“Trump White House preparing sweeping attack on the poor” (2 Articles)

Image: http://www.cnn.com

“When shall it be said in any country of the world, my poor are happy, neither ignorance or distress is to be found among them; my jails are empty of prisoners, my streets of beggars; the aged are not in want, the taxes not oppressive; the rational world is my friend because I am friend of its happiness. When these things can be said, then may that country boast of its constitution and government .” – Thomas Paine

And these Trump lovers’ only alternative in 2016 was Hillary Clinton, who, if she had been elected, would be carrying out the same crimes against humanity around the world, and here at home, that Trump is carrying out as I write.

It’s time to face the facts/truth, Mr and Ms America, you (we) are being systematically exterminated, along with the other peoples around the world, who are considered to be unworthy of life/living by the Zionist elite-psychopaths who own and operate your government and its military-industrial-complex:

1) Trump White House preparing sweeping attack on the poor

By Patrick Martin
12 December 2017

The Trump administration is preparing a frontal assault on social programs for the poorest Americans, according to a report published Monday by the Politico web site. This would involve “the most sweeping changes to federal safety net programs in a generation, using legislation and executive actions to target recipients of food stamps, Medicaid and housing benefits,” the web site said.

“The White House is quietly preparing a sweeping executive order that would mandate a top-to-bottom review of the federal programs on which millions of poor Americans rely,” Politico reported. “And GOP lawmakers are in the early stages of crafting legislation that could make it more difficult to qualify for those programs.”

The executive order could be issued as soon as next month. It amounts to a political conspiracy against the poorest sections of the working class involving the White House, the congressional leadership and dozens of state governments, working together to slash spending on programs for the poor through a combination of direct benefit cuts, tightened eligibility standards and mistreatment of vulnerable families to drive as many as possible out of programs on which they now depend.

The Department of Agriculture said last week it would give states greater power to limit eligibility for food stamps, which it administers, by imposing drug testing or tighter work requirements, even though the vast majority of families receiving food stamp benefits have at least one working adult.

Congressional Republican leaders indicated that the attack on domestic social spending would not be limited to means-tested programs such as food stamps and Medicaid, which are available only to low-income families. The broadest entitlement programs, which provide services to all families, regardless of income, will also be targeted.

House Speaker Paul Ryan told a radio interview last week, “We’re going to have to get back next year to entitlement programs.” He singled out health care, pledging not only to repeal Obamacare, an effort that failed earlier this year in the Senate, but to privatize Medicare, which he denounced as “government-run health care.”

Voicing the claim endlessly repeated by Republicans that it hurts poor families to provide them access to adequate medical care or put food on the table for their children, Ryan declared, “We have a welfare system that’s basically trapping people in poverty and effectively paying people not to work.”

Secretary of Agriculture Sonny Perdue sounded the same theme, calling for further cutbacks in the food stamp program, officially titled the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program, or SNAP. “SNAP was created to provide people with the help they need to feed themselves and their families, but it was not intended to be a permanent lifestyle,” Perdue said.

The measures being prepared by the Trump administration and congressional Republicans, behind the backs of the American people, would effectively make the poorest sections of the working class pay for the massive tax cut for the wealthy that is now in the final stages of congressional passage.

Both the House and Senate have named members to participate in a special conference that will combine the different versions of a $1.5 trillion tax cut for the rich that passed the House in November and the Senate last week. All indications are that far from representing a “compromise,” the conference will choose the most reactionary measures from the House and Senate versions to produce a final bill that is substantially worse than either of the separate bills.

Last Thursday, 54 House Republicans sent a letter to the House Republican leadership demanding that they stand firm on the House plan for a full repeal of the estate tax—paid by only 5,500 super-wealthy families—rather than accept the Senate plan, which retains the tax but raises the minimum size of the estate to which it would apply from $22 million to $44 million.

Similarly, Senate Republicans are demanding that the conference committee accept the Senate version’s elimination of the Obamacare tax penalty for those who do not buy health insurance, an action that would destabilize the individual insurance market and leave another 13 million people without health coverage.

The essence of the bill, certain to be retained in whatever version is ultimately adopted, is the lowering of taxes on the earnings of capitalists and the raising of taxes on the earnings of workers. It is class legislation of the most flagrant and reactionary kind. As an analysis of the bill in the New York Times explained, “for the first time since the United States adopted an income tax, a higher rate would be applied to employee wages and salaries than to income earned by proprietors, partnerships and closely held corporations.”

Read More Here:

Source: Trump White House preparing sweeping attack on the poor

Image: http://www.labbrand.com

{Note: check this article out, as well: ‘Not a typo’: Disbelief as Boston Globe confirms median net worth of black Bostonians is $8. And I would venture a guess that white households, in the inner cities and mountains of West Virginia and other struggling states, aren’t much better off.}

2) Amid “full employment,” no recovery in US wages

By Jerry White
11 December 2017

The US jobs report for November, released Friday, provides further evidence that the much vaunted economic “recovery” in the United States has overwhelmingly benefited Wall Street, whose stock bonanza is based above all on stagnant wages and the destruction of working-class living standards.

The Labor Department reported that nonfarm payrolls increased by 228,000 and the jobless rate remained unchanged at 4.1 percent, the lowest level since January 2000 at the height of the “dot.com” bubble. Manufacturing payrolls rose by 31,000; construction in the aftermath of the hurricanes in Texas and Florida added 24,000 jobs. There was also a boost in the low-wage retail (18,700) and leisure and hospitality (14,000) sectors.

Despite what economists, the media and politicians are calling “full employment,” average hourly earnings rose only 0.2 percent, or five cents, to $26.55 an hour, from a downwardly revised 0.1 percent drop in wages in October. Year-to-year wage increases in November were only 64 cents, or 2.5 percent. If wages rise by another nickel in December, yearly salaries will be up a mere 2.4 percent in 2017, barely above the official projected inflation rate of 2.0 percent.

“President Trump’s bold economic vision continues to pay off,” White House Press Secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders boasted on Friday. “The economy’s vital signs are stronger than they have been in years,” the New York Times declared. “Companies are posting jobs faster than they can find workers to fill them. Incomes are rising. The stock market sets records seemingly every month.”

Economic analysts have pointed to anemic wage growth, euphemistically called weak “inflationary pressure,” as a major factor in the determination of the Federal Reserve to continue pumping up the stock market with cheap credit. Although most economists expect a modest interest rate hike at the Fed’s meeting Wednesday, Jerome Powell, President Donald Trump’s nominee to head the Federal Reserve, made clear last month at his Senate confirmation hearing that he would keep rates at historically low levels. At the same time, he assured the senators that there was little danger of a wages push because of continuing “slackness” in the labor market, i.e., an ample supply of workers desperate for full-time employment.

Other analysts agree. “Wage growth has been muted thus far,” especially given the “very healthy pace of job creation,” said Michelle Meyer, head of US economics at Bank of America. “It’s been the story throughout the course of this year.”

Describing November’s wage increase as “tepid,” Carl Riccadonna and Yelena Shulyatyeva of Bloomberg Economics wrote: “Even though job gains are well in excess of the natural growth rate for the labor market, labor scarcity is not yet driving wage pressures higher. The moral of the story from this jobs report is that full employment is indeed much lower in the current cycle relative to history.”

US employers are exploiting a reserve of unemployed and underemployed workers to keep wages low. At the same time, corporations are filling positions with young workers who are paid far lower wages and benefits than the older workers they are replacing.

According to the government, 6.6 million workers in the US remain unemployed, including 1.6 million, or nearly one out of four jobless people, who have been unemployed for 27 weeks or more. Another 4.8 million were forced to work part-time last month although they want full-time work, and 1.8 million were “marginally attached” to the labor force. The latter want to work but did not search for employment in the four weeks preceding the survey and were therefore not counted as “unemployed.”

The labor force participation rate, or share of working-age people in the labor force, remained at 62.7 percent in November. However, just 79 percent of the prime-age work force, aged 25 to 54, is actually working—below the rate before the 2008 financial crash.

The situation facing the young generation is particularly dire. According to the Class of 2017 report by the Economic Policy Institute, the unemployment rate for young high school graduates is 16.9 percent (compared with 15.9 percent in 2007 and 12.1 percent in 2000). For young college graduates, the unemployment rate is currently 5.6 percent (compared with 5.5 percent in 2007 and 4.3 percent in 2000), and 7.1 percent for young male college graduates.

The figures are even higher for “underemployment,” which includes young graduates who are involuntary part-timers or are only marginally attached to the labor force. For young high school graduates, the underemployment rate is 30.9 percent (compared with 26.8 percent in 2007 and 20.8 percent in 2000). For young college graduates, the underemployment rate is 11.9 percent (compared with 9.6 percent in 2007 and 7.1 percent in 2000).

The share of young graduates who are “idled” by the economy—neither enrolled in further schooling nor employed—remains higher in the wake of the Great Recession than in 2007 and 2000, the report noted. This includes 15.1 percent of young high school graduates and 9.9 percent of young college graduates, many of whom are burdened with unsustainable debts.

The stagnation of wages is a long-term tendency. Since the early 1970s, hourly inflation-adjusted wages have grown by only 0.2 percent annually, and labor’s share of national income has fallen from nearly 65 percent in the mid-1970s to below 57 percent in 2017.

The deterioration in the social position of the working class and accompanying explosion of social inequality are not simply the result of objective economic laws. They are the intended outcome of the policies of the American ruling class, implemented by successive Democratic and Republican administrations alike. The transfer of production to lower-wage countries, deindustrialization and mass layoffs in the 1980s and 1990s were used as a hammer to beat back the resistance of workers to a historic lowering of their living standards…

Read More Here:

Source: Amid “full employment,” no recovery in US wages

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