Public/Pirate partnerships

Friday, I noted Michigan’s private marketing bureau rip-off. It just gets worse.

Michigan Senate Bill 97. Emphasis mine:

To give state and local government agencies the power to enter into joint operating arrangements with a particular business for purposes of building a hospital or transportation facilities. The private operator would benefit from tax exemptions and its governmental partner’s power to impose property taxes, borrow, take private property using eminent domain and more. The government agency involved could choose the private sector actor without necessarily having to accept the lowest bid. The projects could be proposals from a private developer.

This is just a corporate version of the SEIU dues scam and is no less reprehensible simply because there’s a different set of government approved thieves. The Granholm Democrats licensed a union to steal Medicaid dollars from taxpayers. The Snyder Republicans are getting ready to legalize similar looting by Blue Cross Blue Shield, the Michigan Infrastructure & Transportation Association, and Matty Maroun (owner of the Ambassador Bridge). Of course, it’s endorsed by the Chamber of Cronyism.

H/T Right Michigan where you can find out who to call to kill this assault on Michigan taxpayers.

YOU are a Trump donor

Donald Trump makes a big deal out of using his own money to finance his campaign. He mentioned it again last night when he was booed for insulting the audience:

Trump said he was self-funding his campaign, so Republican donors weren’t a fan of his candidacy.

“The reason they’re not loving me is I don’t want their money. I’m going to do the right thing for the American public,” Trump said.

Self-funding? Ignoring the immense free coverage he’s had from the media, which you paid for with your time watching ads, a lot of the actual money he’s using to finance his campaign came from you. The Donald brags about “leveraging” (to use a polite term) politicians, “I’ve got to give to them, because when I want something, I get it. When I call, they kiss my ass.”

He has reason to brag:

None of this (Except maybe the tax avoidance at the Grand Hyatt*, the unreported lobbying** against the Mohawk Casino and the attempt to screw an elderly woman out of her house.) was illegal. All of it shows Trump is a corporatist whore, whose “business” benefits from transferring taxpayer dollars to his pocket.

Trump says this demonstrates corruption in politics. If so, it also demonstrates corrupt “business” practice. He doesn’t talk about cleaning up the problem, he just says he’s above it now. Because he already got your money.

Doing “[T]he right thing for the American public?” Donald Trump: A consummate utilitarian ethicist.

*When tax receipts from the Grand Hyatt plummeted to $667,000 from $3.7 million the year before, the city budget director asked Auditor General Burstein to review the hotel’s financial records. Burstein said the Grand Hyatt, through “aberrant” accounting practices, had understated its profits by $5 million and shorted the city by $2,870,259 in taxes.

“The people who didn’t get the foregone taxes were the police, the schools and public hospitals of this city,” she said, adding that “Trump leveraged tax forgiveness and clout into a deal where he had essentially no risk at all; there was no downside. Then, having triumphed, he repaid his benefactors by excoriating them as inept, venal and useless.”

Although Trump pressured her to kill the audit, Burstein said, she insisted on publishing it.

**In October 2000, Trump and his associates agreed to pay $250,000 to the state and issue an apology because he secretly paid for the ads attacking the Mohawks and didn’t inform the state lobbying commission.

Open Letter to Senator McConnell

Dear Mr. Majority Leader,

I watched Senator Cruz speak on the Senate floor about your vow that there would be no vote allowed on renewal of the Export-Import Bank. Either Senator Cruz suffers from a catastrophic hearing impairment combined with serious cognitive disability, or your assurance was akin to “if you like your doctor, you can keep your doctor:” You’ve decided there will be such a vote. The Ex-Im renewal amendment will be coupled with an amendment to repeal Obamacare that you’ve personally offered.

How generous of you. Some Republicans (who, I will remind you, comprise the party of which you are Senate Majority Leader) helped you pass Obamatrade based on your promise Ex-Im would die without a vote. Now they have to fight a battle you told them wouldn’t happen. Crony capitalist leaning “Republicans” who want Ex-Im renewal get another kick at the can, but can symbolically vote against Obamacare.

You provide an easy choice for Democrats. They know the President has their back and will veto any Obamacare repeal. Democrats can vote to renew the Ex-Im Bank and even to repeal Obamacare, knowing only the former would ever be allowed to stand.

You’ve called this a “compromise,” giving Democrats and corporatist-state Republicans their chance to perpetuate a give away of taxpayer funds, and giving Republicans the chance to play-vote to repeal Obamacare. What a sham. And a shame.

I also understand you will not allow Senator Paul’s amendment to stop taxpayer funding for Planned Parenthood to come to a vote. Given Planned Parenthood’s recently revealed nonchalance about selling dismembered babies’ organs, which they view as clumps of waste tissue with a market, Senator Paul’s amendment seems to me a timely, winning and principled one. A good issue with which to challenge the modern eugenicists’ newspeak about “tissue samples”, ”calvarium” and “less crunchy.”

But beyond merely opposing these horrors on principle, did it ever occur to you that a compromise might be to fund the Ex-Im Bank with the half a billion tax dollars annually given to Planned Parenthood? That would be a compromise amendment. One where the Democrats are forced to pick their poison. It would have been far better than offering the hemlock to your fellow GOP Senators while serving milk and honey to the opposition.

By the way, if I were writing such an amendment, I would also include a provision to subtract from any future Ex-Im Bank funding the $10.3 million the bank provided as a loan guarantee to subsidize the installation of some solar panels in Belgium. Those panels were made by Solyndra, perhaps the poster child for public-pirate partnership. The installation was completed a year prior to the issuance of the loan guarantee and created exactly zero jobs. Ex-Im didn’t facilitate this export, they shoveled money into a failing company as a matter of political policy.

The Ex-Im Bank is a tool for politicians and lobbyists. It is a highly visible example of the unholy alliance between the Federal government and the corporate-welfare queens laughingly calling themselves capitalists. The private sector is more than up to the task of financing viable business ventures, but apparently provides insufficient opportunities for graft and corruption.

Bad though Ex-Im is, I’d rather waste the money on failing “green” energy companies than on “non-profit” mega-abortion mills. Planned Parenthood is the single largest perpetrator of abortions in the world. It commits an estimated third of a million abortions per year. About as many abortions as the total of half the remaining G7 nations (Germany, France, Canada) combined. Most of those abortions are performed on black and hispanic women in our inner-cities, where the number of abortions typically exceed the number of live births. How about shoving the #WaronWomen and #BlackLivesMatter memes back in the faces of the hypocrites who excuse this leisurely genocide?

In short, Mr. Majority Leader, I agree with Senator Cruz: You are acting like Harry Reid. Senator Cruz is also right that introducing your own Obamacare amendment is a distraction, intended to fail. And intended to muddy the waters.

I am in full-throated agreement with Senator Cruz’ assessment of the GOP leadership. I’ve been disillusioned for many years, and your personal betrayal of your fellow Senators is, sadly, just a small example of the wider corruption which is driving me from the party.

The public adulation for Donald Trump (R?, Blowhardville), should be telling you something about how alienated much of your base already feels. I urge you to reconsider how you are handling this matter, rather than further destroying the brand.

Crapitalism

I’m afraid this ex post facto Export-Import Bank Solyndra subsidy will typify Obamatrade if it’s enacted.

Q: When would the U.S. government subsidize a U.S. export that had happened in the previous year and that was estimated to create zero jobs?

A: When the U.S. exporter was politically connected Solyndra, and the subsidizing agency is the Export-Import Bank of the United States.