Not good enough for the gander…

Posted on September 5th, 2009 by bile
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I’m watching the Senate Health Committee debates. Oklahoma Senator Tom Coburn (R)  introduced an amendment that as far as I could tell required members of the Senate to participate in whatever public plan they create for the common man and woman, apparently instead of the lush plan the taxpayer subsidizes for them now.   It always pains me to give credit to Republicans but lets give credit where credit is due.  Senator Coburn – on this one you rock.

Chairman Chris Dodd immediately accepted the amendment however,  New Mexico Senator Jeff Bingaman (D) objected.  He didn’t see why, since the public plan would be voluntary,  he ( and others among the ruling class) should be forced to participate in something that the proposed law specifically says would be voluntary.  That’s completely rational.

Of course it might be different if the taxpayer wasn’t subsidizing his royal behind.  If he had to deal with the disaster of the US health care “system”  created by his chamber and their lower house brethren that public option might look pretty good.

Or would it? The amendment lost.

So I guess the Senate Health Committee doesn’t have much faith in the quality of the public option.  They won’t give up their privilege but we have to pay for both their privilege and the public option they won’t subject their families to.

So much for living the change you want to see in the world.

Peter Schiff on the ED show: painful to watch

Posted on August 10th, 2009 by bile
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Schiff responded the hit on his Saturday vidcast:

blog of bile video clip used in Peter Schiff moneybomb advert

Posted on August 5th, 2009 by bile
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The full speech below:

Read More…

Chris Dodd got special mortgage rates from Countrywide

Posted on July 28th, 2009 by bile
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Despite their denials, influential Democratic Sens. Kent Conrad and Chris Dodd were told from the start they were getting VIP mortgage discounts from one of the nation’s largest lenders, the official who handled their loans has told Congress in secret testimony.Both senators have said that at the time the mortgages were being written they didn’t know they were getting unique deals from Countrywide Financial Corp., the company that went on to lose billions of dollars on home loans to credit-strapped borrowers. Dodd still maintains he got no preferential treatment.

Dodd got two Countrywide mortgages in 2003, refinancing his home in Connecticut and another residence in Washington. Conrad’s two Countrywide mortgages in 2004 were for a beach house in Delaware and an eight-unit apartment building in Bismarck in his home state of North Dakota.

I hope this really bites him in the ass in his 2010 re-election campaign. Anything to give Peter Schiff an advantage should he run. Hell… I’ll take whatever other random Republican or Demograt that could possible get in. Dodd is awful.

New York passes largest budget in history, increases taxes and fees

Posted on March 30th, 2009 by bile
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New Yorkers, both rich and not so rich, will soon be digging deeper into their pockets to close the huge state budget gap. The new spending plan expected to be adopted this week is jam-packed with higher taxes and fees.

The hits for New Yorkers just keep on coming. After being socked with a whopping subway and bus fare hike, New York families making at least $300,000 are now being walloped with a 7.85 percent tax rate and those over $500,000, an 8.97 percent rate. But it’s not only the rich who are being soaked by the budget unveiled by Governor David Paterson and legislative leaders.

“We made the tough choices necessary to address that challenge through shared sacrifice and responsible budgeting,” Gov. David Paterson said in a written statement issued with legislative leaders. “The agreement we are announcing today closes the largest deficit in state history, stabilizes our finances and institutes critical reforms that will help eliminate waste and inefficiency in our government.”

There are lots of new taxes and fees that will be annoying to everyone, an equal-opportunity spreading of the pain. Among those are vehicle registration fees, a cigar tax, a beer and wine tax, a utility assessment, an auto insurance surcharge, driver’s license fees, a rental car tax and a registration fee for tobacco sellers.

“These numbers are absolutely staggering, and the height of irresponsibility on the part of the Democrat leadership in this state,” said Senate Minority Leader Dean Skelos (R-L.I.). “The public should be outraged.”

Even bottled water drinkers aren’t immune to the fees. They’ll be paying a nickel more per bottle because the drink has now been added to the 5 cent bottle deposit law.

“You know it’s a really difficult situation. There are no clear solutions. It just seems to tax too much,” said Upper West Side resident Jamie Kalfus.

“We have produced a budget that provides a solid foundation to move forward and address challenges ahead,” Paterson said. “We have accomplished this with a budget that holds government accountable to the people of New York, and protects those who cannot protect themselves.”

The details of the new budget include:

  • Essentially flat state school aid. Aid to public schools would increase about $1.1 billion, according to Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver, and eliminate the $700 million cut Paterson had proposed in December. But that results in almost no increase for schools that have gotten bumps of billions of dollars from lawmakers pressured by school districts back home. School aid will total more than $21 billion, one of the highest per capita levels in the nation. But school advocates expected $1.5 billion more this year, even after Paterson’s cut was restored, under a promise by the state following a court decision it lost for not providing a sound basic education for years.

“There are going to be layoffs of teachers and other educators,” said Billy Easton, executive director of the Alliance for Quality Education, a union-allied advocate for public schools. “There are going to be cutbacks of programs and kids in districts that are already underfunded, the problem is going to continue … and that’s a travesty of justice.”

The last time school districts received far less state aid than expected local property taxes were subsequently increased by an average of 10 percent.

  • About $3 billion of taxes and fees, from motor vehicle registration charges to public college tuition and other costs that would affect everyday life for most residents.
  • No more tax rebate checks to residents, although the STAR exemption program and NYC STAR credit will continue to provide $3.3 billion in property tax relief.
  • A bigger bottle bill. A nickel deposit would be required of bottled water, to go along with carbonated drinks. The state will get about $115 million of the unclaimed deposits, with bottlers keeping the rest under a last-minute deal worked out with lobbyists for the Coca-Cola Co.
  • Taxing little cigars often called cigarillos at the same 46 percent rate applied to cigarettes, instead of the 37 percent rate now.

Meanwhile, Paterson had proposed more than $1 billion in cuts from health care in his mid-December budget to the Legislature. He sought to force more funding to be moved from traditional and expensive hospital care to more efficient community-based and preventive programs. The Legislature restored about 69 percent of funding to hospitals, 73 percent to pharmacies, 60 percent to home care programs and 43 percent to nursing homes.

The Legislature also restored:

  • $340 million of critical funding to New York City, Silver said.
  • Funding for teacher training centers and adult literacy and bilingual education programs.
  • $125 million more to the State University of New York, for a total of $2.5 billion in funding; and $86 million more to the City University of New York, for a new total of $1.4 billion.
  • $49 million in cuts to community colleges.
  • Almost $50 million to the Tuition Assistance Program, which provides financial aid to college students.

The Legislature also created a $50 billion program to provide low-interest loans to residents attending college and rejected a proposal for a gas tax.

I’m glad my taxed dollars are going to such wonderfully wasteful programs and while I cut back the State grows.

I found out today (but I suspected this was the case) that when/if I move to New Hampshire and telecommute to my job in New York I will get to continue to have my wages stolen for NY state income tax. Unless you can show that you must work outside the state they will tax 100% of your wages whether or not you spend time in the state working. Senator Chris Dodd introduced S. 785, the Telecommuter Tax Fairness Act in 2007 (and previously in 2005) which didn’t even make it to a vote even though it seems the bill was universally supported in the media.

Presenting the Serve America Act : S.3487

Posted on September 18th, 2008 by bile
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Serve America Act (Introduced in Senate)

  • (a) Findings- Congress finds the following:
    • (1) Engaging in service-learning and community service activities at a young age makes individuals more likely to continue to volunteer and engage in service throughout their lives.
    • (2) High-quality service-learning programs keep students engaged in school and increase the likelihood that they will graduate.
    • (3) Since its creation, the Learn and Serve America program has allowed over 15,000,000 students to take part in service-learning activities to improve their communities and schools.
    • (4) Most schools do not offer service-learning activities, but many students, particularly students at risk of dropping out, express an interest in service-learning.
  • (b) Purposes- The purposes of this section are–
    • (1) to provide increased high-quality service-learning opportunities for in-school and out-of-school youth in high-need, low-income communities as a strategy to retain and re-engage youth likely to drop out and youth who have dropped out;
    • (2) to encourage more individuals to engage in lifetimes of service by teaching young people the value of service early in their lives; and
    • (3) to establish youth engagement zones with the goal of involving all secondary school students served by a local educational agency in service-learning to solve a specific community challenge, through a program that can serve as a model for other communities.

I’ve not read it yet but if you happen to get a chance and find anything of quality please point it out in the comments.

Here are the sponsors:
Sen Clinton, Hillary Rodham [NY] – 9/12/2008
Sen Cochran, Thad [MS] – 9/12/2008
Sen Dodd, Christopher J. [CT] – 9/12/2008
Sen Hatch, Orrin G. [UT] – 9/12/2008
Sen McCain, John [AZ] – 9/12/2008
Sen Obama, Barack [IL] – 9/12/2008