I'm offended when politicians talk about raising taxes, because the government already wastes so much taxpayer money. It's obscene. The pols treat the taxpayers like their own personal ATM. It has to stop. If anyone in this country needs a union, it's the Taxpayers Of The United States.
I'm happy to report a small bit of progress in this area. The Senate just took measures to stop subsidizing millionaire farmers with our tax dollars, though it's hard to fathom how the pols ever STARTED subsidizing millionaire farmers in the first place:
In an emphatic vote early Friday, 84 senators voted to discontinue certain farm subsidies for people who make more than a million dollars in adjusted gross income. The practical impact of the vote may be marginal -- current limits are about $1.2 million at most -- but it represents a sea change in how the heavily rural Senate views farm support. In recent years, many votes to limit subsidies have failed in the Senate.
"I do think sentiment has changed," says former Sen. Byron Dorgan of North Dakota, a Democrat who pushed for years to lower subsidy limits. "When they are under this much pressure to cut spending they have to take an honest look at what's happening, and you can't justify direct payments under these circumstances."
I'm so happy "sentiment has changed", and we no longer feel the need for the taxpayers to subsidize millionaire farmers. Now if only we could stop subsidizing the rest of the millionaires, as we did with the financial bailouts. If so, we wouldn't have the concept of "too big to fail" anymore. We should have let some of those big boys fail, as they so richly (no pun intended) deserved. Instead, our fearmongering leaders, such as former Goldman Sachs CEO and Bush's Treasury Secretary Hank Paulson, scared the bejesus out of everybody with prophecies of financial armageddon, and the abused taxpayers of America took the hit, as they invariably do. We essentially had a situation where Goldman Sachs decided that Goldman Sachs must be bailed out. How convenient...for Goldman Sachs. During the AIG bailout discussions, former Goldman Sachs CEO Paulson talked to current Goldman Sachs CEO Lloyd Blankfein two dozen times, far more than he talked to any other Wall Street executive. Goldman Sachs' connections to the New York Federal Reserve are also well known, so who better to replace Paulson as Treasury Secretary than the former head of the New York Federal Reserve, Timothy Geithner, named by President Obama. Geithner supported Paulson's AIG bailouts, and all other fat cat bailouts too. What a surprise, eh ? Geithner's part of the fat cat club. What else would we expect from him ? Prior to Paulson, President Clinton's Treasury Secretary, Robert Rubin, was a manager at...you guessed it...Goldman Sachs. In 2009, the head of the New York Federal Reserve was Stephen Friedman, who was also a director of...ta da !!!...Goldman Sachs. The current head of the New York Federal Reserve is William Dudley, a partner and managing director of...is there any doubt at this point ?...GOLDMAN SACHS.
Clearly, the interests of Goldman Sachs are well represented in our federal government. The second biggest donator to Obama's 2008 campaign was Goldman Sachs.
How do we stop this undue influence of Wall Street on our government ? Occupy Wall Streeters, Tea Partiers, Democrats, Republicans, liberals, and conservatives all seem to agree that crony capitalism is a big problem, and I certainly agree.
Here's an idea. LET'S GET THE GOVERNMENT OUT OF THE BUSINESS OF FREE MARKET CAPITALISM !!! The goverment isn't supposed to be in that business in the first place. It's a gigantic conflict of interest. As I've pointed out many times in the past, it was the government that setup up the secondary mortgage market. It was the government, via Fannie Mae, that created the mortgage-backed security on Wall Street. It was the government, via the Goldman Sachs-influenced Federal Reserve, that kept interest rates so low, feeding the mortgage frenzy. It was the government, via Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, that backed and facilitated the bad subprime loans. It was the government that repealed Glass-Steagal. It was the government that allowed Goldman Sachs and other Wall Streeters into the housing casino market. It was the government that pushed banks into making more mortgage loans to increase home ownership. It was the government that created and enabled the entire housing crisis and subsequent financial meltdown. Without all this government interference into free markets, NONE OF THIS WOULD HAVE HAPPENED !!! And then when the scheme collapses around the government's ears, in step the taxpayers to serve as the
What makes free market capitalism work is success and failure. Good business models succeed, and bad business models fail. That facilitates the rise of the best and brightest, which benefits all of us. That's how it's supposed to work. There should be no insurance against systemic business losses in the financial world (that's basically what derivatives are). There should be no taxpayer backing of private sector business affairs (like Solyndra). Dealing with business failure is what bankruptcy courts are for. It isn't the goverment's job to decide which businesses are going to be successful (subsidized), and which businesses are not going to be successful. The government's role is regulations to insure the free and fair flow of commerce, and other regulations to protect the citizenry. When government is in bed with this big business or that big business, no such free and fair flow of commerce can possibly exist. We're supposed to have anti-trust laws in this country that protect against the idea of "too big too fail". They are supposed to prevent monopolies, and there's a reason we have those laws. When is the last time they were ever enforced ??? In fact, the government IS a monopoly, another reason to keep the government out of the affairs of private sector businesses as much as possible. The government distorts the free market, as they distorted the housing market, and then some in government have the gall to complain that free market capitalism doesn't work, after they've distorted the concept out of existence via their government intrusions. If I didn't know better, I'd think such folk have an agenda of some sort (sarcasm intended).
You want a Treasury Secretary who won't always side with the fat cats ? Me too. How about Ron Paul ? He'll be on the side of the taxpayers. That might be a first.
I started this post out by talking about how the Senate voted to stop subsidizing farmers who earn over a million dollars per year. That's a step forward, but consider this - it means the taxpayers still subsidize farmers making $900,000 per year. Does that sound right to you ??? Before we deal with reforming our major entitlement programs, which must be done, how about we stop subsidizing the wealthy altogether ?
I have to post a list of the Senators who voted against stopping the subsidization of millionaire farmers. Most of them come from rural states, and a surprising number of them claim to be conservatives (conservative hypocrites maybe, but not conservatives in my book):
Voting against the $1 million income qualification cap in addition to Stabenow (D-Mich) and Roberts (R-Kan) were:
Sens. Max Baucus, D-Mont.; Saxby Chambliss, R-Ga.; Thad Cochran, R-Miss.; Patrick Leahy, D-Vt.; John Hoeven, R-N.D.; John Boozman, R-Ark.; Lamar Alexander, R-Tenn.; Roy Blunt, R-Mo.; Jim Inhofe, R-Okla.; Johnny Isakson, R-Ga., Jerry Moran, R-Kan.; Roger Wicker, R-Miss.; and Mark Pryor, D-Ark.
Cronies 'R Us.
Taxpayers unite !!! You're being robbed blind, and whatever you do, don't vote for the crony capitalists in government who keep spending and proposing tax increases. Voting for them can only have one possible outcome - more cronyism as their power becomes centralized and consolidated, followed by the loss of your rights.
"A democracy cannot exist as a permanent form of government. It can only exist until the voters discover that they can vote themselves largesse from the public treasury. From that moment on, the majority always votes for the candidates promising the most benefits from the public treasury, with the result that a democracy always collapses over loose fiscal policy, always followed by a dictatorship"
We're well on our way.
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