Cover image for Crapitalism : liberals who make millions swiping your tax dollars
Title:
Crapitalism : liberals who make millions swiping your tax dollars
Author:
Mattera, Jason.
Personal Author:
Publication Information:
New York : Threshold Editions, 2014.
Physical Description:
x, 294 pages ; 22 cm
Summary:
"New York Times bestselling author and ambush journalist Jason Mattera sets his sights on his next big target: crony liberals, including Al Gore, Carlos Slim, Harry Reid, and Jay Z, whose riches come at taxpayer expense. From billionaire business tycoons like George Soros and Warren Buffett to movie industry moguls like Jeffrey Katzenberg and Stephen Spielberg, American liberals are using government breaks and shortcuts to pervert the free market. These "rich bastards" leverage crony connections to bag millions for phony "green companies" that go bust, vacuum public coffers to build glitzy stadiums, utilize little-known tax loopholes to loot $1.5 billion for Hollywood movies, and more. They use government to rig the game in their favor and leave taxpayers holding the bill. And when government gets in the business of picking winners and losers through bailouts and tax breaks, free market competition begins to atrophy. That's what big government leftists--and corporate Republicans-in-name-only--want to happen. In this explosive, funny-as-hell investigative expose; , Mattera reveals the infuriating schemes that result when the filthy rich combine cronyism and capitalism. Crapitalism pulls back the curtain on a cast of cronyites who make millions taking advantage of taxpayers--and still brag about how they're looking out for the little guy"--

"New York Times bestselling author and ambush journalist Jason Mattera sets his sights on his next big target: crony liberals, including Al Gore, Carlos Slim, Harry Reid, and Jay Z, whose riches come at taxpayer expense"--
Language:
English
ISBN:
9781476750415

9781476750422
Format :
Book

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Summary

Summary

New York Times bestselling author and ambush journalist Jason Mattera sets his sights on his next big target: crony liberals, including Al Gore, Carlos Slim, Harry Reid, and Jay Z, whose riches come at taxpayer expense.

From billionaire business tycoons like George Soros and Warren Buffett to movie industry moguls like Jeffrey Katzenberg and Stephen Spielberg, American liberals are using government breaks and shortcuts to pervert the free market. These "rich bastards" leverage crony connections to bag millions for phony "green companies" that go bust, vacuum public coffers to build glitzy stadiums, utilize little-known tax loopholes to loot $1.5 billion for Hollywood movies, and more. They use government to rig the game in their favor and leave taxpayers holding the bill.

And when government gets in the business of picking winners and losers through bailouts and tax breaks, free market competition begins to atrophy. That's what big government leftists--and corporate Republicans-in-name-only--want to happen.

In this explosive, funny-as-hell investigative expos#65533;, Mattera reveals the infuriating schemes that result when the filthy rich combine cronyism and capitalism. Crapitalism pulls back the curtain on a cast of cronyites who make millions taking advantage of taxpayers--and still brag about how they're looking out for the little guy.


Excerpts

Excerpts

Crapitalism 1 Representative Greg Meeks It's taking care of the things for my family needs in the house. You need to make sure the house is furnished. You need things. --Representative Greg Meeks Greg Meeks sucks. If sucking at life was like working for one of those multilevel marketing companies, Meeks would be Double Emerald Platinum Level Suckface. That any of our tax dollars go to pay his congressional salary is cause for puking. On the surface, Meeks fronts like a regular Joe. For example, we're both New Yorkers from working-class neighborhoods: I'm from Brooklyn, and Meeks represents Queens. We both like sports. We both like nice cars. My problem is, I pay for my lifestyle. Greg Meeks? Well, like the auto manufacturer that shares his initials, he requires a lot of taxpayer cash to stay afloat. Meeks has been in Congress since 1998, so with an annual salary of $174,000 he obviously should be able to afford a pretty sweet ride. And he does--a nice Lexus. Like a lot of members of Congress, he leases it. But unlike many members of Congress, his lease costs the taxpayers around $1,000 a month. 1 , 2 Excuse me? Unfortunately, you don't get to be a Double Emerald dirtbag by just bilking Ma and Pa Taxpayer for a nice whip. By Meeks's standard, his Lexus is our best bargain. Meeks loves living it up at exotic locales. And I don't mean Jamaica, Queens. Meeks has dropped big bucks, on his campaign's dime, at luxury resorts in Puerto Rico, the Virgin Islands, Panama, Vegas, and Miami, just to name a few. His jet-setting was so blatant even the New York Times profiled it in an investigative piece. When you're a liberal and the New York Times calls you out, you know it's bad. Meeks defended his travel to the paper, saying, "I do fundraisers where the people with the money are. . . . I am not going to raise the money in my district that I need to be a player here in Washington." 3 Gangsta! Unlike other members of Congress, forced to rely on ingenuity, guile, problem-solving skills, and an actual work ethic, Meeks can weasel his way to relevance by hobnobbing through the Caribbean. His constituents must be proud. Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington (CREW) puts out a yearly list of Washington's most corrupt. Guess who is a regular? Our boy Government Greg. 4 Unfortunately, while Meeks's use of campaign cash to live a lifestyle he wouldn't be able to afford otherwise is distasteful, it is not illegal. Congress has a way of looking out for itself that way. The laws as currently written allow for certain campaign expenditures to be used toward things you and I (and apparently Meeks) wouldn't be able to afford otherwise. But even with all this leeway, Meeks pushes the envelope there, too. For example, a 2006 audit by the Federal Election Commission found Meeks had improperly used almost $17,000 worth of campaign dollars on personal expenses, including over six grand for a personal trainer. Meeks ended up simply paying a fine, and once again cruised to reelection. 5 Then he got smarter about how to exploit his position. Unlike regular campaign accounts, Leadership PACs can use money on nice restaurants, fancy resorts, and other expenses as long as you can rationalize it as a "campaign expense." So in 2013, when Meeks dropped over $17,000 with NFL ticket agencies and broadcast networks, it was okay because it was for a "Fundraising Event." Same thing in 2014. He gobbled up nearly $10,000 worth of tickets when the Seattle Seahawks annihilated the Denver Broncos. He calls it campaigning. I call it partying at the Super Bowl. His Leadership PAC, Build America, can do those things because the laws are superliberal in terms of what LPACs can get away with. Part of the rationalization for having LPACs is so members of Congress can donate funds to other members of Congress, currying favor for their own legislative priorities by essentially buying votes. It isn't unusual for someone to spend almost all their LPAC money on building coalitions and supporting members of their party. It is, in fact, how many members elevate through the party ranks. Remember how Government Greg said he needed to go to those resorts and hold fundraisers so he could become "a player"? Remember how his working-class neighborhood just wouldn't allow him access to the capital to matter in the Capitol? In the 2011-12 cycle, Meeks's LPAC spent over $150,000. How much of that do you think, given that Meeks sailed to an easy reelection, went to his fellow Democrats? Maybe $100,000? $75,000 at least? Nope. A measly twenty grand. Less than 14 percent. Meeks actually ranked as the sixth-least-generous member of Congress in terms of LPAC donations to other candidates who spent more than $100,000 in the cycle. Even though his campaign didn't need the money, Meeks himself did. That's why he sucks so bad. Even though I personally appreciate that he doesn't use his campaign money to help elect more Democrats, I still get sick at the way he uses his position to hit people up for cash so he can party all over the globe, and live it up here at home. Meeks bought himself a new home in 2006. Nothing wrong with living the American dream. But Meeks's house was built for him by a developer friend who just so happened to be a campaign contributor. The designer of the house, Robert Gaskin, had not only contributed to Meeks's campaign but had also worked on projects that Meeks had secured taxpayer cash to bankroll. 6 Meeks paid $830,000 for the house. It is said to be by far the largest in his neighborhood. Kevin Donegan, an appraiser, called Meeks's price "substantially below market" and said Meeks got "a very, very good deal." 7 In fact, months after the house was finished, the city listed its market value as more than $400,000 above the price Meeks paid. 8 Cha-ching! Everything about the sale smells. Even the house Meeks sold to purchase this one went to a buyer with a reported annual income of less than $10,000, yet he was somehow able to qualify for a $400,000 home. Would you believe me if I told you that the lawyer who handled the buyer's closing went to jail ten months later for mortgage fraud? 9 But Greedy Greg didn't care. That someone with whom he had just completed a high-dollar legal transaction was going to jail wasn't his problem. He had bigger issues to deal with: 800 large is a lot to spend on a house. Especially when, like Meeks, you don't have any cash in the bank. According to the congressman's financial records, on paper Meeks is a broke joke. 10 He claims he has less than $5,000 in his checking account and no investments worth more than a grand. So how does he afford all the high-end houses and vacations? Homeboy is shady as hell. If you had just bought a house and needed to furnish it, but didn't have a ton of cash on hand, like our buddy Greg, what would you do? Go to IKEA and just learn to appreciate the art of bargain Swedish furniture design? Maybe. Take it to Goodwill, Salvation Army, or some other place that allows you to put some stuff in your house without breaking the bank? Perhaps. Maybe if you saw something you really wanted you'd hit up friends and family for a loan so you could get that futon you had your eye on. But not with G-Money behind you. Meeks did take out a loan--but not from family, or even, you know, a bank. Instead, he "borrowed" $40,000 from a real estate agent crony of his named Edul Ahmad. I say "borrowed" because the loan didn't have a fixed interest rate, it had no set date for repayment, and Meeks never actually signed any documents to secure it. He also failed to disclose the loan on any of his financial disclosure documents until the "handshake deal" was reported by a New York paper. A lot of people think it wasn't a loan at all, but a gift, from a guy who would end up in prison a few years later over a $50 million mortgage fraud case. 11 Those are the kinds of guys Meeks does business with. For his part, Meeks was cleared by a House Ethics Committee investigation. I mean, who can fault a guy just looking to allow his family a place to sit down? "I was in a new home," Meeks said about the loan. "It's taking care of the things for my family needs in the house. You need to make sure the house is furnished. You need things." 12 You need things. That entitlement sums up Meeks's congressional career perfectly. See, you need things. So whatever you need to do to get them is fair game. Accept a gift from some shyster real estate agent? No problem. Use your campaign funds? Sure thing. Take advantage of one of the worst natural disasters in a century for your own personal gain? You betcha. We all remember Hurricane Katrina. One of the worst events in recent American history--both in terms of the loss of human life and the government response. In fact, Meeks tried to score cheap political points by adding his name to a letter calling for the resignation of Michael Brown, then head of the Federal Emergency Management Agency. 13 I'm definitely not here to defend the job Michael Brown did in Katrina. But at least, to my knowledge, Brown didn't try to exploit the Katrina victims for his own personal profit. Meeks did. In the wake of the New Orleans flooding, a New York nonprofit called New Direction Local Development Corporation, cofounded by Meeks and sharing an address with Meeks's former campaign treasurer, began collecting donations in the name of Katrina relief. They pledged to raise $270,000 for victims of the disaster--all of which would go directly to victims. Or so they said. They threw a benefit concert that brought in $11,210 and delivered the money to Meeks. All told, Meeks's charity raised a little over $30,000 in the name of disaster relief. (If you weren't keeping count, New Direction missed its goal by an astounding $240,000.) So how much went to help victims? According to tax records, New Direction shelled out a whopping $1,392 to victim expenses. 14 Meeks would later claim he wasn't responsible for the actions of the charity he helped found, and said he doesn't know what happened to the money. Neither do the victims. Darryl Greene, husband of an original board member of New Direction, is part of Team Meeks. He was also convicted of stealing half a million dollars from several New York City agencies. 15 Perhaps he knows where the money went? Then there's New York state senator Malcolm Smith, who helped cofound New Direction and acquired $56,000 of state funding for it. 16 Maybe he knows where the Katrina money went? The thing is, Meeks's pal Malcolm is a little busy right now: he's fighting charges that he tried to bribe his way onto the New York City mayoral ballot. Actually, if you're a betting man and want to wager on whom the feds plan to investigate next, just randomly pick someone close to G. Money. Much higher odds than the slot machines! As your luck would have it, the feds are investigating whether Team Meeks rigged the process to snag a multibillion-dollar casino contract for a consortium known as Aqueduct Entertainment Group. 17 The contract was eventually rescinded. The New York inspector general's office released a blistering 308-page report detailing the corruption, which included "secret lobbying and more than $100,000 in campaign donations from the bidders." 18 Malcolm Smith (see above) reportedly bragged about how the casino deal would serve as his "golden parachute" once he quit the state senate. 19 Then there was the involvement of Floyd Flake, one of Aqueduct's early investors. 20 This is the same Floyd Flake who is Meeks's political mentor and held his congressional seat before him. Rinse, Wash, Repeat. For his part, Meeks dismissed the allegations of corruption regarding Aqueduct as--wait for it--racism. 21 But hey--let's not act like Meeks is coldhearted. (Go with me on this.) Just because he used a tragedy to raise money, then never delivered any of the funds to the intended victims, doesn't make him a bad guy. And just because everyone around him is under investigation, well, that could happen to anyone, right? He does have a softer side. In fact, Meeks has personally hopscotched the planet in the name of helping a friend. The friend? None other than the now-convicted Ponzi schemer Allen Stanford, who defrauded investors of up to $7 billion. Meeks went to Venezuela to try to get Hugo Chávez to launch a criminal probe into one of Stanford's former employees. 22 But I mean come on! He traveled all the way to South America! Have you flown internationally lately? Those meals are not that good. A modern-day saint, that Meeks. Stanford, currently serving a 110-year prison sentence for a "massive Ponzi scheme," helped bankroll the Inter-American Economic Council (IAEC). Remember all those fancy trips Meeks took to the Caribbean? The IAEC paid for six of them. 23 In return, Stanford asked Meeks to, among other things, talk to his good socialist dictator buddy Hugo Chávez about launching a criminal probe into one of Stanford's enemies. The New York Post, in its inimitably understated style, was all over Meeks's malfeasance: A month later, Meeks went to Venezuela for a string of meetings, including some with Chavez, on a trip that was reportedly hailed as a thank-you for the henchman's deal with former Rep. Joseph P. Kennedy II (D-Mass.) to bring low-cost heating oil to Northeast states. A year later, [Gonzalo] Tirado--who had accused Stanford of running business scams--was charged with tax evasion and stealing. 24 See! Meeks isn't such a bad guy. He's happy to pitch in and lend a hand to a brother in need . . . especially if that brother in need is likely to go to prison in the near future. Honestly, this is just the tip of the iceberg on Meeks. He checks so many boxes from the corrupt-pol playbook that he may be about to invent a new verb. From now on, aspiring elected officials with questionable character will aspire to "Meeks" their way through Congress. Both his sister and wife are paid lobbyists. You think that happens by accident? He also appears to be the subject of an ongoing federal investigation 25 targeting New York politicians, though he's likely to skate by on that one as well if his luck holds. 26 After all, Meeks is a guy who willingly associates himself with the likes of Charlie Rangel, the ethically challenged congressman who's a veteran at playing the "race card." Taxpayers don't detest Meeks because of the color of his skin. We loathe him because of the content of his character. He's the worst kind of Crapitalism kingpin. He cheats taxpayers. And he steals goodwill from every aspiring honest politician out there, who has to suffer by comparison. Greg Meeks sucks. Period. And he's just the beginning. Excerpted from Crapitalism by Jason Mattera All rights reserved by the original copyright owners. Excerpts are provided for display purposes only and may not be reproduced, reprinted or distributed without the written permission of the publisher.

Table of Contents

Introductionp. 1
1 Representative Greg Meeksp. 11
2 Representative Maxine Watersp. 21
3 Terry McAuliffep. 31
4 Mike Hitch-Pizza Pimpp. 39
5 Chris Doddp. 49
6 Chuck Swobodap. 59
7 Vinod Khoslap. 67
8 Neil Bluhmp. 75
9 Jay-Zp. 83
10 George Kaiserp. 93
11 Sally Susmanp. 101
12 Steven Spielbergp. 109
13 Jeffrey Katzenbergp. 117
14 Ronald Perelmanp. 127
15 Al Gorep. 135
16 Zygi Wilfp. 145
17 Tom Steyerp. 155
18 James Sinegalp. 163
19 Warren Buffettp. 171
20 Jeffrey Immeltp. 179
21 John Podestap. 189
22 Harry Reidp. 197
23 Fred Hochbergp. 207
24 George Sorosp. 225
25 John Doerrp. 225
26 Elon Muskp. 233
27 Carlos Slimp. 241
Conclusionp. 249
Notesp. 253
Acknowledgmentsp. 279
Indexp. 281

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