Wednesday, 4/20/16, Public Square

corporate welfare

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21 Comments

by | April 18, 2016 · 5:45 pm

21 responses to “Wednesday, 4/20/16, Public Square

  1. indypendent

    http://www.msn.com/en-us/news/us/palin-%e2%80%98as-much-a-scientist%e2%80%99-as-bill-nye/ar-BBrV5l9?ocid=spartandhp

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    As long as we have voters who believe every word that spews from Sarah Palin’s mouth – and the other GOP over-paid mouthpieces – we will continue to have voters who really don’t care about any of those things mentioned in our graphic today.

    I was shopping at Walmart last week. As I was walking through the aisles, I noticed everyone – and I mean everyone – had a cell phone. And not just a cell phone – these folks were all texting or talking on their phone. Not one single person looked up as I passed by with a shopping cart filled with a 2-yr-old in the seat and a 5-yr-old walking alongside the cart.

    Not one person looked up as their fingers were furiously texting or checking their social media(?).

    The first thought came to mind was this: if our country was invaded by that bunch of rag-tag evil Muslims – would anybody even look up to notice?

    Don’t get me wrong – technology is great. But when does it become too much?

    My daughter works in USD 259 and she is around kids all day. She’s noticed in the last few years that technology has become the go-to device to educate our children. Hell – with all this testing – how do you think that is done? By computers.

    My 10-yr-old granddaughter’s class could not take one day of their testing because someone cut the wrong cable when digging on some work site – and with that one fatal cut – a lot of school children could not even take their required tests. We’ve been told that schoolchildren in Alaska were affected also – because their computerized testing went through our Kansas connection.

    Wow – that makes you think – huh?

    When one construction worker can take out the entire bunch of school kids taking their tests – what are our chances of surviving a cyber attack on our US grid system?

    After all – our infrastructure has been allowed to deteroriate and in some cases has already failed because our focus has been on giving all the taxpayer trough money to those causes listed above.

    I know I sound like a broken record here – but I blame Reagan for starting this downward spiral.

    Which president destined our country to be dependent on foreign oil. Which doofus actually ordered the solar panels on the White House roof taken down as one of his first items to accomplish when he got the power?

    Fast forward to current day – is it any wonder we have Sarah Palin putting herself on the same level as a well-known and credentialed scientist – and having folks believe her?

    Is it a coincidence that the folks who believe and support Sarah Palin are the same folks who continue to worship the dead butt of Reagan?

    Food for thought…

  2. indypendent

    http://www.msn.com/en-us/news/politics/trump-mistakenly-refers-to-9-11-as-7-11/ar-BBrVkXG?ocid=spartandhp

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    I am no fan of Trump – but I suspect this was just a slip of the tongue. I’ve never been to New York but I assume they have heard of 7-11 stores?

    With that said – I noticed something about this video that I was touching on in my comment above.

    Look at the crowd behind Trump. I assume this was not a photo-shopped video? This crowd really was behind Trump at this event?

    Tell me – how many people in that group behind Trump were even paying attention – or could even tell you what Trump had just said?

    That woman on her cellphone is exactly what I saw in the Walmart last week. Never looking up – constantly in the cellphone freeze zone and totally oblivious to what is really happening around her.

    It’s scary folks….

    • indypendent

      One last thing about cell phones -then I’ll get off my soapbox.

      Yesterday my two youngest grandkids were watching Sesame Street/ There was a segment in which the live character was supposed to read a story to Abby and another character (don’t her know name).

      This live person was texting on her phone – and kept stopping to answer the incoming text and to send another text – which went on for several times.

      Abby and her friend were so upset that Lela(?) – the live person – was so buy texting and not reading the story that the two characters decided to hide her cell phone – and they let Oscar talk them into hiding in his trash can.

      Long story short – Lela demanded her cell phone back and had to go into Oscar’s trash can to find her phone.

      Lela learned her lesson that she was being very frustrating to Abby and her fellow character – so Lela put the cell phone away and proceeded to read the story.

      Moral of this story? Isn’t it a shame we have to put a segment like this in a kids’ educational t.v. show?

      Seems to me – the kids know better than the adults what is wrong with this picture…..

  3. Asher Bob White

    If this is what “Capitalism” means for the common good and the public interest, America’s voters need to re-consider their support for Capitalism. Let’s try “Democratic Socialism;” starting with “feeling-the-Bern.”

    • indypendent

      What passes for capitalism today is not true capitalism – IMHO

      Risking your own money and/or the money of investors into making an idea into a profitable and thriving business is what used to be capitalism.

      In today’s world – who really risks their own money anymore? How many construction worksites on huge projects are being financed by taxpayers?

      I know of several senior living complexes who use the taxpayer money to build huge and beautiful buildings in order to sell their rental units to seniors who can afford to put down $250,000 in cash to ‘buy into’ the senior living retirement complex and they still have to pay a minimum of $3,000 monthly rent for a 1-bedroom unit. That buy-in $250,000 is simply a guarantee that the retirement complex will guarantee them a bed for the rest of their life – even if they are in need of 24/7 medical care/nursing care.

      These huge and brand-new buildings are licensed and if you will bother to look at the posted license on the wall – the City of Wichita is listed as the owner of the complex.

      Hmmm……why is the City in the business of building a brand new retirement complex for folks who can afford to put down $250,000 cash to simply ‘buy into’ this place for their rest of the life?

      That is not capitalism – IMHO

      Then take a good look at some of these brand new apartment rental complexes run by corporations. A lot of these are being run as low-income complexes and they are being strategically built nearby to the fast-growing corporate retail stores and fast food places.

      Hmmm….low income housing and low income/minimum wage jobs – do you think there is a connection?

      But these corporations get their piece of that money pie – don’t they? And then they stick around to manage the places – and get even more of that pie.

      Hmmm…..

      This is what has been going on for the past three decades – and who was in office 30 years ago?

      Hmm…..

      I don’t believe it is any coincidence…..I suspect it was planned.

      Why else would Reagan have pushed the idea of trickle-down economics and that Corporations should be worshipped and given all our tax money?

      • indypendent

        BTW – what really sucks is when a non-profit religious corporation has been following the current-day capitalism way to make a lot of profit.

        And what’s really sad is the average American believes that non-profit means a charity group.

        No – a non-profit status only means they do not pay dividends to stockholders. The profits stay within the group.

        WOW – that sure explains a lot about some of these groups – huh?

      • Real quick, indy. These are financed by Industrial Revenue Bonds, not General Obligation bonds. This means that there is no taxpayer obligation. The Code calls these Industrial Development Bonds, and the interest on them is tax exempt.

        These generally work like this; the bonds are issued by the governmental entity, with principal and interest payments made to the holders from the lease payments made by the lessee/developer/operator. Until the bonds are redeemed, title remains in the city/county/other governmental entity. Upon payment in full, title is transferred from the city to the party in interest upon payment of some token amount as set forth in the bond indenture. In the cases you cite, the city owns the property in name only, with the financing being done via the IRBs, payments of which come from the lease payments.

      • indypendent

        But just the fact the City owns these properties is what strikes me as not right.

        Maybe it’s legal – but it’s still not right.

        Why don’t these places just go to their own banks and get the money – or is that the problem?

        The banks don’t want to take that risk unless it is IS taxpayer money that is guaranteeing that money?

        I still find it all too much mingling of public and private enterprise.

        Even with that – any people that can afford to put down $250,000 cash and then continue to pay $3,000 and up for monthly rent – are note exactly the type of people that need help – are they?

      • indypendent

        BTW – what happens if these bonds are not repaid?

        Who loses then – the city who now owns a big piece of nothing?

        Or – since they are owners in name only – then why even bother putting the ownership in their name?

        For all the yammering of these Tea Party folks who don’t like the government interfering – I find it more than amusing that the very people this type of financing for projects is being done to help those folks who are, for the most part, the very same Tea Party folks.

        Hmm….I guess it’s okay for government to be in the money mix when it helps those certain ‘right’ people – is that the deal?

      • indy,

        In the event of default, the investors in the bonds suffer the loss. The reason IRBs are used is that the interest is tax exempt to the investor/holder, allowing the business to borrow the money at a lower rate, as the tax exempt nature of the interest means the investor will accept a lower interest rate. In order for the interest to be exempt from income taxation, the city, county, or other governmental agency must own the asset.

        We can debate the propriety of the use of IRBs until the cows come home. They exist, and they will continue to be used for economic development purposes.

      • And when it goes into default – then who gets the building – the City?

        I understand why this is legal – but just like so many other things in this country, just because it is legal does not make it morally right – IMHO

        If the only goal is for rich people to get tax exempt income – then why not set up a non-profit group that sells these IRBs – and not the City?

        When it is a deal where financially well-off people can plop down $250,000 and then pay $3,000 a month for rent – then having the City of Wichita listed as the owner of the property gives the appearance that this public money is being used.

        And why should public money be used to help those who have an extra $250,000 to plop down and then pay $3,000 a month in rent?

        That monthly rental rate alone cuts out a lot of working people who cannot even think about paying that much – and for such a small 1 br unit.

        And that is without the medical care costs figured in – and if/when those services are needed – double that $3,000 or even triple it.

        I agree that IRBs will be used – and, hell, why not?

        It’s also legal to not get married, have kids every year and work just under the Earned Income Credit maximum income limit and come out with a tax refund check worth several thousands – and not pay any income taxes.

        In the mean time – my adult kids who are married, then had their kids and both couples work don’t qualify for those huge tax refund checks – because they are not working the system.

        It’s that – working the system – that bothers me.

        Yes – I know – I am once again ranting against the system and we all know that in America – those who know how to work the system will ALWAYS win.

  4. indypendent

    I’ve heard a lot about low income housing and Section 8 from these Tea Party Republicans that claim to hate the government so much – but yet willingly hand over $250,000 cash to buy into a new senior living complex that has the name of the City of Wichita listed as the owner.

    Has there ever been a study as to exactly who these Section 8 housing landlords are?

    How many are corporations?

    The same question could be asked of day care centers – how many corporate day care centers depends on the government’s money through that evil Welfare system?

    My daughter worked for corporate day care centers for years – and the majority of kids’ care bills are paid for by WE the Taxpayers.

    Again – I don’t hear any corporate-loving Republicans badmouthing and demonizing those payments going to fill the pockets of the Corporate fat cats.

    I will agree with Donald Trump on one thing – the entire system is corrupt. Trump is focused now on the nominating process through the political parties.

    But we all know the government at whatever level – federal, state, county or city/town is basically set up to keep those few powerful folks in power for a long, long, time.

    I am a cynical person and I wish I had more optimism like my good friend fnord – but there are days that I truly believe our country’s future is set is stone – and that stone is dropping like a cement anchor in the ocean.

    Maybe that’s what the country needs? If we get dragged to the bottom – would more people wake up and demand change?

    Or will we be too obsessed with our cellphones to even look up and notice?

  5. Sorry but I am even more pessimistic about our country’s future than I was yesterday.

    I don’t see any redeeming chances for things to change for the better – anytime soon.

    I turn on the national and local news and the majority of what I see/hear is about that particular corporation’s view of politics.

    But with all networks – regardless of their corporate masters – I do get to hear all the nonsense that passes for news in today’s society

    It’ what I call the ‘gossip’ section – which celebrity is deemed the sexiest or who has the most movies coming out or who went piss yesterday in the swankiest new and trending restaurant.

    Who the hell cares….

    And as for Donald Trump and his lovely family on the NBC national news this morning – when did you think the next First Lady would be a known for her nude pictures?

    BTW – Trump is best known for his distaste for foreigners. Has any one bothered to tell him that his current wife is a foreigner?

    And that fact is clearly obvious the minute this woman opens her mouth.

    Is the irony of Trump’s hate for foreigners and his current wife lost on everyone?

  6. http://www.msn.com/en-us/news/politics/sean-hannity-erupts-when-ted-cruz-evades-question-you-gotta-stop/ar-BBs2kJa?ocid=spartandhp

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    This is just one example of why I am so pessimistic about our country’s future.

    Ted Cruz is using the ‘legal’ way to get delegates away from Trump – but yet when Sean Hannity erupts when Cruz will not explain why he is doing this – and how the process is done – then what hope do the rest of us have that don’t love or trust Ted Cruz?

    Trump has raised a valid point – wouldn’t you think that the candidate with the most votes would get the delegates – and KEEP those delegates?

    Just like the fact the IRBs allow for the City of Wichita to be listed as the owner of that fancy new senior living complex – the truth is that just a bunch of people want tax-exempt income – so that’s why the City has to be the legal owner.

    The appearance of all that seems improper to me – because why would the City want to spend $42 million to build a place where only those with $250,000 to put down and then $3,000/month (minimum amount) rental are being helped with the appearance of the city’s money?

    Not too many people in my social circle could even afford to do that….

    Two people in the 2016 primary elections have been talking about the system being rigged and corrupt – Bernie Sanders and Donald Trump.

    And for that fact alone – I give Trump credit. I am no fan of Trump by any stretch of the imagination. But on this issue – Trump is correct.

    The system is rigged and corrupt and it has been for a long, long time. That is where Trump and I disagree – because he tends to blame it on the black man in the White House.

    Hell – I remember being told in 1986 to divorce my husband and go on welfare to get both my kids a health care card and I would get a monthly check because my youngest at 5 yrs old was just diagnosed with Type I Diabetes.

    I also remember being told in 2007 to divorce my husband (same husband) and go on welfare because then all my health care bills would be paid for because I was just diagnosed with Stage III colon cancer and was facing a year of chemo treatments – if I survived the 29 days of hospitalization and the extensive surgery that gutted me like a fish.

    So – let’s review – which party was in power at both times when I was advised to go on welfare and let the taxpayers pay?

    1986 – Reagan (in the middle of his two terms)
    2007 – George W. Bush (towards the end of his two terms).

    Tell me again – how this mindset of being a dependent on the government is because of lazy leeches that just want something for free?

    In my case – both times were when a medical catastrophe happened and both times, we refused to get that divorce – so we had to somehow manage.

    But yet I still hear and see these same Republicans yammering about all the welfare leeches.

    Hmmm……take a damn good look in a truth mirror and see exactly WHO is to blame for our current crisis in this so-called welfare leeching.

    • BTW – in 2007, it was the Catholics that advised me to divorce my husband, quit my part time job and go on welfare so their medical claims would be paid.

      So, excuse me if I don’t believe one word these Catholics spew about being so Pro Family.

      Not when it comes to getting their money – they don’t give a fat rat’s ass about the family.

  7. http://www.msn.com/en-us/money/markets/tubman%e2%80%99s-in-jackson%e2%80%99s-out-what%e2%80%99s-it-mean/ar-BBs30X3?ocid=spartandhp

    What are your thoughts about Harriet Tubman being put on the $20 bill?

    I watched an interview with Jack Lew last night on PBS Newshour. There is a lot of Civil Rights involved in these changes to the money…

    I suspect Rush Limbaugh will find his new ‘calling’ and start to rabble rouse his targeted audience and start a boycott to use this new currency.

    Maybe I should start collecting all the current $20 bills so I can sell them to all these Rush-lovin’ White Folks when they’re no longer made.

    Of course, being a true capitalist, I will raise my price of the $20 bill to double or even triple the current value of $20?

    Don’t laugh – I’ve seen rich white people spend more of their money on nonsense crap – so maybe my idea to get rich off their stupidity is not so stupid?

  8. http://www.msn.com/en-us/news/us/fights-break-out-over-first-gender-neutral-bathroom-in-la-unified-school-district/ar-BBs3JEZ?ocid=spartandhp

    I see our beloved Kansas institution – the Westboro Baptist group – made news recently.

    Kansas – as bigoted as you think… Isn’t this what Prairie Pond used to say??

    • Personally about these bathroom bills – I like using the family restroom (one toilet with one door that locks) when I am shopping.

      I usually have my grandkids with me. My grandson is now 5 yrs old and I don’t like having to take him into the women’s bathroom with me.

      And I certainly don’t feel comfortable with sending him into the men’s bathroom by himself.

      So – the family restroom concept is perfect for people like me – and perhaps for anyone else that does not like the traditional bathrooms where God knows what will happen.

      Sometimes I don’t feel comfortable in the women’s bathroom when it is just me – especially if it’s just me inside the stalls and I hear a bunch coming in and loud talking and rough housing already taking place.

      I don’t need that kind of frustration just to go to the bathroom.

  9. fnord –

    IIRC – your sister lives in North Carolina? How does she feel about this new bill?

    • My sister is soooo removed from what is going on. She avoids knowing or hearing, won’t talk or listen to political talk. I think maybe she is part of the majority of Americans and we are the minority. I think it’s how politicians get by with all they do — too few people even pay enough attention to know.