More Interesting Factual Trivia

I thought it was time for some more interesting facts acquired here and there that are related to one another merely in their absurdity. We'll start with some tax schemes for the rich and well connected that you and I can only dream about and then move on to some simply awe inspiring quotes and other nonsense.

Amount of federal taxes General Motors Corporation will pay after its defense arm, Hughes Aircraft, completes its $9.5 Billion merger with Raytheon Corp. - None, zero, zilch, nada! You can learn how they get away with this in the Feb. 3 issue of Newsweek, pg. 37-38. Don't try this at home, kids!

Amount of federal income tax Newt Gingrich will pay on his estimated $171,500 income over each of the next two years after paying the $300,000 ethics penalty for lying to Congress and illegally manipulating his many tax exempt organizations to push his supposedly "family values" centered agenda? Again zero, zilch, etc. Why? Well, when politicians are investigated for ethics violations, even if found guilty, the IRS graciously allows them to deduct the entire cost of defending themselves, as well as all fines and penalties from their taxes as long as these are called "reimbursements", which, of course, the Republican controlled Congress allowed. You can't deduct a penny from your taxes for defending yourself from criminal actions but your representative can. That sounds fair, huh? (Oh, by the way, the reason that the IRS allows this deduction? Because politicians defending themselves against ethics violations arise from the "functions of public service" and are "ordinary and necessary" business expenses. Those simple statements tell us far more than we needed to know about the quality of our politicians and IRS policy makers.) Check out the same issue of Newsweek, pg. 4 for the rest of the lunacy.

"If we have a murder and a jaywalking, we maybe ought to look at the murder." This was Sen. Fred Thompson, Republican chairman of the Senate Governmental Affairs Committee, on why his top priority is to investigate fund raising violations by the Clinton administration rather than the many equal violations by the Republicans. Obviously, if a Democrat does exactly what a Republican does, the metaphor for the Democrat's act is "murder" but the Republicans have only committed "jaywalking". This is exactly why the Republican party has such a difficult time understanding why many so decent Americans generally agree with the party's platform but have little or no use for Republican politicians.

Amount the Christian Coalition is known to have illegally donated to Republican candidates in 1994 - $1.4 million. Reason that the Federal Election Commission could not investigate further - the Republican members barred further study or the release of information.

Total cost of Fulbright scholarships ( a federal program, authored by Arkansas Sen. J.William Fulbright two weeks after the Hiroshima nuclear bombing, whose goal is to "instill a capacity for empathy, a distaste for killing other men") since 1946 - $1.9 billion. Total cost of one Jackson Trident submarine - $1.9 billion.

Number of women who have already lost pre-natal benefits due to Calif. Gov. Pete Wilson's executive order - 70,000.

Children in single parent homes suffer a 77% greater risk of physical abuse and a 80% increase in serious injuries from physical abuse. Children in families earning less than $15,000 are 22 times more likely to be abused than in families earning $30,000.

(All following dollar percentages in constant 1993-94 dollars.)

Percent increase in total yearly expenditures of government agencies (all levels) for the criminal justice system from 1982-1992: 261%.

Increase in total government (all levels) expenditures for education in that time: 147%.

Increase in number of attorneys in the U.S. during that time: 134%.

Increase of number of public school teacher's positions: 11%

Increase in all state and federal correctional facility occupants in that time: about 300%.

Increase in the number of students in all public schools: 110%.

Increase in expenditures per prisoner: 173%.

Increase in expenditures per student: 139%.

Okay. The point to this little exercise in factual information was to provide some reality in contrast to the nonsense that passes for political debate and factual information. Far too many voters believe that they can make informed judgments about the most important issues facing us by just listening to some loudmouth on the radio or TV with his or her own agenda, but who possess very little in the way of real information. If, by the way, you would like to check my facts, other than those already cited, simply read the 1996 Statistical Abstract of the United States. It contains a wealth of information and is a wonderful place to see just how often your favorite candidate, politician or talking head lies or misrepresents the facts. It is far too often.

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