrants who abided by U.S. immigration laws. Granting amnesty would only encourage further illegal immigration.”

15. Chisea: Joined most other Republicans, including opponents of the legislation, in supporting a proposal, which was defeated largely along party lines, that would have blocked legalization until the government can prove U.S. borders are secure. Chiesa said he sees border security as a top priority given his law enforcement background, and has yet to decide his stance on citizenship for immigrants without authorization.

Red State Democrats

1. Pryor: “I voted against the president’s immigration plan today because the border security and enforcement measures are inadequate and the bill fails to effectively address the individuals who are already here illegally.” Pryor says it’s time for changes, “It’s time for a new approach. I advocate that we strengthen and implement the enforcement measures in this bill and show we can fully enforce immigration laws.”

2. Tester: He wants secure borders and no amnesty for law breakers.

3. Landrieu: “Sen. Landrieu is a leader in the U.S. Senate fighting against illegal immigration,” Schneider said. “She has fought against amnesty for illegal immigrants and to provide more resources for border security. The new NRSC attack is designed simply to mislead voters about Sen. Landrieu’s record.”

4. Donnelly: “Eliminate amnesty because no one should ever be rewarded for breaking the law.”

5. Hagan: Hagan said she supported increased border security and opposed amnesty.

6. McCaskill: Claire does not support amnesty. As a former prosecutor, Claire believes people who break the law should be held accountable, both illegal immigrants and the employers who exploit them for cheap labor. Claire does not believe we need any new guest worker programs undermining American workers.

7. Stabenow: Do you support path to citizenship for illegal immigrants? STABENOW: I voted no, because it went too far and cost us jobs. I do think it’s important to have border security and legal system that is fair and effective. My focus is on our jobs that we’re losing because of failed policies.

 

Illegal Immigration &Politics &Uncategorized | 17 Jun 2013

40 Reasons to Oppose the Amnesty Bill S.744

The amnesty bill being pushed by the traitors in the Senate does nothing at all for American citizens. It is a give away of American jobs, education, healthcare and social services.  It is a give away of our sovereignty and a desecration of the rule of law. Here are 40 reasons to oppose this anti-American legislation.

S.744 does not secure the border or strengthen national security. Instead, the bill
rewards law-breaking and encourages more illegal immigration:

1. S.744 allows DHS to grant legal status (registered provision immigrant, or RPI status) in
6 months, before any measure to secure the border has been taken. (Sec. 3, p. 10; Sec.5, p. 24)

2. S.744 includes the DREAM Act, which puts illegal aliens who entered the U.S. before 16
on a 5-year path to citizenship. However, unlike previous versions of the bill, there is no
age limit and DHS may waive the work/study requirement. (Sec. 2103, p. 112)

3. S.744 grants amnesty to illegal farm workers and gives them green cards in five years.
(Sec. 2211, p. 155; Sec. 2212, p. 177)

4. S.744 does not require a biometric exit system at all land, air and sea ports of entry to
track aliens who enter and leave the U.S., per current law. Instead, Section 3303
requires only a biographic exit system only at air and sea ports that merely collects
information on a form or scans your identification document. (Sec. 3303, p. 556)

5. S.744 does not require any additional border fencing or completion of current border
fence requirements. Instead, it requires DHS to submit to Congress a fencing “strategy,”
in which DHS recommends what additional fencing is needed along the U.S.-Mexico
border, if any. (Sec. 5, p. 24)

6. S.744 does not require illegal aliens to pay back taxes before getting legal status (RPI
status). It only requires RPI applicants to pay back taxes “assessed” at the time of
application. (Sec. 2101, p. 70)

7. S.744 does not require illegal aliens to learn English before receiving amnesty or even a
green card. Under Section 2101, an RPI alien who applies for a green card to merely
demonstrate that the alien is satisfactorily pursuing a course of study “to achieve an
understanding of English and knowledge and understanding” of civics (Sec. 2101, p.105)

8. S.744 allows illegal aliens who have been deported (for any reason) and/or who have re-
entered illegally to apply for RPI status if they have certain family members in the U.S.
(Sec. 2101, p. 73)

9. S.744 does not add any additional Border Patrol agents, who patrol the vast territory
between ports of entry. Instead, S.744 adds 3,500 Customs and Border Protection
officers, many of whom do only customs work, and are stationed at official ports of entry.

10. S.744 does not require any border security measures be taken on the northern border or
along the coasts where more illegal aliens are arriving to avoid border patrol agents and
drug cartels. Instead, it only requires that DHS prepare a border security strategy for the
U.S.-Mexico border.

11. S.744 allows states to grant in-state tuition to illegal aliens—not the aliens who receive
amnesty, but all illegal aliens who arrive in the future. (Sec. 2103, p. 119)

12. S.744 does not end abuse of prosecutorial discretion or administrative amnesty by the
Obama administration. Instead, it leaves in place policies direct immigration agents to
release illegal aliens the Administration deems “low priority.”

S.744 does not improve immigration enforcement or public safety. Instead, the bill
undermines immigration enforcement and is riddled with waivers and loopholes:

13. S.744 allows DHS to waive multiple misdemeanor convictions when granting amnesty,
so an alien with three or more misdemeanors still may be eligible for legal status (RPI
status). (Sec. 2101, pp. 64-67)

14. S.744 also authorizes DHS to waive a broad array of unlawful behavior for the purpose
of determining whether illegal aliens are admissible, including:

  • Gang-related crimes and gang membership;
  • Three or more drunk driving offenses;
  • Domestic violence, stalking, child abuse, and violation of protective orders;
  • Committing crimes of moral turpitude;
  • Violating federal or state drug laws;
  • Trafficking in passports;
  • Providing fraudulent immigration services;
  • Trafficking immigration documents, including document fraud;
  • Prostitution;
  • Misrepresenting a material fact to procure visas or other immigration benefits (if done for any purpose other than submitting an amnesty application);
  • Violating student visas;
  • Falsely claiming citizenship; and
  • Illegally re-entering the U.S. after deportation (which is a felony); (Sec. 2101, p. 66)
  • All other grounds not specifically listed in the bill. (Sec. 2101 INA245B(b)(3)(i), p. 65)

15. S.744 is not tough on employers who hire illegal aliens. In fact, the bill exempts certain
employers from existing penalties for hiring illegal workers. These include persons or
entities that hire individuals for employment “that is not casual, sporadic, irregular or
intermittent (as defined by the Secretary).” This will exempt employers who hire day
laborers or other temporary workers, giving employers an incentive to hire cheaper,
illegal workers instead of legal residents or citizens. (Sec. 3101, p. 415)

16. S.744 also delays implementation of E-Verify to appease big business and illegal
workers. The bill provides that mandatory E-Verify won’t go into effect for all employers
until four years after DHS issues regulations implementing the mandatory program. That
means (based on the amnesty timeframe) it could be at least a decade before E-Verify
becomes mandatory for large companies and 14 years before all employers are phased
into the program. (Sec. 3101, p. 437)

17. S.744 voids state and local E-Verify laws. (Sec. 3101, p. 511)

18. S.744 prohibits the enforcement of immigration laws against any illegal alien
apprehended between the time of enactment and the end of the application period.
Under Section 2101, DHS may not detain or remove an alien – for any reason – if the
alien is “prima facie eligible,” or at first sight appears to be eligible, for RPI status until
DHS has made a decision on the alien’s application. (Sec. 2101, p. 72)

19. S.744 prohibits immigration enforcement actions, including arrests, surveillance,
searches, or even interviews by U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE)
agents or Customs and Border Protection (CBP) officers in “sensitive locations.”
Sensitive locations include hospitals and health clinics; public and private schools of all
educational levels including vocational and trade schools; organizations assisting
children, pregnant women, victims of crime or abuse, or individuals with mental or
physical disabilities; churches, synagogues, mosques, and other places of worship;
and such other locations as the DHS Secretary determines.

20. S.744 does not expressly punish or require the deportation of any alien who makes false
statements in an RPI application. However, it does create criminal penalties and a
$10,000 fine for any federal official who discloses information found in RPI applications
in violation of the law. (Sec. 2105, p. 133)

21. S.744 does not require the deportation of a single illegal alien. DHS is never required to deport an alien whose RPI application is denied—for any reason.

22. S.744 allows immigration judges to ignore U.S. immigration law. Section 2313 authorizes immigration judges to “exercise discretion” to decline to order the alien deported AND terminate proceedings if the judge determines deporting the alien “is against the public
interest or would result in hardship to the alien’s U.S. citizen or LPR parent spouse or
child…” (Sec. 2313, p. 341)

23. S.744 allows the Secretary of DHS to ignore U.S. immigration law. Section 2313 provides that DHS may “exercise discretion to waive a ground of inadmissibility or
deportability of the Secretary determines that such removal or refusal of admission is
against the public interest” or would result in “hardship” to the alien’s U.S. citizen or LPR
parent spouse or child. (Sec. 2313, p. 343)

24. S.744 grants DHS sole discretion in making asylum decisions, taking the process out of the hands of an immigration judge. (Sec. 3404, p. 571)

25. S.744 allows DHS to contract out the screening, supervision and custody of illegal aliens to community-based organizations. (Sec. 3715. p. 660)

26. S.744 authorizes illegal aliens to bring class action lawsuits against the government for a denial of RPI status. (Sec. 2104, p. 131)

27. S.744 allows the Department of Homeland Security to appoint counsel to illegal aliens fighting deportation at taxpayer expense. (Sec. 3502, p. 583)

28. S.744 creates a new bureaucracy, the Office of Legal Access Programs, to provide
illegal aliens with “legal orientation programs” that help fight deportation. The bill
requires DHS to make these programs available to the aliens within 5 days of being
taken into custody. Section 3503 also authorizes the Office of Legal Access
Programs to provide services, including legal services, to aliens in deportation
hearings. (Sec. 3503, p. 585)

S.744 does not prioritize the American worker at a time when 22 million Americans are
unemployed or underemployed. Instead, S.744 hurts the American worker:

29. S.744 doubles legal immigration within a decade after enactment—and triples it if you include the 12 million amnestied illegal aliens. This is the equivalent of adding the population of Canada – nearly 34 million people, virtually all of whom will need jobs—in a decade. Moreover, this estimate relates to legal permanent residents only, not temporary workers. (See FAIR’s estimate by category of admission)

30. S.744 increases the number of guest workers by 50 percent over the decade after enactment. (See FAIR’s estimate by category of admission)

31. S.744 creates a new unskilled guest worker program, through a new W visa, to bring in up to 200,000 additional workers each year. (Sec. 4703, p. 834)

32. S.744 triples the number of so-called skilled (H-1B) guest workers who may enter the U.S. annually. (Sec. 4101, p. 674)

33. S.744 also grants work authorization to the spouses of H-1B and W visa holders.

34. S.744 exempts immigrants (green card holders) with advanced degrees in science, technology, engineering and math, also referred to as STEM fields, from the cap on
employment-based immigration. This will dramatically increase competition for Americans entering or working in those fields. (Sec. 2307, p. 315-16)

S.744 does not prevent American taxpayers from subsidizing illegal immigration. In fact,
it makes the current problem worse:

35. S.744 requires that DHS waive the public charge law when determining which aliens are eligible for amnesty. (Sec. 2101, p.65) That law prohibits DHS from admitting any alien
who is likely to become a public charge.

36. Moreover, S.744 provides that when an RPI alien applies for legal permanent resident
status – a point at which many federal benefits become available—the alien need only
demonstrate income or resources equal to 125 percent of the federal poverty level. (Sec.
2102, INA 245C(a) and (b) p. 94)

37. S.744 does not prohibit state and local jurisdictions from giving benefits to newly legalized aliens. Many states, such as California, give benefits to illegal aliens and nonimmigrants (temporary aliens) such as taxpayer funded health care and welfare
benefits. (Sec. 2101, p. 92)

38. S.744 creates a “slush fund” for nonprofits that help implement the amnesty. Section2537 authorizes DHS to award newly-created “Initial Entry, Adjustment, and Citizenship Assistance” (IEACA) grants to nonprofit organizations that help illegal aliens navigate the
amnesty process. The bill appropriates $100 million for IEACA grants for the first five
years and “such sums as may be necessary for fiscal year 2019 and subsequent fiscal years.” (Sec. 2537, pp. 397-99)

39. S.744 does not end chain migration, which leads to the admission of large numbers of low-skilled, less educated immigrants. While at first it appears that the bill repeals two
family-based categories for admission, it eliminates the effect of doing so by giving family members extra weight in the merit-based immigration program and by including spouses and children of legal permanent residents in the definition of immediate relatives, significantly expanding legal immigration. (Sec. 2301, p. 264; Sec. 2305,p.282)

40. When fully implemented, S.744 will cost U.S. taxpayers $6.3 trillion in federal, state, and local benefits and taxes over the course of 50 years. (See Heritage Foundation Report, May 2013)

 

Illegal Immigration &Politics | 31 May 2013

What an Illegal Alien Living in the Shadows Looks Like

You hear it all the time.  “We must draw those here illegally out of the shadows”.  Here is an illegal alien living in the “shadows”.

Illegal immigrant and mother of seven, Marita Nelson, receives $240 in food stamps, medications, $700 in Social Security and housing allowance. She entered the US by swimming the Rio Grande. Now she’s on a crusade to help other illegals sign up for their free stuff.

YouTube Preview Image

Lies perpetuated to push the anti-American agenda are on full display.

Economy &Illegal Immigration &Politics &Uncategorized | 21 May 2013

Immigration and American Wages, Salaries and Jobs

The open borders advocates try to assert that immigration, legal and illegal, have no or little consequence for the American Worker.  Let’s have a look at this.

The 1965 Immigration Act opened the flood gates for immigrants both legal and illegal. Let’s see what impact this has had on the American worker’s earnings. I present to you the Federal Reserve’s Wages and Salaries as a Percent of GDP.

WASCUR/GDP

Approximately four years after passing the 1965 Immigration Act, Wages and Salaries as a Percent of GDP peaked at about 0.535. It currently stands at about 0.439. So since it’s peak in 1969, the American worker’s share of GDP, in the form of compensation, declined by a whopping 17.9%.  The graph above illustrates this precipitous decline with utmost clarity.  Clearly the addition of millions of foreign born workers have dilluted the earnings of the American worker.  Thus the love of immigration, again legal or otherwise, on the part of big business.

But what about jobs? Do illegal aliens actually occupy jobs that should be going to American workers? The answer is off course. So let’s try to quantify that.  A recent study of the Federation for American Immigration Reform (FAIR) reveals the following…

One recent estimate by researchers at the Pew Hispanic Center puts the number of illegal aliens in the workforce at 8 million out of an overall population of 11.2 million illegal aliens, i.e., 71.4 percent.1 That estimate is generally accepted as reasonable.

FAIR’s estimate of the illegal alien population in 2010 is slightly higher than that of the Pew estimate, i.e., 11.9 million. FAIR’s estimate of the number of illegal aliens in the workforce — using the share estimate of the Pew study — is similarly slightly higher, i.e., about 8.5 million jobs encumbered by illegal alien workers.

There you have it. There is an estimated 8 to  8.5 million illegal aliens in jobs that Americans should be in.  That represents approximately 71% of the estimated illegal alien population.  A study done by NumbersUSA states that amnesty would bring an additional 33 million immigrants to the United States.  If we apply the same 71% ratio, that means an additional 23.4 million jobs will be going to the foreign born instead of U.S. citizens. That brings the total jobs occupied by foreign born to over 30 million.

Currently there are 20 million under or unemployed Americans. There is an estimated 50 million on food stamps. Does logic dictate that these millions of Americans would not want to be in those jobs currently and potentially occupied by the foreign born? Of course it doesn’t.  Which is why we need to hold to task the traitorous legislators, media and so called think tanks when they spew their open borders propaganda.

It’s important to note that illegal aliens harm the most vulnerable Americans when it comes to jobs. That being low skilled and under educated Americans as well as teens.  The black unemployment rate in the United States currently stands at 20.9% and amnesty will only worsen their job prospects.  Coretta Scott King, the wife of Martin Luther King Jr., understood the pressures of illegal immigration on the work prospects of black Americans as evidenced by a letter she sent to Senator Orrin Hatch back in 1991. The letter to Hatch was in response to loosen work place enforcement efforts and can be found in it’s entirety here (be patient it loads a little slowly). Here is a snippet and the emphasis is mine.

We are concerned, Senator Hatch, that your proposed remedy to the employer sanctions-based discrimination, namely, the elimination of employer sanctions, will cause another problem--the revival of the pre 1986 discrimination against black and brown U.S. and documented workers, in favor of cheap labor–the undocumented workers.  This would undoubtedly exacerbate an already severe economic crisis in communities where there are large numbers of new immigrants.

Put plain and simply, anyone, politicians, business owners, unions, the media and private citizens, that advocate for amnesty and this so called comprehensive immigration bill is anti American worker and citizen.  They need to be called out for what they are and shamed for their erroneous position on immigration.

Things are heating up. The Senate is moving the bill along and it’s a disaster.  Just listen to what Texas Senaor Ted Cruz has to say about this treasonous legislation. Ted Cruz video here.

YouTube Preview Image

Enough is enough. Please join NumbersUSA today and let your opposition to the amnesty bill be known. Call out your legislators and the media. Our country is at stake and so are the futures of your countrymen and their/our children.  Act now as the enemy is building momentum through disinformation.

Economy &Illegal Immigration &Politics | 20 May 2013

Pounding 33 Million Nails Into the American Worker’s Coffin

Tomb of American WorkerThe Gang of Tr8tors relentless attack on the American worker gets bolder and bolder.  Not only is it an attack on the American worker, it is also an attack on the rule of law, American sovereignty and America itself.  As I write this, RINO’s and RINO think tanks are using their alchemy to try to convince citizens that amnesty is good for them and the country.  Most of this is done with flawed economic analyses with mysterious multipliers.  Based on the treasonous push for amnesty, one would be forced to think all is well with the American worker and that the United States has an over abundance of jobs.  But with 20 million under or unemployed and 50 million on food stamps,  nothing could be further from the truth.  This and the multi-decade plight of the American worker is making this traitorous legislation a tough sell despite a compliant leftist media and globalists in GOP clothes stating otherwise.

There is good reason for this. The American worker has been living in the diminished standard of living hell for years on end.  Which brings me to the following article (hat tip ZeroHedge) by Mike Snyder over at the Economic Collapse Blog.  It clearly shows that the American worker is on life support which brings one to the conclusion that the final nail in the coffin could well be amnesty. Here it is in it’s entirety.  Please note the graphs that go back to the sixties when the 1965 Immigration Act was passed, also known as the beginning of the end of American sovereignty and it’s workers.

10 Amazing Charts That Demonstrate The Slow, Agonizing Death Of The American Worker

The middle class American worker is in danger of becoming an endangered species.  The politicians are not telling you the truth, and the mainstream media is certainly not telling you the truth, but the reality is that there is nothing but bad news on the horizon for workers in the United States.  In the old days, when the big corporations that dominate our society did well, that also meant good things for American workers since those corporations would need more of us to work for them.  But in the emerging one world economic system that our economy is being merged into, those corporations have other choices now.

For instance, the big corporations can now choose to limit the number of “expensive” American workers that they employ by shipping millions of jobs to the other side of the world.  And from their perspective, it makes perfect sense.  They can make much bigger profits by hiring people on the other side of the planet to work for them for less than a dollar an hour.  If they can get good production out of those people, then why should they hire Americans for ten to twenty times as much, plus have to give those Americans health insurance and other benefits?

Another major factor in the slow, agonizing death of the American worker is technology.  We live during a period when technology is advancing at a pace that is almost unimaginable at the same time that it is steadily becoming cheaper and cheaper.  That means that it is going to become easier and easier for companies to replace workers with robots and computers.  As I have written about previously, it is being projected that our economy will lose millions of jobs to technology in the coming years.  Yes, some of us will still be needed to help build the robots and the computers, but not all of us will.  And of course the overall general weakness of the economy is not helping matters either.

The American people inherited the greatest economic machine in the history of the world, and we have wrecked it.  Decades of very foolish decisions have resulted in the period of steady economic decline that we are experiencing now.

America is simply not the economic powerhouse that it once was.  Back in 2001, the U.S. economy accounted for 31.8 percent of global GDP.  By 2011, the U.S. economy only accounted for 21.6 percent of global GDP.  That is a collapse any way that you want to look at it.

Today, American workers are living in an economy that is rapidly declining, and their jobs are steadily being stolen by robots, computers and foreign workers that live in countries where it is legal to pay slave labor wages.  Politicians from both political parties refuse to do anything to stop the bleeding because they think that the status quo is working just great.

So don’t expect things to get better any time soon.

The following are 10 amazing charts that demonstrate the slow, agonizing death of the American worker…

#1 Wages And Salaries As A Percentage Of GDP

Wages And Salaries As A Percentage Of GDP

As you can see, wages as a percentage of GDP are hovering near an all-time record low.  That means that American workers are bringing home a smaller share of the economic pie than ever before.

#2 Average Annual Hours Worked Per Employed Person In The United States

Average Annual Hours Worked per Employed Person in the United States

We are an economy that is rapidly trading good paying full-time jobs for low paying part-time jobs.  The decline in average annual hours worked that we have witnessed represents the equivalent of losing millions of jobs.  There has been an explosion of “the working poor” in the United States, and this trend is probably only going to accelerate in the years to come.

#3 Manufacturing Employment

Manufacturing Employment

As you can see, there are less Americans working in manufacturing today than there was in 1950 even though the population of the country has more than doubled since then.  The United States has lost more than 56,000 manufacturing facilities since 2001, and yet our politicians stand around and do nothing about it.

#4 Employment-Population Ratio

Employment-Population Ratio 2013

This is one of my favorite charts.  It shows that there has been absolutely no employment recovery at all since the end of the last recession.  The percentage of working age Americans that have a job has stayed under 59 percent for 44 months in a row.  How much worse will things get when the next major economic downturn strikes?

#5 Labor Force Participation Rate

Labor Force Participation Rate

This is how the Obama administration is getting the “unemployment rate” to magically go down.  They are pretending that millions upon millions of Americans simply do not want to work anymore.  As you will notice, the decline of the labor force participation rate has accelerated greatly since Barack Obama entered the White House.

#6 Duration Of Unemployment

Duration Of Unemployment

The average amount of time that it takes an unemployed worker to find a new job has declined slightly, but it is still far above normal historical levels.  It is a crying shame that it takes the average unemployed worker two-thirds of a year to find a new job, but this is the new economic reality that we are all living in.

#7 Delinquency Rate On Residential Mortgages

Delinquency Rate On Residential Mortgages

Since there are not enough jobs for all of us, and since our wages are not rising as rapidly as the cost of living is, a whole bunch of us are falling behind on our mortgages.  As you can see, the mortgage delinquency rate has only dropped slightly and is still way, way above typical levels.

#8 New Homes Sold

New Homes Sold

American workers also don’t have enough money to go out and buy new homes either.  Yes, new home sales have rebounded slightly this year, but we are nowhere near where we used to be.

#9 Consumer Credit

Consumer Credit

Millions of American families continue to resort to going into debt in a desperate attempt to make ends meet.  After a slight interruption during the last recession, consumer credit once again is growing at a frightening pace.

#10 Self-Employment At A Record Low

Self-Employed As A Share Of Non-Farm Employment

Since there aren’t enough jobs for everyone, why aren’t more Americans trying to start their own businesses?  Well, the reality of the matter is that the government has made it exceedingly difficult to start your own business today.  Taxes, rules, regulations and red tape are choking the life out of millions of small businesses in the United States.  As a result, the percentage of self-employed Americans is at a record low.

As all of these long-term trends continue, the middle class will continue to shrink, poverty in America will continue to explode and government dependence will continue to rise.

The numbers don’t lie.  Today, the number of Americans on Social Security Disability now exceeds the entire population of Greece, and the number of Americans on food stamps now exceeds the entire population of Spain.

We are in the midst of a horrifying economic collapse, and the next major wave of that collapse is rapidly approaching.

After reviewing these facts compiled and presented by our government, how can any America loving politician, entity or citizen propose amnesty for 33 million low skilled, uneducated and highly needy illegal aliens and their extended families?  Hasn’t the American worker been punished enough without importing 33 million foreign competitors for jobs?

If there is an economic benefit to flooding the country with millions of low skilled and uneducated workers, why aren’t we seeing the benefits now?  There are approximately 20 million of them here at present and their systemic costs are now lower than they would be after granting amnesty. So why are we languishing in the worst recession since the Great Depression if low cost, low skilled an uneducated illegal aliens are such a boon to the economy?  There isn’t any economic benefit to the  country or it’s workers and the open borders clowns are full of bovine excrement.

Illegal Immigration &Media Bias &Politics | 19 May 2013

Killing the “Jobs Americans Won’t Do” Myth

Homegrown traitorous globalists often use the narrative that illegal aliens do the jobs Americans won’t do.  Even before the worse recession in history (excluding depressions which arguably we are currently in), Americans will indeed take jobs that some find distasteful, low paying and unglamorous.  The Swift Meat Packing Plant in Iowa had Americans lined up around the building waiting to apply for jobs vacated by illegal aliens after being raided.  And that was before the great recession.

Dennis Michael Lynch has done two magnificent documentaries on illegal immigration that blow the open borders talking points away and reveals them for what they are, lies and propaganda.  In his second immigration documentary, Dennis goes to the treasonous Lindsay Graham’s home state of South Carolina and discusses amnesty with South Carolina job hunters.

Here is the link to the video.

YouTube Preview Image

If you haven’t seen the videos, I encourage you to head over to They Come To America (theycometoamerica.com) and preview some of them. Movie theaters and news outlets (with notable exception of Fox News) will not show Dennis Michael Lynch’s patriotic works.  It’s up to us to get the word out. He is even giving 4 bonus DVD’s with each purchase.  If the American public viewed these documentaries, amnesty would be beyond dead at this point in time.

Illegal Immigration &Politics | 19 Mar 2013

Et Tu Rand Paul – Paul Sells Out Conservatives With Amnesty

Add Rand Paul to a long list of so called conservatives who have sold out the base on illegal immigration.

Rand Paul RINO

And here is another so called “conservative” superstar to sell out the conservative base on immigration.

Marco Rubio RINO

As I state in my email to Rand Paul (text below), if amnesty is the key to garnering Hispanic votes, we wouldn’t have lost the 2012 presidential election.  Reagan was the only president to grant illegal aliens amnesty.  Bush also pushed for it in 2007.  The only things we have to show for these actions is 20 million more illegal aliens demanding yet another amnesty and lost votes to the party that showers illegal aliens with welfare benefits.  Needy populations, such as the illegal alien constituency, vote with their pocket books and the liberal freebies are too much for them to pass up.

The surest path for GOP irrelevancy is the path to illegal alien amnesty.  The GOP will lose conservative base votes multiple fold for anything they pick up in Hispanic votes.  The gun is loaded GOP. Pull the trigger at your own peril.

Here is my response to a Rand Paul email touting his colleagues have sold us out on gun control.

Dear Mr. Paul:

I was a supporter of yours until today. I find it hypocritical that you talk about your colleagues selling out when that is exactly what you have done to conservatives with your stand on immigration. I’m tired of so called conservatives trashing the rule of law with variants on amnesty, which is exactly what your position does.

Only the foolish don’t learn from history.  If granting amnesty to illegal aliens would garner Hispanic votes, we would have won in 2012. The only president to grant amnesty was Reagan and Bush pushed for it 5 years ago. Where are the Hispanic votes from these actions?  All the ill fated Reagan amnesty brought us is 20 million more illegal aliens pining for yet another amnesty while supporting the welfare ideals, as needy constituencies do, of the left.

The proper tactic to use in solving illegal immigration is Attrition Through Enforcement.  Take away the jobs, free education, free healthcare and social services and these people will leave on their own accord and expense.  And they will have no incentive to test and violate our borders again.

The rule of law, one set of laws for everyone with no one above the law, is clearly violated by any form of amnesty.  It gives illegal aliens a different set of laws to abide by and puts them above the current set of laws.  If this is the position you wish to have, then you wasted 13 hours on the Senate floor as I would rather be droned and quickly die than die the slow death, as a nation, that violating the rule of law inflicts.

I will oppose ANY candidate, regardless of  party, who supports amnesty. I will support any candidate that is opposed to it and supports the rule of law, again regardless of party.  Illegal immigration is the line in the sand for conservatives.  Please step back behind the line.  Failure to do so will result in many more lost votes from the conservative base than you could ever hope to pick up by pandering to Hispanics.

In closing, feel free to remove me from your email list.  There is nothing you can say that interests me while maintaining your current position on amnesty and illegal immigration.

Very truly yours,

Illegal Immigration &Media Bias &Politics | 13 Mar 2013

Hannity and Fox News the Conservative’s Benedict Arnolds

It’s time conservatives send a message to Sean Hannity, Fox News and the establishment GOP as we have been betrayed by all three.  I urge you to contact Hannity and express your outrage.

Immediately after the election, Hannity, a former staunch advocate of illegal immigration law enforcement, made an abrupt about face and now supports amnesty.  See for yourself (you can fast forward to about 50 seconds into the video).

YouTube Preview Image
and
YouTube Preview Image

Any talk of a pathway to citizenship is amnesty. That is what he is for.  And don’t buy the straw argument that mass deportations are not an option.  First of all, it’s not THE OPTION. But it can be done as it was under Eisenhower and his Operation Wetback. Second, the best means of dealing with illegal immigration and the one never talked about in polls or when the issue is in the spotlight is “Attrition Through Enforcement“.  Take away the free education, free healthcare, social services and most importantly jobs, and the illegal aliens will leave on their own accord and expense.  But I digress…

So what could be the reason for the Benedict Arnold like actions of Hannity and Fox News as a whole?  Well there is this.

The owner of Fox News Ruppert Murdoch, is a staunch supporter of illegal alien amnesty. See the following links.

Rupert Murdoch, Mayor Bloomberg Lobby For Immigration Reform, Path To ‘Legal Status’ For Illegal Immigrants

Murdoch to Hill: Reform immigration

FOX News Owner Rupert Murdoch: “We Need Illegal Alien Amnesty”; FOX News’ Hannity, Malkin, Etc.: Utter Silence

 

Perhaps Hannity et al simply got the “Murdoch Memo” to cease and desist on opposing illegal alien amnesty.  What other explanation can there be?

Fox News is not a friend of conservatives and neither is Sean Hannity.  Nor is the “establishment GOP”.  File this under “The Enemy Within”.

Then join NumbersUSA and start faxing Washington your letters of opposition to illegal alien amnesty.  It’s free and it’s easy.

Bailouts &Banking Crisis &Corruption &Politics | 19 Feb 2013

Too Small for Justice or Too Big to Trial

I had two buddies I went to high school with. One I am still in touch with and another who is no longer with us.  They were both good friends of each other during and after graduating from high school.  The reason why Karl is no longer with us is because he and Phil went out drinking one night. Phil was driving the car while under the influence, had an accident and his close friend Karl lost his life as a result of the accident. Incidentally I’ve changed the names for the sake of their anonymity.

In addition to the guilt that haunts him for the rest of his life, Phil went to jail for a couple of years as a result of his drinking and driving.  Whether or not he should have went to jail is not the point of this post.  The point is he went to jail.  That is how the justice system works for regular folks.  You commit a crime, get caught and you pay the penalty which if the crime is severe enough, you go to jail.

Looking back ten or so years, the country’s largest banks committed fraud in their securitization of mortgagesThis fraud led to the proliferation of toxic mortgages that were bought as AAA investments and due their defaults (because they weren’t AAA at all), these fraudulent securities brought down the global economy including the economy of the United States.  Now one would think that if one can go to jail for accidentally killing his friend in a car accident, that those responsible for this fraud and the subsequent destruction of the global economy would also be subject to jail time.

So let’s take a look at how many banking criminals went to jail.  Huh? No that can’t be.  Not one has gone to jail.  Well how many trials were there? Huh? That can’t be either.  Not one criminal prosecution for the destruction of global economies via fraud.  That is why it is refreshing and necessary to hear Elizabeth Warren bring these facts to the surface.

YouTube Preview Image

And there you have it. She hits the nail on the head when she states district attorneys prosecute ordinary citizens and often times on very thin ground in order to “make an example” as they put it and she is concerned too big to fail has become too big for trial, let alone too big to jail. The rule of law, one set of laws for everyone with no one above the law, has clearly been violated here and no one but one Senator calls this out. So it’s up to you and me to make this video go viral.

I’ve had a love/hate relationship with Warren.  However her record isn’t the subject of this post.  Her calling attention to the fact no one has gone to trial, let alone jail, for these crimes is the subject.  And she deserves credit for doing so.

Illegal Immigration &Politics | 13 Feb 2013

It Is Now Racist to Express Patriotism

At least it is in one California School.  I’m sure careful examination of our education indoctrination system would prove it’s more than just one school in California.

Consider the following article that appeared on the National Review website.

Students Told to Stop ‘USA!’ Chant, Take Off American Flag Bandanas

Four California high-school students were reportedly suspended for chanting “U.S.A! U.S.A!” and wearing American flag bandanas during a basketball game. While their punishment has since been rescinded, school administrators said “the incident is far from over.”

Oxnard Union School District superintendent Gabe Soumakian told Fox News Radio that “we need to pursue this further” and “work with teachers and students and the community about the concept of cultural proficiency.” Soumakian and Camarillo High School principal Glenn Lipman felt that the students’ actions might have had racist undertones since the schools have large Hispanic student populations.

“We wanted to make sure [their actions weren't] racially motivated, and I told the kids I just want to be sensitive to the feelings of everybody,” Lipman said. “If we’re doing it for patriotism, that’s fine. But if we’re doing it for something else that’s racially motivated, I’m not going to allow that.”

But the students deny any racial element to their chants. “We’ve done it always,” one student said. “It’s something we do. It’s the same group of friends. We’re all very patriotic.” The four students gained support from their peers: More than 100 students gathered by the school’s flagpole the following morning to protest in patriotic clothing.

A short video of the incident is below:

YouTube Preview Image

Can we stop this madness for once and for all?  Join NumbersUSA and start faxing the elitist in Washington with your opposition to amnesty.  Let’s enforce our laws to the maximum and make it as uncomfortable as possible for illegal aliens to remain in the United States of America.  That means no more jobs, free education, free healthcare and social services. The time is now before we lose our country forever.

Economy &Media Bias &Politics | 11 Feb 2013

Obama’s Improving Economy – This is Improvement?

How many times since election season have you heard Obama, his administration and his state owned media tout an improving economy?  Too many times for me to count.  It’s as if by saying a lie over and over again, it becomes true.  While that may be true when it comes to the sheeple among us, those of us grounded in reality see things differently.  So let’s take a look at this so called improving economy.

Unemployment

First let’s have a look at the employment numbers.  After all, the unemployment rate has dropped from an Obama high of 10% to 7.8%.  Clearly we are moving in the right direction.  Or are we?  When one looks to how the unemployment rate is calculated, it becomes apparent the the drop in the rate is primarily due to people dropping out of the labor force as opposed to job creation.  In fact, if enough people drop out of the labor force, we can achieve a 1% unemployment rate while losing 96 jobs per month.  It’s obvious that the powers that be have figured out how to manipulate these numbers to their ends.  So let’s look at the other side of the coin.  That would be the number of people working.

In 2007, there were 146,047,000 people working.  At the end of 2012, there were 142,469,000 working.  We are 3,578,000 jobs in the hole.  That doesn’t look like job creation.  These figures are taken right from the Bureau of Labor Statistics website. A hat tip to Michael over at the theeconomiccollapseblog who describes these numbers and how they are presented as follows:

When the government and the media tell you that we are in a “recovery” and that unemployment is lower than it was a couple of years ago, I encourage you to dig deeper.  The truth is that even the government’s own numbers tell us that the percentage of the U.S. labor force that is employed continues to fall and that the U.S. economy is heading into a recession.  The Obama administration and the media have been lying to you about unemployment and about the true condition of our economy.  After you see the numbers that I have compiled in this article, I think that you will agree with me.

It’s a great and eye opening read.  I encourage you to visit the link.

Let’s take on a different perspective.  One that looks at our current employment situation in terms of how these labor statistics were viewed prior to playing with the formula’s.  For this I’ll call your attention to Shadow Government Statistics January unemployment rate charts.

SGS January 2013 Unemployment Chart

The navy blue line is the measure of our current unemployment rate using the pre 1994 methodology.

Alternate Unemployment Charts

The seasonally-adjusted SGS Alternate Unemployment Rate reflects current unemployment reporting methodology adjusted for SGS-estimated long-term discouraged workers, who were defined out of official existence in 1994. That estimate is added to the BLS estimate of U-6 unemployment, which includes short-term discouraged workers.

The U-3 unemployment rate is the monthly headline number. The U-6 unemployment rate is the Bureau of Labor Statistics’ (BLS) broadest unemployment measure, including short-term discouraged and other marginally-attached workers as well as those forced to work part-time because they cannot find full-time employment.

If measured the way it used to be measured, the current unemployment rate is in excess of 23%.  How can any administration tout this as a recovering economy?  How can any mainstream media outlet do the same?  What we have here is one lying and the other swearing to it.  Let’s look further.

In a recovering economy, the number of people on government assistance should be declining.  It only makes sense that if jobs are being created to the extent this is called an economic recovery, then the number of people on government assistance should be going down as they re-enter the work force and stand on their own two feet.

Food Stamps

As of November 2012, the total number of Food Stamp recipients stood at an all time record high of 47.7 million people.  Here is chart of the number of individuals on food assistance.  Notice how it only keeps going up.

Americans on Food Stamps and Monthly Change

 

Thanks to Zerohedge for the chart and an enlightening article that points out

And far greater it is: since his inauguration, the US has generated just 841,000 jobs through November 2012, a number is more than dwarfed by the 17.3 million new foodstamps and disability recipients added to the rolls in the past 4 years. And since the start of the depression in December 2007, America has seen those on foodstamps and disability increase by 21.8 million, while losing 3.6 million jobs. End result: total number of foodstamp recipients as of November: 47.7 million, an increase of 141,000 from the prior month, and reversing the brief downturn in October, while total US households on foodstamps just hit an all time record of 23,017,768, an increase of 73,952 from the prior month.

Let these numbers sink in.  For every job created under Obama, 20.5 people have gone on food stamp assistance.  This is an economic recovery? And why aren’t mainstream news sources reporting on these realities?  How can you continue to base personal and economic decisions on the garbage that comes out of the mainstream media?

How can Congress and this administration push for amnesty for 13 million illegal aliens while we have a 23% unemployment rate and have over 4 million people per year added to the food stamp roles?  It’s treason and a sell out of the American people.  And they will try to sell you on their treasonous acts by lying to you on the economy and a host of other things.  Don’t trust them.  Don’t trust their state owned media.  Dig deep for the truth and good luck.

 

Illegal Immigration &Media Bias &Politics &Uncategorized | 04 Feb 2013

Amnesty Wrong in 2007 More So in 2013

Amnesty TraitorsAll of the reasons that led to the defeat of the 2007 Bush amnesty remain valid today.  When it comes to the economic reasons why it was defeated, those reasons are even more valid today.  In 2007, there were 7.4 million Americans unemployed.  Today there are 12.3 million Americans unemployed.  It’s important to realize that the 12.3 million number is understating the problem because of the millions that have dropped out of the labor work force.  A more realistic estimate of under employed and  unemployed Americans stands at about 23 million. It is estimated that 8 million jobs are now occupied by illegal aliens.

What possible justification is there for elected officials, who are supposed to be governing on behalf of their citizens, to support any initiative that would be cause for this trend to continue and grow?  How is it in the best interests of the constituencies of the supporters of amnesty to allow 8 million jobs to remain occupied by people who broke our laws, violated our sovereignty and don’t belong here in the first place?

Not only is the employment situation much bleaker this time around, government spending is out control and threatens to bring down the entire economy.  How would adding 12 million people to the Obamacare roles improve that situation?  It won’t.  It will worsen it by billions.  State and local budgets are equally strained.  Providing social benefits for illegal aliens keeps them that way.  We couldn’t afford amnesty in 2007 and we certainly can’t afford it now.

Then there are the brainwashed open borders liberals, and some republicans, who spew the “but illegal aliens do pay taxes”.  I’ve already seen this popping up on comment boards and forums.  But just like in 2007 when they tried to spread this hollow propaganda, it is false this time around too.  Yes they do pay taxes.  But what they pay pales in comparison to what they cost.

illegalalientaxespaid

In fact a 2007 CBO study states…

The tax revenues that unauthorized immigrants generate for state and local governments do not offset the total cost of services provided to those immigrants. Most of the estimates found that even though unauthorized immigrants pay taxes and other fees to state and local jurisdictions, the resulting revenues offset only a portion of the costs incurred by those jurisdictions for providing services related to education, health care, and law enforcement…”[The Impact of Unauthorized Immigrants on the Budgets of State and Local GovernmentsDecember 2007]

Studies cited in the CBO report show revenues paid by illegals fall 20% to 60% short of the costs they impose on state and local governments.

This only addresses state and local costs.  There are federal costs as well.  A 2010 study done by the Federation of American Immigration Reform puts the total net costs of illegal immigration at $112 billion.  That breaks down to $29 billion on the Federal level and $84 billion on the local and state level.  The average American household share for paying for illegal aliens is $1,114.  Keep in mind this is before factoring in ACA (Obamacare) costs which will skyrocket under amnesty.  The bottom line is despite the fact illegal aliens are forced to pay some taxes, there is an exorbitant net cost.  Why should the American taxpayer be forced to pay these costs to keep people here that are taking their jobs, social services, education and medical care?  It’s like being forced to pay for the bullet used to kill you by firing squad.  Don’t believe the lib talking points regurgitators that believe if one says something enough, it becomes true.

It’s not just about costs or the economics of illegal immigration.  It’s about the rule of law. One set of laws for everyone with no one above the law.  Amnesty provides a separate set of laws for illegal aliens and puts them above the laws that the rest of us must follow.  The rule of law is a pillar upon which this country was founded.  Amnesty directly erodes this pillar.  Especially at a time when the current administration has trashed the rule of law time and time again with bailouts, executive orders, gun running, gun confiscation and on and on.  It is clear that the political elite no longer have the consent of the governed and if you don’t know what that ultimately leads to, I suggest you do some research.

When it comes to getting the truth on illegal immigration issues, just like most issues of the day, you cannot rely on mainstream sources.  The mainstream media no longer resides in the role of disseminating truthful information.  They have taken on the role of leftist propagandists and will unashamedly push anything liberal with lies, obfuscation and half truths. This is how the most failed president in the history of the nation was re-elected.  The illegal immigration issue is no different in this regard than say the bailouts, the economy, Obamacare and Benghazi.  So be very aware of where your information comes from and what agendas are being served.

schumermccainrubioSo why is amnesty being pushed by our political elite?  For the democrats, they want the votes.  They will get them too as they are very adept at buying votes with taxpayer paid goodies.  The vast majority of the illegal alien population is needy.  They will vote with their pocket books and put anyone in office that promises them freebies.  For republicans, it’s votes too.  Somehow they’ve been convinced against logic and history that if they cave to amnesty, they will reap Hispanic votes.  History, of course, doesn’t support this.

No matter the reasons for either party supporting illegal alien amnesty one thing is clear.  It is a betrayal of the American citizen and they are the majority of these traitor’s constituencies.

Illegal Immigration &Media Bias &Politics | 28 Jan 2013

Fox (News) In The Hen House

There is nothing more dangerous than operatives that work from within.  While many conservatives look to and believe Fox is a conservative news source, under careful examination that has to be brought into question.  The latest example of their less than right stances is their attention to the illegal immigration issue.  Consider the following.

Fox News Poll: 66 percent favor path to citizenship for illegal immigrants, with conditions

By

Published January 28, 2013

FoxNews.com

The latest Fox News poll shows a majority of American voters believes illegal immigrants should be given a chance to apply for citizenship, as long as they meet certain requirements.The poll asked voters what government policy should be toward illegal immigrants currently in the U.S.  Two thirds — 66 percent — think there should be a path to citizenship, but only if the individual meets requirements such as paying back taxes, learning English and passing a background check.Some 17 percent say all illegal immigrants should be deported, and another 13 percent prefer a guest worker program that would allow immigrants to remain in the U.S. to work, but only for a limited time.Majorities of Republicans (56 percent), independents (69 percent) and Democrats (74 percent) believe the government should allow a path to citizenship, as do majorities of whites (63 percent) and non-whites (75 percent).

Republicans (22 percent) are somewhat more likely than independents (15 percent) and Democrats (14 percent) to favor deporting all illegal immigrants.

Even with this broad support for providing a pathway to citizenship, less than half of voters (48 percent) think it is likely that comprehensive immigration reform will be passed this year.

Views in the new poll are in line with findings from the 2012 Fox News national exit poll that showed 65 percent of voters favored allowing most illegal immigrants working in the U.S. the chance to apply for legal status over deporting them to their home country (28 percent).

The Fox News poll is based on landline and cell phone interviews with 1,008 randomly chosen registered voters nationwide and was conducted under the joint direction of Anderson Robbins Research (D) and Shaw & Company Research (R) from January 15-17.  The full poll has a margin of sampling error of plus or minus three percentage points.

Polls can be and are often manipulated through many techniques.  Sampling and question wording are two very common techniques and they are being used here no doubt.

This  isn’t the same poll but it appeared today on the Fox News website and it illustrates my points.

Fox News False Choices Immigration Poll

How about a choice for “No, enforce and strengthen laws so that their presence here is so uncomfortable they will self deport.” No they would rather put up false choices to manipulate the poll to their end.  Their end is very questionable from this conservative’s perspective.

It’s called attrition by enforcement and it is the most sensible and economic way to fight illegal immigration.  For a full explanation of attrition through enforcement visit NumbersUSA.

You see, if you enforce laws and cut illegal aliens off from the jobs through workplace enforcement, cut them off free education provided by public schools, cut them off of all social services and cut them off of  EMTALA induced free healthcare, they will go home on their own accord and expense. While you’re at NumbersUSA, join up and start sending the elitists who govern us without our consent, faxes to stop the madness. It’s free and they were instrumental in defeating Bush’s amnesty push in 2007.

But I digress.  This is the same Fox News who immediately began to pin Romney’s election loss on conservative values and platform rather than placing the blame where it rightfully belongs; which is the five year and ongoing leftist media propaganda campaign that fabricated Obama’s successes, hid his failures and demonized and diminished his opponents.  They forcefully suggested that the GOP needs to move left in order to win elections. That’s been the media meme ever since.

This once conservative news outlet is operating much the same way as the Republicans In Name Only (RINO’s); talking conservative while acting left of center.  Some don’t even talk conservative anymore. I submit that Fox is more dangerous than the New York Times, Washington Post, NBC, ABC, CBS, MSNBC and the rest of the state owned propaganda outlets because they are working from within the ill deserved trust of conservatives.  They are literally the proverbial Fox in the hen house.  Beware or be sorry.

 

Bailouts &Banking Crisis &Corruption &Economy &Politics | 27 Jan 2013

Why This is the Worst Economic “Recovery” in History

The state owned media and the failed Obama administration often assert the economy is recovering.  Well through the manipulation of government economic statistics such as Unemployment and GDP, a feeble case can be made that we are in a recovery.  However when one looks deeper into the government statistics and by looking at often ignored statistics, it can be effectively argued that there is no recovery at all.  But here I’ll give the propagandists their rope and let them call the financial purgatory we all are in a recovery, even though it isn’t.  This is the weakest economic recovery in United States modern history, perhaps ever.

Current GDP Compared to Other Economic Recoveries

Source: ZeroHedge

What is the primary reason we are five years into an abysmal “recovery”? We didn’t let the banks fail. Consider the following video. Olafur Ragnar Grimsson Iceland president, who let the banks fail in his country and without cost to its taxpayers, states why his country is in a true recovery while the world languishes.

YouTube Preview Image

There you have it. The only country that wasn’t hoodwinked by their financial elite is the only country that can claim a true economic recovery while the world resides in the cesspool of a fake economic recovery. In the United States, blame is on both sides of the aisle,  as the elites have a firm grip on both parties.  However the gifts to the banking oligarchy from the Obama administration dwarf those given by any administration before him.  Consequently the economic damage done by the Obama administration dwarfs that of prior administrations as well.

Bailouts &Banking Crisis &Corruption &Economy &Fraud &Politics | 06 Jan 2013

Revisiting The Crime of the Century Ages

There has never been a bigger theft of public wealth than the bailouts of 2007 and 2008.  Yet you won’t read this in the ‘state owned” media.  In fact, the “state owned” media would have you believe, through their constant and unrelenting propaganda campaign, that the bailouts were both necessary and a smashing success.  In one man’s attempt to battle the “revisers” of history, I present the following article, by Matt Taibbi published in the Rolling Stone January 17, 2013, in it’s entirety.

Matt has been on top of this story ever since it started unfolding five years ago.  He provides more veracity in this article than the collective mainstream media did since the crimes were perpetrated.  In the past you would expect the likes of the New York Times, Washington Post or Wall Street Journal to provide us with this kind of insight.  Not anymore as we live in a time when the media is more concerned about agenda pushing than it is about disseminating news and useful information.

While you’re reading this, keep the following questions in the back of your mind;

  • Why isn’t anyone in jail for these crimes?
  • Why are these failed players still in the game?
  • Why did some of these players (Tim Geithner) get rewarded with even bigger roles?
  • Where is the outrage?
  • How can we EVER restore integrity?
  • Why haven’t we clawed back every dime of ill gotten “aid” immediately?
  • Why isn’t anyone in jail for these crimes?
  • Why isn’t anyone in jail for these crimes?
  • Why isn’t anyone in jail for these crimes?
Rolling Stone

Secret and Lies of the Bailout

The federal rescue of Wall Street didn’t fix the economy – it created a permanent bailout state based on a Ponzi-like confidence scheme. And the worst may be yet to come

by: Matt Taibbi

national affairs secrets of the bailout taibbi

Illustration by Victor Juhasz

It has been four long winters since the federal government, in the hulking, shaven-skulled, Alien Nation-esque form of then-Treasury Secretary Hank Paulson, committed $700 billion in taxpayer money to rescue Wall Street from its own chicanery and greed. To listen to the bankers and their allies in Washington tell it, you’d think the bailout was the best thing to hit the American economy since the invention of the assembly line. Not only did it prevent another Great Depression, we’ve been told, but the money has all been paid back, and the government even made a profit. No harm, no foul – right?

Wrong.

It was all a lie – one of the biggest and most elaborate falsehoods ever sold to the American people. We were told that the taxpayer was stepping in – only temporarily, mind you – to prop up the economy and save the world from financial catastrophe. What we actually ended up doing was the exact opposite: committing American taxpayers to permanent, blind support of an ungovernable, unregulatable, hyperconcentrated new financial system that exacerbates the greed and inequality that caused the crash, and forces Wall Street banks like Goldman Sachs and Citigroup to increase risk rather than reduce it. The result is one of those deals where one wrong decision early on blossoms into a lush nightmare of unintended consequences. We thought we were just letting a friend crash at the house for a few days; we ended up with a family of hillbillies who moved in forever, sleeping nine to a bed and building a meth lab on the front lawn.

How Wall Street Killed Financial Reform

But the most appalling part is the lying. The public has been lied to so shamelessly and so often in the course of the past four years that the failure to tell the truth to the general populace has become a kind of baked-in, official feature of the financial rescue. Money wasn’t the only thing the government gave Wall Street – it also conferred the right to hide the truth from the rest of us. And it was all done in the name of helping regular people and creating jobs. “It is,” says former bailout Inspector General Neil Barofsky, “the ultimate bait-and-switch.”

The bailout deceptions came early, late and in between. There were lies told in the first moments of their inception, and others still being told four years later. The lies, in fact, were the most important mechanisms of the bailout. The only reason investors haven’t run screaming from an obviously corrupt financial marketplace is because the government has gone to such extraordinary lengths to sell the narrative that the problems of 2008 have been fixed. Investors may not actually believe the lie, but they are impressed by how totally committed the government has been, from the very beginning, to selling it.

THEY LIED TO PASS THE BAILOUT

Today what few remember about the bailouts is that we had to approve them. It wasn’t like Paulson could just go out and unilaterally commit trillions of public dollars to rescue Goldman Sachs and Citigroup from their own stupidity and bad management (although the government ended up doing just that, later on). Much as with a declaration of war, a similarly extreme and expensive commitment of public resources, Paulson needed at least a film of congressional approval. And much like the Iraq War resolution, which was only secured after George W. Bush ludicrously warned that Saddam was planning to send drones to spray poison over New York City, the bailouts were pushed through Congress with a series of threats and promises that ranged from the merely ridiculous to the outright deceptive. At one meeting to discuss the original bailout bill – at 11 a.m. on September 18th, 2008 – Paulson actually told members of Congress that $5.5 trillion in wealth would disappear by 2 p.m. that day unless the government took immediate action, and that the world economy would collapse “within 24 hours.”

To be fair, Paulson started out by trying to tell the truth in his own ham-headed, narcissistic way. His first TARP proposal was a three-page absurdity pulled straight from a Beavis and Butt-Head episode – it was basically Paulson saying, “Can you, like, give me some money?” Sen. Sherrod Brown, a Democrat from Ohio, remembers a call with Paulson and Federal Reserve chairman Ben Bernanke. “We need $700 billion,” they told Brown, “and we need it in three days.” What’s more, the plan stipulated, Paulson could spend the money however he pleased, without review “by any court of law or any administrative agency.”

The White House and leaders of both parties actually agreed to this preposterous document, but it died in the House when 95 Democrats lined up against it. For an all-too-rare moment during the Bush administration, something resembling sanity prevailed in Washington.

So Paulson came up with a more convincing lie. On paper, the Emergency Economic Stabilization Act of 2008 was simple: Treasury would buy $700 billion of troubled mortgages from the banks and then modify them to help struggling homeowners. Section 109 of the act, in fact, specifically empowered the Treasury secretary to “facilitate loan modifications to prevent avoidable foreclosures.” With that promise on the table, wary Democrats finally approved the bailout on October 3rd, 2008. “That provision,” says Barofsky, “is what got the bill passed.”

But within days of passage, the Fed and the Treasury unilaterally decided to abandon the planned purchase of toxic assets in favor of direct injections of billions in cash into companies like Goldman and Citigroup. Overnight, Section 109 was unceremoniously ditched, and what was pitched as a bailout of both banks and homeowners instantly became a bank-only operation – marking the first in a long series of moves in which bailout officials either casually ignored or openly defied their own promises with regard to TARP.

Congress was furious. “We’ve been lied to,” fumed Rep. David Scott, a Democrat from Georgia. Rep. Elijah Cummings, a Democrat from Maryland, raged at transparently douchey TARP administrator (and Goldman banker) Neel Kashkari, calling him a “chump” for the banks. And the anger was bipartisan: Republican senators David Vitter of Louisiana and James Inhofe of Oklahoma were so mad about the unilateral changes and lack of oversight that they sponsored a bill in January 2009 to cancel the remaining $350 billion of TARP.

So what did bailout officials do? They put together a proposal full of even bigger deceptions to get it past Congress a second time. That process began almost exactly four years ago – on January 12th and 15th, 2009 – when Larry Summers, the senior economic adviser to President-elect Barack Obama, sent a pair of letters to Congress. The pudgy, stubby­fingered former World Bank economist, who had been forced out as Harvard president for suggesting that women lack a natural aptitude for math and science, begged legislators to reject Vitter’s bill and leave TARP alone.

In the letters, Summers laid out a five-point plan in which the bailout was pitched as a kind of giant populist program to help ordinary Americans. Obama, Summers vowed, would use the money to stimulate bank lending to put people back to work. He even went so far as to say that banks would be denied funding unless they agreed to “increase lending above baseline levels.” He promised that “tough and transparent conditions” would be imposed on bailout recipients, who would not be allowed to use bailout funds toward “enriching shareholders or executives.” As in the original TARP bill, he pledged that bailout money would be used to aid homeowners in foreclosure. And lastly, he promised that the bailouts would be temporary – with a “plan for exit of government intervention” implemented “as quickly as possible.”

The reassurances worked. Once again, TARP survived in Congress – and once again, the bailouts were greenlighted with the aid of Democrats who fell for the old “it’ll help ordinary people” sales pitch. “I feel like they’ve given me a lot of commitment on the housing front,” explained Sen. Mark Begich, a Democrat from Alaska.

But in the end, almost nothing Summers promised actually materialized. A small slice of TARP was earmarked for foreclosure relief, but the resultant aid programs for homeowners turned out to be riddled with problems, for the perfectly logical reason that none of the bailout’s architects gave a shit about them. They were drawn up practically overnight and rushed out the door for purely political reasons – to trick Congress into handing over tons of instant cash for Wall Street, with no strings attached. “Without those assurances, the level of opposition would have remained the same,” says Rep. Raúl Grijalva, a leading progressive who voted against TARP. The promise of housing aid, in particular, turned out to be a “paper tiger.”

HAMP, the signature program to aid poor homeowners, was announced by President Obama on February 18th, 2009. The move inspired CNBC commentator Rick Santelli to go berserk the next day – the infamous viral rant that essentially birthed the Tea Party. Reacting to the news that Obama was planning to use bailout funds to help poor and (presumably) minority homeowners facing foreclosure, Santelli fumed that the president wanted to “subsidize the losers’ mortgages” when he should “reward people that could carry the water, instead of drink the water.” The tirade against “water drinkers” led to the sort of spontaneous nationwide protests one might have expected months before, when we essentially gave a taxpayer-funded blank check to Gamblers Anonymous addicts, the millionaire and billionaire class.

In fact, the amount of money that eventually got spent on homeowner aid now stands as a kind of grotesque joke compared to the Himalayan mountain range of cash that got moved onto the balance sheets of the big banks more or less instantly in the first months of the bailouts. At the start, $50 billion of TARP funds were earmarked for HAMP. In 2010, the size of the program was cut to $30 billion. As of November of last year, a mere $4 billion total has been spent for loan modifications and other homeowner aid.

In short, the bailout program designed to help those lazy, job-averse, “water-drinking” minority homeowners – the one that gave birth to the Tea Party – turns out to have comprised about one percent of total TARP spending. “It’s amazing,” says Paul Kiel, who monitors bailout spending for ProPublica. “It’s probably one of the biggest failures of the Obama administration.”

The failure of HAMP underscores another damning truth – that the Bush-Obama bailout was as purely bipartisan a program as we’ve had. Imagine Obama retaining Don Rumsfeld as defense secretary and still digging for WMDs in the Iraqi desert four years after his election: That’s what it was like when he left Tim Geithner, one of the chief architects of Bush’s bailout, in command of the no-strings­attached rescue four years after Bush left office.

Yet Obama’s HAMP program, as lame as it turned out to be, still stands out as one of the few pre-bailout promises that was even partially fulfilled. Virtually every other promise Summers made in his letters turned out to be total bullshit. And that includes maybe the most important promise of all – the pledge to use the bailout money to put people back to work.

THEY LIED ABOUT LENDING

Once TARP passed, the government quickly began loaning out billions to some 500 banks that it deemed “healthy” and “viable.” A few were cash loans, repayable at five percent within the first five years; other deals came due when a bank stock hit a predetermined price. As long as banks held TARP money, they were barred from paying out big cash bonuses to top executives.

But even before Summers promised Congress that banks would be required to increase lending as a condition for receiving bailout funds, officials had already decided not to even ask the banks to use the money to increase lending. In fact, they’d decided not to even ask banks to monitor what they did with the bailout money. Barofsky, the TARP inspector, asked Treasury to include a requirement forcing recipients to explain what they did with the taxpayer money. He was stunned when TARP administrator Kashkari rejected his proposal, telling him lenders would walk away from the program if they had to deal with too many conditions. “The banks won’t participate,” Kashkari said.

Barofsky, a former high-level drug prosecutor who was one of the only bailout officials who didn’t come from Wall Street, didn’t buy that cash-desperate banks would somehow turn down billions in aid. “It was like they were trembling with fear that the banks wouldn’t take the money,” he says. “I never found that terribly convincing.”

In the end, there was no lending requirement attached to any aspect of the bailout, and there never would be. Banks used their hundreds of billions for almost every purpose under the sun – everything, that is, but lending to the homeowners and small businesses and cities they had destroyed. And one of the most disgusting uses they found for all their billions in free government money was to help them earn even more free government money.

To guarantee their soundness, all major banks are required to keep a certain amount of reserve cash at the Fed. In years past, that money didn’t earn interest, for the logical reason that banks shouldn’t get paid to stay solvent. But in 2006 – arguing that banks were losing profits on cash parked at the Fed – regulators agreed to make small interest payments on the money. The move wasn’t set to go into effect until 2011, but when the crash hit, a section was written into TARP that launched the interest payments in October 2008.

In theory, there should never be much money in such reserve accounts, because any halfway-competent bank could make far more money lending the cash out than parking it at the Fed, where it earns a measly quarter of a percent. In August 2008, before the bailout began, there were just $2 billion in excess reserves at the Fed. But by that October, the number had ballooned to $267 billion – and by January 2009, it had grown to $843 billion. That means there was suddenly more money sitting uselessly in Fed accounts than Congress had approved for either the TARP bailout or the much-loathed Obama stimulus. Instead of lending their new cash to struggling homeowners and small businesses, as Summers had promised, the banks were literally sitting on it.

Today, excess reserves at the Fed total an astonishing $1.4 trillion.”The money is just doing nothing,” says Nomi Prins, a former Goldman executive who has spent years monitoring the distribution of bailout money.

Nothing, that is, except earning a few crumbs of risk-free interest for the banks. Prins estimates that the annual haul in interest­ on Fed reserves is about $3.6 billion – a relatively tiny subsidy in the scheme of things, but one that, ironically, just about matches the total amount of bailout money spent on aid to homeowners. Put another way, banks are getting paid about as much every year for not lending money as 1 million Americans received for mortgage modifications and other housing aid in the whole of the past four years.

Moreover, instead of using the bailout money as promised – to jump-start the economy – Wall Street used the funds to make the economy more dangerous. From the start, taxpayer money was used to subsidize a string of finance mergers, from the Chase-Bear Stearns deal to the Wells Fargo­Wachovia merger to Bank of America’s acquisition of Merrill Lynch. Aided by bailout funds, being Too Big to Fail was suddenly Too Good to Pass Up.

Other banks found more creative uses for bailout money. In October 2010, Obama signed a new bailout bill creating a program called the Small Business Lending Fund, in which firms with fewer than $10 billion in assets could apply to share in a pool of $4 billion in public money. As it turned out, however, about a third of the 332 companies that took part in the program used at least some of the money to repay their original TARP loans. Small banks that still owed TARP money essentially took out cheaper loans from the government to repay their more expensive TARP loans – a move that conveniently exempted them from the limits on executive bonuses mandated by the bailout. All told, studies show, $2.2 billion of the $4 billion ended up being spent not on small-business loans, but on TARP repayment. “It’s a bit of a shell game,” admitted John Schmidt, chief operating officer of Iowa-based Heartland Financial, which took $81.7 million from the SBLF and used every penny of it to repay TARP.

Using small-business funds to pay down their own debts, parking huge amounts of cash at the Fed in the midst of a stalled economy – it’s all just evidence of what most Americans know instinctively: that the bailouts didn’t result in much new business lending. If anything, the bailouts actually hindered lending, as banks became more like house pets that grow fat and lazy on two guaranteed meals a day than wild animals that have to go out into the jungle and hunt for opportunities in order to eat. The Fed’s own analysis bears this out: In the first three months of the bailout, as taxpayer billions poured in, TARP recipients slowed down lending at a rate more than double that of banks that didn’t receive TARP funds. The biggest drop in lending – 3.1 percent – came from the biggest bailout recipient, Citigroup. A year later, the inspector general for the bailout found that lending among the nine biggest TARP recipients “did not, in fact, increase.” The bailout didn’t flood the banking system with billions in loans for small businesses, as promised. It just flooded the banking system with billions for the banks.

THEY LIED ABOUT THE HEALTH OF THE BANKS

The main reason banks didn’t lend out bailout funds is actually pretty simple: Many of them needed the money just to survive. Which leads to another of the bailout’s broken promises – that taxpayer money would only be handed out to “viable” banks.

Soon after TARP passed, Paulson and other officials announced the guidelines for their unilaterally changed bailout plan. Congress had approved $700 billion to buy up toxic mortgages, but $250 billion of the money was now shifted to direct capital injections for banks. (Although Paulson claimed at the time that handing money directly to the banks was a faster way to restore market confidence than lending it to homeowners, he later confessed that he had been contemplating the direct-cash-injection plan even before the vote.) This new let’s-just-fork-over-cash portion of the bailout was called the Capital Purchase Program. Under the CPP, nine of America’s largest banks – including Citi, Wells Fargo, Goldman, Morgan Stanley, Bank of America, State Street and Bank of New York Mellon – received $125 billion, or half of the funds being doled out. Since those nine firms accounted for 75 percent of all assets held in America’s banks – $11 trillion – it made sense they would get the lion’s share of the money. But in announcing the CPP, Paulson and Co. promised that they would only be stuffing cash into “healthy and viable” banks. This, at the core, was the entire justification for the bailout: That the huge infusion of taxpayer cash would not be used to rescue individual banks, but to kick-start the economy as a whole by helping healthy banks start lending again.

The Scam Wall Street Learned From the Mafia

This announcement marked the beginning of the legend that certain Wall Street banks only took the bailout money because they were forced to – they didn’t need all those billions, you understand, they just did it for the good of the country. “We did not, at that point, need TARP,” Chase chief Jamie Dimon later claimed, insisting that he only took the money “because we were asked to by the secretary of Treasury.” Goldman chief Lloyd Blankfein similarly claimed that his bank never needed the money, and that he wouldn’t have taken it if he’d known it was “this pregnant with potential for backlash.” A joint statement by Paulson, Bernanke and FDIC chief Sheila Bair praised the nine leading banks as “healthy institutions” that were taking the cash only to “enhance the overall performance of the U.S. economy.”

But right after the bailouts began, soon-to-be Treasury Secretary Tim Geithner admitted to Barofsky, the inspector general, that he and his cohorts had picked the first nine bailout recipients because of their size, without bothering to assess their health and viability. Paulson, meanwhile, later admitted that he had serious concerns about at least one of the nine firms he had publicly pronounced healthy. And in November 2009, Bernanke gave a closed-door interview to the Financial Crisis Inquiry Commission, the body charged with investigating the causes of the economic meltdown, in which he admitted that 12 of the 13 most prominent financial companies in America were on the brink of failure during the time of the initial bailouts.

On the inside, at least, almost everyone connected with the bailout knew that the top banks were in deep trouble. “It became obvious pretty much as soon as I took the job that these companies weren’t really healthy and viable,” says Barofsky, who stepped down as TARP inspector in 2011.

This early episode would prove to be a crucial moment in the history of the bailout. It set the precedent of the government allowing unhealthy banks to not only call themselves healthy, but to get the government to endorse their claims. Projecting an image of soundness was, to the government, more important than disclosing the truth. Officials like Geithner and Paulson seemed to genuinely believe that the market’s fears about corruption in the banking system was a bigger problem than the corruption itself. Time and again, they justified TARP as a move needed to “bolster confidence” in the system – and a key to that effort was keeping the banks’ insolvency a secret. In doing so, they created a bizarre new two-tiered financial market, divided between those who knew the truth about how bad things were and those who did not.

A month or so after the bailout team called the top nine banks “healthy,” it became clear that the biggest recipient, Citigroup, had actually flat-lined on the ER table. Only weeks after Paulson and Co. gave the firm $25 billion in TARP funds, Citi – which was in the midst of posting a quarterly loss of more than $17 billion – came back begging for more. In November 2008, Citi received another $20 billion in cash and more than $300 billion in guarantees.

What’s most amazing about this isn’t that Citi got so much money, but that government-endorsed, fraudulent health ratings magically became part of its bailout. The chief financial regulators – the Fed, the FDIC and the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency – use a ratings system called CAMELS to measure the fitness of institutions. CAMELS stands for Capital, Assets, Management, Earnings, Liquidity and Sensitivity to risk, and it rates firms from one to five, with one being the best and five the crappiest. In the heat of the crisis, just as Citi was receiving the second of what would turn out to be three massive federal bailouts, the bank inexplicably enjoyed a three rating – the financial equivalent of a passing grade. In her book, Bull by the Horns, then-FDIC chief Sheila Bair recounts expressing astonishment to OCC head John Dugan as to why “Citi rated as a CAMELS 3 when it was on the brink of failure.” Dugan essentially answered that “since the government planned on bailing Citi out, the OCC did not plan to change its supervisory rating.” Similarly, the FDIC ended up granting a “systemic risk exception” to Citi, allowing it access to FDIC-bailout help even though the agency knew the bank was on the verge of collapse.

The sweeping impact of these crucial decisions has never been fully appreciated. In the years preceding the bailouts, banks like Citi had been perpetuating a kind of fraud upon the public by pretending to be far healthier than they really were. In some cases, the fraud was outright, as in the case of Lehman Brothers, which was using an arcane accounting trick to book tens of billions of loans as revenues each quarter, making it look like it had more cash than it really did. In other cases, the fraud was more indirect, as in the case of Citi, which in 2007 paid out the third-highest dividend in America – $10.7 billion – despite the fact that it had lost $9.8 billion in the fourth quarter of that year alone. The whole financial sector, in fact, had taken on Ponzi-like characteristics, as many banks were hugely dependent on a continual influx of new money from things like sales of subprime mortgages to cover up massive future liabilities from toxic investments that, sooner or later, were going to come to the surface.

Now, instead of using the bailouts as a clear-the-air moment, the government decided to double down on such fraud, awarding healthy ratings to these failing banks and even twisting its numerical audits and assessments to fit the cooked-up narrative. A major component of the original TARP bailout was a promise to ensure “full and accurate accounting” by conducting regular­ “stress tests” of the bailout recipients. When Geithner announced his stress-test plan in February 2009, a reporter instantly blasted him with an obvious and damning question: Doesn’t the fact that you have to conduct these tests prove that bank regulators, who should already know plenty about banks’ solvency, actually have no idea who is solvent and who isn’t?

The government did wind up conducting regular stress tests of all the major bailout recipients, but the methodology proved to be such an obvious joke that it was even lampooned on Saturday Night Live. (In the skit, Geithner abandons a planned numerical score system because it would unfairly penalize bankers who were “not good at banking.”) In 2009, just after the first round of tests was released, it came out that the Fed had allowed banks to literally rejigger the numbers to make their bottom lines look better. When the Fed found Bank of America had a $50 billion capital hole, for instance, the bank persuaded examiners to cut that number by more than $15 billion because of what it said were “errors made by examiners in the analysis.” Citigroup got its number slashed from $35 billion to $5.5 billion when the bank pleaded with the Fed to give it credit for “pending transactions.”

Such meaningless parodies of oversight continue to this day. Earlier this year, Regions Financial Corp. – a company that had failed to pay back $3.5 billion in TARP loans – passed its stress test. A subsequent analysis by Bloomberg View found that Regions was effectively $525 million in the red. Nonetheless, the bank’s CEO proclaimed that the stress test “demonstrates the strength of our company.” Shortly after the test was concluded, the bank issued $900 million in stock and said it planned on using the cash to pay back some of the money it had borrowed under TARP.

This episode underscores a key feature of the bailout: the government’s decision to use lies as a form of monetary aid. State hands over taxpayer money to functionally insolvent bank; state gives regulatory thumbs up to said bank; bank uses that thumbs up to sell stock; bank pays cash back to state. What’s critical here is not that investors actually buy the Fed’s bullshit accounting – all they have to do is believe the government will backstop Regions either way, healthy or not. “Clearly, the Fed wanted it to attract new investors,” observed Bloomberg, “and those who put fresh capital into Regions this week believe the government won’t let it die.”

Through behavior like this, the government has turned the entire financial system into a kind of vast confidence game – a Ponzi-like scam in which the value of just about everything in the system is inflated because of the widespread belief that the government will step in to prevent losses. Clearly, a government that’s already in debt over its eyes for the next million years does not have enough capital on hand to rescue every Citigroup or Regions Bank in the land should they all go bust tomorrow. But the market is behaving as if Daddy will step in to once again pay the rent the next time any or all of these kids sets the couch on fire and skips out on his security deposit. Just like an actual Ponzi scheme, it works only as long as they don’t have to make good on all the promises they’ve made. They’re building an economy based not on real accounting and real numbers, but on belief. And while the signs of growth and recovery in this new faith-based economy may be fake, one aspect of the bailout has been consistently concrete: the broken promises over executive pay.

THEY LIED ABOUT BONUSES

That executive bonuses on Wall Street were a political hot potato for the bailout’s architects was obvious from the start. That’s why Summers, in saving the bailout from the ire of Congress, vowed to “limit executive compensation” and devote public money to prevent another financial crisis. And it’s true, TARP did bar recipients from a whole range of exorbitant pay practices, which is one reason the biggest banks, like Goldman Sachs, worked so quickly to repay their TARP loans.

But there were all sorts of ways around the restrictions. Banks could apply to the Fed and other regulators for waivers, which were often approved (one senior FDIC official tells me he recommended denying “golden parachute” payments to Citigroup officials, only to see them approved by superiors). They could get bailouts through programs other than TARP that did not place limits on bonuses. Or they could simply pay bonuses not prohibited under TARP. In one of the worst episodes, the notorious lenders Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac paid out more than $200 million in bonuses­ between 2008 and 2010, even though the firms (a) lost more than $100 billion in 2008 alone, and (b) required nearly $400 billion in federal assistance during the bailout period.

Even worse was the incredible episode in which bailout recipient AIG paid more than $1 million each to 73 employees of AIG Financial Products, the tiny unit widely blamed for having destroyed the insurance giant (and perhaps even triggered the whole crisis) with its reckless issuance of nearly half a trillion dollars in toxic credit-default swaps. The “retention bonuses,” paid after the bailout, went to 11 employees who no longer worked for AIG.

But all of these “exceptions” to the bonus restrictions are far less infuriating, it turns out, than the rule itself. TARP did indeed bar big cash-bonus payouts by firms that still owed money to the government. But those firms were allowed to issue extra compensation to executives in the form of long-term restricted stock. An independent research firm asked to analyze the stock options for The New York Times found that the top five executives at each of the 18 biggest bailout recipients received a total of $142 million in stocks and options. That’s plenty of money all by itself – but thanks in large part to the government’s overt display of support for those firms, the value of those options has soared to $457 million, an average of $4 million per executive.

In other words, we didn’t just allow banks theoretically barred from paying bonuses to pay bonuses. We actually allowed them to pay bigger bonuses than they otherwise could have. Instead of forcing the firms to reward top executives in cash, we allowed them to pay in depressed stock, the value of which we then inflated due to the government’s implicit endorsement of those firms.

All of which leads us to the last and most important deception of the bailouts:

THEY LIED ABOUT THE BAILOUT BEING TEMPORARY

The bailout ended up being much bigger than anyone expected, expanded far beyond TARP to include more obscure (and in some cases far larger) programs with names like TALF, TAF, PPIP and TLGP. What’s more, some parts of the bailout were designed to extend far into the future. Companies like AIG, GM and Citigroup, for instance, were given tens of billions of deferred tax assets – allowing them to carry losses from 2008 forward to offset future profits and keep future tax bills down. Official estimates of the bailout’s costs do not include such ongoing giveaways. “This is stuff that’s never going to appear on any report,” says Barofsky.

Citigroup, all by itself, boasts more than $50 billion in deferred tax credits – which is how the firm managed to pay less in taxes in 2011 (it actually received a $144 million credit) than it paid in compensation that year to its since-ousted dingbat CEO, Vikram Pandit (who pocketed $14.9 million). The bailout, in short, enabled the very banks and financial institutions that cratered the global economy to write off the losses from their toxic deals for years to come – further depriving the government of much-needed tax revenues it could have used to help homeowners and small businesses who were screwed over by the banks in the first place.

Even worse, the $700 billion in TARP loans ended up being dwarfed by more than $7.7 trillion in secret emergency lending that the Fed awarded to Wall Street – loans that were only disclosed to the public after Congress forced an extraordinary one-time audit of the Federal Reserve. The extent of this “secret bailout” didn’t come out until November 2011, when Bloomberg Markets, which went to court to win the right to publish the data, detailed how the country’s biggest firms secretly received trillions in near-free money throughout the crisis.

Goldman Sachs, which had made such a big show of being reluctant about accepting $10 billion in TARP money, was quick to cash in on the secret loans being offered by the Fed. By the end of 2008, Goldman had snarfed up $34 billion in federal loans – and it was paying an interest rate of as low as just 0.01 percent for the huge cash infusion. Yet that funding was never disclosed to shareholders or taxpayers, a fact Goldman confirms. “We did not disclose the amount of our participation in the two programs you identify,” says Goldman spokesman Michael Duvally.

Goldman CEO Blankfein later dismissed the importance of the loans, telling the Financial Crisis Inquiry Commission that the bank wasn’t “relying on those mechanisms.” But in his book, Bailout, Barofsky says that Paulson told him that he believed Morgan Stanley was “just days” from collapse before government intervention, while Bernanke later admitted that Goldman would have been the next to fall.

Meanwhile, at the same moment that leading banks were taking trillions in secret loans from the Fed, top officials at those firms were buying up stock in their companies, privy to insider info that was not available to the public at large. Stephen Friedman, a Goldman director who was also chairman of the New York Fed, bought more than $4 million of Goldman stock over a five-week period in December 2008 and January 2009 – years before the extent of the firm’s lifeline from the Fed was made public. Citigroup CEO Vikram Pandit bought nearly $7 million in Citi stock in November 2008, just as his firm was secretly taking out $99.5 billion in Fed loans. Jamie Dimon bought more than $11 million in Chase stock in early 2009, at a time when his firm was receiving as much as $60 billion in secret Fed loans. When asked by Rolling Stone, Chase could not point to any disclosure of the bank’s borrowing from the Fed until more than a year later, when Dimon wrote about it in a letter to shareholders in March 2010.

The stock purchases by America’s top bankers raise serious questions of insider trading. Two former high-ranking financial regulators tell Rolling Stone that the secret loans were likely subject to a 1989 guideline, issued by the Securities and Exchange Commission in the heat of the savings and loan crisis, which said that financial institutions should disclose the “nature, amounts and effects” of any government aid. At the end of 2011, in fact, the SEC sent letters to Citigroup, Chase, Goldman Sachs, Bank of America and Wells Fargo asking them why they hadn’t fully disclosed their secret borrowing. All five megabanks essentially replied, to varying degrees of absurdity, that their massive borrowing from the Fed was not “material,” or that the piecemeal disclosure they had engaged in was adequate. Never mind that the law says investors have to be informed right away if CEOs like Dimon and Pandit decide to give themselves a $10,000 raise. According to the banks, it’s none of your business if those same CEOs are making use of a secret $50 billion charge card from the Fed.

The implications here go far beyond the question of whether Dimon and Co. committed insider trading by buying and selling stock while they had access to material nonpublic information about the bailouts. The broader and more pressing concern is the clear implication that by failing to act, federal regulators­ have tacitly approved the nondisclosure. Instead of trusting the markets to do the right thing when provided with accurate information, the government has instead channeled Jack Nicholson – and decided that the public just can’t handle the truth.

All of this – the willingness to call dying banks healthy, the sham stress tests, the failure to enforce bonus rules, the seeming indifference to public disclosure, not to mention the shocking­ lack of criminal investigations into fraud committed by bailout recipients before the crash – comprised the largest and most valuable bailout of all. Brick by brick, statement by reassuring statement, bailout officials have spent years building the government’s great Implicit Guarantee to the biggest companies on Wall Street: We will be there for you, always, no matter how much you screw up. We will lie for you and let you get away with just about anything. We will make this ongoing bailout a pervasive and permanent part of the financial system. And most important of all, we will publicly commit to this policy, being so obvious about it that the markets will be able to put an exact price tag on the value of our preferential treatment.

The first independent study that attempted to put a numerical value on the Implicit Guarantee popped up about a year after the crash, in September 2009, when Dean Baker and Travis McArthur of the Center for Economic and Policy Research published a paper called “The Value of the ‘Too Big to Fail’ Big Bank Subsidy.” Baker and McArthur found that prior to the last quarter of 2007, just before the start of the crisis, financial firms with $100 billion or more in assets were paying on average about 0.29 percent less to borrow money than smaller firms.

By the second quarter of 2009, however, once the bailouts were in full swing, that spread had widened to 0.78 percent. The conclusion was simple: Lenders were about a half a point more willing to lend to a bank with implied government backing – even a proven-stupid bank – than they were to lend to companies who “must borrow based on their own credit worthiness.” The economists estimated that the lending gap amounted to an annual subsidy of $34 billion a year to the nation’s 18 biggest banks.

Today the borrowing advantage of a big bank remains almost exactly what it was three years ago – about 50 basis points, or half a percent. “These megabanks still receive subsidies in the sense that they can borrow on the capital markets at a discount rate of 50 or 70 points because of the implicit view that these banks are Too Big to Fail,” says Sen. Brown.

Why does the market believe that? Because the officials who administered the bailouts made that point explicitly, over and over again. When Geithner announced the implementation of the stress tests in 2009, for instance, he declared that banks who didn’t have enough money to pass the test could get it from the government. “We’re going to help this process by providing a new program of capital support for those institutions that need it,” Geithner said. The message, says Barofsky, was clear: “If the banks cannot raise capital, we will do it for them.” It was an Implicit Guarantee that the banks would not be allowed to fail – a point that Geithner and other officials repeatedly stressed over the years. “The markets took all those little comments by Geithner as a clue that the government is looking out for them,” says Baker. That psychological signaling, he concludes, is responsible for the crucial half-point borrowing spread.

The inherent advantage of bigger banks – the permanent, ongoing bailout they are still receiving from the government – has led to a host of gruesome consequences. All the big banks have paid back their TARP loans, while more than 300 smaller firms are still struggling to repay their bailout debts. Even worse, the big banks, instead of breaking down into manageable parts and becoming more efficient, have grown even bigger and more unmanageable, making the economy far more concentrated and dangerous than it was before. America’s six largest banks – Bank of America, JP Morgan Chase, Citigroup, Wells Fargo, Goldman Sachs and Morgan Stanley – now have a combined 14,420 subsidiaries, making them so big as to be effectively beyond regulation. A recent study by the Kansas City Fed found that it would take 70,000 examiners to inspect such trillion-dollar banks with the same level of attention normally given to a community bank. “The complexity is so overwhelming that no regulator can follow it well enough to regulate the way we need to,” says Sen. Brown, who is drafting a bill to break up the megabanks.

Worst of all, the Implicit Guarantee has led to a dangerous shift in banking behavior. With an apparently endless stream of free or almost-free money available to banks – coupled with a well-founded feeling among bankers that the government will back them up if anything goes wrong – banks have made a dramatic move into riskier and more speculative investments, including everything from high-risk corporate bonds to mortgage­backed securities to payday loans, the sleaziest and most disreputable end of the financial system. In 2011, banks increased their investments in junk-rated companies by 74 percent, and began systematically easing their lending standards in search of more high-yield customers to lend to.

This is a virtual repeat of the financial crisis, in which a wave of greed caused bankers to recklessly chase yield everywhere, to the point where lowering lending standards became the norm. Now the government, with its Implicit Guarantee, is causing exactly the same behavior – meaning the bailouts have brought us right back to where we started. “Government intervention,” says Klaus Schaeck, an expert on bailouts who has served as a World Bank consultant, “has definitely resulted in increased risk.”

And while the economy still mostly sucks overall, there’s never been a better time to be a Too Big to Fail bank. Wells Fargo reported a third-quarter profit of nearly $5 billion last year, while JP Morgan Chase pocketed $5.3 billion – roughly double what both banks earned in the third quarter of 2006, at the height of the mortgage bubble. As the driver of their success, both banks cite strong performance in – you guessed it – the mortgage market.

So what exactly did the bailout accomplish? It built a banking system that discriminates against community banks, makes Too Big to Fail banks even Too Bigger to Failier, increases risk, discourages sound business lending and punishes savings by making it even easier and more profitable to chase high-yield investments than to compete for small depositors. The bailout has also made lying on behalf of our biggest and most corrupt banks the official policy of the United States government. And if any one of those banks fails, it will cause another financial crisis, meaning we’re essentially wedded to that policy for the rest of eternity – or at least until the markets call our bluff, which could happen any minute now.

Other than that, the bailout was a smashing success.

Economy &Politics | 30 Nov 2012

It Takes One to Know One

From CNBS opps CNBC with regard to our “socialist” in chief.

The French politician who said Indian steel company ArcelorMittal should leave the country has told CNBC that his government is only acting like U.S. President Barack Obama.

Politics | 16 Nov 2012

Election 2012; It Was the Media Stupid

When a failed president wins an election with a failed record and platform, one has to shake his head in wonderment.  I know I did.  When it became obvious that Obama was going to win the election at around 10pm eastern time, I couldn’t stop asking myself “how and why did this happen”.  How could the people choose such an inept candidate with an incredibly failed record over someone with as many accomplishments and a solid history as Mitt Romney has?

For the record, I wasn’t enthusiastic about the Romney candidacy.  He was about third on my list of “would like to get the nomination”.  But he is a successful businessman with an enviable record so I thought he had a shot and I could get behind him if he didn’t suffer from the usual “I want to be like a democrat” disease that afflicts many in the GOP today.  He didn’t come down with that affliction and he handed Obama’s head to him in the debates. I thought he could and should win. But I always knew there was a wild card in the deck.

That wild card was the effectiveness of the leftist media.  So as the disappointing results piled in, it became clear that the mainstream media’s five year pro-Obama propaganda campaign was enough to offset a successful record and a timely and much needed platform.  You see, propaganda can, and in this case did, hide the truth.  It hid the truth about Obama’s failures and it hid the truth about Romney’s accomplishments and qualifications.  Both of which were truths that had to be recognized by the electorate in order to dethrone the miserable failure that remains in the White House today.

There were two other disappointments that came out of election night.  One mild and the other massive.  The mild disappointment was with the center to right media not pointing out this obvious reason for the Obama win.  HEY FOX! CAN YOU HEAR ME NOW? The massive disappointment was with the so called conservative party willingness to immediately change their policies to the left.  All of a sudden illegal alien amnesty came into question as well as condemnation of the Tea Party to name two. I found it terrifying that in an instant and for the wrong reasons, conservatives no longer had/has representation in governing my country.

It wasn’ t conservative principles that lost.  Those principles were never known to the electorate because of the state owned media’s obfuscation and propaganda.  It was like watching the GOP take chemo therapy when an aspirin would do.  It was the right remedy for the wrong disease.  It wasn’t until today that I find an article that agrees with my premise.  Consider the following from The American Spectator written by & .

Here are a couple of snippets.

Most observers of the 2008 presidential campaign — even including some liberals after the fact — were shocked and appalled by the media’s pro-Barack Obama sycophancy. Unfortunately, the intentional and unintentional advocacy of the media on behalf of Obama was even worse in 2012.

There are many reasons why the conservative movement failed to achieve electoral success this year, but perhaps one of the most significant is the enduring power and influence of the left-dominated “mainstream” media. The 2012 cycle demonstrated that left-wing journalists have far more sway on Americans’ opinions than many conservatives have been willing to admit.

While the right’s ability to access mass audiences has increased substantially in recent decades with the advent of talk radio, cable television, and the Internet, its audience reach is still tiny compared to the hundreds of millions who consume news generated by the liberal mainstream media.

It is true that the audience share of these supposedly objective outlets has decreased in recent years, but that hardly means they have lost their ability to persuade people, especially with working journalists now ever more willing to throw their self-styled proclamations of objectivity to the wind.

It was one thing for the press to refuse to vet Senator Obama after he threw his name into the ring in February 2007, largely ignoring his astonishingly weak record as both a state and U.S. senator while refusing to properly expose his connections to domestic terrorists Bill Ayers and Bernardine Dohrn, his real estate dealings with the felonious Tony Rezko, and his many years sitting in the pews listening to the America-hating Reverend Jeremiah Wright.

It was also total malpractice the way the media blamed 2008′s financial collapse on George W. Bush and Republicans while completely ignoring the two pieces of legislation that directly caused the housing and credit bubbles — the Financial Services Modernization Act of 1999 and the Commodity Futures Modernization Act of 2000 — both signed into law by Bill Clinton, as well as the Community Reinvestment Act’s federally mandated lowering of lending standards.

But it’s quite another thing how the press behaved once the man they aided and abetted during the campaign was sworn in. From that point, many in the media appeared to believe it was their job to assist him in advancing his agenda even if that involved their providing false information to the public or not bothering to report administration failures along the way.

Consider that within days of Obama’s election, MSNBC host Chris Matthews made his intentions clear stating he believed it was his duty to aid the new president:

“I want to do everything I can to make this thing work, this new presidency work [...] Yeah, it is my job. My job is to help this country.”

Within months of the new president’s inauguration, a fine example of the press’s complicity was demonstrated by how it initially ignored opponents of Obama — a.k.a. the Tea Party — and then dishonestly depicted its members as racists.

When a different, administration-backed movement emerged in 2011 advocating policies in line with the current White House resident, its members were fawned and gushed over as the violence and lawlessness that took place at their rallies went unreported.

At the same time as the Republican presidential nomination process was beginning, the media felt it was their responsibility to eviscerate and attack all the candidates…

…Because relatively few Americans are actually exposed to conservative ideas, it is fair to say that the 2012 elections were not a mass rejection of conservatism nor were they proof that Americans have somehow moved to the left. This is not a “changing electorate”; in truth, a plurality of Americans have favored Democrats and their policies since the days of FDR. The wins that Republicans managed to achieve since that time were primarily due to appealing candidates and a ground game that was better able to get right-leaning voters out to vote.

It’s a great read and I encourage you to navigate over there to consume the entire article.

Finally someone gets it.  Unfortunately it isn’t the so called conservative party that is seemingly running head long to become Democrats.  They better wake up because the next time I’m faced with choosing between Dems and Dem Lites, I’m going to vote for the real thing.

In coming to the conclusion that it was indeed the state owned media’s propaganda campaign for all things Obama, that was the reason for his win, I did consider voter fraud as a possible cause.  However I couldn’t fathom voter fraud on a massive enough scale to sway the outcome.  I could be as wrong about that as I was about the effectiveness of the leftist media.  Those elements are still coming to light and will for sometime to come.  I’ll have to wait and see about that.

Bailouts &Banking Crisis &Corruption &Economy &Fraud &Illegal Immigration &Politics | 15 Nov 2012

A Message Everyone Should Listen To

This is very likely to be Dr. Ron Paul’s last speech from the Congressional floor.  It’s a gem. And to think we could have had this man as the President of our country.  Talk about opportunity lost.  But I digress.  Please listen to all of it and spread it to all you know.

 

YouTube Preview Image

Politics | 09 Nov 2012

Dark Humor

I went to get a haircut today.  My stylist hands me an envelope and says “someone dropped this off for you”.  I open the envelope and this is what was inside…

 

Condolences cover

 

The inside message of the card…

 

condolences cover

Economy &Politics | 07 Nov 2012

Conservatives, Every Day is Election Day; Vote Now

Conservatives didn’t lose this election because they chose the wrong guy or the wrong platform.  We lost this election because the American public didn’t know our guy and his platform. Additionally the American public didn’t know their guy and his record.  Its an easy out to say the American voting public is stupid, which may or may not be true.  Based on last night’s results, it appears to be true.  However, even intelligent people can make stupid decisions when they are basing them on falsehoods and omissions.

For four years and the eighteen months before that, the media has been in the bag for Obama.  Hiding and diminishing his failures while touting successes that were/are anything but.  All the while that same media was denigrating conservatives, squelching their message and demonizing their messengers.  That being said, its plain for all to see that the criteria the American public based their decisions on was flawed, incomplete, omitted or just plain lies.  Thus intelligent people made poor decisions based on non reality.

The election failed to be a mandate for anything, liberal or conservative.  When the popular vote spread was a mere three million votes in a country of 330 million people, any assertion to the contrary is absurd.

Let me address the assertion that Romney was the wrong choice.  Though he wasn’t my first, second or even my third choice, he was more than good enough to defeat Obama and his sordid record of the last four years.  Let me highlight but a few of Obama’s miserable failures.

  • The trashing of the Rule of Law with the GM bailout and what it did to contract laws of debt seniority. Another example is the dropping of charges against the New Black Panthers and their Philadelphia polling place violations of the last election.  For those who don’t understand the Rule of Law, think of it as “one set of laws for everyone with no one above the law”.  Amnesty for illegal aliens is another violation of the rule of law.  How is it that certain immigration laws apply only to certain immigrants and not others?  The Rule of Law is a principle that this country was founded on.  Without it, America is not America.
  • Trillion dollar budget deficits, profligate spending and not even producing a budget.  This is dangerous ineptitude and dereliction of duty.  Both are reason enough not to elect any incumbent.
  • The apparent handling of Benghazi and the Fast and Furious gun running debacle which ended with the death of one of our border patrol agents.
  • Obama’s record on the economy.  For every net job he created, 75 people went on government food assistance.  Obamacare is strangling small businesses and small business job creation.
  • The way Obamacare was passed with deceit and parliamentary maneuvering on an issue as important as healthcare for Americans.

I could go on with at least a dozen more “highlights” of his record but will stop here. I won’t go into usurpation of individual rights and how he apologized to the world for the American way of life.  Any, and all of these collectively, are reason enough not to grant Obama a second term.  Its a miserably failed record.  One that should allow just about any nominee to defeat him in his bid for re-election.  This failed record should have allowed a man of Romney’s character and accomplishments to defeat Obama.

So what happened?  People generally aren’t stupid.  Yet the election results reflect stupidity and defy logic.

What happened was a propaganda campaign that started over five years ago and continues to this day.  A propaganda campaign that hid Obama’s failures and ineptitude and glorified non existent and faux “accomplishments”.  All the while this propaganda campaign was attacking, hiding and misrepresenting the conservative message.

In a nutshell, it was bad decisions being made because of bad information/propaganda.

The good news is that conservatives can make each and every day an election day.  We can elect to notify the media that we will boycott companies that fund their fascists  activities (in the context of using suppression) through funding them with advertising dollars.  And we can elect to target those companies that align themselves with the propagandists and their candidate of choice by electing to not do business with them.

When the companies buckle and cease to fund the media’s propaganda activities, only then can we expect the media to take an objective political stance and to provide the public with accurate and complete information needed for the electorate to make sound decisions.

So what we waiting for?  Lets start voting now by voting with our pocket books.  What will it take?  A little organization, a website and working the social media? Its a very small price that can yield tremendous benefits for this country.

Next Page »