How America Has Changed Since 2000

How America Has Changed Since 2000 Part 2

Listen To This Week’s Radio Show (11/21/14)

This week’s radio show is now available.-Lou Listen Here

 

radio-microphone1

21 facts That Prove Government Dependency Is Out Of Control In America

5 million illegals will now have the privilege of American entitlement, the country is doomed.-Lou

 

21 facts That Prove Government Dependency Is Out Of Control In America

 

Michael Snyder of The End of The American Dream blog,

If you could stay home and watch television, play video games and hang out with your friends all day at government expense, would you do it?  Of course most Americans that collect money from the government each month are not abusing the system.  Many truly are incapable of taking care of themselves, and others are just receiving government benefits (such as Social Security) that they feel that they have earned by a lifetime of hard work.  But with each passing year the number of Americans jumping on board “the safety net” continues to grow rapidly, and a lot of these people should be able to take care of themselves.  Today, the American people collectively receive more money from the government than they pay in taxes.  And remember, the federal government uses our money to build roads, inspect our food and fund the military as well.  So what does this say about our economy?  Could it survive without all of these debt-fueled transfer payments?  And what does this say about our society?  At one time, our nation was known for our work ethic.  What would our forefathers say about us today?  The following are 21 facts that prove that dependence on the government is out of control in America…

1. According to a Congressional Budget Office study that was just released, approximately 60 percent of all U.S. households get more in transfer payments from the government than they pay in taxes.  Here is more about this stunning report from Mark J. Perry’s Carpe Diem blog

Some additional analysis and commentary will be provided here that reveal a yet-to-be discussed major implication of the CBO report – almost the entire burden: a) of all transfer payments made to American households and b) of all non-financed government spending, falls on just one group of Americans – the top one-fifth of US households by income. That’s correct, the CBO study shows that the bottom three income quintiles representing 60% of US households are “net recipients” (they receive more in transfer payments than they pay in federal taxes), the second-highest income quintile pays just slightly more in federal taxes ($14,800) than it receives in government transfer payments ($14,100), while the top 20% of American “net payer” households finance 100% of the transfer payments to the bottom 60%, as well as almost 100% of the tax revenue collected to run the federal government. Here are the details of that analysis.

 

cbo1

 

The figures in Row 6 in the table above (and displayed in the graph above) show the amount of federal taxes paid by the average household in each income quintile minus the average amount of government transfers received by those households in 2011. For each of the three lower income quintiles, their average government transfer payments exceeded their federal taxes paid by $8,600, $12,500, and $9,100 respectively, and therefore the entire bottom 60% of US households are “net recipients” of government transfer payments.

2. About 70 percent of all government spending now goes toward dependence-creating programs.

3. From 2009 through 2013, the U.S. government spent a whopping 3.7 trillion dollars on welfare programs.

4. The percentage of the U.S. population that gets money from the federal government grew by an astounding 62 percent between 1988 and 2011.

5. According to an analysis of U.S. government numbers conducted by Terrence P. Jeffrey, there are 86 million full-time private sector workers in the United States paying taxes to support the government, and nearly 148 million Americans that are receiving benefits from the government each month.

6. According to the Survey of Income and Program Participation conducted by the U.S. Census, well over 100 million Americans are enrolled in at least one welfare program run by the federal government.  Sadly, that figure does not even include Social Security or Medicare.

7. Currently, there are somewhere around 40 million senior citizens in the United States.  By 2050, that number is projected to skyrocket to 89 million.  Supporting all of those senior citizens is going to be extraordinarily expensive.

8. Right now, more than 64 million Americans are receiving Social Security benefits.

9. Right now, more than 54 million Americans are enrolled in Medicare.

10. Right now, more than 70 million Americans are enrolled in Medicaid.

11. The number of Americans enrolled in the Social Security disability program now exceeds the entire population of the state of Virginia.

12. If the number of Americans on Social Security disability were gathered into a separate state, it would be the 8th largest state in the entire country.

13. In 1968, there were 51 full-time workers for every American on disability.  Today, there are just 13 full-time workers for every American on disability.

14. At this point, the federal government runs about 80 different “means-tested welfare programs”, and almost all of those programs have experienced substantial growth in recent years.

15. The number of Americans on food stamps has grown from 17 million in the year 2000 to more than 46 million today.

16. Ten years ago, the number of women in the U.S. that had jobs outnumbered the number of women in the U.S. on food stamps by more than a 2 to 1 margin.  But now the number of women in the U.S. on food stamps actually exceeds the number of women that have jobs.

17. Back in the 1970s, about one out of every 50 Americans was on food stamps.  Today, about one out of every 6.5 Americans is on food stamps.

More…

The Obamacare Mess

The Obamacare Mess Part-2

Another rude Obamacare surprise awaits

Obamacare-Burning-589x442

This is the year that the true face of Obamacare reveals itself…and it won’t be pretty.-Lou

 

Another rude Obamacare surprise awaits

 

Yahoo Finance

Taxes are bad enough when you know they’re coming—and much worse when they arrive unexpectedly.

As the Affordable Care Act enters its second year of operability, a key and controversial element of the plan will begin to affect several million Americans for the first time. People who didn’t have health insurance during 2014 may soon have to pay a penalty fee that starts at $95 and goes up based on how much you earn. Some Americans know about the penalty, and they’ve budgeted for it or at least accepted its inevitability. But several million others could be in for a rude surprise when Washington assesses a fee they didn’t even know was coming.

The uninsured rate has fallen since Obamacare, as the ACA is known, went into effect at the start of  2014. But there are still roughly 40 million adult Americans who lack health insurance, according to Census Department data. A recent poll by Gallup shows that about 55% of the uninsured plan to get insurance, while 35% say they’re willing to pay the fine for not having coverage. That leaves 10% of the uninsured — 4 million people or so — who appear to be unaware they need to have insurance or pay a penalty. Plus, some of the 55% who say they plan to get coverage inevitably won’t, including a portion who probably don’t know they’ll get stuck paying a penalty.

The “individual mandate” requiring most adult Americans to have health insurance is an essential element of the ACA because it enlarges the pool of people who are insured and spreads healthcare costs as widely as possible. Without the mandate, there would be a larger portion of sick people and a smaller portion of healthy people covered by insurance, which could make coverage prohibitively expensive for those who need it most. Yet the mandate is unpopular and it’s likely to be targeted for elimination by Republicans who will control both houses of Congress for the next two years—and who well understand that the whole law could collapse if the mandate isn’t in force.

One of the biggest remaining tests for Obamacare will come in early 2015 as people without coverage cope with the penalty fees. There are exemptions for low-income workers and others who would have to pay more than 8% of their income for a health insurance policy, which is considered prohibitively expensive. About 60% of the uninsured are poor and likely to qualify for an exemption. But they have to know how to claim it, and for all the attention Obamacare has generated, a surprisingly large portion of the population knows little or nothing about the law. Nearly 30% of those without insurance don’t know they’re required to have it or pay a penalty, for instance. And 65% of the uninsured say they’re not familiar with the healthcare exchanges set up to offer policies, which means a lot of people without insurance don’t know how to get it.

More…

Gold and Silver Price Manipulation: The “Golden” Cat is Out of The Bag!

 No surprise to my followers.-Lou

 

Gold and Silver Price Manipulation: The “Golden” Cat is Out of The Bag!

Global Research

Gold and silver price manipulation, “we” have talked and written about it for years.  I can still remember speaking two or three times a week with the late Harry Bingham back in 1997 and ’98 regarding this topic.  No matter what “event” popped up which logically and in the past should/would have pushed the price of gold higher, we would see waterfall action instead.  Then along came Bill Murphy and Chris Powell of GATA.  They put forth all sorts of anecdotal evidence, work by Frank Veneroso, James Turk and others which made the “manipulation picture” clearer.  Each piece along the way was added to the previous pieces and made it more clear “we were right”.

http://www.zerohedge.com/news/2014-11-09/another-conspiracy-theory-bites-dust-ubs-settles-over-gold-rigging-many-more-banks-f

Of course, along the way there have been slurs and smears of GATA’s work and those of us who put the pieces together shedding light on the fact that gold and silver prices were manipulated.  I must say, it was quite a frustrating experience when often times there was obvious evidence to the 3rd grade mentalities out there yet supposedly “smart” people would just turn their noses up saying “that proves nothing”.  Even the latest operation last Wednesday at 12:30 AM where one week’s worth of global gold production (40 tons) was sold in the tight window of and Indian holiday and Chinese/Japanese lunch break was “apologized away” as being “routine selling”.  Yes, I will agree, it has “become routine” but in no way is it “right”.  Selling that which does not exist is illegal, morally wrong and in this case aimed squarely at suppressing the price.  This is either “price fixing”, or “collusion”, both supposedly illegal.

UBS has agreed to pay a fine without of course admitting any guilt.  It is said there are several other banks negotiating their own deals in London on this same issue.  So yes, the prices of gold and silver have in fact been manipulated unless you want to say UBS and the other banks are agreeing to pay their fines out of “nuisance” and just want it to go away.  I find the timing of this very interesting.  Is this action coming out of London in an effort to show the Chinese (G-20 and the rest of the world) they are cleaning up their act?  What about here in the U.S.?  Will the CFTC stand alone and look the other way finding “nothing actionable”?  As for the 40 tons “sold” last week, do you think the Germans might be thinking “hey, we want some of that, where’s our gold?  We asked for less than that for year one and only got 5 tons, was some (or all) of that 40 tons our gold?”.

In my opinion, London’s action of bringing this to light now is very significant.  Not just because of the BRICS and G-20 meeting but because it comes at a time when GOFO rates spiked negatively suggesting a very tight gold supply in London.  Are the British regulators trying to get out ahead of this?  Is it possible that the vaults are close to empty?  Based on what we know of Chinese and Indian imports the last few years, Western vaults have certainly been dented badly, maybe this move by the regulators is a “tell”?  We will soon know one way or the other!

The UBS fine in my opinion is merely the tip of the iceberg and before this saga is over we will find out that gold and silver prices have been “locked” down in many other various ways.  We know about the “gold fix” being “fixed”.  Now we know about UBS and LBMA dealings not being proper, the last straw will be COMEX in the “land of free and fair markets” but I wouldn’t hold my breath waiting for U.S. regulators.

This “rigging” revelation has many more and far reaching repercussions than first meets your eye.  This is not about gold, nor silver.  This is not even just about the dollar, interest rates or the Treasury markets.  This is about EVERYTHING!  First, it’s about the “honesty” of Western markets which for 100 years has been held up as the reason “why” to invest in the West.  Next, it is about the standard of living in the West, particularly the U.S..  If gold and silver were allowed to rally, back in 1997 and ’98, maybe the dot com bubble would never have occurred or at least to the extent that it did.  The housing crisis would not have happened because interest rates could not have been lowered the way they were.  The U.S. could not have gone $18 trillion into debt because we could not have afforded 6% interest rates on the balance.  The past economic “growth” and standard of living would have been far lower.  Elections (if not stolen) would have come out differently, people would have lived their lives differently and decisions on the allocation of capital would have been far different.  Yes, EVERYTHING “would have” been different!

More…

A Historical Election, What It Means To The Country

American Financial Markets Have No Relationship To Reality — Paul Craig Roberts

You are exactly right Paul Craig.-Lou

American Financial Markets Have No Relationship To Reality — Paul Craig Roberts

 

American Financial Markets Have No Relationship To Reality

Paul Craig Roberts and Dave Kranzler

As we have demonstrated in previous articles, the bullion banks (primarily JP Morgan, HSBC, ScotiaMocatta, Barclays, UBS, and Deutsche Bank), most likely acting as agents for the Federal Reserve, have been systematically forcing down the price of gold since September 2011. Suppression of the gold price protects the US dollar against the extraordinary explosion in the growth of dollars and dollar-denominated debt.

It is possible to suppress the price of gold despite rising demand, because the price is not determined in the physical market in which gold is actually purchased and carried away. Instead, the price of gold is determined in a speculative futures market in which bets are placed on the direction of the gold price. Practically all of the bets made in the futures market are settled in cash, not in gold. Cash settlement of the contracts serves to remove price determination from the physical market.

Cash settlement makes it possible for enormous amounts of uncovered or “naked” futures contracts — paper gold — to be printed and dumped all at once for sale in the futures market at times when trading is thin. By increasing the supply of paper gold, the enormous sales drive down the futures price, and it is the futures price that determines the price at which physical quantities of bullion can be purchased.

The fact that the price of gold is determined in a paper market, in which there is no limit to the supply of paper contracts that can be created, produces the strange result that the demand for physical bullion is at an all time high, outstripping world production, but the price continues to fall! Asian demand is heavy, especially from China, and silver and gold eagles are flying off the shelves of the US Mint in record quantities. Bullion stocks are being depleted; yet the prices of gold and silver fall day after day.

The only way that this makes sense is that the price of bullion is not determined in a real market, but in a rigged paper market in which there is no limit to the ability to print paper gold.

Where are the class action suits from gold mining companies against the Federal Reserve, its bullion bank agents, and all who are harming the interest of the mining companies by short-selling gold with uncovered contracts? Rigged markets–especially on the basis of inside information–are illegal and highly unethical. The naked short-selling is causing damage to mining interests. Once the price of gold is driven below $1200 per ounce, many mines become uneconomical. They shut down. Miners are unemployed. Shareholders lose money. How can such an obviously rigged and manipulated price be permitted to continue? The answer is that the US political and financial system is engulfed with corruption and criminality. The Federal Reserve’s policy of rigging bond and gold prices and providing liquidity for stock market speculation has damaged the US economy and tens of millions of US citizens in order to protect four mega-banks from their mistakes and crimes. This private use of public policy is unprecedented in history. Those responsible should be arrested and put on trial and they should simultaneously be sued for damages.

The Chinese, Russians, and Indians are delighted that the corrupt American authorities make it possible for them to purchase ever larger quantities of gold at ever lower prices. The rigged market is perfectly acceptable to purchasers of bullion, just as it is to US authorities who are committed to protecting the dollar from a rising price of gold.

Nevertheless, an honest person would think that the incompatibility of high demand with constrained supply and falling price would arouse the interest of economists, the financial media, financial authorities, and congressional committees.

More…