Deliberately Destroying America – Obama’s ‘Mission Accomplished’?

By Alan Caruba

It has taken three and a half years into Barack Obama’s presidency for most Americans to realize that he has been deliberately destroying America by driving up the nation’s debt and deficit, reducing privately held wealth, forcing millions onto the public dole, undermining its moral structure, and weakening the nation’s reputation internationally..

His latest lie is that “the private sector is doing just fine”, but the numbers tell the whole story and one can find them on an excellent blog, Economic Collapse, that offers seventy examples:

— The official U.S. unemployment rate has been above eight percent (8%) for 40 months in a row. Unofficially, it is estimated to be closer to fifteen percent (15%).

— In 2007, about ten percent (10%) of all unemployed Americans had been out of work for 52 weeks or longer. Today that number is above thirty percent (30%).

— An astounding forty-nine percent (49%) of all Americans live in a home where at least one member is receiving government benefits.

— The middle class is shrinking. Ninety-five percent (95%) of the jobs lost during the current recession were middle class jobs.

— Instead of cutting spending to reduce debt, the Federal Reserve is “monetizing” much of the U.S. debt. It purchased “approximately sixty-one percent (61%) of all government debt issued by the U.S. Treasury in 2011.

— Perhaps the most frightening statistic cited was a survey that found that sixty-three percent (63%) of Americans “believe that the U.S. economic model is broken.”

It is not broken. The economic model that propelled America into a superpower would continue to provide prosperity if the nation’s “entitlement” programs were reformed, if the obscene government spending and production of regulations were reduced, if government housing finance entitles such as Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac were eliminated, if the federal government’s purchase of the nation’s land mass was ended, if environmental laws without any basis in science were struck from the books, and if government control over the exploration and extracting of its vast energy reserves was greatly reduced.

It’s a tall order and it would require cleaning out a Congress that has imposed unsustainable burdens, including the highest corporate income tax in the world, and a level of taxation that requires those still holding jobs to annually work 107 days to earn enough money to pay local, state, and federal taxes.

If you check out the Progressive Caucus website, you will find nearly seventy members of the House are members and there is one from the Senate, the Socialist Bernie Sanders. In the 1950s they would have correctly been identified as Communists.

When Liberals and liberalism became unpopular, they began using the term Progressives. They are the descendents of every Democrat that voted for the New Deal, the War on Poverty, the creation of Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, and the creation of the Departments of Energy, Education, and the Environmental Protection Agency. These are the people who in the early years of the last century imposed the income tax and engineered the creation of the Federal Reserve, a banking cartel that controls the economy.

At this point most conservatives have heard of Saul Alinksy’s 1972 book, “Rules for Radicals”, a guide to bringing about the destruction of the nation’s capitalist economic system and replace it with the kind of government that Barack Obama has tried to impose with the help of the many Communists and liberals in Congress.

Lesser known is the roadmap spelled out in 1988 by Columbia University sociologists, Richard Andrew Cloward and his wife Frances Fox Piven, both members of the Democratic Socialists of America.

The “Cloward-Piven Strategy” advocated a “massive drive to recruit the poor onto the welfare rolls” in order to sabotage it and bring about “a political and financial crisis.” As it turned out, it was the collapse of the housing market that brought about the financial crisis they wanted, but following the Bush administration emergency bail-out of the banking system, the Obama administration with its Democrat-controlled Congress set about imposing historic debt through its $821 billion “stimulus.” Present debt exceeds the entire annual Gross Domestic Product.

It followed that with an unnecessary and wasteful bail-out of General Motors and Chrysler (instead of permitting a normal bankruptcy that would diminish the power of the unions that brought it about), and massive “investments” in failed solar and other alternative energy companies. The EPA was set free to try to impose regulations that would shut down a major portion of the nation’s producers of electricity.

Even though voters returned majority power to Republicans in the House of Representatives in 2010 the trail of destruction has continued and the bills they have passed to end our present financial troubles have been locked up in a Democrat-controlled Senate that has not passed a budget in the last three years.

We are now five months from an election to remove Obama from power and electing conservative lawmakers to office. It’s a start in restoring America to its former prosperity.

For more click here.

How Obama and Democrats Continue to Decimate the American Middle Class

By Jeffrey Klein via The Examiner

The Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act,  was a “fig leaf” law manufactured by desperate Democrats for two very important  reasons [to them].

To protect the political legacies of two high-profile Democrat career  politicians, Sen. Chris Dodd (D-CT) and Rep. Barney Frank (D-MA), who, as  chairmen of their respective banking committees, were the “henchmen” who blocked  numerous attempts by the Bush Administration to step in and audit the now  collapsed Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac.

More importantly, it was to hide the fact that the “Sub-Prime Mortgage”  crisis that caused the meltdown of the U.S. economy was actually propagated by a  1995 Clinton-era wealth re-distribution plan, which “forced” banks to abandon  mortgage qualification standards so they could provide mortgages to high-risk,  low income homebuyers with little or no down.  And, according to the Law of Unintended Consequences, it was the middle class  that was most greatly devastated by financial loss and high, protracted  unemployment–even though, ironically, they are the very people President Barack  Obama and Democrats claim to be protecting now, against the “evil” capitalist  Republicans.

According to Susan Adams’ Forbes article yesterday, citing a recent  episode of CBS’ “60 Minutes,” one of the most troubling aspects of the  unemployment picture in the U.S. today is the fact that more than 4 million  Americans have been out of work for more than a year, and more than 2 million  have been jobless for more than 99 weeks, so their jobless benefits have run  out.

Long-term unemployment has reached levels not seen in the U.S. for the last  60 years.

Those who have been out of work for two or three years wind up taking drastic  measures. They sell their homes and their cars, and they pull kids out of  college. They lose contact with their professional networks and struggle with  rock-bottom self esteem.

“I was so ashamed to reach out for help, because I felt discouraged. I felt  ashamed that I had failed,” Vernon Downes tells 60 Minutes.  A  former information technology project manager for a company that makes medical  devices, he had been looking for a job for two-and-a-half years. Downes had gone  on food stamps and taken a part-time job blowing leaves for a landscaper.

A recent Business Insider article, which profiled 11 middle class men  and women who have been unemployed for at least two years, includes Veronica  Orozco.  She is a 30 year old Civil Engineer, wife of a grad student and  mother of two, who had been with a firm in Chicago.

Veronica has been unemployed since June 2007.

The article stated that most people don’t understand how someone could fail  to find a job for over a year unless he was lazy or somehow defective.   And, it was found that this stigma makes finding a job harder, every day that a  person has been unemployed.

Now, excessively long term unemployment is driving people mad–costing  taxpayers billions of dollars in mental illness and other disability  claims.

The New York Post reported Sunday that as unemployment checks run  out, many jobless people are trying to gain government benefits by declaring  themselves unhealthy.

In January, more than 10.5 million people, or about 5.3 percent of the  population aged 25 and 64, received disability checks from the federal  government, which is an 18 percent jump from pre-recession rates.

Among those claiming disability, 43 percent are asking for benefits because  of mental illness–a growing number of whom are older, former white-collar  workers.

These claims put increased pressure on the fiscal viability of the Social  Security Trust Fund, which is already set to go broke in 2018–even though last  week Congress voted to extend the “Payroll Tax Holiday” through the end of the  year, eliminating over $100 billion from the funds income.

The Post noted that the more people file for disability claims, the better  for the unemployment picture since those people are removed from the jobless  rolls.

This is most likely the primary, yet perverted, factor that has caused the  systematic and “false” reduction in the unemployment rate over the past four  months–not an upturn in the economy as President Obama would have us all  believe.

And, Obama’s refusing to approve the Keystone XL pipeline project again last  month, cost the country 20,000 desperately needed high paying jobs within  months–without any taxpayer loans.

This is just more proof of how President Obama and Democrats have decimated  the middle class in America–instead of protecting them, as they claim.

Obama Blames the Banks – Hypocrisy Run Wild

by Richard Butrick via Stonegate Institute  (h/t Leslie Burt)

Speaking from the White House on Feb. 9th, Obama, assuming the air of a headmaster of boarding school, wagged his finger and proceeded to upbraid the “abusive” banks for their “irresponsible” and “reckless” policy of duping hapless blacks and other minorities into buying homes they couldn’t afford.

Serious analysts of the mortgage/banking/financial meltdown of 2008 have come up with a Byzantium of alternative theories regarding the essential factors involved in the meltdown. One straight-faced theory even has it that the core problem was a faulty mathematical model to evaluate risk. It is not as far-fetched as it may at first seem. Top banks from Goldman Sacks to JP Morgan to Morgan Stanley had quant departments using the model of a Chinese mathematician by the name of David X. Li. His model was called “The Formula from Hell” by Forbes magazine and here is how an excellent an article in Wired magazine put it:

For five years, Li’s formula, known as a Gaussian copula function, looked like an unambiguously positive breakthrough, a piece of financial technology that allowed hugely complex risks to be modeled with more ease and accuracy than ever before. With his brilliant spark of mathematical legerdemain, Li made it possible for traders to sell vast quantities of new securities, expanding financial markets to unimaginable levels. His method was adopted by everybody from bond investors and Wall Street banks to ratings agencies and regulators. And it became so deeply entrenched—and was making people so much money—that warnings about its limitations were largely ignored.

The theories are all over the map. Some notable disparate ones include:

1. Greenspan: “The problem is not the lack of regulation, but unrealistic expectations about what regulators are able to anticipate and prevent.”

2. Krugman: “What ended the era of U.S. stability was the rise of “shadow banking”: institutions that carried out banking functions but operated without a safety net and with minimal regulation.”

He referred to this lack of controls as “malign neglect.”

3. Economist Joseph Stiglitz singled out (1) the repeal of the Glass-Steagall Act which was enacted after the Great Depression and which had separated commercial banks and investment banks. The repeal led the risk-taking culture of investment banking to dominate the more conservative commercial banking culture, in turn leading to increased levels of risk-taking and leverage during the boom period; (2) the sheer complexity of layers upon layers of debt obligations based on pools of mortgages. “With this complicated intertwining of bets of great magnitude, no one could be sure of the financial position of anyone else-or even of one’s own position. Not surprisingly, the credit markets froze.”

4. Economist Robert Shiller argued that speculative bubbles are fueled by “contagious optimism, seemingly impervious to facts, that often takes hold when prices are rising. Bubbles are primarily social phenomena; until we understand and address the psychology that fuels them, they’re going to keep forming.”

5. The Financial Crisis Inquiry Commission (FCIC) reported in January 2011 that: “The three credit rating agencies were key enablers of the financial meltdown. The mortgage-related securities at the heart of the crisis could not have been marketed and sold without their seal of approval. Investors relied on them, often blindly. In some cases, they were obligated to use them, or regulatory capital standards were hinged on them. This crisis could not have happened without the rating agencies. Their ratings helped the market soar and their downgrades through 2007 and 2008 wreaked havoc across markets and firms.” [Note while the FCIC’s position that credit ratings played a major role still stands, its position that Fannie and Freddie played only a minor role has been shot down by the recent SEC investigation.]

In summary, the theories single out (1) over reliance on regulation, (2) lack of regulation of the shadow banking system, (3) repeal of the Glass-Steagall Act, (4) the inherent nature of socio-economic forces, (5) faulty credit evaluation. In none of the theories are the bankers singled out as the evil malefactors who duped innocents into taking on mortgages they could ill afford.

But Obama, after exhaustive analysis, knows where to point the finger. Not only that, even though none of the analyses above raised the specter that the financial meltdown was the work of if evil malefactors, Obama not only knows it was banks fault he knows the evil bankers did it. The evil bankers deliberately duped hapless blacks and other minorities into taking on mortgages they could ill afford and now they must pay for their misdeeds.

Obama’s cosmology is eerily similar to the cosmology of the evil “trickster” common to the folklore many primitive societies. Things go wrong because of the tricksters among us. There is no question that the blame-game mentality is front and center in Obama’s thinking. His world is peopled with “bamboozlers” and people who “scam” the system.

It now turns out, however, according to a recent IBD article, that President William Jefferson Clinton had set up a little-known federal body made up of 10 regulatory agencies — the Interagency Task Force on Fair Lending — to force banks to lower their lending standards so that blacks and other minorities could “own” homes. The Task Force apparently threatened lenders either to ease credit for low-income buyers or face investigations for lending discrimination and suffer the related bad publicity. This Task Force also apparently threatened to deny banks expansion plans and access to Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac. And guess who was one of the principle operatives of this government shakedown racket?

According to the IBD article it was the Justice Department, along with HUD, which regulated Fannie and Freddie, that proved to be the most aggressive member of the fair-lending task force. Eric Holder, then acting as deputy AG, ordered lenders actually to “target” African-Americans for home mortgages they couldn’t otherwise afford. Obama, as a community organizer, brought law suits against banks to ease credit for home buyers. “In other words, the same two officials now leading the charge to punish “abusive” lenders had egged them on before the crisis.”

The intellectual conceit of overriding professional economic analysis with one’s own bogeyman theory is breathtaking. To proceed then to blame banks and call them evil for doing what Obama and his sidekick Holder blackmailed banks into doing is beyond the bounds of acceptability.