Have nothing to do with the [evil] things that people do, things that belong to the darkness. Instead, bring them out to the light... [For] when all things are brought out into the light, then their true nature is clearly revealed...

-Ephesians 5:11-13

Tag Archives: Obama

47 Percent Pay No Taxes? Actually, No.

Seal of the Internal Revenue Service

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In a recent article here about the VAT (Value-Added Tax) being floated as another way to raise taxes, the author stated that a VAT “would force the 50 percent of people in the poor and middle classes who pay no income taxes at present to start to contribute to the ever-increasing costs of the nanny state.” Fortunately, the New York Times published a correction and a clarification.

According to the Times, which took a closer look at the data from the Tax Policy Center, “The stimulus programs of the last two years [under the Bush and Obama administrations] have increased the number of households that receive enough of a tax credit to wipe out their federal income tax liability…but income taxes aren’t the only kind of federal taxes that people pay.”

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Will America Get a Value Added Tax (VAT)?

President's Advisory Panel for Federal Tax Reform

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Former Federal Reserve Chairman Paul Volcker sent up a trial balloon at the New York Historical Society April 6 when he said that a Value-Added Tax (VAT) needed to be considered in light of the huge deficits facing the country. According to Volcker, the VAT is “not as toxic an idea” as many have considered it to be in the past, and “if at the end of the day we need to raise taxes, we should raise taxes.”

He wasn’t the first one to float this recently. Charles Krauthammer wrote late last month that “as the night follows the day, the VAT cometh” and that “a national sales tax near-universal in Europe is inevitable.” Because of the huge deficits facing the nation, exacerbated by the newly passed ObamaCare bill, there is no way out except to raise taxes, according to Krauthammer.

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Can ObamaCare Be Repealed, Nullified?

Repeal ObamaCare

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U.S. Representative Michele Bachmann (R-Minn.), who has earned a “Freedom Index” rating of 90 percent in the current Congress to date, has introduced a bill in the House to repeal ObamaCare. In her press release, Bachmann reminded her constituents that “the government already owns or controls about one-third of U.S. economic activity through the takeover of General Motors, the bankruptcy reorganizations of Chrysler, the partial ownership of two of the country’s largest banks in Bank of America and Citigroup, and the seizure of mortgage giants Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac as well as AIG. Taken all together, [with ObamaCare] we’re looking at half of the American economy in the grip of the federal government.” Bachmann said that it “will do nothing to spur economic growth … [but] will serve only as an obstacle to actual recovery and smother the spirit of innovation and freedoms that made this country great.”

Her bill is simplicity itself:

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Citigroup Bailout Retrospective

Citigroup

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In the announcement that the U.S.Treasury was likely to make a profit selling its stock in Citigroup, much was made about the great returns that sale would generate, and very little was said about how it all happened in the first place.

The potential profit was estimated to be about $7.5 billion assuming that the price of Citigroup’s stock stays at its current level through the end of the year. The article joyfully announced that “it’s a 14 percent rate of return on the $165 billion invested in the biggest banks. Hundreds of smaller banks also received [TARP] money and have been paying the government a steady stream of dividends and interest.” Banking analyst Bert Ely said, “Overall, TARP may cost taxpayers money. But the banking part of it is going to be a moneymaker.”

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Recess Appointments and the Constitution

2009 Five Presidents, President George W. Bush...

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“Side-stepping Senate confirmation,” declared the New York Times. “This is going to make problems worse,” exclaimed Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.). “What this is going to do is cause the election of a lot more Republicans…in November who are determined to come in and provide some checks and balances in Washington to stop the overreaching of the government,” hollered Lamar Alexander, (R-TN).

On Saturday, March 27, President Obama used “recess appointments” to fill 15 administration positions because he couldn’t get them past the Senate’s constitutional requirement to give the appointments its Advice and Consent. Obama said, “The United States Senate has the responsibility to approve or disapprove of my nominees.” On that point, the President is exactly correct. Here is the language from the Constitution under Article II, Section 2, Clause 2:

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Housing: Washington Only Delaying Inevitable

Foreclosure Sign, Mortgage Crisis

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Friday’s announcement of more intervention in the housing mortgage market will result in a deeper, longer, and more painful delay in the inevitable decline in housing prices that are necessary to clear the market. According to the Obama administration, the “broad new initiatives” will help troubled homeowners to refinance their existing mortgages with more favorable affordable ones provided directly by the government. Part of the new program is “meant to temporarily reduce the payments of [those] borrowers who are unemployed [but are] seeking a job.” In addition, the enhancements include inducements to “encourage lenders to write down the value of loans [already] held by borrowers in modification programs.”

In simple English, HAMP (the Home Affordable Modification Program), announced with great fanfare and high expectations early on in the Obama administration, isn’t working, and so more of the same is required.

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Sestak Coverup

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The main reason Rep. Darrell Issa (R-CA), the top Republican on the House Oversight Committee, is pressing the issue over Rep. Joe Sestak (D-PA.) is owing to the reticence of the White House to be forthcoming about the matter. Most of the time, plausible deniability and the passage of time work well to make any potentially contentious or dangerous issue “go away.”  But not this time.

Back in July of 2009, well before liberal Sestak (Freedom Index rating of 0) decided to make a run for Arlen Specter’s (D-PA) Senate seat in November of 2010, he was approached by someone from the Obama administration who asked him to back off.  As incentive to leave Specter alone, Sestak said in an interview on Larry Kane’s Voice of Reason show in February this year, that the White House offered him a federal job.  Here is that conversation:

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ObamaCare: The Final Nail, or the Last Straw?

Barack Obama addressing a joint session of Con...

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In responding to House Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s (D-Calif.) incredulous “Are you serious?” about the constitutionality of Obamacare, many have written persuasively that the healthcare law is in fact unconstitutional.

Michelle Morin in her blog reminded her readers that Article 1, Section 8 limits the federal government to specific and enumerated powers, with all other unenumerated powers being left to the states or to the people. Michael Boldin of the Tenth Amendment Center analyzed the purpose of the Constitution and the Bill of Rights as limitations and restrictions on the power of the federal government. He concludes his analysis with these words:

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Reports of ACORN’s Death Greatly Exaggerated

ACORN

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Following the announcement on Sunday that the ACORN Association Board had “approved a set of steps to responsibly manage the process of bringing its operations to a close over the coming months,” spokesman Kevin Whelan tried to explain it away by saying, “It’s really declining revenue in the face of a series of attacks by partisan operatives and right-wing activists that have taken away our ability to raise the resources we need.”

Bertha Lewis, ACORN CEO, expanded on why ACORN was closing its doors: “ACORN has faced a series of well-orchestrated, relentless, well-funded right wing attacks that are unprecedented since the McCarthy era. The videos were a manufactured, sensational story that led to rush to judgment and an unconstitutional act by Congress.”

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Sordid, Sleazy, Shameful, Squalid Sausage-Making

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Back in the good old days, once upon a time, moving a bill into law was clear, transparent, and usually based upon the Constitution. Nearly 2½million viewers have seen the YouTube video “Schoolhouse Rock” over the past three years, most of them recalling days when things were simpler and more honest.

As Kimberly Strassel said in the Wall Street Journal, “It’s clearly time for a remake.”  Except that YouTube wouldn’t allow it because it would have to be X-rated.

The title of Strassel’s article, “Inside the Pelosi Sausage Factory,” alludes to the old maxim that those with weak stomachs should not watch sausage or legislation being made.

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Another Obama, Clinton Fundraiser Going to Jail

President Barack Obama and sec. of State Hilla...

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It surprised few close observers of the current political scene to learn that another Democratic fundraiser, Hassan Nemazee, admitted to fraud in raising money for Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama. Iranian national Nemazee pled guilty in Manhattan Federal Court last week to charges of defrauding Bank of America, Citibank, HSBC Bank USA, as well as a “longtime friend and business associate” of nearly $300 million, much of which was funneled into the political campaigns of Senator Clinton and presidential candidate Obama.

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Jobs Bill: The Law of Intended Consequences

London | 2009

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With great fanfare, the Obama administration celebrated its first policy victory of the year—the $17.6 billion jobs bill. Eleven Republican Senators helped push the bill through the Senate, 68-29.

The economically flawed and unconstitutional law provides employers an exemption from Social Security tax withholding through the end of the year on any employees added to the payroll who have been unemployed for at least 60 days. And if the employees stay on that payroll for at least a year, the employers would receive an additional $1,000 tax credit. In addition, the law spends $20 billion on federal highway construction and other public improvement projects.

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Mitch McConnell: One Smart Political Pragmatist

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Republican Minority Leader Senator Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) had a strategy even before President Obama was inaugurated, according to the New York Times. Recognizing that Republicans had lost control of the Senate as well as the presidency, that strategy was to use his 30-plus years of political wheeling and dealing to slow down the Democrat juggernaut, and wait for reinforcements.

During the current healthcare debate, McConnell bet that by presenting a united, even if a minority, front against Obamacare, and putting in place delaying tactics, Republicans would force the Democrats to use “parliamentary back flips” to get the bill passed and onto the President’s desk. Such Democrat efforts as reconciliation, the Slaughter tactic, and the “deemer” strategy would so dismay the average American voter as to derail the juggernaut before it became law.

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Lehman Bros.: Pinprick That Burst the Bubble

Balloon POP !!!

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The culprits blamed for the failure of Lehman Brothers in September of 2008 included the company’s top executives, their accountants, their highly-leveraged loans that had started going bad, their success at hiding those bad loans by cooking the books, and their lenders demanding more and better collateral, according to Anton Valukas in his 2,200 page report released Thursday.

There is certainly plenty of blame to go around, and it looks like there will be criminal charges filed too. The biggest lie, however, wasn’t mentioned: that this implosion of Lehman Brothers caught everyone by surprise.

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Obama Healthcare II is Financial Lunacy

Selling Obamacare - July 22, 2009

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Even if the Obama administration is able to persuade (or bludgeon) enough Democrats into passing his latest version of healthcare, it would still be financial lunacy.

Last summer CNS News reported on the Congressional Budget Office’s analysis of President Obama’s initial public offering for healthcare, which they called “fairly blistering…concerning the ability of the…plans to save money and control health care costs for the long term.” According to CBS, the Director of the CBO, Doug Elmendorf, told the Senate Budget Committee that none of the bills he has seen would reduce health care costs: “In the legislation that has been [analyzed so far] we do not see the sort of fundamental changes that would be necessary to reduce the trajectory of…health care spending by a significant amount…On the contrary, the legislation significantly expands the federal responsibility for health care costs.”

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Obama Healthcare by Hook or by Crook

ObamaCare Line

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According to the New York Times, President Obama has “his back to the wall” concerning the fate of his “signature initiative” and is doing everything in his power to “explain, persuade, and capture” to get the House to pass his healthcare bill. Despite repeated evidence from pollsters that the American people don’t want his healthcare plan, the Obama administration continues its push to take over private healthcare, and turn it into the largest socialization of the country since the Constitution was adopted in 1787.

Pollsters like Rasmussen Reports, Pollster.com, and RealClearPolitics show that more than half of Americans are opposed to the plan.  And some polls are showing that if Obamacare II is passed, it will have a major negative impact on Democrats in November.

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TSA and the Fourth Amendment: Take another Look

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When Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano announced that Major General Robert Harding was President Obama’s latest nominee for the Transportation Security Agency (TSA), she said, “Mr. Harding has the experience and perspective [emphasis added] to make a real difference in carrying out the mission of the agency. If there was ever a nominee that warranted expedited…consideration in the Senate, this is it.”

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Financial Reform: Pressing On, Regardless

Bob Corker

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Last month, Senator Bob Corker (R-Tenn.) pushed back against the Obama administration’s plans to create a “standalone” Consumer Financial Protection Agency, and some Washington-watchers held their breath to see if Corker would hold his ground.

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U.S. Postal Service: Time to Free the Mail

WASHINGTON - AUGUST 06:  Postmaster General Jo...

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When U.S. Postmaster General John Potter recommended eliminating Saturday delivery service in order to save money, he was merely responding to the postal service’s continuing inability to make money, or even cover its costs, delivering the mail. In a microcosm, the postal service’s difficulty is reflective of the government’s attempt to operate anywhere outside the constraints of the Constitution.

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The Economy Looks Like “L”

The Letter "L"

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Just when the headline news about the economy was beginning to look good and the talking heads were beginning to sound good, along came a barrage of bad news that was so bad that it couldn’t be covered up. Gallup began with the news that in January nearly 20 percent of the U.S. workforce “lacked adequate employment”, which was worse than the numbers reported by the Labor Department. According to Reuters, these “findings appear to paint a darker employment picture than official U.S. data,” with about 30 million Americans “underemployed.” And Gallup misses the mark by at least 2 percent, according to John Williams of ShadowStats.com.

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Many of the articles on Light from the Right first appeared on either The New American or the McAlvany Intelligence Advisor.