Archives for July 2012
With a vote expected in the Senate tomorrow to extend income tax cuts those making under $250,000, some on the far left are urging Senate Democrats to let the economy to fall off the “fiscal cliff” if Republicans don’t go along with the crippling tax hike proposal. Take, for instance, Howard Dean, who, in a debate with Sen. Pat Toomey (R-PA), urged Congress to do the unthinkable:
Former Vermont Gov. and Democratic National Committee Chairman Howard Dean offered a characteristically blunt take on the “fiscal cliff” of looming spending cuts coupled with the expiration of the Bush-era tax cuts on Jan. 1: Let it happen.
“Let’s just go over the fiscal cliff,” he said Monday on CNBC’s “Squawk Box.” “Everybody’s going to bite the bullet. The Republicans are going to hate the taxes and the Democrats are going to hate some of the cuts, but it’s going to have to happen.”
Mr. Dean begged to differ, pointing to estimates from the nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office projecting that 60 percent of the deficit by 2019 will be a result of the Bush-era tax cuts.
He was also not optimistic about a bipartisan solution to fix the deal.
“If you think Democrats are going to agree to cuts in Medicare and Social Security while millionaires are getting big huge tax breaks, that’s insane,” he said. “Everybody’s going to have to put some skin in this game. This deficit was caused by all of us, and we’re all going to have to put something in the pot to fix this, and that includes tax increases and spending [cuts].”
Over the last month or so, President Barack Obama’s campaign has been hammering Mitt Romney over his time at Bain Capital, making charges of outsourcing and carelessly throwing around potential illegal activity. But voters aren’t buying it. In fact, a new Gallup poll shows that voters trust Romney more on the economy than Obama and view his time at Bain Capital as a positive:
Despite concerted Democratic attacks on his business record, Republican challenger Mitt Romney scores a significant advantage over President Obama when it comes to managing the economy, reducing the federal budget deficit and creating jobs, a national USA TODAY/Gallup Poll finds.
By more than 2-1, 63%-29%, those surveyed say Romney’s background in business, including his tenure at the private equity firm Bain Capital, would cause him to make good decisions, not bad ones, in dealing with the nation’s economic problems over the next four years.
While the economy figures to be the main factor of this year’s election, outside groups are planning to spend millions in ads in campaigns for Congress over ObamaCare. And despite the Supreme Court upholding ObamaCare last month, there may be a way for Congress to bring down the law even without fully repealing it. Over at the Cato Institute’s blog, Michael Cannon explains why states, many of which are already balking at Medicaid expansion due to budgetary concerns, are refusing to create the exchanges may do just that:
It turns out that ObamaCare makes an essential part of its regulatory scheme—an $800 billion bailout of private health insurance companies—conditional upon state governments creating the health insurance “exchanges” envisioned in the law.
This was no “drafting error.” During congressional consideration of the bill, its lead author, Sen. Max Baucus (D-MT), acknowledged that he intentionally and purposefully made that bailout conditional on states implementing their own Exchanges.
The Obama Administration recently gutted one of few great bipartisan achievements of the 90’s by undoing welfare reform, a law that was forged by House Republicans and President Bill Clinton. Polling indicates that Americans overwhelmingly disagree with President Obama.
And while DHHS Secretary Kathleen Seblius is defending the move and pushing back against a congressional inquiry, the Heritage Foundation notes that the rollback of the reforms could cost Americans nearly $13 trillion:
Welfare spending amounts to $9,040 per year for each lower-income American. If converted to cash and simply given to the recipients, this spending would be more than sufficient to bring the income of every lower-income American household to 200 percent of the federal poverty level (roughly $44,000 per year for a family of four).
Orginally published at Yahoo! Voices:
It has been pretty clear for months that Ron Paul would not be the Republican nominee. Instead, Mitt Romney will be the man to face Barack Obama in November. Ron Paul supporters and other Libertarians are trying to decide which direction the liberty movement should take. Some will want to work within the GOP; others will want to move back to the Libertarian Party; and others will want to quit politics altogether. I believe the best way to advance the liberty movement is to work within the Republican Party, while maintaining an independent movement to put pressure on politicians to pass pro-liberty legislation.
Read the rest of the article here.
With President Barack Obama and Senate Democrats eager to raise income taxes on higher-income earners — despite the fact that they already shoulder a substantial sum of the tax income burden, a new report shows that wealthy individuals may have as much as $32 trillion put away in off-shore accounts:
Wealthy individuals may have been hiding as much as $32 trillion offshore at the end of 2010, according to Tax Justice Network, a U.K.-based organization that campaigns for transparency in the financial system.
The estimate is almost three times the organization’s last estimate of $11.5 trillion in 2005. Fewer than 100,000 people own $9.8 trillion of offshore assets, according to the research, carried out by former McKinsey & Co. economist James Henry.
There is a “huge black hole in the world economy” of untaxed private wealth, Henry said in a statement. “The lost tax revenue implied by our estimates is huge.”
The amount held offshore means that 139 countries with external debts of $4.1 trillion at the end of 2010 would be creditors to the world, if as much as $9.3 trillion of cross- border holdings of their wealthiest citizens were taken into account, according to the research.
The debate over taxes is expected to heat up as the Senate plan to take up the issue this week. Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-NV) plans to bringing forward a bill that will maintain current tax rates for those making under $250,000 a year, but pushing tax rates up to pre-Bush levels for higher-income earners and an increase in capital gain rates. They also intend to do nothing to prevent the “death tax” rate from skyrocketing to 55% at the beginning of the year.
Senate Democrats are clearly using the issue for political gain, essentially fiddling while the economy burns, as reports on earning indicate that the United States could be headed back into a recession. A recent study by Ernest and Young shows that raising taxes even on higher-income earners, as Senate Democrats propose, would hit the economy hard.
Despite vocal opposition from Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke, the House of Representatives will on Tuesday take up Rep. Ron Paul’s proposed legislation to require a yearly audit of the nation’s central bank. This vote comes as the Federal Reserve is considering yet another round of debt monetization, known as “quanitative easing.”
While much of the “Audit the Fed” language was adopted as part of the Dodd-Frank financial reform bill in 2010, it was watered down since it excluded the Fed’s communication with central banks in other countries. As a result of what language was included, we have learned that the Federal Reserve did loan $16 trillion to financial institutions and corporations.
Rep. Paul’s legislation (H.R.459) would open up certain information to the Government Accountability Office currently excluded from audits in subsection (b) of 31 USC 714, including agreements and transactions with foreign central banks and discussions with the Treasury Department.
There is no question that the event that occured during a midnight screening of The Dark Knight Rises in Aurora, Colorado on Friday was a tragedy. Nearly everyone is familar with the shocking and disturbing details of the story by now. Excited movie-goers were looking forward to seeing the final part of Christopher Nolan’s Batman trilogy, only to wind up being victims of a senseless shooting by a clearly disturbed young man.
Most of us would have preferred that the weekend be a time to mourn and pray for the families of the 12 people killed and 58 wounded by this madman. Unfortunately, while families of the victims were grieving, policitians and advocacy groups were already railing against guns and calling for more gun control laws. Leftist blogs have already claimed that the AR-15 used in the shooting would have been banned under the Assault Weapons Ban (AWB). However, Right Sphere has debunked this thoroughly.
And, sadly, conspiracy theorists were busy concocting insane tales about how this was a “false flag” operation to gain public support for gun control measures, including the pending treaty with the United Nations.
The question of who Mitt Romney will choose to serve as his running mate has been a source of considerable speculation over the last couple of weeks. The New York Times ran a story on Tuesday giving some inside information about the grueling vetting process for prospects. But obviously, that doesn’t put to rest the seemingly endless speculation. Will his running mate be Florida Sen. Marco Rubio, Ohio Sen. Rob Portman, or former Minnesota Gov. Tim Pawlenty? Or could it be someone off the wall, like Condoleezza Rice, whose name was dropped into the discussion over the weekend. Every guess is as good as the other.
Many commentators downplay the effect that a potential running mate can have on a ticket, but numbers indicate that it does indeed matter. And while the suggestion has been both dismissed and praised by Republicans, a new Fox News poll shows that Rice, who served in the Bush Administration as National Security Advisor (2001-2005) and Secretary of State (2005-2009), may actually help Romney’s campaign. But conservatives want someone more exciting given that Romney does little to inspire them.