Thursday, July 31, 2014

Republicans - Its all About Them

A little under 100 days until the midterm elections and what do we know?
The Republicans have made it clear – it’s all about them - they will not compromise on anything – it’s their way or the highway - to hell with anyone else.
The Republicans have made it clear – it’s all about them - they support the wealthy and tax cuts for the wealthy and to hell with everyone else.
The Republicans have made it clear – it’s all about them - they will continue to block anything that is not on “their agenda” -  to hell with everyone else.
The Republicans have made it clear – it’s all about them - they will repeal everything that is not on “their agenda”  - to hell with anyone else.
No compromise – it’s all about them – no other voice(s) in this country exist or need to be heard– except the Republicans  - to hell with anyone else.

I found this quote on a web page about a year ago and it made me think:
“Wake up America – Republicans are uncaring, unpatriotic and marching down the path of destroying the United States.”

In my opinion they have a point
– but may be missing the main point of current Republican (and Tea Party) behavior.  
 I’m just thinking  that you need to look at the Republican behavior from a new and different “Republican paradigm”.

So what does the “Republican paradigm” look like?

Republicans are caring people – they care about Republicans, specifically rich Republicans.  I would even question if they care for the “tired, poor, huddled masses” Republicans.

Republicans are patriotic – in fact in their minds they probably believe they are the only true patriots.  This is their country and only Republicans have the right to claim “Life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness.”

Republicans are not trying to destroy the United States. They probably believe that this was written for them and only for them. 
“When in the Course of human events it becomes necessary for one people to dissolve the political bands which have connected them with another and to assume among the powers of the earth the separate and equal station to which the Laws of Nature and of Nature's God entitle them,…” 
– they are trying to destroy everyone and everything that is not Republican. 

It’s very possible that in their warped sense of reality, they believe that the “Republican States of America” shall prevail.
Then the Republicans can re-write the Pledge of Allegiance.
I pledge allegiance to the swag
of the Republican States of America and
to our republic for which it stands, one nation,
under our God, with liberty and justice for us.

They can change the country’s motto to read
In the Republicans God we trust.

The Republican motto may have become:
Love the Republican Party, love thyself –
hate everyone else and hate everything else
because no one else matters and nothing else matters
except the Republican Party of America; God bless us one and all.

Blaming Boomers for Social Security Crisis is a Crock!

Every time I hear a news report that Social Security is in grave danger and we have to make drastic changes to retirement benefits – I want to scream.  Every time they talk about drastic changes it is always about retirement benefits needing change – I want to scream. Yesterday CNBC suggested Boomers were going to bankrupt Social Security and I WANT TO SCREAM!

To a topic people don’t like to talk about.

Got it?  Do you understand that? 
Does it make sense to you?
Pay attention here – this is really important when talking about “aged benefits” and Social Security solvency. 
One webpage suggests Boomers are dying at a rate of 1 boomer dead every 35 seconds and they have a death counter for Boomers.
Because Boomers are a big part of the population - they will account for a large percentage of deaths over the coming years
- more than any age group
DEAD = not getting Social Security Anymore.

Life expectancy: 
Defined as
Average number of years an individual could be expected to live based on current patterns of mortality. (Public Health Agency of Canada)

Life expectancy in the US
78.4  (World Bank)
77.9  (CDC)
According to the Social Security Administration (2006) the life expectancy of a 60 year old male was 20.7 more years, a 60 year old female 23.78 years.
Based on those numbers we can pretty much agree that the US and the world reporting agencies agree that people are going to continue to die.

Wikipedia reports that there were approximately 76 million boomers born in the US between the years of 1946 and 1964.
·    3.4 million boomers were born in 1946  (US  Dept HEW -  registered and unregistered births recorded)
·    Boomers born in 1946 will reach full retirement age in 2011
·    40 – 60% of boomers born in 1946 don’t have enough money to retire in 2011 (depending on which article you believe) (Still working? = still paying into Social Security)
·    Boomers born in 1946 will start dying (on average) in 2026
o   In 2007 – 23,000 died; In 2006 -  26,000 died; In 2005 – 25,000 died  (CDC)
I could go on and on, Boomer birth year by Boomer birth year – but what’s the point - you do get the point don’t you – we’re dying. 

By 2043 over 97% of the Silent Generation will be dead
By 2043 over HALF of the Boomers will be dead (based on average current patterns of mortality).
By 2043 about 90 million people will be in the US workforce, paying into Social Security.

I'd write more
but why?

and besides - I'm a Boomer and  I’m dead tired.

Thursday, July 24, 2014

ALEC - Cronyism, Corruption, Perversion

But - no - that's not what they are writing about. 

Ever heard the old adage
Poking at a Hornets nest
Ever been told
Don’t do that?

Well - - - -

As the Right-wing reports it

A new report released by the American Legislative Exchange Council looks at widespread state government favoritism through the tax code, in which specific individuals and businesses are treated unequally and given tax carve-outs.

, which according to ALEC, distorts the market and should be replaced with a simpler and more competitive tax code.

ALEC’s report arguing, “Specialized carve-outs in the tax code are distortionary and ineffective at best, and examples of government cronyism at worst. These carve-outs run contrary to the principles of sound tax policy and the basic fairness of a level playing field for all businesses.”

Oh my - - - - 

Snips from ALEC’s report

The Unseen Costs of Tax Cronyism: Favoritism and Foregone Growth
Of course – it has a piece of legislation at the end of it – only one piece of legislation, although I’m sure there are probably a dozen, based on past ALEC history.
(It's on the ALEC webpage - you can find it there - I won't link to it)

Seems fitting that ALEC's new groundbreaking report would have the word "cronyism" in it the week before the annual meeting of state legislators and corporate lobbyists.
ALEC writing about Cronyism
Oh, my - - - -
But - no - that's not what they are writing about.

“policymakers can embrace cronyism by providing certain businesses and industries with special targeted tax breaks and tax carve-outs.”

And by God – ALEC legislators do that every day!
But - no - that's not what they are writing about.

They go on to say that the tax cronyism (that most ALEC legislators have been practicing for decades) leads to
             "precipitating tax rate increases"
of course
               "subverts market outcomes"
Oh, no - the 1% and the market are at risk - - Oh No!

But the biggest complaint ALEC makes in this report is about the potential for public corruption.
     Now let me get this straight –
     the organization that puts legislators behind closed doors to meet secretly 
     with corporate lobbyists –
     meetings which by the way are totally funded by the corporations that the
     lobbyists work for –
is now worried about public corruption.
Really?   REALLY?
Get real – there’s more to this story that we won’t know about for awhile yet. 

Cronyism—the perversion of sound economic policy to create a system that benefits one firm or industry at the expense of all others—is a serious public policy problem.

ALEC wrote that – sounds pretty much what they do every day
But - no - that's not what they are writing about.

"the perversion of sound economic policy"
is done everyday, in every way - by "perverted" ALEC legislators

"serious public policy problem"
should be on every piece of ALEC literature
    ALEC the serious public policy problem.
ALEC should own that phrase everyday, in every way

But later in the report ALEC  re-writes their mumble jumble
- they like to do that to confuse people 
- confusing people makes spreading mistruths easier.  
You see, ALEC reports suck you in at the beginning of the report with happy crap and then hope you don't bother to read to the end - where the real evil is. And most idiots - don't read the whole thing - so the happy crap on the first couple pages becomes the news stories.

Later in the report

Cronyism is the substitution of political influence for free markets. It comes about when government has a lot of power over private- sector decisions and when the government officials in power have great discretion over how to use it.

Oh, my – the real issue is now evident

has a lot of power over private- sector decisions and when the government officials in power have great discretion over how to use it

Oh, boy – ALEC corporations must be pissed about something.  But we won’t know what that something is until ALEC releases their next batch of malicious legislation.

Evidently a couple of their corporate members didn’t get the tax breaks and subsidies they wanted
ALEC to the rescue – doing what they are paid millions of dollars each year to do for their corporate members
     protect the profits of corporate members and
     this time they do it with a new report on how unfair
     the current system is 
     new legislation to follow.

It gets even more bizarre in way when you consider that
ALEC is claiming that the current systems is unfair when ALEC has been controlling the state legislatures in many states for many years.

The story doesn’t end there.

“In an ideal world, each and every state would publish an expenditure report every year. This is not the case at all, and it was pretty difficult trying to put this together,” ALEC’s William Freeland told reporters on a call Thursday.

Pretty difficult to put together – eh?

(which by the way has published their own report on ALEC “Selling Snake Oil to the States

A growing number of state and local governments are disclosing which companies they are giving tax breaks and other subsidies in the name of job creation and economic development. Yet much of that information is being disseminated through hard-to-find reports and web pages. SUBSIDY TRACKER brings together the information from those far-flung sources--along with unpublished data obtained through open records requests--to create the first national search engine for economic development subsidies.
SUBSIDY TRACKER brings together the information from those far-flung sources
The left does - what the right-wing finds difficult to do.

Let's take a look at tax breaks and other subsidies, 
that the left is capable of documenting in a searchable database found at Subsidy Tracker.

Past and Present ALEC Private sector Board members
     State Subsidy Total:  $43,083,398

     State Subsidy Total:  $58,628,721

     DIAGEO – a British owned company
     State Subsidy Total:   $40,012,492

     State Subsidy Total:  $340,271,846

     State Subsidy Total:  $25,792,840

     State Subsidy Total:  $1,618,107

     State Subsidy Total:  $34,669,906

     State Subsidy Total:  $89,172,767

     State Subsidy Total:  $15,205,849

     State Subsidy Total:   $278,095,289

     State Subsidy Total:   $201,959,919

     State Subsidy Total:    $24,050

     State Subsidy Total:   $133,306,952

     State Subsidy Total:    $149,942,595

TOTAL   $1,411,784,731.00


And that’s just a small piece of the pie
It is reported that WalMart gets
$7.8 BILLION in tax breaks and subsidies
Needy Walmart – only makes $16 BILLION IN PROFIT

Looking at the numbers above - there is a caution
This list is only 14, yes only 14 - of the over 300+ corporate members of ALEC.
AND this doesn’t account for items from the Federal government

ONE and half BILLION DOLLARS tax breaks and other subsidies
      that the left is capable of documenting 
      in a searchable database found at Subsidy Tracker.

For fourteen ALEC corporations
It was really handy for these corporations to have ALEC legislators in their pocket when they needed them

Take my word – or don’t – that absolutely nothing good will come out of this report.
It takes a mental contortionist to try and figure out what is in the sick, twisted brain of American Legislative Exchange Council members and staff.
It takes a mental contortionist to try and figure out what the outcome of this newest ALEC report will be.

The timing of the release of the report leads me to believe they are going to be pushing this at the ALEC Dallas meeting next week
        where your state legislator will be meeting privately 
        – behind closed doors – with Corporate lobbyists
        that want tax breaks and other subsidies
and then
your ALEC legislator will bring some nice sounding bill back to your state about tax cronyism 
– that helps no one except ALEC corporate members.