Some of us have known this for a long time. Some of us just found out and some will find out very soon. There are few, if any, elected officials who really care about our interests unless we're one of the few thousand ultra rich who control Congress and the White House.
The Obama-Republican tax plan was just approved in the United States Senate. It will become law soon. What did we lose?
The Senate put the Social Security system at risk with a 33% cut to employee payroll taxes, from 6.2% to 4.2% of wages. Social Security is doing well with a $2.5 trillion surplus. But this major change begins the starvation of the system. Those who voted in favor will turn around sometime soon and say that Social Security is faltering. Of course, their cynical actions will be at fault. They'll conveniently avoid mentioning that.
What is it with these billionaires, lecturing us to “suck it up” if we don’t like the bailouts? A few months ago it was Charlie Munger, co-founder of Berkshire Hathaway and sidekick to the better-known Warren Buffett, who said “we shouldn’t be bitching about a little bailout”, and people facing financial troubles should just “suck it up and cope.” Back in September when Munger was speaking, we didn’t know just how little the bailout was, but now that the Federal Reserve has been forced to divulge details of its six bank emergency financing vehicles, we discover that over $3 trillion in taxpayer money was delivered to US and foreign banks, companies like General Electric, mutual funds like PIMCO, and a few individuals, some of whom happened to be billionaires like Charlie Munger. (Image)
Previously, I reported the startling news - Obama to Change Party. That was satire, at least on November 14. Just three weeks later, satire becomes reality. In the past few days, President Obama has traded away $620 billion in tax revenues in order to get a $56 billion, 13 month extension of unemployment benefits. Of course, the lost $620 billion will make any further unemployment benefits, or for that matter, any other productive social programs pipe dreams as the deficit explodes over the next two years. (Image: Banksy)
The Obama deal is a long way from the original position of ending Bush tax cuts for the highest earners and simply extending unemployment benefits, as called for by economic and social circumstances.
It started when President Obama sent his vice president to negotiate with Republican leaders on Capitol Hill. Since the president still has a majority in both chambers of Congress, you might wonder why he's negotiating. The House Democrats are ready to rock to show that they're not to blame for the past two years of inaction. There are enough Democratic Senators with either the inclination or the compromised background to strong arm a majority.
These days you can’t swing a cat or open your mailbox without being hit by a flood of emails about the memorials, tributes, condolences, and donation sites for the victims of these tragedies that the conspiracy theorists say were created -- not right after the event, but right before the event.
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