No. No. No. Don’t say unemployment has been forty plus straight months over 8% under Obama.
Do say …unemployment hasn’t gone below 8% since Obama’s first full month in office.
Two years ago on this day in history the $787 Billion Stimulus Bill was passed in Congress. Senate democrats agreed to trim down the earlier $937 billion proposal in response to accusations of unwarranted spending by Republican critics.
But it wasn’t just Americans who benefited from the Stimulus Bill. Few knew that many other countries would profit from the massive government move including China and Spain. (see details at end of article)
In an effort to pass the $787 Billion legislation:
House Speaker Pelosi, 68, promised lawmakers will “hit the ground running” to come up with legislation, which the California Democrat vowed will be crafted “in a bipartisan way” and with “great fiscal discipline.” –declared two years ago
Obama promised to boost jobs with spending on improvements to roads, bridges and power grids. –declared two years ago
President-elect Barack Obama said his two-year plan to boost the U.S. economy would generate as many as 4 million jobs, higher than his previous estimates, the biggest portion of them in construction, manufacturing and retail. — declared two years ago
“It is the right size, it is the right scope. Broadly speaking it has the right priorities to create jobs that will jump-start our economy and transform it for the 21st century,” Obama said. –declared two years ago
Before taking office, Preisdent Elect Obama said the economic recovery was more important than the “enormous” federal budget deficit he would inherit “and that means that we can’t worry, short term, about the budget deficit.” –declared two years ago
America wasn’t the only one to benefit
China State Construction Engineering Corp – won a Manhattan, New York subway ventilation project worth around $100 million funded by stimulus funds.
Stimulus money going towards Chinese causes include: International Research Experiences for Students (IRES) U.S.-China Collaboration on Dinosaur Eggs and Education ($141,000 to date); HIV and Related High-risk Behaviors among Commercial Sex Male Clients in China ($90,484); Study of Coseismic Damage and Post-mainshock Healing on the Longmen-Shan Fault Ruptured in the 2008 M8 Wenchuan Earthquake in China ($108,558); Is the Tibetan Plateau Rising? ($327,277); Bioactive Compounds from the Biodiversity of China Vietnam ($400,000); see other entries here and inserting “China” as the keyword.
July 3, 2010–Abengoa Solar Inc., a subsidiary of Abengoa – a Spanish multinational corporation has secured $1.45 billion in stimulus funds for construction and start-up of Solana, a 250 net megawatt (MW) concentrating solar power (CSP) plant 70 miles southwest of Phoenix.
Two months earlier, a May 18, 2010 press release read: Abengoa Solar awarded contract for developing a state-of-the-art solar power tower together with the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE). The project will involve designing a power tower technology plant with a central receiver and storage system. This new award brings to a total of six the number of R&D agreements between Abengoa Solar Inc. and the DOE.
A January 14, 2011 press release titled, “New Countries Eligible to Participate in H-2A and H-2B Programs” by the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) has announced the addition of more countries allowed to participate in US job fulfillment by foreign nationals.
An increase of 15 countries are now eligible to participate in the program bringing the total number of countries to 53.
What is the H-2A and H-2B program?
The H-2A program allows U.S. employers to bring foreign nationals to the United States to fill temporary agricultural labor and service jobs. The number of requests for H-2A certifications in Fiscal Year (FY) 2009 increased by over 6 percent from FY 2008, while the number of positions certified in FY 2009 also experienced an increase of almost 5 percent over FY 2008. There is no H-2A numerical limitation (cap)
The H-2B program allows U.S. employers to bring foreign nationals to the United States for temporary nonagricultural jobs which include resort and hospitality services, retail sales, landscaping, food service and processing, and construction. FY 2008 to FY 2009 showed a 25% decrease in requests for positions and employer demand for H-2B workers showed additional decline from the previous fiscal year. There is a 66,000 H-2B numerical limitation (cap)
Countries include: Argentina, Australia, Barbados, Belize, Brazil, Bulgaria, Canada, Chile, Costa Rica, Croatia, Dominican Republic, Ecuador, El Salvador, Estonia, Ethiopia, Fiji, Guatemala, Honduras, Hungary, Ireland, Israel, Jamaica, Japan, Kiribati, Latvia, Lithuania, Macedonia, Mexico, Moldova, Nauru, The Netherlands, Nicaragua, New Zealand, Norway, Papua New Guinea, Peru, Philippines, Poland, Romania, Samoa, Serbia, Slovakia, Slovenia, Solomon Islands, South Africa, South Korea, Tonga, Turkey, Tuvalu, Ukraine, United Kingdom, Uruguay, and Vanuatu. Of these countries, the following were designated for the first time this year: Barbados, Estonia, Fiji, Hungary, Kiribati, Latvia, Macedonia, Nauru, Papua New Guinea, Samoa, Slovenia, Solomon Islands, Tonga, Tuvalu, and Vanuatu.
The Telework Enhancement Act of 2010 was not mentioned on November 29, 2010 when the President called for a two-year wage freeze for civilian federal employees — an about face from his proposed 1.4% raise earlier in the year.
Less than two weeks before the Presidents’ “bold” announcement, Congress passed the “Telework Enhancement Act of 2010” which was introduced by Democratic Representative John Sarbanes of Maryland. (see his bio and co-sponsors below)
This bill will require that management establish and implement a policy authorizing federal employees to work at home. Each employee is estimated to save $6,000-$10,000 in commuting expenses alone by working at home.
According to a study, titled “Telework Eligibility Profile: Feds Fit the Bill,” underwritten by Tandberg and released by Telework Exchange 96 percent of respondents are eligible to telework (79 percent eligible to telework full time).
What wasn’t assessed in the “study” was the Federal cost of providing duplicate supplies and equipment for employee home offices. The cost “savings” will be for the employee (rather than the employer) who will now be able to pocket the extra $6,000-$10,000 saved on the commute. Other employee cost savings such as work attire, child care, etc. is not available.
Telework Exchange is a public-private partnership focused on providing educational and communication requirements of the Federal teleworker community. The organization facilitates communication among Federal teleworkers, telework managers, and IT professionals.
Tandberg (now a part of Cisco) is the fastest growing company in the telepresence and video conferencing industry.
John Sarbanes (D-MD), born 1962, has served in the “House” since his election in 2006. Schooled at Princeton and Harvard, John is the son of former Senator Paul Sarbanes (D-MD) who served in the US Congress from 1971-2006. (1971-1976 as a Rep.; 1976-2006 as a Senator)
Co-sponsors include: Shelley Moore Capito (R-WV 2001-present); Elijah E. Cummings (D-MD 1995-present); Lloyd Doggett (D-TX 1995-present); Zoe Lofgren (D-CA 1995-present); James P. Moran (D-VA 1991-present); Dutch Ruppersberger (D-MD 2003-present); Robert J. Wittman (R-VA 2007-present); Gerald E. Connolly (D-VA 2009-present); Danny Davis (D-IL 1997-present); James Himes (D-CT 2009-present); Stephen Lynch (D-MA 2001-present); Eleanor Holmes Norton (D-DC 1991-present); Edolphus Towns (D-NY 1983-present); and Frank Wolf (R-VA 1981-present).
Read HR 1722
Federal employees saw a 3.9% and 2% raise in 2009 and 2010 respectively.
We’ve heard a lot of talk about our US debt, bonds and quantitative easing lately. But few understand the workings behind the words and what it means to us individually.
When the US government, local municipalities (or you) spend more money than we have on hand we need to borrow from someone — but borrowing is not free — we pay a premium to borrow.
It’s true. Money doesn’t grow on trees or appear out of thin air — except in quantitative easing — but we’ll get to that later.
Every borrower has a lender. The money comes from someone else.
You can only do two things with money: buy stuff or not (i.e. stockpile/save). A borrower buys stuff by borrowing from the person who saved. The borrower pays a premium for money while the saver (lender) gets a premium for his money.
A lender receives payment for letting others borrow their money. If you put your money in a CD or savings account you receive interest because YOU are now a lender.
A borrower, basically, may use a credit card while the government or municipality will issue bonds in anticipation of future revenues. A fee or interest rate is attached to the privilege.
On a municipal level, the city, county, redevelopment agency, school district, public utility district, or publicly owned entity may issue bonds or short term notes. But it’s not free money.
Should you live in a city that you voted to OK the issuance of bonds, you are now responsible for the added cost (interest) for the privilege of the city to borrow money it does not have. Because your city functions through fees and taxes imposed on you to run, YOU are now the borrower. The city will pay a premium for the bond and will have to generate that premium through higher taxes and fees it gets through you. The people who buy the bonds (called bond holders) are the lenders and they will receive a handsome premium for investing (i.e. saving) in bonds.
Now about Quantitative easing… it’s a policy used when normal methods to control the money supply have failed. It has been termed the electronic equivalent of simply printing money. Read what the rest of the world thinks of the QE2
In the current situation, the Federal Reserve will be buying $600 Billion in treasury bonds.
The Federal Reserve (the “Fed”) is the central banking system of the United States. The US Department of the Treasury creates the currency the Federal Reserve uses.
Read it again: The Fed is using money printed by the Treasury to buy Bonds for sale by the Treasury.
It would be like vender selling energy drink. He has a pitcher of energy drink that he’s selling by the cup. The pitcher is now half full and he decides to top it off with water. The energy drink is now diluted and the new buyers are only getting half as much energy benefit but it looks the same and costs the same.
Likewise with your money. Inflation (watering down) will set in and you will have much less “buying power” for your dollar.
In the case of all the failed mortgages? Someone lent the original amount of money to the borrower. When homes default the lender is “out” that amount of money. It would be like you borrowing $100 from your mom and not paying her back.
Most mortgages are held by Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac — the two companies buy home loans from lenders. Fannie Mae stands for Federal National Mortgage Association and Freddie Mac stands for Federal Home Loan Mortgage Corporation.
It would be like saying your child guaranteed the loan made to you by your mother. You borrowed the money but never paid it back so your child will pay your mother back for you. YOU got off scott free while someone else had to pay off your debt.
All those failed mortgages? The someone who lost all that money is now you, the taxpayer. You’re now responsible for the debt because the government guaranteed them. YOU guaranteed your neighbors home loan.
The terms “debt” and “deficit” are often confused on the United States. I introduce: Federal Finances 101
A “deficit” is a shortfall of a BUDGET allotted to the government. There is also something called a DEBT. (read on… I’ll explain it all)
Analogy: You earn $500 a week. Your weekly budget is $500 a week. But you spend $550 a week.
You’re spending habits have been going on like this for two years.
Your budget “deficit” is $50. Your debt is $5,200 ($50/week x 2 years).
Annual BUDGETs are decided and changed on an annual basis by Congress. The DEBT is an ongoing tally since our countries’ inception.
Budgets change on an annual basis making the “deficit” to any annual budget unsubstantiated unless you have BOTH figures (budget allowance and deficit figure).
Below are the budgets for recent years. NOTE that the budget in 2008 was nearly a TRILLION dollars less. Also note that each year the budget was raised by about 100 billion dollars. See the budget jump in 2010?
A “fiscal year” is not a “calendar year.” Example: agencies of the federal government, fiscal year 2011 refers to the time between October 1, 2010 and September 30, 2011. The years indicated below are in “fiscal years.” The elected President is in ( )
To understand the numbers below let me give you an example: The 2010 budget for Obama was $3.6 Trillion. He actually spent $4.95 Trillion which gave him a “DEFICIT” of $1.35 Trillion. Likewise the 2007 budget for Bush was $2.8 Trillion. He actually spent $2.96 Trillion which left him with a “DEFICIT” of $162 Billion. WE were screaming hysterically about an out of control budget when Bush overspent by less than $200 Billion. Obama overspent by (16 times the rate) nearly 1 1/2 TRILLION with an even larger budget. Where’s the screaming now?
2011 — $3.8 Trillion Budget (Obama) — projected estimate based on Presidential request earlier this year.
2010 — $3.6 Trillion Budget w/ “deficit” of $1.35 Trillion and DEBT of $13.562 Trillion (Obama)
2009 — $3.1 Trillion Budget w/ “deficit” of $1.4 Trillion and DEBT of $11.910 Trillion (Obama)
2008 — $2.9 Trillion Budget w/ “deficit” of $455 Billion and DEBT of $10.025 Trillion (Bush)
2007 — $2.8 Trillion Budget w/ “deficit” of $162 Billion and DEBT of $9.008 Trillion (Bush)
2006 — $2.7 Trillion Budget w/ “deficit” of $248 Billion and DEBT of $8.507 Trillion (Bush)
2005 — $2.4 Trillion Budget w/ “deficit” of $319 Billion and DEBT of $8.027 Trillion (Bush)
2004 — $2.3 Trillion Budget w/ “deficit” of $413 Billion and DEBT of $7.379 Trillion (Bush)
2003 — $2.2 Trillion Budget w/ “deficit” of $374 Billion and DEBT of $6.793 Trillion (Bush)
2002 — $2.0 Trillion Budget w/ “deficit” of $157.8 Billion and DEBT of $6.228 Trillion (Bush)
2001 — $1.9 Trillion Budget w/ “SURPLUS” of $127 Billion and DEBT of $5.807 Trillion (Bush)
2000 — $1.8 Trillion Budget w/ “SURPLUS” of $236.4 Billion and DEBT of $5.674 Trillion (Clinton)
1999 — $1.7 Trillion Budget w/ “SURPLUS” of $125.6 Billion and DEBT of $5.656 Trillion (Clinton)
1998 — $1.7 Trillion Budget w/ “SURPLUS” of $69.2
Rarely talked about, the primary reason for the “surplus” during the Clinton era was due to the enactment of the Taxpayer Relief Act of 1997. With the introduction of the Roth IRA a taxpayer could roll his traditional retirement account into a Roth. The claim to fame is that the taxes are paid as monies go INTO the IRA rather than when the monies are withdrawn. Touted as a tax advantage it generated billions of dollars to the Clinton administration while future administrations would now receive no anticipated tax revenue when the accounts matured. President Obama has revived a new “rollover period” in his administration.
This month as the media steered Americans towards the mosque issue it skipped over vital information every American should have heard first and foremost. (view frightening 5 min. video coming out of France titled, ‘Islamization’ of Paris a Warning to the West )
August 2010 news not widely reported by the media:
The media steered you away from: The US borders remain open and “unable to defend” while US military personel are currently deployed in more than 150 countries around the world, with more than 369,000 of its 1,479,551 active-duty personnel serving outside the United States and its territories. View video of “fence” on the US border
The media steered you away from: Bankruptcy filings rose 20 percent in the 12-month period ending June 30, 2010
The media steered you away from: The State of Arizona and S.B. 1070 was included in a report to the United Nations Council on Human Rights submitted by the US State Dept. (headed by Hillary Rodham Clinton). The “Universal Periodic Review” stated “… our economic prosperity depend on our capacity to welcome and assimilate immigrants.”
The media steered you away from: Foreclosure activity hits record high in third quarter — 1 in 136 homes received a foreclosure filing. Up 5% from previous quarter. Up 23% from Q3 2008.
The media steered you away from: Housing demand slowed — home sales down.
The media steered you away from: Initial jobless claims at highest level since November 2009
The media steered you away from: Auto sales saw an historic 28 year low
The media steered you away from: Bank failures hit an 18 year high (highest since 1992)
The media steered you away from: Unemployment rates raise in 14 states. Nationally expected to remain around 9.5 percent for the remainder of the year and perhaps until year end 2014.
The media steered you away from: U.S. gasoline demand jumps 1.7%; up .9% year to date. Average price for a gallon of self-serve regular gasoline was $2.75
The media steered you away from: Trade deficit has expanded 18.8 percent in June to $49.9 billion, the largest level in almost two years
The media steered you away from: China moved past Japan into the world’s second largest economy
The media steered you towards: An early end to the Iraq war brings US troops home as “last full U.S. combat brigade” symbolically leave the country. All the while steering you away from the 52,000 troops who will remain in Iraq — coined as “boots on the ground” to assist with policing the country comprised of specially trained heavy, infantry and Stryker brigades, as well as two combat aviation brigades. Read more at Army Times.
The media steered you away from: As of 5/25/10 there were 92,000 U.S. troops in Iraq. All other nations have withdrawn their troops. As of 8/20/10 total military fatalities in Iraq- 4,406.
The media steered you away from: Army suicides hit record in June
The media steered you away from: 10% of the 116,423 active-duty soldiers currently in Iraq and Afghanistan are “non-deployable”
The media steered you away from: The former US commander in Afghanistan who was forced to retire after making scathing comments to a magazine about the Barack Obama administration will take a teaching position at Yale
The media steered you away from: The World Health Organization (WHO) announced the swine flu pandemic has officially ended
The media steered you away from: Fidel Castro warned a US attack on Iran would trigger nuclear armageddon
The media steered you away from: Iran retaliates against US and European sanctions by refusing to accept dollars and euros for oil
The media steered you away from: German police have closed Hamburg mosque because intelligence officials say it’s become a meeting place for extremists
The media steered you away from: The Defense Department proposes the elimination of the Joint Forces Command in Norfolk, Va in an attempt to cut budget spending
The media steered you away from: Kenya’s government is unhappy with the impression created by a U.S. court ruling that granted asylum to President Barack Obama’s aunt for saying she could be targeted by members of Kenya’s government if deported describe the case of Zeituni Onyango as an embarrassment and said the allegations made against Kenya were untrue and unrealistic
The media steered you away from: Iran’s leadership hailed the fuelling of its first nuclear power plant