Report: Annual NYC Inmate Cost Exceeds Four Years at Harvard

Average cost per inmate — $167,731 a year — is more than four years of Ivy League tuition
Rikers Island
The Rikers Island penitentiary complex, which costs New York City hundreds of millions of dollars annually to run.
Emmanuel Dunand/AFP/Getty Images

A recent report found that jailing an inmate in New York City for one year costs more than four years of tuition at an Ivy League university.

The Independent Budget Office found that in 2012 it cost the city $167,731 to hold each of its daily average of 12,287 inmates, or about $460 per inmate per day.

Undergraduate tuition at Harvard University is $38,891 annually, or $155,564 for a four-year degree.

Of those inmates, more than 2,000 were being held for drug offenses, surpassing the number for murders or robberies.

The majority of inmates are African-American (57 percent), followed by Hispanics (33 percent), whites (7 percent) and Asians (1 percent), a New York City Department of Corrections report said. The majority of inmates come from less affluent areas of the city.

Experts say certain expensive fixed costs in New York’s system keep the figure high despite a large drop in incarceration, which peaked in 1991 at about 22,000 inmates. The Department of Corrections has substantial pension and salary responsibilities and significant debt-service payments. It says 86 percent of its operating costs go to wages; it employs 9,000 relatively well-paid unionized correction officers. The department’s budget in 2012 was $1.08 billion.

Hundreds of millions of dollars are spent each year to run Rikers Island — a 400-acre island near the runways of LaGuardia Airport that has 10 jail facilities, thousands of staff members, its own power plant and a transportation system.

New York’s per-inmate costs dwarf other large cities’. Los Angeles spent $128.94 per day, or $47,063 per year, in its 2011-12 fiscal year, LA’s sheriff’s office said. According to the Cook County Sheriff’s Office, in 2010, the most recent year for which figures were available, Chicago spent $145 per inmate per day, or $52,925 for the year.

‘Draconian’ sentencing

In August the Obama administration announced steps to fix what it called unjust treatment of nonviolent drug offenders. It aimed to bypass mandatory prison terms while reducing the country’s huge prison population and saving jurisdictions billions of dollars.

“Too many Americans go to too many prisons for far too long and for no truly good law-enforcement reason,” Attorney General Eric Holder said in a speech unveiling the proposals.

The United States leads the world in the number of people behind bars, according to the International Center for Prison Studies in London.

The so-called war on drugs and mandatory minimum sentencing and related laws enacted in the 1980s and 1990s have contributed to a rising number of inmates, especially those charged with drug-related offenses.

Holder added in his August speech that one of the changes he would implement is ensuring that low-level, nonviolent drug offenders without ties to large-scale organizations, gangs or cartels are not given “draconian mandatory minimum sentences.”

Among such measures is California’s three-strikes law, enacted in 1994, which mandates a state prison term of 25 years to life for any person convicted of a felony who has two or more previous convictions. This contributed to a mushrooming prison population in the state.

In 2011 the Supreme Court ordered California — which has the largest prison population of any U.S. state — to release tens of thousands of inmates or take other steps to ease prison overcrowding to prevent “needless suffering and death.”

California Governor Jerry Brown, instead of repealing the three-strikes law, proposed a $315 million plan in August to expand inmate capacity by sending the overflow to private prisons.

Over the past 30 years, there has been a 500 percent increase in U.S. incarceration rates, which has led to prison overcrowding and overwhelming financial burdens for states.

According to prisoner-advocacy group the Sentencing Project, people incarcerated on drug charges comprise half the population at the federal level.

And in state prisons, the number of drug offenders has increased 13-fold since 1980. Most of them are not high-level criminals, and most have no record of violent offenses.

How the Owners of All 32 NFL Teams Made Their Money

IMAGE CREDIT:
GETTY IMAGES

Has the return of football season inspired you to pursue your dream of NFL franchise ownership? Here’s how someone—or, in many cases, someone’s parents or grandparents—becomes wealthy enough to buy a team.

Arizona Cardinals: Bill Bidwill

 

Owner Since: 1972

The Numbers: Forbes estimates the Cardinals are worth $961 million, making them the 24th most valuable team in the NFL.

Moving Man: Bidwill moved the team from St. Louis after his demands for a new stadium weren’t met.

How He Got Rich: Bidwill inherited the Cardinals from his father, Charles. Charles was a wealthy Chicago lawyer, and according to the book From Sandlots to the Super Bowl: The National Football League, 1920-1967, he had connections to Al Capone.

Atlanta Falcons: Arthur Blank

 

Owner Since: 2002

The Numbers: The Falcons are estimated to be worth $933 million, placing them 26th in the NFL franchise financial rankings. Blank reportedly bought the team for $545 million.

More Teams on the Way?: Blank has expressed interest in bringing an MLS team to Atlanta.

How He Got Rich: In 1978, Arthur Blank co-founded Home Depot. Story has it that during Home Depot’s early days, Blank and his business partner would stand in the parking lot handing out dollar bills to entice customers to browse the store. Blank is now worth an estimated $1.6 billion, meaning he could lure the entire population of China into a Home Depot if he wanted to.

Baltimore Ravens: Stephen Bisciotti

 

Owner Since: 2004

The Numbers: Bisciotti was a minority owner of the Ravens from 2000 until he bought the whole dang team through a $325 million deal with Art Modell in 2004. The Ravens are now worth $1.2 billion. Oh, they also won the Super Bowl last season, which looked like it was a lot of fun.

Young Gun: Bisciotti is the second youngest sole owner of an NFL franchise behind Dan Snyder. Bisciotti is the first youngest if you don’t count owners who are despised by their own fans.

How He Got Rich: Bisciotti founded Aerotek in a basement office with his cousin. This later turned into the parent company the Allegis Group, which owns both Aerotek and TEKsystems. Despite what they sound like, these companies are not fronts for a Bond villain’s plot for world domination, but rather staffing firms for engineering and technology companies.

Buffalo Bills: Ralph Wilson

 

Owner Since: 1959

The Numbers: The Buffalo Bills are worth $870 million, according to Forbes. Ralph Wilson founded the team in the then-AFL in 1959. The league eventually merged with the NFL in 1970, where the Bills went on to define small-market success in the early ’90s—before doing the exact opposite of that for the following two decades. At 94, Ralph Wilson is the oldest owner in the NFL.

How He Got Rich: After World War II, Wilson took over his father’s insurance company, and went on to purchase manufacturing plants, trucking companies, highway construction firms, TV and radio stations, and other businesses in the Detroit area and across the country. Much of this was under the purview of Ralph Wilson Enterprises, an early example of the megalomaniacal naming habits that would later breed Ralph Wilson Stadium.

Carolina Panthers: Jerry Richardson

 

Owner Since: 1993

The Numbers: The Panthers are worth a little over $1 billion.

Experience: Richardson actually played in the NFL for two seasons. He was a receiver for the Baltimore Colts in 1959 and 1960. Maybe he could throw on the pads for one more go and give Cam Newton another downfield target! (Disclaimer: Jerry Richardson is 77 years old and would likely be severely injured or even killed.)

How He Got Rich: Richardson owned Hardee’s franchises in South Carolina before going on to become the CEO of food services company Flagstar, which ran every Denny’s in the country. The company flirted with financial unrest until it was purchased by a private equity group in 1992. Richardson retired in 1995.

Read the rest of them here………….

The Strange Symbolism of the $1 bill

An eagle holding 13 arrows? A giant pyramid with an eye on top? Your currency’s strange imagery, explained.

By Ethan Trex, Mental Floss | 8:05am EST
For a small bill, it holds a lot of history.
For a small bill, it holds a lot of history. (Courtesy Shutterstock)

Crack open your wallet, pull out everyone’s favorite portrait of George Washington, and be prepared to learn about some odd symbolism that probably seemed perfectly normal in the 18th century. Here are the explanations behind some of the more baffling parts of our nation’s smallest bills.

What’s that weird pyramid drawing on the reverse of the bill?
The two circular drawings on the reverse of the bill are actually parts of the two-sided great seal of the United States. Although we don’t see the entire seal outside of our wallets too often, the notion of having a great seal is actually as old as the country itself. The Continental Congress passed a resolution on July 4, 1776, to create a committee to design a great seal for the fledgling nation, and heavy hitters John Adams, Benjamin Franklin, and Thomas Jefferson got the first crack at creating the seal.

Congress wasn’t so keen on the design these big names brought back, though, and it took nearly six years and several drafts to finally find a suitable seal. Congress finally approved of a design on June 20, 1782.

What’s the story behind the great seal of the United States?
According to the State Department, which has been the official trustee of the seal since 1789, both the obverse (front) and reverse (back) of the seal are rich with symbolism. The obverse picturing the eagle is a bit easier to explain. The bird holds 13 arrows to show the nation’s strength in war, but it also grasps an olive branch with 13 leaves and 13 olives that symbolize the importance of peace. (The recurring number 13, which also appears in the stripes on the eagle’s shield and the constellation of stars over its head, is a nod to the original 13 states.) The shield floats unsupported over the eagle as a reminder that Americans should rely on their own virtue and strength.

The symbolism of the pyramid on the seal’s reverse is trickier. The pyramid has 13 steps — the designers apparently never got tired of the 13 motif — and the Roman numeral for 1776 is emblazoned across the bottom. The all-seeing Eye of Providence at the top of the pyramid symbolizes the divine help the early Americans needed in establishing the new country. The pyramid itself symbolizes strength and durability.

The divine overtones don’t stop with the unblinking eye, though. The Latin motto Annuit Ceptisappears over the pyramid; it translates into “He [God] has favored our undertaking.” The scroll underneath the pyramid reads Novus Ordo Seclorum, or “A new order of the ages,” which was meant to signify the dawn of the new American era.

How did the seal end up on our dollar bill?
We can thank former Secretary of State Cordell Hull’s busy schedule for that one. Secretary of Agriculture Henry A. Wallace had to wait for a meeting with Hull in 1934 and decided to kill time by thumbing through a State Department pamphlet on the great seal. The pamphlet contained an illustration of the reverse side of the seal with the pyramid, and Wallace was quite taken with the drawing. He took the seal to President Franklin Roosevelt and suggested the country mint a coin using the two sides of the seal.

FDR liked the seal, too. (Roosevelt and Wallace were both Masons and loved the all-seeing eye part of the reverse design, which echoed the concept of the Great Architect of the Universe.) He thought the seal should be on the reverse of the dollar bill rather than a coin, but he was worried the mystical imagery would offend Catholics. After Postmaster General James Farley assured FDR he didn’t think his fellow Catholics would have any problem with the design, Roosevelt approved a new dollar bill design that first appeared in 1935.

Did the founding fathers swipe any ideas from a magazine?
Possibly. The familiar E Pluribus Unum motto that the eagle holds in its beak underscores the union and togetherness of the 13 colonies. It might also underscore early Americans’ love of periodicals.

According to the State Department, recent historical research has indicated that this Latin motto may have been borrowed from Gentlemen’s Magazine, a London publication that ran from 1732 to 1922.

The magazine was popular in the colonies, and its title page always carried the E Pluribus Unummotto.

Why don’t the dates on the front of the bills change that often?
At the lower right of the portrait on the bill’s obverse you’ll see the word “Series” and a year. You might notice that these don’t change each year the way the numbers on minted coins do. Why not?

According to the Treasury, the series date only changes when there’s a new design for a bill, a new treasurer of the United States, or a new secretary of the Treasury. (These are the two officials whose signatures appear on either side of the portrait.) The series year itself changes when the secretary of the Treasury changes, while a change in the treasurer of the United States means that the series year remains the same, but a suffix letter gets tacked onto the end of the year.

What are the various other numbers on the obverse of the bill?
The bill’s serial number is the most prominently displayed set of digits on the dollar, but they’re not alone. If you take out a dollar, you’ll notice there are four large numbers in the corners of the bill’s open space. Like the encircled letter to the left of Washington’s portrait, these numbers tell which Federal Reserve Bank issued the note. (Each Fed’s number corresponds the letter of the alphabet assigned to the bank, with A=1, B=2, and so on.)

The tiny letters and numbers that appear on the top left and bottom right of the bill’s obverse indicate the position of the note on the Treasury’s printing plates. If your dollar bill has a tiny “FW” before this code, those letters indicate that it was printed at the Treasury’s facility in Fort Worth, Texas, rather than in Washington, D.C.

252 Documented Examples of Barack Obama’s Lying, Lawbreaking, Corruption, Cronyism, etc.

The following is a contribution from Dan from Squirrel Hill. The original title of the article is “Obama supporters will go hysterical over this well sourced list of 252 examples of his lying, lawbreaking, corruption, cronyism, etc.” it’s lengthy, but is a ‘one-stop shop’ for all the dirty details on the Obama presidency.

Every President, every politician, and every human being tells lies and engages in acts of hypocrisy. But Barack Obama does these things to a far greater degree than anyone else that I have ever known of. His campaign promises were so much better sounding than anyone else’s – no lobbyists in his administration, waiting five days before signing all non-emergency bills so people would have time to read them, putting health care negotiations on C-SPAN, reading every bill line by line to make sure money isn’t being wasted, prosecution of Wall St. criminals, ending raids against medical marijuana in states where it’s legal, high levels of transparency. Obama’s promises of these wonderful things sounded inspiring and sincere. They sounded so much better than the promises of any other President. So when Obama broke these promises, it felt so much worse than when other Presidents broke their promises.

In the 2008 United States election, I wrote in Ron Paul for President. In the 2012 election, I voted for Libertarian Party candidate Gary Johnson. Those who are of a more leftist persuasion than myself might want to consider voting for the Green Party in future elections.

Some of the things on this list are major events that should scare the daylights out of any true liberal who cares about civil liberties.

Other things on this list are medium things that some Obama supporters may dislike, but would be willing to overlook in light of the things that Obama has done which they like.

And some of the things on this list may seem trivial, but I still think they are an interesting reflection of the kinds of policies that Obama supports.

Every claim that I make in this list is sourced. Click on the blue text to see the sources. I have cited a wide variety of sources, from right wing, to left wing, to middle of the road.

I welcome any comments and criticisms that you may have. If you say my list is wrong, please back up your claim by citing specific examples.

And now, on with the list:

1) Carried out military interventionism in Libya without Congressional approval In June 2011, U.S. Congressman Dennis Kucinich (D-Ohio) said that Obama had violated the Constitution when he launched military operations in Libya without Congressional approval.

2) Gave a no-bid contract to Halliburton – just like Bush did In May 2010, it was reported that the Obama administration had selected KBR, a former subsidiary of Halliburton, for a no-bid contract worth as much as $568 million through 2011, just hours after the Justice Department had said it would pursue a lawsuit accusing the Houston-based company of using kickbacks to get foreign contracts.

3) Has an administration full of lobbyists, after promising he wouldn’t have any While running for President, Obama had promised that, unlike Bush, he would not have any lobbyists working in his administration. However, by February 2010, he had more than 40 lobbyists working in his administration.

4) Has close ties to Wall St., but pretends to support Occupy Wall St. Although Obama claims to support the Occupy Wall St. movement, the truth is that he has raised more money from Wall St. than any other candidate during the last 20 years. In early 2012, Obama held a fundraiser where Wall St. investment bankers and hedge fund managers each paid $35,800 to attend. In October 2011, Obama hired Broderick Johnson, a longtime Wall Street lobbyist, to be his new senior campaign adviser. Johnson had worked as a lobbyist for JP Morgan Chase, Bank of America, Fannie Mae, Comcast, Microsoft, and the oil industry.

5) Broke his promise to close Guantanamo Bay Obama broke his promise to close Guantanamo Bay.

6) Supported the $700 billion TARP corporate-welfare bailout just like Bush While Senator, Obama voted for the $700 billion TARP bank bailout bill. The bailout rewarded irresponsible and illegal behavior. It redirected resources from more productive uses to less productive uses. It punished the hard working taxpayers who had played by the rules and obeyed the law. It created horrible incentives, and sent the wrong message. The bailout was evil because it rewarded the bad people and punished the good people. No society that does this can expect to remain free or prosperous. Instead of bailing out these corrupt corporations, we should have let them cease to exist, like we did with Enron.

7) Waged the biggest war against medical marijuana of any president, which was the opposite of what he had promised……………Click Here for Full List………..

26 Things We Believe Are True, But Aren’t

1. The word “fuck” was never an English term meaning “Fornication Under Consent of King.” It likely comes from the Dutch fokken, the German fickenor the Norwegian fukka.

2. “420” is not the Los Angeles police code for marijuana use. Some guys claim they invented “420” at San Rafael High School in 1971, when a group of stoners would go smoke under a statue every day at 4:20 PM, but who knows?

3. Napoleon Bonaparte was not short. Or well, tiny. He was 5’7’’, which was more or less standard height in 1821. His nickname le Petit Corporal was a term of endearment, and not meant to be taken literally.

4. There is no “real” you. If you treat people poorly, or start fights in bars, or steal, or hit dogs, or pick on the weak kid in school, you are not, nor can you be, “actually a good person on the inside.” You are an asshole.

5. Waking sleepwalkers does not harm them. They may get disoriented for a bit, but it can’t hurt them. Letting them walk around a house asleep, on the other hand, could harm them pretty good.

6. Bulls can’t see the color red as any different from any other bright colors. It does not enrage them. Rather, the aggressive posturing of the matador is what causes them to charge.

7. Humans have more than five senses. Most humanistic social scientists (the guys who study such things) believe they have at least nine, and some argue up to twenty senses. In addition to touch, taste, sight, hearing and smell, humans can sense pain, hunger, thirst, pressure, balance, acceleration, and time, among others.

8. Hair and fingernails do not continue growing after people die. Rather, the skin cells surrounding the nails and hair follicles die and shrink away, giving the perception of growth.

9. Outside of your family and perhaps a very few close friends, no one on earth cares that much about you. Unless you’re a celebrity.

10. Albert Einstein never failed math in school. He once failed an entrance exam to a gifted students’ school, but he was two years younger than everyone else taking the test, and he aced the math and science sections of the exam.

11. Life expectancy in the Middle Ages was low (around 30), but that was caused by a huge infant mortality rate. Most people who lived past infancy didn’t die at 30. If you made it to 21 in medieval England, your average life expectancy at that point became 64.

12. Men don’t think about sex every seven seconds.

13. Vaccines don’t cause autism. The only study that ever linked the two was shown to have faulty data and the lead scientist fudged the results.

14. George Washington never had wooden teeth. His dentures were made of gold, hippo ivory, lead, and human teeth.

15. Also, George Washington never smoked pot. He did grow cannabis on his property, but that was for hemp to make clothing for his slaves.

16. Chewing gum doesn’t take seven years to digest. In fact, you don’t digest it at all. Shoots right through you.

17. Mary Magdalene was not a prostitute. There is another, unnamed woman in the Bible who was a prostitute, and she is mentioned right before Mary Magdalene, causing the confusion. Mary Magdalene is never identified as a prostitute in the Bible.

18. While we’re on a Christianity kick, nowhere in the Bible does it identify Christ’s birthday at December 25. Bible scholars put his birthday sometime in September, but there’s no specific date. Pope Julius the First most likely set the December date. He may have been tying it in to a winter solstice festival, or celebrating the date of the conception of Christ (nine months before the September date of his birth).

19. The forbidden fruit is never explicitly stated to be an apple. It’s just a fruit.

20. Jihad does not mean “holy war.” It translates literally as “struggle.”

21. Thomas Edison didn’t invent the light bulb. His was the first practical light bulb that could be used at home and wouldn’t burn out, but others had invented similar devices beforehand.

22. Dogs don’t sweat by salivating. Panting helps cool them down, but dogs have sweat glands other places besides their tongues, including the pads of their feet.

23. Frankenstein wasn’t the name of the monster in Mary Shelley’s novel. The medical student who created him was named Frankenstein. The monster was nameless. (Also, Frankenstein was a medical student, not a doctor, as he is commonly referred.)

24. Drug “flashbacks” are a psychological response, and not the result of leftover drugs being stored in your fat cells.

25. Marilyn Monroe never said, “Well behaved women rarely make history.” Harvard professor Laurel Thatcher said it.

26. Marie Antoinette did not say, “Let them eat cake.” Jean-Jacques Rousseau first wrote the phrase when Marie was only ten years old. Rousseau probably made it up himself, the cad.

Most Government Pensions to be Confiscated Within a Decade (Simple Facts)

Last week, Detroit declared bankruptcy, becoming the largest city in U.S. history to take such drastic action in the face of financial insolvency. A declaration of bankruptcy isn’t what most people think it is, though: it’s not just a statement of “we’re broke!” It’s actually a way for the city to clear its slate of all financial obligations and not pay the retirees it owes.

What are the largest financial obligations the city facing? Pensions. $3.5 billion worth of pensions, to be exact.

Yes, Detroit owes former government employees — teachers, firefighters, cops and more — a whopping $3.5 billion in current and future payments. ExceptDetroit doesn’t have $3.5 billion to pay the pensions. The city is in a state of economic collapse. Remember, the U.S. government used billions in taxpayer money to help General Motors move its manufacturing offshore to countries like China. As a result of economically-insane actions and criminal mismanagement, a city that used to be the hub of industrial output in America has become a ghost town of abandoned buildings, crumbling infrastructure and financial destitution.

But even as all this was becoming apparent, the government workers there continued to collect fat paychecks and pensions, all based on the promise that endless population growth would out-pace the rise in pension obligations. Many pensioners are owed over $100,000 a year from the government, and this is true across California, Illinois and many other states as well.

Chicago, for example, owes $19 billion in pension payments that it doesn’t have, and the city of Los Angeles is more than $30 billion in the hole. The story is much the same in every major U.S. city.

As the Detroit Free Press now reports:

Early this year, the Pew Center released a survey showing that 61 of the nation’s largest cities — limiting the survey to the largest city in each state and all other cities with more than 500,000 people — had a gap of more than $217 billion in unfunded pension and health care liabilities. While cities had long promised health care, life insurance and other benefits to retirees, “few … started saving to cover the long-term costs,” the report said.

Read that report here:
http://www.pewtrusts.org/uploadedFiles/wwwpewtrustsorg/Reports/Retire…

Detroit’s bankruptcy being challenged

Realizing it flat-out doesn’t have the money to pay these pension obligations, Detroit had little choice but to declare bankruptcy in an effort to avoid paying the pensions. In effect, this is a confiscation of all pension funds by the government, meaning that retired cops, firefighters, school teachers and so on will never see a dime of the pensions they thought they had earned.

Naturally, those who are owed the pensions are furious about all this. Imagine working 40 years on the job, building up a retirement only to have that retirement stolen from you by a local government that’s steeped in corruption and financial mismanagement. The word “incompetent” doesn’t even begin to describe Detroit’s political leadership. It’s more like “brain damaged” or “criminally insane.”

But it’s also commonplace. Across the country, city governments have all spent the pension fundsinstead of saving them. Almost no large city has the funds necessary to pay its obligations to retirees. Pension financial planning strategies are tragic nightmares of broken promises, dishonest politicians and delusional workers (who still somehow believe they’re going to get paid).

In Detroit, the pensioners are fighting back, claiming Michigan’s state constitution forbids cities like Detroit from wiping away pension obligations by declaring bankruptcy. It’s all headed to the courts now, where even if Detroit’s bankruptcy is nullified, the city still doesn’t have the money to pay its pension obligations.

So it’s a no-win situation regardless of the outcome. Where the money doesn’t exist, nobody gets paid regardless of the legal wrangling in the courts.

Is Detroit “Too Big To Fail?” An Obama bailout may be imminent

There’s already talk of Obama bailing out Detroit, meaning the federal government would take on the debt of the mismanaged city and its pension funds, eventually passing on those obligations to taxpayers all across the country.

Yep, that means you and I will be paying the $100,000 retirement pension of some ex-cop in Detroit. It’s all part of the federal government’s new plan to reward waste and punish fiscal responsibility.

No wonder Sen. Rand Paul says Detroit will only be bailed out “over my dead body.” As Breitbart.com reports, Sen. Paul has stated, on the record, “I basically say he [Obama] is bailing them out over my dead body because we don’t have any money in Washington.”

Breitbart.com goes on to state, “Paul said the reason he is going to fight to stop any efforts to bail out Detroit is that if the president succeeds in bailing it out, that will send a signal to the rest of cities and states nationwide that the federal government will bail them out to if they conduct reckless spending.”

“Those who don’t have their house in order, who are teetering on disaster, will continue to make bad decisions.” – Sen. Rand Paul.

He’s right, of course. But rewarding reckless spending has become the new sport in Washington, where globalist banks routinely receive hundreds of billions of dollars in taxpayer bailouts after losing money on outlandish derivatives bets that went sour.

If we bail out Detroit, then the precedent is set: The taxpayers will have to foot the bill to bail out Chicago, Los Angeles, New York, Phoenix, Seattle and every other city that’s on the brink of financial disaster because bureaucrats are short-term thinkers who typically only think ahead to the next election, not the next generation.

“Public pension plans across the nation are in fiscal distress. Generally underfunded, most now require far greater contributions from governments than initially envisioned,” writes the California Common Sense organization, which goes on to state:

In 2012-13, Los Angeles’s pension costs are expected to rise to $1.3 billion, or 18% of the city’s budgeted expenditures. In 2002-03, just 10 years ago, pension costs were only $157 million, or 3% of total expenditures. Over the last decade, pension costs have grown at an annual average growth rate of 25% and have outpaced spending growth for every major area of the city’s budget.

“In April Moody’s Investors Service warned it could downgrade the ratings of Chicago, Cincinnati, Minneapolis, Portland and 25 other local governments and school districts as part of a change in how it factors public pensions into debt grades,” writes Forbes.com. “In Chicago, teachers’ pensions alone cost $1 billion a year, while overall debt service accounts for close to a quarter of the city budget.”

The top 10 biggest U.S. cities on the brink of pension bankruptcy

According to Business Insider, here are the top 10 U.S. cities whose pension obligations will soon collapse: (this article was originally published in 2010, so we have updated the “years” to reflect 2013)

#1 Philadelphia – Unfunded liability of $9 billion, $16,696 per household, only 1 year before the pension accounts are empty

#2 Chicago – Unfunded liability of $44.8 billion, $41.966 per household, money runs out in 4 years

#3 Boston – Unfunded liability of $7.5 billion, $30,901 per household, money runs out in 4 years

#4 Cincinnati – Unfunded liability of $2 billion, $15,681 per household, money runs out in 5 years

#5 St Paul – Unfunded liability of $1.4 billion, $13,686 per household, money runs out in 5 years

#6 Jacksonville – Unfunded liability of $4 billion, $12,944 per household, money runs out in 5 years

#7 New York City – Unfunded liability of $122 billion, $38,866 per household, money runs out in 6 years

#8 Baltimore – Unfunded liability of $3.7 billion, $15, 420 per household, money runs out in 7 years

#9 Detroit – Unfunded liability of $6.4 billion, $18,643 per household, money runs out in 8 years

#10 Fort Worth – Unfunded liability of $2 billion, $7,212 per household, money runs out in 8 years

Note that some of these numbers were actually optimistic. Detroit, for example, was predicted to run out of money in 2021, yet it already declared bankruptcy in 2013. What you are looking at here is a looming cascade of municipality bankruptcies over the next 10 – 20 years.

Cascading financial collapse

Nobody saves in America anymore; not cities, not states and of course not the federal government which Obama has brought to the astonishing debt level of $16 trillion (it was only $8 trillion when he first took office). It begs the question: If the cities bail out the pensioners, and Washington bails out the cities, who’s going to bail out Washington and its exploding debt?

The answer, of course, is nobody. Central banks all around the world are already sitting on far too much U.S. debt that’s being eroded by the hour as the Federal Reserve commits “quantitative easing” that dilutes the global dollar supply. They aren’t going to take on trillions more to bail out a nation now seen as a global imperialist bully that runs NSA spying on its own allies while routinely engaging in economic espionage through currency manipulations.

The American government is widely hated throughout the world today. Most nations probably wouldn’t mind seeing the USA collapse into financial oblivion. And within a few years, they may just get their wish.

“On average, pensions consume nearly 20 percent of municipal budgets,” writes Anthony Flint of The Atlantic Cities. “But if trends continue, over half of every dollar in tax revenue would go to pensions, and by some estimates in some cases would suck up 75 percent of all tax revenue.”

Financial collapse is not a doomsday conspiracy theory; it is mathematical inevitability

The upshot of all this is that if you are counting on a government pension to pay your bills during your retirement years, you may need to write that off because it probably won’t be there for very much longer.

This is true not just for local and state government workers, but also for federal government workers. Yep, all those TSA agents, DHS workers and FDA bureaucrats are going to see their own pensions stolen, and I can’t say that I’m shedding tears over TSA goons not getting their pensions. (“Pedophilia pensions!”)

“I mean the statistics in California are staggering,” said Sen. Rand Paul. “I think there’s over 100,000 people there getting over $100,000 a year in retirement. You got police chiefs in medium-sized cities getting $350,000 a year for a salary. It’s become untenable. But the main thing is we cannot send a signal from the federal government that cities and states are going to be too big to fail.”

Where all this really hurts, though, is at the local level. In most cities, people like firefighters, cops and school teachers are wildly under-paid. They dedicate their lives to serving the community, often putting their own lives at risk in the process. Stealing their pensions is especially malicious given how much they have sacrificed to earn them.

But there’s nothing that can be done to save them at this point. The mathematics are already in motion and unstoppable. Nearly all big-city pension obligation projections have been based on the false assumption that endless economic growth would provide a never-ending tax base from which pension obligations could be paid. That assumption, however, was a willful delusion in which city managers and bureaucrats happily engaged.

There is a day of reckoning coming for America, and it’s going to be a day of nationwide outrage as pensions all across the country are confiscated or destroyed in a cascading chain of bankruptcies. At the same time, the federal government will no doubt embark on a Cyprus-style private bank account confiscation program that steals private wealth from the American people. Wiring money out of the country will be made illegal, and all forms of wealth — including retirement accounts — will be subject to government confiscation.

At that point, only people who have gone to great lengths to protect their assets will have anything left. What holds value in such a scenario? Land, bullets, rifles, hand tools, stored food, silver coins, gold coins, iodine disinfectants and antibiotics, to name a few obvious items. Skills and education also rank high.

Detroit’s bankruptcy tells us the era of financial demise has begun. Now it’s only a matter of timebefore what happened to Detroit spreads to Los Angeles, Chicago, Philadelphia, Boston and other large U.S. cities. It is no coincidence that DHS and the feds are now routinely running paramilitary police state training exercises in high-density urban areas.

As bad as pensions are, unfunded health care liabilities are far worse

For the real story on all this, take everything you’ve just read about unfunded pensions and dig that hole ten times deeper. Because the unfunded health care obligations are ten times worse.

According to the Pew research document at www.Pewstates.org , a fiscal assessment of 61 large U.S. cities revealed that while pensions are 74% funded, retiree health care liabilities are only 6% funded.

You read that correctly: cities have only saved 6 cents on the dollar for what they’re going to need to pay the health care costs of retirees. And that’s assuming health care costs don’t keep skyrocketing thanks to hare-brained monopoly programs like Obamacare which lock in guaranteed monopolies to the drug companies, cancer centers and hospitals that now extract nearly one out of every four dollars of economic activity generated in across America.

Here’s the chart:

What this means in reality is that health care obligations will have to be abandoned. So at the same time cities confiscate pension funds, they will also abandon health care obligations.

For many retirees, this means they will lose their pensions and their health care benefits at the same time.

This is what will ultimately lead to widespread riots in the streets followed by the police state crackdown that the federal government has been planning with its purchase of billions of rounds of ammunition, thousands of armored assault vehicles, full-auto assault rifles and other equipment to be used on the streets of America. The IRS is now training with AR-15’s in order to engage American taxpayers at gunpoint. Even the Wall Street Journal now admits that the militarization of American police is wildly out of control, saying:

Law-enforcement agencies across the U.S., at every level of government, have been blurring the line between police officer and soldier. Driven by martial rhetoric and the availability of military-style equipment — from bayonets and M-16 rifles to armored personnel carriers — American police forces have often adopted a mind-set previously reserved for the battlefield.

This also tells you why government is secretly begging for a mass pandemic to wipe out all the elderly people in America: it would save cities and states from bankruptcy! No wonder government loves to promote Big Pharma — it’s the fastest way to kill people off and therefore not have to pay their retirement benefits. Longevity is the enemy of government because the longer you live, the more you collect in benefits. The sooner you die, the more you help government meet its unfunded financial obligations.

I wouldn’t be surprised to find the White House one day running a new public relations campaign with the message “Kill yourself. It’s good for America.”

Or “Suicide is patriotic.”

Sources for this story include:
1) My memory, experience, observations and reasoning.

2) http://www.pewtrusts.org/uploadedFiles/wwwpewtrustsorg/Reports/Retire…

3) http://www.forbes.com/sites/joelkotkin/2013/07/12/the-truce-that-coul…

4) http://www.nber.org/digest/mar11/w16453.html

5) http://www.theatlanticcities.com/jobs-and-economy/2012/09/next-big-fi…

6) http://www.breitbart.com/Big-Government/2013/07/19/Exclusive-Rand-Pau…

40 Stats That Prove The U.S. Economy Has Already Been Collapsing Over The Past Decade

The “coming economic collapse” has already been happening.  You see, the truth is that the economic collapse is not a single event.  It has already started, it is happening right now, and it will accelerate during the years ahead.  The statistics in this article show very clearly that the U.S. economy has fallen dramatically over the past ten years or so.  Unfortunately, there are lots of mockers out there that love to mock the idea of an economic collapse even though one is happening right in front of our eyes.  They love to say stuff like this (and I am paraphrasing): “An economic collapse is never going to happen.  We can consume far more wealth than we produce forever.  We can pile up gigantic mountains of debt forever.  There is no way that the party is over.  In fact, the party is just getting started.  Woo-hoo!”  That sounds absolutely ridiculous, but “economists” and “journalists” actually write things that reflect these kinds of sentiments every single day.  They do not seem alarmed about the fact that our national debt is nearly 17 times larger than it was 30 years ago.  They do not seem alarmed about the fact that the total amount of debt in our country is more than 28 times larger than it was 40 years ago.  They do not seem alarmed about the fact that our economic infrastructure is being absolutely gutted and we are steadily becoming poorer as a nation.  They just think that the magic formula of print, borrow, spend and consume can go on indefinitely.  Unfortunately, the truth is that a massive economic disaster has already started to unfold.  We inherited the greatest economic machine in the history of the world, but we totally wrecked it.  We have been able to live far, far beyond our means for the last couple of decades thanks to the greatest debt bubble in the history of the planet, but now that debt bubble is getting ready to burst.  Anyone with half a brain should be able to see what is coming.  Just open your eyes and look at the facts.  The following are 40 stats that prove the U.S. economy has already been collapsing over the past decade…

#1 According to the World Bank, U.S. GDP accounted for 31.8 percentof all global economic activity in 2001.  That number dropped to 21.6 percent in 2011.

#2 The United States was once ranked #1 in the world in GDP per capita.  Today we have slipped to #14.

#3 The United States has fallen in the global economic competitiveness rankings compiled by the World Economic Forum for four years in a row.

#4 Since the year 2000, the size of the U.S. national debt has grown by more than 11 trillion dollars.

#5 Back in the year 2000, our trade deficit with China was 83 billion dollars.  Last year, it was 315 billion dollars.

#6 In the year 2000, about 17 million Americans were employed in manufacturing.  Today, only about 12 million Americans are employed in manufacturing.

#7 The United States has lost more than 56,000 manufacturing facilities since 2001.

#8 The United States has lost a staggering 32 percent of its manufacturing jobs since the year 2000.

#9 Between December 2000 and December 2010, 38 percent of the manufacturing jobs in Ohio were lost, 42 percent of the manufacturing jobs in North Carolina were lost and 48 percent of the manufacturing jobs in Michigan were lost.

#10 Back in 1998, the United States had 25 percent of the world’s high-tech export market and China had just 10 percent. Today, China’s high-tech exports are more than twice the size of U.S. high-tech exports.

#11 In 2002, the United States had a trade deficit in “advanced technology products” of $16 billion with the rest of the world.  In 2010, that number skyrocketed to $82 billion.

#12 The United States has lost more than a quarter of all of its high-tech manufacturing jobs since the year 2000.

#13 The number of full-time workers in the United States is nearly 6 million below the old record that was set back in 2007.

#14 The average duration of unemployment in the United States isnearly three times as long as it was back in the year 2000.

#15 Throughout the year 2000, more than 64 percent of all working age Americans had a job.  Today, only 58.7 percent of all working age Americans have a job.

#16 The official unemployment rate has been at 7.5 percent or higher for 54 months in a row.  That is the longest stretch in U.S. history.

#17 The U.S. government says that the number of Americans “not in the labor force” rose by 17.9 million between 2000 and 2011.  During the entire decade of the 1980s, the number of Americans “not in the labor force” rose by only 1.7 million.

#18 The average number of hours worked per employed person per year has fallen by about 100 since the year 2000.

#19 The U.S. economy continues to trade good paying jobs for low paying jobs.  60 percent of the jobs lost during the last recession were mid-wage jobs, but 58 percent of the jobs created since then have been low wage jobs.

#20 The U.S. economy lost more than 220,000 small businessesduring the recent recession.

#21 The percentage of Americans that are self-employed has steadily declined over the past decade and is now at an all-time low.

#22 According to economist Tim Kane, the following is how the number of startup jobs per 1000 Americans breaks down by presidential administration

Bush Sr.: 11.3

Clinton: 11.2

Bush Jr.: 10.8

Obama: 7.8

#23 In the year 2000, there were only 17 million Americans on food stamps.  Today, there are more than 47 million Americans on food stamps.

#24 In the year 2000, the ratio of social welfare benefits to salaries and wages was approximately 21 percent.  Today, the ratio of social welfare benefits to salaries and wages is approximately 35 percent.

#25 Since Barack Obama entered the White House, the average price of a gallon of gasoline in the United States has risen from $1.85 to $3.64.

#26 More than twice as many new homes were sold in the United States in 2005 as will be sold in 2013.

#27 Right now there are 20.2 million Americans that spend more than half of their incomes on housing.  That represents a 46 percent increase from 2001.

#28 The price of ground beef increased by 61 percent between 2002 and 2012.

#29 According to USA Today, water bills have actually tripled over the past 12 years in some areas of the country.

#30 In 1999, 64.1 percent of all Americans were covered by employment-based health insurance.  Today, only 55.1 percent are covered by employment-based health insurance.

#31 Median household income in the United States has fallen for four years in a row.

#32 As I mentioned recently, the homeownership rate in America is now at its lowest level in nearly 18 years.

#33 Back in the year 2000, the mortgage delinquency rate was about 2 percent.  Today, it is nearly 10 percent.

#34 Median household income for families with children dropped by a whopping $6,300 between 2001 and 2011.

#35 Back in 2007, about 28 percent of all working families were considered to be among “the working poor”.  Today, that number is up to 32 percent even though our politicians tell us that the economy is supposedly recovering.

#36 According to the Federal Reserve, the median net worth of families in the United States declined “from $126,400 in 2007 to $77,300 in 2010“.

#37 According to the New York Times, the average debt burden for U.S. households that earn $20,000 a year or less “more than doubled to $26,000 between 2001 and 2010“.

#38 Medicare spending increased by 138 percent between 1999 and 2010.

#39 During Obama’s first term, the federal government accumulated more debt than it did under the first 42 U.S presidents combined.

#40 Today, more than a million public school students in the United States are homeless.  This is the first time that has ever happened in our history.  That number has risen by 57 percent since the 2006-2007 school year.