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“Occupy Wall Street” Picks Up Where The Tea Party Sold Out

The federal bank bailout masterminded by  President George W. Bush and his Treasury Secretary Henry Paulson ignited the  grassroots anger that created the Tea Party. But the populist group betrayed  its roots when it went corporate in 2009 after the friendly takeover by  Rupert Murdoch and the Koch brothers. The Tea Party sellout may be the reason  why the group’s negative ratings have doubled in national polls in the last year.

The Tea Party had every right  to be angry in the fall of 2008. The  finance industry spent $64 million  lobbying Washington in 2008, and  the bankers and hedge fund managers got a  great return on their  investment. The feds came up with $770 billion dollars to  bail out the  bankers and billionaires who created the economic meltdown that led  to  millions of Americans losing their jobs and then their homes.

Americans were justifiability horrified at the  single biggest  federal welfare payment of all time. Not only did the feds bailout out  Wall Street  but they failed to do anything to help the millions of  Americans who lost  everything they had because of corporate wrongdoing.  Meanwhile, Citibank used  $15 million of their fed bailout bucks to buy  the naming rights to the new stadium built for the New York Mets.

National surveys show that large majorities of  Americans favor  ending federal tax freebies for bankers, billionaires, hedge  fund  managers, and corporate jet setters. The public also wants to end tax   giveaways for the oil companies and the Benedict Arnold corporations  that send  American jobs overseas. But few people in Washington listen,  the Tea Party  punted, and thousands of courageous Americans are taking  to the streets.

To add fuel to the fire, the Bank of America  announced this week  that it would charge consumers $5 a month to use their own  debit cards.  After the Tea Party became a subsidiary of corporate America, it  was  just a matter of time until somebody rushed into the vacuum to channel  the  hostility that exists towards big business.


By: Brad Bannon, U. S. News and World Report, October 6, 2011

October 6, 2011 Posted by | Big Business, Class Warfare, Congress, Conservatives, Democrats, Economy, Elections, GOP, Ideologues, Jobs, Middle Class, Republicans, Right Wing, Taxes, Voters | , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Government Spending Is Just What Our Economy Needs

Our  nation’s economy is approaching a precipice. The continuing housing market  crisis has stripped about $10 trillion from families’ assets, and nearly 1 in 10 workers are unemployed. Nearly 1 in 10 others are either working less than they want or have given  up their job search. Family income is now back where it was in 1996, in  inflation-adjusted dollars.

This all  means there is less money flowing through our economy. That’s just math.

The lingering consequences of the Great  Recession—the housing crisis, the jobs crisis, the fear among businesses to  invest their earnings despite record profits—continue to pull against faster  economic growth and job creation. Because customers have less money to spend  due to the collapse of the housing bubble and the ensuing high unemployment,  businesses have little incentive to hire and invest.

Even  Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke says there is a role for fiscal  policy. Monetary authorities have  already pushed interest rates down to zero. And they have few levers left to  spur growth, although there are some steps that would continue to help  on the margin.

In short, the economy continues to suffer from a  lack of demand.

The federal government can help with this. We know that government spending  can help restart an economy. Over the past two years, increased investments in  infrastructure have saved or created 1.1 million jobs in the construction  industry and 400,000 jobs in manufacturing by March 2011. Almost all of these  jobs were in the private sector.

Money  targeted toward the long-term unemployed helped not only those individual  families hardest hit by the Great Recession but also kept dollars flowing into  their local communities, keeping an average of 1.6 million American workers in jobs every  quarter during the recession. But now, the threat of jobs again disappearing looms  large.

Unless Congress acts, the private sector will  continue to generate insufficient demand. A  sweeping consensus of economists and forecasters across the political divide  now calls for the government to forcefully intervene in precisely this way, to  create demand for goods and services, which will in turn boost hiring and  business growth. Goldman Sachs, for example, said the positive effect of the  president’s American Jobs Act would increase U.S. gross domestic product by 1.5  percent in 2012.

Conservatives want us to believe that America’s broke,  that we cannot afford to address our most pressing issue—mass unemployment and  stagnating incomes. The reality is that there are clear steps that we can take  to pave the way for economic growth. Congress just needs to act.


By: Heather Boushey, Economist-Center for American Progress, Published in U. S. News and World Report, September 27, 2011

October 6, 2011 Posted by | Businesses, Congress, Deficits, Federal Budget, GOP, Government, Ideologues, Ideology, Middle Class, Republicans | , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment


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