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

Teamsters’ Pension Plans Seek Massive Cuts to Retirees to Stay Solvent

This article appeared online at TheNewAmerican.com on Monday, January 2, 2017:

Logo of the United States Pension Benefit Guar...

The Central States Teamsters pension plan, covering more than 400,000 participants, expects to receive permission shortly from the Treasury Department to cut benefits to those participants, possibly by as much as 30 percent. At the end of 2014 the plan had $35 billion in liabilities (future promises to participants as they retire) compared to less than $18 billion on hand to pay them.

Right behind Central States was the New York State Teamsters Conference Pension and Retirement Fund, which is also in trouble. Owing nearly $3 billion to its 35,000 plan participants, it has less than $1.3 billion to meet this obligation. Its plan, in its request to the Treasury Department, spelled out just how great the cuts would be:

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LOL Illinois: Corporate Group Works to Keep State From Becoming a Laughingstock

This article appeared online at TheNewAmerican.com on Wednesday, December 28, 2016:  

English: 1987 Illinois license plate

The name of the group LOL Illinois can taken two ways: Land of Lincoln, or Laughing Out Loud. As Scott Santi, chairman of Illinois Tool Works, which employs 48,000 workers around the world, noted:

There’s a crisis of confidence in terms of a plan to address some pretty significant structural problems in the state. It’s challenging for Illinois to be competitive given the uncertainty around the fiscal crisis.

“Crisis of confidence”? “Challenging”? “Uncertainty”? Illinois was headed into oblivion until Bruce Rauner, the first Republican governor in 12 years, faced reality.

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Trump is Taking Al Capone’s Advice

This article was published by The McAlvany Intelligence Advisor on Friday, December 23, 2016:  

Cover of "The Untouchables (Special Colle...

At the opening of the film The Untouchables, released in 1987, mobster Al Capone is sitting in a barber’s chair, surrounded by his associates and members of the press. He is saying that he is just an honest businessman, meeting the needs and wants of his customers. He then says: “A smile will get you pretty far … but a smile and a gun will get you farther.”

Trump’s “gun” is becoming increasingly obvious:

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Trump Persuades Boeing to Cut Cost of New Air Force One

This article appeared online at TheNewAmerican.com on Thursday, December 22, 2016:  

English: Boeing Plant in Wichita, Kansas. Avia...

Boeing Plant in Wichita, Kansas.

Following a one-on-one meeting with Boeing’s CEO, Dennis Mullenburg, on Wednesday over Trump’s concerns that the new Air Force One aircraft were costing too much, Mullenburg said: “We’re going to get it done for less than [the $4 billion price tag], and we’re committed to working together to make sure that happens.”

The deal, hammered out at Donald Trump’s Mar-a-Lago resort in Palm Beach, Florida, revealed much about the paradigm shift taking place even before Trump is inaugurated. First,

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Large Pension Plans Adjusting Their Targets Downward

This article appeared online at TheNewAmerican.com on Wednesday, December 21, 2016:  

English: Jerry Brown's official picture as Att...

California Governor Jerry Brown

Heading into negotiations this past weekend between the California governor’s office, teachers’ unions, and pension plan trustees managing the California Public Employees’ Retirement System (CalPERS), Governor Jerry Brown spoke the truth: “There’s no doubt CalPERS needs to start aligning its rate of return expectations with reality.”

Coming out of the meeting, the gap between the plan’s target rate of return and reality remained immense.

The last time CalPERS faced reality and flinched was in 2012 when

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There is No “Permanent” Fix for Social Security

This article was published by The McAlvany Intelligence Advisor on Monday, December 12, 2016: 

Social Security Poster: old man

Social Security Poster:

There’s no doubt that Texas Representative Sam Johnson means well. He and his constituents are concerned about their financial futures and about the viability of Social Security as an important part of those futures. So on Thursday he offered his plan “to permanently save Social Security.” He calls it the “Social Security Reform Act.”

The plan doesn’t deserve a close look.

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Trump’s Plans to Cut Government Coming Into Focus

This article appeared online at TheNewAmerican.com on Wednesday, December 7, 2016:  

English: , member of the

With the help of Representative Jason Chaffetz (R-Utah – shown)), the chairman of the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee, President-elect Donald Trump is narrowing his focus on just how, starting on his first day in office, he plans to start cutting government.

Trump made many promises on the campaign trail, many of them glittering generalities:

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Donald Trump Officially Names Ben Carson as Head of HUD

This article appeared online at TheNewAmerican.com on Monday, December 5, 2016:  

As expected, on Monday President-elect Donald Trump nominated retired neurosurgeon Ben Carson to head the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD, shown), stating:

I am thrilled to nominate Dr. Ben Carson as our next Secretary of the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development. Ben Carson has a brilliant mind and is passionate about strengthening communities and families within those communities.

Armstrong Williams, a Carson confidant, said the nomination is a perfect fit for the nominee: “HUD is a place that has an impact on something that Dr. Carson cares tremendously about: the inner city and urban America. Dr. Carson really has a passion for those issues where [he] could really make a difference.”

Others weren’t so “thrilled” with the nomination.

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Illinois Governor Vetoes Chicago Bailout Bill

This article appeared online at TheNewAmerican.com on Monday, December 5, 2016:  

English: Source: http://www.chicagob2b.net/lin...

Illinois Governor Bruce Rauner vetoed a bill on December 1 that would have provided a $215 million bailout of the Chicago public schools. So certain were school officials that he would sign it — allowing them to make a past-due payment to the Chicago Teachers’ Pension Fund — that they made it a part of their budget for next year.

The original bill passed by Democrat supermajorities in both houses was for $700 million, but during negotiations Rauner, a Republican, agreed to $215 million instead, in exchange for a promise that the Democrats would institute real pension reform. Once the bill hit Rauner’s desk, however, all deals were off: Give us the money, said the Democrats, and forget pension reform.

Rauner’s veto message is instructive in several regards.

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Chicago Dreaming

This article was published by The McAlvany Intelligence Advisor on Monday, December 5, 2016:  

Chicago Public School Officials were so sure that they would get another bailout from the state that they actually put it into next years budget. The city is behind on making a $730 million pension payment due its teachers pension plan, and the $215 million they were expecting from the state would allow them to make it.

The bill that passed the state senate unanimously and the house overwhelmingly was headed for Governor Bruce Rauners desk for signing until Rauner (pictured) learned that the Democratic leadership had no intention of keeping their promise to institute significant pension reform in order to get the bailout.

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Trump’s Treasury Secretary Nominee Wants to Sell Fannie Mae, Freddie Mac

This article appeared online at TheNewAmerican.com on Thursday, December 1, 2016:  

English: The Colonial Revival headquarters of ...

The Colonial Revival headquarters of Fannie Mae

In an interview on FOX Business Network’s Mornings With Maria on Wednesday, Donald Trump’s nominee for treasury secretary, Steve Mnuchin, said one of Trump’s “top 10” priorities was to sell government-sponsored mortgage giants Federal National Mortgage Association (FNMA) and Federal Home Loan Mortgage Corporation (FHLMC). Referred to colloquially as Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac respectively, Mnuchin told Maria:

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Ben Carson to Head HUD?

This article appeared online at TheNewAmerican.com on Wednesday, November 23, 2016:  

Cover of "Gifted Hands: The Ben Carson St...

On Wednesday morning Dr. Ben Carson, the gifted and now-retired neurosurgeon at Johns Hopkins Hospital, posted on his Facebook page that an “announcement was forthcoming.” The day before he’d interviewed with Donald Trump’s team about becoming the secretary of the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD). Carson added: “After serious discussions with the Trump transition team, I feel that I can make a significant contribution, particularly to making our inner cities great for everyone. We have much work to do in strengthening every aspect of our nation and ensuring that both our physical infrastructure and our spiritual infrastructure are solid.”

Carson is a Seventh Day Adventist, a young-earth creationist, and scoffs at the idea that God created the earth with a Big Bang. He has challenged evolutionists to debate the matter but there are no records of any such debates taking place.

Dr. Carson is best known

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The Tax Foundation’s Big Surprise: Trump’s Tax Plan is Better Than Hillary’s!

This article was published by The McAlvany Intelligence Advisor on Friday, October 21, 2016:  

English: The standard Laffer Curve

The standard Laffer Curve

The Tax Foundation, founded nearly 80 years ago, considers itself non-partisan, guided by what it calls “the principles of sound tax policy, simplicity, transparency, neutrality, stability, no retroactivity, broad [tax] bases and low [tax] rates.” It has steadfastly opposed tax increases of any kind: income, corporate, or excise. Especially annoying are tax “preferences” (i.e., subsidies) for the housing industry and tax credits for certain constituencies (which the Foundation calls “picking winners and losers”).

So it’s no surprise that in its study of Trump’s and Clinton’s so-called “tax plans” the Foundation concluded that Trump’s was vastly superior to Hillary’s:

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Tax Foundation Rates Tax Plans of Trump and Clinton: Trump’s Plan Wins

This article appeared online at TheNewAmerican.com on Thursday, October 20, 2016:

Tax Foundation

Tax Foundation (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Analysis by the Tax Foundation of all that is currently known about the tax plans proposed by presidential candidates Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton concludes that, if enacted, Clinton’s plan would expand government at the expense of a shrinking economy. On the other hand, Trump’s plan would grow the economy, shrink government’s revenues, raise wages, and expand employment.

But it’s not tax “reform,” claims the study’s author, Kyle Pomerleau,

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Social Security to Announce Tiny Increase in Benefits for Next Year

This article appeared online at TheNewAmerican.com on Tuesday, October 11, 2016:  

Seal of the United States Social Security Admi...

Next Tuesday the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) will announce Social Security’s COLA (Cost of Living Adjustment) for 2017. It is widely anticipated to be between nothing and $3 a month for the average beneficiary.

But Medicare premiums (retirees are often expected to pay a monthly fee for coverage) for seniors receiving Social Security retirement benefits are expected to jump nearly $30 a month. That premium increase would reduce the average retirement benefit by about $25 a month, except that Congress had inserted a “hold harmless” provision into Medicare law. Instead, the premium increase will be funded by Medicare, thereby hastening the day when that part of Social Security runs out of money.

The statistics reflective of the current gradual liquidation of Social Security’s so-called Trust Fund are familiar to most recipients:

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Brazil’s Former President Charged in Petrobras Scandal

This article appeared online at TheNewAmerican.com on Thursday, September 15, 2016:  

Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva, 35th President of t...

Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva – Lula

Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva, popularly known simply as Lula, was formally and publicly charged by federal prosecutor Deltan Dallagriol with heading up a massive money-laundering and political-kickback scheme dating back to at least 2005. Lula and his wife, Marisa Leticia, were charged in a public presentation Wednesday carried live on Brazil’s main news stations, with flow charts showing the network of politicians, corporate executives, and Petrobras employees being linked directly or indirectly to Lula.

Said Dallagriol:

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The Coming Puerto Rican Bailout

This article appeared online at TheNewAmerican.com on Monday, August 29, 2016:  

On or before September 1, President Obama will complete the eight appointments to the oversight board created when he signed PROMESA (Puerto Rico Oversight, Management and Economic Stability Act) into law on June 30. Those already on the board include Republican Senators Orrin Hatch and Marco Rubio, Democrat Senator Bill Nelson and Congresswoman Nydia Velázquez.

In theory the board will have the power to override the island’s government, delay litigation, fire government workers, and “suggest” other ways the island can begin to recover from its present economic implosion. It has been described as a “de facto” Chapter 9 bankruptcy. In practice it is likely that,

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Vulture Funds Expecting to Profit Handsomely from Puerto Rico’s Problems

This article was published by The McAlvany Intelligence Advisor on Monday, August 29, 2016:  

English: Map of Peuto Rico, with inset showing...

Map of Peuto Rico, with inset showing it’s position in relation to American continents.

George W. Plunkitt was not the world’s first dishonest politician, but he might have been one of the first ones to be honest about his dishonesty. Plunkitt was a Tammany Hall pol who served in the New York State Assembly and then in the New York State Senate around the turn of the 20th century. He called what he did – and what made him wealthy – “honest graft.” He defined “dishonest graft” as efforts to work solely for his own interests. “Honest graft,” on the other hand, was graft that worked for the interests of his own party.

He made his money by

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What Would the Apostle Paul say About the Minimum Wage?

This article was published by The McAlvany Intelligence Advisor on Friday, August 5, 2016: 

One can surmise from his instructions to believers in the church in Thessalonica: “When we were with you, we gave you this rule: Whoever will not work should not be allowed to eat.” What’s less clear is: what if government mandates keep one from working, or keep employers from hiring those willing to work?

St. Paul assumed that people had the freedom to contract out their labor, to sell the one primary thing they possessed: their time and effort in exchange for money. He also assumed that employers, given the opportunity, were free to hire someone who could add value to their businesses.

Minimum wage laws abrogate that essential freedom, with all manner of negative results. One,

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Sixty Percent of Brazilians Expect Economic Losses From Olympics

This article appeared online at TheNewAmerican.com on Wednesday, July 27, 2016:  

Rio de Janeiro 2016 Summer Olympics bid logo.

The theory — and the marketing materials — claim big benefits for Rio de Janeiro for hosting the 2016 Olympic Games: 500,000 people and more than 10,000 athletes attending and spending; improved infrastructure that lasts long after athletes and attendees leave; greater global exposure and enhanced credibility; and, if all goes well, increased revenues that will offset the costs and maybe even leave a little profit behind.

Brazilians aren’t buying it.

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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.