Obama

Beyond ForeclosureGate - It Gets Uglier

Michael Collins

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The ForeclosureGate scandal poses a threat to Wall Street, the big banks, and the political establishment. If the public ever gets a complete picture of the personal, financial, and legal assault on citizens at their most vulnerable, the outrage will be endless. (Image)

Foreclosure practices lift the veil on a broader set of interlocking efforts to exploit those hardest hit by the endless economic hard times, citizens who become financially desperate due medical conditions. A 2007 study found that medical expenses or income losses related to medical crises among bankruptcy filers or family members triggered 62% of bankruptcies. There is no underground conspiracy. The facts are in plain sight.

Obama Brings You More Bad Trade Deals

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Whenever there is noise in the media machine, you can be sure some agenda the American people absolutely reject will be enacted. Such is the case with the Obama administration moving forward on three more NAFTA style trade agreements with Columbia, Panama and South Korea. These are trade pacts multinational corporate lobbyists demand.

The South Korean trade pact increases the trade deficit and puts U.S. workers in more unfair labor competition. Even with a new biased USTR study, littered with fantasy tariff schedules and nebulous additional regulation requirements, cannot hide the fact this trade deal increases the deficit. The new report was requested by Republicans since they didn't like the dismal results of the previous study. Regardless of the spaghetti wording, the bottom line is imports, just in autos & parts, will increase $907 million while exports will increase $48–66 million. In other words, the Obama administration and Congress know this trade deal will increase the deficit and cause further job losses. They want it anyway.

(The image is a 2008 Obama campaign flier. All three of these trade agreements are structured like NAFTA.)

The Crazies versus the Sleepwalkers - Big Budget Showdown

By Michael Collins

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The Republican crazies are in a celebrity death match with sleepwalking Democrats. It is a fabricated drama amounting to not much of anything in terms of the nation's well being. The stakes are supposedly the shutdown of the United States government at midnight this Friday. But the most pressing issue isn't discussed on Capitol Hill.

Why can't anyone in a position of power mention the unmentionable? There have been no net new jobs in the United States since 2000. There were 137 million employed citizens that year. There are 139 million employed citizens today. This comes into clear focus when you consider the size of the workforce for 2000 and 2010; 143 million versus 154 million respectively. There are actually fewer jobs in proportion to the workforce.

Isn't this a worthy topic? Shouldn't the story be carried nightly on a major network with a title like: Jobless America, Day 4000

The Top 10 Worst Tax Avoidance Corporations

Everybody knows multinational corporations are not paying U.S. taxes. Yet instead of making corporations cough up, our government is busy planning more screw jobs on the U.S. middle class and labor force, all under the guise of reducing spending.

Senator Bernie Sanders is trying to draw attention to the insanity with a top ten list of the worst corporate tax avoiders.

 

Obama Comes Bearing Gifts, But They Ain't No Fruitcake

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President Obama gave a speech today to the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, a conciliatory message, why he even offered up a symbolic fruit cake. But the gifts Obama is bearing ain't no house warmers, they are more offshore outsourcing, bad trade deals, corporate tax reduction wish lists and key multinational corporate players in the White House.

Would the U.S. Chamber of Commerce suddenly wake up and consider being interested in the nation that bears their name? Not from history. Remember when the U.S. Chamber of Commerce demanded Stimulus funds not be used to hire Americans or buy American? Or how foreign companies and nations are trying to buy our elections through them? Their list of egregious horrors against the American workforce is as long as their forked tongues.
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Imagine this was 1904 and Teddy Roosevelt was in Office. There is no doubt instead of promising more bad trade deals and to rewrite the corporate tax code per lobbyists' demands, we would see some sort of requirement these companies hire Americans and contribute to America. Unfortunately, this is not 1904 it's 2011 and Obama sir, is no Teddy Roosevelt.

The State of the Spinon

The State of the Union is spinning and weaving a tall economic tale to avoid offending corporate donors and super rich pals. spinInstead of confronting China on currency manipulation and trade barriers, we get almost identical recommendations that Bush made. Community colleges can fix it all, Americans can compete with anyone, more bad trade deals, we'll just simply innovate our way out of this, and finally the claim that somehow Americans are not educated when employers offshore outsource job after job, including the jobs which require that very advanced education. Education is once again being touted as a cure all, ignoring the fact unemployed Americans already have those skills and some of them have 20 years or more of direct experience. To make the situation worse, Obama touts an agenda to flood our labor markets and educational system with more foreign workers instead of hiring Americans who need a job and guaranteeing more Americans have an opportunity to go to the college of their choice.

Paul Krugman calls it The Competition Myth:

Healthcare Reform - Abandoning the Self Employed

Michael Collins

The most creative sector of the business community has a dagger at its heart in the form of the relentless, unyielding, and over burdening cost of health insurance. The self-employed and very small businesses have seen their insurance premiums climb 20% to 75% since 2009. To purchase an adequate family plan, a self-employed person will pays an amount 50% to 70% of the nation's median personal income, $32,000 a year, for family health plan. This includes premiums, deductibles, and out of pocket expenses. That is twice the cost for relatively generous plans at medium to large size companies. Very small businesses, two to twenty employees, pay about the same (Image: Paul Henman)

Wasn't health reform supposed to take care of just this sort of inequity? Didn't the title of the bill say it all? The Patient Protection and Affordable Health Care Act There is no protection for the self-employed when they have these stark choices facing them due to unaffordable insurance rates. They can give up working for themselves; buy adequate insurance and take a huge hit to income; buy a substandard plan and hope that whatever comes up is covered; or, abandon insurance at real risk to their health and, in some cases, their lives.

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