Posted by greydogg, 99GetSmart
* FISCAL CLIFF OVER, NOW THE ATTACK ON THE PEOPLE BEGINS
By Kevin Zeese, Global Research
Last night, Congress passed a watered down fiscal cliff package that will raise taxes on everyone, but the worst is yet to come, and this “deficit cutting” measure contains some surprises.
Economist Jack Rasmus highlights Obama’s comments after passage which signal what we can expect:
“I am very open to compromise . . . Medicare is the biggest contribution to the deficit.” In fact, Medicare does not contribute to the deficit because it is funded by a separate tax, but Obama has signaled – expect cuts to Medicare and Medicaid.Obama has been laying the ground work to cut social insurances since 2010.
The “deal” only cut the deficit by $620 billion of the bi-partisan goal of $4 trillion so there are a lot of budget cuts ahead and they will not come from the military or national security state, they will come from the necessities of the people. Even if the U.S. had gone over the cliff cuts to the military were minimal, DoDcuts scheduled to take effect in 2013 were only $24 billion, according to the Congressional Budget Office, much less than the oft-mentioned $500 billion reported in the media. The $500 billion are cuts over ten years, mostly backloaded to the out years. Thus these are cuts the military would likely never see.
The reason that the deal cut the deficit so little is because Obama backed off his campaign promise to raise taxes on the top 2%, and instead only repealed the Bush tax cuts on the top 1.5%, those earning over $400,000. As a result, rather than raising $1.2 trillion in revenue, the deal only raised $600 billion and part of that came from working people as payroll taxes were re-instated. The result will be more cuts on the rest of us – so later this year the bi-partisan cut to corporate tax rates can be passed.
The “deal” was not all about cuts, as Matt Stoller writes, the deficit cutters were very generous to Goldman Sachs: “Goldman got $1.6 billion in tax free financing for its new massive headquarters through Liberty Bonds.” Another gift to big finance and multinationals: a provision was included that allows U.S. multinationals to not pay taxes on income earned abroad at a cost $1.5 billion to the budget. […]
* US FEDERAL RESERVE SYSTEM SHOULD BE NATIONALIZED
By Olga Shedrova, StrategicCulture
Who does the US money belong to?
The United States is the only state in the world destitute of the right to issue its own currency. The role of central bank is carried out by the Federal Reserve System – a joint stock company created by 12 Federal Reserve Banks created in their turn by commercial banks on a territorial basis.
The state has no money. The government issues bonds to receive its “national currency”, the Federal Reserve System prints notes and gives it to the state by buying its bonds. Then the government buys out the bonds and the money returns to the Federal Reserve with interest rates. It makes inflation, or the difference between cash and fixed-rate bonds, the main source of the Federal Reserve’s income. Suppose it costs 10 cents to issue a $100 bill, then the inflation tax is $99,90. Acting as a private bank the Federal Reserve gets income from notes sold to the government, as well as from interest payments on the bonds of the Treasury and payment transactions, deposits and transactions on the securities market.
According to the Federal Reserve Act, the Federal Reserve System is a state structure with private components, comprising the presidentially appointed Board of Governors (or Federal Reserve Board), the Federal Open Market Committee (FOMC), twelve regional Federal Reserve Banks located in major cities throughout the nation, numerous privately owned U.S. member banks that get profit from safety stock, fixed income shares issued by Federal Reserve Banks in exchange for contributed reserve capital, and various advisory councils.
The government’s influence on the Federal Reserve System is limited for a number of reasons. First, the governors are assigned for a term of 14 years with the right for extension. Let me note, the President is elected for 4 years, the tenure is limited to 8 years. As they say presidents come and go, the Federal Reserve governors stay. Alan Greenspan, former chairman of the board of the Federal Reserve System, held the position for 19 years, incumbent chairman Ben Bernanke holds his office since 2006, he started under another president and staying in the position through the next president’s second term. It’s the Federal Reserve System, not the White House, who holds real power. Second, the Federal Reserve has final authority over notes authenticity. It makes possible unchecked emission and allows to declare any notes fake, even if they are issued by the Federal Reserve itself.
Finally, the most interesting thing about it. The System acts as an emission center independent from the government to prevent emissions to serve short-term interests of the US government, paying for budget deficit, for instance. In other words the purpose is to prevent the government from issuing currency and implementing its own fiscal policy, independent from banks. […]
* THE U.S. WAR MACHINE
By Anthony Gregory
Book Review: The American Way of War: Guided Missiles, Misguided Men, and a Republic in Peril by Eugene Jarecki (New York: Free Press, 2008)
Many supporters of Barack Obama are disappointed that he has not reversed the war policies of his predecessor. He did his best to continue the U.S. occupation of Iraq. The Afghanistan war rages far beyond what was seen under George W. Bush. Obama has also proved militaristic in operations in Libya, Yemen, and Pakistan, and in the sanctions against Iran. The attacks on civil liberties and human rights continue on the same path that Bush forged.
Obama gave indications early on that that would be his trajectory. He always promised to expand the Afghanistan war. He never vowed to cut and run from Iraq any faster than was established policy by the time Bush signed the Status of Forces Agreement in late 2008. As a U.S. senator, he voted to legalize Bush’s warrantless wiretapping program, foreshadowing his future sellouts as president on the civil-liberties front.
Yet the reason for the continuity of militarism transcends anything that can be found in Obama himself. The sad truth is that Bush’s two terms were never quite the aberration that they were widely characterized as being. His neoconservative advisors were particularly belligerent in some avenues of foreign-policy theory, but they never represented a hard break from American traditions going back several generations.
On the eve of the Iraq war, Bush partisans joyously pointed out that Bill Clinton too had waged war, just as unilaterally, in Serbia less than four years before. They insisted that most of Bush’s policies at home and abroad had plenty of precedent. They were right.
Throughout American history we see many precursors for U.S. warmaking. Ever since World War I, the United States has maintained an active role in global affairs, at the cost of many thousands of American lives and many domestic freedoms. Two decades earlier, the United States was internationally belligerent in the 1898 war with Spain. Long before that, American warmaking had plenty of opportunities to show itself in the century between the Constitution’s adoption and the dawn of the Progressive Era — an invasion of Canada, war with Mexico, and Abraham Lincoln’s war against the South drenched the nineteenth century in statism and blood. […]
* IS OUR ECONOMY BEING ARTIFICIALLY MAINTAINED AND PROPPED UP? IF SO, HOW AND WHY?
By Richard Clark, Economy in Crisis
[…] Out of one side of the establishment’s mouth we hear excitement about “green shoots,” and out of the other side comes breathless warnings of fiscal cliffs and the urgent need for unlimited bailouts by the Fed in the form of ongoing “quantitative easing,” which consists of the Federal Reserve Bank creating $85 billion a month out of thin air, and using it to buy two things: 1) huge amounts of government bonds from the US Treasury Department, and 2) huge amounts of near-worthless mortgage-backed securities from private banks (i.e. banksters). What this amounts to is a kind of ongoing bailout and gift, which, at its core, is an ongoing transfer of wealth to rich banksters and other Wall Streeters, from the rest of us. […]
* THE RECENT UNPLEASANTNESS AT FREEDOMWORKS
By Michael Winship, Moyers & Company
[…] Armey “walked into the group’s Capitol Hill offices with his wife, Susan, and an aide holstering a handgun at his waist. The aim was to seize control of the group and expel Armey’s enemies: The gun-wielding assistant escorted FreedomWorks’ top two employees off the premises, while Armey suspended several others who broke down in sobs at the news.”
The Post went on to report that Armey’s $8 million departure fee was paid by Richard J. Stephenson to end Armey’s alleged coup and return the ousted FreedomWorks employees to their jobs. Further, remember that $12 million plus in donations from William Rose, funneled through his two Tennessee corporations? It came “after negotiations with
Stephenson over a pre-election gift of the same size… According to three current and former FreedomWorks employees with knowledge of the arrangement, the money originated with Stephenson and his family, who arranged for the contributions from the Tennessee firms to the super PAC…” […]
* CBS TASTES MARTIAL LAW. “I CAN DO WHATEVER I WANT” SAYS POLICE!
CBS tastes Martial Law – “I can do whatever I want” says police! Freedom of the press out the door too! News Camerman is forcefully arrested for filming on public property! This is going too far. This is a taste of martial law which is coming to all our communities soon! Police are above the law and “can do whatever they want”! To whomever they want.
* GREECE’S FINANCIAL CRIME UNITS UNVEIL LARGE-SCAL TAX EVASION AMONG ACCOUNT HOLDERS IN BANKS ABROAD
Where there is a political will, there is a way… According to Greek media reports, the intensive crosschecks in bank accounts abroad and tax declarations in Greece have prompted the Financial Crime Units (SDOE) to call on at least 1,400 people to justify the money they have transferred outside the country.
The scandal about the lost and finally found Lagarde list have forced the economic inspectors to take under the magnifying glass all the 2,062 names of account holders at the HSBC Geneva branch. […]
* ANALYSIS OF RADIONUCLIDE RELEASES FROM FUKUSHIMA ACCIDENT
By Mark LaRosa, OrganicSlant
Analysis of radionuclide releases from Fukushima shows almost entire ground-level of Northern Hemisphere was covered in radioactive fission products after 3/11.
On March 11, 2011, the tsunami induced by the 9.0 magnitude earthquake that occurred east of Japan caused serious damage to the cooling systems of the Fukushima Dai-ichi Nuclear Power Plant (NPP). Due to the lack of cooling, hydrogen and vapor blasts, dewatering of spent fuel rod pools and ﬁres led to the release of radioactive materials into the atmosphere. […]
* FBI KNEW OF PLOT TO KILL OWS ACTIVISTS, REMAINED SILENT
Only one month into the Occupy Wall Street demonstrations last year, plans were formulated to identify key figures in the movement and execute them with a coordinated assault using sniper rifles, new documents reveal. READ MORE: http://on.rt.com/o9olc0