The Associated Press "fact-checked" President Obama’s combative proclamation that "middle-class families shouldn’t pay higher taxes than millionaires and billionaires." In broadcasting his new "Buffett Rule" for millionaires — his so-called "revenue" vehicle for the American Jobs Act — Obama tossed a class-warfare grenade, claiming that the wealthy are not covering enough of the tax burden. The President demanded in a bellicose speech Monday that individuals earning over $1 million a year must "pay their fair share" to help slash the soaring federal deficit.
Obama also vowed to veto any Republican bill that does not adopt a "balanced" approach to reducing the deficit, meaning if the bill does not include tax increases on high-earners he will axe the proposal. "I will not support any plan that puts all the burden for closing our deficit on ordinary Americans," he pledged. "And I will veto any bill that changes benefits for those who rely on Medicare but does not raise serious revenues by asking the wealthiest Americans and biggest corporations to pay their fair share."
The American Jobs Act has already faced a flurry of criticism for a variety of reasons, including the cost and the likelihood that it will do little to create jobs. The most recent cause for criticism, however, follows the revelation that the bill could potentially destroy state sovereignty.
Section 376 of the bill reads:
SEC. 376. FEDERAL AND STATE IMMUNITY.
Abrogation of State Immunity — A State shall not be immune under the 11th Amendment to the Constitution from a suit brought in a Federal court of competent jurisdiction for a violation of this Act.
In other words, under the authority of the jobs bill, states are not immune from federal prosecution if they are in violation of the act. The Blaze explains, “In the event this bill passes, it will override a state’s sovereign authority as defined and protected under the 11th Amendment.” It reads:
The sovereign debt woes of the European Union are nearing a critical stage. Greece's short-term bonds have recently shot to 60 percent, indicating an extremely high probability that the ancient country will default. Though Portugal and Spain, two of the other “PIIGS” member-states in the EU, are temporarily off the radar screen, neither has solved its fundamental debt problems.
In Finland, the only Scandinavian nation in the eurozone, the True Finns political party has enjoyed remarkable success running largely on a platform of refusing to bail out spendthrift EU members whose expenditure-to-revenue ratios would make full repayment of debt instruments unlikely without outside help. The other Scandinavian nations have become increasingly reluctant to join the eurozone over the last few years.
The sovereign debt crisis originally involved four governments — the so-called PIGS: Portugal, Ireland, Greece, and Spain. What is particularly disconcerting for those attempting to solve the EU's economic problems has been the inclusion of Italy in this group (now known as PIIGS).
“The last thing you want to do is raise taxes in the middle of a recession,” President Barack Obama said in 2009. Two years later, in the midst of a still-struggling economy, Obama is proposing over $1.5 trillion in tax increases. What gives?
The President has apparently given up on his attempt to cover his leftist views with a veneer of moderation. First he submitted a jobs bill to Congress that would spend almost half a trillion dollars at a time when the government is already borrowing over 40 percent of the money it disburses. Then he proposed paying for it with hefty tax hikes on the rich, promising to submit a more comprehensive deficit-reduction plan a week later. That plan, released Monday, is essentially a rehash of his jobs bill’s spending and tax hike proposals — things that would take effect immediately if they were to pass, though most of them have been previously rejected by Congress — combined with promised reductions in future spending that neither Obama nor the current Congress can guarantee will occur. The President claims it will reduce the deficit by $3.2 billion over the next 10 years.
During the fallout following the government bailout of banking, investment, insurance, and the auto industry, President Obama justified the extension of corporate welfare by informing the American people that these businesses were “too big to fail.”
Regardless of the logic of such a stance, in the history of republican political thought, the opposite of the Obama Doctrine has been asserted as axiomatic. As the theory went (goes), a republic cannot function properly toward the end of preserving liberty if it grows too large. One might say of republics that they can be “too big to succeed.”
That is the sentiment behind a recent collection of essays addressing the increasingly untenable size of the federal government and the possibility and desirability of its perpetuation.
Rethinking the American Union for the Twenty-first Century is a collection of seven essays compiled and edited by Donald Livingston. The collection is an extension of the Abbeville Conference held in Charleston, South Carolina in 2010. Contributing scholars include Dr. Thomas DiLorenzo, Yuri Maltsev, Kent Masterson Brown, Marshall DeRosa, Kirkpatrick Sale, and Rob Williams.
“Pass this bill now,” President Obama is repeatedly demanding, regarding his new American Jobs Act.
There’s nothing new in the legislation, just more government spending, more transfers of money from “the rich” to Obama’s political allies, more spending for infrastructure enhancement so we all won’t allegedly be buried by collapsing schools and bridges.
And the “rush” tactics are the same. As with ObamaCare, there’s a proclaimed “crisis,” followed by demands to pass legislation “now,” even if no one’s adequately analyzed the bill, even if no one’s read it, even if the legislation will only make things worse, and even if we’re already flat broke.
And as with earlier stimulus packages, roads are a particular priority in the American Jobs Act, so much so that you’d think we were all riding around in mud ruts.
Although rarely looked at as such by the typical person, labor is an economic transaction. It’s a simple trade — one where the worker willingly gives to his employer, in exchange for monetary and benefit compensation, the use of his physical and mental services. As with any free market economic activity, either party can prevent ongoing transactions, whether such termination is based on dissatisfaction with what the exchange garners or on the influence of supply and demand in the micro- and macro-markets.
Basically, the act of employment is really no different from making a purchase at the local grocery store.
Unions, though, don’t see it that way. Whereas non-unionized employment sees equal strength and value between worker and the company, unionized plants are different. There, the workers are granted dominance in the transaction and the standard rules of fair and equal trade are thrown out the window. Through its perverse leftist outlook, organized labor views any given job as a right rather than a privilege.
Like many of my fellow Americans, I have been forced to economize and become more of a bargain hunter than I was in the happy days of go-go prosperity. Having been brought up in the great Depression, I still pick up pennies, and I have always loved a bargain, but now more than ever. So now when I receive three colorful supermarket circulars in the mail each week, I examine them closely to see where the bargains are.
We have one supermarket chain in this area of Massachusetts that has the best overall prices. Yes, even some of their prices have gone up, but they’ve been able to maintain low prices for some essential items. For example, milk. They sell a half-gallon for $1.59, while other markets charge over $2.00. I expect their price will go up one of these days, but so far so good.
Staples has been offering low prices on a number of utilitarian and back-to-school items. For example, the other day I picked up a packet of four scouring pads for one dollar.
Swiss bank UBS trader Kweku Adoboli was arrested early Thursday morning and charged with two counts of false accounting and one count of “suspicion of fraud by abuse of position.” His position was director of the Delta One trading desk at UBS in London, where he had worked as a trader for the past three years and as a technical advisor for two years before that.
The desk specializes in Exchange Traded Funds (ETFs) which allow investors to take a position in an index without having to purchase each stock represented by that index. Trades were profitable when positions were taken that move higher (long) and the index rises, or that move lower (short) and the index declines. Adoboli had learned the system well, and he lived well, paying $1,570 a week for an apartment in a high-end neighborhood just five minutes’ walking distance from his office.
But something went wrong — terribly wrong — when the Swiss Central Bank announced on September 8 that it would not allow the Swiss franc to rise beyond a certain level versus the euro. The mere whiff of intervention caused the Swiss franc to swoon by more than eight percent in two days.