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: Spending

Michigan Senator wants to close “Tax Inversion” Loophole

United States Senate election in Michigan, 2002

United States Senate election in Michigan, 2002 (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

The recent bid by pharmaceutical giant Pfizer to acquire British-based drug maker AstraZeneca has given the senior senator from Michigan, Carl Levin, just the opening he has been seeking: to offer his bill prevent such “tax inversions” from taking place. Said Levin:

It’s become increasingly clear that a loophole in our tax laws allowing these inversions threatens to devastate federal tax receipts.

We have to close that loophole.

If the deal between Pfizer and AstraZeneca (currently in doubt) actually takes place, the tax inversion would allow Pfizer to consider Great Britain as

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How much is a Trillion Dollars, anyway?

Historical government spending in the United S...

Historical government spending in the United States from 1902 to 2010 (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Wayne Crews has a problem. For years now he has been updating the Competitive Enterprise Institute’s “Ten Thousand Commandments” but the numbers, despite his best efforts, are simply beyond human comprehension.

 

But he continues to try, nevertheless. He says that the regulatory state takes

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Congressional Budget Office Confirms Obama’s Continuing Attack on the Middle Class

Saul Alinsky

Saul Alinsky (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Robert Klein, a nationally renowned accountant who has written widely on taxes for many respected journals, was astonished to learn how much the taxes on his wealthy clients jumped just in the last year:

For [my] clients in the 39.6% tax bracket … their average federal income tax liability was $436,000, $51,000 greater than their 2012 tax liability … an average increase [of] 13.3%…

 

In summary, if you were in the 39.6% tax bracket in 2013, the 4.5% increase in your tax bracket, combined with additional income-tax liability resulting from additional tax on Medicare wages, a loss of itemized and personal exemption deductions, a 5% surcharge on long-term capital gains and qualified dividends, and the 3.8% tax on net investment income, reduced your spendable income considerably.

 

The damage was [even] greater for those subject to state income tax to the extent that unfavorable state tax law changes took effect in 2013.

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Fed Transcripts from 2008 Reveal Experts to be Clueless and Confused

English: President Barack Obama confers with F...

President Barack Obama confers with Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke following their meeting at the White House. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Followers of the Fed have carefully analyzed the 1,865 pages of transcripts it released in February of its eight regularly scheduled meetings and six emergency meetings in 2008 and have concluded that these experts were clueless and unaware of the opening economic abyss yawning before them. Even the New York Times was forced to admit, following its review of the documents, that

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$100 Billion in Improper Welfare Payments Uncovered

News that the federal government spends $100 billion improperly caused barely a ripple in light of its enormous budget and the continuous flow of revelations of such waste and corruption that have provided journalists with full-time careers in tracking them down and writing about them.

$100 billion is less than 3 percent of the federal government’s annual budget and most observers are probably happy that it isn’t any worse than that. Two such journos at National Review uncovered

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More Fraud Found by Detroit’s Emergency Manager

This article was first published by The McAlvany Intelligence Advisor on Monday, February 10, 2014:

It was no surprise to anyone that Kevyn Orr, Detroit’s interim emergency financial manager of the city during its bankruptcy, would uncover a massive fraud dating back to 2005 that helped precipitate the city’s descent into bankruptcy. It’s also no surprise that the two banks and the insurance company involved now want to cut a better deal

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Rosy CBO Report Leaves out Critical Factors

At first reading the latest report on the government budget and the economy released on Tuesday by the Congressional Budget Office (CBO) is all sunshine and roses. In its summary of the 182-page report the CBO noted that deficits this year (from last October to next September) will be even lower than initially estimated, dropping to $514 billion, down from $680 billion last year and $1.1 trillion in 2012. And, in the very short run at least, further declines in deficits are expected through 2015, perhaps touching a low of

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Argentina’s economy is cratering, again

While Wall Street declined by 3 percent over global growth concerns last week, few were noting or even interested in the 11 percent decline in the Merval, Argentina’s stock market index. It hit a high of 5,970 on Tuesday, January 21, the day before the Argentina government devalued its currency, and closed at 5,337 on Monday. The peso itself has been in decline far longer, having lost nearly

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Highland Park, Michigan, is Teetering on the Brink of Bankruptcy

The final straw for Highland Park, Michigan, may have arrived in the form of a letter from Fifth Third Bank last month announcing it is ending its monthly checks that have provided life support for the city inside of Detroit for the last three years. One of three banks sending checks to the city, Fifth Third said in its letter dated December 12 that it is

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Birch Society smeared for opposing the Article V convention push

Joe Wolverton is one of the leading lights among the gifted writers and investigative journalists regularly having his articles appear in The New American magazine and its companion website, TheNewAmerican.com.

A constitutionalist attorney who not only writes but speaks around the country for the John Birch Society (the publisher of The New American), Wolverton saw the dangers inherent in efforts by Mark Levin to promote a constitutional convention – a “con-con” – in order to rein in out-of-control government spending. Levin’s book, The Liberty Amendments: Restoring the American Republic, has formed the basis for a movement to call a convention of the states that would be limited in scope to addressing just the issue of spending.

Wolverton disagreed and

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America’s Economic Freedom Slide Continues, says the Heritage Foundation

The latest Index of Economic Freedom released by the Heritage Foundation and the Wall Street Journal shows just how successful the Bush and Obama administrations have been in their seeming attempts to turn the United States into a third world economy. The index shows

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Oklahoma Senator Tom Coburn Releases His Annual “Wastebook”

This article was first published by The McAlvany Intelligence Advisor on Friday, December 20th, 2013:

In his press release announcing the publication of his annual “Wastebook” summarizing 100 examples of egregious, wasteful, and outrageous government spending, Oklahoma Senator Tom Coburn tried to make himself appear “holier than thou” by

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Senator Tom Coburn’s “Holier-than-Thou” release of his 2013 “Wastebook”

In Tuesday’s press release Senator Tom Coburn (R-Okla.) announced the publication of his annual “Wastebook” which highlights Congress’ “most egregious spending” while at the same time distancing himself from the big spenders and earmarkers in Congress who provided fodder for his book:

While politicians in Washington spent much of 2013 complaining about sequestration’s impact on domestic programs and our national defense, we still managed to provide benefits to the Fort Hood shooter, study romance novels, help the State Department buy Facebook fans and even help NASA study Congress…

What’s lacking is the common sense and courage in Washington to make those choices – and passage of fiscally-responsible bills – possible.

Coburn then provided some teasers out of the 100 examples in his Wastebook:

The Popular Romance Project has received nearly $1 million from the National Endowment of the Humanities (NEH) since 2010 to “explore the fascinating, often contradictory origins and influences of popular romance as told in novels, films, comics, advice books, songs and internet fan fiction…

The military has destroyed more than 170 million pounds worth of useable vehicles and other military equipment [in Afghanistan] … rather than sell it or ship it back home…

In January, 2013, Congress passed a bill to provide $60.4 billion for [victims of] Hurricane Sandy. However, instead of rushing aid to the people who need it most, state-level officials … spent [$65 million of it] on tourism-related TV ads…

Since NASA is no longer conducting space flights, they have plenty of time and money to fund … the “Green Ninja” in which a man dressed in a Green Ninja costume teaches children about global warming.

While promoting his book recently on CBS News, Coburn tried to distance himself from any responsibility for such “egregious spending” by asking rhetorically: “Where was the adult in the room when this was going on?” Interviewer Nancy Cordes then asked if any of his previous editions of Wastebook had made any impact or had reduced or eliminated any of the more outrageous examples of waste:

Cordes: Have you ever gotten any traction in Congress, where members say “We’re actually going to get rid of this?”

Coburn: No. They don’t pay attention to it. It’s hard work to get rid of junk, it’s hard work to do oversight, it’s hard word to hold agencies accountable. And so what they would rather do is look good at home, get re-elected, and continue to spend money, and that’s Republican and Democrat alike.

What Cordes failed to ask at that moment would have been the perfect follow-on question:

How does your effort, then, and your voting record, separate you from them? Doesn’t this Wastebook of yours cost a lot of taxpayer money? Isn’t this part of your attempt to look good at home while providing cover for your own votes for some of these projects? Isn’t this part of your attempt to continue to get reelected?

Unfortunately there is no record of Cordes asking, or of Coburn’s response. But in July 2007 when Coburn criticized pork-barrel spending by Nebraska Senator Ben Nelson that would benefit Nelson’s son’s employer with millions of dollars of taxpayer money, newspapers in both Nebraska and Oklahoma noted that Coburn himself failed to criticize similar earmarks that he voted for that benefited his own state of Oklahoma.

In May, 2012 Coburn voted for H.R. 2072, to reauthorize the Export-Import Bank with increased lending limits backed by taxpayer monies from $100 billion to $140 billion. According to analysts assessing his vote, the federal government has no constitutional authority to risk taxpayers’ money “to provide loans the private sector considers too risky to provide.” Those analysts added:

Indeed, U.S. government-backed export financing is a form of corporate welfare, and if the Ex-Im Bank goes bust (as happened to Freddie Mac and Fannie Mae), the taxpayers will get stuck holding the bag.

Perhaps Coburn can be forgiven for not knowing that such wasteful spending is part of a plan to reduce America’s influence in the world, first clearly laid out when Coburn was just 10 years old, in 1958 in Indianapolis, Indiana. At a meeting in December, candy maker Robert Welch spoke for three days to some friends about the direction the country was headed, claiming it was part of a plan to “surrender American sovereignty, piece-by-piece and step-by-step, to various international organizations…”. Part one of that plan was:

Greatly expanded government spending for every conceivable means of getting rid of ever larger sums of American money as wastefully as possible.

Other parts included:

Higher and then much higher taxes…

An increasingly unbalanced budget despite the higher taxes…

Greatly increased socialistic controls over every operation of our economy and every activity of our daily lives. This is to be accompanied naturally and automatically by a correspondingly huge increase in the size of our bureaucracy and in both the cost and reach of our domestic government.

Coburn’s report illustrates the success of that plan to which he himself is contributing. The man has feet of clay. He not only is the author of Wastebook but a contributor to it as well.

 

 

 

 

 

Paul Ryan is a pragmatist after all

This article first appeared at The McAlvany Intelligence Advisor on Friday, December 13th, 2013:

The old saying, “The measure of a man is the size of the thing that gets his goat” certainly applies now to the erstwhile conservative Republican from Wisconsin, Rep. Paul Ryan. Working in closed-door sessions with liberal Democrats over the past two weeks, Ryan has finally revealed the size of his goat:

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Ryan-Murray debt agreement gives away sequester cuts, sells out tea party conservatives

In announcing the budget agreement hashed out during secret negotiations over the past two weeks, Rep. Paul Ryan (R-Wis.) said:

I’m proud of this agreement. It reduces the deficit without raising taxes. And it cuts spending in a smarter way. It’s a firm step in the right direction…

This was for public consumption. In fact, now that the agreement has passed the House and will likely shortly pass the Senate, it will

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Walmart opens first two stores in Washington, DC, after wage fight

When Washington, DC’s city council passed an ordinance raising the minimum wage just for Walmart’s employees, Walmart threatened to pull five stores planned for the DC area – three of which were already under construction – in response. But after Mayor Vincent Gray vetoed the measure and the council couldn’t override it, Walmart went ahead with two of them, both of which

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The IMF threatens a dangerous “wealth tax” proposal

The populist notion of taxing the rich once again turned up in the International Monetary Fund’s “Fiscal Monitor Report” released in October, but scarcely anyone noticed. In an arcane chart-laden 107-page long report that was competing at the time with the government shutdown, the failing rollout of Obamacare, and other concerns, crises and disasters, why would they?

Here’s why.

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Judge declares Detroit bankrupt, gives OK to cut pensions and burn creditors

In the opening to his hour-long statement to a packed courthouse on Tuesday, federal bankruptcy court Judge Steven Rhodes said:

It is indeed a momentous day. We have here a judicial finding that this once proud and prosperous city can’t pay its debts. It’s insolvent.

It’s eligible for bankruptcy. At the same time it has an opportunity for a fresh start.

He reeled off the list of problems the city is facing:

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The newly updated GDP – the GO – still won’t capture all of the US economy

Austrian school economist Mark Skousen has labored mightily for a quarter of a century to persuade the Bureau of Economic Analysis (BEA) to publish a better measure of economic activity in the United States, and, beginning in April, the BEA will start publishing the country’s

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White House Thanksgiving Day reminder: Let’s all be like Lucy

Last Tuesday the White House issued a Thanksgiving Day reminder: “The Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) helps millions of Americans put food on the table.” Then began a litany of statistics and charts along with explanations of how wonderful SNAP is, even getting in a dig at those selfish “House Republicans [who] would cause nearly 4 million Americans to lose access to SNAP next year.”

Harold Maass, writing at the liberal TheWeek.com blog, explained all the reasons why conservatives hate food stamps:

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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.