On the News With Thom Hartmann: A Study Shows That America’s Biggest Banks Would Need Another $500 Billion Bailout Should Our Economy Fail Again, and More

In today’s On the News segment: A new study shows that America’s biggest banks would need another $500 billion bailout should our economy go into a tailspin again, Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker’s recall victory this week is reverberating around the country, a new scientific report warns of the possible extinction of our species within just a few generations, and more.


Thom Hartmann here – on the news…

You need to know this. Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker’s recall victory this week is reverberating around the country – and helping other controversial right-wing Governors keep their jobs. In Michigan – a petition drive to recall Governor Rick Snyder – the man behind the controversial “financial managers” law – was dropped. As a spokesman for the group Michigan Rising, which was spearheading the recall effort said, “The results of Wisconsin crystallized how difficult a task it is to recall a sitting governor, even when the unions and the Democratic Party play a significant role in the effort.” Recalls are made even more difficult when the Governor has the full-support of America’s oligarchs like the Koch brothers – who are willing to spend whatever it takes to keep their guy in the Governor’s Mansion. Now is the time for progressives around the nation to continue building a new movement to reverse thirty years of damage done to this nation, its democracy and its economy. Progressives have done this before – building a movement to push back against the Robber Barons of the late 1800’s and the Economic Royalists of the 1920’s. Time to do it again today to push back against the 1%ers.

House Democrats are looking out for working class Americans. A group of lawmakers led by Representative Jesse Jackson, Jr. have introduced legislation to raise the current minimum wage from $7.25 an hour to $10 an hour. The bill is named “The Catching Up to 1968 Act” since the minimum wage in 1968 would today be worth more than $10 an hour – three dollars more than where the minimum wage stands today. Despite warning from Conservatives, several studies have shown that a boost in the minimum wage does not hamper job creation, but actually boosts the economy by increasing aggregate demand. In other words – when working people are earning higher wages, and have more money in their pockets – they spend more – thus increasing demand so businesses have to hire more people to make and deliver things. Unfortunately – on the other side of the aisle – Republicans are actively trying to get rid of a minimum wage altogether – since they subscribe to an economic philosophy of giving the Romney-super rich everything and waiting for that money to trickle down on the rest of us. As thirty years of Reaganomics has taught us, though – trickle down economics only turns us into a nation of peons. Call your Member of Congress and tell them to raise the minimum wage.

In the best of the rest of the news…

Our soldiers are dying at an alarming rate, not in Afghanistan – but here at home. According to the Pentagon – in the first 155 days of the year – 154 U.S. soldiers have committed suicide – averaging nearly one soldier dying of suicide each day. That’s an 18% increase from last year – and the fastest pace in the decade of war. Suicide deaths now occur 50% more often than combat deaths in Afghanistan. Studies suggest multiple tours of duty, PTSD, and misuse of prescription medicine could be behind the surge in military suicides. Another possible explanation is financial hardship. Just like working class Americans – soldiers, too, are having their homes foreclosed on by the banksters – even while they’re abroad risking their life for the country. It’s time to end these wars and give our soldiers some much-needed peace of mind.

Faith in the Supreme Court has fallen off a cliff. A New York Times/CBS News poll finds that only 44% of Americans approve of the job the Supreme Court is doing. Back in 1994 – the Supreme Court’s approval rating was a whopping 80%. Three-quarters of Americans now, however, believe the justices on the high court rule based on their own political views and not on an impartial reading of the Constitution. Just like our Congress – which hit an all-time low approval rating of 10% earlier this year – the Supreme Court has been taken over by corporate interests. The Roberts Court – mores than any other court in recent history – has sided with big business over working people. And if Mitt Romney wins the White House – and is able to appoint more right-wing justices to the bench – this court will tilt even further toward the oligarchs.

Attention climate change deniers – the planet is rapidly heating up. The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration is out with a new report showing that the last year – from June of 2011 to May of 2012 – was the hottest year ever since NOAA began recording annual temperatures. That included the fourth warmest winter – the second warmest summer – and the warmest spring ever recorded. On top of that – the science journal Nature is also out with a new report warning that the planet is reaching a tipping point – and its ecosystems are on the verge of irreversible change, which could mean disaster for humans. The report even warns of the possible extinction of our species within just a few generations, once this tipping point is reached. Something has so badly rotted in our culture that we no longer look out for future generations – or care about leaving them a habitable planet. Instead – we care just about short-term profits for oil barons in Texas and Kansas, and it could cost us everything our species has worked for.

And finally…A new study shows that America’s biggest banks would need ANOTHER $500 billion bailout should our economy go into a tailspin again – something that looks increasingly more likely with the situation in Europe deteriorating and Republicans pushing austerity here in the states. That $500 billion number is nearly equal to what the banksters at the top 6 banks got back in 2008 to prevent an economic calamity. “Too Big to Fail” is even bigger today – as Republicans in the House defund critical Wall Street reforms and cut spending for market regulators. Lather, rinse, and repeat.

And that’s the way it is today – Friday, June 8th, 2012. I’m Thom Hartmann – on the news.