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: VAT

How Do Liberal Republicans Keep Their Pledges? They Don’t!

Honest Abe

Honest Abe (Photo credit: jeff_golden)

In a public display of candor that illustrates their moral incapacity, some well-known Republicans are now breaking their promise made to taxpayers when they signed Grover Norquist’s Taxpayer Protection Pledge.

First was Georgia Senator Saxby Chambliss. According to Wikipedia, Chambliss is a “conservative,” having been blessed by the Washington Post as one of the “gang of six” trying to craft some kind of way around the fiscal cliff impasse. When in doubt, I check the man’s Freedom Index rating (FI) to see how closely their actual voting record hews to the limits of the Constitution. With Chambliss, it appears to be: not very often, with a paltry rating of just 69. Translation, one-third of his votes are unconstitutional.

Next on the list of pledge-breakers is Lindsey Graham, senior Senator from South Carolina. His FI rating is scarcely better than Chambliss’, at 73. Then comes John McCain, senior Senator from Arizona, the ultimate establishment conservative, with a FI rating of 78. Finally, House member Peter King, from the 3rd Congressional District of New York, with a FI rating of a dismal 62. That’s awfully close to a

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Spanish Theater Owner Starts “Carrot Rebellion” to Protest Tax Increase

Mean carrot

Mean carrot (Photo credit: Pepino1976)

When Spain’s new Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy violated his campaign promise not to increase the top Value-Added-Tax (VAT) rate and instead increased it to 21% last summer, Quim Marce knew he was in trouble. His little 300-seat theater in the village of Bescano had been forced to charge a VAT of 8% on each ticket, and the new rate would keep his customers away. With unemployment at 25% in Bescano, he knew that his very livelihood was threatened. He told National Public Radio (NPR) reporter Lauren Frayer:

This is the end of our theater…we’ve got to do something so we don’t pay this 21 percent, and we pay something more fair.

Frayer exercised some literary license, no doubt, and explained that while gazing out a window one day, Marce got an idea: sell carrots which are only taxed at 4 percent as a staple and give away free admissions to his shows:

We sell one carrot, which costs 13 euros – very expensive for a carrot [$16.50!]. But then we give away admission to our shows for free.

So we end up paying 4 percent [VAT] on the carrot, rather than 21 percent, which is the government’s new tax rate for theater tickets.

Now Marce is getting national notoriety, and his theater is

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Romney’s Pie Crust Promises

Brent Baker – Gregory Pushes Romney to ‘Cut a Deal with Democrats that Would Cause Conservatives to Revolt’

GREGORY: But are you going to, will you cut a deal to compromise even if it risks a conservative revolt?

ROMNEY: There’s nothing wrong with the term compromise but there is something very wrong with the term abandoning one’s principles. And I’m standing by my principles and that is, I am not going to raise taxes on the American people. The problem in our country is not that we’re not paying enough taxes, it is that we are spending too much money and the economy is not growing as it could and should…

Little drops of poison

A drop in the bucket. (Photo credit: Pranav Singh)

I’m already in revolt against Romney. I find him revolting. And I find his “promise” that he will not abandon his principles offensive. As I just wrote, he is already abandoning whatever principles he has (a la repealing Obamacare).

This is plain political pandering, in my opinion. The man will say whatever he thinks he needs to say to continue to deceive conservatives who are looking for a savior to rescue us from Obama.

For his part, Gregory, on Meet the Press, also has his agenda: trying to get Romney to say something eye-catching that will improve his ratings. So everyone has an agenda here.

Of course the government is spending too much money. But whatever Romney has in his plan – Gregory cut him off before he could go into it in any detail – it won’t be enough. No one is talking about the elephant in the living room: the $222 trillion in debts that the government has run up. The paltry demand to cut government spending by a few trillions over the next decade reminds me of the following interchange between W. C. Fields, a known alcoholic, and a friend:

Friend:  Guess what, WC – I drink a quart of whisky every day. What do you think about that?

WC: Why, hell, I spill that much!

That’s what I think of Romney/Ryan’s “plan” to cut government spending – just drops of whisky in the vast vat of government spending.

Reagan Budget Director Blasts Paul Ryan Budget

David Stockman

David Stockman (Photo credit: The Aspen Institute)

Calling potential Republican vice-presidential candidate Paul Ryan’s “Path to Prosperity” budget plan a “fairy tale,” David Stockman, President Ronald Reagan’s budget director from 1981 to 1985, took Ryan’s plan to task for not recognizing reality and for leaving behind the legacy of the GOP’s glory days when it reveled in touting small government.

Stockman said that Ryan’s plan to give tax cuts to “job creators” will do nothing to help create jobs, but instead will only put additional pressure on the middle class to come up with more revenues to fund the yawning federal deficit. Stockman conjured the images of “the true conservatives of modern times” like Herbert Hoover and Dwight Eisenhower who, if they were here, would decry the present GOP’s infatuation with what he calls “neoconservative imperialism” and the spending that goes along with it.

Ryan’s plan to push more of the Medicaid responsibility back onto the states through a voucher system is “hypocrisy,” according to Stockman, and merely postpones the reality of

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IMF Wants US Debt Ceiling Raised Immediately

2011MDPresser_Lipsky

Image by International Monetary Fund via Flickr

The June 20th report of the International Monetary Fund (IMF) to the United States strongly recommended that the debt ceiling be raised because “if the debt ceiling is not raised soon…[it] would have significant global repercussions, given the central role of U. S. Treasury bonds in world markets. ” In announcing the report, John Lipsky (picture, right), acting managing director for the IMF, said:

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Government Uses “Blunt Instrument” to Extract Taxes

Image representing U.S. Small Business Adminis...

Image via CrunchBase

Rep. Rick Mulvaney (R-S.C.), chairman of the Small Business Subcommittee on Contracting and Workforce, told the Washington Business Journal last week that “instead of rewarding those small businesses that choose to compete and win contracts, the government essentially pre-accuses them of cheating on their taxes and withholds 3 percent of all payments. This is flat-out wrong and this burdensome requirement should be repealed.”

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The Economy Also Weakens Obama’s Reelection Hopes

Obama leaves the stage

Image by rob.rudloff via Flickr

The trickle of bad news about the economy has turned into a torrent, and is now threatening Barack Obama’s chances at reelection. On Wednesday the Institute for Supply Management issued its manufacturing index, which was expected to rise. Instead, it fell, to 53.5, perilously close to the edge of recession in manufacturing. John Silva, an economist at Wells Fargo, was blunt:

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Greek Austerity, Privatization Programs Won’t Be Enough

George Papandreou

Image by Parti socialiste via Flickr

In its efforts to avoid restructuring (i.e., defaulting on) its debt, Greece announced the sale of some of its assets to raise funds and to satisfy the austerity requirements imposed on the country last March. It is trying to raise $70 billion by 2015. Its efforts won’t be nearly enough.

For sale is the country’s 1/6th interest in OTE, Europe’s largest telecom company, its one-third interest in the Post Savings Bank, all of its interest in the country’s two largest port operators. It will also reduce its ownership shares significantly in

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Study: VAT Will Cost More Jobs, Reduce Living Standards

The VAT cometh

Image by wstera2 via Flickr

Time is running out on the Obama administration to pass a value-added tax: The mid-term elections are two weeks away with Democrats anticipating heavy losses, the lame-duck session is due to start on November 15, President Obama’s National Commission on Fiscal Responsibility and Reform publishes its report on December 1, and Congress already faces a long list of “must-pass” legislation. A just-released study about the negative impacts of a VAT isn’t going to help.

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Translating Bernanke-Speak About the Great Recession

WASHINGTON - DECEMBER 07:  Federal Reserve Ban...

Image by Getty Images via @daylife

When Fed Chairman Ben Bernanke says the country is in trouble, many aren’t listening, partly because the media wasn’t there reporting on it, and partly because those listening can’t understand what he’s saying. Speaking at the Annual Meeting of the Rhode Island Public Expenditure Council on Monday, the best he could do was “There is no way around it—meeting these challenges will require…the public to make some very difficult decisions and to accept some sacrifices.”

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Ryan’s Roadmap II

WASHINGTON, DC - FEBRUARY 15:  Chairman Paul R...

Image by Getty Images via @daylife

The first time Rep. Paul Ryan (R-Wisc.) offered his “Roadmap for America’s Future” to the House of Representatives, it failed by 137-293, with 38 Republicans voting against, including Rep. Ron Paul (R-Texas). With his own district safe in the fall elections, Ryan has been spending his time generating support for Roadmap II with presentations to conservative think tanks and coffee klatches.

And he seems to be gaining some traction along with a lot of fresh attention.

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47 Percent Pay No Taxes? Actually, No.

Seal of the Internal Revenue Service

Image via Wikipedia

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

Image via Wikipedia

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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Geithner: No Double Dip

Timothy Geithner at the United States Departme...

Image via Wikipedia

When he appeared on ABC News‘s This Week on February 7, U.S. Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner was quizzed about the risk of the United States losing its triple-A credit rating, the chances that foreign investors might start shunning US debt, and whether the economy would suffer a double dip recession.

Last week the credit rating agency Moody’s warned that weak economic growth and increasing debt burdens could “put pressure on the country’s triple-A status.”  When asked to respond, Geithner said, “Absolutely not. That will never happen to this country.”  One remembers the speaker’s rule to be very careful about using absolutes, such as “absolutely”, and “never happen.”  History books are filled with examples of events that could “absolutely never happen.”

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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.
Copyright © 2018 Bob Adelmann