Posts tagged taxpayer
Government Motors cuts the price of a new Volt
According to the Mackinac Center at one point in 2011 every Volt one saw on the road had over $200,000 taxpayer dollars in it. Now that they’ve made a few more we are confident that the number is lower, thank goodness. However it does still have plenty of subsidy in it that one can be sure of.
The hope is that cutting the price of the Volt by $5,000 will bring more buyers to the showroom. With the $7500 tax credit that’s a good bit of dough.
I am a fan of “alternative energies.” There are places where wind, solar, geothermal, and even algae power make sense from a market perspective. But the Volt was almost Soviet style social planning in one respect and just good old crony capitalism in another respect. For all the good the car can do in reducing emissions, etc., it is far outweighed by the bad–that is to say the mountains of taxpayer money–that went into the vehicle.
But hey, they are on sale. So maybe now is the time to buy. Why purchase a masterfully designed, and very fuel efficient BMW 3 Series when you can buy a Chevy from Government Motors?
(From The Detroit News)
General Motors Co. is slashing the price of its plug-in hybrid Chevrolet Volt by $5,000, making it the latest automaker to lower prices of electric vehicles in the face of lagging consumer demand.
The Detroit-based automaker said it will cut the base price 12.5 percent, from $39,995 to $34,995. The price cut comes just weeks after the automaker announced a $5,000 give-back on the 2012 Volt and $4,000 on the 2013 model.
The first Volt, a 2010 model, cost $41,000.
Click here for the article.
Image credit: http://www.againstcronycapitalism.org
Posted by Judy Morris
Detroit Red Wings Get New $400 Million Taxpayer-Financed Stadium While the City Goes Bankrupt
Well, you know, I mean, I think that Detroit built a new baseball stadium, it built a new football stadium, and lo and behold, here we are a few years later and Detroit is still going into bankruptcy.
Read the rest at Therealnews.com, here.
IRS Execs “Commute” via plane, Charge taxpayers for flights (3 over $100K last year)
One would think that to be an executive at the IRS one would at the very least have to reside generally in the Washington DC region. But not so. Some top IRS brass live in places such as Dallas, Atlanta, and Minneapolis. These guys must be pretty indispensable because it’s costing taxpayers hundreds of thousands of dollars to have them fly in.
Remember though, that travel is taxable.
In other words, they would fly weekly to and from Washington, D.C. by plane, and then bill the taxpayer for that travel and their extended stay in D.C. – and it is not a temporary situation, but has been going on for years.
One IRS official, labeled “Executive B” in the report, traveled to Washington, D.C. a total of 282 days in Fiscal Year 2012, claiming almost $127,000 in travel costs. (That’s $450/day if you do the math.)
In FY 2011, “Executive B” traveled to Washington 238 days, with total travel costs of almost $116,000.
Image credit: http://www.againstcronycapitalism.org
About Nick Sorrentino
Nick Sorrentino is the co-founder and editor of AgainstCronyCapitalism.org. A political and communications consultant with clients across the political spectrum, he lives just outside of Washington DC where he can keep an eye on Leviathan.
Lawmakers and aides leaving Capitol Hill because they will be forced into Obamacare
Currently congresspeople and their staffs have 75% of their premiums paid for by the taxpayer. The plans they enjoy are also top notch. Top top notch.
But because of the way Obamacare was written, the law we needed to pass before we knew what was in it, lawmakers and their aides are about to be thrown into the vortex of the Obamacare healthcare “exchanges.” And guess what? They don’t wan’t to go down the hole.
Now, it’s perfectly OK for the average American to deal with this nightmare.
House Democratic leadership says the issue must be resolved.
“The leadership has assured members that fixing this issue is a top priority,” said one Democratic leadership aide. “This issue must be fixed by administrative action in order that the flawed Grassley Amendment’s spirit is honored and all staff and members are treated the same.”
It could be politically difficult to change this provision. The provision was put in the bill in the first place on the theory that if Congress was going to make the country live under the provisions of Obamacare, the members and staff should have to as well.
But for the members of the House and Senate who voted for the colossal mistake which is Obamacare, or as I like to call it “Obama’s Iraq,” the “Affordable Care Act” is a burden they’d just assume not deal with. They are federal employees after all. A special imperial class.
Rep. John Larson, a Connecticut Democrat in leadership when the law passed, said he thinks the problem will be resolved.
“If not, I think we should begin an immediate amicus brief to say, ‘Listen this is simply not fair to these employees,’” Larson told POLITICO. “They are federal employees.”
Good enough for you. Not good enough for them.
The USPS is a Soviet nightmare. Want to rent a P.O. box? Be prepared to fill out an extensive and invasive application form and prove that everything on it is accurate.
People hate the USPS so much they look for any possible alternative. Which is one reason they lose a ton of money. Then come crying to the taxpayer to bail them out.
Just last month the USPS told us they lost $1.9 billion in the second quarter of the year. The Postal Service says it is in desperate need of legislation to help make them “more competitive.” Only government action can make them competitive!
“‘To return the Postal Service to solvency requires a comprehensive approach, which is reflected in our updated Five-Year Business Plan,’ said Postmaster General and CEO Patrick Donahoe.”
Five year plan? Where have we heard that before? Oh yes…
So now we hear that the same USPS that cannot operate without massive financial losses — even with a monopoly on first class mail delivery — somehow has the resources to photograph the front and back of each piece of mail processed!
They cannot deliver our mail properly, cannot operate at a profit, cannot provide anything resembling customer service beyond the 1950s East Europe model, yet somehow they have unlimited resources to play big brother with all our postal communications.
Image added to original article.
By Ron Paul
Iraq Collapse Shows Bankruptcy of Interventionism
May was Iraq’s deadliest month in nearly five years, with more than 1,000 dead – both civilians and security personnel — in a rash of bombings, shootings and other violence. As we read each day of new horrors in Iraq, it becomes more obvious that the US invasion delivered none of the promised peace or stability that proponents of the attack promised.
Millions live in constant fear, refugees do not return home, and the economy is destroyed. The Christian community, some 1.2 million persons before 2003, has been nearly wiped off the Iraqi map. Other minorities have likewise disappeared. Making matters worse, US support for the Syrian rebels next door has drawn the Shi’ite-led Iraqi government into the spreading regional unrest and breathed new life into extremist elements.
The invasion of Iraq opened the door to Al-Qaeda in Iraq, which did not exist beforehand, while simultaneously strengthening the hand of Iran in the region. Were the “experts” who planned for and advocated the US attack really this incompetent?
Ryan Crocker, who was US Ambassador to Iraq from 2007-2009, still speaks of the Iraqi “surge” as a great reconciliation between Sunni and Shi’ite in Iraq. He wrote recently that “[t]hough the United States has withdrawn its troops from Iraq, it retains significant leverage there. Iraqi forces were equipped and trained by Americans, and the country’s leaders need and expect our help.” He seems alarmingly out of touch with reality.
It is clear now that the “surge” and the “Iraqi Awakening” were just myths promoted by those desperate to put a positive spin on the US invasion, which the late General William Odom once called, “the greatest strategic disaster in American history.” Aircraft were loaded with $100 dollar bills to pay each side to temporarily stop killing US troops and each other, but the payoff provided a mere temporary break. Shouldn’t the measure of success of a particular policy be whether it actually produces sustained positive results?
Now we see radical fighters who once shot at US troops in Iraq have spilled into Syria, where they ironically find their cause supported by the US government! Some of these fighters are even greeted by visiting US senators.
The US intervention in Iraq has created ever more problems. That is clear. The foreign policy “experts” who urged the US attack on Iraq now claim that the disaster they created can only be solved with more interventionism! Imagine a medical doctor noting that a particular medication is killing his patient, but to combat the side effect he orders an increase in dosage of the same medicine. Like this doctor, the US foreign policy establishment is guilty of malpractice. And, I might add, this is just what the Fed does with monetary policy.
From Iraq to Libya to Mali to Syria to Afghanistan, US interventions have an unbroken record of making matters far worse. Yet regardless of the disasters produced, for the interventionists a more aggressive US foreign policy is the only policy they offer.
We must learn the appropriate lessons from the disaster of Iraq. We cannot continue to invade countries, install puppet governments, build new nations, create centrally-planned economies, engage in social engineering, and force democracy at the barrel of a gun. The rest of the world is tired of US interventionism and the US taxpayer is tired of footing the bill for US interventionism. It is up to all of us to make it very clear to the foreign policy establishment and the powers that be that we have had enough and will no longer tolerate empire-building. We should be more confident in ourselves and stop acting like an insecure bully.
Another Oligarch Wrist Slap: Citigroup Settles in Secret on Housing Fraud Charges
Guess what just happened? In case you forgot, the Federal Housing Finance Agency (FHFA) had previously accused Citigroup of violating securities laws and making misrepresentations of billions of mortgage bonds. Unsurprisingly, Citigroup settled, which is just a euphemism for an “oligarch wrist slap.” What’s really disturbing is that the settlement amount will remain a secret, which takes cronyism to yet another despicable level. After all, take a look at the man who runs the Treasury Department. From Bloomberg:
The conservator for Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac was eager for publicity in September 2011 when it sued 17 financial institutions, accusing them of ripping off the two government-backed housing financiers. It isn’t so enthusiastic anymore.
This week the U.S. Federal Housing Finance Agency told a federal judge it had settled its case against Citigroup Inc. The agency won’t say how much money Citigroup is paying. Neither will Citigroup, which survived the financial crisis only because it got multiple taxpayer bailouts. The parties agreed to keep the terms confidential. The government has decided this is none of the public’s business.
The agency had accused Citigroup of violating securities laws and making misrepresentations about $3.5 billion of mortgage bonds that it sold to Fannie and Freddie during the housing bubble, before they were seized by the government. This is the second such lawsuit to be resolved so far. In January, the agency dropped its suit against General Electric Co. after reaching a deal over mortgage bonds sold to Freddie Mac. In that case, too, the terms weren’t disclosed.
This should make every American’s blood boil. The government is devoting taxpayer resources to pursue these claims in court. The public is entitled to know the results. It’s that simple.
How well did the government and its lawyers do their jobs? There’s no way to know, because they are denying us the information we need to draw informed conclusions.
Let me guess, it’s a matter of “national security.” After all, terrorists might get us if we learn the truth about our fraudulent financial system.
Full article here.
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More than $400,000 in taxpayer money wasted so far in November
Officials throughout Tennessee have wasted or misused more than $400,000 of taxpayer money, according to newly released reports that the State Comptroller’s Office released during the first half of November.
One county executive’s bookkeeper, for instance, withdrew taxpayer money and tried to cover up her actions. In another instance, two employees of another county stole scrap metal and other taxpayer-subsidized equipment.
In other instances, officials in various counties neglected to place competitive bids on purchases exceeding $10,000.
- The county mayor submitted two fraud-reporting forms to the state Comptroller’s Office in August related to four thefts that occurred at the Highway 113 convenience center this past summer. These thefts were reported to the Hawkins County Sheriff’s Department, and incident reports were completed. Approximately $600 worth of scrap metal, including chairs, lawn and garden equipment, and batteries, plus a surveillance camera were removed from the convenience center. In one instance, an employee resigned and was not charged. In the other three instances, a former employee was charged with three counts of burglary and one count of theft under $500. The former employee pled guilty to the burglary and theft charges in September and was ordered to pay $60 in restitution.
- The School Maintenance Department purchased three used vehicles for $9,999 each without obtaining formal bids. Three separate purchase orders were issued for these vehicles in August 2011, and three separate checks were written for payments in September 2011, to the same dealership, apparently in an attempt to circumvent the county’s purchasing requirements. It should be noted that based on a review of subsequent minutes, the Board of Education approved the purchase of two additional vehicles in July 2012 and August 2012 from the same dealership for $9,998 and $9,990.
- In March the school nutrition director informed auditors of suspected irregularities by the cafeteria manager. Several parents had expressed concerns about their child’s meal patterns because, in some instances, student accounts reflected no activity. Parents can subscribe to an online payment and monitoring program that allows parents to electronically deposit funds into their child’s account and to monitor their child’s eating and spending practices. The cafeteria manager admitted later that month to taking cafeteria funds and was placed on leave without pay status pending an investigation. The cafeteria manager’s employment was terminated in June. The cafeteria manager pled guilty in October to theft under $500, received one year of probation, and was fined $100.
The national debt has now increased by more than $64,000 per federal taxpayer since Barack Obama was inaugurated president.
At the close of business on Jan. 20, 2009, according to the U.S. Treasury, the total debt of the federal government was $10,626,877,048,913.08. By the close of business on July 10, 2012, that debt had climbed to $15,885,854,755,351.47—an increase of $5,258,977,706,438.39.
In “Statistics of Income—2009 Individual Income Tax Returns,” which was published this year and is the Internal Revenue Service’s most recent statistical report on individual income tax data, the IRS reported that there were 81,890,189 tax returns filed in 2009 that reported taxable income.
If each of these 81,890,189 federal taxpayers were given responsibility for paying off an equal share of the new federal debt added since Obama was inaugurated, they would each need to pay about $64,219.88.
If each of these 81,890,189 federal taxpayers were given responsibility for paying off an equal share of the entire federal debt of $15,885,854,755,351.47, they would each need to pay about $193,989.72
By Rand Clifford
Sense those hooves pounding around the world?
Little surprise that these four bedfellows have in their reins the fate of humanity, even life on Earth. Profit and conquest are all that matter; there is no such thing as enough, only, more.
King Coal’s aerosols leave hardly a place on Earth free from coal-fired power plant mercury pollution. Even fish in the most “pristine” waters are all tagged by coal. The majestic bluefin tuna, world’s most valuable fish—high in the food chain guarantees high mercury. Pacific bluefin tuna…an ultimate posterfish for the biosphere? Fished to the brink of oblivion, survivors radioactive.
Fukushima is a volcano of radioactivity in the most seismic region on Earth; fresh tremors promise eruptions setting new standards for the term, “cataclysmic”. We really are pushing into new frontiers, where numbers quantifying the menace at Fukushima seem more suited for cosmology.
Latest word from corporate mouthpieces of the elite: “Ssshhhhh. Don’t worry, be happy.”
Mix in the perpetual debt machine of Rothschild-controlled central banking (Bankula), and if the biosphere functions long enough, inevitably, Bankula will own everything from the ionosphere to the Mariana trench. The whole planet. It’s all been set up that way, plans laid long ago, executed over centuries.