Friday, August 26, 2011

Republi-CON Tax Hypocrisy

UPDATE II: "It is hard to find a tax cut that Congressional Republicans dislike. Unless it is a tax cut pushed by President Obama." Read The New York Times, For Some in G.O.P., a Tax Cut Not Worth Embracing.

UPDATE: "America’s presumably anti-tax party wants to raise your taxes. Come January, the Republicans plan to raise the taxes of anyone who earns $50,000 a year by $1,000, and anyone who makes $100,000 by $2,000." Read the Washington Post, The GOP will raise taxes — on the middle class and working poor.

"News flash: Congressional Republicans want to raise your taxes. Impossible, right? GOP lawmakers are so virulently anti-tax, surely they will fight to prevent a payroll tax increase on virtually every wage-earner starting Jan. 1, right?

Apparently not."

Read the Washington Post, GOP may OK tax increase that Obama hopes to block.

Why would Republi-CONs allow this?

It's election time!

'Karl Marx Was Right'

"There's an old axiom that goes, "wise is the person who appreciates candor almost as much as good news." With that as a guide, place the forthcoming decidedly in the category of candor.

Economist Nouriel 'Dr. Doom' Roubini, the New York University professor who four years ago accurately predicted the global financial crisis, said one of economist Karl Marx's critiques of capitalism is playing itself out in the current global financial crisis.

Marx, among other theories, argued that capitalism had an internal contradiction that would cyclically lead to crises, and that, at minimum, would place pressure on the economic system.

Companies, Roubini said, are motivated to minimize costs, to save and stockpile cash, but this leads to less money in the hands of employees, which means they have less money to spend and flow back to companies.

Now, in the current financial crisis, consumers, in addition to having less money to spend due to the above, are also motivated to minimize costs, to save and stockpile cash, magnifying the effect of less money flowing back to companies.

'Karl Marx had it right,' Roubini said in an interview with 'At some point capitalism can self-destroy itself. That's because you can not keep on shifting income from labor to capital without not having an excess capacity and a lack of aggregate demand. We thought that markets work. They are not working. What's individually rational ... is a self-destructive process.'

Roubini added absent organic, strong GDP growth -- which can increase wages and consumer spending -- what's needed is large fiscal stimulus, agreeing with another high-profile economist, Nobel Prize-winner Paul Krugman, that, in the case of the United States, the $786 billion fiscal stimulus approved by Congress in 2009 was too small to create the aggregate demand necessary to advance the U.S. economic recovery to a self-sustaining expansion.

Absent additional fiscal stimuli, or unexpected strong GDP growth, the only solution is a universal debt restructuring for banks, homes (essentially households/families) and governments, Roubini said. However, no such universal restructuring has occurred, he added.

Without that additional fiscal stimulus, that lack of restructuring has led to 'zombie houses, zombie banks and zombie governments,' he said."

Read the International Business Times, Nouriel 'Dr. Doom' Roubini: 'Karl Marx Was Right'.

But as discussed in the past, Republi-CON zombie ideas live on.

P.S. He also predicts that the global economic crisis will cause more social unrest and "absent a return to the right balance between markets and public goods, conditions are likely to get substantially worse. . .

The Tea Party, and other conservatives are, by-and-large, in addition to their opposition to more, short-term fiscal stimulus, also opposed to vital investments in human capital, skills, and the social safety net to increase productivity that enable workers to compete, be flexible, and thrive in a global economy."

Read the International Business Times, NYU's Nouriel 'Dr. Doom' Roubini-Social Unrest Will Spread.

Local Republi-Con Corruption Scandal?

UPDATE VIII: Another article explaining the incestuous relationships. Read the Northwest Florida Daily News, Local development interests connect people named in federal subpoenas.

UPDATE VII: The my poop don't stink defense.

"Santa Rosa County commissioners . . . expressed confidence that the county has nothing to fear from the FBI investigation that has ordered volumes of county documents surrounding land deals, travel and other issues over the last decade. The subpoenas seemed to focus on issues related to Navarre developer Bill Pullum, his sale of an industrial park to the county, and trips to his private island in Honduras." Read the Pensacola News Journal, Santa Rosa commissioners confident probe will find no wrong-doing by county.

UPDATE VI: More on the federal investigation of land deals, developer ties. Read the Pensacola News Journal, FBI probe widens to commission, TEAM Santa Rosa.

UPDATE V: One of the subpoenas also requests "[a]ny information regarding Mike Roger's appraisal of 90 acres owned by Bill Pullum to be sold the county." Read the Pensacola News Journal, Travel, land records sought in Santa Rosa probe.

UPDATE IV: My, my, the feds are investigating. About time don't ya think.

"Investigators with the U.S. Attorney's Office paid a visit to the Santa Rosa County Administrative complex Tuesday morning and served two subpoenas. . .

The U.S. Assistant Attorney requested a wide variety of documents dating back several years as part of a federal grand jury investigation.

Some of the items listed in the two subpoenas include any and all information, files, notes, memos, electronic communications, references, letters, correspondence, meeting munutes, and recordings relative to: . . .

Any present or past SRC Commissioner's travel to Honduras, Guanaja, and or Clark Cay, honduras with or at the request of Bill or Bart Pullum to include inforamtion on travelers imvolvement with the Honduran Government and any transacted business with or on behalf of Bill Pullum, Team Santa Rosa, any U.S. company, corporation and or Santa Rosa County. . .

Any SRC Commissioner's travel (personal or business) provided by Bill or Bart Pullum via aircraft (private or commercial) or vehicle since Jan. 2001."

Read the Santa Rosa Press Gazette, Federal investigators visit Santa Rosa County (subpoenas included).

I wonder if the feds will agree that a four day trip for two, in a private plane, to stay in a two-bedroom beach cabin on the private island of Clarks Cay, Guanaja, Honduras, is valued at $1,000.

UPDATE III: A follow-up for long-time listeners who remember this oldie but goodie:

[After more than two years, "t]he Florida Commission on Ethics has found probable cause to believe that former Santa Rosa County Commissioner Gordon Goodin violated ethics rules, but the commission plans no sanctions against Goodin.

Goodin 'failed to timely report as a gift a trip he received that was valued in excess of $100,' the commission announced in a news release today.

However, 'the commission found no probable cause to believe that the trip was intended to influence his vote on a purchase of property. No probable cause was also found concerning an allegation that the trip constituted a prohibited gift from a lobbyist of the county.' . .

In 2009, Goodin, a Navarre Republican, admitted that he had mistakenly failed to report a 2005 trip on which he and his wife, Jean, traveled with Navarre developer Bill Pullum to Guanaja, one of the Bay Islands of Honduras in the Caribbean Sea. The group ultimately traveled to Pullum's nearby private island, Clarkscay, and spent four days there.

He valued the trip at about $1,000."

Read the Pensacola New Journal, No sanction for ex-Commissioner Goodin.

You might remember that soon after this matter became public, I took reservation for these '$1,000' trips. And a commenter to this most recent story noted:

"His reasons for not reporting it make sense, though the value he associated with the trip show how crooked he is and how stupid he thinks the electorate is. Plane fare for two and 4 days on a private island is $1000.

Where can I make reservations?"

Should I dust off the reservation list?

UPDATE III: Some have come to the defense of a local businessman -- the island's owner, who took the county commissioner on a four day trip for two, in a private plane, to stay in a two-bedroom beach cabin on the private island of Clarks Cay, Guanaja, Honduras, before the business man sold the county, for $3,000,000, 90 acres of land appraised at one point to be worth $900,000 -- by reminding everyone people from a local church did mission work in Guanaja, Honduras.

I've reviewed the photos of three mission trips, and except for a few nails being hammered, it didn't appear that much of lasting value was accomplished on the trips to the "luxurious island get-away." (That is the businessman's description of the island, not mine.)

Some people spend a lot of money to fly to remote locations and talk, with the delusion that their effort justifies the expense. In foreign aid there was a term for these people, the Marriott Brigade. These people profited greatly from their so-called humanitarian efforts, but rarely had a lasting impact.

If you want to make a difference, and engage in a successful charitable effort that has a long term impact, then read The New York Times, Clean, Sexy Water, for an example.

But if the overall purpose of your trip is to talk with poor people in poor countries, then stay at a "luxurious island get-away," don't expect sympathy or understanding from me.

That said, read the Northwest Florida Daily News, Ex-county employee: 'This mess is so corrupt', for more on this developing story of possible local Republi-con corruption.

UPDATE II: Read the Pensacola New Journal, Forgive me for I have sinned and Northwest Florida Daily News, Complaints widening in Santa Rosa.

In a comment to the PNJ editorial, MrsDoubtfire wrote:

WEBY 1330 was running a sign up program for all citizens of SRC. Anyone wanting to sign up for a $1,000 five day vacation to a South Carribean island with private bungalo and food, fun, and surf provided could put their name on the list and be considered for selection by the Goodin Travel Agency. Quite a deal don't ya think?
7/11/2009 10:04:47 AM

Actually, it was a four day trip for two, in a private plane, to stay in a two-bedroom beach cabin on the private island of Clarks Cay, Guanaja, Honduras. No promises were made regarding food, fun, and surf, but we can work out the details later. And it is still quite a deal. Continue the sign up here by posting a comment.

UPDATE: Certain individuals who were the subject of much discussion today were none too pleased with the program. I won't repeat what they have said, but I make this offer. If Mike will let me, I'll host a two hour program with said certain individuals to discuss the issue(s) and allow them to clarify their positions, and I'll make a correction(s) to what I said if appropriate.

I always endeavor to be as accurate and truthful as possible. So if certain individuals want to continue the discussion, give me a call to arrange the show.

What is the value of a four day trip, in a private plane, to stay in a two-bedroom beach cabin on the private island of Clarks Cay, Guanaja, Honduras?

Need a little help, then visit the Clarks Cay website for a preview.

Better hurry cause a local politician forgot to report his free trip to the island before he voted to purchase of 90 acres of land from the island's owner earlier this year for $3 million and I'm thinking the owner's gonna pull the plug on the website soon. Why? Cause now that the trip has been made public, the politician would like you to believe the value of the trip was only $1,000. And after you preview the trip on the website I'm bettin that you will agree, the value of the trip was much higher.

And some in the community now claim the land the county purchased was not worth the money paid. It is déjà vu all over again just one county over. But instead of a collard greens pot with money, we have a swanky private island.

I'm predicting resignation and criminal prosecution on this one.

See these related articles: Pensacola New Journal, Goodin 'sorry' for omission and Northwest Florida Daily News, Commissioner's island trip: Ethics violation? (<-with photos the owner and politician can't hide).

Recession Humor

From and email:

The recession has hit everybody really hard...

My neighbor got a pre-declined credit card in the mail.

Wives are having sex with their husbands because they can't afford batteries.

CEO's are now playing miniature golf.

Exxon-Mobil laid off 25 Congressmen.

A stripper was killed when her audience showered her with rolls of pennies while she danced.

I saw a Mormon with only one wife.

If the bank returns your check marked "Insufficient Funds," you call them and ask if they meant you or them.

McDonald's is selling the 1/4 ouncer.

Angelina Jolie adopted a child from America.

Parents in Beverly Hills fired their nannies and learned their children's names.

My cousin had an exorcism but couldn't afford to pay for it, and they re-possessed her!

A truckload of Americans was caught sneaking into Mexico.

A picture is now only worth 200 words.

When Bill and Hillary travel together, they now have to share a room.

The Treasure Island casino in Las Vegas is now managed by Somali pirates.

And, finally....

I was so depressed last night thinking about the economy, wars, jobs, my savings, Social Security, retirement funds, etc., I called the Suicide Hotline. I got a call centre in Pakistan, and when I told them I was suicidal, they got all excited, and asked if I could drive a truck.