Saturday, October 16, 2010

The American Middle Class PAYING FOR the Ever Expanding Mex Welfare State

Is the American middle class dying fast, or are we killing it fast in direct proportion to the ever expanding JOBS AND WELFARE TO ILLEGALS FIRST policy?

US middle class is dying fast!

The following are 27 signs that the standard of living for America's middle class is dropping like a rock....

#1 Household spending for the middle fifth of all U.S. income earners was down 3.5% in 2009. That was the steepest one year decline since records began being kept back in 1984.

#2 Median household income in the United States fell from $51,726 in 2008 to $50,221 in 2009.

#3 According to one new report, in 2009 residents of New York state experienced their first full-year decline in income in more than 70 years.

#4 Of the 52 largest metro areas in the United States, only the city of San Antonio did not see a decline in median household income in 2009.

#5 Home ownership in the United States declined for the third year in a row in 2009.

#6 In 2009, approximately 4 million Americans fell out of the middle class and now live below the federal poverty line.

#7 The number of Americans enrolled in the food stamp program has set a new all-time record for 20 consecutive months.

#8 In July (the last month for which data is available), 41.8 million Americans were on food stamps.

#9 The number of Americans in the food stamp program skyrocketed more than 55 percent between December 2007 and July 2010.

#10 In 2009, more than 48 million Americans were enrolled in the Medicaid program.

#11 One out of every six Americans is now enrolled in at least one anti-poverty program run by the U.S. government.

#12 According to one recent study, approximately 21 percent of all children in the United States are living below the poverty line in 2010.

#13 According to the Cato Institute, anti-poverty spending by the U.S. government has increased 89 percent over the past decade.

#14 The cost of health care increased a staggering 9.6% for all U.S. households from 2007 to 2009.

#15 It turns out that only the top 5 percent of all U.S. households have earned enough additional income to match the rise in housing costs since 1975.

#16 35 percent of all U.S. households now live on $35,000 or less.

#17 New York state Comptroller Thomas DiNapoli says that Wall Street bonuses for 2009 were up 17 percent when compared with 2008.

#18 According to a poll taken in 2009, 61 percent of Americans "always or usually" live paycheck to paycheck. That was up substantially from 49 percent in 2008 and 43 percent in 2007.

#19 Today, 28% of all American households have at least one member that is searching for a full-time job.

#20 Nearly 10 million Americans now receive unemployment insurance, which is almost four times as many that were receiving it back in 2007.

#21 A recent Pew Research survey found that 55 percent of the U.S. labor force has experienced either unemployment, a pay decrease, a reduction in hours or an involuntary move to part-time work since the recession began.

#22 In 2009, 43.6 million Americans were living in poverty. Sadly, the number of Americans living in poverty has increased for three consecutive years, and the 43.6 million poor Americans in 2009 was the highest number that the U.S. Census Bureau has ever recorded in 51 years of record-keeping.

#23 A staggering 25 percent of all American adults now have a credit score below 599.

#24 It is estimated that nearly a third of all Americans cannot qualify for a mortgage because of low credit scores.

#25 For the first time in U.S. history, banks own a greater share of residential housing net worth in the United States than all American households put together.

#26 Over 1.4 million Americans filed for personal bankruptcy in 2009, which represented a stunning 32 percent increase over 2008.

#27 According to a new report by the U.S. Census Bureau, the bottom fifth of all U.S. income earners brought in just 3.4 percent of all income in 2009 while the top fifth brought in a whopping 49.4 percent of all income.

So is there any hope that things will turn around soon?

No, not really.


The president’s attention is a favor to Senator Harry M. Reid, the Democratic majority leader, who faces a tough re-election battle in Nevada and promised to pursue immigration legislation in an appeal to his state’s growing Hispanic population.



If we keep up the enforcement, we can actually get control of this problem; my own Center for Immigration Studies has estimated that a comprehensive enforcement effort could reduce the illegal-alien population by half in five years. Once we accomplished that, we could then consider what to do about the remaining illegal population.
Debate: Let's Stop Welcoming Undocumented Immigrants

There are two questions to consider when deciding whether to stop welcoming illegal aliens. First, do we even need the flow of labor that illegal immigration represents? And second, whatever immigration policy we do adopt, can it be enforced if we make it easy to live here illegally, as we do now?
The answer to both questions is No.
There is no economic need for foreign labor, legal or illegal. There are an estimated 12 million illegal aliens in the United States, with perhaps 7 million of them in the labor market either working or actively looking for work. But contrary to myths about "jobs Americans won't do," there is no major job category that is dominated by these illegal workers. The Census Bureau groups all jobs in the country into 473 categories, and in 2003-2004, only three small categories had even the tiniest majority of immigrant workers, legal and illegal. The large majority of America's taxi drivers, housekeepers, janitors, dishwashers, landscapers and construction laborers are native-born Americans.
More generally, the supporters of illegal immigration claim that low-skilled labor is a precious resource, like oil, and because we're running out of it at home, we have to import it from abroad. This, too, is false. On the contrary, immigration (legal and illegal) is actually crowding low-skilled Americans out of the labor market altogether. During the first half of this decade, the highest five-year period of immigration in our history, the percentage of working-age, native-born Americans without a high school degree who were in the labor force fell from 59 percent to 56 percent, and for those with only a high school degree, participation in the labor force fell from 78 percent to 75 percent. And American teenagers (aged 15 to 17) took an even bigger hit, seeing their labor force participation fall from 30 percent in 2000 to 24 percent in 2005.
Apart from the specifics of policy, we need to consider how to enforce whatever path we decide on. And here again, welcoming illegal immigrants is a mistake. The key to enforcement of immigration laws is not simply arresting and deporting violators, though that must continue, and even increase. At least as important is making life as an illegal alien as difficult and unattractive as possible, in order to dissuade new illegal settlers and persuade those already here to give up and go back home. The result would be not a magical disappearance of all illegal aliens but rather a reduction in their numbers over time, allowing American businesses  and even the illegals themselves  an opportunity to adjust to the new reality.
We have been pursuing the precise opposite of this strategy for a long time. Our welcome for illegal immigrants has included driver's licenses, in-state tuition subsidies, mortgages, bank accounts and even de facto permission to work on fake or stolen Social Security numbers. It's a wonder we don't have more illegal aliens than we do.

Ending this welcome for illegal immigrants and adopting what's been called a strategy of "attrition through enforcement" is already proving effective. Since the collapse of the Bush amnesty bill in the Senate this June, there has been a modest increase in enforcement efforts at all levels of government, federal, state and local. The results have been striking: USA Today recently reported on "Illegal immigrants moving out," while The New York Times has found that "Fleeing stepped-up sweeps by the American authorities, illegal immigrants to the United States, mostly Mexican, are arriving in growing numbers at the foot of the bridge in this Canadian border town seeking refugee status."
If we keep up the enforcement, we can actually get control of this problem; my own Center for Immigration Studies has estimated that a comprehensive enforcement effort could reduce the illegal-alien population by half in five years. Once we accomplished that, we could then consider what to do about the remaining illegal population.
Contrary to what you read in history textbooks, America is the least xenophobic society in all of human history. Although there is no "need" for additional foreign labor, Americans should, and will, continue to welcome those foreigners who have come to live among us legally. But the welcome we've been extending to illegal immigrants must come to an end if our immigration policy is ever to regain its credibility.
Mark Krikorian is executive director of the Center for Immigration Studies. This opinion piece is part of a live public policy debate series called Intelligence Squared U.S., which is an initiative of The Rosenkranz Foundation. For more information about the debate series live in New York, go to

Steal $11 And Go To Prison For Life! IF YOU'RE A BANKSTER, STEAL $4.7 TRILLION GET A BONUS!

AMERICA… where justice is as squalid as the politicians!

Gov. Haley Barbour of Mississippi has to decide whether to show mercy to two sisters, Jamie and Gladys Scott, who are each serving double consecutive life sentences in state prison for a robbery in which no one was injured and only $11 was taken.


"But $25 million of Mozilo's restitution will come from an escrow fund the company set up to cover shareholder litigation and Mozilo has no obligation to pay the remaining amount, according to the settlement agreement.

The Charlotte, N.C.-based bank, through its Countrywide subsidiary, will pay that $20 million, according to a person familiar with the matter who wasn't authorized to speak publicly and spoke on condition of anonymity"

I don't know about you but this hardly sounds like Angelo Mozilo and his cohorts is being punished at all. He blew this off. He didn't even bother to show up in court for this. I guess he really learned his lesson! What a great deterent that is for future frauders..


Steal $11 and go to prison forever, that is if you’re not an Obama donor bankster!

THE RAPE AND PILLAGE, still on going, OF THE BANKSTERS has cost this nation $4.7 TRILLION. Enough to have paid off half the mortgages in the nation!

AND NOT ONE BANKSTER WENT TO PRISON! In fact, they’re collecting $144 BILLION in bonuses, and making massive profits as usual!

It’s pays to own Obama!
Records show that four out of Obama's top five contributors are employees of financial industry giants - Goldman Sachs ($571,330), UBS AG ($364,806), JPMorgan Chase ($362,207) and Citigroup ($358,054).
“Obama's rhetoric covered the whole financial industry, but the key changes will affect only a few high-profile players, including JPMorgan Chase & Co., while sparing investment banks like Goldman Sachs Group Inc.”
Lou Dobbs Tonight
Thursday, July 9, 2009
And Harvard economics professor JEFFREY MIRON will weigh in on the state of the U.S. economy—and why the only plausible argument for bailing out banks crumbles on close examination.
"There is a populist and conservative revolt against Wall Street and financial elites, Congress and government," Democratic pollster Stanley Greenberg warned in an analysis this week. "Democrats and President Obama are seen as more interested in bailing out Wall Street than helping Main Street."


The Mississippi Pardons
Gov. Haley Barbour of Mississippi has to decide whether to show mercy to two sisters, Jamie and Gladys Scott, who are each serving double consecutive life sentences in state prison for a robbery in which no one was injured and only $11 was taken.
This should be an easy call for a law-and-order governor who has, nevertheless, displayed a willingness to set free individuals convicted of far more serious crimes. Mr. Barbour has already pardoned four killers and suspended the life sentence of a fifth.
The Scott sisters have been in prison for 16 years. Jamie, now 38, is seriously ill. Both of her kidneys have failed. Keeping the two of them locked up any longer is unconscionable, grotesquely inhumane.
The sisters were accused of luring two men to a spot outside the rural town of Forest, Miss., in 1993, where the men were robbed by three teenagers, one of whom had a shotgun. The Scott sisters knew the teens. The evidence of the sisters’ involvement has always been ambiguous, at best. The teenagers pleaded guilty to the crime, served two years in prison and were released. All were obliged by the authorities, as part of their plea deals, to implicate the sisters.
No explanation has ever emerged as to why Jamie and Gladys Scott were treated so severely.
In contrast, Governor Barbour has been quite willing to hand get-out-of-jail-free cards to men who unquestionably committed shockingly brutal crimes. The Jackson Free Press, an alternative weekly, and Slate Magazine have catalogued these interventions by Mr. Barbour. Some Mississippi observers have characterized the governor’s moves as acts of mercy; others have called them dangerous abuses of executive power.
The Mississippi Department of Corrections confirmed Governor Barbour’s role in the five cases, noting that the specific orders were signed July 16, 2008:
• Bobby Hays Clark was pardoned by the governor. He was serving a long sentence for manslaughter and aggravated assault, having shot and killed a former girlfriend and badly beaten her boyfriend.
• Michael David Graham had his life sentence for murder suspended by Governor Barbour. Graham had stalked his ex-wife, Adrienne Klasky, for years before shooting her to death as she waited for a traffic light in downtown Pascagoula.
• Clarence Jones was pardoned by the governor. He had murdered his former girlfriend in 1992, stabbing her 22 times. He had already had his life sentence suspended by a previous governor, Ronnie Musgrove.
• Paul Joseph Warnock was pardoned by Governor Barbour. He was serving life for the murder of his girlfriend in 1989. According to Slate, Warnock shot his girlfriend in the back of the head while she was sleeping.
• William James Kimble was pardoned by Governor Barbour. He was serving life for the murder and robbery of an elderly man in 1991.
Radley Balko, in an article for Slate, noted that none of the five men were given relief because of concerns that they had been unfairly treated by the criminal justice system. There were no questions about their guilt or the fairness of the proceedings against them. But they did have one thing in common. All, as Mr. Balko pointed out, had been enrolled in a special prison program “that had them doing odd jobs around the Mississippi governor’s mansion.”
The idea that those men could be freed from prison and allowed to pursue whatever kind of lives they might wish while the Scott sisters are kept locked up, presumably for the rest of their lives, is beyond disturbing.
Supporters of the Scott sisters, including their attorney, Chokwe Lumumba, and Ben Jealous of the N.A.A.C.P., have asked Governor Barbour to intervene, to use his executive power to free the women from prison.
A spokeswoman for the governor told me he has referred the matter to the state’s parole board. Under Mississippi law, the governor does not have to follow the recommendation of the board. He is free to act on his own. With Jamie Scott seriously ill (her sister and others have offered to donate a kidney for a transplant), the governor should move with dispatch.
The women’s mother, Evelyn Rasco, told The Clarion-Ledger of Jackson, Miss.: “I wish they would just hurry up and let them out. I hope that is where it is leading to. That would be the only justified thing to do.”
An affidavit submitted to the governor on behalf of the Scott sisters says: “Jamie and Gladys Scott respectfully pray that they each be granted a pardon or clemency of their sentences on the grounds that their sentences were too severe and they have been incarcerated for too long. If not released, Jamie Scott will probably die in prison.”
As they are both serving double life sentences, a refusal by the governor to intervene will most likely mean that both will die in prison.
Countrywide CEO Mozilo settles with SEC for $67.5M
Associated Press Writer
Countrywide Financial Corp. co-founder Angelo Mozilo has agreed to a $67.5 million settlement to avoid trial on civil fraud and insider trading charges that alleged he profited from doling out risky mortgages while misleading investors about the risks.
Two other former Countrywide executives also settled before trial next week on charges filed by the Securities and Exchange Commission. But employment agreements that protect the men from lawsuits involving the failed lender mean Bank of America Corp., which bought Countrywide in July 2008, will pick up most of the tab.
The settlement announced Friday spares the executives the risk of a verdict that could have been used against them in lawsuits by shareholders, or by prosecutors if a criminal probe into their activities leads to charges.
It also gives the SEC the right to brag about what it said is the biggest financial penalty ever against a public company's senior executive. The agency has been criticized for doing little to prevent much of the risky behavior that led to the financial meltdown and for failing to detect Bernard Madoff's massive investment fraud.
"This settlement is a desirable result for all the parties," said Jacob Frenkel, a former SEC enforcement attorney now in private practice. "The SEC claims victory. The defendants get closure while preserving their ability to fight" lawsuits by shareholders.
The agreement requires Mozilo to repay $45 million in ill-gotten profits and $22.5 million in civil penalties. Former Countrywide President David Sambol owes $5 million in profits and $520,000 in civil penalties, and former Chief Financial Officer Eric P. Sieracki will pay $130,000 in civil penalties.
It's "the fitting outcome for a corporate executive who deliberately disregarded his duty to investors by hiding what he saw in the executive suite," SEC Enforcement Director Robert Khuzami said in a conference call with reporters.
But $25 million of Mozilo's restitution will come from an escrow fund the company set up to cover shareholder litigation and Mozilo has no obligation to pay the remaining amount, according to the settlement agreement.
The Charlotte, N.C.-based bank, through its Countrywide subsidiary, will pay that $20 million, according to a person familiar with the matter who wasn't authorized to speak publicly and spoke on condition of anonymity.
Sambol's agreement stipulates that his entire $5 million forfeiture will come from the escrow fund.
The payments come on top of an $8.4 billion settlement Bank of America made with 12 states in 2008 over Countrywide's lending practices. The company also agreed in August to pay $600 million to end a class-action case from former Countrywide shareholders.
The penalty represents a striking turn for Mozilo, the son of a Bronx butcher who 41 years ago co-founded what grew into the nation's largest home loan originator. In 2006, Countrywide was writing one in six of the nation's mortgages, totaling more than $490 billion, court records showed.
The Calabasas, Calif.-based company spiraled into disaster as investors suddenly realized many homeowners wouldn't be able to repay mortgages that required no proof of income or down payment, and offered adjustable rates that quickly made monthly payments unaffordable.
Regulators portrayed Countrywide's massive size in court documents as the result of the three executives' single-minded pursuit of market dominance, even if it meant taking disastrous risks.
"The credit losses experienced by Countrywide in 2007 not only were foreseeable by the proposed defendants, they were in fact foreseen at least as early as September 2004," the SEC said in its filing.
The SEC accused the men of misleading shareholders about the quality of the loans on Countrywide's books. The civil complaint also accused Mozilo of acting on his inside knowledge of the company's precarious state when he sold shares between November 2006 and October 2007 ahead of its collapse, reaping more than $139 million.
Under the settlement, the three men did not admit wrongdoing.
"Mr. Sambol has agreed to settle the SEC lawsuit and put the matter behind him for the benefit of his family and loved ones," Sambol's attorney Walter Brown said in a statement.
Sieracki's lawyer, Shirli Fabbri Weiss, said in a news release that all fraud-based claims against her client had been dropped and that his civil penalty was to settle negligence-based charges.
Mozilo, who was not in court when the settlement was announced, was the nation's highest-profile defendant yet to face trial for risky business practices leading to the housing collapse that sent the country into recession.
The SEC wanted to "put his head on a pike and parade it around," said Anthony Sabino, professor of law and business at St. John's University in New York.
Under the settlement, Mozilo agreed to never again serve as an officer or director of a publicly traded company. Sambol agreed not to do so for three years.
Mozilo lawyer David Siegel did not return a message seeking comment.
The settlement talks involving Mozilo were first reported by the Wall Street Journal after U.S. District Judge John F. Walter filed a notice Thursday for trial lawyers to attend a status conference Friday.
Countrywide's lending practices are reportedly also the subject of a criminal probe in Los Angeles. Thom Mrozek, a spokesman for the U.S. attorney's office, declined to comment about the situation.