Sunday, January 9, 2011


Kosher business refuses to pay $260,000 in back wages to fired workers

A Williamsburg kosher food company is locked in a battle with former workers who charge they were stiffed out of overtime pay - and then fired when they complained.

National Labor Relations Board investigators found that Flaum Appetizing Corp. illegally booted the workers, and ordered the company to cough up around $260,000 in back pay. But owner Moshe Grunhut has refused to comply - saying he won't pay the workers because they're undocumented immigrants.

The fired employees said they spent years working as much as 80 hours a week for minimum wage with no overtime, for bosses who often peppered them with verbal abuse.

"I worked 11 years for that company and I never received a dollar of overtime or one holiday or one sick day, nothing," said Gustino Romero, 32, of Bushwick. "I worked from 7 in the morning until 10 or 11 at night. ... We always asked for [overtime], but they said no."

Maria Corona, 36, of Williamsburg, said frequent insults from her boss made the situation worse.

"The manager called us cockroaches, tarantulas, all kinds of offensive names," she said. "The truth is we were unfairly exploited."

When the workers tried to form a union and went on a brief strike in 2008, management ordered them off the Flaum premises - a move the National Labor Relations Board ruled was illegal retaliation.

Grunhut said he always paid required overtime and insisted he told the workers not to come back because he discovered they were in the U.S. illegally.

"I treat my workers with respect and dignity," he said, blaming union organizers for stirring up the controversy.

He's asking the NLRB to let him off the hook for the back pay, and the two sides are scheduled to appear before the board again Dec. 8.

"There was no question regarding immigration status for over a decade as workers were sweating every day to make and distribute his product," said Daniel Gross, executive director of Brandworkers International, an advocacy group backing the workers.

Meanwhile, the workers have conducted protests at kosher supermarkets where Flaum's pickles, hummus other products are sold. They've also enlisted an Orthodox Jewish group to exert pressure on Grunhut.

"We can't just focus on ritual and ignore the ethical side," said Ari Hart, co-founder of the group Uri L'Tzedek, which translates as Awaken to Justice.

"The Torah talks in multiple places about how it's really important to pay a worker the worker's full wages and respect a worker," Hart said.

Obama & His Donors' Looting of America

Now Goldman Sachs is giving us another chance. But it would be a monumental error to expect the Administration and Congress to do any heavy lifting. We need to get into gear to show how we feel about the financial travesty called Wall Street. The "Make Wall Street Pay" demonstration organized by AFL-CIO president Rich Trumka on April 29th on Wall Street needs our support.

April 23, 2010


Author, "The Looting of America"
April 22, 2010 11:42 PM




"Ultimately there is no dividing line between Main Street and Wall Street. We rise or we fall together as one nation. So I urge you to join me," President Obama to Wall Street Executives at Cooper Union, April 22, 2010.
Now, in the wake of the Goldman Sachs lawsuit, is a golden moment for President Obama to rein in Wall Street -- and let the American public know whose side he's really on. But it seems he's working from a flawed theory: "There is no dividing line between Main Street and Wall Street. We are all in this together as one nation." Really?
It's hard to feel warm and cuddly about this togetherness. In March, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the financial sector's unemployment rate was 7.7 percent. For manufacturing workers it was 24.9 percent. No dividing line? Wall Street "earned" $150 billion in bonus money in 2009 (thanks to taxpayer bailout support). Meanwhile over 29 million Americans were out of work or forced into part-time jobs. Rise and fall together?
The entire story of this crisis is about how we are not in this together. For the past three decades we have become more and more a nation divided between the super-rich and the rest of us. In 1970 the ratio of compensation of the top 100 CEOs to the average worker was 45 to one. By 2008 it was a whopping 1,081 to one.
Our tax system also reflects the dividing line. We are now allowing hedge fund honchos to be taxed at rates lower than their secretaries. The top 25 hedge fund managers in 2009 earned as much as 658,000 entry level teachers. But the teachers are too expensive -- they're getting laid off --- due to the crisis caused by Wall Street.
We could overlook President Obama's imagery of togetherness if, in fact, he was taking on the financial industry. Unfortunately, though, the administration's focus has been on "restoring investor confidence" by any means necessary. It started with Obama's first appointments: It's really hard to tell the difference between the Clinton, Bush and Obama administrations' key advisors. Summers, Geithner, Bernanke (with Robert Rubin in the background) would be (or were) at home in any of those administrations. (For a chilling account of this situation, see Bob Kuttner's Presidency in Peril.) It's hard to resist the feeling that the largest financial players (Goldman Sachs, JP Morgan Chase and Citigroup) engineered a financial policy coup d'etat.
But okay, here we are in April 2010, probably on the eve of financial reform. Maybe these money guys have had a change of heart. Maybe, after all we've been through, we'll see some substantive changes.

But how can we tell? Here are five yardsticks for measuring whether the proposed reforms will make a difference:
1. Will the reforms break up financial institutions that are too big to fail? This question seems to be taboo among the key administration officials and Congressional committee chairs. But Senators Sherrod Brown (D-OH) and Ted Kaufman (D-DE) have the right idea by proposing strict size limits on financial institutions. Some economists, like Paul Krugman (and Ben Bernanke), don't think size matters. [No wisecracks, please.] They point to the Great Depression, when thousands of smaller banks went under -- and that was even worse. But they don't want to talk about the other downsides: these gargantuan financial institutions horribly distort "fair market practices" and undermine the political process with their truckloads of cash. Even conservative president Howard Taft understood that we had to bust up the great "trusts" of the early 20th century. Power is even more concentrated right now -- on Wall Street. Unfortunately, the Administration is not likely to support the Brown-Kaufman amendment.
2. Will the reforms prevent banks from speculating with our deposits? Glass-Steagall was a good idea in the 1930s and still is. Right now financial institutions that gamble can stake themselves with our deposits which are insured by the government. That's a very profitable way to play the game, and very risky for the system as a whole. The proposed Volker Rule in the reform bills attempts to recreate some of the strict separation that we need between commercial banking (where our money is) and investment banking (where the hot casino games are). We can be sure an army of bank lobbyists are out to eviscerate anything like Glass Steagall.
3. Will the reforms outlaw "financial weapons of mass destruction"? You know we're in serious trouble when Warren Buffet and George Soros agree with me: We just have to outlaw financial instruments that are too complex to understand, starting with synthetic CDOs. It's absolutely crazy to allow financial institutions to sell the same assets again and again through synthetic products that even financial industry insiders can't parse. These fantasy finance products are precisely what took down the economy. (See the Looting of America for a layperson's explanation.) Unfortunately, the proposed reforms include no such ban. Instead they would either lightly regulate "customized" derivatives (including just about every kind of synthetic CDO) -or not regulate them at all. This will represent a major victory for Wall Street and a major blow for the rest of us.
4. Will the reforms end obscene executive compensation? When cows fly. The proposed legislation gives the idea a half-hearted wave. Some new rules would make it a bit harder for companies to rig the compensation game. Shareholder would be given a bit more say about executive pay. But the only effective way to stop the billion-dollar bonuses is to suck more profit out of the industry in the first place. It should not account for 40 percent of all corporate profits. There are two efficient ways to do that. We can put a financial transaction tax on short term speculative plays and/or we can slap very large windfall profits tax on financial sector compensation. Let's be very honest about this. Wall Street would have earned next to nothing last year had we not bailed them out. And lest we forget, these are the very people who tore a gaping hole in our economy, costing us millions of jobs and trillions of dollars. It's only fair and reasonable to go back to the 90 percent Eisenhower era tax on the150 billion bonus pool on those earning 3 million or more. Will proposals like these be part of the reform package? No.
5. Will the reforms provide a truly independent and powerful Consumer Financial Protection Agency? This one ought to be easy. Even shameless bank lobbyists find it very hard to argue in behalf of predatory lending, usurious interest rates, hidden fees and outright fraud. It's kind of like saying that mortgage brokers have a constitutional right to screw us. But by waving the bloody flag of Big Government (and Protect Financial Innovation), the lobbyists are doing a pretty good job of taming this new agency. For me the test is simple: Will this agency end up in the Federal Reserve? Can you imagine putting such an agency inside a bank? If they pull that off, Bernanke should get the Nobel prize for chutzpah.
6. Will the reforms lead to more jobs for the American people? Perhaps the gravest disconnect between the big Wall Street players and the rest of us concerns our understanding of what a bank is. Most of us think that banks are supposed to invest our savings in solid industries with the best returns. But that's not nearly as profitable for big banks as running an enormous casino for the super-rich. A quick review of Goldman Sachs near-record profits last quarter shows that they made most of their money by trading, not by investing working people's hard-earned money in the real economy. So how are they creating more jobs? Bloomberg just reported:
"Equities-trading revenue rose 18 percent to $2.35 billion from $2 billion a year earlier, Goldman Sachs said. Gains from principal investments, which includes the company's stakes in Industrial & Commercial Bank of China Ltd. as well as real estate and other companies, were $510 million compared with a net loss of $1.41 billion in the first quarter of 2009. Investment-banking revenue climbed 44 percent to $1.18 billion from $823 million last year. ...Compensation and benefits, the firm's biggest expense, increased 17 percent to $5.49 billion in the quarter..." Bloomberg News
Unfortunately, the financial reform bills won't shut down or even significantly regulate this casino.
This is the second chance we've had to get the big job done. The first was when the banks were on their knees begging for taxpayer money in the fall of 2008. We opened up the public trough for Wall Street, but we didn't have the nerve to make access to that trough contingent on meaningful reforms -- reforms that the American public would have gladly supported. Instead Wall Street took our money and used it to reboot their bonuses and hire an army of lobbyists to kill any and all reforms. We missed that moment (and helped spark the Tea Party movement in the process).
Now Goldman Sachs is giving us another chance. But it would be a monumental error to expect the Administration and Congress to do any heavy lifting. We need to get into gear to show how we feel about the financial travesty called Wall Street. The "Make Wall Street Pay" demonstration organized by AFL-CIO president Rich Trumka on April 29th on Wall Street needs our support.

They're hoping for 10,000 protestors. A million would really do the trick. If President Obama wants his financial reforms to pack some punch, he should exhort us all to take the train to Wall Street....and step onboard himself.
Les Leopold is the author of The Looting of America: How Wall Street's Game of Fantasy Finance destroyed our Jobs, Pensions and Prosperity, and What We Can Do About It Chelsea Green Publishing, June 2009.
You heard the bankster bought president on the senate floor. “I’m not here to punish (the banksters I took big money for and that destroyed the life savings of millions of Americans, loss of millions of jobs, and then sucked the welfare I handed them in no-strings bailouts)”.

WSWS.ORG – get on their no ads emails!

Obama reassures Wall Street on bank regulation bill
23 April 2010
President Barack Obama went to lower Manhattan Thursday to deliver a message to Wall Street: Your profits and bonuses will not be disturbed by the regulatory overhaul making its way through Congress.
In a deferential speech pitched to top bankers in the Cooper Union audience, Obama urged what he called the “titans of industry” to call off their lobbyists and “join us” in passing his so-called reform. The subtext was that the White House and congressional Democrats had already removed most of the provisions to which the bankers objected, and were prepared to go even further in accommodating them.
The speech came less than a week after the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) indicted Goldman Sachs, the most profitable Wall Street bank, for defrauding its clients in order to cash in on—and encourage—the collapse of the subprime housing market in 2007. Obama did not mention the indictment. Nor did he suggest that what he called a “failure of responsibility” on Wall Street included criminal activities.
Among those in the audience to whom Obama appealed was Lloyd Blankfein, the CEO of Goldman, who attended the event to underscore his contempt and defiance of the SEC.
It was also a week in which the top five banks reported combined profits of more than $15 billion for the first three months of 2010—a huge increase over the previous year.
As the Goldman indictment makes clear, these profits are bound up with rampant fraud that helped crash the financial system--driving millions in the US and around the world into unemployment and poverty—followed by trillions of dollars in taxpayer bailouts and virtually free credit from the Federal Reserve.
Obama took pains to affirm his obeisance to capitalism. “I believe in the power of the free market,” he declared. “I believe in a strong financial sector …” To reassure Wall Street that his financial overhaul would not impose serious restrictions, he said, “We do not have to choose between markets that are unfettered by even modest protections against crisis, or markets that are stymied by onerous rules that suppress enterprise and innovation.”
There was no suggestion that a single banker or trader should be held accountable for the social catastrophe he helped create. Yet less than two months ago, addressing the US Chamber of Commerce, Obama hailed the mass firing of teachers in an impoverished school district in Rhode Island as a positive educational “reform” measure. “There’s got to be a sense of accountability,” Obama said.
With complete cynicism, Obama and congressional Democrats, with the assistance of the media, are presenting their regulatory proposals as a sweeping reform comparable to the banking measures implemented by the Roosevelt administration in the Great Depression.
In reality, the Senate measure, like the bill passed last December by the House of Representatives, proposes certain marginal changes in the way government agencies monitor financial firms, but does nothing to reverse the deregulation of banking carried out over the past three decades, which dismantled the restrictions imposed during the 1930s. It introduces no structural reforms to limit, let alone ban, the speculative practices that have become central to the accumulation of profit and personal wealth by the American ruling class.
Obama and the congressional Democrats have rejected capping executive pay or banning credit default swaps, collateralized debt obligations, structured investment vehicles and other exotic forms of speculation that played a major role in the financial crash and global recession. Provisions to regulate derivatives markets, a major source of profits for the top Wall Street banks, are loaded with loopholes and exemptions. A financial consumer protection body will have no power over 98 percent of banks or any car dealerships, and will be subject to a Federal Reserve veto.
The most important innovation in the House and Senate bills is the establishment of a procedure for the government to wind down large financial firms, including insurance companies and other non-bank entities, whose failure could trigger a systemic collapse. This is being billed as an end to “too-big-to-fail” financial companies and a guarantee against future taxpayer-funded bailouts.
It is nothing of the kind. The proposal would institutionalize government rescue operations to protect the interests of bank executives, shareholders and creditors and the wealth of the financial elite as a whole, ultimately at public expense. It is designed to keep the banking system in private hands while preparing for the inevitable consequences of allowing the banks and big investors to continue “business as usual,” i.e., another financial crisis on the order of the crash of 2008.
In his speech on Thursday, Obama declared that “a vote for reform is a vote to put a stop to taxpayer-funded bailouts.” This is a lie. The administration-backed bill passed by the House would give the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation, with the consent of the treasury secretary and the Federal Reserve, the power to “extend credit or guarantee obligations … to prevent financial instability during times of severe economic distress.” This amounts to a blank check to use taxpayer funds for future bailouts.
Obama has continued Bush administration policies that, far from reining in Wall Street, have strengthened the power of the biggest financial firms. The share of all banking industry assets held by the top 10 banks rose to 58 percent in 2009, from 44 percent in 2000 and 24 percent in 1990.
Nothing other than a license for Wall Street to continue stealing from the American people could possibly emerge from a political system dominated by an all-powerful financial aristocracy and awash in corruption and bribery. The financial industry has to date spent $455 million to lobby Congress on the financial overhaul.
The securities and investment industry has thus far handed out $34 million for the 2010 election cycle. Goldman Sachs is the second biggest corporate donor to political campaigns, after AT&T. Since 1989, the bank’s political action committee and employees have given $31.6 million in campaign contributions, two-thirds of the total to Democratic candidates.
The financial industry funded Obama’s presidential election campaign to the amount of $15 million. Goldman was Obama’s single biggest donor, giving nearly $1 million.
One indication of the ties between Wall Street and the White House: Gregg Craig, who until January was Obama’s White House counsel, has been hired by Goldman Sachs to defend the firm against the SEC indictment.
Barry Grey

April 23, 2010
Don’t Cry for Wall Street
On Thursday, President Obama went to Manhattan, where he urged an audience drawn largely from Wall Street to back financial reform. “I believe,” he declared, “that these reforms are, in the end, not only in the best interest of our country, but in the best interest of the financial sector.”
Well, I wish he hadn’t said that — and not just because he really needs, as a political matter, to take a populist stance, to put some public distance between himself and the bankers. The fact is that Mr. Obama should be trying to do what’s right for the country — full stop. If doing so hurts the bankers, that’s O.K.
More than that, reform actually should hurt the bankers. A growing body of analysis suggests that an oversized financial industry is hurting the broader economy. Shrinking that oversized industry won’t make Wall Street happy, but what’s bad for Wall Street would be good for America.
Now, the reforms currently on the table — which I support — might end up being good for the financial industry as well as for the rest of us. But that’s because they only deal with part of the problem: they would make finance safer, but they might not make it smaller.
What’s the matter with finance? Start with the fact that the modern financial industry generates huge profits and paychecks, yet delivers few tangible benefits.
Remember the 1987 movie “Wall Street,” in which Gordon Gekko declared: Greed is good? By today’s standards, Gekko was a piker. In the years leading up to the 2008 crisis, the financial industry accounted for a third of total domestic profits — about twice its share two decades earlier.
These profits were justified, we were told, because the industry was doing great things for the economy. It was channeling capital to productive uses; it was spreading risk; it was enhancing financial stability. None of those were true. Capital was channeled not to job-creating innovators, but into an unsustainable housing bubble; risk was concentrated, not spread; and when the housing bubble burst, the supposedly stable financial system imploded, with the worst global slump since the Great Depression as collateral damage.
So why were bankers raking it in? My take, reflecting the efforts of financial economists to make sense of the catastrophe, is that it was mainly about gambling with other people’s money. The financial industry took big, risky bets with borrowed funds — bets that paid high returns until they went bad — but was able to borrow cheaply because investors didn’t understand how fragile the industry was.
And what about the much-touted benefits of financial innovation? I’m with the economists Andrei Shleifer and Robert Vishny, who argue in a recent paper that a lot of that innovation was about creating the illusion of safety, providing investors with “false substitutes” for old-fashioned assets like bank deposits. Eventually the illusion failed — and the result was a disastrous financial crisis.
In his Thursday speech, by the way, Mr. Obama insisted — twice — that financial reform won’t stifle innovation. Too bad.
And here’s the thing: after taking a big hit in the immediate aftermath of the crisis, financial-industry profits are soaring again. It seems all too likely that the industry will soon go back to playing the same games that got us into this mess in the first place.
So what should be done? As I said, I support the reform proposals of the Obama administration and its Congressional allies. Among other things, it would be a shame to see the antireform campaign by Republican leaders — a campaign marked by breathtaking dishonesty and hypocrisy — succeed.
But these reforms should be only the first step. We also need to cut finance down to size.
And it’s not just critical outsiders saying this (not that there’s anything wrong with critical outsiders, who have been much more right than supposedly knowledgeable insiders; see Greenspan, Alan). An intriguing proposal is about to be unveiled from, of all places, the International Monetary Fund. In a leaked paper prepared for a meeting this weekend, the fund calls for a Financial Activity Tax — yes, FAT — levied on financial-industry profits and remuneration.
Such a tax, the fund argues, could “mitigate excessive risk-taking.” It could also “tend to reduce the size of the financial sector,” which the fund presents as a good thing.
Now, the I.M.F. proposal is actually quite mild. Nonetheless, if it moves toward reality, Wall Street will howl.
But the fact is that we’ve been devoting far too large a share of our wealth, far too much of the nation’s talent, to the business of devising and peddling complex financial schemes — schemes that have a tendency to blow up the economy. Ending this state of affairs will hurt the financial industry. So?

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."

Lou Dobbs Tonight
Monday, November 12, 2007

Mortgage giants Wells Fargo and Countrywide Financial are accused of slapping dubious fees on homeowners struggling to save their homes. With fewer new mortgages being written, these
companies appear to be leaning on these lucrative fees to stay profitable—with devastating consequences for homeowners. We’ll have that report.
After several weeks of strong showings in the media, President Barack Obama appears to have committed political suicide in an interview with Bloomberg focusing on bank bonuses. Just as bad, Obama's statements praising bailout barons and downplaying their bloated bonuses amount to outright economic insanity. Obama says he doesn't have a problem with bonuses at Goldman Sachs and JPMorgan. He's going to have a big problem at the polls in November. – Zach


How Did President Eisenhower Deal With Mexican Invasion?
How Eisenhower solved illegal border crossings from Mexico
By John Dillin
WASHINGTON – George W. Bush isn't the first Republican president to face a full-blown immigration crisis on the US-Mexican border.
Fifty-three years ago, when newly elected Dwight Eisenhower moved into the White House, America's southern frontier was as porous as a spaghetti sieve. As many as 3 million illegal migrants had walked and waded northward over a period of several years for jobs in California, Arizona, Texas, and points beyond.
President Eisenhower cut off this illegal traffic. He did it quickly and decisively with only 1,075 United States Border Patrol agents - less than one-tenth of today's force. The operation is still highly praised among veterans of the Border Patrol.
Although there is little to no record of this operation in Ike's official papers, one piece of historic evidence indicates how he felt. In 1951, Ike wrote a letter to Sen. William Fulbright (D) of Arkansas. The senator had just proposed that a special commission be created by Congress to examine unethical conduct by government officials who accepted gifts and favors in exchange for special treatment of private individuals.
General Eisenhower, who was gearing up for his run for the presidency, said "Amen" to Senator Fulbright's proposal. He then quoted a report in The New York Times, highlighting one paragraph that said: "The rise in illegal border-crossing by Mexican 'wetbacks' to a current rate of more than 1,000,000 cases a year has been accompanied by a curious relaxation in ethical standards extending all the way from the farmer-exploiters of this contraband labor to the highest levels of the Federal Government."
Years later, the late Herbert Brownell Jr., Eisenhower's first attorney general, said in an interview with this writer that the president had a sense of urgency about illegal immigration when he took office.
America "was faced with a breakdown in law enforcement on a very large scale," Mr. Brownell said. "When I say large scale, I mean hundreds of thousands were coming in from Mexico [every year] without restraint."
Although an on-and-off guest-worker program for Mexicans was operating at the time, farmers and ranchers in the Southwest had become dependent on an additional low-cost, docile, illegal labor force of up to 3 million, mostly Mexican, laborers.
According to the Handbook of Texas Online, published by the University of Texas at Austin and the Texas State Historical Association, this illegal workforce had a severe impact on the wages of ordinary working Americans. The Handbook Online reports that a study by the President's Commission on Migratory Labor in Texas in 1950 found that cotton growers in the Rio Grande Valley, where most illegal aliens in Texas worked, paid wages that were "approximately half" the farm wages paid elsewhere in the state.
Profits from illegal labor led to the kind of corruption that apparently worried Eisenhower. Joseph White, a retired 21-year veteran of the Border Patrol, says that in the early 1950s, some senior US officials overseeing immigration enforcement "had friends among the ranchers," and agents "did not dare" arrest their illegal workers.
Walt Edwards, who joined the Border Patrol in 1951, tells a similar story. He says: "When we caught illegal aliens on farms and ranches, the farmer or rancher would often call and complain [to officials in El Paso]. And depending on how politically connected they were, there would be political intervention. That is how we got into this mess we are in now."
Bill Chambers, who worked for a combined 33 years for the Border Patrol and the then-called US Immigration and Naturalization Service (INS), says politically powerful people are still fueling the flow of illegals.
During the 1950s, however, this "Good Old Boy" system changed under Eisenhower - if only for about 10 years.
In 1954, Ike appointed retired Gen. Joseph "Jumpin' Joe" Swing, a former West Point classmate and veteran of the 101st Airborne, as the new INS commissioner.
Influential politicians, including Sen. Lyndon B. Johnson (D) of Texas and Sen. Pat McCarran (D) of Nevada, favored open borders, and were dead set against strong border enforcement, Brownell said. But General Swing's close connections to the president shielded him - and the Border Patrol - from meddling by powerful political and corporate interests.
One of Swing's first decisive acts was to transfer certain entrenched immigration officials out of the border area to other regions of the country where their political connections with people such as Senator Johnson would have no effect.
Then on June 17, 1954, what was called "Operation Wetback" began. Because political resistance was lower in California and Arizona, the roundup of aliens began there. Some 750 agents swept northward through agricultural areas with a goal of 1,000 apprehensions a day. By the end of July, over 50,000 aliens were caught in the two states. Another 488,000, fearing arrest, had fled the country.
By mid-July, the crackdown extended northward into Utah, Nevada, and Idaho, and eastward to Texas.
By September, 80,000 had been taken into custody in Texas, and an estimated 500,000 to 700,000 illegals had left the Lone Star State voluntarily.
Unlike today, Mexicans caught in the roundup were not simply released at the border, where they could easily reenter the US. To discourage their return, Swing arranged for buses and trains to take many aliens deep within Mexico before being set free.
Tens of thousands more were put aboard two hired ships, the Emancipation and the Mercurio. The ships ferried the aliens from Port Isabel, Texas, to Vera Cruz, Mexico, more than 500 miles south.
The sea voyage was "a rough trip, and they did not like it," says Don Coppock, who worked his way up from Border Patrolman in 1941 to eventually head the Border Patrol from 1960 to 1973.
Mr. Coppock says he "cannot understand why [President] Bush let [today's] problem get away from him as it has. I guess it was his compassionate conservatism, and trying to please [Mexican President] Vincente Fox."
There are now said to be 12 million to 20 million illegal aliens in the US. Of the Mexicans who live here, an estimated 85 percent are here illegally.
One day in 1954, Border Patrol agent Walt Edwards picked up a newspaper in Big Spring, Texas, and saw some startling news. The government was launching an all-out drive to oust illegal aliens from the United States.
The orders came straight from the top, where the new president, Dwight Eisenhower, had put a former West Point classmate, Gen. Joseph Swing, in charge of immigration enforcement.
General Swing's fast-moving campaign soon secured America's borders - an accomplishment no other president has since equaled. Illegal migration had dropped 95 percent by the late 1950s.
Several retired Border Patrol agents who took part in the 1950s effort, including Mr. Edwards, say much of what Swing did could be repeated today.
"Some say we cannot send 12 million illegals now in the United States back where they came from. Of course we can!" Edwards says.
Donald Coppock, who headed the Patrol from 1960 to 1973, says that if Swing and Ike were still running immigration enforcement, "they'd be on top of this in a minute."
William Chambers, another '50s veteran, agrees. "They could do a pretty good job" sealing the border.
Edwards says: "When we start enforcing the law, these various businesses are, on their own, going to replace their [illegal] workforce with a legal workforce."
While Congress debates building a fence on the border, these veterans say other actions should have higher priority.
1. End the current practice of taking captured Mexican aliens to the border and releasing them. Instead, deport them deep into Mexico, where return to the US would be more costly.
2. Crack down hard on employers who hire illegals. Without jobs, the aliens won't come.
3. End "catch and release" for non-Mexican aliens. It is common for illegal migrants not from Mexico to be set free after their arrest if they promise to appear later before a judge. Few show up.
The Patrol veterans say enforcement could also be aided by a legalized guest- worker program that permits Mexicans to register in their country for temporary jobs in the US. Eisenhower's team ran such a program. It permitted up to 400,000 Mexicans a year to enter the US for various agriculture jobs that lasted for 12 to 52 weeks.
• John Dillin is former managing editor of the Monitor.
The American Legion Takes A Stand Against Illegal Immigration
The American Legion Takes A Stand Against Illegal Immigration

The America Legion recently released a statement on ILLEGAL IMMIGRATION, a very pointed statement. The Legion published their policy in a 30 page booklet, spelling their policy out in detail:
The nation’s largest veterans organization released this week a policy bulletin that takes a firm stand against illegal immigration and calls on its members to hold elected officials accountable for implementing and enforcing U.S. immigration law.

The 30-page bulletin is officially titled, “The American Legion20Policy on Immigration: A Strategy to Address Illegal Immigration in the United States.”
It is about time that a group who stands up for veterans of all services, whether they served in peacetime or wartime took a tough stand on a problem that is overwhelming this country. We have roughly 25 million veterans in this country who served honorably to protect the legal residents of this country, not the people who invade our borders nearly unchecked.
More from WND on the American Legion:
“The American Legion members have served in the U.S. Armed Forces throughout the world so that Americans can be safe at home,” the organization’s website explains. “This gives them a unique perspective to the threat that open borders present to their homeland.”
“America is a nation built by immigrants and the American Legion recognizes and celebrates that,” said National Commander David K. Rehbein in a press release. “We do take strong issue, however, with illegal immigration. It’s a matter of national security. The 9/11 hijackers and three of the men who plotted to kill innocent Americans at Ft. Dix were perfect examples of terrorists exploiting our weak immigration laws and our lack of enforcement. This booklet is a good reminder that America has a serious problem that needs to be addressed.”
The Legion’s stance on illegal immigration is clearly stated o n page 1 of the booklet, it stands alone:
“The American Legion is opposed to any person or persons being in this country illegally, regardless of race, sex, creed, color or national origin,” the bulletin states. “We believe the current laws governing immigration should be enforced impartially and equally.”
The America Legion has a long history that dates back to Theodore Roosevelt. The Legion knows something about supporting veterans and the laws of this country. Read on:
Originally founded in 1919 on an idea proposed by Theodore Roosevelt, Jr. (the president of the same name’s eldest son), the Legion has now grown to a membership of more than 2.6 million wartime veterans organized in more than 14,000 posts nationwide.
The policy bulletin explains, “Legionnaires subscribe to a creed, ‘To uphold and defend the Constitution of the United States of America; to maintain law and order and to foster and perpetuate a 100 percent Americanism.’ These words are recited in unison at Legion meetings and represent a continuing contract of service to benefit America and it is this commitment by Legionnaires that is the fuel for action on illegal immigration and other national security concerns facing this country.”
The Legion hopes the policy booklet will educate the American public on how “the security, economy and social fabric of the United States of America is=2 0seriously threatened by individuals who are illegally in this country.”
“Illegal immigration is not a victimless crime,” the booklet states. “The poor, minorities, children and individuals with little education are particularly vulnerable. It causes an enormous drain on public services, depresses wages of American workers, and contributes to population growth that, in turn, contributes to school overcrowding and housing shortages. Directly and indirectly, U.S. taxpayers are paying for illegal immigration.”
In financial terms, the booklet cites a report by the Center for Immigration Studies that claims the average illegal alien household in 2003 paid approximately $4,200 in federal taxes while, on average, created $7,000 in costs at the federal level.
The booklet does highlight a real problem that the USA faces despite the formation of the Department of Homeland Security. It spells out that it is about educating all people on the dearth of security issues still face this country today. Not only did they publish this booklet for education purposes but it also contains language that discusses ways to prevent these security issues:
In response to what it sees as a contributing factor to crime, terrorism, unemployment and depressed wages, the Legion proposes the following five-point strategy urging the federal government to enact the following steps:
1. Secure the borders and other points of entry in the United States, including construction of a physical barrier and sufficient Border Patrol presence.
2. Eliminate the jobs magnet and social services benefits that draw illegal immigrants to the U.S. by enforcing laws sanctioning employers who hire illegal aliens, implementing employment eligibility verification and eliminating government benefits for illegal aliens.
3. Eliminate amnesty laws that permit illegal aliens to break the law and remain in the U.S.
4. Reduce the U.S. illegal alien population by attrition through workplace enforcement, interagency and interstate cooperation, rejection of driver’s license plans, mandating English as national language and establishing parameters for noncriminal deportations.
5. Screen and track foreign visitors legally entering the United States. The plan further calls for reforms to current legal immigration policy, including alteration of the non-immigrant visa program that allows some nations’ citizens entrance to the U.S. without a visa application, elimination of the visa lottery that randomly approves visas from countries with low immigration rates and expanding visa allowances for seasonal and temporary workers.
The five step program is a good program. It is workable with some change in legislation and enforcement of current laws. It becomes more important when one considers the following report from WND:
Costs for securing the nati on’s borders are expected to increase 20.6 percent in fiscal year 2009. These include expenses for border patrol, electronic surveillance, the border fence and other security needs. President Bush allocated $44.3 billion for the Department of Homeland Security – a 4.5 percent increase from last year’s budget of $42.4 billion.
“While the U.S. builds a fence across much of the border, many illegals are taking a different route. Underground,” Rubenstein reveals. “Authorities have discovered dozens of illegal tunnels across the international border in recent years. Smuggling of drugs, weapons, and immigrants takes place daily through these underground passageways.”
Illegal aliens also use drainage systems to travel across the U.S.-Mexico border – from El Paso to San Diego.
“One tunnel, actually a system of two half-mile passages connecting Tijuana with San Diego, is by comparison a superhighway,” he wrote.
While the Border Patrol attempts to stop these underground incursions with steel doors, cameras and sensors, harsh weather conditions and human smugglers destroy the equipment and barriers.
These costs, and the expenses of providing “enhanced driver’s licenses” as alternative passports for citizens, RFID chips, government databases and watch lists are expected to soar.
In his research, Rubenstein finds that the average immigrant household generates a fiscal debt of $3,408 after feder al benefits and taxes are considered. At the state and local level, the fiscal debt amounts to $4.398 per immigrant household.
“There are currently about 36 million immigrants living in about 9 million households, so the aggregate deficit attributable to immigrants comes to $70.3 billion,” he writes. “… Immigrants could deplete the amount of funds available for infrastructure by as much as $70 billion per year.”
Rubenstein cites figures from the U.S. Census Bureau, projecting that the U.S. population will reach 433 million by 2050 – increasing 44 percent, or 135 million, from today’s numbers.
A full 82 percent of this increase will be directly attributable to new immigrants and their U.S.-born children.
“The brutal reality is that no conceivable infrastructure program can keep pace with that kind of population growth,” he wrote. “The traditional ’supply-side’ response to America’s infrastructure shortage – build, build, build – is dead, dead, dead. Demand reduction is the only viable way to close the gap between the supply and demand of public infrastructure.”
He concludes, “Immigration reduction must play a role.”
The five step program that the Legion proposes is a sound one. It will require the federal government to tighten immigration policies. The policies don’t appear to require bigger government. It does require ou r Democratic-led government to take a tough stand on illegal immigration, one I believe they will never take. Since our government at this point in time will never toughen the laws, this booklet will go largely ignored by our representatives in DC and that is the shame.
The American Legion wants to remind of us the facts surrounding 9/11 and the plot to kill Fort Dix soldiers, nothing more, nothing less. It is time for Congress to listen to the more than 2 million veterans who claim membership in this organization. It is time to secure our borders, it is time that the American people realize our security is at risk as long as our borders are not secure
"The violent MS-13 - or Mara Salvatrucha - street gang is following the migratory routes of illegal aliens across the country, FBI officials say, calling the Salvadoran gang the new American mafia. MS-13, has a significant presence in the Washington area, and other gangs are spreading into small towns and suburbs by following illegal aliens seeking work in places such as Providence, R.I., and the Carolinas, FBI task force director Robert Clifford said. "The migrant moves and the gang follows," said Mr. Clifford, director of the agency's MS-13 National Gang Task Force."
INS/FBI Statistical Report on Undocumented Immigrants 2006 (First Quarter) INS/FBI Statistical Report on Undocumented Immigrants CRIME STATISTICS
95% of warrants for murder in Los Angeles are for illegal aliens.
83% of warrants for murder in Phoenix are for illegal aliens.
86% of warrants for murder in Albuquerque are for illegal aliens.
75% of those on the most wanted list in Los Angeles, Phoenix and Albuquerque are illegal aliens.
24.9% of all inmates in California detention centers are Mexican nationals here illegally.
40.1% of all inmates in Arizona detention centers are Mexican nationals here illegally.
48.2% of all inmates in New Mexico detention centers are Mexican nationals here illegally.
29% (630,000) convicted illegal alien felons fill our state and federal prisons at a cost of $1.6 billion annually.
53% plus of all investigated burglaries reported in California, New Mexico, Nevada, Arizona and Texas are perpetrated by illegal aliens.
50% plus of all gang members in Los Angeles are illegal aliens from south of the border.
71% plus of all apprehended cars stolen in 2005 in Texas, New Mexico, Arizona, Nevada and California were stolen by Illegal aliens or “transport coyotes".
47% of cited/stopped drivers in California have no license, no insurance and no registration for the vehicle. Of that 47%, 92% are illegal aliens.
63% of cited/stopped drivers in Arizona have no license, no insurance and no registration for the vehicle.
Of that 63%, 97% are illegal aliens 66% of cited/stopped drivers in New Mexico have no license, no insurance and no registration for the vehicle. Of that 66% 98% are illegal aliens.
380,000 plus “anchor babies” were born in the U.S. in 2005 to illegal alien parents, making 380,000 babies automatically U.S. citizens.
97.2% of all costs incurred from those births were paid by the American taxpayers.
66% plus of all births in California are to illegal alien Mexicans on Medi-Cal whose births were paid for by taxpayers

Immigration Enforcement Group Defends Against Amnesty Push



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Unemployment rate in Mexico (is what???)
Date: 2011-01-02, 1:31AM PST
Reply To This Post

The unemployment rate in Mexico was last reported at 5.6 percent in November of 2010. From 2000 until 2010, Mexico's Unemployment Rate averaged 3.45 percent reaching an historical high of 5.93 percent in May of 2009 and a record low of 2.22 percent in November of 2002. The labour force is defined as the number of people employed plus the number unemployed but seeking work. The nonlabour force includes those who are not looking for work, those who are institutionalised and those serving in the military.

Right. Because they're here in the USA.
• Location: is what???
• it's NOT ok to contact this poster with services or other commercial interests

PostingID: 2139456445



“The principal beneficiaries of our current immigration policy are affluent Americans who hire immigrants at substandard wages for low-end work. Harvard economist George Borjas estimates that American workers lose $190 billion annually in depressed wages caused by the constant flooding of the labor market at the low-wage end.” Christian Science Monitor
“What's needed to discourage illegal immigration into the United States has been known for years: Enforce existing law.” ….. CHRISTIAN SCIENCE MONITOR


December 7, 2005

Most Mexican Immigrants in New Study Gave Up Jobs to Take Their Chances in U.S.


A report about the work lives of recent Mexican immigrants in seven cities across the United States suggests that they typically traded jobs in Mexico for the prospect of work here, despite serious bouts of unemployment, job instability and poor wages.
The report, released Tuesday by the Pew Hispanic Center, was based on surveys of nearly 5,000 Mexicans, most of them here illegally.
Those surveyed were seeking identity documents at Mexican consulates in New York, Atlanta and Raleigh, N.C., where recent arrivals have gravitated toward construction, hotel and restaurant jobs, and in Dallas, Chicago, Los Angeles, and Fresno, Calif., where they have been more likely to work in agriculture and manufacturing.
Unlike the stereotype of jobless Mexicans heading north, most of the immigrants had been employed in Mexico, the report found.
Once in the United States, they soon found that their illegal status was no barrier to being hired here. And though the jobs they landed, typically with help from relatives, were often unstable and their median earnings only $300 a week, that was enough to keep drawing newcomers because wages here far exceeded those in Mexico.
Among respondents to the survey, those who settled in Atlanta and Dallas were the best off, with 56 percent in each city receiving a weekly wage higher than the $300-a-week median. The worst off were in Fresno, where more than half of the survey respondents worked in agriculture and 60 percent reported earning less than $300 a week. The lowest wages were reported by women, people who spoke little or no English, and those without identification.
To some scholars of immigration, the report underlines the lack of incentives for employers to turn to a guest worker program like the one proposed by President Bush because their needs are met cheaply by illegal workers - and all without paperwork or long-term commitment.
Guest workers might instead appeal to corporations like Wal-Mart, the scholars said, where service jobs are now the target of union organizing drives.
"You can't plausibly argue that immigrant-dominated sectors have a labor shortage," said Robert Courtney Smith, a sociologist and author of "Mexican New York: Transnational Lives of New Immigrants." Instead, he said, the report and evidence of falling wages among Mexican immigrants over time point to an oversupply of vulnerable workers competing with each other.
But Brendan Flanagan, a spokesman for the National Restaurant Association, which supports a guest worker program, disagreed. "In many places it is difficult to fill jobs with domestic workers," Mr. Flanagan said. "We've seen a simple lack of applicants, regardless of what wage is offered."
Although the survey, conducted from July 2004 to January 2005, was not random or weighted to represent all Mexican immigrants, it offers a close look at a usually elusive population.
Those surveyed were not questioned directly about their immigration status, but they were asked whether they had any photo identification issued by a government agency in the United States. Slightly more than half over all, and 75 percent in New York, said they did not.
The migration is part of a historic restructuring of the Mexican economy comparable to America's industrial revolution, said Kathleen Newland, director of the Migration Policy Institute, a research organization based in Washington.
The institute released its own report on Tuesday, arguing that border enforcement efforts have failed. Workplace enforcement, which has been neglected, would be a crucial part of making a guest worker program successful.
For now, Mexicans keep arriving illegally.


EXPORTING POVERTY... we take MEXICO'S 38 million poor, illiterate, criminal and frequently pregnant

........ where can we send AMERICA'S poor?

The Mexican Invasion................................................
Mexico prefers to export its poor, not uplift them

March 30, 2006 edition

Mexico prefers to export its poor, not uplift them
At this week's summit, failed reforms under Fox should be the issue, not US actions.

By George W. Grayson WILLIAMSBURG, VA.

At the parleys this week with his US and Canadian counterparts in Cancún, Mexican President Vicente Fox will press for more opportunities for his countrymen north of the Rio Grande. Specifically, he will argue for additional visas for Mexicans to enter the United States and Canada, the expansion of guest-worker schemes, and the "regularization" of illegal immigrants who reside throughout the continent. In a recent interview with CNN, the Mexican chief executive excoriated as "undemocratic" the extension of a wall on the US-Mexico border and called for the "orderly, safe, and legal" northbound flow of Mexicans, many of whom come from his home state of Guanajuato. Mexican legislators share Mr. Fox's goals. Silvia Hernández Enriquez, head of the Senate Committee on Foreign Relations for North America, recently emphasized that the solution to the "structural phenomenon" of unlawful migration lies not with "walls or militarization" but with "understanding, cooperation, and joint responsibility." Such rhetoric would be more convincing if Mexican officials were making a good faith effort to uplift the 50 percent of their 106 million people who live in poverty. To his credit, Fox's "Opportunities" initiative has improved slightly the plight of the poorest of the poor. Still, neither he nor Mexico's lawmakers have advanced measures that would spur sustained growth, improve the quality of the workforce, curb unemployment, and obviate the flight of Mexicans abroad. Indeed, Mexico's leaders have turned hypocrisy from an art form into an exact science as they shirk their obligations to fellow citizens, while decrying efforts by the US senators and representatives to crack down on illegal immigration at the border and the workplace. What are some examples of this failure of responsibility? • When oil revenues are excluded, Mexico raises the equivalent of only 9 percent of its gross domestic product in taxes - a figure roughly equivalent to that of Haiti and far below the level of major Latin American nations. Not only is Mexico's collection rate ridiculously low, its fiscal regime is riddled with loopholes and exemptions, giving rise to widespread evasion. Congress has rebuffed efforts to reform the system. Insufficient revenues mean that Mexico spends relatively little on two key elements of social mobility: Education commands just 5.3 percent of its GDP and healthcare only 6.10 percent, according to the World Bank's last comparative study. • A venal, "come-back-tomorrow" bureaucracy explains the 58 days it takes to open a business in Mexico compared with three days in Canada, five days in the US, nine days in Jamaica, and 27 days in Chile. Mexico's private sector estimates that 34 percent of the firms in the country made "extra official" payments to functionaries and legislators in 2004. These bribes totaled $11.2 billion and equaled 12 percent of GDP. • Transparency International, a nongovernmental organization, placed Mexico in a tie with Ghana, Panama, Peru, and Turkey for 65th among 158 countries surveyed for corruption. • Economic competition is constrained by the presence of inefficient, overstaffed state oil and electricity monopolies, as well as a small number of private corporations - closely linked to government big shots - that control telecommunications, television, food processing, transportation, construction, and cement. Politicians who talk about, much less propose, trust-busting measures are as rare as a snowfall in the Sonoran Desert. Geography, self-interests, and humanitarian concerns require North America's neighbors to cooperate on myriad issues, not the least of which is immigration. However, Mexico's power brokers have failed to make the difficult decisions necessary to use their nation's bountiful wealth to benefit the masses. Washington and Ottawa have every right to insist that Mexico's pampered elite act responsibly, rather than expecting US and Canadian taxpayers to shoulder burdens Mexico should assume.
Judicial Watch
Mexicans Say Amnesty Will Boost Illegal Immigration
last Updated: Wed, 10/14/2009 - 3:02pm
If President Obama keeps his promise of giving the nation’s 12 million illegal aliens amnesty it will encourage more Mexicans to enter the United States, according to residents of the struggling Latin American country who are undoubtedly rooting for the commander-in-chief’s plan.
The majority of illegal immigrants in the U.S. are from Mexico therefore the president’s reprieve project will greatly affect that nation. Two-thirds of Mexicans say they know someone living in the United States and around one-third have an immediate member of their household or close relative living in the U.S.
A majority of those residing south of the border say legalizing their undocumented countrymen will inspire more Mexicans to head north, according to a recent survey conducted by an internationally known polling and market research company. A vast majority of Mexicans with a relative in the United States said a legalization program would make people they know more likely to go to America illegally.
The results of the survey were made public this week by a research organization dedicated to studying the economic, social, fiscal and demographic impacts of immigration in the U.S. It reveals that nearly one-third of Mexican residents (nearly 40 million people) would like to live in the U.S. and if there was an amnesty a large number would come illegally with the hope of qualifying for a future exoneration.
An amnesty, therefore, would stimulate more illegal immigration which is the last thing this country needs. Furthermore, rewarding those who have violated our nation’s laws with coveted U.S. residency and possibly citizenship demeans the system, especially for those who follow the appropriate steps to come lawfully.
It’s bad enough that U.S. taxpayers annually dish out billions of dollars to educate, medically treat and incarcerate illegal aliens who are, in many cases, depleting local governments. Los Angeles County alone spends more than $1 billion a year, including $48 million a month in welfare costs, to provide services for illegal aliens. The crisis is hardly limited to border states, which have traditionally been the most impacted. Georgia’s skyrocketing illegal population costs taxpayers nearly $2 billion a year.


Immigration bill sticker shock $127 BILLION (dated)
A government study puts the cost of the Senate's version of reform at $127 billion over 10 years.

By Gail Russell Chaddock - Staff writer of The Christian Science Monitor
The price tag for comprehensive immigration reform was not a key issue when the Senate passed its bill last May. But it is now.
One reason: It took the Congressional Budget Office (CBO) - the gold standard for determining what a bill will cost - until last week to estimate that federal spending for this vast and complex bill would hit $127 billion over the next 10 years.
At the same time, federal revenues would drop by about $79 billion, according to the CBO and the Joint Committee on Taxation. If lawmakers fix a tax glitch, that loss would be cut in half, they add.
In field hearings across the nation this month, House GOP leaders are zeroing in on the costs of the Senate bill. It's a bid to define the issue heading into fall elections and muster support for the House bill, which focuses on border security. They say that the more people know about the Senate version, including a path to citizenship for some 11 million people now in the country illegally, the less they will be inclined to support it.

"We are now just beginning to see a glimpse of the staggering burden on American taxpayers the Reid-Kennedy immigration legislation contains," said House Judiciary Committee Chairman James Sensenbrenner, who convened a field hearing at the State House in Concord, N.H., Thursday on the costs of the Senate bill.
But business groups and others backing the Senate bill say that the cost to the US economy of not resolving the status of illegal immigrants and expanding guest-worker programs is higher still. "In my opinion, the fairer question is: How will illegal immigrants impact the costs of healthcare, local education, and social services without passage of comprehensive immigration reform?" said John Young, co-chairman of the Agriculture Coalition for Immigration Reform, at Thursday's hearing.
"Had we solved this problem in a truly comprehensive way in 1986 ... we would not have the daily news reporting outright shortages of farm labor threatening the very existence of agricultural industries coast to coast," he adds.

Experts are poring over the new CBO data - and coming up with radically different assessments of the social costs of reform, ranging from tens of billions of dollars higher to a net wash.
On the issue of border security - a feature in both bills - there is little disagreement. The CBO estimates that the cost of hardening US borders in the Senate bill is $78.3 billion over 10 years, or about 62 percent of the bill's total cost.
The fireworks involve new entitlement spending in the Senate version. The CBO sets the price tag for services for some 16 million new citizens and guest workers at $48.4 billion through fiscal year 2016. That includes $24.5 billion for earned income and child tax credits, $11.7 billion for Medicaid, $5.2 billion for Social Security, $3.7 billion for Medicare, and $2.4 billion for food stamps.
But it's easier to estimate the cost of a mile of fence than to assess the prospects for millions of workers, once they can work legally and claim benefits.

"The amnesty alone will be the largest expansion of the welfare system in the last 25 years," says Robert Rector, a senior analyst at the Heritage Foundation, and a witness at a House Judiciary Committee field hearing in San Diego Aug. 2. "Welfare costs will begin to hit their peak around 2021, because there are delays in citizenship. The very narrow time horizon [the CBO is] using is misleading," he adds. "If even a small fraction of those who come into the country stay and get on Medicaid, you're looking at costs of $20 billion or $30 billion per year."

“What's needed to discourage illegal immigration into the United States has been known for years: Enforce existing law.” CHRISTIAN SCIENCE MONITOR



By David R. Francis

Wall Street cheered and stock prices rose when the US Labor Department announced last Friday that employers had expanded their payrolls by 262,000 positions in February.
But it wasn't entirely good news. The statisticians also indicated that the share of the adult population holding jobs had slipped slightly from January to 62.3 percent. That's now two full percentage points below the level in the brief recession that began in March 2001.

Why the apparent contradiction? Reasons abound: population growth, rising retirements. But one factor that gets little attention is immigration. In the past four years, the number of immigrants into the US, legal and illegal, has closely matched the number of new jobs. That suggests newcomers have, in effect, snapped up all of the new jobs. "There has been no net job gain for natives," says Andrew Sum, an economist at Northeastern University.



“We could cut unemployment in half simply by reclaiming the jobs taken by illegal workers,” said Representative Lamar Smith of Texas, co-chairman of the Reclaim American Jobs Caucus. “President Obama is on the wrong side of the American people on immigration. The president should support policies that help citizens and legal immigrants find the jobs they need and deserve rather than fail to enforce immigration laws.”
“The principal beneficiaries of our current immigration policy are affluent Americans who hire immigrants at substandard wages for low-end work. Harvard economist George Borjas estimates that American workers lose $190 billion annually in depressed wages caused by the constant flooding of the labor market at the low-wage end.” Christian Science Monitor
Illegals make more than US workers
Joe Legal works in construction, has a Social Security Number and makes $25.00 per hour with taxes deducted.
Jose Illegal also works in construction, has NO Social Security Number, and gets paid $15.00 cash "under the table".
Ready? Now pay attention...
Joe Legal: $25.00 per hour x 40 hours = $1000.00 per week, or $52,000.00 per year. Now take 30% away for state and federal tax; Joe Legal now has $31,231.00.
Jose Illegal: $15.00 per hour x 40 hours = $600.00 per week, $31,200.00 per year. Jose Illegal pays no taxes. Jose Illegal now has $31,200.00.
Joe Legal pays medical and dental insurance with limited coverage for his family at $600.00 per month, or $7,200.00 per year. Joe Legal now has $24,031.00.
Jose Illegal has full medical and dental coverage through the state and local clinics at a cost of $0.00 per year. Jose Illegal still has $31,200.00.
Joe Legal makes too much money and is not eligible for food stamps or welfare. Joe Legal pays $500.00 per month for food, or $6,000.00 per year.. Joe Legal now has $18,031.00.
Jose Illegal has no documented income and is eligible for food stamps and welfare. Jose Illegal still has $31,200.00.
Joe Legal pays rent of $1,200.00 per month, or $14,400.00 per year. Joe Legal now has $9,631 .00.
Jose Illegal receives a $500.00 per month federal rent subsidy. Jose Illegal pays out that $500.00 per month, or $6,000.00 per year. Jose Illegal still has $ 31,200.00.
Jose Illegal receives a $280.00 per family member/ month federal CASH AID for four family members . Jose Illegal has $ 43,200.00.
Joe Legal pays $200.00 per month, or $2,400.00 for insurance. Joe Legal now has $7,231.00.
Jose Illegal says, "We don't need no stinkin' insurance!" and still has $ 43,200.00.
Joe Legal has to make his $7,231.00 stretch to pay utilities, gasoline, etc.
Jose Illegal has to make his $ 43,200.00. stretch to pay utilities, gasoline, and what he sends out of the country every month.."actually Jose illegal doesn't pay for most utilities in many states as he gets county assistance to pay the bills and his late fees"
Joe Legal now works overtime on Saturdays or gets a part time job after work. "and pays a higher tax rate if he earns above a certain amount"
Jose Illegal has nights and weekends off to enjoy with his family.
Joe Legal's and Jose Illegal's children both attend the same school. Joe Legal pays for his children's lunches while Jose Illegal's children get a government sponsored lunch. Jose Illegal's children have an after school ESL program. Joe Legal's children go home.
Joe Legal and Jose Illegal both enjoy the same police and fire services, but Joe paid for them and Jose did not pay.

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Unemployment rises in 29 US states
By Patrick Martin
23 November 2009
Unemployment rates rose in 29 of the 50 US states in October, according to a report released by the federal Department of Labor Friday, with California, Florida, South Carolina and Delaware reporting all-time highs since 1976, when the Labor Department began reporting statewide totals. The District of Columbia also had its highest-ever official jobless total.
The jobless rate in California, the largest US state, hit 12.5 percent, while the jobless rate in Florida, the fourth-largest state, was 11.2 percent. The 29 states showing increased unemployment was itself a rise over September, when 22 states had rising unemployment figures. Eight states showed no change in the unemployment rate, while 13 states reported a drop.
Michigan still had the nation's highest unemployment rate in October: 15.1 percent, slightly below the September rate of 15.3 percent. It was followed by Nevada at 13 percent, Rhode Island at 12.9 percent, California at 12.5 percent and South Carolina's 12.1 percent. All told, 13 states were above the national average of 10.2 percent (the others being Illinois, Indiana, Ohio, Kentucky, Tennessee, Oregon, Alabama, North Carolina and Georgia).
Michigan, Ohio, Kentucky and Indiana, all centers of auto production, saw slight increases in the actual number of employed workers, partly as a consequence of the cash-for-clunkers program, which expired in September.
The actual number of jobs reported in Michigan rose by 38,600, the second largest for any state, trailing only Texas, which added 41,700 jobs, largely in education, health care and government. The Texas unemployment rate nonetheless increased, to 8.3 percent.
Every one of the 50 states has a higher unemployment rate than one year ago, and all have a lower total number of jobs than in October 2008. Since the US recession began officially in December 2007, total US unemployment has increased by 8.2 million people.
While the state-by-state variation was quite pronounced—ranging from Michigan’s 15.1 percent down to North Dakota’s 4.2 percent—the regional variation was far less. The Western US had the highest unemployment rate, at 10.8 percent, with the Northeast showing the lowest rate, 9 percent, and the Midwest and South in between.
These figures indicate catastrophic levels of social distress, given that the official unemployment rate is effectively doubled once involuntary part-time and so-called discouraged workers are included.
Several other reports have been released that suggest the human dimensions of the economic and social crisis in the United States.
The Mortgage Bankers Association reported that 14 percent of borrowers were in trouble on their mortgages during the third quarter (July to September 2009), a record for the industry. Unemployment, rather than the collapse in home prices, was the biggest factor in delinquencies, the survey found.
The 14 percent rate translates into 7.4 million households, with approximately one third in foreclosure, and two thirds delinquent on payments but not yet in foreclosure. This compares to 5 million households in trouble one year ago.
A Census Bureau survey, based on figures collected in 2007, at the early stages of the current slump, found that 20 percent of Americans needed outside assistance to pay for basic needs like food, mortgage or utilities. Nine percent of households had to resort to food pantries and soup kitchens for food. More than one million households were without a refrigerator or stove.
A report in the Detroit Free Press Sunday found that record numbers of Michigan residents were receiving food stamps, Medicaid and other forms of social assistance, with new applicants, largely workers recently laid off from their jobs, jamming social service offices throughout the state.
Some 1.8 million people were receiving Medicaid benefits in Michigan last month, and 1.65 million receiving food assistance. More than 20 percent of the population was dependent on some form of aid.
Nearly one million people were receiving food or Medicaid in Wayne County, the state’s largest, which includes the city of Detroit. Even in the once largely affluent Oakland County suburbs, some 224,000 people were received food assistance or Medicaid in October.
Meanwhile, the comptroller of New York state, in a report issued November 17, projected that Wall Street profits in 2009 would top the record set in 2006, at the height of the speculative bubble. The four largest investment firms—Goldman Sachs, Morgan Stanley, Merrill Lynch (now the investment arm of Bank of America), and JP Morgan Chase—made $22.5 billion in profits during the first nine months of the year.
Member firms of the New York Stock Exchange made a record $35.7 billion in trading profits during the first six months of 2009, shattering the previous record, set in 2000, by nearly $9 billion. The top six US banks have already set aside $112 billion for salaries and bonuses in the first nine months of the year, and could easily shatter the 12-month record total of $162 billion set in 2007, once mammoth year-end bonuses are reported.
In his Saturday Internet and radio speech, recorded at the end of his east Asian trip, President Obama rejected any special job-creation measures. Claiming that the US economy was now emerging from recession, Obama declared, “In order to keep growing, we need to spend less, save more, and get our federal deficit under control.”
Obama touted the forum on economic growth he will convene at the White House on December 3, but added, “It is important that we do not make any ill-considered decisions—even with the best of intentions—particularly at a time when our resources are so limited.” OBAMA NEVER SAID THE STUPID GRINGO’S “RESOURCES” WHERE LIMITED WHEN HE WAS HANDING OUT BILLIONS TO BANKSTER CRIMINALS! THIS GUY IS GEORGE W BUSH IN DRAG WANTING TO BE BITCH HILLARY!
“I will not let up until businesses start hiring again,” he said, language that means new jobs will come only from private capitalists, not through the public sector.
The list of those Obama is inviting to the White House forum was revealing: “CEOs and small business owners, economists and financial experts, as well as representatives from labor unions and nonprofit groups.” Not a single worker or unemployed person will be involved.

AMERICAN IN MELTDOWN - And the Worst Is Yet to Come!

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WHEN OBAMA MOVED INTO THE WHITE HOUSE ON THE LA RAZA TICKET, he immediately surrounded himself with the most corrupt of the bankster owned politicians like FEINSTEIN, FRANK and CHRIS DODD. Then he brought in Bush’s architect for banksters’ no-strings bailouts, and NO REAL REGULATION... then Obama went to work to make his “UNregistered voters”, i.e., illegals happy with one ploy after another for amnesty.



January 8, 2011

Mary Bottari
Center for Media and Democracy
Full Catastrophe Banking in 2011

With a $4.7 trillion bailout under their belts and no harm done to their billion-dollar bonuses, don't expect Wall Street bankers to be chastened by the 2008 financial crisis. Below we list eight things to watch out for in 2011 that threaten to rock the financial system and undermine any recovery.
1) The Demise of Bank of America WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange is promising to unleash a cache of secret documents from the troubled Bank of America (BofA). BofA is already under the gun, defending itself from multiple lawsuits demanding that the bank buy back billions worth of toxic mortgages it peddled to investors. The firm is also at the heart of the robo-signing scandal, having wrongfully kicked many American families to the curb. If Assange has emails showing that Countrywide or BofA knew they were recklessly abandoning underwriting standards and/or peddling toxic dreck to investors, the damage to the firm could be irreparable.
2) Robo-signers Wreaking Havoc With lawsuits abounding, new types of fraud in the foreclosure process are being uncovered daily, including accounting fraud, fake attorneys, destroyed promissory notes and false notarization. The crisis not only calls into question the legality of untold foreclosures, it also calls into question the value of trillions of dollars worth of mortgage-backed securities held by banks, pension funds, federal, state and local governments. The only government report on the topic by the feisty Congressional Oversight Panel for the TARP acknowledges that "it is possible that 'robo-signing' may have concealed deeper problems in the mortgage market that could potentially threaten financial stability."
3) MERS Madness
In addition to outright fraud, numerous state Supreme Courts have questioned the legal standing of the Mortgage Electronic Registration or "MERS" system. MERS is listed as the mortgagee for 60% of U.S. mortgages. It is an electronic clearinghouse created by industry to bypass the property registration system developed in precolonial days to ensure that the King could not easily rob the subjects of their land. Wall Street turned to MERS to speed securitizations (and now foreclosures), but its legal standing is now in doubt and its shoddy processing of documents has major ramifications for the securitization process as well. Look for a rotten "MERS fix" in the new Congress. Let's hope it gives consumer advocates some leverage to demand justice for Americans being robbed by the new Kings on Wall Street.
4) Flash Crash Calamity The "flash crash" of May 2010 rattled the markets and caused a stunning 700 point drop in the Dow within minutes. Regulators think they know what occurred, but they are moving too slowly to put the brakes on hair-trigger trading. Seventy percent of Wall Street trades take place in milliseconds, so it is no surprise that mini-flash crashes are becoming a constant. With traders now gearing up to trade on raw news feeds and Twitter, we can anticipate even more volatility. A small financial transaction tax targeting high-volume, high-speed trades is long overdue. It would throw sand in the roulette wheel and raise much needed revenue for the federal government.
5) Bigger Behemoth Banks The Federal Reserve is planning to "stress test" the big banks again. The same 19 banks that underwent the first stress tests in 2009 will be tested again, but this time the Fed says it won't release the results. Why not? Banks with toxic mortgages and mortgage-backed securities on their books and concomitant legal exposure to "put back" law suits are being kept afloat by accounting tricks, TARP and Fed loans. Honest stress tests of still weak financial institutions may well result in sales and buyouts that will further consolidate the already concentrated banking industry and create larger and more unwieldy "too big to fail" behemoths -- backed by the guarantee of the American taxpayer.
6) Foreclosure Tsunami Housing foreclosures may top nine million in 2011 and [[Goldman Sachs]] predicts the number will reach 12 million in the next few years. The result will be another significant drop in home prices in 2011 and even more families underwater. Civilized nations see the forcible migration of a city the size of New York as an economic and humanitarian catastrophe, but not the United States. The Obama administration and Congress have callously refused to take meaningful action to aid families facing foreclosure even in the face of widespread predatory lending and rampant foreclosure fraud. The only hope now for millions of American families is aggressive action by the 50 state Attorneys General who are actively investigating foreclosure fraud. Whether they have the guts to wrestle a settlement out of the big banks that slows the foreclosure machine and offers families meaningful options has yet to be seen.
7) Bankrupt Cities and States Meredith Whitney, a research analyst who correctly predicted the credit crunch, is now warning that over 100 American cities could go bust next year. She anticipates billions worth of municipal bond defaults and warns: "next to housing this is the single most important issue in the U.S. and certainly the biggest threat to the U.S. economy." States are also in dire straits. The economic shock of mass unemployment on top of years of population decline, deindustrialization and the like have left cities unable to meet their obligations to taxpayers and retirees. With the austerity nuts in charge of the House, it may take a bankruptcy of a major player to prod an appropriate federal response to this looming disaster.
8) Gas Prices above $4.00 The price of energy and other commodities shifted into high gear in late August when the Federal Reserve Chairman decided to stimulate the economy with quantitative easing. Speculators quickly began bidding up the value of asset classes like crude oil, metals and food commodities. In December, the Commodities Futures Trading Commission failed to apply position limits to these commodities, delaying rules that would crack down on speculators and aid consumers who are already seeing big price hikes at the pump. Without swift action, skyrocketing gas prices will further tank an already stalled economy.
As we hope for the best in 2011, let's prepare for the worst. The big banks are sure to deliver.


Les Leopold is the author of The Looting of America: How Wall Street's Game of Fantasy Finance destroyed our Jobs, Pensions and Prosperity, and What We Can Do About It Chelsea Green Publishing, June 2009.

These guys profited from puffing up the housing bubble, then got bailed out when the going got tough. (Please see The Looting of America for all the gory details.) Without taxpayer largess, these hedge fund honchos would be flat broke. Instead, they're back to hauling in obscene profits.
These billionaires don't even have to worry about serious financial reforms. The paltry legislation that squeaked through Congress did nothing to end too big and too interconnected to fail. In fact, the biggest firms got even bigger as they gobbled up troubled banks, with the generous support of the federal government. No bank or hedge fund was broken up. Nobody was forced to pay a financial transaction tax. None of the big boys had a cap placed on their astronomical wealth. No one's paying reparations for wrecking the US economy. The big bankers are still free to create and trade the very derivatives that catapulted us into this global crisis. You'd think the billionaires would be praying on the altar of government and erecting statues on Capital Hill in honor of St. Bailout.

While 43.6 million Americans live in poverty, the richest men of finance sure are getting pissy. First Steve Schwartzman, head of the Blackrock private equity company, compares the Obama administration's effort to close billionaires' tax loopholes to "the Nazi invasion of Poland." Then hedge fund mogul David Loeb announces that he's abandoning the Democrats because they're violating "this country's core founding principles" -- including "non-punitive taxation, Constitutionally-guaranteed protections against persecution of the minority, and an inexorable right of self-determination." Instead of showing their outrage about the spread of poverty in the richest nation on Earth, the super-rich want us to pity them?
Why are Wall Street's billionaires so whiny? Is it really possible to make $900,000 an hour (not a typo -- that's what the top ten hedge fund managers take in), and still feel aggrieved about the way government is treating you? After you've been bailed out by the federal government to the tune of $10 trillion (also not a typo) in loans, asset swaps, liquidity and other guarantees, can you really still feel like an oppressed minority?
You'd think the Wall Street moguls would be thankful. Not just thankful -- down on their knees kissing the ground taxpayers walk on and hollering hallelujah at the top of their lungs! These guys profited from puffing up the housing bubble, then got bailed out when the going got tough. (Please see The Looting of America for all the gory details.) Without taxpayer largess, these hedge fund honchos would be flat broke. Instead, they're back to hauling in obscene profits.
These billionaires don't even have to worry about serious financial reforms. The paltry legislation that squeaked through Congress did nothing to end too big and too interconnected to fail. In fact, the biggest firms got even bigger as they gobbled up troubled banks, with the generous support of the federal government. No bank or hedge fund was broken up. Nobody was forced to pay a financial transaction tax. None of the big boys had a cap placed on their astronomical wealth. No one's paying reparations for wrecking the US economy. The big bankers are still free to create and trade the very derivatives that catapulted us into this global crisis. You'd think the billionaires would be praying on the altar of government and erecting statues on Capital Hill in honor of St. Bailout.
Instead, standing before us are these troubled souls, haunted by visions of persecution. Why?
The world changed. Before the bubble burst, these people walked on water. Their billions proved that they were the best and the brightest -- not just captains of the financial universe, but global elites who had earned a place in history. They donated serious money to worthy causes -- and political campaigns. No one wanted to mess with them.
But then came the crash. And the things changed for the big guys -- not so much financially as spiritually. Plebeians, including me, are asking pointed questions and sometimes even being heard, both on the Internet and in the mainstream media. For the first time in a generation, the public wants to know more about these emperors and their new clothes. For instance:
• What do these guys actually do that earns them such wealth?
• Is what they do productive and useful for society? Is there any connection between what they earn and what they produce for society?
• Did they help cause the crash?
• Did these billionaires benefit from the bailouts? If so, how much?
• Are they exacerbating the current unemployment and poverty crisis with their shenanigans?
• Why shouldn't we eliminate their tax loopholes (like carried interest)?
• Should their sky-high incomes be taxed at the same levels as during the Eisenhower years?
• Can we create the millions of jobs we need if the billionaires continue to skim off so much of our nation's wealth??
• Should we curb their wealth and political influence?
How dare we ask such questions! How dare we consider targeting them for special taxes? How dare we even think about redistributing THEIR incomes... even if at the moment much of their money comes directly from our bailouts and tax breaks?
It's true that the billionaires live in a hermetically sealed world. But that doesn't mean they don't notice the riffraff nipping at their heels. And they don't like it much. So they've gotten busy doing what billionaires do best: using their money to shield themselves. They're digging into their bottomless war chests, tapping their vast connections and using their considerable influence to shift the debate away from them and towards the rest of us.
We borrowed too much, not them. We get too much health care, not them. We retire too soon, not them. We need to tighten our belts while they pull in another $900,000 an hour. And if we want to cure poverty, we need to get the government to leave Wall Street alone. Sadly, their counter-offensive is starting to take hold.
How can this happen? Many Americans want to relate to billionaires. They believe that all of us are entitled to make as much as we can, pretty much by any means necessary. After all, maybe someday you or I will strike it rich. And when we do, we sure don't want government regulators or the taxman coming around!
Billionaires are symbols of American individual prowess and virility. And if we try to hold them back or slow them down, we're on the road to tyranny. Okay, the game is rigged in their favor. Okay, they got bailed out while the rest of us didn't -- especially the 29 million people who are jobless or forced into part-time work. But what matters most is that in America, nothing can interfere with individual money-making. That only a few of us actually make it into the big-time isn't a bad thing: It's what makes being rich so special. So beware: If we enact even the mildest of measures to rein in Wall Street billionaires, we're on the path to becoming North Korea.
Unfortunately, if we don't adjust our attitudes, we can expect continued high levels of unemployment and more people pushed below the poverty line. It's not clear that our economy will ever recover as long as the Wall Street billionaires keep siphoning off so much of our wealth. How can we create jobs for the many while the few are walking off with $900,000 an hour with almost no new jobs to show for it? In the old days, even robber barons built industries that employed people -- steel, oil, railroads. Now the robber barons build palaces out of fantasy finance. We can keep coddling our financial billionaires and let our economy spiral down, or we can make them pay their fair share so we can create real jobs. These guys crashed the economy, they killed billions of jobs, and now they're cashing in on our bailout. They owe us. They owe the unemployed. They owe the poor.
Dwight D. Eisenhower was no radical, but he accepted the reality: If America was going to prosper -- and pay for its costly Cold War -- the super-rich would have to pony up. It was common knowledge that when the rich grew too wealthy, they used their excess incomes to speculate. In the 1950s, memories of the Great Depression loomed large, and people knew that a skewed distribution of income only fueled speculative booms and disastrous busts. On Ike's watch, the effective marginal tax rate for those earning over $3 million (in today's dollars) was over 70 percent. The super-rich paid. As a nation we respected that other important American value: advancing the common good.
For the last thirty years we've been told that making as much as you can is just another way of advancing the common good. But the Great Recession erased that equation: The Wall Streeters who made as much as they could undermined the common good. It's time to balance the scales. This isn't just redistribution of income in pursuit of some egalitarian utopia. It's a way to use public policy to reattach billionaires to the common good.
It's time to take Eisenhower's cue and redeploy the excessive wealth Wall Street's high rollers have accumulated. If we leave it in their hands, they'll keep using it to construct speculative financial casinos. Instead, we could use that money to build a stronger, more prosperous nation. We could provide our people with free higher education at all our public colleges and universities -- just like we did for WWII vets under the GI Bill of Rights (a program that returned seven dollars in GDP for every dollar invested). We could fund a green energy Manhattan Project to wean us from fossil fuels. An added bonus: If we siphon some of the money off Wall Street, some of our brightest college graduates might even be attracted not to high finance but to jobs in science, education and healthcare, where we need them.
Of course, this pursuit of the common good won't be easy for the billionaires (and those who indentify with them.). But there's just no alternative for this oppressed minority: They're going to have to learn to live on less than $900,000 an hour.
Les Leopold is the author of The Looting of America: How Wall Street's Game of Fantasy Finance destroyed our Jobs, Pensions and Prosperity, and What We Can Do About It Chelsea Green Publishing, June 2009.

Obamanomics: How Barack Obama Is Bankrupting You and Enriching His Wall Street Friends, Corporate Lobbyists, and Union Bosses


Editorial Reviews
Obama Is Making You Poorer—But Who’s Getting Rich?
Goldman Sachs, GE, Pfizer, the United Auto Workers—the same “special interests” Barack Obama was supposed to chase from the temple—are profiting handsomely from Obama’s Big Government policies that crush taxpayers, small businesses, and consumers. In Obamanomics, investigative reporter Timothy P. Carney digs up the dirt the mainstream media ignores and the White House wishes you wouldn’t see. Rather than Hope and Change, Obama is delivering corporate socialism to America, all while claiming he’s battling corporate America. It’s corporate welfare and regulatory robbery—it’s Obamanomics.
Congressman Ron Paul says, “Every libertarian and free-market conservative needs to read Obamanomics.” And Johan Goldberg, columnist and bestselling author says, “Obamanomics is conservative muckraking at its best and an indispensable field guide to the Obama years.”
If you’ve wondered what’s happening to America, as the federal government swallows up the financial sector, the auto industry, and healthcare, and enacts deficit exploding “stimulus packages,” this book makes it all clear—it’s a big scam. Ultimately, Obamanomics boils down to this: every time government gets bigger, somebody’s getting rich, and those somebodies are friends of Barack. This book names the names—and it will make your blood boil.

Obama Is Making You Poorer—But Who’s Getting Rich?
Goldman Sachs, GE, Pfizer, the United Auto Workers—the same “special interests” Barack Obama was supposed to chase from the temple—are profiting handsomely from Obama’s Big Government policies that crush taxpayers, small businesses, and consumers.
Investigative reporter Timothy P. Carney digs up the dirt the mainstream media ignores and the White House wishes you wouldn’t see. Rather than Hope and Change, Obama is delivering corporate socialism to America, all while claiming he’s battling corporate America. It’s corporate welfare and regulatory robbery—it’s Obamanomics. In this explosive book, Carney reveals:
* The Great Health Care Scam—Obama’s backroom deals with drug companies spell corporate profits and more government control
* The Global Warming Hoax—Obama has bought off industries with a pork-filled bill that will drain your wallet for Al Gore’s agenda
* Obama and Wall Street—“Change” means more bailouts and a heavy Goldman Sachs presence in the West Wing (including Rahm Emanuel)
* Stimulating K Street—The largest spending bill in history gave pork to the well-connected and created a feeding frenzy for lobbyists
* How the GOP needs to change its tune—drastically—to battle Obamanomics
If you’ve wondered what’s happening to our country, as the federal government swallows up the financial sector, the auto industry, and healthcare, and enacts deficit exploding “stimulus packages” that create make-work government jobs, this book makes it all clear—it’s a big scam. Ultimately, Obamanomics boils down to this: every time government gets bigger, somebody’s getting rich, and those somebodies are friends of Barack. This book names the names—and it will make your blood boil.
Praise for Obamanomics
“The notion that ‘big business’ is on the side of the free market is one of progressivism’s most valuable myths. It allows them to demonize corporations by day and get in bed with them by night. Obamanomics is conservative muckraking at its best. It reveals how President Obama is exploiting the big business mythology to undermine the free market and stick it to entrepreneurs, taxpayers, and consumers. It’s an indispensable field guide to the Obama years.”
—Jonha Goldberg, LA Times columnist and best-selling author
“‘Every time government gets bigger, somebody’s getting rich.’ With this astute observation, Tim Carney begins his task of laying bare the Obama administration’s corporatist governing strategy, hidden behind the president’s populist veneer. This meticulously researched book is a must-read for anyone who wants to understand how Washington really works.”
—David Freddoso, best-selling author of The Case Against Barack Obama
“Every libertarian and free-market conservative who still believes that large corporations are trusted allies in the battle for economic liberty needs to read this book, as does every well-meaning liberal who believes that expansions of the welfare-regulatory state are done to benefit the common people.”
—Congressman Ron Paul
“It’s understandable for critics to condemn President Obama for his ‘socialism.’ But as Tim Carney shows, the real situation is at once more subtle and more sinister. Obamanomics favors big business while disproportionately punishing everyone else. So-called progressives are too clueless to notice, as usual, which is why we have Tim Carney and this book.”
—Thomas E. Woods, Jr., best-selling author of Meltdown and The Politically Incorrect Guide™ to American History
• Hardcover: 256 pages
• Publisher: Regnery Press (November 30, 2009)
• Language: English
• ISBN-10: 1596986123
• ISBN-13: 978-1596986121

Simon Johnson reviews Too Big to Fail by Andrew Sorkin and other books on the financial crisis
Sunday, December 27, 2009; B01
The Inside Story of How Wall Street and Washington Fought to Save the Financial System -- and Themselves
By Andrew Ross Sorkin
Viking. 600 pp. $32.95
The Ascent of Jamie Dimon and JPMorgan Chase
By Duff McDonald
Simon & Schuster. 340 pp. $28
The End of Easy Money And the Renewal of the American Economy
By Peter S. Goodman
Times. 336 pp. $25
At 6:30 a.m. on June 6, 1944, U.S. forces began their assault on Omaha Beach as part of the Normandy landings. Casualties among the first wave were horrendous as infantry struggled out of their landing crafts, known as Higgins boats, under intense fire. Incredible acts of individual heroism and great leadership on the spur of the moment eventually saved the day, but not before chaos and death swept the sand. Combat historian S.L.A Marshall described Omaha Beach as "an epic human tragedy which in the early hours bordered on total disaster."
At 11 a.m. on Sept. 15, 2008, Lloyd Blankfein pulled up in front of a Manhattan office building to continue working on a way to save his firm, Goldman Sachs. "I don't think I can take another day of this," one of his employees remarked. Blankfein shot back, "You're getting out of a Mercedes to go to the New York Federal Reserve. You're not getting out of a Higgins boat on Omaha Beach."
Blankfein was right: Being a Wall Street banker in 2008 was nothing like being a soldier during the Normandy invasion. The financial crisis may have been a once-in-a-lifetime struggle for a group of very well-paid banking executives, but the hardships they endured were long hours, uncomfortable phone calls, and mediocre takeout food. The only thing that JPMorgan Chase and Goldman Sachs had in common with the U.S. forces was that, ultimately, they won: The Wall Street executives kept their jobs, their bonuses and their pensions; they benefited from unprecedented rule changes and unlimited monetary and fiscal support; and their firms became even bigger and more dangerous to the economic health of society.
Stephen Ambrose retold the human dimensions of World War II in convincing and excruciating detail. Andrew Ross Sorkin is the Stephen Ambrose for our financial crisis, with the blow-by-blow story of how rich bankers fought to save the Wall Street they knew and loved. The details in "Too Big To Fail" will turn your stomach. The arrogance, lack of self-awareness, and overweening pride are astonishing.
Sorkin puts you there -- you see events unfold moment by moment, you hear the conversations, you can sense the hubris. The executives of our largest banks ran their firms into the ground, taking excessive risks that even now they fail to understand fully. But, as these individuals saw it, unless they personally were saved on incredibly generous terms, the world's economy would grind to a halt. This is as compelling as it is appalling.
Jamie Dimon, the astute, well-connected and ultimately victorious head of JPMorgan Chase -- a character whose development is revealed meticulously in Duff McDonald's "Last Man Standing" -- told his shareholders' meeting earlier this year that 2008 was probably the company's "finest year ever." He was talking about what you and I call the worst financial crisis since the Great Depression.
Sorkin in his general narrative and McDonald in his biography are sympathetic to their protagonists, but the portraits that emerge are not encouraging. Perhaps for this reason, both shy away somewhat from a key point: You can blame the bankers all you want, but it is the government's job to prevent the financial sector (and anyone else) from holding or exercising this kind of power over us. Where was the government?
By 2008, our executive and legislative branches had long been deep in bipartisan slumber, allowing vulnerabilities to build up in the form of overspending, rising consumer debt levels and lax (or nonexistent) protection for consumers against outrageous practices by the financial sector. This bigger picture is missing from Sorkin's and McDonald's blow-by-blow accounts, but it is a recurrent theme in "Past Due," by journalist Peter S. Goodman.
We can quibble about the relative importance of some details -- such as the role of China's high savings rate in lowering global interest rates and feeding the American credit boom -- in Goodman's highly informative account. But there is no question that politicians either believed that crazy "financial engineering" created a sound basis for sustainable growth or just loved what the financial system could do for them at election time.
And, as Sorkin relates, it is hard to escape the conclusion that the rhetoric regarding our supposedly free markets without government intervention just masks the reality -- that there is a revolving door between Wall Street and Washington, and powerful people bend the rules to help each other out. In an illustration of Wall Street clubbiness, Sorkin documents a meeting in Moscow between Hank Paulson, secretary of the treasury (and former head of Goldman Sachs), and the board of Goldman Sachs. As the storm clouds gathered at the end of June 2008, Paulson spent an evening talking substance with the board -- while agreeing not to record this "social" meeting in his official calendar. We do not know the content of the conversation, but the appearance of this kind of exclusive interaction shows how little our top officials care about public perceptions of favoritism.
In saner times, this would constitute a major scandal. At moments of deep crisis, understanding what influences policymakers and having access to them can help a firm survive on advantageous terms. Goldman Sachs was saved, in large part, by suddenly being allowed to become a bank holding company on Sept. 21, 2008. Our most senior government officials determined that the United States must allow Goldman to keep its risky portfolio of assets, while offering it essentially unfettered access to cheap credit from the Federal Reserve. In rescuing a crippled investment bank, the Treasury created the world's largest government-backed hedge fund.
In the face of these developments, Andrew Haldane, head of financial stability at the Bank of England, has become blunt about the way our banking system interacts with (and rips off) taxpayers. In a recent paper that represents the straightest talk heard from the official sector in a long while, Haldane puts it this way: The government may say "never again" to bailouts, but when faced with the choice to either "rescue big banks or allow the world economy to collapse," it will reasonably choose the route of rescue. But, knowing this, the people running our biggest banks have an incentive to take more risk -- if things go well, bank executives get the upside, and if there's a problem, the taxpayer will pick up the check. If a financial sector boss wants greater assurance of a bailout, he or she should make bigger and potentially more dangerous bets -- so the government simply cannot afford to let that bank fail.
This, Haldane argues, is our "doom loop" -- big banks know they can get away with the same behavior (and more) again, and we are doomed to repeat the same boom-bust-bailout cycle. A long time ago, President Andrew Jackson's private secretary, Nicholas Trist, described the Second Bank of the United States, the last financial institution to seriously challenge the power of the president, thus: "Independently of its misdeeds, the mere power, -- the bare existence of such a power -- is a thing irreconcilable with the nature and spirit of our institutions." Unless and until we break the political power of our largest banks, the middle class will be hammered down. Whose taxes do you think will be raised to reflect the costs of repeated financial shenanigans? The financial sector will become even richer and more powerful. If you didn't like where inequality in the United States was already heading, wait until you see the effects of this recession.
The most significant result of the financial crisis is the emergence of six large banks that are undoubtedly too big to fail and therefore enjoy a strengthened government guarantee; Goldman, JPMorgan, Citigroup, Bank of America, Wells Fargo and Morgan Stanley are the beneficiaries of the doom loop. The most significant non-result is the fact that no comprehensive legislation has yet been passed to reform the financial sector. Without really serious reform, we have every reason to start counting down to the next financial crisis, and to the next fleet of Mercedes lining up before the New York Fed.
Simon Johnson is co-founder of the blog BaselineScenario, co-author of "13 Bankers," to be published in April, and a professor at MIT's Sloan School of Management.