Thanks, Obama! 14 Eye Opening Statistics Which Reveal Just How Dramatically The U.S. Economy Has Collapsed Since 2007

January 11, 2011


Most Americans have become so accustomed to the “new normal” of continual economic decline that they don’t even remember how good things were just a few short years ago. 


Back in 2007, unemployment was very low, good jobs were much easier to get, far fewer Americans were living in poverty or enrolled in welfare programs and government finances were in much better shape. 


Of course most of this prosperity was fueled by massive amounts of debt, but at least times were better. 


Unfortunately, things have really deteriorated over the last several years. 


Since 2007, unemployment has skyrocketed, foreclosures have set new all-time records, personal bankruptcies have soared and U.S. government debt has gotten completely and totally out of control. 


Poll after poll has shown that Americans are now far less optimistic about the future than they were in 2007.  It is almost as if the past few years have literally sucked the hope out of millions upon millions of Americans.


Sadly, our economic situation is continually getting worse. 


Every month the United States loses more factories.  Every month the United States loses more jobs.  Every month the collective wealth of U.S. citizens continues to decline. 


Every month the federal government goes into even more debt.  Every month state and local governments go into even more debt.


Unfortunately, things are going to get even worse in the years ahead. 


Right now we look back on 2005, 2006 and 2007 as “good times”, but in a few years we will look back on 2010 and 2011 as “good times”.


We are in the midst of a long-term economic decline, and the very bad economic choices that we have been making as a nation for decades are now starting to really catch up with us.


So as horrible as you may think that things are now, just keep in mind that things are going to continue to deteriorate in the years ahead.


But for the moment, let us remember how far we have fallen over the past few years. 


The following are 14 eye opening statistics which reveal just how dramatically the U.S. economy has collapsed since 2007….


#1 In November 2007, the official U.S. unemployment rate was just 4.7 percent.  Today, the official U.S. unemployment rate is 9.4 percent.


#2 In November 2007, 18.8% of unemployed Americans had been out of work for 27 weeks or longer.  Today that percentage is up to 41.9%.


#3 As 2007 began, there were just over 1 million Americans that had been unemployed for half a year or longer.  Today, there are over 6 million Americans that have been unemployed for half a year or longer.


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


#5 More than half of the U.S. labor force (55 percent) has “suffered a spell of unemployment, a cut in pay, a reduction in hours or have become involuntary part-time workers” since the “recession” began in December 2007.


#6 According to one analysis, the United States has lost a total of approximately 10.5 million jobs since 2007.


#7 As 2007 began, only 26 million Americans were on food stamps.  Today, an all-time record of 43.2 million Americans are enrolled in the food stamp program.


#8 In 2007, the U.S. government held a total of $725 billion in mortgage debt.  As of the middle of 2010, the U.S. government held a total of $5.148 trillion in mortgage debt.


#9 In the year prior to the “official” beginning of the most recent recession in 2007, the IRS filed just 684,000 tax liens against U.S. taxpayers.  During 2010, the IRS filed over a million tax liens against U.S. taxpayers.


#10 From the year 2000 through the year 2007, there were 27 bank failures in the United States.  From 2008 through 2010, there were 314 bank failures in the United States.


#11 According to the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development, the number of U.S. families with children living in homeless shelters increased from 131,000 to 170,000 between 2007 and 2009.


#12 In 2007, one poll found that 43 percent of Americans were living “paycheck to paycheck”.  Sadly, according to a survey released very close to the end of 2010, approximately 55 percent of all Americans are now living paycheck to paycheck.


#13 In 2007, the “official” federal budget deficit was just 161 billion dollars.  In 2010, the “official” federal budget deficit was approximately 1.3 trillion dollars.


#14 As 2007 began, the U.S. national debt was just under 8.7 trillion dollars.  Today, the U.S. national debt has just surpassed 14 trillion dollars and it continues to soar into the stratosphere.


So is there any hope that we can turn all of this around?


Unfortunately, the massive amount of debt that we have piled up as a society over the last several decades has made that impossible.


If you add up all forms of debt (government debt, business debt, individual debt), it comes to approximately 360 percent of GDP.  It is the biggest debt bubble in the history of the world.


If the federal government and our state governments stop borrowing and spending so much money, our economy would collapse.  But if they keep borrowing and spending so much money they will continually make the eventual economic collapse even worse.


We are in the terminal stages of the most horrific debt spiral the world has ever seen, and when the debt spiral gets stopped the house of cards is going to finally come down for good.


So enjoy these times while you still have them.  Yes, today is not nearly as prosperous as 2007 was, but today is most definitely a whole lot better than 2015 or 2020 is going to be.


Sadly, we could have avoided this financial disaster completely if only we had listened more carefully to those that founded this nation.  Once upon a time, Thomas Jefferson said the following….


I wish it were possible to obtain a single amendment to our Constitution. I would be willing to depend on that alone for the reduction of the administration of our government to the genuine principles of its Constitution; I mean an additional article, taking from the federal government the power of borrowing.



Thanks, Obama…National Debt Tops $14 Trillion

January 4, 2011

The latest posting today of the National Debt shows it has topped $14 trillion for the first time.


The U.S. Treasury website today reported that as of last Friday, the last day of 2010, the National Debt stood at $14,025,215,218,708.52.


It took just 7 months for the National Debt to increase from $13 trillion on June 1, 2010 to $14 trillion on Dec. 31. It also means the debt is fast approaching the statutory ceiling $14.294 trillion set by Congress and signed into law by President Obama last February.


The federal government would have to stop borrowing and might even default on its obligations if Congress fails to increase the Debt Ceiling before the limit is reached.



As Gas Prices Rise, Obama Drags Feet On Allowing Offshore Drilling to Resume; Oil Production To Drop 13%

January 4, 2011

More than two months after the Obama administration lifted its ban on drilling in the deep-water Gulf of Mexico, oil companies are still waiting for approval to drill the first new oil well there. Experts now expect the wait to continue until the second half of 2011, and perhaps into 2012.


 The administration says it is simply trying to enforce new safety rules adopted in the wake of the April 20 explosion of the Deepwater Horizon drilling rig, which killed 11 workers and set off the worst offshore oil spill in U.S. history. Environmental groups say the administration is right to take its time because the Gulf disaster exposed the risks of offshore drilling.


But the delay is hurting big oil companies such as Chevron Corp. and Royal Dutch Shell PLC, which have billions of dollars in investments tied up in Gulf projects that are on hold and are paying hundreds of thousands of dollars a day for rigs that aren’t allowed to drill. Smaller operators such as ATP Oil & Gas Corp., which have less flexibility to focus on projects in other regions, have been even harder hit.


The impact of the delays goes beyond the oil industry. The Gulf coast economy has been hit hard by the slowdown in drilling activity, especially because the oil spill also hurt the region’s fishing and tourism industries. The Obama administration in September estimated that 8,000 to 12,000 workers could lose their jobs temporarily as a result of the moratorium; some independent estimates have been much higher.


The slowdown also has long-term implications for U.S. oil production. The Energy Information Administration, the research arm of the Department of Energy, last month predicted that domestic offshore oil production will fall 13% this year from 2010 due to the moratorium and the slow return to drilling; a year ago, the agency predicted offshore production would rise 6% in 2011. The difference: a loss of about 220,000 barrels of oil a day.



Obama Sneaks “Death Panels” Back Into Obamacare; Does End-Run Around Congress

January 3, 2011

“If they would rather die they had better do it, and decrease the surplus population.” — Ebenezer Scrooge in Charles Dickens’ A Christmas Carol

Sarah Palin was right.

John Boehner — make that Speaker-elect of the House John Boehner — was right.

While Americans were busy celebrating with family and friends and presumably not paying attention to the news, the New York Times, in a story ironically dated Christmas Day — a holiday celebrating the birth of the Prince of Peace — reported the following:

Obama Returns to End-of-Life Plan That Caused Stir

WASHINGTON — When a proposal to encourage end-of-life planning touched off a political storm over “death panels,” Democrats dropped it from legislation to overhaul the health care system. But the Obama administration will achieve the same goal by regulation, starting Jan. 1.

In other words, the 2009 charge leveled by former Alaska Governor Sarah Palin and the then-House Minority Leader Boehner that Obama fully intended to set up what Palin termed government “death panels” — panels that Boehner said would set the government on the road to euthanasia — is no longer a charge.

It’s reality. By executive fiat — in this case a new Medicare rule issued by Obama Medicare chief Dr. Donald Berwick.

Palin, who made the charge on her Facebook page on August 7, 2009 during the health care debates, came under a fusillade of scornful and demeaning political attacks from political opponents after pointedly saying this about the prospect of death panels:

And who will suffer the most when they ration care? The sick, the elderly, and the disabled, of course. The America I know and love is not one in which my parents or my baby with Down Syndrome will have to stand in front of Obama’s “death panel” so his bureaucrats can decide, based on a subjective judgment of their “level of productivity in society,” whether they are worthy of health care. Such a system is downright evil.

Her famous sharp criticism was enough for the plan to be quickly dropped by Congress.

Now, with Americans absorbed in a festive holiday and ignoring Washington momentarily, the Obama administration has found a way to achieve its death panel goal anyway, as the Times now admits. Says the paper of the new Christmas death panel regulation that replaces medical science and voluntary private judgment with the inevitable pressure of politicized health care:

Congressional supporters of the new policy, though pleased, have kept quiet. They fear provoking another furor like the one in 2009 when Republicans seized on the idea of end-of-life counseling to argue that the Democrats’ bill would allow the government to cut off care for the critically ill.

Which is another way of saying something else:  Governor Palin has been vindicated. Speaker Boehner has been vindicated.

And Palin’s critics in particular now have more than holiday eggnog all over their faces. Obama’s Dr. Berwick has re-ignited one of the most hotly controversial issues of the entire health care debate just as a conservative ascendancy prepares to take power in the next Congress. With no less than Boehner himself taking the gavel from Nancy Pelosi as the new Speaker of the House.

What does this new rule say and do, exactly?

It inserts the federal government in end-of-life planning, precisely as Palin said was Obama’s intention. Not, as was true of its original legislative formulation, every five years. But annually.

No one of any sense objects to an individual and doctor having end-of-life discussions about living wills and such whenever they wish. Only the Obama administration and its obsession for control wants the government to incentivize the issue so that doctors must raise it annually, a system that on its face pressures the most deeply vulnerable of Americans in the most Orwellian of terms to end their lives.

Control and pressure. Pressure and control. This is the only two-step philosophical/political dance liberals know. It is, as it were, primal. And the Berwick Medicare rule, constructed in secret and released on Christmas Day when it no one is looking, is a perfect example — if hardly the only example — of how the Obama Administration views its role.  Control and pressure. Pressure and control.

Versus the conservative concept (shorthand version) of liberty and freedom.

Says the Times of the Obama Administration’s justification for its secretive move to mandate death panels by regulatory fiat:

In this case, the administration said research had shown the value of end-of-life planning.

Research? What research could possibly justify a government-sponsored annual attempt to pressure a poor, disabled, or elderly American into believing that they would be better off dead because they’re costing society too much money?

British research. Says the Times:

“Advance care planning improves end-of-life care and patient and family satisfaction and reduces stress, anxiety and depression in surviving relatives,” the administration said in the preamble to the Medicare regulation, quoting research published this year in the British Medical Journal.”

You read that right.

British research is being cited in the preamble of this Medicare death panel rule as a justification for the new rule — a stunning turn of events that will surely launch a firestorm over trying to remodel the American health care system after the hotly criticized British health care system. A system that makes no pretense of politically rationed health care.

Part of the furor launched over Palin’s remarks was the discovery by millions of frightened Americans that Obama health care bureaucrats admired the British health care system — where the government in fact rations health care on a political basis and decides who should live or die based on what is called the “QALY” — Quality-Adjusted Life Year. This has been discussed previously in this space — in fact just over a week before Governor Palin wrote her Facebook statement. It has also been discussed by health care consultant David Catron here where he explained how the QALY system worked.

In Catron’s words: “A year of perfect health, for example, is given a value of 1.0 while a year of sub-optimum health is rated between 0 and 1. If you are confined to a wheelchair, a year of your life might be valued at half that of your ambulatory neighbor. If you are blind or deaf, you also score low. All that remains is to assign a specific dollar value to the QALY and, voilà, your life has a price tag.”

Princeton’s controversial Dr. Peter Singer, a liberal and big believer in the British health care system, happily related the British politicization of medical decisions in a New York Times Magazine article during all of this, an instance in which “Britain’s National Institute for Health and Clinical Excellence gave a preliminary recommendation that the National Health Service should not offer Sutent for advanced kidney cancer.” Why? The government said it was too expensive and therefore simply denied the drug. This in turn led to a furious reaction even from stiff-upper-lip Brits with charges their government was “immoral” and willing to let patients die.

Grudgingly, the drug was eventually approved. But not before one angry British woman, whose husband’s life was at stake, angrily asked: “What price is life?”

As this is written the Obama Food and Drug Administration is now taking Americans down this same path, rejecting the breast cancer drug Avastin with what many are citing as unbelievable science — but very believable political concerns that the drug is, in the bureaucrats’ view, too expensive. Thereby inserting the judgment of political bureaucrats for medical science — and the freedom of patients to order the drug. Here’s this from the Heartland Institute:

According to Sally Pipes, president of the Pacific Research Institute, the FDA’s decision is not based on the best outcome for patients but instead on the expense of Avastin, produced by Genentech, which can run as high as $90,000 per year for a single patient.

The FDA claims its decision had nothing to do with Avastin’s cost and was based solely on the drug’s medical effectiveness,” Pipes said. “This isn’t believable. Every year about 40,000 American women die from breast cancer. Avastin is the last hope for many not to meet that fate. While the drug is costly, it often provides immense benefits to patients.

Somewhere an American woman with breast cancer is surely saying the same thing as her British counterpart: “What price is life?”

Singer had an answer. Really. Said the famous Bioethics professor: “Life as a whole has no meaning. Life began, as the best available theories tell us, in a chance combination of gasses; it then evolved through random mutation and natural selection. All this just happened; it did not happen to any overall purpose.”

Thus, since life really has no overall purpose, the government should be in the business of using Medicare to pressure the poor, the disabled and the elderly that — nudge, nudge — isn’t it time to bid the planet hasta la vista?

WHICH BRINGS US TO DR. DONALD BERWICK himself, the Obama administration’s Medicare recess-appointed head of the Center for Medicare and Medicaid Services. Dr. Berwick personally issued the Christmas Death Panel Rule, confirming in spades why he received a recess appointment from Obama. It was clear to Senate Democrats that Berwick’s chances of surviving a Senate confirmation battle were iffy at best.

Why? Precisely because Berwick was well on record as expressing his deep admiration — make that lust — for the British government run system, saying: “I am romantic about the National Health Service; I love it. … The NHS is one of the astounding human endeavors of modern times.”

So Obama waited until he could skip a Senate debate and vote entirely and just recess-appoint Berwick — who in turn is doing exactly what his record suggested he would do.

Sure enough, the philosophy used by the British is precisely what Berwick used to describe the new Berwick Rule. Reported the Times of Berwick:

“Using unwanted procedures in terminal illness is a form of assault,” Dr. Berwick has said. “In economic terms, it is waste. Several techniques, including advance directives and involvement of patients and families in decision-making, have been shown to reduce inappropriate care at the end of life, leading to both lower cost and more humane care.”

So.  What do we have here?

The death panels were written into the original version of ObamaCare.

Governor Palin, speaking out in her famous Facebook post, pulled back the shroud surrounding this horrifying idea. Less noticed at the time — but undoubtedly a headline grabber now — Minority Leader Boehner agreed, citing alarm over government sponsored euthanasia. Said Boehner:

Section 1233 of the House-drafted legislation encourages health care providers to provide their Medicare patients with counseling on “the use of artificially administered nutrition and hydration” and other end of life treatments, and may place seniors in situations where they feel pressured to sign end of life directives they would not otherwise sign. This provision may start us down a treacherous path toward government-encouraged euthanasia if enacted into law.

Obama protested he had no intention of “pulling the plug on Grandma” — but the idea, embodied in Section 1233 of the House version of the bill, was pulled from the final bill in part because of Palin’s — and Boehner’s — focused attention.

Obama installs Dr. Donald Berwick to head the Medicare program as a recess appointment because Berwick’s controversial enthusiastic embrace of the British health care system and its death panel procedures would have prevented his confirmation.

On Christmas day 2010, the Times reports the death panel idea will become a Medicare rule on January 1, 2011 — that would be four days from today. How? By fiat. As a government Medicare “rule” or “regulation” as put forth by the government agency now run by Dr. Berwick.

The rule is justified because Berwick believes the government must “reduce inappropriate care at the end of life” A Berwick spokesman says the government should be saying to elderly patients, vulnerable patients, disabled patients — patients like Sarah Palin’s famous Down’s syndrome son: “When the time comes, do you want us to use technology to try and delay your death?” Nudge.

Elizabeth D. Wickham, executive director of LifeTree, a pro-life educational organization, says of the new rule: “The infamous Section 1233 is still alive and kicking. Patients will lose the ability to control treatments at the end of life.”

Oh yes. Did we mention no one was supposed to know about all of this?

Congressman Earl Blumenauer, the Oregon Democrat who wrote the original provision in the House version of ObamaCare that was unmasked by Sarah Palin, has put the word out to his allies. Says the Congressman’s office in an e-mail to his allies:

While we are very happy with the result, we won’t be shouting it from the rooftops because we aren’t out of the woods yet. This regulation could be modified or reversed, especially if Republican leaders try to use this small provision to perpetuate the “death panel” myth.

We would ask that you not broadcast this accomplishment out to any of your lists, even if they are “supporters” — e-mails can too easily be forwarded…Thus far, it seems that no press or blogs have discovered it, but we will be keeping a close watch and may be calling on you if we need a rapid, targeted response. The longer this goes unnoticed, the better our chances of keeping it.

No wonder Blumenauer wants to keep this quiet.

Did you catch that word “us” in the sentence from Dr. Berwick’s spokesperson?

Here’s the sentence again:

When the time comes, do you want us to use technology to try and delay your death?

The word “us” refers not to a doctor and his patient. It refers to the government.

When Obama health care adviser Dr. Ezekiel Emanuel was cited by longtime health care expert Betsy McCaughey as discussing the idea that patients with dementia should be denied treatment, Emanuel’s defenders (he is also the brother of ex-Obama White House chief of staff Rahm Emanuel) floated a Time magazine story saying Emanuel “only mentioned dementia in a discussion of theoretical approaches, not an endorsement of a particular policy.”

Oblivious to the fact that that no less than the President himself expressed a version of the same sentiment (as has Berwick) when he went on national television to answer a woman’s observation that at over a hundred her mother was very vital with a lot of spirit, and shouldn’t that be taken into account in any government health care decision? Said Obama: “I don’t think that we can make judgments based on peoples’ spirit. That would be a pretty subjective decision to be making. I think we have to have rules….”

Government rules. Like the rule just issued by Dr. Berwick.

A rule that effectively is now going to bully individuals — doubtless many of them poor, disabled or elderly. Ironically creating a system where you will only escape Obama’s government sponsored Big Chill if you are, say, a rich liberal.

In effect the administration is trying to bully Congress by making an end-run with a regulation because Congress said no to Section 1233.

The Heritage Foundation has accurately noted yesterday that, quite aside from the substance here — the new Berwick death panel rule or the FCC’s new net neutrality rules and so on — the real issue is the Obama administration’s clear intent to govern by executive fiat now that it has lost control of the House and, effectively, the Senate as well. Government-by-Obama fiat will be the subject of a furious struggle in the new Congress.

Says Heritage by way of focusing on a return to government by elected officials rather than a central government of rule-making un-elected bureaucrats:

“There is also the Congressional Review Act, which allows Congress to review and overrule regulations issued by government agencies.”

Which is to say, the Berwick rule can be undone — if the Congress orders it undone.

This episode is a reminder that Governor Palin took a lot of heat for bringing attention to this issue. No one expects her critics — now proven wrong by Berwick — to give her any credit for being right. Or for that matter to the new Speaker Boehner.

But the fact remains that Palin has shown leadership here — one might call it presidential-style leadership — in persisting with an issue that is now coming back to bite the American people in the form of a new Medicare rule on death panels — reported of all days on Christmas day.

No wonder John Boehner will be Speaker of the House.


By Jeffrey Lord on 12.28.

Obama’s 20-MAN Motorcade to Visit Childhood Friend in Hawaii

January 1, 2011

President Obama provoked fresh outrage today after taking a 20-man motorcade to visit a childhood friend during his lavish Christmas holiday in Hawaii.


The 10-vehicle convoy drove the president and wife Michelle from his rental property in Kailua, across highways cleared of traffic and through a military community to reach Bobby Titcomb’s beachfront house.


Mr Obama, who spent eight years at Punahou School in Hawaii before graduating in 1979, has splashed out $1.5m on his trip – a decision that will not endear him to the millions of Americans facing economic hardship in the New Year.


The extra cost of the excessive security levels demanded by the holidaying Mr Obama will further enrage opponents of the 49-year-old, who will return to work on January 3.


After a game of golf with his old friends in the day, the president ate at the barbecue, played volleyball and relaxed on the beach with family and friends, White House spokesman Bill Burton said.


Police had stopped cars along the route at on ramps and side streets. Onlookers were often waving or flashing the famous shaka sign.


While enjoying the barbecue the president’s men, armed to the teeth, carefully guarded the area, and waterways, against any possible attack.


The airfield, frequented by gliders and parachute jumpers, was dormant due to security for the President. Bill Star, one the operators of Original Glider Rides, lamented the lost business as it was the first day of excellent weather this week.


Mr Obama, who also visited Mr Titcomb on the same day a year ago, is facing claims that he could have been more frugal in his two-week getaway with wife Michelle and daughters Malia and Sasha at a luxury beachfront rental home in Kailua, an upscale resort about 12 miles from the capital, Honolulu.


The president;’s trip has cost approximately $1.5m – and could have been much cheaper critics According to the Hawaii Reporter, the bill for the trip included:


$63,000 on an early flight bringing Mrs Obama and the children to Hawaii ahead of the president.


$1,000,000 on Mr Obama’s return trip from Washington on Air Force One.


$38,000 for the ‘Winter White House’ the president has rented for his family on the beach.


$16,000 to rent beachfront homes for Secret Service and Navy Seals.

$134,000 for 24 White House staff to stay at the Moana Hotel.


$251,000 in police overtime.


$10,000 for an ambulance to be on hand at all times  


And those tallies do not include the travel costs of Mr Obama’s staff and Secret Service, car rentals and surveillance operations in advance of the trip, which could easily add up to more than £30,000. The White House would not comment on the cost of the stay.


A spokesman said the president’s holiday expenses are in line with those of previous presidents.

But the Hawaii Reporter claimed: ‘They could have chosen a less expensive and more secure place to stay such as a beachfront home on the Kaneohe Marine Corps Air Station – just a two-minute drive away from the Kailuana Place property where they are now.  



Thank You, Obama! 16 Nightmarish Economic Trends Exacerbated by Obama’s Policies…

January 1, 2011

If you only watch the “economic pundits” on television, it can be very confusing to figure out exactly what is happening with the U.S. economy.


One pundit will pull out a couple statistics that got a little bit better over the past month and claim that we have entered a time of solid recovery. Another pundit will pull out a couple statistics that got a little worse over the past month and claim that we are headed for trouble.


So what is the truth? Well, if you really want to get a clear idea of what is really going on you have to look at the long-term trends. There are some economic trends which just keep getting worse year after year after year, and it is those trends that tell the real story of the decline of our economic system.


As you examine the long-term trends, you quickly come to realize that the U.S. is trapped in an endless spiral of debt, the middle class is being wiped out, the U.S. dollar is being destroyed and America is rapidly becoming a post-industrial wasteland.


Posted below are 16 nightmarish economic trends to watch carefully in 2011. It is becoming exceedingly apparent that unless something is done rapidly we are heading for an economic collapse of unprecedented magnitude….


#1 Do you want to see something scary? Just check out the chart above. Since the beginning of the economic downturn, the U.S. monetary base has more than doubled. But don’t worry – Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke has promised us that this could never cause inflation. In fact, Bernanke says that we need to inject even more dollars into the economy. So if you are alarmed by the chart below, you are just being irrational according to Bernanke….


#2 Thousands of our factories, millions of our jobs and hundreds of billions of dollars of our national wealth continue to be shipped overseas. In 1985, the U.S. trade deficit with China was 6 million dollars for the entire year. In the month of August alone, the U.S. trade deficit with China was over 28 billion dollars. Nobel economist Robert W. Fogel of the University of Chicago is projecting that the Chinese economy will be three times larger than the U.S. economy by the year 2040 if current trends continue.


#3 The United States is rapidly becoming a post-industrial wasteland. Back in 1959, manufacturing represented 28 percent of all U.S. economic output. In 2008, it represented only 11.5 percent and it continues to fall. Sadly, the truth is that America is being deindustrialized. As of the end of 2009, less than 12 million Americans worked in manufacturing. The last time that less than 12 million Americans were employed in manufacturing was in 1941.


#4 The number of Americans that have been out of work for an extended period of time has absolutely exploded over the last few years. As 2007 began, there were just over 1 million Americans that had been unemployed for half a year or longer. Today, there are over 6 million Americans that have been unemployed for half a year or longer.


#5 The middle class continues to be squeezed out of existence. According to a poll taken in 2009, 61 percent of Americans ”always or usually” live paycheck to paycheck. That was up substantially from 49 percent in 2008 and 43 percent in 2007.


#6 The number of Americans living in poverty is absolutely skyrocketing. 42.9 million Americans are now on food stamps, and one out of every six Americans is now enrolled in at least one anti-poverty program run by the federal government. Unfortunately, many of those that have been hardest hit by this economic downturn have been children. According to one new study, approximately 21 percent of all children in the United States are living below the poverty line in 2010 – the highest rate in 20 years.


#7 Many American families have been pushed beyond the breaking point during this economic downturn. Over 1.4 million Americans filed for personal bankruptcy in 2009, which represented a 32 percent increase over 2008. The final number for 2010 is expected to be even higher.


#8 The U.S. real estate market continues to stagnate. During the third quarter of 2010, 67 percent of mortgages in Nevada were “underwater”, 49 percent of mortgages in Arizona were “underwater” and 46 percent of mortgages in Florida were “underwater”. So what happens if home prices go down even more?


#9 More elderly Americans than ever are being forced to put off retirement and continue working. In 2010, 55 percent of Americans between the ages of 60 and 64 were in the labor market. Ten years ago, that number was just 47 percent. Unfortunately, it looks like this problem will only get worse in the years ahead. In America today, approximately half of all workers have less than $2000 saved up for retirement.


#10 In the United States today, there are simply far too many retirees and not nearly enough workers to support them. Back in 1950 each retiree’s Social Security benefit was paid for by 16 workers. Today, each retiree’s Social Security benefit is paid for by approximately 3.3 workers. By 2025 it is projected that there will be approximately two workers for each retiree.


#11 Financial assets continue to become concentrated in fewer and fewer hands. For example, the “big four” U.S. banks (Citigroup, JPMorgan Chase, Bank of America and Wells Fargo) had approximately 22 percent of all deposits in FDIC-insured institutions back in 2000. As of the middle of 2009 that figure was up to 39 percent.


#12 The Federal Reserve has been destroying the value of the U.S. dollar for decades. Since the Federal Reserve was created in 1913, the U.S. dollar has lost over 95 percent of its purchasing power. An item that cost $20.00 in 1970 would cost you $112.35 today. An item that cost $20.00 in 1913 would cost you $440.33 today.


#13 Commodity prices continue to soar into the stratosphere. Ten years ago, the price of a barrel of oil hovered around 20 to 30 dollars most of the time. Today, the price of oil is rapidly closing in on 100 dollars a barrel and there are now fears that it could soon go much higher than that.


#14 Federal government spending is completely and totally out of control. The U.S. government budget deficit increased to a whopping $150.4 billion last month, which represented the biggest November deficit on record. But our politicians can’t seem to break their addiction to debt. In fact, Democrats are trying to ram through a 1,924 page, 1.1 trillion dollar spending bill in the final days of the lame-duck session of Congress before the Republicans take control of the House of Representatives next year.


#15 The U.S. national debt is rapidly closing in on 14 trillion dollars. It is more than 13 times larger than it was just 30 short years ago. According to an official U.S. Treasury Department report to Congress, the U.S. national debt is projected to climb to an estimated $19.6 trillion by 2015.


#16 Unfortunately, the official government numbers grossly understate the horrific nature of the crisis we are facing. John Williams of Shadow Government Statistics has calculated that if the federal government would have used GAAP accounting standards to measure the federal budget deficit for 2009, it would have been approximately 8.8 trillion dollars. Not only that, but John Williams now says that U.S. government debt is so wildly out of control that it is mathematically impossible for us to “grow” our way out of it….


The government’s finances not only are out of control, but the actual deficit is not containable. Put into perspective, if the government were to raise taxes so as to seize 100% of all wages, salaries and corporate profits, it still would be showing an annual deficit using GAAP accounting on a consistent basis. In like manner, given current revenues, if it stopped spending every penny (including defense and homeland security) other than for Social Security and Medicare obligations, the government still would be showing an annual deficit. Further, the U.S. has no potential way to grow out of this shortfall.


The more one examines the U.S. economic situation, the more depressing it becomes. The U.S. financial system is trapped inside a horrific debt spiral and we are headed straight for economic oblivion.


If our leaders attempt to interrupt the debt spiral it will plunge our economy into a depression. If our leaders attempt to keep the debt spiral going for several more years it will just make the eventual crash even worse. Either way, we are headed for a financial implosion that will be truly historic.


The debt-fueled good times that we have been enjoying for the last several decades are rapidly coming to an end. Unfortunately for the tens of millions of Americans that are already suffering, our economic problems are only going to get worse in the years ahead.


So what do you think? Do you agree that the U.S. economy is doomed? Please feel free to leave a comment with your opinion….




Wednesday, December 15th, 2010

The American Dream

Dec 15, 2010