In today's On the News segment: The new American job killer is Bank of America, 23 percent of all American children live in poverty, ten thousand wealthy households paid zero taxes in 2009 according to the IRS, and more.
Jacob Dean in for Thom Hartmann here – on the news...
You need to know this. The new American job killer is Bank of America. Less than three years removed from accepting a $45 billion bailout courtesy of the American taxpayers – Bank of America announced plans to lay off 30,000 American workers – and relocate its business-support operations and call centers to the Philippines. Bank of America joins other big American banks that've turned their back on American workers and set-up shop in the low-wage paradise of the Philippines – where the average family makes just $4,700 a year. In the last four years – 500,000 jobs have been shed from the US call center industry thanks to this same sort of outsourcing. Democratic Representative from New York – Tim Bishop – has introduced legislation titled the US Call Center and Consumer Protection Act to stop the flow of American call center jobs out of the country. The bill will make any company like Bank of America that ships American call center jobs to places like the Philippines unable to receive future federal loans and grants. Call your Member of Congress and tell them to support this critical piece of legislation.
In screwed news...anyone who doubts the United States has been in an economic free fall for the last three decades should check out the new United Nations Children's Fund report on child poverty. OF the 34 wealthiest nations looked at by UNICEF – the United States has the second highest child poverty rate of all of them – with a staggering 23% of all American children living in poverty. Only two nations – the United States and Romania have child poverty rates above 20%. That number would be even higher except for federal life lines like food stamps – which reduced the number of children in extreme poverty by half last year. Unfortunately – with unemployment benefits expiring around the nation – and Republicans gutting the food stamp programs – things could get a lot tougher for children in America.
In the best of the rest of the news...
Homeowners are fighting back in Arizona. Thanks to the mortgage fraud settlement – Arizona homeowners are entitled to $97 million to help them stay in their homes. Unfortunately – like several other states around the nation – Arizona is skimming $50 million off the settlement to plug budget holes rather than give relief to homeowners. But, as Firedoglake is reporting, homeowners in the state are now filing a lawsuit against the Arizona's Attorney General and State Treasurer – arguing the state's misuse of the money violates the settlement agreement. Nearly $1 billion of the mortgage settlement nationwide has been diverted away from homeowners and toward state budgets – leaving millions of Americans who are on the verge of foreclosure with no help.
Ten thousand! That's the number of wealthy households who paid zero in taxes in 2009 according to a new report by the IRS. Looking at the 3.9 million households who reported incomes over $200,000 – or the top 2% of Americans who benefit from the Bush tax cuts for the rich – ten thousand of those households paid nothing – zilch – nada – in taxes. By taking advantage of special tax exemptions and loopholes, these super wealthy Americans often manage to pay a far lower rate that working class Americans – if they pay any rate at all. President Obama has proposed the Buffett Rule to make the Romney super-rich in American pay at least the same tax rate as working Americans. Unfortunately – efforts to pass the Buffett Rule have been unanimously blocked by Republican in Congress.
It's official – Fox News is now actively campaigning against President Obama. The network's morning show – Fox and Friends – aired a nearly four-minute-long anti-Obama campaign ad this morning – written, edited, and produced by Fox and Friends staff. The ad highlights debt, unemployment, and rising gas prices – while giving no attention to Congress and the role of the Republican filibuster in blocking numerous programs that would have created jobs. And as Mediaite reports – the ads bears a striking resemblance to political ads run by the Republican National Committee and the Republican Governors Association. So here we have a network – operating as the mouthpiece of the Republican Party – yet still calling itself news. Something's not right here.
On Tuesday, the National Bank of Greece warned that a Greek exit from the euro – could slash individual Greeks' incomes by half – and increase unemployment to 34-percent. These sort of doom and gloom projections from economists and bankers around Europe have led to many Greeks re-thinking their support for the anti-austerity SYRIZA party which up until recently held the lead in polls before next month's June 17th election. Should SYRIZA win – a Greek exit from the euro is virtually guaranteed. But now – the pro-austerity Conservative party New Democracy is leading in the polls – which is exactly what the banksters want. Keep an eye on this election – which will pit democracy against austerity.
And finally...Mitt Romney partied with the new King of the Birthers last night in Las Vegas. Reality TV star Donald Trump hosted a fundraiser for Romney Tuesday night – just as Romney officially clinched enough delegates to be the Republican nominee. Just hours before the fundraiser – Trump went on CNN and sparred with Wolf Blitzer – doubling-down on his claims that President Obama was not born in the United States. Rather than take the high road – and condemn Trumps embrace of birtherism – Romney got down in the mud too – appearing with Trump in Las Vegas and thanking him for all his support. But just to be prepared to meet the Reality Star – Romney DID release his birth certificate Tuesday night. However – it was the short-form birth certificate.
And that's the way it is today – Wednesday, May 30, 2012. I'm Jacob Dean in for Thom Hartmann – on the news.