$1,084,840,000,000: Taxes Set Record Through January; $7,133 Per Worker; Feds Still Run Deficit of $156,939,000,000

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By Terence P. Jeffrey

(CNSNews.com) – The U.S. Treasury hauled in a record of approximately $1,084,840,000,000 in tax revenues in the first four months of fiscal 2017 (Oct. 1, 2016 through Jan. 31, 2017), according to the Monthly Treasury Statement released today.

That is up about $5,616,000,000 in constant 2016 dollars from the approximately $1,079,224,000,000 in constant 2016 dollars that the Treasury collected in the first four months of fiscal 2016.

Tax revenues from previous years, as reported in the Monthly Treasury Statement for January of each year, were adjusted to 2016 dollars using the Bureau of Labor Statistics Inflation Calculator.

Despite collecting a record $1,084,840,000,000 in tax revenues in the first four months of this fiscal year, the federal government turned around and spent $1,241,780,000,000 in those same four months—and ended up running a deficit of $156,939,000,000.

In January alone, the Treasury collected approximately $344,069,000,000 in tax revenues.

The largest portion of the $1,084,840,000,000 in federal tax revenues in the first four months of this fiscal year came from the individual income tax, which yielded approximately $550,068,000,000.

The second largest portion came from Social Security and other payroll taxes, which brought in approximately $361,887,000,000.

The income taxes collected from corporations in the United States in the first four months of the fiscal year ($84,877,000,000) amounted to more than 7 times as much as the customs duties collected on foreign imports brought into the country ($11,779,000,000).

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, there were 152,081,000 people employed in the United States in January. That means that the record $1,084,840,000,000 in taxes the federal government collected in the first four months of the fiscal year equaled about $7,133 per worker.

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Jorge Ramos: ‘I no longer recognize this country’

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By Jorge Ramos

I’ve always publicly acknowledged that the United States gave me opportunities that Mexico, my country of origin, did not. But decades after I arrived here, the anti-immigrant rhetoric being turned into policy under Donald Trump has made me realize that I just don’t recognize this country anymore.

In the early 1980s, moving to the U.S. meant that I could speak freely. As a journalist in Mexico, I was censored. Moreover, the U.S. provided me with a job and economic opportunities that I couldn’t have found anywhere else. With boundless generosity, America protected me and granted me the same rights as any other citizen, even though I was an immigrant. I work here. I vote here. My children were born here.

All I want is for new immigrants to enjoy the same opportunities that I—and millions of others throughout American history—have received. But for the moment, Trump is making that impossible.

A couple of days after the president signed an executive order announcing that a wall would be built along the Mexican border, he issued a directive that radically changes deportation priorities in this country. Now, anyone who “committed acts that constitute a chargeable criminal offense” may be deported, even if they were never convicted. Also, immigrants who have committed “fraud … before a government agency” are to be deported as well — which presumably applies to any noncitizen who has ever used a fake driver’s license or made up a Social Security number in order to work.

Translation: Deporting almost all of the 11 million undocumented immigrants living in the U.S. is now a priority. If this is truly the case, will there soon be widespread raids on homes or workplaces? This executive order makes it seem that anyone who is deemed deportable by an immigration officer is at risk.

And Trump—who aspires to be like President Ronald Reagan — refuses to even consider granting undocumented residents a path to citizenship. Since Republicans control both the House and the Senate, Trump could easily push to give immigrants a chance to stay in the U.S. But he won’t. In 1986, Reagan, recognizing the contributions of immigrants, and with the greater good of the country in mind, granted amnesty to about 3 million undocumented people. But Trump would rather expel them.

The president’s xenophobia isn’t limited to Mexicans. In his first days in office, Trump also signed an executive order banning refugees from being admitted into the country for 120 days, and anyone from seven countries — Iraq, Iran, Libya, Syria, Sudan, Somalia and Yemen—from entering for three months. Trump, who partly campaigned on a promise to ban Muslims from entering the U.S., has said that this ban isn’t based on religion. But it’s no secret that these seven nations have a Muslim majority, and that innocent Muslims with no connections to terror networks will be most harmed.

Nobody wants to be a victim of terror. But we must remember that no citizen from the seven countries included in Trump’s ban has participated in a recent terror attack against the U.S. Most of the 19 terrorists who carried out the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks were from Saudi Arabia; the brothers who carried out the Boston Marathon bombings were from Chechnya; and the husband and wife behind the shooting deaths of 14 people in San Bernardino, California, were from the U.S. and Pakistan.

I came to the U.S. in 1983. If Reagan had crafted an arbitrary ban similar to Trump’s and included Mexico, I wouldn’t be here, all on account of an unjust decision. People from those seven countries are being arbitrarily punished, along with refugees from the rest of the world. They are being discriminated against merely because they were born in the wrong country.

As the old saying goes, powerful nations are judged not by how they treat the rich and influential, but by their solidarity with the weak and vulnerable. The U.S. had a rich and storied history of accepting and supporting immigrants with open arms—until Trump arrived.

It’s bizarre that a man who is the son of a Scottish mother, the grandson of a German immigrant and the husband of a Slovenian woman would spout such anti-immigrant rhetoric.

No, some days I don’t recognize the country that has helped me so much.

Bernie Sanders Won’t Call Donald Trump A Legitimate President

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The Illuminati is getting desperate. All of their previous attempts to stop Donald Trump have failed & they are now resorting to “delegitimizing” the highest respected office in world history. This is everyday becoming more alarming.
Matthew Oldfield

He said Russian Hacking, Drink Up.
ThePureVeritas

fuck off bernie
Ultrajamz

What a little cry baby, the cuck would have considered hillary legit? She cheated him..
toddjon stevenson

Go live in Venezuela you chump😎 See you back here tomorrow with your tail between your legs Okay it’s now racist to doubt Obama’s birthplace…. because he’s black ofcourse Barry Soetoro or Obama’s birth certificate was first doubted by Hillary The Don finished it…. by getting the forged one to be produced, he finished it
Jrion

Bernie actually asking Trump to send out a tweet, that’s just fucking hilarious.

GENERATION SNOWFLAKE: PERCENTAGE OF YOUNG ADULTS LIVING WITH THEIR PARENTS HASN’T BEEN THIS HIGH SINCE 1940

According to the Wall Street Journal, the percentage of Americans in the 18 to 34-year-old age bracket that are currently living with their parents hasn’t been this high in 75 years

Michael Snyder | Economic CollapseDECEMBER 22, 2016

Have we failed this generation of young adults by not equipping them to be able to handle the harsh realities of the real world? 

According to the Wall Street Journal, the percentage of Americans in the 18 to 34-year-old age bracket that are currently living with their parents hasn’t been this high in 75 years.  At this point nearly 40 percent of our young adults in that age range are living at home, and many are concerned that this could have some alarming implications for the future of our nation.

In the United States today, more than 60 million people live in multi-generational households, and it is a good thing to have a tight family.  But at some point young adults need to learn how to live their own independent lives, and in millions of cases this independence is being delayed or is never happening at all.

There are many factors involved in this trend.  First of all, there is truly a lack of good jobs despite what we are being told about an “economic recovery”.  Millions of young adults are graduating from college only to discover that there is a very limited number of good jobs available for our college graduates.  So some college graduates are able to secure the types of jobs that they were hoping for, but millions of others are not.

Normally when a recession ends, the percentage of young adults living with their parents starts to go back down.  But this has not happened this time around.  Instead, the percentage of young adults that live at home has just continued to rise

The trend runs counter to that of previous economic cycles, when after a recession-related spike, the number of younger Americans living with relatives declined as the economy improved.

The result is that there is far less demand for housing than would be expected for the millennial generation, now the largest in U.S. history. The number of adults under age 30 has increased by 5 million over the last decade, but the number of households for that age group grew by just 200,000 over the same period, according to the Harvard Joint Center for Housing Studies.

Another major factor in all of this is the fact that Americans are getting married later in life than ever before and they are having fewer kids than previous generations.

In the old days, people got married young and they set up their own households even if they were dirt poor.  But these days we have hordes of single young adults that are perfectly content to sit at home and sponge off of Mommy and Daddy.

There seems to be a real lack of toughness to this generation of young adults, and many that have perceived this lack of toughness have resorted to referring to them as “Generation Snowflake”.  Over the past 12 months this term has become so common that the Guardian has dubbed it “the defining insult of 2016″…

Until very recently, to call someone a snowflake would have involved the word “generation”, too, as it was typically used to describe, or insult, a person in their late teens or early 20s. At the start of November, the Collins English Dictionary added “snowflake generation” to its words of the year list, where it sits alongside other vogue-ish new additions such as “Brexit” and “hygge”. The Collins definition is as follows: “The young adults of the 2010s, viewed as being less resilient and more prone to taking offence than previous generations”. Depending on what you read, being part of the “snowflake generation” may be as benign as taking selfies or talking about feelings too much, or it may infer a sense of entitlement, an untamed narcissism, or a form of identity politics that is resistant to free speech.

The phrase came to prominence in the UK at the beginning of 2016, after Claire Fox, director of the thinktank Institute of Ideas, used it in her book I Find That Offensive to address a generation of young people whom she calls “easily offended and thin-skinned”.

Of course there are exceptions.  I have some close friends that are young adults in this age range, and they are extraordinary people.

But overall, we seem to have dramatically failed this generation.  Maybe it is because we tend to baby our children from a very early age, and we want to protect them from danger so much that we never allow them to be exposed to the challenges that they need to face in order to toughen up and mature.

And it certainly doesn’t help that many of our young adults enter “the real world” already drowning in tens of thousands of dollars of debt.  According to CNN, about 70 percent of all college graduates in the U.S. will leave school with student loan debt, and the average loan balance for those college graduates is approximately $28,950.  Paying off student loan debt can be extremely painful, and it can be financially crippling for young people that are just trying to start their new lives.

When our high school kids are looking toward the future, we very much encourage them to go to the very best schools that they can possibly get into, and we tell them to not even worry about the cost.  We promise them that there will be plenty of good jobs once they graduate, and we push them into these loans without even warning them to consider the future implications.

According to a stunning article in the Wall Street Journal, many Baby Boomers are actually having money taken out of their Social Security checks because of unpaid student loans.  So when you go into student loan debt, it can literally haunt you for the rest of your life…

The government has collected about $1.1 billion from Social Security recipients of all ages to go toward unpaid student loans since 2001, including $171 million last year, the Government Accountability Office said Tuesday. Most affected recipients in fiscal year 2015—114,000—were age 50 or older and receiving disability benefits, with the typical borrower losing about $140 a month. About 38,000 were above age 64.

The report highlights the sharp growth in baby boomers entering retirement with student debt, most of it borrowed years ago to cover their own educations but some used to pay for their children’s schooling. Overall, about seven million Americans age 50 and older owed about $205 billion in federal student debt last year. About 1 in 3 were in default, raising the likelihood that garnishments will increase as more boomers retire.

What we are doing is clearly not working, but I am not particularly optimistic that this system will be fixed any time soon.

If you are a young person, you need to have a solid plan before pursuing an expensive college education.  Many young people just major in anything that they want without even considering if it will lead to a good career.  And instead of working hard to graduate in four years, many decide that they want to stretch the “college experience” out for five or six years so that they can party as much as possible before entering the real world.

The real world is a cold, cruel place, and if you start your new life drowning in debt that is just going to make things even more difficult for you.

On a personal note, I want to thank everyone that has supported the growth of The Most Important News.  It is a central news hub where you can find all of my articles, posts by incredible guest authors and many of the key news stories from all over the globe all gathered in one place.  Some technical issues have forced the site to be down for extended periods of time lately, but now it is being migrated to a much more powerful server.  I will not be updating it during the migration, but I should resume a normal posting schedule again very soon.

And I would like to thank all of my readers for making 2016 an absolutely amazing year.  I love you all, and I wish you all the very best as we head into what should prove to be a very “interesting” 2017.

McConnell and Ryan Who GREENLIT Obama’s Omnibus Now Threatening to Reject Trump’s Plan

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BY AMY MORENO

Remember when Ryan and McConnell passed that insane Omnibus bill worth over $1 trillion dollars and greenlit every single thing on Obama’s wish list?

Well, now, he and Senate Majority Leader McConnell are threatening to block Trump’s spending plan.

The bill included funding for Obama’s controversial amnesty program and Obamacare.

So, now these two dopes are going to get “tough?”

Unreal.

From Bloomberg:

In the afterglow of Donald Trump’s unexpected triumph, Republicans exulted over what they could accomplish with control of both chambers of Congress and the White House.

But behind the public show of unity, a stark difference looms. House Speaker Paul Ryan is a fiscal hawk who wants to couple tax cuts with deep spending cuts. Trump catapulted himself into the presidency talking about tax cuts too, but he also is proposing a multibillion-dollar infrastructure plan and has vowed to protect entitlement programs like Social Security and Medicare.

Such gaps went unmentioned when Trump met with Ryan and Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell last week. But ultimately, one side will have to bend, whether Trump ends up moderating his spending and tax-cut plans, or congressional fiscal hawks relent on their opposition to new spending.

The signs of a looming clash are already there. One day after meeting with Trump, McConnell poured cold water on Trump’s spending plans, telling reporters that a government stimulus wasn’t going to help the economy.

“A government spending program is not likely to solve the fundamental problem of growth,” he said Friday.

But Trump mentioned only one policy proposal during his victory speech last week: his infrastructure plan.

“We are going to fix our inner cities and rebuild our highways, bridges, tunnels, airports, schools, hospitals. We’re going to rebuild our infrastructure, which will become, by the way, second to none,” he said. “And we will put millions of our people to work as we rebuild it.”

Such a plan may be too much for congressional Republicans to swallow, and Ryan and McConnell haven’t backed it.

But House Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy of California showed some softening on the issue Monday, telling reporters that an infrastructure bill can be “a priority” and “a bipartisan issue.” He said there can be ways to pay for it, though he didn’t provide specifics.

“Infrastructure in America is lagging far behind,” McCarthy said, noting that Congress passed a highway bill this year for the first time in more than a decade.

Anthony Scaramucci, an economic adviser named to Trump’s 16-member transition executive committee, cited the president-elect’s $1 trillion infrastructure plan, saying it would be financed by “historically cheap debt” and private-public partnerships.

“We can close the wealth gap in America by replacing emergency-level interest rates with fiscal stimulus,” Scaramucci, the founder of the investment firm SkyBridge Capital, wrote in an op-ed in the Financial Times last week.

Ryan and House Republicans have spent the past six years enforcing strict budget caps aimed at holding down the federal debt. Republicans even took the government to the brink of default in a battle over raising the debt limit.

“As we move from campaigning to governing, something will have to give since cutting taxes without major spending cuts will make our already unsustainable debt situation even worse,” says Maya MacGuineas, president of the non-partisan Committee for a Responsible Federal Budget in Washington.

Dobbs -Bills To Stop Refugee Programs Stalled By Ryan, Trump Is Coming

BY RICK WELLS

Rep Brian Babin (R-TX) has two bills that he’s trying to get passed through the House, an effort that has been ongoing for him for about a year and a half. Both deal with the problems of an easily exploited “refugee” programthat is designed to fail and putting Americans at great risk. Rep Babin says, “We cannot afford to be so willfully blind and wind up in the same situation that Western Europe is in.

One of the bills puts an immediate stop to the refugee program completely until Congress can reclaim the responsibility. The second version stops the program from the radical terrorist hotspots  the other pauses refugees from terrorist nations.

Babin provides a lot of details but Lou Dobbs one question Rep Babin can’t provide an answer to. He asks, “What I don’t understand and what I’m asking is, why in the world won’t Ryan get behind it?” Rep Babin says he’s been acting as a surrogate speaker for President-elect Trump and once he comes into power, expects this “refugee” issue to have a pile-driver behind it.

The Congressman notes that the American people expect to have the program stopped, adding, “They do want to be safe, they expect their elected officials from the president on down to their Congress and Senators, their first duty is to national security and the health and safety of our US citizens.”

Dobbs cites the over $1.5 Billion spent on “refugee” processing and resettlement, money that is being driven by the UN, which determines the flow of terrorist interns and professionals into the United States. He points out that is a 73% increase under Hussein Obama, not including “the child welfare spending, the Social Security, the special programs there, temporary assistance for needy families.”

Mr. Dobbs says, “We have economically, financially incentivized these non-profits and some municipalities with their own resettlement programs, they’re being paid to bring in, poorly vetted if not unvetted “refugees” into their communities, are we not?”

Babin replies, “There is no question about it, Lou, it is a true Trojan horse.” He warns of ISIS exploitation and the dangers that are created by its politically correct nature.

Obama on pace to increase the debt by $2.4 trillion this year

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BY SIMON BLACK

OK, this is pretty nuts.

According to data released by the Treasury Department yesterday, the US national debt has soared by a whopping $294 billion since the start of the 2017 fiscal year, just 45 days ago.

That’s an annualized increase of 13%.

So if they keep up this pace, the national debt will increase by $2.4 trillion this fiscal year, surpassing $21 trillion by next September.

It’s hard to believe how rapidly the debt is growing; debt growth is far outpacing the growth of the US economy… and there’s no way to pretend that this is good news.

That doesn’t stop leading economists from trying.

Nobel Laureate Paul Krugman says “debt is good” because the US economy has grown so much over the last 200 years despite not having been debt-free since 1835.

This kind of logic is astonishing.

Aside from a few anomalies like World War II and the American Civil War, debt levels over most of early American history were low.

100 years ago in 1916, US debt was about $3.6 billion; as a percentage of GDP (i.e. the size of the US economy), that was about 7%.

Today’s debt of $19,867,119,032,053.28 is actually bigger than the entire US economy at over 106% of GDP.

Yet in Krugman’s view, the fact that America prospered a century ago when the debt was 7% of GDP means that the nation will continue to prosper with a debt at 106% of GDP.

Amazingly enough, Krugman has been awarded our society’s most esteemed prize for intellectual achievement. It boggles the mind.

To be fair, there is such a thing as “good debt” versus “bad debt”, and it’s not difficult to distinguish between the two.

If you can borrow money at 5% in order to make a safe investment that has a 25% return, for example, that may very well qualify as “good debt”.

If you borrow money at 5%… or even 1%… and then squander the borrowed funds on useless trinkets, that’s clearly “bad debt”.

In 1803, the startup US government negotiated the Louisiana Purchase from France, a real estate acquisition that doubled the size of the US.

It was the mother of all distress sales. France was desperate for cash, and the administration of Thomas Jefferson negotiated a price that valued the land at around $15 million.

Adjusted for inflation to 2016 dollars, Thomas Jefferson paid about 40 cents per acre to acquire the land that comprises fifteen states and has generated trillions in economic activity.

Naturally the US government had to borrow money that year to conclude the Louisiana Purchase with France, so the national debt increased slightly in 1804.

But when you consider the extraordinary economic benefit of that purchase, it clearly qualifies as “good debt”.

Fast-forward to our modern era and we see that the debt is increasing by more than a trillion dollars each year.

What are the good citizens of the United States receiving in exchange for taking on so much debt?

It’s not like the government bought up half of Mexico or colonized Mars.

No, instead they wasted $2 billion on the Obamacare website, most of which went to a company whose top executive just happens to be an old friend of Michelle Obama.

Today, the US government has to borrow money just to pay interest on the money it’s already borrowed. This is almost the textbook definition of bad debt…

In fact, the government now spends nearly all of its tax revenue just on mandatory entitlement programs like Social Security and Medicare, plus interest on the debt.

The real kicker is that Social Security and Medicare are massively underfunded and quickly running out of cash… so they’ll both require a major bailout (i.e. MORE debt).

Interest payments, meanwhile, total hundreds of billions of dollars each year even though interest rates are at record lows.

Today the government pays less than 2% interest on its debt.

Ten years ago in 2006, the average interest rate on US debt was over 5%.

Back then 5% was considered incredibly low compared to the higher interest rates of the 1980s and 1990s.

But today, 5% would bankrupt the US government. It’s pitiful.

So unless interest rates stay at these record lows forever (or perhaps go negative), the government’s interest payments are going to explode.

Debt… particularly bad debt… is an absolute killer.

Excess debt has been responsible for bringing down some of the largest companies in the world. It bankrupts individuals.

And excess debt has caused the decline of some of the largest superpowers in the history of the world.

There are a lot of people, led by their cheerleader Paul Krugman, who outright ignore this problem and pretend that the US government can continue expanding its debt forever without ever suffering a single consequence.

And I know there are a lot of people keeping their fingers crossed hoping that a new administration will steer the ship in the right direction.

Look, I’m all for hope and optimism.

But it’s important to stay rational. These problems aren’t going away.

And you won’t be worse off for having a Plan B that provides solid protection from the consequences of these obvious trends.

Do you have a Plan B?

If you live, work, bank, invest, own a business, and hold your assets all in just one country, you are putting all of your eggs in one basket.

You’re making a high-stakes bet that everything is going to be ok in that one country — forever.

All it would take is for the economy to tank, a natural disaster to hit, or the political system to go into turmoil and you could lose everything—your money, your assets, and possibly even your freedom.

Luckily, there are a number of simple, logical steps you can take to protect yourself from these obvious risks: