Oligarchy has its privileges

September 10, 2010

Such as turning a tiny town’s treasury into your personal bank account:

Top managers for the city of Vernon, Calif., enjoyed pay and perks that outpaced some of the nation’s top leaders.

It is one of a growing number of California municipalities confronting questionable practices by municipal employees.

Vernon has only 90 residents, but top city managers were earning an astounding $1.6 million per year with some fancy perks, including first-class air travel around the world and $800-a-night hotel rooms.

“For these city officials to be receiving salaries larger than the governor, larger than the president of the United States is absolutely unjustifiable,” said Bob Stern of the Center for Governmental Studies.

The city’s small homeowners association is outraged that their city leaders were living the high life, particularly in a town that recently laid off workers and cut health insurance because of budget problems.

At one angry council meeting, residents shouted, “Shame on you!”

Read the rest for other small California towns whose “leaders” live the high life while unemployment skyrockets and the state faces financial insolvency.

Maybe those pitchforks-and-torches mobs in the old movies had the right idea.

(via Gabriel Malor)


Maybe they’re all trying out for Cabinet posts?

September 10, 2010

Perhaps inspired by the example of Treasury Secretary Timothy “Turbo-tax” Geithner, 41 White House aides owe a collective $831,000 in back taxes. And, as the LA Times’ Andrew Malcolm explains, the problem isn’t just limited to the West Wing:

Over the years a lot of suspicion has built up across the country about Washington and its population of opportunistic transients coming to see themselves as a special kind of person, somehow above average working Americans who don’t work down in that former swamp.

Well, finally, an end to all those undocumented doubts. Thanks to some diligent digging by the Washington Post, those suspicions can at last be put to rest.

They’re correct. Accurate. Dead-on. Laser-guided. On target. Bingo-bango. As clear as it’s always seemed to those Americans who don’t feel special entitlements and do meet their government obligations.

We now know that federal employees across the nation owe fully $1 billion in back taxes to the Internal Revenue Service.

And here’s just one example:

In the House of Representatives, 421 people owe a total $6,524,892. In the Senate, 217 owe $2,774,836. In the IRS’ parent department, Treasury, 1,204 owe $7,670,814. At the Labor Department, where Secretary Hilda Solis’ husband had some back-tax problems before her confirmation, 463 owe $7,481,463. Eighty-one workers for the Federal Reserve System’s board of governors owe $1,076,733.

Yet Congress wants to raise taxes on all of us to pay for health care and all the other stupid ideas wonderful reforms its enacted?

“Obedience to the law is for thee, not for me!” cried the oligarch.

Maybe they should garnish the deadbeats’ wages until the backlog is cleared, instead. Just a thought.

LINKS: Hot Air.

(Crossposted at Sister Toldjah)


The Thugocracy in action, health-care division – UPDATED!

September 10, 2010

So, the whole point of ObamaCare (well, one of the points) is to put private insurance companies out of business and pave the way for single-payer national health care:

And yet, when those same targeted private insurance companies complain about ObamaCare and raise rates to meet the new costs it imposes, the President’s Secretary of Health and Human Services, Kathleen Sebelius, gets annoyed and tells them to shut up and take it, or they’ll be put out of business even sooner:

President Barack Obama’s top health official on Thursday warned the insurance industry that the administration won’t tolerate blaming premium hikes on the new health overhaul law.

“There will be zero tolerance for this type of misinformation and unjustified rate increases,” Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius said in a letter to the insurance lobby.

“Simply stated, we will not stand idly by as insurers blame their premium hikes and increased profits on the requirement that they provide consumers with basic protections,” Sebelius said. She warned that bad actors may be excluded from new health insurance markets that will open in 2014 under the law. They’d lose out on a big pool of customers, as many as 30 million people nationwide.

In other words, company executives who dare exercise their First Amendment rights to speak the truth about the harm ObamaCare will do to their firms will… get hurt.

For some strange reason, I’m picturing Frank Nitti, backed by a couple of his goons, in an insurance CEO’s office looking around and saying “Nice company youse got here. Be a shame if something happened to it.”

Must be a coincidence on my part.

LINKS: Ed Morrissey see this as evidence that the entire administration is peevish, not just the President.

(Crossposted at Sister Toldjah)

UPDATE: Irony alert – The GAO says Secretary Sebelius herself is misleading Medicare recipients:

The Government Accountability Office says a Medicare mailer sent out by Kathleen Sebelius, secretary of Health and Human Services, to Medicare recipients on the new health-care law isn’t accurate.

In fact, according to the GAO, the brochure, which cost $18 million in taxpayer dollars to publish and emanated from the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services, presented a view of the health reform law that is “not universally shared,” that it “overstated the benefits” of health reform,” and that it failed to note the possibility of less generous Medicare benefits and higher costs.

While the GAO cleared the administration of putting together a purely partisan or propagandizing brochure, it was nonetheless critical of its content.

Will this mean she has to put herself out of business?  Confused

(via Gabriel Malor on Twitter)


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