Items of Interest

Antiwar.com | The $400 Billion F-35 Boondoggle

Taxpayers United of America’s Executive Director, Jared Labell, wrote an article for Antiwar.com about the business of warfare, Lockheed Martin’s $400 billion F-35 strike fighter boondoggle, and the tax burden inflicted upon U.S. taxpayers to fund it all.


The following is a condensed op-ed version of that article.
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CHICAGO — Acclaimed author and vice-president of the American Anti-Imperialist League, Mark Twain, popularized the expression, “There are three kinds of lies: lies, damned lies, and statistics.” Some statistics, however, frighten even the administrators of Leviathan.
Americans’ trust in government is at historically low levels. According to recent Gallup and Pew public opinion polls, more than four-fifths of Americans do not trust Washington, D.C. “to do what is right.” During the past half-century, a fluctuating segment of those respondents – not an insignificant number, but in the single digits – said that they never trust the federal government.
Never. That’s a good start.
In 2016, individuals living under the jurisdiction of the ever-expanding lawless State known as America have ample reason to distrust the government, as do those who are subject to its dictates abroad.
To understand the perverse incentives created by the political death cult in DC and its Holy Priests blessing the bloodletting from the Pentagon, look no further than Lockheed Martin, the world’s largest defense contractor.
In the wake of the failed military coup in Turkey earlier this month against its autocrat Recep Tayyip Erdogan, a notable longtime partner of Lockheed Martin and the U.S. government, the company’s CEO Marillyn Hewson discussed second quarter earnings with analysts on a call July 19 and unabashedly spun the recent developments in Turkey faster than the F-35 can fly.
More on that shortly.
Hewson reaffirmed Lockheed Martin’s commitment to Erdogan and his government, cynically praising their value to NATO as “an essential security partner in that region for the United States and for our allies.”
Lockheed Martin CFO Bruce Tanner doubled-down on the close partnership with Turkey, emphasizing the company’s dealings dating back to the 1970s and production of the F-16 Fighting Falcon, a program attained by Lockheed Martin in 1993 after acquiring an aviation division of General Dynamics.
OK, so what’s new, you ask?
Not much, unfortunately, which brings us back to concerns about the F-35 Lightning II Joint Strike Fighter. This flying dumpster fire has incinerated nearly $400 billion of our tax dollars – so far – making it the most expensive weapons system in the American Empire’s history.
News broke July 28 that the Air Force is close to certifying the F-35 as ready for combat, only a mere decade and a half after the program began. The announcement was made by Gen. Herbert “Hawk” Carlisle, head of the Air Combat Command and possibly a little-known extra from Stanley Kubrick’s prescient film, Dr. Strangelove.
The F-35 has a tortuous history of cost overruns, significant production delays, and astonishing operational issues, much of which the government would like taxpayers to forget. But as the Air Force prepares to parade its expensive new toy before the world – and more ominously, Puerto Rico and the forty-five states where it serves as a jobs program for shameless military Keynesianism – let’s make sure that no one forgets about this boondoggle, the jet that ate the Pentagon.
Only days before the Air Force’s revelation, National Security Correspondent Amanda Macias pointed out a fascinating passage on page 32 of Lockheed Martin’s most recent 10-K annual report filed with the US Securities and Exchange Commission. The final paragraph of the section detailing the status of the F-35 program tells you everything you need to know about central planning and the absurdity of the American Empire.
The concluding analysis states, “Current program challenges include, but are not limited to, supplier and partner performance, software development, level of cost associated with life cycle operations and sustainment and warranties, receiving funding for production contracts on a timely basis, executing future flight tests, findings resulting from testing, and operating the aircraft.”
Operating the aircraft is a current program challenge after fifteen years of expropriating and burning through nearly $400 billion of our tax dollars.
Contract negotiations between the Pentagon and Lockheed Martin have been prolonged, and nearly $1 billion of the company’s money was invested to keep the program alive, but CFO Bruce Tanner takes comfort in the prospect of a significant return on investment, commenting, “We will not be able to continue and have that level of cash outflow as a corporation. We simply don’t have that capacity. The Pentagon clearly knows that situation, and I’m optimistic that we are going to get cash soon.”
Perhaps he was thinking of news from the week prior, because optimism abounds when prospective clients, like those bastions of freedom Qatar and Saudi Arabia, are considering multibillion dollar weapons systems.
What could possibly go wrong?
Fifty-seven percent of Americans told Gallup that they pay too much in federal income taxes, which is the highest percentage since 2001. Nearly half of respondents say that their taxes are unfair. Trust in government is at record lows.
If we do nothing, the US government will continue to devour our taxes just as easily as it burns cities to the ground. While the outright costs of war are tangible, the opportunity costs of perpetuating the warfare state are incalculable.
In 1918, Randolph Bourne warned, “war is the health of the State,” and the reality is that our taxes are its sustenance.
But don’t take it from me. Let James Brown’s band, Fred Wesley & the J.B.’s, lead the indictment of the State:
“I’m paying taxes, but what am I buying? A whole lot of government muscle, and everybody crying.”

TUA Celebrates 40 Years Protecting Taxpayers

View as PDF CHICAGO— Today marks the 40th anniversary of the founding of Taxpayers United of America (TUA), a Chicago-based tax watchdog group that has successfully fought taxes at the local, state, and federal levels, while championing the interests of taxpayers.
Founded in 1976 by economist and activist Jim Tobin while still employed as a bank examiner at the Chicago branch of the Federal Reserve Bank, Tobin was disgusted by what he saw from the inside and left the government sector to work on behalf of taxpayers. TUA has since gone on to become one of the largest taxpayer organizations in America.
“I’d love to continue this work for another 40 years,” said TUA founder and president, Jim Tobin. “Our work is critically important now more than ever, and it’s incredibly rewarding to work on behalf of taxpayers and lessen the tax burden foisted upon them by politicians and governments.”
Since TUA’s founding, the taxpayer watchdog group has made an impact on tax policy in Illinois and across America. In 1977, Tobin led the first successful property tax strike in modern Illinois history. In the past four decades, TUA has been victorious in defeating 419 tax-increase referenda, stopping 19 state income tax hikes, and defeating every attempt to enact a graduated state income tax in Illinois since 1992. TUA’s leadership and members were instrumental in repealing the Medicare Catastrophic Coverage Act of 1988, legislation that increased taxes on all senior citizens, which was the first time a major federal entitlement had ever been repealed.
All combined, TUA has saved local, state, and federal taxpayers more than $200 billion of their hard-earned money since 1976.
As TUA begins a new decade of their tax-fighting mission, the organization has announced staff changes.
“I am honored to retire my position as Executive Director for TUA and pass the baton to Jared Labell,” said Rae Ann McNeilly. “There is no question that Jared has the skill, vision, and brilliance to take TUA into the next 40 years of fighting on behalf of taxpayers.”
“It has been my honor and privilege to fight the government machine under the guidance and integrity of Jim Tobin. He has stood against overwhelming odds and worked a lifetime to halt the blatant government assault on taxpayers. Of course, you never completely retire from this work; it’s in your blood. I will continue to support TUA in a more limited capacity as Senior Researcher,” concluded McNeilly.
“TUA would not be where we are today without Rae Ann’s contributions over the past 5 years,” said Tobin. “She began as a volunteer before joining the organization, but her passion and knowledge made her one of our greatest assets. Her commentary and research for TUA will continue to be of the highest caliber.”
“I am forever in Rae Ann’s debt and honored to succeed her,” said Jared Labell, TUA’s new Executive Director. “She remains my great mentor, my colleague, and my friend. I look forward to making her and Jim proud as TUA continues to defend taxpayers from destructive government policies and burdensome taxation.”

"Home Rule is Home Ruin" Presented by Jim Tobin (Video)

WOODSTOCK, IL – The Woodstock City Council has approved a special census with an eye toward certifying that the city has grown to more than 25,000 residents. If this is true, this would make Woodstock a “Home Rule Unit” and would substantially change the rules for how the city creates or changes taxes and fees in the city.
Given that Woodstock residents pay among the highest taxes in the state, and perhaps the country, citizens were concerned and Voters In Action were engaged. Leadership from Voters In Action reached out to Jim Tobin of Taxpayers United of America and have joined forces to present “Home Rule is Home Ruin”. The presentation, given by Mr Tobin, will take a closer look at what changes Home Rule brings and how they will affect local taxpayers.

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Taxpayers United Of America: (TUA). is a nonpartisan, 501(c)(4) taxpayer advocacy group. Founded June 27, 1976 in Chicago, Illinois by activist and economist Jim Tobin, TUA works on behalf of taxpayers to reduce local, state, and federal taxes. In the past forty years, TUA has saved taxpayers more than $200 billion n taxes and has become one of the largest taxpayer organizations in America. Check All posts. s.

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Chicago, IL 60606 205 W. Randolph Street, Suite 1305
Phone: (312) 427-5128
Fax: (312) 427-5139
Website: https://taxpayersunitedofamerica.org
Email: info@taxpayersunited.org

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