The Cato Institute's Dan Mitchell uses his latest video to debunk "White House pro-tax increase propaganda."
Congress returns next week for a lame-duck session and all eyes will be on the tax issue as Congress decides how to address the expiring 2001 and 2003 tax cuts.
The Obama Administration wants higher tax rates on investors, entrepreneurs, small business owners, and other so-called rich people next year. The White House even released a pro-tax increase video narrated by Austan Goolsbee of the Council of Economic Advisers.
But the Obama Administration's video is riddled with errors, as explained in a rebuttal video:
The latest Carolina Journal Online exclusive features a report on state N.C. Revenue Secretary David Hoyle's report that the General Assembly will need to change state law before the Revenue Department can send $2.3 million in income tax refunds to 7,000 taxpayers.
In this video interview with the Wall Street Journal
Mitch McConnell, Republican leader in the US Senate, says the following:
I think energy is an area
where there is potential for a bipartisan accomplishment of some consequence…You
know, nobody thinks it's a bad idea to reduce carbon emissions, the question
is, how do you do it?... Most people on both sides of the aisle are very
enthusiastic about plug-in cars, nuclear power…clean coal technology.
For an alternative point of view from one of those "nobodies" who "thinks it's a bad idea to reduce carbon emission" see this article by University of Houston endowed professor of space architecture Larry Bell from Forbes Magazine. Bell is the author of the forthcoming book Climate of Corruption.
Don Boudreaux's Christian Science Monitor op-ed explains why the politically-controlled, top-down authoritarian agenda of "progressives" stifles progress.
A "night watchman" state that simply protects the rights of life, liberty, and property is infinitely preferable to our Big Nanny state, with its countless mandates, prohibitions, taxes, and political favors.
That, anyway, is an explanation we sometimes hear from the higher education establishment. Colleges are supposedly helpless victims of rising costs, particularly because rising productivity elsewhere in the economy increases the opportunity costs of faculty members to remain in the education sector.
In today's Pope Center Clarion Call economics professor Robert Martin takes a very dim view of a new book that sets forth that exculpatory argument. Martin refutes it, and then gives his own explanation for rising costs, which implicates bloated administrative spending and declining faculty productivity.
Brian Freeman had an excellent guest on his WPTF radio show this morning. The topic of discussion was cap-and-tax and CO2. Sorry I missed the guest's name, but he referenced this web site, "www.PlantsneedCO2.org" stressing the necessity of CO2 for all plant (and animal) life. The discussion focused on the high cost to consumers and business of trying to implement the CO2-as-toxin" policies via the EPA, or other executive end-runs around a Congressional vote. Take a look, and check them out on Facebook as well.
An insightful piece in National Journal discusses redistricting implications of the 2010 election cycle. Even if public sentiment is against Republicans in '12, the party's control of redistricting in key states — North Carolina being one — lessens the probability of it being a bloodbath.
The GOP’s massive gains in state legislatures mean they enter 2012 with as big an advantage in drawing districts as they’ve ever had. Many vulnerable Republicans will find themselves running in more favorable districts, while the party can expect to benefit from newly-created districts designed to their advantage.
Republicans fully control redistricting in 15 states, including the battlegrounds of Florida, Michigan, North Carolina, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Minnesota, and Wisconsin. They control the mapmaking for 193 House districts, compared to 44 for the Democrats.
The implications are significant for 2012. Take North Carolina, for example. It was a rare bright spot for House Democrats, who hung on to three of four contested seats despite the wipeout against the party in the South. Democrats still hold a 7-6 majority in the congressional delegation, thanks to a gerrymandered map drawn by state Democrats for generations.
That’s likely to change with Republicans winning control of the legislature for the first time in history. Reps. Mike McIntyre and Larry Kissell could easily find their careers in peril, if the new lines exclude African-American constituencies from their districts that have been crucial to their political successes.
It's improbable that North Carolina will gain a 14th congressional seat due to population growth. If we do, though, the Republicans would control how the lines are drawn.
That brings up another issue: How will a Democrat-controlled U.S. Justice Department respond to a Republican legislature's redistricting map in light of the Civil Rights Act? The biggest legal challenges could come at the federal level.
The Council of the Great City Schools released a fascinating report on the achievement gap between white and black kids. According to the New York Times,
Only 12 percent of black fourth-grade boys are proficient in reading, compared with 38 percent of white boys, and only 12 percent of black eighth-grade boys are proficient in math, compared with 44 percent of white boys.
Poverty alone does not seem to explain the differences: poor white boys do just as well as African-American boys who do not live in poverty, measured by whether they qualify for subsidized school lunches.
Although the outlines of the problem and many specifics have been previously reported, the group hopes that including so much of what it calls “jaw-dropping data” in one place will spark a new sense of national urgency.
“What this clearly shows is that black males who are not eligible for free and reduced-price lunch are doing no better than white males who are poor,” said Michael Casserly, executive director of the council.
It's unfortunate, but honest discussions about education, race, economic advancement, and social conflict are likely to stall so long as the mainstream civil rights groups and their allies on the professional left remain stuck in the 1950s.
After an almost two year hiatus from public view, former president Bush is everywhere promoting his recently published memoirs. So far, in all the interviews that I've heard no one has asked him about what is arguably, from the perspective of the economy, the most disastrous decision of his eight years as president--the appointment of Ben Bernanke as chairman of the Federal Reserve. If Bush had made a better choice, someone who believed that the role of the Fed was to provide sound money rather than to centrally plan the economy, the country would not be in the economic mess that it finds itself in today.
The latest Newsweek also features a short chat with Texas Gov. Rick Perry:
In the book, you call Social Security a “failure” that “we have been
forced to accept for more than 70 years now.” Is it time for it to end?
I would suggest a
legitimate conversation about letting the states keep their money and
implement [their own pension] programs. The first step in finding the
solutions is admitting we have a problem—and admitting that Social
Security is a Ponzi scheme.
What about Medicare? Republicans in Washington
are railing against Medicare cuts in the new Democratic health-care
law—even though they’re exactly the kind of cuts they’ve been advocating
I would suggest that any Republican who is not
going to work toward finding a solution to our budgetary problems ought
to just go home and let somebody come who really is interested in not
spending more dollars that we don’t have on programs that we don’t want.
Ronald Reagan and George W. Bush also wanted to slash spending, and
yet government grew when they were in office. Can conservatives actually
reverse the last 75 years of federal policy?
Sure. Absolutely they can. We just have to be
principled and disciplined and learn how to say no. The idea that you
can’t put the genie back in the bottle is not correct.
At least that's the way the latest Newsweekdescribes Raleigh and nine other cities, "the 10 American cities best situated for the recovery. These are places where the jobs are plentiful, and the pay, given the lower cost of living, buys more than in bigger cities."
The magazine offers Raleigh-Durham another label, lumping the Triangle, Salt Lake City, and urban Northern Virginia into a group dubbed the "New Silicon Valleys."
Michael Barone's latest Washington Examiner article explores the reaction new Reublican congressmen have to promises Speaker-designate John Boehner has made:
Boehner has promised to do things differently, and the freshmen -- who make up one-third of Republican members -- will surely hold him to it. The size of his majority will strengthen his hand against the appropriators.
Boehner and incoming Majority Leader Eric Cantor also sound grimly determined to cut government spending, and they have an able ally in incoming Budget Chairman Paul Ryan. And they don't seem to be backing off their promise to do whatever they can to repeal and hobble Obamacare.
That won't be easy, with Barack Obama's veto pen poised to strike. But Obamacare is not a self-propelling vehicle. It needs fuel and funding and fiddling from Congress. Health and Human Secretary Kathleen Sebelius and Medicare agency head Donald Berwick had better plan on spending a lot of time on the south side of Capitol Hill over the next two years.
Boehner seems likely to prevail, in the lame-duck session or as speaker next year, on extension of all the Bush tax cuts, including those for high earners. Pelosi lacked the votes to let the latter expire before the election, and Obama seemed to be conceding the issue in his postelection press conference.
But Boehner will have his headaches when he has to rally votes to raise the national debt ceiling early next year. Freshmen don't want to vote for that, but it's irresponsible to let the government go without funding.
There's a tension as well between Boehner's hard line on issues and his pledge, in a pre-election speech at the American Enterprise Institute, to allow more open votes on amendments and to encourage committees to operate bipartisanly (as Boehner did on the 2001 education bill). We'll see how that goes.
The evidence is clear that increased economic freedom leads to increased prosperity in societies around the world.
But the consequentialist argument in favor of economic freedom — in other words, the argument that freedom leads to good results — hasn’t been enough to counter the arguments that capitalism is immoral or, at best, amoral.
Scott Beaulier, director of the new Center for Political Economy at Troy University, told a Campbell University crowd Tuesday night that a capitalist system promoting economic freedom is moral.
Click play below to watch Beaulier’s 51:34 presentation for Campbell’s Politics, Law, and Economics lecture series.