Lobbyists, Property Taxes, Homestead Exemption, Homeowners Insurance, SMOKE AND MIRRORS

The citizens of Florida and most of the country have been pawns of politicians who represent Corporate America, rather than their constituents. Although it has been a slow and drawn out process, it has been highly effective. After all, Corporate America has a long history of trial and error to draw from, from the early industrial revolution where cheap labor and child labor were brought in to do the tasks of big industry in the cities, to the company mining towns in Virginia and other mining states. In both cases, the industries have used their work forces as necessary means to an end, and the end being their greed and bottom line; PROFIT. In the big industrial cities and the small mining towns, the companies not only owned the work industry but they also owned the banks, built the homes and ran the stores, and just about everything involved in the life of the common man and woman. There was only one thing missing, the ability for wide scale communication and mass media; to subliminal manipulate thoughts of the people. Thought manipulation victims are not aware of it and that’s the point of it. Over time, 40, 50 years, or more, along with society’s natural ¹ethnocentrism brings people to believe their thoughts, are their own!

Today it is worse! ²Just a few corporations own most of the media sources and if they don’t own the rest directly, they own them indirectly as holding companies. They now own, not only the industries of society, but also the means to convey their ideas of a perfect society. Corporate America’s idea of a perfect society is analogous to that of a bee hive. Author 3Tammy Horn points out that we are drawn to bees because bee society is perfectly engineered. There is no waste; honey bees utilize time and space to perform specialized tasks that preserve a highly structured social system. Horn argues that honey bees’ natural behavior reflects American virtues and values, finding them embedded in our cultural symbolism from colonial times to the present. The problem with the perfect society is that it is not a Democracy. The Queen Bee, Corporate America, determines what is best for the hive, society, which does not translate into what is best for the drones, the people!

This accounts for the dramatic changes in the 4mores and beliefs of our people. The breakdown of the family unit, which was the cornerstone on which this Nation was built, continues to crumble because of economic necessity and media manipulation. Economic necessity requires both Mother and Father to work, sometimes multiple jobs, in order to make ends meet. Media manipulation shows what is important in our society, Reebok’s, Nike’s, gangs, basketball, hate, distrust, etc. While the economy is flourishing for the few, it is hardly doing that for the many who must juggle which bills to pay first, the electric, the house payment, or the Doctor’s bill? Without role models in the home the young are left with T.V. and video games in which to learn their values and we have witnessed the disasters that have resulted, Columbine and the Virginia Tech tragedies, are just a few to mention. The hatred present in our society is a direct result of the mass media’s agenda to propagate hatred toward any who would disagree with their views, to vilify them to the point of second class citizenry. Corporate America learned a long time ago that it is much more profitable to promote hatred and warfare, rather than friendship and peace.

The political pundits who have been brought into power by the lobbyists, in the past, had to try to hide their debt payoffs to the lobbyists in the details of legislation that rarely was reviewed by the masses, much less reported by the media. However, over the course of time, and the successful ability of their mass media to manipulate public opinion, they no longer try to hide their payoffs; in fact, they openly profess them as public policy which will benefit everyone. The privatization of former governmental responsibilities to private industry is an open, brazen, payback of debts to lobbyists. The duties that have been taken over by private industry have cost us, the taxpayer, a thousand times more, than when they were performed by the government. We have all heard about the toilet seats that have cost $500 or the hammer for $1000! Let’s not forget the 5Blackwater Corporation in Iraq, the private military machine whose average pay is $215,000 per year. President Bush so eloquently put it, when he said, “6Money trumps peace”.

Florida has had a long history of lobbyists and paybacks and the privatization of government responsibilities has resulted in overwhelming costs when the fraud and corruption that resulted from such privatization is considered, i.e.: 7In July 2004, three top social service officials resigned after acknowledging they took favors from lobbyists. The same month, errors forced the state to scrap a felon voter list a company was paid millions to compile; Two months later, the Jeb Bush Administration canceled $176-million in technology contracts after discovering a former official may have improperly communicated with a vendor, prompting an ongoing criminal investigation; But none of those problems compare to a single contract that threatens to undermine Bush’s six-year legacy of hiring companies to do government work. The rollout of the People First personnel system, run by a Cincinnati company called Convergys that had never had a government contract before, has caused paycheck and benefit problems for thousands of state employees – including legislators who sit in judgment of Bush’s agenda. Now when the issue of Property Taxes and Homestead Exceptions arise in Tallahassee let us not assume that the legislators are reacting to the immediate concerns of the citizens, rather, let us be realistic and acknowledge that their immediate concern is for the lobbyists who represent the building industry of the state. After all, Homestead Exemption has been protecting those who reside in Florida as permanent residents since 1993. These residents have not had to face the dramatic increases in property taxes over the years because of the 3% cap on the assessed value of their property. But because 2005, which was an aberration from the norm, when property sales in the state rose astronomically, and as a result the building industry overextended itself and subsequently could not afford to pay their dramatic increase in their land development property taxes (after sales dropped off in the following years) the lobbyists rush to Tallahassee to ask the state to relieve them of this burden by initiating property tax reform which will ultimately shift the burden of their entrepreneur adventure to that of the people. This is not to say that the homestead exemption should not be adjusted in ways that would alleviate families in certain situations from being penalized if they decide that with old age or smaller families’ requirements they no longer need to stay in their present homes. Making Homesteads portable would afford the opportunity of permanent residents to relocate in the state and not lose their savings from previous homesteads. But do not tear down the system that has proved to be effective over the years for permanent residents of Florida in order to offset loses experienced by the building industry due to their over extension, shifting the burden of their mistakes to the unaware taxpayer. The fact remains if they do adjust the homestead exemption law, they would still have to address the 8Florida Statute which states that even if market trends indicated a lower value, and the Property Appraiser was able to reduce the value assessed accordingly, the taxing authorities are authorized by this law to raise tax rates to get the same revenue they had the prior year without calling it a tax increase! It is the old smoke and mirror game that politicians have been playing forever. Let’s face it, politicians do not react quickly to the people’s concerns, in fact, usually it takes decades to rouse them from their functionary tasks for the lobbyists. It is only when the lobbyists get involved do you ever see a political body show life and then it’s for the wrong reasons.

The homeowner insurance problems are directly related to the lobbyists of big insurance. These insurance companies have been making huge profits over the years from Florida residents and now that they have had setbacks, they want to bail out. 9The year 2005 was the insurance industry greatest ever with more than $40 billion in profit. 2006 was even better, with more than $50 billion in profit. I would tell them that if they want to continue to sell profitable insurance policies in the state, policies such as, annuity, life insurance and car insurance, they must still provide homeowners insurance. These insurance companies are national corporations and they should not sacrifice the people of central Florida when they are just a portion of their bigger national picture. The smaller home owners are being sacrificed by the insurance industry primarily because of the tremendous costs involved in replacing the mansions that are built along the coastlines. ENOUGH.

Unlimited growth is not an end unto itself. Citrus, Levy, and Hernando counties have grown in leaps and bounds over the last 30 years. A certain amount of growth is good when it creates more jobs, a better infrastructure for the welfare of the people, but when it continues unabated all of its benefits are nullified because of the unfair burden it puts on local government in terms of the costs in maintaining that infrastructure. I do not want Citrus, Levy, and Hernando counties to become another, Miami-Dade, Hillsborough, or Broward County. Our tax structure naturally inhibits growth. If we dramatically change that, we can look forward to the peninsula becoming a vast playground for the wealthy while the people who live and work here year round bear the cost of Corporate America’s profiteering.

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About Liberty

Research the news, discover the truth for yourself. There is not much of it in the National Media, you have to delve into the realm of blogs and out of the way sites to discern the truth.

Posted on 6,30,Tuesday, in citrus county, citrus county chronicle, david gregory, DAVID J GREGORY, George Bush, independent, lobbyists, MEDIA and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.

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