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America continues its Israel first policy as public coffers run dry

Meanwhile, the Pentagon and Israel don’t have to worry about their budgets

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America continues to increase its debt to unsustainable levels and public benefits coffers run up against funding shortfalls, but that doesn’t slow down a growing defense budget, or foreign aid package to nations which are routinely involved in egregious human rights violations and often serve as a contentious force in a region, the Middle East, becoming ever more destabilized, also at the hand of Washington’s politicians, whether on the right or left.

Both Medicare and Social Security are programs which working Americans pay into, and which are expected to run out of money, while the Pentagon and Israel don’t have to worry about their budgets.

Activist Post observes:

As the United States government admits that Social Security and Medicare services are going bankrupt and will both be completely depleted within the next 16 years, American taxpayers are giving around $10.5 million to a close ally that is routinely accused of human rights violations.

The latest report from the Social Security Administration revealed that Social Security funds will be depleted by 2034, and Medicare funds will be depleted by 2026—three years earlier than what was last reported. Last year, Social Security and Medicare funds accounted for 42 percent of federal program expenditures, and as the report noted:

Both Social Security and Medicare face long-term financing shortfalls under currently scheduled benefits and financing. Lawmakers have a broad continuum of policy options that would close or reduce the long-term financing shortfall of both programs. The Trustees recommend that lawmakers take action sooner rather than later to address these shortfalls so that a broader range of solutions can be considered and more time will be available to phase in changes while giving the public adequate time to prepare. Earlier action will also help elected officials minimize adverse impacts on vulnerable populations, including lower-income workers and people already dependent on program benefits.

While the increased reduction in Social Security and Medicare funds can be blamed on the federal government, it is not the only area where government spending should warrant serious concern. In December 2010, the Congressional Budget Office estimated that federal debt held by the public was more than $9 trillion or 62 percent of GDP.

The federal debt held by the public is now $16 trillion or 78 percent of GDP, and the latest projections from the CBO show that it is estimated to increase to $29 trillion or 96 percent of GDP by 2028, which would mark “the largest since 1946 and well more than twice the average over the past five decades.”

As the Foundation for Economic Education reported, while the government continues to spend money it does not have as if there are no consequences, it has gotten to the point where it seems unlikely that the debt will ever be paid back:

“A fair amount of this trouble can be laid at the feet of the federal government and its seemingly insatiable habit of spending money it doesn’t have. It’s gotten to the point that there isn’t really anywhere else in the world that has the amount of money the US government needs to borrow. It seemed so easy to just take that money from the Social Security and Medicare trusts at the time, but with federal spending now higher than it’s ever been (regardless of whether you adjust for inflation or simply count it as a percentage of GDP), it seems very unlikely that that money will—or even can—ever be paid back.”

While the U.S. government’s failure to take care of its citizens may be viewed as a good thing because it lets them turn to solutions in the private sector to solve their problems, the government is still robbing citizens through taxes, and making it look as if it will benefit them in the long run through programs such as Social Security and Medicare.

In reality, the federal government is using the money it extorts from citizens to fund endless wars in the Middle East—with the price tag for the longest war in U.S. history costing double the estimate of what it would cost to end homelessness in the U.S. annually in 2018. Millions of taxpayer dollars are also being spent on questionable foreign aid programs, such as the United States’ increasing pledges of military aid to Israel.

Former President Obama set the record by pledging $3.8 billion to Israel every year for the next 10 years in 2016, with the largest military aid deal in U.S. history. President Trump increased the amount by pledging an additional $75 million in 2018, while Americans suffering from the aftermath of Hurricane Harvey begged for aid.

The United States’ commitment to Israel has stayed the same, even as Israel was caught opening fire on peaceful protesters near their border fence in Gaza, killing dozens and injuring thousands. While other countries accused Israel of war crimes and called for an investigation, the U.S. blatantly ignored the atrocities.

If countries such as Syria, Russia, or Iran, were targeting civilians in the same way that Israel is, the United States would be calling for a full-scale invasion. Instead, the U.S. continues to condone the country’s treatment of Palestinian civilians by sending Israel $10.5 million a day—even when Americans are in desperate need—all while the president in office gained support by promising to put “America First.”

However one chooses to look at Social Security and Medicare, they are paid for by Americans, and they benefit Americans in a way that is much different from programs termed ‘handouts’.

Additionally, with the decreasing number of jobs available which pay wages capable of covering these expenses, a number of real world issues come into play at some point for every American, and that is age and the related issues of declining health, both of which are things which impact Americans who, when these factors are encountered, are no longer able to cover through wages, since not all employers can or will hire elderly or disabled persons and are much less likely than that to pay them an amount capable of not only providing for their living but also for their medical expenses.

The jobs and wage issue strikes Americans of all ages, but the issue becomes even more pronounced when it addresses American who are elderly and experience health issues, which makes covering these expenses on their own something that simply doesn’t match today’s healthcare and cost of living realities.

But America can host military bases the world over, spend trillions on weapons, and send money to float Israel. Or, at least that’s what it chooses. But apparently, choosing Americans first is not what’s on the top of the agenda of an administration which touts ‘America First’ as its motto and justification for waging trade, and shooting, wars the world over.

 

 

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AJtomVince DhimosCumExApostolatus Recent comment authors
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AJ
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AJ

They will just print up new dollars to cover any shortfall – thats the advantage of holding reserve currency you can never default on anything denominated in dollars. This would be an epic bailout greater even than the 08 banking crisis.

tom
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tom

Instead of listening spellbound to the politicians and their official flunkeys endlessly advancing charges against each other on meaningless grounds such as “collusion”, it’s time the citizens of the USA took back their government and put on trial all those responsible for robbing them blind decade after decade.

Vince Dhimos
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Vince Dhimos

It all boils down to one thing. America focuses ONLY on politics, never on economics or security:
http://www.newsilkstrategies.com/news–analysis/todays-america-politics-trumps-economics

CumExApostolatus
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CumExApostolatus

The Catholic Church was infiltrated and its substance eaten out from within 2 centuries ago. The World Council of Churches (Rockefeller) set in motion the whole “we are the world” baloney and the Scofield “bible” which imprinted the idea that Jesus is coming soon and to sit back and wait for the rapture. AND that Israel is actually the “holy” land and that Jews aren’t in fact, THE #1 enemy of all Christians (and gentiles). What a JOKE…and a very bad joke at that. “IsRaEL”, Judaism, and its adherents are the problem that needs correcting, and soon.

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Macron cuts ski holiday short, vowing crack down on Yellow Vests (Video)

The Duran Quick Take: Episode 109.

Alex Christoforou

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The Duran’s Alex Christoforou and Editor-in-Chief Alexander Mercouris discuss the 18th consecutive week of Yellow Vests protests in Paris. Following last weeks lower participation, Saturday’s Yellow Vests in Paris gathered larger crowds, with various outbreaks of violence and rioting that has been blamed on extreme elements, who French authorities claim have infiltrated the movement.

“Act XVIII” of the protests has shown that the Yellow Vests have not given up. France’s Champs-Élysées boulevard was where most of the violence occurred, with the street being left in a pile of broken glass and flames.

One day after Paris was set ablaze, French President Emmanuel Macron cut his ski holiday short, returning to Paris and vowing to take “strong decisions” to prevent more violence.

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Via Zerohedge


Paris awoke on Sunday to smouldering fires, broken windows and looted stores following the 18th consecutive Saturday of Yellow Vest protests.

Around 200 people were arrested according to BFM TV, while about 80 shops near the iconic Champs Elysees had been damaged and/or looted according to AFP, citing Champs Elysees committee president Jean-Noel Reinhardt.

The 373-year-old Saint Sulpice Roman Catholic church was set on fire while people were inside, however nobody was injured. The cause of the fire remains unknown.

The riots were so severe that French President Emmanuel Macron cut short a vacation at the La Mongie ski resort in the Hautes-Pyrénées following a three-day tour of East Africa which took him to Djibouti, Ethiopia and Kenya.

Macron skied on Friday, telling La Depeche du Midi “I’m going to spend two-three days here to relax, to find landscapes and friendly faces,” adding “I’m happy to see the Pyrenees like that, radiant, although I know it was more difficult at Christmas” referring to the lack of snow in December.

In response to Saturday’s violence, Macron said over Twitter that “strong decisions” were coming to prevent more violence.

Macron said some individuals — dubbed “black blocs” by French police forces — were taking advantage of the protests by the Yellow Vest grassroots movement to “damage the Republic, to break, to destroy.” Prime Minister Edouard Philippe said on Twitter that those who excused or encouraged such violence were complicit in it. –Bloomberg

The French President has family ties in the Hautes-Pyrénées, including Bagnères de Bigorre where his grandmother lived. He is a regular visitor to the region.

Emmanuel Macron (2ndL), head of the political movement In Marche! (Onwards!) And candidate for the 2017 presidential election, and his wife Brigitte Trogneux (L) have lunch April 12, 2017 (Reuters)

 

 

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Vesti calls out Pompeo on lying about Russia invading Ukraine [Video]

Secretary Pompeo displayed either stunning ignorance or a mass-attack of propaganda about what must be the most invisible war in history.

Seraphim Hanisch

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After the 2014 Maidan revolution and the subsequent secessions of Lugansk and Donetsk in Ukraine, and after the rejoining of Crimea with its original nation of Russia, the Western media went on a campaign to prove the Russia is (/ was / was about to / had already / might / was thinking about / was planning to … etc.) invade Ukraine. For the next year or so, about every two weeks, internet news sources like Yahoo! News showed viewers pictures of tanks, box trucks and convoys to “prove” that the invasion was underway (or any of the other statuses confirming the possibilities above stated.) This information was doubtless provided to US Secretary of State, Mike Pompeo.

Apparently, Secretary Pompeo believed this ruse, or is being paid to believe this ruse because in a speech recently, he talked about it as fact:

U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo called Russia’s annexation of Crimea and aggression in eastern Ukraine an attempt to gain access to Ukraine’s oil and gas reserves.

He stated this at IHS Markit’s CERAWeek conference in Houston, the USA, Reuters reports.

Pompeo urged the oil industry to work with the Trump administration to promote U.S. foreign policy interests, especially in Asia and in Europe, and to punish what he called “bad actors” on the world stage.

The United States has imposed harsh sanctions in the past several months on two major world oil producers, Venezuela and Iran.

Pompeo said the U.S. oil-and-gas export boom had given the United States the ability to meet energy demand once satisfied by its geopolitical rivals.

“We don’t want our European allies hooked on Russian gas through the Nord Stream 2 project, any more than we ourselves want to be dependent on Venezuelan oil supplies,” Pompeo said, referring to a natural gas pipeline expansion from Russia to Central Europe.

Pompeo called Russia’s invasion of Ukraine an attempt to gain access to the country’s oil and gas reserves.

Although the state-run news agency Vesti News often comes under criticism for rather reckless, or at least, extremely sarcastic propaganda at times, here they rightly nailed Mr. Pompeo’s lies to the wall and billboarded it on their program:

The news anchors even made a wisecrack about one of the political figures, Konstantin Zatulin saying as a joke that Russia plans to invade the United States to get its oil. They further noted that Secretary Pompeo is uneducated about the region and situation, but they offered him the chance to come to Russia and learn the correct information about what is going on.

To wit, Russia has not invaded Ukraine at all. There is no evidence to support such a claim, while there IS evidence to show that the West is actively interfering with Russia through the use of Ukraine as a proxyWhile this runs counter to the American narrative, it is simply the truth. Ukraine appears to be the victim of its own ambitions at this point, for while the US tantalizes the leadership of the country and even interferes with the Orthodox Church in the region, the country lurches towards a presidential election with three very poor candidates, most notably the one who is president there now, Petro Poroshenko.

However, the oil and gas side of the anti-Russian propaganda operation by the US is significant. The US wishes for Europe to buy gas from American suppliers, even though this is woefully inconvenient and expensive when Russia is literally at Europe’s doorstep with easy supplies. However, the Cold War Party in the United States, which still has a significant hold on US policy making categorizes the sale of Russia gas to powers like NATO ally Germany as a “threat” to European security.

It is interesting that Angela Merkel herself does not hold this line of thinking. It is also interesting and worthy of note, that this is not the only NATO member that is dealing more and more with Russia in terms of business. It underscores the loss of purpose that the North Atlantic Treaty Organization suffers now since there is no Soviet Union to fight.

However, the US remains undaunted. If there is no enemy to fight, the Americans feel that they must create one, and Russia has been the main scapegoat for American power ambitions. More than ever now, this tactic appears to be the one in use for determining the US stance towards other powers in the world.

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Ariel Cohen explains Washington’s latest foreign policy strategy [Video]

Excellent interview Ariel Cohen and Vladimir Solovyov reveals the forces at work in and behind American foreign policy.

Seraphim Hanisch

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While the American people and press are pretty much complicit in reassuring the masses that America is the only “right” superpower on earth, and that Russia and China represent “enemy threats” for doing nothing more than existing and being successfully competitive in world markets, Russia Channel One got a stunner of a video interview with Ariel Cohen.

Who is Ariel Cohen? Wikipedia offers this information about him:

Ariel Cohen (born April 3, 1959 in Crimea in YaltaUSSR) is a political scientist focusing on political risk, international security and energy policy, and the rule of law.[1] Cohen currently serves as the Director of The Center for Energy, Natural Resources and Geopolitics (CENRG) at the Institute for Analysis of Global Security (IAGS). CENRG focuses on the nexus between energy, geopolitics and security, and natural resources and growth. He is also a nonresident senior fellow at the Atlantic Council, within the Global Energy Center and the Dinu Patriciu Eurasia Center.[2] Until July 2014, Dr. Cohen was a senior research fellow at the Heritage Foundation in Washington, D.C. He specializes in Russia/Eurasia, Eastern Europe, and the Middle East.

Cohen has testified before committees of the U.S. Congress, including the Senate and House Foreign Relations Committees, the House Armed Services Committee, the House Judiciary Committee and the Helsinki Commission.[4] He also served as a Policy Adviser with the National Institute for Public Policy’s Center for Deterrence Analysis.[5] In addition, Cohen has consulted for USAID, the World Bank and the Pentagon.[6][7]

Cohen is a frequent writer and commentator in the American and international media. He has appeared on CNN, NBC, CBS, FOX, C-SPAN, BBC-TV and Al Jazeera English, as well as Russian and Ukrainian national TV networks. He was a commentator on a Voice of America weekly radio and TV show for eight years. Currently, he is a Contributing Editor to the National Interest and a blogger for Voice of America. He has written guest columns for the New York TimesInternational Herald TribuneChristian Science Monitor, the Washington Post, the Wall Street Journal, the Washington Times, EurasiaNet, Valdai Discussion Club,[8] and National Review Online. In Europe, Cohen’s analyses have appeared in Kommersant, Izvestiya, Hurriyet, the popular Russian website Ezhenedelny Zhurnal, and many others.[9][10]

Mr. Cohen came on Russian TV for a lengthy interview running about 17 minutes. This interview, shown in full below, is extremely instructive in illustrating the nature of the American foreign policy directives such as they are at this time.

We have seen evidence of this in recent statements by Secretary of State Mike Pompeo regarding Russia’s “invasion” of Ukraine, and an honestly unabashed bit of fear mongering about China’s company Huawei and its forthcoming 5G networks, which we will investigate in more detail in another piece. Both bits of rhetoric reflect a re-polished narrative that, paraphrased, says to the other world powers,

Either you do as we tell you, or you are our enemy. You are not even permitted to out-compete with us in business, let alone foreign relations. The world is ours and if you try to step out of place, you will be dealt with as an enemy power.

This is probably justified paranoia, because it is losing its place. Where the United Stated used to stand for opposition against tyranny in the world, it now acts as the tyrant, and even as a bully. Russia and China’s reaction might be seen as ignoring the bully and his bluster and just going about doing their own thing. It isn’t a fight, but it is treating the bully with contempt, as bullies indeed deserve.

Ariel Cohen rightly points out that there is a great deal of political inertia in the matter of allowing Russia and China to just do their own thing. The US appears to be acting paranoid about losing its place. His explanations appear very sound and very reasonable and factual. Far from some of the snark Vesti is often infamous for, this interview is so clear it is tragic that most Americans will never see it.

The tragedy for the US leadership that buys this strategy is that they appear to be blinded so much by their own passion that they cannot break free of it to save themselves.

This is not the first time that such events have happened to an empire. It happened in Rome; it happened for England; and it happened for the shorter-lived empires of Nazi Germany and ISIS. It happens every time that someone in power becomes afraid to lose it, and when the forces that propelled that rise to power no longer are present. The US is a superpower without a reason to be a superpower.

That can be very dangerous.

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