Uncommon Sense

politics and society are, unfortunately, much the same thing

Feds Gave Low-Income Housing to Millionaires

original article: Feds Gave Low-Income Housing to Millionaires
July 27, 2015 by Elizabeth Harrington

The Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) gave low-income housing to millionaires, according to a recent audit.

The Office of Inspector General (OIG) found over 25,000 families who earned too much to qualify for subsidized apartments, which will cost taxpayers $104.4 million this year.

“Public housing authorities provided public housing assistance to as many as 25,226 families whose annual household income exceeded HUD’s 2014 program eligibility income limits,” according to the audit. “Most of these families had earned more than the qualifying amount for more than 1 year, were not participating in programs that would allow them to reside in public housing, and occupied units while many families were waiting for public housing assistance.”

“This condition occurred because HUD regulations require families to meet eligibility income limits only when they are admitted to the public housing program,” it said. “The regulations do not limit the length of time that families may reside in public housing.”

Of the 25,226 overincome families identified, 47 percent earned at least $10,000 more than the income limit, and 70 percent lived in subsidized housing for more than a year.

A millionaire in Oxford, Neb., has been able live in low-income housing since 2010. The monthly rent is $300.

“As of April 2014, the single-member household’s annual income was $65,007, while the low-income threshold was $33,500,” the OIG explained. “Also, this tenant had total assets valued at nearly $1.6 million, which included stock valued at $623,685, real estate valued at $470,600, a checking account with a balance of $334,637, and an individual retirement account with a balance of $123,445.”

HUD did not evict the millionaire because “the tenant was income eligible at admission and has not violated the lease agreement.”

The OIG identified a sample of 25 overincome families who either had more than $1 million in assets, or had income that was significantly greater than the income limits.

Another ineligible family paid only $1,091 a month to live in Los Angeles, even though their annual income was $204,784.

A family in New York City was also able to stay in housing that limited income at $67,100, event though they earned $497,911 annually, plus $790,534 in rental income between 2009 and 2013.

Many housing authorities cited by the OIG said they do not evict wealthy individuals and families from low-income housing because “its policy does not require it to terminate the tenancy or evict families solely because they are overincome.”

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Uber-rich Hillary campaigns on economic equality

Clinton formally launches 2016 campaign with focus on economic equality
June 13, 2015 by Fox News

Hillary Clinton on Saturday officially launched her 2016 presidential campaign, calling for a return to shared prosperity and asking American workers, students and others to trust her to fight for them.

Clinton made the announcement at an outdoor rally on New York City’s Roosevelt Island, two months after announcing her campaign with an online video.

“You have to wonder: When do I get ahead? I say now,” Clinton told the crowd in a roughly 46-minute speech. “You brought the country back. Now it’s your time to enjoy the prosperity. That is why I’m running for president of the United States.”

The former first lady, U.S. senator from New York and secretary of state is the Democratic frontrunner in the 2016 White House race.

Also in the race are Sen. Bernie Sanders, of Vermont, former Maryland Gov. Martin O’Malley and former Rhode Island Gov. Lincoln Chaffe.

She lost her 2008 bid for the Democratic presidential nomination to then-Sen. Obama.

Clinton, wearing her signature blue pantsuit, walked through the crowd en route to the stage for her speech.

She remarked that Franklin D. Roosevelt’s Four Freedoms are a “testament to our nation’s unmatched aspirations and a reminder of our unfinished work at home and abroad.”

Clinton also drew into focus what will likely be the key themes of her campaign including support for same-sex marriage, wage equality for women and all Americans, affordable college tuition and free child-care and pre-kindergarten.

“The top-25 hedge fund managers make more than all kindergarten teachers combined,” she said. “And they’re paying lower taxes.”

Clinton attempted to portray herself as a fierce advocate for those left behind in the post-recession economy, detailing a lifetime of work on behalf of struggling families. She said her mother’s difficult childhood inspired what she considers a calling.

“I have been called many things by many people,” Clinton said.” Quitter is not one of them.”

She said that attribute came from her late mother, Dorothy Rodham, in whom she would confide after hard days in the Senate and at the State Department.

“I wish my mother could have been with us longer,” Clinton said. “I wish she could have seen the America we are going to build together … where we don’t leave any one out or any one behind.”

Clinton was joined by her husband, former President Bill Clinton, and their daughter, Chelsea.

She also was critical in her speech of Republicans, suggesting they have reserved economic prosperity for the wealthy, in large part by cutting taxes for the country’s highest wage-earners.

She also accused them of trying to “wipe out tough rules on Wall Street,” take away health insurance from more than 16 million Americans without offering any “credible alternative” and turning their backs on “gay people who love each other.”

The Republican National Committee said in response that Clinton’s campaign was full of hypocritical attacks, partisan rhetoric and ideas from the past.

“Next year, Americans will reject the failed policies of the past and elect a Republican president,” RNC Press Secretary Allison Moore said.

Republicans also argued Clinton devoted only about five minutes of her speech to foreign policy.

Clinton now heads to four early-primary states, starting Saturday night in Iowa where she will talk with volunteers and others about grassroots-campaign efforts for the first-in-the-nation caucus state.

The organizational meeting will be simulcast to Clinton camps across the country and serve as a blueprint for them all 435 congressional districts.

She then travels to New Hampshire on June 15, South Carolina on June 17 and in Nevada on June 18.

Clinton vowed Saturday to roll out specific policy proposals in the coming weeks, including ones on rewriting the tax code and sustainable energy.

In what was her first major speech of her campaign, she also cited President Obama, Roosevelt and her husband, saying they embraced the idea that “real and lasting prosperity must be built by all and shared by all.”

Holding the event on an island between Queens and Manhattan raised some criticism about its accessibility by vehicle and public transportation.

The campaign estimated the event crowd, whose members needed a ticket, at 5,500. However, the number appeared smaller, and the overflow section was empty.

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Look at all the Clinton money, and ethics issues

A few more stories challenging a myth about the wealthy. Democrats are the party of the rich.

Bill doubled speaking fees from foreign groups while Hillary was secretary of state
May 19, 2015 by Sarah Westwood

Former President Bill Clinton netted millions in speaking fees from appearances around the world while his wife served as secretary of state, but earned far less from abroad in the years since Hillary Clinton left the State Department.

Bill Clinton took in $2.2 million from just six international speeches in 2014, according to financial disclosure forms released Friday as required by Hillary Clinton’s presidential candidacy.

By contrast, the former president reportedly earned more than twice as much for appearances made across borders while Hillary Clinton was in office. He reportedly made $4.8 million from 13 speeches in foreign countries in 2010, his wife’s first year as secretary of state.

In 2011, Bill Clinton reportedly drummed up at least $5.96 million in speaking fees for appearances he made outside the U.S.


Unions pour millions into Clinton Foundation
May 18, 2015 by Bill McMorris

Big labor funneled millions of dollars in dues money to the Clinton Foundation, according to a new report.

The National Institute for Labor Relations Research (NILRR), a union watchdog group, traced at least $2 million in donations from multiple union organizations and affiliates.

“U.S. Department of Labor’s union financial disclosure reports reveal that Big Labor gave at least $2,034,500 in union general treasury funds to Clinton Foundations. Union treasuries are funded mostly by compulsory union dues or fees collected from workers who would be fired for refusing to pay,” the NILRR report says. “As Mrs. Clinton became closer to her current run for president, donations amounts appear to have increased.”

The Clintons have turned their foundation into a lucrative “slush fund,” according to one charity watchdog group, and have received hundreds of millions of dollars from notable businesses, media personalities, and political luminaries. The family has maintained that none of those donations influenced her decisions as secretary of state and that the money is strictly philanthropic.

However, unions did not necessarily agree about the apolitical nature of the donations, according to NILRR.

“Some of these ‘donations’ are categorized by the unions as ‘political’ on their financial disclosure report” to the Labor Department, the report says.

Poll: Hillary Clinton ‘less ethical’ than other politicians


ABC ‘turned a blind eye’ to George Stephanopoulos’ links to Clintons amid claims he can’t be trusted to remain impartial
May 20, 2015 by JAMES DUNN

ABC ‘turned a blind eye’ to star George Stephanopoulos’ being in regular contact with high-powered Democrats, it’s been claimed.
The news comes amid a scandal surrounding the fact he did not disclose $75,000 in donations to the Clinton Foundation between 2012 and 2014 while negotiating his $105million contract with ABC.
It will further fuel criticisms from Republicans that Stephanopoulos can’t be trusted to be impartial.

The news comes from an old report by Politico which resurfaced after the donations were uncovered, reports Page Six.

It claims that Stephanopoulos, who was a member of Clinton’s communications team in the 1992 presidential campaign, was in daily contact with important Democrats in 2009 while anchoring This Week and about to take over flagship show Good Morning America.

The report claims he took part in ’round robin chatter’ during which Democrat strategy was ‘more than likely…being hatched’.

It claims that he either didn’t tell bosses or the channel turned a blind eye to his links.

Stephanopoulos played down the claims, reportedly saying: ‘We just like talking to each other, and I learn a lot from it . . . and that’s why we’ve been doing it for so long.’

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Democrats and their money

Schumer may shatter fundraising records for Democrats
April 16, 2015 by Alexander Bolton

Sen. Charles Schumer, who will become the Senate’s top Democrat in 2017, could become one of the greatest fundraisers of all time.

The New York Democrat has developed a reputation as a tenacious money magnet who doesn’t take no for an answer. When handed a $25,000 check, he’s been known to respond, “You can do a little better than that.”

He’s asked donors to send him contributions by courier to quash any possible excuses about a “check in the mail.”

“I would use the word ‘relentless.’ He knows every year what money is out there and how to reach it,” said Tom Quinn, a Democratic lobbyist who has known Schumer since he was elected to the House in 1980.
Schumer is constantly looking for new donors, and will even badger Republicans for cash. Sources say he has multiple cellphones, and he’s seen regularly in the Capitol with one attached to his ear.

The 64-year-old has strong ties to New York’s powerful financial services industry, as well as to titans of the tech industry and Hollywood. His fundraising network is vast, helped tremendously by twice running the Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee (DSCC).

full article

Clinton Foundation to keep accepting donations from foreign governments
April 16, 2015 by Fox News

The Clinton Foundation said late Wednesday that it will continue to accept donations from foreign governments during Hillary Clinton’s presidential campaign, despite concerns that such gifts will create a conflict of interest for the Democratic front-runner.

The foundation’s board said that donations directly to the foundation would only be allowed from six governments — Australia, Canada, Germany, the Netherlands, Norway and the United Kingdom. However, other governments could continue to participate in the Clinton Global Initiative (CGI), a subsidiary program that encourages donors to match contributions from others to tackle international problems without direct donations to the charity.

The foundation also said it would stop holding CGI meetings abroad after a final session planned for Morocco in May. According to the Wall Street Journal, ministers from any government would be allowed to attend and appear on panels at CGI meetings and those governments would be permitted to pay attendance fees of $20,000.

Ethics experts had called on the foundation to stop accepting all foreign donations for the duration of Clinton’s presidential campaign.

full article

Other Stories:

Are Democrats the party of the rich?

Democrats still party of the rich

Do we no longer care about windfall profits?

First lady’s $375,000 vacation, but at least it wasn’t on clothes

Democrat Rep. Rangel faces multiple ethics charges

Hillary wants to tax the rich more, while sheltering her own millions

That’s a lot of public money for one date

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The Democrats embrace trickle-down economics

August 26, 2014 by Kevin D. Williamson

Approximately 99.44 percent of the time, it is a safe assumption that when you disagree with Thomas Sowell, you are wrong. But on the issue of the “trickle-down” theory of economics, Professor Sowell is in fact wrong to claim that “trickle-down” is a nonexistent theory, absent from “even the most voluminous and learned histories of economic theories.” Trickle-down is there — just not where its critics are looking for it.

Getting to the bottom of this will require a little background.

Professor Sowell is correct that trickle-down functions in our current discourse mainly as a caricature of certain conservative, supply-side, and/or free-market economic ideas, mostly pertaining to taxes: “Repeatedly, over the years,” he writes,

the arguments of the proponents and opponents of tax rate reductions have been arguments about two fundamentally different things. Proponents of tax rate cuts base their arguments on anticipated changes in behavior by investors in response to reduced income tax rates. Opponents of tax cuts attribute to the proponents a desire to see higher income taxpayers have more after-tax income, so that their prosperity will somehow “trickle down” to others, which opponents of tax cuts deny will happen. One side is talking about behavioral changes that can change the total output of the economy, while the other side is talking about changing the direction of existing after-tax income flows among people of differing income levels at existing levels of output. These have been arguments about very different things, and the two arguments have largely gone past each other untouched.

What sort of “behavioral changes” do the tax-cutters expect? In Andrew Mellon’s day, tax cuts were intended to lure wealthy investors out of tax-free government securities, which Mellon had proposed abolishing, into more-productive private-sector investments, which he believed would raise overall economic output. As Professor Sowell points out, the aggregate reported income of those earning $300,000 a year or more in 1916, back when three hundred grand meant something, was cut in half by 1918, and it probably was not because Scrooge McMoneybags actually was earning less: The consensus is that the very rich shifted their investments into tax-free securities as taxes went up and tax shelters became more attractive. Most of a century later, billionaire presidential candidate Ross Perot would be criticized for keeping his copious loot in tax-free munis. The more things change . . .

President Woodrow Wilson and others argued at the time that the combination of high taxes on income and zero taxes on certain government securities created a situation that discouraged private investment and encouraged profligate government spending, while lowering the tax burden on the wealthy and thus necessarily increasing the burden on everybody else. Presidents Calvin Coolidge and John Kennedy would make similar arguments.

The cartoon version of conservative economic thinking — that we should subsidize gazillionaires in order to create work opportunities for yacht painters, monocle polishers, and truffle graters — is fundamentally at odds with the facts. The supply-siders may have wrong economic ideas, but they do not have those wrong economic ideas. President Ronald Reagan, for example, loved to boast of the number of poor and modestly-off Americans his policies had removed from the federal tax rolls entirely. George W. Bush promised that he’d take the poorest fifth of taxpaying U.S. households off the federal tax rolls; Heritage estimates that he succeeded in doing so for about 10 million low-income households.

One of the perverse consequences of conservatives’ success in lowering the federal income-tax burdens of those on the left half of the earnings bell curve is that we have finally arrived at the point where our critics are partly correct: Most conservative plans for tax cuts at this point in history do disproportionately favor the wealthy and the high-income, for the mathematically unavoidable reason that they pay a steeply disproportionate share of federal income taxes, making it very difficult to design a tax-cut plan that does not disproportionately benefit them. It’s hard to cut taxes without cutting them for the taxpayers.

I myself am mostly neutral on the question of tax cuts, on the grounds that cutting taxes while the government is running significant deficits is not inadvisable but impossible — in that situation, taxes are not cut but merely deferred. All accounts must in the end be settled, so the real rate of taxation is the rate of spending.

The point of rehearsing this history is not to determine whether traditional supply-side thinking on economic policy is true or false, but rather to show that it is something fundamentallydifferent from the trickle-down caricature offered by the progressives and others generally hostile to the idea of a smaller federal financial footprint. But that is not to say that “trickle-down” is an idea without adherents, a banner without partisans marching under it. Perversely, those advancing trickle-down ideas are mostly the same ideologues who denounce “trickle-down.” But they do not call it trickle-down — they call it “stimulus.”

There are three main ways in which the federal government goes about trying to stimulate the economy. Traditionally, the most popular and most bipartisan method has been tax cuts. The popular if intellectually dodgy Keynesian analysis holds that during periods of economic weakness, there is a glut of underutilized productive capacity — capital and labor both — and that government can help clear it by increasing “aggregate demand,” i.e., stimulating consumption. As President Obama put it, “For businesses across the country, it would mean customers with more money in their pockets.” If you want Republicans on board, then the easiest way to put money in consumers’ pockets is with tax cuts, but you can achieve much the same thing with various kinds of welfare spending, the second form of stimulus, as seen with the bump in food-stamp and unemployment spending under President Obama’s American Recovery and Reinvestment Act. You can also sometimes forcibly deputize others to do some spending for you — in the speech above, President Obama was talking about raising the minimum wage.

The president and congressional Democrats treat tax cuts and spending as though they were the same thing, and from a federal accounting point of view, they are not entirely wrong: Cutting a $50,000-a-year household’s taxes by $1,000 a year is functionally identical to cutting them a check for $1,000 every year. Cutting an unemployed worker’s taxes by $1,000 a year is functionally the same thing as giving him an extra $1,000 in unemployment benefits. On the question of economic stimulus through tax cuts vs. through targeted social-welfare spending, the real dispute is about the method of targeting those distributions — and that’s about nothing but politics. Democrats do not want to do too much to establish the precedent that tax cuts might be good for the economy in some circumstances, lest it come back to bite them, and Republicans do not want to establish the precedent that some welfare spending might be good for the economy.

For what it’s worth, I’m not convinced that either approach does much more than provide a short-term sugar rush at the expense of the economy’s long-term health, and the Congressional Budget Office shares that suspicion, estimating that in the long run the Recovery Act will decrease economic output for reasons that would have been familiar to Andrew Mellon back in his day:

To the extent that people hold their wealth in government securities rather than in a form that can be used to finance private investment, the increased debt tends to reduce the stock of productive private capital. In the long run, each dollar of additional debt crowds out about a third of a dollar’s worth of private domestic capital, CBO estimates.

One of the problems with the traditional Keynesian view of stimulus is that it assumes that the increased aggregate demand in the economy will be matched by a mirror image of underutilized productive capacity. But we know from experience that this is not always the case. For example, we spent years around the turn of the century stimulating the economy with lower interest rates, tax cuts, and welfare spending, and the result wasn’t general prosperity — it was a housing bubble. These things tend to be unpredictable, and it is as likely that such efforts will deepen the misalignment between production and consumption as it is that they will mitigate it.

The third way that government attempts to stimulate the economy is through project spending, i.e. the so-called infrastructure investments that politicians always are nattering on about. From the politicians’ point of view, infrastructure spending has one important advantage over tax cuts or welfare outlays: They get to control what the money is spent on and where. Cut somebody’s taxes, and he might put the money toward his children’s college tuition — or he might put it toward a few lines of cocaine. Additional welfare dollars might find their way to the grocery store — or a casino. But if you spend a billion dollars on a bridge, you can be pretty sure that you’re going to get a bridge out of the deal, and a bridge right where you wanted one.

Needless to say, that’s not the same as building a bridge where a bridge is needed — but if we buy the traditional model of stimulus, that shouldn’t matter. Through the magic of the multiplier effect, $1 spent on a bridge works its way through the economy, creating $1.25, or $2, or $22 in value, depending on whom you ask. (All of which assumes that the multiplier generally is greater than 1, rather than less than 1, which has not been established, but never you mind. And if this looks to you like nothing other than the contemporary supply-siders’ self-financing tax cut in drag, then you’re on the right track.)

The important point here is this: The argument that the government should spend on infrastructure because a certain piece of infrastructure is needed is one kind of argument; the argument that government should spend on infrastructure because doing so is good for the economy is a different kind of argument — specifically, it is a trickle-down argument.

If you doubt that, ask yourself: What kind of firms get federal contracts? Do you think any of those unhappy people in Ferguson, Mo., own firms that are in line for Department of Defense or Department of Energy contracts? Do you think impoverished Appalachian pillbillies are in the running for upgrading Treasury’s computer networks? If so, I have a bridge I’d like to build you at a very reasonable price.

Federal contracting is dominated, as one would expect, by large firms, often the dreaded multinational corporations of angsty soy-latte-liberal legend. Call the roll: In first place, we have Lockheed Martin, followed by those poor, Dickensian waifs at Boeing, who would be bereft without the support of the Export-Import Bank. Then we have the plucky upstarts at Northrop Grumman, General Dynamics, and Raytheon. And, lest Wall Street feel left out, Cerberus Capital Management comes in at No. 11. Deloitte, Rolls-Royce, and our friends at the Kuwait Petroleum Corporation all make the list — because federal spending is all about Main Street, albeit Main Street in Abu Dhabi, where the national oil company does nearly $2 billion a year in business as a federal contractor.

That’s a non-issue if your argument is that Uncle Stupid needs to build a spur on I-35 because it is having trouble getting trucks to Fort Sam Houston, or if you believe that it should buy its oil from whoever has the best price. Jim Bob’s Mom-and-Pop Interstate Highways, Aircraft Carriers, and Bait Shop (“No Job Too Small!”) is not a thing that exists.

But that is a big, hairy Gordian knot of an issue if your argument is that infrastructure spending, and other federal project outlays, are a desirable form of economic stimulus in and of themselves. If the latter is your argument, then you have to believe something far stronger than even the cartoon trickle-down version of supply-side tax cuts: You have to believe that having the federal government literally write enormous checks to gigantic international conglomerates and the rich guys who own and operate them will create prosperity by, forgive me for noticing, trickling down through the economy to the guys who spread asphalt and the guys who sell those guys work boots and burritos and bass boats. “Deep voodoo,” as Paul Krugman would put it in another context.

Inevitably, there are federal rules setting aside a portion of contracts and subcontracts — 23 percent, in fact — for small businesses. This works about as well as you’d expect: Large firms simply organize subsidiaries or make other arrangements to meet small-business ruleswhich are pretty flexible to begin with — or they fraudulently misrepresent themselves. And so “small business” awards to go firms with 150 employees and $400 million a year in revenue — or, in some cases, a hell of a lot more. By the American Small Business League’s count, 16 of the top 100 small-business contractors in 2013 were actually small businesses. It finds that many small-business contracts are in effect awarded to Apple, Bank of America, PepsiCo, General Electric, and all the usual suspects, through arrangements that made small businesses the names on the contracts while the majority of the revenues went to Fortune 500 companies.

But still, might this stimulate the economy, create jobs, raise wages? There is reason to be skeptical about that proposition. Under the Recovery Act, stimulus spending went to doomed firms such as Solyndra, Evergreen Solar, and SpectraWatt, all of which took the money and ran into bankruptcy. The Export-Import Bank’s defenders make a very conventional case that its subsidies stimulate the economy, but there is no evidence that they do. Even hard infrastructure projects are not always obviously good ideas: roads to nowhere, bridges to nowhere. Such projects likely are net losses for the economy once everything is accounted for: the opportunity cost of the labor and capital that went into them, their effect on the debt and interest expenses, long-term maintenance costs, etc.

If the federal government needs a nuclear submarine or an upgraded computer system, so be it. (Although maybe not the kind of information technology that the stimulus bill bought for the Veterans Administration.) But if you think that dumping another billion dollars into the pockets of General Electric or Raytheon is going to produce trickle-down prosperity for the general public, you’re subscribing to an economic theory that makes Arthur Laffer look like Chairman Mao.

original article: Blue Voodoo

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Are Democrats the party of the rich?

Media Focused on Big Bush Donors, Paying Little Attention to Obama’s Fat Cats
July 14, 2011 by Aubrey Vaughan

It’s no secret that most campaigns are heavily funded by big checks from lobbyists, PACs, and rich donors, but President Obama’s campaign team is turning away from that assertion, instead showcasing the claim that it is 98-percent-funded by grassroots support. Jim Messina, Obama’s campaign manager, said “we did this from the bottom up,” pushing the idea that the $86 million fundraising figure released on Wednesday was fueled almost entirely by grassroots organizers.

While 98 percent of the checks may have come from grassroots donors, it doesn’t mean that 98 percent of the money did. Many media outlets are taking the bait and are ignoring the two percent of donors whose contributions may turn out to be a far greater portion of Obama’s campaign funds than Messina is making them out to be.

For comparison, eight years ago when then-President George W. Bush was ramping up for his re-election campaign, the media magnified a small fraction of extremely wealthy donors to be the image of his campaign.

Obama’s campaign won’t release the details of the remaining two percent of donors until tomorrow, when the Federal Election Commission has set its filing deadline. This allows for three full days of coverage of his 98 percent grassroots support, and the weekend to bury any stories about the rich donors who are fueling Obama’s campaign.

While Obama’s campaign fundraising data won’t be available until tomorrow, the Democratic National Committee, which in effect acts as a secondary campaign team for Obama, files monthly reports on their donations. Tim Carney analyzed the DNC’s monthly reports from this year, and found that Obama’s campaign isn’t as grassroots as Messina is making it out to be:

Of the $31.1 million the DNC has raised in contributions this year, almost two-thirds — $19.3 million — has come from individuals giving $10,000 or more, according to my analysis of FEC data. So, judging by all available data, rich people cutting big checks are providing an overwhelming majority of Obama’s re-election money.
Obama’s reliance on rich donors cutting five-figure checks isn’t unusual or surprising, but it does clash with the image his campaign puts forward. Messina’s web videos, like most of Obama’s fundraising emails, push the myth that the campaign is mostly funded by ordinary people cutting $50 checks. It may be true that 98 percent of donations to the Obama campaign were $250 or less, but that’s not a very telling statistic.

read full article here

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Do we no longer care about windfall profits?

Pelosi’s Net Worth Grew 62 Percent Last Year, Media Mostly Mum
June 16, 2011 by Noel Sheppard

You would think that in a tough economy with 9.1 percent of the population unemployed and most people seeing continued decreases in the value of their homes the revelation of a political leader experiencing a massive rise in her net worth would be newsworthy.

Apparently not, for the following report about former House Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s (D-Calif.) stunning one year financial windfall published by the Hill at 12:46 PM Wednesday received almost no interest from so-called “news” outlets from coast to coast:

House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) saw her net worth rise 62 percent last year, cementing her status as one of the wealthiest members of Congress.

Pelosi was worth at least $35.2 million in the 2010 calendar year, according to a financial disclosure report released Wednesday. She reported a minimum of $43.4 million in assets and about $8.2 milion in liabilities.

For 2009, Pelosi reported a minimum net worth of $21.7 million.

read the full article

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Conservatives give higher percentage of income to charity than liberals

One common argument for higher taxes on the rich is that poor people pay a higher percentage of their income on basic necessities, such as food. Thus, somehow, this justifies raising taxes on the more wealthy, in the attempt to even things out and spread the struggle. If “percentage of income” is the standard, how about measuring charitable giving based on percentage of income?

Paul Begala Extols Liberal Generosity on Thanksgiving Despite Conservatives Giving Far More to Charity
November 25, 2010 Noel Sheppard

The hypocrisy of liberal media members knows no bounds – even on Thanksgiving.

On Thursday, CNN contributor Paul Begala wrote a piece for the Huffington Post extolling the “quintessentially liberal virtue” of generosity despite conservatives giving far more to charity:

As the Catalogue for Philanthropy consistently finds, red states regularly top the “generosity index” meaning that they give more as a percentage of income than blue states.

With this in mind, Begala’s contention that generosity is quintessentially a liberal virtue is quintessentially nonsense, for if all Americans gave as sparingly as liberals, charities would have far less money, and those in need would be having a far less happy Thanksgiving.

Generosity Index 2005 (2003 data)

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Keith Olbermann: MSNBC now treats him like the worst person in the world

MSNBC Suspends Keith Olbermann Indefinitely for Secret Democrat Donations
November 5, 2010 by Lachlan Markay

MSNBC suspended Keith Olbermann indefinitely today after news broke that he had given the maximum allowable contribution to three Democrats without disclosing it to his viewers.

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Filed under: bias, campaign, corruption, Democrats, elections, ethics, hypocrisy, ideology, left wing, liberalism, news media, pandering, politics, scandal, spending, video, wealthy

Democrats still party of the rich

Democrats hold financial advantage over GOP
August 21, 2010 by JIM KUHNHENN

While this story tries to tie Republicans to AIG, apparently in an attempt to label the Republican Party guilty by association, notice there is no mention of the sources for Democrat funds, large or small. Especially considering the growing dissatisfaction Americans have with the Democrat agenda these days, where are Democrats getting their money?

WASHINGTON (AP) – The Republican National Committee’s $5.5 million in July receipts includes a $900,000 insurance payment, helping boost anemic fundraising by the national party.
Federal campaign reports show that Democratic Party committees maintained a cash on hand advantage over their Republican counterparts as they entered the final three months before the election.

The Republican Party’s insurance payment was from Illinois National Insurance, a subsidiary of insurance giant American International Group. A party official said the money was for an insurance claim but said there was a confidentiality provision in the agreement. The official was not authorized to discuss the claim publicly and spoke on the condition of anonymity.

The official said the payment was not related to AIG’s financial troubles, which required a massive federal bailout.

Even with the claim, the RNC’s receipts were less than half the $11.6 million raised by the Democrats. The Democratic Party reported $10.8 million in the bank and $3.5 million in debts; Republicans showed $5.3 million in the banks and $2.2 million in debts.

The RNC is by far the GOP committee struggling the most, creating anxiety among Republican operatives and increasing pressure on outside groups to help make up the financial gap.

The National Republican Congressional Committee raised $8.5 million to help House candidates, surpassing the $6.2 million raised by its Democratic counterpart. But the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee showed $35.8 million in the bank compared to $22 million for the NRCC.

The two parties’ senatorial committees were closer to parity. The Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee raised $4.4 million and had $22.4 million in the bank. The National Republican Senatorial Committee raised nearly $4.2 million and had $21.2 million in the bank.

Democrats, campaign, elections, funding, politics, wealthy

Filed under: campaign, Democrats, elections, funding, politics, wealthy

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