Rep. Paul Ryan’s big government leanings are shining through once again. The House Budget Committee Chairman and former Republican Vice Presidential nominee has endorsed the “concept” of the online sales tax, though he doesn’t specifically like Marketplace Fairness Act, which is the Senate’s version of the scheme:
Rep. Paul Ryan (R-Wis.) supports the principle that online retailers should have to pay state sales taxes.
In an emailed statement to The Hill, Ryan clarified that he does not support the Senate’s legislation on the issue.
“It’s got to be done the right way. I think the legitimate concern is can it be used to do other forms of taxation or retroactive taxation? You have got to make sure it doesn’t do that. I don’t think the Senate bill is written in a tight enough way to do that,” Ryan said.
He added that it’s unfair for a local brick-and-mortar retailer to have to collect sales taxes when online competitors are exempt.
Throughout her campaign Elizabeth Colbert Busch has fashioned herself as a candidate devoid of any ties to a party or agenda. Despite her opponent, former governor Mark Sanford, insisting she holds an allegiance to the left, Mrs. Colbert Busch has remained steadfast in her approach. In a race replete with negative ads and the typical disdain for corruption, partisanship and business as usual, what has not been discussed is what actually defines an independent.
The appeal to the politically-homeless and disenfranchised is commonplace and to be expected; particularly in the current political climate where even head lice is more popular than Congress. Needless to say, appearing to be a rebuke against the establishment is more crucial now than ever. The primary goal of the Colbert Busch campaign has been to capitalize on this bourgeoning cynicism.
To her credit, Mrs. Colbert Busch drove this point home early in Tuesday’s debate saying, “I will take that tough, independent business woman—independent business career and I’ll go to Washington with the help of all of you.”
Sanford would question this statement early and question it often. Citing on several occasions the amount of funding Mrs. Colbert Busch had received from the Democratic left, he stressed his concern that such financial support would not come without expectations. To this she replied, “No one tells me what to do except the people of South Carolina’s 1st District.”
More than three years after it was signed into law, ObamaCare remains unpoplar with Americans, according to the latest tracking poll from the Kaiser Family Foundation.
“Overall, the public remains as divided as ever when it comes to their overall evaluations of the health law,” stated the Kaiser Family Foundation, which does a monthly tracking poll of ObamaCare. “This month, 35 percent report a favorable view, 40 percent an unfavorable view, and a full 24 percent report they have no opinion on the law, continuing a recent trend of particularly high shares not offering an opinion.”
While it’s still vigorously defended by the Obama Administration, the poll notes that only 57% of Democrats have a favorable view of the law, which is low, while 67% of Republicans have an unfavorable view.
The poll also shows that a majority of Americans support efforts to alter or prevent ObamaCare. “In terms of the law’s political future, just over half of Americans (53 percent) continue to say that they approve of efforts by opponents to change or stop the law ‘so it has less impact on taxpayers, employers, and health care providers,’” noted the Kaiser Family Foundation. “One in three (including more than half of Democrats) believe that the law’s opponents should accept that it is the law of the land and stop trying to block its implementation, down somewhat from January (33 percent now compared to 40 percent at the start of the year).”
Interestingly, the poll found that some 40% of Americans don’t even know that ObamaCare is still law and still being implemented by the administration.
President Barack Obama has frequently claimed that he has no lobbyists working in his administration. But that doesn’t hold up to scrutiny. In fact, the Obama Administration is filled with lobbyists. And with the appointment of Tom Wheeler to head the Federal Communications Commission, which oversees the communications and technology industries, it’s about to get another one.
Over at Reason, Peter Suderman explains that Wheeler, who will replace outgoing FCC Chairman Julius Genachowski, was a top bundler for both of Obama’s presidential campaigns and he appears to have interest in seeing the role of the FCC expanded, which isn’t a good sign:
Earlier this week, we covered a lawsuit filed by Matt Sissel, an Iraq War veteran who is challenging the constitutionality of the Affordable Care Act — or ObamaCare, as it has come to be known. Sissel contends that because the law, which raises taxes on businesses and individuals, didn’t originate in the House as constitutionally required, it should be struck down.
Sissel’s case, however, isn’t the only challenge to ObamaCare currently working its way through the court system. A group of small business owners from states that have declined to setup insurance exchanges filed a lawsuit yesterday that seeks to prevent the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) from imposing fines against them:
The individual plaintiffs in the new lawsuit, from Tennessee, Texas, Virginia and West Virginia – states that didn’t set up exchanges — say they should not be considered eligible for the subsidies and should not have to pay a fine if they don’t purchase insurance.
The “subsidies actually serve to financially injure and restrict the economic choices of certain individuals,” the new complaint says. “For these people, the Subsidy Expansion Rule, by making insurance less ‘unaffordable,’ subjects them to the individual mandate’s requirement to purchase costly, comprehensive health insurance that they otherwise would forgo.”
The employers from Missouri, Kansas and Texas are arguing that they should not be subject to penalties that they may have to pay if their workers receive tax subsidies through the exchanges
Back in February, Vice President Joe Biden spent over $1 million dollars on a trip to London and Paris. Such an extraordinary expense in the run up to the sequester shows how out of touch this administration is.
But with President Barack Obama visiting Mexico and Costa Rica over the next few days, the Weekly Standard reminds us the $2.5 million dollar trip he took last year and questions as to whether the White House will spend taxpayer funds so freely this time around:
[T]he trip won’t exactly be cheap for taxpayers, assuming the costs mirror those incurred by the American taxpayers for President Obama’s last trip to Mexico, for the G-20 summit in June 2012. According to recently discovered documents relating to the costs of that trip, taxpayers paid nearly $2.5 million for hotel and “vehicle rental.”
Remember all the politically-motivated “cuts” the Obama Administration has been making? Guess the sequester isn’t hitting the White House as hard as they claimed they’re spending like this.
As noted earlier this week, Sen. Joe Manchin (D-WV), the primary sponsor of the expanded background checks amendment that failed last month in the Senate, told Chris Wallace of Fox News Sunday that he would continue to gather votes in hopes to bring the measure up again as a “clean bill.”
Wallace had asked Manchin about comments made by the measure’s co-sponsor, Sen. Pat Toomey (R-PA), who said that he thought the issue was done in the chamber and that he would be returning his attention to “economic and fiscal matters.”
“I don’t think he’s done. I really don’t know,” Manchin told Wallace. “I was with Pat last night and Pat’s totally committed to this bill and I believe that with all of my heart and we’re going to work this bill — when people read the bill, just take time to read the bill.”
Via the Weekly Standard, Toomey has reiterated his view that the push for greater gun control measures is done in the Senate, at least for now:
Sen. Patrick Toomey, R-Pa., and Sen. Joe Manchin, D-W.Va., the dynamic duo who drafted a gun sale background check compromise bill, find themselves divided now on the future of gun control.
Andrew Breitbart, the conservative firebrand who passed away early last year, has won the narrative on Pigford. The conservative blogger, who founded the Breitbart blogging/new media empire, worked hard to shed light on the corruption, cronyism, and fraud that were rampant in Pigford payouts. However, his focus on the scandal was dismissed by an uninterested media.
But after years of ignored the story, it finally got some interest. Sharon LaFraniere of The New York Times recently examined the background of Pigford, which stems from a lawsuit — Pigford v. Glickman — filed by black farmers who claimed they were discriminated against when trying to secure federal loans from 1983 to 1997. The settlement in the case required that the Department of Agriculture payout $50,000 farmers affected by the discrimination. Hispanic and female farmers who also claimed discrimination tried to secure the same payouts from the government, but were initially unsuccessful.
What we now know about the story is nothing short of stunning. What was once meant to be a temporary settlement with farmers was expanded in the 2008 farm bill, funded in 2010, and is now rife with cronyism that could cost taxpayers billions.
“The compensation effort sprang from a desire to redress what the government and a federal judge agreed was a painful legacy of bias against African-Americans by the Agriculture Department,” wrote LaFraniere last week. “But an examination by The New York Times shows that it became a runaway train, driven by racial politics, pressure from influential members of Congress and law firms that stand to gain more than $130 million in fees.”
The Obama Administration continues to insist that the Affordable Care Act will be good for Americans. With insurance subsidies and Medicaid expansion, they say that Americans will healthier. But is that true? According to a study out of Oregon, which expanded Medicaid in 2008, greater access to healthcare doesn’t mean that people will be healthier:
In 2008, the state of Oregon initiated an ambitious health care policy that allowed researchers to shed light on the effects of guaranteeing Medicaid coverage for low-income adults. The results have been closely followed in large part because insurance for the poor is a major component of the Affordable Care Act—aka Obamacare—that will soon be rolled out across the country.
The Tea Party Leadership Fund, one of the many groups that have spawned off from the grassroots movement that helped propel Republicans in 2010, is hoping to recruit Sarah Palin to run for United States Senate against incumbent Mark Begich (D-AK) in the 2014 mid-term election:
Sarah Palin’s last elective position in Alaska ended early when in 2009 she abandoned the governorship midway through her first term.
But tea party activists appear eager for a comeback, urging supporters to contribute money toward recruiting Palin to run for the U.S. Senate in her home state, where, according to an email sent out this week, she has a “clear path” to defeat incumbent Democrat Mark Begich.
“You and I both know that Sarah Palin is a fighter who will stand up to Harry Reid and his pals in the Senate to protect our Constitution in issues like amnesty, gun control and our nation’s crushing debt,” said the email from Todd Cefaratti of the Tea Party Leadership Fund.
“We know that, with Sarah in the Senate, conservatives across America can rest a little easier at night knowing that she’s at the watch,” it said.
Palin, who has helped turn several conservative primary candidates into elected officials, is still a popular figure in conservative circles, as evidenced by the reception she received at the Conservative Political Action Conference. During that speech, Palin not only took on President Barack Obama, but also the Republican establishment.