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Category: Spending

Jul 02 2020

Open Thread

I favor the policy of economy, not because I wish to save money, but because I wish to save people. The men and women of this country who toil are the ones who bear the cost of the Government. Every dollar that we carelessly waste means that their life will be so much the more meager. Every dollar that we save means that their life will be so much the more abundant. Economy is idealism in its most practical form. - Calvin Coolidge
May 30 2020

Senator Gary Peters Wants You to Bail Out His Pension

One of the countless ways Democrats want to exploit coronavirus hysteria and the economic havoc it has caused is to force fiscally responsible states to bail out states run by liberals, which have run up massive pension debt. The very notion is corrupt, as a story at the Washington Free Beacon makes clear:

Sen. Gary Peters has repeatedly agitated for a federal bailout for his home state, indirectly seeking a rescue for the pension system that pays the millionaire Michigan Democrat five figures annually.

The pension is in addition to his $174,000 salary for being a US senator. His estimated net worth is about $4.4 million.

Financial disclosures reveal that Peters collects more than $50,000 a year from the Michigan state pension fund, a benefit accrued thanks to his eight years in the state legislature. Peters has given no sign he will forgo these payments even as nearly 900,000 Michiganders have lost their jobs in the last two months.

These jobs were lost primarily due to the draconian not to mention unnecessary lockdown imposed by his fellow Democrat, Gauleiter Gretchen.

Dems in the House are on the same page as Peters:

[T]he House Democratic caucus’s most recent stimulus proposal includes $500 billion for state and local governments. Those funds would come in addition to the money previous stimulus bills already allocated to states. But whereas previous stimulus funds were earmarked for coronavirus-related expenses only, the new money Democrats want would be given to states to spend on their general revenue needs.

This measure is necessary, Democrats argue, because states are seeing major shortfalls in traditional sources of revenue amid the economic downturn. But the money would also cover shortfalls in underfunded entitlement programs, particularly many states’ hulking pension systems.

The idea is to force taxpayers in states like Texas and Florida to finance the irresponsibly extravagant pension schemes in states like New York, Illinois, and Michigan — in effect enslaving them.

Short of abolishing the Electoral College (which is also on the Democrat agenda), it would be hard to imagine a better way to heat up the Cold Civil War into a genuine war between states.

On a tip from R F.

May 27 2020

Open Thread

We're not planning for the future. If we continue to spend ourselves into oblivion, we are going to destroy this nation. - Benjamin Carson
May 19 2020

$500 Cash Payments to Illegal Aliens in California

The hysterical overreaction to Wuhan coronavirus has inflicted devastating long-term economic damage, costing $trillions and killing tens of millions of jobs. Many Americans have been prevented from providing for their families. But the mainly government-induced economic crisis is no reason for the liberals running California to stop handing out other people’s money to illegal aliens — rather, it serves as the latest excuse for extravagant largesse:

California is rolling out a taxpayer-funded program to aid unauthorized immigrants with $500 cash payments.

Some households will get as much as $1,000. There will be 150,000 lucky illegal winners. Those American citizens who are still permitted under the coronavirus lockdown to generate wealth for California to tax will get stuck with the $75 million bill.

“California is the most diverse state in the nation. Our diversity makes us stronger and more resilient,” Gov. Gavin Newsom said in a statement last month about the program.

It goes without saying that white minority California is diverse racially. By “diverse,” Newsom must mean both American and not American, legal and not legal.

“Every Californian, including our undocumented neighbors and friends, should know that California is here to support them during this crisis. We are all in this together.”

No, Governor Nuisance, we are not all in this together. Americans who want to be left alone to generate wealth and then spend it on their families are on one side; Big Government and those the government wishes to displace us with are on the other.

On a tip from Steve T.

May 12 2020

Open Thread

Democracy cannot exist as a permanent form of government. It can only exist until the voters discover they can vote themselves largesse out of the public treasure. From that moment on, the majority always votes for the candidate promising the most benefit from the public treasury, with the result that democracy always collapses over a loose fiscal policy, always to be followed by a dictatorship, and then a monarchy. - Alexander Fraser Tytler

On a tip from Jester.

May 10 2020

Democrats Plan Crippling Looting Spree

The ChiCom virus has been seized upon as a pretext for a radical expansion of Big Government. If Democrats have their way, the extravagant wasteful spending is only just beginning. On Friday,

Senators Kamala Harris (D-CA), Bernie Sanders (I-VT), and Ed Markey (D-MA) have released the Monthly Economic Crisis Support Act. This act would send a monthly $2,000 payment to individuals who make less than $100,000 a year but it provides an additional $2,000 per child for up to three children per family.

Note that these are not obscure political figures. Harris and Sanders were regarded as serious 2020 presidential candidates. Markey is the Senate sponsor of the Green New Deal, which lays out the Democrat Party’s cherished vision of fundamental transformation.

The maximum benefit would go to joint filers under the income limit with three or more children. In that case, they would receive $10,000 per month – $2,000 per adult and $6,000 for their three children.

Already, the federal government paying people not to work is making it impossible to reopen businesses (see here and here). Imagine the situation when a family of five is paid $120,000 per year for doing nothing.

Flinging around hundreds of $billions every month with ever fewer people generating wealth for that money to represent will quickly produce Zimbabwe levels of inflation. Before long, $120,000 will not be enough to put food on the table.

The bill also would make these payments retroactive to March and they would continue for three months after when the Health and Human Services Department declared the public health emergency has ended.

Flattening the curve means the public health emergency can go on indefinitely.

If Sanders, Harris, et al get their way, the economic crisis this bill will create will dwarf the COVID-19 crisis. As with COVID-19, Democrats will not let it go to waste as an opportunity to increase dependency and expand government power.

On tips from Varla, Steve T, and Scott D.

May 03 2020

Big Media Pigs Out on COVID-19 Relief Money

If you thought it was outrageous that well-heeled institutions like the Los Angeles Lakers and Harvard initially took money meant to help small businesses survive the COVID-19 lockdowns, consider that Big Media — which as an allegedly “essential” industry has not had to shut down — has its snout in the trough too.

Via FrontPage Magazine:

The Seattle Times maxed out its PPP loan with a $10 million payout.

Payroll Protection Plan loans from the Small Business Administration were supposed to help small businesses. As the largest paper in the state, the Seattle Times is no small business.

The Tampa Bay Times got an $8.5 million loan, close to the max. The Times Publishing Company also puts out 10 papers, a few magazines, and Politifact, a site which claims to ‘fact check’ politicians, but frequently makes false claims, puts out spam, and smears conservatives.

The Company is owned by the Poynter Institute for Media Studies, which is funded by leftist billionaires like George Soros and Pierre Omidyar.

Thanks to Kung Flu spending mania, it is also funded by US taxpayers.

And just to make matters worse, the Poynter Institute, which is officially a non-profit, also got a stimulus loan of $737,400 to cover its coronavirus “business losses”.

In case you haven’t reached your boiling point yet, let’s have one more:

Axios, a media venture by Politico bigwigs, with around 200 employees, funded by venture capital and investment firms, including Jeffrey Katzenberg, the Hollywood tycoon with a net worth of $750 million, and NBCUniversal, scored a $5 million PPP loan.

Nothing is ever so awful that pols won’t try to make it worse:

Senator Maria Cantwell, Senator Amy Klobuchar, and Senator John Kennedy dispatched a letter urging a waiver on the affiliation rule “which restricts assistance to companies owned or controlled by larger entities.” This would potentially allow huge multi-billion-dollar conglomerates like Gannett to raid money intended for small businesses even as they lobby politicians to shut those businesses down. …

The media has already managed to loot at least $23.5 million meant for small businesses. Affiliation waivers would turn PPP loans into a bailout for media conglomerates that would be worth billions.

Don’t bet on SBA loans being repaid.

As with Obama’s “stimulus,” coronavirus spending has quickly degenerated into a massive looting spree. Our grandchildren will hunt us down and kill us when they get the bill for all this wasteful spending.

On a tip from R F.

May 02 2020

Michigan Hands Out Free Condoms and Lubricants Because COVID-19

In mid-April, Dr Fauci gave the okay to hook up with strangers on Tinder, Bumble, and Grindr for anonymous sex, so long as you are “willing to take a risk — and you know, everybody has their own tolerance for risks.” Possibly with that in mind, Michigan now provides a free condom delivery service — because COVID-19:

The Michigan Department of Health and Human Services (MDHHS) announced the new condoms-by-mail service in an effort to prevent unintended pregnancies and the spread of sexually-transmitted diseases in communities across the state. The idea was sparked after local health agencies were forced to stop handing out free condoms at government buildings, bars, and other establishments that are now closed due to the coronavirus epidemic.

Michiganders have been deprived of even the most fundamental rights under the high-handed rule of Governor Gretchen Whitmer, but in exchange they can receive free packets containing 10 condoms and 10 packets of lube.

If you run low on free condoms, no worries. Gauleiter Gretchen proclaimed abortion an essential service that is “life-sustaining,” even while forbidding elective surgeries.

Speaking of Gauleiter Gretchen,

Whitmer struggled to defend her administration on Wednesday when she was grilled over a scandal involving who was responsible for awarding taxpayer-funded coronavirus relief money to Democrat organizations and operatives.

You can see why a petition has been circulating to recall her. A cloud of shame will continue to hang over Michigan until this tyrant has been removed from office.

On tips from Steve T, Mr. Freemarket, and Occam’s Stubble.

Apr 29 2020

Fat Cats Gorge at Paycheck Protection Program Trough

Look at the bright side. The demented lockdown is bankrupting small businesses right and left, but at least operations big enough to get a seat at the table are making out well. Take the Los Angeles Lakers, for example:

Forbes estimated last year that the team earned $147 million in 2018 and would fetch about $3.7 billion in a sale. …

The Lakers, as ESPN reported on Monday, received $4.6 million in bailout funds from the federal government as part of the $349 billion Paycheck Protection Program meant to backstop struggling small businesses sideswiped by Covid-19. The Lakers operation has fewer than 500 employees, which qualifies it as a small business under the government’s aid guidelines.

Shamed by public exposure, the Lakers say they returned the $4.6 million.

As for the small businesses bearing the brunt of the authoritarian overreaction to COVID-19,

only an insignificant percentage — 5% or less — of U.S. small businesses appear to have received funding from the problem-riddled program … much of it, according to Bloomberg News, hasn’t even found its way to small businesses in regions most severely derailed by the coronavirus pandemic.

Yet pols seem to think it reasonable to shut down commerce indefinitely on the grounds that there will be baskets of free money for everybody.

The Lakers weren’t the only undeserving pig to shove aside small businesses and get its snout into the federal trough.

The Associated Press reported that at least 94 PPP recipients were publicly traded companies with market values greater than $100 million. … The AP also said that its review “found examples of companies that had foreign owners and that were delisted from U.S. stock exchanges, or threatened with removal, because of their poor stock performance before the coronavirus hit. Other companies have had annual losses for years.”

Even massive outfits like AutoNation have climbed aboard the gravy train; due to a loophole, this “national network of automobile dealers with 26,000 employees and a $3.2 billion market valuation, received $77 million in PPP funding.”

Other lucky recipients of free PPP cash include Shake Shack, Ruth’s Chris Steak House, and Cinedigm Corporation, “an entertainment company controlled by a Chinese investment firm.” That a penny would go to the ChiComs who inflicted this virus is intolerable.

Speaking of intolerable, Harvard University, bloated with a $40 billion endowment, took $9 million from the CARES Act. Like the Lakers, this gilded bastion of liberal elitism was shamed into giving it back.

As we learned from the looting spree known as Obama’s “stimulus” bill, Big Government cannot be trusted to dispense other people’s money in a reasonable manner.

If the government had not inflicted the unwarranted not to mention tyrannical lockdowns, small businesses would not need the money that we now see pouring into the pockets of fat cats; in a free country, they could create their own wealth, which is their purpose.

Harry Browne used to say that Big Government breaks your leg, hands you a crutch, and then expects gratitude. Actually, it breaks both your legs, hands a golden crutch to someone who doesn’t need it, and then bills your grandchildren for it.

On tips from Ellen O and Lyle.

Apr 25 2020

Rand Paul: Stop the Coronavirus Insanity

There is bad news for MSNBC’s Nicolle Wallace, who said it was “difficult” to hope he would pull through. Rand Paul is back in action, despite having contracted the ChiCom coronavirus. The disease could have been mortal in his case, because he had part of a lung removed following a severe beating by a left-wing maniac.

There is good news for the rest of us. Paul has lost none of his principle or his fire. As the Founding Fathers would have been, he is horrified at the tyrannical lockdowns and frenzy of wasteful (and even counterproductive) spending unleashed in the name of COVID-19:

As Paul points out, “The massive economic calamity we’re experiencing right now is caused by government.” The virus was only a trigger that accelerated the already ongoing crisis of government gone wild.

Apr 13 2020

Chinese Virus and ChiCom Propaganda — Both Compliments of US Taxpayers?

American taxpayers are forced to finance all sorts of things, possibly including the Wuhan coronavirus that is destroying the economy, as well as propaganda helping China’s communist regime to spin it.

Some believe the source of COVID-19 is not a wet market as with SARS, but a Chinese virology lab. From the Daily Mail:

Documents obtained by The Mail on Sunday show the Wuhan Institute of Virology undertook coronavirus experiments on mammals captured more than 1,000 miles away in Yunnan – funded by a $3.7 million grant from the US government.

The NIH redistributes our money far and wide. ChiComs have their own money, but it works better for them economically to spend ours.

Sequencing of the Covid-19 genome has traced it to bats found in Yunnan’s caves.

Maybe both a lab and a wet market are the source:

Anthony Bellotti, president of the US pressure group White Coat Waste, condemned his government for spending tax dollars in China, adding: ‘Animals infected with viruses or otherwise sickened and abused in Chinese labs reportedly may be sold to wet markets for consumption once experiments are done.’

It isn’t just their labs. American taxpayers also finance ChiCom propaganda — much to the irritation of the White House. Via Fox News:

“Voice of America is a global news network funded by American taxpayers,” a White House statement read. “It spends about $200 million each year on its mission to ‘tell America’s story’ and ‘present the policies of the United States clearly and effectively’ to people around the globe. Today, however, VOA too often speaks for America’s adversaries — not its citizens.”

The unsigned statement — titled “Amid a Pandemic, Voice of America Spends Your Money to Promote Foreign Propaganda” — specifically took issue with a tweet featuring video of China celebrating the end of Wuhan’s coronavirus lockdown. It also claimed that VOA called China’s response a “model” that much of the world copied.

Here’s the tweet, from White House Director of Social Media Dan Scavino:

Why should US taxpayers have to fund ChiCom propaganda? Our liberal media establishment already has that covered.

On tips from Sean C and Scott D.

Apr 11 2020

Bankrupting America

The two major parties only seem to be at each other’s throats. On the issue that may prove to be the most important of our age, they fundamentally agree. Both parties believe that the federal government should crank the spending dials to 11 and keep them there until the entire house of cards collapses.

John Stossel is right to be appalled by Washington’s ongoing Wuhan coronavirus looting spree:

As every adult and most children know, you cannot spend money you do not have. At least, not indefinitely.

Already the national debt is well past $24,000,000,000,000.00 and not looking back. If this keeps up, we will be burning $50 bills to stay warm because we cannot afford to pay electric bills with our nearly worthless savings.

On a tip from Lyle.

Apr 10 2020

Squad Members Exploit Crisis With Lunatic Spending Demands

As noted earlier, when unscrupulous people take advantage of a crisis situation, looting can occur. This happens on a relatively small scale when lowlifes break into shuttered businesses and haul away the merchandise, but on a massive scale when instead of crowbars, their tool of choice is the federal government. Four examples are the Squad, consisting of leftist congresscritters Ayanna Pressley, Rashida Tlaib, Ilhan Omar, and Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez.

From the New York Post:

On Tuesday, Rep. Ayanna Pressley (D-Mass.) called for the next package to guarantee relief for individuals who are not in the country legally and even those who are incarcerated.

Big Government is not here to help everybody, but to help preferred groups at the expense of the normal people it enslaves through taxation. Favored groups include foreign invaders, derelicts, and felons. Pressley explicitly designates the “undocumented” (the liberal euphemism for illegal aliens) as worthy of “federal investments” (aka wasteful handouts). Furthermore,

“We have to continue to make investments to support vulnerable populations like those experiencing homelessness, incarcerated men and women.”

Letting convicts run loose is only the beginning of the benefits Democrats would like to bestow upon them.

Rep. Rashida Tlaib (D-Mich.) issued a proposal calling for the federal government to immediately issue debit cards pre-loaded with $2,000 to every person in the US, including to those who have been here for as little as three months. The card would be recharged with $1,000 monthly “until one year after the end of the coronavirus crisis.”

Note that the coronavirus crisis doesn’t ever end until Big Government says it has ended — which could be never.

Even Tlaib knows that there is no such thing as a free lunch. She plans to pay for this insane extravagance by minting $1 trillion coins — i.e., by debasing the currency. The resulting inflation will constitute a devastating tax on those with savings or on fixed incomes. But people like that tend to be older and vote Republican anyway.

Fellow Islamocommie Squad member Ilhan Omar, who hails from Somalia (and who is suspected of committing immigration fraud by marrying her brother), reinforces the need to shower our money upon foreigners who are in our country illegally. Barks Ilhan,

“Comprehensive legislation is needed in the next package to ensure that all noncitizens, whether holding a SSN or not, can access these relief payments.”

“Package” means “blowout free money bonanza.”

Let’s not forget the Future of the Democrat Party:

Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-NY) believes the “Medicare-for-all” proposal of her fellow progressive Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) is the way to protect Americans during the pandemic, calling for Congress to reduce the Medicare eligibility age to zero.

Democrats will not rest until they have imposed socialized medicine.

AOC went on to agree with her fellow “Squad” members, calling for relief packages to support those in the country who are undocumented.

There is no time like a crisis to institute communism and enroll people from every corner of the globe in the American welfare system.

The crisis we are in now is trivial compared to what we will experience when manic irresponsible spending inevitably catches up with us and collapses the economy.

On a tip from Lyle.

Apr 08 2020

Open Thread

Enough is enough. Enough of the waste. Enough of the spending. Enough of the debt. Enough of the arrogance in Washington, D.C. - Dan Benishek

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