Posts Tagged ‘payment’

IRS may try again to use ‘mercenaries’ to collect taxes: Watchdog

by Jim Kouri on Monday, April 21st, 2014

This is article 292 of 307 in the topic Taxation/IRS

A nonprofit, nonpartisan watchdog on Friday warned American taxpayers that both the U.S. Senate and House of Representatives, who are searching for cost-cutting in federal agencies, are pondering a return to allowing the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) to hire private contractors — de-facto mercenaries or bounty hunters — to help collect millions of dollars in delinquent federal taxes.

The Project on Government Oversight (POGO) reported in a study released Friday claiming that the IRS is being directed by congressmen and the Obama administration to significantly reduce the number of workers in the IRS’ government staffed collection office.

“But we’ve been down this road before, and the results were less than encouraging. While tax collection is considered an inherently governmental function, the collection, control, and disbursement of fees, royalties, duties, fines, taxes and other public funds…. staffing shortages in the 1990s compelled the IRS to hire private companies to assist the agency in recovering unpaid taxes in relatively simple collection cases,” said POGO.

In 2009,the Examiner was one of the few news outlets to cover a decidedly troubling IRS program. According to the report:

The very nature of the program provides incentives for collectors to push the limits of legality to extract a little more revenue from their targets. As part of the IRS Restructuring and Reform Act of 1998, Congress, fearing overly aggressive collection practices, explicitly prohibited the IRS from compensating its own collectors based on the amount of money they collect. If Congress believes that incentive-based pay will cause official IRS collectors to cross the line, why would they think private collectors would behave any differently?”

While the earlier program received low-marks from lawmakers, they are once again considering private debt collection to hunt down suspected tax-evaders or late-payers. In fact, according to POGO, the Democratic Party controlled Senate Finance Committee recently approved an amendment stipulating that the IRS will return to a program of using private collection agencies.

POGO’s study argues against using private collection agencies for a number of reasons, according to their report:

“In our opinion, private debt collection will never work. Government tax collectors have an inherent advantage over private collectors. As government employees, IRS collectors can exercise discretion when working with delinquent taxpayers. They can postpone collection, establish payment schedules, settle debts for less than the full amount owed, and waive penalties.

“Private collection agencies, on the other hand, are not allowed to exercise discretion (by definition, an inherently governmental function is one that involves discretion). They can only demand payment. If the case develops an unexpected complication, the contractor must refer it to an IRS employee. That one critical difference—discretion—is the reason private debt collection programs have failed in the past.”

Not surprisingly, the Examiner report came to the same conclusion almost five years ago:

“Paying private debt collectors on a commission basis is costly and threatens the rights and privacy of the American taxpayers. Congress must ensure, as this resolution seeks to do, that federal tax collection functions will not be handed over to private sector bounty hunters.”

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White House touts Obamacare premium info that chops down enrollment number they celebrated yesterday

by Doug Powers on Friday, April 4th, 2014

This is article 671 of 699 in the topic Healthcare

President Obama took a “victory lap” this week because enrollment in Obamacare had supposedly gone over the seven million mark.

Yesterday, Blue Cross said that 80 to 85 percent of people enrolling in an Obamacare plan have paid their premiums. That prompted more White House partying:

latest ACA conspriacy theory collapses MT: @sarahkliff BlueCrossBlueShield says that state plans are hovering around 80-85% of premiums paid

— Eric Schultz (@Schultz44) April 2, 2014

Alternate version: “Hooray! The 7.1 million number we’re celebrating is nowhere near factual!”

From National Journal:

One of the biggest players in Obamacare’s exchanges says 15 to 20 percent of its new customers aren’t paying their first premium–which means they’re not actually covered.

The latest data come from the Blue Cross Blue Shield Association, whose members—known collectively as “Blues” plans—are participating in the exchanges in almost every state. Roughly 80 to 85 percent of people who selected a Blues plan through the exchanges went on to pay their first month’s premium, a BCBSA spokeswoman said Wednesday.

The new statistics, particularly from such a large carrier, help define how many people are actually getting covered under the Affordable Care Act.
If the nationwide payment rate, across all carriers, remains at 80 to 85 percent, the 7.1 million sign-ups Obama announced Tuesday would translate into somewhere between 5.7 and 6 million people who are actually covered.

And how many of those few million had insurance but lost it because of Obamacare regs? No matter — break out the party hats! And remember, the debate is over.

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Income Tax: That Evil And Immoral Monster

by Bob Livingston on Monday, March 4th, 2013

This is article 220 of 307 in the topic Taxation/IRS
Income Tax: That Evil And Immoral Monster


Modern states all have paper currencies, a debt money system. All forms of government money represent debt. Modern governments would not and could not exist without both the power to create debt money and the income tax system.

The purpose of modern paper currencies (all forms, including computer symbols) is to transfer wealth to the government without payment by the government. The Federal government creates modern “money” out of nothing and “pays” it into circulation for something. In other words, the government gets money (any amount of it) and passes it into the “economy” for goods and services. This is the same as saying that the government actually pays for nothing. It transfers wealth and production to itself for free. It pays not one penny.

Why then the income tax? The purpose of the income tax is to conceal the fraud that massive wealth is being transferred to the government without payment. This cover-up conceals the fact that since the Civil War and Abraham Lincoln’s “greenbacks,” paper money is the means of financing all wars and all means and methods of suppressing human liberty.

The vast wealth of governments comes from the creation of money, not from income tax. Why would governments need our income tax if they can create any amount of “money”?

The answer is, of course, they don’t need our income tax, but they have to have the income tax system to cover their money creation fraud. In other words, the people must believe that their income taxes are necessary to support government. All must pay their “fair share.”

So important is the income tax system as a cover-up that it is regulated by threat, coercion, mass brainwashing and a whole system of witchcraft called the tax code. Remember, governments have to conceal their greatest secret, their money machine.

The income tax is not a Constitutional issue. It is a system of Phariseeism promoting general and widespread social depravity and spiritual immorality. It is indeed a spiritual deception.

That governments print money is no state secret. Then why do so few question the meaning of the income tax?

Little children are taught in school to pay income tax. All the propaganda says “pay your fair share.” It is a complete and absolute brainwashing and so big as to defy inquiry. The system is inbred.

Though the income tax is not necessary as a source of government funds in a paper economy, it is very important as a system of regulation. It promotes class warfare and privilege. The government and its politicians can discriminate or favor with the income tax system.

The American people are victims of a massive entrapment scheme that has conned them out of billions of dollars, as well as millions of hours of recordkeeping and loss of freedom. Federal judges and U.S. attorneys have all conspired against human rights by failing to inform the people of the nature of income tax entrapment.

This is a financial holocaust that is nothing less than organized crime against the people. What a masterpiece of cynicism and deceit. This conspiracy by the government against the American people is equal to and greater than any tyrant in the history of the world.

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Go bankrupt, win a taxpayer funded prize: A123 Systems received million dollar DOE grant payment on same day it declared Chapter 11

by Doug Powers on Saturday, November 17th, 2012

This is article 417 of 526 in the topic Government Spending

nullLast month Michelle wrote about A123 Systems declaring bankruptcy. A123 was one of the many “clean energy grant” recipients that ended up going under and taking a pile of taxpayer cash with it — a pile that was made even bigger on its final day. In a demonstration of the kind of diligence we’ve come to expect from this administration, the Department of Energy gave A123 Systems a nearly million dollar payment on the same day the company declared bankruptcy:

The company, which makes lithium ion batteries for electric cars, filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection last month after a rescue deal with Chinese auto parts supplier Wanxiang Group fell apart.

That same day, October 16, A123 received a $946,830 payment as part of its $249 million clean energy grant from the Energy Department, the company said in a letter, obtained by Reuters, to Republican Senators John Thune and Chuck Grassley.

In the letter, dated November 14, A123 said the October payment was the most recent disbursement it had received from the government, with an additional $115.8 million still outstanding on the grant.

More from Business Week:

The payment was made after A123 in August announced it planned to give Wanxiang Group Corp., China’s largest auto-parts maker, a majority stake in exchange for financing. Grassley and Thune had questioned the Chinese investment in the U.S. company.

“All of this paints a disturbing picture,” Grassley and Thune said in an e-mailed statement. “The Department of Energy is writing checks to a company literally as it is declaring bankruptcy.”

If the DOE is going to insist on dumping taxpayer money into sinkholes like these, they should at least get those plants re-tooled and have them make something there’s actually now a large demand for: Twinkies.

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Clean-energy Obama crony A123 announces debt default; Update: files for bankruptcy

by Michelle Malkin on Tuesday, October 16th, 2012

This is article 409 of 526 in the topic Government Spending

I told you about $250 million stimulus-subsidized battery maker A123 back in March. Recap:

While President Obama was busy lambasting Big Oil tax breaks on Thursday, yet another one of his environmental welfare recipients (the very kind he wants to redistribute oil subsidies to) was teetering on the edge of bankruptcy. Who needs to win the Mega Millions lottery? Start a pie-in-the-sky eco-boondoggle, and a half-billion-dollar jackpot ripe for squandering is all yours!

The Solyndra of the week is A123 Systems, an electric vehicle battery company based in Massachusetts. The firm also has battery plants in Michigan, where former Democratic Gov. Jennifer Granholm once heralded A123 as a federal stimulus “success story.” Former House Speaker Nancy Pelosi visited the company headquarters and hailed it as a “great example of how Recovery Act funding is helping American companies.” In addition to nearly $300 million in Obama Recovery Act funds, Granholm kicked in another $135 million in tax credits and subsidies to bribe the company to keep jobs in her state.

How’s the return on government investment? This green dud will have taxpayers seeing red. A123′s official company motto is “Power. Safety. Life.” But the firm’s reality is “Out of power. Endangering safety. Clinging to life.”

Earlier this week, the company announced a recall of malfunctioning battery packs manufactured in Livonia, Mich. A123 makes the products for Fisker, Chevrolet and BMW electric cars. Consumer Reports flagged the potentially hazardous defect caused by faulty calibration earlier this month. The recall will cost upward of $55 million.

…The Michigan-based Mackinac Center reports that in February, “A123′s Compensation Committee approved a $30,000 raise for (Chief Financial Officer David) Prystash just days after (its primary customer) Fisker Automotive announced the U.S. Energy Department had cut off what was left of its $528.7 million loan it had previously received.”

Prystash’s hike was 8.5 percent, taking his base salary from $350,000 to $380,000. One A123 vice president, Robert Johnson, received a 20.7 percent pay increase that saw his salary grow from $331,250 to $400,000. Another vice president, Jason Forcier, vice president of the automotive solutions group, climbed from a $331,250 base salary to $350,000.

Analyst Paul Chesser of the D.C.-based National Legal and Policy Center raises pointed questions about the timing of the pay raises: “Were their actions intended as greater protection for their executives in the case of a sale or bankruptcy of the company?” Inquiring House GOP investigators looking into the Obama Department of Energy’s big green boondoggles should want to know.

And taxpayers should want to know more about the cozy ties between A123 and the White House and Democratic politicians. A123 Systems CEO David Vieau showered Barack Obama, the Democratic National Committee and key Democrats on Capitol Hill with nearly $17,000 before receiving the stimulus injection. A123 enviro-boodle also flowed to Mass. Sen. John Kerry and Rep. Ed Markey. Betting on “smart grid” cronyism has been a bonanza for the well-connected — and a big, bad bet for taxpayers.

Now, this today from the WSJ:

Massachusetts-based A123 Systems Inc AONE -68.75%, maker of advanced batteries for electric automobiles, has announced it expects to miss payments on some of its debt, and may need to seek bankruptcy protection.

Click to continue reading “Clean-energy Obama crony A123 announces debt default; Update: files for bankruptcy”
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Oklahoma is also increasing number of concealed handgun permits

by John Lillpop on Wednesday, August 29th, 2012

This is article 234 of 603 in the topic Gun Rights
Oklahoma has also seen an upward spike in concealed handgun permits (Oklahoma’s Self Defense Act) that have been issued by a Oklahoma State Bureau of Investigation.

As of July, 2012, there are 126,289 Oklahoma residents with active SDA licenses, according to the OSBI. . . . Applicants must be 21 or older and meet many requirements, such as being a U.S. Citizen, have no protective orders against them and no felony convictions.  They must also have two current passport photos and a state ID, such as a driver license, and two methods of payment — a $25 fee to pay to the sheriff’s office for fingerprints, a background check and handling the application, then a payment to the OSBI for the actual license, which is either $100 for a five-year license, or $200 for a license valid for 10 years.

From 1995 to 2007, the number of permits went from zero to 57,540.  But over the next five years there was 119% increase in the number of permits.

While the numbers don’t show the increase for the whole state for 2011, it does have this note.

For those in Pottawatomie County, 442 licenses were approved in 2011.
If statistics being tallied by the Pottawatomie County Sheriff’s Office so far in 2012 keep at the current pace, the number of permits here will be much higher this year.
It’s estimated from sheriff’s office records that more than 300 applications have been made so far this year; it can take about 90 days from the time of application to final approval. . . .

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by Stephen Levine on Friday, August 24th, 2012

This is article 890 of 1298 in the topic 2012 Elections

What we know is that Mitt Romney is successful and worth a ton of money which he appeared to earn as a venture capitalist/turn-around consultant. We also know that wealthy and sophisticated people pay accountants, lawyers and other consultants a lot of money to help them arrange their affairs in such a manner as to legally pay the lowest possible tax rate.

Unlike, Obama whose financial dealings involve dodgy people doing dodgy deals, Mitt Romney has complied with the law and made the appropriate disclosures. But that has not satisfied the left who are playing the communist class warfare game – the rich versus the poor, the haves versus the have nots – by suggesting that Romney has a hidden secret.

The headlines blare …

Capture8-23-2012-2.32.18 PM Inside Mitt Romney’s Bain Files

In a massive document dump, Gawker has published 950 pages of confidential files related to Mitt Romney’s finances. Alex Klein on what’s notable in the cache—and what to ignore.

Capture8-23-2012-2.36.08 PM
The Bain Files: Inside Mitt Romney’s Tax-Dodging Cayman Schemes

What’s really there?

48 documents totaling more than 950 pages. They consist predominantly of confidential internal audited financial statements from 2008, 2009, and 2010, as well as investor letters from the same period, for Bain entities that Romney has previously disclosed owning an interest it.

Can they even understand what they say?

The documents are exceedingly complicated. We don’t pretend to be qualified to decode them in full, which is why we are posting them here for readers to help evaluate—please leave your thoughts in the discussion below.

Do they indicate wrongdoing?

If there was any wrongdoing, one would assume that it would be the entity that was culpable and chargeable and not the investors. As for tax evasion, the left is very, very careful not to claim that Mitt Romney committed a crime – by only suggesting that he evaded paying what they falsely characterize as a “person’s fair share.”

But what of Gawker itself?

Nick Denton’s blog empire.
For years after starting Gawker Media, the online publishing network, in 2002, Nick Denton ran the company out of his apartment, in SoHo. “He said, ‘If you run it out of your house, then no one expects anything,’ ” Denton’s friend Fredrik Carlström, the film producer and adman, told me. “ ‘If you have an office, people want stuff. They want cell phones, lunch breaks, beer on Fridays.’ ” Gawker Media was a deliberately fly-by-night operation: incorporated in Budapest, where a small team of programmers still works, and relying on elegantly jaded bloggers who considered themselves outsiders with nothing to lose. Early contributors tell stories about bounced checks, and receiving payment straight from the A.T.M. The arrangement, many assumed, was a convenient hedge against potential libel claims. (Scarcely a week passes without one or more of Denton’s nine sites receiving a cease-and-desist letter.) It also helped bolster Denton’s image as a kind of digital-sweatshop operator—he initially paid his bloggers twenty-four thousand dollars a year—and cultivated a helpful sense among contributors that they were the crew of a rogue “pirate ship,” as Gawker people sometimes say, initiating stealth attacks on the ocean liners in midtown.

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Obama cutting $716 billion from Medicare

by John Lott on Friday, August 17th, 2012

What the CBO is reporting here is that without Obamacare Medicare would be spending an estimated $716 billion more over the next ten years.  The savings come from reducing how much doctors and hospitals get paid.

TheACA made numerous changes to payment rates and payment rules in those programs, established a voluntary federal program for long-term care insurance through the Community Living Assistance Services and Supports(CLASS) provisions, and made certain other changes to federal health programs. In total, CBO estimates that repealing those provisions would increase net federal spending by $711 billion over the 2013–2022 period. (Those budgetary effects are summarized in Table 1.

Spending for Medicare would increase by an estimated $716 billion over that 2013–2022 period. Federal spending for Medicaid and CHIP would increase by about $25 billion from repealing the noncoverage provisions of the ACA, and direct spending for other programs would decrease by about $30 billion, CBO estimates.  . . .

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Somali kidnapper, negotiator sentenced to 10 life prison terms

by Jim Kouri on Thursday, August 16th, 2012

This is article 324 of 804 in the topic Terrorism

Somali pirate and hostage-taker Mohammad Saaili Shibin, a/k/a “Khalif Ahmed Shibin,” a/k/a “Shibin,” the man convicted of being the Somali kidnapper who also negotiated the ransom demands for the release of U.S. citizens onboard an American yacht, the S/V Quest, as well as the Marida Marguerite, a German-owned vessel, was sentenced late Monday afternoon in federal court in New York City.

During the trial, jurors were told that the pirates shot Scott and Jean Adams of California and Phyllis Mackay and Bob Riggle of Washington state in this midst of neogotiations. The Surface Vessel Quest had been sailing around the world when the Somalis hijacked it off the coast of Oman.

The convicted pirate was given 10 concurrent life sentences for piracy, two consecutive life sentences for the use of a rocket-propelled grenade and automatic weapons during crimes of violence, 10 years consecutive on six counts charging discharge of a firearm during a crime of violence, and two 20-year sentences for the remaining counts of discharge of a firearm during a crime of violence, according to the U.S. Navy criminal investigators.

The 50-year-old Shibin was also ordered to pay restitution in the amount of approximately $5,408,000 by United States District Judge Robert G. Doumar who sentenced the Somali pirate in a Manhattan courtroom. Shibin was convicted of all counts by a federal jury on April 27, 2012.

According to the Naval Criminal Investigative Service (NCIS), as U.S. Navy SEALs attempted to negotiate the release of four American citizens being held hostage on board the S/V Quest, American rescuers were told by one of the pirates/hostage takers onboard the Quest that Shibin was the Somali man responsible for negotiating the return of the hostages upon their arrival in Somalia.

Evidence at trial revealed that during this period of negotiation, Shibin conducted research on the Internet to learn about the hostages on the Quest and to determine the amount money to demand from the U.S. Navy, along with the identity of family members of the hostages whom he could contact about the ransom.

But while the SEAL team continued its negotiations to secure the hostages’ release, the four hostages were intentionally shot and killed.

Court documents and witness testimony also proved that Shibin was the ransom negotiator for the conspirators who pirated the Marida Marguerite, a German-owned vessel with a crew of 22 men who were held hostage off the coast of Somalia from May to December 2010.

Shibin spoke with the owners of the Marida Marguerite and successfully extracted a ransom payment for the vessel and its crew. Shibin received approximately $30,000 to $50,000 in U.S. currency as his share of the ransom payment. Crew members of the M/V Marida Marguerite testified that they were brutally tortured while being held hostage, according to a U.S. law enforcement agent.

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US Post Office about to declare bankruptcy

by John Lott on Thursday, July 19th, 2012

This is article 11 of 14 in the topic US Postal Service

From the WSJ:

While lawmakers continue to fight over how to fix the ailing U.S. Postal Service, the agency’s money problems are only growing worse. The Postal Service repeated on Wednesday that without congressional action, it will default—a first in its long history, a spokesman said—on a legally required annual $5.5 billion payment, due Aug. 1, into a health-benefits fund for future retirees. Action in Congress isn’t likely, as the House prepares to leave for its August recess. The agency said a default on the payment, for 2011, wouldn’t directly affect service or its ability to pay employees and suppliers. But “these ongoing liquidity issues unnecessarily undermine confidence in the viability of the Postal Service among our customers,” said spokesman David Partenheimer. The agency says it will default on its 2012 retiree health payment as well—also roughly $5.5 billion, due Sept. 30—if there is no legislative action by then. . . .

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