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Shakedown: The Continuing Conspiracy Against the American Taxpayer Hardcover – October 1, 2010

4.5 out of 5 stars 10 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

In his latest effort, Malanga (The New New Left) argues that the U.S. government's expansion into previously unprecedented realms, from managing mortgage programs to expanding welfare, has increased personal taxes and stifled business growth. While president Obama entered office on a promise of change, in Malanga's view, he is the perfect poster child for this new political climate-a community organizer whose work was heavily funded by taxpayer dollars and pork barrel projects. Malanga, a senior fellow at the Manhattan Institute, argues that America has lost the work ethic and discipline that once made it great and replaced those traits with an entitlement complex that will beggar the nation. Of great concern to the author is the lobbying muscle of public sector unions and the mishandling of welfare programs, and he heaps praise on former president George W. Bush and Rudy Giuliani for their efforts in addressing those issues. Malanga is a compelling narrator with a command of statistics, and though he assigns blame and praise in a mostly bipartisan manner, readers who don't share his views will be left wishing he'd considered the complete social picture behind his doomsday story.
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Review

While the federal fiscal mess has had lots of attention, Americans face even more danger from runaway spending and improvident pension promises by state and local governments. Steven Malanga provides the grisly details in Shakedown: The Continuing Conspiracy Against the American Taxpayer. He shows how public sector unions and government-financing "community organizers" are wreaking ruin on our private sector economy. (Michael Barone, senior political analyst, Washington Examiner, resident fellow, American Enterprise Institute, co-author, The Almanac of American Politics)

The mainstream media is not interested in exposing the powerful machinations of public sector unions and social service advocacy groups, and their increasingly strong grip on politics. Why? For that you have to turn to writers like Steve Malanga and books like Shakedown. (Andrew Breitbart)

In his latest effort, Malanga (The New New Left) argues that the U.S. government's expansion into previously unprecedented realms, from managing mortgage programs to expanding welfare, has increased personal taxes and stifled business growth. While president Obama entered office on a promise of change, in Malanga's view, he is the perfect poster child for this new political climate―a community organizer whose work was heavily funded by taxpayer dollars and pork barrel projects. Malanga, a senior fellow at the Manhattan Institute, argues that America has lost the work ethic and discipline that once made it great and replaced those traits with an entitlement complex that will beggar the nation. Of great concern to the author is the lobbying muscle of public sector unions and the mishandling of welfare programs, and he heaps praise on former president George W. Bush and Rudy Giuliani for their efforts in addressing those issues. Malanga is a compelling narrator with a command of statistics. (Publishers Weekly)

This book details the crisis as it grew out of control. The clout of the unions is also displayed as a settlement with one municipality soon becomes the blueprint for many others. To add insult to injury, the unions are big political donors. So you can see that the taxpayer is often at a disadvantage. Who do you think the politician will listen to, the group cutting checks or the voting public who may or may not vote for that person? This book looks at the growth of government as a big reason for this happening. The more people on the public rolls, the more union employees there are. Often the promises made in unionizing segments of the government end up being baseless. Again, the taxpayer is out in the cold. And the growth of government is likewise a huge issue addressed in this book. More and more services are co-opted by governments allegedly for savings and quality. Often the costs balloon - and the quality often goes down. Just remember this: Barack Obama got his start in community organizing by fighting city hall to get toilets fixed in the Chicago Projects! This book is an eye-opener for the American taxpayer not only of the skyrocketing pay and benefits of the public sector unions, but the ever far-reaching encroachment of the government into our lives. (Book Ideas)
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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 180 pages
  • Publisher: Ivan R. Dee (October 1, 2010)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1566638755
  • ISBN-13: 978-1566638753
  • Product Dimensions: 5.8 x 0.8 x 9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 12 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (10 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,206,887 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Steven Malanga has diagnosed a very important public-finance problem with laser accuracy in this book. The problem is the billions or trillions of dollars that are handed out every year to government dependents, in particular the public employee unions. These groups, in turn, pool their assets and make enormous political contributions to corrupt political hacks who will, in turn, support their demands (and I do mean demands) for more money. Needless to say, that government money comes right out of our pockets, and people earning $25 per hour wind up supporting high-school teachers making $47 per hour.

Does that sound right to you? That high-school teachers should be making $100,000 per year, while their students just get worse and worse test scores?

Things you probably didn't know: California Governor Schwarzenegger was planning substantial layoffs to try balancing the budget, right up to the moment when he got a call from President Obama, who read him the riot act. (It is especially amazing that someone from SEIU sat in on the conference call.) Said Mr. Hope-and-Change himself, "If you lay those people off, you are going to LOSE hundreds of millions of dollars in federal money. Have you got that straight, buddy?"

These forces are especially lethal on the local level, where they tend to overwhelm the local officials with their massive funding, organized on the state and federal levels.

This is, truly, gangster government, and our job is to get rid of it. I can think of a couple of steps: (1) ban public employee unions, completely (2) ban sending federal monies back to state or local governments.

But whatever happens will require us to begin paying serious attention to politics. I suspect that we let things drift because life was OK, but now we have Obama in the White House and we're bankrupt. It's time for Rip Van Winkle to wake up!
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Length: 6:43 Mins
By "malignant whole" I am, of course, referring to the federocracy and the examples that Steven Malanga gives in this book are very enlightening. Throughout Shakedown Malanga excels at elucidating the connection between government decisions and economic peril.What I like about Malanga as a writer is that his language is simple, and his conclusions are clear. Fact, fact, fact. Superlative work.
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Format: Hardcover
America was quite a different place before the radical 1960s. There were no such things as "Entitlements," "Political Correctness," "Affirmative Action," "The Great Society," or "redistribution of wealth," and Americans were simply that: Americans with no hyphens. Would-be lawyers were actually taught ethics and most Americans still understood the founding documents and why they are so critically important to the safety of the American people. Americans prided themselves on being "rugged individualists" willing to work hard to get ahead and earn their way in life, and their children were likewise taught to love their country, study hard, and learn to earn their way --- and they were rewarded on their merits. America was prosperous, powerful, and admired throughout the world. This book explains, in no small measure, how that all changed and how America became what it is today: A morally, politically, and economically bankrupt divided-nation, no longer the envy of the world. It's not a pretty story, but it is one well worth reading and remembering.

The book chronicles the activities of the radical social-activists; union organizers; and sympathetic, naïve, and/or corrupt politicians who instigated and brought about the decline of the United States. It was essentially an effort by community organizers, activist thugs and union organizers to gain sway over local, state, and federal governments --- and ultimately over the American people (i.e., the taxpayers). The results are many.
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
GREAT BOOK! More should read this book, explaining how over time the unions have made this a socialist county. My believes are that unions were needed at one time. Little did we know or understand (care) just how bad things would become. Read "Shakedown" The Continuing Conspiracy Against the American Taxpayer"
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
At a time when our nation is being destroyed by overspending in Washington, this book reveals what is wrong with the people who have represented us in government. While the old "stink-eye" is pointed mostly at the democrats, there is certainly some blame to be shared by the republicans.

If you are a die-hard union supporter you won't enjoy this book. If you think that government is the answer to all of our problems you won't enjoy this book. If you think government run welfare is good for the nation you won't enjoy this book. Finally, if you think we are all entitled to government handouts you won't enjoy this book. All others should like reading what Steven Malanga has presented here. Books like this should be required reading for everyone in government and at all levels of government.
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