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Bill Moyers: The Corporate Plot That Obama and Corporate Lobbyists Don't Want You to Know About

The Trans Pacific Partnership is a threat to up-end the economy as we know it.

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Exchange policy, exchange rate policy is something we don't talk about. So the two things that could boost the economy, larger deficits, lower-valued dollar, are both things that they don't talk about.

BILL MOYERS: You both keep saying they don't talk about this crucial issue, they don't talk about that crucial issue. They don't take this stand and speak the truth to us. What's going on?

YVES SMITH: Well, I wrote something in 2010. I said that Obama believes that the response to any policy problem is better propaganda. And unfortunately, I think this was an illustration of that phenomenon.

BILL MOYERS: But is it better propaganda to be silent when people can't get jobs that job growth is down, we need to spend money, and they're not doing it.

YVES SMITH: He won in 2012, even with a terrible economy. So it didn't, you know, it didn't seem to-- running bad policies didn't seem to prevent him from getting reelected.

DEAN BAKER: And the people in positions of power, they're basically doing okay. I mean, the stock market's up, corporate profits are at near-record highs. So, you know, for the people in power, they're doing fine. So I'm not saying that they're all, you know, like, evildoers who want people to suffer. But, you know, I've been, you know, I'm sure you could turn on the news any day of the week and you'll hear a roundtable like this, you won't be there, I won't be there, Yves won't be there.

And they'll go, "Look, we just have to get through a tough time." And invariably, the people at the table aren't experiencing a tough time. So it's saying, you know, "Those tens of millions of people that are either unemployed or partially employed, they haven't had a wage increase in years, they're going to have to get through tough times." So there's a real disconnect, the people who are sort of making policy, passing judgment on policy, they're okay. It's all these people around the country that are really suffering who don't really have a voice.

YVES SMITH: Yeah, I think it's even-- and I think to amplify that, if you go to Washington D.C., you know, it's incredibly prosperous.

And most D.C. people, to the extent they leave D.C., they come to New York. And if you stay in the better parts, if you stay in Manhattan, things look fine in Manhattan. Now, you have to not look out the window of the Acela.

I mean, I've you did, you'd see how bad things are. But, you know, it's very easy to ignore what's happening because again, as Dean said, it-- you know, these people all deal with other people who are basically doing fine and they don't hear or have much contact with the people who are suffering.

BILL MOYERS: Well, this brings us to the upcoming, big fight over Social Security and Medicare. Top Republicans are saying repeatedly that they will be glad to end the sequester, the across-the-board federal cuts that took place earlier this year if Democrats agree to future cuts in Social Security and Medicare. How do you both think this is going to play out?

DEAN BAKER: Well, President Obama's indicated he's been willing to make cuts in both Social Security and Medicare. But I think he needs something more in taxes than the Republicans are prepared to give. So my guess is that you won't see that. But it does have me very concerned.

These are openly on the table. And you look at the condition of today's elderly, I think you're really hard-pressed to say that they have too much money. I mean, for 40 percent of that people, 40 percent of people over age 65, their Social Security check is more than 90 percent of their income. And these are checks that average a little over $1,200 a month. So to say that these people are doing so well, we should be looking to cut back their benefits or have them pay more for Medicare, that to my mind, seems 180 degrees wrong track.