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Posts Tagged ‘George W Bush’

20150224_problemThe financial collapse of 2008 was the worst recession since the Great Depression. Give President Obama and his administration credit for saving the economy from the depredations of Wall Street despite massive Republic resistance to resuscitating it, which they did solely for political gain. However, this historically weak recovery masks a startling reality.

Only one perpetrator of Wall Street crimes was ever brought to justice, and he wasn’t a big figure in the massive corruption going on. In March 2009, Obama met with Wall Street leaders and said, “I stand between you and the pitchforks. I am on your side and I will protect you.”

Only one banker from that era was prosecuted. That was Bernie Madoff, and the only reason he was carted off to prison was because he stole from rich people. And not one other Wall Street criminal executive went to jail after stealing billions via fraud, money laundering of Mexican drug cartel profits, and numerous other crimes. Many became his financial advisers, which meant Obama pursued policies to redistribute income from the 99 to the 1 percent for eight long years.

At all times, Obama refused to bite the hand that funded his past, present and future, as well as funding much of the Republican and Democratic Parties. In other words, Obama was largely, if not completely, in the back pocket of Wall Street as were President Bill Clinton, both President’s Bush, Ronald Reagan, Hillary Clinton, Mitt Romney, Wall Street Senator’s Ron Wyden, Mitch McConnell and Orrin Hatch.

Obama operated in a cesspool corruption. He was part of the problem, not the solution.

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There are actions and then there are inaction’s. There is biting the hands that feed you now and in the future, and then there are the decisions one makes to not bite the hands that feed you, now and in the future.

First there was the illegal torture program of President George W. Bush. Bush is the only former US president who couldn’t visit Switzerland and numerous other nations after his terms in office. Bush would be arrested and charged with war crimes should he or several other members of his administration, including Vice President Dick Cheney, ever step foot into those nations. Obama called the torturers “patriots” and those who demanded justice “sanctimonious.”

When a judge in Spain began to pursue war crimes charges against Bush, Obama successfully began a diplomatic initiative to quash the charges.

Obama went out of his way to ensure that nobody of political and financial significance suffered the consequences of their actions.

Not one single person was charged with war crimes, torture or murder. Forget US laws, forget the US Constitution, and forget international laws the US had signed on to.

Perhaps Obama decided not to pursue charges, or quash prospective charges, because much of the torture was done by publicly traded corporate contractors. In other words, torture was to a large degree about profits; the more torture victims, the more profits.

Virginia-based CACI Premier Technology corporation is a military contractor that was a major US torturer at Abu Ghraib prison in Iraq. The company made millions upon millions of dollars torturing people on behalf of President George W. Bush.

CACI’s share price hovered around $13 a share when Bush became president. Thanks to the torture contracts the company received from the US government, the share price increased more than five fold to $65+ by the summer of 2005. Under Obama, CACI’s share price rose to $122.25 the day before he left office, in part because of government contracts.

Why is it that a person can commit torture to somebody else and not be convicted of a crime? If anybody else not under contract to the US government kidnapped and tortured somebody they would be charged with crimes, but if the US government pays you for breaking national and international laws, then you will face no charges. That does not make a whole lot of sense.

No doubt Wall Street liked the torture program a lot because it fed into the pockets of the billionaires and millionaire investors of Wall Street, as well as Wall Streets large investment corporations, and Obama had to protect his financial benefactors, so justice could never be served, otherwise the financial spigot watering, seeding and fertilizing the corruption of government at all levels would have been turned off, and Obama could never have tolerated that.

 

 

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This is the third part in a series. So now we’re getting into some debatable stuff, but here goes.

  1. Obama brought the federal budget deficit down from the  more than $1.4 trillion a year he inherited from bumbling, corrupt and incompetent George W. Bush to $587 billion in 2016.
  2. Obama presided over one of the biggest stock market bubbles in world history, and did nothing about it. The hangover from this bubble is going to last quite a long time, but many of his rich supporters got richer because of it.
  3. The president presided over one of the biggest housing bubbles in US history, and did nothing about it. This bubble redistributed trillions of dollars from working folks to Wall Street executives and billionaires that have always been his financial supporters. The big banks illegally conspired to withhold 3.4 million houses off the market (over 50 percent of all vacant houses in the USA) in order to drive up housing prices, and Obama made certain not to let his justice department do anything about this. See The Big Banks Are Manipulating the Housing Market–JohnHively.Wordpress.com
  4. Obama presided over the largest redistribution of income in US history, and did nothing about it. From 2009 to 2013 the 1 percent stole all of the US income growth, and they stole over 50 percent in 2014 and 2015.
  5. In other words, Obama presided over an economy driven by bubbles and redistributing income from the 99 to the 1 percent. Good job!
  6. Obama called rising income inequality “the defining issue of our time.” When his Wall Street financial masters objected to this subject, Obama never mentioned it again. Guess who was really in charge of the white house? Hint. The big investment banks, along with other Wall Street executives and billionaires.
  7. All of the above suggests the next recession is going to be worst than the last one, and it is on its way. We’re at or near the peak of this weak economic expansion. Once we’ve reached that peak, the only place to go is down. Some of Obama’s better known accomplishments (or notoriously known depending on your point of view) include the Affordable Care Act and getting us out of Iraq. These were included in President Obama’s Top Accomplishments, and His Worst–JohnHively.Wordpress.com. Part two included normalizing relations with Cuba. That list can be found here.

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Official portrait of President Barack Obama in the Oval Office, Dec. 6, 2012. (Official White House Photo by Pete Souza) This official White House photograph is being made available only for publication by news organizations and/or for personal use printing by the subject(s) of the photograph. The photograph may not be manipulated in any way and may not be used in commercial or political materials, advertisements, emails, products, promotions that in any way suggests approval or endorsement of the President, the First Family, or the White House.

Official portrait of President Barack Obama in the Oval Office, Dec. 6, 2012.

President Obama was no Franklin Delano Roosevelt, but he did take office during an economic crisis greater than any since the Great Depression, a mess helped along by the worst and one of the most corrupt presidents of all time, George W. Bush. I don’t consider Obama to be a great president. I don’t think we’ve had one since Harry Truman. That being said, I think he’ll be remembered fondly even though he was largely a puppet of Wall Street.

1. Obama actually accomplished quite a bit despite the fact the Republican Party leadership fought against almost everything he wanted tooth and nail even if it meant sending the United States down the tubes. Republican Senator Mitch McConnell said, “Our top political priority over the next two years is to deny President Obama a second term.”

2, Got us out of the illegal and costly occupation of Iraq.

3. Passed Health Care Reform: After five presidents over a century failed to create universal health insurance, signed the Affordable Care Act (2010). This became the first time in US history the government could tax us for not buying something, which is not a good sign since now the government can tax you on anything you choose to not purchase. This legislation also drove up health care costs for everybody, increased deductibles and co-pays.

3. Ended the trade embargo against Iran, which put Iranian oil back on the market and helped drive down the cost of oil and gasoline.

4. Signed $787 billion American Recovery and Reinvestment Act in 2009 to spur economic growth amid greatest recession since the Great Depression. Weeks after stimulus went into effect, unemployment claims began to subside. Twelve months later, the private sector began producing more jobs than it was losing, and it has continued to do so for seven years, creating 12 million new private-sector jobs. However, it should be pointed out that on a per month basis this growth was worst than that which occurred under President Jimmy Carter. On the other hand, monthly job growth of all of the presidents since Carter have been worst than what happened under Jimmy.

Worst Action?

Along with Wall Street Senator Ron Wyden, President Obama continuously groveled at the feet of Wall Street and other big corporate executives, which is why he mightily tried to secretly ram through the Trans Pacific Partnership (TPP). Obama promised an open and honest administration, but he was extremely secretive about the TPP, most likely because it would’ve exported millions of US jobs and redistributed trillions of dollars from working folks to Wall Street and other corporate executives and rich shareholders.

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The Federal Reserve Bank is expected to raise interest rates tomorrow. It will most likely be a mild increase of 1/4 to 1/2 percent.

The US and world economies are heading for a recession worse than the last one, and it should begin by June 2017, give or take a few months. Then President Donald Trump will get the blame, as well as the Republican US senate and the Republican US House of Representatives.

The Republicans will blame the Federal Reserve. Blame the recession and its dire impacts on the effects of Reaganomics, which has been a long-term policy of redistributing income from the 99 to the 1 percent (I doubt Reagan intended it that way). That decreased the demand for goods and services on the part of the 99 percent, and has led to a series of bubble economies for the United States since the 1980s.

The result has been the weakest economic growth in US history under President George W. Bush. The job gains under Bush numbered less than 1.4 million jobs total, with declining real wage growth. Things have been quite a bit better under President Obama. However, the job growth numbers under Obama are far worse than any other president since and including Jimmy Carter, with the exception, of course, of Bush.

Carter had the best monthly job growth numbers of any president since 1976. See Why Did President Jimmy Carter Create More Jobs Per Year Than Any President Since Him? JohnHively.wordpress.com

The Fed and everybody else expect the current economic expansion to continue. That’s insane. All the indications and variables suggest we are on a crash course with a massive recession by June 2017. See The New Recession is Knocking at the Door, and It’s Going to Be Worse than the Last One–JohnHively.Wordpress.com

Only two US business expansions have lasted longer than 100 months. The third longest expansion began under President Ronald Reagan and lasted 92 months. Including this month, the current expansion is 91 months. That means by next June it will have lasted 98 months. Given the weaknesses of the current US economy, we most likely won’t make it much longer than June.

The Federal Reserve will likely raise interest rates tomorrow and hasten the coming of the next recession by a month or two.

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income inequality

A new study by the Economic Policy Institute (EPI) shows that income inequality grew again last year, continuing a thirty-five year trend of rising income and wealth inequality that has been the defining feature of the American economy.

According to the study, “The way rising inequality has directly affected most Americans is through sluggish hourly wage growth in recent decades, despite an expanding and increasingly productive economy. For example, had all workers’ wages risen in line with productivity, as they did in the three decades following World War II, an American earning around $50,000 today would instead be making close to $75,000. A hugely disproportionate share of economic gains from rising productivity is going to the top 1 percent and to corporate profits, instead of to ordinary workers—who are more productive and educated than ever.”

As I show in The Rigged Game: Corporate America and a People Betrayed, our rising inequality is mostly the result of big corporations and the wealthy rewriting the rules of the economy via federal legislation to stack the deck in their favor. They’ve bought everybody from Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama to George W. Bush and Dick Cheney, from Wall Street Senator Ron Wyden to Wall Street Senator’s Mitch McConnell and Orrin Hatch. The rich, in other words, are the monopolists who own the political markets on the federal and most state levels.

This government corruption has prevented the benefits of productivity growth from “trickling down” to reach most households.

A few years ago, President Obama called wage and income inequality the “greatest issue of our time.” Then some Wall Street hacks must have called him to their throne room and gave him a tongue lashing. So the president has never mentioned the “greatest issue or our time” ever again. And he’s done nothing about it either.

That’s why wage inequality continued to increase during 2015.

Among EPI’s findings:

* Wage growth occurred fastest in states with higher minimum wages.

* Overall, 2015 saw overall real wage gains driven only by a dip in inflation.

* Wage growth was faster for male workers and white workers, particularly at the top of the wage distribution, which continued to exacerbate racial, ethnic, and gender wage gaps.

* If the Federal Reserve makes decisions based on the data, it is clear that the United States is not in a period of inflation-spurring wage growth. (Editors note: So the Fed should not raise rates in June, although they likely will, but for other than inflation is on the horizon reasons)

* To see strong broad-based wage growth outside of the tightest of labor markets, policymakers could strengthen labor standards, such as by raising the minimum wage, expanding eligibility for overtime pay, and protecting and strengthening workers’ right to bargain collectively for higher wages and benefits.

Income inequality is destroying the US economy. It’s turning us into a third world nation, with a corrupt federal government, and corrupt corporate news media as bad as in any third world nation.

The less money the 99 percent has, the less demand there is for goods and services. This is why the last two economic expansions are the worst in recorded history for US job growth, as well as other economic indices. The more money the rich steal via government corruption, the more the stock markets roar. Currently, 1 percent of the population steal 37 percent of all income produced in the USA, up from 8 percent in 1980.

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Donald Trump told some honest truths, and the Republican Party finally closed ranks to attack him for it.

Trump said George W. Bush lied about weapons of mass destruction. “They lied,” Trump truthfully said. “They said there were weapons of mass destruction. There were none, and they knew there were none.”

Trump said that invading Iraq was a mistake, that the country was lied into invading Iraq by the Bush administration, and that the claim that Bush kept the country safe from terrorism is ridiculous because 9/11 happened on his watch. We cannot, of course, forget about the terrorist anthrax attacks that terrorized the nation for months after 9-11, and which directly led to the passage of Homeland Security, which is why so many people think the government was behind both 9-11 and the anthrax attacks.

It was a bizarre and telling moment, in which the battered forces of the Republican establishment finally picked themselves up off the floor specifically in order to defend some of its least-defensible conduct of the 21st Century.

Trump lit into George W. Bush on national security.

“While Donald Trump was building a reality TV show,” Jeb Bush retorted, “my brother was building a security apparatus to keep us safe. And I’m proud of what he did.”

Then Trump cut in with his uppercut: “The World Trade Center came down during your brother’s reign. Remember that?”

A chorus of boos echoed forth from the crowd packed with establishment Republicans by the state party. Even better for Bush, Marco “I am a programmed robot” Rubio backed him up with lies.

“I just want to say, at least on behalf of me and my family, I thank God all the time it was George W. Bush in the white house on 9/11, and not Al Gore.” According to Rubio, the president to blame for 9/11 was not the president who was in office on 9/11, it was the guy who left office nine months earlier. “The World Trade Center came down because Bill Clinton didn’t kill Osama bin Laden when he had the chance to kill him.”

Richard Clarke

The audience loved this, and were mightily displeased when Trump observed: “George Bush had the chance, also, and he didn’t listen to the advice of his C.I.A.”

The strange thing is that after months of watching Trump say things that are racist, absurd, patently false, or all three at once, the Republican Party establishment decided to go after him for saying honest things.

George W. Bush clearly was in office on 9/11. Repeated invocations of the notion that he “kept us safe” have managed to make this a controversial claim, but it is true. He was inaugurated in January, and was serving as president on the morning of 9/11 when the terrorist attack momentarily interrupted his reading of My Pet Goat. For months Bush had received repeated warnings about al-Qaeda plots against the United States, and refused to meet with Richard Clarke, his counter terrorism chief, who sent him warning after warning. In addition, Bush received warnings throughout the spring and summer of 2001 during each one of his daily presidential briefings. He decided to ignore them, which is another one of the reasons why tens of millions of Americans think 9-11 was an inside job. Nobody could be that stupid, corrupt or careless with national security. Well, okay, maybe George W. Bush could’ve been.

Bush was given a plan to tackle al-Qaeda and the Taliban that he rejected as a holdover from the Clinton administration and a distraction from bigger problems, like improving his golf swing.

On September 6, 2001, an aide handed Bush a CIA report titled “Bin Laden Determined to Strike in United States.” What did he do with it? He likely never read it. National security was that important to him.

“By Trump standards — this is a man, after all, who claims he can make Mexico pay for the construction of thousands of miles of border wall — these arguments are tame. Indeed, almost banal. For months now, Republicans have wondered how Trump could be winning by claiming up was down. But this was exactly how they won in their mid-aughts heyday — slamming decorated war hero John Kerry for cowardice, claiming to have kept the country safe while presiding over the worst attack in American history, and responding by invading an unrelated country in order to dismantle a nuclear weapons program that didn’t exist.”

Love him or hate him, Trump has been waging an absolutely brilliant campaign to attract Republican voters, many of whom are tired of the Wall Street/Big Oil Republican Party establishment as much as Democratic voters are disgusted with the Wall Street Democratic Party establishment. After the debate, Bush’s poll numbers in South Carolina dropped to as low as 6 percent, while Trump’s numbers stayed the same in a few cases, but in others, they went up.

Bush was considered a threat to Trump in South Carolina, but that appears to be unlikely now that Trump has tarnished the Bush name with honest criticism.

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