Daily Archives: 18/07/2011

( While the US is running out of time to deal with its debt crisis, Business Insider website reporter Zeke Miller says that without debt ceiling increase, the US government does not have enough money to last very long.

“If the August 2 deadline passes without a debt ceiling increase, the government will shut down, but it will not necessarily default right away,” he added. “They have the money to last themselves a few weeks.”

Miller says that the impact on the US and the global economy really depends on what the credit agencies do.

“We heard from Moody’s on Wednesday and from S&P yesterday, both warning of severe consequences if the government doesn’t raise the debt ceiling in time, including the possible downgrade from the government’s triple-A rating,” he said. “And that increases borrowing costs not just for the federal government, but for 7,000 municipalities across the country.”

With all that at stake it is likely the lawmakers will reach an agreement. The question is just how significant the deficit reduction measures will be.

“S&P said yesterday they want $4 trillion in cuts over 10 years in order for them to maintain the triple-A rating,” Miller explained.

The Republicans want spending cuts, while the Democrats want tax rises, but the American public wants a compromise solution.

“The Americans want to see a balanced approach,” he said. “They want to see a fair plan.”

The investors are also pushing the government to solve the deficit problem.

“Three hundred business leaders wrote a letter to US government leaders saying ‘you have to reach a deal on this debt ceiling increase but you also have to cut the deficit’,” Miller said. “They are saying that it is bad for their businesses.”

Zeke Miller does not believe the EU countries or any other countries should try and solve their debt problems using the US as a role model.

“I don’t think anybody thinks the United States is getting away with this any longer,” he said. “They have sort of reached the point where everybody in both parties agrees that the debt is just too high and they can’t borrow anymore.”

“You can’t be borrowing for annual expenditures, it is not a sustainable model for any country,” he added. “There are no fundamental issues with the system. It’s just the magnitude that sets it apart.”

Economic analyst Dr. Roger Von Hanwehr believes the chances are quite high that the agreement will not be reached by the deadline, as it is “a very tough pill for American politicians to swallow and to articulate to the constituencies.”

“Neither side wants to bite the hard bullet,” he said, “realizing that there is an inadequate wage base for raising taxes and that costs need to be cut in a manner that is equivalent to the rise in a debt ceiling.”

Charlie McGrath, founder of the website told RT the agenda differs greatly from the reality.

“The agenda is to let the people of the country have all the burden for running the government, pretend that we have this 35 per cent corporate tax rate, but in reality these too-big-to-fail corporations pay absolutely nothing, and their profits are guaranteed, and they cannot fail, unlike Min Street who has failed primarily since 2007 and continues to fail,” stated McGrath.

“We don’t take in enough money to keep up funding our special interest. And we don’t take in enough money to keep this projection of empire America alive and well – five military engagements around the planet and corruption,”McGrath said.


( A senior Israeli army commander has warned that unchecked “Jewish terror” against Palestinians in the occupied West Bank threatens to plunge the territory into another conflict.

In unusually outspoken comments, Major General Avi Mizrahi took aim at extremist Israeli settlers, and said the yeshiva, or religious seminary, in Yitzhar, one of the most radical Jewish strongholds in the West Bank, should be closed, calling it a source of terror against Palestinians.

The general’s comments are likely to put him at odds with Israel’s pro-settler government, which has resisted US-led efforts to curb settlement expansion in a bid to revive stalled peace talks. The foreign minister, Avigdor Lieberman, himself lives in a West Bank settlement. All settlements are regarded as illegal under international law.

The army has anxiously watched an upsurge in violence by hardline settlers, who in recent months have set fire to a West Bank mosque, burned Palestinian olive groves, and vandalised Palestinian property. Settlers have killed three Palestinians this year.

“What’s happening in the field is terrorism,” General Mizrahi told Channel 2’s Meet the Press, and it “needs to be dealt with.” The Israel Defence Forces (IDF), he said, fears “terrorism against Palestinians is likely to ignite the territories.”

The general’s criticism points to frustration within the army’s high command at their ability to check violent settlers.

Palestinians and Israeli NGOs frequently accuse the army of siding with settlers in conflagrations with Palestinians, prompting the army to respond that it is obliged to protect its citizens and does not set policy.

The number of violent incidents has spiked in recent months, partly because of the murder earlier this year of five members, including three children, from one Jewish family in Itamar, a settlement near Nablus. Two Palestinians were charged with the crime.

Human rights groups suggest that the more radical settlers, many of whom oppose a two-state solution on the premise that the whole of Israel is bequeathed to them by God, are agitating against Palestinian moves to seek statehood recognition at the United Nations in September.

Some fear that the surge in violent attacks against Palestinians could compound rising frustrations with the stalled peace process and trigger more violent riots.

“The army is very afraid that [action by settlers] at a critical moment could set off a Third Intifada,” said Adam Keller, spokesman for Israeli human rights body Gush Shalom, referring to a mass Palestinian uprising.

“The fact that the army is nervous is making the settlers more aggressive,” he said

The Israeli commander General Mizrahi blamed the courts for failing to rein in the most radical of the settlers – a small proportion of the roughly 500,000 Israeli settlers who are living beyond the Green Line in East Jerusalem and the West Bank.