Bernie Sanders has pledged $19.6 TRILLION in new taxes – adding nearly 50 percent to what Washington takes in 

Bernie Sanders wants universal health care and a number of other programs that are politically aligned with his democratic socialist ideology and he’s going to pay for them by raising taxes.

The Washington Examiner conducted an analysis and found that Sanders’ plans will mean approximately $19.6 trillion in new taxes over the next decade.

Sanders, the Examiner found, will raise taxes by 47 percent over the current levels.  Continue reading

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10 Things The US Government Doesn’t Want You To Know

united-states-secrets

When it comes to governance, especially in the case of a democratic government, the voters get to choose trusted leaders to deal with all the affairs involved in running the country. This means that the population entrusts the country to a few people, who are supposed to be accountable to them, responsible in all their actions, innovative in problem solving and selfless when it comes to executing their duties in office. During the campaign period, the leaders in question always promise the voters heaven on earth, only for them to get to office and fall short on all their promises. This is the situation in all parts of the world, and it begs the question “what changes in an individual when he or she ascends to power?”
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Legendary Radio Host John B. Wells Talks JFK Conspiracy, Jade Helm, UFO’s, Flat Earth Theory & More

 Click the YouTube link below to listenJohn B Wells August

Host of Caravan to Midnight, actor, musician, writer, investigative journalist, composer, martial artist, aviator and broadcaster, John B. Wells finds the ancient sage advice of “concentrating on just one thing” to be true. His one thing: The Arts.

John is also an internationally renowned voice-over artist with credits ranging from serving as the announcer for CBS’ The Late Late Show with Craig Kilborn, to voicing promos for hit television shows like Discovery Channel’s Deadliest Catch and Gold Rush to lending his voice to films like Oliver Stone’s JFK and Talk Radio, as well as the popular series Unsealed: Alien Files.

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16 Facts About The Tremendous Financial Devastation That We Are Seeing All Over The World

Preparing for Economic Collapse

As we enter the second half of 2015, financial panic has gripped most of the globe.  Stock prices are crashing in China, in Europe and in the United States.  Greece is on the verge of a historic default, and now Puerto Rico and Ukraine are both threatening to default on their debts if they do not receive concessions from their creditors.  Not since the financial crisis of 2008 has so much financial chaos been unleashed all at once.  Could it be possible that the great financial crisis of 2015 has begun?  The following are 16 facts about the tremendous financial devastation that is happening all over the world right now…

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More Americans Are Becoming Their Own Bosses

iamtheboss

While the economy has been miserable for small business, and many larger ones as well, the ranks of the self-employed have been growing. According to research by Economic Modeling Specialists International, the number of people who primarily work on their own has swelled by 1.3 million since 2001 to 10.6 million, a 14% increase. Continue reading

‘Paradigm shift’: Surging Bitcoin to replace ‘broken’ government currencies

Reuters / Jim Urquhart

The Bitcoin virtual currency is up 24.5 percent in 24 hours, touching a new record of $619. The surge is “the beginning of something spectacular,” with it potentially displacing the dollar, Jeffrey Tucker of the Foundation for Economic Education told RT. Continue reading

Mexican Cartels Hiring US Soldiers As Hit Men

 

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(Freedom Outpost) – It seems bizarre, but the fact is the Mexican cartels are offering big money to recruit hit men from the U.S. military. They contract highly trained soldiers to carry out murders and even share their expertise with gangs south of the border, according to law enforcement experts.Fox News reports:

The involvement of three American soldiers in separate incidents, including a 2009 murder that led to last week’s life sentence for a former Army private, underscore a problem the U.S. military has fought hard to address. Continue reading

THE OTHER SIDE OF PARADISE: Inside Hawaii’s Giant Homeless Community [PHOTOS]

 

Oahu Homeless Tent City On Beach 48 

(Business Insider) – When the governor of Hawaii announced his plan this week to buy the state’s homeless one-way tickets to the continental U.S., it was the latest in a series of efforts aimed at curbing the Aloha State’s massive homeless problem.Low wages and high-priced housing have given Hawaii the third-largest homeless population per capita in the country. More than 7,500 people live on Oahu’s streets and beaches, but a large number of them are native Hawaiians and they don’t want to go anywhere. Continue reading

Warning to all police, firefighters, schoolteachers: Most government pensions to be confiscated within a decade

 

Con-Man-Calculator-Money

 

(NaturalNews) – Last week, Detroit declared bankruptcy, becoming the largest city in U.S. history to take such drastic action in the face of financial insolvency. A declaration of bankruptcy isn’t what most people think it is, though: it’s not just a statement of “we’re broke!” It’s actually a way for the city to clear its slate of all financial obligations and not pay the retirees it owes. Continue reading

16 Conspiracy Theories That Turned Out To Be True

dollar-bill

(The Truth) – Are you a conspiracy theorist?  If not, perhaps you should be.  Yes, there have certainly been a lot of “conspiracy theories” over the years that have turned out not to be accurate.  However, the truth is that a large number of very prominent conspiracy theories have turned out to actually be true.  So the next time that you run into some “tin foil hat wearing lunatics”, you might want to actually listen to what they have to say. They may actually know some things that you do not.  In fact, one recent study found that “conspiracy theorists” are actually more sane than the general population.  So the next time you are tempted to dismiss someone as a “conspiracy theorist”, just remember that the one that is crazy might actually be you.  The following are 16 popular conspiracy theories that turned out to be true…
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This is How Much Marijuana Prohibition Costs You, the Taxpayer

cannabis-money-620x400

Whether you are for its legalization or not, you are paying for marijuana to be illegal. According the Federal Bureau of Investigation, 43.3% of all “Arrests for Drug Abuse Violation” are of people who are in possession of marijuana. Six percent of all drug-abuse violation arrests were for the “Sale/Manufacturing” of marijuana. In other words, a whopping 49.5% of all drug-violation arrests are connected to marijuana. Half of the population that is in prison for substance abuse is in prison for marijuana-related crimes. Continue reading

$990K Federal Grant to Teach High School Students In Los Angeles How To Promote Obamacare

bc32f-redacted-460x307-300x200(CNSNews.com) — Thousands of high school students in the Los Angeles Unified School District (LAUSD), including those who scored below average on their eighth grade reading and math tests, will soon be encouraged to learn how to sell Obamacare to their families under a $43 million federal grant.California was the first state in the nation to create a health benefit exchange to comply with the federal Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act. The health care exchange, known as Covered California, will receive $43 million of federal funding. Continue reading

Lies, Damed Lies and Sadistics: The IMF’s Role As Bankster Enforcer

“We make or break human life every day of every year as probably no other force on earth has ever done in the past or will ever do again.”

The above rather dramatic quote comes courtesy of one Davison L Budhoo, a former International Monetary Fund economist who in 1988 broke ranks with the Fund, publishing a scathing 150-page resignation letter. In it he accused the organization of corruption, self-interest, and deceit.

Not that the Fund, then headed by Frenchman Michel Camdessus, was particularly fazed by the allegations. In those days there was no Internet, so the story didn’t exactly go “viral”; in fact, it barely got a mention in the mainstream or financial press. As such, following a spattering of articles in a few specialist newspapers and magazines, Buddhoo’s accusations were quickly forgotten.

The IMF breathed a sigh of relief, brushed off its Brook Brothers jacket and continued about its business. No inquiry or investigation was launched, no changes were made to the Fund’s operational policies and no heads rolled.

Such aversion to change has become a defining characteristic of the Fund. The result is that while the global economy may have changed beyond all recognition in the last 35 years, with countries like China, India and Brazil rising to the fore, the IMF’s role within it seems to have remained locked in time. The only difference of note (apart from the fact that, in the ballsy, perma-tanned Christine Lagarde, it has its first ever female managing director) is that instead of preying primarily on the world’s poorest, weakest and most defenseless nations — many of which have since become big creditors — the IMF, now a protagonist in Europe’s dreaded Troika, has its sights set on much bigger trophies.

The chicken, it seems, has finally come home to roost. Now it is Europe’s turn to feel the sharp taste of the Fund’s medicine. Slowly but surely the hapless inhabitants of struggling eurozone countries such as Greece, Portugal and Ireland are beginning to realize what many Africans, Asians, Latin Americans and Eastern Europeans learnt through bitter painful experience in the seventies, eighties and nineties — namely that when the IMF, armed with its balance sheets and a calculator, comes calling, you’d better hope you’re out.

For the IMF is, in plain speaking terms, the global banksters’ number one enforcer — a role it has executed (pun intended) with fervor and aplomb ever since the Bretton Woods agreement (though it wasn’t until Nixon’s launch of the floating exchange regime in 1971 that the organization began forcefully dictating economic policy to supposedly sovereign nations).

The Fund is essentially to the big global banks and corporations what Luca Brasi was to Vito Corleone or, to cite a real-world example, what Francesco Raffaele Nitto was to Al Capone. But rather than use real violence, or even the threat of violence, the IMF’s henchmen have far subtler means at their disposal, as John Perkins, the author of the best-selling book Confessions of An Economic Hitman, explains:

One of my jobs as an economic hit man was to identify countries that had resources like oil and arrange huge loans for those countries from the World Bank and sister organizations. But the money would never go to the actual country; instead it would go to our own corporations to build infrastructure projects in that country like power plants and industrial parks; things that would benefit a few very wealthy families.

So then the people of the country would be left holding this huge debt that they couldn’t repay… That’s when the IMF comes in [saying] ‘We’ll help you restructure your loan, but in order to do that you have to meet certain conditionalities. You have to sell your oil or whatever the coveted resource is at a cheap price, to the oil companies without restrictions.’ Or they would suggest the country sell electric utilities, water and sewage, maybe even its schools and jails to private multi-national corporations.

According to Perkins, it was only when a national leader took a rare principled stand, refusing to sell off all of their country’s resources to international conglomerates at bargain basement prices, that the real goons, or what Perkins calls “the Jackals,” would be sent in, as is alleged to have happened in the highly suspicious deaths, in the early eighties, of Panama’s leader Omar Efraín Torrijos Herrera and Jaime Roldos, the democratically elected president of Ecuador.

 

http://www.testosteronepit.com/home/2013/4/20/lies-damned-lies-sadistics-the-imfs-role-as-bankster-enforce.html

Paul B. Farrell: America needs a new war? For the economy to survive? Job market to revive? Capitalism thrive? Maybe. Here’s why:

By Paul B. FarrellMarketWatch

 

America needs a new war? For the economy to survive? Job market to revive? Capitalism thrive? Maybe. Here’s why:

Forbes reported that GDP data “fell for the first time in three and a half years in the fourth quarter … declining by an annualized 0.1%” while “economists had expected GDP to increase 1%. A dramatic 15% drop in government spending dragged on economic activity. Defense outlays were cut the most, falling by 22.2%, the largest decrease in defense since the Vietnam War’s end in 1972.”

Wars stimulate the economy and we are a warrior nation: Didn’t WWII get us out of the Great Depression? And the Iraq/Afghan Wars, longest in history, sure stimulated the economy … the Pentagon war machine doubled from $260 billion in 2000 to roughly $550 billion last year … GDP increased 50% from $10 trillion to $15 trillion … and federal debt tripled to over $15 trillion from under $5 trillion back when our leaders believed “debt didn’t matter.”

But most of all, wars are great for capitalists: Forbes list of world billionaires skyrocketed from 322 in 2000 to 1,426 recently. Yes the adjusted household income of the rest of Americans flatlined the past generation.

But still, life’s great for capitalism and for 1,426 capitalists across America and worldwide, a tribute to the “disaster capitalism” doctrines of Nobel economist Milton Friedman and Ayn Rand’s free-market capitalism dogma.

American politicians conflicted, cut debt but not the war machine

However, with the Afghan and Iraq Wars winding down, capitalism needs an economic stimulus: a new war. It’s so American: Neocons believe a new war would boost GDP. They must be praying North Korea’s Lil’ Kim will do something impulsive. Give us an excuse.

Yet Washington politicians are conflicted. Some want to shrink government, cut debt and are cheering the “dramatic 15% drop in government spending.” On the other hand, the “largest decrease in defense since the Vietnam War’s end in 1972” is unnerving neocons, warhawks and politicians heavily dependent on defense contractors, lobbyists and voters at military bases in their districts.

So what’s next? If American capitalism needs a new war to survive … if we’re slowing down the Afghan and Iraq war theaters … if North Korea’s just saber-rattling … if China has too much to lose … if new wars are fought by drones from video screens in one of the Pentagon’s 70 drone bases … but if all the military-industrial complex capitalists who get rich off wars are still itching to attack … then who will trigger a new war for America’s “disaster capitalists?”

10 unpredictable flash points where new global wars can ignite

Although black swans are by definition unpredictable, there are 11 hot-spot pressure points already ramping up global tension and conflicts. And suddenly, the pressure can easily spark over the line, hit a flash point, and be ignited by any one of multiple unpredictable events that suddenly explode, and spread like a virus to all 10.

Then capitalist warhawks can take advantage of it, as they did by linking 9/11 with launching the Iraq War. So yes, in Worldwatch Institute’s report we see at least 11 challenging black swan hot spots that could surprise and ignite new wars:

Here’s Worldwatch’s blunt challenge: “Planet’s Tug-of-War Between Carrying Capacity and Rising Demand: Can We Keep This Up?” No: The planet’s “shrinking resources” cannot satisfy the exploding population’s “growing demand for food and energy.”

Why? It’s “impossible, we can’t keep this up.” Robert Engelman warns: “Rising trends will not last forever. They can’t.” The world will collapse under epidemics, famines, warfare.

When? A decade ago the Bush Pentagon predicted that “by 2020 there is little doubt something drastic is happening,” they told Fortune. “As the planet’s carrying capacity shrinks, an ancient pattern of desperate, all-out wars over food, water, and energy supplies would emerge … warfare is defining human life.” 2020 is dead ahead.

The coming capitalist wars reminds me of fighting depicted in the brutal “Hunger Games” movie. A perfect metaphor. With over one billion of seven billion people in the world living on two dollars a day … with accelerating food and commodity prices pushing more humans and emerging nations over the edge … with rising real food shortages, real hunger, real malnutrition, real starvation, real poverty … with the living standards of developed nations demanding an ever-increasing share of ever-scarcer resources … we see Worldwatch’s 11 vital signs as hot spots and black swans that can easily ignite rebellions, revolutions and full-scale wars in the near future:

 

1. Population explosion — planet can’t feed 3 billion more people

Back during the Great Depression the world had 3 billion people. Twelve years ago it had doubled to 6 billion. Now it’s 7 billion, with the United Nations predicting 10 billion by 2050. Worldwatch says “although fertility rates are falling worldwide, many countries with high birth rates will have to accommodate a rapidly expanding labor force in the next few decades. In Uganda, where women give birth to six children on average, this means needing to generate more than 1.5 million new jobs by the late 2030s.”

2. Factory farming — chemicals, water shortage, health risks, diseases

Big Agriculture “has contributed to a tripling in global meat production over the last four decades.” Texas cattlemen may be getting richer but this is “associated with heavy use of chemical inputs, the spread of disease, antibiotic overuse and resistance, massive water consumption, and declines in human health.”

3. Food production — skyrocketing demand, speculative pricing

Last year’s data tells us “grain production is recovering from a slump.” However, a longer-term recovery “is being seriously hindered by climatic changes and by rising demand for ethanol fuel, producing ripple effects throughout the economy through increased grain prices.”

4. Rain forest, timber lands — lost to urbanization and agriculture

As the demand for food and the price of agricultural lands continues rising, the world’s forests continue to disappear, wiping out species and habitats, displacing native cultures, disrupting climate patterns and contaminating the environment. For example, a few years ago Bloomberg Markets specifically exposed Cargill and Alcoa for “destruction of the world’s largest rain forest … robbing the earth of its best shield against global warming.”

5. Meat products — huge gas emissions impacting climate and ozone

Worldwatch reports that “livestock are responsible for 40% of the world’s methane emissions and 65% of nitrous oxide emissions,” emitting toxic “greenhouse gases 25 to 100 times more potent than carbon dioxide.”

6. Organic foods — unintended consequences and high costs

Organic foods bought at stores like Whole Foods Markets make you feel spiritual. But Worldwatch warns that the organic movement is now being challenged by “rising farmland prices, inconsistencies in organic standards and higher prices of organic foods.” Moreover, organic farming is actually impeding “a broad global shift to sustainable agriculture.”

7. Starvation and obesity — both rise to global health pandemic

Imagine, “statistics from 177 countries show that 38% of adults — those 15 years or older — are now overweight, with trends on the rise across different regions of the world and different income levels.” Yes, both hunger and obesity accelerating, threatening billions.

8. Oil and alternative energy — increasing demand vs. finite supply

Global oil consumption reached a new high of 87.4 million barrels per day in 2010. Oil remains the largest commercial source of energy.” Meanwhile “global production of biofuels reached an all-time high of 105 billion liters in 2010, up 17% from 2009, mostly as a result of high oil prices, global economic rebound and new biofuel-related laws and mandates.”

9. Natural gas — fracking and shale gas damage to the environment

Fossil-fuel demand is being “driven by surging natural-gas consumption in Asia and the United States.” As a result natural-gas consumption increased 7.4% in 2009-2010 hitting a record 113 trillion cubic feet. The dark side: New technologies and sources such as fracking and shale gas are now environmental threats along with spill risks to aquifers and from deep-water explorations.

10. Nuclear power — meltdowns, terrorists and spent-fuel storage

Yes, the “generation of nuclear power fell in 2011” due to the “increasing costs of production, a slowed demand for electricity, and fresh memories of disaster in Japan,” plus Chernobyl, Three Mile Island, and the increasing risks of storing spent fuel.

Check out the Worldwatch site. Get their newsletters, get into action. And read the “Hunger Games” trilogy, a powerful metaphor for the world’s real “Hunger Games,” a global war for survival being fought every day, driven by an ever-increasing population with a seemingly insatiable “demand for food and energy” on a planet with “shrinking resources.”

Until we wake up to the coming wars, we’re just happy capitalists trapped in the mind-set of Robert Mankoff’s brilliant New Yorker cartoon: “While the end-of-the-world scenario will be rife with unimaginable horrors,” says the head of a too-greedy-to-fail bank, “we believe that the pre-end period will be filled with unprecedented opportunities for profit.” Go capitalism!

Paul B. Farrell is a MarketWatch columnist based in San Luis Obispo, Calif. Follow him on Twitter @MKTWFarrell.
Read more at http://investmentwatchblog.com/paul-b-farrell-america-needs-a-new-war-for-the-economy-to-survive-job-market-to-revive-capitalism-thrive-maybe-heres-why/#opv1YxeBoizhGU5Y.99

UBS Analyst: Fed Tactics Might Have Sparked ‘Panic Selling’ in Gold

Gold headed for its biggest two-day drop in 30 years on Monday as funds accelerated their exits from the market, and investors also cut exposure to oil, copper and grain after underwhelming Chinese growth data.
The precious metal slid further into bear territory, dropping more than $30 in a matter of minutes at one point. Losses widened to more than 6 percent at the lows as prices breached support at $1,400 per ounce after falling 5.3 percent on Friday.

Oil fared scarcely better, dropping by as much as nearly 3 percent. Other precious metals were caught in the downdraft, with silver briefly dropping 10 percent, and industrial metals plummeted, with copper hitting its lowest in over a year. In the grains market, wheat, corn and soybeans fell.

Editor’s Note: Get David Skarica’s Gold Stock Adviser — Click Here Now!

Both oil and gold have been under substantial selling pressure. Bullion has come off worst, shedding around 9.5 percent since last Monday’s close, while crude has lost about 3.5 percent.

China’s economy grew 7.7 percent in the first quarter, undershooting market expectations for an 8.0 percent expansion and frustrating investor hopes that the world’s No. 2 economy would rebound after posting its weakest growth in 13 years in 2012.

“If you want to be worried about China, there’s plenty to keep you awake at night,” said Sean Corrigan, chief investment strategist at Diapason Commodities Management in Switzerland.

Gold was already under pressure from a variety of factors, including a proposed sale of Cypriot gold holdings, and more fund-based investors headed for the exits on Monday.

Spot gold hit a two-year low at $1,384.69 an ounce.

“We have seen massive liquidation from all quarters — ETFs, funds, CTAs, specs and even Chinese and Indian physical buyers. This is a market that has only got one thing on its mind … get me out,” said David Govett, head of precious metals at Marex Spectron in London.

Brent crude oil sank below $101 a barrel to a nine-month low and was threatening to break below $100 for the first time since early July. It was down about 15 percent from this year’s peak of $119.17 reached in early February.

Prior to the latest Chinese and U.S. data, the International Energy Agency, the U.S. Energy Information Administration and the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries had already lowered their global oil demand growth for 2013.

China’s weaker-than-forecast GDP growth was backed by slower increases in industrial production and fixed-asset investment, despite strong lending growth in March.

“There are questions about the trend of bottoming in China’s economy and whether it can re-accelerate above 8 percent this year in a sustainable way,” said Vishnu Varathan, market economist at Mizuho Corporate Bank in Singapore.

PANIC

In gold, “what we now see is panic selling, perhaps triggered by the Fed’s stimulus view. The Fed has given the signal that there’s a possibility to reduce QE (quantitative easing), and that took a lot of trust out of gold,” said Dominic Schnider, an analyst at UBS Wealth Management.

“And people recognize that an environment where you have no inflation is a powerful driver to get out of the metal.”
Minutes of the U.S. Federal Reserve’s March policy meeting released last week showed some officials were keen on ending the stimulative bond-buying program this year, although those views were expressed ahead of last month’s poor non-farm payrolls data and Friday’s weak retail sales.

London copper fell to its lowest level in 1-1/2 years at $7,085 a metric ton, while aluminum hit a three-and-a-half year low.

China is the world’s biggest consumer of copper.

Soft commodities sugar, coffee and cocoa were the only commodities seemingly little affected by the market rout on Monday, with prices particularly for sugar and coffee already at low levels due to large surpluses.

Read Latest Breaking News from Newsmax.com http://www.moneynews.com/Markets/gold-fed-panic-selling/2013/04/15/id/499425?s=al&promo_code=13286-1#ixzz2QeKnirDz
Urgent: Should Obamacare Be Repealed? Vote Here Now!

ALL US WHOLESALERS SOLD OUT OF ALL PHYSICAL SILVER!!!

 

*UPDATE: ALL US WHOLESALE SUPPLIERS ARE NOW SOLD OUT OF EVERY OUNCE OF PHYSICAL SILVER & HAVE SUSPENDED ALL SALES!  SDBullion.com has closed due to lack of ANY AVAILABLE SILVER!

Two of the largest wholesale suppliers in the US, including Amark and CNT, who is the supplier of gold blanks to the US Mint for Gold Eagles, and is a registered COMEX depository, HAVE JUST SOLD OUT OF ALL PHYSICAL SILVER!!!
AND……IT’S GONE!!!!!

In the face of an EPIC TSUNAMI of gold and silver sales today as the cartel hammered the price of silver down over 12%, and off $6 from Friday’s open, we have just been informed at SDBullion upon trying to place a large inventory order that BOTH AMARK & CNT ARE SOLD OUT OF EVERY LAST OUNCE OF PHYSICAL SILVER!!!

Apparently the fact that one of the largest wholesale suppliers in the US is SOLD OUT, while simultaneously the 2nd largest silver mine in the US is offline perhaps permanently is of absolutely no consequence to the paper dumping cartel bullion banks.

Bullion bank silver shorts are most likely covering in mass RIGHT NOW, and we’ll soon have the data to make the case.  Many have speculated that the bullion banks are going to switch to a net long position. There couldn’t be a better time to do just that given that at $22/oz, pretty much all existing shorts taken out before this week will be in the money.

 

http://silverdoctors.com/cnt-sold-out-of-all-physical-silver/

Why Are Central Banks Buying Gold?

Anyone who wants to get to the truth behind the inflationary threats to their wealth should ignore everything the Central Banks say about inflation and look instead at their actions.

Worldwide gold demand in 2012 was another record high of $236.4 billion in the World Gold Council’s latest report. This was up 6% in value terms in the fourth quarter to $66.2 billion, the highest fourth quarter on record. Global gold demand in the fourth quarter of 2012 was up 4% to 1,195.9 tonnes.

Central bank buying for 2012 rose by 17% over 2011 to some 534.6 tonnes. As far as central bank gold buying, this was the highest level since 1964. Central bank purchases stood at 145 tonnes in the fourth quarter. That is up 9% from the fourth quarter of 2011, and the eighth consecutive quarter in which central banks were net purchasers of gol

http://247wallst.com/2013/02/14/central-banks-buy-the-most-gold-since-1964/#ixzz2LMLOfBPK

Note… Central Banks, while talking down money printing and denying the presence of inflation, bought more Gold in 2012 that any year dating back to 1964. Indeed, However, since becoming net buyers of Gold in 2010, the Central Banks have been increasing their Gold purchases rapidly.

In 2010, Governments worldwide bought 77 tonnes of Gold. In 2011 it was 457 tonnes. And last year it was a whopping 535 tonnes. All told, they’ve accumulated  1,000 tonnes of Gold since 2Q09. At today’s price of $1600 per ounce, this stash is valued at over $56 billion.

The key issue here is not the amount ($56 billion in Gold purchases is nothing compared to the over $10 trillion in new money Central banks have printed since 2007), but the trend: Central Banks were net sellers of Gold for decades until 2010.

Other major investors are looking to get their hands on Gold… not the promise of Gold, but the actual metal.

Germany has the second largest Gold reserves in the world behind the US. Since the early ’80s, it has stored the majority of these reserves with the NY Fed (45% vs. 13% in London, 11% in Paris and the remaining 31% in Frankfurt).

With that in mind, everyone needs to be aware that last Monday Germany’s Bundesbank announced it will be moving a major portion of its reserves from the US and all of its reserves from France back to Frankfurt.

Nearly half of Germany’s gold reserves are held in a vault at the Federal Reserve Bank of New York — billions of dollars worth of postwar geopolitical history squirreled away for safe keeping below the streets of Lower Manhattan.

Now the German central bank wants to make a big withdrawal — 300 tons in all.

On Wednesday, the Bundesbank said that it would begin moving some of the reserves, the second-largest stock in the world after that of the United States. The goal is to house more than 50 percent of German gold in Bundesbank vaults in Frankfurt by 2020, up from a little less than a third today, the bank said…

The new policy will include the complete withdrawal of 374 tons of German gold stored at the Banque de France in Paris, about 11 percent of the total. Bundesbank officials were quick to note that the decision was not a reflection of French trustworthiness. Rather, because France and Germany now share the euro, there is no need for reserves as insurance against currency crises.

 

http://www.nytimes.com/2013/01/17/business/global/german-central-bank-to-repatriate-gold-reserves.html

This announcement came with the usual political statements that the decision had nothing to do with a lack of trust between the Bundesbank and the US Fed or Bank of France, but the message is obvious: Germany sees the writing on the wall and is moving to secure its Gold reserves.

The same goes for Texas:

Texas Republican State Representative Giovanni Capriglione authored the bill demanding state owned gold bars be returned to the Lone Star State. The legislation to pull $1 billion in gold reserves from a Federal Reserve vault in New York is supported by Governor Rick Perry.

The financial crisis in Cyprus which prompted a run on the bank and ultimately a closure of the financial institutions reportedly bolstered support for the Texas gold bar return bill. State Representative Capriglione had this to say about why he penned the bill:

“For us to have our own gold, a lot of the runs on the bank and those types of things, they happen because people are worried that there’s nothing there to back it up.”

Governor Perry stated that if Texas owns the gold, then no one else should be able to determine if the state can reclaim possession of the bars of precious metal. Representative Capriglione also noted that Texas is not interested in implementing its own gold standard. According to the Republican’s statements about the gold bars bill, he simply wants to bolster the state’s fiscally secure reputation. The Texas public servant also feels that such a solid financial persona would be beneficial in case an international of national fiscal crisis occurred.

The legislation notes the state does not merely want gold certificates from the Federal Reserve, they want the actual gold bars to store inside a planned Texas Bullion Depository. Moving $1 billion in gold bars from New York to Texas would be a huge task, one some are calling impractical. State Representative Capriglione suggested selling the gold currently housed inside the New York vault and then repurchasing the same amount in Texas.

http://www.inquisitr.com/600185/texas-wants-gold-stored-at-federal-reserve-returned-to-lone-star-state/#XHeg60ztpexhAROW.99

Investors forget that the single most important role played by Central Banks is to maintain confidence in the system. For that reason they will NEVER admit inflation is a problem. But if inflation isn’t a problem, WHY ARE CENTRAL BANKS LOADING UP ON GOLD?

Watch what they do, not what they say.

 

 

To learn more about Private Wealth Advisory…

 

Best Regards,

Graham Summers
Read more at http://investmentwatchblog.com/why-are-central-banks-buying-gold/#AD11VJB1LRmRodrl.99

The Great Global Tax Grab is Already Underway

The world will soon be facing a tsunami of defaults on bad debts. This will include municipal or local government defaults such as the one now occurring in Stockton California, governments “defaulting” on promises they’ve made to the people (Social Security, Medicaid), a default on the social contract between society and politicians such as the one in Cyprus (a default on the notions of private property and Democracy), stealth defaults on debts in the form of inflation and finally, of course, outright sovereign defaults.

However, the last option will be sovereign defaults; all other options will be tried first. The reason for this is that sovereign bonds are the senior most collateral posted by the banks for their hundreds of trillions of Dollars worth of derivatives bets.

The minute an actual sovereign default occurs in Europe, Asia or the US, then the large global banks will all be vaporized. End of story.  As is now clear, the Central banks do not care about ordinary citizens. They only care about propping up the big banks.

This is why Cyprus decided to default on the social contract with its people and steal their funds rather than simply instigating a formal default. And it’s why in general we’re going to see Governments implementing more and more theft in the form of “taxes” (Cyprus called its theft a tax) in the future.

This will be sold to the public as either an attempt to tax those with a lot of money because it’s only fair that they put in more to bailout the nation OR as a form of financial terrorism e.g. “either you take a 7% cut on your deposits and the bank stays afloat or the bank crashes and you lose everything.”

This will be spreading throughout the world, GUARANTEED.

Spain, Canada (which allegedly has the safest banks in the world), and New Zealand have already begun discussing confiscation schemes for depositors in the event of a banking crisis.

As Cyprus has shown us, when push comes to shove, rule of law goes out the window. I fully expect that when things get really bad in the financial system the money grabs will come fast and furious. Foreign accounts, including possibly even Gold held aboard, will come under attack. Heck, the US got Switzerland to throw its 300-year-old banking secrecy out the window…

The Swiss bank Wegelin is to close, after admitting that it helped about 100 US clients evade paying taxes.
The news that Switzerland’s oldest private bank will cease to operate has potentially huge implications for Switzerland’s entire banking sector, and for the long tradition of Swiss banking secrecy.
Thirteen other Swiss banks are under investigation by US authorities, among them Credit Suisse, a bank now termed “too big to fail” by the Swiss government.
When Wegelin’s managers pleaded guilty in a New York court, the case was watched with mounting horror by the financial communities in Zurich and Geneva.
Many had expected Wegelin to continue to try to fight the case. For months, the bank had failed to turn up in court, saying the summons had not been delivered correctly.
Instead, Wegelin’s guilty plea included the admission that it intentionally opened accounts for US citizens to help them avoid tax.

Yuan reaches record high against the US dollar

speculation_sin30_35169557.jpg

 

The yuan reached a record high yesterday as the central bank fixed its midpoint against the US dollar at the strongest level ever.

That sparked anticipation of further appreciation this year and stoked inflationary pressure on the mainland and Hong Kong.

The People’s Bank of China set the midpoint at 6.2506 yuan per US dollar – up from the fixing of 6.2578 on Thursday – ahead of a visit by US Secretary of State John Kerry to Asia. The yuan jumped to 79.775 Hong Kong dollars per 100 yuan, just near the record of 79.729 on Wednesday.

China often allows the yuan to appreciate faster before visits by officials from Western countries, who usually push for exchange rate liberalisation.

However, the yuan is set to strengthen this year. Inflows of capital are expected to generate higher demand for the yuan than last year as the mainland economy recovers, economists said.

“In 2013 we’ll see greater risks of capital inflows to China, rather than two-way movements in the yuan exchange rate or capital outflows as last year,” said Chang Jian, an economist at Barclays Capital. Barclays expects the yuan to strengthen 2 per cent against the greenback this year, after considering China’s intention to protect exporters in the still shaky economic recovery.

The yuan rate in the spot market touched 6.1903 per dollar yesterday, the highest since 1994. The yuan spot rate has risen 0.6 per cent so far this year, after hitting highs in the past couple of weeks.

Economists at Standard Chartered forecast the spot rate for yuan would reach 6.18 by the end of June and 6.10 by the end of this year. They said China was unlikely to follow Japan in depreciating its currency, as Japanese exporters are not its major competitors.

Nathan Chow, a DBS Bank economist, expects the strengthening of the yuan to continue to put pressure on inflation in Hong Kong because the city’s currency is pegged to the US dollar.

“The inflationary pressure caused by the yuan appreciation is inevitable, as Hong Kong imports a variety of goods, such as food and medical supplies, from the mainland,” Chow said.

A 1 per cent rise in the yuan would result in a 0.05 percentage point increase in Hong Kong’s consumer inflation, the Monetary Authority says.

 

 

http://www.scmp.com/news/article/1213468/yuan-reaches-record-high-against-us-dollar

Kyle Bass: “I’d Much Rather Own Gold Than Paper”

We’ve moved to an ideology of unlimited printing.

“I’m perplexed as to why gold is as low as it is.  The largest central banks in the world have all moved to an unlimited printed ideology.  If monetary policy is the only game in town, then we’re all in for a world of trouble.”

 

 

 

http://dailybail.com/home/kyle-bass-id-much-rather-own-gold-than-paper.html

DIMON ADMITS: Breaking The Law ‘Is A Problem At JP Morgan

 

Following the rules is not easy for Jamie.

Dimon warns more sanctions are coming for JPMorgan.

Jamie Dimon warns that JPMorgan, which is under regulatory orders to tighten internal controls, will face more sanctions in the coming months.  Dimon comments on the London Whale, criminal investigations into activities at the bank, illegal foreclosures, money laundering and the threat of cyber attack.

 

Here’s why Jamie is warning shareholders:

NYT: JPMorgan Faces Multiple Criminal Investigations

 

 

http://dailybail.com/home/dimon-admits-breaking-the-law-is-a-problem-at-jpm.html

Most Homeowners Compensated for Bank Foreclosure Misdeeds will Receive just $300

Most homeowners wronged during the foreclosure fiasco will receive only a few hundred dollars in compensation from a settlement reached between the federal government and banks.

About 2.4 million borrowers of the almost 4 million eligible homeowners will receive $300 after lenders gave out misinformation, lost documents and committed other misdeeds.

Two years ago, the Independent Foreclosure Review proclaimed homeowners who suffered “financial injury” could get as much as $125,000.

It now turns out only 1,135 borrowers will see this amount. This small group mostly includes members of the U.S. military who had their homes taken away from them, as well as 53 non-military homeowners who endured foreclosure even though they didn’t default on their loans.

-Noel Brinkerhoff

To Learn More:

For Most Homeowners, Gov’t Foreclosure Deal Brings A Few Hundred Bucks (by Paul Kiel, ProPublica)
Scant Relief in Foreclosure Payouts (by Alan Zibel and Dan Fitzpatrick, Wall Street Journal)
Government Accused of Allowing Bank of America to Investigate Itself about Foreclosures (by David Wallechinsky and Noel Brinkerhoff, AllGov)
Bank of America Smacked with Foreclosure Fraud Lawsuits (by Matt Bewig, AllGov)
Bank of America Forecloses on Houses without Mortgages (by Noel Brinkerhoff and David Wallechinsky, AllGov)

The More FEDS Spend, The More They Tax: Gov’t Spends $50,074 Per Household, EXCEEDS Median Income. FEDS To Collect RECORD TAXES In 2013!

 

Government Spending Per Household Exceeds Median Household Income

As reported in my new book, “Completely Predictable,” the combined spending of federal, state and local governments per American household actually exceeded the median household income for 2010, which is the latest year for which all relevant government data are available.

In fiscal 2010, according to numbers published by the Census Bureau and the Office of Management and Budget (OMB), net spending by all levels of government in the United States was $5,942,988,401,000. That equaled $50,074 for each one of the 118,682,000 households in the country.

In that same year, according to the Census Bureau, the median household income was $49,445.

Read more:

http://www.sumnerbooks.com/books/view/completely-predictable

Revealed: Obama to collect record taxes in 2013

The federal Treasury expects to collect a record $2.712 trillion in taxes on Americans and U.S. business this year, shattering the 2007 high of $2.5 trillion in taxes.

Despite the sputtering economy and sustained high unemployment, the fine print in President Obama’s budget belatedly presented Wednesday revealed that the administration expects to take more in taxes than the Congressional Budget Officeprojects. CBO put the 2013 estimate at $2.708 trillion.

Republicans have seized on the number to bolster their fight against Obama’s goal of raising taxes, especially on the wealthy.
http://investmentwatchblog.com/the-more-feds-spend-the-more-they-tax-govt-spends-50074-per-household-exceeds-median-income-feds-to-collect-record-taxes-in-2013/#8x3KKjsztTKAahIz.99

Top bitcoin exchange freezes, arbitrarily shuts down, proving you will not be able to get out of bitcoin when you want to

It is now abundantly obvious that bitcoin has become an insidious “trap” that’s taking money from suckers who are deluded into believing the “bitcoin cult.” The top bitcoin exchange, MTGox, now openly admits that its trade engine crashed during the yesterday’s panic selloff, preventing people from being able to get out of the bitcoin market.

Today, MT.Gox now says, “Trading is halted until 2013-04-12 02:00am UTC to allow the market to cooldown following the drop in price,” meaning that the #1 bitcoin exchange has arbitrarily decided to stop processing orders just because it wants to!

It’s a bitcoin bank holiday! Don’t you just love holidays?

All this means three very concerning things:

#1) The bitcoin infrastructure cannot handle a selloff. Once the rush for the exits gains momentum, you will not be able to get out. Only those who sell early will be able to exit the market.

#2) The bitcoin infrastructure is subject to the whims of just one person running MTGox who can arbitrarily decide to shut it down whenever he thinks the market needs a “cooling period.” This is nearly equivalent to a financial dictatorship where one person calls the shots.

#3) Every piece of bad news will be “spun” by exchanges like MTGox into good-sounding news. As bitcoin was crashing yesterday by 60% in value in mere hours, MTGox announced it was a “victim of our own success!” So while bitcoin holders watched $1 billion in market valuation evaporate, MTGox called it a success. Gee, then what would you call it when bitcoin loses 99%? A “raging” success?

Keep in mind that MTGox makes money off bitcoin transactions, meaning the organization has every reason to spin bad news (just like Wall Street) and keep the market “churning” so that more transactions are taking place. Listening to bitcoin advice from people who are making money off bitcoin transactions is a lot like listening to Obama promise you how he’ll protect your liberty.

You are a fool if you believe anything now coming out of the “bitcoin cult.”

Check out this volatility. The time period for this chart is just 24 hours during which prices were swinging wildly:

Conclusion: Bitcoin is a failed currency experiment; not ready for prime time

Bitcoin is now officially a failed experiment. Thanks to the out-of-control hyping and “get rich” propaganda coming from its promoters, bitcoin has become nothing more than a pyramid scheme to take people’s money by suckering them into a currency scam that has no use in the real world. The wild market volatility of bitcoin now proves that merchants will not embrace this currency. There’s too much risk.

And that means bitcoins have little use in the real world, which also means that people are buying bitcoins for the sole purpose of selling bitcoins later — i.e. they are speculators playing the bitcoin casino. At this point, bitcoins might as well be widgets… or tulips.

Many bitcoin speculators are too young to have lived through the exact same mania with the dot com bubble, but believe me, it’s a nearly-identical repeat. …Millions of people all thinking they’re going to get rich without effort, suckering each other into a total delusion, displaying cult-like behaviors and irrational justifications while losing their shirts.

Ever pyramid bubble is wonderful as long as it keeps going up. Everybody thinks they’re rich, and the whole thing works great until it doesn’t. Once the delusion is shattered, everybody loses and the pyramid scheme collapses while the cult members stare in disbelief, unable to cash out because it’s already too late.

If you own bitcoins, SELL NOW while you still can

Get out of bitcoins. If you bought low, sell now while there are still suckers out there who think bitcoins will make them rich. If you bought high, sell now before it drops even further.

Oh, wait, I forgot: You can’t sell now, probably, because the #1 bitcoin exchange decided to close its doors. It’s the “bitcoin bank holiday!”

At this point you will hopefully realize that you traded dollars for a virtual currency that can be wildly manipulated, crashed, frozen and halted without your knowledge or input. If you bought in at anything over $20, you probably got suckered.

So my advice is to eat the losses, learn your expensive lesson, wise up and stop being such a fool in the future. Sell your bitcoins and focus on something more worthwhile.

The bitcoin cult is now the Jim Jones of currency, and everybody is drinking the kool-aid. It’s only a matter of time before they start dropping dead.

“It’s a holiday! A holiday!” – Gerald Celente, singing about the looming bank holidays that await depositors across the EU.

http://www.naturalnews.com/039880_bitcoin_bubble_panic_selling_accounts_frozen.html#ixzz2QBVdkNGk

6 Ways Obama’s Budget Is Worse Than Everyone Thinks

Fiscal Policy: Short of its accounting gimmicks, the president’s budget isn’t a “balanced” plan to get the debt crisis under control. It’s a monument to fiscal irresponsibility.

With much fanfare and a lot of media hype, President Obama unveiled his latest budget plan — two months late. An IBD review of Obama’s budget finds that, among other things, it:

• Boosts spending and deficits over the next two years. Obama’s own budget numbers show that he wants to hike spending over the next two years by $247 billion compared with the “baseline,” which even after his proposed new tax hikes would mean $157 billion in additional red ink.

Obama claims he’ll get tough on spending and deficits later, but every budget expert knows boosting spending today only makes it harder to cut later.

• Vastly exaggerates spending cuts. The press has widely reported that Obama’s budget would cut spending a total of $1.2 trillion over the next decade. But Obama’s own budget shows that he actually cuts spending a mere $186 billion. (The relevant tables can be found at http://www.whitehouse.gov/sites/default/files/omb/budget/fy2014/assets/tables.pdf on Pages 187-190.)

Obama inflates his claimed savings by first canceling the automatic sequester spending cuts he previously signed into law, then reclaiming them as new savings, and by adding in cuts in interest payments on the debt.

• Relies almost entirely on tax hikes. Obama’s budget shows his plan would increase revenues by $1.14 trillion over the next decade. That means his budget proposes $6 in new taxes for every $1 in spending cuts.

• Cuts the deficit less than claimed. “My budget will reduce our deficits by nearly another $2 trillion,” Obama said Wednesday. But his budget shows total deficit reduction over the next decade would be just $1.4 trillion. Plus, deficits start rising again after 2018.

• Creates a new entitlement without a reliable means to pay for it. Obama claims he can finance a new $76 billion “preschool for all” program by raising tobacco taxes again. But after an initial spike, tobacco tax revenues will start trending downward year after year as more people quit smoking, while the costs of this new program will keep climbing.

The last time Obama hiked tobacco taxes — to pay for an expansion of Medicaid — revenues came in $2.2 billion less than expected.

• Boosts taxes on the middle class. Obama proposes to change the government’s “consumer price index” in a way that will lower the official inflation rate. He’s selling it as a way to cut Social Security annual “cost of living” adjustments, which are based on the CPI.

But because his “chained CPI” would also apply to annual tax bracket adjustments, it will end up hiking taxes by $124 billion — mainly on the middle class — over the next decade through bracket creep, according to the Congressional Budget Office.

In his remarks Wednesday after releasing his 65-day-overdue budget, Obama claimed: “The numbers work. There’s not a lot of smoke and mirrors in here.”

Fact is, if it weren’t for smoke and mirrors, Obama would have no budget plan at all.
http://news.investors.com/ibd-editorials/041013-651427-obama-budget-is-worse-than-everyone-thinks.htm#ixzz2QArnmQTg

Obama: ‘Prohibit’ Americans from Saving More Than $3M in Retirement Accounts

President Barack ObamaPresident Barack Obama on the Great Wall of China. (AP Photo)

(CNSNews.com) – President Barack Obama’s proposed budget would simultaneously compel Americans to enroll in a tax-deferred retirement account and “prohibit” them from saving more than $3 million in such accounts.

That sum, Obama’s budget argues, is all that is “needed to fund reasonable levels of retirement saving.”

Under current law, American who save money in tax-deferred retirement accounts are taxed on the money in such accounts when they withdraw it–and are charged an additional tax penalty if they withdraw it before retirement age.

Obama’s plan to simultaneously compel enrollment in a retirement account and prohibit Americans from saving more than what he believes is a “reasonable” amount in such an account is published in part of his budget that deals with what the president calls “rebalancing the tax code.”

Although the budget would “automatically” enroll Americans in a retirement account—even if they did not want to enroll—it would allow them to “opt out” of actually making contributions to that account.

“About half of American workers have no workplace retirement plan,” says Obama’s budget. “Yet fewer than 1 out of 10 workers who are eligible to make tax-favored contributions to an Individual Retirement Account (IRA) actually do so, while nearly 9 out of 10 workers automatically enrolled in a 401(k) plan continue to make contributions. The Budget would automatically enroll workers without employer-based retirement plans in IRAs through payroll deposit contributions at their workplace. The contributions would be voluntary—employees would be free to opt out—and matched by the Saver’s Tax Credit for eligible families.”

However, President Obama would not allow Americans to opt out of his prohibition on retirement-account savings that exceed the “reasonable level” of $3 million.

The second bullet point in Obama’s plan to “rebalance the tax code” is entitled: “Prohibit Individuals from Accumulating Over $3 Million in Tax-Preferred Retirement Accounts.”

“Individual Retirement Accounts and other tax-preferred savings vehicles are intended to help middle class families save for retirement,” says the Obama’s budget—which does not define exactly what a “middle class family” is, nor explain why someone who does not have a family is not intended to be helped by these type of accounts.

“But under current rules, some wealthy individuals are able to accumulate many millions of dollars in these accounts, substantially more than is needed to fund reasonable levels of retirement saving,” the budget continues, without explaining who exactly a “wealthy individual” would be, or how a “wealthy individual” would differs from a “wealthy family.”

“The Budget would limit an individual’s total balance across tax-preferred accounts to an amount sufficient to finance an annuity of not more than $205,000 per year in retirement, or about $3 million for someone retiring in 2013,” says the budget.

The budget says that if this part of Obama’s plan is enacted, the Treasury will tax away about $9 billion from American savers over the next ten years.

California Bill Could Shut Down Small Restaurants

(Breitbart) -The State of California has one of the worst proposals of any legislature in the country this year with a new bill that would force every restaurant and food service business in the state to commission an expensive “risk assessment” test for every menu item.

Such a test could cost thousands of dollars for every food item sold. This outrageous and cost prohibitive testing would certainly cause all but the biggest chain restaurants to go out of business almost instantly.

In another exercise in nanny-statism, California’s State Senate Democrats want this “risk assessment” conducted to determine whether food being sold “contributes significantly to a significant public health epidemic.”

The bill, Senate Bill 747, is an addition to the current health and safety codes and is currently set for a hearing on April 17. It was written and introduced by Sen. Mark DeSauliner (D, Concord).

The introduction of the bill clearly says that the law would require the food service companies to pay the state for the testing in order to fill state coffers. It notes that without the assessment, the state would have the right to shut an offending restaurant down.

This bill, known as the Public Health Epidemic Protection Act of 2013, would require the department, for every product intended for consumer consumption for which it has credible evidence that the product significantly contributes to a significant public epidemic, to conduct a risk assessment evaluation to determine whether the product contributes significantly to a significant public health epidemic, as defined, and whether the adverse public health risk would have a fiscal impact on the state of $50,000,000 or more. The bill would authorize the department to charge the manufacturer of the product for the reasonable costs of producing the risk assessment and would create the Public Health Fund, to be used by the department, upon appropriation by the Legislature, to fund the program. If the department determines that the criteria are met, the bill would require the manufacturer to create, for approval of the department, a public health impact report (PHIR) containing specified information, including a list of adverse public health impacts and a mitigation plan for those impacts. The bill would authorize the department to enforce the PHIR and would authorize the department to restrict or suspend sales of the product in the state if the PHIR is insufficient or if the manufacturer is not complying with the terms of the PHIR.

As California politics watchdog Stephen Frank points out, “Pass this and hundreds of thousands of Californians are out of work on Day One–and tens of thousands of Californians have lost their investments and businesses.”

But there are other, perhaps unintended, consequences in the offing here. This law would benefit large, multi-million dollar national chain restaurants in as much as it would eliminate their competition at a local level. Mom and Pop restaurants, small local chains, and one-location restaurants could never afford to have expensive tests done for every food item they sell. The big chains, however, have a whole country of locations and customers upon which to spread the costs of this “risk assessment.”

The big chains could afford the cost of these tests, but small restaurants would just have to close their doors before the state’s inspectors do it for them.

Further, this requirement would tend to limit menu options at restaurants, as those that could not afford the tests would cut menu choices down in order to keep testing costs lower. Additionally, menus wouldn’t change very often to avoid constant costly state testing requirements. This would prevent restaurants from trying new menu items to appeal to the changing tastes of customers.

And this is not to even mention that the expense of eating out would go up as restaurants pass on the costs of these expensive tests to customers.

Interestingly, the bill’s sponsor, Sen. DeSauliner, is a party jumper; until the year 2000, he was a Republican. DeSauliner is also a big opponent of the Second Amendment and is supported by the anti-gun advocacy group the Brady Campaign to Prevent Gun Violence.

BitCoin Down 50% In Massive Sell Off: Over $1 Billion Vaporized In a Few Hours

Just a few months ago the total net worth of all Bitcoins, a popular encrypted digital currency, was worth about $140 million. The non-tangible exchange mechanism is used by people all over the world to purchase everything from traditional goods and services, to illicit trade that may include drugs and stolen credit card numbers. The coins became a go-to digital store of wealth around the world after the meltdown of the Cypriot financial system, and was pushed as a ‘safe’ way to preserve wealth out of view prying government eyes. All of the excitement surrounding Bitcoin has driven the price of a single unit to in excess of $250, giving the total Bitcoins in global circulation a market capitalization of over $2.5 Billion in just a few months time.

Earlier this morning, Mike Adams of Natural News penned a warning to investors and those seeking privacy and wealth protection by utilizing the digitally encrypted BitCoin currency unit:

Bitcoin has become a casino. It is almost a perfect reflection of the tulip bulb mania of 1637 in these two ways: 1) Most people buying bitcoins have no use for bitcoins (just like tulip bulbs), and 2) The rapid increase in bitcoin valuations cannot be substantiated in any way that reflects reality.

In other words, there is no fundamental reason why bitcoins should be 2000% more valuable today than four months ago. Nothing has changed other than the craze / mania of people buying in.

When bitcoins were in the sub-$20 range, I was not concerned about any of this. I actually encouraged people to buy bitcoins and support the bitcoin movement. But alarm bells went off in my mind when it skyrocketed past $150 and headed to $200+ virtually overnight. These are not the signs of rational markets. These are warning signs of bad things yet to occur. (Via Infowars)

A few hours after Adams’ dire warning was posted, the crash he warned about has become a reality.

This morning, without warning, and moments after Bitcoin achieved its all time highs, the currency collapsed over 50%, essentially vaporizing upwards of one billion dollars in value.

This is what panic selling looks like – in real time:

Bitcoin-Collapse(Chart Courtesy Bitcoinbullbear.com)

And given that there are no protective mechanisms for the alternative free market Bitcoin trade, the crash may not yet be over.

Will it stage an amazing recovery? Alas, for this particular bubble, there are no NYSE circuit breakers nor is there a Federal Reserve-mandated “plunge protection team.” And why should there be? The central banks hate all currency alternatives. Firehats: on, especially since the volume is still relatively lite. (Zero Hedge)

The momentum for Bitcoin has now turned to the downside, much like it did in previous crashes where the currency achieved new highs, and was promptly sold off by those who bought into the bubble early at rock-bottom prices.

While BitCoin may be a preferred method of keeping payments for services and products private through its crypto-mechanisms, it is still a non-tangible asset and it require brokers and the internet to function properly.

Touted as a safe haven store of wealth and a “gold standard of the internet age” by Forbes, tens of thousands of investors bought into the hype.

Today they are paying the price.

During times of financial and economic stability BitCoin may function just fine as a suitable mechanism of exchange. But these are not ordinary times. Interesting, yes. Stable, no. And thus, exchanging one’s assets and turning them into digital Bitcoins may not be the best choice of asset protection during periods of financial, economic and political turmoil and uncertainty.

Only physical assets – the kind we can hold in our hand – can truly be called safe havens.

Food in your pantry that you can consume at anytime.

Skills and labor you can barter for other goods.

Precious metals, which have stood the test of time over thousands of years.

Land on which you can produce food and alternative power.

These are the assets that provide a realistic level of safety and security.

These are money when the system crashes and confidence in the paper ponzi schemes around the world is lost.

Bitcoin is fine for certain types of transactions. But having funds in Bitcoin is, obviously, no different than a deposit account at a bank which can go under or a stock marketprone to manipulation.

Get physical. It’s the only way to ensure your assets will really be there when you need them.

 

 

http://www.shtfplan.com/headline-news/bitcrash-down-50-in-massive-sell-off-over-1-billion-vaporized-in-a-few-hours_04102013

Big Banks Attempt Secret Coup Against Cheap Loans

Too Big Banks Try End Run to Kill Growing Public Banking Movement

The Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) is an international treaty negotiated in secret – hidden even from congressmen who oversee such treaties – which threatens to destroy national sovereignty.

Public banks – such as the Bank of North Dakota – can provide low-cost loans to Main Street, when Wall Street insists on high interest rates … or won’t even extend credit.

More and more states are considering launching their own public banks.

A 2011 study from Demos – a non-partisan public policy organization – in conjunction with the Center for State Innovation, analyzed the potential for “partnership banks” across the country, including numerous states already considering such legislation.   The study found:

Across the country, states are considering proposals to move general revenue deposits out of the Wall Street banks that dominate the banking business today, and use them to capitalize a new local public structure with a mission to grow the local economy. A “Main Street Partnership Bank” would be modeled on the nearly 100-year-old public Bank of North Dakota (BND). This public policy innovation—also known as a Public Bank or State Bank—could contribute to the health of local community banks, state budgets and small business job growth in an era of rapid banking concentration, budget deficits and disinvestment on Main Street.

Partnership Banks can raise revenue for states without raising taxes, and increase loans to small businesses precisely when Wall Street banks have cut back on lending and raised public borrowing costs. A Partnership Bank would act as a “banker’s bank” to in-state community banks and provide the state government with both banking services at fair terms and an annual multi-million dollar dividend.

If modeled on the successful Bank of North Dakota, Partnership Banks in other states would:

  • Create new jobs and spur economic growth. Partnership Banks are participation lenders, meaning they partner—never compete—with local banks to drive lending through local banks to small businesses. If Washington State had a fully-operational Partnership Bank capitalized at $100 million during the Great Recession, it would have supported $2.6 billion in new lending and helped to create 8,212 new small business jobs. A proposed Oregon bank could help community banks expand lending by $1.3 billion and help small business create 5,391 new Oregon jobs in its first three to five years. All of this would be accom- plished at a profit, which Partnership Banks should share with the state.
  • Generate new revenues for states directly, through annual bank dividend payments, and indirectly by creating jobs and spurring local economic growth…
  • Lower debt costs for local governments. Like the Bank of North Dakota, Partnership Banks can get access to low-cost funds from the regional Federal Home Loan Banks. The banks can pass savings on to local governments when they buy debt for infrastructure investments. The banks can also provide Letters of Credit for tax-exempt bonds at lower interest rates.
  • Strengthen local banks even out credit cycles, and preserve real competition in local credit markets. There have been no bank failures in North Dakota during the financial crisis. BND’s charter is clear that its goal is to “be helpful to and to assist in the development of [North Dakota banks]… and not, in any manner, to destroy or to be harmful to existing financial institutions.” By purchasing local bank stock, partnering with them on large loans and providing other sup- port, Partnership Banks would strengthen small banks in an era when federal policy encourages bank consolidation.
  • Build up small businesses. Surveys by the Main Street Alliance in Oregon and Washington show at least 75 percent support among small business owners. In markets increasingly dominated by large corporations and the banks that fund them, Partnership Banks would increase lending capabilities at the smaller banks that provide the majority of small business loans in America.

These various proposals would “move general revenue deposits out of the Wall Street banks that dominate the banking business today, and use them to capitalize a new local public structure with a mission to grow the local economy.”

This would obviously cut into the big banks’ profits.  Indeed, the big banks have engaged in mafia-style big-rigging fraud against local governments (see thisthis and this), scalped local governments by manipulating interest rates, and engaged in all sorts of other shenanigans to fleece governments, businesses and citizens.

And the big banks are using dirty tricks to try to kill the growing public banking movement, so as to protect their racket.

Les Leopold writes:

Clearly, from Wall Street’s perspective, the North Dakota bank must go, and all other state efforts to replicate it must be thwarted. Wall Street’s stealth weapon may be lodged within the latest corporate trade agreement called the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP), which currently is being negotiated in secret. We already know that Wall Street is seeking to remove all tariff restrictions that prevent the U.S. financial services industry from doing business in countries like Brunei, Chile, Malaysia, Mexico, New Zealand, Peru, Singapore and Vietnam. The biggest banks also want the treaty to eliminate “non-tariff” barriers including regulations that create “unfair” competition with state-owned financial enterprises.

Depending on the final language, it is possible that the activities of the Bank of North Dakota could be ruled illegal because “foreign bankers could claim the BND stops them from lending to commercial banks throughout the state” ….  How perfect for Wall Street: a foreign bank can be used as a shill to knock out the BND.

Truthout explains:

Legislators around the world are being kept in the dark about what they’re voting on until the deal [on TPP] is hammered out; it’s expected to be completed this year. When it’s finished, if the experience of Congress here is any indication, legislators will be feeling extraordinary pressure from corporate lobbyists and their heads of state to accept the deal without a fuss. [Indeed, lawmakers often vote on legislation without ever reading it.]

***

Publicly owned enterprises, for example, are being targeted by negotiators. One such entity in the United States that has been the subject of considerable interest in recent years is the Bank of North Dakota (BND) – the only fully publicly owned financial institution in the country. The BND, which is only allowed to lend wholesale, was a stabilizing force that helped keep the already energy-rich state insulated from the shock of the financial crisis (Alaska, for example, didn’t fare as well). It has also brought a small fortune to the state’s treasury – $340 million in net tax gain between 1997 and 2009. Legislators in at least 13 different states have proposed studying or emulating the North Dakota model – state-owned development of central-bank style institutions guaranteed by tax revenue. But if the TPP is passed, that option might not be available. [Barbara Weisel, the top American government  negotiator for TPP] said that State Owned Enterprises (SOE) are routinely “competing directly with private enterprises, and often in a way that is considered unfair.”

Some of the advantages that can be conferred on State Owned Enterprises are things like preferential financing,” Weisel said. “Those are things that wouldn’t be provided to private companies – preferential provision of goods and services provided by a government.”

She said that “State Owned Enterprises – which in some cases can comprise a significant percentage of an economy – can be used to undermine what we’re otherwise trying to gain from this free trade agreement.”

A spokesperson for the BND declined to comment on whether or not this outlook was perceived by the bank to be an institutional threat. But, depending on the report’s language, foreign bankers could claim that the BND stops them from lending to commercial banks throughout the state.

Citigroup’s Johnston [Rick Johnston is a a senior vice president and director for international government affairs at Citigroup], in response to another question from the audience, said that corporations weren’t exactly enamored of competition with publicly owned enterprises – and that they are prodding TPP delegates into doing something about it.

“The companies that are running up against the problem and the challenges of the state-owned enterprises, they obviously feel strongly enough about it that the problem is being addressed within the negotiations,” he said.

***

There can be no guarantee, until the draft is finally released, that the TPP will protect entities like the BND, especially when considering, as critics have contended, that the deal’s boosters are pushing an agreement that more firmly entrenches capital flow as a form of trade.

“When you hear the word ‘trade‘ in today’s business world, it doesn’t just mean goods moving across borders,” Johnston said. “It doesn’t even mean just services moving across borders. It also means investment. And that’s something where the TPP is really gonna make a big difference.”

Trade, according to Black’s Law dictionary, is defined as “Traffic; commerceexchangeof goods for other goods, or for money.” Yet this trade pact could usher in a rash of reforms, with minimal oversight and virtually no public hearings, treating investment rules as a trade issue, even though they haven’t traditionally been dealt with as such.

A lobbyist’s world-view on this issue is instructive.  As Michael Wendell told the Congressional Subcommittee on Trade:

SOEs [state-owned enterprises], by definition, are interested in promoting the interests of their home country, and are all too often guided by state interests, rather than commercial interests.

Why does this matter? Let’s consider a Chinese SOE. Chinese SOEs benefit enormously from below-market-rate financing by state-owned banks at rates well below what American companies pay. Many of these loans may not have to be repaid at all. How does a commercial entity here in the U.S. compete with the U.S.-based operations of an SOE that sets up shop here?

***

There are many ways that disciplines on SOEs can be developed as part of the TPP talks. The best approach would be to ensure that all transactions are based on commercial considerations.

Basing all transactions on “commercial considerations” may sound okay initially.  But that would – in essence – mean that the interests of the banks in making high-interest rate loans are more important than the interests of the people in obtaining cheap loans.

Moreover, America as a nation is arguably paying trillions of dollars to the big banks in unnecessary interest costs which public banks would render moot. See this and this.

And  remember, the Founding Fathers’ vision of prosperity was largely based around public banking.

However we decide to treat foreign state-owned enterprises, banks owned by the American people will help to create prosperity for we the people and our small businesses.

Indeed, both conservative and liberal economists point out that the big banks are already state-sponsored institutions … so the government should create a little competition through public banking.

State-owned public banks – like North Dakota has – would take the power away from the big banks, andgive it back to the people … as the Founding Fathers intended.

Don’t trust the federal government? That’s fine … we’re not talking about state – not federal – banks. Don’t trust your state?  Then support a county-level bank.

Postscript:  Obama is a shill for TPP.  So is Treasury Secretary Jack Lew, who told the Senate:

As Deputy Secretary of the State Department, I actively promoted the United States’ entry into the Trans-Pacific Partnership negotiations.

Arizona passes law making gold and silver legal tender

 

(DailyMail) -States are now rushing to push bills through allowing for gold and silver to be recognized as legal tender as politicians fear that the U.S. economy is going to collapse.

The push from states like Arizona, which passed through their House of Representatives on Monday allowing gold and silver to be considered legal tender, comes as conservatives fear that the Federal Reserve is running the country’s economy into a deep hole.

Lawmakers say the global economy is on the precipice of financial ruin and the U.S. dollar could soon be worth less than the paper used to make it.

New money: More than a dozen states have pushed laws through so that gold and silver can be used as legal tenderNew money: More than a dozen states have pushed laws through so that gold and silver can be used as legal tender

These doomsayers are pushing forward legislation that would declare privately minted gold and silver coins legal tender, no different under state law than the U.S. dollar printed by the federal Department of Treasury.

Arizona is one of more than a dozen states to incorporate similar laws into their roster, as many conservatives are harboring a growing distrust in government-backed money.

‘This is the type of currency we have had over the history of mankind,’ Republican state Representative Steve Smith said of the Arizona law.

In 2011, Utah became the first state in the country to legalize gold and silver coins as currency.

Lawmakers in Minnesota, North Carolina, Idaho, South Carolina, Colorado and other states have debated similar laws in recent years.

Many investors have invested their money in precious metals in recent years as a hedge against the declining value of the dollar.

Loss of faith: Conservative politicians are concerned about the economic policies put into place by Ben Bernanke during his time as the chairman of the federal reserveLoss of faith: Conservative politicians are concerned about the economic policies put into place by Ben Bernanke during his time as the chairman of the federal reserve

When the value of the dollar declines, gold prices rise.

Gold rose $12, nearly 1 per cent, to $1,604.60 per ounce on Monday with news of Europe’s bailout plan for cash-strapped Cyprus. Silver inched slightly higher, up 2.3 cents to $28.874 per ounce.

The dollar was up against the euro, the currency used by 17 European countries, as well as the Japanese yen and the Canadian dollar in February.

The Arizona bill, which advanced in a 4-2 vote by a House committee Monday, states that gold and silver should be legal currency not subject to tax or regulation as property.

The Republican-led Senate gave the bill its blessing in February in a 17-11 partisan vote.

Angry Arizonans: The Arizona House of Representatives passed the law through and now it continues through the process before it goes ahead an is enacted in the stateAngry Arizonans: The Arizona House of Representatives passed the law through and now it continues through the process before it goes ahead an is enacted in the state

Proponents of the switch to gold and silver argue paper money is too vulnerable to government manipulations.

When central banks boost the amount of currency in circulation to drive down interest rates, the value of that currency relative to others can decline.

Gold-backed money fell out of favor during World War I because the U.S. and many other countries needed to print more cash to pay for the war.

In 1971, President Richard Nixon formally abandoned the gold standard. Now Republicans are pushing for it to come back as they do not trust President Obama and the economic policies put into place by Ben Bernanke during his time as the chairman of the federal reserve.

Obama to propose $580 billion in new taxes

U.S. President Barack Obama delivers remarks on measures to reduce gun violence, at the University of Hartford in Connecticut April 8, 2013. REUTERS/Jason Reed

 

(Reuters) – President Barack Obama on Wednesday will issue a greatest hits list of ideas to raise $580 billion in new tax revenues over a decade, including a minimum tax on the wealthy and putting an end to some corporate tax breaks, administration officials said.

The president’s 2014 budget proposal, expected to be released in full later on Wednesday, has no chance of moving forward in the divided U.S. Congress. But as lawmakers consider a revamp of the tax code and face a deadline on the government’s debt limit this summer, some Obama measures could play a role.

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The bid will revive Obama’s offer last year to Republican House of Representatives Speaker John Boehner during the negotiations to avoid the so-called fiscal cliff of looming tax hikes and spending cuts.

Senior administration official previewed the budget on condition of anonymity to reporters ahead of the release.

Obama will officially propose a new “Buffett tax” named for investor Warren Buffett that phases in a minimum 30 percent tax rate on household income above $1 million, the advisors said.

He had earlier backed the idea but not included it in his budget proposals.

The White House also will bring back a long-running proposal to cap itemized deductions and exemptions among wealthier taxpayers – starting at household income of roughly $250,000.

The cap would apply to the same list of deductions in years past, officials said. That includes the charitable tax break and the exemption for municipal bond interest.

Obama is not seeking to raise individual tax rates as he has in prior budgets, according to a White House document. For years, he sought to raise rates on household income above $250,000.

The fiscal cliff deal raised rates for households earning more than $450,000 a year, from 35 percent to 39.6 percent.

Also in the budget is ending the tax break for “carried interest” profits earned by fund managers like those who run private equity and other investment firms, officials said.

Administration officials also said to expect the White House to pitch familiar ideas to limit energy tax breaks, curb tax shifting to low-tax countries like the Cayman Islands, and a bid to end a tax break for corporate jets.

Obama proposes cutting the top U.S. corporate tax rate to 28 percent from 35 percent, now the highest in the industrialized world.

Obama has said that he backs a full-scale revamp of the entire tax code, both individual and corporate, and a White House summary called the budget proposals a “down payment.”

Top tax-writers in Congress also back a tax rewrite, but the process is fraught with disagreement over how to streamline the code and whether to raise new revenue in the process.

The Tunnel People That Live Under The Streets Of America

The Tunnel People That Live Under The Streets Of America - Photo by Claude Le Berre

Did you know that there are thousands upon thousands of homeless people that are living underground beneath the streets of major U.S. cities?  It is happening in Las Vegas, it is happening in New York City and it is even happening in Kansas City.  As the economy crumbles, poverty in the United States is absolutely exploding and so is homelessness.  In addition to the thousands of “tunnel people” living under the streets of America, there are also thousands that are living in tent cities, there are tens of thousands that are living in their vehicles and there are more than a million public school children that do not have a home to go back to at night.  The federal government tells us that the recession “is over” and that “things are getting better”, and yet poverty and homelessness in this country continue to rise with no end in sight.  So what in the world are things going to look like when the next economic crisis hits?

When I heard that there were homeless people living in a network of underground tunnels beneath the streets of Kansas City, I was absolutely stunned.  I have relatives that live in that area.  I never thought of Kansas City as one of the more troubled cities in the United States.

But according to the Daily Mail, police recently discovered a huge network of tunnels under the city that people had been living in…

Below the streets of Kansas City, there are deep underground tunnels where a group of vagrant homeless people lived in camps.

These so-called homeless camps have now been uncovered by the Kansas City Police, who then evicted the residents because of the unsafe environment.

Authorities said these people were living in squalor, with piles of garbage and dirty diapers left around wooded areas.

The saddest part is the fact that authorities found dirty diapers in the areas near these tunnels.  That must mean that babies were being raised in that kind of an environment.

Unfortunately, this kind of thing is happening all over the nation.  In recent years, the tunnel people of Las Vegas have received quite a bit of publicity all over the world.  It has been estimated that more than 1,000 people live in the massive network of flood tunnels under the city…

Deep beneath Vegas’s glittering lights lies a sinister labyrinth inhabited by poisonous spiders and a man nicknamed The Troll who wields an iron bar.

But astonishingly, the 200 miles of flood tunnels are also home to 1,000 people who eke out a living in the strip’s dark underbelly.

Some, like Steven and his girlfriend Kathryn, have furnished their home with considerable care – their 400sq ft ‘bungalow’ boasts a double bed, a wardrobe and even a bookshelf.

Could you imagine living like that?  Sadly, for an increasing number of Americans a “normal lifestyle” is no longer an option.  Either they have to go to the homeless shelters or they have to try to eke out an existence on their own any way that they can.

In New York City, authorities are constantly trying to root out the people that live in the tunnels under the city and yet they never seem to be able to find them all.  The following is from a New York Post article about the “Mole People” that live underneath New York City…

The homeless people who live down here are called Mole People. They do not, as many believe, exist in a separate, organized underground society. It’s more of a solitary existence and loose-knit community of secretive, hard-luck individuals.

The New York Post followed one homeless man known as “John Travolta” on a tour through the underground world.  What they discovered was a world that is very much different from what most New Yorkers experience…

In the tunnels, their world is one of malt liquor, tight spaces, schizophrenic neighbors, hunger and spells of heat and cold. Travolta and the others eat fairly well, living on a regimented schedule of restaurant leftovers, dumped each night at different times around the neighborhood above his foreboding home.

Even as the Dow hits record high after record high, poverty in New York City continues to rise at a very frightening pace.  Incredibly, the number of homeless people sleeping in the homeless shelters of New York City has increased by a whopping 19 percent over the past year.

In many of our major cities, the homeless shelters are already at maximum capacity and are absolutely packed night after night.  Large numbers of homeless people are often left to fend for themselves.

That is one reason why we have seen the rise of so many tent cities.

Yes, the tent cities are still there, they just aren’t getting as much attention these days because they do not fit in with the “economic recovery” narrative that the mainstream media is currently pushing.

In fact, many of the tent cities are larger than ever.  For example, you can check out a Reuters video about a growing tent city in New Jersey that was posted on YouTube at the end of March right here.  A lot of these tent cities have now become permanent fixtures, and unfortunately they will probably become much larger when the next major economic crisis strikes.

But perhaps the saddest part of all of this is the massive number of children that are suffering night after night.

For the first time ever, more than a million public school children in the United States are homeless.  That number has risen by 57 percentsince the 2006-2007 school year.

So if things are really “getting better”, then why in the world do we have more than a million public school children without homes?

These days a lot of families that have lost their homes have ended up living in their vehicles.  The following is an excerpt from a 60 Minutes interview with one family that is living in their truck…

This is the home of the Metzger family. Arielle,15. Her brother Austin, 13. Their mother died when they were very young. Their dad, Tom, is a carpenter. And, he’s been looking for work ever since Florida’s construction industry collapsed. When foreclosure took their house, he bought the truck on Craigslist with his last thousand dollars. Tom’s a little camera shy – thought we ought to talk to the kids – and it didn’t take long to see why.

Pelley: How long have you been living in this truck?

Arielle Metzger: About five months.

Pelley: What’s that like?

Arielle Metzger: It’s an adventure.

Austin Metzger: That’s how we see it.

Pelley: When kids at school ask you where you live, what do you tell ‘em?

Austin Metzger: When they see the truck they ask me if I live in it, and when I hesitate they kinda realize. And they say they won’t tell anybody.

Arielle Metzger: Yeah it’s not really that much an embarrassment. I mean, it’s only life. You do what you need to do, right?

But after watching a news report or reading something on the Internet about these people we rapidly forget about them because they are not a part of “our world”.

Another place where a lot of poor people end up is in prison.  In a previous article, I detailed how the prison population in the United States has been booming in recent years.  If you can believe it, the United States now has approximately 25 percent of the entire global prison population even though it only has about 5 percent of the total global population.

And these days it is not just violent criminals that get thrown into prison.  If you lose your job and get behind on your bills, you could be thrown into prison as well.  The following is from a recent CBS News article

Roughly a third of U.S. states today jail people for not paying off their debts, from court-related fines and fees to credit card and car loans, according to the American Civil Liberties Union. Such practices contravene a 1983 United States Supreme Court ruling that they violate the Constitutions’s Equal Protection Clause.

Some states apply “poverty penalties,” such as late fees, payment plan fees and interest, when people are unable to pay all their debts at once. Alabama charges a 30 percent collection fee, for instance, while Florida allows private debt collectors to add a 40 percent surcharge on the original debt. Some Florida counties also use so-called collection courts, where debtors can be jailed but have no right to a public defender. In North Carolina, people are charged for using a public defender, so poor defendants who can’t afford such costs may be forced to forgo legal counsel.

The high rates of unemployment and government fiscal shortfalls that followed the housing crash have increased the use of debtors’ prisons, as states look for ways to replenish their coffers. Said Chettiar, “It’s like drawing blood from a stone. States are trying to increase their revenue on the backs of the poor.”

If you are poor, the United States can be an incredibly cold and cruel place.  Mercy and compassion are in very short supply.

The middle class continues to shrink and poverty continues to grow with each passing year.  According to the U.S. Census Bureau, approximately one out of every six Americans is now living in poverty.  And if you throw in those that are considered to be “near poverty”, that number becomes much larger.  According to the U.S. Census Bureau, more than 146 million Americans are either “poor” or “low income”.

For many more facts about the rapid increase of poverty in this country, please see my previous article entitled “21 Statistics About The Explosive Growth Of Poverty In America That Everyone Should Know“.

But even as poverty grows, it seems like the hearts of those that still do have money are getting colder.  Just check out what happened recently at a grocery store that was in the process of closing down in Augusta, Georgia

Residents filled the parking lot with bags and baskets hoping to get some of the baby food, canned goods, noodles and other non-perishables. But a local church never came to pick up the food, as the storeowner prior to the eviction said they had arranged. By the time the people showed up for the food, what was left inside the premises—as with any eviction—came into the ownership of the property holder, SunTrust Bank.

The bank ordered the food to be loaded into dumpsters and hauled to a landfill instead of distributed. The people that gathered had to be restrained by police as they saw perfectly good food destroyed. Local Sheriff Richard Roundtree told the news “a potential for a riot was extremely high.”

Can you imagine watching that happen?

But of course handouts and charity are only temporary solutions.  What the poor in this country really need are jobs, and unfortunately there has not been a jobs recovery in the United States since the recession ended.

In fact, the employment crisis looks like it is starting to take another turn for the worse.  The number of layoffs in the month of March was 30 percent higher than the same time a year ago.

Meanwhile, small businesses are indicating that hiring is about to slow down significantly.  According to a recent survey by the National Federation of Independent Businesses, small businesses in the United States are extremely pessimistic right now.  The following is what Goldman Sachs had to say about this survey…

Components of the survey were consistent with the decline in headline optimism, as the net percent of respondents planning to hire fell to 0% (from +4%), those expecting higher sales fell to -4% (from +1%), and those reporting that it is a good time to expand ticked down to +4% (from +5%). The net percent of respondents expecting the economy to improve was unchanged at -28%, a very depressed level. However, on the positive side, +25% of respondents plan increased capital spending [ZH: With Alcoa CapEx spending at a 2 year low]. Small business owners continue to place poor sales, taxes, and red tape at the top of their list of business problems, as they have for the past several years.

So why aren’t our politicians doing anything to fix this?

For example, why in the world don’t they stop millions of our jobs from being sent out of the country?

Well, the truth is that they don’t think we have a problem.  In fact, U.S. Senator Ron Johnson recently said that U.S. trade deficits “don’t matter”.

He apparently does not seem alarmed that more than 56,000 manufacturing facilities have been shut down in the United States since 2001.

And since the last election, the White House has seemed to have gone into permanent party mode.

On Tuesday, another extravagant party will be held at the White House.  It is being called “In Performance at the White House: Memphis Soul”, and it is going to include some of the biggest names in the music industry…

As the White House has previously announced, Justin Timberlake (who will be making his White House debut), Al Green, Ben Harper, Queen Latifah, Cyndi Lauper, Joshua Ledet, Sam Moore, Charlie Musselwhite, Mavis Staples, and others will be performing at the exclusive event.

And so who will be paying for all of this?

You and I will be.  Even as the Obamas cry about all of the other “spending cuts” that are happening, they continue to blow millions of taxpayer dollars on wildly extravagant parties and vacations.

Overall, U.S. taxpayers will spend well over a billion dollars on the Obamas this year.

I wonder what the tunnel people that live under the streets of America think about that.

Living Underground - Photo by Patrick Cashin
Read more at http://investmentwatchblog.com/the-tunnel-people-that-live-under-the-streets-of-america/#y0LM9Kvua2B11raq.99

IRS to Reduce Audits of Big Businesses by 18%

The Transactional Records Access Clearinghouse at Syracuse University has released a report, IRS Audits Slump, Staff Down Long-term Impact Uncertain:

The IRS plans to expend 18% percent less effort auditing businesses with assets of $10 million or more compared with just two years ago, according to a very timely IRS planning document.

For the same period, the IRS also projects a 14% drop in the amount of available time for the specialized revenue agents it needs to conduct these audits in FY 2013 — the year ending on September 30 — compared to what it was in FY 2011.

These declines — neither of which take into account the probable impact of the sequestration cuts in the months ahead — were described in a special agency report now being made available to the Transactional Records Access Clearinghouse (TRAC) on a monthly basis. This series of internal IRS management reports — the last one covers the period ending in January 2013 — are provided by the IRS thanks to a court order granted TRAC as a result of a suit filed under the Freedom of Information Act.

IRS Large Business and International Division Direct Examination Staff Years

FY 2011
FY 2012
FY 2013
Change 2013 v. 2011
Annual Plan
Total 3,567 3,320 2,935 -18%
Individual 189 173 306 62%
Corporations 1,103 1,043 807 -27%
Partnership 191 196 159 -17%
Subchapter S Corp 184 180 115 -37%
Coordinated Industry Cases 1,083 1,081 1,011 -7%
Other 816 647 537 -34%
Actual Revenue Agent Years
Total 3,319 3,155 2,852 -14%
Individual 258 214 283 9%
Corporations 864 912 762 -12%
Partnership 211 215 179 -15%
Subchapter S Corp 185 225 205 11%
Coordinated Industry Cases 1,011 952 865 -14%
Other 790 637 559 -29%

April 9, 2013 in TaxThink Tank Reports | Permalink

MD Residents to Pay New “Rain Tax” For Rain That Falls on Their Property

RainYesterday we reported that Wesley Snipes was finally released from prisonafter serving a 3 year sentence for refusing to pay the government extortion racket known as “taxation”.  If you had a difficult time seeing through the scam of taxation with that story, hopefully this one can show you how taxation is blatant theft and thuggery.

10 Maryland countiesincluding the one that I live in will now be taxing people for how much rain falls on their property.  How much area is paved on their property, and how big their deck is will be primary factors in this new taxation scheme.

According to a local newspaper:

In 2010 the Obama administration’s Environmental Protection Agency ordered Maryland to reduce stormwater runoff into the Chesapeake Bay so that nitrogen levels fall 22 percent and phosphorus falls 15 percent from current amounts. The price tag: $14.8 billion.

And where do we get the $14.8 billion? By taxing so-called “impervious surfaces,” anything that prevents rain water from seeping into the earth (roofs, driveways, patios, sidewalks, etc.) thereby causing stormwater run off. In other words, a rain tax.And who levies this new rain tax? Witness how taxation, like rain, trickles down through the various pervious levels of government until it reaches the impervious level — me and you.

The EPA ordered Maryland to raise the money (an unfunded mandate), Maryland ordered its 10 largest counties to raise the money (another unfunded mandate) and, now, each of those counties is putting a local rain tax in place by July 1. So, if you live in Montgomery, Prince George’s, Howard, Anne Arundel, Carroll, Harford, Charles, Frederick, Baltimore counties or Baltimore city, you’ll be paying a rain tax on your next property tax bill.

The article goes on to explain the government will survey peoples property using drones and satellite imagery.

Daily Finance Explained that:

Homeowners will bear the brunt of the rain tax: of the $14.8 billion to be raised — $482 million each year until 2025 — about three-quarters will come from residential property owners. The rate is expected to start at $100 a year for most homeowners, although that could rise. The only rain tax shelter: credits and exemptions for property owners who follow stormwater “best practices.”  How the money will be spent is another murky situation.

As i reported last week, while the government uses the EPA to tax drivers and regulate how people are landscaping in their back yards, that same government has uncontrollable biological weapons sitting all over the country like toxic time bombs.

Most specifically, the area in question, the Chesapeake bay is terribly polluted with toxic chemical, biological and radioactive waste that was released from the Lockheed Martin facility in Middle River MD, and the Aberdeen Proving Grounds military base in Aberdeen MD, since around the time of World War 2.  Both of these facilities have unleashed a stew of toxic waste into rivers that lead directly into the bay, even going as far as storing radio active waste under the seabed for decades.  I will be doing a full series of reports on these toxic waste sites in the coming weeks and months, stay tuned to intellihub.com for more information.

 

Intellihub.com

SENATOR: “Banks Still Owe Us For The Bailouts!”

(Daily Bail) “Hank Paulson is the world’s greatest salesman.  We gave $700 billion to Wall Street and nobody cares.”

Outstanding new interview.  Inhofe beats on Henry Paulson.

Luke Rudkowski of We Are Change interviews Senator James Inhofe about his opposition to TARP and martial law threats he received from Henry Paulson.

Not stopping TARP was my biggest failure.

“Think about how big it was — $700 billion given to an unelected bureaucrat, with no accountability, to do anything he wanted with it.  Can this happen?  It did.”