October 15, 2013
Thank you to all those who shared and supported our feature article from yesterday about the EBT card recipient ransacking of Wal-Mart stores in Louisiana. With stories like that, Natural News has gained a reputation for stating things that everyone is thinking but few have the courage to print.
I also want to thank James Wesley Rawles over at SurvivalBlog.com for his important comment on the story, where he stated, “Keep in mind: A nationwide grid power failure would also mean a nationwide EBT card system failure. If and when this happens, it will not be pretty.” He’s right, and I’ll explain why in this article.
Consensus is now quite strong among the well-informed (i.e. people who read the alternative media) that the downfall of the EBT system will be the downfall of civility across America. Thanks to Obama’s disastrous economic policies, nearly 50 million Americans are now on food stamps, and the program is on track to double by the time Obama leaves office. Obama will go down in history as the only president to have doubled the national debt and the food stamp program at the same time.
As the Wal-Mart ransacking in Louisiana just demonstrated, people will clear the shelves and engage in mass theft if they believe they can do so with a minimal risk of getting caught. This is no longer debatable. We just saw it happen in a short-term, localized test case.
What’s on many people’s minds right now is whether the EBT card system is vulnerable to other glitches, failures or defaults. That’s what this article attempts to answer.
Let me thank you in advance for sharing this article with others who need to know this information. I believe this knowledge can save lives. Those who face reality and prepare for the inevitable EBT debit card crash have a far better chance of surviving it than people who had no idea this could happen.
EBT crash possibility #1) Computer code failures
The EBT card glitch that happened last Saturday was due to a failed computer code update that cratered parts of the system. They were able to recover the system in just a few hours, but the ransacking had already begun in Louisiana and could have quickly spread if things hadn’t been reversed.
As the disastrous launch of Healthcare.gov has vividly demonstrated, government IT programs are quite capable of crashing and burning, even if over half a billion dollars has been plowed into them.
The EBT card system, however, has the advantage of being primarily administered by the Xerox Corporation, a company with a significant history of competency in transactional IT projects. My honest assessment is that as long as Xerox runs this program, it is very unlikely to fail due to incompetent IT administration problems. Xerox, in other words, has a pretty good handle on running this system and I don’t see it cratering due to any failures on their part.
However, if the project were to be taken away from Xerox and, for example, handed over to the same team that built Healthcare.gov, then you could reasonably expect disastrous failures to begin appearing.
EBT crash possibility #2) Failure of the power grid
As James Wesley Rawles rightly points out, all EBT card systems depend on the power grid to function. If the power grid fails, EBT cards become useless.
This is a bigger deal than you might first suppose. Power grid failures can be caused by all sorts of events far outside the control of the U.S. government (or Xerox, for that matter). For example, an unfortunate solar flare could cause a powerful EMP spike that blows out the tens of thousands of transformers currently serving the power grid. That would take the grid offline for a year or more. A new plan was proposed to retrofit the power grid with new hardware that would defend against an EMP-induced failure, but it would take decades to implement.
EMP weapons can also produce a similarly disastrous effect, and North Korea, a nuclear-capable nation, has already threatened to launch a high-altitude ballistic missile with the intention of detonating it high above North America, causing an EMP spike across much of the nation.
Power grids can also fail due to acts of sabotage, incompetent power companies, acts of war, government-forced shutdowns, natural disasters and other causes. To think that the civility of every U.S. city now depends almost entirely on a fully-functioning power grid is a frightening thought…
EBT crash possibility #3) Financial default of the government
Here’s an outcome that’s inevitable. If the EBT system isn’t crashed by technical failures or a failed power grid, sooner or later it will be abandoned as the U.S. government goes into financial default.
This outcome is unavoidable but the timetable is very difficult to predict (it could be weeks, months or years). What we do know is that anyone who can do basic math recognizes the inevitable financial default for the U.S. government. That’s because:
• Government “revenue” through taxation is just over $2 trillion per year.
• Government debt on the books right now is approaching $17 trillion, or roughly 800% more than the government’s annual income. This would be equivalent to a person making $50K per year owing $400,000 on his credit cards. See real-time debt figures at USdebtclock.org.
• Government’s “unfunded liabilities” (i.e. promises to pay social security, federal retirement pensions, Medicare, etc.) are over $125 trillion. Nobody wants to talk about this number because it spells the total financial doom of the United States of America. This is not a popular topic among denialists who kid themselves into thinking the U.S. empire will never fall.
In summary, a government that takes in about $2 trillion per year actually owes over $140 trillion in debts and obligations, meaning that if the government stopped spending ALL money right now — that is, it permanently shut down and stopped operating — it would take roughly 70 years of taxes just to pay off its current debts.
This is equivalent to someone making $50K per year who owes $3.5 million on his credit cards.
It is abundantly obvious that the U.S. government will, sooner or later, collapse into financial default. When that day comes, the EBT system will become worthless for one of two reasons. Either A) The system will be taken offline because there’s nothing left to fund it, or B) The system will be funded with hyperinflated currency that are suddenly worthless in the marketplace due to rapid price inflation. (Classic price hyperinflation combined with rapid currency devaluation.)
But just as importantly, all federal financial obligations will be null and void in such a scenario, including all federal pensions, health care plans, social security payments veterans’ benefits and so on. All of this can (and will) collapse. This is not even a difficult prediction. It is an inevitability. As sure as the sun comes up, the U.S. government will collapse into financial default sooner or later. There is no way out of the seemingly infinite debt people like Obama have placed on our shoulders.
The social chaos that follows such a collapse will obviously be immense. About half the U.S. population depends in one way or another on government programs, pensions, contracts or other payouts. The day all those become null and void is the day you don’t want to be caught in, say, downtown Los Angeles.
The fall of the U.S. empire will one day be looked upon with the same curiosity that we now assign to the fall of Rome.
EBT crash possibility #4) Hacker sabotage
It is possible, although unlikely, that hackers might be able to sabotage the EBT card system. Cyber warfare is very real, and China in particular is advancing its technical skills in this fast-expanding realm of warfare.
From an enemy’s point of view, crashing the EBT system would be a tactically efficient way to place a devastating social, economic and law enforcement strain on the nation. It might even serve as the opening salvo to follow-up cyber attacks on water treatment facilities and nuclear power plants.
Imagine waking up one day and discovering the food stamp system has crashed, the municipal water supply doesn’t work and your local nuclear power plant is leaking radiation. That’s the kind of scenario an enemy nation armed with hackers could unleash.
If you think this is a far-fetched scenario, check out this news: “A hacking group accused of being operated by the Chinese army now seems to be going after industrial control systems,” declares a Technology Review article.
It goes on to say, “The group, known as APT1, was caught by a research project that provides the most significant proof yet that people are actively trying to exploit the vulnerabilities in industrial control systems.”
EBT crash possibility #5) Intentional government false flag to cause chaos
Here’s the final way by which the EBT system could crash: an intentional government shutdown.
As we just saw with the Obama administration’s barricading of World War II memorials and the arrest of veterans, today’s U.S. government is actively engaged in punishing the American people in order to achieve its political goals.
The history of America is a history replete with admitted false flag operations, such as Operation Northwoods. Click here for a comprehensive compilation of false flag attacks that have been openly admitted by the government as being factually true.
To pull off this attack on America, whatever administration occupies the White House could simply order the EBT system to be shut down in exactly the same way Obama recently ordered national parks to be shut down (as part of a contrived, staged federal shutdown theater operation).
What would be the point of such an action? To create social chaos, obviously, from which government would first blame its enemies for the “attack” and then declare martial law to seize control of all power, including control of the internet, all farms and food, all news broadcast organizations, firearms and more. The executive orders have already been put into place for the federal government to seize all private assets in an emergency.
This is classic Orwellian social control, but it’s also a tried-and-true tactic used by governments throughout the history of the world. If you don’t yet realize how frequently this tactic is invoked by governments, you may not well-schooled in real history. Nor even U.S. history. How do you suppose the NSA got the funding to build its massive surveillance system that now spies on all Americans’ phone calls, emails and social media activities? It was authorized by the Patriot Act. And how do you think consensus was engineered for the Patriot Act in the first place?
If Obama gets into real trouble with a possible impeachment over the next few years, watch for a staged EBT card crash (or some other disastrous event) to reassert federal power. Crisis is the lifeblood of dictatorial government, and where a sufficient crisis cannot be found, it can always be contrived.
This is why America needs decentralized food security (home gardens!)
In summary, there are five primary ways the EBT card system can go down. Some are intentional, some are accidental. But either way, the result is the same: 50 million people panicking and desperately trying to figure out where their next meal will come from.
On a philosophical note, this is precisely why a nation of people dependent on the government is a weak nation. A strong nation would reflect the idea of food redundancy (also called “food security”), where most people have their own independent resourcefulness to feed themselves and their families. This can be accomplished through a combination of home gardening, supporting local farming co-ops and CSA’s, storing food for preparedness, etc.
A nation of people who cannot grow at least a part of their own diet is a nation with a deep strategic vulnerability that can be exploited by anyone who wants to cause widespread social chaos. Obama’s ongoing attacks on raw milk farmers, home gardens and other self-sustaining food production is actually contributing to that strategic vulnerability by destroying local food redundancy.
In World War II, Americans were encouraged to grow “victory gardens” and become independently resilient. Today, Obama encourages Americans to enroll in the federal food stamp program and thereby surrender food security while becoming slaves to a system whose failure is inevitable.