Archive from April, 2009
2 Apr
2009
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Tedisco Race: Hold Your Breath

Results of the special election for the 20th Congressional District: Too close to call.

The margin has been pegged at 25 votes with the advantage going to Democrat Scott Murphy.

So now we wait for the absentee votes to be counted on April 13.

Stay tuned…

2 Apr
2009
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Tax Cheats in the Administration, Again

Seriously, how many times do we have to go through this?

Now Health and Human Services nominee Kathleen Sebelius has had to admit to errors in her tax filings and pay $7,000 in back taxes.

If the White House had any shame, they would dump her. If the media wasn’t in bed with the White House, they’d make a big deal about this. Pathetic is the only word I can think of short of resorting to foul language to describe this situation.

2 Apr
2009
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The Alternative to Spending Our Lives Away

Speaker Nancy Pelosi says that the Republicans have no alternative to the liberal policy prescriptions of higher taxes and crushing debt. That is not true. It’s just that Pelosi won’t allow their ideas to see the light of day.

Rep. Paul Ryan, ranking member of the House Budget Committee, offers just the alternative that we need to prevent wholesale collapse of the American economy at the hands of the liberals.

If the Democrats were truly confident that what they have to offer is a better plan, they would be willing to debate this issue on the merits.

2 Apr
2009
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The New GM – Goverment Motors

This is a sneak peek at the April 3, 2009 Friday Digest available at The Patriot Post:

President Obama took the unprecedented and highly dangerous step this week to get intimately involved in the private sector by forcing out General Motors CEO Rick Wagoner and giving Chrysler 30 days to merge with Italian automaker Fiat or face bankruptcy.

The move came after the federal government decided that the restructuring plans proposed by both embattled automobile companies did not go far enough to guarantee their continued viability. GM is now in the hands of COO Frederick Henderson and a leadership team that will be ultimately crafted by the White House. GM will receive financial support from the government for 60 days, during which time, Obama noted, “My team will be working closely with GM to produce a better business plan.”
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How is it possible that a federal government that is piling up an $11 trillion deficit is capable of making the right decisions for GM? We’re talking about an auto company that reached its nadir in large part because it could not meet enhanced government fuel efficiency standards or the excessive demands of a labor union that walks hand-in-hand with the current administration and the liberal Congress. On the surface, Wagoner’s forced exit was a trade to ensure that the company would continue to receive taxpayer funds, but at heart it was clearly a sacrifice at the altar of the socialists. Now that the government has its hooks in GM, it can force the company to produce cars that meet the excessive environmental and energy standards of the liberal crowd, in other words, cars that are impractical that no one will buy.

A similar situation took place with Chrysler. Why of all companies was Fiat picked to be the majority stakeholder for the smallest of the so-called Big Three automakers? Fiat is famous for making lightweight fuel efficient vehicles that are all the rage in Europe. They don’t sell that well in America because they are so flimsy they are dangerous. If the design sense that made Fiat famous abroad and infamous here at home is applied to Chrysler, then the company might better be allowed to slip into bankruptcy, which may happen anyway if it can’t craft a deal with the cardboard car company from Italy in 30 days.

Obama said, “The United States government has no interest or intention of running GM.” Yet, that is exactly what he has in mind. And you can bet that this little experiment in socialism won’t end with the auto industry as long as the inmates are running the asylum in the Swamp.

2 Apr
2009
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Bygones are Bygones

From today’s Washington Post: U.S. Seeks to Drop Case Against Former Sen. Stevens

1 Apr
2009
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President Obama’s War On Charity

First, LBJ had the “War on Poverty,” then Reagan launched the “War on Drugs,” now President Obama has come up with the “War on Charity”?

Yes, President Obama wants to tax charitable contributions for households making more than $250,000 a year. His hope is that the government will earn $11 billion in additional revenue from this plan

This is not shocking since President Obama believes that government is the answer to all societal ills, rather than contributions from private citizens and organizations. However, I have a lot more faith in churches and non-profits in providing social services, then the federal government who has run up a massive deficit and bankrupted social security with our tax dollars. But the president is just concerned with growing government and not improving the lives of less fortunate among us.
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It is clear that President Obama wants to continue his attack against the wealthy in America, by punishing them for their success, and therefore not allowing them to use their assets to help others.

Martin Feldstein in the Washington Post gives a perfect example why taxing the charitable contributions of the wealthy is bad idea:

The administration’s plan would limit the amount that high-income individuals could deduct to 28 percent of their gifts, down from 35 percent, even though their incomes would still be taxed at a higher marginal rate. This raises the cost per dollar of giving from 65 cents to 72 cents, an increase of 10.8 percent that can be expected to reduce the total giving of these donors by about 10 percent.

What would this mean in practice? Suppose someone would give $10,000 to a university if that amount were deductible at 35 percent. That deduction would reduce the individual’s tax bill by $3,500. Limiting the deduction to 28 percent would lower the individual’s tax saving on a $10,000 gift to $2,800.

This is where things get interesting: If the 10 percent increase in the cost of giving caused the person to reduce his gift by 10 percent, to $9,000, his tax savings would be 28 percent of $9,000, or $2,520. The government’s revenue loss would be reduced by $980 (from $3,500 to $2,520). The person’s gift to the university would be reduced by $1,000, almost the same amount. Since this high-income person would pay $980 more in taxes but give away $1,000 less, he would end up with an extra $20 for personal consumption.

1 Apr
2009
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No to Yucca Mt. Means No to Nuclear Power

In all of President Obama’s grand statements about creating solutions for America’s energy issues, not once has he even mentioned nuclear power as an option for powering our growing urban centers. His decision to cut funding for the development of the nuclear waste repository at Yucca Mountain is a sign that he has no intention of supporting the expansion of nuclear power.

Think about it. The government will not grant permits for the construction of more nuclear plants if it cannot find a place to store the waste we have already created and stockpiled all over the country.

Maybe Obama is just kicking the can down the road so that he doesn’t have to deal with the highly politicized issue. But in the last 20 years, the federal government has spent $7 billion of taxpayer money to develop the facility. Whatever Obama’s reasons for refuting all things nuclear, we deserve an answer as to how our government plans to account for all that wasted cash.