Each week, we cover the stories that are just left out of the US propaganda machine. News that the people in charge, the corporations and your government want keep from the public eye.
There is no more dishonest reporting in the US media than what we have witnessed in the past month regarding the budget crisis. News about the nation's deficit is written by the Wall Street propagandists and passed off as reasonable analysis. Progressive voices are marginalized, so that working people are never reminded of the real reasons behind our nation's financial troubles.
Reason one: in the 1950's and 1960's, for every tax dollar collected from individuals, $1.50 was collected from corporations. At the present, for every dollar collected from individuals, $.25 is collected from corporations. Many of our largest, most profitable corporations pay nothing at all.
Reason two: in the 1950's and 1960's, the top tax rate paid by wealthy Americans was 91%. At the present, the very rich pay a top rate of 35%. Dividends and capital gains, the source of income for most multimillionaires, is pegged at 15%.
Reason three: the bailout of Wall Street speculators and the banks was closer to three trillion than the 750 billion reported in our media. Some has been repaid, but the worldwide give-away to the world's financial institutions is only now coming to light.
Reason four: the continuing wars in the Middle East and our nation's empire will cost three trillion in the decade, far more than is reported in the Pentagon budget.
None of this has anything to do with Social Security, Medicare, Pell Grants, teacher salaries, or the costs of environmental protections. In fact, all four reasons represent a type of criminal capitalism that will only get worse.
The very rich control Obama, the Congress, and almost all the media. There is no reason to think that corporations or the very wealthy will have to pay their fair share of taxes. In fact, the Estate Tax, is under continued assault by our nation's lawmakers. Billionaires want to leave all their obscene wealth to their children, while most of the nation's children face minimum wage or unemployment.
Since the very rich control US decision making, there is little chance that future Wall Street speculation will be regulated. In fact, the US is 96th out of 135 countries of the world in terms of income distribution, closest to Mexico and Iran. Unlike more progressive industrialized countries, the richest Americans have billions to speculate with, and virtually no incentive to restrain themselves. All will be bailed out by the US Treasury, so why worry?
Finally, endless wars mean endless profits to those in the criminal capitalist system. Haliburton is an example of a company that makes obscene profits from the wars the company creates and perpetuates. From Lyndon Johnson to Dick Cheney, Halliburton has had a hand in shaping foreign policy. The same is true of other corporations, like big oil, that profit from occupying foreign countries and exploiting their natural resources.
What will change any of this short of national rebellion?
The NY Times:
"Now, coming off one of his worst weeks since taking office, Mr. Obama is nearing a decision on whether he really meant that. Is he willing to try to administer the disagreeable medicine that could help the economy mend over the long term, even if that means damaging his chances for re-election?
The Federal Reserve’s finding on Tuesday that there is little prospect for rapid economic growth over the next two years was the latest in a summer of bad economic news. One administration official called the atmosphere around the president’s economic team 'angry and morose.'
'The problem for Obama is that right now, the United States is either at a precipice or has fallen off it,' said David Rothkopf, a Commerce Department official in the Clinton administration. 'If he is true to his commitment to rather be a good one-term president, then this is the character test. In some respects, this is the 3 a.m. phone call.' "
-->Leave it to the NY Times to frame Obama's sellout of working people as a noble attempt to administer "disagreeable medicine" for the common good.
"Tony Blair is to face scathing criticism from the official inquiry into the Iraq War for the role he played in leading Britain into one of its biggest foreign policy fiascos in modern history. The Mail on Sunday has been told that the former Prime Minister will be held to account on four main failings:
Bogus claims that were made about Saddam Hussein’s weapons of mass destruction. Not telling the British public about his secret pledge with George Bush to go to war. Keeping the Cabinet in the dark by his ‘sofa government’ style. Failing to plan to avoid the post-war chaos in Iraq."
-->Not only did the NY Times omit this story in its print edition, but our newspaper of record has never brought up the failure of our current administration in investigating Bush era lies and war crimes. In the "land of the free," the media, the Pentagon, and both parties conspire to protect the empire from bad publicity.