"And, by the way, if anybody doubts my sincerity about that, I’ve even put forward proposals in my budget to reform entitlement programs for the long haul, and reform our tax code in a way that would close loopholes for the wealthiest and lower rates for corporations and help us invest in new jobs and reduce our deficits. And some of these were originally Republican proposals, because I don’t believe any party has a monopoly on good ideas. So I’ve shown myself willing to go more than halfway in these conversations."
That's from President Obama during a press conference this week. The transcript is available at the White House web site.
For the uninformed, when they talk about "entitlements" they are talking about cutting Social Security and Medicare. The term can also include food stamps, child nourishment programs and so on, but these other programs amount to a tiny fraction of the federal budget.
The excuse for cutting Socials Security and Medicare, of course, is that the government doesn't have enough money to pay for them.
And Obama's reason for cutting taxes -- again -- for the rich? How else can he claim the government doesn't have enough money?
Note how everything -- every tax rich people pay -- starts going down fast around 1980, when Reagan came in. Charts demonstrating this are easy to find on the internet. These are from the Visualizing Economics web site by Catherine Mulbrandon, who has a degree in economics and writes popular books on income and wealth. They are just the first ones I came across in a web search for "tax rates United States graph."
Not being mentioned is the fact that the deficit has been going down.
On top of all this, the US government will continue to give away $85 billion a month of our money to the rich by way of the "quantitative easing" program, in which the Federal Reserve buys US Treasury Notes -- which are loans we who still pay taxes pay back with interest. Selling them allows the US Treasury to print up an equal amount of money, which the rich have used to buy stocks, which is why all the stock markets are at record highs.
If you are interested, here is the US government's accounting of who holds US Treasury notes. China has roughly 20 percent followed closely by Japan.
Another interesting thing: It's been in the Left leaning media all along and I've written about Obama's war on whistleblowers and his administration's hyper secrecy. Now it's all comprehensively outlined in a study by The Committee to Protect Journalists conducted under Leonard Downie Jr., a professor of journalism at Arizona State University.
This is the most secretive administration ever, veteran journalists interviewed for the study say. Which is one reason more Americans aren't aware of how Obama has been fleecing them.
As a matter of interest, here's another graph from Visualizing Economics that shows where the rich and poor live in the United States.
The dark red areas are primarily centered on Indian Reservations, like the Navajo Nation on the NM-AZ border and the Sioux Reservations in South Dakota -- Pine Ridge, Standing Rock, etc. This map shows it a little irregularly because it's divided up by county. It probably came straight off US Census data.
New Mexico has only a couple of small areas that aren't some shade of pink, which means that we're poor, just not as poor as the Indians. Another swath of red and pink is along the Rio Grande Valley in Texas. When I drove in the oil fields in Pennsylvania and New York I worked with a guy from "The Valley," from a little town up the river from Brownsville. He missed The Valley and talked about it all the time. His woman was in The Valley, on the Mexican side, and he was soon was back in The Valley.
The big chunk of red along the Mississippi River, encompassing the flood plain along the Mississippi, is what's known as the Mississippi Delta, or simply The Delta, where the blues were born.
An article on the Yahoo News web site talks about the massive disparities in wealth and income that have developed in the past ten years, the era of Bush and Obama. It notes that incomes have been flat since 1970. You can find charts on the internet that show they are actually in decline now. Income and living standard.
As these decline, as more low wage jobs replace good wage jobs, and as more seniors go into poverty after the Obama Social Security and Medicare cuts, the red areas on the map will start to engulf the rest of the country. Maybe we can expect some more good music, and more tea baggers marching around Washington carrying confederate flags with Republican politicians in tow, and more lynchings. More blues.