Wall Street WARZONE

“Kamikaze Capitalism:” Can GOP Destroy Obama? Without Destroying the American Economy Too? What a Dumb Plot: Capitalism Loses, China Wins!

by Paul B Farrell, JD, PhD
| Discuss | Print | 1/11/2011

Foreign Policy’s journal is inspiring: Don’t miss their annual issue on “Failed States” listing the 25 worst dictators: “The Committee to Destroy the World.” Next, think domestic policy. Think of Mitch McConnell’s “Mission Impossible” vow to do anything, including kill our economic recovery for the next two years – anything to make Obama look bad, make him a one-term president. Call it “Kamikaze Capitalism!”

Go Mitch! You stir my cinematic imagination. Made it go into hyper-drive last week when your GOP team decided to defeat Reagan’s signature national security victory, the nuclear disarmament treaty with Russia. You guys sure have a bizarre suicidal idea of leadership and governing. Ol’ grumpy Mitch also led his GOP saboteurs in killing the unemployment benefits extension, while making an even more bizarre claim that billionaires “need” a $800 billion bailout (that’ll trickle down to unemployed Middle Americans?). Then he played his ace, calling the GM IPO a failure that should have been left to the bankruptcy courts, with more jobless millions. Yes folks, ol’ grumpy would definitely get on a domestic list like “The Committee to Destroy American Capitalism.”

Folks, this is the stuff of great movie plots. Not an Oliver Stone or Michael Moore film. No, this is a true Eastwood thriller. Think “Magnum Force,” Dirty Harry killing real bad guys. Better yet, “Absolute Power.” Imagine: What if McConnell’s GOP gets their wish? Game on. The hunt begins. The GOP tried once before under Bush. Now they want a new shot at that old adage: “Power corrupts, and absolute power corrupts absolutely.”

Eastwood brilliantly reveals why power corrupts. Why it blinds. Why it self-destructs. In “Absolute Power” we see an arrogant President convinced he’s untouchable, surrounded by Secret Service officers who will do anything to protect him, hide affairs, even murder. Until the unexpected, what economist Paul Krugman calls the “great unraveling.”

“Kamikaze Capitalism:” GOP stars in Eastwood “destroy the presidency” thriller?
Eastwood plays Luther Whitney, a small-time crook. Just wants enough from one last job, before retiring in the American Dream. His victim is out. But as luck would have it, the President, Gene Hackman, suddenly appears with the lady, upsetting Luther’s cleverly planned robbery. Luther hides in a secret room, a voyeur behind a one-way mirror. This President’s into kinky sex. But sadomasochism consumes him, he kills her.

Luther is what economists call a Black Swan, every thriller has them. Unpredictable events you never see coming, can’t plan for. They blindside you, taking a thriller into new dangers. Filmmakers love them. Tittilated, Luther watches the lurid sex, the murder, the cleanup by the Secret Service. They dispose of the body. But later, a new twist, they find evidence of Luther. Then frantic spinning, blaming a home invasion robbery gone bad. The hunt for Luther begins … and ends … absolute power corrupts absolutely … the presidency falls. Yes, Eastwood planned this … but McConnell can’t … no trick mirrors.

 …. read column on Marketwatch

22 Reasons Your Federal, State & Municipal Taxes Must Keep Rising, in 2011, 2012, even 2020 … And Nobody, Not Boehner, McConnell, Palin, the GOP nor TeaParty Will Stop Debt From Growing!

by Paul B Farrell, JD, PhD
| Discuss | Print | 1/1/2011

Social Security and Medicare equal $65 trillion of unfunded debt. Add in the Bush/Cheney/Obama War debt from Iraq and Afghanistan, Paulson’s TARP Plan, the Obama Stimulus, plus add in Bernanke’s estimated $23.7 trillion in secret credits, loans, writeoffs and guarantees to Wall Street’s “too-greedy-to-fail” banks … now add in the costs of the new healthcare reforms and it looks like my early ’09 prediction is unfolding right on schedule.

Subtitled “Tax Bomb Dead Ahead: Former GAO Chief says your taxes will double” is now worth a second look, especially when you consider states and local governments are already desperately adding taxes to make up for lost property tax, sales and income revenues. The New York Times warns: “As Revenue Slump, States Look to Tax Services, From Head to Toe.” If you wonder whether we really are in an economic recovery, take a look at the bigger picture unfolding across America, at the 22 reasons all taxpayers at all levels of government will be impacted for years to come …

Imagine doubling your taxes: Yes, that’s what David Walker, the former U.S. Comptroller General and GAO chief warned on CNN: “Why Your Taxes Could Double: The federal government has spent more money than it takes in at an increasing rate. Total federal debt almost doubled during President George W. Bush’s administration and, as much as we needed some stimulus spending to boost the economy, the nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office now estimates total debt levels could almost double again over the next eight years based on the budget recently outlined by President Obama,” with our “tax bill doubling over time.” Don’t say you weren’t warned!

Debt is killing the American Dream. We’ve mortgaged our future, and now Obama’s adding a new $1.84 trillion federal deficit. That’s four times Bush’s record deficit his last year. Plus deficits over $500 billion annually for the next decade. The president’s gambling, doubling down, betting the farm, going “all in” with a huge bet that could break the bank. Is this America’s “last hand” in high-stakes poker game? More grim tax facts: A few years ago Peter Orszag, Obama’s Budget Director warned: “Balancing the budget would require a 41% cut in spending on Social Security and Medicare, a 47% cut in discretionary spending, or a 17% cut in all non-interest spending.”  

Secretary Geithner gave us an update: “The longer we wait to address the long-term solvency of Medicare and Social Security, the sooner those challenges will be upon us and the harder the options will be.” Those two trust funds already eat up more than a third of the federal budget and are increasing $2 trillion a year. Still, AARP and other lobbyists resist all benefits cuts (that affect Boomers) more than tax increases (paid by younger workers), despite a new study telling us: Medicare surpluses will run out in 2016, Social Security by 2037, both earlier than previously estimated. Together they account for roughly $80-to-$120 trillion in unfunded liabilities, with Medicare 80% of the total … and please note, America’s debt now exceeds the $50 trillion GDP of all economies in the entire world! (more)

America’s Failed 30-Year “War on Drugs” is Sabotaging Our Economy, Our Future As a World Power, War on Terror & Wars in Afghanistan, Iraq, Mexico

by Paul B Farrell, JD, PhD
| Discuss | Print | 12/20/2010

“Civilizations die from suicide, not by murder,” said Arnold Toynbee, whose 12 volume Study of History traces the rise and fall of civilizations. Get it? The “fall” is an “inside job.” Attitudes, behavior, values die first. The soul is left for dead. Oh, some outside force may push the button, pull the trigger, or, as in ritualistic hara-kiri, some stranger may bring the sword down upon our neck. But we set the ball in motion. We create the world around us, including our enemies, as individuals and as a nation, we are totally responsible for our karma, our fate, our destiny, our demise.

“Suicide, not murder:” Toynbee’s chilling warning came to mind a few years ago as I read three reports of dangerous economic trends, all tied directly to America’s addiction to drugs and how they are destroying us from within, rendering our borders vulnerable, giving our enemies billions to buy weapons and attack us from without. These three reports highlight threats far more ominous than any threats from terrorists, nuclear war, energy shortages, entitlement failures, global warming, or government deficits, as bad as they all are. Why? Because we are creating an inner world that is far darker, far more lethal. The reports cover these three areas:

1. “The Lost War on Drugs.” America’s failed 30-year “War on Drugs” that’s now sabotaging our “War on Terror.”
2. “Weakening Defenses.” America’s leaky borders that expose us not just to terrorists, but openly invite transnational drug syndicates, mobsters, criminals.
3. “Prescription addiction.” America’s out-of-control addiction to prescription drugs, with Big Pharma as the main pusher.

These three trends have been exposed in recent media reports as three separate trends with significant economic impact. However, they are very much linked together in the inner workings of the American soul. So why does the media treat them separately? Very simple: The media (like people in general) is also trapped in America’s ubiquitous state of denial, denial of a disease so cunning and powerful that most Americans refuse see the underlying disease, either as individuals or as a nation: In her writings noted psychotherapist Anne Wilson Schaef aptly describes America as a “Nation of Addicts.” Once “in” the disease we can no longer see ourselves objectively, we become zombies, like pod people in “The Invasion of the Body Snatchers.” (more)

10 Reasons President Obama is Failing America: Piling Trillions of Debt on Future Generations, on Top of Bush’s Trillions. Next, Obama’s Final Surrender of His Principles: Capitulation to GOP on Bush Tax-Cuts for Billionaires

by Paul B Farrell, JD, PhD
| Discuss | | 11/16/2010

Back in January one of my MarketWatch columns was an “open letter” to the president: “10 reasons Obama is failing 95 million investors: Why his ‘Fat Cat Bankers’ are destroying both capitalism and democracy.” The response was strong. Today, given all the financial reforms now being secretly contested in Washington, especially the Consumer Financial Protection Agency that the banks are spending millions to kill, those “10 reasons” seem far more important. Read them closely, not as some short-term critique, but for the long-term historical consequences, not their impact on your retirement but the impact on future generations of Americans …

Mr. President: We know that the future—seen through a broader historical lens—will reveal a natural cycle with you cast in the predictable scene of a Shakespearean-style plot driven by fate, the same dramatic destiny of all great nations and civilizations. We know a “Happy Conspiracy” of Wall Street, Corporate CEOs and the Forbes 400 controls Washington, limiting and manipulating you. Shakespeare says: “All the world’s a stage, and all the men and women merely players. They have their exits and their entrances.” As this past year unfolded it became painfully obvious you are indeed playing a role in a historic drama, along with other leaders in a staged, life-cycle, endgame that includes Presidents Reagan, Clinton and the Bushes, Fed Chairmen Greenspan and Bernanke, and Wall Street’s bosses Paulson and his “Fat Cat” banker buddies. The final scene of this historic Shakespearean drama is playing out this very moment, with 10 improvisational plot points driving your character’s role:

1.  Failing to grasp John Adams’ warning: All democracies “commit suicide”
“Remember, democracy never lasts long. It soon wastes, exhausts, and murders itself. There never was a democracy yet that did not commit suicide:” Yes John Adams, a great American president made that famous prediction at the beginning of our great nation. And yet, paradoxically, when a democracy commits suicide, it also kills off the very capitalism that made it powerful, the economic system Adam Smith identified the same year our Declaration of Independence was signed. Today we are neither independent nor free, King George has been replaced by a far more powerful moneyed conspiracy that you sold out to last year.

2.  Failing to sense the psychological impact of being an aging democracy
Yes, our time is up says Scottish historian Alexander Tytler, recently quoted by economist Marc Faber: “The average life span of the world’s greatest civilizations has been 200 years.” Then “once a society becomes successful it becomes arrogant, righteous, overconfident, corrupt, and decadent … overspends … costly wars … wealth inequity and social tensions increase; and society enters a secular decline.” We’re on ‘suicide watch,’ acting out the final scenes President Adams predicted for democracy, as Wall Street murders capitalism. (more)