ChickenBones: A Journal
for Literary & Artistic African-American Themes
Obama recently threatened that Social Security checks would not go out in August if the debt ceiling were not raised. The truth
of the matter is Social Security is not paid for out of general funds but a separate Social Security Trust Fund. The problem for
us is Obama like his predecessors has been stealing money from the Social Security Trust Fund and leaving worthless IOUs . . .
The Jig Is Up
By Junious Ricardo Stanton
President Obama is the fifth president to participate in the great Social Security scam, but he has the dubious distinction of being the president, on whose watch, the Social Security time bomb, activated 25 years ago by President Reagan, will run out of time. All of the previous administrations knew that spending Social Security revenue, as if it were general revenue, was wrong and was a violation of both federal law and the public trust. But, they all had the luxury of knowing that the raided Social Security money would not be needed to pay benefits while they were still in office. However, President Obama learned early in his presidency that, unless the government ended the raiding and began repaying the money that had already been raided, Social Security would face a major financial crisis during his presidency… “How Your Social Security Was Stolen-Where Did The $2.5 Trillion Surplus Go?”
When Barack Obama ran as a presidential candidate, I suspected the ruling elites were setting him up to be the Herbert Hoover of the twenty-first century, the fall guy put in office to take the blame when the bankster-gangsters pulled the plug on the US economy. The banksters set up Obama just like their fathers and grandfathers set up Hoover in the late 1920s and early 30s. The difference between then and now is, back then in 1932 Franklin Delano Roosevelt was elected and he came into office amidst the chaos and aggressively attempted to right the ship. Roosevelt and Democratic Party controlled Congress investigated Wall Street and the crash of 29 (the Pecora Commission) and it wasnt a white wash.
Although none of the bankers, insurance executives, and financiers went to jail, Roosevelt and Congress used the information they gleaned from Pecoras investigation to put into place Roosevelts New Deal package which created legislation like the Glass-Steagall Act and created the SEC so the banksters could not do what they did to create the crash of 29. They created the FDIC, Social Security, the Farm Security Commission and a host of other programs to keep the bankers from stealing peoples homes, farms, and factories and help the people stave off the vampire banksters. Which is why by the way, the elites tried to initiate a coup against Roosevelt in 1933. (See “The Business Plot to Overthrow Roosevelt“) They dont teach this in history class at the high schools or colleges. I wonder why?
Unfortunately Barack Obama is no FDR. He is an eloquent guy but hes an empty suit with neither the ideas nor the will to do what Roosevelt did. Obama lacks the guts to go after and prosecute the people who have robbed this nation blind and sent it over the edge into an abyss of debt and degradation. So now he will cave in to the fascists as they accomplish their goals of looting the country like they tried to do in 1930 simultaneously gutting Roosevelts New Deal and Johnsons Great Society social programs to send millions into abject poverty and destitution. Only this time they are using ill-advised and unsustainable tax cuts amidst gargantuan war spending to bankrupt the country and blame it on poor people, old folks, and social programs.
Case in point. Obama recently threatened that Social Security checks would not go out in August if the debt ceiling were not raised. The truth of the matter is Social Security is not paid for out of general funds but a separate Social Security Trust Fund. The problem for us is Obama like his predecessors has been stealing money from the Social Security Trust Fund and leaving worthless IOUs (really accounting markers to tell how much theyve borrowed) that cannot be redeemed for cash or resold. As everybody knows the federal government is broke, they have been stealing from the Social Security Trust Fund since the Johnson administration and now they have no money to repay the fund the money they stole.
This at a time when the Fund is not taking in what it used to due to high unemployment and the recent reduction in payroll tax withholding (a deliberate attempt to bankrupt the Fund) . So now the Social Security Trust Fund is facing a decline in revenue and the US government is in no position to repay the money it borrowed over the past four decades. This is why Obama and the Congress critters want to cut and gut the system so they dont have to face the American people and tell us what theyve done over the years. Isnt there supposed to be approximately $2.5 trillion in the Social Security Trust Fund? The answer to both questions is yes. But there is a problem. Every dollar of that surplus Social Security revenue has already been spent by the government.
Much of it went to fund wars in Afghanistan and Iraq. The rest has been spent on other government programs. The American people were not supposed to find out about the great Social Security scam for another six years, and the government was hoping to continue to receive surplus money from the Social Security contributions of working Americans for at least that long. But the inevitable day of reckoning has come, six years sooner than anybody expected, because of the severe recession. And the government of the United States has been caught with its hand still in the empty Social Security cookie jar. “How Your Social Security Was Stolen-Where Did The $2.5 Trillion Surplus Go?”
The government doesnt have the money and wont have the money any time soon unless it does something drastic to raise the funds even on an incremental basis over several years to repay the money theyve stolen from the Social Security Trust Fund. More Baby Boomers are retiring every day and adding to the Social Security rolls. Social Security is neither an entitlement program nor a gift from the government, it is our money weve already paid into the system and the system owes us!!
The surplus is gone, not because of inflation but because of theft!! This is why Obama and some in Congress want to cut benefits, raise the retirement age, or even privatize it so Wall Street can get it all. Remember Bu$h tried to do that in 2004 but was rebuffed by the people. Well they are at it again. This time they wont stop until they find a way to trick us into going along with their plans. They are counting on us not knowing the real deal. They are counting on their cohorts in the corporate media to lie to us and they are counting on organizations like AARP to sell us out, again. But now you know the truth, and as they said in the old B grade gangster movies, The jig is up. The question is, what are we going to do about it?!
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Why Washington is About to Make the Jobs Crisis Worse
by Robert Reich
Republicans are proposing to cut the budget deficit this year and next, which will result in more job losses. And Democrats, from the President on down, seem unable or unwilling to present a bold jobs plan to reverse the vicious cycle of unemployment. Instead, theyre busily playing I can cut the deficit more than you trying to hold their Democratic base by calling for $1 of tax increases (mostly on the wealthy) for every $3 of spending cuts.
All of this is making the vicious economic cycle worseand creating a vicious political cycle to accompany it.
As more and more Americans lose faith that their government can do anything to bring back jobs and wages, they are becoming more susceptible to the Republicans oft-repeated lie that the problem is governmentthat if we shrink government, jobs will return, wages will rise, and it will be morning in America again. And as Democrats, from the President on down, refuse to talk about jobs and wages, but instead play the deficit-reduction game, they give even more legitimacy to this lie and more momentum to this vicious political cycle.July 25, 2011 by RobertReich.org
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Barack Obama“Call Congress: Tell them to do their job
The President spoke last night about the need for Congress to come together to meet our financial obligations by raising the so-called “debt ceiling”that is, to make sure our country can pay the bills Congress has already racked up. You’d think this would be fairly straightforward. For many years, regardless of party affiliation, presidents have asked Congress to do this when it’s been necessaryand every time, Congress has acted. Just as an example, Congress granted Ronald Reagan’s request to raise the debt ceiling 18 different times. Here’s what’s happening: President Obama proposed the balanced approach of raising the debt ceiling paired with responsible steps to reduce our country’s long-term debt asking oil companies, corporations, and the richest Americans to do their part rather than placing the entire burden on seniors and the middle class.A deal has been close at times, but an ideological faction of House Republicans has been effectively holding our economy hostagemaking extreme demands like ending Medicare as we know it, gutting Social Security, and rejecting any compromises that might make millionaires or big corporations pay their fair share to get our debt under control. So last night, President Obama spoke to the nation and made a suggestion to everyone watching: Call Congress and ask them to do their job. Since then, there have been reports that the flood of calls and emails has been slowing down the phone systems and websites on Capitol Hill. But keep trying until you get throughthey need to hear from you. . . . And House Speaker John Boehnerwho is leading the Republicans in negotiationscould stand to hear what Americans like you think, too. His number is (202) 225-0600. Call them nowand tell them we can’t afford to let politics hold our economy hostage. It’s time to put ideological demands aside and agree to a balanced approach. Then click here to let us know how it went. Here’s what the President said last night: “The American people may have voted for divided government, but they didn’t vote for a dysfunctional government. So I’m asking you all to make your voice heard. If you want a balanced approach to reducing the deficit, let your member of Congress know. If you believe we can solve this problem through compromise, send that message.” The President doesn’t make a direct request of all of us like this very often. Take a minute right now to call your members of Congressthen let us know how it went: http://my.barackobama.com/Debt-Deal-Calls Thanks, Messina P.S.If you missed it, here’s the full video of the President’s speech. Watch it and spread the word: http://my.barackobama.com/Debt-Deal-Video
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So This Is Despair
Excrerpt by William Rivers Pitt
A great many people who should know better continue to look at this situation as if Mr. Obama has some fantastic rabbit he . . . is . . . just . . . waiting to pull out of a hat, thus foiling the GOP and securing our future forever. For a brief moment a couple of weeks ago, I shared that optimism, but the last several days have slapped me soundly out of that fugue state. I see a president on his knees, hands outstretched, offering the best ideas and policies liberal governance has ever devised up to the voracious carnivore of GOP opportunism. I see the end of the New Deal, and a far crueler America emerging from the aftermath. I see a Democratic president voiding his bladder on all that he is supposed to uphold. Mr. Obama got on those knees again Monday night, on national television no less, and once again begged the GOP to devour Social Security and Medicare. He gobbled up the flawed, flayed premise of the far-right’s deranged argument, again, and pleaded for the chance to give away the core of what he was elected to defend.
I thought I was done being ashamed of my president. I was wrong.Tuesday 26 July 2011 Ttruth-out
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Black Economy Disintegrates
As Obama Welcomes Return to the Eisenhower Era
Excerpts by Glen Ford
The Black middle class, which is employed disproportionately by the government, is at the edge of oblivion. Obamas Grand Bargain with the Republicans, if they will only take it, would push hundreds of thousands of Black families into the abyss. The nine percent of Blacks that owned stocks in 2005 lost 71 percent of their portfolios by 2009. Whites lost only nine percent of their stock holdings. Bye-bye, Black capitalism.
Black America has already been pushed back at least a generation, to a point somewhere before 1984. And what does Obama propose? That we revert to an Eisenhower-era government. His smug confidence that his Black base will remain loyal, is well placed. African Americans are more concerned with Obamas fortunes than their ownor, to be more precise, [they] confuse and conflate their own fortunes with his. Back in January of 2010, the same Pew Research Center that just detailed the scope of the economic catastrophe that has befallen African Americans, found that Blacks were under the illusion that they were better off than at any time in the last 25 years. That same month, Black unemployment hit a 25-year high. Subsequent surveys by other polling organizations confirmed that Black people, far more than any other group and despite all the evidence of their own eyes and ears, are filled with confidence in their own and the nations future. I call it The Obama Delirium Effect.
Barack Obama is counting on this delirium to neutralize Black peoples historical political senses. Thats why he uses his presidential pulpit to ask his supporters to drink the potion and to look forward to waking up back in the days of President Eisenhower. Obama has got to be one of the most cynical men on EarthBlackAgendaReport
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By Mr. Mark Stein
America’s first century was defined by expansion and the negotiation of territories among areas colonized by the French and Spanish, or occupied by natives. The exact location of borders became paramount; playwright and screenwriter Stein amasses the story of each state’s border, channeling them into a cohesive whole. Proceeding through the states alphabetically, Stein takes the innovative step of addressing each border-north, south, east, west-separately. Border stories shine a spotlight on many aspects of American history: the 49th parallel was chosen for the northern borders of Minnesota, North Dakota, and Montana because they ensured England’s access to the Great Lakes, vital to their fur trade; in 1846, Washington D.C. residents south of the Potomac successfully petitioned to rejoin Virginia (called both “retrocession” and “a crime”) in order to keep out free African-Americans. Aside from tales of violent conquest and political glad-handing, there’s early, breathtaking tales of American politicos’ favorite sport, gerrymandering (in 1864, Idaho judge Sidney Edgerton single-handedly “derailed” Idaho’s proposed boundary, to Montana’s benefit, with $2,000 in gold). American history enthusiasts should be captivated by this fun, informative text.Publishers Weekly
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There are more African Americans under correctional control today–in prison or jail, on probation or parolethan were enslaved in 1850, a decade before the Civil War began. If you take into account prisoners, a large majority of African American men in some urban areas, like Chicago, have been labeled felons for life. These men are part of a growing undercaste, not class, castea group of people who are permanently relegated, by law, to an inferior second-class status. They can be denied the right to vote, automatically excluded from juries, and legally discriminated against in employment, housing, access to education and public benefitsmuch as their grandparents and great-grandparents once were during the Jim Crow era.Michelle Alexander, The New Jim Crow
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By Clyde Woods
Development Arrested has no peer, for Clyde Woods is a rare scholar who takes the blues seriously as theory and social critique. Arguing that this folk discourse emerged in response to economic and political restructuring in the Delta during the 20th century, he goes on to show how it constitutes a critique of the plantation South, New South modernization, and the transformation of capitalist agriculture during the so-called Green Revolution. To paraphrase something Marx said a long time ago, Development Arrested reveals the connection between the arm of criticism (i.e., the blues/social science) and the criticism of arms: struggle for power in the Delta.Robin D.G. Kelley
Development Arrested remains the most sophisticated analysis of the political economy of Black music that has been published in the last generation, in part because Woods never lost sight of the fact that the very economic engines that drove the degradation and exploitation of Black workers in the Delta, inspired a resistance to those engines in the music of the region.Mark Anthony Neal
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From The World and Africa, 1965
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posted 26 July 2011
Related files: We’ve Lost The Moral Imperative