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Banker Occupied Europe and America

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Medicare and Medicaid are hardest hit. Obama wants another $360 billion cut besides earlier reductions. Healthcare providers will be most impacted. As a result, fewer doctors and hospitals will treat patients for payments not covering their opportunity and out-of-pocket costs.

Another $278 billion less over 10 years is earmarked from other domestic programs. Those mostly affected include federal worker pensions, the Pension Benefit Guaranty Corporation (private pension insurer), farm programs, and Postal Service being readied for privatization at higher costs and less service.

Obama officials claim his proposal's designed to create jobs, expand public services, and make America's rich pay their fair share. In fact, expect few job gains, and those created mostly low wage/low benefit temp or part-time ones because most higher paying full-time ones went offshore. 

As a result, ordinary people face greater burdens. Retirees, the disabled, and poor households are hardest hit, and proposed tax increases on America's rich either won't pass Congress or will be largely offset by new loopholes.

In addition, alleged defense cuts won't happen as long as imperial wars rage and proposed Pentagon Middle East/East Asia expansions proceed as planned.

Overall, Obama's budget combines greater pain for ordinary people with business as usual for Wall Street, war profiteers, other corporate favorites, and America's rich.

At the same time, debt reduction's more smoke and mirrors than real. Expect annual increases to outpace cuts as far ahead as can be projected.

On February 15, bipartisan complicity agreed on sharply reduced jobless benefits duration. Long-term unemployed Americans will be harder pressed to survive. More on the deal below.

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On February 15, a New York Times editorial headlined, "A Rare Deal," leaving unexplained what matters most. Instead it claimed:

"The agreement is imperfect but sound. It will help struggling Americans and the struggling economy. It is also a political win for Democrats and" Obama. Republicans dropped their demand to offset concessions with comparable spending cuts.

Times editors never miss a chance to praise Obama instead of opposing his destructive/harmful policies and proposals.

Formerly, jobless benefits ran 99 weeks. Now they're 73 weeks in states with unemployment levels above 9%. Only 14 states qualify. Duration elsewhere drops to 63 weeks. As a result, unemployed workers lose 30% of their benefits when most needed.

Moreover, they'll have to provide more proof they're actively seeking work, and states will be able to impose drug tests. At the same time, federal workers pension program costs will increase to offset continuing unemployment benefit programs.

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Obama's plan comes at a time America's headline 8.3% unemployment rate masks the real 22.5% figure. It includes discouraged, marginally attached, and other workers without jobs long-term, as well as those wanting full-time jobs forced into part-time/temp ones. It also excludes up to 48,000 falsely created monthly jobs based on new business birth-death ratio calculations at a time accurate measures show losses, not gains.

Whatever's finally enacted, expect poverty levels to rise. Already, around half of US households earn below subsistence incomes or border it, according to US Census figures. New cuts will push many more over the line to greater hunger, homelessness and despair.

Obama, most congressional Democrats, and Republicans serve America's aristocracy at the expense of popular needs gone begging. 

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I was born in 1934, am a retired, progressive small businessman concerned about all the major national and world issues, committed to speak out and write about them.

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