Censored but not Silenced: Part 1/5

I think I have been a victim of censorship. Am I wrong?

As much as we may claim to value the freedom to express our opinions, censorship in Western democracies does exist in one form or another. For example, it exists in the private/corporate sector; it exists in the public schools, and it exists among citizens who host Websites and Blogs, etc.

Reporters Without Borders’ Press Freedom Index 2011/2012 ranked Finland as number one for freedom of expression compared to 179 countries.

The United States, billed by many of its citizens as the land-of-the-free and a country that prides its freedom of expression while criticizing other countries such as China, is ranked 47th, and the U.S. has more people in prison than any country on the planet. In some parts of the United States, you can actually go to prison for life if you only steal a piece of candy or swipe a slice of pizza.

Reporters Without Borders says, “The United States (47th) also owed its fall of 27 places to the many arrests of journalist covering Occupy Wall Street protests.”

In fact, there is a long history of censorship in the United States. For one example of several, Civil Liberties says that in 1798, President John Adams made it illegal to criticize a government official without backing up one’s criticisms in court. Twenty-five people were arrested under that law.

Civil Liberties says, “The right to free speech is a longstanding U.S. tradition, but actually respecting the right to free speech is not.”

“A recent report from Google indicates that even western democracies have been trying to censor politically conflicting websites. Countries like Spain, Poland and even Canada have all submitted requests for the removal of content from the search engine.” Source: Business Insider

Back to the comment where I alleged that I was censored on another Blog that has a link to a nonprofit political organization with an alleged hidden political agenda.

I can only guess that I may have been allegedly censored because my position on the issue being discussed was stronger than the host’s opinion. Julie Lenarz, the host, specializes in Foreign and Security Policy and holds a BA in European Politics and an MA in Conflict Studies from the London School of Economics.

She is also an adviser on Foreign and Security Policy, a fellow at The Institute for Middle Eastern Democracy and current affairs blogger.

The Commentator.com says: “Julia Lenarz is author of the popular blog, Julie’s Think Tank.”

Of course, the claim that Julie’s Think Tank is a popular Blog is questionable, because its Alexa rank was almost 5.5 million with only 38 sites linked in (on February 22, 2013).  There was no data for traffic rank in the UK or US.

But what is popular to one individual may not be popular to another and everyone has a right to an opinion even if he or she may be wrong.

This we do know—there is big benefit to censor the opposition, because then you control the conversation and may advance your own political agenda.

In the post in question on Julie’s Think Tank, Lenarz’s position on the Iraq War was clear: She supported the war in the beginning and still feels it was moral and just to oust Saddam and his brutal regime. I left several comments for this post, and then wrote about this issue in a three-part series on one of my Blogs in a post titled The Noble Nightmare.

Before I share my reasons why I think Lenarz allegedly censored one of my comments, I want to focus on what it means to be a fellow in a political, nonprofit organization.

A fellow can be a participant in a professional development program run by a nonprofit. This type of fellowship is usually a short-term work opportunity (1–2 years) for professionals who already possess some level of academic or professional expertise that will serve the nonprofit’s mission. Fellows are often given a stipend as well as professional experience and leadership training.

A key phrase to remember from that description is: “that will serve the nonprofit’s mission”, and after some research, I now question what the real mission is for the Institute for Middle Eastern Democracy, but more on that later.

Continued on March 4, 2013 in Censored but not Silenced: Part 2

_______________________

Lloyd Lofthouse, a former U.S. Marine and Vietnam Veteran, is the award winning author of The Concubine Saga.

His latest novel is Running with the Enemy, a suspense thriller. Blamed for a crime he did not commit while serving in Vietnam, his country considers him a traitor. Ethan Card is a loyal U.S. Marine desperate to prove his innocence or he will never go home again.

And the woman he loves and wants to save was trained to hate and kill Americans.

To follow this Blog via E-mail see upper right-hand column and click on “Follow”.

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Does MADE in the U.S.A. mean made by an American-born citizen?

The American media machine had waged an all-out campaign for more than a year to get Americans to buy products made in the United States, but who are we supporting when we pay more for these products?

For example, I live in California and buy most of my clothes from a clothing company that has several brick-and-mortar stores back east but not in my state. I cannot find the same quality and style of clothing from stores in my local area, so I buy from this company online.

In their most recent monthly catalog, they were selling the same product—100% cotton work jeans—from two different sources: one was imported and sold for about $50, and the second choice was made in the U.S.A selling for almost $80.

The wording in the catalog said, “Yes, they do cost more—a fact of life in today’s manufacturing world. But we know many will consider a USA-made option worth it.”

And I almost ordered the USA-made option to help support an American worker, but then I decided to discover how many American-born citizens worked in the U.S. garment industry.

To find out, I had to do some serious Google digging.

In 2006, NPR.org reported, “Nearly 12 million illegal immigrants are estimated to be living in the United States. The vast majority work in low-skill, low-wage jobs. More than half work in construction, manufacturing or leisure and hospitality.”

Then the Brookings Institution reported (worth clicking and reading) in 2010 that, “Immigrants are a growing part of the labor force (people with a job or looking for one), and in 2010 there were 23.1 million foreign-born persons in the civilian labor force, making up 16.4 percent of the total (and 12 million were illegal).”

Many of these legal/illegal immigrants work jobs American born citizens refuse to do. In fact, many American born citizens would rather be unemployed than work one of these jobs.

In addition, Immigration Online.org says, “Many workers from Mexico and Central American nations were entering the United States illegally in the hope of finding steady, permanent jobs that would permit them to stay. Many of these people found steady jobs in the Los Angeles garment industry … many U.S. employers were becoming dependent on undocumented workers, who were willing to work for lower pay than American workers.”

Tree Hugger.com reported, “Employment in the U.S. apparel manufacturing industry has declined by more than 80 percent (from about 900,000 to 150,000 jobs) over the past two decades.”

From UCLA.edu, I learned that, “In New York City’s Chinatown, three out of five women work in the garment industry, a backbone industry of the growing ethnic enclave economy. Most of these working women are new immigrants, married, and with school-aged and younger children. Day in and day out, they bend over row after row of sewing machines; they are surrounded by piles of fabric scarps, and they are sometimes with children, including toddlers and infants, clustered at their skirts.”

And Cultural Survival.org adds, “… more than half of the Latin American migrants to the U.S. are women searching for jobs as domestics or in light manufacturing such as garment or microelectronic factories … Not only must women migrants from Third World countries negotiate their way amidst racial and ethnic discrimination, they are also exploited because of their sex. As migrant workers they are confined to the low skill sector of the labor market. As females they are further restricted to the manual sector like sewing or child care.”

Discovering how many illegal immigrants work in manufacturing or the garment industry was a challenge, but the evidence I discovered indicates that most of the labor force in the American garment industry is made up of mostly illegal immigrant women, because skilled, educated legal immigrants are finding jobs in health care and high-tech manufacturing.

And what do most of these legal/illegal immigrant workers do with the money they earn working in the United States?

According to the Wall Street Journal, “Mexico reported—mostly from the U.S.—$13.7 billion for the first seven months of 2012. Salvadorians sent $2.6 billion home from January through August. Guatemalan expatriate’s remittances account for 12% of their country’s gross domestic product.”

And Latin America and the Caribbean received $69 billion in transfers in 2011 and this number is expected to increase 7 or 8% for 2012.

FACT: When money leaves the United States, it does not get spent in America!

Did you know that over a five-year period 2007 to 2011, almost 2,000 illegal immigrants died attempting to cross those southwest deserts and almost three million were caught and sent back home—something U.S. taxpayers paid for?

Does that mean buying “MADE in the U.S.A.” contributes to the deaths of illegal immigrants?

I have changed my mind. I will buy the work jeans that were imported and save thirty dollars and hopefully discourage an illegal immigrant from risking his or her life to sneak into the United States.

Discover more about America’s Lost Work Ethic and the Future Fate of the United States

_______________________

Lloyd Lofthouse, a former U.S. Marine and Vietnam Veteran, is the award winning author of The Concubine Saga.

His latest novel is Running with the Enemy. Blamed for a crime he did not commit while serving in Vietnam, his country considers him a traitor. Ethan Card is a loyal U.S. Marine desperate to prove his innocence or he will never go home again.

And the woman he loves and wants to save was trained to hate and kill Americans.

To follow this Blog via E-mail see upper left-hand column and click on “FOLLOW!”

The Evolution of a National Debt Burden – Part 7/7

Next, we should discover where the revenues comes from that helps pay the bills of the annual federal budget, America’s wars and socialist-welfare programs.

The Washington Post reported that federal government’s revenues for 2011 were $2.57 Trillion, and this money came from six sources:

  • individual taxes of $1.1 Trillion (42.8%)
  • social insurance (Payroll – Social Security and Medicare) of $934 Billion (36.3%)
  • corporate taxes of $297 Billion (11.5%)
  • customs duties of $27 Billion (1.05%)
  • excise taxes of $74 Billion (2.87%)
  • estate and gift taxes of $25 Billion (0.97%)
  • other of $87 Billion (3.38%)

How much did the federal government spend in 2011? $3.8 Trillion.

  • Defense spending was $895 Billion or 23.55% (this money is available for use at the discretion of the user. Discretion means: the freedom to decide what should be done in a particular situation).
  • Other discretionary spending was $510 Billion or 13.4%

Mandatory spending programs (required by law or rules; compulsory which means there is no choice. The only way to change this spending is through the Congress or if the Supreme Court rules it is unconstitutional) were:

  • Social Security (SS) of $730 Billion or 19.2% – passed into law by Congress in 1935

The 1935 Social Security Act created primarily a pay-as-you-go system, meaning that payments to current retirees come from current payments into the system. The trust fund represents a legal obligation of the federal government to program beneficiaries. The government has borrowed nearly $2.7 trillion as of 2011 from the trust fund and used the money for other purposes such as paying for wars and funding other social welfare programs that do not have a tax source to fund them.

The trust fund ratio, which indicates the number of years of program cost that could be financed solely with current trust fund reserves, peaked in 2008, declined through 2011, and is expected to decline further in future years. After 2020, Treasury will redeem trust fund assets in amounts that exceed interest earnings until exhaustion of trust fund reserves in 2033 … Thereafter, tax income would be sufficient to pay only about three-quarters of scheduled benefits through 2086.

  • Medicare of $491 Billion or 12.9% – passed into law by Congress in 1965

Medicare is a national social insurance program, administered by the U.S. federal government since 1965, that guarantees access to health insurance for Americans ages 65 and older and younger people with disabilities as well as people with end stage renal disease. The trust fund is considered insolvent when available revenue plus any existing balances will not cover 100 percent of annual projected costs. The projected date of HI Trust Fund exhaustion is 2024, the same date projected in last year’s report, at which time dedicated revenues would be sufficient to pay 87 percent of HI costs. The Trustees project that the share of HI expenditures that can be financed with HI dedicated revenues will decline slowly to 67 percent in 2045, and then rise slowly until it reaches 69 percent in 2086. The HI 75-year actuarial imbalance amounts to 36 percent of tax receipts or 26 percent of program cost.

  • Medicaid of $297 Billion or 7.8% – became law in 1965

Unlike Medicare, which is solely a federal program, Medicaid is a joint federal-state program. Each state operates its own Medicaid system, but this system must conform to federal guidelines in order for the state to receive matching funds and grants.

Medicaid funding has become a major budgetary issue for many states over the last few years, with states, on average, spending 16.8% of state general funds on the program. If the federal match expenditure is also counted, the program, on average, takes up 22% of each state’s budget.

Medicaid does not pay benefits to individuals directly; Medicaid sends benefit payments to health care providers.

  • Troubled Asset Relief (TARP) of $11 Billion or 0.29% – became law in 2008
  • jobs initiatives or JOBS Act of $25 billion or 0.65% – passed in Congress April 5, 2012
  • other of $612 Billion or 16.1%
  • Interest on the debt of $251 Billion or 6.6%
  • potential disaster costs of $3 Billion or 0.079% – FEMA was formed June 19, 1978
    The Department of Housing and Urban Development in 1973-1979
    FEMA became an independent agency 1979-2003
    In 2003, FEMA was placed under the Department of Homeland Security

Conclusion: Because the national debt for 191 years until 1981, when Ronald Reagan was elected president, came from the cost of fighting wars, then some or all of the current national debt must also come from wars that the US fought after 1981. In addition, some of the national debt may come from some social welfare programs but cannot come from Social Security or Medicare because these two programs are funded by a specific tax and trust fund.

The US Defense Budget 1947 – 2012 was $15.6 Trillion and the Defense Budget comes out of the general fund. In addition, another $850 Billion went to foreign military and economic aid—a form of foreign welfare that is never paid back by the countries that receive this aid.

In contrast, total spending on social welfare programs 1947 – 2012 was $6.2 Trillion, but $1.343 Trillion of that was unemployment benefits (established in 1932) funded by a federal-state program jointly financed through federal and state employer payroll taxes. Generally, employers must pay both state and federal unemployment taxes. The IRS collects this annual federal employer tax used to fund state workforce agencies. This means actual welfare programs cost $4.857 Trillion over sixty-four years.

Then defense spending cost 321% more than social welfare programs over the same period of time.

You decide the answer to the last questions:

Where does most if not all of the National Debt come from and why do we keep hearing from the Tea Party and the GOP that social welfare programs are the blame?

How much did President Obama add to the federal budget – the actual amount he is responsible for?

Note: The Inflation calculator used for this series of posts may be found at Dave Manuel.com, and the primary source for government spending was US Government Spending.com

Return to The Evolution of a National Burden – Part 6 or start with Part 1

Also discover Each President’s share of the US National Debt and learn more from the National Debt Info-Graphic by President 1945 – 2012

_______________________

Lloyd Lofthouse, a former U.S. Marine and Vietnam Veteran, is the award winning author of The Concubine Saga.

His latest novel is Running with the Enemy. Blamed for a crime he did not commit while serving in Vietnam, his country considers him a traitor. Ethan Card is a loyal U.S. Marine desperate to prove his innocence or he will never go home again.

And the woman he loves and wants to save was trained to hate and kill Americans.

To follow this Blog via E-mail see upper left-hand column and click on “FOLLOW!”

The Evolution of a National Burden – Part 4/7

The federal debt did not start with Presidents Ronald Reagan, H. G. W. Bush, G. W. Bush or Barrack Obama. The federal debt started in 1790 when the first Treasury Secretary, Alexander Hamilton, stabilized the dollar and refunded the debts incurred by the states fighting the Revolutionary War (1775 – 1783).

  • America’s first war cost $101 Million (equal to $2.52 Billion in 2012). The first federal debt caused by the revolution was 35% of GDP or $75.4 million ($1.885 Billion in 2012).
  • The War of 1812 (ended 1815) cost $90 million ($1.6 Billion in 2012).

By 1834, nineteen years later, the debt from America’s first two wars had been paid down to $33.7 thousand (equal to $886,984 in 2012).

  • Next came the Mexican War (1846 – 1849), and it cost $71 Million ($2.08 Billion in 2012).
  • The Civil War (1861 – 1865) pushed the federal debt to $3.2 Billion ($45 Billion in 2012).
  • The Spanish American War (1898-1899) cost $283 Million ($9 Billion in 2012)
  • The Philippine-American War also known as the Philippine War of Independence (1899-1902). During the suppression of this war of independence against the US, 200,000 to 1.5 million Filipino civilians were killed; there were 12,000 – 20,000 Philippine military casualties, and 4,165 US military dead. The US would not grant independence to the Philippine state until 1946. The cost of this war was $600 million (equal to $15.8 Billion in 2012)

To pay off debt and fund the growing pains of a nation becoming an expanding global empire, Congress passed the 16th Amendment to the Constitution on February 3, 1913 establishing Congress’s right to impose a Federal income tax.

Note: The Inflation calculator used  for this series of posts may be found at Dave Manuel.com, and the primary source for government spending was US Government Spending.com

Continued on December 6, 2012 in The Evolution of a National Burden – Part 5 or return to Part 3

Also discover Each President’s share of the US National Debt and learn more from the National Debt Info-Graphic by President 1945 – 2012

_______________________

Lloyd Lofthouse, a former U.S. Marine and Vietnam Veteran, is the award winning author of The Concubine Saga.

His latest novel is Running with the Enemy. Blamed for a crime he did not commit while serving in Vietnam, his country considers him a traitor. Ethan Card is a loyal U.S. Marine desperate to prove his innocence or he will never go home again.

And the woman he loves and wants to save was trained to hate and kill Americans.

To follow this Blog via E-mail see upper left-hand column and click on “FOLLOW!”

The Evolution of a National Burden – Part 3/7

If you have heard or read, as I have, that the US Founding Fathers did not support universal health care for Americans, it helps to compare medical care then with today and then remember that the Founding Fathers wrote a Constitution that was flexible and designed to change with the times as the country grew.

In fact, when the US Founding Fathers wrote the US Constitution, there wasn’t one country on the planet that had universal health care.

The first country that would have a universal health care system was Germany with Otto von Bismarck’s social legislation in 1883 (almost one hundred years after the adoption of the US Constitution).

Next was the UK when she passed the National Insurance Act in 1911 marking the first steps toward universal health care covering most employed persons and their financial dependents and all persons who had been continuous contributors to the scheme for at last five years.

As you have now learned, in 1787, the concept of universal healthcare did not exist anywhere in the world, so how could America’s Founding Fathers be against something that did not exist?

In 1792, America’s population was 4.2 million and its GDP was $223 million, the cost of defense was $1.2 million (.5% of GDP); interest on the Federal debt was $2.3 million (1% of GDP), the deficit was $1.4 million (.6% of GDP), and the national debt was $77.2 million (34.6% of GDP).

There was no welfare spending probably because 95% of Americans lived in rural America and produced most of the food they consumed from farming and/or hunting. If you live in a log cabin or a sod hut that you built and you grow or hunt the food you eat, is there a need for food stamps?

Today, 79.2% of Americans live in urban cities and do not grow or hunt the food they eat. These people buy food from markets.

In fact, less than 1% of America’s population claims farming as an occupation. The number of farms in the US is about two million. Source: EPA.gov

In addition, life expectancy in 1790 was age 34.5 for males and 36.5 for females, and “the views held by 18th century physicians are very different from those held by medical practitioners of today. Physicians in the 18th century had no knowledge of bacteria, germs, or viruses, nor of the fact that disease was spread by them. Therefore, they did not practice sterilization, or personal or hospital hygiene. … (and) Many people lived too far away from any doctors to use their services, and other people did not have access to doctors because of social customs or beliefs.” Source: US History.org

However, today, life expectancy in the US is about age 75.7 for males and 80.8 for females. Do you know how that increase in the average life span came about?

In the 218 years since 1792, the nation has changed dramatically. Today we have paved roads, railroad, airports, hospitals, electricity, X-ray machines, Cat Scans, MRIs, antibiotics, nuclear weapons, missiles, passenger aircraft, lasers, modern medicine, the Internet, etc.  In 1792, heat came from burning coal or wood and light came from candles. Most people went to the bathroom in an outhouse if there was one available. For most of the US, there was no toilets, running water, sewer systems, etc.

In addition, the first commercial electric power transmission in the US came near the end of the 19th century. Availability of large amounts of power from diverse locations would become possible after Charles Parsons’ production of turbogenerators beginning in 1889.

In 1792, there was no federal pension programs for old people such as federal employee retirement and disability ($119.9 Billion today); Social Security ($706.7 Billion today and funded through a worker-employee tax trust paid for by working people).

Did the nation need a national health care plan, retirement and  Social Security programs when the average person would be dead by age 35? Did anyone even think about it back then?

Beyond the occasional local community supported one-room school house, there was no state or national education systems. But the nation changed, and in 2010 the federal budget cost of public education was $139.4 Billion ($113.2 Billion was paid to the states by the federal government) and state and local costs of public education were $872 Billion funded by state and local taxes such as sales tax and property tax.


Does welfare make Americans dependent and do we have a welfare state in America today?
The answer is NO!

By 2010, America’s population was 308.7 million (compared to 4.2 million in 1792); its GDP was $14.5 Trillion; the cost of defense was $847.2 Billion; interest on the federal debt was $196.2 Billion; and although there was no socialist, life-time cradle to grave welfare system in the US (did you watch the above video?), the cost of welfare was listed as $502.3 Billion that is explained in detail by the CRS overview of federal welfare spending.

We often hear about the cost of big government. Well, the cost of running the federal government in 2010 was only $24.7 Billion for a federal work force, not counting the military or judicial system (federal courts), of 2.8 million people or 0.9% (less than 1%) of the total US population .

Sixty-four thousand work in the federal judicial system and 1.6 million serve in the military fighting America’s endless wars. By June of 2012, the civilian federal work force was down to 2.2 million or  .7% (still less than 1%) of the current 314.8 million US population.

From The Encyclopedia of Earth we learn that, “The tax mechanisms used during the first 150 years or so of U.S. tax history bears little resemblance to the current system of taxation. First, the U.S. Constitution restricted “direct” taxation by the federal government – meaning taxes directly on individuals. Instead, the federal government relied on indirect taxes including taxes on imports (tariffs) and excise taxes. Tariffs were the major source of U.S. government receipts from the beginning of the nation up to the early 1900s. For example, in 1800, custom duties comprised about 84% of government receipts. Internal federal revenue collections (which exclude tariffs on imports) as recently as the early 20th century were primarily derived from excise taxes on alcohol. In 1900 over 60% of internal revenue collections came from alcohol excise taxes with another 20% from tobacco excise taxes.”

As you have discovered, the source of federal government revenues has changed dramatically the last 200 years as the country changed along with the needs of her people and military.

For example, the cost of a musket to arm one US solider in 1792 would have been $250 to $500 in today’s money. For a comparison, a legal fully automatic M16 assault weapon used by US troops that has been registered with the ATF, and can be transferred to a private citizen currently sells for about $16,000, plus a $200 transfer tax.

The cost of one Nimitz-class aircraft carrier runs about $4.5 billion. The original USS Constitution, also known as Old Ironsides, was launched in 1797 and cost about $300,000 to build ($5.45 million in 2012).

Note: The Inflation calculator used  for this series of posts may be found at Dave Manuel.com, and the primary source for government spending was US Government Spending.com

Continued on December 5, 2012 in The Evolution of a National Burden – Part 4 or return to Part 2

Also discover Each President’s share of the US National Debt  and learn more from the National Debt Info-Graphic by President 1945 – 2012

_______________________

Lloyd Lofthouse, a former U.S. Marine and Vietnam Veteran, is the award winning author of The Concubine Saga.

His latest novel is Running with the Enemy. Blamed for a crime he did not commit while serving in Vietnam, his country considers him a traitor. Ethan Card is a loyal U.S. Marine desperate to prove his innocence or he will never go home again.

And the woman he loves and wants to save was trained to hate and kill Americans.

To follow this Blog via E-mail see upper left-hand column and click on “FOLLOW!”

The Evolution of a National Burden – Part 2/7

Do not confuse living in poverty with not working.

For example, in April, 2012, The Huffington Post reported., “In 2010, the number of working poor Americans climbed to its highest level in the last two decades, the Department of Labor reported last week . About 10.5 million Americans, or 7.2 percent of the labor force in 2010, weren’t earning enough to stay out of poverty, according to a Department of Labor report released last week. That’s the highest rate since the Labor Department started reporting the statistic in 1987.”

“To provide broader picture of 2010, during that year, 46.2 million Americans or 15.1 percent of the population were earning below the official poverty line—an annual income of $10,830 for a single person and $22,050 for a family of four, according to the Census Bureau.”

In the CRS overview of federal welfare spending even the $55.6 Billion refundable earned income tax credit was counted as welfare.  Another $164 Million listed as welfare went to fund programs for Breast/Cervical Cancer Early Detection in addition to $5.54 Billion for Indian Health Services (Do you remember the treaties the US signed with defeated American native tribes back in the 19th century?)

Also listed as welfare was the $353 Million the federal government spent for Transitional Cash and Medical Services for Refugees in addition to $6.594 Billion in temporary cash aid for needy families.

This one may surprise you—it surprised me: Water and Water Disposal for Rural Communities was listed as welfare, and that service cost the federal government $121 million in 2011.

There is also $2 Billion in nutrition assistance for Puerto Rico and another $848 million in nutritional programs for the elderly.

In fact, there are ten food assistance programs listed as welfare that add up to $101.28 Billion (not cash but food).

Then there is education assistance that is counted as welfare. For example, paying for the education of American natives living on indian reservations (those 19th century treaties again) cost the US $753 million and that is but one of sixteen active education programs that cost $65.7 Billion but is listed as welfare.

In addition, “Those receiving benefits through the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program numbered 46.37 million …” but “the average monthly benefit per person has declined modestly to $132.96.” Source: CNBC.com

Can you survive on $132.96 a month? Many of Wal-Mart workers can’t!

Infowars.com reported, “As many as 80% of Wal-Mart employees use food stamps.… ‘Wal-Mart’s poverty wages force employees to rely on $2.66 billion in government help every year, or about $420,000 per store. In state after state, Wal-Mart employees are the top recipients of Medicaid.

“Wal-Mart workers’ reliance on public assistance due to substandard wages and benefits has become a form of indirect public subsidy to the company. In effect, Wal-Mart is shifting part of its labor costs onto the (tax-paying) public.'”

The Walton family is one of the richest families in the world and their wealth was inherited from Bud and Sam Walton, founders of the world’s largest retailer, Wal-Mart. The Walton family controls 48% of the company and are worth a combined total of $102.7 Billion (as of 2012).

And Wal-Mart is not alone. Time.com reported, “There’s a disturbing irony within the food industry: Many of its employees rely on food stamps … and 86% of workers are earning either subminimum, poverty or low wages.”

On October 15, 2012, Statistic Brain.com reported that the total number of Americans on Welfare was 4.3 million and 38.8% (1.67 million) were white; 39.8% black (1.7 million); 15.7% Hispanic (675 thousand); 2.4% Asian (103.2 thousand) and 3.3% other.

However, there are 40.34 million blacks and 47.4 million Hispanics in the US.

In addition, “A household must earn $37,105 a year to afford the national average two-bedroom fair-market rent of $928 a month. A full-time worker would have to make $17.84 an hour to afford the average 2 bedroom if no more than the recommended guideline of 30 percent of income is spent on housing.”

“A household must earn over $66,000 to afford a 2-bedroom in San Francisco or Honolulu, but only $24,800 for a 2br apt in Fargo, North Dakota.” Source: The World Time News Report

However, Wal-Mart’s average sale Associate makes $8.81 per hour, according to IBIS World, an independent market research group. This translates to annual pay of $15,576, based upon Wal-Mart’s full-time status of 34 hours per week. This is significantly below the 2010 Federal Poverty Level of $22,050 for a family of four, and the median expected salary for a typical Combined Food Preparation and Service Worker in the United States is $23,153.

The US Census Reported that 41 million working men and 60 million women earn less than $25,000 annually, and/or the income of 30 million households is less than $25,000.

If you hear a blame-everything-on-welfare critic claim that nonworking deadbeats in addition to most blacks and Hispanics are living off welfare, now you know the facts and cannot be fooled.

Note: The Inflation calculator used  for this series of posts may be found at Dave Manuel.com, and the primary source for government spending was US Government Spending.com

Continued on December 4, 2012 in The Evolution of a National Burden – Part 3 or return to Part 1

Also discover Each President’s share of the US National Debt and learn more from the National Debt Info-Graphic by President 1945 – 2012

_______________________

Lloyd Lofthouse, a former U.S. Marine and Vietnam Veteran, is the award winning author of The Concubine Saga.

His latest novel is Running with the Enemy. Blamed for a crime he did not commit while serving in Vietnam, his country considers him a traitor. Ethan Card is a loyal U.S. Marine desperate to prove his innocence or he will never go home again.

And the woman he loves and wants to save was trained to hate and kill Americans.

To follow this Blog via E-mail see upper left-hand column and click on “FOLLOW!”

Each President’s share of the US National Debt

The series of posts on the National Debt keeps growing. I spent months researching the topic in an attempt to understand its history and evolution.

My first draft of this series of seven posts was at least three-times longer than the final copy. It is confusing enough, so I cut.

However, this morning I awoke wanting to know how much of the national debt each president and his congress was responsible for.

The reason I do not blame just the presidents is because each president submits the annual budget to Congress and Congress may add to or subtract from what the president requests. Then Congress must vote to enact the budget and the president signs it into law. Then there is the mandatory part of the budget and the discretionary portion. The president and Congress, without cooperation, cannot do much about the mandatory section of the budget such as Social Security.

For the sake of simplicity, I did not attempt to do the math to discover the exact amount each president (except G.W. Bush and Obama) is responsible for beyond his term in office, because if President Truman is responsible for $8.6 Billion of today’s $16.3509 Trillion national debt, then he is also responsible for the annual interest on that $8.6 Billion and the interest compounded annually on that interest for sixty years. If someone wants to figure that out, be my guest.  But first, you would have to know what the interest rate was for each year of those sixty years after Truman left office and the interest seems to change every three months.

For example, I found a post at Intellectual Take Out.org on the interest rates of the national debt starting in 1970 (you may notice that the interest rate has been as high as 14% and as low as 0.1%.  At the end of 2010, the interest was 1.7%).

Each President’s (and his Congress) share of the National Debt

  • Truman’s share of the National Debt was $8.6 Billion.
  • Eisenhower’s share was $5.6 Billion.
  • Kennedys share was $3.3 Billion.
  • LBJ’s share was $9.3 Billion.
  • Nixon’s share was $54.6 Billion.
  • Ford’s share was $48.4 Billion.
  • Carter’s share was $168.8 Billion.
  • Reagan’s share was $2.2376 Trillion.
  • G. H. W. Bush’s share was $1.143 Trillion.
  • Clinton’s share was $74 Billion.
  • G. W. Bush’s share was $6.3002 Trillion.
  • Obama’s share is currently about $2 Trillion.

THE DETAILS OF THE RESEARCH:

When Harry Truman became president (1945 – 1952), the National Debt from World War II was $260.1 Billion. The Interest on the debt during Truman’s term as president was $32.6 Billion. Truman was responsible for about $8.6 Billion of that interest.

The National debt Eisenhower (1953 – 1960) inherited from President Truman in 1953 was $266 Billion—an increase of $5.9 Billion. During Eisenhower’s term as president the interest on the debt was $44.8 Billion. Eisenhower was responsible for about $5.6 Billion.

The debt Kennedy (1961 – 1963) inherited from Eisenhower in 1961 was $292.6 Billion—an increase of $26.6 Billion. The interest on the debt during Kennedy’s years as president was $14.4 Billion.

The debt LBJ (1963 – 1968) inherited from Kennedy after his assassination in 1963 was $310.3 Billion—an increase of $17.7 Billion. The interest on the debt during LBJ’s years as president was $55.3 Billion. LBJ was responsible for about $9.1 Billion.

The debt Nixon (1969 – 1973) inherited from LBJ in 1969 was $365.8 Billion—an increase of $55.5 Billion. The interest during his term was $74.7 Billion. Nixon is responsible for about $11.2 Billion.

The debt Ford (1974 – 1976) inherited from Nixon in 1971 was $483.9 Billion—an increase of $118.1 Billion. The interest during his term was $70.9 Billion. Ford is responsible for $6.7 Billion.

The debt Carter (1977 – 1980) inherited from Ford in 1977 was $706.4 Billion—an increase of $222.5 Billion. The interest during his term was $160.5 Billion. Carter is responsible for about $40.9 Billion.

The debt Reagan (1981 – 1988) inherited from Carter in 1981 was $994.8 Billion—an increase of $188.4 Billion. The interest during his term was $910.6 Billion, and Reagan was responsible for about $360.2 Billion.

The debt G. H. W. Bush (1989 – 1992) inherited from Reagan in 1989 was $2.878 Trillion—an increase of $1.8832 Trillion. The interest during his term was $747 Billion, and he was responsible for about $71 Billion.

The debt Clinton (1993 – 2000) inherited from G. H. W. Bush in 1993 was $4.351 Trillion—an increase of $1.474 Trillion. The interest during his four year term was $1.6097 Trillion, and he was responsible for about $201 Billion.

The debt G. W. Bush (2001- 2008) inherited from Clinton in 2001 was $5.7699 Billion—an increase of $1.419 Trillion. The interest during his term was $1.291 Trillion, and he was responsible for about $234 Billion.

The debt Obama (2009 – ) inherited from G. W. Bush in 2009 was $11.8759 Billion—an increase of $6.106 Trillion. The interest during Obama’s first term in office was $833.0 Billion, and he is responsible for about $86.3 Billion.

In December 2012, at the end of President Obama’s first term, the National Debt had increased to $16.3509 Trillion—an increase of $4.475 Trillion.

However, President Obama inherited two wars. To be fair, the cost of those wars since he has been in office was subtracted from the total that he contributed to the national debt along with the interest that goes with the cost of the wars. Obama also inherited the 2007-08 global financial crises, and TARP funds were approved during G. W. Bush’s presidency so that amount was also added to Bush.

  • In 2009, the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan cost $155.1 Billion.
  • In 2010, the cost was $171.0 Billion.
  • In 2011, the cost was $170.7 Billion.

G. W. Bush’s Troubled Asset Relief Program (TARP) of October 2008 started out at $700 Billion but was reduced to $475 Billion by the Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Act in July 2010, and President Obama signed it into federal law.

In addition, Fact Check.org says, “The truth is that the nearly 18 percent spike in spending in fiscal 2009 — for which the president is sometimes blamed entirely — was mostly due to appropriations and policies that were already in place when Obama took office.

“That includes spending for the bank-bailout legislation approved by President Bush. Annual increases in amounts actually spent since fiscal 2009 have been relatively modest. In fact, spending for the first seven months of the current fiscal year is running slightly below the same period last year, and below projections.

“Obama can be fairly assigned responsibility for a maximum of $203 billion in additional spending for that year. (2009).

“It can be argued that the total should be lower. Economist Daniel J. Mitchell of the libertarian CATO Institute — who once served on the Republican staff of the Senate Finance Committee — has put the figure at $140 billion.

Total spending for G. W. Bush’s last two budget years was $2.9825 Trillion for 2008 and $3.5177 Trillion for 2009 (President Bush requested $2.7 Trillion, but Congress enacted $3.518 Trillion).

For 2010, President Obama requested $3.552 Trillion, and Congress enacted $3.721 Trillion. For Revenue, Obama requested $2.381 Trillion, and Congress enacted $2.165 Trillion,

In 2011, Obama requested $3.834 Trillion, and Congress enacted $3.630 Trillion. For Revenue, Obama requested $2.567 Trillion, and Congress enacted $2.314 Trillion.

In 2012, Obama requested $3.729 Trillion, and Congress enacted $3.796 Trillion. For Revenue, Obama requested $2.627 Trillion, and Congress enacted $2.469 Trillion.

In conclusion, President Obama requested $667 Billion in revenues that Congress did not enact and Congress spent $32 billion more than Obama requested for 2010 – 2012. One could argue that Congress was responsible for $699 Billion in spending for those years—not President Obama.

Who do you think contributed the most to the National Debt?

Note: The primary source for government spending was US Government Spending.com and the US Government Printing Office

Start with The Evolution of the National Burden – Part 1

_______________________

Lloyd Lofthouse, a former U.S. Marine and Vietnam Veteran, is the award winning author of The Concubine Saga.

His latest novel is Running with the Enemy. Blamed for a crime he did not commit while serving in Vietnam, his country considers him a traitor. Ethan Card is a loyal U.S. Marine desperate to prove his innocence or he will never go home again.

And the woman he loves and wants to save was trained to hate and kill Americans.

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