President Barack Obama may have refused to get behind an independent investigation into the IRS scandal, but a new Quinnipiac poll shows that Americans overwhelmingly support the idea (emphasis mine);
A Quinnipiac University poll released on Thursday shows 76 percent want a special counsel to 17 percent opposing.
The idea has strong support across all parties, with 88 percent of Republicans, 63 percent of Democrats and 78 percent of independents calling for a special prosecutor.
“There is overwhelming bipartisan support for a special prosecutor to investigate the IRS,” said Quinnipiac University Polling Institute Assistant Director Peter Brown in a statement. “Voters apparently don’t like the idea of Attorney General Eric Holder investigating the matter himself, perhaps because they don’t exactly think highly of him.”
Holder, who would appoint a special investigator, holds a negative 23 to 39 percent approval rating.
The poll also showed that President Obama’s job approval rating is now underwater, at 45/49, which the Wall Street Journal notes is down from the net-positive approval rating he had in a poll released by the same organization earlier this month. The IRS’s job approval rating is also vastly underwater, at 24/66.
Rep. Ed Markey (D-MA), who has served in Congress for 27 years and is a candidate in the special election for the Senate in Massachusetts, cannot recall a time when he’s opposed a tax increase.
During a recent campaign stop, he was asked if there was an instance he’s opposed Democratic leadership on taxes. Markey sheepishly replied, “Well, I would review my record and I will get back to you on that.”
Markey leads his Republican opponent, Gabriel Gomez, by an average of 10 points, according to Real Clear Politics. He holds a lifetime score of 8% from FreedomWorks and 15% from the Club for Growth. If all of the legislation Markey proposed in the 112th Congress were enacted, federal spending would have increased by $81 billion.
Needless to say, Markey is no friend to the taxpayer.
Written by Tad DeHaven, a budget analyst at the Cato Institute. Posted with permission from Cato At Liberty.
Last week, the Senate accepted by unanimous consent an amendment to the pending farm bill that would ban convicted murderers, rapists, and pedophiles from receiving Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program benefits (a.k.a. food stamps). Introduced by Louisiana Republican David Vitter, the amendment has received condemnation from the left and at least one round of applause on the right.
My initial reaction was “A few undesirables will lose a taxpayer-financed handout—so what?” But the more I thought about the amendment, the less I cared for it. For starters, the amendment appears to be politically motivated. Vote against it and a Senator can expect to see a negative campaign add from his or her next opponent. That’s probably why the amendment was agreed to by unanimous consent instead of being formally voted on in the Democratic-controlled Senate.
The House of Representatives is taking its time with the Internet sales tax, which is a good thing. They’re allowing it to go through the proper process, unlike the Senate, and that’s giving more time for opponents to make their case against the proposal.
What we already know about the Internet sales tax, absurdly named the “Marketplace Fairness Act,” is troubling. Not only is the proposal constitutionally questionable, it would turn Internet retailers into a tax collecting agents for 45 states and the District of Columbia and more than 9,600 taxing jurisdictions.
“[T]hat’s 46 returns (45 states with sales taxes plus the District of Columbia), which have to be filed monthly or quarterly, and 46 potential audits every year,” wrote Jacob Sullum earlier this month at Reason, “not to mention all the misunderstandings, disputes, and hassles that fall short of an audit.”
That is a regulatory nightmare for business, and customers could feel the effects. The Heritage Foundation points to a recent interview by a small business owner who explained that compliances costs will lead to prices increases for consumers:
Based on the polls and his approval ratings, it looks like Gov. Chris Christie (R-NJ) will coast to re-election later this year. His handling of the storm that ravaged New Jersey last year and his willingness to put politics aside during President Barack Obama’s visit to the region in its aftermath endeared him to many voters.
However, Christie’s willingness to appear alongside Obama in the state after the storm also upset many Republicans. They felt that he’d abandon Mitt Romney, though Christie and his supporters explain that he was looking after his state. For his part, Romney has said that Christie didn’t cost him the election.
But if Christie wants to be a contender for the Republican presidential nomination in 2016, he sure is going about it in a weird way.
During a visit on Tuesday to New Jersey, Christie and Obama rekindled their “bromance,” which is what many pundits are calling it. The two played a football toss game on a boardwalk near the Jersey shore. Christie won Obama a stuffed bear decked out in Chicago Bears’ swag (pictured above), which is the President’s favorite football team.
You can check out the video below:
Libertarians and conservatives alike either are intimately aware of problems with speaking out on social media, or they are residing under virtual rocks. In spite of the proliferation of liberty-minded individuals on networks like Twitter and Facebook, those platforms are anything but welcoming to freedom-oriented content.
On Twitter, there is the hated “gulag” that silences conservatives by exploiting an auto-account suspension rubric, or at least that is the explanation offered by the company. As for Facebook, it’s often turned into page suspensions and deletions for gun dealers, and conservative or libertarian commentators.
Now, Facebook has ended up in the headlines over problems with questionable content. They are now going to take a much more proactive stance when it comes to hate speech on their network. Of course this was at the behest of at least one feminist organization. That is not to say that this wasn’t necessary. Of course, there should be serious action taken to prevent content that promotes violence against anyone. However, this is definitely political pandering, and arguably for the benefit of the least profitable portion of Facebook’s “clientele.”
In light of recent statements made and actions taken by Adam Kokesh, United Liberty wishes to reaffirm its commitment to individual liberty, limited government, free markets, and peace.
We believe there is a bright line between the type of civil disobedience of the 1960s that helped secure the rights of the disenfranchised, and the notion of potentially violent conflict with federal law enforcement.
We endeavor to continue the temperate, reasonable, and incremental work of spreading libertarian ideas through this site and other media. Adam Kokesh is clearly a troubled individual, and his fringe views should in no way ever be construed to be consistent with the ideals we hold dear.
— The Contributors
Under intense scrutiny over the Justice Department’s targeting of the Associated Press and James Rosen, Attorney General Eric Holder wants to meet with Washington bureau chiefs from major media outlets to discuss his department’s guidelines for dealing with journalists during leak investigations. The only catch, however, is that the meeting is off-the-record, meaning that the substance of the discussion can’t be made public.
That is a problem for many news agencies. The Associated Press, CNN, The Huffington Post, and The New York Times have all said that they will not attend the meeting unless it is on-the-record. The sentiment is that a discussion about the freedom of the press, which is protected by the First Amendment, should be open and transparent:
The Associated Press issued a statement Wednesday objecting to plans for the meetings to be off the record. “If it is not on the record, AP will not attend and instead will offer our views on how the regulations should be updated in an open letter,” said Erin Madigan White, the AP’s media relations manager.
The New York Times is taking the same position. “It isn’t appropriate for us to attend an off-the-record meeting with the attorney general,” executive editor Jill Abramson said in a statement.
Like the New York Times and the Associated Press, CNN will decline the invitation for an off-the-record meeting. A CNN spokesperson says if the meeting with the attorney general is on the record, CNN would plan to participate.
It’s no secret that Washington is addicted to spending. Though, it’s true that the budget deficit is expected to decline this year, after four consecutive years of $1+ trillion deficits, the decline is spending isn’t because of any actual spending restraint, it’s a result of gridlock in government.
But declining budget deficits don’t reflect the desires of many members of Congress. According to a new report from the National Taxpayers Union Foundation (NTUF), the net-cost of legislation introduced in 112th Congress (proposed increases less proposed cuts) would have increased the federal budget by $1.3 trillion.
Despite the large increase in federal spending proposed last year, the “BillTally” report has some encouraging findings. Demian Brady, director of research at NTUF, noted that there was a increase in legislation to cut spending.
“The 112th Congress saw a sharp rise in the number of bills to reduce federal spending, with 221 introduced in the House and 127 in the Senate,” wrote Brady. “This is the highest number of spending-cut bills NTUF has recorded since the 105th Congress (1997-1998) when there were 265.” The report also found that legislation to increase federal spending is “being introduced at a much slower pace than in the previous Congress.”
Since the sequester took effect at the beginning of March, the Obama Administration has tried to play political games — including ending White House tours, threatening access to national parks, and furloughing air traffic controllers — all in an effort to make Americans feel the so-called “spending cuts.”
But despite the claims that the sequester — which is merely a small cut to the rate of spending growth over the next 10 years — is hurting Washington, the federal government has posted openings for some 10,300 jobs at a cost $792 million per year. That number is in addition openings the government was already trying to fill (emphasis mine):
The budget cuts known as sequestration were supposed to wreak havoc, forcing the shrinking of critical workforces including airport security officers and food inspectors.
But since sequestration kicked in March 4, the government has posted openings for 4,300 federal job titles to hire some 10,300 people.
The median position has a salary topping out at $76,000, and one-fourth of positions pay $113,000 or more, according to an analysis by The Washington Times of federal job listings.