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Saturday, November 25, 2006

Collusion - The Repulsive Force in Politics

Collusion - behaviors which make my skin crawl. Regardless of the motivations of the participants, it is a vile, unforgivable act. The bromide declares that the road to hell is paved with good intentions, and it's looking to be a well traveled street.

Every time some contemptible politico drops over dead, his enablers line up to wax poetically of their alleged virtues. In reality however, the objects of their affection seldom measure up to the praise - save for the favors they have passed along to their sycophants.

And one thing you can always count on is the old standby line, "But he cared so much for the children." Resembling nothing more than a quivering lipped Sally Struthers in a bad informercial begging for contributions to a corrupt charity, they know that no one is inclined to complain about what may have been done "for the children" - although in reality it was likely nothing at all.

As well, the lip service given to principles such as freedom, justice, honor and moral integrity I find to be nothing but vacuous window dressing intended to conceal the true motivation behind their mortal impetus - Greed.

In this vein, we have the favorite of carpetbagger developers and opportunistic landowners nationwide, the Tax Allocation District. TAD's (or TIF's in the 46 other states that have fallen victim to this Ponzi scheme) are predefined areas where tax monies gathered above a certain threshold for a set period of time (10-30 years) can be used directly for eligible improvements; read - profiteering by monied interests. All dressed up in kleptocracy doublespeak, we have Georgia Code 36-44, or the "Redevelopment Powers Law."

In a TAD (or TIF) district, local government fixes the amount of property tax revenue it retains for use in building and maintaining schools, roads, sewers, and other civic infrastructure at pre-development levels for 20, 23, or 25 years. The property taxes collected within a TAD/TIF district in excess of pre-development tax levels go into a special fund which can only be spent on improvements within the TAD/TIF district. Cronies are then appointed to represent property owners within the TAD/TIF district to control spending of the set-aside taxes. In order to get immediate access to the two decades of "excess" property tax revenues, the spending authority uses bond issues to borrow the money, often at ruinous interest rates that obligate the bonding authority (and ultimately the taxpayers) to repay at nearly a two to one ratio.

Thus taxpayers are forced into paying for services, maintenance, and improvements that benefit only these "anointed ones" - generally those who contribute most exuberantly to the election coffers of their enablers and their crony bankers.

Similarly, the redevelopment (or character assassination) of downtown Atlanta elicits this pointed response by Bruce Dixon, "Failure Of The Black Misleadership Class."

And finally, Bill Moyers ponders the arrogance and lack of accountability demonstrated by our feeders - I mean leaders - and the mechanisms empowering them in "Restoring The Public Trust".

As for me, if things don't start shaping up soon, I'm outta here.

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