Watch: Dem Rep Just Got Caught On Tape Making Outrageous Claim About His Salary

Despite earning $174,000 per year, two senior House Democrats believe that salaries should be raised for members. A raise has not been given since 2009.

“We’re entering our seventh year without a pay raise,” Rep. Alcee Hastings, D-Fla., told Roll Call Monday. “Now I think we’ve proven to the American public that we are responsible. And I know that it has impacted me personally.”

“We have more than 50 members, probably as many as 75 or more living in their offices,” he continued. “They’re not there because of any other reason than that they can’t afford it… Now if people want us in sackcloth and ashes then they will get what they rightly deserve as representation.”

Members get an automatic cost of living pay increase, allowance to travel to their district, and other perks along with their annual salary. Still, House Minority Whip Steny Hoyer, D-Md., concurred with his colleague that salaries should be raised for members.

“This will be the seventh year in a row that we have not done a cost-of-living adjustment. … I think it was appropriate at the time of the recession,” Hoyer told reporters Tuesday, according to Politico. “But to continue that on, we will dictate that the only people who can serve are the rich, and I don’t think that’s what the Founding Fathers had in mind.”

As The Washington Free Beacon points out, Hastings is the second least wealthiest member in Congress, with $7.5 million in debt. But most of that is due to 30-year-old corruption charges. The publication continues:

In 1981, two years after President Jimmy Carter appointed Hastings to the federal bench, the FBI conducted a sting operation designed to catch Hastings soliciting bribes in exchange for reducing racketeering sentences for two brothers convicted of ripping off a union pension fund.

FBI agents busted a friend of Hastings’, D.C. lawyer William Borders, when he accepted a $150,000 bribe, allegedly on Hastings’ behalf, in exchange for lenient sentencing.

Hastings was acquitted of subsequent bribery charges, while Borders was convicted and later given a full pardon by President Bill Clinton. However, a subsequent investigation by a federal court of appeals found that Hastings was probably complicit in the scheme, his acquittal notwithstanding.

The report also concluded that Hastings had lied under oath during the trial. The House took up impeachment proceedings against Hastings, leveling 17 charges against him.

Hastings was convicted on six of those charges by a Senate investigation panel, becoming the sixth federal official to be removed from office by impeachment. He sued, contending that the full Senate did not conduct the proceedings, but rather a committee. While a federal judge ruled in his favor, the Supreme Court did not.

This is a breakdown of some of Hastings’ debt:

IJReview

Image Credit: IJReview

h/t: BuzzPo

Should Congress get a raise? Share your thoughts in the comments section below.

This post originally appeared on Western Journalism – Equipping You With The Truth

Wow: 4 Big Cancer Charities Accused Of Being TOTAL Frauds. Did You Donate To One?

Four cancer charities run by members of the same extended family swindled donors out of nearly $200 million and are now the target of an investigation by all 50 attorneys general and the Federal Trade Commission (FTC).

A government complaint alleges the Cancer Fund of America, the Breast Cancer Society, the Children’s Cancer Fund of America, and Cancer Support Services conned $187 million from donors, CNN reported. The outlet has been reporting on these charities since 2013.

James Reynolds, Sr. runs the Cancer Fund of America and Cancer Support Services, while his son, James Reynolds, Jr., is the CEO of the Breast Cancer Society. Rose Perkins, the ex-wife of the elder Reynolds, is in charge of the Children’s Cancer Fund of America.

“[D]onated funds were used to pay for vehicles, personal consumer goods, college tuition, gym memberships, Jet Ski outings, dating website subscriptions, luxury cruises, and tickets to concerts and professional sporting events,” the complaint says. CNN provides further background:

The government says the charities claimed to provide direct support for cancer patients, breast cancer patients and children with cancer.

“These were lies,” the government’s complaint says.

Jessica Rich, chief of the FTC’s Bureau of Consumer Protection, says that in all, the charities spent about 97% of donations they received either on private fundraisers or on themselves. Only 3%, she says, went to help actual cancer patients.

In the complaint, the FTC notes there was “rampant nepotism” at all of the charities. Reynolds, Jr. hired his wife to be the Breast Cancer Society’s public relations manager. He also hired several of his wife’s family members for other tasks.

CNN also pointed out that the Breast Cancer Society and the Children’s Cancer Fund of America, run by Reynolds Jr. and Perkins respectively, will be dissolved as a result of the complaint, but Reynolds, Sr. plans to contest the charges levied against him.

Out of the four charities, the Breast Cancer Society is the only one with a live website as of Wednesday afternoon. Reynolds, Jr. issued a statement which read in part:

While the organization, its officers and directors have not been found guilty of any allegations of wrongdoing, and the government has not proven otherwise, our Board of Directors has decided that it does not help those who we seek to serve, and those who remain in need, for us to engage in a highly publicized, expensive, and distracting legal battle around our fundraising practices.

Did you donate to one of these charities? Share your thoughts in the comments section below.

This post originally appeared on Western Journalism – Equipping You With The Truth

‘I’m Literally Shaking’: Feminist Cannot Bear This Fox News Guest’s Controversial Remarks

In a recent debate over the perceived income gap between men and women, Fox News contributor Tamara Holder lost her composure upon hearing fellow Hannity guest Gavin McInnes’ take on the topic.

“Women do earn less in America,” he acknowledged, “because they choose to. They would rather go to their daughter’s piano recital than stay all night at work working on a proposal – so they end up earning less.”

McInnes, co-founder of Vice Media, went on to describe women in the workforce as “less ambitious,” suggesting any wage gap that exists “is sort of God’s way, this is nature’s way, of saying women should be at home with the kids. They’re happier there.”

Holder chimed in, calling McInnes’ comments “absolutely deplorable.”

He was quick to respond, however, that as a feminist, she should be concerned about women who choose to embrace the role of wife and mother.

“Most women are happier at home,” he declared. “They are pretending that they like working; and they’re not making money because they don’t stay all night at the office. They don’t go the extra mile. They don’t work all weekend.”

When Holder said she made the choice to work, he shot back that she was “making a mistake” and would “be much happier at home with a husband and children.”

At this point, the interview took a more personal tone, with Holder asserting that she was “literally shaking.” McInnes, however, did not let up.

“Look, you’re miserable,” he said. “You would be so much happier with kids around you tonight.”

Holder concluded that McInnes is not only “not funny,” but “is doing a disservice to all of the viewers” watching the program.

This post originally appeared on Western Journalism – Equipping You With The Truth

Report: Defense Department Employees Used Charge Cards For Gambling, Escort Services

A recently performed audit discovered Defense Department employees used government issued credit cards to both gamble and pay for “adult entertainment.”

Politico reported Wednesday that a soon-to-be-released audit of “Government Travel Charge Transactions” by the Department of Defense Inspector General says civilian and military employees used the credit cards at casinos and for escort services in both Las Vegas and Atlantic City:

A Pentagon official briefed on some of the findings stressed that the federal government did not necessarily pay the charges; holders of the cards pay their own bills and then submit receipts to be reimbursed for expenses related to their government business.

The official said that the employees may have used the government cards for gambling and escort services in order to shield the charges from spouses.

This audit comes three years after the passage of the “Government Charge Card Abuse Prevention Act,” sponsored by Sen. Chuck Grassley, R-Iowa. The law is designed to provide oversight for government issued charge cards in the cases of shopping, gambling, and other instances.

“I’m interested to see the report and find out more about what’s being done, right and wrong, at the Defense Department to prevent abuse,” Grassley said in a statement Thursday. “What I hope is that my reforms that became law have been implemented well and that agencies and auditors are using the reforms to catch problems.”

He continued:

The law requires periodic audits by inspectors general, like this one, specifically to keep on top of charge card abuse and hold agencies accountable for implementing the required internal controls. If everything is implemented as intended, we’ll stop a lot of purchase card and travel card abuse.

What do you think about this? Share your thoughts in the comments section.

This post originally appeared on Western Journalism – Equipping You With The Truth

Big Banks Profit While Main Street Suffers

If anyone doubts that the Western world’s monetary order is rigged to enrich the banking system, the first quarter financial reports of America’s top banks should disabuse any unbelievers.

The Financial Times reported that four of the five big U.S. trading banks had a combined revenue of $19.4 billion in the first quarter of 2015. Goldman Sachs had a 14.7 percent* return on its equity in the first quarter, while J.P. Morgan, the nation’s largest bank, earned $5.91 billion (or $1.45 a share), up 3.6% from a year earlier.** Revenues for J.P. Morgan grew 4% to $24.8 billion.

The enthusiastic coverage of the big banks’ healthy first quarter proceeds and the chest-thumping of its bank executives left out, not surprisingly, the real reason for their windfall gains – the Federal Reserve. The big banks have been the chief beneficiaries of the Fed’s easy monetary policy since the start of the financial crisis.

The Fed’s “zero interest rate policy” (ZIRP) and its “quantitative easing” (QE) program have been the catalyst for the large banks’ recent record performance. Ostensibly, these policies were instituted to assist the economy in its recovery from the Great Recession; however, in actuality they have been done to save the big banks from collapse while the economy has been flooded with billions of increasingly worthless dollars causing significant price inflation.

Low interest rates have enabled the banksters and financial houses to borrow at next to nothing and invest in all sorts of ventures, many of which are highly risky. Easy money is also the cause for the huge run up in assets prices and the highs in nominal stock prices.

Worse, ZIRP has allowed the federal government to sustain its ridiculous level of spending, borrowing what it cannot raise in taxes at a near zero rate of interest. When interest rates do rise, the federal government will most likely default, bringing the banks down with them.

While the big banks and Wall Street have done quite well from the Fed’s massive money printing, everyone else has suffered and has seen their standard of living plummet even from official estimates.

The Federal Reserve reported a slowdown in hiring in March, a big drop off in industrial production, and lower housing starts in the first quarter–to mention just a few troubling statistics. Things are getting to the point that the Fed is reconsidering whether it should raise interest rates in the second half of the year as it had hoped to do. Dennis Lockhart, president of the Federal Reserve Bank of Atlanta, admitted that “Data available for the first quarter of this year have been notably weak.”***

The first quarter sizable earnings of the big banks are an example of what a number of commentators have termed “crony capitalism.” Through government assistance, businesses earn wealth not by pleasing customers and satisfying their needs, but by currying favors from the state. In the banksters’ case, instead of making wise and prudent loans, they receive largesse in the form of billions of Federal Reserve notes.

Not only is such a system immoral, but it gives legitimate market activity – those firms that do not receive state assistance – a bad rap as profitable enterprises are lumped in with state favorites. This ultimately leads to greater regulation as calls for the government to tax “windfall profits” would affect all firms–even those who earned rightful profits.

The solution to crony capitalism and the ill-gotten gains of the banking system is not greater oversight, but instead the abolition of the Federal Reserve and a return to sound money based on gold or silver. Under such a system, banks and financial houses would profit only if they satisfied consumers’ wants.

In the banks’ case, this would mean safeguarding depositors’ money and making prudent loans with the funds they were entrusted with to lend. For those financial institutions that succeed at such tasks, profits would be their reward; those who do not and mismanage investment funds would be out of business and allowed to fail. Banks would operate under the same economic laws as any other enterprise.

The prevailing system of crony capitalism which benefits the 1% must be exposed for the grand redistribution scheme that it has long been. Only when bankers earn their wealth as Main Street does will America return to a just and sound monetary order.

*Tom Braithwaite & Ben McLannahan, “Goldman in Robust Return on Equity Showing,” Financial Times, 17 April 2015, 14

**Ciaran MCEvoy, “JPMorgan Profit Beats Wall St. Views, As Does Wells Fargo by Shrinking Less,” Investor’s Business Daily, 15 April 2015, A1.

***Jon Hilsenrath, “Fed Shies Away from June Rate Hike,”  The Wall Street Journal,  17 April 2015.

The views expressed in this opinion article are solely those of their author and are not necessarily either shared or endorsed by WesternJournalism.com.

This post originally appeared on Western Journalism – Equipping You With The Truth