At least 13 companies receiving billions of dollars in bailout money owe more than $220 million in unpaid federal taxes, a lawmaker said Thursday.
The lawmaker, Representative John Lewis, Democrat of Georgia and chairman of a House subcommittee overseeing the federal bailout, said two companies owed more than $100 million each.
The House Ways and Means Committee’s subcommittee on oversight discovered the unpaid taxes in a review of tax records from 23 of the companies receiving the most bailout money, Mr. Lewis said, as he opened a hearing on the issue.
“This is shameful; it is a disgrace,” he said. “We are going to get to the bottom of what is going on here.”
The subcommittee said it could not legally release the names of the companies owing taxes.
Well, why the hell NOT?? If they can identify themselves to take OUR hard earned money, they can DAMN sure reveal themselves, or have Congress do it for them. That is absurd!
And John Lewis should sure know about shameful and disgraceful conduct, after the way he plunged the knife into Hillary Clinton's back about a thousand times (you may recall, he was one of her early supporters who sang her praises up one side and down the other. Until the Black Caucus and Jesse Jackson, Jr., on behalf of Barack Obama, told him, and a few other African American congresspeople who supported Clinton, that if they did not toe the line and support Obama, they could expect to have some heavily funded challengers come nest election season. So, he caved. Yes, he did. In the "karma sucks" department, though, he is having to face a challenger anyway because he supported Clinton in the FIRST place. Obama is just a tad vindictive, you see. Serve's his ass right, though, for having no freakin' integrity.
That is to say, spare me the indignation, Rep. Lewis.
It said one recipient had almost $113 million in unpaid federal income taxes from 2005 and 2006. A second recipient owed almost $102 million dating to before 2004.
Mr. Lewis said that his panel planned to review tax records from other companies receiving federal money, but that he was unsure if it would look at every one.
Banks and other companies receiving federal money were required to sign contracts stating that they had no unpaid taxes, Mr. Lewis said. But he said the Treasury Department did not ask them to turn over their tax records.
The Internal Revenue Service, a division of the Treasury Department, said it would expect the unpaid taxes to be paid.
Oh, yeah - I'm sure Timmy Geithner is gonna get RIGHT on that!! HAHAHAHAHA!!!!!
But here's the thing, Rep. Lewis. Y'ALL are the ones who crafted this document WITH NO OVERSIGHT IN SIGHT. And you're going to come back NOW and pretend outrage that these companies, who owe MILLIONS of taxes, are getting OUR tax money??? Seems to me the Congress just helped them STEAL money. Our money.
And if they had to sign a statement stating they didn't owe taxes and took BILLIONS anyway, then why aren't they being brought up on CRIMINAL charges? And WHY WON'T YOU REVEAL THEIR NAMES???? So much for transparency, eh, Rep. Lewis??
Oh, and get this hilarious joke:
“The I.R.S. recognizes that those entities that receive taxpayer support have a special obligation to pay their taxes,” an agency spokesman, Frank Keith, said in a statement. “And these taxpayer accounts will remain closely monitored by the I.R.S. to ensure that the full amount of taxes due are paid.”
Mr. Keith said there could be many reasons for an unpaid balance, including the possibility that a bill was being challenged.
Yeah, sure, okay - because the IRS has proved to be so competent in retrieving these high dollar taxes. Just spare me already. Now the rest of us know what Geithner and Daschle have known for a while - the IRS isn't exactly Johnny-On-The-Spot in securing taxes from the high rollers!
And while I am talking about Tim Geithner, my favorite economist, Paul Krugman, had this piece in the NY Times, Despair Over Financial Policy. Krugman writes:
The Geithner plan has now been leaked in detail. It’s exactly the plan that was widely analyzed — and found wanting — a couple of weeks ago. The zombie ideas have won.
The Obama administration is now completely wedded to the idea that there’s nothing fundamentally wrong with the financial system — that what we’re facing is the equivalent of a run on an essentially sound bank. As Tim Duy put it, there are no bad assets, only misunderstood assets. And if we get investors to understand that toxic waste is really, truly worth much more than anyone is willing to pay for it, all our problems will be solved.
To this end the plan proposes to create funds in which private investors put in a small amount of their own money, and in return get large, non-recourse loans from the taxpayer, with which to buy bad — I mean misunderstood — assets. This is supposed to lead to fair prices because the funds will engage in competitive bidding.
But it’s immediately obvious, if you think about it, that these funds will have skewed incentives. In effect, Treasury will be creating — deliberately! — the functional equivalent of Texas S&Ls in the 1980s: financial operations with very little capital but lots of government-guaranteed liabilities. For the private investors, this is an open invitation to play heads I win, tails the taxpayers lose. So sure, these investors will be ready to pay high prices for toxic waste. After all, the stuff might be worth something; and if it isn’t, that’s someone else’s problem.
Or to put it another way, Treasury has decided that what we have is nothing but a confidence problem, which it proposes to cure by creating massive moral hazard.
This plan will produce big gains for banks that didn’t actually need any help; it will, however, do little to reassure the public about banks that are seriously undercapitalized. And I fear that when the plan fails, as it almost surely will, the administration will have shot its bolt: it won’t be able to come back to Congress for a plan that might actually work.
What an awful mess.
Well, that's the understatement of the 21st century.
I could be wrong, but didn't people actually go to JAIL for the Texas S&L scandal??? Now Obama and Co. are actively PURSUING that strategy? What the hell is wrong with this picture???
Yes, this IS an "awful mess." When are the grown ups going to come along and put a stop to it, I wonder? Oh, wait - WE are the grown ups, and we have to tell them enough, no more, stop giving our tax dollars to companies that can't be bothered to pay THEIR taxes. Stop setting up plans that are identical to illegal strategies for which people have served time. Stop enabling this inept president who claims he didn't even know what was in the Stimulus bill he signed into law, which included a provision his chief of staff and his Treasury Secretary set in place. Stop the freakin' faux outrage, too, while you're at it, because we aren't buying the crap you are selling. And what you are selling is us down the river. Enough already!