Friday, April 21, 2017

THE TRUMP ASSAULT ON AMERICA'S YOUTH

"Public education as a whole came under brutal attack as part of the Obama administration’s effort to shift the burden of the financial crisis onto the backs of the working class."



Secretary of Education Betsy DeVos reverses Obama-era decision on student loan debt
By Kayla Costa and Genevieve Leigh
21 April 2017
Secretary of Education Betsy DeVos signed an order last Tuesday halting plans made under the Obama administration regarding the national student loan servicing and debt collection system.
In a memo to James Runcie of the Federal Student Aid Office, DeVos formally withdrew three Obama-era memos calling for the federal government to select a single vendor to build a new system for servicing its student loans.
Currently the Federal government has $800 million in contracts with nine different loan servicing companies to carry out the tasks of sending bills, collecting payments, and dealing with borrower issues for the more than $1 trillion of student loans. Under this setup the federal government has directly profited from the student loan crisis to the tune of about $10 billion per year.
The Obama-era plans to consolidate the vendor contracts into one did not represent a genuine effort to address the student loan collection scandals or reform the exploitative loan system more generally. The memos were the product of a damage control campaign following a series of lawsuits and scandals involving the Department of Education and the explosion of the student debt crisis following the 2008 financial crisis.
Public education as a whole came under brutal attack as part of the Obama administration’s effort to shift the burden of the financial crisis onto the backs of the working class. Major cuts were made to spending on education and consequently public universities compensated for the loss by increasing tuition nationally by 33 percent over the course of the first six years of the Obama administration. These costs, paired with the rising costs of living and stagnating wages, resulted in a sharp spike in student debt.
As the situation was seized upon by the loan companies with the backing of the Department of Education, the government agency became the target of growing anger for employing and protecting the predatory student loan collection agencies.
The token measures offered under by the Obama administration, and only after enormous pressure, did nothing to curb the loan collectors’ scandalous behavior. While consolidation of the loan agencies may appear to have been a progressive step, it is doubtful that this move would have made any positive difference at all to students. This is supported by the negotiating process leading up to the plan’s implementation.
Bidding for the single vendor contract to service student loans, which would have been the largest federal contract outside of the military, started about a year ago. The largest student loan servicer in the country, Navient, quickly emerged as the frontrunner.
Navient oversees roughly $300 billion in student loans for more than 12 million borrowers, 6 million of whom are under contract with the Department of Education. In total, the Delaware-based corporation, formed out of the split of student loan servicer Sallie Mae in 2014, accounts for nearly one-fourth of all student loan borrowers.
Navient is among the most notorious student loan agencies. The company paid $97 million in a settlement in 2014 alone for illegally maximizing late fees on the student loans of military personnel. Over 60,000 loans were affected by the violation of the 6 percent interest rate cap which is afforded to active duty service members. It was this company which the Obama administration was prepared to task with overseeing great “reforms.”
Any attempt to paint the Obama administration as an ally of students or good for education falls flat in the face of the facts. However, this is not to say there is anything positive about DeVos’ reversal.
Last week’s withdrawal of the Obama-era reforms indicates a further shift to the right by the new Trump administration. DeVos’s actions, in line with the Trump administration’s moves on foreign policy, immigration, and environmental protections, mark an escalation based on the framework established by the Obama administration.
DeVos has repeatedly expressed plans for the Department of Education to slash federal funding and regulations—as weak as they were to begin with—shifting the weight of public services into the hands of state officials and ultimately private investors.
The recent order claimed that the previous plans lacked “proper management cohesion,” in addition to being too costly. Without laying out a new policy agenda, DeVos stated that an effort was underway to “acquire new federal student loan capabilities that will provide borrowers with the tools necessary to efficiently repay their debt.”
DeVos, a billionaire from Michigan, is a well-known ideological opponent of public education. She and her family have donated millions of dollars to politicians and lobbying groups that support the funneling of tax dollars to private and religious schools through voucher programs and removing oversight of education spending through the establishment of charter schools.
Her inner circle is filled with some of the most right-wing conservative figures in the US. There is no question as to her intentions as head of the Department of Education: to destroy public education in the service of private interests.
Opposition to DeVos and the attack on education will not come from the Democratic Party despite the theatrical campaign they waged during her senate confirmation. Behind their nominal defense of “struggling families” from “unnecessary financial burden,” as leading Senators have put it, lies the Democratic Party’s own legacy of attacking public education and promoting charter schools, extending back decades. The Democrats’ complicity in the corporate-driven school “reform” is well documented in cities like Chicago and Detroit.


AMERICA’S YOUTH STARVE

FOR EIGHT YEARS BARACK OBAMA AND HIS HAREM OF CORRUPT DEM POLS HAVE  SABOTAGED OUR BORDERS TO EASE TENS OF MILLIONS OF ILLEGALS INTO OUR JOBS, WELFARE OFFICES AND VOTING BOOTHS. 


What is left for Legals is only the tax bills for La Raza's looting!


The new reports show that in addition to “traditional” coping strategies of skipping meals and eating cheap food, these teens and pre-teens are increasingly forced into shoplifting, stealing, selling drugs, joining a gang, or selling their bodies for money in a struggle to eat properly.


THE DEMOCRAT PARTY: MUCK AMERICA’S YOUTH…. WE’VE GOT OUR ILLEGALS CLIMBING THE BORDERS, JOBS AND VOTING BOOTHS!

 OBAMA-CLINTONOMICS pounds America’s youth as they build a border to border Mexican welfare state on our backs!

AMERICA’S YOUTH STARVE
                                 
…… ILLEGALS SUCK IN BILLIONS IN WELFARE… they also get our jobs!



The new reports show that in addition to “traditional” coping strategies of skipping meals and eating cheap food, these teens and pre-teens are increasingly forced into shoplifting, stealing, selling drugs, joining a gang, or selling their bodies for money in a struggle to eat properly.

AMERICA STUDENTS STARVE:

Report on the impact of OBAMA-CLINTONOMICS-TRUMPERNOMICS


THE  GIG JOB – In America, No Legal Need Apply




"Possibly most affected by this shift in the economy is the Millennial generation, those  aged 18-30. The report notes that more than half of those under age 25 participate in independent work, not just in the United States but throughout the European Union as well."

THE TRUMP ASSAULT ON AMERICA'S YOUTH

"Public education as a whole came under brutal attack as part of the Obama administration’s effort to shift the burden of the financial crisis onto the backs of the working class."



Secretary of Education Betsy DeVos reverses Obama-era decision on student loan debt
By Kayla Costa and Genevieve Leigh
21 April 2017
Secretary of Education Betsy DeVos signed an order last Tuesday halting plans made under the Obama administration regarding the national student loan servicing and debt collection system.
In a memo to James Runcie of the Federal Student Aid Office, DeVos formally withdrew three Obama-era memos calling for the federal government to select a single vendor to build a new system for servicing its student loans.
Currently the Federal government has $800 million in contracts with nine different loan servicing companies to carry out the tasks of sending bills, collecting payments, and dealing with borrower issues for the more than $1 trillion of student loans. Under this setup the federal government has directly profited from the student loan crisis to the tune of about $10 billion per year.
The Obama-era plans to consolidate the vendor contracts into one did not represent a genuine effort to address the student loan collection scandals or reform the exploitative loan system more generally. The memos were the product of a damage control campaign following a series of lawsuits and scandals involving the Department of Education and the explosion of the student debt crisis following the 2008 financial crisis.
Public education as a whole came under brutal attack as part of the Obama administration’s effort to shift the burden of the financial crisis onto the backs of the working class. Major cuts were made to spending on education and consequently public universities compensated for the loss by increasing tuition nationally by 33 percent over the course of the first six years of the Obama administration. These costs, paired with the rising costs of living and stagnating wages, resulted in a sharp spike in student debt.
As the situation was seized upon by the loan companies with the backing of the Department of Education, the government agency became the target of growing anger for employing and protecting the predatory student loan collection agencies.
The token measures offered under by the Obama administration, and only after enormous pressure, did nothing to curb the loan collectors’ scandalous behavior. While consolidation of the loan agencies may appear to have been a progressive step, it is doubtful that this move would have made any positive difference at all to students. This is supported by the negotiating process leading up to the plan’s implementation.
Bidding for the single vendor contract to service student loans, which would have been the largest federal contract outside of the military, started about a year ago. The largest student loan servicer in the country, Navient, quickly emerged as the frontrunner.
Navient oversees roughly $300 billion in student loans for more than 12 million borrowers, 6 million of whom are under contract with the Department of Education. In total, the Delaware-based corporation, formed out of the split of student loan servicer Sallie Mae in 2014, accounts for nearly one-fourth of all student loan borrowers.
Navient is among the most notorious student loan agencies. The company paid $97 million in a settlement in 2014 alone for illegally maximizing late fees on the student loans of military personnel. Over 60,000 loans were affected by the violation of the 6 percent interest rate cap which is afforded to active duty service members. It was this company which the Obama administration was prepared to task with overseeing great “reforms.”
Any attempt to paint the Obama administration as an ally of students or good for education falls flat in the face of the facts. However, this is not to say there is anything positive about DeVos’ reversal.
Last week’s withdrawal of the Obama-era reforms indicates a further shift to the right by the new Trump administration. DeVos’s actions, in line with the Trump administration’s moves on foreign policy, immigration, and environmental protections, mark an escalation based on the framework established by the Obama administration.
DeVos has repeatedly expressed plans for the Department of Education to slash federal funding and regulations—as weak as they were to begin with—shifting the weight of public services into the hands of state officials and ultimately private investors.
The recent order claimed that the previous plans lacked “proper management cohesion,” in addition to being too costly. Without laying out a new policy agenda, DeVos stated that an effort was underway to “acquire new federal student loan capabilities that will provide borrowers with the tools necessary to efficiently repay their debt.”
DeVos, a billionaire from Michigan, is a well-known ideological opponent of public education. She and her family have donated millions of dollars to politicians and lobbying groups that support the funneling of tax dollars to private and religious schools through voucher programs and removing oversight of education spending through the establishment of charter schools.
Her inner circle is filled with some of the most right-wing conservative figures in the US. There is no question as to her intentions as head of the Department of Education: to destroy public education in the service of private interests.
Opposition to DeVos and the attack on education will not come from the Democratic Party despite the theatrical campaign they waged during her senate confirmation. Behind their nominal defense of “struggling families” from “unnecessary financial burden,” as leading Senators have put it, lies the Democratic Party’s own legacy of attacking public education and promoting charter schools, extending back decades. The Democrats’ complicity in the corporate-driven school “reform” is well documented in cities like Chicago and Detroit.


AMERICA’S YOUTH STARVE

FOR EIGHT YEARS BARACK OBAMA AND HIS HAREM OF CORRUPT DEM POLS HAVE  SABOTAGED OUR BORDERS TO EASE TENS OF MILLIONS OF ILLEGALS INTO OUR JOBS, WELFARE OFFICES AND VOTING BOOTHS. 


What is left for Legals is only the tax bills for La Raza's looting!


The new reports show that in addition to “traditional” coping strategies of skipping meals and eating cheap food, these teens and pre-teens are increasingly forced into shoplifting, stealing, selling drugs, joining a gang, or selling their bodies for money in a struggle to eat properly.


THE DEMOCRAT PARTY: MUCK AMERICA’S YOUTH…. WE’VE GOT OUR ILLEGALS CLIMBING THE BORDERS, JOBS AND VOTING BOOTHS!

 OBAMA-CLINTONOMICS pounds America’s youth as they build a border to border Mexican welfare state on our backs!

AMERICA’S YOUTH STARVE
                                 
…… ILLEGALS SUCK IN BILLIONS IN WELFARE… they also get our jobs!



The new reports show that in addition to “traditional” coping strategies of skipping meals and eating cheap food, these teens and pre-teens are increasingly forced into shoplifting, stealing, selling drugs, joining a gang, or selling their bodies for money in a struggle to eat properly.

AMERICA STUDENTS STARVE:

Report on the impact of OBAMA-CLINTONOMICS-TRUMPERNOMICS


THE  GIG JOB – In America, No Legal Need Apply




"Possibly most affected by this shift in the economy is the Millennial generation, those  aged 18-30. The report notes that more than half of those under age 25 participate in independent work, not just in the United States but throughout the European Union as well."

Tuesday, March 14, 2017

THE ASSAULT ON AMERICA FOR THE SUPER RICH CONTINUES - US government agency projects 24 million to lose health coverage under Republican plan

US government agency projects 24 million to lose health coverage under Republican plan



CUT MEDICAID AND SOCIAL SECURITY TO FINANCE TAX CUTS FOR THE SUPER RICH!

OBAMA-CLINTON-TRUMPERnomics:  America’s Road to REVOLUTION


….. but will they finish off the
American middle-class first???



“The Tax Policy Center finds
that for the top 0.1 percent of income earners—those making more than $3.75
million annually—repealing this investment tax would amount to an average tax
cut of $165,090.”

Thursday, February 16, 2017

TRUMPERNOMICS and the Exploitation of the American Worker

Fast-food mogul Andrew Puzder withdraws as Trump labor nominee



AMNESTY.... IT'S ALL ABOUT KEEPING WAGES DEPRESSED!



but didn't this greedy wife beater Puzder represent Trump's intended exploitation of the American (Legal) worker???



Fast-food mogul Andrew Puzder withdraws as Trump labor nominee



Fast-food mogul Andrew Puzder withdraws as Trump labor nominee
By a reporter
16 February 2017
Multimillionaire fast-food boss Andrew Puzder withdrew his nomination to head the Department of Labor Wednesday, in another sign of the deepening political crisis of the Trump administration. He is the first one of Trump’s 16 cabinet picks to fail to win confirmation.
Puzder withdrew after four Republican senators on the Health, Education, Labor and Pensions Committee announced they would vote against him, enough to block the nomination in committee, since every Democrat was opposed. Another dozen Republicans had refused to commit themselves to vote for Puzder in a vote on the Senate floor, the first time a Trump nomination has attracted significant Republican opposition.
In the end, the split in the Republicans is what torpedoed the nomination, since the Senate has confirmed a series of Trump nominees by near party-line votes, including Steven Mnuchin for Treasury secretary, by 53-47, and Betsy DeVos to head the Department of Education, by 52-48.
The Democrats had staged their usual for-the-
record opposition, citing Puzder’s opposition 
to increasing the minimum wage and his role 
as a typically vicious exploiter of workers, for 
which the fast-food industry is notorious.
What undermined his support among Republicans however, were two aspects of his personal life: allegations of domestic violence by his first wife, and his hiring of an undocumented woman as a housekeeper, while concealing his payment of wages. He did not pay the back taxes for her employment until nominated to become head of the Department of Labor.
Puzder’s first wife ultimately retracted the domestic violence charge as part of her divorce settlement, but last week a 29-year-old television tape from the Oprah Winfrey Show, in which she detailed the abuse while wearing a disguise, was sent to the US Senate for review. It was widely circulated on Capitol Hill.
Even more significant in the shift among the 

Republicans were suggestions from right-wing

groups that Puzder’s hiring of an 

undocumented housekeeper was part of a 

larger pattern, and that he was insufficiently 

militant in his hostility to immigrant workers. 

On that basis, the ultra-right 

magazine National Review called Wednesday 

for the Senate to reject his nomination.
There was also some hostility to Puzder’s nomination among Christian fundamentalist groups over sexually provocative television ads for his hamburger chains. These groups, however, endorsed Trump’s presidential campaign, making it difficult for them to exercise a veto based on such moralizing.
Puzder had the full support of industry groups, including the US Chamber of Commerce, the International Franchise Association, the National Restaurant Association and the National Retail Federation, as well as such Republican Party bigwigs as former presidential candidate Mitt Romney.





Wednesday, February 15, 2017

HOW WELL ARE OBAMA'S CRONY BANKSTERS DOING UNDER THE DONALD?$?$?$?$?

US stocks hit new highs following Senate testimony by Fed chief

“US Banks Report Record Profit in Third Quarter” 


TRUMPERNOMICS: SERVE THE FAMILY AND THE SUPER 


RICH.... work out no-string bailouts later!



"Yellen warned indirectly of a surge of 


debt as a result of Trump’s plans to 


slash corporate taxes, dramatically 


increase military spending and provide 


a financial windfall for corporations 


awarded infrastructure contracts."







US stocks hit new highs following Senate testimony by Fed chief



US stocks hit new highs following Senate testimony by Fed chief

By Barry Grey
15 February 2017
Wall Street liked what it heard from Federal Reserve Chairwoman Janet Yellen, who testified Tuesday before the Senate Banking Committee. All of the major US stock indexes, spearheaded by bank shares, closed at new highs, with the Dow Jones Industrial Average gaining 92 points to end the day at 20,504, the Standard & Poor’s 500 index notching a nine point increase to close at 2,337 and the Nasdaq picking up 18 points to finish at 5,782.
The S&P 500 financial index rose 2.8 percent, with shares of Goldman Sachs gaining 1.29 percent and Bank of America rising by 2.82 percent.
Yellen’s appearance, her first before Congress since the inauguration of Donald Trump, was officially for the purpose of introducing the Fed’s semi-annual Monetary Report to Congress, as mandated by the 1978 Humphrey-Hawkins law. The twice-yearly event, hailed when the law was passed as a means of promoting full employment, was long ago reduced to a hollow ritual. On Wednesday, Yellen will complete the process by testifying before the House Financial Services Committee.
In her opening remarks and her responses to questions from committee members, Yellen reaffirmed the US central bank’s intention of gradually raising interest rates while keeping them at historically low levels. In terms of monetary policy, this suits the major Wall Street institutions, which stand to extend their record profits even further under conditions where credit is still cheap but higher rates guarantee better returns on loans.
The banks were also pleased by Yellen’s stated support for Trump’s executive order mandating his treasury secretary, the former Goldman trader Steven Mnuchin, and his top economic adviser, former Goldman President Gary Cohn, to work with the Fed and other government bank overseers to roll back bank regulations. Trump issued the order two weeks ago as part of his stated policy of dismantling the 2010 Dodd-Frank bank act, which imposed minor restraints on the banks following the Wall Street crash of 2008.
While Yellen, urged on by Democrats on the Senate committee, defended Dodd-Frank, she repeatedly stated her support for “mitigating” the regulatory “burden” on financial firms and declared her support for the “core principles” laid down in Trump’s order.
There was considerable discussion during the hearing on the impending resignation, announced last Friday, of Daniel Tarullo, the Fed Board of Governors member who served during the Obama administration as the central bank’s point man in enforcing the Dodd-Frank regulations. Tarullo’s resignation brings to three the number of vacancies on the seven-person Board of Governors, giving Trump an opportunity to significantly shift the balance at the Fed even more strongly in favor of Wall Street.
In her opening remarks, Yellen painted a generally rosy picture of the US economy while acknowledging that the gross domestic product rose by only 1.9 percent in 2016, the same as 2015. This is by far the slowest rate of economic growth for any period designated by the government as an economic “recovery” since World War II. The main negative feature to which she pointed was chronically low productivity growth.
What she did not explain is that low productivity growth is linked to a low level of productive investment. This, in turn, reflects the degree to which the so-called “recovery” from the Great Recession is centered on the stock market and the speculative and parasitical activities of banks and hedge funds, rather than the real economy.
Yellen also hinted at the potentially negative impact on the economy of uncertainty over fiscal and “other” policies of the Trump administration. She warned indirectly of a surge of debt as a result of Trump’s plans to slash corporate taxes, dramatically increase military spending and provide a financial windfall for corporations awarded infrastructure contracts.
“I would also hope,” she said, “that fiscal policy changes will be consistent with putting US fiscal accounts on a sustainable trajectory.”
There was little discussion, either in Yellen’s remarks or in the ensuing question-and-answer period, of the “America First” protectionist trade and monetary policies of the new administration. This is under conditions where attacks by Trump officials on Germany and the euro, China and the renminbi, and multi-lateral trade agreements in general have provoked sharp rejoinders from nominal US allies.
Last week, European Central Bank Chief Mario Draghi denied Trump’s charges of a deliberately undervalued euro, and the Financial Times editorialized: “If it continues this course, the Trump administration is a clear and present danger to the global trading and monetary system. Other countries must stand ready to resist bullying, and not to let the US drive wedges between them.”
In the question period of Tuesday’s hearing, Republican senators generally attacked Dodd-Frank as an intolerable burden on the banks and impediment to economic growth. They echoed Trump, who has called the law a “disaster,” and his advisor Gary Cohn, who claims the law “shackles” the banks.
For their part, the Democrats 


characterized the law as a major 


reform of the banking system and 


defended the regulatory status quo. In 


reality, Dodd-Frank is a toothless 


reform that was passed as part of the 


series of measures by which the 


Obama administration rescued the 


banks and the financial aristocracy at a 


cost of trillions of dollars.
It was enacted in large measure to provide political cover for the bank bailout and the “quantitative easing” monetary policies that pumped trillions of dollars of virtually free money into the financial markets, fueling a three-fold-plus rise in the Dow and a further transfer of wealth from the bottom to the top. It has done virtually nothing to rein in the banks, which have recorded record profits even as the real economy has stagnated and tens of millions of working people have grown poorer.
The most absurd and brazen defense of Dodd-Frank was offered by the representative of the supposed left wing of the Democratic Party and ostensible scourge of Wall Street, Massachusetts Senator Elizabeth Warren. In her round of questioning, she prompted Yellen to debunk Republican claims that Dodd-Frank was hamstringing US banks, preventing them from lending, and weakening them in relation to foreign banks.
She defended Dodd-Frank essentially on the grounds that it was a boon to Wall Street, declaring that “our banks” are making “record profits,” that “commercial and consumer lending is robust,” and that “our banks are blowing away our competitors.”


She held up an issue of the Wall Street Journal with the headline “US Banks Report Record Profit in Third Quarter” and urged that it be entered into the record of the hearing.




NAFTA, the BUSH, CLINTON(S), and OBAMA DEVICE TO DESTROY THE AMERICAN MIDDLE-CLASS…. Is it working?

“This nation no longer is a democratic republic...rather it has become a tool of the super-rich members of the above mentioned elite who preselect our presidents based on their cooperation and complicity with the elite’s ultimate goals. Obama has, in their opinion done superbly carrying out the plans well laid out for him by his backers.”        



Saturday, February 11, 2017

Wednesday, February 8, 2017

ENEMY OF PUBLIC EDUCATION BETSY DeVOS

Confirmation vote as farce: Senate approves billionaire enemy of public schools as secretary of education
By Niles Niemuth

8 February 2017
Billionaire Betsy DeVos was confirmed as secretary of education by vote of 51 to 50 in the Senate Tuesday with Vice
President Mike Pence casting the tie-breaking vote, marking the first time in US history that such a vote was necessary to confirm a cabinet secretary.
Tuesday’s vote was the culmination of four days
of stage-managed and increasingly farcical play-acting, in which Senate Democrats pretended to be putting up a ferocious battle against DeVos, while Senate Republicans pretended to be manning the barricades on her behalf.
In reality, the outcome was determined well in advance. The two Republicans who “broke” with their party to oppose DeVos undoubtedly cleared their actions in advance with Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, who can afford exactly two defections given the 52-48 Republican
majority, and gave them permission.
The Democrats seized on the prospective 50-50 tie to conduct a 24-hour, round-the-clock “debate” highlighted by liberal
Senator Elizabeth Warren’s plea for “just one more  Republican” to defeat the nomination. Throughout this exercise in empty demagogy, in which the Democrats
claimed to be the defenders of public education and oppose its destruction, every Democrat who spoke was aware that DeVos would be confirmed by virtue of Vice President Pence’s tie-breaking vote.
Moreover, the previous 

Democratic administration, with Barack 

Obama in the White House and his Chicago 

crony Arne Duncan as head of the 

Department of Education, was an 

unmitigated disaster for public education. 

More than 300,000 teachers and other school

workers lost their jobs under the Obama 

administration, which through programs like 

Race to the Top encouraged the growth of 

charter schools and other efforts to 

privatize and weaken public school systems.
For all the Democratic chest-thumping about opposing Donald Trump, DeVos is the first of Trump’s cabinet nominees to be confirmed without any Democratic support. Some Democrats have voted for every one of previous six cabinet nominees to be confirmed, and in many cases the
votes have been overwhelming. Fourteen of the 48 Democrats had voted for the first five Trump nominees, only defecting in the confirmation of Secretary of State Rex Tillerson, and now DeVos.
Trump’s pick to head the Department of Defense, recently retired General James “Mad Dog” Mattis, was overwhelming approved last
month by a vote 98 to 1, receiving the support of nearly every Democrat in the Senate, including so-called “progressives” Bernie Sanders and Elizabeth Warren.
An ideological opponent of public education, DeVos has donated millions of dollars to politicians and lobbying groups that support the funneling of tax dollars to private and religious schools through voucher programs and removing oversight of education spending through the establishment
of charter schools.
DeVos is associated with some of the furthest right-wing conservative figures and groups in the US.
Her father-in-law Richard DeVos, founder of the Amway pyramid scheme, played leadership roles in a variety of right-wing groups including Focus on the Family, the American Enterprise Institute and the FreedomWorks Foundation. Her brother Erik Prince is the founder of the notorious military contractor and mercenary firm once known as Blackwater.
In 2000, DeVos and her husband, Richard DeVos,
former CEO and heir of the Amway corporation fortune, spent $5.6 million on a ballot initiative that would have amended the Michigan state constitution to create a voucher program. The initiative was overwhelmingly rejected by voters.
DeVos has also spent her money founding a variety of organizations that buy politicians’ support for the privatization of public education including All Children Matter, the Alliance for School Choice and the American Federation for Children. From 1995 to 2005, DeVos funded and sat on the Board of Directors of the Action Institute, a right-wing outfit that has advocated for the elimination of compulsory education and child labor laws.
After decades of pushing for the complete destruction of public education, DeVos will now direct the agency responsible for providing federal funding to public schools, collecting pertinent data, and enforcing privacy and civil rights laws regarding education.
During Senate committee confirmation hearings, DeVos exhibited her complete ignorance regarding federal education laws and made clear her fundamental conflicts of interest.
With no experience in public education, DeVos earned her nomination from President Donald Trump to head of the Department of Education as a result of her ideological hostility to public education; she joins a host of Trump appointees who have expressed opposition to the missions
of their respective departments.
Additionally, DeVos was able to attain her position through the massive amounts of money she and her family have funneled into the coffers of the Republican Party and the campaigns of a host of Republicans candidates. She admitted during Senate committee hearings that she and her family had donated $200 million to Republican candidates over the last few decades.
In the last election cycle, DeVos and her family donated $2.25 million to the Senate Leadership Fund and $900,000 to the
National Republican Senatorial Committee. She personally donated a total of $1 million to 21 of the Republican senators who voted for her confirmation.
As a supplement to the backwardness represented
by DeVos, it was announced at the end of last month that Trump had appointed religious obscurantist Jerry Falwell, Jr., son of the televangelist huckster and founder of Moral Majority, to lead a special panel tasked with eliminating
and curbing federal regulations on education.
Falwell is the president of Liberty University, a private Christian university based in Lynchburg, Virginia, which teaches creationism and maintains a code of conduct that forbids pre-marital sex and homosexual relationships among its student population. Students can be fined for attending a dance, visiting alone with a member of the opposite sex off
campus, or engaging in “inappropriate personal contact.”
The Christian fundamentalist was Trump’s first pick to lead the Department of Education but he turned down the position. He will now essentially join the Trump administration without facing a Senate confirmation vote.
Speaking to the Chronicle of Higher Education, Falwell made clear that he would use his task force to play a leading role in shaping federal education policy. “The task force will
be a big help to [DeVos]. It will do some of the work for her,” he said.


THE  GIG JOB – In America, No Legal Need Apply


"Possibly most affected by this shift in the economy is the 

Millennial generation, those  aged 18-30. The report notes that 

more than half of those under age 25 participate in independent 

work, not just in the United States but throughout the European 

Union as well."


AMERICA’S YOUTH STARVE

…… ILLEGALS SUCK IN BILLIONS IN WELFARE… they also get our jobs!



The new reports show that in addition to “traditional” coping strategies of skipping meals and eating cheap food, these teens and pre-teens are increasingly forced into shoplifting, stealing, selling drugs, joining a gang, or selling their bodies for money in a struggle to eat properly.

AMERICA STUDENTS STARVE:
Report on the impact of OBAMA-CLINTONOMICS

THE DEMOCRAT PARTY and the final collapse of AMERICA:

 

WALL STREET LOOTERS’ PROPAGANDA MACHINE TO KEEP LEGALS’ MOUTHS SHUT


AND KEEP PAYING FOR THE BAILOUTS AND CORPORATE PLUNDERING OF AMERICA.

 

http://mexicanoccupation.blogspot.com/2017/02/the-crony-bankster-democrat-party.html



Monday, February 6, 2017

CRONY CAPITALISM: TRUMP UNLEASHES BIG PHARMA - Trump plans rollback of drug industry regulations

Trump plans rollback of drug industry regulations

By Brad Dixon
6 February 2017
Trump met last week with pharmaceutical industry lobbyists and executives at the White House where he announced his plans to drastically reduce the regulatory power of the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) while slashing taxes on the pharmaceutical industry.
Participants at Tuesday’s meeting included 
Stephen Ubl, head of the drug industry trade 
group PhRMA, and the CEOs of Novartis, 
Merck, Eli Lilly, and Johnson & Johnson.
Trump has demagogically postured as a critic of the pharmaceutical industry, including calling for rule changes to allow the federal government to use the bulk purchasing power of Medicare to negotiate drug prices with pharmaceutical companies.
“Pharma has a lot of lobbies, a lot of lobbyists and a lot power,” Trump said at his first press conference as president-elect on January 11. He said that it was necessary to “create new bidding procedures for the drug industry, because they’re getting away with murder.”
Trump has now abandoned any pretense of opposition.
“We’re going to be changing a lot of the rules,” Trump proclaimed prior to the meeting.
“I’ll oppose anything that makes it harder for smaller, younger companies to take the risk of bringing their product to a vibrantly competitive market. That includes price-fixing by the biggest dog in the market, Medicare, which is what’s happening,” Trump told reporters after the meeting, reversing his previous position on allowing Medicare to negotiate prices and falsely stating that the program currently does so.
“We’re going to be lowering taxes, we’re going to be getting rid of regulations that are unnecessary,” said Trump. He said that he wants to get rid of 75 or 80 percent of FDA regulations.
Biotech and Pharmaceutical stock shares rallied following the meeting, and Trump’s plan was met with approval by the industry lobbyists and CEOs gathered at the meeting.
“Tax, deregulation—those are things that could really help us expand operations,” commented Eli Lilly CEO Dave Ricks, according to Reuters.
“These changes are going to be great for the country,” Celgene Chairman Robert Hugin told the Washington Post.
The deregulation of the FDA and the streamlining of the drug approval process will result in less knowledge about the safety and efficacy of the drugs approved by the FDA.
“Streamlining drug approvals sounds good, but the agency has already weakened approval standards and patients are paying the price—hugely expensive drugs that don’t even work,” Diana Zuckerman, president of the National Center for Health Research, told the New York Times.
Dr. Michael Carome, the director of Public Citizen’s health research group, noted in a statement that Trump’s proposal would “destroy the ability of the agency to protect patients and consumers from unsafe or ineffective medications and medical devices, hazardous foods and dietary supplements, and dangerous tobacco products.”
“The end result would be countless preventable deaths, injuries and illnesses across the US,” he said.
These risks have already been heightened by the bipartisan legislation passed late last year, the 21st Century Cures Act. The Act significantly rolls back the regulatory authority of the FDA, lowers the standards that must be met before a drug is approved, and expands expedited approvals.
The FDA will be further hindered by Trump’s executive orders instituting a hiring freeze and the rule that two regulations must be removed for every new one.
“That will cripple the FDA’s ability to do anything other than regulate by non-binding guidance documents,” David Vladeck, a professor at Georgetown University Law Center, told the Washington Post.
“To hollow out the agency’s authority by forbidding it from dealing with emerging issues through new regulations, and perhaps even giving guidance will jeopardize consumers and threaten the reputation of the agency around the world,” Vladeck said.
Trump tied his criticism of high drug prices to his “America First” rhetoric of economic nationalism, attacking “global freeloading” through “foreign price controls.”
“Our trade policy will prioritize that foreign countries pay their fair share for U.S.-manufactured drug, so our drug companies have greater financial resources to accelerate development of new cures, and I think that’s so important,” Trump said.
Instead of allowing Medicare to negotiate drug prices, which Trump referred to as “price fixing,” he claimed that competition spurred by deregulation and tax cuts would bring down drug prices.
This approach will do nothing to address skyrocketing drug prices in the United States, which have doubled since 2011 and are up to ten times higher in the US than in other countries.
The pharmaceutical industry, which continues to consolidate through mergers and acquisitions, is notorious for dodging competition when it threatens the bottom line. For example, drug companies will often raise prices almost simultaneously with their competitors, a practice known as “shadow pricing.” When a drug is about to go off patent, companies will often pay potential generic competitors to hold off on introducing generic versions in “pay-for-delay” deals.
Moreover, there is little evidence that high drug prices are due to the costs associated with researching and developing drugs. According to an article published in August of last year in the Journal of the American Medical Association, large pharmaceutical companies invest only 10 to 20 percent of their revenue in R&D. The authors cite an analysis that looked at 26 products or product classes over the past 25 years and found that more than half originated in publicly funded research centers.
The authors of the article conclude that “there is little evidence of an association between research and development costs and drug prices; rather, prescription drugs are priced in the United States primarily on the basis of what the market will bear.”
In response to Trump’s meeting, Democrats continued to perpetuate illusions in the president’s demagogic attacks on the pharmaceutical industry, with Senator Bernie Sanders and Maryland representative Elijah Cummings issuing a joint statement saying they “hope” Trump “really” takes on the industry.
“I look forward to working with President Trump on this issue if he is serious about standing up to the pharmaceutical industry and reducing drug prices,” Sanders said after Trump’s meeting.
The Trump administration has not yet named its nominee for FDA commissioner, who would be charged with “streamlining” the agency. Four possible nominees have been mentioned, all of whom favor weakening FDA regulations.
Jim O’Neill, an associate of Trump transition adviser and Silicon Valley billionaire Peter Thiel, is a managing director at Thiel’s Mithril Capital Management. He has called for changing FDA regulations to allow pharmaceutical companies to begin marketing drugs before they have been shown to be effective.
“We should reform FDA so it is approving drugs after their sponsors have demonstrated safety, and let people start using them at their own risk, but not much risk, of safety,” O’Neill said in a 2014 speech.
Balaji Srinivasan, another Thiel associate, is the CEO and co-founder of 21 Inc., which develops software and hardware for bitcoin micropayments, and was a co-founder and chief technical officer at Counsyl, a company that developed a prenatal genetic test for chromosome-related birth defects.
“Drug development shows that modern regimen is not necessary for safe innovation,” Srinivasan said in a tweet in December.
Scott Gottlieb is a former FDA deputy commissioner and venture capitalist who has worked with numerous drug companies. He is currently a resident fellow at the conservative American Enterprise Institute.
Finally, the Trump transition team has spoken with Dr. Joseph Gulfo about possibly heading the FDA. Gulfo, a former CEO of drug and medical device companies, has criticized the FDA for delaying approvals by requiring clinical trials demonstrating that a drug is effective, and has called on the FDA to rely more on “biomarkers” rather than actual clinical outcomes. He says that any attempts to impose price controls on drugs would be “punishing” the pharmaceutical industry.
The positions of the potential nominees are at odds with a report released by the FDA last month showing that reducing drug approval standards would pose greater financial and health risks for patients.
The report highlighted 22 case studies of drugs, vaccines and medical devices tested since 1999 where promising data from smaller and shorter phase 2 clinical trials, which often rely on biomarkers instead of clinical outcomes, diverged from the larger phase 3 randomized controlled trials. The phase 3 studies failed to confirm phase 2 findings on effectiveness (14 cases), safety (1 case), or both (7 cases).
“As a result of the Phase III studies discussed in this paper, patients outside of clinical trials were not subjected to drugs that would not benefit them or to the risk of unnecessary serious toxicities, and did not suffer unnecessary financial expenditures. Where effective alternative therapies existed, they were not diverted from proven treatments; where an implanted medical device was at issue, patients were spared unnecessary surgical procedures,” the report concludes.