An ideology grotesquely immoral based on pure economic fiction. Why is only Senator Bernie Sanders speaking truth?
Make no mistake, this entire debt ceiling crisis is a manufactured kabuki dance, whipping America up into a frenzy, only for Congress and this administration to save the day, at the very last minute, to avoid a default.
Why this drama? Because if America is thrilled this crisis is avoided at the last minute, maybe they won't notice our government just screwed over most Americans and kicked old people to the curb. The entire cliff hanger is pure political theater, all designed so you don't notice you just had your retirement funds reduced further.
By claiming Congress compromised to avoid default, the blame of leaving the entire U.S. middle class in a lurch by stripping them of their retirement and health care will be defused. The entire crisis is a distraction to take, once again, from the U.S. middle class and give, once again, to the rich.
The latest news on a deal which always puts the American people on the table for cutting and no one else, is supposedly $3 trillion in immediate cuts in discretionary spending and caps on future spending. According to Sanders office:
A powerful special joint committee would be formed to consider further cuts and entitlement reforms.
Notice how entitlement reforms are over and over being targeted when it is well documented the real problem with Medicare are health care costs? The reality America is getting ripped off, paying three times as much as other nations for health care goes unmentioned.
Imagine how quickly the entire problem of Medicare would be solved if costs dropped 66%. It's insane, if you were at a restaurant and the table next to you paid 66% less than you for the same meal, wouldn't you be pissed off and report them? Absolutely, but notice how Congress never applies basic kitchen table economics to anything surrounding health care.
Anyone aware social security is solvent until 2037? That there are some fast fixes that don't require the poorest and more vulnerable have their pockets picked further?
The House Black Caucus are also pleading with Obama to invoke the 14th amendment and bypass this fish gutting of America's poor.
Dear Mr. President:
We urge you to invoke section 4 of the 14th Amendment of the United States Constitution to raise the debt ceiling and enable the United States government to meet its financial obligations if Congress fails to act in time. We believe that you have both the authority and a moral obligation to do so in order to avoid an economic catastrophe of historic proportions.
Since the founding of the Republic, the United States has always honored its debts, from assuming the obligations incurred during the Revolutionary War, to the present day. As a result, the United States continues to enjoy an outstanding credit rating and historically low interest rates. We must not allow a political deadlock to cause the United States to default for the first time in our history. The consequences of a default would be catastrophic. All three credit rating agencies have cautioned that default would result in a downgrading of our credit rating and a substantial increase in borrowing costs.
In addition to putting our nation's bond rating at risk along with increase interest rates that it will cause, failure to increase the debt limit would imperil every aspect of the federal government, from Social Security to Medicare, to veterans' health care, to national security. States will lose billions in funding, and businesses will not receive payments on their contracts. Default would have a devastating impact on global credit markets and economic growth.
Section 4 of the 14th Amendment reads: "The validity of the public debt of the United States, authorized by law, including debts incurred for payments of pensions and bounties for services in suppressing insurrection or rebellion, shall not be questioned."
The Supreme Court has on only one occasion -- in the depths of the Depression -- had the opportunity to rule on this section. In that case, Perry v. United States, the Court said, "The Constitution gives to the Congress the power to borrow money on the credit of the United States ... Having this power to authorize the issue of definite obligations for the payment of money borrowed, the Congress has not been vested with authority to alter or destroy those obligations." Now that Congress has borrowed money and incurred debt, we cannot -- as a nation and under our Constitution -- walk away.
This section was meant to ensure the payment of Union debts after the Civil War, and to disavow Confederate ones. But it was written in broader terms and extends well beyond those particular obligations. According to Yale Law Professor Jack Balkin: "You're not supposed to hold the validity of the public debt hostage to achieve political ends... Section 4 is a fail-safe that only comes into operation when everything else is exhausted."
In addition, under the "take care" clause the President has the authority under Article II, Section 3 of the Constitution to "take Care that the Laws be faithfully executed." Since Congress has previously authorized all the debts and obligations that would be in default on August 3, we believe this Constitutional authority would also reinforce your ability to increase the debt limit on an emergency basis.
Just as President Lincoln issued the Emancipation Proclamation at a time of emergency in our Nation's history to free those who were enslaved during the Civil War, today you face a looming calamity that in some respects is just as grave.
The Congressional Black Caucus will stand behind you, and applaud your courage, as you fulfill your obligation to uphold the dictates of the Constitution to protect the full faith and credit of the United States. We urge you to do that which is necessary for the good of the country.
Sincerely, Emanuel Cleaver Chairman, Congressional Black Caucus John Conyers, Jr. Dean, Congressional Black Caucus Ranking Member, Committee on the Judiciary
Think about it, in one swift action, this entire attack on America's retired, sick, poor and middle class can stop and that is by this administration invoking the 14th amendment.
Even worse, in spite the never ending economic fiction spewing forth claiming deficits hurt the economy, the reality is deficit spending in the times of weak demand helps the economy.
The American economy, U.S. GDP is treading water and is not enough to even keep up with population for any economic growth.
Even worse, the FDR administration was pressured to reduce their deficit spending during the Great Depression, with the same faulty reasoning. Congress did succumb and the result was to push the U.S. economy into another dramatic decline in 1937.
Thank god these people are
Thank god these people are not paid by the hour.
I also hope everyone that voted for these TEA party members in 2010, now realise
they all ran with hidden agendas and will vote them all out in 2012 !!
Watch all of the recall elections in WI, starting in Aug. 2011 and the governor recall
in Jan. 2012, hopefully this will be the start of the end to the TEA party across the country!!
Fair and Balanced
Osellout started out negotiating a raise in revenue and a cut spending position which he assured us would be “fair and balanced”. Using his interpretation, he clearly has a big future with Fox News.
most of the country doesn't want SS, Medicare touched
That's the issue. The media, especially FOX, completely ignores what the polls actually say when it comes to the voice of the people.
I watched some Obama representative on Meet the Press and shuddered. They are saying up is down and down is up by pushing trade deals well known to cause more jobs to be lost.
It appears, fundamentally the ones left out of the political discourse are the American people and it's by far disgusting that politicians claim they represent the American people. They clearly do not.
If they represented the American people this wouldn't even be happening, they would have reformed trade, put together a manufacturing initiative, not given the banks even more power and the list goes on and on.
What a tragedy this is.
History repeats - Black Friday 1869
Robert Oak and Bernie Sanders tell the truth, but not the whole truth. I'm not blaming them for that, since the whole truth will not be brought out into the open for at least a couple of years, if ever.
We have been looking at the political BS and contemplating the likely collateral damage, but we have scarcely done more than hint at likely profiteering motivations of at least some of the players.
It isn't as though scams of financial profiteers, connected with political opportunists sharing in the financial profiteering, are unknown to our history or to world history!
It isn't as though ambitious politicians are all men of high principle who would never conflate their notions of the welfare of the nation with plans for amassing their own private fortunes!
I suggest that we look back at Black Friday, 1869, when a small group of financial profiteers, led by the notorious Jim Fisk and Jay Gould, conducted a secret operation involving moles within the White House and the Department of Treasury. This conspiracy undoubtedly threw the nation into the Depression of 1869-1870, even though severity of that depression was mitigated by the last-minute sobering up of President Ulysses S. Grant to order the sale of $4,000,000 worth of gold. (Grant was a notorious alcoholic.) The amount, $4,000,000 was a lot of money and a lot of gold back in 1869.
Could we have a parallel today?
Instead of the White House, we have John Does (#1, #2, #3, etc.), to-be-identified, including one or more John Does who are members and leaders of the U.S. House of Representatives.
Instead of the political cover story (1869) that pushing up the price of gold would benefit U.S. farmers in selling a bumper wheat crop to Europe, we have the mantra (2011) of "no tax increases only spending cuts" (masquerading as 'fiscal conservatism').
Instead of the moderate depression of 1869-1870 (comparatively moderate, although many individuals and families were ruined in that event), we have the prospect of extending the Great Recession (2008) into the Second Great Depression (2008 - 20??).
We have often noted the religious tone of TP rhetoric. As with many quasi-religious movements, self-anointed leaders of the TP may well be profiteering opportunists. In particular, is it unthinkable that TP opportunists have been limited-partnered up with profiteering financiers/conspirators to exploit insider information to play the precious metals and currency markets like an over-amped electric guitar? Or, considering the domination of computerized trading, it may be more like playing a synthesizer on steroids, complete with real-time sampling and systems of differential equations predicting systemic feedback effects.
Insider information on the timing of announcements or the timing of a negotiation or the cutting off of a negotiation can be worth $Billions to speculators playing the precious metals and international currency markets. Some will suggest that the White House and Secretary of the Treasury are also involved, as well as the obvious involvement of congressional leaders. I can only say that if I knew the whole story, I'd have to be dead ... but nothing would surprise me in this day and age.
I know, I know. Robert Oak will call this CT, but I maintain there is enough to it to constitute an appropriate topic for an EP comment at this time. It's often said that for an idictment of homicide in the first degree, all you need is to prove means, motive and opportunity. Did the perps have the means, are there grounds for alleging a motive, and, did they create the opportunity? Federal conspiracy law is extraordinarily broad. Clarence Darrow wrote that a conviction of conspiracy doesn't even require proving any other criminal act.
High Noon for Obama
Careful with this link, because OpEdNews is short of bandwidth lately! Give them a break!
Anyway David Glenn Cox in "For the Benefit of Mr. Kite", asks this question -
One thing is clear: investigations will not take place in the current congress -- or, if they do, they will be so partisan and FOX slanted as to amount to just another distraction! And filings will not be welcomed in most federal district courts, so prosecutions from other than the Department of Justice will abort. Taking all currently available evidence together, the necessary mobilization of investigations into the evident corrupt practices and abuse of insider information needs to happen, It needs to extend, ASAP, in grand jury investigations brought by the office of the Attorney General. Investigations need to extend, whenever the trail leads that way, into the offices of the corporate media. If the economy continues to weaken, various emergency provisions of law can be invoked.
Even without declaring a national emergency, the President can order full use of all PATRIOT Act provisions, mobilization of the entire NSA database, to get the goods on whomever -- of whatever party in Congress, in the military, in the Supreme Court or in the Executive Branch -- may be dirty regarding substantial ($1Million and up) insider-information profiteering in currency, U.S. bonds and precious metals markets.
The President can order mobilization of the entire Department of Justice, and if a U.S. Attorney in some district balks, he and his staff can be put under the intensest scrutiny of all. Same with judges prejudiced toward easy early dismissal in these cases. Not the small fry -- every case should measure up to a $Million minimum, because those crimes alone will probably clog the dockets in many districts.
Convictions before 2013 will probably be impossible, but the more that can be stirred up, the more indictments can be brought and gotten out into the open through what remains in this country of a free and independent press -- the better.
Of course, it will be partisan, with Republicans exclusively attacking Democrats though congressional investigations while the DOJ will include some investigation and prosecution of Democrats but will find much much better hunting on the Republican side.
That's a populist action that Obama can undertake, risking widespread constant attacks on himself in the corporate media (different only in being more blatant than how his image is systematically eroding today, in the absence of any real populist offensive coming out of the White House) but also laying the groundwork for widespread popular support among the people. Otherwise, Obama may as well announce right now that he won't be running in 2012.
The first duty of the Executive is to enforce the law.
The outlaws are in town, hanging out at the saloon, right now! Everyone knows they are taking over the town with or without elections, and they fully intend to control any elections that may take place.
Obama's choice is to pack his saddle bags and get out of Dodge with his tail between his legs or get out there on the Main Street at High Noon -- which means yesterday, not November 2012.
The President need not choose between Left and Right, but he does need to choose between populism and an early retirement -- possibly with his enemies using against him those weapons that he chose to forgo using against them.
Still no-show at sundown
Alas! No-show at sundown.
Maybe tomorrow ... if there's anything left of Dodge City!
I dream of Marshal Kane, having foresworn violence of any kind, taking his gun and ammo belt out of deep storage. From the Wikipedia synopsis:
I know, I know. Pardon me. We're supposed to limit ourselves to very serious chart-based technical discussions ... no "economic fiction" ... but I'm a fundamentalist going under the radar ... like Warren Buffet counting heads outside some chain store he's thinking about acquiring ... what changes do I see around me in real life? So far, none. And that's no "economic fiction"! (Besides, when things get really really bad, that's not the time to lose your sense of humor!)
So I have my projections, and others have theirs. We'll see.
My projection? Maybe Marshal Kane. Maybe Marshal Romney. But someday.