Categories
Health Care

Specter Town Hall Lebanon

Yesterday, Senator Arlen Specter held a town hall in Lebanon, PA.  Of course, the “screamers” were there to complain with the “talking points” that were handed to them.  The New York Times reports on this event.  Evidently, the Union members that arrived were told to get to the back of the line.  What caught my attention was this comment by John Stahl of the Berks County Tea Party.

John Stahl, chairman of the Berks County Tea Party, a local branch of conservatives, was one of those who helped recruit opponents of change to the event. A former truck salesman, Mr. Stahl, 65, said he was laid off about 18 months ago. Since May, his group has organized four protests in the state opposing taxes and the stimulus plan, but none have attracted the crowds like health care, he said.

“We believe there are several issues out there that leave the existence of the Republic at risk,” he added, “not the least of which is this Obamacare.”

John Stahl has his government run health care, Medicare, and he is so greedy that he doesn’t want other Americans younger then him to have the same opportunity for affordable health care.  If you take a close look at many of these screaming teabaggers, you will notice that they are of the age where they are receiving Medicare.

As a matter of fact, one woman, age 81, told President Obama that she didn’t want government run health care.  Now what exactly did she think her Medicare is?  Who is paying for her health care now?  We are, collectively, and we deserve the same opportunity for quality, affordable health care.  The Gecko said no to Glenn Beck and his propaganda and we need to say no to the screaming teabaggers that are trying to destroy our country.  And boycott Whole Foods.

One more thing… read about George W. Bush’s death panel.

Categories
Government Republican lies Republicans

What Did Cheney and Bush Know?

How long did they know this?  If we are to take a look at the some of the past investments (2005 to 2006) of both Dick Cheney and George W Bush, we will notice that neither of them put much faith in the Stock Market.

Cheney betting on bad news…. (from June 2006)

Vice President Dick Cheney’s financial advisers are apparently betting on a rise in inflation and interest rates and on a decline in the value of the dollar against foreign currencies. That’s the conclusion we draw after scouring the financial disclosure form released by Cheney recently.

And then this from our former President, George W. Bush…

President Bush may be bold in his public policies, but his private investments appear decidedly on the meek side. Bush and his wife, Laura, reported on their disclosure form that they held combined assets of $7.2 million to $20.9 million.

As of the end of last year, the Bushes’ two largest assets were their Texas ranch, valued at between $1 million and $5 million, and a blind trust, also valued at between $1 million and $5 million. Of course, it’s impossible to tell how the trust is invested, so it could be heavily in stocks. The White House would not make the trust’s managers available for comment.

Beyond the trust, the First Family’s investable assets are largely in super-safe Treasury notes, money market funds and bank certificates of deposit. The Bushes’ holdings in these instruments totaled between $1.7 million and $4.4 million. The president also listed a health savings account worth between $1,000 and $15,000.

So when was Cheney and Bush going to tell the American people that the Stock Market was going to go bust and that the 14,000 Stock Market was phony baloney?  NEVER… They had hoped that the crash wouldn’t happen until AFTER the 2008 general election.

As to stealing securing as many tax dollars as possible, Cheney began securing government contracts with Halliburton as early as 1992.  His influence was important in increasing income from the Defense Department.  Cheney has had a lock on the Defense Department for years and we paid little attention to it.  In the meantime, our tax dollars were and still are flying out the window and into the hands of the “Halliburtons”.

“The good Lord didn’t see fit to put oil and gas only where there are democratic regimes friendly to the United States” – Richard Cheney1

1992
Halliburton subsidiary Brown & Root is paid $9 million by the Pentagon (under Cheney’s direction as Secretary of Defense) to produce a classified report detailing how private companies (like itself) could provide logistical support for American troops in  potential war zones around the world. Shortly after this report, the Pentagon awards Brown & Root a five-year contract to provide logistics for the U.S. Army Corp of Engineers. The General Accounting Office estimates that through this contract, Brown & Root makes overall $2.2 billion in revenue in the Balkans.2
1995
Without any previous business experience, Cheney leaves the Department of Defense to become the CEO of Halliburton Co., one of the biggest oil-services companies in the world. He will be chairman of the company from 1996 to October 1998 and from February to August 2000. Under Cheney’s leadership, Halliburton moves up from 73rd to 18th on the Pentagon’s list of top contractors. The company garners $2.3 billion in U.S. government contracts, which almost doubles the $1.2 billion it earned from the government previously. Most of the contracts are granted by the U.S. Army Corp of Engineers.3 Halliburton’s overseas operations go from 51% to 68% of its revenue.
According to the Center for Public Integrity,4 under Cheney’s leadership the company also receives $1.5 billion worth of assistance from government-sponsored agencies such as OPIC (Overseas Private Investment Corporation) and the Export-Import Bank, a huge increase compared to the $100 million that the company had received in federal loans and guarantees in the five years prior to Cheney’s arrival. Years later, during the 2000 campaign in a broadcasted vice presidential candidates’debate with Joe Lieberman, Cheney asserts that “the government has absolutely nothing to do” with his financial success as chairman of Halliburton Co.5 Halliburton pleads guilty to criminal charges of violating a U.S. ban on exports to Libya by selling Col. Qaddafi six pulse neutron generators, devices that can be used to detonate nuclear weapons.6 Halliburton pays a $3.8 million penalty to settle alleged violations of the U.S. trade ban.7

The most agrevating part of Cheney’s deal is that he was planning war with Iraq as early as 1998.  No wonder the Republicans made sure that they stole the election in 2000 from Al Gore.  It was imperative that Bush get into office so that Cheney could influence Bush into invading Iraq.  It wasn’t only about oil, it was about cementing Defense Department contracts with Halliburton and it’s crooks, Kellogg Brown and Root (KBR).

2000
August: Cheney leaves his position as Halliburton’s CEO to run as Bush’s Vice President. Halliburton announces that it is giving Cheney a retirement package worth more than $33.7 million.19 Under public pressure, Cheney sells company stock worth  30 million.

October 5: In a broadcasted debate with Joe Lieberman, Cheney asserts that “the government has absolutely nothing to do” with his financial success as chairman of Halliburton Co. 20 Halliburton is by now the world’s largest diversified energy services, engineering, construction and maintenance company, with some $15 billion in revenues annually, 100,000 employees, and 7,000 customers in over 120 countries.21

2001
KBR wins a $300-million exclusive contract to supply logistics to the Navy, providing services like cooking, construction, power generation and fuel transportation.22One of Cheney’s largest projects as Vice President is to coordinate the development of a new National Energy Policy (NEPDG). According to the former climate policy adviser in the Environmental Protection Agency, who was present at the task force’s sessions, Cheney “continually pushed plans to increase […] oil supplies while paying little heed to promoting energy efficiency and clean energy sources”.23 Casting as an inevitability that by 2020, the UniteStates will need to import two-thirds of its oil, mainly from the Arabic peninsula, the NEPDG recommends “that the President make energy security a priority of our trade and foreign policy”.24

Citizens Work has documented all this thievery and lies.

And the “teabaggers” are bitching about the government deficit.  They didn’t give a rat’s behind when Cheney and Bush allowed Halliburton and KBR (Kellogg Brown and Root) to steal our hard earned money.  Suddenly, when it comes to re-investing in the American people, they object.  Stupidity is the only way to describe their outrage.

The upside of Cheney’s recent appearances on TV, is that he keeps reminding people that he is a liar and can’t be trusted.  He is the highest ranking Republican with the lowest public approval rating that is keeping himself visable.  At least Bush knows to keep a low profile.  Cheney is so self absorbed that he can’t stand not having the last word.  Well, hopefully, Cheney’s last word will put him behind bars.

Categories
Open Thread Politics Taxes

For All Those Teabaggers

Remember all those “teabaggers” whining on April 15th?

In 1955, the richest 400 Americans reported an average of $12.3 in income (in 2006 dollars) and paid 51.2% of it in taxes. In 2006, the top 400 averaged $263.3 million in income and paid a mere 17.2% of it in tax.

In 1986, the richest 1% of Americans averaged $507,520 in income (in 2006 dollars) and paid 33.1% of it in taxes. In 2006, the richest 1% averaged $1.3 million in income and paid just 22.8% of in taxes.

Over the past twenty years, the richest 1% of Americans doubled their share of the nation’s income (from 11.3% to 22.1%), but saw their share of the tax burden shrink by one-third.

If taxes on the richest 400 Americans were collected today at the same rate they paid under President Eisenhower, the Treasury would collect $35.9 billion more per year.

If the tax rate on Americans who make more than $2 million per year was restored to the 1955 level, the Treasury would collect another $202 billion per year.

And if the Bush tax cuts on the rich were repealed, lower tax rates for capital gains & dividends were eliminated, a progressive estate tax was enacted, overseas tax havens were ended, a small tax was added to financial transactions, and loopholes on huge executive- compensations was closed – the Treasury would collect another $450 billion per year!

Please share with those tax whiners you know!

Source: Tax Day 2009 – Institute for Policy Studies
Washington, D.C.