Tag Archives: bailouts

Cradle to Grave Suicide

Alexis Tsipras, head of Greece’s Radical Left Coalition, declared that country’s commitment to austerity is over because voters have rejected those deals. “There is no way we will sneak back in again what the Greek people threw out”, Tsipras said. “This is an historic moment for the Left and the popular movement and a great responsibility for me,” he added, saying he would try to form a left-wing government that will “end the agreements of subservience” with Greece’s bailout creditors. “The pro-bail-out parties no longer have a majority in parliament to vote in destructive measures for the Greek people,” he added. “This is a very important victory for our society.”

In France, Socialist François Hollande said he will move quickly to implement traditionally Socialist tax-and-spend programs, which call for boosting taxes on the rich, increasing state spending, raising the minimum wage, hiring some 60,000 teachers and lowering the retirement age from 62 to 60.

Meanwhile, in California, Gov. Jerry Brown is calling for more social services cuts to help eliminate $15.7 billion deficit. Brown revealed a revised budget that calls for higher income and sales taxes to avoid deep cuts to K-12 and higher education. Rather than canceling an ill advised bullet train to nowhere that will cost the state at least $6 billion to build, Gov. Brown chose to scare Californians into voting for tax hikes by threatening cuts to education.

What do these three states have in common? They’re either already broke or will be soon due to government spending money it doesn’t have on socialist welfare programs, characterized within institutionalized “progressive” leftist circles as “entitlements”.

Greece, where the population is already suffering from 20% unemployment, describes austerity measures they’re expected to follow in order to receive additional bailout money from the EU as “barbaric”. With an economy so weak that it can’t employ one fifth of its own citizens, where does Greece expect to find the money necessary to become financially solvent?

France, if it enacts Hollande’s pledge to mimic Greece’s socialist welfare spending, will soon experience similar fiscal troubles. By following Greece down the road to fiscal insolvency, France will ensure that Germany stands alone in continental Europe as the sole, fiscally responsible, productive society.

California has been on a similar, European style path for decades, which is why California is closer to a fiscal cliff that most of the United States. The legislature in California continuously acts on the belief that it can spend the state into prosperity. California has taxed the rich, spent money on socialist programs, established sanctuary cities that fund the lives of millions of illegal aliens and spent huge amounts of money on education. Much of the cost of that education goes for the children of unlawful residents.

On the list of most business friendly states, California is currently ranked fiftieth. California has held that rank for the last eight years. Meanwhile, businesses are fleeing California in droves, seeking residence in states like Texas, where tax and regulatory policies are friendlier to business. The California tax base is fleeing along with those businesses.

In Sacramento California, government employee unions are running the show. Not only do “progressive” politicians vote overvalued salaries and perks for themselves, they also obediently kowtow to union demands for ever escalating salaries, benefits and pensions. This occurs because those politicians depend on union money, muscle and turnout for their own re-election. Rather than choosing to run the state responsibly, self interested career politicians continuously submit to demands from “civil servants” who are too often far from civil. The looming, unfunded costs of union benefits and pensions are among the largest liabilities contributing to the state’s $15.7 billion deficit.

These are precisely the results all Americans can expect for future generations if the cradle to grave mentality continues to be legislated by “progressive” me first career politicians. These results are predictable if the cradle to grave lie remains propagandized in schools, promoted in television programs, glorified in the movies and dutifully drubbed into the minds of sound bite voters by the news media.

If America is to be saved, these combined forces of the institutionalized “progressive” left must be stopped; starting with voting “progressive” politicians out of office. That’s the first order of business. When a patient arrives in an emergency room, stopping the bleeding receives top priority. The detailed surgery needed to excise the root problem, while still necessary, comes later. It took years for “progressives” to infiltrate and infect academia, Hollywood, the media and political class with their cancerous agenda. And while delay is not an option, it will take years to repair those institutions.

Unless that happens, today’s Americans will spend their declining years describing to young people who’ll listen, how the United States was once the place where the world’s people came for otherwise unavailable opportunity. How the land of the free and the home of the brave was more than just a line in a song.

In America, for an increasingly limited amount of time, cradle to grave suicide is still an option.

http://mjfellright.wordpress.com/2012/05/15/cradle-to-grave-suicide/

Postal Workers Caught in Tax Refund Fraud

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A ring of criminals operating out of the Dominican Republic have been running a massive income tax refund scam in which billions of false income tax filings have cost the taxpayers billions of dollars in losses. In an article in The Wall Street Journal we see the following information:

Between October 2010 and June 2011, the IRS received phony tax returns based on stolen Puerto Rican identities that would have led to the disbursement of $5.6 billion to alleged fraudsters, two of these people said. It is unclear how much money the IRS ultimately sent but one person familiar with the matter said an estimated $2 billion in checks was distributed.

Bronx mail carrier Robert Anthony Warren and at least two other USPS employees have been convicted and are doing prison time for their part in the scam. Back in September five men were also convicted of participating in the same scam and sentenced to between 40 and 98 months in prison, while also being ordered to pay a whopping $12 million in restitution. Good luck recovering any of that cash there. With all of these arrests and convictions, has the oh-so-competent federal government shut down this scam for good? Not quite, as can be seen in a statement from the Manhattan U.S. Attorney Preet Bharara, whose office was among the first to investigate the group: (emphasis added)

“What we have uncovered may very well be the tip of the iceberg,” said Manhattan U.S. Attorney Preet Bharara, whose office was among the first to investigate the group. “It’s a massive fraud.”

With a federal government that is running up trillion dollar deficits faster than the Roadrunner rocketing past the outgunned Wiley E. Coyote in cartoon-land,  as the federal bureaucracy grows bigger by the minute….so increases these numbers of incidents that highlight their incompetence and dysfunctionality. In the meantime, Senate progressives are currently working tirelessly (yes.. sarcasm intended) to rig up a massive $42 billion-dollar-bailout of the USPS UNION pension fund under the guise of…. reform.  From the thieves that are scamming the taxpayers from the Dominican Republic through fraudulent tax refund checks, to today’s Senate Socialists giving their Democrat-supporting labor [USPS] Unions $42 billion tax dollars, America is being robbed blind on a daily basis, in more ways than one. Americans should keep this in mind as they head to the voting booth in November.

First stop Greece, next stop Spain

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The austerity express may have already left the station in Greece but the pain train bringing massive fiscal cutbacks arrived in even greater force in Spain this past week. Unsurprisingly, austerity is just about as popular in Spain as it was in Greece – inciting violence, riots and general strikes in Barcelona and other major Spanish cities last Thursday. Protests erupted just before the announcement in Madrid of the biggest public sector cutbacks since Franco, Spain’s erstwhile right wing caudillo.

The Spanish government introduced a mix of spending cuts and new taxes amounting to roughly 27 billion euros in public sector cuts. The Spanish government plans to raise corporate tax rates, which will augment higher income and capital gains tax rates already implemented in December. Civil servants will see pay increases stop and consumers will pay higher fees to use electricity and gas. To be sure these are tough pills to swallow, especially in a weak Spanish economy suffering unemployment levels above 20% – the highest in the eurozone.

Tensions flared Thursday between the estimated 800 thousand protesters and riot police, causing injuries, detentions, and burned trash containers. Despite these disruptions Spanish officials have remained steadfast in their commitment to austerity.

Economy Minister Luis de Guindos, commenting from Copenhagen, said “Spain is going to stop being a problem, especially for the Spanish people but also for the European Union.” The new conservative government, less than 100 days old, has put concerns over the debt at the top of their priority list.

De Guindos and his government’s main concern is averting a financial disaster. The danger of rising interest rates on government bonds threatens total economic collapse. The bond yield on ten year Spanish bonds was at 5.4% last week though it was only 4.96% just a month ago (the US is about 2.2%). If investor confidence is shaky borrowing costs soar, something already witnessed in Greece where rates on government bonds exploded. When borrowing costs go up financing becomes very difficult if not impossible, particularly in times of sluggish economic growth and falling revenues.

But Spain’s situation, like that of Greece, is soon to be repeated throughout the Eurozone. Like it or not the austerity express is scheduled for trips to Italy, Portugal, Ireland, and even France and Germany. Even said, the eurocrats continue to discuss still more bailout funds with plans to combine ESFS (European Financial Stability Facility) and ESM (European Stability Mechanism) funds while others are pushing for greater IMF lending capacity all in the hopes of strengthening the euro “firewall.”

Meanwhile, across the Atlantic conservative lawmakers in Washington continue to fail to make any headway with major budget reform. House Republicans like Representative Paul Ryan and Congressman Jim Jordan of the Republican Study Committee have put forth viable proposals that could prevent a financial crisis in America, but none of them have any chance of passing.

Plus, as long as prominent Keynesian economists like Paul Krugman and Larry Summers continue to demote budget problems as “long term,” many Americans will remain convinced that Washington’s fiscal problems are remote from what is happening in Europe – an utter fallacy.

Ironically, instability in the Eurozone has been a source of strength for America’s bond markets thus far, making them a safe haven for investors fleeing Europe. However, that blessing won’t last long. What very few people in the Eurozone and in the US realize is that the game is over, the markets have already decided. As such the developed countries of the world face a very difficult choice: painful austerity now or financial catastrophe later.

Cameron Macgregor is a USNA grad and former Naval officer. He is writing his first book America Resurrected.

Media Ignores Massive TARP Fraud and Theft

For Americans who still choose to get their news from the mainstream media corporations at ABC, NBC, and CBS, the news that 77% of the TARP bailout money has been repaid to the taxpayer seems like a marvelous revelation. Considering that that is about all the public has been told concerning the TARP taxpayer cash giveaway sweepstakes, the following information will come as quite a shocker. From the Special Inspector General for TARP (SIGTARP) report, we see just how the media is failing this country today: Keep in mind that this is the Quarterly Report to Congress dated Jan. 26, 2012. You may access the complete report at sigtarp.gov

According to the Jan 2012 SIGTARP report:

U.S. Taxpayers are stilled owed approximately $133 billion dollars.

As of the end of 2011, the Treasury has written off $4.2 billion and realized  losses of $7.8 billion, of which the U.S. taxpayer will never see a penny of repayment, with more losses expected in the future.

While the TARP bailouts  were enacted in 2008, TARP bailouts will in fact, continue through the year 2017. Treasury has been authorized to spend another  $51 billion tax dollars on TARP supported housing programs and “certain securities markets.”

As of Jan. 2012, there were “criminal convictions of 31 defendants, of whom 22 have been sentenced to prison, a reported total ofcriminal actions against 61 individuals, including 45 senior officers (CEOs, owners, founders, or senior executives) of their organizations,and another 18 civil cases naming…corporate or other legal entities as defendants.

Look who still owes the taxpayer a whopping $75 billion dollars according to the latest SIGTARP report: AIG still owes $50 billion while GM still owes $25 billion dollars. Ally Financial also still owes the U.S taxpayers another $12 billion dollars.

The U.S. Treasury also handed out TARP “loans” and then took stock as a form of payment. The G.M. stock held by the Treasury ( thus the taxpayers) was currently trading at $24.72 on Thursday of last week. The break even price needed to recover the taxpayers cost of that part of the G.M. Bailout? $53.98 a share, or more than double it’s current value! 

The bottom line: The taxpayers have lost tens of billions of TARP dollars already through fraud and other criminal methods of theft, and there is a lot more to come. Check out the above-linked SIGTARP report. While the media refuses to report on this massive taxpayer fraud, there are some names of those already convicted right in that report. AIG and the “Largest Automaker in the world” G.M. as Obama and company like to brag about still owes the taxpayer $25 billion dollars, and AIG owes them double that! One last fact: TARP was passed in 2008, when Nancy Pelosi was running the U.S. House of Representatives and Harry Reid was running the U.S. Senate. Yes they are both Liberal Democrats.

Other fast facts about TARP from the NY Times:

The final tally in the House was 263 to 171, with 91 Republicans joining 172 Democrats in favor. That was a wider bipartisan majority than vote-counters in both parties had expected,  completing a remarkable turnabout from Monday, when the House defeated an earlier version of the bill by 228 to 205.

In the end, 33 [ Senate] Democrats and 24 Republicans who had voted no on Monday switched sides on Friday to support the plan. Both Mr. Obama and his Republican rival, Senator John McCain, voted for the measure when the Senate approved it on Wednesday, and both hailed Friday’s outcome.

The financial markets, however, were not enthusiastic. Already weighed down by another round of bleak economic data, including a report showing that 159,000 jobs were lost in September. (emphasis added)  [While current President Barack Obama constantly states that the U.S was bleeding 700,000 jobs a month when he took office, in late 2008 it was in fact, 159,000 jobs lost for the entire month of September, 2008, just before he took office. Just last week, according to CNN Money,  we lost another 377,000 jobs!]