by Napp Nazworth
Newscast Media WASHINGTON, D.C.—The day before the ‘fiscal cliff’ deadline and as Congress continues to work on an agreement, President Barack Obama appeared on NBC’s “Meet the Press” to blame Congressional Republicans for not reaching a deal. In a panel discussion after the interview, journalists criticized Obama for not doing more to build trust with Republicans and not displaying more leadership on entitlement reform.
“We have been talking to Republicans ever since the election was over. They have had trouble saying yes to a number of repeated offers,” Obama explained Sunday. The problem has not been with the Democrats, Obama said, but with Republicans because they have been unwilling to ask the wealthy to pay more in taxes.
“So far, at least, Congress has not been able to get this [fiscal cliff] stuff done. Not because Democrats in Congress don’t want to go ahead and cooperate, but because, I think it’s been hard for Speaker [of the House John] Boehner and Republican [Senate Minority] Leader [Mitch] McConnell to accept the fact that taxes on the wealthy Americans should go up a little bit as part of an overall deficit reduction package,” he said.
The interviewer, David Gregory, asked Obama if he holds any accountability for the lack of an agreement to avoid the fiscal cliff. He answered that it was the Republicans’ fault because he has moved “more than halfway” to their position. That agreement, Obama said, would offer two dollars in spending cuts for every one dollar in tax increases.
In the panel discussion after the interview, most of the journalists criticized Obama for not showing more leadership on entitlement reform. If Obama had shown more willingness to take on the long-term drivers of the nation’s debt problem, NBC News special correspondent Tom Brokaw explained, he would have a better chance of getting Republicans to go along with a last-minute fiscal cliff deal.
“I think it would have been helpful this morning to have said, ‘look, we get this tax deal done, I’m here to help on Medicare and Social Security reforms, we’ve got to address those,’ Brokaw advised. “Instead of just saying, ‘I’m going to protect the seniors who are there and the Medicare and Medicaid recipients.’ Give a little something to show good faith about what needs to be done on deficit reduction in the entitlement programs.”
Gregory recalled that when Brokaw interviewed Obama in 2008 he promised to take on entitlement reform before the end of his first term, but in Sunday’s interview he showed no commitment to entitlement reform.
“I asked him to make a commitment for the first year of his second term, he’s not prepared to do that. This is the driver, … you’re going to run out of discretionary money to do [the] things the president wants to do if you don’t take on entitlements,” Gregory complained.
by Napp Nazworth
Newscast Media WASHINGTON, D.C.—Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney has come out in support of one of Ron Paul’s perennial policy ideas—auditing the Federal Reserve. Romney reiterated, though, that the Fed should maintain its independence from Congress.
“The Federal Reserve should be accountable,” Romney said at a New Hampshire campaign stop Monday. “We should see what they’re doing.”
In response to a question later, he said that he supports an audit of the Fed, but added, “I want to keep [the Fed] independent. There are very few groups that I would not want to give the keys to. One of them is Congress.”
Rep. Ron Paul (R-Texas), who ran against Romney for the Republican presidential nomination, has long called for a Fed audit. His Fed audit bill was passed by the House of Representatives last month, 327-98, with strong bipartisan support.
Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) has said that the Senate will not vote on the bill, even though he was a vocal supporter of auditing the Fed in the 1990s, before he became majority leader.
Paul also fought to include a Fed audit in the Republican Party platform. The current draft proposal, which will be voted on this week, includes support for an annual Fed audit but also contains language saying that it should be done in a way that does not impair the Fed’s independence.
The Fed already has a yearly audit conducted by an independent firm, but that audit only looks at the Fed’s finances. The House-passed Fed audit bill would give the General Accounting Office authority to investigate the closed-door deliberations that lead to the Fed’s decisions on monetary policy.
Fed Chairman Ben Bernanke opposes the legislation, arguing that the Fed should have independence in setting interest rates. Economist Glenn Hubbard, one of Romney’s economic advisers, has also been an outspoken critic of Paul’s bill. Hubbard also recently voiced his support for Bernanke, a personal friend. Romney has said that Bernanke should not continue as Fed chairman when his current term expires in 2014.
Newscast Media NEW YORk, NY– The Federal Reserve, a privately held business, finally revealed details Wednesday of trillions of dollars in emergency aid it provided to U.S. and foreign banks during the financial crisis. Perhaps not wanting WikiLeaks to make these revelations, the Fed released the data in the form of more than 21,000 transactions.
The private banks that control the FED are: Rothschild Bank of London, Warburg Bank of Hamburg, Rothschild Bank of Berlin, Lehman Brothers of New York, Lazard Brothers of Paris, Kuhn Loeb Bank of New York, Israel Moses Seif Banks of Italy, Goldman, Sachs of New York, Warburg Bank of Amsterdam and Chase Manhattan Bank of New York.
The released documents show that the most loan and other aid for U.S. institutions over time went to Citigroup ($2.2 trillion), followed by Merrill Lynch ($2.1 trillion), Morgan Stanley ($2 trillion), Bank of America ($1.1 trillion), Bear Stearns ($960 billion), Goldman Sachs ($620 billion), JPMorgan Chase ($260 billion) and Wells Fargo ($150 billion).
Merrill Lynch was later acquired by Bank of America, while Bear Stearns collapsed and was sold to JPMorgan.
Among the largest foreign bank recipients were Bank of England, Swiss National Bank, Barclays and Bank of Japan.
The Fed also detailed the $1.25 trillion in mortgage securities it bought from Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac to help drive down mortgage rates, ease credit and provide some support to the crippled housing market.
Additional non-banking companies in the U.S. used the Fed’s lending programs, too, the documents show. Motorcycle maker Harley-Davidson Inc. borrowed $2.3 billion, Caterpillar Inc. $733 million and McDonald’s $203 million.Two other recipients were the California State Teachers Retirement System and the City of Bristol (Conn.) General City Retirement Fund. http://newscastmedia.com/bailout-money.htm