Whether Obama sells another public utility or O'Malley gives Maryland's utility to an ever larger national corporation.....all public assets are moving to the top few families.....less than the 1%.....this is the .05%. In the meantime we have no legal protections against corporate abuse.....no regulatory protections against practices that harm citizens.....and no control over business practices that are killing our ability to make a living and save.
THIS IS THIRD WAY CORPORATE DEMOCRATS.....CLINTON TO OBAMA AND ALL MARYLAND DEMOCRATS!
RUN AND VOTE FOR LABOR AND JUSTICE NEXT ELECTIONS!!!!
The American people are moving back to public utilities and away from having citizens/ratepayers pay the costs for operations and infrastructure while these energy corporations make billions every year. That's what we want......but we are getting the opposite. In Maryland O'Malley handed our once public utility to a national energy company from Obama's Chicago area......soaking ratepayers already while raking in record profits!!!!
THIRD WAY CORPORATE DEMOCRATS WANT TO HAND ALL THAT IS PUBLIC OVER TO PRIVATE PROFITS!!! RUN LABOR AND JUSTICE NEXT ELECTIONS!!!
Obama Budget Ponders Sale of Tennessee Valley Authority
By Mark Chediak & Julie Johnsson - Apr 11, 2013 4:22 PM ET Bloomberg Financial
Wade Payne/Bloomberg The Tennessee Valley Authority Power Plant stands in this aerial photo taken in Kingston. President Barack Obama is considering the sale of all or part of the Tennessee Valley Authority (3015A), the largest publicly owned U.S. power company, in a deal that may raise as much as $35 billion as the administration seeks to reduce the national debt.
11:02 April 10 (Bloomberg) -- President Barack Obama speaks about his $3.8 trillion budget, which calls for more tax revenue and restraints on Social Security benefits. The president is proposing to replace across-the-board budget cuts known as sequestration with what White House budget officials say is $1.8 trillion in additional deficit reduction over 10 years. Obama speaks at the White House. (Source: Bloomberg)
A potential sale is part of a “strategic review” of the Knoxville, Tennessee-based nonprofit, which faces increasing capital costs, according to the administration’s fiscal 2014 budget proposal released yesterday. A sale may yield $30 billion to $35 billion in cash and reduced government debt obligations, said Travis Miller, a Chicago-based analyst for Morningstar Inc. (MORN)
The 80-year-old authority, created during the Great Depression to bring electricity to rural communities, will probably exceed its $30 billion debt cap to pay for needed infrastructure improvements and meet new environmental rules, according to the budget proposal. U.S. utilities face rising costs to replace aging power lines and generators and install pollution controls to meet stringent air-quality standards.
“We expect potential buyers will have big concerns about the huge pension and asset retirement liabilities that TVA faces,” Miller said in an e-mail today. “That future uncertainty could depress the prices buyers are willing to pay.”
The power authority’s bonds fell on news of a potential sale, which was criticized as “one more bad idea in a budget full of bad ideas,” by Senator Lamar Alexander, a Tennessee Republican.
Rating Review TVA’s $1 billion of 3.5 percent bonds due December 2042 declined to 95.7 cents on the dollar from 98.6 cents yesterday to yield 3.74 percent, or 704.3 basis points more than similar- maturity Treasuries at 3:46 p.m. in New York, according to Trace, the bond-price reporting system of the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority. The spread widened from 57.5 basis points yesterday.
Standard & Poor’s said it would review its AA+ rating on the debt if there was a “change in TVA’s role or link to the federal government.” S&P said its rating is based on the “very high likelihood” the U.S. government would support TVA if it got into financial distress.
The announcement was a surprise to the authority, which is self-financing. Chief Executive Officer Bill Johnson said TVA would work with the administration to provide requested information during the strategic review.
Third Largest “Reducing or eliminating the federal government’s role in programs such as TVA, which have achieved their original objectives and no longer require federal participation, can help put the nation on a sustainable fiscal path,” according to the budget proposal.
TVA was created in 1933 as part of U.S. President Franklin Roosevelt’s New Deal to lift the nation out of an economic depression. The agency now provides power to 9 million people in parts of seven southeastern states including most of Tennessee, according to its website. TVA owns 29 hydropower plants, 11 coal plants and three nuclear plants.
By capacity, its 38,040 megawatts make TVA the third- largest U.S. power producer, according to a Bloomberg calculation. Duke Energy Corp. (DUK), the largest, has a market value of $51.6 billion and Southern Co., the second-biggest, is $41.4 billion.
“Depending on the price, I would expect a considerable amount of interest,” Paul Patterson, a New York-based utility analyst at Glenrock Associates LLC, said in a phone interview yesterday. “A possible sale sounds like an interesting idea, but as usual the devil will be in the details.”
Power Sales The authority funds its operations through power sales and bond financing. TVA recorded $11.2 billion in sales last year and had $25.5 billion in total debt as of Dec. 31, according to regulatory filings.
“It is unclear that the sale of TVA’s assets would bring significant additional revenues to the federal coffers once its debt and ‘debt-like obligations’ are repaid,” Stephen A. Smith, executive director of the Southern Alliance for Clean Energy, said in an e-mailed statement today. “It is extremely unlikely that this proposed strategic review will lead to any real desire by the Obama administration to pursue selling TVA.”
The authority paid the Treasury Department $27 million last year as part of annual payments it has made since 1961 to repay the federal government for $1 billion in power generation, according to a Securities and Exchange Commission filing.
Costing Taxpayers The Treasury Department also provided TVA with a $250 million line of credit, which it hasn’t yet tapped, according to the filing.
A sale of TVA would cost taxpayers money and may boost electricity rates, Alexander said in an e-mailed statement yesterday. Both of Tennessee’s Republican senators oppose a sale.
“There is by law no federal taxpayer liability for TVA debt,” the senator said. “And after deducting its debt, selling TVA would probably cost taxpayers money.”
Below you see a snapshot of one state, Maryland, and how tax revenue has been decimated over the last 4 decades. You see sharp declines in property taxes as the most affluent and corporate properties have become exempt over time. Add to that all the TIF and PILOT business breaks and you see why they are dismantling America!!
I'm not sure where the $17 billion in state tax revenue comes in your article but a quick look at the national tax registry shows this about Maryland and taxes.....
Maryland taxes in 2013.
Income Taxes $9.1 billion.
Social Insurance Taxes $1.9 billion.
Ad-valorem Taxes $18.1 billion.
Fees and Charges $6.3 billion.
Maryland Taxes in 1992.
Income Taxes $5.2 billion.
Social Insurance Taxes $1.0 billion.
Ad-valorem Taxes $8.1 billion.
Fees and Charges $2.5 billion.
Maryland Taxes in 1970.
Income Taxes $12.9 billion.
Social Insurance Taxes $9.4 billion.
Ad-valorem Taxes $35.0 billion.
Fees and Charges $9.5 billion.
Apr 12, 2013, 9:38am EDT
Maryland ranks 15th in U.S. for tax collections in 2012
Maryland collected more than $17 billion in taxes last year.
Gary HaberStaff Reporter- Baltimore Business Journal
Maryland ranked 15th among in the U.S. for the amount of state taxes collected in 2012, according to new data from the U.S. Census Bureau.
People living, working or visiting Maryland paid more than $17 billion in sales, income and other state taxes last year, the Census Bureau found. That was less than the $32.9 billion collected by neighboring Pennsylvania, which ranked sixth, or by Virginia, which collected $18.1 billion (13th). Delaware, with no state sales tax and a smaller population than Maryland, collected $3.3 billion in state taxes last year.
Overall, tax collections by the 50 states climbed $34.3 billion in 2012 to $794.6 billion. That surpassed the previous high in 2008, prior to the recession, when states collected a combined $779.7 billion in taxes.
California, the nation’s most populous state, had the highest tax collections at $112.3 billion, followed by New York ($71.5 billion) and Texas ($48.5 billion).
We already know the meat industry is back to what Sinclair wrote in his novel 'The Jungle' .....it is an unregulated mix of abuse and a sanitation nightmare. When ever more regulation is simply handed to the industries it basically ends all public protections.....which is the point for Third Way corporate democrats like Obama!
Obama Budget Plans on Replacing USDA Poultry Inspectors with Industry Self Regulation
Tony Corbo: Plan will put our food supply at risk in a move that will increase profits of poultry producers and save only 90 million dollars over three years - 2 hours ago
BioTony Corbo is the senior lobbyist for the food campaign at Food & Water Watch. He is responsible for food-related legislative and regulatory issues that come before Congress and the Executive Branch.
TranscriptPAUL JAY, SENIOR EDITOR, TRNN: Welcome to The Real News Network. I'm Paul Jay in Baltimore.In President Obama's budget presented on Wednesday, one of the provisions calls for cutting back on food inspection, particularly of poultry, cutting back federal inspectors.Now joining us to talk about why this matters is Tony Corbo. He's a senior lobbyist for the food campaign at Food and Water Watch. He's responsible for food-related legislative regulatory issues that come before Congress and the executive branch.Thanks for joining us, Tony.TONY CORBO, SENIOR LOBBYIST, FOOD AND WATER WATCH: Well, thanks for having me on.JAY: So if I understand it correctly, the plan is--and the budget reflects this plan--to cut back on U.S. meat and poultry inspectors and let the industry essentially inspect itself. So what's wrong with that?CORBO: What's wrong with that is that having USDA inspectors in these plants provides an unbiased view of what is going on in those plants from a food safety standpoint, from a sanitation standpoint. And so what the administration is proposing is to turn over a major proportion of the inspection duties over to the companies, where the company employees will be doing the jobs of the USDA inspectors. There'll be a token USDA inspection force left in these plants.JAY: So what evidence is the government going on, is President Obama's administration going on that this is okay? There have been some pilot programs on this. What have they shown?CORBO: Well, the pilot programs have been running since the late 1990s. And what the pilots have shown is that in a lot of these plants--and there are 20 plants, 20 chicken plants where they've used this new inspection model where they turned over the inspection responsibilities over to the companies--and they've also increased the line speedsn in these facilities--that the company-paid inspectors really do not catch a lot of the quality defects that USDA alleges that the companies can do better than a USDA inspector. And the other thing is that the plants do not have lower salmonella rates than those plants that receive conventional inspection.What brought this whole regulation about, this proposed regulation, is the fact that Obama two years ago issued an executive order asking the federal government agencies to look at regulations that could be eliminated and to have industry weigh in as to which regulations they consider to be onerous or redundant. And, of course, the poultry industry stepped up to the plate and said, we want fewer inspectors in these plants.JAY: Now, but you just said that the self-inspected plants do not have lower rates of salmonella. But isn't the point do they have higher rates?CORBO: They do. I mean, when the administration proposed their regulation, they had a report doing an evaluation of these pilot plants. And it showed the last two years of data that they collected, that the pilot plants had actually higher salmonella rates than the conventionally inspected plants. And lo and behold, just this past month--USDA does a monthly report on the testing that the government does in these plants to test to see if the salmonella rates are either high or low, and two of the pilot plants showed up as failing the salmonella test. So here's the ultimate irony. The administration keeps on going around and saying that this new model, this new inspection model is going to be able to reduce salmonella, and yet all of the evidence points the other way.JAY: Now, if I understand it correctly--and to be transparent about this, I'm getting this from your press release--this is all--we have not had a chance to research this ourselves very far. But according to your press release, they're only--the federal government's only going to save about $90 million over three years with this self-inspection. I mean, that seems a complete pittance given the size of the budget. Yet this in theory could give rise to some danger. What is the logic here?CORBO: Well, I mean, that's one of the questions that we've raised all along, that, you know, when you're talking about a $1 trillion deficit and you're talking about saving $90 million over three years, you know, why go through all of this? And it just seems that what the administration, especially the White House--and there's been--and the office of management and budget is the one that's been driving this deregulatory move by the administration--is that the industry, by being able to increase production to 175 birds per minute, will stand to gain $260 million a year, adding to their bottom line, because they'll be able to increase production and have fewer regulations to deal with.JAY: But why can't they increase the lines and still have federal inspectors?CORBO: Well, because the argument is that you can't visually catch all of this stuff. Right now, the way the line speeds are regulated at USDA, each USDA inspector can only look at up to 35 birds per minute. And so if you're going to eliminate that particular regulation--they will have a token--they will have one inspector. They will have one inspector remaining at the end of the line under this new model they're talking about. But that one inspector will have to look at 175 birds a minute. That means every third of a second, a chicken will be buzzing by. You're not going to catch anything. I don't care how good you are as an inspector, whether you're a USDA inspector or a company inspector. You're not going to see anything.JAY: So I don't understand. Why don't they charge--if they're going to pay their own inspectors, why don't--and they want to save money, why don't they make the poultry companies pay for the federal inspectors, that at least there'd be independent inspectors?CORBO: Right. But the problem is is that in other places where that's been done, you compromise the work of the government inspector, because the companies will constantly remind you that you're being paid by them. And so you want to have a--this is a public health program. It's--to have USDA inspectors in these plants is to protect the public's health. And it should be funded through regular tax dollars, rather than having the industry pay for it.JAY: Now, I don't understand. From the point of view of the industry, doesn't it make them more liable? I mean, if there is salmonella and they get sued, at least now they can blame it on the federal inspectors to some extent. Now if there's a problem, they're going to have to take the whole blame.CORBO: Except for the fact that right now the government does not have the legal authority to regulate salmonella in these plants. The best they can do is to publish on a monthly basis the plants that have failed. Essentially it's a report card. You know, the government has these standards. If the companies fail the standards, all they get is this little slap on the wrist. They get their names published, you know, on a monthly report card. The USDA cannot shut these plants down. They don't have the legal authority. They've lost court cases in the past trying to regulate salmonella. And that's our argument. If you really want to regulate food-borne pathogens in these plants, then go to Congress and have those court decisions overturned, have the Congress give you the legal authority to shut down a plant that has high rates of salmonella that could cause food-borne illness, that could sicken, you know, thousands of people. That's our argument here.JAY: It boggles the mind. I would think most people think that's actually what's happening, that there is that kind of regulation.CORBO: It does. I mean, the thing is that the USDA has the legal authority to shut down a plant for e. coli and hamburger meat, but it does not have the legal authority to shut down a chicken plant for having salmonella. Actually, you can't even do that--we cannot shut down a beef plant that has high rates of salmonella. Salmonella, for some reason the courts have ruled that USDA does not have the authority to shut a place down for having high levels of salmonella.JAY: Alright. Thanks for joining us, Tony.CORBO: Alright. Thank you.JAY: Thank you for joining us on The Real News Network.
As I shout out to politicians and newspapers the fact that financial policy has US economy back to where we were in 2007....only worse....we are watching as Third Way corporate pols are allowing public assets and public services go private, public pensions thrown into this imploding market, and O'Malley and Rawlings-Blake are using credit bonds to hand Maryland to Wall Street as all this happens....just as with the last crash. SEE WHY THESE TWO ARE MOVING UP TO NATIONAL POSITIONS!!!! WHAT TEAM PLAYERS!!
Schiff: 2/3 of America to Lose
Everything Because of This Crisis
By Money Morning Staff Reports A record breaking stock market is distorting a frightening reality: The U.S. is being eaten alive by a horrific cancer that will ultimately destroy the economy and impoverish the vast majority of its citizens.
That's according to Peter Schiff, the best-selling author and CEO of Euro Pacific Capital, who delivered his harsh warning to investors in a recent interview on Fox Business.
"I think we are heading for a worse economic crisis than we had in 2007," Schiff said. "You're going to have a collapse in the dollar...a huge spike in interest rates... and our whole economy, which is built on the foundation of cheap money, is going to topple when you pull the rug out from under it."
Schiff says that, despite "phony" signs of an economic recovery, the cancer destroying America stems from a lethal concoction of our $16 trillion federal debt and the Fed's never ending money printing.
Currently, Bernanke and company is buying $1 trillion of Treasury and mortgage bonds a year. That's about $85 billion per month against a budget deficit that is about the same level.
According to Schiff, these numbers are unsustainable. And the Fed has no credible "exit strategy."
Eventually interest rates will rise... and when they do, Schiff says, stocks will tank and bonds dip to nothing. Massive new tax hikes will be imposed and programs and entitlements will be cut to the bone.
Editor's Note: As a service to our readers, we've arranged a way for you to get a copy of Peter Schiff's new best-selling book, The Real Crash: How To Save Yourself And Your Country, for free, including shipping. The book shows in plain language exactly what economic dangers ordinary Americans face right now and how you can protect yourself. Please go here for your free copy. "The crisis is imminent," Schiff said. "I don't think Obama is going to finish his second term without the bottom dropping out. And stock market investors are oblivious to the problems."
"We're broke, Schiff added. "We owe trillions. Look at our budget deficit; look at the debt to GDP ratio, the unfunded liabilities. If we were in the Eurozone, they would kick us out."
Schiff points out that the market gains experienced recently, with the Dow first topping 14,000 on its way to setting record highs, are giving investors a false sense of security.
"It's not that the stock market is gaining value... it's that our money is losing value. And so if you have a debased currency... a devalued currency, the price of everything goes up. Stocks are no exception," he said.
"The Fed knows that the U.S. economy is not recovering," he noted. "It simply is being kept from collapse by artificially low interest rates and quantitative easing. As that support goes, the economy will implode."
Should American seniors who've been paying taxes their whole lives bear the price of Washington's folly? See the shocking facts by clicking on the video. A noted economist, Schiff has been a fierce critic of the Fed and its policies for years. And his warnings have proven to be prophetic.
In August 2006, when the Dow was hitting new highs nearly every day, Schiff said in an interview: "The United States is like the Titanic, and I'm here with the lifeboat trying to get people to leave the ship... I see a real financial crisis coming for the United States."
Just over a year later, the meltdown that became the Great Recession began, just as Schiff predicted.
He also predicted the subprime mortgage bubble burst, nearly a year before the real estate market fully crashed.
His recent warnings, however, have been even more alarming. Will they also prove to be true?
In his most recent book, "The Real Crash" How to Save Yourself and Your Country", Schiff writes that
when the "real crash" comes," it will be worse than the Great Depression.
Unemployment will skyrocket, credit will dry up, and worse, the dollar will collapse completely, "wiping out all savings and sending consumer prices into the stratosphere."
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Schiff estimates this "cancer" could consume a trillion dollars from consumers this year.
"Today we're the world's greatest debtor nation. Companies, homeowners and banks are so highly leveraged, rising interest rates will be devastating."
According to polls, the average American is indeed sensing danger. A recent survey found that 61% of Americans believe a catastrophe is looming - yet only 15% feel prepared for such a deeply troubling event.
Is Devastation The Ultimate Cure? Despite its bleak outlook, Schiff's book has become a real wake-up call for millions of readers.
While Schiff's predictions can be grim, he also offers step-by-step solutions that average Americans can follow to protect their wealth, investments and savings.
According to Schiff, "the crash and what follows" can be beneficial. But only for those who understand beforehand what is happening and have time to prepare for the devastation.
"All we can do now is prepare for the crash," Schiff said. "If we brace ourselves properly and control the impact, we will survive it."
Editor's Note: This sovereign currency and debt crisis is just a small part of the disease that's attacking America from within. When interest rates rise - and they will rise soon - it could cost Americans $1 trillion this year. But it doesn't have to affect you. For a limited time, Money Morning is supplying readers with a free copy of Peter Schiff's new book "The Real Crash" How to Save Yourself and Your Country. Learn the steps you can take to prepare your wealth, investments and way of life for this looming catastrophe. Go here to secure a copy.