Tuesday, November 17, 2009
Saturday, November 14, 2009
Sunday, July 26, 2009
Wednesday, July 22, 2009
Friday, July 10, 2009
Giving "back" implies that the property they are giving to the various groups was somehow once 'taken' from those groups in some sense. This is the evil idea propagated (sometimes knowingly, sometimes not) by liberals / collectivists for over a century.
Thursday, June 25, 2009
Wednesday, March 11, 2009
Here is a letter regarding the process of purchasing, three times your investment in other people's production. In other words this is how, for a 30% investment, one secures the “legal” robbery of one's neighbors. This is only one small example of the processes involved in our recent splurge of earmarks (all the worse because it is smuggled in during a time of economic distress – distress, not surprisingly caused by the same fundamentally evil ideas.)
outragedtaxpayer // June 7, 2008 at 7:12 am
Some months ago I was treated to the spectacle of a K Streetlobbyist explaining how one goes about legally bribing Congressmen and Senators to get them to deliver a million dollar earmark. The lobbyist was too well trained to use words like “bribe” or “graft,” but the message was clear. I’d like to share it because I’ve been told that sunlight is the best disinfectant.I pride myself on my cynicism. I haven’t voted in years, have never voted for a Republican, and the last Democrat I voted for was Jimmy Carter (the first time). Yet despite my resignation to the institutionalized corruption in Washington, the matter-of-fact nature of this sales pitch offended me so deeply I feel compelled to speak out. I was introduced to this lobbyist by a prospective angel investor in a privately-held company on whose board I sit. This investor, who I admire, is a wealthy self made man, the kind of smart, hard-working immigrant this country could use more of. Although he is still learning the ways of his adopted land, he appears to be a quick study. His advice to our fledgling startup: Congress is giving away buckets of money and we would be foolish not to get some. The lobbyist, employed by a prestigious law firm, hails from a tradition of service. His resume shouts duty-honor-country. You would never expect to see him pop up in a Boss Tweed cartoon. I signed no non-disclosure agreements prior to our call, nor was I sworn to secrecy, nor did anyone reveal the secret handshake. The lobbyist didn’t know me from Adam. I could have been a front for Woodward and Bernstein. I can only assume I’m not the only one who heard his pitch that week.So, how does one buy a million dollar earmark? The lobbyist costs $6,500 per month plus a 7.5% kick-back, more genteelly called a “commission.” The lobbyist makes sure that your application is properly constructed and gets into the overflowing earmark inbox of your particular Congressman by the specified date. More importantly, he makes sure that your Congressman, the two members of your Senate delegation, and the chairman of the targeted appropriations subcommittee (an apparently central player in this process named Peter Visclosky) all understand the importance of your request. Failure to line up all four of these supporters results in proportional discounting of your earmark.I inquired how we go about convincing these keepers of the public trust of the merits of our project. “By holding fund raisers,” explained the lobbyist.“Is there a price list?” Nothing is written down but the lobbyist assured me that the going rate is $10,000 per Congressman and $20,000 per Senator. Wow, these guys work cheap, I thought. We can’t even get simple audits done for that price, much les buy a million dollar earmark. This must be some volume operation.“Can our company write $60,000 worth of checks and be done with it?” I asked. Oh no, I was told. That would be illegal “Donations” must come from employees, directors, and their families in individual checks that do not exceed hard-money limits. I noted that our company is still quite small, which means that to collect $60,000 everyone connected with the company would have to write checks, not all of whom could afford that level of “generosity.” Never mind whether they even support the political positions of the target legislators. (What are their names, again?) The lobbyist patiently explained that it was perfectly legal for a company to give bonuses to employees provided these are not directly tied in timing and amounts to political donations in such an obvious way that they could be construed as illegal reimbursements. Not being accustomed to this way of doing business, I asked how we could be sure that “donations” made before the earmark was delivered would be honored. “Let me put it this way,” assured the lobbyist, “they’ve never let us down. There was a little more to it than that, but not much. The lobbyist explained that the money, or “plus-up” as they call it, had to be routed through a funding agency, and not every federal agency is willing to be a party to this process. “But,” he advised, “agencies under budget stress are usually willing to cooperate.” In return for passing along the money, the conduit agenc keeps a handling fee of anywhere from 5% to 15%. I didn’t ask what that negotiation involved.So here’s the math. A year’s worth of lobbyist fees comes to $78,000. The company’s compensation committee doles out $60,000 worth of bonuses on the understanding that directors and executives must be comfortable swearing under oath that these bonuses are not intended to reimburse political donations, even though they are. Figure a 7.5% commission for the lobbying firm and a 10% commission for the funding agency adds another $175,000 to the bill. For a total investment of $313,000, then, the company gets $1,000,000 in taxpayer money with no strings attached. This is better than a threefold return in less than a year. I wish all my investments did that well.The phone call ended cordially and I had a sleepless night. Everyone else is doing it. No one could ever prove that we’d broken the law. Our competitors are getting earmarks, which they proudly announce in press releases. Our promising young company is just as deserving of support, and certainly more so than a lot of earmark recipients we’ve all read about in the papers. And as one of the 1% of the taxpayers who carry nearly 40% of our country’s income tax burden, it’s my own money they’re giving away, damn it. Would it be so wrong to try to see some of it put to good use?Perhaps out of romantic nostalgia, I keep a pocket copy of the U.S. Constitution on my desk. When I woke up the next morning one look at the cover answered my question. Instead of holding a “fund raiser” I offer you this testimony. I wish I had the courage to put my name on it but I fear exposing our portfolio companies to retribution by our esteemed elected officials, whose unbounded power over our economic affairs is only enabled by our willingness to keep paying for it. Outraged Taxpayer
Thursday, February 19, 2009
So realize that well over 30% of your thought, your effort, the labor of your time, your very life are taken from you, by force of the growing entitlement class and foreign lobbyist parasites. This itself is a moral obscenity, but what is worse is that your stolen production is then spent as a payback by these lawmakers to either entice their entitlement voters or satisfy the demands of their lobbyist benefactors, who by influencing the legislature keep either their unworthy company in existence or, in the case of foreign lobbying groups, maintain their tyranny in some oppressed nation. It is sick that we, the producers, are enslaved to support our own destruction. It is obscene.
When will we see a leader who can destroy this new irony of an aristocracy? As the feudal lords existed by consuming the production of their serfs, so the entitlement class (in either the welfare state, or the welfare medical system, or the welfare job system - i.e. those who do little but bleed a good company through union power, or those of evil companies who exist only by pull in Washington) - that entitlement class votes the true producers into slavery - a life as a serf to work for his/her own death - yes, death, for this is the process which destroys dreams, ambitions, goals for persons and families, plans for truly great production, for truly great businesses; this is the process which has and continues to destroy unfathomable potential. The world does not know nor even take time to consider what would have happened if the lives of never known brilliant, industrious, creative people were not stifled by the policies of state-ism, the policies which say the rights of some to the product of their labor should be broken, their effort stolen, and given to those who claim that their very uselessness gives them a moral claim on others. Again, it is obscene.
Saturday, January 31, 2009
It is generally agreed that Franklin Roosevelt’s "New Deal" did not end the "Great Depression". While massive deficit spending failed, the beginnings of democrat-sponsored socialism emerged. During that decade, the perceptions by Fascist as well as Communist socialists that democratic capitalism was on its last legs emboldened both. The Fascists tried first to exploit this perceived weakness when Japan’s attack on Pearl Harbor was immediately followed by Germany’s own declaration of war on the United States. Thus galvanized by war, the citizens of the United States succeeded in marshaling the latent power of democratic capitalism under God that not only crushed the thousand year reign fascist powers envisioned but ended the ‘Great Depression" as well. Even Joseph Stalin credited American manufacturing with determining the outcome of the war. Unfortunately, he couldn’t bring himself to acknowledge that the Source of American economic power rested in the God-given rights of life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness that entailed cultivating virtue and the right to private property. If he had, another forty-five years of misery, ruin, and death in his own country could have been avoided as the Soviet Union immediately took its shot at the United States in WWIII also known as "The Cold War". His unbelief perpetrated by his successors calamitously affected/infected the rest of the world as well. It is now astonishing that the United States is embracing the very essence of our past enemies’ economic policies and religious beliefs. The current so-called stimulus plan is based on the idea that the reason the "New Deal" didn’t work was due to not spending enough taxpayer money fast enough. Socialist thinking is the greedy, envious enemy of free enterprise’s unique, wealth-producing power. A socialist government becomes an all-powerful intimidator of the individual entrepreneur there-bye depressing the standard of living of all economic classes. The rich are not the enemy of the poor or the middle class. Indeed, the greed of a government consisting of a socialist elite trumps the occasional, greedy, individual capitalist simply because of the power it is able to wield over everybody’s property. Serfdom looms as the engine of wealth creation, the risk-taking businessman, is driven from the economy. The current economic crisis is due to the socialist virus in our own government suppressing energy production of both nuclear and fossil fuels while forcing banks, for over twenty years, to make bad loans to people who did not meet sound financial standards. Because of the government’s intimidation of banks — make the loans or feel its full wrath — the world now knows how long it takes to generate such a crisis. Today’s government personifies the schoolyard bully’s demand "give your lunch money or else" and is hardly the noble political body the founders as well as Adam Smith envisioned as the protector of private property, life, and liberty. The current proposals appear to be a lemming-like rush to utter catastrophe. The premise seems to be that if enough lemmings rush into the water fast enough, the dead bodies, that is, the impoverished, will pile up sufficiently to eventually enable the few remaining lemmings to reach the other side, that is, prosperity. How utterly gruesome and foolhardy! How typically socialist! Make no mistake, just as in the Thirties, the enemies of this country are watching intently and calculating when to make their move to fill the power vacuum they believe the United States is creating. William M. Yavelak