Briefing – Syria and U.S. Economy

September 5, 2013

From: Padmini Arhant

Dear Citizens in the U.S. and Around the World,

You are invited to the briefing to commence in less than 30 mins to your local time.

The focus will be on Syria and U.S. Economy.

Hope you can join the session.

Thank you for your participation.

Padmini Arhant



United States – Jobs, Economy and Deficit Reduction

September 18, 2011

By Padmini Arhant

United States unemployment at 9.2% and disproportionately higher among African Americans about 16.2% is national concern deserving attention from lawmakers, corporate America and institutions in the advisory role on job creation.

Economic stimulus through banking industry and automobile sector bailouts including various tax credits to middle class as well as tax breaks to companies,

Not barring Bush tax cuts extension to the wealthiest in the growth revival expectation is yet to produce anticipated jobs across the nation.

Beginning with credit crunch affecting small business and medium enterprise along with housing market decline despite historic lower interest rate,

In addition to stagnant job market restrains consumer spending relevant to energize industrial output.

Incentivizing small and medium entrepreneurships with required capital via business loans at special rates for established business and those struggling to retain or hire workers,

While minimizing health care costs and tax burden might provide relief to small businesses in turn easing the unemployment situation.

Corporations holding cash reserves could boost consumer confidence through jobs with domestic investments in manufacturing and service industry besides promoting research and development.

Tax breaks to corporations when utilized in job retention would promote economy and revenue prospects to address deficit reduction.

Simultaneously tracking tax evasions by corporations and wealthiest in the society could potentially deduce contributors to existing economic woes and growing national debt.

Regulations in the legislated financial reform is redundant with the lack of initiative and political will to appoint dedicated consumer advocate including crucial checks and balances on Wall Street irregularities having become standard business practice in the era of hedge fund type mismanagement.

Housing market is still under enormous pressure due to inadequate programs to help homeowners salvage foreclosures and short sales – promoting unscrupulous methods among trade representatives and lenders focused on immediate gains precipitating decline in home value.

As a result home investments is less attractive driving long term investors away from real estate to other investment opportunity with precious metals and commodities comparatively yielding better returns even against the increasingly volatile bond securities.

Stabilizing housing market with pervasive assistance largely from financial institutions having benefitted in the taxpayer bailouts could now reciprocate by offering relevant discounts or considerations to all i.e. first time buyers and significant population facing hardships to keep their homes in the deepening recession.

Such comprehensive measures would then generate rebound in home prices and construction industry not excluding occupations associated with commercial and residential real estate resetting employment for labor segment.

The current threshold in home rescue plan viz. ‘Make Home Affordable’  (MHA) is restrictive barely accommodating the needs of vast majority entirely at lenders’ mercy and discretion in interest rates modification or present market value adjustment for viable affordability given the available parameters favor lenders more than borrowers in the prevalent economy.

Monopoly in the national or global market share redefines capitalism endangering consumer rights and market economy dynamics.

J P Morgan Chase heading a group of five banks in control of 95% world derivatives market could inevitably threaten competition with corporate policies overriding consumer protective regulations and other necessary market interventions.

Similarly in the telecommunication sector – AT&T recent acquisitions are T-Mobile, Verizon, Cingular, Xanboo…are just a few with more on the horizon.

Nations confronted with rising debt and austerity to survive credit rating and budget crisis pose lingering uncertainty in the global financial market and general economy.

The constant speculation on possible default foment trepidation in the otherwise willful overseas economic partners investment proposals to alleviate challenges in the higher debt economies struggling between rigorous spending cuts and political opposition to tax hikes against wealthiest reaping benefits at the poor and middle income groups cost.

Tax code reform and streamlining tax structure closing loopholes is centralized discussion missing in action.

Another vital revenue source is holding domestic black money hoarders in foreign bank accounts especially Swiss bank deposits and several tax havens under disguised operations accountable with no bars in the application of law against culprits.

National bankruptcy is attributed to erroneous economic policies and indefinite military engagements offshore,

Notwithstanding unlawful activities in tax avoidance striking the hard working demography – the lower and middle class burdened with bulk tax payments as active consumers and taxpayers without substantial privileges unlike the wealthiest corporations and individuals deriving maximum income on minimum tax liability.

The pending job legislation seeking $447 billion stimulus from the Super Committee $1.5 trillion savings with compromises on social security and Medicare is contentious for it would directly impact the core consumer percentage forced to withdraw or constrain retail expenditure on common household goods and services for expensive private health care within limited disposable income.

The ramifications would be severe on retail and small businesses in the slowing consumerism with main street struggling to make ends meets in the dire economy.

With respect to infrastructure jobs in the package – the stimulus bill $787 billion passed in February 2009 consisted allocation for infrastructure repair and restoration.

Perhaps review in this context would shed light on productivity and precise job delivery in the past two years from this particular source prompting access to any residual funds for remaining job oriented national projects.

Funds interjection into the economy requires monitoring and periodic evaluation to determine performance followed by remedial course n the absence of desirable outcome.

If the bill comprises new techniques different from the earlier stimulants with guaranteed job surge, it might be worth pursuing the targeted goals.

However, reallocating nearly one half trillion funds calls for due diligence forsaking repeat experiments and,

Instead shifting resource deployment across the economic spectrum facilitating progress in farming, manufacturing, small business and medium enterprise, education, preserving essential services and programs via technology based outlets but cutting back on excess administration and bureaucracy in public and private sectors,

Green energy & technology supply without government sponsorships from the executive or legislative branch to safeguard taxpayers dollars.

In terms of corporate role with surplus cash in improving job conditions,

The reservations appear to emanate from looming deficit and Washington handling of the economy contrary to political perception premised on additional tax bonuses to entice corporate America on the 98% population backs enduring economic pain.

Free market economy is endowed with financial and human capital.  The player in the wide-open competitive field wasting time and resources on underlying risks is unfortunate –

The myopic view failing to recognize macroeconomic benefits tied to job investments.

In a nutshell, corporations having been responsible for economic meltdown in the heavily deregulated environment with no transparency to deter reckless activities involving public funds and holdings arguably bear prime responsibility in the status quo reversal.

Again, the political leaderships’ complacency and complicity exacerbated downslide with widespread implications on jobs, housing market, skyrocketing deficit, currency disputes, trade imbalances – revealed in Q2 US GDP 2011 at 1.3%, credit downgrading and overall grim economic report.

US Small Business Optimism index falls to 13 month low.

US August import prices excluding Fuel rise 5.3% from last year.

US Census:  Median Household income in 2010 fell 2.3% to $49,445.

US Census: US Poverty rate rose to 15.1% from 2009 – the highest now since 1983.

US Posts $134.2 billion budget deficit for August 2011.

US YTD (Year-To-Date) budget gap compares with $1.26T in 2010.

United States is not deficient in ideas, innovation and ingenuity.

The diverse skills in the American work force combined with exemplary business acumen and corporate successes are testimonies to U.S. economy being instrumental in the global economic feat.

United States economic stability and sustenance is paramount for worldwide development.

U.S. currency as international monetary unit in conjunction with developed and developing economies dependability on U.S imports reinforces United States position – the global Super turbocharger.

Corporate and political leaderships in the respective domain pledging commitment to economy and the country could expedite economic recovery uplifting citizens’ living standards with secure jobs, affordable housing and health care, Green energy and last but not the least  –

Safe and clean habitat – the legacy for future generation.

United States has triumphed the trials and tribulations throughout history and unified efforts around this time is pertinent to resolve daunting issues on the economic, political, social and environmental fronts.

Peace to all!

Thank you.

Padmini Arhant



Omnibus Spending

March 5, 2009

March 5, 2009

It has been the topic of the day and rightfully so. The American taxpayers’ wallet is drained for various bailouts from financial institutions to auto industry and others waiting in line for their respective turn.

Is it the present administration’s fault that the nation is dependent on borrowings and charity?

The response varies as it depends on the network and the guests appearing on the programs to discuss economy, finance and stock market.

Those nostalgic about the previous administration claim that it is entirely the current administration’s fault.

For some reason their calculation of the incumbent administration in office since swearing in i.e. January 20, 2009 up until now works out to three months, unless they have a custom made calendar that converts every year into leap year with some months extending beyond thirty one days and somehow only the Democratic administrations are privileged to such magical occurrence.

To shed light on the relevant topic of spending bill $410 billion approved by the Senate and awaiting the President’s signature, there appears to be some legitimate concerns regarding the infamous “earmarks” or “pork barrel” issue that always finds its way into every legislative bill.

According to news media, 40% of GOP members and 60% of Democrats are responsible for the estimated 8,570 earmarks worth $7.7billion . The following article supports it.

March 4, 2009

Senate votes to keep earmarks in bill – By David Espo, Associated Press – Thank you.

“The Senate voted overwhelmingly to preserve thousands of earmarks in a $410 billion spending bill Tuesday, brushing aside Senator John McCain’s claim that President Barack Obama and Congress are merely conducting business as usual in a time of economic hardship.

McCain’s attempt to strip out an estimated 8,500 earmarks failed on a vote of 63-32.

The Arizona’s senator’s proposal also would have cut roughly $32 billion from the measure and kept spending a last year’s levels in several federal agencies.

Last year’s Republican presidential candidate said both he and Obama pledged during the campaign to “stop business as usual in Washington,” and he quoted the president as having said he would go line by line to make sure money was spent wisely.

The White House has said Obama intends to sign the legislation, casting it as leftover business from 2008. Spokesman Robert Gibbs pledged Monday that the White House will issue new guidelines covering earmarks for future bills.

McCain’s proposal drew the support of 30 Republicans and two Democrats, and the outcome reflected the enduring value of earmarks to lawmakers. While polls routinely show these pet projects to be unpopular, local governments and constituents often covet them.

The maneuvering came on legislation to assure continued funding for several federal agencies past March 6. At $410 billion, the bill represents an 8 percent increase over last year’s spending levels, more than double the rate of inflation.

Republicans made two other attempts during the day to reduce spending in the bill, but failed both times.

Sen. Dan Inouye, D-Hawaii, chairman of the Senate Appropriations Committee, said McCain’s call to hold spending level with a year ago “doesn’t account for inflation.”

As an example, he said some programs would have to be cut if federal workers were to receive a pay raise.

The House passed the legislation last week, and Democratic leaders are working to clear it without changes so the president can sign it by Friday.

While Republican opposition in the House focused more on the bill’s overall spending, McCain and allies turned the Senate spotlight squarely on earmarks.

“How does anyone justify some of these earmarks:

$1.7 million for pig odor research in Iowa;

$2 million ‘for the promotion of astronomy’ in Hawaii;

$6.6 million for termite research in New Orleans;

$2.1 million for the Center for Grape Genetics in New York,” he said.

He also noted the legislation includes 14 earmarks requested by lawmakers for projects sought by PMA Group, a lobbying company at the center of a federal corruption investigation. Sen. Tom Coburn, R-Okla, said he would seek to have them removed.

Taxpayers for Common Sense estimates the legislation contains 8,570 disclosed earmarks worth $7.7 billion. House Democrats declined to provide an estimate of the number of pet projects in the bill, and put their cost at $3.8 billion.”



It is evident from the article and news media discussions that this particular bill primarily aimed at stimulating the economy has some of its priorities mixed up. As stated earlier in my article “Economic Recovery Plan” earmarks or estimates for pet projects is a contentious issue with notable reasons for objection by some lawmakers.

This is no longer a partisan issue as both parties have participants in varying percentages responsible for wasteful spending. On the one hand, we have economic turmoil with American families receiving pink slips instead of paychecks and children literally dependent on charity for survival.

There are worse situations like in the golden state of California, northern Californian school district is forcing K-12 students in public schools to stay home on Friday, making it a four-day week due to again “messed up priorities” by the State legislators. The victims in the merciless fund slashing are none other than the educators and students.

Qualified teachers’ job contracts are terminated because of severe cuts in essential programs like education. The head of this state living up to the reputation of the title “Terminator” leaving students seeking help from parents, peer group, neighbors, and strangers/aliens on the cyber space or even outer space.

Do the pet projects’ sponsors have any idea how desperate the situation is for those struggling to make ends meet particularly with a fear mongering of the “socialism” concept by the capitalist panderers denying the failure of capitalism in the absence of regulatory process?

What does this mean to parents dealing with job insecurity and lack of support to take care of the children on the day, they should be in school?

Hoping the children will be protected by guardian angels while they are at work and risking visits from a social worker on accounts of child neglect and possible abuse.

Those who lack the support of extended family relying on hired help in this perilous economy have to choose between the safety of their children and the tight family budget, since borrowing is out of question with indefinite freezing of the credit market to families and small businesses.

One might assume the federal aid to states should address these problems. Even though the federal aid has been approved for this purpose, whatever benefits allocated for education and relief to families in the federal stimulus package is siphoned off by the state budget targeting the same programs.

The state legislators had to emerge victorious in the long fought battle to balance the budget using people at the bottom of the socio-economic scale as the sacrificial lambs.

Obviously, on the other hand both state and federal lawmakers favoring the pet projects vigorously debate in the House and the Senate floor to defend their own jobs as pet projects is an insurance for re-election in their constituency.

If surplus funds are the reasons for earmarks, why not allocate those funds to the deserving entity i.e. the taxpayers in the economy. It would make sense for taxpayers to use their own money to spend on their dependents’ education, health care and housing payments.

It is conclusive that earmarks like the ones highlighted in the articles should have never been inserted in the first place, and now regardless of whose business is being taken care of i.e. whether previous or present administration, the burden is squarely on the taxpayers with the passing of this bill loaded with unnecessary and meaningless pet projects.

American taxpayers were promised on the campaign trail about the elimination of earmarks by both parties and now is the time to honor that commitment without any reservation.

In the real world, students can enroll in the best educational institutions only upon excellent academic achievement, similarly secure dream jobs (during the glorious days) and stick with it purely on competence.

Unfortunately, the entities to whom the criteria should apply i.e. Washington and Wall Street are exempt from performance based hiring or firing despite their successful duo disastrous mismanagement of the world’s economic power, the U.S. economy.

Taxpayers as voters have the power to promote and implement the agenda in 2010 to realize the campaign slogan “Change is effective when it happens from the bottom up and not from the top bottom.”

Thank you.

Padmini Arhant