Tag Archive: Big Business


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 .

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 OneTruth4Life

 

 

 

” By now you should know that the drug war was fabricated by the Elite and created a slave class that enriched corporations who construct and run prisons. Individual rights must be removed and accepted to advance to the next step.”

 

   

   Both of these trumped up “wars” serve two purposes , neither of which has to do with public safety . Number one , they serve to enrich the corporate sector cronies of Congress , who in turn funnel vast sums into the campaign war chests of the very pols writing the laws that enrich the corporations and number two , they serve as a “reasonable” pretext for an ever-widening campaign to spread the influence of the State over our daily lives . 

   Watch the video below for some facts about the “war on drugs” and the prison industrial complex .

 

 

 

”  The war on drugs has been going on for more than three decades. Today, nearly 500,000 Americans are imprisoned on drug charges. In 1980 the number was 50,000. Last year $40 billion in taxpayer dollars were spent in fighting the war on drugs.

  As a result of the incarceration obsession, the United States operates the largest prison system on the planet, and the U.S. nonviolent prisoner population is larger than the combined populations of Wyoming and Alaska. Try to imagine the Drug Enforcement Administration erecting razor wire barricades around two states to control crime and you’ll get the picture.

  According to the U.S. Dept of Justice, the number of offenders under age 18 imprisoned for drug offenses increased twelvefold from 1985 to 1997. The group most affected by this propensity for incarceration is African-Americans. From 1985 to 1997, the percentage of African-American young people put in prison increased from 53 to 62 percent.

  Today, 89 percent of police departments have paramilitary units, and 46 percent have been trained by active duty armed forces. The most common use of paramilitary units is serving drug-related search warrants, which usually involve no-knock entries into private homes.”

 

 

    On the “war on terror” side of the equation , President Eisenhower foresaw the rise of corporate welfare and cronyism when in his farewell speech he coined the phrase “military industrial complex” . He may not have anticipated the rise of Statism that would accompany the ascendence of the Corporate/Congressional alliance but his warning was clear .

 

 

   When you combine the two with the State’s never-ending quest for more power the police state is the inevitable result , and here we are .

 

 

    And so with the aid of a media establishment that now amounts to little more than a Statist mouthpiece and a State monopoly on the education system the people have been conditioned to accept the lie that the State is the only thing standing between  their continued well-being and a world run amok by terrorists and criminal and they unfortunately lack the inquisitiveness to ask the obvious questions , like “Why?” .

   The notion of asking questions has been bred out of the American breed and the serfs are only too happy to buy some more s**t on credit , sit back and watch TV and take Leviathan’s word that this is all being done for “their own good” … to preserve the security of the State and it’s people while two centuries ago , back when critical thought was the norm , Benjamin Franklin warned :

” Those who would give up essential liberty to purchase a little temporary safety deserve neither liberty nor safety.”

Illustration by Andy Singer

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Remember This Come November

 

 

 

   More sneaky , rush rush legislative efforts from our dirt-bag representatives in DC , in collusion with big business . Walmart and Amazon , two of the largest on-line retailers supported this bill, so keep that in mind as the smaller mom & pop type on-line vendors either close up shop or move their operations overseas to escape the required tax collection on behalf of our thieving government.

   Note all the alleged ” freedom loving republicans ” highlighted in red that voted for this massive tax increase . Vote accordingly . 

   Oh , if you are thinking that this is a bill that will ” level the playing field ” for small business , think again . As with all things government , the laws of unintended consequences rules and this bill as with all others is sure to drive customers merchants overseas and not to Main Street .

 

XMLU.S. Senate Roll Call Votes 113th Congress – 1st Session 

as compiled through Senate LIS by the Senate Bill Clerk under the direction of the Secretary of the Senate

 

Vote Summary 

Question: On Cloture on the Motion to Proceed (Motion to Invoke Cloture on the Motion to Proceed to S. 743 )
Vote Number: 107 Vote Date: April 22, 2013, 05:31 PM
Required For Majority: 3/5 Vote Result: Cloture on the Motion to Proceed Agreed to
Measure Number: S. 743
Measure Title: A bill to restore States’ sovereign rights to enforce State and local sales and use tax laws, and for other purposes.
Vote Counts: YEAs 74
NAYs 20
Not Voting 6
Vote Summary By Senator Name By Vote Position By Home State

 

Alphabetical by Senator Name

Alexander (R-TN), Yea
Ayotte (R-NH), Nay
Baldwin (D-WI), Yea
Barrasso (R-WY), Yea 
Baucus (D-MT), Nay
Begich (D-AK), Yea
Bennet (D-CO), Yea
Blumenthal (D-CT), Yea
Blunt (R-MO), Yea
Boozman (R-AR), Yea
Boxer (D-CA), Not Voting
Brown (D-OH), Yea
Burr (R-NC), Yea 
Cantwell (D-WA), Yea
Cardin (D-MD), Yea
Carper (D-DE), Yea
Casey (D-PA), Yea
Chambliss (R-GA), Yea
Coats (R-IN), Yea 
Coburn (R-OK), Nay 
Cochran (R-MS), Yea 
Collins (R-ME), Yea
Coons (D-DE), Yea
Corker (R-TN), Yea 
Cornyn (R-TX), Nay
Cowan (D-MA), Yea
Crapo (R-ID), Yea 
Cruz (R-TX), Nay
Donnelly (D-IN), Yea
Durbin (D-IL), Yea
Enzi (R-WY), Yea
Feinstein (D-CA), Yea
Fischer (R-NE), Yea 
Flake (R-AZ), Yea 
Franken (D-MN), Yea 
Gillibrand (D-NY), Yea 
Graham (R-SC), Yea 
Grassley (R-IA), Nay 
Hagan (D-NC), Yea 
Harkin (D-IA), Yea 
Hatch (R-UT), Nay 
Heinrich (D-NM), Yea 
Heitkamp (D-ND), Yea 
Heller (R-NV), Nay 
Hirono (D-HI), Yea 
Hoeven (R-ND), Yea 
Inhofe (R-OK), Nay 
Isakson (R-GA), Yea 
Johanns (R-NE), Yea 
Johnson (D-SD), Yea 
Johnson (R-WI), Not Voting 
Kaine (D-VA), Yea 
King (I-ME), Yea 
Kirk (R-IL), Nay 
Klobuchar (D-MN), Yea 
Landrieu (D-LA), Yea 
Lautenberg (D-NJ), Not Voting 
Leahy (D-VT), Yea 
Lee (R-UT), Nay 
Levin (D-MI), Yea 
Manchin (D-WV), Yea 
McCain (R-AZ), Yea 
McCaskill (D-MO), Yea 
McConnell (R-KY), Nay 
Menendez (D-NJ), Yea 
Merkley (D-OR), Not Voting 
Mikulski (D-MD), Yea 
Moran (R-KS), Yea 
Murkowski (R-AK), Not Voting
Murphy (D-CT), Yea
Murray (D-WA), Yea
Nelson (D-FL), Yea
Paul (R-KY), Nay
Portman (R-OH), Yea 
Pryor (D-AR), Yea
Reed (D-RI), Yea
Reid (D-NV), Yea
Risch (R-ID), Yea 
Roberts (R-KS), Nay
Rockefeller (D-WV), Yea
Rubio (R-FL), Nay
Sanders (I-VT), Yea
Schatz (D-HI), Yea
Schumer (D-NY), Yea
Scott (R-SC), Nay
Sessions (R-AL), Yea
Shaheen (D-NH), Not Voting
Shelby (R-AL), Yea
Stabenow (D-MI), Yea
Tester (D-MT), Nay
Thune (R-SD), Yea 
Toomey (R-PA), Nay
Udall (D-CO), Yea
Udall (D-NM), Yea
Vitter (R-LA), Nay
Warner (D-VA), Yea
Warren (D-MA), Yea
Whitehouse (D-RI), Yea
Wicker (R-MS), Yea 
Wyden (D-OR), Nay
Vote Summary By Senator Name By Vote Position By Home State

 

Grouped By Vote Position

YEAs —74
Alexander (R-TN)
Baldwin (D-WI)
Barrasso (R-WY)
Begich (D-AK)
Bennet (D-CO)
Blumenthal (D-CT)
Blunt (R-MO)
Boozman (R-AR)
Brown (D-OH)
Burr (R-NC)
Cantwell (D-WA)
Cardin (D-MD)
Carper (D-DE)
Casey (D-PA)
Chambliss (R-GA)
Coats (R-IN)
Cochran (R-MS)
Collins (R-ME)
Coons (D-DE)
Corker (R-TN)
Cowan (D-MA)
Crapo (R-ID)
Donnelly (D-IN)
Durbin (D-IL)
Enzi (R-WY)
Feinstein (D-CA)
Fischer (R-NE)
Flake (R-AZ)
Franken (D-MN)
Gillibrand (D-NY)
Graham (R-SC)
Hagan (D-NC)
Harkin (D-IA)
Heinrich (D-NM)
Heitkamp (D-ND)
Hirono (D-HI)
Hoeven (R-ND)
Isakson (R-GA)
Johanns (R-NE)
Johnson (D-SD)
Kaine (D-VA)
King (I-ME)
Klobuchar (D-MN)
Landrieu (D-LA)
Leahy (D-VT)
Levin (D-MI)
Manchin (D-WV)
McCain (R-AZ)
McCaskill (D-MO)
Menendez (D-NJ)
Mikulski (D-MD)
Moran (R-KS)
Murphy (D-CT)
Murray (D-WA)
Nelson (D-FL)
Portman (R-OH)
Pryor (D-AR)
Reed (D-RI)
Reid (D-NV)
Risch (R-ID)
Rockefeller (D-WV)
Sanders (I-VT)
Schatz (D-HI)
Schumer (D-NY)
Sessions (R-AL)
Shelby (R-AL)
Stabenow (D-MI)
Thune (R-SD)
Udall (D-CO)
Udall (D-NM)
Warner (D-VA)
Warren (D-MA)
Whitehouse (D-RI)
Wicker (R-MS)
NAYs —20
Ayotte (R-NH)
Baucus (D-MT)
Coburn (R-OK)
Cornyn (R-TX)
Cruz (R-TX)
Grassley (R-IA)
Hatch (R-UT)
Heller (R-NV)
Inhofe (R-OK)
Kirk (R-IL)
Lee (R-UT)
McConnell (R-KY)
Paul (R-KY)
Roberts (R-KS)
Rubio (R-FL)
Scott (R-SC)
Tester (D-MT)
Toomey (R-PA)
Vitter (R-LA)
Wyden (D-OR)
Not Voting – 6
Boxer (D-CA)
Johnson (R-WI)
Lautenberg (D-NJ)
Merkley (D-OR)
Murkowski (R-AK)
Shaheen (D-NH)
Vote Summary By Senator Name By Vote Position By Home State

 

Grouped by Home State

Alabama: Sessions (R-AL), Yea Shelby (R-AL), Yea
Alaska: Begich (D-AK), Yea Murkowski (R-AK), Not Voting
Arizona: Flake (R-AZ), Yea McCain (R-AZ), Yea
Arkansas: Boozman (R-AR), Yea Pryor (D-AR), Yea
California: Boxer (D-CA), Not Voting Feinstein (D-CA), Yea
Colorado: Bennet (D-CO), Yea Udall (D-CO), Yea
Connecticut: Blumenthal (D-CT), Yea Murphy (D-CT), Yea
Delaware: Carper (D-DE), Yea Coons (D-DE), Yea
Florida: Nelson (D-FL), Yea Rubio (R-FL), Nay
Georgia: Chambliss (R-GA), Yea Isakson (R-GA), Yea
Hawaii: Hirono (D-HI), Yea Schatz (D-HI), Yea
Idaho: Crapo (R-ID), Yea Risch (R-ID), Yea
Illinois: Durbin (D-IL), Yea Kirk (R-IL), Nay
Indiana: Coats (R-IN), Yea Donnelly (D-IN), Yea
Iowa: Grassley (R-IA), Nay Harkin (D-IA), Yea
Kansas: Moran (R-KS), Yea Roberts (R-KS), Nay
Kentucky: McConnell (R-KY), Nay Paul (R-KY), Nay
Louisiana: Landrieu (D-LA), Yea Vitter (R-LA), Nay
Maine: Collins (R-ME), Yea King (I-ME), Yea
Maryland: Cardin (D-MD), Yea Mikulski (D-MD), Yea
Massachusetts: Cowan (D-MA), Yea Warren (D-MA), Yea
Michigan: Levin (D-MI), Yea Stabenow (D-MI), Yea
Minnesota: Franken (D-MN), Yea Klobuchar (D-MN), Yea
Mississippi: Cochran (R-MS), Yea Wicker (R-MS), Yea
Missouri: Blunt (R-MO), Yea McCaskill (D-MO), Yea
Montana: Baucus (D-MT), Nay Tester (D-MT), Nay
Nebraska: Fischer (R-NE), Yea Johanns (R-NE), Yea
Nevada: Heller (R-NV), Nay Reid (D-NV), Yea
New Hampshire: Ayotte (R-NH), Nay Shaheen (D-NH), Not Voting
New Jersey: Lautenberg (D-NJ), Not Voting Menendez (D-NJ), Yea
New Mexico: Heinrich (D-NM), Yea Udall (D-NM), Yea
New York: Gillibrand (D-NY), Yea Schumer (D-NY), Yea
North Carolina: Burr (R-NC), Yea Hagan (D-NC), Yea
North Dakota: Heitkamp (D-ND), Yea Hoeven (R-ND), Yea
Ohio: Brown (D-OH), Yea Portman (R-OH), Yea
Oklahoma: Coburn (R-OK), Nay Inhofe (R-OK), Nay
Oregon: Merkley (D-OR), Not Voting Wyden (D-OR), Nay
Pennsylvania: Casey (D-PA), Yea Toomey (R-PA), Nay
Rhode Island: Reed (D-RI), Yea Whitehouse (D-RI), Yea
South Carolina: Graham (R-SC), Yea Scott (R-SC), Nay
South Dakota: Johnson (D-SD), Yea Thune (R-SD), Yea
Tennessee: Alexander (R-TN), Yea Corker (R-TN), Yea
Texas: Cornyn (R-TX), Nay Cruz (R-TX), Nay
Utah: Hatch (R-UT), Nay Lee (R-UT), Nay
Vermont: Leahy (D-VT), Yea Sanders (I-VT), Yea
Virginia: Kaine (D-VA), Yea Warner (D-VA), Yea
Washington: Cantwell (D-WA), Yea Murray (D-WA), Yea
West Virginia: Manchin (D-WV), Yea Rockefeller (D-WV), Yea
Wisconsin: Baldwin (D-WI), Yea Johnson (R-WI), Not Voting
Wyoming: Barrasso (R-WY), Yea Enzi (R-WY), Yea
Vote Summary By Senator Name By Vote Position By Home State

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Education Dept. Helps Leak Students’ Personal Data

 

 

 

 

” States and schools are signing over private data from millions of students to companies and researchers who hope to glean secrets of the human mind.

Nine states have sent dossiers on students —including names, Social Security numbers, hobbies, addresses, test scores, attendance, career goals, and attitudes about school —to a public-private database , according to Reuters. Standardized tests are beginning to incorporate psychological and behavioral assessment. Every state is also building databases to collect and share such information among agencies and companies, and the U.S. Department of Education has recently reinterpreted federal privacy laws so that schools and governments don’t have to tell parents their kids’ information has been shared.

Second, students and their guardians should have full access to their own records, with the ability to correct false information. They also should be informed of and able to opt out of all data-sharing involving their records. Schools need parent consent to give children so much as an aspirin. They should get consent to share a student’s psychological evaluations or test performances.”

 

 

 

Big Companies To Partner With Homeland Security To Scan Some Private Emails/Web Traffic

 

 

” It is nice to know that our privacy is being compromised as part of a massive public/private partnership. The surveillance state just took a big step forward, officially.

We are told that this information will only be used in the most dire of circumstances, but history has shown us that the government becomes less concerned about “circumstances” the longer it has the technology. This should concern everyone. That this had to be done via the executive branch because of popular resistance should concern everyone. That it was done despite this resistance should concern everyone.

(From NBC News)

Under last month’s White House executive order on cybersecurity, the scans will be driven by classified information provided by U.S. intelligence agencies — including data from the National Security Agency (NSA) — on new or especially serious espionage threats and other hacking attempts. U.S. spy chiefs said on March 12 that cyber attacks have supplanted terrorism as the top threat to the country.

The Department of Homeland Security will gather the secret data and pass it to a small group of telecommunication companies and cyber security providers that have employees holding security clearances, government and industry officials said. Those companies will then offer to process email and other Internet transmissions for critical infrastructure customers that choose to participate in the program.”

 

 

 

Not So Strange Bedfellows

Wal-Mart heir funding Obama big time

 

 

 ” Policy-wise, there’s plenty of reason for the Waltons to like Barack Obama:

  1. Wal-Mart endorsed the employer mandate in ObamaCare, which gives Wal-Mart an advantage by crushing smaller competitors.
  2. Wal-Mart has profited from Dodd-Frank, which fixes the price Wal-Mart has to pay banks for processing debit cards.
  3. Wal-Mart has lobbied for and profits from higher minimum wage.
  4. Wal-Mart is a top beneficiary of eminent domain takings, a government power protected by the types of judges Obama appoints.
  5. Big Business generally benefits from Big Government.

So, yes, Mitt Romney is cozy with Big Business and big donors. But don’t pretend Obama is any different.”