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Today's LUV News: 24 September, 2013

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  • scotpeden
    Another good LUV news edition, with graphics should be available here:
    Message 1 of 1 , Sep 24, 2013
      Another good LUV news edition, with graphics should be available here:
      <http://clearingthefogradio.org/protesting-the-tpp-fake-left-of-crossfire-on-cnn-no-food-for-the-poor-and-austerity-lies/>

      <http://clearingthefogradio.org/>

      Also, for anyone whose ever heard or read the Corporate media's 'news' and
      been confused by their definition of left, as it is usually far to the
      right of most of us, here's a link explaining the shell game.
      <http://luvnews.info/Spectrum.htm>

      Links to get your own, in color copy of LUV News every morning are at the
      bottom.

      Scott
      --------------------------------------------------------------------------

      *PROTESTING THE TPP


      *
      **

      *"The world needs to 'wake up before it is too late' and usher in a
      paradigm shift in agriculture that moves away from industrial
      agriculture in favor of 'mosaics of sustainable regenerative production
      system' that favor small-scale farmers and local food production, a new
      report from a UN body states.

      "However, the call from the UN Conference on Trade and Development
      (UNCTAD) flies in the face of the goals laid out by trade deals now
      being negotiated including the secretive Trans Pacific Partnership
      [TPP]," begins apiece at /Common Dreams/
      <http://www.commondreams.org/headline/2013/09/23-5> this morning.
      *

      *One more reason to oppose the TPP. And, although corporate media
      aren't going to divulge that there's anything amiss in the agreement, or
      that there's outrage against the plan by those among the public who
      understand what it's all about, yesterday protesters took over the US
      Trade Representative building to expose the secret negotiations
      <http://www.popularresistance.org/protesters-take-over-us-trade-rep-building-expose-secret-negotiations/>.****You
      will not see this in mainstream press outside of Washington, where it
      can't be hidden.*

      ------------------------------------------------------------------------
      *A FAKE LEFTIST IN A FAKE DEBATE


      *
      **

      */CNN/ is presenting another Obama insider, Stephanie Cutter, as "from
      the left," in its pretense of offering "opposing views" on its
      /Crossfire/ program, which pits center-right debaters against right
      wingers in an elaborate shell game. Fairness and Accuracy in
      Reporting**(FAIR) **has an action against this in which you may
      participate, here
      <http://fair.org/take-action/action-alerts/cnns-conflicted-leftist/>.
      *

      *Real leftists are not allowed on TV in the Land of the Free, and
      /CNN/'s "leftist," Cutter, even disparages them in FAIR's report. The
      American political spectrum cuts out the left, replacing it with the
      centrist "liberal" as we show here <http://luvnews.info/Spectrum.htm>.
      This allows no meaningful criticism of capitalism in mainstream media,
      even as wealth disparity expands into third world-like extremes.*

      ------------------------------------------------------------------------
      **
      ------------------------------------------------------------------------

      **President Obama keeps pushing Republicans to accept a "grand bargain"
      in which Social Security and Medicare benefits are reduced for the many,
      in what he calls "deficit reduction." Always, the reductions are for
      the poor and working classes, with the wealthy taking everything not
      nailed down for themselves through privatized government.
      **

      **In the following piece, Dean Baker shows that Social Security and
      Medicare are not a problem, it is all fabricated by Obama's
      administration and their corporate media echoes --Jack Balkwill**


      The Media's Complicity in Cutting Social Security and Medicare
      <http://www.commondreams.org/view/2013/09/23-7>


      US media outlets are disingenuously claiming that social programs
      are putting Americans in debt.


      *by Dean Baker*

      *Most people in the United States have probably heard about the Wall
      Street efforts to cut Social Security and Medicare. There is a vast list
      of organisations such as Campaign to Fix the Debt, the Can Kicks Back,
      Third Way, and many more that have, as a central agenda item, cutting
      back or privatising Social Security and Medicare. When we hear one of
      these organisations tell us these programmes should be cut it is not a
      surprise.*

      *The question is why do mainstream news outlets including the /New York
      Times/
      <http://www.nytimes.com/2013/09/18/us/congressional-budget-office-predicts-unsustainable-debt.html>
      and /Washington Post/
      <http://www.washingtonpost.com/business/congressional-budget-office-study-warns-of-long-term-debt-woes-in-united-states/2013/09/17/e439caee-1fa1-11e3-9ad0-96244100e647_story.html>
      use their news sections to tell the same stories? Last week, when the
      Congressional Budget Office (CBO) issued new long-range budget
      projections, both papers were quick to ignore the numbers and to tell
      readers that we have to cut Social Security and Medicare.*

      *The reason why this coverage was so bizarre is that it is not news that
      Social Security and Medicare will cost more in the decades ahead. We
      actually have known about the rising cost of these programmes for about
      50 years. The birth of a huge number of baby boomers in the years 1946
      to 1964 pretty much guaranteed this outcome - barring a horrible war,
      famine or epidemic.*

      *While the aging of the baby boomers may not have qualified as news,
      there was actually important news in the CBO projections that went
      unmentioned in both newspapers. The CBO sharply lowered its projections
      for health care cost growth, meaning that Medicare, Medicaid, and other
      government health care programmes are now projected to cost much less in
      the decades ahead than had been assumed in prior years.*

      **Gargantuan savings**

      *This change is substantial. The new projections
      <http://www.cbo.gov/sites/default/files/cbofiles/attachments/44521-LTBOSuppData.xlsx>
      show that spending on Medicare will be equal to 4.6 percent of GDP in
      2035. By comparison, last year, the CBO projected
      <http://www.cbo.gov/sites/default/files/cbofiles/attachments/43288-LTBOSuppTables_0.xls>
      that the cost in 2035 would be 5.7 percent of GDP. Just two years ago,
      it had projected <http://www.cbo.gov/publication/41486> that Medicare
      would cost 5.9 percent of GDP in 2035.*

      *The difference of 1.3 percentage points of GDP between the 2011
      projection of Medicare costs and the most recent numbers would translate
      into almost $220 billion a year in today's economy. In other words, this
      is a big deal. The change in the CBO's projections of healthcare costs
      certainly comes closer to standard definitions of "news" than the aging
      of the baby boomers.*

      *However, there is more than a question of newsworthiness here. Both
      papers harped on the idea that Social Security and Medicare needed to be
      cut in order to bring the budget into long-term balance. Cuts to these
      programmes are usually put in the context of a "grand bargain" which
      would also involve some increase in taxes.*

      *The CBO projections imply a substantial cut in spending on Medicare. In
      today's economy, the new projections would imply roughly $2,600 less in
      spending per year on each beneficiary, or a reduction in spending of
      $5,200 on a senior couple. This is for an age group with a median cash
      income of a little more than $20,000 a year.*

      *By comparison, we heard endless sob stories about how the ending of the
      Bush tax cuts would hurt higher income people. For a couple with an
      income of $500,000 a year, the tax increases put into effect at the end
      of last year would translate into a tax increase of roughly $3,000.*

      *If we had crafted a grand bargain three years ago, would anyone have
      suggested cuts in Medicare and Social Security that would have cost a
      typical senior couple more than $5,200 a year? In other words, the new
      CBO projections might imply that much of any needed cuts in spending on
      seniors have already been accomplished.*

      *It's true that the lower projections are based on lower projected cost
      growth and not a reduction in services, but it's difficult to see why
      this would matter. There is an enormous amount of waste in our health
      care system which leads us to spend more than twice as much per person
      as the average for other wealthy countries. Do the grand bargainers have
      a scorecard where we only count cuts that lead to inferior care for
      elderly people, as opposed to the elimination of waste?*

      *Turning to the revenue side of the picture, the new projections are
      striking in the extent to which they show the long-term problem is
      really a lack of revenue story. In the late 1990s, the CBO projected
      <http://www.cbo.gov/publication/12057> that revenue would average 21.1
      percent of GDP into the indefinite future. If revenue were actually at
      this level, the new projections show that the primary budget would be in
      surplus for almost two decades, and the debt-to-GDP ratio would be
      falling sharply.*

      *The take away from these projections is that, if we had tax rates
      comparable to those of the 1990s, then the budget would pose no problem
      whatsoever long into the future. Even with current tax rates, the
      deficit is a relatively distant and minor problem. Unfortunately, the
      papers have endless space to tout the Wall Street agenda for the need to
      cut Social Security and Medicare. They seem to have no space whatsoever
      for discussing stimulus, a lower-valued dollar, or work-sharing - the
      policies that would address the real world crisis of mass unemployment.*

      ********

      ***http://www.commondreams.org/view/2013/09/23-7*

      ------------------------------------------------------------------------

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