Have nothing to do with the [evil] things that people do, things that belong to the darkness. Instead, bring them out to the light... [For] when all things are brought out into the light, then their true nature is clearly revealed...

-Ephesians 5:11-13

Tag Archives: taxpayer

Pew Research: Gap Between Promises and Assets Widens for State Pensions

This article appeared online at TheNewAmerican.com on Monday, April 24, 2017:

A RETIRED COUPLE FROM CALIFORNIA STOP TO FISH ...

After reviewing the investment results for 230 public pension plans for the last two years, Pew reported last Thursday that, despite strong recent stock market performance, the gap between liabilities (promises) and assets for those plans widened by 17 percent, to $1.4 trillion. Put another way, those plans should have nearly $4 trillion in assets to enable them to keep their promises. The latest data shows them with just over $2.5 trillion instead.

Said Greg Mennis, director of the project,

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Trump’s Strange Reversal on Ex-Im Bank: Names One Opposed to It to Run It?

This article appeared online at TheNewAmerican.com on Monday, April 17, 2017:

English: Congressman Justin Amash

Congressman Justin Amash

When Representative Justin Amash (R-Mich.) learned on Friday that President Trump intended to resuscitate the Export-Import Bank by naming two people to its board (it has been limping along with just three out of five board members present), he nailed it, tweeting, “ExIm corporate welfare bank is the symbol of D.C. cronyism. It steals from taxpayers to subsidize big corporations. End ExIm. Drain the Swamp.”

For a while it looked as if the Ex-Im Bank was for all intents and purposes dead. In 2015, the House failed to renew its charter for the first time since 1945. However,

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Is Trump Pulling a Pruitt – Putting an Anti-Ex-Im Exec in Charge of the Bank?

This article was published by The McAlvany Intelligence Advisor on Monday, April 17, 2017:

English: Export-Import Bank of the United Stat...

Many were surprised when President Trump named the EPA’s fiercest enemy – Oklahoma Attorney General Scott Pruitt – to head up the agency. For years Pruitt has raged against the agency for overstepping its bounds and writing rules, mandates, and regulations that negatively impacted the fossil fuel industry. He sued the agency more than a dozen times in the last eight years.

What was Trump thinking?

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Social Security Disability Fraudster Just Tip of the Iceberg

This article appeared online at TheNewAmerican.com on Tuesday, April 11, 2017: 

A former Kentucky attorney pleaded guilty on Monday to filing more than 1,700 fake disability applications under Social Security’s Supplemental Security Income (SSI) program. The complex scheme netted Eric Conn millions in kickbacks while costing SSI an estimated $550 million in phony benefits paid out to unsuspecting beneficiaries.

Conn’s plea bargain accused his co-conspirators, psychologist Alfred Adkins and Social Security Administrative Law Judge David Daugherty along with other unnamed individuals, of working with him in the scam. Conn claimed that the scheme was hatched originally by Daugherty.

The setup was simple:

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Baltimore Mayor Vetoes Minimum-wage Bill After Doing “Research”

This article appeared online at TheNewAmerican.com on Monday, April 3, 2017:

During her election campaign for mayor of Baltimore last fall, Democrat Catherine Pugh (shown below), along with dozens of other Democratic politicians, supported the “Fight for 15” to raise the minimum wage to $15 an hour. Last week, she had the opportunity to fulfill that promise when the Baltimore city council passed a bill doing just that. But, after doing “some research,” Pugh changed her mind and her position, saying instead that “I am vetoing this bill.”

One wonders just what her “research” uncovered that was persuasive enough to cause her to change her mind, go against the grain, veto the bill, and incur the wrath of the progressives on the city council. Perhaps she had a conversation with

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Bank of America Fined Again; Board Likely to Laugh It Off

This article appeared online at TheNewAmerican.com on Wednesday, March 29, 2017:

Photo of Bank of America ATM Machine by Brian ...

Bankruptcy Judge Christopher Klein fined Bank of America $45 million on Thursday for deliberately and intentionally harming a young couple who got caught up the real estate collapse and had to downsize. Erik and Renee Sundquist made a down payment on a smaller home and borrowed the balance from Countrywide Home Loans. When they couldn’t make the payments on that loan, the couple was advised by Bank of America, which owned Countrywide, to default as a precondition for a loan modification in order to lower their payments.

Klein described what happened next in his ruling in Sundquist v. Bank of America as a series of events so fantastic and bizarre as to be nearly incomprehensible:

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How Trump Can Accelerate the Failure of ObamaCare

This article appeared online at TheNewAmerican.com on Monday, March 27, 2017:

The seal of the United States Department of He...

With the withdrawal of a House bill to repeal and replace ObamaCare, Market Watch explored the options the Trump administration has to hasten the collapse of the ACA. ThinkProgress has reported that the process has already started.

House Speaker Paul Ryan, in announcing the withdrawal of the bill on Thursday,  said that ObamaCare would remain in place “for the foreseeable future.” He didn’t define that future.

The government healthcare plan is already fraying around its edges. Premiums are rising far beyond original estimates, partly due to the withdrawal of major health insurers UnitedHealth Group, Humana, and Aetna from offering coverages. And those remaining in the market have only until June 21 to submit their bids for offering coverages starting in November. But without certainty, a stable market and a broader pool made up more of healthy customers than those who are sick, those bids are almost certain to push premiums even higher.

Trump’s head of the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) Tom Price, an opponent of the ACA, has already ordered the ending of the promotion of ObamaCare, which has caused a drop-off of enrollment of 400,000 compared to last year.

In addition,

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ObamaCare is Imploding All by Itself

This article was published by The McAlvany Intelligence Advisor on Monday, March 27, 2017:

The Physician

The best person to ask about ObamaCare is not the patient, but the doctor. He’s the one carrying the burden: trying to help his patients with one hand while trying to manage the requirements of the state with the other. One who knows is Jeffery Barke, M.D., a 54-year-old family practice physician in Newport Beach, California. He not only predicted the collapse of ObamaCare (ACA) but wrote that it was planned that way:

As ObamaCare’s troubles mount, I’ve heard my patients and my peers in healthcare ask: How could the law’s authors not have seen this coming?

 

For my part, I think a different question needs to be asked: What if they did? What if ObamaCare was purposely designed to fail?

 

Every day, it seems like there are a dozen new headlines about the crisis facing ObamaCare. Premiums are rising faster than ever. Meanwhile, health insurance companies are abandoning the law’s exchanges left and right, unable to compete in the top-down, regulation-driven environment created by the law. Less than three years into its implementation, the law has never looked so precarious.

He saw firsthand that ObamaCare never did what it was supposed to do:

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Trump’s “Great, Great Wall” to be Big and Scary

This article appeared online at TheNewAmerican.com on Monday, March 20, 2017:

United States Customs and Border Protection of...

United States Customs and Border Protection officers, fully armed and armored for a counter-terrorism operation.

In his address to Congress earlier this month, President Donald Trump said, “We will soon begin the construction of a great, great wall along our southern border” to “restore integrity and the rule of law at our borders.” Now that the U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) agency has begun issuing RFPs — requests for proposals — the wall is also going to be big and scary: “The wall design shall be physically imposing in height,” according to CBP officials.

It will be at least 18 feet in height, but CBP’s “nominal” goal is more like 30 feet above ground, and another six feet below ground (to discourage tunneling underneath it). It’s also going to be thick, as one of the requirements is that it must take someone at least an hour — and ideally more than four hours — to bore a hole in it large enough to allow him to crawl through it. That, theoretically at least, would allow enough time for border agents to respond to the attempted breach.

Its RFPs will entertain alternatives to the concrete wall many have already envisioned, responding to border agents’ suggestions that it have a “see-through” component,

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Trump Preframes the Budget Conversation with His “Blueprint”

This article was published by The McAlvany Intelligence Advisor on Friday, March 17, 2017: 

After reading Donald Trump’s Art of the Deal, “Peter W.” wrote how “The Donald” preframes a conversation with an opponent: “When he makes an opening bid, it is far away from where his deals end. It is a poker game with high stakes, and it is up to the other to negotiate a better position.”

That is what Trump and his OMB Director Mick Mulvaney offered on Wednesday: the opening bid in the budget conversation to take place later on this year. Mulvaney was very clear about that: “This Blueprint is not the full Federal budget, [but] it does provide lawmakers and the public with a view of the priorities of the President and his Administration.”

It also serves to warn the public – the American taxpayer who is the deeply interested third party in that conversation – that the budget is going to be much larger than the one Obama left his office with in 2017, which was $4.15 trillion.

It’s called “America First – A Budget Blueprint to Make America Great Again” and it’s Trump’s attempt to set the parameters of the conversation with Congress after his full budget is released in late May. The strategy might have worked well for Trump – he brags that he successfully closed more than 100 real estate “deals” during his career – but dealing with 535 members of the House and Senate is, to put it mildly, going to be a different cup of tea.

Said Trump:

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Trump’s “Blueprint” Budget Is a Policy Statement; Real Budget to Follow

This article appeared online at TheNewAmerican.com on Thursday, March 16, 2017:

English: Official portrait of US Rep. Mick Mul...

Mick Mulvaney. Trump’s OMB Director

President Donald Trump’s Office of Management and Budget (OMB) unveiled “America First — A Budget Blueprint to Make America Great Again” on Thursday, noting that the president’s actual budget will be released in May. President Trump and his OMB Director Mick Mulvaney joined in outlining the “blueprint” without disclosing hard numbers, revenue projections, or even an economic outlook to back it up. It was, in other words, a policy statement, with details to follow.

Said Trump:

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Australia’s Second Gun Buyback Likely to Fail

This article appeared online at TheNewAmerican.com on Monday, March 13, 2017:  

In announcing Australia’s new federal gun amnesty program, Justice Minister Michael Keenan told the Sunday Mail last week: “This is the first Australia-wide gun amnesty program since 1996, when the Howard government took action following the devastation of the Port Arthur Massacre.” (above: fountain in Port Arthur) The massacre of 35 people and the wounding of another 23 in late April, 1996 at the popular tourist site in southeastern Australia served as the excuse to implement the country’s National Firearms Agreement (NFA). The NFA turned millions of law-abiding gun owners into criminals with its heavy restrictions, and the amnesty program was designed to remove the now-illegal weaponry from their rightful owners with a mixture of carrot and stick.

Those restrictions included

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Aussies Know When Their Rights Are Being Violated

This article was published by The McAlvany Intelligence Advisor on Monday, March 13, 2017:

Location of Port Arthur, where the majority of...

Location of Port Arthur, where the majority of the shootings occurred

A series of referendums from 1898 to 1900 led to the ratification of Australia’s constitution, which became effective on January 1, 1901. Unfortunately, the idea of adding a Bill of Rights similar to those contained in the United States Constitution was voted down, with the majority holding that the traditional rights of British subjects were sufficient to keep the national government in check. Some rights are included, including the right to trial by jury, the right to just compensation for government’s “acquisition” of private property, the freedom of religion, the freedom of “political” communication, and the right to vote. Missing are explicit guarantees of the freedom of association, the freedom of assembly, and the Second Amendment.

Also missing from the country is the National Rifle Association or anything like the “gun” culture present in the United States.

That’s why, following the ghastly atrocity known as the Port Arthur Massacre in 1996, it was fairly easy for the national government to pass the

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The PBGC is Falling. Where is Superman When He is Needed?

This article was published by The McAlvany Intelligence Advisor on Friday, March 3, 2017:

In the 1978 film Superman, Lois Lane is caught mid-air by Superman who says: “Easy, miss. I’ve got you.” Responds Lois: “You – you’ve got me? Who’s got you?

Concerning government agencies making promises, the answer is always and everlastingly: the U.S. taxpayer.

For example, consider the 42-year-old government agency backing up single-employer and multi-employer pension plans:

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Federal Insurance Agency Backing Union Pensions Facing Crisis Itself

This article appeared online at TheNewAmerican.com on Thursday, March 2, 2017: 

Logo of the United States Pension Benefit Guar...

When Teamsters Local 707’s pension plan ran out of money in February, it sought assistance from the federal Pension Benefit Guaranty Corporation. Said PBGC Director Tom Reeder:

This is a big issue for us. It’s a big issue for Local 707 and it’s a big issue for others in the same situation across the country.

 

We’re projected to run out of money in eight to 10 years. Many union pension plans are projected to run out in 20 years.

The federal insurance agency is now paying out $1.7 million every month to the stranded retirees of Local 707.

707’s problems have been decades in the making.

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Dakota Access Final Tally: 750 Arrested, 24,000 Tons of Trash Left, and $1 Million Cleanup Bill

This article appeared online at TheNewAmerican.com on Wednesday, March 1, 2017:

So much for “environmentalists” really caring about the environment.

The North Dakota Department of Emergency Services (DES) said on Tuesday that a Florida-based clean-up company it hired to clear trash, waste, and debris from the Oceti Sakowin camp protesting the Dakota Access Pipeline has already run up a bill of $1 million after hauling away from the site 24,000 tons of trash, garbage, rotting food, tents, teepees, sleeping bags, dozens of empty propane tanks, human excrement, and several automobiles. They also left behind two dogs and six puppies, apparently abandoned.

When The New American reported a month ago on protesters polluting the environment they allegedly claimed to revere, the amount of time, effort, and money it would take to clear the site was understated.

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Another Way to Fund Trump’s Wall: Interdict Drug Cartels’ Cash Flowing Into Mexico

This article appeared online at TheNewAmerican.com on Tuesday, February 28, 2017:

United States Border Patrol Dodge Ram at a che...

United States Border Patrol Dodge Ram at a checkpoint near Tucson, Arizona.

With the announcement by the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) on Tuesday that sites have already been selected to start building the wall across the country’s southern border came increased concerns about how it was going to be paid for. Said the DHS:

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Trump’s 2018 Budget Won’t Touch Social Security, Medicare

This article appeared online at TheNewAmerican.com on Monday, February 27, 2017:

English: The standard Laffer Curve

The standard Laffer Curve

Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin said on Fox News on Sunday that cuts in entitlement programs — i.e., Social Security and Medicare — won’t appear in the president’s budget: “We are not touching those now. So don’t expect to see that as part of this budget, OK? We are very focused on other aspects and that’s what’s very important to us.”

Trump’s budget for fiscal year 2018 (starting October 1, 2017) is expected to be presented to the House on Monday, March 13, just two weeks away. And there are a lot of moving parts that must be glued into place before then.

Those parts include

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The Restoration of Liberty Begins with Budget Cuts

This article was published by The McAlvany Intelligence Advisor on Monday, February 27, 2017:

English: Anti-United States Internal Revenue S...

For proof, look what’s happened to the IRS. A combination of pique and outrage has caused Congress to cut the agency’s budget each year since 2010, except for a slight uptick last year. As a consequence, it now employs fewer than 80,000 people, down from 94,722 in 2010, with its enforcement arm suffering the most, losing 30 percent of its field agents.

The consequence was predictable.

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Good, Bad News From IRS: Audits Down Again; New Treasury Secretary Wants Larger Budget

This article appeared online at TheNewAmerican.com on Thursday, February 23, 2017: 

Logo of the Internal Revenue Service

Seven years ago the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) audited one out of every 90 individual income tax returns. Last year it was one out of every 119. This year it is expected to be just one out of every 143. And for those who don’t include a Schedule C or other special (i.e., tax shelter, farm income) forms, the audit rate drops even further: one out of every 330.

Even high-income earners (over $1 million a year) can breathe easier, at least for the moment. In 2015, the agency audited nearly 10 out of every 100 of those returns while this year it’ll only be able to audit

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Many of the articles on Light from the Right first appeared on either The New American or the McAlvany Intelligence Advisor.