on: July 27, 2015, 03:05:23 PM
Started by buzwardo - Last post by Body-by-Guinness
Well at least some of the sky is falling types are being honest about their intentions:
One top Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change official bluntly says climate policy is no longer about environmental protection; instead, the next climate summit will negotiate “the distribution of the world’s resources.” UN Climate Chief Christiana Figueres goes even further. UN bureaucrats, she says, are undertaking “probably the most difficult task we have ever given ourselves, which is to intentionally transform the global economic development model.” [emphasis added]http://townhall.com/columnists/pauldriessen/2015/07/25/the-errant-environmental-encyclical-n2030191?newsletterad
on: July 27, 2015, 01:34:41 PM
Started by Crafty_Dog - Last post by Crafty_Dog
David B. Rivkin Jr. And
Lee A. Casey
July 26, 2015 6:32 p.m. ET
The Iranian nuclear agreement announced on July 14 is unconstitutional, violates international law and features commitments that President Obama could not lawfully make. However, because of the way the deal was pushed through, the states may be able to derail it by enacting their own Iran sanctions legislation.
President Obama executed the nuclear deal as an executive agreement, not as a treaty. While presidents have used executive agreements to arrange less-important or temporary matters, significant international obligations have always been established through treaties, which require Senate consent by a two-thirds majority.
The Constitution’s division of the treaty-making power between the president and Senate ensured that all major U.S. international undertakings enjoyed broad domestic support. It also enabled the states to make their voices heard through senators when considering treaties—which are constitutionally the “supreme law of the land” and pre-empt state laws.
The Obama administration had help in its end-run around the Constitution. Instead of insisting on compliance with the Senate’s treaty-making prerogatives, Congress enacted the Iran Nuclear Agreement Act of 2015. Known as Corker-Cardin, it surrenders on the constitutional requirement that the president obtain a Senate supermajority to go forward with a major international agreement. Instead, the act effectively requires a veto-proof majority in both houses of Congress to block elements of the Iran deal related to U.S. sanctions relief. The act doesn’t require congressional approval for the agreement as a whole.
Last week the U.N. Security Council endorsed the Iran deal. The resolution, adopted under Chapter VII of the U.N. Charter, legally binds all member states, including the U.S. Given the possibility that Congress could summon a veto-proof majority to block the president’s ability to effect sanctions relief, the administration might be unable to comply with the very international obligations it has created. This is beyond reckless.
On March 11 Secretary of State John Kerry defended the administration’s decision not to take the treaty route with Iran, saying it had “been clear from the beginning we’re not negotiating a legally binding plan.” The Security Council gambit has enabled the administration, without Senate consent, to bind the U.S. under international law.
The U.N. Charter resolution has trapped the U.S. into a position where it can renounce its obligations only at the cost of being branded an international lawbreaker. The president has thus handed the legal high ground to Tehran and made undoing the deal by his successor much more difficult and costly.
Yet the nuclear agreement’s legitimacy in international law is far from clear. The Convention on the Prevention and Punishment of the Crime of Genocide imposes an affirmative obligation on all convention parties to prevent genocide and threats of genocide. Iran remains publicly committed to Israel’s elimination, an unequivocal threat of genocide in violation of the Convention.
Since nuclear weapons delivered by ballistic missiles are the most likely means by which Iran could implement its genocidal policy, an agreement that calls for lifting the Security Council resolutions banning the sale of ballistic missiles to Iran after eight years—as this nuclear deal does—also seems to contravene the genocide convention.
A further legal complication: Even if Congress doesn’t vote to bar President Obama from lifting sanctions on Iran, the president still wouldn’t be able to deliver fully on the deal’s unprecedented sanctions-lifting commitments. They were promised regardless of any future Iranian aggression in the region, sponsorship of terrorist acts or other misconduct.
Some of the U.S. statutes allow the president to lift certain sanctions on Iran. But many of the most important sanctions—including sanctions against Iran’s central bank—cannot be waived unless the president certifies that Iran has stopped its ballistic-missile program, ceased money-laundering and no longer sponsors international terrorism. He certainly can’t do that now, and nothing in the deal forces Iran to take either step. The Security Council’s blessing of the nuclear agreement has no bearing on these U.S. sanctions.
The administration faces another serious problem because the deal requires the removal of state and local Iran-related sanctions. That would have been all right if Mr. Obama had pursued a treaty with Iran, which would have bound the states, but his executive-agreement approach cannot pre-empt the authority of the states.
That leaves the states free to impose their own Iran-related sanctions, as they have done in the past against South Africa and Burma. The Constitution’s Commerce Clause prevents states from imposing sanctions as broadly as Congress can. Yet states can establish sanctions regimes—like banning state-controlled pension funds from investing in companies doing business with Iran—powerful enough to set off a legal clash over American domestic law and the country’s international obligations. The fallout could prompt the deal to unravel.
For now, though, we are left with another reminder from the administration that brought ObamaCare: Constitutional shortcuts almost invariably lead to bad policy outcomes.
Messrs. Rivkin and Casey are constitutional lawyers at Baker Hostetler LLP and served in the Justice Department under Presidents Reagan and George H.W. Bush. Mr. Rivkin is also a senior fellow at the Foundation for the Defense of Democracies.
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on: July 27, 2015, 01:30:56 PM
Started by Crafty_Dog - Last post by Crafty_Dog
July 26, 2015 6:13 p.m. ET
Hillary Clinton’s march to the left continues, hitting a new milestone on Friday when she proposed to nearly double the top tax rate on long-term capital gains to 43.4% from 23.8%—or the highest rate in decades.
Mrs. Clinton says she wants to overthrow “quarterly capitalism,” the supposed tendency of companies to be preoccupied with earnings reports and stock prices at the expense of investment that pays off over time. Yet her plan would undermine short-run shareholder goals and long-range economic growth.
Under current tax policy, capital income is taxed as ordinary income if an investor has held an asset for less than a year. But after 365 days the top rate of 20% on long-term gains applies, plus the 3.8% ObamaCare surtax on so-called unearned income. The one-year cutoff for short-term gains became part of U.S. tax law under FDR.
Mrs. Clinton now wants to apply the normal top income tax rate of 39.6% plus the 3.8% surtax to investments that are sold in less than two years. This 82.3% increase in the top rate is unprecedented.
The nearby chart shows the recent five-decade history of the top long-term capital gains rate, which was 25% for decades until it began to climb in 1968 into the Carter years. The Steiger Amendment of 1978 dropped the rate to 28% from 40%, and it fell to 20% in 1981. The rate bounced back to 28% in 1987 as part of the Reagan tax reform that also cut the top income-tax rate to 28%.
In 1997 Bill Clinton the New Democrat agreed to a 20% rate, not least based on economic literature suggesting the lower rate would yield more tax revenue. It did. George W. Bush’s 2003 tax cut shaved five percentage points, which President Obama repealed in 2012 for couples earning more than $484,851 a year ($413,201 for individuals). Keep in mind that this is a double tax on capital because corporate profits are already taxed once at the 35% corporate rate.
Mrs. Clinton would raise the rate above what it was in the 1970s and even during the New Deal. She wants to create a sliding scale of higher tax rates that gradually decline depending on how long investors wait to realize a capital gain. For two years the rate would rise to 43.4%, falling to 39.8% for year three and 35.8% in year four. Investments would have to be held for more than six years to qualify for the 23.8% rate (20% plus the 3.8-percentage-point Obama surcharge).
Mrs. Clinton invokes “everyday Americans” to justify the plan, but if she were honest she would say she wants to cut their incomes. Higher taxes mean a lower return on capital, which reduces the capital stock available to invest in technology, factories, equipment, buildings, etc. More costly capital means less to invest to raise labor productivity, which means slower economic growth and income gains.
A high and sliding tax-rate scale also harms the efficient allocation of capital by expanding what economists call the “lock-in effect.” If owners of capital must wait years to pay a lower tax rate, many will decline to realize their gains solely for tax purposes. This artificially reduces the mobility of capital.
Economic growth is enhanced when capital is able to efficiently find its highest return. “Buy and hold” often works well for individual investors in specific stocks. But no economic theory says one- or two-year investments are worse than 10-year, and sometimes they’re better.
Consider a Facebook investor sitting on a capital gain. Under current law he might sell some of his gain and use the proceeds to fund a new venture. For the overall economy, it makes sense if that Facebook investor can sell the shares to someone who wants to hold them, while cashing out himself to invest in the new venture.
But if he has to hold that Facebook stock for years or pay a higher tax rate, that money may stay locked into those Facebook shares. So there is less Facebook stock available to “everyday Americans” who want to buy into a growth company, and the new venture might never be funded.
The dividends and corporate share buybacks that Mrs. Clinton also assails serve the same larger economic purpose. If a mature business can’t find a suitable investment for its cash, then it makes sense to return those dollars to shareholders to invest elsewhere. Think of the many years Microsoft refused to pay a dividend while spending its cash on ideas that failed.
Locking in capital will harm entrepreneurship and risk-taking, preventing the economy from exploiting the best growth opportunities. As for short-termism, Mrs. Clinton assumes that millions of investors and corporate managers are irrationally passing up lucrative lasting returns for a temporary profits high. Who is the economic clairvoyant who told her that?
In Mrs. Clinton’s famous 2008 debate on ABC with Mr. Obama, he promised to raise investment taxes in the name of “fairness” even if capital gains rates higher than 15% raised less revenue. But she averred that “I wouldn’t raise it above the 20% if I raised it at all.”
Yet now she is blowing past Mr. Obama on the left to borrow the sliding-scale idea that goes back to that lost economic decade known as the New Deal. A 1934 law allowed people to exclude from taxes a rising share of capital gains based on how long an investment was held. The sliding scale was eventually dropped because of the widely recognized damage from the lock-in effect.
Mrs. Clinton’s Wall Street fan club keeps telling itself that she’d provide relief from the anti-growth Obama years. On the growing evidence of her policies, she’d be worse.
on: July 27, 2015, 01:19:41 PM
Started by Crafty_Dog - Last post by Crafty_Dog
Quit trashing Obama's accomplishments. He has done more than any other President before him. Here is a list of his impressive accomplishments:
1. First President to be photographed smoking a joint.
2. First President to apply for college aid as a foreign student, then deny he was a foreigner.
3. First President to have a social security number from a state he has never lived in.
4. First President to preside over a cut to the credit-rating of the United States.
5. First President to violate the War Powers Act.
6. First President to be held in contempt of court for illegally obstructing oil drilling in the Gulf of Mexico.
7. First President to require all Americans to purchase a product from a third party.
8. First President to spend a trillion dollars on "shovel-ready" jobs when there was no such thing as "shovel-ready" jobs.
9. First President to abrogate bankruptcy law to turn over control of companies to his union supporters.
10. First President to by-pass Congress and implement the Dream Act through executive fiat.
11. First President to order a secret amnesty program that stopped the deportation of illegal immigrants across the U.S., including those with criminal convictions.
12. First President to demand a company hand-over $20 billion to one of his political appointees.
13. First President to tell a CEO of a major corporation (Chrysler) to resign.
14. First President to terminate America’s ability to put a man in space.
15. First President to cancel the National Day of Prayer and to say that America is no longer a Christian nation.
16. First President to have a law signed by an auto-pen without being present.
17. First President to arbitrarily declare an existing law unconstitutional and refuse to enforce it.
18. First President to threaten insurance companies if they publicly spoke out on the reasons for their rate increases.
19. First President to tell a major manufacturing company in which state it is allowed to locate a factory.
20. First President to file lawsuits against the states he swore an oath to protect (AZ, WI, OH, IN).
21. First President to withdraw an existing coal permit that had been properly issued years ago.
22. First President to actively try to bankrupt an American industry (coal).
23. First President to fire an inspector general of AmeriCorps for catching one of his friends in a corruption case.
24. First President to appoint 45 czars to replace elected officials in his office.
25. First President to surround himself with radical left wing anarchists.
26. First President to golf more than 150 separate times in his five years in office.
27. First President to hide his birth, medical, educational and travel records.
28. First President to win a Nobel Peace Prize for doing NOTHING to earn it.
29. First President to go on multiple "global apology tours" and concurrent "insult our friends" tours.
30. First President to go on over 17 lavish vacations, in addition to date nights and Wednesday evening White House parties for his friends paid for by the taxpayers.
31. First President to have personal servants (taxpayer funded) for his wife.
32. First President to keep a dog trainer on retainer for $102,000 a year at taxpayer expense.
33. First President to fly in a personal trainer from Chicago at least once a week at taxpayer expense.
34. First President to repeat the Quran and tell us the early morning call of the Azan (Islamic call to worship) is the most beautiful sound on earth.
35. First President to side with a foreign nation over one of the American 50 states (Mexico vs Arizona).
36. First President to tell the military men and women that they should pay for their own private insurance because they "volunteered to go to war and knew the consequences."
37. Then he was the First President to tell the members of the military that THEY were UNPATRIOTIC for balking at the last suggestion.
I feel much better now. I had been under the impression he hadn't been doing ANYTHING... Such an accomplished individual... in the eyes of the ignorant maybe.!.
on: July 27, 2015, 12:51:34 PM
Started by Crafty_Dog - Last post by objectivist1
OBAMA WHINES GOP IS MEAN, FORGETS HE ACCUSED THEM OF TREASON
Poor Obama. Why is everyone being so mean to him?
July 27, 2015 Daniel Greenfield
Ladies and Gentlemen, it's time for another round of America's hottest game show, "Poor Obama".
Poor Obama. Why is everyone being so mean to him? No seriously, Obama would like to know.
“We’ve had a sitting senator call John Kerry ‘Pontius Pilate.’ We’ve had a sitting senator who also happens to be running for president suggest that I’m the leading state sponsor of terrorism,” Obama said, referring to Sens. Tom Cotton of Arkansas and Ted Cruz of Texas, respectively. “These are leaders in the Republican Party.”
Republican leaders are “shocked,” Obama said, when tycoon Donald Trump, who’s leading the GOP field in polls, questions the heroism of Republican Sen. John McCain, a prisoner of war in Vietnam. “Yet that arises out of a culture where those kinds of outrageous attacks have become far too commonplace and get circulated nonstop through the Internet and talk radio and news outlets,” the president said.
But, the president said, when he is attacked, the people who were outraged on McCain’s behalf “are pretty quiet.”
Attacks circulated non-stop through the internet?
Like the time Obama's allies circulated the trending hashtag #47Traitors directed at Senate Republicans opposed to the Iran sellout?
That hashtag was promoted by obscure online outlets like the New York Times.
And how did Obama respond to it? By charging them with treason and accusing them of "wanting to make common cause with the hard-liners in Iran"
Obama can hypocritically whine about talk radio all he wants, but this is the guy with a history of telling his supporters things like “argue with [people], get in their faces” and “If they bring a knife to the fight, we bring a gun”.
You can't accuse Republicans of treason and then whine when you get called a state sponsor of terrorism for feeding $140 billion to a state sponsor of terrorism. The former is a disgusting lie. The latter is a fact.