“Paychecks from private business shrank to their smallest share of personal income in U.S. history during the first quarter of this year,” according to USA Today. “At the same time,” continues the paper, “government-provided benefits — from Social Security, unemployment insurance, food stamps and other programs — rose to a record high during the first three months of 2010.” This reflects, says USA Today, “a major shift in the source of personal income from private wages to government programs.”
When former Comptroller General Bill Walker, who headed the U.S. Government Accountability Office, said two years ago that the “official” debt of the United States “is only around $10 trillion,” he wryly suggested that since this number was produced by “government accounting, which … allows one to ignore Social Security, Medicare and the new prescription drug benefit [it was like] ignoring rent, food and utilities in your household budget [and] it will lead to a few bounced checks.”
Item: The April 22 Washington Post reported that President Obama was making an “assertive stride into the debate on financial regulatory reform.” The President flew to New York “to deliver a stern address to an audience that included prominent financial executives, telling them that greater government oversight is in the best interest of the industry — and the country. ‘Unless your business model relies on bilking people, there’s little to fear from these new rules,’ he said.”
More than a dozen top American banks were involved in a conspiracy to swindle taxpayers by rigging auctions in the $2.8 trillion municipal bond market, according to an indictment filed by the Department of Justice and multiple lawsuits across the country.
The Senate Thursday night passed its long-awaited financial reform bill, another critical plank in President Obama’s New Deal-esque agenda to bring the private sector under more comprehensive and stifling control by the federal government and Federal Reserve. Touted as the biggest piece of financial reform since the Great Depression, the bill, crafted primarily by retiring Connecticut Senator Chris Dodd (D), faces only reconciliation with a similar bill passed by the House last December before being sent to the President for his signature.
Will the politicians in Washington succeed in freezing our economy to death under the pretext of saving us from a non-existent global warming crisis? With our national economy and the global economy in the worst recession since the Great Depression of the 1930s, common sense and sound economic policy argue in favor of lessening the regulatory and tax burdens on the struggling private sector.
“Shock and awe” is how the Pentagon described the opening stages of the 2003 U.S. invasion of Iraq: overwhelming force designed to demoralize the enemy into surrendering. Having witnessed how spectacularly that war turned out, the Obama administration decided to employ the same tactic, in a metaphorical sense, to the European debt crisis.
Just before noon on Tuesday, May 11, the U.S. Senate agreed to a one-time audit of the Federal Reserve's emergency actions taken in response to the 2008 financial crisis. The approved audit, which Senator Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) offered in an amendment to the larger financial regulatory reform legislation, is a much watered-down version of the earlier audit proposed by Sanders that mirrored the "Audit the Fed" legislation in the House sponsored by Rep. Ron Paul (R-Texas).
With a congressional battle brewing over what is being touted as the biggest attempt at financial regulatory reform since the Great Depression, most pundits are predicting that, despite token Republican opposition, some version of the bill that originated with Senator Chris Dodd’s Finance Committee will soon pass. Senate Republicans blocked the first attempt to bring the matter to a vote on April 19, but Democrats and the Obama administration vowed to continue to press wavering Republicans to support the bill.