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: penalties

Credit Rating of Illinois Cut Again to One Notch Above Junk

This article appeared online at TheNewAmerican.com on Friday, June 2, 2017: 

English: 1987 Illinois license plate

The day after Illinois failed to reach a budget agreement (for the third year in a row), Moody’s Investors Service followed S&P Global Ratings by downgrading the state’s credit rating to just one notch above junk status. The legislature has 30 days to come up with a budget or else the state’s rating will be downgraded further to junk status.

Moody’s was blunt in its assessment of the rolling catastrophe: “Legislative gridlock has sidetracked efforts not only to address pension needs [$129 billion in unfunded liabilities] but also to achieve fiscal balance [the state has $14.5 billion in unpaid bills with $800 million in late fees and penalties adding to the total]. Moody’s analyst Ted Hampton added:

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ObamaCare Replacement Plan Introduced in Congress

This article appeared online at TheNewAmerican.com on Thursday, February 16, 2017: 

Official portrait of United States Senator (R-KY).

Senator Rand Paul

Senator Rand Paul (R-Ky.) and Representative Mark Sanford (R-S.C.) introduced their ObamaCare Replacement Act (ORA) on Wednesday. It would simultaneously repeal nearly all of ObamaCare’s most onerous demands and mandates while opening up the health-insurance market to individuals to purchase, or not to purchase, coverage. The bill, S.222, might more appropriately be named the “Health Insurance Freedom to Purchase Act,” putting the decision to buy, or not to buy, coverage back in the hands of individual citizens and taking it out of the hands of the federal government.

Senator Paul said,

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Bill to Repeal Obamacare Represents Major Paradigm Shift

This article was published by The McAlvany Intelligence Advisor on Friday, February 17, 2017:

English: A Portrait of Thomas Jefferson as Sec...

Thomas Jefferson

Thomas Jefferson said many things on which classical liberals and libertarians agree. The one most apropos to Obamacare is this: “The natural progress of things is for liberty to yield and government to gain ground.”

Anything that requires government force (or threat of) to gain compliance is, on its face, immoral. But Obamacare did something else: it was a deliberate forced attempt to shift personal responsibility for one’s health care from a citizen to his government. Jefferson had this to say about that:

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Not All Travel Bans Apply to Foreigners

This article was published by The McAlvany Intelligence Advisor on Wednesday, February 8, 2017:

The federal government published the final rules on Monday on just how the Department of Transportation, the Department of State and the Internal Revenue Service, working together, can disrupt one’s plans to travel abroad:

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Another Travel Ban: This One From IRS, for Back Taxes

This article appeared online at TheNewAmerican.com on Tuesday, February 7, 2017:

The Internal Revenue Service (IRS) has released its final details on just how it can revoke American citizens’ passports for being behind in paying their taxes. Effective Monday, February 6:

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Trump Aims “Name and Shame” Policy at Sanctuary Cities

This article appeared online at TheNewAmerican.com on Thursday, January 26, 2017:

In his Executive Order “Enhancing Public Safety in the Interior of the United States” issued on Wednesday, President Donald Trump directed his Secretary of Homeland Security, John Kelly, on a weekly basis, to “make public a comprehensive list of criminal actions committed by aliens and any jurisdiction that ignored or otherwise failed to honor any detainers with respect to such aliens.”

At the moment such jurisdictions include nearly 300 so-called sanctuary cities harboring more than 2,000 known criminals residing illegally in the United States. The Washington Times called the move “Name and Shame” while Breitbart News is hopeful that

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House Oversight Committee Issues Resolution to Censure IRS Commissioner

This article appeared online at TheNewAmerican.com on Thursday, May 19, 2016:  

On Wednesday the House Oversight Committee, chaired by Jason Chaffetz (R-Utah), introduced a resolution to censure IRS Commissioner John Koskinen (shown) for misconduct while head of the agency. The resolution “offers congressional condemnation and disapproval of Mr. Koskinen for a pattern of conduct inconsistent with the trust and confidence placed in him as an Officer of the United States. The resolution formally censures Mr. Koskinen and urges his resignation or removal.”

If passed by the House, censure “affords Congress additional consequences to consider in identifying appropriate penalties for the commissioner’s misdeeds. Mr. Koskinen must be held accountable for his misconduct,” the statement from the HOC added.

The resolution to censure had its genesis in

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Lawsuit by Three Uber Drivers Could Overturn the Gig Economy

On Tuesday a district court judge ruled that a lawsuit brought by three Uber drivers can move forward as a class action lawsuit, potentially involving 160,000 Uber drivers, increasing the chances that Uber will have to start treating them as employees, not as independent contractors. If so, the ramifications would be significant across the nascent but growing “gig” economy, affecting other companies such as Lyft, Airbnb, and TaskRabbit.

Back in March Uber attempted to have the suit tossed, but U.S. District Court Judge Edward Chen said the issues raised were too important not to have them heard in court. At that time Chen said the company’s drivers

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Pelosi Reacts to CBO Report Before Reading it

This article was published by the McAlvany Intelligence Advisor on Monday, June 22, 2015: 

Former Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) was one of the first to react to the report just released by the Congressional Budget Office (CBO) on Friday. She was so quick to comment that there was suspicion she had had no chance to read it. When the details behind the report came out, that suspicion was confirmed.

The House member most responsible for garnering the 219 votes needed in the House in March 2010 to pass ObamaCare – the Affordable Care Act, or ACA – is remembered for her comment made during a 20-minute speech just prior to passage:

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King v Burwell: Favorable Ruling May Help Economy, Hurt Democrats

This article appeared online at TheNewAmerican.com on Monday, June 1, 2015: 

If the Supreme Court rules in the case of King v. Burwell that words mean something, and that the words “exchanges established by the state” mean that only citizens in those states enjoy subsidies to help pay for their insurance under ObamaCare while those elsewhere do not, the impact of such a ruling would likely prove to be enormous.

The ruling due out shortly will either accept the concept that the words in the ObamaCare law mean what they say, or

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Moody’s Lowers Chicago’s Debt Rating to Junk Status

This article first appeared online at TheNewAmerican.com on Wednesday, May 13, 2015: 

Moody’s cut its rating on another $4 billion of Chicago’s debt to just above junk status, for a total of $13 billion that was downgraded on Tuesday. This is approaching two times the city’s total annual revenues, and fails to take into account the $550 million payment the city must make in December to keep the police and firemen’s pension plan solvent. Nor does it take into account the $230 million penalty the city must pay for terminating previous “swap” agreements that allowed it to continue to borrow at competitive rates.

With this two-level drop, $2 billion in additional penalties may come due, according to Moody’s: “[Our] current rating actions give the counterparties of these [swap] transactions the option to immediately demand up to $2.2 billion in accelerated principal and accrued interest [payments] and associated termination fees.”

Doing the math is frightening. But Chicago’s Budget Director Alex Holt seems unconcerned: 

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American Sea-Change in Attitude Toward Government

This article was first published at The McAlvany Intelligence Advisor on Monday, April 20, 2015: 

Careful observers of Hillary Clinton’s brief announcement for the presidency on April 3 noted one word missing: redistribution. She alluded briefly to how “the deck is still stacked in favor of those at the top,” but she focused instead on wanting to be everyone’s “champion,” supporting strong families, same-sex marriage, and economic opportunity.

She and her advisors no doubt read and took to heart the latest from Gallup. In 2006, by a margin of more than two to one, 69-28, those surveyed said that

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allup: Americans Say Federal Government Is Number One Problem

This article first appeared online at TheNewAmerican.com on Monday, April 20, 2105:

Income inequality and mortality in 282 metropo...

Income inequality and mortality in 282 metropolitan areas of the United States.

According to a recent Gallup poll, Americans have named the federal government as the most important U.S. problem for four months in a row, noting that “dissatisfaction with government is by no means a new issue,” having been at or near the top in its surveys for years.

None of this is new news to Emmanuel Saez, economics professor at the University of California, Berkeley, or to any of his co-authors in their study published by the National Bureau of Economic Research in early 2013.

That study summarized polls of more than 5,000 Americans about income inequality in the United States and what if anything should be done about it. They were fully expecting to discover that

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Tax Foundation Counts All Income Except Underground

This article first appeared online at TheNewAmerican.com on Monday, February 23, 2015:

Tax Foundation

Tax Foundation

Not one single word of the 10-page report “Sources of Personal Income” released by the Tax Foundation mentioned the “black market” — that vast swirling uncounted (and largely uncountable) part of the U.S. economy that some estimate in the trillions. Accordingly, that throws off the foundation’s attempt to draw any more than tentative conclusions about how much the average taxpayer earns.

According to the Foundation, Americans reported a total of $9.2 trillion in income in 2012, the latest year for which numbers are available, with $6.3 trillion of it coming from “wages, salaries, tips” and “other” compensation. They get those numbers mostly from the infamous

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Milton Friedman, the W-2 Withholding form, and the Underground Economy

This article first appeared at The McAlvany Intelligence Advisor on Monday, February 23, 2015:

English: Portrait of Milton Friedman

Milton Friedman

With Americans about to file their income tax returns, most of them will look at their W-2 withholding forms to get the numbers without any background on how paying the government first came to be accepted as normal.

At age 16 this writer worked as a helper on a Canada Dry delivery truck. It was a plum job if one could get it. A “helper” load was 160 cases (the heavy glass-bottle kind), and it paid $20 for the day. There was great incentive to dump those cases as fast as possible (without breaking them!) and get back to the warehouse and put in the time sheet.

The first week generated $100, and this writer had never seen a $100 bill before. Imagine his surprise when his pay envelope had “change” in it. The slip showed Gross $100.00. Net: $92.43. The government got into this writer’s pay envelope before he did!

He’s never forgotten that moment, and was surprised, so many years later, to learn how much a hand one of his favorite economists, Milton Friedman, had in creating the entire withholding system in the US back in 1943.

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Internet Freedom Shrinking, Says the Freedom House

This article first appeared at The McAlvany Intelligence Advisor on Monday, January 5, 2015:

Mark Twain

Mark Twain

Excitement over the positive impact the Gutenberg Press had on freedom led Mark Twain to exclaim:

What the world is today, good and bad, it owes to Gutenberg. Everything can be traced to this source, but we are bound to bring him homage … for the bad that this colossal invention has brought about is overshadowed a thousand times by the good with which mankind has been favored.

More than two hundred years later, Andrew Wile, blogging at The Daily Bell, was equally ebullient, this time about the Internet – Gutenberg 2.0 – saying:

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Putin Demands All Data About His Citizens Be Stored Inside Russia

This article first appeared online at TheNewAmerican.com on Monday, January 5, 2015:

 

On December 31, 2014, Russian President Vladimir Putin signed the latest version of his country’s “personal data law” that, starting September 1, 2015, will require all companies to store data about Russian users only on computer servers inside the country. That way, according to the New York Times, “it will be easier for the government to get access to it.”

Whether those companies — Facebook, Twitter, and Google, among others — will comply is an open question. When Putin’s Internet “regulator” Roskomnadzor demanded that Facebook take down a page promoting a rally in support of political activist Alexei Navalny (whom the Wall Street Journal called “the man Vladimir Putin fears most”), Facebook complied. But within hours dozens of copycat pages popped up elsewhere, creating even more publicity for the January 15 event. 

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Sissel Lawsuit Threatens ObamaCare

This article first appeared at TheNewAmerican.com on Wednesday, October 8, 2014: 

After losing an appeal before a three-judge panel of the District of Columbia Circuit Court of Appeals in Sissel v. US Department of Health and Human Services, the Pacific Legal Foundation (PLF) filed a petition for a full rehearing — called “en banc” — on Monday. Sissel claims that the Origination Clause — Article 1, Section 7 of the U.S. Constitution — was violated at the very birth of ObamaCare (also called ACA, the Affordable Care Act), and since the Supreme Court ruled in NFIB v. Sibelius that the ObamaCare fines are not penalties but taxes, ObamaCare itself must be ruled unconstitutional.

Nearly 100 lawsuits challenging ObamaCare have been filed since it was passed back in March 2010, but only five now present serious threats to its legal existence, the Sissel case being the one with the most teeth. It was originally brought by

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Labor Board Ruling Against McDonald’s a Huge Boost for Union

This article first appeared at TheNewAmerican.com on Thursday, July 31, 2014:

Français : Logo SEIU

The ruling by the general counsel of the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) that McDonald’s is actually a huge employer of more than 175,000 workers in the United States, rather than a franchisor with thousands of independent franchisees, will, if it is upheld, allow the Service Employees International Union (SEIU) to recruit those workers much more easily.

The ruling was supposedly about low wages and local disputes with a few of those franchisees, but it had precious little to do with that carefully crafted public perception.

Richard Griffin, the NLRB’s general counsel, said he investigated more than 180 claims by local McDonald’s’ workers that they were being penalized for protesting low wages in a series of one-day strikes earlier this year. He found 43 of them to be “valid” and, in the process, ruled that McDonald’s itself would be held jointly liable for any penalties along with the individual franchisees.

The New York Times, to its credit, saw through the scam, calling it

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Uber: The Smartphone App That Eats Taxis

 

iPhone apps

iPhone apps (Photo credit: ilamont.com)

This article first appeared at The McAlvany Intelligence Advisor on Wednesday, June 4, 2014:

When software inventor and now venture capitalist Marc Andreessen looked at investing in Uber just after its launch, he said “Uber is the software [app that] eats taxis.” At the end of its fourth year, Uber is not only eating taxis, but providing thousands of new jobs for people every month. Last week Uber’s founder, Travis Kalanick said:

Just four years ago we set out to build a better option for people to move around cities: to make getting a ride safer, easier and affordable.

But Uber’s positive impact goes further. Hundreds of thousands of entrepreneurs are using the platform to build their own small business, resulting in a huge job growth engine….

The first rule to making a startup successful is to determine precisely and exactly who its customers are. With Uber, it’s both the customer needing a lift, and the driver providing it. The service is predicated on a simple premise:

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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.