Tuesday, March 8, 2016

The Truth about Clinton’s Welfare Reform, NAFTA and Repeal of Glass Steagall

We live in the United States of Stupid, stupid from lack of knowledge of recent history.  It is amazing how many people in America believe the Clintons singlehandedly were able to create NAFTA and reform the welfare system and repeal Glass Steagall, with no one in congress’ fingerprints on the laws passed.

How stupid are Americans that they have absolutely no memory of what America looked like when President William Jefferson Clinton took office?  The hatred of the Clinton’s by the Reagan Republicans is only surpassed by the hatred towards them from the Reagan Democrats. 

Although the Clinton’s were new to the American people when Bill Clinton won the 1992 Presidential election, they were well known to the Democratic and Republican establishment.  The Democratic establishment’s hatred of the Clintons is legendary was on full display during the 2008 Democratic primary.

The lies against Hillary Clinton flew fast and furiously spread by the Democratic establishment.  One of those lies was that Hillary Rodham the 26 year-old girlfriend of Bill Clinton was fired from the Nixon impeachment team for lying.  From Snopes:


Is this true or false?

As a 27 year old staff attorney for the House Judiciary Committee during the Watergate investigation, Hillary Rodham was fired by her supervisor, lifelong Democrat Jerry Zeifman.

When asked why Hillary Rodham was fired, Zeifman said in an interview, "Because she was a liar. She was an unethical, dishonest lawyer, she conspired to violate the Constitution, the rules of the House, the rules of the Committee, and the rules of confidentiality…"

At that time, the Judiciary Committee comprised 37 members of the House of Representatives and was chaired by Representative Peter Rodino, Jr., of New Jersey. The Judiciary Committee was assisted by a permanent staff, on which attorney Jerry Zeifman served as Chief Counsel and … by a separate Impeachment Inquiry staff…

That inquiry staff was headed by former U.S. Justice Department lawyer John Doar, and one of his hires was a 26-year-old Yale Law School graduate then known by her maiden name of Hillary Rodham…

A pair of articles published during Hillary Clinton's run for the presidency in 2008, one by Northstar Writers Group founder Dan Calabrese and one by Jerry Zeifman himself, asserted that Zeifman was Hillary's supervisor during the Watergate investigation and that he eventually fired her from the investigation for "unethical, dishonest" conduct.

However, whatever Zeifman may have thought of Hillary and her work during the investigation, he was not her supervisor, neither he nor anyone else fired her from her position on the Impeachment Inquiry staff (Zeifman in fact didn't have the power to fire her, even had he wanted to do so), his description of her conduct as "unethical" and "dishonest" is his personal, highly subjective characterization, and the "facts" on which he bases that characterization are ones that he has contradicted himself about on multiple occasions.

During the 2008 primary race to choose the Democratic presidential candidate, the partial one term U.S. Senator Barack Obama made the claim “Reagan changed the trajectory of this country in a way that President Clinton did not.” 

That statement was a clear message to Reagan Republicans and Reagan Democrats that the policies of George W. Bush would be continued under an Obama Administration.

Barack Obama was going to return the nation to the Reagan years.  So let’s take a look at the Presidency of William Jefferson Clinton starting with NAFTA.  The Clintons have been accused of passing NAFTA, the North American Free Trade Agreement that caused massive offshoring of American jobs. From About News:


History of NAFTA

NAFTA is the North American Free Trade Agreement. It was envisioned at least 30 years ago to reduce trading costs, increase business investment, and help North America be more competitive in the global marketplace.

What Is Its History?

The impetus for NAFTA actually began with President Ronald Reagan, who campaigned on a North American common market. In 1984, Congress passed the Trade and Tariff Act. This is important because it gave the President "fast-track" authority to negotiate free trade agreements, while only allowing Congress the ability to approve or disapprove, not change negotiating points…

NAFTA was signed by President George H.W. Bush, Mexican President Salinas, and Canadian Prime Minister Brian Mulroney in 1992. It was ratified by the legislatures of the three countries in 1993. The U.S. House of Representatives approved it by 234 to 200 on November 17, 1993. The U.S. Senate approved it by 60 to 38 on November 20, three days later.

It was finally signed into law by President Bill Clinton on December 8, 1993 and entered force January 1, 1994. Although it was signed by President Bush, it was a priority of President Clinton's, and its passage is considered one of his first successes…

In 1992, before the trade agreement was even ratified, Independent Presidential candidate Ross Perot famously warned that "You're going to hear a giant sucking sound of jobs being pulled out of this country." Ross predicted that the U.S. would lose 5 million jobs -- a whopping 4% of total U.S. employment -- to lower-cost Mexican workers.

In fact, this never happened as Mexico entered a recession and the U.S. entered a period of prosperity. True, American workers were displaced by low-cost Mexican imports. But research showed it was more like 2,000 per month. (Source: Brad DeLong, "Jobs and NAFTA").

That is the truth about NAFTA, the Reagan Republicans and Reagan Democrats passed NAFTA before William Jefferson Clinton became President.  When President Clinton signed NAFTA into law, there were worker protections included and through the Clinton years over 20 million new good paying jobs were created. 

American workers had 401K retirement plans and average Americans were shareholders in the economic boom.  Senior citizens were courted by banks offering them trips and high rates of interest on CD’s.  Businesses offered discounts for Senior Citizens.

There were job fairs with employers competing for workers offering signing bonuses, paid vacations, sick time, overtime pay, health insurance, paid and unpaid family leave.  Factory workers we able to retire early giving them more time to work with their stock brokers, and drive their new Escalades to their summer homes on the lake. 

New business startups were possible because people were able to afford to buy insurance for themselves and their workers.  Every area of the economy thrived.

So what happened?  George W. Bush is what happened.  From Mother Jones:


Truth on Tour

First John Andrew got laid off. Then he got pissed off. And then he took his anger on the road.

When John Andrew got laid off this summer he could take solace in having plenty of company: Since George W. Bush took office, nearly 3 million Americans have lost their jobs.

But the same day that this client-services director for a Minnesota software firm got his pink slip, he also heard that the president's economic team was coming to the Midwest on a "Jobs and Growth" tour -- a three-day, six-city publicity blitz to talk up the benefits of the Bush tax cuts.

"It pissed me off," says Andrew, who felt the administration had no business crowing about an economy that was shedding one job every 15 seconds. "I'm 41 years old; I got two kids," he says, "and I decided this would be a good time for dad to stand up and protest."

So Andrew decked out the family's blue Honda Odyssey with protest placards and hit the highway on his own "Economic Reality" tour. He shadowed the bus carrying cabinet secretaries John Snow, Donald Evans, and Elaine Chao, to give his fellow Americans "the real facts -- that this economy stinks, and Bush's tax cuts are making it worse."

It wasn't long before the dueling economic worldviews collided -- outside a Culvers fast food joint (home of the ButterBurger) in Wausau , Wisconsin. While the secretaries boasted of collecting, "real-time economic information from real American people," they apparently didn't want to hear from Andrew, who was turned away at the door by security.

Undeterred, Andrew drove his minivan repeatedly into the window-lined drive thru, hoping to catch their attention. "I probably went through 20 times," says, whose van quickly filled to overflowing with the Diet Cokes he kept buying.

On his final pass, Andrew caught a glimpse of secretary Snow walking outside the restaurant. "I rolled down my window and yelled: 'Hey John!'," Andrew recalls, "which was probably kind of impertinent considering he's the Secretary of the Treasury."

Flanked by a secret service detail, Snow came up to the passenger-side window. Andrew explained to the secretary that he'd just been laid off. "I told him that I strongly disagreed with the economic policies that this administration was pursuing, and that I felt that it was ineffective, wrong headed, and doing nothing to help the majority of American workers."

Snow, in turn, encouraged patience, reasoning that the first tax cut (now nearly two years old) hadn't had time to take effect, and that the benefits of the second tax cut were following close behind. He then offered two parting words of advice: "Just wait."

"I was stunned by the response," says Andrew. "I'd like to see those words on a PR banner behind Snow at the podium: 'Jobs and Growth: Just Wait.' Maybe I should call Citibank, which holds my mortgage, and tell them 'Just Wait -- I can't pay you this month…'"

Yes, that is what happened the Bush tax cuts that turned millionaires into billionaires.  In the first two years of the Bush Administration

·        He tried to eliminate overtime pay for 8 million workers
·        He refused to extend unemployment benefits by six months
·        He eliminated 140,000 highway construction jobs
·        He opposed federal funds for hiring 75,000 new fire fighters
·        He cut funds for job training and workplace safety
·        He cancelled collective bargaining rights for 170,000 Homeland Security personnel
·        He forced the EPA to lie about air quality at Ground Zero, endangering the health of emergency and construction workers
·        He appointed anti-labor, big business cronies to every labor-related post in his administration

That is just a partial list of the damage done to the American economy, particularly to American workers by the Administration of George W. Bush and Dick Cheney. 

Another initiative of the taken up by President Clinton when he took office was Welfare to Work.  Reforming Welfare programs was an initiative of Newt Gingrich’s “contract with America.” and had support in both parties.  From Washington Post:


Clinton to Sign Bill Overhauling Welfare

President Clinton ended what he described as an intense and searching debate within his administration yesterday and announced that he will sign into law the most radical overhaul in 60 years of the way the nation gives help to the poor.

For months, Clinton has prodded Congress to come closer to his views on reforming welfare but preserved his options by staying silent about whether he would sign or veto the various versions churning through the legislative process.

Yesterday, he finally announced his intentions just hours before the House acted on a plan that would end the federal guarantee of direct cash payments to the needy, limit assistance to five years, and give states wide freedom to design their own relief programs requiring work for benefits rather than traditional welfare.

The bill sailed through 328 to 101 and is likely to comfortably pass the Senate either today or Friday. All Washington-area lawmakers voted for the legislation.

Clinton said the measure has "serious flaws" – the most important, aides said, is the elimination of benefits for legal immigrants – but he pledged to sign it anyway because it is the "best chance we will have in a long, long time" to fulfill his 1992 campaign promise of "ending welfare as we know it."

That legislation, though deeply flawed worked due to other legislation that propped up workers and financially helped the poor families through other programs designed to lift and keep families out of poverty.  From American Progress:


The Clinton administration also saw that they could grow the economy by opening up the middle class to everyone willing and able to take on the responsibility of work. To that end, Congress and the administration promoted smart labor market policies that included:

An expanded earned income tax credit. The EITC offsets federal income taxes, and for many low-income workers, portions of their payroll taxes as well. The EITC increases as earnings increase, up to a point, so it encourages additional work. In 1993, as part of his larger budget package, Clinton and Congress expanded the EITC to give a larger benefit to working families and allow childless workers to benefit as well.

Welfare reform that put Americans to work. Under the Clinton administration Congress provided $3 billion to reform welfare to help millions of Americans take responsibility for their future by giving them a greater opportunity to work. As part of those reforms, more than 200,000 people on welfare received housing vouchers to help them move closer to jobs.

A welfare-to-work tax credit encouraged businesses to hire long-term welfare recipients. And communities received federal support to design transportation solutions to help low-income workers get to work. Between January 1993 and June 2000, the number of people on welfare fall by 60 percent, from 14.1 million to 5.6 million, reaching its lowest level since 1961.

Additionally, the Clinton administration strengthened those programs that help middle-class families weather economic storms, such as a major illness, a job loss, or a divorce…

More federal funding for Head Start and child care. Head Start is a federal early childhood learning program for low-income families. In 1993, the first year of President Clinton’s administration, federal funding for Head Start totaled $3.3…

The Children’s Health Insurance Program. In 1997, as part of a budget deal with congressional Republicans that cut spending overall, the Clinton administration and their allies in Congress created the Children’s Health Insurance Program. CHIP delivered federal grants to states to provide health insurance for children whose families were not poor enough to qualify for Medicaid but who could not afford health insurance on their own.

Better nutritional and housing support for low-income families… The Special Supplemental Nutrition Program for Women, Infants and Children—commonly known as WIC—went from average annual funding levels of $2.7 billion in the eight years before Clinton took office to $3.9 billion under his presidency, a 45 percent increase.

Together, this broad mix of tax relief, wage increases, access to health and child care, and protections for working families helped grow and strengthen the middle class.

The Reagan Democrats blame President Clinton for the repeal of Glass Steagall Act in 1999.  Truth be told, it was the Reagan Democrats that passed the repeal of Glass Steagall.  From New York Times:



WASHINGTON, Nov. 4— Congress approved landmark legislation today that opens the door for a new era on Wall Street in which commercial banks, securities houses and insurers will find it easier and cheaper to enter one another's businesses.

The measure, considered by many the most important banking legislation in 66 years, was approved in the Senate by a vote of 90 to 8 and in the House tonight by 362 to 57….

''Today Congress voted to update the rules that have governed financial services since the Great Depression and replace them with a system for the 21st century,'' Treasury Secretary Lawrence H. Summers said. ''This historic legislation will better enable American companies to compete in the new economy…''

''The world changes, and we have to change with it,'' said Senator Phil Gramm of Texas, who wrote the law that will bear his name along with the two other main Republican sponsors, Representative Jim Leach of Iowa and Representative Thomas J. Bliley Jr. of Virginia.

''We have a new century coming, and we have an opportunity to dominate that century the same way we dominated this century. Glass-Steagall, in the midst of the Great Depression, came at a time when the thinking was that the government was the answer. In this era of economic prosperity, we have decided that freedom is the answer…''

In the House debate, Mr. Leach said, ''This is a historic day. The landscape for delivery of financial services will now surely shift…''

''I think we will look back in 10 years' time and say we should not have done this but we did because we forgot the lessons of the past, and that that which is true in the 1930's is true in 2010,'' said Senator Byron L. Dorgan, Democrat of North Dakota….

Senator Paul Wellstone, Democrat of Minnesota, said that Congress had ''seemed determined to unlearn the lessons from our past mistakes….''

''The concerns that we will have a meltdown like 1929 are dramatically overblown,'' said Senator Bob Kerrey, Democrat of Nebraska….

''If we don't pass this bill, we could find London or Frankfurt or years down the road Shanghai becoming the financial capital of the world,'' said Senator Charles E. Schumer, Democrat of New York. ''There are many reasons for this bill, but first and foremost is to ensure that U.S. financial firms remain competitive…''

In the House, 155 Democrats and 207 Republicans voted for the measure, while 51 Democrats, 5 Republicans and 1 independent opposed it. Fifteen members did not vote.

Isn’t it interesting that Senator Chuck Schumer, the Senior Senator from New York, along with Ted Kennedy and Joe Biden were “super delegates” that supported Senator Barack Obama’s presidential campaign against Hillary Clinton in 2008. 

Though the citizens in their states voted for Hillary Clinton by wide margins, 15 percentage points in Massachusetts, their delegates were awarded to Barack Obama by the super delegates.  Shortly after in October of 2008 Barack Obama received $300 million dollars in small donations of $200 dollars or less in untraceable, unreportable prepaid credit cards. 


Obama Shrugs?

Monday, October 27th, 2008

The authors of this blog are concerned internet professionals who have worked in and around e-commerce and internet marketing for over a decade.  We’ve taken to writing this blog due to the media’s unwillingness to tackle what is potentially one of the largest cases of fundraising fraud in presidential campaign history…

Recently, it has become abundantly clear that the Obama campaign has deliberately made it easy for motivated Obama supporters to violate campaign finance law. The Obama campaign has for some reason intentionally deactivated basic credit card fraud filters on its website, thereby allowing contributors give donations with fake names and addresses. 

What this has done is essentially create a loophole for folks to circumvent federal election contribution limits (they can give more than $2,300 and nobody will ever know!).  And it creates an added bonus: it is now much easier to give illegal foreign donations as well!

This is not just rumor-mongering.  Several citizens have already tested the Obama campaign website by using purposely incorrect names and addresses.  And the results are in…the Obama campaign has accepted these donations and the respective credit card accounts were charged.

These fraudulent donations were accepted as a direct result of the Obama campaign deliberately turning off the basic fraud checks that are used to verify a credit cardholder’s address. It is almost unheard of for an online merchant to turn off these filters.  Afterall, who wants to ship a product to the wrong address? Today, it remains unclear why the Obama camp turned these filters off.

What are the ramifications? Well, the Obama campaign can accept an almost unlimited amount of money from any contributor by allowing them to repeatedly use false names and addresses with the same credit card for any online credit card donations. 

This can also feasibly allow non-US citizens (who are legally prohibited from donating to any US political campaign) to donate to the Obama campaign by simply making up a United States address.   Depressingly, there are few real legal mechanisms to prevent this as the FEC reporting requirements for donations under $200 are minimal and the law hasn’t caught up with regulating these donations online…

There’s a simple way for the Obama campaign to clear this matter up.  All Obama has to do is simply release his campaign’s donor records (as have the McCain and Clinton campaigns).  If he has nothing to hide, Obama should welcome the request.  Obama talks about how we need more transparency in government, so let’s see him walk the talk.

Who do you think had the capacity to funnel $300 million into the Obama campaign through fraudulent credit card donations?  After taking office, Obama named the President of the Federal Reserve Bank and ex-World Bank President Timothy Geithner as Treasury Secretary to oversee the bailout of the banks. 

The Federal Reserve Bank printed up over $43 trillion dollars to bail out the banks and put it on the American taxpayer’s tab.  To this day no Wall Street banker has been jailed for their overt money laundering schemes.  From Matt Taibbi of Rolling Stone:


Gangster Bankers: Too Big to Jail

The deal was announced quietly, just before the holidays, almost like the government was hoping people were too busy hanging stockings by the fireplace to notice. Flooring politicians, lawyers and investigators all over the world, the U.S. Justice Department granted a total walk to executives of the British-based bank HSBC for the largest drug-and-terrorism money-laundering case ever.

Yes, they issued a fine – $1.9 billion, or about five weeks' profit – but they didn't extract so much as one dollar or one day in jail from any individual, despite a decade of stupefying abuses….

For at least half a decade, the storied British colonial banking power helped to wash hundreds of millions of dollars for drug mobs, including Mexico's Sinaloa drug cartel, suspected in tens of thousands of murders just in the past 10 years – people so totally evil, jokes former New York Attorney General Eliot Spitzer, that "they make the guys on Wall Street look good."

The bank also moved money for organizations linked to Al Qaeda and Hezbollah, and for Russian gangsters; helped countries like Iran, the Sudan and North Korea evade sanctions; and, in between helping murderers and terrorists and rogue states, aided countless common tax cheats in hiding their cash.

"They violated every goddamn law in the book," says Jack Blum, an attorney and former Senate investigator who headed a major bribery investigation against Lockheed in the 1970s that led to the passage of the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act. "They took every imaginable form of illegal and illicit business."

That nobody from the bank went to jail or paid a dollar in individual fines is nothing new in this era of financial crisis. What is different about this settlement is that the Justice Department, for the first time, admitted why it decided to go soft on this particular kind of criminal. It was worried that anything more than a wrist slap for HSBC might undermine the world economy.

"Had the U.S. authorities decided to press criminal charges," said Assistant Attorney General Lanny Breuer at a press conference to announce the settlement, "HSBC would almost certainly have lost its banking license in the U.S., the future of the institution would have been under threat and the entire banking system would have been destabilized."

Yes not one criminal faced charges and yet we are told that Hillary Clinton is about to be indicted by the Obama Justice Department for having e-mails on her personal server that were retroactively stamped classified.  A blatant attempt to derail her bid for the Presidency.  From TheDaily Caller:


Hillary Will Be Indicted, Says Former US Attorney

A former U.S. Attorney predicts a Watergate-style showdown in the Department of Justice if Attorney General Loretta Lynch overrules a potential FBI recommendation to indict Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton.

“The [FBI] has so much information about criminal conduct by her and her staff that there is no way that they walk away from this,” Joseph diGenova, formerly the District of Columbia’s U.S. Attorney, told Laura Ingraham in a Tuesday radio interview. “They are going to make a recommendation that people be charged and then Loretta Lynch is going to have the decision of a lifetime.

“I believe that the evidence that the FBI is compiling will be so compelling that, unless [Lynch] agrees to the charges, there will be a massive revolt inside the FBI, which she will not be able to survive as an attorney general. It will be like Watergate. It will be unbelievable.”

DiGenova is referring to the Watergate scandal’s “Saturday Night Massacre” Oct. 20, 1973, when President Richard Nixon sacked Special Prosecutor Archibald Cox and Attorney General Elliot Richardson and Deputy Attorney General William Ruckelshaus resigned in protest.

Joe diGenova and his wife Victoria Tensing have been pursuing the Clintons for years.  When the Bill Clinton ran for President in 1992 the FBI assigned 200 agents to Arkansas to comb every trailer park to find anyone willing to make scurrilous charges against Bill and Hillary Clinton. 

When the Whitewater “scandal” turned out to be nothing, they finally found Paula Jones and her Elvis impersonator husband to bring a well-funded lawsuit against a sitting President.  Just another bogus lawsuit against the Clintons. 

So do you want the truth about Clinton’s Welfare Reform, NAFTA and Repeal of Glass Steagall?  Maybe Americans can’t handle the truth, they just want to hear lies.

By Patricia Baeten

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