Visual aids all over the place today, I tells ya…


Here is a concise demonstration of corporate soshulism:

In Irondequoit, just outside Rochester, N.Y., and a few miles from where I live, developer Scott Congel wants $250 million in sales taxes to finance rebuilding the Medley Centre mall while adding condominiums and a hotel. Typically local governments issue bonds, which are paid off using sales tax receipts that are diverted from public purposes to the developer’s benefit.

Subsidies for retail businesses are the worst kind of corporate welfare because, as the end of the economic chain, retailing grows only when population and incomes increase. If population or income falls, then subsidies for new projects like Congel’s damage existing businesses, where people would otherwise be spending their money.


Today the mall is empty, its doors sealed, except for a Sears at one end and a Macy’s at the other, each with a handful of customers during my visits.

Congel promised a $260 million project, but five years on nothing is built and Congel is seeking delays in fulfilling promises for which the mall was granted property tax breaks.

The whole piece is worth reading, in no small way due to the fact that it enumerates the pillars of NeoConfederate looting:

  1. Taxpayers contribute when the market rejects.
  2. Taxpayers donate capital, while the owners keep the profits.
  3. The poor may have to pass a drug test to get benefits but rich applicants write their own ticket.
  4. Ignore inconvenient facts.
  5. Government, not the market, picks winners and losers.
  6. Ignore inconvenient laws.
  7. Divert money from schools and other public services to company coffers.
  8. Penalize anyone with the temerity to fight being taxed to give to the already rich.
  9. Privatize gains, socialize losses and destroy competitors who do not get subsidies.

Of course, these principles are valid only when both the government and the recipient of the largesse are GOPers; Democrats need not apply.

(H/T mistermix)


No One Could Have Predicted – Princes Of The Universe Edition

I knew when Bank Of America didn’t get their way on the $5 debit card fee, they were going to find a way to make it up one way or the other:

GLOBAL financial giant Bank of America Corp., which operates a small overseas branch in what used to be called the Bank of America-Lepanto Tower on Paseo de Roxas Ave. in Makati City, has finally opened its own call center in the Philippines and chose Taguig City as its base of operations.

BA, the second-largest American financial holding company, is a relative latecomer in the local financial business process outsourcing industry since US financial giants JPMorgan Chase & Co., Citigroup Inc. and Wells Fargo & Co. have already long established their backoffice operations in the country.

Among the coverage of this decision, this bit was particularly galling:

Roman Romulo, deputy majority leader of the Philippine House of Representatives, bragged to the Manila Standard Today earlier this month that the Philippines “has secured its place as the world’s fastest-growing outsourcing hub.” Romulo pointed out that BofA is the last of the “big four” US banks to move their business-support network to his island nation, where the average family makes $4,700 a year.

BoA’s restraint in this matter is noted, and my response is as follows:

They’re going to get theirs, the only thing the rest of us are going to get is GOT.

You Should Put Some Salve On That

Hey, you remember the debt ceiling debacle from last year?  You know, the one where the NeoConfederates showed their, umm, assets so badly that everyone thought they were determined to destroy the full faith and credit of the United States just to make President Obama look bad?  Well, guess who’s back for another roller coaster ride?  Yup, you guessed it:

“We shouldn’t dread the debt limit. We should welcome it. It’s an action-forcing event in a town that has become infamous for inaction,” Boehner will say according to excerpts of prepared remarks provided by his office. “That night in New York City, I put forth the principle that we should not raise the debt ceiling without real spending cuts and reforms that exceed the amount of the debt limit increase…. When the time comes, I will again insist on my simple principle of cuts and reforms greater than the debt limit increase. This is the only avenue I see right now to force the elected leadership of this country to solve our structural fiscal imbalance. If that means we have to do a series of stop-gap measures, so be it – but that’s not the ideal. Let’s start solving the problem. We can make the bold cuts and reforms necessary to meet this principle, and we must.”

Seriously? Hey John, first of all, it’s not the town that is infamous for inaction, it’s your party, genius.  Second, the deal you’re trying to wriggle out of was designed to cover – you know what, I’m going to let Timmay ‘splain this one:

…”Congress has given the executive branch a set of tools that buy them some time. And those tools will probably take us into the early part of 2013, thus separating somewhat the timing of the expiry of the tax cuts and the sequester with the ultimate need for Congress to act on the debt limit.”

Shorter Geithner: “I’ve got enough till Inauguration Day, we’ll let the new boss handle it, that is to say, NOT you.”


Political Auction Committees

The new cartoon from This Is Historic Times examines the relationship between money and political power in a pulls-no-punches way:

Yes, I’d say he nailed it.