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

Katrina Mayor Fails to Make Worst 10 Mayors list

This article first appeared at The McAlvany Intelligence Advisor on Friday, July 11, 2014:

U.S. President George W. Bush and Nagin meet t...

U.S. President George W. Bush and Nagin meet the week after Hurricane Katrina, September 2, 2005.

When his sentence of 10 years in federal prison for corruption while mayor of New Orleans was announced on Wednesday, some wondered if Ray Nagin would make it into the top ten most corrupt mayors in history.

No way.

He might have done better if the court was giving out prizes for play-acting innocence or for hypocrisy. When he learned where he was going to be spending the next 10 years, Nagin claimed he was framed:

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Congress to Grill Ex-Im Bank Chairman Over Corruption Charges

This article was first published at TheNewAmerican.com on Wednesday, June 25, 2014: 

English: , President of the

Fred Hochberg, President of the Export-Import Bank

On Thursday Fred Hochberg, Chairman and President of the Export-Import Bank, will be grilled by members of the House Financial Services Committee over charges of corruption and mismanagement at the 80-year old agency. His task to defend the agency appears formidable, especially with its charter being up for renewal at the end of September.

On Tuesday the Wall Street Journal reported that four Ex-Im employees have either been suspended or fired over the last few months as a result of “investigations into allegations of gifts and kickbacks.” But that’s just the tip of the iceberg. The Heritage Foundation reported on the same day that

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The President’s Latest Plan to Flood Colleges with New Students

 

College Students Spending Time Outside

College Students Spending Time Outside (Photo credit: York College of PA)

This article first appeared at The McAlvany Intelligence Advisor on Wednesday, June 18, 2014: 

Mr. Obama has never been very good at math or in getting his facts straight. His misunderstanding of basic laws of economics, however, is breathtaking. Last week, on Tumblr, he announced his latest plans to make it easier for high school graduates to borrow their way into college. First he’ll cap their debt repayments at 10 percent of disposable income. Second, if they default after 20 years, their debts will be forgiven.

Often in error but never in doubt, the president said:

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The War on Poverty Continues to be a War on the Family

This article first appeared at The McAlvany Intelligence Advisor on Friday, June 6, 2014:

 

Family 1

In less than three months, the War on Poverty announced by then-President Lyndon Johnson in August 1964 will be 50 years old. There ought to be some victors in this war that has cost the American taxpayer more than $17 trillion. And indeed, there are: the initial program, the Economic Opportunity Act, was funded by (in today’s diluted money) $178 billion. Today, there are 126 federal welfare programs and numerous state ones spewing forth taxpayer monies at the rate of a trillion dollars a year. That means government jobs for millions to monitor, track, follow, and spend, and then request additional funds for next year.

But what about the intended beneficiaries? How are they doing?

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Seattle goes for Broke: Raises Minimum wage to $15 an hour

Kshama Sawant  2

Kshama Sawant 2 (Photo credit: shannonkringen)

Monday’s announcement that the Seattle city council had voted 9-0 to raise the city’s minimum wage to $15 an hour was much more about advancing a political agenda than about improving economic conditions of the working poor. It also revealed extraordinary economic ignorance among those supporting the measure. Said City Councilman Nick Licata:

By significantly raising the minimum wage, Seattle’s prosperity will be shared by more people and create a sustainable model for continued growth.

SEIU Local 775 President David Rolf expanded on the economic nonsense:

[The new law] will pump nearly $500 million into Washington’s economy, proving that a higher minimum wage fuels business and job growth.

It’s a good thing the council didn’t decide to repeal the law of gravity at the same time.

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New Jersey Governor Christie’s Lipstick Problem

English: , U.S. Attorney, Governor-elect of Ne...

(Photo credit: Wikipedia)

This article was first published by The McAlvany Intelligence Advisor on Friday, May 23, 2014:

Thanks to the current age of skepticism, aided and abetted by the internet, the “lipstick” strategy being used by Chris Christie is about to fail, revealing instead the economic pig that New Jersey has become during his administration.

Back in March 2012, Christie touted his budget that would only balance if a miracle occurred:

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Presidential Helicopter Upgrades to cost $20 Billion!

A U.S. Marine Corps Sikorsky VH-34D presidenti...

A U.S. Marine Corps Sikorsky VH-34D presidential helicopter (BuNo 147201) on the South Lawn of the White House (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

This article was first published at The McAlvany Intelligence Advisor on Monday, May 12, 2014:

When Ike occupied the White House, he asked his staff about using a military helicopter to fly him to his summer home in Pennsylvania. A Sikorsky UH-34 Seahorse was selected as the aircraft of choice: no creature comforts, no air-conditioning, no toilet.

In 1958, the helicopter was upgraded, and then again in 1961. By 1978, the Marines and the Army were flying VH-3As, which were further upgraded in 1987. By 2000, even these upgrades were falling behind the technology curve, and by 2009 the White House helicopter stable included 11 VH-3Ds and eight VH-60Ns (the V stood for VIP).

The 9/11 attacks changed everything.

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Defense Department Announces Latest Presidential Helicopter Contract

UTC Sikorsky logo

UTC Sikorsky logo (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

It didn’t take long for the skeptics to scoff at the costs of the latest effort to upgrade the fleet of presidential helicopters announced by the Defense Department on Wednesday, May 7. They say the $1.2 billion contract awarded to Sikorsky Aircraft Corporation will be just the beginning.

There are at least two reasons to be skeptical: the open-ended nature of the White House requirements and recent history. The Department of Defense outlined its requirements, stating that Marine Helicopter Squadron One which currently operates 19 presidential helicopters, must provide

 

Safe and timely transportation for the President and Vice President of the United States, heads of state and others as directed by the White House Military Office.

In addition, each aircraft must be equipped with various self-defense features such as bullet-proof glass and body panels and specialized communications equipment that allows the president to maintain “critical command functions” while airborne. Each needs to be large enough to carry up to 14 passengers and several thousand pounds of baggage while being small enough to operate from the White House lawn.

Each must have a minimum range of 300 miles and carry a full complement of defensive countermeasures to thwart heat-seeking and radar-directed missiles and also be hardened against an EMP (electromagnetic pulse), either from an enemy or from the sun. It must be able to send and receive encrypted communications and hold secure teleconferences while in flight.

And each must have air-conditioning and a toilet.

Under the contract Sikorsky promises to deliver two prototypes by 2016, with another 21 fully operational aircraft six years later.

Several questions arise. First,

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House holds Former IRS Official Lois Lerner in Contempt

Lois G. Lerner

Lois G. Lerner (Photo credit: SuperSleuther)

On Wednesday the House of Representatives charged former Internal Revenue Service (IRS) official Lois Lerner with contempt of Congress, and then voted minutes later to ask the Justice Department to appoint a special prosecutor to look into the targeting scandal centered (so far) around Lerner.

The first vote passed 231-187 with every Republican and six disaffected Democrats voting for contempt. The second vote passed 250-168 with two dozen Democrats supporting the appointment of a special prosecutor.

The issues now arrive at the desk of Washington, DC’s US attorney, Ronald Machen who,

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GM Bailout Cost Taxpayers far more than just $11 Billion

General Motors HydroGen4

General Motors HydroGen4 (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

The Detroit Free Press’ announcement on Wednesday that taxpayers lost more on the General Motors bailout in 2009 than originally thought was brief, to the point, and missed most of the real story behind the GM bailout. Taxpayers lost $11.2 billion following the government’s sale of the last of the stock it held in GM following the company’s government-assisted bankruptcy and restructuring, according to the announcement.

The key quote from a Treasury spokesman, however, was revealing. Said Adam Hodge:

The goal of Treasury’s investment in GM was never to make a profit, but to help save the American auto industry, and by any measure that effort was successful.

Not if one was a bondholder in GM. Not if one believed that

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BLS Reports one in five Families has no one Working

grateful

(Photo credit: woodleywonderworks)

In its awkward but astonishing revelation, the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) reported on Friday that “of the nation’s 80.4 million families, 80.0 percent had at least one employed member in 2013.” Translation: 20 percent of those families had no one working in 2013!

How is that possible? The BLS defines a family as

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Welfare Recipients 3, Taxpayers 2

Say Goodnite America!

Say Goodnite America! (Photo credit: Templar1307)

This article first appeared at The McAlvany Intelligence Advisor on Monday, April 21, 2014:

The Census Bureau, teaming up with the Bureau of Labor Statistics, confirmed what many have long suspected: the United States is a welfare state, and the recipients are gaining on the taxpayers. According to their just-released Current Population Survey, there are nearly 150 million people on the dole compared to fewer than 90 million being squeezed to make the payments. And the longer the game goes on, the worse the score will get.

After Terence Jeffrey, former editor at Human Events and now senior editor at CNSNews, dissected the pages-long survey, he lamented:

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Fewer IRS Audits again this year

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

The whining from IRS Commissioner John Koskinen began almost from the day he was sworn in as the latest head of the dreaded agency back in December: not enough funding, not enough agents, not enough audits, too many responsibilities, nobody cares, oh darn.  Last year the IRS audited less than 1 percent of all returns from individuals, the lowest rate since 2005. Whined Koskinen, this year “the numbers will

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Denial is a River in Vallejo, California

This article first appeared at The McAlvany Intelligence Advisor on Wednesday, Mary 19, 2014:

Denial of reality seems to be a job requirement to hold a position on the city council in Vallejo, California. Despite increased payments demanded from the city by CalPERS (the California Public Employees’ Retirement System), everything’s OK in Vallejo. Despite a warning from Moody’s in February that everything is not OK in Vallejo, everything’s OK in Vallejo.

Just ask the mayor, Osby Davis:

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$100 Billion in Improper Welfare Payments Uncovered

News that the federal government spends $100 billion improperly caused barely a ripple in light of its enormous budget and the continuous flow of revelations of such waste and corruption that have provided journalists with full-time careers in tracking them down and writing about them.

$100 billion is less than 3 percent of the federal government’s annual budget and most observers are probably happy that it isn’t any worse than that. Two such journos at National Review uncovered

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Obama Links California Drought to Climate Change

President Obama had plenty of photo ops in California last Friday as he strolled farmlands parched by the ongoing drought. To them he added the inevitable offer of government money to help those suffering – money that presumably belongs to taxpayers outside the drought area. He reiterated the long-questioned connection between climate change and the drought:

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More Fraud Found by Detroit’s Emergency Manager

This article was first published by The McAlvany Intelligence Advisor on Monday, February 10, 2014:

It was no surprise to anyone that Kevyn Orr, Detroit’s interim emergency financial manager of the city during its bankruptcy, would uncover a massive fraud dating back to 2005 that helped precipitate the city’s descent into bankruptcy. It’s also no surprise that the two banks and the insurance company involved now want to cut a better deal

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Standard & Poor’s Downgrades Puerto Rican debt to junk status

Now that credit rating agency Standard & Poor’s has ended the suspense by announcing that it is cutting Puerto Rico’s $70 billion worth of general obligation bonds to junk status, questions about the island’s economic future abound. Will Fitch and Moody’s follow suit

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More Proof, if it were Needed, that Liberalism Excels at Only One Thing: Destruction

This article first appeared at The McAlvany Intelligence Advisor on Wednesday, January 22nd, 2014:

The chasm between dream and reality, between hope and substance, between promises made and the mathematics behind them, were never more starkly on display than back in 2007 when taxpayers in Highland Park – a three-square mile city located inside Detroit – approved a measure offered by the city council to borrow $27 million from local banks in order to make the city’s pension plan payments. Talk about robbing Peter to pay Paul, or, more accurately, making one credit card payment by using another credit card! So there’s plenty of guilt to go around as the city now

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Highland Park, Michigan, is Teetering on the Brink of Bankruptcy

The final straw for Highland Park, Michigan, may have arrived in the form of a letter from Fifth Third Bank last month announcing it is ending its monthly checks that have provided life support for the city inside of Detroit for the last three years. One of three banks sending checks to the city, Fifth Third said in its letter dated December 12 that it is

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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.