Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Reverse Robin Hood Syndrome

                                                              From The Ramparts
                                                            Junious Ricardo Stanton
                                                       Reverse Robin Hood Syndrome

            “At the peak of the housing bubble in 2006 Americans had $13 trillion in equity in their residential real estate. At the peak, total residential mortgage debt stood at $9.8 trillion. Today, American households have $6.2 trillion in equity while mortgage debt has grown to $10.3 trillion. In other words American households have faced a real financial loss of $6.8 trillion. At the same time you’ll notice that the amount of mortgage debt has remained steady. The toxic mortgage waste  just sits idly by while banks use the taxpayer wallet as an ATM. You can’t have a double-dip without bouncing first. Americans hold most of their net worth in housing. That has not recovered because employment is weak. Stocks, which are heavily tilted as a primary source of income for the top income earners has only made people feel better temporarily. The mainstream media for the most part represents this tiny group and that is why it has taken so long to even realize that there really is no recovery outside of the stock market.”

            When I was a youngster I used to watch a television series about Robin Hood of Sherwood Forest. He and his merry band of men bedeviled the Sheriff of Nottingham as they robbed from the rich and decadent nobles and gave to the humble and mistreated poor of England. The premise had a nice ring to it and the series was popular. Today in the US we are experiencing  a reverse Robin Hood. This time the robbers are another merry band of thieves, con men and shysters on Wall Street, in the corporate suites and Hedge Fund offices. They are looting the little people like us and sending the money up the chain. It’s not as if they need the money, recent news articles have documented the fact the rich are getting richer, thanks to the inherent greed and endemic criminality within the US political and economic systems. “The gap in income between the wealthiest Americans and all others has grown strikingly in recent decades, the CBO data show. In 1979, when the data begin, the average after-tax incomes of the top 1 percent of households were 7.9 times higher than those of the middle fifth of households. By 2007, top incomes were 23.9 times higher than those of the middle fifth — a more than tripling of the income gap. The gap between the top 1 percent and the poorest fifth of Americans widened even more sharply. In 1979, the incomes of the top 1 percent were 22.7 times higher than those of the bottom fifth. By 2007, top incomes were 74.6 times higher than those at the bottom — more than tripling the rich-poor gap in 28 years”. Center on Budget and Policy Priorities  “The difference in the pay and income of the average factory worker and CEO pay had jumped to 419 times by 1998 compared to 42 times in 1980.” Economic Apartheid in America A Primer On Economic Inequality and Insecurity by Chuck Collins and Felice Yeskel page 50-51
            Imagine the wealth and income gap jumping that fast in such a short amount of time?! The same goes for our Congress critters. In the midst of an economic catastrophe members of Congress’ bank accounts and bottom lines increased dramatically while millions of Americans now face unemployment, foreclosure, bankruptcy and homelessness.  “The wealthiest members of Congress grew richer in 2009 even as the economy struggled to recover from a deep recession. The 50 wealthiest lawmakers were worth almost $1.4 billion in 2009, about $85.1 million more than 12 months earlier, according to The Hill’s annual review of lawmakers’ financial disclosure forms.” 
            Our Congress critters like their Wall Street counterparts use insider knowledge and their positions on various committees to buy stock and interest in companies that often turn out to be harmful to us; conpanies like British Petroleum. “Members of the congressional committees that oversee the oil and gas industry held more than $11 million in personal financial assets in that sector late last year, including at least $400,000 in the two companies at the heart of the Gulf of Mexico oil-drilling disaster. From the nearly $100,000 in BP stock held by Rep. Frederick Upton (R-Mich.) to the nearly $650,000 in ConocoPhillips shares held by Sen. John F. Kerry (D-Mass.), lawmakers on five key panels with oversight of the oil industry held more than 110 assets in firms from that sector. All told, the members of the five House and Senate committees had a minimum of $11.4 million in stock holdings in the oil and gas industry, with a maximum value that could have exceed $16.8 million, according to an analysis of financial disclosure forms released Wednesday.” Lawmakers sold off BP shares Washington Post
            I’m all for people getting rich, just not a my expense. The Washington Post article goes on to say that some of them are dumping their BP stocks now that the company is in the news. But the cruelest cut of all is these same Congress Critters and your boy Obama will cite the budget deficits they created as the reason to cut social programs like Social Security and Medicaid. “President Obama and the leadership in Congress have delegated enormous, unaccountable authority to 18 unrepresentative, inordinately wealthy individuals. The 18 individuals are meeting regularly, in secret, behind closed doors, until safely beyond this year’s mid-term election. If they reach agreement, their proposal will be voted on in December by a lame duck Congress, without the benefit of open hearings and deliberations in the pertinent committees and without the opportunity for open debate and amendment on the floors of the House and Senate. Despite the speed and lack of accountability, the legislation will affect, in substantial ways, every man, woman, and child in this nation. Who are these powerful people and what are their views? They are the members of President Obama’s newly-formed National Commission on Fiscal Responsibility and Reform. They lack racial and gender diversity, and more importantly, they lack diversity of opinion. Their mantra is that ‘everything is on the table,’ but their one member who has any expertise with respect to defense spending, for instance, is the CEO of a major defense contractor that devotes millions of dollars each year to lobby Congress for more defense spending.” Obama's Crazy Plan To Cut Social Security 
            The interesting thing is that none of these psychopaths are talking about cutting one dime from the defense budget or  decreasing the war funding! So the Military Industrial Complex and Congress members who buy stock in them will get rich while they cut Social Security, Medicare and Medicaid.  For you who still love Obama and think he is the bomb, that’s not all; there are plans in the works to continue his reverse Robin Hood campaign by getting their slimy hands on our retirement accounts, similar to what Bu$h wanted to do with Social Security in 2004. “On August 26, the US Department of Labor issued a news release (  It lists the agenda for the joint hearings being held with the Department of Treasury September 14-15, 2010 on what is euphemistically called ‘lifetime income options for retirement plans.’ The hearings are being conducted by the Labor Department’s Employee Benefits Security Administration. I don’t like speaking in tabloid-style terms, but the unstated agenda of these hearings, as I understand it, is to push for the US government to eventually nationalize (confiscate) all assets in private Individual Retirement Accounts (IRAs) and 401K plans!  The US government is desperate to get its hands on private assets to help cover soaring budget deficits and debts, and this is simply the largest and easiest piggy bank that could be seized.  The Investment Company Institute estimates that at the end of 2008 that there were $3.613 trillion of assets in IRAs and $2.350 trillion of assets in 401K plans.” US Departments of Labor and Treasury Schedule Hearing on Confiscation of Private Retirement Accounts - Coin Update News By  Patrick A. Heller  September 1st, 2010
            I am not making this up. We are being set up for another fleecing.  Obama and his cohorts are plotting to rob us blind. But unlike the fabled Robin Hood of Sherwood Forest, Obama is not giving the money to the poor. The government will take your IRAs and retirement accounts, mismanage and loot them just like they’ve looted the Social Security Trust Fund for the past several decades.  “Since the Johnson administration, the cabal that came into power through the coup d'etat of the Kennedy assassination has been looting Social Security funds and using them to pay for their illegal imperialistic operations. Cabal puppet politicians never mention that the Social Security system has been compiling a huge surplus since it was created. Why? Because they've been illegally looting that surplus for years to hide the real size of the current federal budget deficit, allowing them to spend more and justify tax cuts for the wealthy. US Office of Management and Budget (OMB) data show that while government’s reported deficit averaged about $300 billion a year from 2002 to 2006, the real current deficit was actually more than 50 per cent larger. The government just ‘steals’ about $160-$200 billion from the Social Security Trust Fund every year--under the table. In 2007, the real deficit was $449 billion according to the OMB. However, the ‘official’ deficit widely reported was only $257 billion, because it's government policy to add the borrowed Social Security Trust Fund surplus ($192 billion in 2007) to revenues before calculating the ‘official’ deficit.”
            The US government at the top is really a criminal enterprise designed to benefit the already rich. It has always been this way. Remember Washington and Jefferson were rich because they owned our ancestors and held them in brutal bondage. So this is nothing new. What is new is that they have now gone hog wild robbing from the poor to give to the rich, the reverse Robin Hood syndrome.



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