Category: Taxation


‘Six Californias’ Plan May Make 2016 Ballot

 

 

 

 

” A plan backed by venture capitalist Tim Draper to split California into six states has gained enough signatures to make the November 2016 ballot, the plan’s backers say.

  A Twitter account belonging to the nonprofit Six Californias tweeted on Monday that “#SixCalifornias will be submitting signatures in Sacramento tomorrow for placement on the November 2016 ballot. Stay tuned for coverage!”

The six carved out states would look like this:

 

  • Jefferson: The northern part of the state, including Humboldt and Mendocino counties.
  • North California: The wine country counties of Sonoma and Napa, as well as the Sierra Nevada region.
  • Silicon Valley: Including San Francisco, San Jose and most of what’s considered the San Francisco Bay Area.
  • Central California: The vast central valley farm region, including Tulare and Fresno counties.
  • West California: Including Santa Barbara and Los Angeles.
  • South California: Including what’s called the Inland Empire of San Bernadino and Riverside, plus San Diego.

  The plan has met with resistance from California’s Democratic majority, and a Field Poll found 59% of Californians surveyed were against the plan, according to the San Francisco Chronicle.

  But interest in the plan has been strong enough to send Draper and his campaigners to Sacramento — for now, the one and only capital of California. They’ll reveal the exact number of signatures they received on Tuesday in a news conference, according to the Chronicle.”

 

Read more at USA Today

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

About these ads

This Eye-Opening Map Shows The Reason Gas Is More Expensive In Some States Than Others

 

   This map shows why the cost of gasoline is so high and why there is so much variation from state to state . The simple answer is , of course , taxes , both state and federal . Click on the map below to go to the interactive page that will give the reader specific details for each individual state and bear in mind that , even as the Statists demonize the oil industry as some sort of price-gouging profiteers , that the various government entities make more from the sale of a gallon of gas than do the evil energy producers .

 

 

Gas Taxes By State

Click Map For Interactive Link

 

 

” The federal excise tax is 18.4 cents per gallon, and the rest of the taxes are particular to each state and vary greatly around the country.

  The two states with the biggest taxes: New York at $0.505 and California at $0.4978. The two states with the lowest taxes: Alaska at $0.124 and New Jersey at $0.145.

  Expressed as a percentage, based upon current prices which are $3.678 as averaged across the nation, the price for a gallon of gas breaks down like this:

  • 10% for refining costs and profits
  • 10% for transportation and retailing costs and profits
  • 13% for taxes and fees
  • 67% for crude oil

  One thing to notice: The total costs and profits for everything except the oil is just slightly larger than the amount that goes to state and federal taxes.”

 

 

Here is a bit more perspective on those “massive profits” raked in by “Big Oil” …

 

 

 

 

 

 

” ExxonMobil’s earnings are from operations in more than 100 countries around the world. The part of the business that refines and sells gasoline and diesel in the United States represents less than 3 percent – or 3 cents on the dollar – of our total earnings. For every gallon of gasoline, diesel or finished products we manufactured and sold in the United States in the last three months of 2010, we earned a little more than 2 cents per gallon. That’s not a typo. Two cents.”

 

 

 

As the astute reader can easily ascertain , the only “price gouger” in the energy business is the State .

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Why You Feel Poorer

 

 

costoflivingxpenses-7-1-14

 

 

 

 

” You feel poorer because you are poorer.

  In the last fourteen years, has your income increased over 50%? If you think it has, has it done so after taxes? Even if it has, you likely have not kept up in terms of inflation.

  If you are a retiree, living on fixed income, a pension or bonds, you certainly have become poorer. If you had bought the Dow-Jones on 12/31/1999 you would have entered at about 11,500. It closed last week at less than 17,100. That would have been an appreciation of 6,600, better than 50%. But, of course, that was before taxes.

  As a retiree, you have seen your purchasing power stolen by Fed policies. Whether you invested in fixed income or equities, you lost ground. Anyone in that position has seen their lives become poorer despite a lifetime of successful work and careful financial planning.”

 

 

    As it stands now , no matter how hard you work and save , you’ll never get ahead , not with the present monetary policies put in place at the behest of the Fed and the government . The authorities are systematically destroying all that the American public has worked so hard to attain . The American dream is not being killed by China … It is a victim of filicide

 

 

” For those still working, most are losing purchasing power each year. Wages are not keeping up with inflation, even the understated numbers reported by government. In short, the decline of a once-great economic power is well underway. The country is no longer growing enough to raise everyone’s standard of living.

  Government has killed the golden goose and in an attempt to hide the obvious is debauching the dollars. Government tries to hide their own failure with phony statistics and a welfare state designed to placate the masses. Bread and circuses are deceptions not progress.”

 

 

Read the rest

 

 

 

 

 

 

The Map With Only 38 States

 

 

 

” In 1973, California State University geography professor George Etzel Pearcy suggested that the U.S. redraw its antiquated state boundaries and narrow the overall number of states to 38.

  Pearcy’s proposed state lines were drawn in less-populated areas, isolating large cities and reducing their number within each state. He argued that if there were fewer cities vying for a state’s tax dollars, more money would be available for projects that would benefit all citizens.

  Because the current states were being chopped up beyond recognition, part of his plan included renaming the new states by referencing natural geologic features or the region’s cultural history.

  While he did have a rather staunch support network—economists, geographers, and even a few politicians argued that Pearcy’s plan might be crazy enough to work—the proposal lost steam in Washington. Imagine all the work that would have to be done to enact Pearcy’s plan: re-surveying the land, setting up new voter districts, new taxation infrastructure—basically starting the whole country over. It’s easy to see why the government balked (though that doesn’t mean it was a bad idea).”

 

Mental Floss

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Trey Gowdy’s Not Having It: IRS Head Gets Cute About ‘Lost’ Emails & Has the Grin Wiped Off His Face

 

 

 

 

 

” During a rare Monday night hearing, House Republicans hammered embattled IRS commissioner John Koskinen over the “lost” Lois Lerner emails and over his continued insistence that there was no criminal wrongdoing in their coincidental disappearance.

  While, as to be expected, Rep. Trey Gowdy (R-SC) repeatedly challenged Koskinen, for instance, when he demanded that he cite a particular statute or statutes (law, viz.) on which to base his claim that no criminal wrongdoing occurred. When the commissioner replied, “you can rely on common sense,” Gowdy went off:

“ Common sense? Instead of a criminal code, you wanna rely on common sense? You can shake your head all you want to commissioner; you have said today that there’s no evidence of criminal wrongdoing and I’m asking you what criminal statutes you have reviewed to reach that conclusion?”

  Koskinen finally conceded: “I have reviewed no criminal statutes.”

  Ironically, the commissioner also insisted that outdated technology was to blame and that it would cost the IRS $10-30 million to update its systems.

  In response, Rep. Scott DesJarlais (R-TN) reminded Koskinen that the IRS paid $89 million in bonuses last year, including $1 million to employees who owed back taxes. Not a good day for the defiant commissioner of the IRS.”

 

 

     John Koskinen is the epitome of the smug , arrogant , elitist bureaucrat . It is a pleasure to see him squirm under the wrathful ire of Rep Gowdy even though there seems to be no new info forthcoming from any of these hearings .

 

 

 

Independent Journal Review

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Another Business Moves Abroad, Leaving Behind High U.S. Taxes

 

 

 

 

” Yet another business is moving abroad to escape the America’s high tax rates.

  Medtronic, one of the world’s largest medical device companies, recently acquired Covidien for $42.9 billion in a move that will relocate headquarters from Minneapolis to Ireland.

  The draw? Medtronic’s corporate tax rate will drop from America’s 35 percent rate to Ireland’s 12.5 percent rate.

“ That’s how it works,” Jim Cramer of CNBC’s Mad Money said. “You buy a company that’s legitimately headquartered in a lower-tax country, even if it does all of its business here, and then you can get out of paying the higher U.S. taxes.” “

 

Read on

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Clinton: I’m Not ‘Truly Well Off’

 

 

 

 

 

 

” Hillary Clinton, who has a net worth upwards of $50 million, said in an interview that she is “unlike a lot of people who are truly well off.”

  Clinton was derided for comments made last week that her family was “dead broke” when it left the White House in 2000 although they were far from the poverty line. Bill and Hillary Clinton have reportedly made more than $100 million since leaving the White House.

  But Hillary, who charges a six figure speaking fee, says with a burst of laughter that she is not “truly well off” and that her wealth is the result of “hard work,” according to The Guardian.”

 

If $100 million income doesn’t qualify as “well off” what does Hillary ?

Free Beacon

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

IMF Slashes Estimate For US Economic Growth In 2014

 

 

 

 

 

” The International Monetary Fund slashed its forecast for US economic growth on Monday, citing a harsh winter, problems in the housing market and weak international demand for the country’s products.

  In its annual review of the US economy, the IMF cut its growth forecast by 0.8 percentage points to 2%. At a press conference IMF managing director Christine Lagarde blamed the bad winter for much of the cut and said the setback should be temporary. But she warned: “Growth in and of itself will not be enough.”

  As part of a series of reforms the IMF has called for an increase in the minimum wages in the US, currently the lowest when compared to the average wage in any of the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD)’s 34 countries.

  She said the number of long-term unemployed, 3.4 million in May according to the Department of Labor, remained too high and the percentage of people in or actively looking for work, the so-called participation rate, remained too low.”

 

 

 

    While acknowledging the impact that our huge unemployment rate is playing in the lack of recovery , Ms Lagarde proceeds to lecture the US on the need to hike the minimum wagethat will spur employment , yeah , right . Their second recommendation is the other tried and true Statist “recovery tool” … government stimulus

 

” The IMF believes the US also needs to do more to mitigate the impact of its aging population and to stimulate productivity. The best option would be for government to boost spending, notably on infrastructure, the IMF said.”

 

 

 

The Guardian has more

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The Dog Ate My E-Mails, For Two Years

 

 

 

 

 

 

” Who knew that the Obama administration had a penchant for black humor? Earlier this year, in February, President Obama told Bill O’Reilly during an interview on Fox News that there was “not even a smidgen of corruption” in the IRS scandal involving the targeting of conservative nonprofit groups. In July 2013, Treasury Secretary Jack Lew foreshadowed his boss’s nonchalance by insisting that there was “no evidence” that any political appointee had been involved in the scandal.

  Now we may know why. After months of delay in responding to congressional inquiries, the IRS now claims that, for the period of January 2009 to April 2011, all e-mails between Lois Lerner — the IRS official at the center of the scandal — and anyone outside the IRS were wiped out by a “computer crash.” As House Ways and Means chairman Dave Camp wrote in a statement, this loss means that “we are conveniently left to believe that Lois Lerner acted alone.” After all, there isn’t a “smidgen” of e-mail evidence to suggest otherwise.”

 

 

As Mr Fund explains , it is virtually impossible for all of those emails to have disappeared without a trace …

 

 

” A growing number of computer professionals are stepping forward to say that none of this makes sense. Norman Cillo, a former program manager at Microsoft, told The Blaze: “I don’t know of any e-mail administrator [who] doesn’t have at least three ways of getting that mail back. It’s either on the disks or it’s on a TAPE backup someplace on an archive server.” Bruce Webster, an IT expert with 30 years of experience consulting with dozens of private companies, seconds this opinion: “It would take a catastrophic mechanical failure for Lerner’s drive to suffer actual physical damage, but in any case, the FBI should be able to recover something. And the FBI and the Justice Department know it.”

 

 

 

 

    Lies , lies and more lies , that’s all we ever get from the “most open , honest and transparent administration” in history …

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Elites Beware: Eric Cantor’s Defeat May Signal A Populist Revolution

 

 

 

 

” Expecting House Majority Leader Eric Cantor to win his GOP primary in Virginia, I spent Election Day in Pennsylvania – interviewing angry Republicans, Democrats and independents about the rise of political populism.

  I was in the wrong state, but I had the right topic. Cantor’s defeat has less to do with immigration reform than it does with an uneven movement that should frighten conservative and liberal political elites to their shallow cores.

  Americans see a grim future for themselves, their children and their country.  They believe their political leaders are selfish, greedy and short-sighted – unable and/or unwilling to shield most people from wrenching economic and social change. For many, the Republican Party is becoming too extreme, while the Democratic Party – specifically President Obama – raised and dashed their hopes for true reform.”

 

 

 

   Only someone who has lived in a cave for the past twenty years could believe that real change can come from the District of Corruption . Despite the best efforts of the Corporate-State run media to demonize all things Tea Party and despite the occasional drug-addled morons shooting up the neighborhood a la Las Vegas , more and more citizens are coming to the conclusion that the ballot box and the courts offer no recourse … 

 

 

 

” At the West Chester’s popular D.K. Diner, a U.S. veteran who served five combat tours in Iraq and Afghanistan said the only solution may be a revolution against political elites. “We may need to drag politicians out and shoot them like they did in Cuba,” said a grim-faced Frederick Derry two days after a Los Vegas couple allegedly shot two police officers. The attackers draped their bodies with a “Don’t Tread on Me” flag, according to ABC News, pinned a swastika on them and a note that read “The revolution has begun.”

  A violent revolution is unconscionable. But what may be in the air is a peaceful populist revolt – a bottom-up, tech-fueled assault on 20th century political institutions. In a memo to his fellow Democrats, former Clinton White House political director Doug Sosnik writes persuasively about “an increasing populist push across the political spectrum.

  At the core of Americans’ anger and alienation is the belief that the American Dream is no longer attainable. Previous generations held fast to the promise that anyone who worked hard and played by the rules could get ahead, regardless of their circumstances. But increasingly, Americans have concluded that the rules aren’t fair and that the system has been rigged to concentrate power and wealth in the hands of a privileged few at the expense of the many. And now the government is simply not working for anyone.”

 

 

 

    Sosnik is wrong in that the government is working for some people and some businesses , just not the bulk of the taxpaying public . It’s working just fine if you draw a publicly funded paycheck as a federal employee or are a lobbyist , politician or corporate bigwig . It also works quite well if you happen to be a member of the media elite as the cronyism and nepotism between those two entities is well-documented . 

But he is correct in thinking that the time is nigh for the average citizen to choose sides and decide if he/she will indeed take part in the destruction of the barricades .

 

 

 

” Which side of the barricade are you on? Populists from the right and the left – from the tea party and libertarian-leaning Rand Paul to economic populist Elizabeth Warren – are positioning themselves among the insurgents. Sosnik pointed to six areas of consensus that eventually may unite the divergent populist forces:

  • A pull back from the rest of the world with more of an inward focus.
  • A desire to go after big banks and other large financial institutions
  • Elimination of corporate welfare.
  • Reducing special deals for the rich.
  • Pushing back on the violation of the public’s privacy by the government and big business.
  • Reducing the size of government.

  In Washington, Cantor’s defeat is being chalked up to the tea party’s intolerance toward immigration reform. While he paid a price for flirting with a White House compromise, Cantor’s greater sin was inauthenticity – brazenly flip-flopping on the issue. Typical politician.”

 

 

 

    Mr Fournier’s contention that Elizabeth “Fauxcahontas” Warren is anything but a confirmed Statist aside , we are willing to concede that the lines of battle are being drawn and that there is much common ground to be found between the Occupy crowd and the Tea Partiers .

   The question remains , which American personage will be able to unite these disparate interests and lead the charge over the barricades of corruption to reinstate American republicanism and reestablish a nation of limited government .

 

 

Ron Fournier

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

… Delinquency Rate Is 33% Higher Among VA Employees

 

 

 

 

 

” 318,462 federal workers and retirees owed more than $3.3 billion in back income taxes as of September 30, 2013, a delinquency rate of 3.27% (compared to 8.7% for the entire U.S. population). See the full spreadsheet here.

  Among the 18 executive departments, the embattled Department of Veterans Affairs has the second highest delinquency rate among its employees:  4.38% (behind the Department of Housing and Urban Development’s 5.29%).

  Among 27 large (> 1,000 employees) independent agencies, the Federal Reserve has the third highest delinquency rate:  6.51%.

  The delinquency rate is 4.87% in the House of Representatives and 2.43% in the Senate.

  In the tax world, the delinquency rate is 3.02 in the Tax Court and 1.20% in the Treasury Department (the IRS is not separately broken out).

For prior years data, see:

 

 

Thanks To Professor Paul Caron – TaxProf

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Fischer, Brainard To Push For More Activist Fed

 

 

 

 

 

 

” The two new nominees to the Federal Reserve’s Board of Governors are expected to push for an expanded Fed role in managing the U.S. economy, working to replace the current raft of programs that resulted from the financial crisis with more permanent tools.

  The arrival of former Bank of Israel Governor Stanley Fischer and former U.S. Treasury official Lael Brainard will add two strong voices to back Chair Janet Yellen’s view that loose monetary policy needs to be extended to turn around a slack labor market.

  Fischer intervened directly in Israel’s mortgage market to tackle a real estate bubble, while Brainard pushed EU governments hard for more aggressive action from the European Central Bank during the euro zone crisis.

  BB Interviews with former colleagues and a review of their public statements and published material also suggest both will want the Fed to remain in activist mode long after its current programs wind down and its bloated balance sheet shrinks.

  How they influence the U.S. central bank is a critically important question for investors, who are searching for clues on when the Fed will lift interest rates from near zero, where they’ve been since late 2008. It is a debate that may well be the defining one of Yellen’s tenure.”

 

 

 

 

 

 

    As if they don’t already control everything now , the Fed wants even more power . Statism is on the march in Obama’s Amerika .

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

9 Public College Presidents’ Pay Tops $1 Million

 

 

 

 

” The number of public college presidents earning over $1 million more than doubled in the 2012-2013 fiscal year from the year before, according to a new survey.

  The Chronicle of Higher Education study found that nine college presidents earned more than $1 million in total compensation in 2013, compared to just four in 2012.

  Public college presidents first exceeded the $1 million total compensation mark in 2006-2007, according to the survey.”

 

RESET
Showin0 of 256 college presidents
President
* Partial-year compensation
Total compensation
(Rank)
Base pay Base pay as
% of total
Compensation per $1M in total expenditures
(Total expenditures)
Assumed position in
E. Gordon GeeE. Gordon Gee
Ohio State University
Full profile →
$6,057,615 (1st) $851,303 14.1% $1,332 ($4.5B) October 2007
R. Bowen LoftinR. Bowen Loftin
Texas A&M University at College Station
Full profile →
$1,636,274 (2nd) $425,000 26.0% $816 ($2.0B) February 2010
Hamid A. ShirvaniHamid A. Shirvani
North Dakota University system
Full profile →
$1,311,095 (3rd) $349,000 26.6% N/A July 2012
Renu KhatorRenu Khator
University of Houston main campus
Full profile →
$1,266,000 (4th) $700,000 55.3% $1,549 ($817.3M) January 2008
Sally K. MasonSally K. Mason
University of Iowa
Full profile →
$1,139,705 (5th) $493,272 43.3% $443 ($2.6B) August 2007
Michael A. McRobbieMichael A. McRobbie
Indiana University at Bloomington
Full profile →
$1,111,924 (6th) $544,848 49.0% N/A July 2007
Michael F. AdamsMichael F. Adams
University of Georgia
Full profile →
$1,074,869 (7th) $258,670 24.1% $885 ($1.2B) July 1997
V. Gordon MoultonV. Gordon Moulton *
University of South Alabama
Full profile →
$1,072,121 (8th) $406,075 37.9% $1,778 ($603.0M) July 1998
Mary Sue ColemanMary Sue Coleman
University of Michigan at Ann Arbor
Full profile →
$1,037,357 (9th) $603,357 58.2% N/A August 2002

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Remington To Move Production Of Two Gun Lines From New York To Alabama

 

 

 

 

” Nearly 200 years after Eliphalet Remington II forged his first rifle in Ilion, residents of the small central New York village are getting the bad news they have feared for more than a year: Remington Arms is moving production of two of its gun lines to Alabama.

  While the company did not announce the outright closing of the facility that has been home to Remington since 1816, gun rights advocates said that day is now likely moving closer and they blame the state’s 2013 NY SAFE Act gun control law.

“ This could very well be the beginning of the end of Ilion,’’ said Tom King, president of the New York State Rifle and Pistol Association, the state chapter for the National Rifle Association.

  The Buffalo News last September featured Ilion in a story about residents there growing increasingly worried that Remington, the anchor in the village of 8,000 in Herkimer County, was under growing pressure to leave New York since passage of the SAFE Act.

  Remington said it will move production of its Bushmaster line of semi-automatic rifles that are no longer legal for the company to sell in New York without modifications. It is also sending work on its popular 1911 R1 pistol.”

 

     Welcome to New York , a fine place to do business … not , as New York pols manage to drive out America’s oldest , continuously operating factory .

 

More on the beginning of the end for Ilion here and here .

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

17-Year-Old Student Tops Sitting W.Va. Lawmaker

 

 

 

Saira Blair, 17-year-old politician, teen politician

 

 

” A week before her high school graduation, Saira Blair was barely old enough to vote when she unseated a West Virginia lawmaker almost four times her age.

  After Tuesday’s GOP primary, the 17-year-old is one election away from becoming the youngest state lawmaker in West Virginia history. Larry Swan, sworn in as a 20-year-old delegate in 1972, set the current record.”

 

 

Saira’s pledge to the voters of district 59 …

 

 

” Blair’s birthday is in July, so she would just meet the 18-year-old minimum age for West Virginia House of Delegates members. Seventeen-year-olds who will turn 18 by the November election can vote in West Virginia’s primary.

  Soft-spoken and on-message, Blair is a churchgoer who says she is pro-life, pro-family, pro-gun rights and pro-business. She can rattle off a laundry list of businesses taxes she wants abolished or lowered.

” People saw that you don’t need to wait until you are 40, 50 or 60 to realize our conservative principles are beneficial to everyone,” the Martinsburg teen said of her primary win.”

 

 

   Read more of this intrepid young lady’s quest to be the youngest state legislator in West Virginia history . If you like what you see , give her a like on Facebook , perhaps contact her here to offer your help or donate some cash . This is the only address we could find to contribute to Saira’s campaign:

47 Wasser Drive
Martinsburg, WV 25403

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

One Chart That Shows Just How Screwed Up Our Tax System Really Is

 

 

 

 

” The 2014 tax season is finally over and whether or not you owe the IRS, the following news will not make you pleased:

” Twenty-five profitable Fortune 500 companies spent more on lobbying than they paid in federal taxes between 2008 and 2012,” according to a Public Campaign analysis of data from Citizens for Tax Justice and the Center for Responsive Politics.

  This is yet another way our tax structure penalizes individuals and small businesses while supporting mega corporations. We must make tax reform a major issue in the 2014 and 2016 elections to even this out.

  The analysis showed that over five years, these 25 corporations spent way more money influencing government than supporting it. They generated nearly $170 billion in profits and received $8.7 billion in tax rebates, all while paying their lobbyists $543 million, an average of nearly $300,000 a day, to advance their interests in Congress.”

 

    The astute reader will note that all of these corporations had a negative tax obligation . What’s wrong with this picture ? Cronyism anyone ?

 

 

Policy Mic

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Over $5 Billion And Counting For Obamacare Websites

 

 

 

 

 

” You thought Healthcare.gov had problems?

  A handful of state-run exchange websites—which cost nearly half a billion dollars to build—still don’t work, nearly seven months after they first went live.

  Largely inoperable state exchange websites in Maryland, Massachusetts, Oregon and Nevada have racked up $474 million federal tax dollars so far, Politico first reported. The costs will continue to climb as states scramble to salvage the flailing websites or transition onto the federal exchange.

  Maryland will spend an additional $40 million to save its website, which has already cost $90 million. Nevada has spent $50 million to date and will decide in the coming weeks how much more it will spend on repair efforts. Massachusetts will pour an additional $121 million into fixing its severely troubled state portal, while also using the federal portal as a back up plan.

“ Taxpayers will have to pay whether their state-based exchange fails or not,” said Josh Archambault, a senior fellow at the conservative Foundation for Government Accountability.

  Meanwhile, Oregon’s website, which already cost $259 million, is so troubled that the state has opted to scrap the site entirely and spend an extra $5 million to use Healthcare.gov instead.

  The Obama administration had intended for states using the federal portal to gradually transition away from HealthCare.gov and onto their own exchanges. However, since so many states had issues with their websites, it appears that the opposite is happening. Minnesota, Nevada and Rhode Island are all considering following Oregon and switching to HealthCare.gov. Not one of the 36 states using the federal exchange intends to set up their own exchanges.”

 

Fiscal Times

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

From The Tea Party

 

 

Enough !

 

 

 

Our sentiments , exactly . Read the comments

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Obama’s New Helicopter Fleet Could Cost $20 Billion

 

 

 

 

 

 

” The Pentagon has awarded a contract to begin development of the most expensive helicopters ever made.

  Each helicopter will probably cost at least $400 million. The entire project, to build at least 23 helicopters, has been estimated to eventually cost between $10 billion to $17 billion. By comparison, the project could pay the combined defense budgets of Finland, Norway, and Sweden for one year ($16.9 billion).

  The passengers for this enormously expensive helicopter fleet? The President of the United States and his entourage.

  Marine One helicopters must satisfy a number of requirements. The president’s helos must be small enough to land on the South Lawn, but large enough to lift 14 people and several thousand pounds of equipment a distance of 300 miles. The helicopters must be armored, with a bullet-resistant fuselage and glass.

  Finally, the president’s helicopter must include a toilet.

  The new, initial contract awarded to the American defense contractor Sikorsky, is valued at $1.24 billion. Under the terms of the new contract, the U.S. military will take delivery of two prototype helicopters—based on the Sikorsky S-92 medium helicopter–in 2016. Another 21 fully capable helicopters will follow.”

 

 

    The S-92 can travel at 175 mph and is required to transport its passengers 300 uninterrupted miles , a distance it can cover in an hour and three quarters , yet a bathroom is a requirement ? WTF ? You mean to tell me that the passengers cannot hold their water for the time it takes to watch one feature length movie ?  

    Read more on this astoundingly arrogant waste of taxpayer funds by the Pentagon at The Daily Beast

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Are Those Origami Pigs In A Donut Box? See How Far This Guy Went To Protest Red Light Cameras

 

 

 

 

 

 

” In a fantastic display of attention to detail and dedication to pointing out the absurdity of red light cameras, blogger “Bacon Moose” pays a $137.00 ticket all in ones, each meticulously folded into an origami pig and placed into two Dunkin Donut boxes.

From ‘Bacon Moose’s’ imgur page,
So I had to pay a ticket .. so could I just go in and pay? Hell no. I spent something like 6 hours making 137 origami pigs, put them in Dunkin Donuts boxes and paid in style.”

Origami Pig

More pictures and info at Free Thought Project

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Follow Your Tax Dollars Across This Map To Unfriendly Nations

 

 

BL-export-import-unpaid-loa

 

 

 

” What’s worse than using taxpayer money for special interests and cronyism? Maybe sending taxpayer money to nations that aren’t the best friends of the United States.

  The Export-Import Bank does both. It loans money to foreign companies and governments to buy products from politically favored American companies. Hard-working Americans are backing these loans.

This map shows just a few of the countries where your money is going.”

 

 

The infographic below , also from Heritage.org puts the “lending” in perspective …

 

 

 

ExIm_Infographic_Final_640px

 

 

Call it cronyism international . See also this piece from Heritage:

 

              The Export–Import Bank: A Government Outfit Mired in Mismanagement:

 

” Advocates of the Export–Import Bank (Ex–Im) are lobbying Congress for reauthorization by claiming that its taxpayer-subsidized financing is a safe—and lucrative—investment. But even a mountain of rhetoric cannot bury the facts: The bank is beset by mismanagement, dysfunction, and risk, all of which have been documented for years by Ex–Im’s own inspector general and the Government Accountability Office (GAO). The problems are the inevitable result of government assuming a function far beyond its proper purview and one that rightly belongs to private business alone.

  The bank’s current authorization is set to expire on September 30. Ex–Im provides loans and loan guarantees as well as capital and credit insurance for U.S. exports. The financing is backed by the “full faith and credit” of the U.S. government, which means taxpayers are on the hook for losses that bank reserves fail to cover.

  Allowing the authorization to expire should be an easy call for lawmakers. There is no shortage of private investment: 98 percent of the $2.2 trillion in annual U.S. exports are financed without help from Ex–Im. And despite promises to clean up their act, bank officials persist in underestimating costs, misstating losses, and failing to maintain adequate capital reserves. But even if the bank functioned perfectly, there is no justification for the government to act as financier to favored interests.”

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

   Doug Bandow has a piece in Forbes about this international cronyism underwritten by the US taxpayers that provides the reader with a much better understanding of the true nature of the Export-Import Bank and the love that exists for it in the corporate world …

 

” Nothing brings out the well-tailored lobbyists in Washington quite like a threat to corporate welfare. With the Export-Import Bank’s legal authorization set to run out this year, the Chamber of Commerce recently led a Big Business march on Capitol Hill to protect what is known as Boeing’s Bank. Over the last eight decades ExIm has provided over a half trillion dollars in credit, mostly to corporate titans. Congress should close the Bank.

  ExIm was created in 1934 to underwrite trade with the Soviet Union. The agency piously claims not to provide subsidies since it charges fees and interest, but it exists only to offer business a better credit deal than is available in the marketplace. The Bank uses its ability to borrow at government rates to provide loans, loan guarantees, working capital guarantees, and loan insurance.

  The result is a bad deal for the rest of us. For instance, ExIm is not free, as claimed. Recently made self-financing, the agency has returned $1.6 billion to the Treasury since 2008. However, economists Jason Delisle and Christopher Papagianis warned that the Bank’s “profits are almost surely an accounting illusion” because “the government’s official accounting rules effectively force budget analysts to understate the cost of loan programs like those managed by the Ex-Im Bank.” “

 

 

Roll Call jumps on the end the Ex-Im bank bandwagon too… 

 

” The bank’s erstwhile job is to provide loans and guarantees to banks, which then finance companies attempting to import and export goods. The lion’s share of its money goes to multi-national, multi-billion dollar corporations. Roughly 90 percent of its 2010 loans and guarantees went to ten major corporations like General Electric and Caterpillar. In 2012, Boeing received roughly 80 percent. Small businesses typically receive less than 20 percent of the bank’s loans by dollar amount.

  These large, usually publicly traded companies would have no problem securing funding from elsewhere. After all, U.S. exports wouldn’t have reached a record high $2.2 trillion last year if there weren’t plenty of private finance opportunities available. Yet thanks to the Export-Import Bank, these companies can avoid the risk by using public money to guarantee private profits.

  This generosity results in significant taxpayer exposure. American taxpayers are currently on the hook for approximately $134 billion in outstanding Ex-Im loans. This is a more than 100 percent increase since 2007, the year after the bank’s most recent congressional re-authorization. Every year, more companies realized that they can benefit from this arrangement. Last year’s 4,061 deals marked a 33 percent increase over the bank’s 2009 total.

  In recent years, Ex-Im has given loans to such politically well-connected companies like Enron, First Solar, and Solyndra. None of these loans went well for the taxpayer; all three companies have since gone bankrupt. Meanwhile, most of the bank’s current beneficiaries can afford teams of lobbyists to keep the money flowing.”

 

 

 

    If you still harbor doubts about the corporate cronyist nature of the ExIm , ponder this fact , in 2012 fully 44% of the “bank’s” loans were awarded to just three very well connected corporations , GE , Boeing and Black and Veatch International .  

     Given these facts it is difficult to see the Export-Import bank as anything other than taxpayer subsidy of private corporations on an international scale .Contrary to Obama’s rhetoric , he’s never met any crony capitalism he didn’t like .

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The Long History Of BLM’s Aggressive Cattle Seizures

 

 

Range War History

Click Pic For Video

 

 

” Every month, Raymond Yowell, the 84-year-old former chief of the Shoshone Indian Tribe in northeastern Nevada, has almost $200 garnished from his $1,150 Social Security check, and it all dates back to a 5:00am phone call on a Friday morning in 2002.

  That morning, a government official from the Bureau of Land Management told him to come down to a seizure site where the 132 cattle he owned were about to be impounded.

  When he arrived, men brandishing handguns told him he couldn’t get any closer than 250 yards from his cattle. He watched from a distance as the government loaded the livestock onto stock trailers.

  Within a week, the cattle had been sold at a private auction – for what Yowell estimated to be a quarter of their market price. The proceeds belonged to BLM, officials told him, paying a portion of the grazing fees he suddenly owed. It wasn’t enough to cover the full debt, and BLM sent Yowell a bill for $180,000.

  Yowell has been fighting the BLM in court ever since, but while the case moves its way through the system, his Social Security check takes a hit every month.

  The story, ranchers in Nevada say, is far from unique. Beginning in the late 1980s, BLM adopted aggressive tactics in the West, leading to large-scale cattle seizures and a disruption of life for ranchers that had utilized public lands for decades prior.

  While the press has showered attention on Cliven Bundy, a polarizing man who prompted a tense standoff between Bundy’s well-armed militia supporters and federal police, the struggle between ranchers and the BLM is much broader.”

 

 

     For a more detailed history of BLM abuse of ranchers dating back to the late ’80’s read the whole thing at Breitbart . It tells a story of arrogance and abuse that you will not find in the mainstream propaganda that needs to be told in order to understand the significance of the Bundy siege and the Fed’s war on ranchers and western landowners in general .

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

China Poised To Pass US As World’s Leading Economic Power This Year

 

 

China vs US

Image Via AFP/Getty

 

 

 

” The US is on the brink of losing its status as the world’s largest economy, and is likely to slip behind China this year, sooner than widely anticipated, according to the world’s leading statistical agencies.

  The US has been the global leader since overtaking the UK in 1872. Most economists previously thought China would pull ahead in 2019.

The figures, compiled by the International Comparison Program hosted by the World Bank, are the most authoritative estimates of what money can buy in different countries and are used by most public and private sector organisations, such as the International Monetary Fund. This is the first time they have been updated since 2005.

  After extensive research on the prices of goods and services, the ICP concluded that money goes further in poorer countries than it previously thought, prompting it to increase the relative size of emerging market economies.

  The estimates of the real cost of living, known as purchasing power parity or PPPs, are recognised as the best way to compare the size of economies rather than using volatile exchange rates, which rarely reflect the true cost of goods and services: on this measure the IMF put US GDP in 2012 at $16.2tn, and China’s at $8.2tn.”

 

 

Read the whole disgraceful news item at Financial Times. Can’t say he didn’t warn us .

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Obama Family Sets All-Time Record For Travel Expenses

 

 

vacation cost

 

 

” Judicial Watch reported that the Obamas have set a new record for vacations on the backs of Americans taxpayers. Remember, this included an extended stay in Hawaii for one Michele Obama, who wished to celebrate her 50th b-day at Oprah’s home there.

  The conservative action group had to file a lawsuit to obtain the records from the US Air Force, marking a new low for US politics. The Obamas spent over $7.4 million during 2013, merely for flight expenses

Via JW:

  Judicial Watch filed the lawsuit in August 2013, after being repeatedly beat back by the White House. The group reported:

* The outbound flight to Honolulu for the Obamas’ 2012-13 Christmas vacation cost taxpayers $2, 214, 393.60. The return flight to Washington cost $1,871,961.60. Flight expenditures alone came to $4,086,355.20.

* The outbound flight to California in August, 2013 for Obama to dine with Katzenberg and appear on the “The Tonight Show” cost taxpayers $1,209,926.40. The return flight to Washington cost $935,980.80. Flight expenditures alone came to $2,145,907.20.

* The outbound flight to Martha’s Vineyard for the Obama family’s August vacation cost taxpayers $890,323.20. The return flight to Washington cost $273,945.60. Flight expenditures alone came to $1,164,268.80.

* The grand total of $7,396,531.20, Judicial Watch pointed out, only accounted for flight expenses for the three trips.

“The fact is, the Obamas are abusing the public trust and the taxpayers with unnecessary luxurious vacations and travel,” Judicial Watch said. “These staggering costs show why these documents were covered-up and we had to sue in federal court to get them. Another transparency fail for the Obama gang, but thanks to our federal lawsuit it is another accountability win for the American taxpayer.”

 

Thanks to Rand Paul Review

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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