Friday, December 5, 2008

More Straws on the Taxpayers Backs

Whether the news comes from television or a paper we are being bombarded by bombastic bullshit about our economy. Everyone either has their finger in our pocket or is trying to do so. From the Long Island lawyer who told the state he made millions more than he did in order to collect a huge undeserved pension; to LIPA who used the argument that lower energy demand caused a shortfall in their budget thus necessitating a rate hike everyone is at fault. We need our government to be our advocate and help us through these difficult times.

Here is a short list of our modern day criminals and their crimes against the taxpayer.

1. On top of the outrageous claim noted above LIPA wishes to add late charges to the bills of delinquent payers. So if you could not afford to pay the original bill you will now not be able to pay a larger one. This will allow LIPA to show a bigger gap between invoiced amounts and collections and afford them a better chance at a rate hike.
What a fantastic strategy!
I believe such creative thinking deserves to be rewarded. Top LIPA management should receive free room and board for around 10 to 20 with time off for good behavior.

2. The heads of the 3 families met with Congress in DC again this week to plead their case for more of our money. They need this gift to continue the same practices they used in squandering all their money over the past few decades. They claim they are trying to save the jobs of the auto workers. Such sincerity is touching and I believe we should listen to them and save the industry. However the first step in curing a sick patient is to rid the body of the virus causing the problem, namely the three heads and their familes. In order for the taxpayer to LOAN more money to the auto industry we must include certain stipulations.

a.Top management must be gone and without a parachute. They should be fined a small percentage of their salaries and bonuses over the last 2 years to defray costs.

b. The new management is given a timetable to turn around their company and begin paying back the loan.

c. Last and most importantly they must hire American citizens and immediately start working on alternative fuel vehicles; more hybrids and electric cars that use no foreign oil at all. And they must report any attempted interference by 'Big Oil' when doing so.

3. The MTA is asking for a huge rate increase to cover their needs. I also have needs and one of them is to not pay more money to an organization that is run as ineptly as the MTA. How long have we been reading about tunnels for a second avenue subway or an LIRR link to Grand Central Station? The only thing in those holes is our wasted money. If a house is a money pit then I say the MTA should fix their own house before coming into mine for more cash. (Remember when we were told that tolls were put in place to pay for their respective bridge or tunnel and when paid for the tolls would stop? Well? Now they want to add tolls to the as yet free East River bridges.)

The two things all of these groups have in common are bad management and huge cojones. Unfortunately we need these companies and organizations in order to have a well run country.

Long Island needs power and since LIPA is the only game in town we need them. But they must be under steadfast scrutiny.

All of us in the area need a well run MTA with the key words being 'well run' to keep our local economy going and stop businesses and resdients from moving out. But again we must demand better scrutiny and accountability.

And the country unfortunately needs an auto industry if for no other reason than to keep 3 million names off the unemployment roll call. There are already millions of Americans on that list who for no reason of their own were recently laid off and are not receiving bailouts. In fact they are being hit with higher rates and fares at a time when they can barely afford to heat their homes!

These companies exhibit true Chutzpah which is best described in the story of the boy who killed his parents and then requested leniency from the judge because he was an orphan! They beg us to forgive them their earlier discretions and grant absolution so that they may start over but they give us no guarantee that they will change their repugnant behavior. The jails are filled with individuals who made similar statements.

And throughout this crisis our government who sat idly by wasting their own share of our money is deciding which of their friends shall receive bailouts. Nearly one trillion of our taxpayer dollars have been given to Wall Street firms and nearly bankrupt banks with no accountability asked for or received for past failures or future promises.

As a recently and unfairly laid off unemployed taxpayer I ask where is the leadership, both local and national to turn this thing around and when will they do so?

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