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Gibson writes: What will we look like a year from today? Will we be another Greece, under the control of greedier banks and a crueler government, or will we take our economy back from the banks like Iceland did? The choice isn't up to our politicians- it's up to us. Let's get to work."

Will the anti-austerity protests that swept Europe spread to the US? (photo: Getty Images)
Will the anti-austerity protests that swept Europe spread to the US? (photo: Getty Images)


A 'Grand Bargain' or a Grand Uprising?

By Carl Gibson, Reader Supported News

14 November 12


Reader Supported News | Perspectice

 

o you like word games? Here's one: in the next paragraph, replace the word "Greek" with "American."

In the Greek economy, international banks own the debt-based currency and most of the debt, which means endless bailouts from the government to prop up those banks whenever they piss away the last bailout. To pay for the bailout, the Greek government demands endless cuts from Greek public services. This can only lead to thousands of Greeks out of work, putting thousands of Greeks into the streets. This could all be avoided if the Greeks simply controlled their currency, punished the bankers, and drafted a new constitution that establishes Greek sovereignty over banks.

Right now in America, the Federal Reserve is buying up $40 billion a month in worthless mortgage-backed securities during what is known as QE3. In layman's terms, this means that a private banking cartel that owns our currency, unaccountable to any government agency, is forking over $40 billion a month to the same Wall Street bankers that wrecked our economy with risky bets on imaginary financial instruments.

While this great robbery is happening, President Obama and Congress are preparing to sell us a "Grand Bargain" in January that will ask us to give up more of our already meager Social Security and Medicare benefits, to avoid a manufactured "fiscal cliff" that doesn't even really exist in the first place. The only difference between Americans and Greeks right now is that the Greeks have turned their streets into war zones to protest the aforementioned injustices, while we're all watching the NFL.

Here's the real truth: Social Security has nothing to do with the deficit, and simply raising the pay-in cap to $250,000 would make Social Security solvent for another 75 years. If our politicians really cared about our deficit, they wouldn't cut Medicare, but rather change it into a single-payer health care system, which would drastically cut costs for both sick people and the government by up to $1.1 trillion a decade.

But the truth is that even after this last election, too many members of Congress are too busy pandering to the rich to let the facts deter them. Speaker John Boehner said he would consider closing tax loopholes and ending deductions, but only if it was done to lower tax rates for the wealthy even further, meaning no new revenue would be gained. And President Obama might even appoint Erskine Bowles as Treasury Secretary - the same Erskine Bowles who co-chaired Obama's deficit-reduction panel that recommended austerity for the poor and protection for the rich.

The Greek situation will be our situation soon if we leave our politicians to their own devices like we did after November of 2008. Now is the time to make clear demands of our government, both big and small. This means letting the Bush tax cuts for the wealthy expire, closing loopholes that allow corporations to offshore profits tax-free, instituting a 3-cent financial transaction tax on risky Wall Street bets, and new top tax brackets for incomes of $1 million, $10 million, $100 million, and $1 billion, at rates reminiscent of the Eisenhower years. But these are the small solutions that still won't loosen the bankers' iron grip on our economy and society.

By the end of next year, the people must demand, by an overwhelming consensus, that we wrest control of our money supply from the bankers, jail the financiers responsible for this crisis, and ensure that the nation's money supply will always be owned by the people and not private banks. Iceland did just that, and their economy is doing great. We can do something similar by repealing the McFadden-Pepper Act of 1927 (page 181 of this document), which allowed for indeterminate charters for Federal Reserve banks, followed by Congress nationalizing the existing Federal Reserve banks and owning our currency through public banking. We also have to renew the Glass-Steagall Act of 1932 and draw a line between banks that hold our checking accounts and negotiate our mortgages, and investment banks that make risky bets on Wall Street.

Iceland did something similar: when the banks defaulted on $85 billion in debt and tried telling the people they needed a bailout that had to come at the cost of people's jobs and pensions, Icelanders took to the streets and elected a government that jailed bankers and hunted down the ones who fled. Now, their banks have forgiven citizens' debt totaling up to 13% of national GDP, their economy has outgrown most of the developed world, and their citizens just voted to make their new constitution that everyone helped write with the help of social media, the basis for the country's new constitution.

What will we look like a year from today? Will we be another Greece, under the control of greedier banks and a crueler government, or will we take our economy back from the banks like Iceland did? The choice isn't up to our politicians - it's up to us. Let's get to work.



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+35 # iceeque 2012-11-14 22:22
And work it will be if it is even possible in this country to educate and mobilize enough people to force this. It seems we are too much of a reactionary populace at this point.
 
 
-64 # Robt Eagle 2012-11-14 22:37
Grandeous!!! Iceland is miniscule compared to the US. America needs to do serious reform starting with impeaching Obama for treason and getting him out of the White House. Benghazi and the Obama cover up is just the tip of an iceberg of illegality by Obama and his administration.
 
 
+21 # dkonstruction 2012-11-15 08:26
Quoting Robt Eagle:
Grandeous!!! Iceland is miniscule compared to the US. America needs to do serious reform starting with impeaching Obama for treason and getting him out of the White House. Benghazi and the Obama cover up is just the tip of an iceberg of illegality by Obama and his administration.


Ok...how about Argentina (can't dismiss them or their economy as "miniscule"). They defaulted on their debt as well and far from bringing down the sky or bringing on the biblical apocalypse it led to Argentina dramatically increasing its economic growth rate and due to the savings (on debt payments) led to significant re-investment in the country which dramatically lowered unemployment and raised incomes/standar d of living for million at the bottom.

In fact, strategic default is precisely what the head of the Public Banking Institute has said that US cities (that were screwed/conned by banks into buying "swaps") should do. See the link to his (Mike Krauss) speech/testimon y in this great piece by Ellen Brown (which also speaks to the need for publicly owned financial institutions in this country and which should be part of any "grand bargain" as this is key to taking back control of our financial system.
 
 
-10 # dick 2012-11-15 00:22
Some real stretching & hyperbole here? Too much alleged but not adequately supported in this particular version? We need to see one topic at a time, adequately documented, along with evaluation of counter arguments. Maybe this got over edited?
 
 
+33 # RMDC 2012-11-15 02:33
This is very good. The Grand Bargain will be a grand screw job for the 99%. Why does the model of Iceland or Argentina not get more press. It worked. The corrupt banks and thier fraudulent loans and finance schemes got punished and lost money. Here in the US and in Europe, the banks are simply looting whole nations with the support of their governments.
 
 
+11 # wantrealdemocracy 2012-11-15 07:36
You bet Obama's Grand Bargain is a gift to his paymasters and a screw job for us. We must get out on the streets during the lamb duck Congress and with a general strike DEMAND a 1% sales tax on all transactions on the stock market. The problem is not really the banksters but the corrupt government. We must scare the bleep out of those 'honored' members of that ethically challenged group of lackeys of the top 1%. These are the people who vote our funds for Israel to attack Gaza. It is our duty as human beings with some moral values to stand up and say, "No more, you bastards! We will not allow this to continue!"
 
 
+5 # Doubter 2012-11-15 14:39
"The problem is not really the banksters but the corrupt government"

Well yes, but who OWNS the gov't? Not you or me. (maybe a little bankster here and there..?)
 
 
+2 # NOMINAE 2012-11-16 04:27
Quoting RMDC:
......... Why does the model of Iceland or Argentina not get more press. It worked.....


Great observation, and you have nicely answered you own question in the above.
 
 
-15 # Vern Radul 2012-11-15 03:17
This what obama supporters approved and voted for.

Along with his murdering of innocent children in Pakistan and Afghanistan, and his material support of the terrorists attacking civilians in Gaza, and now his economic terrorism against Americans.

The President of the United States is a terrorist. As is the Israeli Prime Minister.

Anyone who voted for and is supporting the President of the United States is a terrorist sympathizer and supporter.
 
 
+3 # bmiluski 2012-11-15 09:15
Don't you neo-cons ever get bored with that same old rhetoric. We were called terrorist sympathizers and supporters when we dared to support President Obama when he ran for his first election.
 
 
-6 # Vern Radul 2012-11-15 09:29
Well, you were. Sorry you don't like to hear the truth.

It could be worse though.

If Romney had been elected obama's supporters would have to spend four years pretending all over again to be opposed to imperial wars, murder of innocent kids around the world with hellfire missiles, global US Govt. state sponsored terrorism, huge handouts being shoveled out the Treasuries door for insurance CEO's and wall street, corporate ownership of a puppet in the oval office, torture of American prisoners in American prisons, etc., etc., and all the other bullsh*t obama has been getting away with so effortlessly that neither romney nor any other republican would ever have a hope in hell of putting over on people without every "democrat"(sic) screaming for impeachment for 4 years.
 
 
+5 # dbriz 2012-11-15 12:19
Quoting bmiluski:
Don't you neo-cons ever get bored with that same old rhetoric. We were called terrorist sympathizers and supporters when we dared to support President Obama when he ran for his first election.


Antemedius has clearly made the point that he is opposed to innocents dying in AfPak.

How does this make him a "neo-con" pray tell us?

Do you support the WOT?

Do you support the use of drones?

Do you support the current CIA/MIC actions ongoing in Libya, Syria and elsewhere in the Mideast?

Your answers please. Let us find out who is and isn't a "neo-con".
 
 
+1 # Doubter 2012-11-15 14:41
It's called "The lesser of two evils."
 
 
0 # golferdawn 2012-11-17 11:34
OMG, you are either educationally challenged or a total liar - the Republicans have always and forever supported Israel. Where were you when they were running Obama down for not being on Bibi's side?
 
 
+8 # lobdillj 2012-11-15 03:48
This sounds good, but I am always leery of articles that speak of what "we must demand". What do we do...just put out foot down? The articles make demanding seem so easy, but it is anything but easy.

I've been searching for a way to do it peacefully for years and haven't found the way. Please tell us how to do it.
 
 
+11 # jpena16 2012-11-15 04:48
O LOVE THIS ARTICLE ! LET"SS DO IT !
 
 
+20 # walt 2012-11-15 05:11
While many of us may be rejoicing that we won't have a Republican president, there remain grave concerns about Mr. Obama. In his first four years we saw a president who remained very comfortable with Wall Street and banks while even appointing many of the problem makers to official positions.

President Obama needs to break away from these money powers and act for the people who just saved gave him the "four more years" he asked us for.

Anything less than a stand for the people would be totally unacceptable. What Iceland did is definitely worth pursuing.
 
 
+12 # MidwestTom 2012-11-15 05:39
Head banker thief, Jon Corzine, sis still walking the streets a free man after stealing $1.6 billion of customers money to gamble with, and depositing $200 million in his Swiss bank according , to his testimony, but don't look for this administration to do anything that might disturb Wall Street. Remember they earlier this year doubled the "too big to fail" list. This guarantees the bankers they can gamble in derivatives and keep their million dollar bonuses without fear.
 
 
-8 # Robt Eagle 2012-11-15 10:18
MT, Corzine supported Obama, so he has no fear of retribution. Eric Holder and the DOJ will somehow let him slide. If you are in the favored Obama cliche, no worries...
 
 
+7 # wrknight 2012-11-15 05:57
While I am not defending the bankers, I must correct the statement that the Fed is totally unaccountable to anyone. It is true that the Fed has a great deal of independence including having its own source of funds, but the Fed is chartered by Congress which, at any time, can change the its charter. Similarly, each of the seven members of the Board of Governors are appointed by the U.S. President and confirmed by the Senate. While each of the Governors are appointed to a single, non-renewable, 14 year term, few serve out the full term so that the turn over of Governors is more frequent. The chairman (who is one of the Governors) is appointed by the President and confirmed by the Senate for a renewable 4 year term.

Bear in mind also that the Fed is the third central bank in the history of the U.S. and like the first two, the Fed can be dissolved by Congress.

So while the Fed does have a great deal of independence, it actually does have some accountability to the Government.
 
 
+13 # thekidde 2012-11-15 06:12
Thos. Jefferson warned about banks controlling our money. Stop the Fed, take back our currency, disolve the banksters hold on the world's economies.
 
 
+12 # Texas Aggie 2012-11-15 08:48
He along with many others also warned about government by corporations.
 
 
+11 # Vern Radul 2012-11-15 06:44
If Wall Street gets control of Social Security from Obama's machinations you know what will happen to it.

They will bleed it dry, then arrange another "crash".

And you know who the bailout money Obama will hand them will come from.

Forget cat food. Get used to no food.
 
 
0 # bmiluski 2012-11-15 09:19
You neo-cons absolutely strike me with awe. It was the republican gwbush who wanted to turn the Social Security over to Wall St. It's the republican romney who talked about privatizing Social Security yet.....you have the balls to accuse President Obama (who fought against privatization of SS).
 
 
+2 # Vern Radul 2012-11-15 12:54
Bob Woodward:
............
"This is a confidential document, last offer the president -- the White House made last year to Speaker Boehner to try to reach this $4 trillion grand bargain.... what it shows is a willingness to cut all kinds of things, like TRICARE, which is the sacred health insurance program for the military, for military retirees; to cut Social Security; to cut Medicare."

Document here: http://presspass.nbcnews.com/_news/2012/11/11/15089281-white-house-grand-bargain-offer-to-speaker-boehner-obtained-by-bob-woodward

...............

Barack Obama, October 24, 2012:

Obama laid out an astoundingly ambitious second-term agenda in an interview published Wednesday...

"It will probably be messy. It won't be pleasant," Obama told the Des Moines Register's publisher and its editor by telephone. The daily made the exchange public after the White House dropped its insistence that it be off-the-record.
...
"I am absolutely confident that we can get what is the equivalent of the grand bargain that essentially I've been offering to the Republicans for a very long time...

"We can easily meet—'easily' is the wrong word—we can credibly meet the target that the Bowles-Simpson Commission established of $4 trillion in deficit reduction, and even more in the out-years...

http://news.yahoo.com/blogs/ticket/obama-vows-debt-cutting-grand-bargain-immigration-reform-142348400--election.html
 
 
+4 # dbriz 2012-11-15 14:53
This the second time on this thread you have accused Antemedius of being a "neo-con"

Do you support the WOT?

Do you support the use of drones?

Do support the current CIA/MIC ongoing operations in Libya, Syria and elsewhere in the Mideast?

What does Social Security have to do with the "neo-con" agenda?

Answers please.
 
 
+12 # lysechrist 2012-11-15 07:18
Where do we, the people, start - after we, the people, repeal the McFadden Pepper Act and renew the Glass-Stegal Act? And, how do we, the people, go about repealing and renewing acts? We certainly can't depend on Congress to do that because they're in bed with the people who will benefit from keeping the status quo.
 
 
+7 # Vern Radul 2012-11-15 07:23
It's worse than you think.

........................
Spire Law Group, LLP’s national home owners’ lawsuit, pending in the venue where the “Banksters” control their $43 trillion racketeering scheme (New York) – known as the largest money laundering and racketeering lawsuit in United States History and identifying $43 trillion ($43,000,000,00 0,000.00) of laundered money by the “Banksters” and their U.S. racketeering partners and joint venturers – now pinpoints the identities of the key racketeering partners of the “Banksters” located in the highest offices of government and acting for their own self-interests.

In connection with the federal lawsuit now impending in the United States District Court in Brooklyn, New York (Case No. 12-cv-04269-JBW -RML) – involving, among other things, a request that the District Court enjoin all mortgage foreclosures by the Banksters nationwide, unless and until the entire $43 trillion is repaid to a court-appointed receiver – Plaintiffs now establish the location of the $43 trillion ($43,000,000,00 0,000.00) of laundered money in a racketeering enterprise participated in by the following individuals (without limitation): Attorney General Holder... Timothy Geithner, Treasury Secretary... Robert Bauer (...Chief Legal Counsel for the Obama Re-election Campaign), as well as the "Banksters" themselves...

http://antemedius.com/content/spire-law-groups-racketeering-and-money-laundering-lawsuit-seeks-return-43-trillion-united-s
 
 
+7 # dkonstruction 2012-11-15 08:34
Thanks for the post Antemedius...ha dn't heard about this one before...doubt it will go anywhere but good to see at least someone is pushing...since they're using (at least in part) RICO we should be demanding (as the gov't has done in other RICO prosecutions) the seizure of the assets (rather than merely repayment) and turning the criminal financial institutions into publicly owned financial "utilities".

thanks again for the post and the information.
 
 
+10 # Big Jake 2012-11-15 09:41
Most fail to grasp the very concept of money or the difference between an honest money system and the one we now have.
The Greek debt is totally comprised of hypothecated money---created out of thin air. The sort term solution for Greece and others similarly situated is quite simple. REPUDIATE THE DEBT

Greece has the physical capacity to have its own economy and could come to understand how to manage it. The notion of impoverishing your own people to satisfy an elite who are once again plundering the world will have to be faced up to. Our own nation will eventually have to do the same. Our Founder's set down the principle for a sound money system knowing that if not established the same players would impoverish us just like Europe. We have a period that illuminates the pathway---1942- 1952. If we examine that closely, we will discover how to run our economy with liberty and justice for all and without an oppressive hand of government to step on our necks.
 
 
+10 # 4yourinformation 2012-11-15 09:58
This is one of the best descriptions I've seen so far that encompasses all of the key elements of the problem. Private ownership of the debt/currency must be revoked and public ownership/contr ol can solve the debt issue once and for all.
This whole "fiscal cliff" nonsense is pure fabrication. A pretext for ending the social safety net.

Iceland are total rock stars in my book.

We must take the same attitude an exert bold policies.
 
 
+2 # DRPJJ 2012-11-15 18:14
Having become all fired up and burned out about the election, the propaganda AND the blame continues,but the populace has returned to its complacency. While it is acknowledged there was no MANDATE, the expectation is that OB and the rest of the government will accept the premise that the people want what OB was selling. That includes keeping Social Security which any fool has to know was working until it was hijacked BECAUSE it had a surplus. So now just raise the cap, and with returning workers there can be no claim that it is a drain on the budget. Having paid into it since I was 14, I do NOT consider it an
"entitlement" which has come to mean welfare queens living off the government, but entitled because its my money. Medicare needs just a single payer option to take the insurance and drug companies out of the equation. Reagan PROVED that trickle down DOESN'T WORK, so why do the republicans insist that it is the rich that produce jobs. How is it that during Bush years the only money made was by the banks and CEO's that took their excessive profits off shore and paid no taxes. Even the bank bail-outs only paid for the golden parachutes of ceo's as they bankrupted their companies. Why shouldn't those that are benefiting from the largess of this great country pay for its success not just their own. Taxing the poor does nothing for the economy. Even the 1% of the 1% being taxed would make a significant difference, and they wouldn't even feel it.
 
 
+3 # mdhome 2012-11-15 22:02
Here's the real truth: Social Security has nothing to do with the deficit, and simply raising the pay-in cap to $250,000 would make Social Security solvent for another 75 years. If our politicians really cared about our deficit, they wouldn't cut Medicare, but rather change it into a single-payer health care system, which would drastically cut costs for both sick people and the government by up to $1.1 trillion a decade.
 
 
0 # lobdillj 2012-11-16 07:52
#mdhome

I couldn't agree more!!
 
 
+2 # Salus Populi 2012-11-16 20:42
Why stop at 250k? Remove the cap altogether, as well as its restriction to earned wages. If some hedge fund bankaneer manages to make a couple hundred million through some deferred interest quasi-legal shenanigans, take 12 per cent of it out and put it in the SS kitty. Likewise with CEO stock bonuses, stock trading profits, _et al._ If the cap were removed altogether, both on amount and type of income, the SS would still be a regressive tax, but not nearly as much as it is now, when a financi-terrori st like Romney can not only pay 13 per cent or less on his 'declared' income, but pay, if anything at all, maybe one-thousandth of one per cent in FICA taxes, about enough to pay the minimum wage of his horse groomer for a couple of hours.
 

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