Debt Up $1.59T Under GOP House—More in 15 Months Than First 97 Congresses Combined - CNSnews.com - Terence P. Jeffrey - June 1, 2012 - In the fifteen months that the Republican-controlled House of Representatives--led by Speaker John Boehner--has effectively enjoyed a constitutional veto over federal spending, the federal government’s debt has increased by about $1.59 trillion. Article 1, Section 9, Clause 7 of the Constitution says: “No Money shall be drawn from the Treasury, but in Consequence of Appropriations made by Law.” A law appropriating money cannot be enacted unless it is approved by the House. The approximately $1.59 trillion in new debt accumulated since the Republican-controlled House gained a veto over federal spending legislation is more than the total increase in the federal debt between 1789, when the first Congress convened, and October 1984, when the 98th Congress was nearing the end of its second session.
Hospitals fight drug scarcity, fear patients harmed - Reuters - Anna Yukhananov - June 2, 2012 - At the Henry Ford Hospital in Detroit, pharmacists are using old-fashioned paper spreadsheets to track their stock of drugs in short supply - a task that takes several hours each day. Most of the hospital's medicines - with usage estimated at $100 million a year - are tracked by automated systems that allow for quick reorders when the supply runs low. But these automated systems, designed to help the hospital avoid purchases and storage costs of unused pills and vials, do not work if it is uncertain when the next batch of drugs will come in. A few hundred medicines make the list of drugs in short supply: anesthetics, drugs for nausea and nutrition, infection treatments and diarrhea pills. A separate list has scarce cancer drugs for leukemia or breast cancer..... The growing scarcity of sterile, injectable drugs is one of the biggest issues confronting hospitals across the country, and will be a key issue at the annual American Society of Clinical Oncology meeting in Chicago this weekend. Health officials blame the shortages on industry consolidation that has left only a handful of generic manufacturers of these drugs, even as the number of drugs going off patent is growing. Some drugmakers have been plagued by manufacturing problems that have shut down multiple plants or production lines, while others have stopped producing a treatment when profit margins erode too far.
Former Hedge Funder Presents A Terrifying Vision Of THE END GAME - Business Insider - Max Nisen - June 1, 2012 - Everyday, we hear some pretty grim predictions about the markets and the economy. But this is one of the more comprehensive and most gloomy outlooks we've ever seen.
Raoul Pal expects a series of sovereign defaults, the "biggest banking crisis in world history", and asserts that we don't have many options to stop it.... A note on the presentation; the last slide is not meant to suggest that we're going back to the economic activity of 3000 years ago. It refers to the 3000 year old trade links between the nations along the Indian Ocean, which Mr. Pal believes will be the center of world's opportunities. Just like the West 50 years ago, they have "...low debts, high savings and a young population".
Top Mitt Romney Campaign Contributors - (Open Secrets.Org):
Top Barack Obama Campaign Contributors - Open Secrets.Org:
How The Super Rich Avoid Taxes Even As They Demand That The Rest Of Us Pay More - The Economic Collapse Blog - The way that we tax people in the United States is fundamentally broken and should be completely discarded. The U.S. tax code is absolutely riddled with loopholes that allow the super rich to legally avoid taxes while many of the rest of us are being taxed into oblivion. In our system of taxation, middle class families that work hard and try to play by the rules are deeply penalized while those that are willing to abuse the system make out like bandits. There is something fundamentally wrong with a system that enables wealthy politicians such as Barack Obama and Mitt Romney to pay a smaller percentage of their incomes in taxes than millions of middle class families. Mitt Romney has millions of dollars parked down in the Cayman Islands and in other tax havens. He does this to avoid taxes. Unfortunately, most Americans do not have the resources to funnel money through offshore tax havens. Most Americans just automatically have their paychecks shredded by taxes and then try to live on whatever is left over. Most Americans are just trying to survive financially from one month to the next. But the super rich have options. Thanks to technology, they can live almost anywhere they want and they can run their companies and manage their investments from anywhere in the world. The truth is that the wealthier you are the easier it is to avoid taxes. But even as the ultra-wealthy do their best to avoid taxes, many of them still feel free to demand that the rest of us be taxed more... If you are interested in digging into some of the technical details of tax avoidance, a recent Businessweek article detailed 10 ways that the wealthy use our current tax code to avoid paying billions of dollars in taxes. It is an article worth reading if you have the time. It has been reported that 80 percent of all international banking transactions involve offshore banks. A whopping 1.4 trillion dollars is being held in offshore banks in the Cayman Islands alone. An article that appeared in the Guardian estimated that a third of all the wealth on the entire planet is being kept in offshore banks. One of the primary reasons for this is tax avoidance.
Anger over Christine Lagarde's tax-free salary - The Independent - Rob Hastings - May 30, 2012 - The IMF chief Christine Lagarde was accused of hypocrisy yesterday after it emerged that she pays no income tax – just days after blaming the Greeks for causing their financial peril by dodging their own bills. The managing director of the International Monetary Fund is paid a salary of $467,940 (£298,675), automatically increased every year according to inflation. On top of that she receives an allowance of $83,760 – payable without "justification" – and additional expenses for entertainment, making her total package worth more than the amount received by US President Barack Obama according to reports last night. Unlike Mr Obama, however, she does not have to pay any tax on this substantial income because of her diplomatic status. The news will intensify criticism of the former French Finance Minister following her controversial remarks on the increasingly bleak prospects for the Greek economy last week. Stating that she had more sympathy for poor African children with little education than for jobless people complaining about austerity measures in Greece, she said last week: "As far as Athens is concerned, I also think about all those people who are trying to escape tax all the time. All these people in Greece who are trying to escape tax." Speaking to The Guardian, she added that they could "help themselves collectively" by "all paying their tax," and agreed that it was "payback time" for ordinary Greeks.
America's Transition To A Part-Time Worker Society Accelerates As Part-Time Jobs Hit Record - Zerohedge.com - Tyler Durden - June 2, 2012 - Back in December 2010 Zero Hedge was the first to point out what is easily the most troubling characteristic within America's evaporating labor force: its gradual transition to a part-time worker society. We elaborated on this back in February when we noted that the quality assessment of US jobs indicates that this most disturbing trend is accelerating. Finally, yesterday, the BLS' latest jobs report confirmed that our concerns have been valid all along: as of May, part-time jobs just as disclosed by the Bureau of Labor Statistics hit an all time high, over 28 million! These are people who traditionally have zero job benefits, including healthcare and retirement, and which according to the BLS "work less than 35 hours per week." In other words, as little as one hour per week of "work" is enough to classify one a part-time worker. More disturbing: the increase in part-time jobs in May compared to April: 618,000, or the fifth highest on record. It gets better: when added with the 508,000 increase in part-time jobs in April, this is the largest two month increase in part time-jobs in history. Which means of course that full time jobs in May must have declined: sure enough, at a -266,000 drop in full time jobs, the quality composition of the NFP report was just abysmal and makes any reported "increase" in those employed into a sad farce.
Max Keiser on the Bilderberg meeting in Chantilly, Virginia