Posts tagged taxpayers
Obama Family’s African Vacation
Assume the position taxpayers, once again, for the African Vacation.
Crony Phones: Million dollar contracts for corporations to supply “Obama phones” paid for by taxpayers0
Crony Phones: Million dollar contracts for corporations to supply “Obama phones” paid for by taxpayers
James O’Keefe strikes again. He’s the fellow who brought down ACORN with his “pimp” video a few years back. This time he stings the a couple of wireless carriers who supply phones for the “Lifeline” program, often referred to as “Obama phone” program.
The program actually dates back to the Reagan era but has been greatly expanded in recent years.
Lifeline cost taxpayers $2.19 billion in 2012. That money went largely to a few large corporations such as TracFone, owned by Carlos Slim one of the wealthiest (and best connected) men in the world.
And according to O’Keefe at least some of that $2.19 billion made it into the hands of drug dealers.
Whom Does the Beach House Bailout Benefit? Hedge Funds, Venezuelan Expats, Russian Oligarchs
The bailouts have benefited those closest to the fiat money spigots. Those in banking and in government around the world have seen their wealth rocket up thanks to loose money from the central banks. Times have been very good for the connected, and they’re buying mansions hand over fist in South Florida turning that fiat money into little pieces of coconut palm lined paradise.
Now comes a new bailout for our lucky friends who may not now have to pay market rates for insurance premiums. In Florida and many other places this is serious money, which will soon be the responsibility of the US taxpayer.
With Sen. Bill Nelson, D-Fla., expected any day now to reintroduce his proposal to have federal taxpayers backstop the risk of state catastrophe funds, it bears examining just who it is that would benefit from the cheaper property insurance rates his legislation promises.
Proponents of the legislation have floated a study suggesting it would save homeowners some $11.8 billion in premiums. Notably, ClimateWire today reported that one of the study’s authors claims a major hurricane could cost the federal cat fund as much as $138 billion, with little guarantee that those funds would ever be repaid. But taking the estimate for granted that shifting insurance risk onto taxpayers would save someone billions of dollars…just who might that someone be?
Thermometer Cost Taxpayers $643,997.60
Wondering if it’s too hot to go outside at your workplace? Don’t bother checking the thermometer or stepping outside: the Federal government has the answer and, it only cost taxpayers $643,997.60! Josh Peterson of the Daily Caller reported in 2012 about a smartphone app created by OSHA that uses temperature and humidity data to warn workers if it is too hot outside:
“According to OSHA’s website, the “Heat Safety Tool”—available forAndroid, Blackberry and iPhone—“allows workers and supervisors to calculate the heat index for their work site and, based on the heat index, displays a risk level to outdoor workers.” The app also provides “reminders about drinking enough fluids, scheduling rest breaks, planning for and knowing what to do in an emergency.”
A recent Freedom of Information Act request by the free-market oriented Americans for Limited Government revealed that the Labor Department contracts for the development of the “Heat Safety Tool” and related Web 2.0 technologies cost the taxpayer $643,997.60. The contracts were awarded under the American Reinvestment and Recovery Act, also known as the stimulus package.
OSHA’s Heat Safety Tool
Rich Jones, the 23-year-old, Boston-based Android app developer who originally reported on the tool said: “When I first tried the application, it told me that it was currently 140F in Boston. It is also extremely slow, it looks like ****, and it crashes all the time. It is completely horrible in every way. If I had to reproduce it, I’d say that it would take be about 6 hours at the maximum. At my hourly rate of $100, that’s $600.”
The company responsible for developing the app was Eastern Research Group, a Lexington, Massachusetts-based environmental services company that was bought out by AEA Technology in the U.K. in 2010. Basically, Americans’ hard-earned money was being given to a foreign company to create a high tech way of telling the weather. To make matters worse, it doesn’t even work well — iTunes users who ranked the app give it just 2.5 out of 5 stars.
“It is obscene that Obama’s Labor Department wasted hundreds of thousands of taxpayer dollars on a mobile application to alert workers that it is hot, presumably something they would know based upon their being outside,” Rick Manning, director of communication for Americans for Limited Government.
With a tax code that exceeds 72,000 pages in length and consumes more than six billion person hours per year to determine taxpayers’ taxable income, with an IRS that has become a feared law unto itself, and with a government that continues to extract more wealth from every taxpaying American every year, is it any wonder that April 15th is a day of dread in America? Social Security taxes and income taxes have dogged us all since their institution during the last century, and few politicians have been willing to address these ploys for what they are: theft.
Texas Gov. Rick Perry caused a firestorm among big-government types during the Republican presidential primaries last year when he called Social Security a Ponzi scheme. He was right. It’s been a scam from its inception, and it’s still a scam today.
When Social Security was established in 1935, it was intended to provide minimal financial assistance to those too old to work. It was also intended to cause voters to become dependent on Franklin Delano Roosevelt’s Democrats. FDR copied the idea from a system established in Italy by Mussolini. The plan was to have certain workers and their employers make small contributions to a fund that would be held in trust for the workers by the government. At the time, the average life expectancy of Americans was 61 years of age, but Social Security didn’t kick in until age 65. Thus, the system was geared to take money from the average American worker that he would never see returned.
Over time, life expectancy grew and surpassed 65, the so-called trust fund was raided and spent, and the system was paying out more money than it was taking in — just like a Ponzi scheme. FDR called Social Security an insurance policy. In reality, it has become forced savings. However, the custodian of the funds — Congress — has stolen the savings and spent it. And the value of the savings has been diminished by inflation.
Today, the best one can hope to receive from Social Security is dollars with the buying power of 75 cents for every dollar contributed. That makes Social Security worse than a Ponzi scheme. You can get out of a Ponzi investment. You can’t get out of Social Security. Who would stay with a bank that returned only 75 percent of one’s savings?
The Constitution doesn’t permit the feds to steal your money. But steal, the feds do.
At one of last year’s Republican presidential debates, a young man asked the moderator to pose the following question to the candidates: “If I earn a dollar, how much of it am I entitled to keep?” The question was passed to one of the candidates, who punted, and then the moderator changed the topic. Only Congressman Ron Paul gave a serious post-debate answer to the young man’s question: “All of it.”
Every official foundational government document — from the Declaration of Independence to the U.S. Constitution to the oaths that everyone who works for the government takes — indicates that the government exists to work for us. The Declaration even proclaims that the government receives all of its powers from the consent of the governed. If you believe all this, as I do, then just as we don’t have the power to take our neighbor’s property and distribute it against his will, we lack the ability to give that power to the government. Stated differently, just as you lack the moral and legal ability to take my property, you cannot authorize the government to do so.
Here’s an example you’ve heard before. You’re sitting at home at night, and there’s a knock at the door. You open the door, and a guy with a gun pointed at you says: “Give me your money. I want to give it away to the less fortunate.” You think he’s dangerous and crazy, so you call the police. Then you find out he is the police, there to collect your taxes.
The framers of the Constitution understood this. For 150 years, the federal government was run by user fees and sales of government land and assessments to the states for services rendered. It rejected the Hamiltonian view that the feds could take whatever they wanted, and it followed the Jeffersonian first principle that the only moral commercial exchanges are those that are fully voluntary.
This worked well until the progressives took over the government in the first decade of the 20th century. They persuaded enough Americans to cause their state legislatures to ratify the Sixteenth Amendment, which was designed to tax the rich and redistribute wealth. They promised the American public that the income tax would never exceed 3 percent of income and would only apply to the top 3 percent of earners. How wrong — or deceptive — they were.
Yet, the imposition of a federal income tax is more than just taking from those who work and earn and giving to those who don’t. And it is more than just a spigot to fill the federal trough. At its base, it is a terrifying presumption. It presumes that we don’t really own our property. It accepts the Marxist notion that the state owns all the property and the state permits us to keep and use whatever it needs us to have so we won’t riot in the streets. And then it steals and uses whatever it can politically get away with. Do you believe this?
There are only three ways to acquire wealth in a free society. The inheritance model occurs when someone gives you wealth. The economic model occurs when you trade a skill, a talent, an asset, knowledge, sweat, energy or creativity to a willing buyer. And the mafia model occurs when a guy with a gun says: “Give me your money or else.”
Which model does the government use? Why do we put up with this?
Texas is one of the largest and most important construction markets in the country. It’s driving the industry at a time when much of the country is still tenuously recovering from the recession.
But a recent investigation has uncovered hundreds of examples of illegal and hazardous workplace practices at worksites throughout the states.
Twenty-two percent of Texas construction workers report not being paid for their work, and although the majority of workers labor at least 40 hours a week, 52 percent still live in poverty.
One in five workers reported having suffered a work related injury that required medical attention. Texas is ranked the most deadly state to work in construction.
On Tuesday, Workers Defense Project and the Division of Diversity of Community Engagement at the University of Texas, Austin will release the study “Build a Better Texas: Construction Working Conditions in the Lone Star State.”
Payroll fraud or misclassification of workers as independent subcontractors, rather than actual employees, has become a common practice in the industry. Widespread payroll fraud has devastating consequences for honest business owners who struggle to compete with companies that break the law.
And payroll fraud is expensive for taxpayers, costing them $54.5 million in lost unemployment insurance, tax revenue and hundreds of millions more in federal income tax.
This study offers concrete solutions to ensure a safe, healthy, and productive workforce to better build an economically stable and prosperous Texas.
The report will be presented by Fuerza del Valle Workers’ Center — a project of the Rio Grande Valley Equal Voice Network, which is committed to creating a movement of social change through the civic engagement of 25,000 constituents of the network’s participating organizations. Organizations include South Texas Civil Rights Project, La Union del Pueblo Entero, Proyecto Azteca, Mano a Mano Promotoras, Movimiento del Valle Por los Derechos Humanos, Proyecto Juan Diego and others.
By Judy Morris
Here’s a ‘Connecting the Dots Moment’ for Americans to ponder: It’s a well documented fact that Congress wiped out the Social Security Trust Fund over the decades to the tune of at least $2.5 trillion and left a worthless pile of IOU’s, here. It’s also well documented that foreign aid, according to 2007 figures, totaled an astounding $2.3 trillion. How would Americans feel if they knew that the government they elected and trusted plundered their Social Security and that their retirement funds landed in the laps of defense contractors and corrupt foreign officials?
Flushing $2.3 trillion in American tax dollars down the foreign aid toilet, here, is not only an act of grand theft but also a gargantuan welfare program for defense contractors. The $2.3 trillion figure quoted in the link is based on 2007 data and hundreds of billions have been added to the foreign aid tab since 2007. Still, it has been estimated that 2/3 of foreign aid lands right in defense contractor laps.
Foreign aid is one of the biggest scams ever because gobs of American taxdollars end up lost, missing, stolen unaccountable and untraceable. Nobody really knows what happens to unaccountable foreign aid dollars. Our government that disburses the money doesn’t even know or, more likely, refuses to disclose who got the money.
It is thought to have been the biggest international cash airlift of all time, when $12billion in aid was flown by the Bush administration to postwar Iraq.
And now, for the first time, investigators auditing the cash have admitted that more than half of that huge amount may have been stolen when it got there in ‘the largest theft of funds in national history’.
Iraq isn’t the only recipient of massive foreign aid that is riddled with scandal. Although $90 billion in aid has poured into Afghanistan since 2001, here, nobody really knows where that money went and Afghan and US officials are determined to keep it that way.
Afghan President Hamid Karzai is blocking efforts by U.S. officials to locate billions of dollars given to aid Afghanistan’s economy, stymieing efforts to combat money laundering of drug money, corruption and funding terrorists.
Karzai is prohibiting U.S. Treasury agents from accessing the Afghan government’s central bank by allowing and even contributing to “hostile working conditions” for advisers there, according to a new report by the U.S. Inspector General’s Office for Afghanistan Re construction.
Afghanistan is just one of many corrupt nations that are the recipients of tons of US foreign aid and even the NYT chirped in on the corruption in Afghanistan, here. Furthermore it is estimated that Afghanistan will need an additional $6-7 billion in aid over the next 10 years, even if aid dollars are slowing down a bit. Reuters reported that a staggering 90% of Afghanistan’s budget comes from aid, here.
More than 90 percent of Afghanistan’s $17.1 billion national budget comes from foreign donation…
How did Afghanistan survive before the era of BIG aid? Just fine! Heck, it’s heroine trade could comfortably bankroll any nation which, of course, raises the issue of precisely why America is so interested in Afghanistan. It’s widely believed and documented that the CIA, frequently dubbed Cocaine Import Agency, is the biggest drug dealer on the planet, here.
As fiscal and economic woes pile up in America, most Americans remain absolutely clueless as to what is really going on and what their government actually does.
Read more like this at http://judymorrisreport.blogspot.com/
Submitted by legalizeliberty
From: Ed Chenel, A police officer in Australia
Hi all, I thought you all would like to see the real figures from Down Under.
It has now been 12 months since gun owners in Australia were forced by a new law to surrender 640,381 personal firearms to be destroyed by our own government, a program costing Australia taxpayers more than $500 million dollars.
The first year results are now in:
Australia-wide, homicides are up 6.2 percent,
Australia-wide, assaults are up 9.6 percent;
Australia-wide, armed robberies are up 44 percent (yes, 44 percent)!
In the state of Victoria alone, homicides with firearms are now up 300 percent.(Note that while the law-abiding citizens turned them in, the criminals did not, so the criminals still possess their guns!)
While figures over the previous 25 years showed a steady decrease in armed robbery with firearms, this has changed drastically upward in the past 12 months, since the criminals now are guaranteed that their prey is unarmed.
There has also been a dramatic increase in break-ins and assaults of the elderly, while the resident is at home.
Australian politicians are at a loss to explain how public safety has decreased, after such monumental effort and expense was expended in ‘successfully ridding Australian society of guns….’ You won’t see this on the American evening news or hear your governor or members of the State Assembly disseminating this information.
The Australian experience speaks for itself. Guns in the hands of honest citizens save lives and property and, yes, gun-control laws affect only the law-abiding citizens.
Take note Americans, before it’s too late!
Photo added to original post.
Student Loan Racketeering: Congress Critter Introduces a Bill to Make Student Loan Payments a Payroll Tax Deduction1
By Judy Morris
Bloomberg had a very interesting article about a congressional bill that was introduced that would force employers to withhold 15% of an employees’ paycheck to pay for student loan debt.
Congress will consider overhauling debt collection in the $100 billion-a-year U.S. student loan program, replacing it with automatic withdrawals from borrowers’ paychecks tied to their income — a system used in the U.K.
Legislation that Wisconsin Republican Representative Tom Petri plans to introduce as soon as this week would require employers to withhold payments from wages in the same way they do taxes. Payments would be capped at 15 percent of borrowers’ income after basic living expenses.
The bill follows growing concern about the burden of $1 trillion in outstanding student loans, which now exceed credit- card debt.
The above proposal comes on the heels of Obama’s 3/10 overhaul of the student loan program that took government guaranteed student lending away from lenders and replaced the Federal government as the direct lender. However, the banksters were still going to collect heavy fees for administering the program, even if they were no longer collecting the interest on student loans.
Obama’s student loan overhaul was modeled after a European styled socialist program and the NYT was wild about Obama’s new student loan program which is a variation of the Marxist doctrine of “from each according to his ability and to each according to his needs”.
By Judy Morris
The alternate media and blogosphere are buzzing with very disturbing stories about how the government intends to steal/seize private retirement accounts.
A new effort by the Obama administration, Congress, the Treasury Department and labor unions aims to fundamentally alter how Americans plan and save for retirement.
Warnings have been popping up over the last several years about the possibility of re-appropriating the $3.5 Trillion sitting in private retirement and spreading those funds around to Americans who are deemed less fortunate.
This couldn’t possibly happen in America, right? At one time, most Americans also believed heath care mandates that force Americans at the barrel of a gun to surrender portions of their earnings into a universal system for all would never happen. Well, it did.
And now, those who would control and regulate every aspect of our lives are making a new push; one whose efforts will ultimately end in the seizure and redistribution the personal retirement savings of every American who has ever put money into a 401(k) or IRA.
This is no longer in the realm of conspiracy, but rather, public record.
The articles goes on to document what is currently happening, including “A recent hearing sponsored by the Treasury and Labor Departments marked the beginning of the Obama Administration’s effort to nationalize the nation’s pension system and to eliminate private retirement accounts including IRA’s and 401k plans, NSC is warning.”. If this is true, it’s an outright expropriation and theft of all private pensions.