“The Department of Agriculture’s (USDA) inspector general told a House panel recently that some of the 46.3 million Americans currently enrolled in the federal food stamp program traded their benefits for cash so they could then purchase drugs and guns, among other contraband.
Phyllis Fong, in testimony before the House Governmental Oversight and Reform Committee, said food stamp recipients traded their Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) benefits at a discount to corrupt merchants and retailers in exchange for cash.
“In terms of fraud, we have seen many types of trafficking in SNAP benefits. By giving a recipient $50 in cash for $100 in benefits, an unscrupulous retailer can make a significant profit; recipients, of course, are then able to spend the cash however they like,” Fong said in prepared remarks”
Via Natural News
“The way the latest unemployment numbers were reported by the mainstream media (MSM), you would think the Great Recession was over and the United States was solidly on the road to recovery. The Associated Press reported the numbers by the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) with a story that said, “The United States added 227,000 jobs in February, the latest display of the breadth and strength of the economic recovery. The country has put together the most impressive three months of job growth since before the Great Recession. The unemployment rate stayed at 8.3 percent. It was the first time in six months it didn’t fall, and that was because a half-million Americans started looking for work.” (Click here for the complete AP story.) I don’t see how the MSM can say this one number is “the latest display of the breadth and strength of the economic recovery.”
Cyclical and structural unemployment are gripping the nation. Certain jobs are gone forever or, at the very least, for a very long time. Maybe that’s why millions of people have given up even looking for work. Forbes.com reported, just a few weeks ago, millions have stopped looking for work, and the government has stopped counting them. The report said, “In the latest, much celebrated, unemployment report, the labor force participation rate had plummeted to 63.7%, the most rapid decline in U.S. history. That means that under President Obama nearly 5 million Americans have fled the workforce in hopeless despair. The trick is that when those 5 million are not counted as in the work force, they are not counted as unemployed either. They may desperately need and want jobs. They may be in poverty, as many undoubtedly are, with America suffering today more people in poverty than in the entire half century the Census Bureau has been counting poverty. But they are not even counted in that 8.3% unemployment rate that Obama and his media cheerleaders were so tirelessly celebrating last week.””
Via Alt Market
“Many people are now waking up to the possibility that the future may not provide the great recovery we all expect it to be. They are begining to sense that something is wrong with the economy and it will not get better. Their first thought is the question, What do I do to protect myself and my family? They usually answer that question with the thought, maybe these preppers aren’t so crazy after all. How do you prep with very little money?
Many start answering this question with buy this and buy that but that is not the first step to prepping. Every situation is different so your preps need to reflect your situation. The first thing you need to do is get a legal pad or a note book to write in and answer these basic questions.”
Via SHTF Plan
“Despite the excessive number of lobbyists in his administration, Comrade Obama publicly disapproves of lobbying. But evidently the practice is okay so long as it’s paid for coercively with our money:”
Since March 2010, 30 states and Washington, D.C. have received $230 million in obesity prevention grants under the Communities Putting Prevention to Work Initiative (CPPW), a program established in the massive 2009 stimulus bill, the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act.
According to public records, however, money from some of the CPPW grants and also from the Community Transformation Grants (CTGs) — another Centers for Disease Control and Prevention program established to bolster to the CPPW’s efforts — have been and are being used to lobby local governments in support of policies including sugar and soda taxes.
Via Moon Battery
“America is losing wealth far faster than any other nation on earth is. In fact, since the mid-1970s there has been a transfer of wealth of almost 8 trillion dollars from the United States to the rest of the world. Sadly, most Americans have no idea what is happening. Most of them are completely unaware that America is being transformed from a wealthy nation into a poor nation at breathtaking speed. Most Americans just assume that America will always have the largest economy on earth and will always be the wealthiest nation on the globe. Unfortunately, just because something was true in the past does not mean that it will be true in the future. Right now, the United States is bleeding wealth at a pace that is almost unimaginable. Every single month, tens of billions of dollars of wealth is permanently transferred from the American people to the rest of the world. That means that the overall economic pie is shrinking. While the rich and the poor are busy fighting over the distribution of wealth in this country, the size of the pie that they are dividing up is continually getting smaller. America is poorer than it was last month, and next month it will be even poorer. If this continues, it will result in a complete and total economic nightmare.”
“For a long time, most analysts have believed that if someone was going to leave the euro, it would be a weak nation such as Greece or Portugal. But the truth is that financially troubled nations such as Greece and Portugal don’t want to leave the euro. The leaders of those nations understand that if they leave the euro their economies will totally collapse and nobody will be there to bail them out. And at this point there really is not a formal mechanism which would enable other members of the eurozone to kick financially troubled nations such as Greece or Portugal out of the euro. But there is one possibility that is becoming increasingly likely that could actually cause the break up of the euro. Germany could leave the euro. Yes, it might actually happen. Germany is faced with a very difficult problem right now. It is looking at a future where it will be essentially forced to bail out most of the rest of the nations in the eurozone for many years to come, and those bailouts will be extremely expensive. Meanwhile, the mood in much of the rest of Europe is becoming decidedly anti-German. In Greece, Angela Merkel and the German government are being openly portrayed as Nazis. Financially troubled nations such as Greece want German bailout money, but they are getting sick and tired of the requirements that Germany is imposing upon them in order to get that money. Increasingly, other nations in Europe are simply ignoring what Germany is asking them to do or are openly defying Germany. In the end, Germany will need to decide whether it is worth it to continue to pour billions upon billions of euros into countries that don’t appreciate it and that are not doing what Germany has asked them to do.”
“In 2007, when Congress passed legislation that would gradually ban old school incandescent light bulbs, they added a carrot to the pile of sticks: A $10 million dollar prize to encourage the development of a cheap, green, domestic light bulb to replace the dearly departed Edison model.
Five years later, that bulb is coming to a hardware store near you. It will cost you 50 bucks. It also fails to meet many of the original prize specifications. The winner, Dutch electronics company Philips, was the one and only entrant, suggesting that the prize failed to stimulate widespread additional private spending on R&D. The portion of the LED bulb made in America is less than initially envisioned. And the guidelines for pricing were utterly ignored: The goal was $22 price tag in the first year, falling rapidly to $8 by year three.”
“How would you feel if you worked for a state or local government for 20 or 30 years only to have your pension slashed dramatically or taken away entirely? Well, this exact scenario is playing out from coast to coast and in the years ahead millions of elderly Americans are going to be affected by broken promises and vanishing pensions. In the old days, things were much different. You would get hired by a big company or a government institution and you knew that the retirement benefits that they were promising you would be there when you retired in a few decades. Unfortunately, we have now arrived at a time when government institutions and big companies have promised far more than they are able to deliver, and “pension reform” has become one of the hot button issues all over the nation. Many Americans that have been basing their financial futures on their pensions are waking up one day and finding that their pensions are either gone or have been cut back dramatically. According to Northwestern University Professor John Rauh, the latest estimate of the total amount of unfunded pension and healthcare obligations for state and local governments across the United States is 4.4 trillion dollars. America is continually becoming a poorer nation and all of that money is simply not going to magically materialize somehow. So where is that 4.4 trillion dollars going to come from? Well, either pension benefits are going to have to be cut a lot more all over America or taxes will need to be raised dramatically. Either way, we are all going to feel the pain of these broken promises.”