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US National Debt: $16.7 Trillion and Climbing

Will the out-of-control US Government spending eventually collapse nation's economy? Will citizens take action before it's too late or will they be oblivious until the end? (a trillion $1 dollars bills laid end-to-end is the distance from the Earth to the Sun, or approximately 60,000 times around the Earth). Democratic-dominated Senate has not performed one of it's most basic responsibilities in more than three years that is passing a budget, but instead relied on continuing resolutions that avoid prioritizing how taxpayer dollars are to be spent and at what levels. The debt was $10.6 trillion at the start of the current administration.


Federal Rerseve to Continue Stimulus

9/18/13: The Federal Reserve to continue to buy $85 billion a month in bonds to encourage job creation and economic growth. At this rate, Government will accumulate an additional trillion dollars in debt in a year.


Detroit Files For Bankruptcy Protection

6/18/13: Detroit, the city that gave birth to the American auto industry and once one of richest in the US, filed as the nation's largest municipal bankruptcy with $18 billion in debt. Since 2008, Detriot has operated under deficits, a pattern of new borrowing to pay for old, a shrunken population and tax base, and diminished, undependable city services. The city is plagued by vacant buildings, darkened streetlights and slow police response times.


Obamacare Off to Rough Start

Enrollment into Obamacare has gotten of to a rough start due to "glitches" with government's 634 million dollar website and the high premiums and deductibles of the health insurance.


Government "Shutdown" Over Obamacare Funding

Democratic-dominated Senate rejected several bills sent by Republican-dominated House of Representatives. The first rejected bill funded the Goverment but defunded Obamacare. The second rejected bill delayed Obamacare funding by one year (as granted without authority by President Obama to large corporations, unions and others). Subsequent bills funded specific parts of the Government such as Parks and Monuments, Veterans' benefits, National Institute of Health, etc some of which passed. In an apparent effort to force public pressure on Republicans, Obama Administration tried to prevent elderly Veterans from visiting their World War II Memorial yet allowed illegal aliens to hold an Amensty Rally at the Washingon Mall. Senator Ted Cruz, Sara Palin and other Republicans led a protest to tear down the barriers. In the end, Democrat got what they wanted, Obamacare funding and an increase in the debt limit. Republican only got a provision to verify the income of those receiving ObamaCare subsidies.


Obamacare Requirements

If you do not have an approved health care plan by March 31, 2014, you will be required to pay a fine with your 2015 Federal Taxes. Obamacare allows the IRS to tax you 1% of adjusted gross income, but no less than $95 per adult ($47.50 per child) in 2013. These taxes rise in 2015 and 2016. Americans will pay an average premium of $328 monthly for a mid-tier health insurance plan with higher deductibles, but many will qualify for government subsidies to lower that price, the federal government said. The increased cost of health insurance is causing some companies to reduce hiring, number of employees and work hours per week.


Congress Votes to Subsidize Their Obamacare Expenses

White House struck a deal with the U.S. Congress to continue subsidizing their health plans at taxpayer's expense. Before going on vacation, Congress voted to give themselves $5,000 (single coverage) or $11,000 (family coverage) toward Obamacare. Along with Congress, some big businesses and labor union have been granted waivers and exemptions.


Immigration Reform

In January 2013, a bi-partisan group of eight Senators announced principles for comprehensive immigration reform that included a citizenship path for illegal immigrants already in the United States. Each time Washington politicians have tried to passed it, citizens have mounted strong opposition.


Obama, NAACP, MALC Suing Texas Over Voter ID

The Obama Administration, National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP) and the Mexican American Legislative Caucus (MALC) are suing to block a Texas requirement that voters show identification at the polls.


Privacy Rights Violation: NSA/FBI Snooping on US Citizens & Foreign Allies

National Security Agency's extensive surveillance have strained relations at home and with other countries including allies. As far back as April of this year, the FBI has demanded that Verizon turn over records of every call made by its customers in the United States and all incoming calls from abroad to its U.S. customers, every day.
Furthermore, Verizon was forbidden from publicizing anything about the court order, which was classified "Top Secret". In April 2009 officials at the United States Department of Justice acknowledged that the NSA had engaged in overcollection of domestic communications in excess of the FISA court's authority.
10/30/13, Washington Post reports NSA secretly tapped Google, Yahoo data centers worldwide including emails, videos and audio.
10/28/13, Spanish newspapers reported that NSA spied on more than 60 million phone calls in Spain in one month alone.
10/24/13, European leaders condemned the reported US hacking of German Chancellor Angela Merkel's cell phone and said they will seek trans-Atlantic accords on espionage practices.
10/21/13, The French government castigated the United States for extensive eavesdropping within France. Within a single month alone (Dec 2012), 70 million digital communications were intercepted. The disclosure was based on documents provided by Snowden. Week prior, German newsmagazine, reported that the NSA had intercepted communications inside the cabinet of the former Mexican president, Felipe Calderon. Previous disclosures from the documents leaked by Snowden had already pulled the veil off NSA spying on other allies, including Germany, Britain and Brazil. In June, Der Spiegel reported that the NSA had eavesdropped on European Union offices in Brussels and Washington.
Edward Snowden, a computer specialist who worked for NSA, leaked details of several top-secret United States and British government mass surveillance programs to the press. On July 12th, he stated "The 4th and 5th Amendments to the Constitution of my country, Article 12 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, and numerous statutes and treaties forbid such systems of massive, pervasive surveillance. While the US Constitution marks these programs as illegal, my government argues that secret court rulings, which the world is not permitted to see, somehow legitimize an illegal affair".


2013 IRS Scandal

In 2013, the United States Internal Revenue Service (IRS) revealed that it had targeted political groups applying for tax-exempt status for closer scrutiny based on their names (ie "Tea Party") or political orientation (ie conservative groups).


IRS Spends $4.1 Million on Single Conference

The IRS spent $4.1 million on a single conference in California in 2010, paying top dollar for hotel rooms, $27,500 for a keynote speaker and tens of thousands of dollars for gifts to the 2,600 people who attended.


2012 Benghazi Scandal

Initially, the Obama admistration suggested that the attack on the Benghazi Embassy emerged from a spontaneous protest in response to an inflammatory video. Subsequent investigations by the U.S. State Department and by the House of Representatives committees determined that there was no such protest and that the premeditated attack was by Islamist militants.


Fast & Furious

During the two-year Fast and Furious operation, agents in Arizona with the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives allowed more than 2,000 guns to be sold to suspected criminals thought to be linked to Mexican drug gangs. The ATF planned to trace the guns over the border as part of an investigation of the violent cartels; ATF's failute to track the contraband firearms came to light after two of the guns turned up at the scene of a shootout in which a U.S. Border Patrol agent died. This debacle led to a congressional investigation that was impeded by Attorney General Eric Holder's reluctance to disclose documents.


Fannie and Freddie CEOs to Receive $6 Million

WSJ: Obama and Congress have been critial of large corporate bonuses, especially those that were bailed out. So it is ironical that the CEOs of government-run Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, the suppliers of funding for home mortgages that have been bailed out to the tune of $112 billion dollars during the past year, will be paid as much as $6 million a year, including bonuses, well above their current terms. The real-estate bubble was in part due to government encouraging banks to give loans to less than qualified buyers in return for buying the bad mortages off their hands.


GEO

McAllen City Officials Sought Federal Prison Deal

McAllen city officials had quietly been negotiating the portion of federal funds it would net by allowing GEO Group Inc, a for-profit prison company, to setup a 1,000 bed prison in McAllen.


US Debt Clock

U.S. NATIONAL DEBT

As of Dec 12, 2009:

$ 12,099,976,292,965 ($12.1 trillion dollars)

Debt per citizen is $39,356.
Debt per taxpayer is $111,111.

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