Posts tagged taxpayers

Blount County Chainsaw Massacre

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Blount County Chainsaw Massacre

 

Yes, I know this is what you are thinking, and you are almost correct.
 

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No body parts found along HWY 321 or HWY 411, but an attack on free speech, personal property and free election campaigning by person(s) unknown, at least for now.

It appears that campaign signs posted by Blount County Commission candidate for the 7th District in Friendsville, Tona Monroe, displeased, to say it politely, someone enough to apparently take a chainsaw to the signs to remove the message.
 

4-6-2014 8-02-58 PM 4-6-2014 8-04-14 PM

 

County Commission candidate Monroe stated:

“I painted some signs, just simple hand-painted, nothing fancy, that said ‘Greene wheel tax you,’ and painted a tire on there just to remind the voters of my district that Greene supported the wheel tax,” Monroe said.

Greene was one of 13 commissioners who voted to hold a special election in June 2013 on whether to levy a $35 wheel tax on automobiles to help plug a shortfall in the county schools’ budget. It failed 8,885 to 4,087.

“It went over 3-1 against in the 7th District,” Monroe said. “In Friendsville in particular — 82 percent of voters voted against it. I thought that would be a very good campaign issue to focus on because he seems to be very much out of touch with what the citizens of the 7th District want, which is a strong fiscal conservative. He’s not been that. I will be a strong fiscal conservative who will focus on cutting waste rather than their family budgets.”

The Wheel Tax referendum which Monroe references has been shot down 3 times now, the latest vote last year which the Commission wasted $80,000 for the referendum vote.  Some people may not want this waste of Blount County taxpayer money reminded to the voters.

The Blount County Tax Revolt issued a press release and has offered a $500 reward for information leading to the person who is responsible. Also, they have volunteered to donate 2 more signs for each that have been vandalized.

Media coverage of the event posted in the links below.

WVLT News w/ video

The Daily Times

News Talk 98.7

WVIK radio

Tona Monroe keeps a watchful eye on wasteful spending in support of the Blount County taxpayers with her site Blount County Public Record.

Image credits:

Chainsaw photo

Sign photos
 

Hot Mic Catches Lindsey Graham Offering Help to Democrats to Send Tax Payer Money to Ukraine

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Source: http://www.economicpolicyjournal.com

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Hot Mic Catches Lindsey Graham Offering Help to Democrats to Send Tax Payer Money to Ukraine

 

Secretary of State John Kerry was on Capitol Hill Thursday urging lawmakers to approve an economic aid package to Ukraine. After the hearing, Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-SC) told Kerry, “Hey John, good job. Let me know what I can do to help you with [House Speaker John] Boehner.”

 

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Ron Paul made recent comments on the dangers of being entangled with the Eastern Europe crisis:

We must demand a shift away from a war footing, away from incendiary rhetoric. We are broke and cannot afford to “buy” Ukraine. We certainly cannot afford another war, especially with Russia!

(Via Freedom Outpost)

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Image courtesy of Boians Cho Joo Young at FreeDigitalPhotos.net

“Too Big To Fail” designation of banks makes economic disaster more likely

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Source: http://www.againstcronycapitalism.org

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“Too Big To Fail” designation of banks makes economic disaster more likely

 

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The big banks, which in 2008 nearly went belly-up because they were overleveraged and needed a taxpayer funded bailout in order to survive a reversal in the economic tide, are even bigger today. They pose more risk than they did 5 years ago. Because they have been designated as “too big to fail” the megabanks now enjoy an implicit subsidy courtesy of you and me. Their borrowing costs are lower because we backstop them. Because of the backstop and lower costs bankers are incentivized to take on more risk. Sooner or later this will create major instability as the market mechanism has been distorted and will seek to correct for this distortion.

 

(From Bloomberg.com)
 
Do markets still view the nation’s largest banks as too big to fail? Have regulators failed to eradicate the perception that, when the next crisis comes, the government will again come to the rescue?
 
Given that the largest banks are now even bigger than they were before the last financial crisis, it’s a pressing question. Unfortunately, a careful look at the data suggests the answer is less encouraging than many policy makers think.
 
Expectations of government bailouts create dangerous distortions. When, for example, creditors assume they’ll get rescued in an emergency, they don’t demand higher interest rates from banks that take on bigger risks. This lack of market discipline gives bankers a strong incentive — consciously or not — to engage in behavior that makes disasters more likely. Taxpayers effectively end up subsidizing activity that threatens their own well-being.

Click here for the article.

Image credit: http://www.againstcronycapitalism.org


Nick Sorrentino
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.

 

Millions in tax payer dollars spent on tank no one (including the Army) wants

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Source: http://www.againstcronycapitalism.org

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Millions in tax payer dollars spent on tank no one (including the Army) wants

 

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But it’s built in John Boehner’s district and the defense contractors are generous in their contributions to other members of Congress, so the outdated tank lives – on your dime.

Image credit: http://www.againstcronycapitalism.org

 

Tax Consumers, Taxpayers, and the Cox Box

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Source: https://mises.org

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Tax Consumers, Taxpayers, and the Cox Box

 

6664Years ago I joked that every economist’s highest goal was to have a graph or concept named for him or her. Among the existing ones are the Keynesian Cross Graph, the Edgeworth Box, the Phillip’s Curve, the Laffer Curve, Rothbard’s Law, Buridan’s Ass, Mises’s Butler, Hume’s Specie-Flow Mechanism, Rostow’s Stages of Growth, the Ricardo Effect, Menger’s Law, the Beveridge Curve, and Hayek’s Triangles.

I came up with a way of visually depicting libertarian class analysis in the 1980s but never shared it beyond a friend or two. But now I immodestly present what I have called the Cox Box.

Libertarian class analysis is based on two classes in regard to government: the taxpayers and the tax consumers. It is important to note that libertarian class analysis predates the better known Marxist class analysis of workers and the owners of the means of production (capitalists). Marx published his class analysis in 1848, whereas the libertarian class analysis of J. B. Say and Charles Dunoyer was developed in 1810 and by James Mill in the 1820s and 1830s.

Here is how John Calhoun stated libertarian class analysis in his Disquisition on Government in 1848:

The necessary result … is to divide the community into two great classes: one consisting of those who, in reality, pay the taxes and, of course, bear exclusively the burden of supporting the government; and the other, of those who are recipients of their proceeds through disbursements, who are, in fact, supported by the government; or in fewer words, to divide into tax-payers and tax-consumers. … The effect … is to enrich; and strengthen the one, and impoverish and weaken the other.

So, how to depict the correct libertarian class analysis? Here, I depict it as a box with income levels along the one axis and a division of taxpayers and tax consumers along the other axis wherein half of all income levels are net taxpayers and half are net tax consumers. Figure 1 represents a hypothetical economy in which net tax consumption does not vary by income level:

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Figure 1: A neutral Cox Box.

We know, however, that tax consumption can very significantly at various income levels. What are some of the specific examples of the ways one is a tax consumer in the modern US? Among the higher incomes these transfers include farm subsidies, mortgage guarantees, bank bailouts, overseas marketing subsidies, and the recent Quantitative Easing to pump up the stock market (to name only a few of the many). At the lower income levels, these transfers include the SNAP program, rent subsidies, unemployment benefits, and Medicaid (again, to name only a few of the many).

Conservatives believe the appropriate depiction is reflected in Figure 2, which features an economy in which higher income earners pay the bulk of all taxes (not just income taxes) while receiving little in return, and the welfare-enabled lower income earners pay very little of all taxes (not just income taxes) while receiving much in unearned payments:

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Figure 2: The conservative view.

Conservatives, however, tend to overlook the money that so many higher-income earners receive from their crony capitalist connections within government. So, firms such as General Motors do earn their revenues from willing customers but also have enjoyed taxpayer-financed bailouts and protection from their potential competitors through various regulations.

Left liberals believe that the appropriate depiction is best explained in Figure 3, as they largely believe that higher income earners don’t pay their “fair share” of all taxes (not just income taxes) while receiving vast benefits in return. Meanwhile, the welfare recipients pay substantial taxes (not just income taxes), while receiving a pittance in return compared to their better-connected higher-income earners. Higher-income earners such as General Motors stockholders and executives are subsidized with resources not bestowed on lower-income earners:

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Figure 3: The left-liberal view.

Libertarians in contrast favor Figure 4 with higher-income earners using their political connections to arrange money flows to themselves. At the same time, ideological pressures result in a political buying off of the desperate lower income groups who have been shut out of opportunities to better their circumstances via licensing costs, minimum wages, regulations and more.

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Figure 4: The libertarian view of tax consumers.

Libertarians in particular see a troubling drift over time to the left of the diagram as net taxpayers are increasingly outnumbered by net tax consumers. As Mises pointed out in Bureaucracy, this will eventually lead to the destruction of the economic system.

Cox Box analysis will reveal a different mix of taxpayers and consumers at different income and wealth levels in different societies, times, and places. In the modern United States, however, we find an economy in which those at the income extremes appear to most easily take advantage of taxpayer-funded benefits while those at the middle income levels are increasingly called upon to finance the expenditures. Moreover, libertarians see the country as being transformed from a society of free individuals voluntarily interacting with one another into a heavily-politicized society wherein the government is involved — by various means — in virtually every facet of life.

 


About the Author

Jim Cox
Jim Cox is an associate professor of economics and political science at Georgis Perimeter College and the author of The Concise Guide to Economics, Minimum Wage, Maximum Damage, and most recently, The Haiku Economist.

 

Image credit: https://mises.org

 

Court rejects Obama administration’s secrecy for food stamp numbers

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Source: http://www.againstcronycapitalism.org

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Court rejects Obama administration’s secrecy for food stamp numbers

 

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The public has had no idea how much money retailers have been making off of food stamps. But a judge has ruled that this information must now be made available.

How much business stores do via the food stamp program has long remained secret at government insistence. We bet that Walmart and similar retailers would prefer to keep this information quiet also. Many people might not like that their favorite big box store makes millions via a program which is funded by taxpayers.

Some people might even wonder who the food stamp program most benefits.

As we have said in the past, no one in this country should go hungry, especially children. But the food stamp program in the US is full of abuse at all levels..

Click here for the article.

Image credit: http://www.againstcronycapitalism.org

 

Prison Inc.

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Source: http://www.zerohedge.com

By Tyler Durden

Prison Inc.

 

There are 2.3 million people living behind bars in the United States and the prison system cost the federal government $55 billion every year. Between 1990 and 2010, the number of privately operated prisons in the US increased 1600%… it seems crime does pay, but for whom is the question?

 

 

John Stossel – Stop Subsidizing The Rich (Video)

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Source: http://www.againstcronycapitalism.org

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John Stossel – Stop Subsidizing The Rich (Video)

 

Taxpayers will be the ones to rebuild this house. (Which should never have been built in the first place.)

Taxpayers will be the ones to rebuild this house. (Which should never have been built in the first place.)

 

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Pentagon ‘big winner’ in $1T omnibus bill (Defense contractors too, Taxpayers lose)

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Source: http://www.againstcronycapitalism.org

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Pentagon ‘big winner’ in $1T omnibus bill (Defense contractors too, Taxpayers lose)

 

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Everyone is dancing around up in DC today. The defense contractors, the Pentagon, the members of Congress with boondoggle weapon system projects in their districts. (Which is to say nearly every member of Congress.) Happy days are hear again! Down with the sequester say the Republicans.

Small government? Are you kidding? Look at us. We LOVE to spend the taxpayer’s money. Just as much as the Democrats. We just forced the taxpayers to buy a whole bunch of Abrams tanks. (Which happen to be made in Speaker Boehner’s district.) Abrams tanks! Can you believe it? We have no idea where we will use these tanks mind you. They make no sense at all frankly. But hey, here comes the pork America.

And guess what? This is the best part. You know who’s going to pay for these tanks engineered to fight on the plains of Poland? You’re kids! They are the ones who will pay for it! This is a sweet deal America. – I mean not for the kids, but what do they know?

Money for the military is how the GOP plays the same games it accuses the Democrats of playing. The military is the vehicle by which your tax dollars are disseminated to favored groups of people. It’s how the GOP gives out goodies (payed for by you.)

The tired argument is that defense is at least an enumerated power in the Constitution, in contrast with say, food stamps. But it is DEFENSE which is enumerated, not a world wide global police and expeditionary force.

We have no business with a military as large as we have now. And I say this as the son of a military officer and one who has great respect for the military. How are we ever going to get our house in order if the supposedly small government inclined in Congress keep appropriating our tax dollars for a military which is far too large already?

The truth is anyone who says that they favor small government but cheers increased spending on the military (at this point for sure) should ask themselves if they are actually for small government at all. The Pentagon is big big big government.

The lobbyists are dancing a jig in Gucci Gulch today. Is that what you want?

(From The Hill)
 
“The big winner is the Defense Department. They should be breaking out champagne in the Pentagon,” said Gordon Adams, a defense budget expert and former Clinton official.
 
The omnibus spending bill provides about $497 billion for the Defense Department in 2014 — about the same as in 2013. But the Pentagon also received $85.2 billion in overseas contingency operations (OCO) for the war in Afghanistan, roughly $5 billion more than it requested for 2014.
 
Before last month’s budget deal that relieved $22.4 billion in sequestration cuts, the 2014 defense budget would have been around $475 billion.
 
The OCO funding, which Adams said is the “cherry on top of the dessert,”

Click here for the article.

Image credit: http://www.againstcronycapitalism.org


Nick Sorrentino
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.

 

Boeing’s crony capitalism in America’s heartland

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Source: http://www.againstcronycapitalism.org

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Boeing’s crony capitalism in America’s heartland

 

Boeing Business Jet Family K63803

 

Everywhere Boeing goes subsidies follow. Without fail. In defense, in commercial aircraft, it doesn’t matter. It almost appears that subsidies are built fundamentally into Boeing’s business plan.

 

Actually, subsidies are built fundamentally into Boeing’s business plan.

The airline manufacturer even has its own taxpayer subsidized bank in the Export Import Bank of the United States. Sweet!

Not sweet for the taxpayers, but hey who cares about them?

(From The American Spectator)
 
Nixon is urging Missouri lawmakers to adopt a special tax package that would pay Boeing up to $75,000 per job per year — based on annual subsidies of $150 million spread over a minimum requirement of 2,000 jobs. No doubt that will strike some observers as money well spent — given much higher subsidy costs in other areas, such as solar energy, where federal subsidies have exceeded $350,000 per job.
 
Nevertheless, there are good reasons for being strongly opposed to the Boeing package.

Click here for the article.

Image credit: http://www.againstcronycapitalism.org


Nick Sorrentino
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.

 

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