Kyle Gillis from the Business & Media Institute outlined the tax implications of LeBron James' various options. It is an interesting idea.
He will not pay income taxes in Florida. Ohio, New York, and New Jersey would have sent James an income tax bill in the millions. Who am I kidding? Enlightened legislators in any one of those states would have passed a special tax credit or incentives package for LeBron because that is what they do.
Civitas has the numbers on state Sen. Bill Purcell's re-election bid:
Democratic incumbent Bill Purcell is ahead in the state Senate District 25 race against Republican opponent Jason Phibbs according to a new SurveyUSA poll released today by the Civitas Institute.
According to the poll of 350 registered voters in that district, which is made up of Anson, Richmond, Scotland, and Stanly counties, 48 percent of voters said that if the election for state Senate were held today they would vote for Purcell. Forty percent said they would vote for Phibbs and 12 percent said they are undecided.
This gap narrows, however, to a two-point margin of 46 percent Democratic-44 percent Republican when voters are asked which candidate for state legislature they will vote for this fall. Further analysis reveals that Independent voters are trending Republican, as 57 percent said they will vote for the Republican candidate.
“This district slightly leans Democratic, but was carried by John McCain in the Presidential race in 2008 and could become competitive as voters are leaning Republican across much of the state,” said Civitas Institute Senior Legislative Analyst Chris Hayes.
Of course, when Treasury eventually collected what it was owed, the state would have to cut spending or find new revenue sources. But that would happen after the recession, when both tasks would likely prove easier economically and politically.
Really, I read the rest of the Edley piece. Save yourself the trouble and read Matt Welch instead. Or just look at Welch's graphs.
The senate convened at 10 and began moving rather quickly. The ABC modernization (H1717) passed 42-2 with only Hunt and Brock voting no. The bill is now in the Governor's hands.
The house convened at 11. Representative Owens moved not to concur with incentives bill (H1973), which includes the Alcoa takeover. Representative Luebke moved to not to concur with renewable energy incentives (H1829).
The Senate is about to come back from recess shortly. During the recess, Judiciary1 met and both the Democrats and Republicans caucused.
The House is in recess until 1:45, with quick meetings of Transportation, Rules, Environment, and Health going on now.
For more information and live updates, follow my twitter feed.
Are you ready to report your free speech to the government? If you communicate using one of the following methods and you mention a political candidate then you may need to report under some circumstances (if the NC legislature passes HB 748):
Any web site mentioning a political candidate
Basically, if you use the Internet and you reach a wide audience, you better be careful or you could get into legal trouble. You don't want to face government penalties for improper Tweeting.
In a new Carolina Journal Exclusive, Associate Editor David N. Bass finds that the Life Sciences Development Act now before the short session of the General Assembly poses an additional risk to taxpayers. The new federal health care bill imposes new taxes on medical device manufacturers that will depress profits in some of the same businesses the LSD company would invest in.
The Senate is expected to consider HB 748, a bill that would address several campaign finance issues.
Since the latest version of the bill was just released, it is difficult to say anything with certainty, but I provide these initial thoughts after a quick review:
1) Bloggers (and all Internet media) may want to pay attention to this bill.
The legislature would define "electioneering communications" to include Internet communications. It is possible that blogs that do political analysis will have to do extensive reporting to a board of elections.
It is worth noting that the bill exempts broadcast and print media from this requirement, but not Internet media.
See: Existing definition of electioneering communications.
2) The bill requires that nonprofits report personal information on anyone who even suggests that their money be used for political advocacy (including electioneering communications). This personal information must be disclosed to anyone who requests it.
3) This could be a bill drafting error, but as drafted, a strong case could be made that the bill requires nonprofits to disclose membership lists. This would be unconstitutional (See NAACP v. Alabama).
(Section 9 of the bill refers to "donors" but doesn't clarify that "donors" means only those donors giving money for political advocacy. When "donors" is defined in previous sections of the bill, those sections specifically state that the definition is for purposes of those sections only).
Emery Dalesio uses the five-year fiscal note in a story on the bill to expand movie-making and other targeted tax breaks, take over the Yadkin River dam, and collect DNA on arrest (HB 1973). That fiscal note shows a net tax reduction of $242 million. The bill would increase fees immediately and assumes that more economic activity related to the credits will expand the revenue reductions to $75 million in fiscal year 2015.
In fact, every targeted tax break given by state and local governments has been reported based on its multi-year price tag, whether Google or Goodyear. This may seem disingenuous to some, but it actually sets a good precedent for reporting the size of the entire budget.
Every other year the governor offers a two-year budget plan based on the desires of state agencies. The legislature crafts and passes a two-year budget bill (to which the governor and legislature make significant changes in the second year) and everyone involved, including me, talks about the state general fund appropriations in the current fiscal year with only a passing reference to the future.
If we had a five-year fiscal note on the entire state budget, it would show the state spending between $104 billion and $120 billion but having between $88 billion and $105 billion to spend. That's a $3 billion hole each and every year for five years before tacking on the need to pay for retiree health benefits, increase payments for pensions, or adding 500,000 people to Medicaid to comply with the Dennis Berwick health care rationing planObamaCare health care reform.
Watch out, Raleigh-ites! (Particularly those of you driving from N. Raleigh to the John Locke Foundation.)
The city of Raleigh has big plans for Capital Blvd inside the beltline. City planners are currently holding a Capital Blvd Corridor Study to plan any traffic, zoning, or other (larger) changes for the area. Possibilities include "redevelopment, open space creation, water quality improvement, and (mass) transit."
Capital is a train wreck; it could definitely use some attention. But the current plan sounds more like expensive "smart-growth" than a real solution.
In this excellent NRO column Gary Wolfram (professor of economics at Hillsdale) rebuts the notion that the case against the Federal Reserve System shouldn't be taken seriously.
Representative Ron Paul is just about the only member of Congress who really understands the economic implications of having a central bank -- which entails governmental control over the supply of money and credit. Far from being a necessity in an advanced nation, as many people assume, central banking is neither necessary nor beneficial. It creates the conditions for credit manipulation (that is, artificially low interest rates) which lead to malinvestment bubbles.
Central banks make it easier for politicians to extract wealth from society so they can squander it on their preferred activities -- warfare, welfare, special interest goodies, and so on.
Apparently there is a flock of sheep hanging around Cary, looking for a pasture. That's because the pasture they were designed to live in's construction has been post-poned.
The town of Cary recently post-poned building the 3.9 million dollar Bartley Community Park. Cary only spent around $400,000 before moving the rest of the money into the town's general fund.
It's nice to see steps like this, that seem to be financially responsible, being taken right now in these times (though I'm rather inclined to think that Cary will be just fine without spending $3.9 million on a park, but maybe that's just me).
Even though I am glad to see the money moved to the general fund, I can't help but wonder if the artwork should have already been constructed, as it has been. Now, Cary has a flock of cement sheep on their hands. Each one of the sheep weighs over 200 pounds, and the cost for this work of art has already been $17,350, with $3,000 more due once the sheep are installed.
Another $10,500 is due to another artist once his whirligig structures
are completed and picked up for this same, indefinitely post-poned
I guess when the park you're designing is $3,900,000, $27,000+ seems like change, but you'd think the officials would have made sure they were going to go through with the park now (and not in the "some day" of the future) before they spent that kind of money on historic-looking concrete sheep and whirligigs.
But, then again, I guess I shouldn't be too surprised. It seems like it's just the same old story, told a different way.
Today's Wall Street Journal has a good article by UCLA economics professor Lee O'Hanian, who discusses Obama's determination to further strengthen organized labor. Everyone knows that Big Labor spent lavishly to get him into office and the Dear Leader has admitted that he "owes the unions."
He claims that his pro-union legislation and directives will raise worker wages, but O'Hanian shows how empty that argument is. At best unionization is a zero-sum game. If workers are paid more as a result of collective bargaining (and just because that appears to have been true in some industries in the past, we have no grounds for thinking that it will be true in the future), the money to pay them has to come from somewhere -- higher prices, lower returns on capital, lower payments to other factors of production, etc. But unionization is usually a negative-sum game because it has adverse effects on productivity.
So, to the extent that Obama gets his way and succeeds in further tilting the law in favor of unions, the result will be to weaken the economy and raise unemployment. But his backers will be happy and may have somewhat more money to throw into Democratic coffers.
A great book to read on the impact of unionization is W. H. Hutt's The Strike-Threat System.
Given the high capital costs plus nearly $10 million in annual
operating costs, the annualized cost of Charlotte’s light-rail works
out to more than $3.60 per passenger mile (compared with less than $1
for a typical bus and less than $0.25 for driving, including highway
subsidies which, in North Carolina, average less than half a penny per
passenger mile). Of course, most of that $3.60 is subsidized; transit
users paid an average of just $0.12 per passenger mile to ride it,
leaving a subsidy of nearly $3.50 per passenger mile. That also works
out to a subsidy of more than $20 per ride, making Charlotte more
expensive than almost any light-rail system outside of Buffalo and San
Hillsdale College historian Bert Folsom rebuts his colleagues here.
No surprise. The Siena College presidential poll–a ranking of 44
presidents by 200 historians–put Franklin Roosevelt in first place. In
other words, the man who, during his first two terms, gave us nonstop
double digit unemployment–and 20 percent unemployment toward the end of
his second term, is ranked ahead of George Washington, Abraham Lincoln,
and all other American presidents.
And that may not be the worst indiscretion. These historians also
ranked Barack Obama ahead of Ronald Reagan. In other words, if you
start your presidency with 8 percent unemployment and run it to 10
percent (all the while going further in debt by more than
$1,000,000,000,000) you are greater than the president who sharply
reduced unemployment and inflation during his first term and then ended
the Cold War in his second term.
George Will explains in his latest Newsweekcolumn why Democrats should approach the November elections with trepidation:
How many dead legislators walking might there be in December? Political analyst Charles Cook notes that in July 1994, four months before the Republican House landslide, Congress’s job approval was 53 percent. In October 2006, percent of Americans approved of the job Congress was doing—and a month later Republicans lost control of both chambers. In recent polls, approval of Congress has ranged from 19 to 26 percent.
Americans usually exempt their particular representative from their normal disparagement of Congress. Today, however, with 62 percent saying the country is on the wrong track, the Wall Street Journal/NBC poll shows 57 percent want to elect a new representative, the highest total in 18 years. Peter Hart, a Democrat who helps conduct this poll, says voters “are just looking for change.” Change they can believe in?
Fareed Zakariaadmits in the latest Newsweek that he supports government stimulus programs, including a “second” stimulus (wouldn’t this actually be number three or four?) for state and local governments.
But Zakaria, to his credit, is willing to look for other factors that might contribute to economic growth. And he identifies a key problem standing in the way of growth:
The key to a sustainable recovery and robust economic growth is to get companies to start investing in America. So why are they reluctant, despite having mounds of cash lying around? I put this question to a series of business leaders over the past few days. They were all expansive on the topic, and all wanted to stay off the record, for fear of offending people in Washington.
Economic uncertainty was the primary cause of their caution. “We’ve just been through a tsunami, and that produces caution,” one said to me. But in addition to economics, they kept talking about politics, about the uncertainty surrounding regulations and taxes.
What’s the solution to economic uncertainty? Some might suggest a clear government policy that limits Washington’s interference with market processes. Zakaria, on the other hand, thinks the president ought to try to fool business leaders. “Obama now needs to outline a growth and competitiveness agenda that will seem compelling to the American business community.”
Oh, well. At least Zakaria got the economic uncertainty part right.
That question seems to encapsulate Jon Meacham’s reaction to current political trends, based on a quick perusal of his editor’s note in the latest Newsweek.
Those whom Jackson called “the humble members of society—the farmers, mechanics, and laborers” ought to be generating substantial political pressure to exact reparations from, and impose severe new regulations on, the plutocratic few. Unemployment remains high; poverty too pervasive and intractable; the moneyed classes too skilled at the Washington game to make contests over economic justice even remotely fair fights.
And yet the pitchforks are being brandished not to encourage government to curb the excesses of the elite but to warn the citizenry that the government has turned into a socialistic threat to free enterprise.
You mean people might be more interested in a government that allows them to succeed on their own than a government that penalizes other people for their success? Shocking.
As Meacham searches for reasons that people might be lukewarm or downright hostile to larger, more intrusive government, perhaps he’ll also find clues as to why Newsweek is going down the tubes.