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Two of the most wealthy and notable big capitalists, Ray Dalio of Bridgewater Associates (world’s largest hedge fund) and Jamie Dimon, CEO of largest US commercial bank, JP Morgan Chase, recently warned publicly that growing income inequality was driving political instability and could make the next recession or financial crisis very much worse than 2008-09.  Dalio’s recent essays on LinkedIn and Dimon’s latest 50p letter to shareholders both raise the spectre of serious problems on the horizon. But as Dr. Rasmus explains, their solutions don’t even come close to addressing the problem of continued acceleration of income inequality. Rasmus explains the differences between wage inequality, income inequality, and wealth inequality and the separate ‘drivers’ of each. How wage inequality is worse than reported, and how it contributes to income inequality. How forces accelerating capital incomes, however, are the major determinant of income inequality: capital gains escalation, executive pay, and a neoliberal tax system that allows the 1% to keep more of the capital gains is what now drives the income inequality more than wage compression and inequality. How income drives wealth inequality (that in turn drives income inequality). Rasmus critiques the Dalio-Dimon proposals as obfuscations to real solutions to the inequality problem, and offers alternatives to the wage-income-wealth inequality trend. (Next week: a preview of Dr. Rasmus’ next forthcoming book, ‘The Scourge of Neoliberalism: US Policy from Reagan to Trump’, Clarity Press, 2019).

As Federal tax deadlines near on April 15 it’s becoming increasingly clear the middle class is paying more, not less, under the Trump 2018 tax cuts. Of the roughly 170 million tax households, news is now appearing that tens of thousands fewer are not getting refunds this year and 80% say they’re paying more, per polls. Rasmus explains in detail how the Trump tax cuts provided $4.5 trillion in total tax cuts over the next decade—offset by $1.5 trillion in middle class tax hikes (and making phony estimates of another $1.5 trillion in tax revenues from economic growth due to tax cuts).  Rasmus describes how multinational corporations will get $2.1 trillion in tax cuts over the decade and how US corporations, non-corporate businesses, and the wealthiest 1% households and investors will enjoy another $2-2.4$ trillion by reducing the corporate rate from 35% to 21%, by eliminating the corporate AMT, by radically reducing the personal income AMT, by providing a flat 20% deduction for non-corporate businesses, by lowering personal income tax rates and brackets for the wealthy, by exempting most of the Estate tax, and by ending limits on itemized deductions for the rich while adding child care and private school deductions for them.  How the middle class will pay another $1.5 trillion over the decade is also described, including ending the personal exemption, by changing personal income tax brackets for the middle class, and by eliminating or reducing middle class itemized deductions. In the bigger picture, it amounts to increasing subsidization of capital incomes—to be paid for by the earned wage incomes of the middle class. 

 Debunking Trump’s latest claim that the ‘US Economy is Roaring’. Facts about trends in US consumer spending, retail sales, manufacturing and wages per latest data. Rasmus then discusses what’s behind Trump’s continuing and escalating attack on the Federal Reserve and his growing demands that the Fed starts reducing interest rates (now that Trump has bullied Fed chair Powell into halting rate hikes). Myths about central bank independence and inflation targeting debunked. Background on Trump’s nomination of Steven Moore as Fed governor and Moore’s hack economic theories. Moore and 2nd nominee to Fed, Herman Cain, as Trump sycophants, as Trump stuffs his government with second and third rate appointees. What’s happening in European and China economies. Will China’s latest stimulus work? Why last week’s rush into global bond markets has temporarily stabilized.

Rasmus explains how more yield curves have begun flashing warning of imminent recession, resulting in investors and businesses rushing into bonds everywhere as harbinger of recessions on the near horizon. How the latest yield curve for 3 m o. v. 10 year Treasuries has inverted and the Fed interest rate on overnight loans is now the same as the 10 yield T-bond. How the yield curve has accurately predicted the last seven recessions in the US. The recent shift in central bank policies in US and Europe are discussed and how globally 22% of all debt now pays negative interest, up from 13% last year, $10 trillion of bonds now are negative, up from $5.7T in just one year. Rasmus discusses other events, incluiding record stock buybacks now running at $900 billion a year, the renewed crisis in Turkey’s currency, the Lira, US financial imperialism and US special forces now in 143 countries, the new Trump-right wing ideological offensive taking form, the US trade team now in China, Trump’s new attack on the ACA, and the likely scenario for the Mueller Report’s release.

 In the second half hour, Dr. Rasmus explains how Trump’s economy ensures trillion dollar deficits for the next decade, and how even official sources are projecting US debt to rise from current $22.5 trillion to more than $34 trillion by 2028, resulting in an annual interest payment on the debt of $900 billion. Rasmus shows how total US debt—including state and local governments, the central bank, special agencies, etc.—is now more than $50 trillion. How US defense spending ($1 trillion total a year) and Trump’s 2018 tax cuts ($450 billion a year) are the primary sources of the deficits and debt. In the show’s first half, a review of global events are discussed, including Brexit negotiations in Europe, Neocons scuttling of US-No. Korea talks, Trump’s attack on the US Federal Reserve central bank, and a look at the business interests behind the darling of Democrat progressives, Beto O’Rourke.

Dr. Rasmus welcomes guest, Nick Brana, to discuss Sanders’ announcement to run again for president and the legacy of Democratic Party’s leadership to prevent independent progressive candidates like Sanders. Former National Political Outreach Coordinator for Sanders’ 2016 campaign, and 1stElectoral Manager for the ‘Our Revolution’ post-2016 spinoff movement of Sanders’ staffers and supporters, Brana discusses the August 2018 ‘reforms’ by the Democratic Party leadership that are designed to ensure Party leaders’ control over candidates. Rasmus and Brana then discuss what’s behind all the Democrat candidacies for president announced in recent weeks as well.  In the second half of the show, Brana reports further on last month’s gathering in Washington DC of the new Organizing Committee for form a Labor-Community based independent 3rd party, the LCCIP: i.e. the new party’s program, its initial supporters (including celebrities like Cornel West, Oliver Stone, Chris Hedges, Abby Martin), its composition of AFLCIO union leaders and members constituting its organizing committee, and its plans to form local assemblies of community-union members as a dues paying member base.

Dr. Rasmus analyzes US Strategy to invade and enforce regime change in Venezuela now underway. How Neocons who gave us the Iraq, Libya, and other fiascos are now back and once again running Trump foreign policy (i.e. Bolton, Abrams, Miller, Lighthizer, Navarro, etc.). How financial measures by the USA were (and are) used to wreck Venezuela’s economy and how the US plans to invade Venezuela with proxy forces and US special forces already on site in Colombia and Brazil. (For more details read article posted on PRN and at jackrasmus.com blog: ‘Financial Imperialism-The Case of Venezuela’). Rasmus explains the Neocon connections in the recent collapse of US-North Korea talks, pending invasion of Venezuela, and attempts to scuttle the China-US trade negotiations. Other economic topics covered include: why tax refunds are down significantly so far in 2019 and Treasury Secretary Mnuchin’s attempt to cover up rising tax hit on middle class this year per Trump’s 2018 tax cuts, Fed chair Powell’s comments on wages about to rise and on MMT theory; and an examination of US GDP figures for fourth quarter 2018 and why they are suspect given other data late last year.

In the first half hour of the show, Dr. Rasmus provides updates on the evolving status of topics in the global economy: Brexit and what happens next; China-US trade negotiations beginning in Washington, the slowing US economy and growing US financial fragility; China’s ‘whack-a-mole’ economic policy, Europe’s slowing economy, ECB policy, and growing problems at large banks like Deutschebank, BNP Paribas, Credit Suisse, UBS, and others; and India’s banks and shadow banks growing fragility. The second half of the show is dedicated to discussing how US financial imperial measures are being used to bring about regime change. How US policy works to destroy the Venezuelan currency in order to raise import costs and create shortages of key medicine, food and other commodities, how the US policy has been to deny Venezuela access to dollars by seizing assets (CITGO), requiring US corporations to expatriate dollars, prevent global banks lending to Venezuela, using sanctions to deny Venezuela access to markets to which to sell its oil, denying the country access to the international payments (SWIFT) network, driving defaults on loans by Venezuelan companies, getting companies (Citi), foreign central banks (bank of England) and governments to impound Venezuelan gold, indicting and seizing Venezuelan citizens and businesses assets, threatening sanctions on governments if they sell or buy goods from Venezuela, etc. (Check out Dr. Rasmus’s blog, jackrasmus.com, next week for a print version of how US financial imperialism is working to destroy the Venezuelan economy).

Dr. Rasmus reviews his prior prediction that Trump will declare a ‘National Emergency’ to get funds to build his wall. What it means for the US Constitution and the continuing drift toward the decline of US democracy. (How the Dems were complicit for decades enabling the declaration and what they won’t now do). Rasmus applauds New Yorkers for driving out Amazon. What big tech has done to San Francisco and the bay area in California. The danger of ‘OpenAI’ (Elon Musk’s company) and its machine learning-deep learning ‘fake news’ creation potential. Rasmus addresses the US retail sales recent numbers, a fall of -1.2%, the biggest since 2009 and what it means for the US economy in 2019. Also, the Fed now clearly has ‘thrown in the towel’ (as have other central banks) leaving monetary policy dead in the water for the next recession. Krugman now agrees with Rasmus re. recession. As recession looms, US Treasury faced with an additional $12 trillion in bonds it must sell (as China, Russia and others reduce purchases and buy gold). Recession now imminent in Eurozone, Germany, Italy, UK, and Japan. The latest Brexit vote, China trade negotiations, and US strategy in Venezuela.

As the main topic of the show, Dr. Rasmus discusses the letter to the US Treasury by the Treasury Bond Advisory Committee (TBAC) this past week, warning that $12 trillion more in US Treasury bond sales will be needed over the next decade in order to finance rising US government debt. The $12T more per the TBAC is about equal to the net increase in federal debt (from current $21T to $33T) that Rasmus has been predicting will occur by 2028 due to Trump tax cuts, rising defense spending, and the next recession around the corner—with Interest payments on that debt alone equaling $900 billion a year, per the CBO. In a related topic, Rasmus discusses the latest data that show that Fortune 500 corporations’ stock buybacks plus dividend payouts will reach $1.4 trillion for 2018—up from $1.1 trillion in 2017 and from $500 billion in 2009. How the two trends of escalating government debt and accelerating $trillion a year plus buybacks-dividends are connected.  The latest on Trump-Powell confrontation over rate hikes and coming breakdown of Russia-Saudi agreement on oil production are also addressed.

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