Income Tax department uncovers Rs 45,622 crore undisclosed income

The I-T department conducted searches on nearly 2,534 groups of persons in the last three financial years and the current one (up to January 2017) and unearthed undisclosed income of Rs 45,622 crore. “During the last three financial years (2013-14, 2014-15 and 2015-16) and the current financial year (up to January 2017), the I-T department conducted searches on about 2,534 groups of persons, which led to admission of undisclosed income of about Rs 45,622 crore apart from seizure of undisclosed asset (cash, jewellery etc) worth about Rs 3,625 crore,” Minister of State for Finance Santosh Kumar Gangwar said in a written reply to the Lok Sabha.

Gangwar further said, “Besides levy of taxes on the total income of those persons whose assessments were completed during the last three years and current financial year (up to to January 2017), the ITD filed prosecution complaints in 2,432 cases.”

He added: “During the same period, 4,264 compounding applications were also received from persons who had committed offence under the Act.”

Of the cases disposed of by criminal courts during the period, the minister said, “116 persons were convicted of offences committed under the Act.” In 3,218 cases, offences were compounded by the competent I-T authorities.

According to the minister, as part of enforcement measures and based on credible evidence of tax evasion and other serious violations of provisions, the income tax department (ITD) conducts searches in cases of various persons, including companies and individuals.

 

Elaborating, he noted that based on material recovered during searches, investigation is conducted by investigating officers and findings of such investigations are shared with the assessing officers concerned.

Such assessing officers initiate and complete assessment proceedings as per the provision of the Act with a view to assessing the income and taking other actions such as raising of tax demand, levy of applicable penalties, recovery of such demands and filing of prosecution complaints.

Union Budget 2017 provides leeway to increase power demand, wanting in tackling stressed assets: Experts

The problem of subdued power demand ailing the thermal as well as renewable energy sectors was addressed by Union Finance Minister Arun Jaitley in his budget proposals for fiscal 2017-18 on February 1, but there is no “direct, head-on tackling of stressed power assets”, experts say. Jaitley said the country was well on its way to achieving 100 per cent village electrification by May 1, 2018, and proposed an increased allocation of Rs 4,814 crore under the Deendayal Upadhyaya Gram Jyoti Yojana in 2017-18.

The government has sustained its focus on infrastructure spending, which is budgeted at Rs 3.96 trillion ( billion) in 2017-18, an increase of 10.5 per cent over the previous fiscal. (Reuters)

“The progress towards 100 per cent rural electrification target by May 2018, as announced in the budget for the previous financial year, is on track and thus a higher level of funding support in the current budget is likely to gradually improve the energy demand, and the PLF (Plant Load Factor) levels for power generation entities to some extent,” Sabyasachi Majumdar, Group Head, Corporate Sector Ratings at ICRA, told IANS.

The government has sustained its focus on infrastructure spending, which is budgeted at Rs 3.96 trillion ($59 billion) in 2017-18, an increase of 10.5 per cent over the previous fiscal.

Allocations for power in the latest budget shows an increase of 51 percent, while that for road transport, railways and shipping have gone up by 31 per cent, 19 per cent and 16 per cent, respectively. These measures are expected to trigger higher industrial activity, thus translating into greater demand for industrial power.

“Moreover, an increased allocation for the infrastructure segment is likely to result in an increase in energy demand from the industrial sector, which has shown subdued demand in the past two-three years,” he added.

However, according to a report prepared by ratings agency Crisil, overall infrastructure investments will take longer to pick up, especially given the private sector’s inability to invest due to below-expectation performance.

“Investments have been steadily falling — to 29 percent of GDP in fiscal 2016-17 from 34 per cent in fiscal 2011-12,” the report said.

Interestingly, no specific measures have been highlighted in the budget to address the issue of stressed power assets.

“We would have been heartened to see a direct head-on tackling of stressed power assets. The latest Economic Survey ignited hopes by talking about a very innovative solution by creating a Public Asset Rehabilitation Agency (PARA).

“However, while the Finance Minister talked about recapitalising the banks to the tune of Rs 10,000 crore, the Budget was silent about a direct measure to address this big challenge facing the (power) sector. Maybe, we may see a post-budget follow-on around PARA,” KPMG (India) Partner and Head of Energy and Natural Resources Manish Aggarwal told IANS.

On the positive side, halving of the basic customs duty on LNG from five per cent to 2.5 per cent would support stranded gas power plants. It would also help ease FDI regulations with the proposed abolition of the Foreign Investment Promotion Board and extension of concessional withholding tax on ECBs (external commercial borrowings), enabling foreign investors to pump money into the energy sector, he said.

The Budget has also outlined measures to support the development of solar capacity such as taking up the second phase of Solar Park development for an additional 20,000 MW capacity and the plan for installation of 1,000 MW of solar capacity at railway stations.

“While these measures would support off-take from solar power, they would affect the demand for thermal power generation to some extent,” Majumdar said.

The Make in India programme in the solar sector, which was being affected by imports of cheap Chinese modules, has also got a fillip.

The significant rise in allocation under the Modified Special Incentive Package Scheme (M-SIPS) and the Electronics Development Fund (EDF), which provides capital subsidy of up to 25 per cent, is expected to benefit major domestic solar cell and module manufacturers, as well as foreign players planning to set up their manufacturing base in India, the Crisil report said.

However, Vinay Rustagi, Managing Director of solar consulting firm Bridge To India, said the 10-year tax holiday and GBI (generation-based incentive) for the wind sector, as expected, have been phased out.

“Reduction in corporate tax rates and MAT (minimum alternative tax) credit extension will help small- and medium-sized businesses. There is also some rationalisation of duty structure for components used in manufacturing solar modules to help domestic manufacturers,” Rustagi told IANS.

The experts said there was no big bang or material announcement in the budget.

“We wanted the Budget to address the issues of curtailments and payment delays that have increased substantially over the last one year for the renewable sector. A limited play guarantee fund only for renewables that can take care of payment delays to independent power producers beyond a defined timeframe of say three months would have gone a long way to get an exponential jump in investments from overseas investors, as well as domestic players,” Aggarwal said.

“We are disappointed that there is no funding set aside for new transmission schemes or any skilling and customer education initiatives,” Rustagi added.

Union Budget 2017: 4 things that can impact your savings and increase tax liability

  1. The government in the current budget announced an additional surcharge of 10% for salaried employees who are earning more than Rs 50 lakh and less than Rs 1 crore.
 Budget 2017, budget, arun jaitley, finance bill, savings, employees, income tax department, income tax act

Although the Budget 2017 was pro-poor and some tax sops were also announced keeping in mind the middle class, but still a few amendments will have a negative impact on people after the changes become effective within a few months. For instance, they will increase the tax liability of the rich people.

In his budget speech, the FM had said, “The present burden of taxation is mainly on honest taxpayers and salaried employees.” Keeping this in view, he tried to disperse the tax liability on everyone so that there is a uniformity in paying tax amongst all.

Introduction of additional Surcharge of 10%

The government in the current budget announced an additional surcharge of 10% for salaried employees who are earning more than Rs 50 lakh and less than Rs 1 crore. The taxpayers whose taxable income falls between Rs 50 lakh and Rs 1 crore will not benefit much because the imposition of a surcharge of 10% will not only wipe away the benefit of Rs 12,500, but also it will impose an additional tax burden on such taxpayers.

Reduction in rebate limit under Section 87A

Reduction in rebate from Rs 5000 to Rs 2500 under Section 87A has a slightly negative impact where the eligibility limit has been reduced up to 50%. Moreover, the taxable salary limit for claiming such deduction has also decreased from Rs 5 lakh to Rs 3.5 lakh.

Now, taxpayers who are earning taxable income between Rs 2.50 lakh and Rs 3.50 lakh will get a rebate of Rs 2,500 only under section 87A as against the earlier rebate of Rs 5,000 for the taxpayers whose taxable income was up to Rs 5 lakh.

Restriction on set off of loss being capped on the higher side

In the Budget 2017, section 71 of the Act relates to set-off of loss from one head against income from another. To have best practices, it is proposed to insert sub-section (3A) in the current section to provide that “set-off of loss under the head “Income from house property” against any other head of income shall be restricted to Rs 2 lakh for any assessment year,” as per the Finance Bill 2017.

One the biggest negative impacts will now be held against set off of loss for Income from House Property which now has been capped at Rs 2 lakh per F.Y with effect from 1st April 2018. Your income tax liability may increase because of this capping. Keeping other factors constant, suppose you are earning a rental income of Rs 2 lakh and paying interest of Rs 7 lakh towards the loan, this will result in loss of Income from House Property of Rs 5 lakh. Earlier, you could have set off the entire amount against income from the other heads.

Singapore Airlines bans Samsung Galaxy Note 7 on its flights

SINGAPORE (Reuters) – Singapore Airlines said on Saturday it has banned Samsung’s Galaxy Note 7 mobile phones from all its flights and any passenger carrying one will not be allowed to board its planes.

The U.S. Department of Transportation has issued an emergency order banning the devices from aircraft in the United States as of Saturday at noon EDT (1600 GMT).

Samsung Electronics Co Ltd has recalled its flagship Galaxy Note 7 smartphones worldwide because of incidents of the phones emitting smoke or catching fire, dealing a huge blow to the company’s reputation.

Singapore Airlines said on its Facebook page that “the Galaxy Note 7 smartphone will be prohibited from being brought on board all our flights in person, in carry-on baggage or checked-in baggage with effect from 16 October.”

(Reporting by Saeed Azhar; Editing by Hugh Lawson)

With no rate hike, risks to economy up ‘appreciably,’ ex Fed advisor says

The Federal Reserve is “way, way” behind the curve with its lack of interest rate hikes so far this year, former Dallas Fed Advisor Danielle DiMartino Booth told CNBC on Wednesday.

The minutes from the Federal Open Market Committee’s meeting in September, released Wednesday, show a divided Fed. While it opted to leave rates unchanged, officials in favor of hiking are worried that waiting too long could send the country into recession.

“The risks have obviously gone up appreciably,” Booth said in an interview with CNBC’s “Power Lunch.”

The concern is that if the Fed waits too long, it could be forced to raise rates aggressively to slow the economy.

Rate hike

The central bank has left the door open for a rate hike before the end of the year. It meets again in November and December.

However, Lindsey Piegza, chief economist for Stifel, Nicolaus & Co., believes there is no incentive for the Fed to raise rates thanks to slow growth, nonexistent inflation, negative business investment and the consumer under pressure with declining income.

“Certainly they may have to raise rates faster if we turn the corner into 2017 or beyond, but the risk of raising rates too fast more than offsets the risk of raising them too slow at this point,” Piegza told “Power Lunch.”

Traders expect the Fed to hike in December, although probability is less than 60 percent. Many don’t expect it to happen in November because there is no press conference scheduled afterward and it is happening right before the presidential election.

And if the markets react violently to the election, Booth doesn’t think the Fed will raise at all in 2016.

“They won’t move a hair in December if there’s disruption. It’s not their M.O.,” she said.

Piegza argued any rate increase will be based on the data, not politics. “It’s not about the election being six days later. It’s not about the outcome of the election or the market’s reaction to the election,” she said. “It’s about how the U.S. economy is evolving and right now we are subpar growth, declining income, declining gains in employment, declining gains in manufacturing, inflation is still sluggishly low.”

HC asks Britannia not to use pack ‘deceptively similar’ to ITC

Image result for HC asks Britannia not to use pack ‘deceptively similar’ to ITCDelhi High Court today restrained Britannia Industries Ltd from using the wrapper of its ‘Nutri Choice Digestive Zero’ biscuits in its present form, saying it was “deceptively similar” to the packaging of ITC’s Sunfeast ‘Farmlite Digestive All Good’ biscuits.

The court asked Britannia to adopt a “distinctively different” packaging from the one currently used by ITC for its biscuit as such “deception” could confuse the consumers.

The court’s order came on a plea filed by ITC Ltd seeking to restrain Britannia from violating its rights in packaging/ trade dress of ‘Sunfeast Farmlite Digestive-All Good’ biscuits by allegedly using a deceptively and confusingly similar trade dress for ‘Nutri Choice Digestive Zero’ biscuits.

“The court is satisfied that the impugned packaging for Nutri Choice Digestive Zero Biscuits launched by Britannia is deceptively similar to the packaging of ITC’s Sunfeast Farmlite Digestive All Good biscuits and such deception is likely to confuse the consumers of such biscuits, even the discerning health conscious ones, into thinking that Britannia’s biscuits are that of ITC’s,” Justice S. Muralidhar said.

“An interim injunction is, accordingly, issued restraining Britannia from using the impugned packaging get-up/wrapper for its Nutri Choice Digestive Zero biscuits in the present form during the pendency of this suit,” the court said.

The court also granted four weeks to Britannia to phase out the existing stocks of ‘Nutri Choice Zero Digestive’ biscuits with the present packaging.

However, the court said it would be open to Britannia adopting the packaging it uses for the product internationally or, while retaining the yellow colour, it could substitute the blue colour in the packaging with any other distinctive colour other than variants of blue.

ITC Ltd, through senior advocate Pratibha M. Singh, had sought an interim injunction to restrain Britannia from continuing to use the packaging for its biscuit.

Britannia, while refuting the allegations, had countered ITC’s submissions saying being the market leader, it did not need to adopt anyone’s packaging.

WAYS TO SAVE MONEY EVERY MONTH

  1. Switch to cloth napkins. I’m not sure why it took a down economy for this one to dawn on me, but cloth napkins are a great alternative to paper napkins, which increase waste and add to our non-food budget.
  2. Diversify your income. Look for ways to increase your income outside of your full time job. Do you have a hobby that you could make a small business? Could you spend some time working online surveys (many of these survey companies are scams, but the one I’ve linked is not. I’ve been aCashCrate member for over a year now)? Could you add some freelance work in the same line of work you do full time?
  3. Shop your car insurance coverage at esurance.com. Take 6 minutes to complete the free quote and shave a significant amount off your car insurance premiums.
  4. Scale back the cable. We’ve been living the last six months with only basic cable, and don’t miss any of the expanded cable channel offerings. Cable bill went down from $40 to $12 with this move alone.
  5. Don’t pay a dime for banking privileges. There are too many free checking options out there to pay one penny in fees for the right to write a check or use a debit card. Many banks and credit unions simply require direct deposit or a minimum number of debit card uses per month to qualify for fee-free accounts. If you can’t find one, try ING Direct.
  6. Look for a value internet package. While I was scaling back on cable service I asked our cable provider for a cheaper rate on internet service. They told me about a little-advertised “value package” which costs half the normal monthly rate for reduced speed. Since I mostly surf the web and check email I barely notice, but I saved about $20 a month on our internet service.
  7. Skip the theater, subscribe to Netflix. Going to the movie theater is a great way to beat the heat, but it’s also expensive. Skip the theater, and sign up for an online DVD rental service. No late fees, and no gas used up traveling back and forth to the rental store.
  8. Transfer existing debt using balance transfer offers. Transfer high-interest debt to a zero (or low) interest card.  By reducing your interest rate you will pay less interest to creditors each month, and make more of a dent in outstanding balances as you pay them off.
  9. Hang up the land line telephone service. If most of your calls are to other cell users in the same network, consider canceling the land line and using a cell phone exclusively.
  10. Have a no-spend weekend. Sometimes it takes a break in the routine to get spending under control. Try to go an entire weekend without eating out, shopping, or ordering something online. It won’t solve all your spending problems, but it’s a start.
  11. Carpool a few times a week. Take turns carpooling with a coworker, especially if they live close to you. Pick them up and take them home this week, and next week allow them to return the favor. You’ll both cut your driving time in half.
  12. Raise insurance deductibles. Assuming you have a proper emergency fund in place, raise deductibles on insurance policies. The difference in a $500 deductible and a $1,000 deductible on your car insurance policy can help reduce your monthly or semi-annual premiums.
  13. Check your vehicle’s tire pressure each time you fill up. Things like under-inflated tires and dirty air filters can reduce your gas mileage. Pick up an inexpensive tire gauge and check the pressure while filling up.
  14. Change your driving habits to save on gas expenses. Cut out “jackrabbit” starts and heavy braking.
  15. Do not buy new cars – Buy a used car, and drive it until the wheels fall off. My grandfather has driven two vehicles in 34 years! Sam Walton drove a twenty year-old pickup truck right up until the time he died. Don’t tell me it can’t be done. Remember, a new car is “used” the minute you drive it off the showroom floor.
  16. Consolidate errands into one trip. If you have to get out try to consolidate all of your errands into one trip away from home, instead of driving back and forth several times from store to home.
  17. Ride a bike for short commutes. I’m fortunate to live about 5 miles from my employer, so I occasionally commute by bike. If you happen to live close to stores, consider riding a bike for small errands. Take along a backpack, or put some panniers on your bike to carry things back home.
  18. Figure out how to do things on your own, rather than paying an expert. This year I’ve managed to rescue a toy from the bottom of our guest bathroom toilet and unclog and empty an air conditioner drain line. With the help of the internet, or a good “how-to” book such as Save $20k With a Nail, you would be surprised how much you can do on your own and avoid expensive repair charges.
  19. Just say no to social events, or agree to meet after dinner. Peer pressure can wreak havoc on your financial plans. It’s never fun to turn down a chance to go out with friends, but there are ways to say yes without spending a fortune.
  20. Look into 3-month supplies of prescriptions via mail order. Many employers now offer as part of the health insurance plan a 3-month mail order prescription plan. I only have one daily prescription for asthma/allergies, and the cost of a 30-day supply from a local pharmacy is $25. For the same cost, I can get a 90-day supply via mail-order.
  21. Wash your own car. Our town has one of those automated car washes and for $9.00 you can get “the works.” Essentially, it is a wash, wax and application of tire shine. I’m pretty sure I can do it for less. Better yet, employ the kids and let them earn a little extra money this summer.
  22. Bank “found” money in a separate account. With any income above your normal earnings, bank the amount in a separate checking or savings account and use the money to pay down debt, build up savings, or offset increased expenses. Overtime, tax refunds (and stimulus checks), gifts and similar windfalls belong here.
  23. Eat like a kid again. Eat off the same plates your kids eat off, which will force you to eat smaller portions. Your wallet and your waistline will thank you.
  24. Drink tap water. I don’t have the inclination to run a cost comparison between an ounce of Coca Cola and an ounce of tap water, but I’m fairly confident tap water is infinitely cheaper.
  25. Eat less meat. I’m about as far from vegetarian as you can get, but I recognize that my carnivorous habits cost me big at the grocery store. We’ve recently started having breakfast for dinner (eggs instead of meat), and substituting things like pinto beans (a great source of non-meat protein) in meals instead of meats.
  26. Look for manager meat specials. When you do buy meat, check the manager’s specials area for meat that is about to pass the “sell by” date. The meat is still perfectly good, but freeze it immediately if you don’t plan on cooking within the next day or two.
  27. Look for a used freezer to stock up on meat specials. Many times people relocating can’t take the extra chest freezer with them and advertise it on Craigslist or the local newspaper. If you can find a good used one stock it full of manager meat specials to reduce your food budget.
  28. Don’t be afraid to buy generic. Forget brand loyalty when trying to figure out how to save money every month on things like groceries. When we buy ketchup, we look for the lowest unit price, regardless of brand. Same with other foods and household supplies. There are a few exceptions, but for the most part generic items are just as good as name brands.
  29. When in the store, look high and low for deals, literally. Marketers know that eye-level is the place most people tend to shop, so they put the items with the highest margins right in front of you. Better deals are usually found on lower shelves.
  30. Cherry-pick coupon deals. Combine coupons with store sales to maximize savings. Our local Kroger store recently had mayonnaise 2/$4. We found a coupon for $0.50/1 that doubled to $1.00, so we picked up a mayo for $1.00. Don’t use a coupon to buy something you don’t need.

India less vulnerable to external shocks

The CAD in the first half of current fiscal stood at 1.4 per cent of GDP, lower than 1.8 per cent in the same period last fiscal.
NEW DELHI: Indian economy is less vulnerable to external shocks as it is mainly driven by household consumption and government spending, and not dependent on hot money which can move out quickly, Standard & Poor’s Rating Services said on Tuesday.

The US-based rating agency expects the current account deficit (CAD), which is the difference between inflow and outflow of foreign exchange, to remain at a modest level of 1.4 per cent at the end of current fiscal and would continue at similar level till 2018.

“We see India as having limited vulnerability to external economic or financial shocks. This is because growth in the economy is mainly driven by domestic factors, such as household consumption and government spending.

“At the same time this is a country that has low reliance on external savings to fund its growth. In other words, the banks are mainly deposit funded and don’t rely on wholesale funding to grow their loan books,” S&P Rating Services India Sovereign Analyst Kyran Curry told PTI.

He said India’s capital markets are diversified and deep enough for companies to raise funding.

“Another favourable aspect of India external settings is that it is generally not subject to hot money inflows that can turn into outflows with shifts in investor sentiment. As such we see the external risks for India to be relatively contained,” Curry said.

He said while export growth may be disappointing, the current account deficit likely to be a modest 1.4 per cent in 2015, with similar levels through 2018.

“Our forecasts are partly informed by our view of increased monetary credibility, which dampens the demand for monetary gold imports. In addition, we expect India to fund this deficit mostly with non-debt, creating inflows,” Curry added.

The CAD in the first half of current fiscal stood at 1.4 per cent of GDP, lower than 1.8 per cent in the same period last fiscal. For full 2014-15 fiscal, the CAD stood at 1.3 per cent of GDP.

Sikka on why Indians shouldn’t worry about jobs

Vishal Sikka

With a new World Economic Forum study warning about a net loss of over five million jobs in next five years because of the fourth industrial revolution, IT giant Infosys CEO Vishal Sikka on Wednesday said there are huge employment opportunities in India but there is a need to impart right skills and training.

Speaking at a session on ‘The Promise of Progress’ on the job market impact of the fourth industrial revolution, Sikka said there would certainly be disruptions but the new technology would not necessarily create imbalances if right kind of education, connectivity and training is provided to the people.

“There was a big startup event this weekend and it showed there are huge opportunities available in India.

“Do we prepare people for where the world is going to be? We need to impart skills. “There has to be disruptions. It should be about what the world is going to be and not what the world used to be,” he said.

Sikka dismissed suggestions that the new technology and connectivity would create imbalances.

“If we take a longer and deeper view, the more people have access to jobs, there is more likelihood that the imbalances will go away,” he said.

Noting that connectivity has to be viewed as a human right, he said, “if we equip people in the right way, there is no need to worry”.

“I am convinced the longer term solution in education, connectivity and creating right skills.

“What we need to do is promote entrepreneurship and put in place right kind of policies,” the Infosys chief added.

58 Facts About The US Economy In 2015 You Won’t Believe Are True!

globe world finance

The world didn’t completely fall apart in 2015, but it is undeniable that an immense amount of damage was done to the U.S. economy.

This year the middle class continued to deteriorate, more Americans than ever found themselves living in poverty, and the debt bubble that we are living in expanded to absolutely ridiculous proportions.

Toward the end of the year, a new global financial crisis erupted, and it threatens to completely spiral out of control as we enter 2016.  Over the past six months, I have been repeatedly stressing to my readers that so many of the exact same patterns that immediately preceded the financial crisis of 2008 are happening once again, and trillions of dollars of stock market wealth has already been wiped out globally.

Some of the largest economies on the entire planet such as Brazil and Canada have already plunged into deep recessions, and just about every leading indicator that you can think of is screaming that the U.S. is heading into one.  So don’t be fooled by all the happy talk coming from Barack Obama and the mainstream media.  When you look at the cold, hard numbers, they tell a completely different story.  The following are 58 facts about the U.S. economy from 2015 that are almost too crazy to believe…

#1 These days, most Americans are living paycheck to paycheck.  At this point 62 percent of all Americans have less than 1,000 dollars in their savings accounts, and 21 percent of all Americans do not have a savings account at all.

#2 The lack of saving is especially dramatic when you look at Americans under the age of 55.  Incredibly, fewer than 10 percent of all Millennials and only about 16 percent of those that belong to Generation X have 10,000 dollars or more saved up.

#3 It has been estimated that 43 percent of all American households spend more money than they make each month.

#4 For the first time ever, middle class Americans now make up a minority of the population. But back in 1971, 61 percent of all Americans lived in middle class households.

#5 According to the Pew Research Center, the median income of middle class households declined by 4 percent from 2000 to 2014.

#6 The Pew Research Center has also found that median wealth for middle class households dropped by an astounding 28 percent between 2001 and 2013.

#7 In 1970, the middle class took home approximately 62 percent of all income. Today, that number has plummeted to just 43 percent.

#8 There are still 900,000 fewer middle class jobs in America than there were when the last recession began, but our population has gotten significantly larger since that time.

#9 According to the Social Security Administration, 51 percent of all American workers make less than $30,000 a year.

#10 For the poorest 20 percent of all Americans, median household wealth declined from negative 905 dollars in 2000 to negative 6,029 dollars in 2011.

#11 A recent nationwide survey discovered that 48 percent of all U.S. adults under the age of 30 believe that “the American Dream is dead”.

#12 Since hitting a peak of 69.2 percent in 2004, the rate of homeownership in the United States has been steadily declining every single year.

#13 At this point, the U.S. only ranks 19th in the world when it comes to median wealth per adult.

#14 Traditionally, entrepreneurship has been one of the primary engines that has fueled the growth of the middle class in the United States, but today the level of entrepreneurship in this country is sitting at an all-time low.

#15 For each of the past six years, more businesses have closed in the United States than have opened.  Prior to 2008, this had never happened before in all of U.S. history.

#16 If you can believe it, the 20 wealthiest people in this country now have more money than the poorest 152 million Americans combined.

#17 The top 0.1 percent of all American families have about as much wealth as the bottom 90 percent of all American families combined.

#18 If you have no debt and you also have ten dollars in your pocket, that gives you a greater net worth than about 25 percent of all Americans.

#19 The number of Americans that are living in concentrated areas of high poverty has doubled since the year 2000.

#20 An astounding 48.8 percent of all 25-year-old Americans still live at home with their parents.

#21 According to the U.S. Census Bureau, 49 percent of all Americans now live in a home that receives money from the government each month, and nearly 47 million Americans are living in poverty right now.

#22 In 2007, about one out of every eight children in America was on food stamps. Today, that number is one out of every five.

#23 According to Kathryn J. Edin and H. Luke Shaefer, the authors of a new book entitled “$2.00 a Day: Living on Almost Nothing in America“, there are 1.5 million “ultrapoor” households in the United States that live on less than two dollars a day. That number has doubled since 1996.

#24 46 million Americans use food banks each year, and lines start forming at some U.S. food banks as early as 6:30 in the morning because people want to get something before the food supplies run out.

#25 The number of homeless children in the U.S. has increased by 60 percentover the past six years.

#26 According to Poverty USA, 1.6 million American children slept in a homeless shelter or some other form of emergency housing last year.

#27 Police in New York City have identified 80 separate homeless encampments in the city, and the homeless crisis there has gotten so bad that it is being described as an “epidemic”.

#28 If you can believe it, more than half of all students in our public schools are poor enough to qualify for school lunch subsidies.

#29 According to a Census Bureau report that was released a while back, 65 percent of all children in the U.S. are living in a home that receives some form of aid from the federal government.

#30 According to a report that was published by UNICEF, almost one-third of all children in this country “live in households with an income below 60 percent of the national median income”.

#31 When it comes to child poverty, the United States ranks 36th out of the 41 “wealthy nations” that UNICEF looked at.

#32 An astounding 45 percent of all African-American children in the United States live in areas of “concentrated poverty”.

#33 40.9 percent of all children in the United States that are being raised by a single parent are living in poverty.

#34 There are 7.9 million working age Americans that are “officially unemployed” right now and another 94.4 million working age Americans that are considered to be “not in the labor force”.  When you add those two numbers together, you get a grand total of 102.3 million working age Americans that do not have a job right now.

#35 According to a recent Pew survey, approximately 70 percent of all Americans believe that “debt is a necessity in their lives”.

#36 53 percent of all Americans do not even have a minimum three-day supply of nonperishable food and water at home.

#37 According to John Williams of shadowstats.com, if the U.S. government was actually using honest numbers the unemployment rate in this nation would be 22.9 percent.

#38 Back in 1950, more than 80 percent of all men in the United States had jobs.  Today, only about 65 percent of all men in the United States have jobs.

#39 The labor force participation rate for men has plunged to the lowest level ever recorded.

#40 Wholesale sales in the U.S. have fallen to the lowest level since the last recession.

#41 The inventory to sales ratio has risen to the highest level since the last recession.  This means that there is a whole lot of unsold inventory that is just sitting around out there and not selling.

#42 The ISM manufacturing index has fallen for five months in a row.

#43 Orders for “core” durable goods have fallen for ten months in a row.

#44 Since March, the amount of stuff being shipped by truck, rail and air inside the United States has been falling every single month on a year over year basis.

#45 Wal-Mart is projecting that its earnings may fall by as much as 12 percentduring the next fiscal year.

#46 The Business Roundtable’s forecast for business investment in 2016 has dropped to the lowest level that we have seen since the last recession.

#47 Corporate debt defaults have risen to the highest level that we have seensince the last recession.  This is a huge problem because corporate debt in the U.S. has approximately doubled since just before the last financial crisis.

#48 Holiday sales have gone negative for the first time since the last recession.

#49 The velocity of money in the United States has dropped to the lowest level ever recorded.  Not even during the depths of the last recession was it ever this low.

#50 Barack Obama promised that his program would result in a decline in health insurance premiums by as much as $2,500 per family, but in reality average family premiums have increased by a total of $4,865 since 2008.

#51 Today, the average U.S. household that has at least one credit card has approximately $15,950 in credit card debt.

#52 The number of auto loans that exceed 72 months has hit at an all-time high of 29.5 percent.

#53 According to Dr. Housing Bubble, there have been “nearly 8 million homes lost to foreclosure since the homeownership rate peaked in 2004″.

#54 One very disturbing study found that approximately 41 percent of all working age Americans either currently have medical bill problems or are paying off medical debt.  And collection agencies seek to collect unpaid medical bills from about 30 million of us each and every year.

#55 The total amount of student loan debt in the United States has risen to a whopping 1.2 trillion dollars.  If you can believe it, that total has more than doubled over the past decade.

#56 Right now, there are approximately 40 million Americans that are paying off student loan debt.  For many of them, they will keep making payments on this debt until they are senior citizens.

#57 When you do the math, the federal government is stealing more than 100 million dollars from future generations of Americans every single hour of every single day.

#58 An astounding 8.16 trillion dollars has already been added to the U.S. national debt while Barack Obama has been in the White House.  That means that it is already guaranteed that we will add an average of more than a trillion dollars a year to the debt during his presidency, and we still have more than a year left to go.

What we have seen so far is just the very small tip of a very large iceberg.  About six months ago, I stated that “our problems will only be just beginning as we enter 2016″, and I stand by that prediction.

We are in the midst of a long-term economic collapse that is beginning to accelerate once again.  Our economic infrastructure has been gutted, our middle class is being destroyed, Wall Street has been transformed into the biggest casino in the history of the planet, and our reckless politicians have piled up the biggest mountain of debt the world has ever seen.

Anyone that believes that everything is “perfectly fine” and that we are going to come out of this “stronger than ever” is just being delusional.  This generation was handed the keys to the finest economic machine of all time, and we wrecked it.  Decades of incredibly foolish decisions have culminated in a crisis that is now reaching a crescendo, and this nation is in for a shaking unlike anything that it has ever seen before.