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Take a look at America’s future

Take a look at America’s future

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If you want to know what America will soon look like, look no further than Venezuela.

Despite sitting on some of the world’s greatest oil reserves, Venezuela’s Marxist government is collapsing. It’s not a pretty sight.

The American media is giving short shrift to the Venezuelan situation. People are starving. It is so bad that zoo animals have been butchered for food. Bakery owners are being imprisoned for making unapproved bread and because lines form outside their shops.

Street protests are growing in number and would be of even greater size if so many of the people weren’t too weak from hunger to protest.

Still hundreds of thousands are in the streets daily, and have been for weeks, protesting President Nicolás Maduro and demanding immediate presidential elections. Maduro has responded by dancing in public, nationalizing multinational corporations and vowing to rewrite the nation’s constitution in order to cement his power.

Clashes are getting ever-more violent. At least 37 have died in the most recent rounds of unrest. On Wednesday, video emerged of a government armored vehicle rolling over protesters, seriously injuring at least one.

It is curious that when a “terrorist” rolls a truck over a crowd in France or Switzerland, we get wall-to-wall coverage from the mainstream media, but when a government truck rolls over a crowd, the MSM is mum, demonstrating their power over public perception.

I predicted Venezuela’s collapse in the March 2008 issue of The Bob Livingston Letter™ (subscription required), writing:

Witness Zimbabwe today: 7,000 percent inflation and the once great and prosperous nation called Rhodesia is now in chaos and collapse.

The same inflation printing press money is fast building in Venezuela. Unless they have a regime change, total collapse lies ahead.

Although they changed titular heads because of the cancer death of Hugo Chavez, Venezuela did not have regime change. Now, inflation in Venezuela is approaching 2,000 percent. Its currency collapse began in 2012.

How could I have predicted this? Socialism and printing press money regimes always collapse. And so, too, will America.

Inflation is a great illusion. Few understand or try to understand it. Yet it is the great theft and hidden tax on the entire population.

What is inflation? Just pull your wallet out and get a green piece of paper called dollars or currency. You have in your hand inflation, a product of the “money creators.”

Every dollar created as well as all the credit created is inflation. This is a huge secret of the elite insiders.

The important thing to understand is that inflation (creating money) is theft coupled with destruction of wealth and eventually ruin. All who hold dollars are at risk but few realize it.

And not many will understand or believe that what is happening in Venezuela, and what happened in Zimbabwe in 2000-2009, and what happened in the Weimar Republic in Germany in 1923 is repeating in the U.S.

Our politicians and government men are just as greedy as any in the past — anywhere in the world.

Before inflation becomes deflation at the end, there are many illusions simply because we are not conscious of the difference between nominal (inflated) dollars and constant dollars measured from a base purchasing power 60 to 70 years ago. Constant dollars don’t change. Nominal (inflation) dollars change every day. The reason the public is confused is the gradual change.

People will accept anything gradually over time.

The American people have gone from freedom to fascism in 200 years and most are totally oblivious to it.

I will write more on this in the coming weeks.

Source: Will County News

Reading a Dogs mind video

http://https://www.facebook.com/turningpointusa/videos/vb.376776419037747/1294840337231346/?type=2&theater

This is so funny. It will make your day if you are not a snowflake.

Source: Will County News

Frank Mautino and the arrogance of Illinois’ political insiders

 

From Illinois Policy April 2017

Frank Mautino and the arrogance of Illinois’ political insiders

State agencies have paid more than $270,000 to Mautino Distributing Company – most of it after Madigan brought Mautino into a leadership role in 2009.

In 2015, Illinois needed a new financial watchdog. Auditor General William Holland was in charge of scrutinizing public pocketbooks. But after more than two decades at the helm, he was finally stepping down.

Frank Mautino was supposed to be the right man for the job.

He was the favorite of Springfield insiders who had worked with his father, a longtime House member like his son. He also was a bipartisan darling. Holland called Mautino “a man of great wisdom and dedication.” Springfield chatterer Rich Miller heralded the news of his impending appointment: “He’ll be a good choice …”

Mautino’s few critics in the General Assembly were dismissed as petty, partisan and paranoid. But outsiders knew something was fishy about Frank.

And they were right.

For more than a year, Mautino has been under fire for filing absurd campaign spending reports during his time as a lawmaker. His story is a shining example of the political arrogance that has brought the state to its knees.

Here’s the spending in question. Feel free to draw your own conclusions.

First, Mautino’s campaign spent more than $225,000 over 16 years at a single gas station.

A quick exercise: let’s assume Mautino spent half the money on gas. Let’s assume gas cost $3 a gallon and the car he filled up got 15 miles to the gallon. Mautino’s spending would give enough fuel to drive more than 35,000 miles per year from 1999 to 2015. The circumference of Earth is less than 25,000 miles, and Mautino ran unopposed three times in that period.

Figure that one out.

The second bit of spending under review by the Illinois State Board of Elections involves checks cut to a local bank. Mautino had a practice of cashing campaign checks and then listing the bank as the recipient of the money, leaving him free to dole out the cash in the dark. He spent more than $150,000 this way.

At worst, these are reckless receipts of brazen corruption. At best, this is brutish bookkeeping that should disqualify Mautino from the position he currently holds.

That’s right, he still hasn’t stepped down.

Illinois’ auditor-in-chief has refused to speak for over a year while under investigation for allegedly cooking his books. Even if he comes out of all this unscathed, how could anyone take his investigations seriously given Mautino’s own shoddy accounting?

State Rep. Jeanne Ives, R-Wheaton, introduced a resolution calling for Mautino to resign last year. It got holed up in House Speaker Mike Madigan’s Rules Committee. Madigan said he believes Mautino – his former Deputy Majority Leader – will be vindicated and continue to work as the auditor general.

Of course, it’s in the interest of most state lawmakers to hold their watchman over a barrel rather than push for his resignation. Leverage matters.

On May 1, counsel will file written statements in the case brought against Mautino at the Illinois State Board of Elections. The hearing officer is expected to file a recommendation by the end of the month. Mautino’s office is also under federal investigation, but that’s been kept under wraps.

So what’s the lesson in all this mess?

First, near-unanimous agreement on a political appointment among state politicians and gossips means you should run for the hills. Greasing all the right palms is not a qualification you want in an auditor general.

There were plenty of clues that should have invited more skepticism before Mautino’s appointment. That he was one of Madigan’s made men alone should have been enough to disqualify him from an oversight position. Further, his family is a mainstay in the distributor business – an industry where political clout goes a long way.

It turns out those two pieces of trivia may be linked.

Data obtained by nonprofit Open the Books revealed that state agencies have paid more than $270,000 to Mautino Distributing Company – most of it after Madigan brought Mautino into a leadership role in 2009.

That brings us to the second lesson: In Illinois, concerned citizens often do a better job at rooting out corruption than government officials tasked with oversight.

The Edgar County Watchdogs, a group started by of a couple of downstate Illinoisans doing yeoman’s work to keep government in check, first brought Mautino’s campaign spending to light. When they presented their findings to the Illinois State Board of Elections, they found the agency still wouldn’t take proactive steps to investigate Mautino. They needed a formal complaint. Thankfully, a man named David Cooke from Streator, Ill., stepped forward to take the hit. He enlisted the help of the nonprofit Liberty Justice Center, a sister organization of the Illinois Policy Institute, to argue on his behalf.

Frankly, Mautino’s case is an embarrassment. Leaders in both parties should be calling for his resignation, and taking concrete steps to sharpen the teeth of government oversight.

TAGS: corruption, Frank Mautino, Illinois Auditor General, Jeanne Ives, Mike Madigan, patronage, Rich Miller


A NOTE FOR OUR READERS:

We have one goal as an organization: to give you the straight truth about Illinois. Legacy media often cannot afford to tell the truth, and we know we aren’t often getting straight answers from our elected officials.

That’s why our independence is so important. Our award-winning writers work long hours to bring you the truth. Their work is entirely supported by donors like you who want to see a more prosperous Illinois.

More than 400,000 Illinoisans read this award-winning site each month, absolutely free of charge thanks to the generosity of our readers. Will you help us continue our mission with a financial donation?

Every penny counts – your donation will help us continue to deliver independent, unbiased news and information as we seek a more prosperous future for the great state of Illinois.

 

Source: Will County News

Chicago Public Schools budget shortfall: a manufactured crisis

Chicago Public Schools budget shortfall: a manufactured crisis

What’s worse is that the city has the funds to shore up its budget, but that money is tied up in a slush fund called a TIF. The value? $1.35 billion.

Illinois Policy April 2017

Chicago Public Schools is faced with the possibility of closing school early while Chicago sits on massive property wealth.

With a current budget gap of $215 million, Chicago Public Schools, or CPS, has threatened to close three weeks early if it doesn’t get a cash infusion soon, leaving Chicago students and their families uncertain about when school will end this year.

CPS finances are a mess and they have been for years. But rather than enact the reforms needed to get the district back on track, Mayor Rahm Emanuel and CPS CEO Forrest Claypool are looking for a bailout.

What’s worse is that the city has the funds to shore up its budget, but that money is tied up in a slush fund. The value? $1.35 billion.

That money comes from hidden property wealth, which is siphoned into a political slush fund via a mechanism called tax increment financing, or TIF. TIF districts are special economic zones that were created to help cities and towns improve “blighted” neighborhoods.

City and village governments with TIFs use a portion of the property tax revenues generated in the special economic zone to give tax incentives to private developers located in these districts.

But the establishment of a TIF drains the amount of property tax revenue that a school district has available for education.

According to the Cook County Clerk, Chicago TIF districts ended 2015 with $461 million collected in new revenues. The city also has over $1 billion in TIF accounts that has been earmarked for “future redevelopment.” At a minimum, the annual revenues from TIF would cover the annual taxpayer cost of Chicago teacher pensions, and would defray the costs of retiree health care for the Chicago Teachers Pension Fund, which were approximately $202 million.

However, Mayor Emanuel and the aldermen don’t want to give up their slush fund. Ald. Walter Burnett, 27th Ward, noted: “I work hard in my community to build my TIF up, to make things happen in my ward … and now that I’ve built it up, I’ve got to give it to everybody else? It’s just not fair.”

Ald. Jason Ervin, 28th Ward, has claimed, “Robbing Peter to pay Paul is not the solution.” Indeed, taking money from one source to benefit another is not the solution to budget crises. Yet, that is what TIF does.

On April 28, Judge Franklin Ulyses Valderrama will issue a ruling on a lawsuit that contends there is racial discrimination in the state educational funding system. CPS is counting on a favorable ruling to balance their budget. However, the city needs to stop crying poor to the state while playing a financial shell game with taxpayer dollars. The money is available to help CPS. The City Council needs to step up to eliminate the slush fund that has helped cause this crisis by ensuring the future of developers over the future of students. Until it does, CPS will continue to face yearly shortfalls and budget crises that the state can’t afford.

TAGS: Chicago, CPS: Chicago Public Schools, CTPF: Chicago Teachers Pension Fund, education, Forrest Claypool, Rahm Emanuel, TIF


A NOTE FOR OUR READERS:

We have one goal as an organization: to give you the straight truth about Illinois. Legacy media often cannot afford to tell the truth, and we know we aren’t often getting straight answers from our elected officials.

That’s why our independence is so important. Our award-winning writers work long hours to bring you the truth. Their work is entirely supported by donors like you who want to see a more prosperous Illinois.

More than 400,000 Illinoisans read this award-winning site each month, absolutely free of charge thanks to the generosity of our readers. Will you help us continue our mission with a financial donation?

Every penny counts – your donation will help us continue to deliver independent, unbiased news and information as we seek a more prosperous future for the great state of Illinois.

Source: Will County News