Selected Shorts

If the Republicans Don’t Get You the Democrats Will

 During the 2008 presidential campaign, candidate Barack Obama made two specific promises when it came to Social Security.

“John McCain’s campaign has gone even further, suggesting that the best answer for the growing pressures on Social Security might be to cut cost-of-living adjustments or raise the retirement age. Let me be clear: I will not do either,” Obama said in a rarely viewed video that was posted online. In April 2013, he proposed cutting the cost-of-living adjustment.

The Myth of Big, Private Corporate Efficiency

 Fisker Automotive of California spent six times as much U.S. taxpayer and investor money to produce each plug-in luxury car than it received from customers that bought them. The cars sold for $103,000. Fisker spent $660,000 in taxpayer and venture capital for each car that it sold. Fisker got Federal Dept. of Energy loan guarantees when they promised to create 2,500 jobs in Vice President Biden’s home state of Delaware.  The plant closed a year ago without producing any cars.

As a Worker You Already Know This

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the median wage for American workers is 8% lower than it was in 2000. The median pay for jobs created during this “recovery” is less than the median pay of the jobs lost in the downturn. The profits for the taxpayer bailed out banks have reached new highs. Some win, some lose.

Binghamton Moving to Foreclose on Midtown Mall

The Midtown Mall in Binghamton was purchased in August of 2008 by Lawrence and Stephen Gladstone, operating under the corporate name Stellar 83 Court LLC. The purchase price was $695,000. The building was assessed for tax purposes at $125,000.  According to public papers, Congdon Associates, the real estate appraisal company states that “the assessment is far below the recent sale price of the property, and is well below the “as is” value contained herein.”  The owners will obtain a payment in lieu of taxes agreement with the Industrial Development Agency. This public subsidy will permit students to rent the smaller bedroom apartments for $650 a month while the larger ones will rent for $750. This project is being subsidized by taxpayers who can only afford an average rent in Broome County of $540 per month.  The renovation of the building has been delayed because of a fire.  Presently the City is trying to foreclose on the property for non-payment of taxes.  Will a deal be reached on the taxes due? How are assessments figured?




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