Let Them Eat Cake

By PAUL CRAIG ROBERTS

 Guest Writer for Greg Hunter’s USAWatchdog.com

It is not unusual for members of the diminishing upper middle class to drop $20,000 or $30,000 on a big wedding. But for celebrities this large sum wouldn’t cover the wedding dress or the flowers.   

When country music star Keith Urban married actress Nicole Kidman in 2006, their wedding cost $250,000. This large sum hardly counts as a celebrity wedding. When mega-millionaire real estate mogul Donald Trump married model Melania Knauss, the wedding bill was $1,000,000.

The marriages of Madonna and film director Guy Ritchie, Tiger Woods and Elin Nordegren, and Michael Douglas and Catherine Zeta-Jones pushed up the cost of celebrity marriages to $1.5 million.

Tom Cruise and Katie Holmes upped the ante to $2,000,000.

Now comes the politicians’s daughter as celebrity. According to news reports, Chelsea Clinton’s wedding to investment banker Mark Mezvinsky on July 31 is costing papa Bill $3,000,000. According to the London Daily Mail, the total price tag will be about $5,000,000. The additional $2,000,000 apparently is being laid off on US Taxpayers as Secret Service costs for protecting former president Clinton and foreign heads of state, such as the presidents of France and Italy and former British Prime Minister Tony Blair, who are among the 500 invited guests along with Barbara Streisand, Steven Spielberg, Oprah Winfrey, Ted Turner, and Clinton friend and donor Denise Rich, wife of the Clinton-pardoned felon.

Before we attend to the poor political judgment of such an extravagant affair during times of economic distress, let us wonder aloud where a poor boy who became governor of Arkansas and president of the United States got such a fortune that he can blow $3,000,000 on a wedding.

The American people did not take up a collection to reward him for his service to them.
Where did the money come from? Who was he really serving during his eight years in office?

How did Tony Blair and his wife, Cherrie, end up with an annual income of ten million pounds (approximately $15 million dollars) as soon as he left office? Who was Blair really serving?

These are not polite questions, and they are infrequently asked.

While Chelsea’s wedding guests eat a $11,000 wedding cake and admire $250,000 floral displays, Lisa Roberts in Ohio is struggling to raise contributions for her food pantry in order to feed 3,000 local people, whose financial independence was destroyed by investment bankers, job offshoring, and unaffordable wars. The Americans dependent on Lisa Roberts’ food pantry are living out of vans and cars. Those with a house roof still over their heads are packed in as many as 14 per household according to the Chillicothe Gazette in Ohio.

The Chilicothe Gazette reports that Lisa Roberts’ food pantry has “had to cut back to half rations per person in order to have something for everyone who needed it.”

Theresa DePugh stepped up to the challenge and had the starving Ohioans write messages on their food pantry paper plates to President Obama, who has just obtained another $33 billion to squander on a pointless war in Afghanistan that serves no purpose whatsoever except the enrichment of the military/security complex and its shareholders.

The Guardian (UK) reports that according to US government reports, one million American children go to bed hungry, while the Obama regime squanders hundreds of billions of dollars killing women and children in Afghanistan and elsewhere.

The Guardian’s reporting relies on a US government report from the US Department of Agriculture, which concludes that 50 million people in the US–one in six of the population–were unable to afford to buy sufficient food to stay healthy in 2008.

US Department of Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack said that he expected the number of hungry Americans to worsen when the survey for 2010 is released.

Today in the American Superpower, one of every six Americans is living on food stamps.
The Great American Superpower, which is wasting trillions of dollars in pursuit of world hegemony, has 22% of its population unemployed and almost 17% of its population dependent on welfare in order to stay alive.

The world has not witnessed such total failure of government since the final days of the Roman Empire. A handful of American oligarchs are becoming mega-billionaires while the rest of the country goes down the drain.

And the American sheeple remain acquiescent.

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Paul Craig Roberts was an editor of the Wall Street Journal and an Assistant Secretary of the U.S. Treasury.  His latest book, HOW THE ECONOMY WAS LOST, has just been published by CounterPunch/AK Press. He can be reached at: [email protected]

Comments
  1. John Bernard

    We have no leadership in the country. The president is in constant campaign mode, celebrity posing, as is his wife. Even Christina Roemer could take it no longer. While I am skeptical of the 2017 scenario, we are in for something just about as disgusting. It appears that the American Republic is on it’s last legs as an imperial governing class is emerging. When you have so=called racist, conservative Republicans like Trent Lott saying “…we don’t need any Jim Demint clones” referring to TEA Party adherents you know reality has gone walkabout.

    The Clintons are reprehensible. The rest of our ruling class a weak selfish individuals who get rich at the expense of us commoners.

    Wake up guys it’s almost over; or practice tugging your forelock.

    • Greg

      Thanks John.
      Greg

  2. Stephen Clifton

    It goes back to the old saying “follow the money”. It seems that whenever a president leaves office they become extremely wealthy (if they were not before). We track campaign contributions in order to see how they got to power but maybe we should track how they get paid once they leave office. Cross reference their post-presidency contributors to their decision making while in office and the corruption will be incredibly obvious.

    Just because we do not see bread lines of the past does not make them non-existent. They are now in the form of food stamps and other government subsidies. Over the last 80 years we have seen government intervention in our economy sky-rocket in the name of “protection” of the middle class. Ironic how the middle class has been steadily eroding since this change in national mindset.

    I challenge anybody who thinks government intervention in our economy at this level was necessary to compare their lives to the person in the early 20th century who could raise a family of 8-10 kids on one income.

    Stephen

    • MikeD

      Funny you bring that up. Just had a family reunion a few weeks ago, and my cousin went to the trouble of posting a family tree.

      Great grandparents: 12 kids. Grandparents: 7 kids. The numbers dwindled down the generations, couldn’t help but notice. And my grandparents raised my dad during the great depression, no less.

      I know part of the reason we have smaller families these days is directly related to the standard of living we all enjoy. We have cable tv, cell phones, multiple vehicles, internet access, etc. The list is endless.

      But more worth noting is the rapid expansion in government-sponsored social engineering since the great depression, as well as the increased taxation at every level. And as a CPA, I saw it up close & personal a few years ago with the regulation section of the CPA exam.

      I had no choice but to memorize all of the different tax rules. There was no logic to it, other than it all started with a new tax, which was later expanded, and was then modified endlessly.

      That’s all politicians do these days, don’t they? 1)Invent new social engineering program, 2)Come up with clever acronym to promote said program, 3)Invent new tax to fund said program, 4)Have news media promote said program to the general public, 5)Enact said program into law, 6)Expand previously mentioned new tax when projected tax revenues fall short of expectations, and 7)Expand original program above & beyond its original intent. And I’d maybe add 8)Print money to cover multi-billion-dollar shortfall for out-of-control program.

      And that’s how they’ve pulled this off, month by month, year by year, decade by decade. And it’s the primary reason why single-income families have become less prevalent these days.

      • Greg

        MikeD,
        This is why both parties run cover for the Fed. Thank you.
        Greg

  3. Ray

    I can’t help but to recall a clip of Hilary stating, “The rich in this county do not pay their fair share.” It’s obvious that this statement was not intended to include the “Ruling Class” that think they are far above and beyond us “peasants” people that acutally work and sweat for a living paying taxes so they, the “Ruling Class” can live in luxury and spend millions on weddings and extravagant vacation homes around the globe. The hypocricy here is blunt and brutal, kinda like a stick in eye and a kick in the groin. This attitude and swagger from the Ruling Class is endemic throughout the Federal Government in Washington. They vote to limit our freedom, usurp the Bill of Rights, increase our taxes and laugh in our face while they lavish themselves in luxury. The anger and resentment in middle America builds by the day. Keep on slaving away peasants, there are millions demanding your production for their existance and the Ruling Class will never get their hands dirty or lift a finger to help. Let them eat cake, indeed!

    • Guy

      Ray, you’ve got it mixed up.

      The Government is the problem. The Taxes are the problem. The Rich pay 50% and the richest 10% pay 90% of the tax base.

      Maybe they should pay more. Thats not my point. That shouldnt be the point.

      The point is the government is the richest, most out of control, most wasteful, most corrupt organization thats ever existed.

      They’re the government, but they’re essentially a company. What do you do in your company’s department? You look to expand, you promote yourself, you look to grow so your workers and yourself have room to advance… thats all the governments ever done.

      Hillary and her government is the problem, not rich people.

  4. Goods

    Greg here is another one for you:

    “While many of us are struggling, the First Lady is spending the next few days in a five-star hotel on the chic Costa del Sol in southern Spain with 40 of her “closest friends.”

    Read more: http://www.nydailynews.com/opinions/2010/08/04/2010-08-04_material_girl_michelle_obama_is_a_modernday_marie_antoinette_on_a_glitzy

    • Greg

      Goods,
      I did not know that. Thank you.
      Greg

  5. Marielle Hedgesgold

    Sheeple? All these smart, awake people reading all these sites and there is NO unity of action or campaign to deal with the ruling class, president Ohbumma, Congress, Senate, the banking conspiracy and the rest of it.

    why? why is there no organizing? why are there no campaigns, like the HuffPo “Move Your Money” from last winter? what I see is thousands of bright people with no action plans. no behaviour changes.
    and then there is all the blame on the sheeple, most of whom don’t have the education, energy or intellect to follow the robbery of the US middle, upper middle and wealthy class. That’s right, we need to include even the rich, because they are being destroyed too.

    So, what about it, guys….how about a campaign to shut down the Fed and issue our own debt-free money? How about a campaign to sell all stocks? How about some solutions besides buying gold for those of us already ruined?

    • Greg

      Sounds good to me Marielle!
      Greg

  6. Jan

    I can understand the former President and even First Lady commanding big speaking fees. They have had time to accrue their millions since leaving office. What I don’t understand is how members of Congress enter with average middle incomes, but in a few short years they are worth millions.

    • Greg

      Jan,
      Good point.
      Greg

  7. Elihu E. O'Dowd

    The LORD Almighty will eventually (hopefully soon) sort out all of their (the rich) reprehensible behavior.

    [Prov.28.6.]”Better is a poor man who walks in his integrity
    than a rich man who is crooked in his ways.”

    • Greg

      Good lesson Eli.
      Greg

  8. Diane Carol Mark

    Greg,
    Paul notes the food stamp program above. In the news this week the Yahoo! News article “Senate Approves Jobs Bill To Stop Teacher Layoffs” (http://yhoo.it/9W0qJ4) reports that “Among the ways to pay chosen by Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, D-Nev., was a $12 billion cut to food stamps that would cost a family of four $59 a month beginning in early 2014.”

    Goodness.
    🙂 Diane

    • Greg

      Diane,
      Anything for his union supporters!! Thank you.
      Greg

  9. BLT

    Remember, taxes are for the poor and ignorant. Things will never change in politics, which is why we should keep the revolving door policy. We should vote to have the right to kick people out of office and not have to wait till november so that they can’t appoint judges like kagen before the people can even have a say. This november baby. Let’s give all of em itchy butt!!! Hahahahahah!!

  10. nick

    well leadership is not missing in the usa. its the strength of the people that is missing. doped up on mountain dew, cheetos and nfl, they are now drowned in entertainment. and now the so called tea party seems to have the early makings of the nsdap. cant wait to see how this mess turns out

  11. Zan

    The Clinton’s have made their money through writing books, investments and speaking fees. They have also made available tax records for the last 30 years or so. What other Politicians have done this? If they have the money to spend on their daughters wedding then why the heck not. I don’t know how much they give to charities or how much they pay in taxes but I imagine it is in the millions. I believe the Clinton’s have gotten their money honestly, you can’t say the same for most of the politicians out there because they have had to sell their souls to the devil to get elected. Greedy Corporations, Greedy Bankers, Greedy CEOs, Greedy Politicians and one perfectly ignorant x Prez have almost destroyed this country and that is the bottom line.

    • Greg

      Zan,
      One word–leadership. Neither party is leading this out of this mess. Youn lead by example. Thank you for the comment.
      Greg

  12. Kay

    Maybe we need a watchdog named Greg to be our leader??

    • Greg

      Kay,
      You are too kind. I think I can do more good doing what I am doing. At least I hope I can. Thank you.
      Greg

  13. Thedes

    Odd that people forget that Laura Bush spent almost $500,000 on china before leaving the White House. Nor does anyone mention how much it cost the taxpayers every time George and Laura flew to Texas on Air Force One and considering he spent 1/3rd of his administration on vacation it certainly added up. Oh, and let’s not forget that lovey huge 1 trillion dollar deficit his administration left all of us after eight years of roaring incompetence.

    Apparently the cost of Chelsea’s wedding was overblown (as usual) and it only came to under 1 million, much less than Rush Limbaugh’s fourth time around. Besides, if they could afford her wedding, which they could, just what is your problem? Oh, I forgot, any excuse to be snotty regarding a former Democratic president.

    As usual, if a Republican does it, it’s OK, if a Democrat does it, it’s wrong. Look in the mirror and seek to remove the beam from thine own eye before condemning those not of your political party.
    Our nation has many problems that need fixing and the constant sniping from your side of the political aisle is getting tedious. Maybe it’s time to try acting in a more mature manner so let’s join in and start working together to fix our nations problems instead of sticking your elitist noses in the air and acting like you’re just too good to associate with the rest of us working folks.

    • Greg

      Thedes,
      All good points. You prove one of my main points on this site. BOTH parties rip us off and give us poor leadership. Thank you for the info.
      Greg

  14. mika.

    The US is really a fascist/corporatist state. The red and blue circus clowns, put on by gov mafia, as well as the “judges” appointed by that gov mafia, obey the dictates of the corporations. The Rockefeller and Morgan clans, and the satellite families associated with them, own the corporations. They own the gov. They own the show.

    • Greg

      Mika George and Hog,
      Thank you all for the comments.
      Greg

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