ACORN and the tax man

My friend Cheryl forwarded this article to me:


ACORN Goes for Broke


By Matthew Vadum on 11.16.09 @ 6:08AM

As its financial resources dwindle, radical advocacy group and organized crime syndicate ACORN may have to file for bankruptcy protection before Christmas, ACORN insiders say.

“They may have to file for bankruptcy if they don’t have several big pending grants approved or get emergency loans,” a highly placed ACORN source told me over the weekend. This information bolsters Rep. Darrell Issa’s (R-Calif.) claim last week that ACORN is in turmoil amidst internal power struggles and on the verge of bankruptcy.

Given that ACORN is a network of hundreds of affiliated nonprofits, it’s not exactly clear how a bankruptcy filing would work, but the idea is under serious consideration by ACORN’s leadership. It was discussed at length at the group’s most recent national board meeting, which took place in the suburbs of Washington, D.C., during the Oct. 14-15 weekend, ACORN sources told me.

But even if ACORN were to go bankrupt, that doesn’t mean it would disappear.

Much more at the link. Now, I’m certain that some of our friends on the left will say that this is all a result of us evil reich-wingers attacking this good, community service organization. And ACORN is trying the novel approach of suing in federal court, claiming that the Congress withdrawing federal funding recently, after ACORN workers were caught trying to give assistance to a couple who claimed to want help to set up a brothel, constitutes a Bill of Attainder. Of course, there’s a big difference between a real Bill of Attainder, a legislative act determining that someone is guilty of a crime, and withdrawing funding, but, in the whacky world of the federal courthouse, who knows, they might gain some traction.

But there’s more information in the American Spectator article, information which should give our friends on the left pause:

As of Nov. 11, ACORN and its affiliates owed at least $2,328,596 in long overdue back taxes to all levels of government. Many of the tax liens, which are only issued by creditor tax agencies after a tax debt has become seriously delinquent, do not appear in the Nexis database, so the actual total may be much higher. ACORN has been negotiating with tax collectors to have interest on its tax debts waived and to have some of the debts partially forgiven.

The new tax lien data throw new light on why ACORN can’t sell its former headquarters at 1024 Elysian Fields Ave. in New Orleans. French Quarter Realty is asking $835,000 for the property, which is now weighed down by a whopping $1,278,862 in tax liens.

Of that nearly $1.3 million, $619,271 is owed to the IRS. It’s unclear why the Obama administration’s tax enforcers haven’t seized the property yet. Perhaps the president is extending a courtesy to his former employer.

ACORN’s federal funds have been cut off for a few months now, but you don’t get $1,278,862 in tax debt on a building valued at less than that in a few months. About half of that is owed to the Infernal Revenue Service, and a good chunk of that might be unpaid payroll taxes, taxes supposedly withheld from employees checks, or ACORN’s OASDI and Medicare matching taxes, which were not remitted to the government.

Not paying your taxes is considered serious stuff by the federal government.

One thing is clear, however: ACORN’s tax troubles have been going on for a lot longer than the two months since the stink that got their funds cut off. The Senate voted, 83-7, to cut off federal funds for ACORN on September 14, 2009, and the House of Representatives voted to do the same, 345-75, three days later. Today is November 16th; the funding cut-off was slightly less than two months ago; you don’t get into this kind of tax trouble, including tax liens, in two months.

Some people might just suspect that ACORN was not a wholly honest group all along.

78 Comments

  1. “organized crime syndicate”?
    Don’t crime syndicates do a good job of making money? Isn’t that the point? Maybe the fact that they’re experiencing financial collapse is an indication of… (I’ll just let the rest of that sentence drift off, hopelessly beyond the capacity for conservative brains to grasp it.)

    So, if a whole organization is worth destruction over a couple of employees caught talking about something illegal, how would you feel had the organization been taking federal dollars to murder civilians? And give money to terrorists? And gang rape and imprison female employees? And still be raking in hundreds of millions of your tax dollars?

    That’s okay, right? As long as the don’t get poor people to vote, that is.

  2. Dana:
    ACORN can’t sell its former headquarters at 1024 Elysian Fields Ave. in New Orleans

    Look what else is there also:
    ACORN® National
    1024 Elysian Fields Ave.
    New Orleans, LA 70117
    504–943-0044
    email: chieforg@acorn.org

    ACORN®
    1024 Elysian Fields Ave.
    New Orleans, LA 70117
    504–943-0044
    email: laacorn@acorn.org

    AHC
    1024 Elysian Fields Ave.
    New Orleans, LA 70117
    504–943-7663
    email: ahclalcno@acorn.org
    website: http://www.acornhousing.org

    Louisiana ACORN
    Fair Housing Organization
    1024 Elysian Fields Ave.
    New Orleans, LA 70117
    504–943-0044 x110
    website: http://www.acornfairhousing.org

    ALERT
    1024 Elysian Fields Ave.
    New Orleans, LA 70117
    504–948-9560
    email: ccilegalsup@acorn.org

    AISJ
    1024 Elysian Fields Ave.
    New Orleans, LA 70117
    504–943-5713
    email: aisj@acorn.org

    SEIU LOCAL 100
    1024 Elysian Fields Ave.
    New Orleans, LA 70117
    504–943-8864
    fax: 504–944-3157
    email: seiu100lano@acorn.org
    website: http://www.seiu100.org

    HOTROC
    1024 Elysian Fields
    New Orleans, LA 70117
    504–943-8864
    email: hotroc@acorn.org
    website: http://www.hotroc.org

    Can we spell Intertwined Rathke Brothers????

  3. Nangleator made a false comparison, starting with:

    if a whole organization is worth destruction over a couple of employees caught talking about something illegal

    Thing is, if ACORN is so far in arrears in paying their taxes, this isn’t a case of “a couple of employees caught talking about something illegal.” Withholding money from employee’s paychecks for taxes, and not sending that money in to the IRS is a bit more serious than giving advice to a couple on how to set up a brothel. That’s serious, as in go to jail serious, stuff.

    And while the article didn’t mention it, if tax money withheld wsn’t sent in to the IRS, I have to wonder if things like 401(k) money withheld was sent to the retirement plan manager.

  4. The “stink” that got their federal funds shut off was no reason to shut their funds off. It was because poor people do not have any political clout, so the politicians of both parties make their stance based on ‘principle’! What a farce! If they had made their stance based on criminal tax evasion, I would have understood it better.

    Here is what ACORN does: “ACORN has 1,200 chapters in 75 cities across the country. While much of its work focuses on voter registration and social justice issues, some affiliates help poor families with foreclosure prevention and tax preparation.”

    Now we have ACORN faced with a ripple effect regarding state and local support, which, combined with their tax liability may well put them into bankruptcy. I find it sad when a grass roots NGO, aimed at assisting the poor, involving a significant number of volunteers, goes under because of some management mistakes within, and because of mainly right wing political opponents with some weak kneed Liberals, at a time when poverty has doubled in our ‘land of plenty’!

  5. Any similar organization that comes along to serve the same need will face the same hatred and be targeted by the same people. Await your orders, conservatives. You’ll be told who to hate and when.

  6. So let me get this straight. If I disagree with an organization, its goals, its methods, its idology and its leadership; if I think that stealing other peoples money in the name of “social justice” is just theft; if I believe taking the property of others by force and threat of government, then I am full of hate? If I see an organization founded by, run by and embezzeled from by an avowed communist I’m a hater? However, if they force me to work an extra 20 hours a week to pay their bills which basically enslaves me for their desires, they are wonderful, generous folks.

    Thanks for straightening that out for me. Now go get your shoeshine box.

  7. Correction:

    if I believe taking the property of others by force and threat of government *is wrong*, then I am full of hate?

  8. Perry wrote:

    The “stink” that got their federal funds shut off was no reason to shut their funds off. It was because poor people do not have any political clout, so the politicians of both parties make their stance based on ‘principle’!

    What, you think having the President of the United States as one of your supporters doesn’t translate into political clout?

    I was careful to include the congressional votes to cut off funds in the main article. In an overwhelmingly Democratic Congress, the votes to cut off funding was overwhelming; it wasn’t us evil reich-wing Republicans who did that.

    “ACORN has 1,200 chapters in 75 cities across the country. While much of its work focuses on voter registration and social justice issues, some affiliates help poor families with foreclosure prevention and tax preparation.

    I do appreciate that “much” of ACORN’s work consists of voter registration and “social justice” issues. That tells me that it is a good thing if ACORN folds: “social justice” is simply a euphemism for taking money from people who earn it to give to people who don’t; ACORN attempts to register people who will support tat agenda with their votes. The last thing I want to see is what ACORN calls “social justice.”

  9. JohnC: On this issue, you really are delusional, therefore deserve no further response than that, except to point out that you give no proof of your outrageous allegations.

    Dana:““social justice” is simply a euphemism for taking money from people who earn it to give to people who don’t”

    That is so grossly a simplistic view of “social justice”, that I hardly know where to begin. For one thing, it assumes that people in poverty are there because they are unwilling to work, as, for example, your party has been steadfastly against raising the minimum wage for the working poor for years.

    Another example is your anti-union position, against workers who seek their fair share of the pie due to their labors. Instead, your policies support those who get rich by sitting in front of computers to create such as credit default swaps, and those who milk their corporations and stockholders for huge salaries and bonuses.

    Our system of rewards for work performed has become so skewed toward the rich that we face a crumbling social order and disregard for the rule of law, in other words, a broken society in the making, while you sit back and worry about ACORN’s program for “social justice”.

    “Social justice” to ACORN means: Affordable housing, Better schools, Fair housing, Fair tax fees, Foreclosure assistance, Gulf Coast recovery, Health care reform, Living wage campaigns, Paid sick days, Predatory lending problems, Utility bill relief, and Voter engagement, all significant issues for poor people. You need to see what ACORN does, before going off about your narrow perception of “social justice” based only on political ideology.

  10. not surprising to see CINO (Catholic In Name Only) Dana disparaging social justice.

    “Defense of such primordial aspects as commitment to social justice, the struggle against corruption, the endeavor in favor of peace, the inviolability of the right to human life from the moment of conception to its natural death, as well as the safeguarding of the family based on marriage between a man and a woman.”
    -Benedict XVI, addressing the new ambassador of Panama to the Holy See, October 30, 2009. See also every Pope ever to have served, passim, in remarks delivered w/infallibility attached.

    but of course, as we all know, American neocons are much, much smarter than the Church, and can see through that pesky ministry of Christ.

  11. Way to go Perry, you defend an organization caught on film multiple times willing to enable child prostitution. One that had employees convicted of election tampering. An organization that uses the poor as an excuse to plunder the public purse. A collection of false fronts designed to hide embezzlement.

    You turn a blind eye to ACORN’s organized crimes and regurgitate their own self-serving “Social Justice” mission statement as if that’s proof of clean hands. What simpleminded Poppycock!

    And you call JohnC “delusional.” You’re a two-faced apologist for a criminal organization, and a fool if you think there isn’t a lot more film of ACORN criminals caught red-handed. Better get the Kool-Aid ready, you’re going to need a lot of it to wash down all the crow.

  12. cmbc: Your comment, the quotation of Benedict XVI, is on the mark!

    ropelight: Your comment is not, in my view, because you are too quick to attribute to an organization the wrong actions of a few, as is the way it often is with you folks on the Right who listen only to your leaders like Rush and the FixedNews crew. Just like them, you give no evidence for your hyperbolic assertions, therefore, no one should take you seriously, as anything more than a deluded sycophant. That you have no compassion for struggling Americans is patently obvious.

  13. Your comment is not, in my view, because you are too quick to attribute to an organization the wrong actions of a few, as is the way it often is with you folks on the Right who listen only to your leaders like Rush and the FixedNews crew. Just like them, you give no evidence for your hyperbolic assertions, therefore, no one should take you seriously, as anything more than a deluded sycophant. That you have no compassion for struggling Americans is patently obvious.

    Perry, there are tons of legitimate charities who do legitimate charity work. ACORN doesn’t appear to be one of them. As Ropelight put it – open your eyes and see the reality.

  14. Eric, Ropelight: If you advise me to open my eyes, then show me! So far neither of you have, instead you rely on your political ideology for your opinions, but no facts. You must agree, that is hardly convincing, except to those who accept your ideology by faith. As I said before, you cannot properly taint an organization because of the behavior of several employees. You two should open YOUR own eyes to other than your ideological leaders who may not be telling the truth.

    Here is what ACORN does, from a recent article in WaPo:

    “The embattled community organizing group is much in the news these days, thanks to the idiocies of a handful of now-suspended staffers having been filmed and YouTubed by a right-wing sting squad. Most of the stories present ACORN as, at best, a shady organization up to no good in America’s inner cities, not to mention the nation’s primary source of voting fraud.

    What’s been obscured amid all the polemics, or the polemics passing as news reports, is what ACORN is and does. Founded in Little Rock in 1970 as an organization agitating for free school lunches, Vietnam veterans’ rights and more hospital emergency rooms, ACORN has grown in the past four decades into the nation’s largest community organizing group. Based in low-income neighborhoods, it has nearly 500,000 dues-paying members, recruited by door-to-door canvassers, with chapters in 110 cities in 40 states. Nationwide, it has more than 1,000 staffers. “

  15. Perry, the facts about ACORN are right in front of your nose, but you can’t smell the corruption and you refuse to open your eyes.

    Yet, you say I’m the one who won’t step up. That’s blatant hypocrisy. Doesn’t it make you feel dirty to be defending an organization that has repeatedly been filmed offering to enable child prostitution? Do you really think that making excuses for craven degeneracy makes you qualified to call someone else “delusional?”

  16. Perry told me that my concept of “social justice,” which I described as “a euphemism for taking money from people who earn it to give to people who don’t,” was “grossly simplistic.” He then describes:

    “Social justice” to ACORN means: Affordable housing, Better schools, Fair housing, Fair tax fees, Foreclosure assistance, Gulf Coast recovery, Health care reform, Living wage campaigns, Paid sick days, Predatory lending problems, Utility bill relief, and Voter engagement, all significant issues for poor people.

    Every last one of those things is a redistributive goal. “Affordable housing” sounds unobjectionable, until you examine what it means: it means that someone who is not currently choosing to build “affordable” housing must be induced to do so, or that someone who owns housing now that is deemed unaffordable should have to lower his prices to make it more affordable. “Living wage campaigns” mean attempts by the organizers to compel employers to pay more for work being done than the market requires. “Utility bill relief” — a rather odd thing for our friends on the left to support, given their support for the cap-and-trade legislation which will significantly raise utility costs — means having someone, the utility companies, I suppose, charge less for their product, even though most utility companies in the country are already heavily regulated.

    There is only one cure for poverty, a cure I know very well because my family lived it: work hard and work dependably.

  17. ropelight:
    Perry, how many times must a man turn his head and pretend that he just doesn’t see?

    Only when P,P&M sing It’s Blowing In The Wind.

  18. “There is only one cure for poverty, a cure I know very well because my family lived it: work hard and work dependably.’

    Bravo!

  19. I just saw “affordable housing” and “coercion” tied together. I saw that combo codified. In Hawai’i. (That’s the proper way to spell it, folks.) The Big Island of Hawai’i is the “rural” island. There are (or were, before the downturnn) many tracts of land developers build homes on. Hawai’i County has an ordinance (it could be Hawai’i law, I’m not certain) that a certain percentage of the homes built must be of the “affordable” variety, else the developer must pay a hefty penalty. The developers choose to pay the penalty. Oh, and what is “affordable” housing? Homes that sell for 200k or so. And at those prices, the islanders mostly cannot afford the “affordable” housing. And anything below those prices, and the builders cannot afford to build them.

    I went to Hawai’i 5 times in 2005-2007 (less than 24-month span) and I was looking at homes because I was trying to figure a way to move there. The only homes under 250 were built by individual speculators and not developers. 3 walk-in closets called bedrooms (under 10×10 in size) on a 9k sf lot, and that was the high end of the affordability level.

    Rules, regulations, permitting structure, it takes 6 months minimum to get a permit to build a house. That’s if you have all the paper-work right. It takes just as long to get a permit to build an extension (like an extra room for the in-laws). And state-certified electricians and plumbers must be used. Can’t put in an extra bathroom all by your self, against the laws.

    I have heard that upwards of 50 percent of all homes in Hawai’i have to some degree been built without going through all the bureaucracy. And, by law, they have to be demolished (or that part that was illegally built). But Hawai’i does not force the issue of its on leftist rules and regulations.

  20. JohnC:From Dana: ““There is only one cure for poverty, a cure I know very well because my family lived it: work hard and work dependably.’”

    John, you assume that the working poor don’t work hard and dependably. Are you correct?

    You also assume that those in poverty can get jobs so they can work hard and dependably. Are you correct?

    In the inner city unemployment is pushing toward 50%. Those are pretty tough odds to overcome in order to work hard and dependably.

    And one last point. When Dana or you were working your way out of poverty some years ago, conditions were quite different then in terms of opportunity. I know, because I was raised in inner-city poverty and worked my way out and up as well, when opportunities for working hard and dependably were much greater than today.

    You are very quick to criticize, John, and you make assumptions that may not be accurate.

  21. Perry, that’s the second time in as many days you dismissed me as delusional. So I need to ask you: have you read about the ACORN corruption on the internet or in the paper? Have you seen the ACORN reports on the news? Are you aware the former head of ACORN embezzeled two million from the organization? Have you noted that the Democrats in Congress voted to halt funding to ACORN?

    I your opinion I’m delusional. In my opinion you’re in denile.

  22. John, yes, I have followed the ACORN story. I have learned that there have been several episodes of questionable behaviors by a certain few ACORN employees, like those who succumbed to the prostitute sting operation by two right wingers, and the several incidents of minor voter fraud. That’s it!

    But some of you want to taint the entire organization by the misbehavior of a few. That’s neither fair or accurate. If you have some information that indicts the entire ACORN organization, please give me a link. Otherwise, yes, I will continue to consider you to be delusional on this particular issue.

    I think your side is very upset about ACORN, because they have been successful in registering voters who predominantly vote against your side. That is not a valid reason to demonized these people, many of whom are volunteers, not even employees of ACORN.

  23. Perry, I did not pen that statement, Dana Pico did. However, I agree with it whole heartedly. I did not grow up poor. I lived in Philadelphia. In a brownstone, not a slum. We were not rich but certanly not poor. My father was an artist by profession and the head of Gimbel’s display dept. by trade. He built the Thanksgiving Day Parades for the store, so you’ve seen his work. He was also a carpenter and sometimes out of work. My mother was VP of Western Union.

    Having not been poor I must add I have been really broke. Twice in my career my restaurants went down the shitter. I lost everything, business, house, cars, retirement savings, the whole shebangs. Even the wife. But I reinvented myself, got a job and worked and saved till I could open another little restaurant and start all over. Once I was so far in the hole I worked for someone else for five years just to get back to zero. And yes, I bitched and moaned the whole time. But looking back it was a learning experience.

    My observations in life have shone me that there are many reasons people are poor. Some lack education or opportunity. Some can’t handle money and even when they earn a lot they piss it away. Some are just lazy. I don’t believe poverty can be “cured”. Hell, after a 40 year trillion dollar War on Poverty, we still have poverty. I can’t fix that. The government can’t fix that, obviously. Perhaps the only people who can fix poverty is the poor themselves. But I know that giving ACORN my tax money and the tax money of my employees will not cure poverty. But it will make my employees and myself less wealthy and productive. I my be delusional to you but I don’t see that as “social justice”.

  24. You are correct, Perry. I don’t like ACORN because I don’t like their mission statement. I don’t like the idea of wrangeling poor people to vote against me and my interests. I believe if you don’t put your ante in the pot you can’t call the game. When I vote I don’t do so based on how much money I will get for doing so. I vote for those whom I believe to be best for ALL of us and our country. I don’t think that a poor person who is already living off my tax dollars should be able to cancel my vote so they can get even more of my tax dollars. So yes, I don’t like ACORN because I don’t like the IDEA behind ACORN. Once again, I believe in individual freedom. I would no more vote for someone to take your hard earned money than fly in the air. And I resent those who would vote to take mine. ACORN enforces the entitlement mentality of the poor. ACORN strives to get more of OUR assets into the hands of people who did not earn them. Yes, I am against ACORN.

  25. One other thing, Perry. I thought my “side” as you put it IS your side. We are all Americans aren’t we? And as Americans or highest priority should be the defense of Liberty. We do not need organizations the use the government to force our neighbors to acquiesce to our desires. We do not need the government to run roughshod over the Constitution and our individual rights to enforce someones view of “social justice”. The American free market system has raised the greatest number of people out of poverty in the history of man. The fundimental basis of that system is the value and sactity of private property. That includes the property of our own labor. America was not built by having armies of paupers voting away the assets of producers. Any person or organization that espouses such are un-American. If people want to organize to help others obtain employment, education or self improvement I have no problem. But when an organization exists to show people how to “game” the system that’s just wrong.

    You stated that ACORN has many “volunteers”. Really? Are these volunteers taking time off their work to help ACORN, or are they on the public dole and using our tax money to lobby for more of our tax money? I would like to know how many poor people were lifted out of poverty by ACORN. I could name many poor people or people from poor families who were lifted out of poverty by getting a start working in my restaurants. Several of whom are successful businessmen in their own right and who now employ people themselves. So tell me who has helped the poor more, me or ACORN?

  26. Perry, to sum up…

    Poor = lazy, and thus deserving of their situation.
    Poor people voting in their own interests = Bad for everybody, evil stupidity.
    Rich people voting in their own interests = Good for everybody. The American Way.
    Huge corporations altering American governance with legalized corruption = Fine with conservatives.
    Huge corporations breaking any laws they want, for power and profit = Invisible to conservatives.

  27. The rest of the story:

    Poor = most likely to stay that way and to condemn their children and grandchildren to poverty unless they get off their lazy rear ends, sober up, educate their children, quit stuffing ballot boxes for ACORN, and get a real job.

    Poor people voting in their own interests = Good as long as they can free themselves from corrupt Democrat political machines which seek to keep the poor in poverty so the Jackasses can live in 18,000 sq ft palaces.

    Rich people voting in their own interests = Good as long as they can free themselves from corrupt Democrat political machines which seek to tax them into poverty.

    Huge corporations altering American governance with legalized corruption = Fine with Democrats like Barney Frank and Chris Dodd so long as they get sweetheart deals on home loans, campaign contributions sufficient to buy Congressional elections, and immunity from prosecution.

    Huge corporations breaking any laws they want, for power and profit = Invisible to Democrats so long as corrupt Unions get to keep their Cadillac medical insurance while Medicare for senior citizens gets cut by $500 Billion, and Obama’s death panels thin the old folks ranks, all done in the name of care and compassion, don’t ya know, as they wash granny’s blood off their hands.

  28. I’ve mentioned this several times before, but pergaps not since Perry became a regular.

    My parents divorced when I was 7; I had two younger sisters, aged 3 and 1½. My mother had no education beyond high school, and in 1960, good jobs for women were pretty restricted. My father, who had a decent job, also found a new wife and family, and discovered that, in the early 1960s, child support was more of an option than an obligation.

    My mother did the only thing she could do: she got the only job she could. A social worker told her that she could make more money if she’d quit her job and go on welfare, but mom just couldn’t bring herself to do that. And by staying at work, and working hard to support her three kids, she gained the experience and the reputation to get a better job. By working hard every day, by simply going to work, on time, every day, she earned respect and promotions. By the early 1970s, she was the first female vice president of a medium sized mortgage company, and the only one who never went to college.

    As for me, I was graduated from the University of Kentucky in 1977. Economic rimes were bad, and college grads were having a difficult time finding jobs. I had no connections, and maybe I was a lousy interview, but I never got a job in my field. So I took what I could find, and I was a hod carrier — the guy who mixes and carried mortar for block layers — an electricians’ helper, a laborer and a concrete finisher. I took what I could find, and, like my mother, I went to work, on time, every day. There was never any question about whether I’d show up for work.

    In my many years, I’ve found that being on time, every day, is a far less common skill than you’d think, but I survived a recession in my job, when people around me were getting the axe, because I was simply more dependable than they were. I didn’t call off sick, I didn’t come in hung over, I just did my job.

    In my industry, I’ve seen companies where absenteeism was the biggest problem; I’ve seen companies where days in which no one called out sick were far less frequent than days when people just took off.

    This story was on the front page of today’s Phil;adelphia Inquirer:

    Half of U.S. children will use food stamps, study finds
    By Alfred Lubrano, Philadelphia Inquirer Staff Writer

    In a stark and surprising finding, about half the children in the United States will be on food stamps at some point during their childhood, a new study of 29 years of data shows.

    One in three white children and 90 percent of all black children – ages 1 through 20 – will use the program, according to the research, published this month in the Archives of Pediatrics and Adolescent Medicine.

    “This means Americans’ economic distress is much higher than we had ever realized,” said Thomas A. Hirschl, a sociology professor at Cornell University and a coauthor of the study with Mark R. Rank, a sociologist at Washington University in St. Louis.

    I’d bet that you read that, and your reaction is, see, people are suffering and people need help! My reaction is completely different: we all know that if someone offers to pay for something, someone else will show up to provide it. We are, in effect, paying for poverty, we are buying poverty and indolence with government funds, because we are so compassionate that we don’t want people to suffer. But we have made it too easy to be poor! Poverty in the United States is an inconvenience, nothing more. Regardless of how poor you are, there will always be some program, some handout, which will keep you from starving.

    We have created a Faustian bargain: we have told people that we will pay them not to work, if they’ll just agree to live in poverty. No one here would take that deal, but the sad fact is that many, many people have accepted that bargain: they are willing to live in squalor, but still with a roof over their heads and cable TV, as long as they don’t have to actually go to work to have it.

    To the good-hearted people who have created our welfare system, the idea that some people would accept such a deal is simply beyond their comprehension, because they, good, hard-working, college-educated people wouldn’t even consider such a thing for themselves, and they are too ego-centric to realize that just because they wouldn’t doesn’t mean that other people wouldn’t. Safely ensconced in the universities, or in government, or in white-collar professions, they don’t even know anyone who would consider such a deal, and it just never entered their well-educated minds.

    In our compassion, in our unwillingness to see anyone suffer, we have created a system in which indolence is rewarded and poverty is tolerable, poverty is survivable. If you want to eliminate poverty, you must make it intolerable, you must make it unsurvivable. The penalty for not working must be being homeless and hungry; then you will find that, amazingly enough, people who never could work before will suddenly be able to work.

  29. The real operative word no one has addressed – entitlements. In pre-entitlement 1961 President Kennedy said “Ask not what your country can do for you, but what you can do for your country.”

    With BO’s Redistributive Wealth Program, you need to do absolutely nothing for your country, your country owes you for just showing up!

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=19v5Kjmc8FI

  30. Dana Pico:
    In our compassion, in our unwillingness to see anyone suffer, we have created a system in which indolence is rewarded and poverty is tolerable, poverty is survivable. If you want to eliminate poverty, you must make it intolerable, you must make it unsurvivable. The penalty for not working must be being homeless and hungry; then you will find that, amazingly enough, people who never could work before will suddenly be able to work.

    This just proves the old adage. You want more of it, subsidize it; you want less of it, tax it.

  31. Dana:“We have created a Faustian bargain: we have told people that we will pay them not to work, if they’ll just agree to live in poverty. No one here would take that deal, but the sad fact is that many, many people have accepted that bargain: they are willing to live in squalor, but still with a roof over their heads and cable TV, as long as they don’t have to actually go to work to have it.”

    The problem with your reasoning, in my view, is that you are making assumptions that may not be generally true, and/or that have a valid explanation for the condition.

    Can you imagine a sane person who would choose to live in the squalor of poverty?

    Having grown up in poverty myself, I cannot. I grew up in the Great Depression, the oldest of six, of a handicapped (one arm), lazy, self-centered father and an overworked mother, living in the squalor to which you alluded. How do these things happen? Like yours, my mother was the hero, which enabled the six of us to survive and become educated and responsible people. Not all families like this are fortunate enough to have a hero, thus prone not to break out. At the age of 50, mom went to college, got a teaching certificate and became a teacher, so she managed to break out herself, but the squalor remained as my out-of-work father never lifted a finger to help. The siblings who remained in the area would chip in, but the squalor returned. There is a mindset there that does not change, no matter what.

    With this personal experience in mind, I understand what poverty does to people. These families have to be kept going, by welfare, to enable the children to break out of it, which is what has been happening. The welfare reform by Clinton and Congress in 1996, initiating a job training requirement, has turned out well. But now we have the new poverty, brought on by sudden job loss, in which we have unemployment payments and food stamps, which I view as a temporary rescue of the families in jeopardy, enabling survival of the family, assuming an end is in sight and employment opportunities return.

    In my view, these actions of the state are necessary and important.

  32. JohnC“The American free market system has raised the greatest number of people out of poverty in the history of man.”

    Right, until severe corruption took over, creating a series of bubbles, the latest of which has thrown 7-8 million out of work. This is due to a corrupt and greedy Wall Street, complicit with a bought-off federal government, and it continues, in spite of anything Obama et al have or have not done. This is today’s America internally, and externally bogged down in two wars that have taken our finest and drained our treasury. Pretty bleak, yes?

    The resultant poverty of body, mind and spirit is taking its toll on us, and the government is not on top of all this, nor are the corporations, nor is Wall Street, nor is small business.

    Regarding ACORN, as you can see here, here, here, they are a response to poverty, empowering people with the vote, and assisting them to pull themselves up and out. I believe you have been mislead by the right wing propaganda war against these people.

    “My observations in life have shone me that there are many reasons people are poor. Some lack education or opportunity. Some can’t handle money and even when they earn a lot they piss it away. Some are just lazy. I don’t believe poverty can be “cured”. Hell, after a 40 year trillion dollar War on Poverty, we still have poverty.”

    You recognize that poverty is many faceted, but you don’t seem to recognize that the society/government has a role to play in rescuing these families, especially for the sake of the children. I understand that you have had hard times from which you learned and worked your way out. Not knowing the all the details of how you did it, I would guess that you had some help from the community (bank), from the government (tax breaks, loans), from the community (employees, customers), from your family (partnership, loans); I am sure there is a long story to it all, also why you lost your two previous restaurants. I am not asking to know, I am just pointing out that there probably is a much larger story behind it all involving many people and entities.

    Whatever it is, I congratulate you for surviving and now thriving, and wish you the best for the future. In the meantime you might understand that there are plenty of folks out there who also work hard and take risks, then fall due to no particular fault of their own. These people deserve a lift by the rest of us, either through individual efforts (preferred), or by assistance from the government.

  33. Perry wrote:

    The problem with your reasoning, in my view, is that you are making assumptions that may not be generally true, and/or that have a valid explanation for the condition.

    Can you imagine a sane person who would choose to live in the squalor of poverty?

    It seems to me that, in a way, you have proved my point. The reasoning I specified seems insane, to you. That’s why I mentioned all of the good-hearted, well-intentioned people who have helped to create our welfare system, people for whom the idea that some would choose poverty over work if poverty were tolerable enough is simply outside their conceptual framework. That such reasoning is alien to you and to me does not mean that it does not exist.

    The fact is that such a decision is wholly rational. There are plenty of things which you and I would have liked to have, but have chosen to do without, because something else was more valuable to uis: the money it would have cost, or being able to guy something else, or to save. The decision to choose survivable poverty over having to go to work is the same type of decision, and it is based on the personal preferences of the people taking such a decision.

    Of course, it’s likel;y that many of these decisions are not taken coolly and rationally; like a lot of decisions, they are taken piecemeal and emotionally, decisions to not go to work today, rather than go to work, until a job is lost, or decisions to use recreational pharmaceuticals because they provide quick, easy fun, but can lead to addiction and job loss.

    My mother’s decision to keep working, when she could have made more on welfare, was probably not a calculated consideration that she’d gain experience and eventually a better job; it was, for her, a decision which could have gone only one way, because her pride dictated it.

    I understand your compassion here, your desire not to see people suffer, but such policies enable poverty, enable people to choose to be malingerers.

    Such people are not abstractions to me: I have seen this, with my own eyes, I have met these people, I have known them. Some of them tyhink that we are the crazy ones, because we work for a living when we don’t have to.

  34. Perry, believe me I am not without compassion for the poor. I donate 6-8 hours (almost) every week to feeding the indigent elderly whos families have abandoned them. I also contribute a lot of money to my chosen charities every year. And that is beside what I tithe to my church. I am fortunate to be in a position to be able to do that. I also realize it could all change tomorrow and once again I could go broke and loose all material things. In economic times like these I can’t help but feel that sometimes my own fortunes are no longer in my own hands but rather in the hands of unseen politicians and bureaucrats. Even that men like myself have a target painted on our backs because of these unseen persons.

    However Perry, my compassion extends to the goal of ending the cycle of poverty and dependence, not perpetuating it. I believe the system currently in place perpetuates poverty because if they actually end it they would be out of business. I believe any system that provides those in poverty with perpetual food, shelter, health care, child care, housing etc, etc. does nothing to move them toward personal responsability and independance. I believe these bureauocracies make their living from keeping people poor not by showing them how not to be poor.

    When I see generations of families harnessed to the same “poverty programs” that their parents and grandparents were I see no improvement, do you? When I see videos on Youtube of people saying things like: “Now that Obama is President I don’t have to pay my mortgage or put gas in my car” I could cry. When I see lines of people in Detroit standing in line for “Free Money” and when asked where that money comes from they reply: “Obama” I could cry. Whe I see signs in a Texaco station stating: “We accept (E.B.T) food stamps. You can buy cigarettes and beer with your cash benefits” I could spit blood.

    Furthermore you say that the “bubbles” were caused by a collusion between Wall Street and the government. Perhaps, but when government keeps corrupting the system by pumping out regulations then handing out exceptions to their friends what do you expect? They all do it. Bush didn’t invent it and Obama ain’t gonna stop it. But to me there is no difference in collusion between government and big business and the collusion between government and unions or government and “community organizations”. They are all out to game the system and ultimately screw us out of our money and out of our equal rights. They all pay to get “more equal rights” than others. You know, ala Animal Farm.

    Poverty has always existed and always will. But there is no excuse in this day and age for muti-generational dependance. Except that it is perpetuated by government direction. I have seen people in Philly driving luxury cars and using food stamps in the market. I have seen applicants at my business with gold teeth and three hundred dollar sneekers tell me how they want to be paid under the table so they can keep their welfare benefits. Paid under the table! No Shit! They believe they have a right not to pay taxes but you and I should to pay them welfare. I don’t have all the answers but I’m sure what we are doing not is not one of them. I’m also sure that keeping families on lifetime welfare does more harm than good for all involved (except the bureaucrats getting their tax funded pay checks and the politicians who get the votes of the poor to “buy gas”).

  35. I remember back during the 90s when Republicans were attacking welfare. There was this plan to make people living in free high-rise apartments work two hours a week or something, cleaning up their own buildings. And some Chicago Democrat woman (or that’s how I remember it) got very upset and declared what the Republicans were trying to do (force the free-loaders to work two hours a week to keep their own free place clean) to be Communist. I remember Rush doing a number on her, including audio of her saying just such a ridiculous thing. We can’t force people to work two hours a week for free housing, according to Democrat elites (although she was dumber than a box of rocks).

    And no, Perry, I cannot find the link to this piece of history. But it isn’t made-up history. It’s fact.

    And the woman I married twice (boy was I stupid) had a HUGE thing for hand-outs. Want that story?

  36. While all you self proclaimed Christians gloat in your “superiority”, and bring us “good” reasons to discard organizations that help the poor gain skills, understanding, and also, being that the Liberal organization that they are believed in things Jesus taught, like feeding the poor, ACORN however was an organization that helped those help themselves. Your dismissals of such wisdom…..well, I don’t think it’s the C you call yourself, as much it is in the R that finds reasons to dump actual principals of Christianity.

    Another thing, This is something that I would like you Christians to explain to me, why the logic the “Christianists”, on the side of the following argument. Please explain:

    http://www.bradblog.com/?p=7528

  37. Just for you, blu, I’m gonna copy/paste my statement from Patterico over to here.

    It never ceases to amaze me how facts as abundant and as clear as these ACORN videos can be nonchalantly swept under the rug in pursuit of the message. I have my mother, bless her heart, to blame for this. She is ever willing to see the good in people. I am ever willing to find honesty and integrity in people. And when I find willfully dishonest, willfully blind, willfully deaf people, I am always amazed. Frustrated and angered, but amazed, nonetheless. And any backer of ACORN who remains so after all this under-age prostitution ring business and the vote fraud business and the unpaid federal taxes business is either a “Helen Keller” partisan or is complicit in the criminal activity, if only by attempting to obstruct real justice after the fact.

  38. And of course, sadly, for you all on the Right-wing, while you call us the devil, we are trying to implement those principles you espouse to. Look, I myself don’t consider myself a Christian in the traditional sense, I do believe in it’s many tenets, as does most all religion, or they think they do.

    I always remembered that great phrase in the 70s, “Fighting for peace is like f%#king for virginity.”

  39. Patterico, sadly, for him (and you) is just the showing of ignorance, of the whole story. Why don’t you google up the word…LIE…and then, run those things you just said….JHcock/Patterico in one google search. I’m sure you’ll come up with a plentitude of SOLID material. YOU do it. You no doubt will laugh at my sources along with my personal assessments. So challenge those things yourselves. See what SOLID evidence you have for or against something. It’s an objectivity challenge.

  40. Maryland, Philly, New York, DC, San Diego, Los Angeles. They were all willing to join the conspiracy to force under-age foreign girls to prostitute themselves. They were all eager to help cover up the money trail to help get someone into politics. How many states have active investigations regarding voter fraud? How many states have indictments? How many states have convicted people of voter fraud, tied to ACORN? How much money does ACORN owe the federal government in back taxes?

    Somehow I missed out on the Christian tenet supporting forced under-age prostitution. And the Christian tenet supporting providing false testimony. And the Christian tenet supporting the corruption of the election process. And the Christian tenet of not paying your debts. Can you show me those Christian tenets? I could get me some big bucks setting up an under-age prostitution ring and hiding the money from the tax-cheat Treasury Secretary.

  41. Nope, you haven’t even bothered to look to see what really happened. That would be the Christian thing to do. By the way, we’ve all seen the clip, the obvious fake garb, that someone believes them is fishy too. Not likely.

    I’m asking incidentally to please defend your side of the argument, on the video clip, being Christian and all? You know, this clip…

    http://www.bradblog.com/?p=7528

  42. Blu, what’s so fishy about ACORN personnel bending over backwards to help a ho do bidnuss and a pimp hide the source of the clams? It’s all there with the ACORN people talking and the pimp and ho talking. What’s so fishy about Ohio finding people (connected to ACORN) guilty of vote fraud? What’s so fishy about all the other investigations, indictments, convictions of ACORN-tied vote fraud? What’s so fishy about all the ACORN-tied voter registration fraud? What’s so fishy about all the ACORN tax liens?

    What’s the Judaeo-Christian view of forced underage prostitution? Stone the perpetrators to death and rescue the children. What’s the ACORN view of forced underage prostitution? Apparently help the pimp and ho get a house to do it in.

    What’s the Judaeo-Christian view of dealing with true down-and-out people? Help them get back to where they can help themselves. But using OPM has nothing whatsoever to do with Christianity or Judaism. It has everything to do with the statist, socialist, communist, fascist powerbrokers that you enjoy so much.

    The government wants to give people a fish and tell those people to remember from whence the fish came. The Judaeo-Christian philosophy is to teach those people how to fish and then let those people fish for themselves. Somehow, you spaced-out loons never figured that part out. It’s about getting people to be self-sufficient and not government-dependent.

  43. “The government wants to give people a fish and tell those people to remember from whence the fish came. The Judaeo-Christian philosophy is to teach those people how to fish and then let those people fish for themselves. Somehow, you spaced-out loons never figured that part out. It’s about getting people to be self-sufficient and not government-dependent.”

    Thank you John Hitchcock. That’s what I was trying to say in my disjointed, wordy way. I think it is very un-Christian to perpetuate poverty by subsidizing it. I think blu is stuck on the old tried-and-failed approach because she feels other people will say she has no compassion if she tries to teach them to fish. Symbolism over substance.

  44. Liberals have forgotten that to give a man a fish, he will be hungry that next day, teach a man to fish, then you can tax his fishing gear, the boat, license fees to fish for each type, boat fees, launch fees, gasoline tax, fees to use the lake.

  45. Blu, I’m not a “self proclaied Christian”, I’m just a Christian. And I don’t “gloat” in my superiority, as I stated I don’t know how to fix it. If the intent of ACORN was to help the poor “gain skills” they have failed mierably. ACORN is no longer a “Liberal organization”, it is a lefist poitical action organization. If Rezko dosen’t show you that then you are willfully blind. ACORN does not “help those help themselves” it furthers their dependantcy. Does ACORN spend money to build cooking schools, auto repair schools or business schools to teach people how NOT to be poor? No, it uses volunteers to register voters to bribe politicians to give them money. The principle of that “C” you refer to is Love Thy Neighbor. You don’t do that by teaching your neighbor to stay poor by not working. Christ said: “The poor will always be among you”. And so they will but there is no honor in being dependant just as there is no loss of honor by working at a lower level job. It’s called RESPECT and if you don’t respect yourself, you won’t respect others.

  46. Blu, the video clips are there, in public, for everyone to see. Patterico has the story, with the videos, here. The latest one is that Los Angeles ACORNer Lavelle Stewart said that she turned the covert videographers, Hannah Giles and James O’Keefe, out of her office, and then sha-zamm! out come another video, showing that Miss Stewart lied through her scummy teeth.

    And now Andrew Breitbart is saying that they have a lot more tapes, and suggested to Attorney General Eric Holder that he should investigate ACORN and, if he doesn’t, Mr Breitbart will start releasing those tapes just before the 2010 elections. It could be a bluff, of course, but when people have tried to call Mr Breitbart’s bluffs in the past, they found out that he really wasn’t bluffing; he had the goods.

    Still, these tapes, amusing as they are, exposing as they have the foolishness of ACORN workers in falling for what ought to seem an obvious scam, and giving “advice” on how to break the law, the solid facts are that ACORN has broken the tax laws, that ACORN has failed to pay the taxes it owes.


    ACORN: Tax cheat


    Group faces huge IRS liens
    By DEROY MURDOCK

    ACORN CEO Bertha Lewis told Fox News’ Chris Wallace on Sunday that her group “absolutely pays its taxes.” Not true: The IRS and Louisiana’s taxmen have imposed nearly $2 million in liens against ACORN for failing to fork over taxes at its New Orleans national headquarters.

    The IRS recently filed a $548,000 lien against the group, and Louisiana state tax officials have slapped $334,000 in liens on ACORN since last October.

    Evidence that ACORN ignored its tax obligations may be less exciting than its branch offices’ eagerness to help a self-professed pimp break multiple laws, or the voter-registration fraud for which various of its workers have been convicted.

    Lewis: ACORN CEO is contradicted by public records.

    New York Post
    Lewis: ACORN CEO is contradicted by public records.

    But the tax mess shows that the lawlessness starts at its headquarters. (ACORN actually has three national HQs — in the Big Easy, Washington, DC, and New York City.)

    Another New Orleans group, the free-market Pelican Institute for Public Policy, uncovered official records that confirm ACORN’s deadbeat tax status. (Full disclosure: Pelican hosted my visit to New Orleans last May.)

    At the Orleans Parish Clerk of Courts Office, Pelican researcher Steve Beatty found a Sept. 3 IRS filing showing that “Elysian Fields Corp., Inc., Alter Ego of ACORN” skipped five quarterly withholding-tax payments — covering income, Social Security and Medicare levies — in 2005-08, and made no federal unemployment-tax payments for the fourth quarters of 2007 and 2008.

    “We have made a demand for payment of this liability, but it remains unpaid,” reads IRS form 668(Y). So the federal taxmen have placed liens on ACORN’s New Orleans offices at 2609 Canal St. and 2610 Iberville St.

    This follows a $1 million invoice that the IRS already had handed ACORN, as Pelican reported last August. The group’s in trouble with the state, too.

    “We have a full-scale investigation into ACORN and all of its subsidiaries,” Tammi Arender, spokeswoman for Louisiana Attorney General Bobby Caldwell, said recently. “No stone will be left unturned. We’re still looking into their recent activities.”

    Caldwell subpoenaed ACORN, former ACORN head Wade Rathke and the group’s financial institution, Whitney Bank. Caldwell seeks information stretching back to 1998 on ACORN and some 361 tax-exempt and non-tax-exempt outfits in its universe.

    Citizens Consulting, Inc. — ACORN’s bookkeeping arm, no less — scored a Louisiana “Notice of State Tax Assessment and Lien” on Oct. 29, 2008. It details 66 withholding-tax payments that Citizens Consulting skipped in 2002-08, totaling more than $300,000.

    These documents are online at pelicaninstitute.org. American taxpayers have to struggle to pay their taxes in full and on time. Meanwhile, ACORN routinely has ignored its duty — even as it has continued to collect millions of taxpayer dollars from the government.

    Since 1989, at least $53 million has flowed from law-abiding taxpayers, via Washington, into the coffers of ACORN and its branches.

    ACORN, in turn, stiffs its workers by failing to pay for their Social Security and Medicare benefits. One expects better from self-styled “progressives.”

    ACORN spokesman Scott Levenson did not reply to repeated requests for comment.

    In overwhelming numbers, the Senate and House voted last week to terminate ACORN’s federal funding. Given ACORN’s history of corruption and illegal support of Democratic political candidates, Congress should go further and rescind the tax-exempt status of ACORN and its subsidiaries.

    And now the IRS has severed ties with an ACORN-related group which used to help low-and-middle income taxpayers with income tax preparation, probably because the IRS doesn’t think that a group so dishonest in some things would be honest in helping prepare people’s taxes. The Boston Globe also reported that ACORN:

    filed a lawsuit in Baltimore against the couple — James O’Keefe and Hannah Giles, along with Breitbart.com that distributed the video — seeking a preliminary and permanent injunction against further distribution along with compensatory and punitive damages.

    Truth hurts, huh?

    The evidence is mounting: from top (the ACORN administrators, who don’t pay their taxes and lie about it in public) to bottom (the caseworkers giving advice on how to set up a brothel), the organization is corrupt.

  47. So, you think that if we find some corrupt people in Congress we should close down Congress? Hey, you think that because car accidents occur, we should all stop driving cars? What about the Oklahoma city bombing, by an extremist Christian (of which there are a frighteningly larger amount of than you might think) we should condemn all Christians? There are so many much much more egregious things done, that these same people that found some imperfections in ACORN don’t give a damn about. It’s just that the Left leaning principles about helping empower the poor, which is what the Left does, and the boost to get voting those people that would vote for Left leaning candidates, is a threat to the Republicans, so the power in the media, shines a big flashlight, and a microscope to find some crookedness in a very large organization. It’s just about politics. ANY organization if, if anyone looks, will find corruption. Should we condemn the Catholic Church, Dana, because of the corrupt priests that are so plentiful, which have been molesting children. That is the EXACT same logic, you are presenting here. It’s hypocritical to say that ACORN should be condemned, from an incident, when you blindly oblige to other things of which are absolute HORRORS, that many like Blackwater have committed. So, while you all proclaim such self-righteousness, why aren’t you condemning other WHOLE organizations? So, who will have the honesty and objectivity to read the other side, of which I’ve brought information? Probably no one Right-wing leaning here.

    http://www.thenation.com/doc/20091019/scahil

  48. OK City bombing was NOT done by a Christian. I guarantee you that. And the left keeps the poor poor. The leftist agenda will never, ever, make a poor person rich. But it will make rich people poor. And the left agenda doesn’t care about getting people off the government teet and self-dependent, because it would cause a loss in voters.

  49. Bullshit. You are a manufacturer of it, whether you know it or not. Did you read the articles or watch the video? NO? Oh, that’s right, you already know everything.

  50. I know you are a conspirationalist loon. And I know you think MSM is conservative. And I know you deny the truth in everything you say. If that’s everything, then I confess, I know everything.

  51. You are right about McVeigh NOT being a Christian. But, please tell me what you think of the video clip, if you can, download it. It is short. It shouldn’t take long to download. Read the articles. Tell me what you think. Can you think for yourself? Or does FOX do all your thinking for you?

  52. Here’s a paraphrase for you:

    You say you believe in Providence? Big fat hairy deal. Even the demons believe in Providence and tremble. Not that it does them much good.

  53. Okay, good, then who or what is standing behind “Christianity” in the name of such things espoused by the company(ies) that are espousing such things, which elude to such things? So what did you think of the video? Can you watch videos yet?

  54. Try writing that first “sentence” in English and not pixie code. No, I did not watch the video but my daughter did. And, yes, I already told you what I thought of it with my daughter’s boiling it down since she watched it (a quote from Psalms and direction at BHO). And, yes, I YIMmed to her that stuff you posted and my response so she could get a laugh.

  55. As to whether I can watch videos or no, there are times I cannot at all. There are times my patience is not good enough to spend 20 minutes to watch a 2-minute video. There are also times I spend 120 seconds to watch a 2-minute video. Nothing has changed.

  56. Blu wrote:

    Wise up,

    and then simply provided a link to an article by Jeremy Scahill in The Nation. Well, I followed that link, and the article, though taking the defunding of ACORN as its starting point, didn’t dispute any of the facts about ACORN. Rather, it was a claim that, gosh, other recipients of federal money are bad, too, and started with an attack on our friends on the left’s favorite whiopping corporation, Blackwater.

    Blackwater has a $217 million security contract through the State Department in Iraq–a contract just extended indefinitely by the Obama administration. It also holds a $210 million State Department “security” contract in Afghanistan, running through 2011 and another multimillion-dollar contract with the Defense Department for “training” in Kabul. This is on top of Blackwater’s clandestine work for the CIA, including continuing work on the drone bombing campaign in Pakistan and Afghanistan. This also does not take into account Blackwater’s lucrative domestic work training law enforcement and military forces in the United States at the company’s compounds in North Carolina, California and Illinois, nor the private “security” work it does for entities like the International Republican Institute, nor the work it does in training “faith-based organizations.” Nor does it include the contracts doled out to Prince’s private CIA, Total Intelligence Solutions, which works for foreign governments and Fortune 500 corporations.

    Then there is this fact: Blackwater was paid more than $73 million for federally funded, no-bid security contracts with the Department of Homeland Security in New Orleans after Hurricane Katrina, billing taxpayers $950 per man per day, a spending decision the Bush administration called “the best value to the government.” In the wake of the hurricane ACORN, meanwhile, only helped poor people who were suffering as a result of the government’s total failure to respond.

    A recent federal audit of Blackwater, compiled by the State Department and the Special Inspector General for Iraq Reconstruction, suggests the company may have to repay some $55 million to the government for allegedly failing to meet the terms of just one federal contract in Iraq–which, it is important to note, is $2 million more than the total amount allotted by the government to ACORN over the past fifteen years. (The company also cannot account for one federally funded “deep fat fryer” in Iraq, according to the audit.)

    Blackwater is, of course, providing contracted services, and, as noted, the Obama Administration liked teir work enough to extend one of their contracts. Perhaps the Administration doesn’t find Blackwater to be the horror story our friends on the left do.

    But even if Blackwater isn’t perfect, what does that have to do with defunding ACORN? This strikes me as being like the guy pulled over for speeding whining to the policeman that everybody else is whizzing past at 80 MPH, and he didn’t stop all of them. It might be true, but it doesn’t mean that the guy he did stop wasn’t breaking the law.

    No Administration, Republican or Democratic, is going to catch every bad guy out there, no Administration, regardless of whose, is going to eliminate every bad deal or misplaced contract. but that doesn’t mean that, when one is called to the Administration’s attention, the Administration shouldn’t work to defund the ones which are cut.

  57. Blu wrote:

    So, you think that if we find some corrupt people in Congress we should close down Congress?

    When we find some corrupt people in Congress, the proper thing to do is see if they have actually broken the law, and if so, indict and try them in court. Such has happened many times, to both Republicans and Democrats, and I have absolutely no problem with that.

    With ACORN, you have an organization that tried to blame the Giles and O’Keefe tapes on a few bad apples, but every time they try to claim it was just a few, Andrew Breitbart starts releasing more tapes, showing more and more of the lower-echelon people doing the same thing. And when you get to the upper-echelon people, the ones in charge of running ACORN, you find them lying and covering up other things, like failing to pay their taxes.

    Note what ACORN has done concerning taxes:

    skipped five quarterly withholding-tax payments — covering income, Social Security and Medicare levies — in 2005-08, and made no federal unemployment-tax payments for the fourth quarters of 2007 and 2008.

    That’s go-to-jail stuff, Blu. If you have a total tax bill of $5,000, and your employer supposedly withheld $5,000 in taxes for you, but never sent that money in to the IRS, you still owe the IRS $5,000! Yeah, the money was stolen from you, and yeah, the government does try to recover that money and get it credited where it belongs, but the $5,000 tax liability is yours, not your employers.

    ACORN supposedly withheld unemployment taxes fron paychecks, and didn’t send them in. If someone who had that tax withheld, but never sent it loses his job, he is technically ineligible to receive unemployment compensation.

    It’s just that the Left leaning principles about helping empower the poor, which is what the Left does, and the boost to get voting those people that would vote for Left leaning candidates, is a threat to the Republicans, so the power in the media, shines a big flashlight, and a microscope to find some crookedness in a very large organization. It’s just about politics.

    Now, that is absolutely true! ACORN is championing causes which I believe would be harmful to this nation as a whole and harmful to my family specifically, so yes, I am absolutely happy to find that an organization which helps enable leftist policies is being undercut. If ACORN had its way, my taxes would increase, and more of the fruits of my labor would be seized to give to those who don’t work as hard; that directly harms me! Of course I want to stop them! Anyone who works for a living should want to stop them.

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