United States News Digest
Hey, Tea Party! Where's the Outrage? Where's Glass-Steagall?
Oct. 18 (EIRNS)Despite the desire of some political "leaders," demands for "Glass-Steagall, Now!" are increasing in the blogosphere, in the print media, and on widely read websites. Among recent examples, a letter in the Albany Union in New York's state capital on Oct. 18 underscores the deadly reality that without the LaRouche movement's guidance, the Tea Partyers will be turned into fascist mobs mindlessly demanding cuts in catfood expenditures.
Starting his letter headed, "Stop Influence of Wall Street," writer Jack Cassidy notes "...The Tea Party and Tea Party-friendly Republicans have been misguided in what they think are the problems.... The lack of banking regulation can be traced to the lobbying that led to the 1999 repeal of the Glass-Steagall Act, a bank regulation law. That turned the investment houses into a house of cards making money by gambling with collateralized debt and credit default swaps rather than investing in jobs in America. To this day, the Tea Party and Tea Party-friendly Republicans have been resisting all attempts to pull the plug that would drain the swamp and restore regulation to Wall Street. The lobbyists are the alligators who have been influencing Congress (and the administration), while sending a false message to the Tea Parties that regulation (by 'big government') is the problem. Ironically, the alligators are fed by taxpayer dollars via the bank bailouts. To permanently drain the swamp we need to not only restore Glass-Steagall but also eliminate the influence of Wall Street money on our government with a constitutional amendment."
The demand that the Tea Partyers wake up and fight for Glass-Steagall was echoed in a posting on Huffington Post, "America's Challenge: Stealing from the Poor," by Final Audit: A Trail of Greed and Revenge novelist Jim Worth: "...Similarly the taxpayer will eat it from the failure of FinReg to return to Glass-Steagall type protection allowing predatory banksters to continue their questionable practices and line their pockets. Congressional patsies failed the American people, missing opportunities to fairly realign and correct the excesses of big financial and health-care institutions. Where is the outrage? Where are the Tea Partyers on this important issue?"
House Dems Resist Austerity Commission Attack on Social Security
Oct. 21 (EIRNS)More than half of the House Democratic caucus wrote to President Obama on Oct. 18, notifying him that they will oppose any recommendations from his Commission on Fiscal Responsibility and Reform (aka Catfood Commission) that privatizes or cuts Social Security. The large, 136-member bloc, led by Congressional Progressive Caucus Chairman Raúl Grijalva (D-Ariz.), wrote that they would oppose any cut to Social Security benefits, any increase of the retirement age, and any effort to privatize Social Security.
"If any of the commission's recommendations cut or diminish Social Security in any way, we will stand firmly against them," they wrote. "We urge you to join us in protecting and strengthening Social Security rather than letting it fall victim to a misguided attempt to reduce budget deficits on the backs of working families.... Cutting Social Security benefits beyond the already scheduled increase in the retirement age from 65 to 67 would create even more needless hardship for millions of vulnerable Americans," they wrote. "This is especially true in the face of an economic downturn that has wiped out trillions of dollars that Americans were relying on for their retirement security and the increased dismantlement of the private and public pension systems."
Bankruptcies Soar Among Older Americans
Oct. 24 (EIRNS)The number of elderly who are filing for bankruptcy is soaring, indicating sensuously what Lyndon LaRouche has warned of as the breakdown of the social integument of America. According to a recent study by University of Michigan Prof. John Pottow, the 55- to 64-year-old age group, has sharply increased as a percentage of all bankruptcy filings, rising from 6.1% in 1991, to 7.2% in 2001, and then exploding to 15.3% in 2007. Likewise, the 65 years and older age group has increased as a percentage of all bankruptcy filers, from 2.1% in 1991, to 7.0% today.
This shift has occurred during a personal bankruptcy explosion, as the total absolute number of those filing for bankruptcy from every age group has risen.
Moreover, in a result shattering common perception, it is the elderly, not the young, who have the higher credit card debt. According to Pottow, the average elderly bankruptcy filer's combined credit card debt was $26,213, nearly twice that of the younger filer. In general, older people have to cover growing medical expenses, which neither private medical insurance nor Medicare adequately cover. If Obama's Nazi attacks on Social Security and Medicare are allowed to continue, wiping out the meager income and medical base of many elderly, there will be nothing to stop tens of millions of elderly from plunging into Hell.
Obama Depression Dismantling Education
Oct. 24 (EIRNS)America's educational system is being dissolved, as the ongoing systemic world economic breakdown collapse forces states and counties to make drastic education cuts. In January, the head of the National Education Association said that as many as 200,000 teachers would be fired during fiscal year 2011. Meanwhile, President Obama is implementing his "Race to the Top" program, which has reduced education to the days of segregation of the 1950s, and emphasized "standardized tests." Many governors and legislators making the cuts say they have no other choice: not so, if they adopt the LaRouche Plan.
In Washington, D.C., where recently deposed School Chancellor Michelle Rhee, the nationwide leader for Obama's "Race to the Top," further destroyed the school system, the spending per student has been slashed from $14,594 in fiscal year 2008, to just $9,000 in fiscal year 2011, a drop of 38%. More than 150 D.C. teachers have been fired, and spending for educational material and other essentials has been slashed.
Throughout the greater Washington, D.C., area, the same condition holds: the Arlington, Virginia school system, for example, reduced its spending per student by $3,200, or 16% from year 2009 to fiscal year 2011; Maryland's Prince George's County cut its spending per student by 8%.
Issa Takes Impeachment Off the Table
Oct. 22 (EIRNS)Rep. Darryl Issa (R-Calif.) told Bloomberg in an interview reported by The Hill today, that if Republicans win control of the House in the Nov. 2 elections, there is "not a chance at this point" that they will try to impeach President Obama.
If the Republicans win control of the House, Issa would be the chairman of the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee. As ranking minority member on that Committee, Issa wrote to the Justice Department in the Spring, demanding an investigation into the Obama Administration's offers of jobs to Democratic candidates for U.S. Senate in Pennsylvania and Colorado, since the offers amounted to bribes, if they would drop their campaigns challenging incumbent Democratic Senators.
Now Issa says that Republicans will not try to bring impeachment charges simply because they disagree with the President: "Not a chance at this point. I don't see it happening.... Look, disagreeing with the President, the President using his authority, maybe even misusing it, that's not what impeachments are for," Issa replied to a question on impeaching Obama on Bloomberg's "Political Capital," which aired the weekend of Oct. 23-24.
In a recent campaign appearance, Issa had declared that he would "staff up" the House Oversight Committee for increased investigations of matters such as the bribes offered to candidates Joe Sestak (D-Pa.) and Andrew Romanoff (D-Colo.). Now, he says that offers of Federal jobs to dissuade someone from running for office against sitting Congressmen are illegal, but other Presidents have done it, too. Thus, Issa has done an about-face publicly, and taken impeachment off the table.