An all powerful government breeds an all dependent society .
An all powerful government breeds an all dependent society .
” While corporate welfare, whether in the form of subsidies or bailouts, is more often associated with the federal government, state governments also regularly use generous, targeted subsidy packages to entice corporations to locate within their borders. As these charts show, corporate welfare is a significant problem at the state level, with New York State leading the rest.
This week’s charts use data from the Subsidy Tracker 2.0 dataset compiled by Good Jobs First, a government accountability and smart-growth advocacy group, to display the states (plus the District of Columbia) that disperse the highest amounts and numbers of subsidies, along with the top parent corporations that cumulatively benefit from these subsidies.
Comprehensive data on total state assistance to private businesses have long been hard to access, since the relevant information has been inconsistently scattered among various government reports and websites. The Subsidy Tracker project is an ambitious effort to compile state data on subsidized projects, amounts, beneficiaries, and outcomes in one location. The dataset distinguishes between 11 types of subsidies, including tax credits and rebates, property tax abatements, low-cost loans, infrastructure assistance, and enterprise zones. The dataset is a constantly updated work-in-progress; while it does not yet contain every single state subsidy, it is one of the most comprehensive sources of state subsidies assembled so far. Additionally, the database compilers decided to count sales tax exemptions on business purchases of inputs as a “subsidy.” However, some economists argue that applying sales taxes to input purchases would inefficiently favor vertically integrated firms over firms that purchase inputs from other businesses. Therefore, this kind of sales tax exemption is not a “subsidy,” but an efficient tax policy. Despite these important limitations, the dataset can give us an early glimpse of the rough value of the subsidies that each state issues. The User Guide provides further details on the methodology.
The first chart displays the states known to have extended cumulative subsidies exceeding $1 billion, according to the dataset. In the top portion, the states are ranked, left to right, from the highest amount of subsidies to the lowest amount of subsidies. In the bottom portion, the equivalent number of deals are displayed for each state.
New York state clearly leads the pack, extending a known 71,759 subsidy deals worth $21.71 billion. The second highest corporate beneficiary in the dataset, Alcoa, received a plum deal from the Empire State in 2007, raking in an astounding $5.6 billion to build an aluminum plant. “
Click for interactive map
” Global economic freedom fell slightly in this year’s report, and it remains well below its peak level of 6.92 in 2007. The average score fell to 6.84 in 2012, the most recent year for which data is available. In this year’s index, Hong Kong retains the highest rating for economic freedom, 8.98 out of 10. The rest of this year’s top scores are Singapore, 8.54; New Zealand, 8.25; Switzerland, 8.19; Mauritius, 8.09; United Arab Emirates, 8.05; Canada, 8.00; Australia, 7.87; Jordan, 7.86; and, tied for 10th at 7.84, Chile and Finland.
The United States, once considered a bastion of economic freedom, now ranks 12th in the world, tied with the United Kingdom at 7.81. Due to a weakening rule of law, increasing regulation, and the ramifications of wars on terrorism and drugs, the United States has seen its economic freedom score plummet in recent years, compared to 2000 when it ranked second globally.
The rankings of other large economies in this year’s index are Japan (23rd), Germany (28th), South Korea (33rd), France (58th), Italy (79th), Mexico (91st), Russia (98th), Brazil (103rd), India (110th), and China (115th). “
” It does seem to me that John Oliver is in the process of inventing some interesting new kind of political/social commentary – the 20-minute single-issue rant that is both hilariously funny, well put-together, and often quite devastatingly effective, as argument. I find that when he deals with something I happen to know something about — net neutrality, say, or the governance of FIFA, or the so-called “right to be forgotten” — he gets to the heart of the matter pretty quickly, and that’s not something I often find to be true, and it’s not an easy thing to do (though of course, like all good performers, he makes it look easy). He is quite good at isolating the outrageous and then looping us for a while around the slippery slopes that surround it, and then bringing the conversation back to another bit of outrageousness and doing it again. It’s like an amusement park ride, but it has an argumentative purpose. There’s a line between simplifying (which he does, brilliantly) and over-simplifying (which I find he generally does not do), and it’s a very hard one to walk, and he does it quite well. “
” A paradox haunts America’s first black president. African-American wealth has fallen further under Barack Obama than under any president since the Depression. Yet they are the only group that still gives him high ratings. So meagre is Mr Obama’s national approval rating that embattled Democrats have made him unwelcome in states that twice swept him to power. Those who have fared worst under Mr Obama are the ones who love him the most. You would be hard-pressed to find a better example of perception-driven politics. As the Reverend Kevin Johnson asked in 2013: “Why are we so loyal to a president who isn’t loyal to us?”
The problem has taken on new salience with the resignation of Eric Holder. America’s first black attorney-general has tried to correct the gulag-sized disparities in prison sentencing between blacks and whites. His exit leaves just two African-Americans in Mr Obama’s cabinet. Given the mood among Republicans, it is hard to imagine the US Senate confirming a successor to Mr Holder who shares his priorities.”
” Mike Rowe’s new program, “Somebody’s Gotta Do It,” premiered on CNN this week. “In each episode,” according to the CNN website, “Rowe visits unique individuals and joins them in their respective undertakings, paying tribute to innovators, do-gooders, entrepreneurs, collectors, fanatics–people who simply have to do it. This show is about passion, purpose, and occasionally, hobbies that get a little out of hand.”
Providing a window into the lives of interesting, hard-working Americans is nothing new for Rowe, the long-time host of “Dirty Jobs” (the original title for which was “Somebody’s Gotta Do It”). Reason TV’s Nick Gillespie talked to Rowe about blue-collar jobs, the importance of having a strong work ethic, and the high price of college last December.
The original release date was December 13, 2013. The original writeup is below.
” If we are lending money that ostensibly we don’t have to kids who have no hope of making it back in order to train them for jobs that clearly don’t exist, I might suggest that we’ve gone around the bend a little bit,” says TV personality Mike Rowe, best known as the longtime host of Discovery Channel’s Dirty Jobs.
” There is a real disconnect in the way that we educate vis-a-vis the opportunities that are available. You have – right now – about 3 million jobs that can’t be filled,” he says, talking about openings in traditional trades ranging from construction to welding to plumbing. “Jobs that typically parents’ don’t sit down with their kids and say, ‘Look, if all goes well, this is what you are going to do.'”
Rowe, who once sang for the Baltimore Opera and worked as an on-air pitchman for QVC, worries that traditional K-12 education demonizes blue-collar fields that pay well and are begging for workers while insisting that everyone get a college degree. He stresses that he’s “got nothing against college” but believes it’s a huge mistake to push everyone in the same direction regardless of interest or ability. Between Mike Rowe Foundation and Profoundly Disconnected, a venture between Rowe and the heavy equipment manufacturer Caterpillar, Rowe is hoping both to help people find new careers and publicize what he calls “the diploma dilemma.” “
” After spending nearly half a billion dollars on 20 planes to outfit the Afghan Air Force, the Defense Department turned around and scrapped 16 of the aircraft for 6 cents on the pound—just $32,000, the Special Inspector General for Afghanistan Reconstruction has learned.
The Defense Logistics Agency carried out the planes’ destruction at Kabul International Airport as the SIGAR was investigating the Defense Department’s failed program to outfit the Afghans with a fleet of twin propeller military transport aircraft. The G222 aircraft, manufactured in Italy, proved impossible for the Afghan military to maintain and the Pentagon terminated the program in March 2013, three months after the SIGAR initiated its investigation. By then, the department had spent at least $486 million on the aircraft.
SIGAR determined that the aircraft flew only 234 hours out of 4,500 required from January through September 2012. “
” Sorry, America. China just overtook the US to become the world’s largest economy, according to the International Monetary Fund.
Basically, the method used by the IMF adjusts for purchasing power parity, explained here.
The simple logic is that prices aren’t the same in each country: A shirt will cost you less in Shanghai than in San Francisco, so it’s not entirely reasonable to compare countries without taking this into account. Though a typical person in China earns a lot less than the typical person in the US, simply converting a Chinese salary into dollars underestimates how much purchasing power that individual, and therefore that country, might have. The Economist’s Big Mac Index is a great example of these disparities. “
Heck of a job , Barack … read more
” Less well-off families from red states donate a relatively higher – and growing – proportion of their money to charity, while those at the top have been giving a smaller share as their income has increased, a new extensive study has revealed.
Respected non-government sector newspaper The Philanthropy Chronicle collated the itemized charity deductions on the tax returns of hundreds of millions of Americans between 2006 and 2012, the latest year available. While only about a third of all givers write off their charity expenses, the sums included about 80 percent of all donations in the country.
The study noted that while the amount of charitable giving by the US as a nation has remained steady at 3 percent, the poorer people are, the greater amount they spend on charity. And this trend has been exacerbated in the years covered by the study, which showed that those earning $25,000 or less contributed 16.6 percent more of their income, while those with incomes of over $200,000 were spending 4.5 percent less of their money on charity in 2012 than in 2006. The study does not give the countrywide overall percentage of money donated by each group.”
” There have been countless milestones in the 50 plus year history of the Viking Yacht Company, and among them is the launch of the new flagship, our 92 Enclosed Bridge Convertible. Beyond its impeccable style and thunderous performance, the largest Viking afloat today is truly the sum of its numbers.”
” 6 spacious staterooms, each with a separate head and shower including a full-beam master suite “
” 37 the overall length in feet of the enclosed bridge, which is longer than the first all fiberglass boat Viking built in 1971, the 33 Convertible
55 the length in feet of the Rupp outriggers81 ft. 10 in. waterline length
93 ft. 3 in. length overall238 square feet of the cockpit “
” While by now everyone should know the answer, for those curious why the US unemployment rate just slid once more to a meager 5.9%, the lowest print since the summer of 2008, the answer is the same one we have shown every month since 2010: the collapse in the labor force participation rate, which in September slid from an already three decade low 62.8% to 62.7% – the lowest in over 36 years, matching the February 1978 lows. And while according to the Household Survey, 232,000 people found jobs, what is more disturbing is that the people not in the labor force, rose to a new record high, increasing by 315,000 to 92.6 million! “
” PolicyMic came up with a handy infographic that shows how the U.S. spends of American taxpayer’s money: $15,700 every second.
As you can see, there’s a lot of blinking going on, but not much ado about the U.S.’ burgeoning welfare state – and the over $17 trillion in national debt that comes with it (not to mention the roughly $100 trillion in debt liabilities). “
Read more from Kyle Becker at IJR
” The Northeast, once the nation’s political engine that produced presidents, House speakers and Senate giants including the late Edward M. Kennedy, is losing clout in Washington as citizens flee the high-tax region, according to experts worried about the trend.
The Census Bureau reports that population growth has shifted to the South and the result is that the 11 states that make up the Northeast are being bled dry of representation in Washington.
Critics blame rising taxes in states such as Massachusetts and Connecticut for limiting population growth in the Northeast to just 15 percent from 1983 to 2013, while the rest of the nation grew more than 41 percent.
The biggest impact comes in the loss of congressional representation.
Deep in a recent report, for example, the American Legislative Exchange Council tabulated how the drop in population relative to the rest of the nation cut the region’s power in Washington. While the states from Pennsylvania to Maine had 141 House members in 1950, they are down to 85 today, a drop of some 40 percent.
California and Texas combined have more House representatives..
“ This result is one of the most dramatic demographic shifts in American history. This migration is shifting the power center of America right before our very eyes. The movement isn’t random or even about weather or resources. Economic freedom is the magnet and states ignore this force at their own peril,” said the report. “
” A Michigan court ruled that the state branch of the powerful Service Employees International Union does not have to pay back tens of millions of dollars in dues taken from home health care workers who were forced into unionization.
The Michigan Court of Appeals ruled last week that the SEIU Healthcare Michigan does not have to pay back more than $34 million in dues collected from over 40,000 home health care workers. Many were forced into the union under state requirements that they join because they were taking care of sick family members at home.
The SEIU successfully lobbied for the plan in multiple states that classified unpaid family members as “home health care workers.” Dues were then automatically collected from the care recipients’ Medicare or Medicaid checks. “
” You will want to remember this date March 26, 2015.
According to one of the top minds in the U.S. Intelligence Community, that is when the United States will enter the darkest economic period in our nation’s history.An alarming pattern has caused many in the Intelligence Community to secretly prepare for a “worst-case scenario.”
And alarmingly, he and his colleagues believe the evidence they’ve uncovered proves this outcome is impossible to avoid.
In an exclusive interview with Money Morning, Jim Rickards, the CIA’s Financial Threat and Asymmetric Warfare Advisor, has stepped forward to warn the American people that time is running out to prepare for this $100 trillion meltdown.
” Everybody knows we have a dangerous level of debt. Everybody knows the Fed has recklessly printed trillions of dollars. These are secrets to no one,” he said.
” But all signs are now flashing bright red that our chickens are about to come home to roost.”
Drones Deployed By Tax Inspectors Near Buenos Aires Found 200 Mansions And 100 Swimming Pools That Hadn’t Been Declared
” The Argentine government has used drones to catch out wealthy tax evaders who had not declared mansions and swimming pools.
Unmanned aircraft were dispatched over an upper class area of Buenos Aires and discovered 200 homes and 100 pools that had not been detailed on returns.
Tax officials said the drones took pictures of luxury houses standing on lots registered as empty.
The evasions found by the drones amounted to missing tax payments of more than $2 million and owners of the properties have been warned they now face large fines.
The unregistered mansions and pools were found in an area about 10 miles south of the city and, according to the tax agency, they appeared to be large and constructed with “premium materials”. “
The Telegraph has much more
Rush Limbaugh Fighting Back and Naming Names Against Communist Front Group Behind “Stop Rush” Campaign
” Limbaugh has discovered that Communist front-group, George Soros-funded Media Matters, a group started to bring down media not cheering the pro-Obama anti-American leftist agenda, particularly FOX News and conservative talk superstars like Limbaugh, is the group trying to bring him down by bullying his advertisers.
On his highly rated program, unlike progressive talk radio which has been utterly rejected by free markets, Limbaugh discussed the “Stop Rush” Campaign on Tuesday, also revealing that the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee (DCCC), apparently another anti-free speech group unable to debate Limbaugh intellectually, but can only use Chicago bully tactics, is trying to remove him from the air.
Rush points out that as an investigation revealed, the campaign to get him off the air is hardly grassroots. 70% of the tweets to pressure his advertisers to stop sponsoring his show are only from 10 Twitter accounts …
Limbaugh and his team discovered that the “Stop Rush” campaign employs automated tweeting software to make themselves appear much bigger than they are. Limbaugh claims this is in violation of Twitter’s own rules.
Limbaugh went on to name names of the specific people he claims are responsible for the harassment of his advertisers.
“ These activists have long operated in secret and anonymously. But now, The Rush Limbaugh Show has the results of an investigation that names the people tweeting, facebooking, and emailing small businesses with harassing and bullying messages over and over until they surrender,” Limbaugh revealed.
Among those agitators, according to Rush’s investigation, is Kent State University tenured professor Nancy Padak, who uses her official email account to “badger advertisers.”
Below are the top members of the “Stop Rush” Conspiracy, according to The Rush Limbaugh Show’s investigation:
Name: Matthew Mitchell
Location: Altamonte Springs, FL
ID: Captain Murdock/@CaptMurdock
Name: Nancy Padak
Location: Kent State University
ID: email@example.com, facebook.com/nancy.padak
Fun Fact: Emails advertisers with harassment from her official Kent State email address. Gives businesses she has no relationship with 1 star ratings if they advertise on Rush. Friend of Cherie Richards
Name: Jason Rey
ID: Frantic Quark/@FranticQuark
Name: Lauren Reynolds
Location: Los Angeles, CA
ID: Lauren Reynolds/@chloesty, firstname.lastname@example.org, facebook.com/lauren.reynolds.946179
Fun Fact: Gives businesses she has no relationship with 1 star ratings if they advertise on Rush
Name: Cherie Richards
Location: Powell, Ohio
ID: Kitty Fitzgerald/@KittyFitz50 email@example.com, facebook.com/cherier1
Fun Fact: Regularly changes online identity to hide anonymously, gives businesses she has no relationship with 1 star ratings if they advertise on Rush
Name: Sarah Smyea Rivers
Location: Whittier, CA
Fun Fact: Changes ID frequently with different numbers to remain anonymous, has sent over 96,000 tweets
Name: Dennis William Rohner
Location: Gainesville, FL
Name: Linda Kotsenburg Swanholm
Location: Covina, CA
ID: CMMorgan/@socallks, firstname.lastname@example.org
Fun Fact: Develops, administers, and distributes target lists indiscriminately, gives businesses she has no relationship with 1 star ratings if they advertise on Rush
Name: Carol Kernahan Wallin
Location: Anaheim, CA
ID: Uses @Flushfools and @hrhprincess, facebook.com/carol.kernahan.7,email@example.com
Fun Fact: Writes for DailyKos under both identities, long bullying/harassing pieces about political opponents. “
” It’s white. It’s square. And at 1-by-1 inch in diameter, it is the perfect accoutrement to any entrepreneur’s smartphone.
With its quick swipe capability and ultimate portability, the high-tech Square Reader credit-card processor has become an invaluable tool in today’s economy.
How high-tech credit card vendors and customers get their Second Amendment rights infringed.
Taxi drivers use it—as do trade-show vendors, online retailers and home contractors.
It is, as the company’s slogan says, a “small credit card reader” that offers “big possibilities.” But some of those big possibilities are apparently being foreclosed by the Obama administration.
Last summer, around the same time the U.S. Department of Justice’s Operation Choke Point began pressuring banks to drop customers who buy or sell firearms, tobacco and other goods considered “not acceptable” by the Obama administration, Square quietly changed its terms of agreement.
In an alert regarding a change of terms, Square notified vendors:
…you will not accept payments in connection with the following businesses or business activities: …sales of (i) firearms, firearm parts or hardware, and ammunition; or (ii) weapons and other devices designed to cause physical injury. “
” Taxpayers had to cough up $1,159,823 in just one month to fly President Obama to New York and Denver to raise money for Democrats and attend an LGBT event, according to documents obtained by a taxpayer watchdog group.
Judicial Watch told Secrets that the Air Force just provided expense reports detailing the flight costs of Air Force One to the cities in July.
The documents show that president’s July 8-9 fundraising trip to Denver cost the taxpayers $695,894.10.
His July 17-18 fundraising trip to New York City cost taxpayers $463,929.40.
Travel costs are typically a small portion of presidential trips. Judicial Watch said that the U.S. Secret Service has not complied with a request to detail security expenses and the costs of housing and moving the president and his staff are also unknown. “
Read the rest from Paul Bedard
” Democrats love to cast Republicans as the party of big money, beholden to the out-of-touch billionaires bankrolling their campaigns. But new numbers tell a very different story — one in which Democrats are actually raising more big money than their adversaries.
Among the groups reporting the biggest political ad spending, the 15 top Democrat-aligned committees have outraised the 15 top Republican ones $453 million to $289 million in the 2014 cycle, according to a POLITICO analysis of the most recent Federal Election Commission reports, including those filed over the weekend — which cover through the end of last month.
The analysis shows the fundraising edge widening in August, when the Democratic groups pulled in more than twice as much as their GOP counterparts — $51 million to $21 million. That’s thanks to a spike in massive checks from increasingly energized labor unions and liberal billionaires like Tom Steyer and Fred Eychaner.
So, even as Democrats like Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid are working methodically to turn conservative megadonors like the big-giving conservative billionaire brothers Charles and David Koch into the boogeymen of 2014, the party itself is increasingly relying on its deepest pockets as the best chance of staving off a midterm wipeout forecast by oddsmakers.
For example, Steyer, a retired San Francisco hedge fund billionaire, on Aug. 15 stroked a $15 million check to his own NextGen Climate Action super PAC that single-handedly exceeded the combined monthly total raised by the two GOP congressional campaign committees. And his political lieutenant, Chris Lehane, hinted that Steyer, one of the biggest individual donors of 2014, may give more to his super PAC than his $50 million pledge, which Lehane said “should not be seen as a ceiling.” Steyer’s spending — and that of other Democratic billionaires — has helped fuel an advertising gap favoring the party’s candidates in key races across the country.”
The hypocrisy is staggering …
” And, even as Democrats waded haltingly into big money spending in 2012, they continued scolding Republicans for their reliance on deep-pocketed benefactors. In this year’s races, Democrats have essentially adopted a plank attacking Republicans as in the pocket of the Koch brothers — with Reid repeatedly taking to the Senate floor to make the case — even as Democrats have in some ways surpassed Republicans in the big money chase.”
Read it all at Politico