Federal Reserve

Women On Currency: Replace Andrew Jackson Or Alexander Hamilton? Jackson, Definitely!

Six weeks ago, this blogger wrote of the move to have a woman on American currency, with the move being to replace Andrew Jackson on the $20 bill. In an online competition, abolitionist and runaway slave Harriet Tubman won out over Eleanor Roosevelt and Rosa Parks.

All well and good, but now the Treasury Department is proposing to replace Alexander Hamilton on the $10 bill, rather than Andrew Jackson on the $20 bill.

Such an action would be totally wrong, as Hamilton is the founder of our national banking system, the most important economic figure in American history, and also the founder of a viewpoint in government—a belief in a strong national government, and a broad interpretation of the Constitution—-which in his time was considered to be “conservatism”, but in the past century since Franklin D. Roosevelt, has been seen as the view of government of the modern Democratic Party, namely “liberalism.”

Liberalism, and the alternative word “progressivism” has been the backbone of all of the major political, social and economic reforms of the past century, and Hamilton’s philosophy is something that needs to continue to be honored.

On the other hand, Andrew Jackson, while regarded as one of the more significant Presidents, destroyed the Second National Bank of the United States, a major mistake; promoted slavery and condemned abolitionists; and promoted the death of thousands of native Americans in the despicable action, known as the “Trail of Tears”, the forced removal of five Indian tribes to Oklahoma, later taken away from native Americans, when oil was discovered in Tulsa in 1889.

Ben Bernanke, the former head of the Federal Reserve, has called for just what this blogger is proposing: leave Alexander Hamilton on the $10 bill, and replace Andrew Jackson on the $20 bill!

The Imminent Doubling Of College Student Loan Interest Rates: Tragedy For America!

If nothing is done to prevent it, on July 1, student loan interest rates will double from 3.4 percent to 6.8 percent, and the Republicans in the House of Representatives are doing nothing to prevent this tragedy, not only for college students, but for the long term future of the American economy!

As it is, many college students are in a bind, unable to pay their student loans, and therefore, will lose their credit rating, and be unable to purchase homes, rent apartments, buy automobiles, plan to have children, and all of the other plans and dreams of young people, who get an education and then discover how difficult it is to gain employment in their field of study!

37 million young people have student loans, and close to 7 million are delinquent on student loans more than 90 days.

The average outstanding student debt per household was nearly $27,000 in 2010, and one in four students have a debt more than $61,000 per household, an insurmountable burden.

69 percent of student loans are paid by middle class and poor families, and 24 cents of every dollar earned in a poor household and 12 cents of every dollar earned in a middle class household goes to student debt payments. For the higher income level, only 2 cents per dollar earned goes to student debts, and only 31 percent of loans are in higher income households.

$1.1 trillion, second only to mortgage debt, is owned by students who have no hope in many cases of ever coming out from under what is a form of economic slavery!

With the Great Recession of 2008 and its aftermath, the effect has been to delay or forgo the vision of ever having a normal economic life of home, automobile, and marriage, the whole concept of the “American Dream”!

While this crisis festers, banks are able to borrow from the Federal Reserve at 0.75 percent, one eighth of what students will face after July 1, adding $2500 to their financial burden, while under a plan of Senator Elizabeth Warren of Massachusetts, students would get the same interest rate as banks, and save an average of $6500 per student.

This change in student loan interest needs to be adopted, but the GOP seems uninterested in doing anything, and lack of action will victimize millions of college students!

67 percent of Americans want the Warren plan adopted, and 83 percent want the loan rate to stay at 3.4 percent or go down to the bank rate of 0.75 percent!

Can the Republican Party for once do what is right for young people, since not all young people are born to wealthy parents? Can they show some understanding of the struggles of young people trying to get ahead and get an education, and still have a future of independence, ownership of homes and autos, ability to have children, and save for retirement?

Should student loans become a new form of economic slavery forced on us by banks which have no conscience, other than obscene profits?

Senator Elizabeth Warren, Banks, And Student Loan Rates

Massachusetts Senator Elizabeth Warren is a treasure to behold, and the legislation she has just introduced, to give college students the same low loan interest rate that the big banks get from the Federal Reserve when they borrow money, is a wonderful idea!

Instead of a doubling of student loan interest rates from 3.4 percent to 6.8 percent, Warren suggests that the rate be what Wall Street gets from the Federal Reserve–0.75 percent!

Why not, as the big Wall Street banks have caused the Great Recession of 2008, and are still victimizing mortgage holders and credit card owners with outrageous rates, and also forcing many into bankruptcy by intimidation and manipulation?

The big banks need to be put under tight regulation, but of course the Republicans in the House refuse any such thought, and if this is not enough to convince sane people that the GOP is out for the wealthy alone, then what will?

Warren should be applauded for her effort on student loan rates, and fight for fairness, even though it is a long term battle!

And if Hillary Clinton decided ultimately not to run for President, then Warren needs to become the alternative female candidate for President of the United States! She would be an inspiring leader for the American middle class and the poor!

The Republican Party Establishment In Panic: Jeb Bush, George Will, Haley Barbour

The Republican Party Establishment is fully aware that the party is doomed if it follows the crazy path being tread by Mitt Romney, Rick Santorum, Newt Gingrich, and Ron Paul.

These candidates are absolutely a calamity big time.

Mitt Romney spends time talking about the height of the trees in Michigan; the fact that his wife has two Cadillacs; the concept that he likes firing people; jokes about being “unemployed”; suggests a tax plan that would be worse than that under George W. Bush in cutting taxes on the wealthy; and continues to say that the auto industry bailout was a bad idea even though it saved between one and two million jobs.

Rick Santorum talks about Satan taking over America; attacks public education and higher education as promoting secular humanism; advocates the end of contraception availability to women; condemns homosexuality in the most extreme language; advocates religion in government; and calls for war on Iran immediately.

Newt Gingrich says that Barack Obama is dangerous to American security; calls for immediate action on Day One to wipe out everything Barack Obama has promoted; calls for a moon colony despite no funds available for it anytime soon; brags about his own brilliance and intellect and knowledge; has no shame about his moral lapses; and enjoys stirring a “hornet’s nest” and being a “flame thrower”.

Ron Paul calls for the elimination of the Federal Reserve; the immediate withdrawal of our troops from all nations overseas; the ending of five federal government agencies; is for massive immediate cuts in the federal budget;
believes in no regulation of corporations; and is a total advocate of libertarianism.

All four are a true disaster, and we have heard the lament from Establishment figures.

Former Florida Governor Jeb Bush deplores the promotion of fear and emotion; while George Will, of ABC’s THIS WEEK and also a Washington Post columnist, states that none of the candidates have made a good case for the nomination; and former Mississippi Governor and Republican National Chairman Haley Barbour also is critical of the performance of the candidates for the Republican nomination.

Whether anything can be done to avoid electoral disaster is very hard to predict at this point, but a sense of foreboding is clearly evident in Republican circles!

Some Observations On The Tampa NBC Republican Presidential Debate

Tonight’s Republican debate in Tampa, sponsored by NBC, was very uneventful, probably the least of any of the last few debates.

Mitt Romney came out swinging against Newt Gingrich, but Gingrich handled it quite well, and avoided dramatics, deciding to operate as if he was the leader, which in a way he is at this point of the battle for the GOP nomination.

Gingrich and Ron Paul seemed to become almost chummy with each other, in agreeing on the issue of the Federal Reserve.

Rick Santorum seemed, again, very strong in his repudiation of Gingrich and Romney, and if there was a “winner” of the debate, it might have been him, but it is doubtful that he can compete in Florida and make any major headway.

The most notable thing about the debate, hosted by Brian Williams of NBC, with the assistance of two Tampa area journalists, was the very proper and orderly audience, a welcome relief from the rude, obnoxious behavior of earlier debates, which upon further thought, occurred primarily at debates sponsored by Fox News Channel.

A Gingrich spokesman complained about the lack of involvement by the audience, but a debate should be that–a debate–and not an opportunity for an audience to act like they are at a sports event or a concert. So kudos to this audience and to NBC News for conducting such a dignified debate!

The Escalating Extremist Rhetoric Of Rick Perry: Reckless And Irresponsible!

Texas Governor Rick Perry has only been in the Republican Presidential nomination race for less than 72 hours, and already, we are witnessing escalating extremist rhetoric that makes him the most dangerous and reckless potential nominee of the GOP since Barry Goldwater!

Wait until Perry begins his vicious attacks on Mitt Romney, Jon Huntsman, and even Michele Bachmann!

This man has displayed already, while Governor of Texas, that he has no limits to irresponsible statements, as witness his threat two years ago that Texas might secede from the Union, even though that is an illegal, unpatriotic, and treasonous statement to make 150 years after the Civil War!

Perry has the gall to suggest that the Federal Reserve under Ben Bernanke, trying to deal with the Great Recession, is promoting treason by trying to stimulate the economy and promote investment and job growth. It is part of his desire to strip the federal government of any control over the destinies of the American people, and instead promote the old, outworn doctrine of states rights, despite the fact that Texas and almost all other states have done a horrible job of dealing with the needs and problems of their citizenry!

Perry also has a lot of nerve to suggest that Barack Obama does not love his country, when he has suggested Texas leave the Union. He is promoting a continuation of the “Birther” myth, that Obama is not out to defend his country’s interest, even though Obama has been much more successful than George W. Bush in his pursuit of terrorists, including the massive use of drones in Pakistan and Afghanistan, and the removal of more terrorist leaders of the Taliban and Al Qaeda, including the greatest accomplishment of all, Osama Bin Laden, in two and a half years, than Bush and Dick Cheney could bring about in eight years!

Rick Perry will stop at nothing in the politics of personal destruction of Barack Obama, and soon, his GOP opponents will discover the viciousness of this man who makes George W. Bush look like a moderate!

The Ignorance Crisis In America: Belief In Conspiracy Theories Runs Amuck, Danger Sign For America’s Future!

America is in deep trouble for the future in so many ways, but it is likely that the greatest crisis the country faces is the Ignorance Crisis, in which Conspiracy Theories run amuck!

It is shocking how many people, and we mean adults over the age of 18 but working its way up to include even the elderly, display such ignorance and lack of a sense of reality, that they truly believe in conspiracy theories, accepting false evidence as factually true. Everyone is entitled to an opinion, but millions of citizens seem to be unwilling to face reality and accept factual details, choosing to believe what they want to believe, no matter how crazy or loony it is!

Among the Conspiracy theories widely believed are the following:

1. President Franklin D. Roosevelt engineered the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor on December 7, 1941, crippling our naval fleet, in order to get us into World War II!

2. Aliens landed in Roswell, New Mexico, in July 1947, and our Defense Department has covered it up ever since, keeping the aliens under lock and key!

3. The assassination of John F. Kennedy was engineered by elements within the government, and involved multiple gunmen who made Lee Harvey Oswald the patsy!

4. American astronauts did not land on the moon in July 1969, but were instead part of a great coverup by the news media and government officials, and they actually were landing in the deserts of Arizona!

5. George W. Bush and Dick Cheney and Donald Rumsfeld engineered the attacks of September 11 on the Pentagon and the World Trade Center, in order to increase Presidential power and put us into a world wide war against Islamic civilization!

6. Barack Obama was born in an Islamic country, either Kenya or Indonesia, not the United States, and there was a great conspiracy to plant a birth announcement in Hawaii newspapers in 1961, so as to allow us to elect him the first black President, and allow him to promote Sharia law and Socialism in America fifty years later!

7. In a more generalized way, the Masonic Order has been involved in a conspiracy to control the government and economy of the United States from George Washington to the present!

8. The Federal Reserve Banking System, created under Woodrow Wilson in 1913, is part of a great conspiracy by powerful capitalists and bankers, many of them foreigners, to control and manipulate the American economy, so as to exploit the average American citizen, and enrich the international conspiracy against America’s interests!

9. There is a great conspiracy by people from Latin America, particularly Mexico, to take over the American nation, and dilute it with the “inferior” racial stock that Hispanics and Latinos represent!

10. The United States is threatened by “old Europe”, the “inferior” nations and laws of nations such as Great Britain, France, Germany, Italy and other countries all over Europe, who are trying to undermine our laws and traditions! Also, all international organizations, including NATO and the United Nations, are working to undermine American “exceptionalism” and values!

When one examines all of these conspiracy theories and how many Americans truly believe them, despite lack of evidence and facts, one must mourn for the long term future of this great nation, which has allowed the development of an inferior education system and poor family values to undermine what was once a great nation, but is now in great danger and under great threat of collapse over the next few generations!

All good, educated, sensible people want our nation back to what it once was, and mourn the serious mental illness we are now suffering through!