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What were the most ignored stories of 2011?

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While the establishment news media brought plenty of bad economic news in 2011, the real story hasn’t been adequately told.

The true rate of unemployment and inflation and the real state of the U.S. economy, which is far worse than reported, tops WND’s annual list of the 10 most “spiked” or underreported stories of the last year.

At the end of each year, many news organizations typically present their retrospective replays of what they consider to have been the top news stories of the previous 12 months.

WND’s editors, however, long have considered it more newsworthy to publicize the most underreported or unreported news events of the year – to shine a spotlight on those issues that the establishment media successfully “spiked.”

WND Editor and CEO Joseph Farah has sponsored “Operation Spike” every year since 1988, and since founding WND in May 1997, has continued the annual tradition.

Produced with the help of WND readers, here are the WND editors’ picks for the 10 most underreported or unreported stories of 2011:

1. The true rate of unemployment and inflation and the real state of the U.S. economy, which is far worse than reported.

When the Obama administration prepared to finance a 2011 budget deficit expected to top $1.6 trillion, the American public was largely unaware that the true negative net worth of the federal government reached $76.3 trillion last year.

The figure was five times the 2010 gross domestic product of the United States and exceeded the estimated gross domestic product for the world by approximately $14.4 trillion, according to economist John Williams.

Statistics compiled by Williams, based on the 2010 Financial Report of the United States Government, demonstrate the real 2010 federal budget deficit was $5.3 trillion, not the $1.3 trillion reported by the Congressional Budget Office.

The difference between the $1.3 trillion “official” 2010 federal budget deficit numbers and the $5.3 trillion budget deficit is that the official budget deficit is calculated on a cash basis, where all tax receipts, including Social Security tax receipts, are used to pay government liabilities as they occur.

“The government cannot raise taxes high enough to bring the budget into balance,” Williams said. “You could tax 100 percent of everyone’s income and 100 percent of corporate profits and the U.S. government would still be showing a federal budget deficit on a GAAP accounting basis.”

Meanwhile, the government’s own statistics showed in December that if the same number of people were seeking work today as in 2007, the jobless rate would be 11 percent.

While the Obama administration touted a November unemployment rate of 8 percent, much of it was a result of people leaving the labor force, not because they’ve become sick or too old, but because they have been unable to find a job and have stopped trying.

What’s more, the seasonally-adjusted rate adjusted for long-term discouraged workers – who were defined out of official existence in 1994 – was more than 22 percent in November.