Why Higher Tax Rates Don’t Necessarily Mean More Revenue

Posted on April 22nd, 2015

TOP TAX RATES AND TOTAL RECEIPTS

By David Allen

One of President Obama’s major agenda items when he came into office was raising tax rates on the wealthy.

He succeeded: Through Obamacare and the 2013 fiscal cliff tax hikes, he raised rates on their wages, capital gain, and dividend income.

And while it’s true that revenues are likely higher today than they would’ve been had those hikes not occurred, the long-term picture isn’t as rosy. Historical evidence shows it’s probable that revenues will return to around the same level they were before the tax hike. Read More..

Avoiding Hillary Misery

Posted on April 13th, 2015

Hillary Ready for her LiesBy Alan Caruba

While we endure the daily lies of President Obama, do we really want to have another four to eight years more of Hillary Clinton’s? It’s not like we don’t have ample evidence of her indifference to the truth and that is not what America wants in a President, now or ever.

The office has already been degraded to a point where neither our allies nor our enemies trusts anything Obama says. Do we really want to continue a process that could utterly destroy our nation? Read More..

Ayatollah Khamenei Accuses White House of ‘Lying,’ Being ‘Deceptive,’ and Having ‘Devilish’ Intentions

Posted on April 10th, 2015

Khamenei 2000sEDITOR’S: COMMENT: Clearly, Ayatollah Khamenei is a leader whose statements cannot be trusted by the United States or by the western nations. But, it is rather amazing how quickly he recognized President Obama’s spin and disinformation tactics. He even labels some of Obama’s statements as ‘lies.’ He must have been watching Obama’s Obamacare promises and other efforts over the past six years, in order for him to so quickly grasp how President Obama actually operates. Amazingly, the mainstream media has still not noticed these tactics yet.

By Thomas Joscelyn

President Obama has long known that the real decision maker in Iran is Ayatollah Khamenei, the so-called supreme leader. While other Iranian officials have negotiated with Western powers over the mullahs’ nuclear program, Khamenei’s opinion is the only one that really counts. It is for this reason that Obama began writing directly to Khamenei early in his presidency.

Earlier today, Khamenei broke his silence on the supposed “framework” the Obama administration has been trumpeting as the basis for a nuclear accord. Khamenei’s speech pulled the rug out from underneath the administration.  Read More..

Can Obama Raise Your Taxes Without Congressional Approval?

Posted on April 8th, 2015

US President Barack Obama meets with Secretary of Defense Ashton Carter

By Kate Scanlon

The U.S. Constitution requires that tax bills originate in the House of Representatives. So could President Obama really impose a tax hike on Americans through executive action?

White House Press Secretary Josh Earnest said Monday that Obama is “very interested” in raising taxes without congressional approval, according to a report by Townhall.

Recently, Sen. Bernie Sanders, I-Vt., sent a letter to the president, advocating that the administration “act on its own” to close tax “loopholes.” Read More..

The IRS Scandal: No Justice from the Justice Department

Posted on April 7th, 2015

Lois Lerner Testifying Before US House Oversight Cmte in 2014By Jay Sekulow

I have said it before — the Obama administration’s Internal Revenue Service is institutionally incapable of self-correction. 

And, now it is even clearer that the Obama administration’s Department of Justice is incapable of holding accountable those responsible for a massive illegal targeting scheme. Even worse, its own involvement in the scandal not only means that it can’t properly investigate the IRS, it should instead be investigated for cooperating with the IRS in its campaign of censorship and oppression. Read More..

What Does Obama See in Susan Rice?

Posted on March 26th, 2015

Susan Rice, National security adviser, Obama,By Doris O’Brien

Susan Rice looks perennially like a deer caught in the headlights.  No matter what her appointed position happens to be in this administration – whether U.S. ambassador to the United Nations or national security advisor – she has assumed the unenviable role of acquiescent apologist, shoved into the spotlight at times of tension to explain this administration’s actions and to impugn the motives of anyone who questions them.

Despite her long and sometimes contentious government service, whose negotiating style has been described by some security council diplomats as “rude” and “blunt,” Susan Rice appears to be an easy enough supplicant for brow-beating into compliance by her present boss.  She might be compared to the clean-up guy who is handed a shovel and told to use it behind the equestrian unit in a parade.  So why would she agree to do this?

Susan Rice has followed the all too familiar path from Ivy League academic to government careerist, with an occasional respite at a think-tank – in her case, the Brookings Institute, where her mother has long held an important post.  As for the issues of American security, on which she is presumed to be an expert, she started grappling with them as a theoretical scholar on the battlefields of undergraduate term papers and doctoral theses.  Over her years of governmental involvement, Rice has been roundly criticized for some of her decisions, one of which was her insistence throughout the 1990s on America’s disengagement from Sudan, preventing our cooperation with Khartoum in sharing its intelligence about Osama bin Laden, who for many years directed his terrorist activities from that country.

Susan Rice has never been elected to political office, but she has held various important posts since the Clinton administration.  Over the surprising objections of the Congressional Black Caucus, who referred to her as part of “Washington’s assimilated black elite,” Rice was appointed in 1997 as Clinton’s assistant secretary of state for African affairs.  She is known to have had a running feud with the late influential Ambassador Richard Holbrook, who viewed her as incompetent.  This assessment, however failed to stymie her appointment as foreign policy advisor in John Kerry’s failed presidential campaign.

Rice’s public persona did not develop, however, until after the Benghazi cover-up, for which she was the administration’s designated spokesperson – or, as some might speculate, scapegoat.  Her subsequent nomination to succeed Hillary Clinton as secretary of state was withdrawn in anticipation of an unfavorable outcome.  That did not prevent the president from awarding his faithful crony an important place in his cabinet.

Throughout her career, Susan Rice has held positions of power at the behest of other, more powerful people.  As a result, she has grown beholden to lend a hand to the hand that feeds her.  And so Ms. Rice has become a mouthpiece for Obama in times of crises, albeit lacking any semblance of the eloquence this president is capable of (with the aid of a teleprompter).

Thus it was Susan Rice who dutifully made the rounds of the Sunday talk shows to “explain” what happened when four Americans, including our young Ambassador Christopher Stevens, were slaughtered, and our diplomatic compound torched.  Looking somber and sounding rehearsed to the point of ennui, Rice did not hesitate to do what she’d been told: blame it all on a “heinous and offensive” YouTube trailer that riled up Muslims around the world.  In an unrelated comment, she proclaimed that “we’ve decimated al-Qaeda.”

Rice wasn’t very convincing then, and she isn’t now in her latest bid to justify Obama’s displeasure with Benjamin Netanyahu for the latter’s recent visit to D.C. to address Congress.  But Susan’s rhetoric hardly smacked of the same punch as did Nancy Pelosi’s body language earlier on the floor of Congress, scowling at Bibi and then actually turning her back on him while others applauded.  Nor was Rice’s after-the-fact presence as telling as the absence of many Democrat congressmen, whose loyalties would appear to lie with the partisan protection of their president rather than with protecting of the principle of free speech.

Contrast this with the Obama administration’s encouragement, say, of illegal immigrants to freely rally and shout objections outside the Supreme Court when a crucial decision is under consideration.  Would that not tend to undermine deliberations?  So why, then, is it a breach of etiquette for the sitting prime minister of Israel – a country most in the crosshairs of Iran’s nuclear ambitions – to speak to the American people?  The answer is that it might jeopardize a pending “accord” with Iran much desired to assure Obama’s faltering legacy.  The victims of the Holocaust must be turning over in their graves.

But if Netanyahu was effective in using the power of the podium, Susan Rice seems incapable of doing the same.  Her problem may be that she cannot communicate with anyone other than her diplomatic buddies.  She comes before us only to make obscure statements, such as the presumption that a possible Iranian nuclear bomb is not as “existential” as other threats, whatever that means.

Now, once again as this administration’s messenger of choice, Rice has climbed onto her platitudinous high horse, this time to pontificate that Bibi’s appearance before Congress is “destructive of the fabric of the relationship” and is “injected with a degree of partisanship.”  Through all of these meaningless metaphors, her delivery falls flat, just as in defying direct eye contact, her eyes fall at inappropriate times to her carefully crafted notes.  Perhaps she has forgotten that her audience consists of the citizens of the United States, not of attendees at some highbrow conference.

Surely one might expect an administrative spokesperson to deliver talking points in terms that Americans understand and with a sense of enthusiasm worthy of our right to be informed.  If the great orator in the White House cannot take time off from his “green agenda” (i.e., golfing) to forcefully and lucidly explain his Iranian policies to the American people, at least he should tap for the assignment somebody less lacking in passion, confidence, and even grace.

There are plenty of speech coaches within the Beltway.  And Susan Rice’s husband, ABC news executive producer Ian Cameron, must know of others who could bring his wife up to snuff.  Still, I rather suspect that Susan Rice has no inkling as to her deficiencies as a communicator, surrounded as she is by those who wouldn’t know and likely wouldn’t care.

A career political servant like Rice is no threat to her narcissistic boss.  Still, as a public persuader, she has hardly served him well.  Even if President Obama does not deserve better, the American people do.   (my emphasis)

By Doris O’Brien for American Thinker

By permission American Thinker

www.americanthinker.com

http://www.americanthinker.com/articles/2015/03/what_does_obama_see_in_susan_rice.html#ixzz3TqbAuMQ

Study: Illegal Immigrant Parents under Obama’s Immigration Program Could Earn $1.3 Trillion in Government Benefits Over Lifetime

Posted on March 25th, 2015

WAIMH Red Arrow

EDITOR’S COMMENT: More ObamaBucks! This is simply transferring over $1 trillion of American citizens’ and taxpayer funds to illegal immigrants! When viewed this way, you can understand the full scope of this giveaway to future Democratic voters. One question: why aren’t the Republicans and others shouting from the rooftops about this huge transfer of wealth to non-Americans caused by President Obama’s executive actions?

By Josh Siegel

For the parents of U.S. citizens who benefit from President Obama’s executive actions on immigration, the value of cash welfare benefits they receive will be greater than the amount of money they pay out in new taxes, according to a study by a conservative researcher.

Robert Rector, a senior research fellow at The Heritage Foundation, presented the results of his study Tuesday in testimony before the House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform.

In the study, Rector focused specifically on a program Obama announced in November that would grant temporary deportation deferrals and work permits to illegal immigrant parents who have at least one U.S.-born child and have lived in this country for the last five years.

The program, known as DAPA, allows work authorization and protected deportation status for three years, but Rector assumes the program will last in perpetuity unless a future president decides to undo it.

Based on that assumption, if 3.97 million illegal immigrant parents earn legal protection, as Rector estimates, they will earn about $1.3 trillion in Social Security and Medicare payments over their lifetime, he says.

They also immediately are eligible for two cash welfare programs: the earned income tax credit and the additional child tax credit, and can retroactively apply for those benefits for the last three years. Together, Rector reports, the two tax credits can provide up to $7,460 in cash benefits each year for a lower-income family with two children.

Rector calculates the $7.8 billion in total tax credit cash payments to DAPA recipients per year is greater than what newly “on the books” working immigrant parents would pay in taxes.

Assuming about half of the DAPA eligible population already formally works and pays taxes, the second half of that group who becomes “on the books” will add $7.2 billion per year in Social Security and federal income tax revenues.

In addition, DAPA beneficiaries immediately receive Social Security numbers upon being accepted into the program.

They cannot get coverage under the Affordable Care Act, however. But Rector, in his research, assumes that the immigrant parents will stay here long enough—continuing to reapply for the program—to eventually earn health care benefits.

“I am costing out the program as if it continues operating forever,” Rector told The Daily Signal. And under that assumption, if we keep them here indefinitely, the idea that they would never get Obamacare, or Medicare, or Medicaid or other government benefits is just completely implausible. DAPA is just the tip of the iceberg.”

Obama’s immigration programs are on—at least—temporarily hold due to a federal court order.

Below are two other findings in Rector’s study:

  • The average DAPA eligible family already receives around $6,600 per year in welfare benefits prior to Obama’s executive action, including money from Medicaid and the Women, Infants and Children food program.
  • The cost of retroactive earned income tax credit and the additional child tax credit benefits from the last three years for those eligible for DAPA could be as much as $23.5 billion.         (my emphasis)

By Josh Siegel for The Daily Signal

By permission The Daily Signal

http://dailysignal.com

http://dailysignal.com/2015/03/18/study-qualifiers-of-obamas-immigration-program-will-earn-trillions-in-government-benefits-over-lifetimes/

Josh Siegel is the news editor for The Daily Signal.

The First-Class, Five-Star Rev

Posted on March 24th, 2015

Al Sharpton January 2015By Jillian Kay Melchior

Al Sharpton demands the best when he speaks at public colleges.

When he speaks at public colleges and universities, Al Sharpton flies first-class, stays in upscale hotels, travels to events in a chauffeured vehicle, and often brings a bodyguard or aide with him. He makes these demands on taxpayer-funded institutions, despite owing as much as $4.5 million in unpaid taxes and penalties. “In terms of travel, Rev. Sharpton travels first class on flights and will require a large black SUV for transportation and, if the trip requires lodging, he will require a suite in a four/five star hotel,” wrote Sharpton’s assistant, Abyssinia Tirfe, in an August 14, 2014, e-mail to Michigan State University (MSU) obtained by National Review. “Also, Rev. Sharpton travels with [an] aide who will require [an] economy ticket and a standard hotel room (if needed).”

… Such VIP accommodations aren’t typical for speakers on campus. OSU “had to put in special requests for the Black SUV, first-class ticket and a suite for Rev. Sharpton (oppose[d] to a room),” wrote Larry Williamson Jr., director of OSU’s Office of Diversity and Inclusion, in an e-mail to Sharpton’s assistant. “These are 3 exceptions that are not standard university requests.”

CSCC declined to comment on the appropriateness of VIP accommodations for a significant tax debtor. OSU’s spokesman, Gary Lewis, says the university requires speakers to fill out tax forms, reporting all payment to the government. “We do not check the tax liabilities of speakers as this is not our duty. . . . It is on the individual to ensure they are compliant to the law,” Lewis wrote in an e-mail.

That doesn’t stop him from taking honoraria from taxpayer-funded institutions, and getting them to foot the bill for his exacting taste in travel and accommodations.   (my emphasis)

READ all of Jillian Kay Melchior comments from National Review here.

The Clinton Foundation! They’ve Created the Ultimate Scam for Themselves

Posted on March 16th, 2015

Clinton Family

By Jay D. Homnick

Hillary Clinton came of age during the Burn-the-Bra era of the Sixties, but she did not adopt its disdain for foundations. Quite the contrary. Bill and Hill have created the master scam of our generation, ripping off individuals, institutions, corporations and even entire countries… and they call it a foundation! One thing is clear: the Clintons are engirdling the globe and the fat cats have to suck it up.

Truth is I was way ahead of the Man from Hope and the Queen of de Niles on this score. Decades ago I was advising wealthy friends to stop constructing all these elaborate trusts which line the pockets of lawyers and eventually breed various headaches. It makes much more sense to throw most of your wealth into a huge pot and call it a foundation. The law requires giving five percent of its assets to charitable causes each year. Stick to that number and if the endowment earns more than five percent, it is essentially turning a profit like a business. Nor is there ever an estate, as the structure holds fast for ensuing generations to pass through.

Put another way, you can run a hedge fund and call it a foundation.

The family funding the private foundation retains control over its officers and employees. In fact each family member can be listed as an officer in some capacity. You can then count all sorts of outlays, such as flying around in private planes and staying in upscale hotels, as foundation expenses. This enables you to shield a significant portion of their real income from taxes. If they are influential enough to attract outside donors, or to strong-arm them, pretty much every conversation you have with Bertie Wooster about polo in the Drones Club is foundation business.

Put another way, you can run a slush fund and call it a foundation.

Despite my anticipating the general idea of this “long con” on American society and the Internal Revenue Service, I could never have forecast all the ingenious embellishments of corruption the Clintons have devised. This genie is having way too good a time to ever go back into the bottle. Their operation would make Machiavelli blush. And Carlo Ponzi. And Mata Hari. It blows your mind and picks your pocket at the same time.

Here is the setup. You have an ex-President who wants to rake in loads of cash and exploit his fame and position to maximum profit. What to do? After all, when Ronald Reagan took two million dollars from Japan for a goodwill trip after leaving office, there were howls of outrage. Answer: take the millions but not for yourself… for the Presidential Library… and for the Foundation! Whenever Bill or Hillary speaks, the company or university hosting the address pays several hundred thousand dollars to (everyone together now)… the Foundation! No need to pay income tax because it is not income. No criticism for selfishness because this is the height of selflessness.

Additionally, every Clinton foot soldier from the campaigns and terms of office are employed at the Foundation. This means there is a full-time perpetual campaign in place, for whatever office or project Bill and Hillary seek next, and it is all being paid for under the guise of charity. If Bill is as nimble as he once was, he can keep a few mistresses on the payroll as well.

During the years Hillary was a Senator or a Presidential primary candidate or Secretary of State, her position facilitated the “fundraising” considerably. Individuals, companies, countries seeking her favor could deliver checks — above the campaign contribution limits — to the Foundation. To demonstrate just how crooked this all was, here is all you need to know: the chief fundraiser of Hillary’s campaign, a chap named Cheng, was given a job at the State Department — to be her advance man!

Think about it. Before each country could greet Secretary of State Clinton, they would first greet her chief fundraiser. Ya kiddin’ me?!

As for the efficacy of the Foundation’s charitable efforts, I offer two exhibits. In Exhibit A my 19-year-old daughter was attending college in Israel last year and her whole class was treated to an opulent dinner one night by one of the Dads. Amid the hubbub of girlish conversations down the long table, the host’s sharp ears picked out my daughter telling a friend the Clinton Initiative just spends money on conferences and symposiums “solving all the problems of the world” but does little to help actual people. The host berated her for saying that, averring that he and his company worked closely with the Foundation.

“Really?” my daughter asked, unfazed. “Doing what?”

“Increasing the use of electric cars.”

Exhibit B features real hard working neighborhood people I have witnessed working hard on refurbishing local public schools. When I inquire, it turns out they are all volunteers. So much like government itself, the Clinton machine is a behemoth NGO (non-governmental organization) where the only real help is offered by the sincere volunteers who wind up providing protective cover for the scam artists who do very little and spend very much.

Now we know the Foundation does triple and quadruple duty for the Clintons, including intelligence services and even secret email accounts. All this goodness rolled into one trick! As Hillary said earlier this week, there is convenience in using only one device….       (my emphasis)

By Jay D. Homnick for The American Spectator

By permission The American Spectator

http://spectator.org

http://spectator.org/articles/62046/founding-father%E2%80%A6-and-mother%E2%80%A6

Jay D. Homnick, commentator and humorist, is a frequent contributor to The American Spectator.

A President Who Can’t Get Any Respect From Friend or Foe

Posted on March 10th, 2015

Obama and Biden photo

By Andrew B. Wilson

Nothing new here,” said our president, in the spirit of a vain and testy ostrich, upset that someone who did not have his head buried in the sand had dared to contradict his view of the world.

Nancy Pelosi, the house minority leader, leapt to his defense following Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s speech to Congress on Tuesday. She shed great salty tears all through Netanyahu’s speech, or so she said — “saddened by the insult to the intelligence of the United States as part of the P5+1 nations, and saddened by the condescension toward our knowledge of the threat posed by Iran and our broader commitment to preventing a nuclear holocaust.” It is true this administration gets no respect — from Israel or from other nations, whether friend or foe. Why should it?

The Obama administration does many bad things. It snubs friends, kowtows to enemies, downplays the most horrific atrocities (saying they are no worse or different in kind than the crimes that Christians committed against Muslims a thousand or so years ago), and refuses to acknowledge the great threat to the United States and all of Western civilization posed by the growing appeal and rapid spread of the most virulent species of Islamic fundamentalism. And then the administration has the gall to say, as the president did in a recent interview:

The trajectory of this planet overall is one toward less violence, more tolerance, less strife, less poverty.

Sure it is. Even people directly reporting to the president had to be stunned by the ridiculousness of that glowing assessment.

In January of last year, Obama described the glorification of evil by a fanatical Islamist group then beginning to make rapid gains in Syria and Iraq — enslaving and raping women and beheading, crucifying, or burning alive anyone who stood in its way — as a minor threat to our way of life. He told the New Yorker: The analogy we use around here sometimes, and I think it is accurate, is if a jayvee team puts on Lakers uniforms that doesn’t make them Kobe Bryant.”

Now the jayvee team — also known as the Islamic State or ISIS — has amassed a territory greater in size than the United Kingdom, it has extended its reach into Pakistan and Afghanistan, and it is enjoying considerable success in recruiting new jihadists from around the globe, including Europe and the United States.

To stop the Islamic State from overrunning Baghdad and other parts of Iraq, the Obama administration has stooped to accepting help from Iran — the world’s leading supporter of terrorism over the past four decades — to fight the Islamic State.

In his address to Congress, Netanyahu was scathing in his implicit denunciation of Obama’s policies and the combination of conceits and willful misconceptions underlying those policies.

In one of the most striking passages in his speech, he pointed out:

Iran and ISIS are competing for the crown of militant Islam. One calls itself the Islamic Republic. The other calls itself the Islamic State. Both want to impose a militant Islamic empire first on the region and then on the entire world.

In this deadly game of thrones, there’s no place for America or for Israel, no peace for Christians, Jews or Muslims who don’t share their Islamist medieval creed, no rights for women, no freedom for anyone.

So when it comes to Iran and ISIS, the enemy of your enemy is your enemy.

“We must always remember,” Netanyahu went on to say, “the greatest danger facing our world is the marriage of militant Islam with nuclear weapons. To defeat ISIS and let Iran get nuclear weapons would be to win the battle, but lose the war. We can’t let that happen.”

According to Netanyahu, under the deal now nearing completion, “not a single nuclear facility would be demolished. Thousands of centrifuges used to enrich uranium would be left spinning. Thousands more would be temporarily disconnected, but not destroyed.”

The prime minister also pointed out that a deal that’s supposed to prevent nuclear proliferation instead spark a nuclear arms race in the most dangerous part of the planet.” He said:

This deal won’t be a farewell to arms. It would be a farewell to arms control. And the Middle East would be crisscrossed by nuclear tripwires. A regional where small skirmishes can trigger big wars would turn into a nuclear tinderbox.

If anyone thinks — if anyone thinks this deal kicks the can down the road, think again. When you get down that road, we’ll see a much more dangerous Iran, a Middle East littered with nuclear bombs and a countdown to a potential nuclear nightmare.

Is there “nothing new” in all of these views expressed by the Israeli prime minister? Maybe Mr. Obama doesn’t think so. On the other hand, his own views — going back in time when he was a first-term Senator from Illinois — have been remarkably resistant to change.

To quote from the lead paragraph of a front-page story (“Obama Envisions New Iran Approach’) in the New York Times on Oct. 31, 2007:

Senator Barack Obama says he would “engage in aggressive personal diplomacy” with Iran if elected president and would offer economic inducements and a possible promise not to seek “regime change” if Iran stopped meddling in Iraq and cooperated on terrorism and nuclear issue.

Lo and behold, he lived up to every word of that with two exceptions. One is that he now happy to have Iran sending the Revolutionary Guard into Iraq. And the second is that he led the way in insisting upon “decoupling” the nuclear talks from the issue of Iran’s ongoing support for terrorism.

All praise to Benjamin Netanyahu for doing his best to alter the trajectory of change in today’s world before it is too late for Israel, the U.S., and the entire world.     (my emphasis)

By Andrew B. Wilson for The American Spectator

By permission The American Spectator

http://spectator.org

http://spectator.org/articles/61974/president-who-can%E2%80%99t-get-any-respect

Andrew B. Wilson, a frequent contributor to The American Spectator and a former foreign correspondent, writes from St. Louis. Andrew B. Wilson, a frequent contributor to The American Spectator and a former foreign correspondent, writes from St. Louis.

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