Wednesday, January 23, 2019


ABORTION KILLS…. the innocent!
America’s baby murdering factories…. Your tax dollars at work

“I Cut the Vocal Cord So The Baby Can't Scream.”

Dr. Leah Torres, an OB/GYN in Salt Lake City, Utah, said that when she performs certain abortions she cuts the vocal cord of the baby so "there's really no opportunity" for the child to scream. She also described herself as a "uterus ripper outer" because she performs hysterectomies.




Planned Parenthood executives and supporters were on Capitol Hill this week lobbying lawmakers to protect the millions of dollars the nation’s largest abortion provider gets from taxpayers every year and to announce nationwide “speak-outs” during the upcoming congressional recesses.

 Annual Report: Planned Parenthood Did 332,757 Abortions in FY2017

By Emily Ward | January 21, 2019 | 11:29 AM EST

A Planned Parenthood clinic in Chicago, Ill. (Getty Images/Scott Olson)
( -- Planned Parenthood released its 2017-2018 annual report over the weekend, revealing that the organization did 332,757 abortions in the fiscal year that ran from Oct. 1, 2016 to Sept. 30, 2017.
Planned Parenthood also reported that it received $563.8 million in revenue from “government health services reimbursements & grants” for the year ending June 30, 2018.
The 332,757 abortions Planned Parenthood says it did in fiscal 2017 was 11,373 more than the 321,384 abortions Planned Parenthood reported doing in fiscal 2016 (Oct. 1 2015 to Sept. 30, 2016).
[This table from page 25 of Planned Parenthood's 2017-2018 Annual Report cites the 332,757 abortions it performed in fiscal 2017.]
Planned Parenthood's government funding also increased, according to the report. The $563.8 million it received in government reimbursements and grants in the year that ended on June 30, 2018 exceeded by $20.1 million the $543.7 million it received in the year ending June 30, 2017.
In addition the 332,757 abortions it performed in fiscal 2017, the Planned Parenthood annual report also indicates that it carried out 248 female sterilization procedures, served 3,421 vasectomy clients and provided 631,510 “emergency contraception kits.”
Planned Parenthood is the largest abortion provider in the United States, with more than 600 health centers, 357 of which provide medication-abortions. In 13 states, Planned Parenthood affiliates provide telemedicine abortions, which are abortions that take place without a doctor present at any point during the procedure.
[This table from page 28 of Planned Parenthood's 2017-2018 Annual Report cites the $563.8 million in government funding Planned Parenthood received in the year that ended on June 30, 2018.]
In 2018, the organization appointed a new president, Leana Wen, who has made efforts to re-brand Planned Parenthood as a healthcare organization by promoting its non-abortion services, such as birth control and testing for sexually transmitted infections.
Earlier this month, however, Wen said abortion access is still the “core mission” of Planned Parenthood.

JOHN HORVAT II - LOOMING ECONOMIC COLLAPSE OF AMERICA - Can America talk itself out of this one?

“Our entire crony capitalist system, Democrat and Republican alike, has become a kleptocracy approaching par with third-world hell-holes.  This is the way a great country is raided by its elite.” ---- Karen McQuillan  THEAMERICAN

“Attorney General Eric Holder's tenure was a low point even within the disgraceful scandal-ridden Obama years.” DANIEL GREENFIELD / FRONTPAGE MAG

Three Ways to Avoid Death of Dollar – and America

Little remains of the vast edifice of family, community and faith relationships that once unified and anchored the American way of life. These things have not disappeared from the horizon. They are still important, but they have deteriorated. There is no more consensus about what they mean, and they no longer serve as anchors of certainty.
One final anchor remains that does unite Americans. This anchor survives despite everything. Now, even this seems targeted for destruction.
The Last Anchor That Unites Everyone
It seems almost irreverent to affirm, but this last anchor is the American dollar. Money is not supposed to be a social anchor. Other more immaterial things—moral, principles, social bonds—should play this role. However, today money bridges the seemingly unbridgeable chasms that polarize the nation in a way nothing else can.  
It is not just money. What unites Americans across the board is the dollar, which is accepted everywhere either in its physical or virtual form. No one questions its dominant role. As the world’s reserve currency, it keeps global trade running while everything else falls apart. When the other anchors fail, the dollar is always there to spend ways out of a crisis. 
Calling the dollar the last anchor does not mean that money should or does run everything. The dollar is much more than a simple unit of currency. It has immense symbolic importance since it is attached to notions of national sovereignty, power and the American way of life. The dollar sustains the myth of an America that will never fail. Thus, its fall is unimaginable to many Americans who cannot visualize the country without it.
A Culture of Intemperance
However, there is a darker side to the dollar. It facilitates the frenetic intemperance of a culture that rejects limits. People want everything instantly and effortlessly, and the dollar is ever-ready to supply the means to buy fleeting happiness. The government offers its dollar subsidies to keep people dependent and happy. So many others seem willing to sustain this frenzied lifestyle by contracting debt of all types—private, corporate and governmental.
And the dollar is the ideal instrument for this frenzy. It is stable, flexible and plentiful. What sustains the dollar is the world’s willingness to buy U.S. Treasury bonds as a stable investment. There seems to be no limit to the frenetic appetite for these debt dollars worldwide.
However, the dollar cannot solve the nation’s problems no matter how many trillions are thrown at them. Like any currency, the dollar is only as strong as the society that sustains it. With the decline of America’s institutions, it is inevitable that the dollar too will face a decline—perhaps radically and dramatically.
This dollar decline could happen in three different ways, especially in these erratic times.
The Post-2008 U.S. Is Unprepared for New Economic Crises
First, it can be destroyed by overconfidence. The grand myth holds that the dollar cannot be destroyed because it has never been destroyed before, despite several close calls.
There is no logic to this affirmation. All things temporal can be destroyed, especially if they are neglected. However, the argument does carry some weight in a culture that is run on emotions and feelings.
The fact is that the dollar is surviving on borrowed time. The 2008 crisis provoked world finance leaders to use every tool in their toolboxes to fix the crisis. Programs of zero or even negative interest, quantitative easing and other vehicles have all run their course with limited effects. Overconfident Americans need to take notice of dangers on the horizon.
Risks still abound in today’s global economy with trade wars and political tensions. Many economic observers say that should a major crisis hit the world economy, the financial systems could go down. And there are very few new tricks that can be employed to stem the grave damage since the root causes are not being addressed.
The mantra that the dollar is indestructible is hardly reassuring.
The Very Real Debt Threat
The second factor that could cause the dollar’s decline is debt in all its forms, especially American sovereign debt. When the world no longer wants to buy American debt, the crushing burden of high interest rates will have disastrous consequences for the nation.
The present governmental debt shows no sign of diminishing. People have gotten used to the idea of annual $800 billion deficits. It will be the new normal over the coming years as no Senator or U.S. Congressman wants to take things off their shopping lists or face the firestorm of public opprobrium for urging fiscal restraint.  
Also, corporate debt now stands at nearly $9 trillion. The quality of investment-grade bonds has deteriorated with many in or bordering on junk category. This debt could trigger defaults, bankruptcies, burst bubbles of immense proportions, all of which will weigh heavily on the dollar.
Similarly, personal debt has climbed back to pre-2008 crisis levels.
Indeed, ours is a world awash in debt of all sizes, types, and nations. As the world’s reserve currency, the dollar cannot escape the reverberations of a world financial crisis when major players default.
Sidelining the Dollar as the World’s Reserve Currency
The final threat is more deliberate and targeted. As the preferred unit of currency in commodity markets, the dollar is under direct attack today through a new European Union mechanism called a Special Purpose Vehicle (SPV).
Everyone knows that no currency (or even basket of currencies) can replace the dollar as the world’s reserve currency. However, the European Union, China, Russia and Iran are seeking to create a clearinghouse that will run circles around U.S. sanctions against the Islamic Republic of Iran. They are setting up a credit system that will allow the barter trading of commodities without the use of American dollars.
In this way, the dollar can come to be challenged and sidelined by many major countries in international trade, and potentially even losing its privileged status.
The Collapse of the Postwar Order
Any of these three ways can drag down the U.S. dollar from its post-World War II throne. This would be disastrous since it would hasten the collapse of the postwar order with no replacement save chaos and disorder. 
However, the greatest catastrophe would be for American society. The collapse of America’s last anchor will increase the fragmentation and polarization of the nation.  All these three ways are avoidable if America’s political leaders would apply themselves energetically and without further loss of time toward addressing the root causes of the threats the nation faces. It would involve the need for great restraint, sacrifice and new national priorities.
The real problem facing America today is much more a moral problem than an economic one.  Society needs anchors, especially moral anchors to unify the nation. When those anchors are gone, the nation is left rudderless in a sea of chaos.
John Horvat II is a scholar, researcher, educator, international speaker, and author of the book Return to Order: From a Frenzied Economy to an Organic Christian Soceity--Where We've Been, How We Go Here, and Where We Need to Go. He lives in Spring Grove, Pennsylvania, where he is the vice president of the American Society for the Defense of Tradition, Family and Property.

"Inequality has reached unprecedented levels: the wealth of America’s three richest people now equals the net worth of the poorest half of the US population."

"A series of recent polls in the US and Europe have shown a sharp growth of popular disgust with capitalism and support for socialism. In May of 2017, in a survey conducted by the Union of European Broadcasters of people aged 18 to 35, more than half said they would participate in a “large-scale uprising.” Nine out of 10 agreed with the statement, “Banks and money rule the world.”

"The ruling class was particularly terrified by the teachers’ walkouts earlier this year because the biggest strikes were organized by rank-and-file educators in a rebellion against the unions, reflecting the weakening grip of the pro-corporate organizations that have suppressed the class struggle for decades."
*“The yearly income of a typical US household dropped by a massive 12 percent, or $6,400, in the six years between 2007 and 2013. This is just one of the findings of the 2013 Federal Reserve Survey of Consumer Finances released Thursday, which documents a sharp decline in working class living standards and a further concentration of wealth in the hands of the rich and the super-rich.”
"The American phenomenon of record stock values fueling an ever greater concentration of wealth at the very top of society, while the economy is starved of productive investment, the social infrastructure crumbles, and working class living standards are driven down by entrenched unemployment, wage-cutting and government austerity policies, is part of a broader global process."
*"A defining expression of this crisis is the dominance of financial speculation and parasitism, to the point where a narrow international financial aristocracy plunders society’s resources in order to further enrich itself."

As global elites gather at Davos

Oxfam: 26 billionaires control as much wealth as poorest half of humanity

22 January 2019
As members of the world’s financial elite gather today in Davos, Switzerland, for the opening of the annual meeting of the World Economic Forum, a new report by the UK-based charity Oxfam International has highlighted the vast accumulation of wealth at the heights of society, and the accelerating growth of social inequality.
The report showed that last year, the wealth of the world’s billionaires increased by $900 billion, or 12 percent, while 3.8 billion people—half the world’s population—saw their wealth decline by 11 percent.
Last year, the billionaires increased their wealth by $2.5 billion every day, while a millionaire moved into their ranks every two days.
In the decade since the global financial crisis erupted in 2008, governments and financial authorities have imposed its full impact on the backs of the world working class, in the form of stagnant and lower wages and austerity programs that have gutted health and other social services, to name just some of its effects. Meanwhile, wealth has become ever more concentrated. Last year, just 26 people controlled as much wealth as the 3.8 billion people who comprise half the world’s population, compared to 43 people the year before.
Oxfam noted that just 1 percent of the $112 billion fortune accumulated by Amazon owner Jeff Bezos, the world’s richest man, was equivalent to the entire health budget for Ethiopia, a nation of 105 million people.
The Oxfam report found that the top tax rate for the rich in the developed countries plunged from 62 percent in 1970 to 38 percent by 2013, and pointed to the tax cut introduced by US president Trump at the end of 2017, benefiting the wealthy and corporations.
In developing countries, the top personal tax rate is just 28 percent. In the UK and Brazil, the report found that the bottom 10 percent of the population paid a higher proportion of their income in tax than the top 10 percent.
Tax avoidance is rife. The report revealed that the super-rich were hiding $7.6 trillion from tax authorities, while corporations were holding large amounts of money offshore, depriving developing countries of $170 billion per year in revenue.
As a result, only 4 percent of all tax revenue came from the taxation of wealth.
The report noted that “the rate of poverty reduction has halved since 2013, and that “Extreme poverty is actually increasing in sub-Saharan Africa.”
It added that between 1980 and 2016, the poorest 50 percent of the world’s population received only 12 cents in every dollar of global income growth, while the top 1 percent captured 27 cents of every dollar.
A decade ago, the ruling elite’s annual meeting in Davos took place in the wake of the most severe economic and financial crisis, caused by the massive fraud and criminality of the world’s largest financial institutions.
But rather than being sent to jail, the “malefactors of great wealth” were bailed out. Over the next decade, they were provided with trillions of dollars of ultra-cheap money, enabling them to continue their wealth accumulation at an exponential rate.
According to a new report by Bloomberg, the wealth of the 12 richest Davos attendees soared by a combined $175 billion, as the overall wealth of the world’s billionaires grew, in the same period, from $3.4 trillion to $8.9 trillion.
The Bloomberg report highlights the details of this extraordinary growth:
  • Mark Zuckerberg increased his wealth from $3 billion a decade ago to $55.6 billion, a rise of 1853 percent.
  • Stephen Schwarzman, the head of the hedge fund Blackstone, has seen the assets of his firm rise from $95 billion at the end of 2008 to $457 billion, while his personal wealth has shot up from $2.1 billion to $10.1 billion, an increase of 486 percent.
  • The media baron Rupert Murdoch has increased his wealth from $3.2 billion to $15.1 billion, a rise of 472 percent, while Jamie Dimon, the head of JP Morgan, has enjoyed a 276 percent wealth increase, from $0.4 billion to $1.1 billion.
And the list goes on.
The strength, however, of the economic data produced by Oxfam, forms a stark contrast to its prescriptions for dealing with such extreme levels of social inequality. These centre on the development of what it calls a “human economy,” built on different principles from what it calls a “growth economy.”
The “human economy” would provide health care, education and gender equality, and create the best conditions for shared wealth. It could be financed by raising taxes on the world’s wealthiest individuals and corporations, given that just a 0.5 percent increase in taxes on the richest individuals would raise enough money to educate the 262 million children, who currently don’t receive an education, and provide health care that would save 3.3 million people from preventable deaths.
Oxfam, however, has been making such proposals for the past eight years, issuing warnings and calling for a policy switch. But to no avail. Every year the situation worsens, as Oxfam itself acknowledges, and at an accelerating rate.
The scourge of social inequality cannot be ended through futile appeals, made to the very powers that preside over the current system, to change course. They are no more capable of that, than the ancien regime in France, prior to the revolution of 1789, or the czarist autocracy in Russia, before 1917.
The only road to a genuine “human economy” is through the working class taking political power in the socialist revolution, thus ending the dictatorship of private profit and the financial markets. Only in this way can the vast resources created by the working class be utilised to meet the social needs of all.
This is the perspective that must now be advanced in the social and class struggles that are erupting around the world—from auto parts strikes in Mexico, the teachers’ strike in Los Angeles, to the huge struggles of the Indian working class. It requires the building of the world party of socialist revolution, the International Committee of the Fourth International, in every country, to provide the necessary leadership.

1,500 Private Jets Descend on Davos Carrying Globalist Elite for Climate Talks

A man passes the Dassault Falcon 2000EX business jet before the start of the 2017 Asian Business Aviation Conference and Exhibition (ABACE) at Shanghai's Hongqiao Airport on April 10, 2017. ABACE will be held at Shanghai Hongqiao Airport from April 11 to 13. / AFP PHOTO / Johannes EISELE (Photo …

At least 1,500 private jets are expected to descend on Davos and nearby airports in Switzerland this week as the international financial and political elite gathers to talk about global climate challenges.

That would be up from the more than 1,300 aircraft movements seen at last year’s forum, despite climate change registering as the top risk factor identified for the global economy in a survey of World Economic Forum (WEF) movers and shakers last week.
Sir David Attenborough, a lead speaker this year, has already stated that climate is the issue of our time.
The veteran broadcaster, 92, used his acceptance speech to tell business leaders and governments to come up with “practical solutions”.
Speaking at the beginning of the forum on Monday, the Blue Planet and Dynasties narrator told the crowd he is “quite literally from another age” and warned of “man-made disaster of global scale” that lies ahead.
Industry group Air Charter Service calculated the private jet flights over the week, as delegates fly in to hear the likes of Mr. Attenborough speak at an event boasting a basic entry ticket price of U.S.$60,000 – per person.
Davos is a small town in the Swiss Alps, around 92 miles south-east of Zurich.
Andy Christie, Private Jets Director at ACS, told the Guardian how the numbers are determined:
Davos doesn’t have its own airfield and, whilst we have several clients who fly into the town by helicopter, the four main airfields that private jet users attending the forum use are Zürich, Dübendorf, St. Gallen-Altenrhein and St. Moritz.
Working with WingX, we looked at private jet activity at those airports over the six days of each WEF week since 2013 – from one day before the event to one day after. Last year was the busiest year for private jets so far, showing an 11% increase on 2017, with more than 1,300 aircraft movements. If we see a similar increase this year, we could be looking at almost 1,500 aircraft movements over the six days.
Countries with the most arrivals and departures over the past five years at Davos areGermany, France, the UK, U.S., Russia, and UAE, respectively.
Demand for private jets far outstrips other events that also loom large on the private aviation calendar, such as the Super Bowl or Champions’ League final, according to Mr. Christie.
“We have had bookings from as far as our operations in Hong Kong, India and the US ?- no other event has the same global appeal,” he said in a statement
And the trend is towards even more expensive, larger private jets such as the Gulfstream GV and Bombardier’s Global Express.
“This is at least in part due to some of the long distances travelled, but also possibly due to business rivals not wanting to be seen to be outdone by one another,” Mr. Christie said.
Around 3,000 participants are expected for the 2019 edition of the WEF. They represent the worlds of business, government, international aid, academia, arts and culture, and the media, although U.S. President Donald Trump will not be among them.

Among the list of topics to be covered this week is the WEF’s Global Risk Report for 2019 which reveals environmental crises, such as failures to tackle climate change, “are among the likeliest and highest-impact risk that the world faces over the next decade.”
How much does it cost to participate?
The WEF website reveals annual membership (required if you want to buy a ticket to Davos) is upwards of U.S.$60,000, depending on the institution or company’s “level of engagement”.
At the top are the 100 “strategic partner” companies – including Accenture, Barclays, Deloitte, KPMG and Unilever – who pay around U.S.$600,000 for annual membership, which entitles them to buy an access-all-sessions pass for themselves and five colleagues, including special privileges. But they still have to purchase actual tickets to the event.
AFP contributed to this report


"It identifies socialism with proposals for mild social reform such as “Medicare for all,” raised and increasingly abandoned by a section of the Democratic Party. It cites Milton Friedman and Margaret Thatcher to promote the virtues of “economic freedom,” i.e., the unrestrained operation of the capitalist market, and to denounce all social reforms, business regulations, tax increases or anything else that impinges on the oligarchy’s self-enrichment."

“The yearly income of a typical US household dropped by a massive 12 percent, or $6,400, in the six years between 2007 and 2013. This is just one of the findings of the 2013 Federal Reserve Survey of Consumer Finances released Thursday, which documentsa sharp decline in working class living standards and a further concentration of wealth in the hands of the rich and the super-rich.”

"The American phenomenon of record stock values fueling an ever greater concentration of wealth at the very top of society, while the economy is starved of productive investment, the social infrastructure crumbles, and working class living standards are driven down by entrenched unemployment, wage-cutting and government austerity policies, is part of a broader global process."

"A defining expression of this crisis is the dominance of financial speculation and parasitism, to the point where a narrow international financial aristocracy plunders society’s resources in order to further enrich itself."

Every Legal is one paycheck and One Hundred Illegals away from homelessness….  a rape, murder or molestation!

But not everything is great for all Californians, with Breitbart 


News reporting that Silicon Valley has the highest income 


inequality in the nation and the U.S. News &


World Report naming California as the worst state for “quality of 


life,” due to the high cost of living.


"In the decade following the financial crisis of 2007-2008, the capitalist class has delivered powerful blows to the social position of the working class. As a result, the working class in the US, the world’s “richest country,” faces levels of economic hardship not seen since the 1930s."

"Inequality has reached unprecedented levels: the wealth of America’s three richest people now equals the net worth of the poorest half of the US population."



Income inequality grows FOUR TIMES FASTER under Obama than Bush.

“By the time of Bill Clinton’s election in 1992, the Democratic Party had completely repudiated its association with the reforms of the New Deal and Great Society periods. Clinton gutted welfare programs to provide an ample supply of cheap labor for the rich (WHICH NOW MEANS OPEN BORDERS AND NO E-VERIFY!), including a growing layer of black capitalists, and passed the 1994 Federal Crime Bill, with its notorious “three strikes” provision that has helped create the largest prison population in the world.”





Inequality, class and life expectancy in America

A study by Brookings Institution economists released Friday documents a sharp increase in life span divergences between the rich and the poor in America. The report, based on an analysis of Census Bureau and Social Security Administration data, concludes that for men born in 1950, the gap in life expectancy between the top 10 percent of wage earners and the bottom 10 percent is more than double the gap for their counterparts born in 1920.
For those born in 1920, there was a six-year differential between rich and poor. For those born in 1950, that difference had reached 14 years. For women, the gap grew from 4.7 years to 13 years, almost tripling.

Overall, life expectancy for the bottom 10 percent improved by just 3 percent for men born in 1950 over those born in 1920. For the top 10 percent, it soared by about 28 percent.

Life expectancy for the bottom 10 percent of male wage earners born in 1950 rose by less than one year compared to that for male workers born 40 years earlier—to 73.6 from 72.9. But for the top 10 percent, life expectancy leapt to 87.2 from 79.1.

The United States ranks among the worst so-called rich countries when it comes to life expectancy. But its low ranking is entirely due to the poor health and high mortality of low-income Americans. According to the Social Security Administration, life expectancy for the wealthiest US men at age 60 was just below the rates for Iceland and Japan, two countries with the highest levels. Americans in the bottom quarter of the wage scale, on the other hand, ranked just above Poland and the Czech Republic.

Life-expectancy is the most basic indicator of social well-being. The minimal increase for low-income workers and the widening disparity between the poor and the rich is a stark commentary on the immense growth of social inequality and class polarization in the United States. It underscores the fact that socioeconomic class is the fundamental category of social life under capitalism—one that conditions every aspect of life, including its length.

The Brookings Institution findings shed further light on the catastrophic decline in the social position of the American working class. They follow recent reports showing a sharp rise in death rates for both young and middle-aged white workers, primarily due to drug abuse, alcoholism and suicide. Other recent reports have shown a dramatic decline in life expectancy for poorer middle-aged Americans and a reversal of decades of declining infant mortality.

It is no mystery what is behind this vast social retrogression. It is the product of the decay of American capitalism and a four-decade-long offensive by the ruling elite against the working class. From Reagan to the Obama administration, Democrats and Republicans alike have overseen a corporate-government assault on the jobs, wages, pensions and health benefits of working people.
The ruling elite has dismantled the bulk of the country’s industrial infrastructure, destroying decent-paying jobs by the millions, and turned to the most parasitic and criminal forms of financial speculation as the main source of its profit and private wealth. Untold trillions have been squandered to finance perpetual war and the maniacal self-enrichment of the top 1 percent and 0.1 percent.
The basic infrastructure of the country has been starved of funds and left to rot, to the point where uncounted millions of people are being poisoned with lead and other toxins from corroded water systems. Flint, Michigan is just the tip of the iceberg.

Under Obama, this social counterrevolution has been intensified. The financial meltdown of 2008 has been utilized by the same forces that precipitated the crash to carry through a reordering of social relations aimed at reversing every social gain won by the working class in the course of a century of struggle. A central target of the attack is health care for working people.

Obamacare is the spearhead of a worked-out strategy to reduce the quantity and quality of health care available to workers and reorganize the health care system directly on a class basis. Corporate and government costs are to be slashed by gutting employer-paid health care, forcing workers individually to buy expensive, bare-bones plans from the insurance monopolies, and rationing drugs, tests and medical procedures to make them inaccessible to workers.

The rise in mortality for workers and the widening of the life span gap between rich and poor are not simply the outcome of impersonal economic forces. In corporate boardrooms, think tanks and state agencies, the ruling class is working to lower working class life expectancy. In late 2013, the Center for Strategic and International Studies, a Washington think tank with the closest ties to the Pentagon and the CIA, published two 
policy papers decrying the “waste” of money on health care for the elderly. The clear message was that ordinary people were living much too long and diverting resources needed by the military to wage war around the world.

The social and economic chasm in America finds a political expression in the vast disconnect between the entire political establishment and the masses of working people. Neither party nor any of their presidential candidates, the self-described “socialist” Bernie Sanders included, can seriously address the real state of social conditions or offer a serious program to address the crisis.

In his final State of the Union Address last month, Obama presented an absurd picture of a resurgent economy. “The United States of America, right now,” he declared, “has the strongest, most durable economy in the world… Anyone claiming that America’s economy is in decline is peddling fiction.”

In the race for the Democratic presidential nomination, Hillary Clinton and Sanders are seeking to outdo one another in seizing the mantle of the Obama administration and praising its supposed social and economic achievements.

They cannot address the real conditions facing the masses of working people because they defend the capitalist system, which is the source of the social disaster. The remedy must be based on an understanding of the disease. It is the building of an independent socialist and revolutionary movement uniting the entire working class, in the US and around the world.

New in GOP logic: Antipoverty programs worked so well, we must get rid of them

Demonstrators and homeless advocates rally in solidarity with those experiencing homelessness and Disneyland workers struggling with poverty wages outside the theme park in Anaheim, Calif. on July 14. (Los Angeles Times)
 For many decades now the GOP has sought to undo the New Deal and the Great Society. But a report released last month from the White House’s Council of Economic Advisors, lost in a sea of grabbier news items, applies a new logic to the goal of shredding the safety net.
According to “Expanding work requirements in non-cash welfare programs,” comprehensive antipoverty programs are no longer necessary because 50 years of antipoverty programs — yes, those same interventions long hated, and their effectiveness belittled, by the GOP — have succeeded so spectacularly that poverty is largely a thing of the past.
The report claims that the War on Poverty led to “the success of the United States in reducing material hardship,” but “that it also came at the cost of discouraging self-sufficiency.” It proceeds to lay out a case for limiting access to benefits and setting in place work requirements in exchange for basic nutritional and medical benefits.
This is beyond disingenuous. Yes, in the years after 1964, when President Lyndon Johnson launched the War on Poverty, the percentage of poor Americans did significantly decline; by some measures it was cut in half from about 22% of the population down to about 11%. But over the last 40 years it has rebounded with a vengeance.
Only a government stocked with billionaires and reveling in its lack of empathy could conceivably claim that real poverty no longer exists in the U.S.

Hunger is up again. Homelessness is up again – though the report claims erroneously that, “[f]ortunately, homelessness is rare in the United States.” The number of casual and hourly laborers one accident or sickness away from a financial disaster is up, the number of elderly Americans financially unable to retire is increasing, and the proportion of the workforce with secure salaries and guaranteed pensions is down.
Income inequality in today’s America is as extreme as it has been at any point since the Gilded Age. In an era of flamboyant affluence and billionaires, the Princeton sociologist Kathryn Edin has found that at least 1.5 million Americans live on incomes of under $2 a day.
In the downtowns of cities such as Los Angeles, tens of thousands of homeless live on the streets. Meanwhile, high-end homes in those same cities sell for tens of millions of dollars. All of this and more was pointed out in the recent United Nations report on the dangerous levels of extreme poverty and inequality in the United States.
Somewhere between one in six and one in seven Americans live below the government’s own, extremely cautious definition of the poverty line: less than $13,000 for a single person, just over $25,000 for a family of four. That’s vastly higher than in most other developed economies. Somewhere around one in five American kids live in poverty, and in many counties that number surpasses one in four.
While reporting on American poverty, I encountered people in New Mexico who lived without running water in their homes. I met grandparents in Idaho standing for hours on food bank lines so they could feed their grandchildren. I met Wal-Mart workers earning so little they qualified for food stamps. I met a man in Pennsylvania bankrupted by bills from his quadruple bypass heart surgery. I met schoolchildren in Nevada who were homeless. I met day laborers working for far below the legal minimum wage.
In Fresno and in Orange counties, I’ve seen dozens crammed into two-bedroom houses. I have talked to old men and women who have lost homes and cars to predatory payday lenders. A couple of months ago, I interviewed the director of a medical clinic in Oakland, most of whose clients were impoverished immigrants. She talked of a poor patient so terrified of medical bills that he refused to go to the hospital even after she told him that he was having a stroke right in front of her.
Only a government stocked with billionaires and reveling in its lack of empathy could conceivably claim that real poverty no longer exists in the United States.
Trump’s ghastly regime is seeking to shred the food stamp system, Medicaid and other vital benefits. It is proposing to triple the rent for large numbers of poor families who live in public housing. It is about to unveil a new definition of “public charge” that would allow the administration to deny permanent residency to any legal immigrant who uses, or whose children use, food stamps, public health systems, low-income heating assistance or other vital programs. And it is aggressively pushing to impose onerous work requirements for benefits, not because the country is genuinely strapped for cash, but because, abetted by a far-right Congress, they have handed out hundreds of billions of dollars in tax cuts to the wealthiest among us and are now looking for a way to pay the bill.
All of this is guaranteed to exacerbate the country’s already stark income divides, and to make the quality of life for America’s least fortunate even worse.
I wonder how President Trump, Ben Carson, Steven Mnuchin, Jared Kushner, and the other architects of America’s war on the poor would cope were they to try to live on $2 a day.
Something tells me that these pampered princelings would then quickly find that poverty is indeed something all too real, all too pervasive, all too soul-destroying.

Sasha Abramsky’s most recent book is “Jumping at Shadows: The Triumph of Fear and the End of the American Dream.”