US Cities Face Up To MASSIVE Cuts

The Obama aid package is just there to delay the local collapse until everything collapses.

Why the US is as busted as a busted flush – IMF analysis suggests the US is fiscally bankrupt

John Williams: ‘Times That Try Our Souls’ (U.S. Bankruptcy – Hyperinflation – Great Depression), Preparedness Can Save Your Life:

The government is effectively bankrupt. Using GAAP accounting principles, the annual deficit is running in the range of $4 trillion to $5 trillion. That’s beyond containment. The government can’t cover it with taxes. They’d still be in deficit if they took 100% of personal income and corporate profits. They’d also still be in deficit if they cut every penny of government spending except for Social Security and Medicare. Washington lacks the will to slash its social programs severely, to change its approach to ever bigger government. The only option left going forward is for the government eventually to print the money for the obligations it cannot otherwise cover, which sets up a hyperinflation.

US outrage over public service cutbacks across America has found a rallying point in the death of 12-year-old Frank Marasco

President Barack Obama this week signed a $26bn federal aid package for cash-strapped states but public anger at cutbacks is still growing. (AP)

Flanked by two silver balloons bearing the words “I love you‚” and a forlorn blue cuddly toy, the face of 12-year-old Frank Marasco smiles out from a collage of pictures assembled by shocked neighbours on the veranda of his burned-out home. The young autistic boy died in a fire last week thought to have been sparked by a discarded cigarette.

The inferno should have been a routine job for Philadelphia’s 1,900-strong fire brigade, the fifth biggest force in the US which handles four major incidents daily. But the nearest fire station to Frank’s house, just two blocks away, was unavailable after a so-called “brown out“. Firemen at the station, barely 90 seconds’ walk from the site of the fire, were on a maintenance run after a 12-hour shutdown, part of a rota of rolling daily closures imposed by city authorities grappling with a wrenching deficit of $2.4bn (£1.5bn) over five years.

“Everybody was running around trying to get the little boy out – he was stuck on the second floor,” said a distraught neighbour, Virginia DeShields, whose house was damaged by smoke. She believes the boy might have been saved if the local firehouse had been open: “It’s all right if you want to cut. But you shouldn’t cut where lives are concerned. You can cut the prison system, cut the libraries, anywhere. But don’t cut people who save lives.”

Philadelphia’s city authorities contend that first responders reached the scene within three minutes – a timeline disputed by Philadelphia’s fire union, Local 22, which says it was closer to six minutes before an engine with hoses and water arrived. But irrespective of whether he could have been saved, Frank Marasco’s fate is a rallying point in a titanic struggle over cuts engulfing cities and states across the US which are taking desperate budgetary measures, ranging from shutting schools to switching off streetlights and replacing tarmac roads with dirt tracks.

Local government in the US has traditionally been leaner than its British equivalent, with minimal public healthcare, patchy public transport and an ingrained culture of contracting out to private operators. The worst recession since the war has caused a triple-pronged slump: unemployment has eroded income tax takings, a dive in house prices has hurt property tax and weak consumer spending has reduced sales tax. Funding is stretched to breaking point.

The National League of Cities estimates that US municipalities, which had revenue of $398bn last year, face a fiscal hole of between $56bn and $83bn over the two years to 2012. States, which fund broader services such as schools, prisons and highway patrols, are in a worse jam – they grappled with a $192bn shortfall in 2010, equivalent to 29% of their budgets, according to the Washington-based Centre on Budget and Policy Priorities.

“We’re seeing drop-offs in revenue that are breaking all records,” said John Shure, deputy director of the CBPP’s state fiscal project. “The irony is that people’s needs are going up but the resources to meet them are going down.”

Putting up taxes in a recession is politically unpopular and risks hampering a recovery. And borrowing money is not an option as most US local authorities are prohibited from going into debt. Shure says: “They’re required by their own constitutions to have a balanced budget. There’s no good answer.”

The draconian nature of some cuts would cause even Britain’s austere chancellor, George Osborne, to blanch. In Georgia, the county of Clayton, which encompasses down-at-heel suburbs south of Atlanta, axed its entire public bus service to save $8m, leaving 8,400 daily riders high and dry. Faced with a hole in its education budget, Hawaii’s Republican governor simply shut down the state’s schools on Fridays, moving teachers and pupils onto a four-day week.

Struggling to pay for upkeep of asphalt roads, counties in Michigan and South Dakota have been converting paved country roads to gravel, turning back the clock of modernisation. Then there are trivial, yet eye-catching examples – Miami has dispensed with the services of its chicken catcher. The California city of San Diego disbanded its 27-year-old mounted police force. The state of Washington scrapped its board on geographic names, deciding it could do without a body overseeing the historical and cultural consistency.

Colorado Springs, a city of 360,000 people on the edge of the Rocky Mountains asked voters to approve a tripling of property tax in November. They voted no. So the city switched off a third of its streetlights, removed litter bins from parks, put its police helicopters up for auction online and halted many bus services at 6.15pm. City employees have been asked to stump up more for their own healthcare, while community centres and pools are looking for private money to stay open.

Residents of Colorado Springs are being encouraged to bring their own lawn mowers to trim the grass in public spaces.

And anybody who strongly wants lighting can “adopt a streetlight‚” for $75 a year.

Barack Obama this week signed a federal aid package of $26bn for cash-strapped states, some of which will filter through to cities. But many argue this is not enough.

Christiana McFarland, an expert at the National League of Cities, says: “Local authorities are in a serious situation at this point. In years past, we’ve been down to the bare bones in terms of budget. They’re now cutting critical services such as public safety.”

Back in Philadelphia, deputy mayor Everett Gillison says it is a “lie” that fire station “brown outs” compromise safety, blaming unions for a cynical campaign to protect overtime. But in a nation where firefighters are held in the top echelon of public esteem, the spectre of darkened firehouses is prompting anger. “That’s right – you take pictures of it!” yelled resident Darren Braxton, pulling up in his car as the Guardian visited a shuttered fire station.

Braxton, a maintenance contractor, had some advice for the city authorities: “If you’re trying to save money, do something else. You don’t mess with the trash men because we’ll become Filthadelphia. You don’t mess with the police because young people round here don’t value life and they be shooting people left, right and centre. And you don’t mess with the firefighters because they put out fires.”

Friday 13 August 2010 19.14 BST

Source: The Guardian


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Pentagon Demands WikiLeaks To Hand Over All Documents Or Else … “We will figure out what alternatives we have to compel them to do the right thing.”

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Admiral Mike Mullen: US has plan to attack Iran (if needed)

Arizona Sheriff Paul Babeu: ‘Our Own Government Has Become Our Enemy’

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Obama Administration Proposal To Give FBI Access To Your Internet History Without Court Order

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Nancy Pelosi Blocks Gulf Disaster Investigation

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Obama Bankster Bill Lets Banks Have US Over A Barrel Again

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Rep. Michele Bachmann: Obama Is Making The US ‘A Nation Of Slaves’

General James Mattis who said it was ‘fun to shoot people’ takes over US Central Command

EU gives US access to its citizens’ private financial data

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Dylan Ratigan Show: President Obama ‘Has A Hit List Of American Citizens Like YOU targeted For Assassination’

Third US carrier, 4,000 Marines augment US armada opposite Iran

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Americans buying their own health insurance face an average 20 percent increase in premiums

Big Brother DHS And DOD Want To Open US Skies To Spy Drones

President Obama Has Already Outdone Every Previous President In Prosecuting Whistleblowers

US government debt to rise to $19.6 trillion by 2015

Left-Wing Icon Daniel Ellsberg: ‘Obama Deceives the Public’

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Peter Schiff on ObamaCare

Rep. Ron Paul: President Obama Is ‘Not A Socialist.’ ‘He Is A Corporatist.’

Dylan Ratigan Show With Alan Grayson: The Great Con Job By The Fed, The Government And The Banksters

Michelle Obama says Barack’s Home country is Kenya – full statement

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Judge Napolitano on Obama’s Private Army

Obama Gives Key Agriculture Post to Lobbyist of CropLife America Whose Members Include Monsanto, Syngenta, DuPont and Dow Chemical

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Rep. Ron Paul: Healthcare Will Drive US To Bankruptcy

Gerald Celente: This time they will close the Banks & Wall Street (03/27/10)

John Pilger: Have a Nice World War III, Folks

Ron Paul on MSNBC’s Morning Joe: We have only one party in America and all they fight over is power and influence

The War on WikiLeaks … and Why It Matters

White House Press Corps longest-serving member Helen Thomas on her one question for Obama

Obamacare: 12 Taxes Violate Obama’s Pledge Not to Increase Taxes on Households Earning Less than $250,000

Obama exempt from Obamacare

Joe Biden to Barack Obama: ‘Mr. President, This Is A Big F****** Deal’

Rep. Ron Paul: Healthcare Bill is ‘Blatantly Unconstitutional And Contrary to The Ideals of Liberty’

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US Government Preparing For Civil Unrest In America

Obamacare Tax Hikes

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Michael Moore: ‘Democrats are a bunch of wusses … It’s disgusting … I’m sick of them’

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Cybersecurity Bill To Give President Obama New Emergency Powers

Obama Administration Using Accounting Gimmicks That Would Make Enron ‘Blush,’ Says Republican Lawmaker

Judge Napolitano and Angela Keaton on Freedom Watch: Obama’s Bush Foreign Policy

Obama Signs Law Raising Public Debt Limit from $12.4 Trillion to $14.3 Trillion

Cynthia McKinney at Munich Germany NATO Peace Rally: ‘My Country Has Been Hijacked By A Criminal Cabal’

President Obama’s Pledge Never to Raise Taxes on Anyone Making Less Than $250,000 a Year

Rep. Alan Grayson: ‘20 Percent Of Our Accumulated Wealth Over The Course Of 2 Centuries Gone in 18 months!’

Paul Craig Roberts: It Is Now Official: The U.S. Is A Police State

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Director of National Intelligence Says US May Kill Americans Abroad

President Obama Ups Pakistan Drone Strikes in Assassination Campaign

The New Vision of the Obama Administration: War Without End

Pentagon’s New Record Black Budget Tops $56 Billion

MSNBC Exposes President Obama’s lies: FED GAVE Banks Access to 23.7 TRILLION DOLLARS NOT $700 Billion!

Rep. Ron Paul on Obama seeking to assassinate ‘US citizens’ he labels as terrorist

White House to Paint Grim Fiscal Picture: Another Record Budget Deficit

US: GDP Mirage – The Last Hurrah

Marc Faber: Obama Makes Bush Look Like a Genius

Obamanomics: Why Did the ‘Stimulus’ Fail to Help the US Economy?

Paul Craig Roberts: How Wall Street Destroyed Health Care – Greed, Be Thou My God

President Obama to indefinitely imprison detainees without charges

Ron Paul: US Foreign Policy is Bankrupting America

Rep. Ron Paul: State of the Republic Address – ‘Dangerous Times Indeed.’

America’s Impending Master Class Dictatorship! (MUST-READ!)

The CFR Controls American News/Media

Senate Proposes Increasing US Debt Limit to $14.3 Trillion: “If Congress does not enact this legislation, and soon, then the Treasury would default on its debt for the first time in history,” said Senate Finance Committee Chairman Max Baucus

US: Unfunded Benefits Dig States’ $3 Trillion Hole

Illinois enters a state of insolvency: ‘We’re close to de facto bankruptcy, if not de jure bankruptcy.’

The No.1 Trend Forecaster Gerald Celente: Financial Mafia Controlling US and Wall Street

Peter Schiff: The Lunacy of US Government Programs

– Former Dean of Harvard College Harry R. Lewis: Larry Summers, Robert Rubin: Will The Harvard Shadow Elite Bankrupt The University And The Country?

Experts: Dollar Crisis Looms if US Doesn’t Curb Debt

Marc Faber on Coming Sovereign Debt Crisis: Next Countries to Default are the US, Japan and the ‘PIIGS’

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PIMCO’S Bill Gross: ‘Let’s Get Fisical’ (… or why the US will not make it.)

Barack Obama’s Health Care Lies And Reversals

US sheds 85,000 jobs in December; Record 40% Of Unemployed Without Job For 27+ Weeks

Peter Schiff on Fast Money: ‘America is broke’; ‘The Fed created a currency crisis’; ‘Dollar to collapse 50-70% or more’

US: Public Pensions Face $2 Trillion Deficit

U.S. Avoids Technical Default By Three Days

As an American, I refuse to buy mandatory health insurance … that supports Big Pharma

The US Government Is Preparing For Collapse: Your Legal Right To Redeem Your Money Market Account Has Been Denied

Prof. Dr. David Michael Green: Now I’m Really Getting Pissed Off … With Obama

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US losses will top $400 billion on Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac

US: More Ammo For The Treasury Bazooka

US government wants farmers to use coal waste on fields

The No.1 Trend Forecaster Gerald Celente: The Terror And The Crash of 2010

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US Congress: Banksters Get $4 Trillion Gift From Barney Frank

Traitor in chief:

Treason: Obama gives INTERPOL immunity from the Constitution (Amending Executive Order 12425)

Peter Schiff on Obamacare, Freddie Mac & Fannie Mae: The Nightmare Before Christmas

Obama administration backs Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac no matter how big their losses may be

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US National Debt Tops Debt Limit

Hypocrite in Chief (Funny):

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John Williams of Shadowstats: Prepare For The Hyperinflationary Great Depression

Liar in Chief (NOT funny!!!):

Barack Obama Lies 7 Times In Under 2 Minutes!!!!!

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Liar in Chief (Over 300 soldiers died in 2009 because of this lie!!!):

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