Debt Deal: ”It’s like Curing a Drunk with Vodka”

By David Lawder
Reuters
August 1, 2011

The tentative deal to avoid a crushing debt default is at best a mild relief for the U.S. economy that nearly stalled in the first half of the year and has yet to show signs of any realistic pickup.

The plan for $2.4 trillion in spending cuts over a decade, if backed by lawmakers, would help lift some of the uncertainty that has weighed on investors, businesses and consumers unsettled by talk about a possible new and deep U.S. financial meltdown.

Still, it does not decisively remove the threat that the nation’s AAA credit rating could be downgraded, an action that would raise borrowing costs across the board, and the prospect of further cuts ahead will cut short any celebrating.

“This will have minimal impact on the economy. The cuts are not there for the first couple of years, which really makes you wonder if they’re really going to happen at all,” said Peter Morici, an economics professor at the University of Maryland.

The prospect of spending cuts is the last thing the U.S. economy needs right now, many commentators say.

Economists were stunned on Friday when data showed the U.S. economy grew just 0.4 percent in the first three months of this year — perilously close to contraction — and picked up unimpressively to 1.3 percent in the second quarter.

Against the backdrop of the weak economic recovery, the divided political parties in Congress appear to have agreed on one thing early on in their dispute over how to raise the U.S. debt ceiling: that spending cuts to narrow the deficit should be phased in slowly. They will be phased in from 2013.

President Barack Obama told reporters on Sunday that the initial discretionary cuts, expected to be about $917 billion, “wouldn’t happen so abruptly that they’d be a drag on a fragile economy.” He added that “job-creating” investments in education and research would be preserved.

But the bulk of the austerity has yet to be defined.

About $1.5 trillion of the planned savings will be decided by a bipartisan congressional commission, leaving unanswered the question as to whether the United States has the political will to tame the country’s growing debt pile once and for all.

Troy Davig, U.S. economist at Barclays Capital, estimated that the deal would only cut $25-30 billion from government spending in the first year, which could shave about a tenth of a percentage point off economic growth.

“It’s not a major drag on growth but when the economy is only growing a point and a half, a lot of economists feel that this is not the right time to be finding fiscal restraint. We will be shifting from massive stimulus to massive restraint.”

Steeper and faster spending cuts could have dealt a knockout blow to an economy reeling from high fuel prices, bad weather, Japan’s earthquake and a depressed housing market, plus a labor market that shows few signs of recovery.

LITTLE SCOPE FOR STIMULUS

Proposals discussed just a week ago included possible new fiscal stimulus measures, such as extending payroll tax cuts for employees and offering them to employers as well.

There appeared to be no room for them in Sunday’s preliminary deal which is expected to be voted on in the Senate on Monday and sent to the House of Representatives for approval. The bipartisan panel, which must draft more cuts by November, could revisit the issue.

There could be some relief among U.S. employers and consumers that taxes won’t rise under the new, hard-fought deal and that the worst-case scenario has been avoided.

The talks have been punctuated by warnings from the Obama administration that financial chaos would ensue if the $14.3 trillion federal borrowing limit is not raised by Tuesday.

That angst has added to a pile of worries slowing consumer spending decisions such as car purchases, according to Detroit executives. Existing home sales in June fell sharply due a big jump in canceled sales contracts.

Obama, too, said he has been concerned about the debt limit battle’s impact on consumer and business confidence. He said he hoped Sunday’s deal “will begin to lift the cloud of debt and the cloud of uncertainty that hangs over our economy.”

Any relief, however, is likely to be short-lived. U.S. jobs data on Friday will probably prove another reminder of the weak U.S. economy. Unemployment is expected to remain at 9.2 percent, according to a Reuters poll.

The budget deal “does nothing to restore household and corporate confidence,” said Mohammed El-Erian, chief executive of bond fund investment giant PIMCO.

“So unemployment will be higher than it would have been otherwise, growth will be lower than it would be otherwise, and inequality will be worse than it would be otherwise,” El-Erian told ABC’s This Week with Christiane Amanpour.

Just as Washington’s political leaders have run out of money to throw at the U.S. economy, the Federal Reserve looks lacking in ammunition too.

The U.S. central bank waged an massive experiment in monetary policy over the last few years to prevent the 2007-2009 recession from spiraling into a depression, slashing interest rates to zero and pumping $2.3 trillion into the ailing economy by buying debt,

The Federal Reserve is not expected to rush in to make up for the loss of any stimulus to boost growth.

Atlanta Federal Reserve President Dennis Lockhart said on Friday there would be a “very high bar” for more stimulus.

At least the deal taking shape in Washington would push the scary prospect of a U.S. debt default out until after the 2012 presidential election. But investors worldwide will still worry about the ability of the United States to avoid future downgrades of its debt, a move that would probably push up borrowing costs and act as yet another drag on the economy.

“Talk about kicking the can down the road, this is probably the biggest can that’s ever been kicked — appointing another commission to do the heavy lifting another day,” Yale University economist Stephen Roach told Reuters Insider.

The Debt Deal Meaning? It’s Meaningless

by Zeke Miller
Business Insider
August 1, 2011

The “historic, bipartisan compromise” reached to raise the debt limit does not end the struggle to reign in the federal deficit — in fact, it pushes the most difficult decisions off into the future.

More surprising, the debt deal actually cuts almost nothing now–it just promises future cuts that may or may not materialize.

There are very few specific cuts in the deal — and the $1 trillion in immediate cuts are almost entirely constituted of caps on future spending. And those caps are not required to be honored by future congresses.

The “real” spending cuts to current programs will come out of a bipartisan committee of Representatives and Senators, which is charged with finding an additional $1.5 trillion in savings from the federal deficit.

But White House and Republican leaders appear split on exactly what the so-called “Super Committee” can do.

In a presentation to his caucus, Speaker of the House John Boehner said it would “be effectively…impossible for [the] Joint Committee to increase taxes,” even though it could consider reforming the tax code.

White House officials strongly pushed back on that remark, saying revenue-increasing reform is possible — even though it almost certainly would not be able to get through Congress.

The committee is modeled on “BRAC” or the Base Realignment and Closure Commission, whose recommendations are presented to Congress for a straight up-or-down vote with no amendments allowed. Instead of non-partisan commissioners, each congressional leader will appoint three members of Congress to the committee.

If the Super-Committee can’t reach an agreement, or their recommendations cannot pass Congress, deep “real” spending cuts, which are painful to both sides, would take effect. For Democrats, entitlement cuts are at risk, while Republicans would see cuts to defense spending.

Additionally, President Barack Obama has the ability to veto an extension of the Bush tax cuts if he deems the committee’s solution insufficiently “balanced.”

So, again, other than cuts to federally subsidized student loans to graduate and professional school students, the debt deal actually cuts NOTHING now, and only promises future reductions that may never materialize.

In short, for the past month, Congress has been arguing about little more than an agreement to reach an agreement at some point in the future. Your tax dollars at work.

Government Austerity: The Match that Lights the Fire

PrisonPlanet.com

Top historians, social and financial analysts are warning that the draconian austerity measures currently being prepared by governments in the west will cause riots and even revolutions as people react with fury in response to their jobs, savings, basic public services, pensions and welfare money being seized by the financial terrorists who caused the economic collapse in the first place.

British historian Simon Schama is a creature of the establishment and he makes it clear whose side he is on at the end of his recent column for the Bilderberg-controlled Financial Times entitled, The World Teeters on the Brink of a New Age of Rage. However, the fact that he is an elitist at heart only makes Schama’s predications all the more alarming. This is someone on the inside who is painfully aware of the fact that the imminent attempt on behalf of the globalists to enforce so-called “austerity measures” on the people of the west, which in reality is a euphemistic term for the next leg of the new world order, is not just going to cause riots and mass social unrest, but it could even lead to revolution if the elite allow the situation to spiral out of their control.

Schama’s forecast that “we might be on the threshold of an age of rage” is not to be taken lightly. This isn’t coming from Alex Jones, Max Keiser or Gerald Celente, it’s coming directly from a man considered to be Britain’s pre-eminent contemporary historian.

Schama writes that the coming austerity measures, particularly in America where anger “targeted at an elitist federal authority is raging through the US like a fever,” will require “Barack Obama to be more than a head tutor. It will need him to be a warrior of the word every bit as combative as the army of the righteous that believes it has the Constitution on its side, and in its inchoate thrashings, can yet bring down the governance of the American Republic.”

In other words, Obama will have to ditch “misplaced obligations of civility” and become an authoritarian enforcer in order to emerge successful against the rising tide of Constitutionalist rage that will be directed against the coming austerity fascism.

We’ve all seen the numerous videos of protesters in Greece rioting, fighting police, and even firebombing banks and killing people in reaction to the crippling austerity measures imposed by the government in the name of appeasing the mandates of the European Union’s near $1 trillion dollar bailout package. However, the establishment media as a whole has largely failed to identify precisely what those austerity measures are, and more importantly how they will almost undoubtedly lead to massive social dislocation in the UK and the United States when implemented.

The austerity measures currently being considered and indeed implemented in the UK and other European countries, with the United States not too far behind, can be summarized as follows.

– Massive cuts to public services that are two or three times larger in size than anything we’ve witnessed since the second world war.

– Both capping of and reduction of salaries for public sector workers that will inevitably lead to huge strikes, bringing whole countries to a standstill for weeks on end, further eviscerating any economic recovery. Public sector workers in France and Spain are already staging large industrial strikes. As we saw in Greece, strikes routinely lead to riots and violence.

– Shocking tax increases that if they mirror previous trends could amount to an astounding 98 per cent tax on all earnings over a low level of income. Such increases would virtually eliminate the middle class because all earnings over around £20,000 ($28,000) would almost entirely go straight to the government. Knowing that such exorbitant hikes would cause millions of people to try to evade tax, thousands of new tax inspectors are being hired to crackdown on evaders. In the United States, 16,000 new IRS agents were recently hired in anticipation of people avoiding massive tax hikes that are in the pipeline, as well as new taxes as a result of Obamacare, which will begin to be implemented in the coming years.     Read More…

Brazil Also Violates Civil Liberties

By Luis R. Miranda
The Real Agenda
May 11, 2010

Brazil is well-known by its Samba, wonderful beaches and friendly relaxed people. It is often compared to more developed countries for its size, population and resources. But there is one more way in which Brazil is similar to the so called developed world: It also violates civil liberties. Different from say, the United States or England, police here do not harass citizens that much. However, the violation of their liberties and rights is still done quietly. Brazil is a country with very limited access to information and people here know very little about their rights and duties. This panorama is fertile ground for government abuse and corruption.

The giant of South America has been known to have some of the greatest impunity throughout the years. Corruption runs rampant from north to south and east to west. In a recent survey, it was determined that Brazil is among the first countries in corruption and impunity. Although much of this corruption amounts to politicians providing and receiving large sums of money for political favors, there is more beyond regular bureaucracy corruption. The former Portuguese colony is rapidly adopting globalist measures of population control, much like the United States, England, Australia and New Zealand.

Throughout the last 12 months, a few newspapers have revealed in the back of their pages and in tiny one column articles, the almost compulsory nature of the vaccination campaign against the H1N1 flu, which although it has been proven to be a sham, continues to be implemented countrywide. Fortunately, some people have been made aware of the dangers of the vaccine, and the campaign has not had the results first expected by government health authorities. According to Zero Hora newspaper, only 670,000 elderly got vaccinated instead of the 1.4 million expected in the state of Rio Grande do Sul. Less than 50 percent have taken the regular flu vaccination. However, this does not mean Brazil can escape from the control of the World Health Organization. The vaccinations continue to be carried out for different population groups all over the country.

Brazil also uses a form of fluoride in the water supply, a practice largely adopted for its supposed benefits on people’s teeth, but that has also been found to be pseudoscience. Recently this publication interviewed a head chemist at SEMAE, a government organization that cares for the quality of water in the town of Sao Leopoldo, Brazil. With a Master’s Degree in chemistry, she not only admitted she never saw a study that confirmed the claim fluoride, in any form, is beneficial to people, but also confessed that fluoride is put in the water based on the belief it helps to promote oral health. When asked about the dangers sodium fluoride and substances of the like pose to people, she said she never learned anything about that in college or training courses she attended. In fact, fluoride causes tooth decay, mouth cancer and several neurological disorders in addition to lowering intelligence.

The country is in advanced stages of implementing National Identification Cards as well as using Airport Body Scanners. These last two technologies are already being used or will be in force in less than 10 years. In the case of the radiation emitting body scanners, there are several of them in national and international airports. According to the newspaper Zero Hora, from the state of Rio Grande do Sul, beginning in May 2010, travelers who board planes in the cities of Guarulhos, Rio de Janeiro, Recife and Manaus, may be selected as candidates for walk through one of the full body scanners. This measure is taken even though in more developed countries, the use of the scanners raised concern not only for the radiation they emit, but also due to the fact people’s bodies are seen completely naked in the images the machine generates.

According to many civil rights and privacy groups the use of scanners is a gross violation of privacy laws. The images generated from the scanners are saved in hard drives and kept for further use in surveillance. Although authorities in Brazil deny the capacity of the scanners to provide such images, Angelo Gioia, from the Federal Police in Rio de Janeiro, admitted it is a more invasive method of surveillance. Currently, Brazilian laws allow for searches of people when there are founded suspicions of illegal activities, but do not regulate the use of this kind of scanners. Goia believes there should not be any limits when it comes to security. The cost of every body scanner is $170,000. Body scanning technology operates based on the use of millimeter waves over a body to measure the energy reflected back to render a 3D image.Millimeter wave scanners produce,30 to 300 gigahertz electromagnetic waves, something close to what a cellphone emits. The promoters of Airport Body Scanners always cite the huge benefits they provide in preventing safety hazards such as guns, explosives, etc. But the truth is that a pat down or bomb sniffing dogs are as useful or more accurate. Just as it has been done in other countries, in Brazil the use of this technology is presented as an added convenience, so more people receive it and adopt it willingly. Little is talked about the violation to the right to be private as persons and in our property. Added to the convenience, there is another factor injected in the adoption of the scanners: Fear. The threat of terrorism is the extra ace under the sleeve always ready to be pulled out in case people complain or find the scanners to be an inconvenience.

How much terrorism is there in Brazil? Compared to other countries like Ireland, Israel, Palestine, Pakistan or Great Britain, the answer is: nothing. The country has never suffered a major terrorist attack in modern history. The closest to terrorism are the occasional shootings between drug lords and military police in small neighborhoods of Rio or Sao Paulo. So why does Brazil need the scanners? It does not. As in many other countries, the adoption of this technology is all about submission and loss of liberties. In fact, history shows that the most incredible terror attacks have been of the false-flag kind. Trend forecaster and founder of the Trends Research Institute, Gerald Celente, a notable guest in main stream media outlets such as CNN and NBC, believes 2010 will be the year of multiple government sponsored attacks. “It’s the crash of 2010 as we predicted it,” says Celente. “The global economy collapse in March of 2009 when they inflated the markets with fiat money.” Celente predicted the current crisis, falling stock market, civil unrest in Greece and the collapse of Iceland, Argentina, Portugal, Spain as well as the crisis in the United States and the United Kingdom. “Anyone who believes this kind of stuff is beneficial, deserves what they get.” Gerald Celente warns people on what will happen once this kind of policies are fully implemented. Watch this clip at 5 minutes and 30 seconds.

When it comes to the National Identification Card in Brazil, information about it is very scarce. Most people here visit Federal PolicRFIDe offices all around the country to renew their driver licenses or identification and do not inquire or wonder about the new technology used in those documents. In other countries where it has been implemented, the National ID card is rejected by informed citizens as well as pro privacy groups because it contains all information related to the bearer of the card: Social Security number, physical address and a unique identification number that unlocks a wide variety private information such as bank accounts, savings, workplace, voting record, and so on.

In Brazil, the new National ID Card, provides a unique ID number according to the state the person lives in. In the south, people will have ID’s with a unique 10 digit number, in Brasilia, 7 digits, Sao Paulo 9 digits, and so on. The issuance of the new card will begin in October 2010, and it is estimated that every citizen, naturalized and legal immigrants will be part of the database by 2020. According to technology expert Chris Paget, Radio Frequency Technology, the type used in National ID Cards, has been used for years in credit and checking cards. “There have been hundreds of millions of cards issued with RFID. The problem is that people do not know that technology is contained in the cards, and therefore they don’t do anything to protect it” It sounds strange to say the least, that the technology that is supposed to keep us safe, needs to be protected itself. Right now, anyone with an RFID reader can pin point credit and checking cards and obtain enough information to clone it and use it in a transaction. So, why do countries what to literally count and have such a tight control of their citizenry? Dr. Katherine Albrecht, Founder and Director of CASPIAN Consumer Privacy believes there is a massive push for governments to identify and number all of their citizens, and in the process, use technology created by mega corporations which then, would be in control of personal information such as identification number, banking accounts, social security, pension fund accounts, credit card numbers and so on. “We are seeing this in China, where 1 billion people have been issued National ID Cards with radio frequency devices. They are doing the same in Mexico, 1.2 billion people in India…”

According to historian Daniel Estulin, the use of National ID cards along with other technologies is a push for creating a cashless society. “No more money will be needed, because you will have credit assigned to your identification number. The problem is you are not going to be the one deciding how many credit to put on the card. The government will.” Estulin as well as Albrecht recognize the existence of government databases for jobs, credit and crime, and warn the use of National ID Cards will allow for the creation of a worldwide complete database where everyone will be included.

In Brazil, the issuance of the National ID Card will begin as a pilot project in every region. The card will be similar to a Credit Card, with a chip containing information such as the CPF or Cadastro de Pessoa Fisica, voter registration number, fingerprint, or an iris scanned image which will be accepted by the system known as AFIS or Automatic Fingerprint Identification System. This system is recognized worldwide, and is the one utilized by governments in all 5 continents. The resulting number will be a standardized RG or Registro Geral. With this local, regional and national database, Brazil will be one of the last giants in the planet to succumb to the plan to submit to a global registration program where corporations know each and every human being, no matter where they live.

Sources:

Immigration Proposal Creates National ID Card, fingerprint database

https://realagenda.wordpress.com/2010/05/02/dems’-immigration-proposal-creates-national-id-card-‘fingerprints-database/

A Fluoretacao da Agua: O Maior Caso de Fraude Cientifica do Seculo

https://realagenda.wordpress.com/2010/05/01/a-fluoretacao-da-agua-o-maior-caso-de-fraude-cientifica-do-seculo/

Cnet News

http://news.cnet.com/8301-27083_3-10423199-247.html

Gerald Celente, Trend Forecaster

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QVonJr9XvK0&feature=player_embedded#!

Shadow Government Film, RFID

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Vfpdbxh-8-o

Shadow Government Full Documentary

http://www.liveleak.com/view?i=56a_1265516934

Zero Hora Newspaper, Friday May 7th, 2010

“Identidade terá novo modelo em outubro.” Page 54

Zero Hora Newspaper, Friday May 7th, 2010

“Aeroportos terao scanner de corpo.” Page 57

Automatic Fingerprint Identification System

http://www.interoptest-berlin.de/pdf/DERMALOG_Company_Profile.pdf

European Health Council Unveils H1N1 Fraud

http://www.associatedcontent.com/article/2664587/health_council_of_europe_unveils_h1n1.html?cat=5

Russia Today. Get Ready for the European Double Dip

http://rt.com/Business/2010-05-07/ready-european-double-dip.html

RFID Reader

http://www.cypress.com/?docID=15592

National ID Card

http://epic.org/privacy/id-cards/

CASPIAN Consumer Privacy

http://www.nocards.org/

Daniel Estulin

http://www.danielestulin.com/el-hombre-tras-los-libros/