News for social, fiscal & national security conservatives who believe in God, family & the USA. Upholding the rights granted by God & guaranteed by the U.S. Constitution, traditional family values, "republican" principles / ideals, transparent & limited government, free markets, liberty & individual freedom. All content approval rests with the ARRA News Service Editor. Opinions are those of the authors. While varied positions are reported, beliefs & principles remain fixed. No revenue is generated for this site - no paid ads accepted - no payments for articles. Fair Use doctrine is posted & used. Editor/Founder: Bill Smith, Ph.D. [aka: OzarkGuru & 2010 AFP National Blogger of the Year] Follow @arra Contact: firstname.lastname@example.org (Pub. Since July, 2006)Home Page
One of the penalties for refusing to participate in politics
is that you end up being governed by your inferiors. -- Plato
Saturday, April 14, 2012
What? A New Executive order - Power Grab for Natural Gas
The order states, “While natural gas production is carried out by private firms, and States are the primary regulators of onshore oil and gas activities, the Federal Government has an important role to play by regulating oil and gas activities on public and Indian trust lands, encouraging greater use of natural gas in transportation, supporting research and development aimed at improving the safety of natural gas development and transportation activities, and setting sensible, cost-effective public health and environmental standards to implement Federal law and augment State safeguards.”
Because natural gas produced 25 percent of our energy in 2011, the federal government must control this source of energy in order to deliver on the promise of making gasoline prices rise to $10 per gallon, bankrupt the coal industry, and cause energy prices to skyrocket.
An interagency working group is tasked to “facilitate coordinated Administration policy efforts to support safe and responsible unconventional domestic natural gas development.” This working group bureaucracy will be chaired by the Director of the Domestic Policy Council and has several curious members that have no direct involvement with natural gas production:
the Department of Defense
the Department of the Interior
the Department of Agriculture
the Department of Commerce
the Department of Health and Human Services
the Department of Transportation
the Department of Energy
the Department of Homeland Security
the Environmental Protection Agency
the Council on Environmental Quality
the Office of Science and Technology Policy
the Office of Management and Budget
the National Economic Council
The Chair may invite other agencies or offices to participate in the working group. The working group will “support [read control] the safe and responsible production of domestic unconventional natural gas by performing the following functions: coordinate agency policy activities, share scientific, environmental, technical and economic information, coordination with federal government in long-term planning, and “consult with other agencies as appropriate.”
The White House Blog explains this new bureaucracy as a step in eliminating “redundancy.” What is there redundant about each state controlling and exploring their natural gas? The federal government is concerned, since natural gas volumetric exploration in 2011 was so large, it eclipsed the all-time high production record of 1973, it must “ensure that we can successfully tap this critical resource for decades to come, we must develop it safely and responsibly.” Translation, we must control it and reduce its production so that our air and water are safe according to the EPA dictates. This is interesting because natural gas is one of the cleanest sources of energy.
The White House Blog continues, “At the same time, as the administration develops a framework for safe and responsible production that builds on steps already taken by states across the country, we must ensure that those efforts continue to happen in a coordinated way.”
There we have it; we cannot let states continue business as usual. We must interfere and impose federal power and control over the states. We cannot let cheap natural gas interfere with our plan for expensive alternative sources of energy. Fossil fuels and fracking are tampering with our power grab plans.
-------------- Dr. Ileana Johnson Paugh is a freelance writer (author, radio commentator, and speaker. Her book, “Echoes of Communism, is available at Amazon in paperback and Kindle. Her website: He Blog: ileanajohnson.com. He Blog: Romanian Conservative Tags:Ileana Johnson Paugh, Barack Obama, Executive Order, Friday 13, control, Natural GasTo share or post to your site, click on "Post Link". Please mention / link to the ARRA News Service. Thanks!
8 Million Illegals Taking Legal American Citizens Jobs
Bill Smith, Editor: Noting the The Washington Post, April 9 the editorial "Sensible improvements on immigration" does not mean that I agree with it. First, it appears to be trying to move people, specifically conservatives, into accepting a "back-door" amnesty program. The Post obviously was not concerned about unemployed Americans. Example, they overlooked one very big critical factoid: 8 million illegals taking legal American citizens jobs.
Where was their acknowledgement that 8 million illegal aliens are still in our workforce when 20 million Americans are unable to find full-time employment? Well that was not part of their agenda. And why didn't the Post demand to know why the House GOP leadership is not bringing the Legal Workforce Act (H.R. 2885) to the floor for a vote? H.R. 2885, The Legal Workforce Act, has 74 sponsors and the bill is being held up in the House Ways and Means Committee by its Chairman, Republican Rep. Dave Camp (MI-4th Dist). It has already been through the Full Judiciary Committee six months ago. H.R. 2885 bill is to amend the Immigration and Nationality Act to make mandatory and permanent requirements relating to use of an electronic employment eligibility verification system (EVerify), and for other purposes.
Congress returns to work on Monday, April 16. Readers may wish to contact the Chairman Rep. Dave Camp and encourage him to get this bill out of committee. This bill should have been a "slam dunk" bill. Illegals are taking away jobs that should only be available to legal citizens (20 million of them are jobless). Read more on the bill at Open Congress.
I sent Chairman Camp a few tweets but have yet received a reply.
Tweets From Dr. Bill - OzarkGuru @arra: April 12, 2012
@WaysandMeansGOP @RepDaveCamp Please hold hearing & vote on HR 2885. 7 M #illegals in non-ag jobs. 20 M Americans need job. Do the math!
@WaysandMeansGOP When will there be a hearing on HR 2885? #EVerify would open jobs held by #illegals to millions of unemployed Americans
April 10, 2012
@RepDaveCamp Please stop blocking HR 2885, which will stop ID theft # help unemployed Americans find work. #everify #4jobs #illegals #tcot
@RepDaveCamp a TV ad says you are blocking #EVerify. 20 M Americans can't find full-time job & U protect #illegals ? #smh #tcot #sgp
@RepDaveCamp Why R U blocking #EVerify? Not only combats ID theft, but also puts Americans back to work? Stop protecting #illegals #tcot
@RepDaveCamp saw a TV ad that says U R blocking #EVerify legislation. Stop blocking HR 2885 which will put Americans back to work #4Jobs Tags:unemployed Americans, no jobs, illegal aliens in the work force, HR 2885, e-verifyTo share or post to your site, click on "Post Link". Please mention / link to the ARRA News Service. Thanks!
Gary Bauer, Contributing Author: Today is Friday the 13th and this is the last scary weekend before Tax Day, a day millions of Americans dread. With taxes front and center over the next few days, I thought this would be a good time to address them.
Taxes are already a big issue, thanks to Obama's proposed Buffett rule. How much should people pay? What is fair? What is necessary? How much government can we afford? These important questions are debated every four years. For some liberals, the 30% Buffett rule is just a minimum starting point. Robert Reich thinks tax rates should go up to at least 50% and perhaps as much as 70%!
But the issue will only get bigger as we approach the Election Day because your tax bill is set to explode like a time bomb. On January 1, 2013 the Bush tax cuts automatically expire, and the impact of this "tax bomb" will be devastating to many families.
Many liberal Democrats want all of the Bush tax cuts to expire. They are furious that Obama, under pressure from congressional Republicans, renewed them for two years at the end of 2010, even though we were in the middle of the Great Recession. We're still not out of the woods yet, and most economists aren't predicting stronger growth until 2014 or later.
But given Obama's unwillingness to cut spending, evidenced by his trillion-dollar deficits each and every year of his administration, he will be under enormous pressure from his party not to compromise again and simply let these massive tax hikes take effect.
Should Obama be reelected -- (insert scream here) -- he will be free of any fear of a ballot box backlash. In short, the best way to prevent a massive tax hike on January 1, 2013, is to defeat Barack Obama and elect a conservative majority to the United States Senate on November 6, 2012.
So how will this impact you? Here are some important facts to keep in mind as you and friends debate the 2012 elections. If the Bush tax cuts are allowed to expire:
The bottom 10% tax bracket would go up to 15%.
The 25% tax rate would go up to 28%.
The 28% rate would go up to 31%.
The 33% rate would go up to 36%.
The 35% rate would go up to 39.6%.
The per child tax credit would be cut in half from $1,000 to $500. This would hit working families especially hard.
The capital gains tax would increase from 15% to 20%.
On top of this would be another 3.8% increase as part of ObamaCare tax hikes.
The tax on dividends would go from 15% to ordinary wage rates, perhaps as high as 39.6%.
The "marriage penalty" would return.
The death tax, currently 35% with a $5 million exemption, would jump to 55% with only a $1 million exemption.
According to the Heritage Foundation, if the Bush tax cuts are allowed to expire in 2013, taxes will go up nearly $500 billion. That's $500 billion sucked out of the private economy so Obama can "invest" in wasteful boondoggles like Solyndra. But that's not all.
Remember Nancy Pelosi's infamous quip, "We'll have to pass [ObamaCare] so you can find out what's in it?" Well, if ObamaCare remains in effect, there is an additional $500 billion in new taxes baked in there too!
You don't have to be an Ivy League economist to predict the impact these massive tax increases would have on the economy. (In fact, it's probably better if you're not. The American people have more common sense than most of our over-educated economists!)
I suspect you have many friends who really don't care about politics and don't even bother to vote. Share this report with them. Politics affects everything, including our standard of living through how much of our hard-earned money big government takes away in each paycheck. And Barack Obama wants to take even more.
Of course he'll say he only wants to take it from rich guys like Warren Buffett. But Buffett is not rich enough and there simply are not enough Warren Buffetts out there to pay for all the spending Obama and his liberal socialist allies are demanding. Watch this video, "Eat The Rich" to see for yourself. Eventually, the tax man will come for you.
------------- Gary Bauer is is a conservative family values advocate and serves as president of American Values and chairman of the Campaign for Working Families. Tags:Gary Bauer, Campaign for Working Families, Taxes, April 15, Barack Obama, Democrats, Tax Man Cometh, RNC video Soak the rick, tax the rich, income redistribution, social benefits, US is broke, spending, Federal spending, government spending, Obama spending, more taxes, new taxes, embedded taxesTo share or post to your site, click on "Post Link". Please mention / link to the ARRA News Service. Thanks!
Tags:War on Mom, guns and roses, guns & Rosen, Hilary Rosen, War on Moms, AF Branco, political cartoonTo share or post to your site, click on "Post Link". Please mention / link to the ARRA News Service. Thanks!
Krauthammer: Obama's Use Of The Buffett Rule Is An Exercise In Misdirection - A Dereliction Of Duty
Dereliction of duty: Failure, through negligence or obstinacy, to perform a legal or moral duty to a reasonable expectation. In actuality, dereliction of duty is a specific offense under military law.
In a must-read column today, Charles Krauthammer lays out just why President Obama’s Buffett Tax proposal that the Senate will be voting on on Monday is both unserious and gimmicky.
“Let’s do the math,” Krauthammer writes. “The Joint Committee on Taxation estimates this new tax would yield between $4 billion and $5 billion a year. If we collect the Buffett tax for the next 250 years — a span longer than the life of this republic — it would not cover the Obama deficit for 2011 alone. As an approach to our mountain of debt, the Buffett Rule is a farce.”
Further, he explains, “It’s a substitute for tax reform, an evasion of tax reform. In three years, Obama hasn’t touched tax (or, for that matter, entitlement) reform, and clearly has no intention to. The Buffett Rule is nothing but a form of redistributionism that has vanishingly little to do with debt reduction and everything to do with reelection.” Krauthammer notes, “It perfectly pits the 99 percent against the 1 percent. Indeed, it is OWS translated into legislation, something the actual occupiers never had the wit to come up with.
Clever politics, but in terms of economics, it’s worse than useless.”
Yesterday’s Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel elaborated on Krauthammer’s point: “The Buffett Rule would raise less than $50 billion over 10 years - a drop in the bucket that would do little to solve the nation's long-term problem with red ink. And targeting taxpayers who make most of their income from investments, as the Buffett Rule appears to do, risks discouraging investment at a time when such money flows are critical to providing capital to growing companies that create jobs. On the contrary, the government ought to be encouraging investment: It's how businesses grow and jobs are created. For individuals, investing is the path to economic security. And there is this little matter: The money invested already has been taxed once before at the marginal rates. The Buffett Rule also would make the tax code more complicated.”
Meanwhile, National Journal reports today, “President Obama earned $789,674 in 2011, the White House announced on Friday. However, with this income, he does not even qualify for the so-called Buffett Rule that he has promoted relentlessly and the Senate will take up on Monday.”
As Krauthammer concludes, “The [Buffett Tax] enterprise is an exercise in misdirection — a distraction not just from Obama’s dismal record on growth and unemploymentbut,more important, from his dereliction of dutyin failing to this day to address the utterly predictable and devastating debt crisis ahead.” Tags:Charles Krauthammer, Barack Obama, The Buffett Rule, Exercise In Misdirection, Dereliction Of DutyTo share or post to your site, click on "Post Link". Please mention / link to the ARRA News Service. Thanks!
FairTaxNation - The American people demand bold solutions. Congressman Rob Woodall’s (R-GA) bill, H.R. 25, The FairTax, is one of the boldest tax reform bills in Congress. This Tuesday, April 17, Congressman Rob Woodall, along with several H.R. 25 co-sponsors, the President of the National Small Business Association, and the President of the National Taxpayers Union, will host a press conference in front of the U.S. Capitol. Participants in the press conference will voice their support for fundamental tax reform, and call upon the American people to do their part in urging their Representatives in Congress to support the kind of tax code overhaul that the FairTax offers.
Participants will include:
Rep. Kevin Brady (R-TX)
Rep. Ander Crenshaw (R-FL)
Rep. Blake Farenthold (R-TX)
Rep. Phil Gingrey (R-GA)
Rep. Steve King (R-IA)
Rep. Rich Nugent (R-FL)
Rep. Tom Price (R-GA)
Rep. Phil Roe (R-TN)
Rep. Marlin Stutzman (R-IN)
Rep. Rob Woodall (R-GA)
Todd McCracken, President, National Small Business Association
Duane Parde, President, National Taxpayers Union And there may be a surprise or two...
After the rally/conference in Washington, DC two years ago, FairTax nation held a meeting of the grassroots to discuss our concerns, ideas, and plans on the direction of the Fair Tax Grassroots. Well, it is time for another Town Hall to discuss where we have been, where we are, and where we need to go.
If you consider yourself to be on the front lines fighting for FairTax, consider attending this event. FairTax Nation want to partner with you to help shape the direction of our success in passing the FairTax Act HR 25.
Where:Bartlett Station Municipal Center
5868 Stage Road, Bartlett, TN 38134
Ph: 901-380-4771 Fax: (901) 385-6804
When: Saturday, April 14
Saturday April 14: 9:30 to 2:00 PM Fair Tax Grassroots Town Hall. The Town Hall for only for Fair Tax supporters.
Registration required to attend Town Hall go to:You can do this online Fair Taxers can also register at the event.
Registration fee:$25 includes lunch and covers cost of facilities
2:00 to 7:00 PM TPolicy & FTN building a grassroots organization -- open to the public
(TPolicy is a group of politically active FairTax Friendly conservative groups.)
Sunday April 15: 9:00 am Fair Tax Meet & Greet Join us at the Meet and Great for a cup of coffee And a No-Host complete breakfast With lots of good company and greatconversation Bob Evans Restaurant 8445 HIGHWAY 64 MEMPHIS , TN, 38133 (N. of I-4)
Phone: (901) 377-2591 MAP
Plenty of parting, of course. Breakfast Menu
Food purchased at your own expense
10:30 am Optional Fair Tax trip to Graceland
Leave the Meet & Greet in a Fair Tax caravan
30 minute drive through Memphis to Graceland.
Graceland's Ticket Office Or Prepurchase online
3765 Elvis Presley Blvd., Memphis, TN 38116. Graceland Parking - Fee for Parking
3717 Elvis Presley Blvd., Memphis, TN 38116.
Tours begin every 15 minutes.
Want to stay for lunch at Graceland? Several choices for dinning and shopping
For those not taking a tour there are two free exhibits Tags:Grassroots, FairTax, Town Hall, Memphis, TN, 2012, Fair TaxTo share or post to your site, click on "Post Link". Please mention / link to the ARRA News Service. Thanks!
Tags:government, IRS, taxes, April 15th, Evil Santa, Happy Tax Day, William Warren, political cartoonTo share or post to your site, click on "Post Link". Please mention / link to the ARRA News Service. Thanks!
Washington, DC ─ Today the Susan B. Anthony List (SBA List), a national pro-life organization, announced its endorsement of Mitt Romney for President.
“Now is the time to unite behind Governor Romney in order to defeat the most ideologically pro-abortion president in our nation’s history,” said Marjorie Dannenfelser, president of SBA List. “The SBA List is proud to endorse Governor Romney and plans to spend $10 to $12 million in senate and presidential battleground states mobilizing pro-life voters to ensure victory.”
“Women deserve a president who truly respects our views on an issue so central to womanhood,” continued Dannenfelser. “A President Romney will be that man. If there was murkiness during the last election over Barack Obama's extreme abortion position, absolute clarity exists now – and his abortion position is rejected by women young and old.”
"The difference between Governor Romney and President Obama couldn’t be clearer, which is why our Board of Directors voted unanimously to get behind him," said Jane Abraham, Chairman of the SBA List Board of Directors. “It is the responsibility of all pro-life voters to now unite behind Governor Romney. Together we can put a pro-life leader in the White House.”
Previously, Governor Mitt Romney has pledged to defund Planned Parenthood, restore the Mexico City Policy, support legislation to ban abortions based on fetal pain, and appoint only constitutionalist judges to the federal bench. Governor Romney has also committed to selecting a pro-life vice president.
Right-to-Life Movement Focused on Defeating Barack Obama in November
WASHINGTON – Determined to secure a pro-life victory in the November election, which will decide the fate of unborn children for decades to come, the National Right to Life Committee (NRLC), the federation of 50 state right-to-life affiliates and more than 3,000 local chapters, today endorsed Mitt Romney for President of the United States.
“On pro-life issues, Mitt Romney and Barack Obama provide a stark contrast. As the country's most pro-abortion president, Barack Obama has pursued a radical pro-abortion agenda,” said Carol Tobias, president of National Right to Life. “It is now time for pro-life Americans to unite behind Mitt Romney. For the sake of unborn children, the disabled, and the elderly, we must win.”
Mitt Romney has taken a strong pro-life position and is committed to implementing policies to protect the unborn, the medically dependent and disabled, and the elderly. Romney opposes abortion and has called the Supreme Court's Roe v. Wade decision, "a big mistake." Romney has expressed his support of the Hyde Amendment, which prohibits the use of federal funds to pay for abortion.
Romney has also stated he believes the Obama health care law should be repealed. The Obama health care law would open the door to federal subsidies for abortion coverage and rationing of lifesaving medical care. He has also stated that, if elected, he would reinstate the Mexico City Policy, which prevents federal dollars from going to organizations that perform or promote abortion overseas.
In comparison, since taking office in January 2009, President Obama has been an outspoken advocate for abortion and has unceasingly worked to expand funding of and access to abortion. He rescinded the Mexico City Policy, threatened to veto the entire federal spending bill – forcing a government shutdown – rather than accept a provision cutting funding to Planned Parenthood, the nation's largest abortion provider. Obama also threatened to veto the Protect Life Act, which would repeal the abortion-expanding provisions of his health care law, and the No Taxpayer Funding for Abortion Act, which would permanently prohibit any federal program from funding elective abortion.
Additionally, President Obama championed the so-called Affordable Care Act while opposing pro-life amendments in the Senate. As enacted, the law will result in federal funding of health plans that pay for elective abortion, and will lead to large-scale rationing of lifesaving medical treatments.
“We are extremely gratified that every candidate who has run for the Republican nomination for president took a pro-life position and kept the life issues at the forefront of the race,”Tobias added. “We look forward to Mitt Romney's election as our next pro-life president on November 6th.”
---------------------- Founded in 1968, the National Right to Life Committee (NRLC), the federation of 50 state right-to-life affiliates and more than 3,000 local chapters, is the nation's oldest and largest grassroots pro-life organization. Recognized as the flagship of the pro-life movement, NRLC works through legislation and education to protect innocent human life from abortion, infanticide, assisted suicide and euthanasia. Tags:National Right to Life Committee, NRLC, PAC, Right to Life, endorsement, Mitt Romney, For President, 2012 election, Susan B. Anthony List, SBA ListTo share or post to your site, click on "Post Link". Please mention / link to the ARRA News Service. Thanks!
President Obama is repeating himself not just on topics but using 'exactly the same' words. Admittedly, many speakers do give the same speech to different audiences but not to the same audiences unless they are a parent or a tyrant. But hardly any of them have full time speech writers and advisers paid for by you the taxpayers.
Either Mr. Obama is committed to the "same tired rhetoric," TOTUS, his teleprompter, is repeating itself (twilight zone), he thinks we are all unaware of his repeated commentary (on how bad America is) or is not convinced we are not paying attention to him! In viewing the following videos, note that Obama stumbles over the same words / phrases that he did a years ago. His words and actions make us pause and ask who is this guy, how did he become president, is he on meds, or what? For sure, he is wearing out his failed message with the American people. Surely, I don't wish to advise President Obama - surely he should absolutely continue on with those great speeches (;).
RNC Video: Obama's 2012 budget speech recycled the exact same scare tactics and words he used in 2011 - Same Tired Rhetoric!
Now check out the RNC video showing side-by-side comparisons of Obama's 2012to his former State of the Union speeches (has over 1 million views!) - Familiar Rhetoric, Failed Record!
Tags: President, Barack Obama, campaign, election 2012, speech, speeches, same words, comparison, side by side, tired rhetoric, Failing record, budget speech, State of Union Speech, 2010, 2011, 2012, RNC, videoTo share or post to your site, click on "Post Link". Please mention / link to the ARRA News Service. Thanks!
Obama Remains Under Fire For Buffet Tax: "Total Gimmickry," "A Cynical Ploy," "A Smoke Screen," "Class Warfare"
President Obama is taking more and more criticism over the gimmicky tax hike, the Buffett Tax, he’s been pushing all week. Of course, the tax would barely make a dent in the massive Obama deficits, will do absolutely nothing to help with high gas prices and certainly “won’t get you a job,” as a National Journal analysis piece declared. But today, more observers are calling out the president for how his Buffett Tax is far more politics than substance.
In a blistering column, The Washington Post’s Dana Milbank, certainly not someone considered a conservative flatly declares the Buffett Tax “a gimmick.” He writes, “President Obama admits it: His proposed ‘Buffett Rule’ tax on millionaires is a gimmick. ‘There are others who are saying: “Well, this is just a gimmick. Just taxing millionaires and billionaires, just imposing the Buffett Rule, won’t do enough to close the deficit,”’ Obama declared Wednesday. ‘Well, I agree.’ Actually, the gimmick was apparent even without the president’s acknowledgment. He gave his remarks in a room in the White House complex adorned with campaign-style photos of his factory tours. On stage with him were eight props: four millionaires, each paired with a middle-class assistant. . . . And if that’s not enough evidence of gimmickry, after his speech Obama’s reelection campaign unveiled an online tax calculator ‘to see how your tax rate stacks up against Mitt Romney’s — and then see what the Buffett Rule would do.’”
Appearing on MSNBC this morning, Politico’s Jim VandeHei didn’t mince words: “It's total gimmickry. It’s 1% of what you need to actually take care of the deficit. There’s a big danger for President Obama in that they become so insanely political in an insanely political culture. Almost everything they do now is … targeted at a very specific subset of voters that they want to win.”
The Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel editorializes today, “Obama's Buffett Rule is a political gimmick . . . . [T]he Buffett Rule is more likely to spawn a new generation of tax dodges than to usher in a new era of tax fairness. It is, in fact, nothing more than a smoke screen that obscures the possibility of real tax reform.”The New Hampshire Union Leader blasts the tax, calling it “a total sham” and writing, “The Buffett Rule is not about math or fairness or shared sacrifice. It is simply a cynical ploy . . . .”
Indeed, as Milbank writes, “The politics of the Buffett Rule — it has no chance of passing when the Senate takes it up next week — are so overt that Obama’s remarks Wednesday were virtually indistinguishable from a section of his campaign speech in Florida on Tuesday.”
Most of the comments point out that it’s particularly unfortunate that President Obama is pushing this tax hike as “a political gimmick” and “a cynical ploy” instead of taking up a serious tax reform. Milbank explains, “Three years into his presidency, Obama has not introduced a plan for comprehensive tax reform — arguably the most important vehicle for fixing the nation’s finances and boosting long-term economic growth.” VandeHei added, “He’s not offered tax reform when he could have offered tax reform. Did not offer budgets when he could’ve offered budgets.” And the Journal-Sentinel notes, “The Buffett Rule also would make the tax code more complicated. A better solution is a broad plan that would clean up the tax code by lowering rates for everyone and eliminating loopholes. . . . Obama has had several chances to show leadership on the tax issue, and, so far, has failed to do so.”
Gary Bauer, Campaign For Working Families noted that "Barack Obama's speech on the Buffett rule was typical of his more recent campaign speeches -- misleading, devoid of policy and little more than an anti-GOP tirade. Gone was the inspirational rhetoric about hope and change. Obama knows he can't play those cards again. So it's slash and burn, and he's back to blaming Bush. Buckle up -- it's going to be a rough ride!
"There's so much to expose, but I will limit myself to just one aspect of the president's remarks. Here's how Obama grossly distorted the Bush tax cuts:
"If we would just convert these investments that we're making throughout government in education, research and healthcare … into tax cuts, especially for the wealthy, then somehow the economy is going to grow stronger. That's the theory.
"Here is the news. We tried this for eight years before I took office. We tried it. It is not like we did not try it. At the beginning of the last decade, the wealthiest Americans got two huge tax cuts, in 2001 and 2003. … We were told the same thing we're being told now -- this is going to lead to faster job growth, it's going to lead to greater prosperity for everybody. Guess what? It didn't."
"Here are the facts that Obama hopes American voters don't learn.
What Obama calls "investments" is really big government spending. He wants more money for more bottomless pits like the failed solar boondoggle Solyndra because he thinks government knows how to allocate research money better than the free market. This is a fundamental difference between the socialist left and the free enterprise right.
Conservatives believe that when people are allowed to keep more of their own money, they will spend it more efficiently than big government. That's called the free market. Consumer spending creates jobs and prosperity. Liberals believe government is the fount from which all blessings flow.
All taxpayers benefited from the across-the-board Bush tax cuts -- not just the wealthy. In fact, Bush cut the bottom tax rate from 15% to 10%. He doubled the per child tax credit from $500 to $1,000. Many liberals want to repeal these tax cuts, which would result in a huge tax increase on low-income families.
Believe it or not, the 2007 deficit was $160 billion. That's a lot of money, but it is a pittance compared to what has happened since. Last year the deficit was $1,300 billion. Obama has added more to the national debt in three years than Bush did in eight. Yet the unemployment rate was lower when Bush left office in January 2009 than it is today after three years of Obama's "investments."
Obama is waging class warfare. He supports higher taxes while chanting "fairness." But already the top one percent of earners pays approximately 40% of all income taxes. The top 10% pays approximately 70% of all income taxes. And yet Obama insists the rich somehow are not paying "their fair share."
Obama can say all he wants about fairness, but as The Hill points out only 4% of likely voters think the top tax rate should be 40% or more, which is what Obama wants and what will likely happen if he is reelected in 209 days.
Note: Congress returns from recess on Monday, April 16th and the liberal Senators and Representatives will be ready to champion Obama's tax and spend plans. Tags:Barack Obama, Buffett Rule, millionaire's tax, higher taxes, more spin, more spending, more debt, more gimmicks, media responsesTo share or post to your site, click on "Post Link". Please mention / link to the ARRA News Service. Thanks!
Dr. Bill Smith, Editor: On Monday, I had the privilege of visiting by phone with Bill Wilson, the President of Americans for Limited Government (ALG). We discussed his planned future visit to Arkansas to interact with citizens and potential supporting efforts that could lead to a proposed "Taxpayer Bill of Rights" (TABOR). Below is a press release today by ALG.
April 11, 2012, Fairfax, VA — Americans for Limited Government (ALG), a non-partisan issue advocacy organization, today announced the launch of an exploratory program in Arkansas to determine the feasibility of taxpayer and property rights protection measures for future ballot consideration.
“We have been contacted by dozens of supporters throughout Arkansas asking that we (ALG) support efforts to expand taxpayer protections, enshrine real property rights guarantees and to end the practice of governments using tax money to lobby the public,” said Bill Wilson, ALG President. “After careful consideration, we have decided to investigate the feasibility of such ballot measures in future election cycles.”
Established in 2001, ALG has supported ballot initiatives that put in place the most far reaching property rights protections in the nation, advocated Taxpayer Bill of Rights, and measures to attack corruption in government and end the practice of using tax money to lobbying for more tax money.
Long-time Arkansas reformer and advocate Dr. Ron Bartles, PhD, is working with ALG to test the waters for these important reform measures. “It is my sincere hope that we find the strong citizen support in Arkansas that I believe exists for meaningful reforms and serious protections of our most fundamental rights,” said Dr. Bartles. “Americans for Limited Government has a strong track record of effective, aggressive action. When they get involved, things happen. So, I’m looking forward to working with them on this important project,” concluded Bartles.
“America is at a crossroads,” said Wilson. “Only if citizens in solid, conservative states like Arkansas step forward and take the hard actions necessary can we hope to turn the ship of state around before it is too late. Ron Bartles is a tremendous ally and we are proud to be working with him to establish an effective program for reform in Arkansas.”
Regular readers of ARRA News Service may have noted that I often quote the works and words of the Americans for Limited Government. I have found them to be a working ally in the conservative movement for limited and responsible government, a source of good information and research material, and very open to working with new media conservatives. I look forward to meeting Bill Wilson when he visits Arkansas. I also look forward to learning more from Dr. Ron Bartles on his perspective on needed reform measures in Arkansas.
Arkansas under the leadership of Lt Governor Mark Darr working with the legislature led to State Government implementing an online checkbook for state spending. This is commendable! However, it was only a first in a list many changes needed to protect the taxpayers of Arkansas who are called upon to fund the bills of an expanding Government. Arkansans are already paying too high a burden in taxes, fees, and regulatory costs across the board. Also, the growth of government combined on all levels including education has resulted in "government" being the major employer in Arkansas. The growth of government has spurred on the consumption of our tax dollars and has continued to imitate Washington with the growth of new rules, procedures and regulations and in finding more ways to spend more, to expand influence and thus to increase the burden on the people of Arkansas.
I encourage the Republicans, if they gain control of the Arkansas legislature after the 2012 elections, to not wait but include in their actions critical measures to reign in government spending and to indeed even become the advocates of a Taxpayers Bill of Rights.
And while on this point, it is also time for reform minded elected conservatives to lead in efforts to stop the numerous "traditions and practices" in Little Rock that are a carry-over of plantation politics and a burden to the Arkansas taxpayers. There are too many to list herein. But one general example is the tradition and practice of redistributing 50% the excess generated revenue (the surplus) to the Governor to dole out (spend and secure favors) and the remaining 50% going to members of the legislature to do the same thing but on a smaller level including buying votes back in their districts with "our money." I would suggest while making efforts to roll-back government, surpluses needs to be at a minimum restricted to a tightly controlled "rainy day" fund to address unfunded future liabilities. Then after a period of time, say four years as a discussion point, the surpluses need to be reduced by reducing the actual tax burden on those who pay the taxes and fees (be they individuals, businesses, corporations). Surpluses should not be redistributed to new or existing programs for those whom do not pay taxes and fees. Surpluses need to be eliminated. Start with banning the food tax which is nothing more than a plantation tax for the right of a person to exist in Arkansas.
We welcome Bill Wilson and others from Americans for Limited Government who will be making there way to the Natural State. We also appreciate other organizations like Americans for Prosperity who have aided us and numerous budding local and state think-tank organizations. The more resources "we the people" can muster to roll back local, county and state government especially in areas of fraud, waste, abusive spending and expansion of programs, the better we all will be.
Arkansas Tourism tells the world that Arkansas is a place for "fun affordable family vacations, romantic getaways." But let's dream on - it would be nice for Arkansas to be affordable for young families to live and to be able to work here in the Natural State. It would be nice if Arkansas joined its neighboring states in having no-income taxes. It would be nice for Arkansas to be friendly in attracting new corporations by having in place permanent lower corporate taxes and fees. Welcome to Arkansas ALG President Bill Wilson and all others willing to assist in making the Natural State more welcome not only to others but also to our own citizens. Tags:Arkansas, Bill Wilson, ALG, Americans For Limited Government, press release, Taxpayer Bill of Rights, plantation politics, traditions and practices, big government, Welcome to ArkansasTo share or post to your site, click on "Post Link". Please mention / link to the ARRA News Service. Thanks!
Once again, President Obama took time today to press for a tax hike, his “Buffett Tax,” instead of addressing unemployment, high gas prices, or even this country’s debt crisis. Of course, the Buffett Tax would do basically nothing to help solve any of these serious problems.
The White House itself has said that the Buffet Tax “was never our plan to bring the deficit down and get the debt under control” and according to The Hill today, “Sen. Chris Coons (D-Del.) on Wednesday acknowledged GOP criticisms that the Obama administration’s Buffett Rule ‘isn’t going to balance the budget,’ but argued that the proposal was important as a matter of ‘values’ and ‘fairness.’ ‘This is an issue about fairness,’ Coons said on MSNBC. ‘It isn’t going to balance the budget, but it is important for values and for showing some fairness.’”
"It will not create a single job. . . . "At a time when more than 27 million people cannot find full-time work — 4.6 million of whom have dropped out of the labor force since Obama took office because they've simply given up looking for work — raising taxes on capital creation is exactly the wrong prescription. The fact is we're talking about billions of dollars that could be reinvested in the economy by the private sector, creating tens of thousands of jobs. Instead, Obama wants to give it to the government so it can squander and waste it on more boondoggles. Is that fair to the American people struggling to get ahead in the Obama economy?"
And the National Journal wrote yesterday that “[i]f you’re an unemployed American . . . . you’ll realize the Buffett Rule has nothing to do with helping you, or 13 million other Americans looking for work as of March, find a job.”
Interestingly, the president was rather defensive about his tax proposal this morning. The AP notes, “President Barack Obama says his call for raising taxes on millionaires is not a redistribution of wealth . . . .” And Yahoo News writes, “President Barack Obama defended his ‘Buffett Rule’ proposal for higher taxes on the very rich Wednesday, denying it was a reelection campaign ‘gimmick’ that will do little to close the deficit or spur job growth.”
Of course, National Journal pegged the Buffett Tax yesterday, with an analysis piece concluding that it is in fact a political gimmick: “[I]t tells America’s job-seekers, don’t worry, we’re going to make the tax code look more fair to you. Lots of polls suggest that’s a good political argument. But that’s what it is: a political pitch.”
The American Enterprise Institute's Kevin Hassett told Bloomberg that the rule is “basically just a back-door way to hike taxes on capital.” When you raise taxes on capital, you will get less investment and job creation.
Morning Bell also addressed this issue in their excellent Buffett Rule 101. They noted, "So how can President Obama get away with saying that Warren Buffett pays lower tax rates than his secretary? Many wealthy Americans who have done well like Buffett receive dividends and capital gains — a form of investment income that is subject to multiple levels of tax. First, the investment income results from investment. This capital didn’t appear out of thin air. It was earned and taxed previously, often many times over at rates up to 35 percent. Then, once invested, it generates income that is taxed at the corporate level at a 35 percent rate, and then it’s taxed again at the individual level at a 15 percent rate on dividends and capital gains. The combined rate on corporate earnings alone is over 45 percent, and this is all after the first layer of tax. . . . Conveniently for him, President Obama only talks about the last level of tax, the 15 percent portion, leaving out the rest. . . . And all of this leaves out the final tax that many wealthy Americans [and the not so wealthy] pay — the death tax, which is set to return to its 55 percent level in 2013." Tags:President Obama, Buffett Tax, media reports, To share or post to your site, click on "Post Link". Please mention / link to the ARRA News Service. Thanks!
The Fiscal Consequences of the Affordable Care Act
Charles Blahous, Mercatus Center: The Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (ACA) signed into law by President Obama in 2010 will significantly worsen the federal government’s fiscal position relative to previous law. Supporters argued that this comprehensive health care reform would deliver a much-needed correction to the government’s unsustainable fiscal outlook and would benefit the country’s overall fiscal situation. However, between now and 2021, the ACA is expected to add as much as $530 billion to federal deficits while increasing spending by more than $1.15 trillion. Despite the fondest hopes from its supporters, the passage of the ACA unambiguously darkens a dim fiscal picture.
The federal government promised the health care law would finance two different activities-increasing Medicare solvency and extending health care coverage, but with only enough savings to pay for one. Thus, the ACA’s total new spending well exceeds its cost-savings provisions. In 2014, the benefits will kick in and as history shows, it is nearly impossible to take benefits away after they are given. To ensure the ACA does not worsen the federal fiscal outlook, fully two-thirds of the ACA’s new health-exchange subsidies must be repealed, or financing offsets must be found before 2014.
Again, the bill promised to find savings in the government's biggest health insurance program, Medicare, and use those savings to reduce the deficit. Second, the bill promised to expand health care coverage to uninsured Americans. Sounds pretty good, right? But how does the government propose to pay for both? Here's where the math becomes fuzzy. View the following video then look at the full research paper, brief summary, and chart that illustrate our research on the fiscal consequences and outlook of the health care law.
------------------- Dr. Charles Blahous is a senior research fellow at the Mercatus Center and public trustee for Medicare and Social Security. His primary research interests include retirement security, with an emphasis on Social Security and employer-provided defined benefit pensions, as well as federal fiscal policy, entitlements, demographic change, economic stimulus, financial market regulation, and health care reform. Tags:Charles Blahous, Mercatus Center, trustee, Medicare and Social Security, Fiscal Consequences, Affordable Care Act, ACA, Health Care, Health, Uninsured, Insurance, Medical, Medicare, Deficit SpendingTo share or post to your site, click on "Post Link". Please mention / link to the ARRA News Service. Thanks!
By Ken Blackwell, Contributing Author: America, with its constitutionally protected freedoms and entrepreneurial spirit, has generated prosperity at a level which is unique to the human experience.
However, if the mortgage crisis, student loan crisis, and the disastrous failure of green-energy firms have taught us anything, it is government has a unique ability to destroy that prosperity and ruin lives while sticking taxpayers with outrageous bills.
The latest example of big government insanity is the Export-Import Bank. First established in the mid-1930s to finance exports to the Soviet Union, it became its own government agency in 1945 and decided to stick around long after the fall of the Berlin Wall to provide corporate welfare and pick favorites among U.S. producers, with little accountability.
The Ex-Im Bank, which was established for a very narrow purpose and a small $5 million cap, is reaffirming the notion that New Deal-era bureaucracies are the nearest thing to eternal life. Today, it has expanded far beyond its charter and uses funds backed by the American people to give money to foreign companies which compete with American businesses.
While our country is $15 trillion in debt and has the highest corporate tax rate as of April 1, we are mortgaging our children’s futures to give money to politically connected multinational corporations who do not need our support.
To make matters worse, by subsidizing exports, Americans lose money which could otherwise be privately saved, invested, and spent on attractive imports. This process makes taxpayers poorer while simultaneously making American companies less profitable.
In the spirit of true bipartisanship, establishment Democrats and Republicans are both supporting the reauthorization of the Ex-Im Bank, which hopes to spend $160 billion on taxpayer money on projects which are apparently too risky for private investment capital.
General Electric, which in 2010 paid no corporate taxes after earning $150 billion in profit, was helped with over $1 billion in Ex-Im loans for that same year. Even after the Ex-Im bank banked more than $600 billion in loans to Enron and financed loan guarantees to foreign customers of Solyndra, the failed solar panel company which was at the heart of President Obama’s “green jobs” initiatives, bureaucrats want to keep the doors of this inherently corrupt Keynesian institution open.
The Ex-Im bank is not supposed to make loans to countries which are bad credit risks, but it does anyway. Also, Congress is supposed to conduct reviews on how the loans could hurt American jobs, but these audits rarely, if ever, take place.
Ex-Im bank often funds the purchase of airplanes by foreign carriers which compete with American firms. A vast majority of its efforts are with airplane manufacturers such as Boeing, which according to Timothy Carney of The Washington Examiner, shockingly accounted for 90% of Ex-Im’s loan guarantees in 2009.
The unfair competition, while good for Boeing, has been bad for airlines such as Delta, which was forced to stop a popular international route because it could not compete with a foreign airliner receiving Ex-Im subsidies.
It is a myth that government must run a bank to make up for a supposed market failure. If a company cannot find private funding sources, that should be a giant red flag as to why taxpayers should not be handing them money. And new, unconventional ways for risky ventures to raise capital, such as crowdfunding and micro-investing, are far more useful than anything government could develop.
Investment gimmicks subject to endless political pressure by central-planners are dubious and inherently inefficient ways to invest money. The unintended consequences of government-backed loans have been disastrous and continue to encourage companies to lobby Congress for special perks and privileges at your expense. This is a form of European-style socialism, and it is time to stop repeating failed policies.
Rick Satorium Surrenders Bid for White House At Gettysburg, PA
Today, Rick Santorum suspended his bid for the presidency. He held a press conference in Gettysburg, Pennsylvania and said, "We made a decision over the weekend that while this presidential race for us is over for me, and we will suspend our campaign effective today, we are not done fighting."
Early Tuesday morning, the campaign announced that Santorum's three-year-old daughter Bella, who suffers from a genetic condition called Trisomy 18, had been released from the hospital after falling ill over the weekend. The campaign said that the morning events had been cancelled so Santorum could help his family "settle in at home." Press Secretary Alice Stewart says Santorum held a conference call with all his staff at 1:45pm today to advise them to his decision.
Although Rick Santorum did not endorse any remaining Republican candidate, he clearly identified that he would continue to work to to defeat President Obama and will help Republicans win the Senate in the fall.
Mitt Romney in a statement, addressed Rick Santorum as "an able and worthy competitor." Romney added, "He has proven himself to be an important voice in our party and in the nation. We both recognize that what is most important is putting the failures of the last three years behind us and setting America back on the path to prosperity."
The Washington Post declared "Former House speaker Newt Gingrich and Texas Rep. Ron Paul remain in the campaign, but neither has shown the ability to be a consistent alternative to Romney. Gingrich, in particular, has seen his campaign hit a rough patch of late. He’s finished fourth in the last two major contests and revealed over the weekend that his campaign was $4.5 million in debt. Santorum’s exit virtually assures that Romney will secure the Republican Party’s nomination, though he so far has secured only about 60 percent of the delegates that he needs."
Pennsylvania primary is on Tuesday, April 24, 2012. Note, Rick Santorum is still a candidate even though he has suspended his campaign. He may continue raising money to retire his campaign debt and he still has general control over the delegates who will cast their vote for him at least on the first ballot. However, as former Gov. Mike Huckabee did in the 2008 Republican Presidential primary, Santorum will most likely release his delegates. Santorum will also still appear at the Republican National Convention in Florida and may potentially pick up additional delegates in the remaining primaries where his campaign has already paid the filing fees to be on the ballot. For example, Santorum is already on the Republican primary ballot in Arkansas which will not be held until May 22, 2012. Tags:Rick Santorum, suspends campaign, presidential race, Republican, nomination, 2012 electionTo share or post to your site, click on "Post Link". Please mention / link to the ARRA News Service. Thanks!
Just Six Mo.s Ago, We Learned Warren Buffett's Berkshire Hathaway Fighting
IRS Over Owing $1 Billion In Back Taxes Message to Buffett -- Write the Check!
President Obama and Senate Democrats have decided that they’re going to use the week leading up to Tax Day to push yet another tax hike designed with politics in mind. The president is even flying to Florida to give a speech about it today. Last month, Democrats spent weeks demanding a tax increase on American energy producers, a tax hike designed to produce a political talking point, not lower gas prices. Now, Obama and his fellow Democrats have returned to again to Buffett’s Billion-Dollar Tax Hypocrisy which is designed for political headlines and won’t do anything to help Americans who are out of work or struggling with high gas prices.
In an analysis piece, titled “The Buffett Rule Won’t Get You a Job,”National Journal cuts to the heart of the matter, writing, “On the seventh and final page of its background report on the Buffett Rule, out this morning, the Obama administration finally dives into what it calls ‘the economic rationale’ for imposing a new minimum tax rate on millionaires. If you’re an unemployed American, that placement should be your first red flag. The second should be the rationale itself. Once you read it, you’ll realize the Buffett Rule has nothing to do with helping you, or 13 million other Americans looking for work as of March, find a job.” The article points out, “Voters want overwhelmingly for the presidential election to focus on jobs and the economy. In Florida today and on the campaign trail for months to come, Obama will attempt to narrow that focus to the idea that wealthy Americans should pay at least the same effective income tax rates as their middle-class counterparts. That’s not a jobs plan in anything but the most abstract, long-run terms.”
And of course, even the Obama administration admits this tax hike will do almost nothing to reduce this president’s serial trillion dollar deficits or pay down the over $15 trillion debt. Politico reports, “Introducing a minimum 30 percent income tax on millionaires ‘was never our plan to bring the deficit down and get the debt under control,’ Jason Furman, the principal deputy director of the White House National Economic Council, told reporters on a conference call Monday afternoon.”
Meanwhile, in a article headlined “Buffett Rule: Could it backfire on Democrats?,”The Christian Science Monitor writes, “[P]olling suggests that taxing the rich might not be a winning issue for Obama in November.” Indeed, “the larger economic argument centered around ‘fairness’ may be problematic for the independent voters who are often crucial in presidential elections.” CSM explains, “Among voters without a strongly held opinion of either Mr. Romney or Obama, 80 percent said they’d be more likely to support a candidate focused on economic growth and opportunity, while 15 percent said they would choose one emphasizing income inequality, according to a poll released Monday by the centrist Democratic group Third Way. Asking a similar question, the poll found that 51 percent of so-called swing independents favored a candidate arguing for an economy based on opportunity, while 43 percent opted for one making the case for an economy based on fairness.”
Reuters adds, “Obama's push on tax fairness may be falling on deaf ears in the swing states where the November 6 election will likely be decided. In 12 battleground states, 80 percent of independent voters lacking strong views on either Obama or Romney said they prefer a candidate who focuses on creating economic opportunity rather than reducing income inequality, according to a poll by the moderate Democratic group Third Way released on Monday.”
The National Journal analysis concludes, “If the Buffett Rule was a serious pitch to help the jobless, it would deal with one of those main drivers of unemployment. It would boost persistently weak aggregate demand or incentivize business investment. It does neither. Instead, it tells America’s job-seekers, don’t worry, we’re going to make the tax code look more fair to you. Lots of polls suggest that’s a good political argument. But that’s what it is: a political pitch.” Tags:Barack Obama, Democrats, Warren Buffett, Buffett Rule, higher taxesTo share or post to your site, click on "Post Link". Please mention / link to the ARRA News Service. Thanks!
Voter ID: Registering Eric Holder, Tim Tebow and Tom Bradley To Vote in MN
Conservative filmmaker James O’Keefe has released a new undercover video that shows a man being offered Attorney General Eric Holder’s District of Columbia ballot. The poll worker caught on film tells the cameraman that he doesn’t need to see identification.
The video, released Monday, contrasts clips from the “sting” with quotes from Holder saying that voter fraud is generally “a problem that does not exist.” Holder’s Justice Department has blocked voter ID laws in South Carolina and Texas on grounds that include the supposed superfluity of those laws.
O’Keefe’s Project Veritas has targeted voter fraud in previous videos. One project, released last month, shows undercover filmmakers registering to vote in Minnesota, where the governor has attempted to block a voter ID bill, using the names of NFL quarterbacks Tim Tebow and Tom Brady.
Another undercover video by Pajamas Media shows that some of the most vocal opponents of voter ID laws require that visitors to their Washington D.C. offices present ID at the door. That video looks to undercut claims that ID requirements are excessively burdensome and unwarranted.
"What's wrong with showing identification when you vote? That's an egregious civil rights violation if you ask the Obama Administration and liberal groups like the Center for American Progress, and the Advancement Project. So what happens if you show up at the front door of these groups without ID? Find out on this PJTV undercover investigation."
Heritage Foundation noted that "the Supreme Court just recently weighed in on voter ID, and found its detractors’ arguments lacking. The court ruled in 2008 that Indiana’s voter ID law, which the National Conference of State Legislatures says is one of the strictest in the nation, did not constitute an overly-burdensome restriction on voting, and was perfectly justified in the face of potential fraud." [H/T The Scribe] Tags:DC Voter Fraud, James O'Keefe, Project Veritas, Eric Holder, Voter ID, Minnesota, MN, Tom Brady, Tim Tebow, Voting, Caucus, Elections, Pajamas Media, pj media, pjtv, civil rights, Center for American Progress, Advancement Project, undercover videos, Scott Ott, voter fraud, id, justice departmentTo share or post to your site, click on "Post Link". Please mention / link to the ARRA News Service. Thanks!
A panicked Rep. Frank snapped to immediately. He rounded up 26 liberal democrats to sign a letter of opposition. “We believe strongly that the dual mandate should be maintained, and we believe that the Federal Reserve’s actions in pursuit of that mandate have been helpful in dealing with our unemployment problem,” wrote Frank and fellow liberals to committee chairman Spencer Bachus.
Believe it or not, Frank’s beliefs do not always coincide with common sense reality. As Boston Globe columnist Jeff Jacoby wrote in 2008:
“Time and time again, Frank insisted that Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac were in good shape. Five years ago, for example, when the Bush administration proposed much tighter regulation of the two companies, Frank was adamant that “these two entities, Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, are not facing any kind of financial crisis.” When the White House warned of “systemic risk for our financial system” unless the mortgage giants were curbed, Frank complained that the administration was more concerned about financial safety than about housing.
“Now that the bubble has burst and the “systemic risk” is apparent to all, Frank blithely declares: ‘The private sector got us into this mess.” Well, give the congressman points for gall.
Brady’s legislation plays a major role in helping the GOP formulate a crucial plank in its economic platform: good money. Even more potent is this bill’s extraordinary emphasis on gold. In its findings, the Act directs the Federal Reserve to monitor prices in three sectors. One is, exclusively, gold: The “Federal Reserve should monitor … the value of the United States dollar relative to gold… to determine whether the Federal Reserve’s monetary policy is consistent with long term price stability.” Another section directs the Fed to monitor the prices of “major asset classes (including… gold and other commodities…).”
Gold alone thus occurs in two of the three directives to the Fed. This appears by no means accidental. Brady elegantly has structured this legislation in a way that gives space both to the conservatives (supply side, movement, libertarian, and constitutionalist Tea Party) and Establishment Republicans (and conservative Democrats) to come together to work out what good money looks like.
The overwhelming conservative consensus is for the dollar, whether issued by the government or the private sector, to be defined as a fixed weight of gold and for currency convertibility. Intramural differences among conservatives, and between conservatives and Republicans (and, for that matter, Blue Dog Democrats who are attuned to the popularity of the gold standard with voters) are far narrower than the differences between conservatives and liberals. The Weekly Standard.com, reports Brady’s position: “Our goal today…is to start a thoughtful debate….” He succeeds.
A highly respected member of the Republican policy establishment, Stanford University professor of economics John Taylor, recently testified before the Joint Economic Committee in favor of the Sound Dollar Act re-enforcing Dean Hubbard’s key point. Prof. Taylor then wrote a Wall Street Journal op-ed entitled The Dangers of an Interventionist Fed: A century of experience shows that rules lead to prosperity and discretion leads to trouble.
The conservative policy establishment view is exemplified by the Conservative Action Project chaired by President Reagan’s counselor and attorney general Edwin Meese III in its Conservative Consensus For 2012 issued last December. This important document firmly placed sound monetary policy in the top of the conservative agenda. The conservative policy establishment consensus also is exemplified by two nonprofit groups professionally advised by this writer, the American Principles Project and the Lehrman Institute’s monetary policy site, and by Atlas Economic Research Foundation’s Sound Money Project. These thought leaders, and many others, teach about a dollar defined as a fixed weight of gold and currency legally convertible at that weight.
The hard left reacts to monetary reform and the gold standard as a vampire does to a crucifix. Astute Roosevelt Institute fellow Mike Konczal, blogging at Rortybomb last April 2011 began the litany: “Conservatives are organizing against a full employment mandate and rallying around the gold standard wing of their party.” Since then, Think Progress’ Marie Diamond has stated that “Tea Party groups are determined to make returning to the gold standard a litmus test for GOP presidential candidates.” Paul Krugman warned in the New York Times that “Gold bugs have taken over the GOP.” Thomas Frank, in Harper’s Magazine, called gold “yet another eccentricity of the right-wing fringe… into the mainstream of American life.” Nouriel Roubini slurred supporters of gold as “lunatics and hacks.” Former Clinton Treasury Secretary and chair of Obama’s National Economic Council Larry Summers called the gold standard “the creationism of economics.”
Outside the cozy precincts of the hard left the gold standard has been rehabilitated. Clearly there is a productive conversation to be had between gold’s distinguished conservative and classical liberal proponents — such as Steve Forbes, Lewis Lehrman, Sean Fieler, James Grant, Judy Shelton, Brian Domitrovic, Lawrence White, Charles Kadlec, John Allison, John Tamny, James Rickards, and other respected figures who support gold convertibility — and the many distinguished mainstream economists who lean toward the something like the Taylor Rule. Brady has created a context for that thoughtful debate.
Since monetary reform is crucial to robust job creation Brady performs an invaluable public service by putting it front and center. The sponsors of the Sound Dollar Act demonstrate genuine statesmanship in moving the conversation forward in such a way as to allow everyone who believes in prosperity, with equity, through good money to unite behind Taylor’s axiom: “[T]he Federal Reserve should move to a … more rules-based policy of the kind that has worked in the past.” Rep. Brady and Sen. Lee have introduced legislation that represents a mortal threat to the practice of central planning that lingers on at full strength in just three capitals, Pyongyang, Havana, and Washington, DC … panicking Barney Frank.
------------ Ralph Benko is senior advisor, economics, to American Principles in Action’s Gold Standard 2012 Initiative, and a contributor to he ARRA News Service. The article which first appeared in Forbes was submitted for reprint by the author. Tags:Ralph Benko, Federal Government, Rep. Kevin Brady, Sound Dollar Act, Rep. Barney FrankTo share or post to your site, click on "Post Link". Please mention / link to the ARRA News Service. Thanks!
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