Government BS Amidst Real Economic Disaster

Government BS Amidst Real Economic Disaster


ChickenBones: A Journal

for Literary & Artistic African-American Themes



Bu$h’s “economic stimulus” is more smoke and mirrors designed to dupe the masses

into thinking the government’s actions will jump start a collapsing economy. The “stimulus package”

Bu$h, the Democrats, Paulson and the Fed are pushing is a PR scam.



 More Government BS Amidst Real Economic Disaster

By Junious Ricardo Stanton


The banks and other financials have more losses from the subprime-mortgage mess on their books that they haven’t yet confessed. Worse, the mortgage debacle has spread to other types of debt, with banks and other financial companies reporting mounting losses in their credit card and auto loan portfolios. And worst of all, the next big leg of the crisis—the one I think will mark the true bottom —has just started. As the economy slows, the default rate is rising for corporate debt, especially for the high-risk, high-yield corporate debt called ‘junk’ by many of us. That’s opening a Pandora’s box of potential write-downs that could dwarf the losses in the mortgage market.” —The next banking crisis on the way 


The US economy is in deep trouble but for the most part AmeriKKKans are clueless just how precarious the situation really is. AmeriKKKans are woefully ignorant about how the economy works for numerous reasons: an educational system that fails to teach real world financial realities, a mass media wedded to the class interests and agenda of the ruling oligarchy whose mission is to distract and bamboozle us and our own apathy and ignorance. The media and government treat us like mushrooms, they deliberately keep us in the dark and feed us excrement so we will not connect the dots and comprehend the totality of corruption, fraud and treachery that exists. The government lies and manipulates the figures in their economic reports and unemployment statistics. The Bu$h administration is not the only one guilty of such dishonesty although they are the most egregious liars in AmeriKKKan history. Every administration since WWII has done it and for the most part got away with it. 

Check out and article entitled Manipulating the Masses by John Williams at to glean an understanding just how pervasive the rigging of government figures and stats is. The really scary thing is, the banks and corporations are doing the exact same thing. When the corporate media uses these figures it buttressed the disinformation and legitimized the agendas the various administrations pushed. This disinformation much like the Bu$h administrations lies about Iraqi WMD, is accepted by the public because it is echoed by the corporate media. These lies are rarely challenged except by a few niche Websites or blogs.

Recently Henry Paulson the Secretary of the Treasury and the Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke called for immediate government intervention to stem an impending economic downturn. Their pleas to an Executive branch and highly partisan Congress that have done everything to help the military industrial complex, Wall Street and major corporations at the expense of working  AmeriKKKans are really not out of concern for working folks. They just want to prop up the system as long as they can and avoid a panic. But Paulson and Bernanke’s pleas have caused alarm around the world as investors and bankers are reading worst case scenario into their statements. Global markets immediately responded by sending stocks tumbling. 

Given the fact, the last thing they want to do is create a global panic you know things are really really bad for them to ask the government to get involved. Conditions are so bad the worst news has yet to be reported. The whole system is imploding, the various components are starting to topple like dominoes. There are so many bubbles out there that have already burst or are about to burst its scary: mortgage, credit, credit card and soon the shadow banking industry comprised of  hedge funds and derivatives will start to unravel.  If bond and insurance markets start to fall it will exacerbate the already evaporating trust between bankers. If this spreads across the board, major panic will set in. Eventually we could see runs on banks or major bank insolvencies. Then the whole house of cards will tumble.

Bu$h’s “economic stimulus” is more smoke and mirrors designed to dupe the masses into thinking the government’s actions will jump start a collapsing economy. The “stimulus package” Bu$h, the Democrats, Paulson and the Fed are pushing is a PR scam. It represents the same fiscal irresponsibility and failed policies that got us in this mess in the first place. Cranking up the Fed’s printing presses, borrowing to dole out “tax rebates” or passing more tax reductions for business will further drive the value of the US dollar down while drastically increasing the already insupportable federal debt. Additional money stock (true inflation) will cause the cost of living to increase while only producing minuscule results employment wise.

Remember, the federal government is broke and in major hock to foreign banks and countries. This means most of the money for the tax rebates must be borrowed or printed out of thin air by the Federal Reserve. Either way it will not solve the problem because the Fed’s inflationary monetary and credit policies caused the problems in the fist place. By now you get the drift, Bu$h’s “stimulus package” is more okey-doke, more PR smoke and mirrors. Bu$h tried that in 2001 and it didn’t work.  Just like then, the rebates did not really stimulate the economy nor did they trickle down and improve the lot of the majority of AmeriKKKans. Some businesses did pick up production and their profits did increase but the so called recovery didn’t produce the requisite number of jobs to meet annual increases in the work aged population. The mortgage meltdown has spread to other sectors of the economy and the fallout is also spreading. This is the reason US unemployment is so high despite the government’s rigged figures.

Bu$h’s latest tax rebates are not going to stop the off shoring of AmeriKKkan jobs nor will they reverse the negative impact globalization is having on the US economy and working folks. AmeriKKKans’ purchasing power and standard of living will continue to decline while debt will rise (unless we wake up and stop being mindless consumers) due to the workings of compound interest. Nevertheless Joe and Jane Sixpack will take Bu$h’s rebates and run, not realizing they will suffer in the long run. They will spend the money oblivious to the truth, there are no free lunches.

posted 22 January 2008

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AFL-CIO Proposes 5-Point Economic Stimulus Plan

By Mike Hall, Jan 18, 2008

Unemployment is climbing. The stock market is dropping. The housing boom is bust. Corporate earnings are tanking. The nation’s economy is in the worst shape it’s been in years. Maybe even headed toward recession. Working families are worried.

The Bush administration today proposed a growth package of as much as $150 billion, which insiders familiar with the details say may include $800 tax rebates for individuals and $1,600 for households, along with business incentives. Although it is “encouraging” that President Bush recognizes the need to act quickly to stimulate the economy, Bush focuses too much emphasis on tax cuts—both business and personal, according to AFL-CIO President John Sweeney. Bush’s plan does not address crucial problems facing working families or target tax benefits to those families who need them the most and will spend them the fastest.

In a letter to Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) and House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.), Sweeney wrote:

In particular, we are concerned that the President’s income tax cut proposal would not be sufficiently stimulative because it fails to target lower-income and middle-income households who, as the Congressional Budget Office (CBO) wrote last week, are likely to spend a larger share of any tax benefit they receive. 

Today, the AFL-CIO outlined several proposals to develop a short-term stimulus package that “offers the biggest bang for the buck” and began to address the underlying causes of today’s economic anxiety.

In addition, with many state tax codes linked directly to federal tax rates, Sweeney warns the business tax cuts could lead to a reduction in state revenues, resulting in economically depressing budget cuts and tax increases by state governments.

Noting that compromise will be needed to quickly enact a stimulus package, Sweeney urges Reid and Pelosi to “insist on legislative measures” that will deliver the biggest boost to the economy and protect state and local budgets.

The five points the leaders are urged to include are:

  • Extension of unemployment benefits.

  • Increased food stamp benefits.

  • Tax rebates targeted to middle-income and lower-income taxpayers.

  • Fiscal relief for state and local governments to avoid the economically depressing effect of tax increases and budget cuts.

  • Acceleration of ready-to-go public investment in school renovations and bridge repair.

For the long term, Congress also must address the deep and serious underlying causes of today’s economic woes. Says Sweeney:

While it is appropriate for Congress to focus on measures that have an immediate economic impact as it crafts a short-term stimulus package, this is no excuse to put our heads in the sand and do nothing about the underlying longer-term problems afflicting our economy.

Wage stagnation is at the heart of the economic problems facing today’s ordinary working families.

Wage stagnation, which began in the 1970s, has led to longer working hours, higher consumer debt, and increasing reliance on home equities. But today home values are plummeting, home foreclosures are on the rise, consumer debt is reaching unsustainable levels, and prices for energy, health care, and education are soaring out of reach for many working families.

Sweeney’s letter points to several solutions to solving the wage stagnation, including:

  • Ensuring transparency and effective regulation of our housing and financial markets.
  • Reactivating the historically successful fiscal and monetary policies that place a higher priority on full employment.
  • Fixing our flawed trade policies.
  • Investing in the high-paying green jobs of the future.
  • Fixing our broken labor laws so that workers who want to form a union can bargain with their employers for better wages and benefits.
  • Ensuring affordable health care and retirement security.

Source: AFL-CIO Blog

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Economy Plan Angers Women’s Groups—Thursday’s tentative agreement between President Bush and congressional Democrats on a proposed stimulus package—which would give most workers a $300 rebate check and includes tax incentives for businesses–angered women’s rights advocates because it excludes extensions for unemployment insurance, more money for food stamps and home heating oil, and aid to state and local governments.   Women, who comprise the vast majority of the country’s poor, rely more heavily on government programs aiding low-income people.   “Certainly it is a big disappointment that so much of the package is going to ineffective business tax cuts and nothing is going to two of the most affirmative and effective stimulus measures that were on the table: unemployment insurance and food stamps,” said Joan Entmacher, a budget expert at the National Women’s Law Center, an advocacy group in Washington, D.C.—WomenseNews

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Clitoral Economics—Democrats . . . demanded, sensibly enough, that the tax cuts include 45 million in low-income families that the president would have excluded. They demanded the president take extending his tax cuts beyond 2010 off the table. They got some help for imperiled homeowners through the Federal Housing Authority and Fannie Mae.

So only $40 billion of the $150 billion package gets squandered on business tax boondoggles. The rebates — what Jesse Jackson calls Wal-Mart gift certificates — will get handed out by August at best. It might help a bit, although if the economy is still in bad shape in August, people are more likely to be paying down credit-card debt than buying a new TV made in China.

But $40 billion isn’t the largest cost. The real price is the continued misdirection of the economy and miseducation of the country.

We need what the stimulus package excludes. We need long term investment in rebuilding America — spending money on mass transit, on basic sewers and water disposal, on the electric grid, on renewable energy, on a green rebuilding of our urban areas, on schools and teachers, pre-K and affordable college. We need to stop squandering money abroad in misbegotten wars — now approaching $1 trillion spent on Iraq. We need to revive progressive taxation so at the very least hedge fund billionaires stop enjoying a lower tax rate than their secretaries. We need to develop a national strategy for the global economy, ending our addiction to oil, curbing the casino speculation that will eventually bring down the house, and balancing our trade with the mercantilist nations while capturing the new green industries of the future.— Robert Borosage

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Why The Right Loves a Disaster—But of all the cynical scrambles to package pro-business cash grabs as “economic stimulus,” the prize has to go to Lawrence B. Lindsey, formerly President Bush’s assistant for economic policy and his advisor during the 2001 recession. Lindsey’s plan is to solve a crisis set off by bad lending by extending lots more questionable credit. “One of the easiest things to do would be to allow manufacturers and retailers” — notably Wal-Mart — “to open their own financial institutions, through which they could borrow and lend money,” he wrote recently in the Wall Street Journal. Never mind that that an increasing number of Americans are defaulting on their credit card payments, raiding their 401(k) accounts and losing their homes. If Lindsey had his way, Wal-Mart, rather than lose sales, could just loan out money to keep its customers shopping, effectively turning the big-box chain into an old-style company store to which Americans can owe their souls. If this kind of crisis opportunism feels familiar, it’s because it is. Over the last four years, I have been researching a little-explored area of economic history: the way that crises have paved the way for the march of the right-wing economic revolution across the globe. A crisis hits, panic spreads and the ideologues fill the breach, rapidly reengineering societies in the interests of large corporate players. It’s a maneuver I call “disaster capitalism.”—Naomi Klein

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Response to the State of the Union—Tonight’s State of the Union was full of the same empty rhetoric the American people have come to expect from this President. We heard President Bush say he’d do something to cut down on special interest earmarks, but we know these earmarks have skyrocketed under his administration.

We heard the President say he wants to make tax cuts for the wealthiest Americans permanent, when we know that at a time of war and economic hardship, the last thing we need is a permanent tax cut for Americans who don’t need them and weren’t even asking for them. What we need is a middle class tax cut, and that’s exactly what I will provide as President.

We heard the President say he has a stimulus plan to boost our economy, but we know his plan leaves out seniors and fails to expand unemployment insurance, and we know it was George Bush’s Washington that let the banks and financial institutions run amok, and take our economy down this dangerous road. What we need to do now is put more money in the pockets of workers and seniors, and expand unemployment insurance for more people and more time. And I have a plan that to do just that.—Barack Obama

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The worst market crisis in 60 years—Although a recession in the developed world is now more or less inevitable, China, India and some of the oil-producing countries are in a very strong countertrend. So, the current financial crisis is less likely to cause a global recession than a radical realignment of the global economy, with a relative decline of the US and the rise of China and other countries in the developing world. The danger is that the resulting political tensions, including US protectionism, may disrupt the global economy and plunge the world into recession or worse.—George Soros

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It’s too little and too late to overcome the bursting housing bubble—Research has estimated that the next recession could increase unemployment by 3.2 million to 5.8 million people, and poverty by 4.7 million to 10.4 million, with at least 4.2 million also losing health insurance. . . . Hard times ahead highlight the need for structural changes such as universal health care and labor law reform. These and a bigger, “green” fiscal stimulus that would reduce carbon emissions should be pushed to the top of the political agenda.—Charlotte Observer


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By Russell Simmons

Russell Simmons knows firsthand that wealth is rooted in much more than the stock  market. True wealth has more to do with what’s in your heart than what’s in your wallet. Using this knowledge, Simmons became one of America’s shrewdest entrepreneurs, achieving a level of success that most investors only dream about. No matter how much material gain he accumulated, he never stopped lending a hand to those less fortunate. In Super Rich, Simmons uses his rare blend of spiritual savvy and street-smart wisdom to offer a new definition of wealth-and share timeless principles for developing an unshakable sense of self that can weather any financial storm. As Simmons says, “Happy can make you money, but money can’t make you happy.”

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The Warmth of Other Suns

The Epic Story of America’s Great Migration

By Isabel Wilkerson

Ida Mae Brandon Gladney, a sharecropper’s wife, left Mississippi for Milwaukee in 1937, after her cousin was falsely accused of stealing a white man’s turkeys and was almost beaten to death. In 1945, George Swanson Starling, a citrus picker, fled Florida for Harlem after learning of the grove owners’ plans to give him a “necktie party” (a lynching). Robert Joseph Pershing Foster made his trek from Louisiana to California in 1953, embittered by “the absurdity that he was doing surgery for the United States Army and couldn’t operate in his own home town.” Anchored to these three stories is Pulitzer Prize–winning journalist Wilkerson’s magnificent, extensively researched study of the “great migration,” the exodus of six million black Southerners out of the terror of Jim Crow to an “uncertain existence” in the North and Midwest. Wilkerson deftly incorporates sociological and historical studies into the novelistic narratives of Gladney, Starling, and Pershing settling in new lands, building anew, and often finding that they have not left racism behind. The drama, poignancy, and romance of a classic immigrant saga pervade this book, hold the reader in its grasp, and resonate long after the reading is done.

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The White Masters of the World

From The World and Africa, 1965

By W. E. B. Du Bois

W. E. B. Du Bois’ Arraignment and Indictment of White Civilization (Fletcher)

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Ancient African Nations

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The Death of Emmett Till by Bob Dylan  The Lonesome Death of Hattie Carroll  Only a Pawn in Their Game

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update 15 February 2012




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