We have to ask ourselves if this recession is adversely affecting the spending of middle and lower income Americans? And, where do many of these corporations go to make up their loss of sales from the downturn in consumer spending? The Pentagon sucks up over 33% of our national yearly budget; and that total national yearly budget is around $13 trillion. The Pentagon is funded via the taxpayers, as well as through foreigners buying up American assets, such as bonds and Treasury Bills. And, consumer spending has begun to significantly slow down due to the fiscal policy brought to you by the Bernanke-Bush-McCain regressive party politics.
So, as the richest Americans working for these huge multinational corporations make profits from their business contracts off of the people's Pentagon, they walk away with taxpayer subsidized expense accounts, retirement bonuses, salaries, and more. Much of what these employees "earn" comes from our tax contributions.
You can look at this as the biggest welfare program in the history of the planet!!!! This is what Dean Baker calls the Nanny State. The rich getting richer off the government programs, established rules, and policies that permit such a feeding frenzy.
This government subsidy of the rich by the taxpayers has been going on for generations, but now, it is becoming more apparent. The internet blogging world has exposed this scam. The subprime housing bubble and all that has been written about it has helped many of us to assemble a mental-visual picture of how all these pieces have fit together in order to allow the "privileged class" to avoid any of the economic suffering that the rest of us are dealing with every day. The Republican regressives have made sure of that.
Keep the worker bees working, gathering honey by swarming the country for the greenback pollen so the "privileged class" hive queens can benefit from all our hard work.
George W. Bush was born into the world of privilege through his grandfather and father's oil wealth and connections. His grandfather, Prescott Bush, brought these connections and wealth privileges to the Bush Boy. Dumb W. never figured out how to use intellect and acquired skill sets to create wealth on his own. He was always given his opportunities, and always failed. He was never smart enough to do it on his own. Whenever he failed, daddy's friends and colleagues bailed the Dummy W. out of his economic woes. He failed with every oil business he ever got his fool-hearty hands into.
Dummy W. never earned an honest dollar in his life. The political regressives saw a patsy fool with an appealing shot n' beer Texas swagger to set up in the Texas governor's mansion, and later, on into the White House only after sealing the election through thievery and the ultra right wing majority (regressive) Supreme Court.
This is how the well-connected rich get richer. The plan has always been in place to take the wealth of the middle class and transfer it into the hands of the very rich. We saw it with the Bush tax cuts. The very ones that McCain voted against but now supports with full embrace. He wants to make the tax cuts that took money from the Social Security trust fund and transfer those public dollars, specifically set aside for supporting middle and lower income workers, on into the hands of the ultra rich. McCain wants to continue this transference of wealth to the tune of $325,000 per year for the millionaires and billionaires through permanent tax cuts.
How do many of our wealthiest employees get their money? In Nick Turse's article "The Real Matrix: The Pentagon Invades Your Life", found on TomDispatch.com, 4-24-08, he writes about the one trillion dollar per year Pentagon contract budget. The Pentagon contracts with, at least, 100 top multi-national and national corporations. These corporations are armed with top brass executives making big bucks, and they look for places to invest their money. One spot is the private equity group funds, which include hedge funds. One trillion Treasury dollars--public dollars--trickling down into the accounts of the richest people in the nation.
Here are some of these contracts. Procter and Gamble received $362,461,808; GE raked in $2.3 billion in 2006; Danskin received over $1 million over two years; NASCAR posters were printed to the tune of $38 million of taxpayer dollars; Tyco International, including ADT alarms, came in at $187 million; GM agreed to build a $100 million test track for the military; Goodyear received $357 million; Verizon got $128 million from the Pentagon and $50 million from HLS; Motorola phones came in at $308 million; In 2004, Bectel received $1.7 billion; Shell's parent company received $1.15 billion in 2006.
Here are many other names you recognize that received contracts from our tax dollars. ExxonMobil $1.17 billion in 2006; Ford; Kodak; Olympus; 3-M Post-It Notes; Microsoft Windows software; Budweiser; Lexmark printers; Canon photocopiers; AT&T telephones; Maxwell House coffee; Kidde fire extinquishers; Xerox fax machines; IBM servers; paper from International Paper; Duracell batteries; an LG Electronic refrigerator; paper towels from Marcal Paper Mills; Wolverine boots; Oakley sunglasses; American Optical Company goggles; Apple; Starbucks; Google; Breakaway Games; National Football League jerseys and caps partnered with the Pentagon; Marvel Comics partnership; HP; Hilton; Marriott; Columbia TriStar Films; Sony; Pfizer; Sara Lee ($68 million in 2006); M&M Mars and Hershey; Nestle; ESPN; Walt Disney; Bank of America; Johnson and Johnson; FedEx; Dell; Samsung; Harris Pillow Supply; Thomasville Furniture; Sears; Charmin; New Balance; True Fitness Technology (treadmills); Hanes Her Way; Home Depot; and, of course, Lockheed Martin.
The article went on to point out that in 1959, during Eisenhower's presidency, the Pentagon contracted out at a cost of $23 billion. In 2007, the direct procurement of combat related goods went up to $600 billion per year!
In the article "The Myths and Harsh Effects of Bush's Economic Class War" found on Alternet.org, 4-28-08, the author wrote that the recession of 2001 never ended, at least, not for ordinary Americans.
Ordinary Americans found their incomes declining. From 2001-2007, median family income declined somewhere between $500-$1000. Median individual income declined by, at least, $1000.
The yearly average number of new private sector jobs created from 2001-2008 was just 369,000, not even keeping up with the growth in population. In 1992-2000, private sector jobs increased by 1,760,000 per year.
The number of people in manufacturing jobs declined by over 3 million.
The number who got health care at work went down from 64.2 million to 59.7 million. The number of people without health care went up from 38.4 million to 46.9 million.
The list goes on!
The middle class is disappearing. The writer went on to say that "The growth in the U.S. economy is a bubble. It consists of debt. Can it be true the growth in the U.S. economy in the last seven years, such as it is, consists entirely of debt?"
From that same article, here are the numbers:
The U.S. economy grew by about $4 trillion. The national debt in January 2008 was $9.2 trillion. An increase of $3.5 trillion. Total consumer credit debt in 2008 will likely be $1.8 trillion. Total consumer credit debt in 2001 was $7.65 trillion, which is an increase of $5.25 trillion.
In the course of achieving growth of $4 trillion, we took on $8.75 trillion in debt, combining what we owe as a nation and as individuals.
This is the Bush-McCain-Republican Party legacy. The cowardly Democrats, led by the Blue Dog (I call these capitulators- Yella Dog)Democrats who failed to stand up to Bush in the last 2 years. Yet, one must remember, this all began with Reagan, and now, overwhelms the nation because of this current president.
The economy cannot grow with this huge amount of debt, but it is clear, the rich are getting richer. With such lucrative Pentagon, Homeland Security, National Security, CIA, FBI, and other government contracts, those within those corporations, while living large at the top of the pyramid, are investing their money with private equity funds, which are buying foreign currencies, commodities, and various types of precious and industrial metals increasing inflation among working Americans as they go about paying for their daily needs, while expanding the 2001 recession to most of the nation. The rich folk holding the government contract "ATM" card to the Treasury are getting wealthy off our backs.
Banks are hardly lending to consumers, but are developing major lending relationships with private equity fund groups who then borrow to speculate (gamble) against a declining dollar. What we are witnessing are banks lending to equity group funds that are not choosing to speculate on the building of a new American economy and future, with solidly paid workers, but to go outside America to advance their wealth. Unfortunately, such behavior does not help pull the nation away from its economic recession, but only fuels it. The reality is they are leveraging against a declining America. Therefore, the Fed is encouraging the banks that will now receive even cheaper government money, 2%, to work against the national security interests of our country.
Why would Bernanke, Paulson, and Bush do this?
They do it to make sure the richest Americans don't suffer ANY wealth losses. As the subsidized rich investor class within the private equity groups speculate in Europe, and in Euros, they stabilize the European economies keeping their food and oil prices down, as our prices go up at home.
This should be a crime!
Is their plan to force European exports, with their higher labor costs resulting from speculators boosting foreign currency values through their investment, away from the American markets? By doing so, those European products cost more here at home. If this is the case, their plan could help our disappearing industrial sector (only 10% of our economy) export what little they can because of our shrinking dollar? Regardless of such a plan, our 10% industrial sector is no longer big enough to pull our huge economy out of recession and into a recovery. Any plan to devalue our dollar by betting, oh, I mean investing Treasury subsidized dollars outside of America will not help our economy, but will only damage it further.
Have we had enough yet?