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Former FEC Chair explains why the Disclose Act bans speech 2 August, 2010

Posted by stoptaxing in federal, President Obama.
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Bradley A. Smith explains that the Disclose Act bans speech which was legal even before the Supreme Court ruling striking down restrictions.

“You’d think that reducing corporate and even foreign influence over our elections would not be a partisan issue,” Obama said. “[But] the Republican leadership in the Senate is once again using every tactic and every maneuver they can to prevent the DISCLOSE Act from even coming up for an up or down vote.”

That’s false. The Supreme Court decision did not allow foreign corporations or governments to spend money to influence U.S. elections. That’s long been prohibited. The decision does allow U.S. companies with international shareholders to spend money on politics. The First Amendment rights of American shareholders should not be stripped away because of a minimal, non-controlling amount of foreign investors.

President Obama continued spinning, claiming that the bill is simply about disclosure.

“Nobody is saying you can’t run the ads—just make sure that people know who in fact is behind financing these ads,” he said.

Actually, Democrats are saying you can’t run the ads: if you’re a company with a government contract of over $10 million (like more than half of the top 50 U.S. companies) or if you’re a company with more than 20 percent foreign shareholders, you can’t even mention a candidate in an ad for up to a full year before the election. What’s remarkable is that these provisions would prohibit speech that was legal even before the Supreme Court decision. There are no similar prohibitions for unions representing government contractors or unions with foreign membership.

In a Monday conference call with reporters, Sen. Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.), the Senate sponsor of the DISCLOSE Act, claimed that it was “completely balanced” and “treats unions and corporations the same.”

Schumer was addressing an exemption he removed from the House bill which exempted large financial transfers among union affiliates. Nonetheless, three provisions remain that advantage Democrats’ union allies while restricting business groups: a threshold of disclosure that effectively exempts unions while ensnaring business groups and the aforementioned restrictions on businesses with government contracts and international investment.

Schumer simply removed one of many special deals for unions that was inserted the day before the House vote. This cosmetic change to the DISCLOSE Act does not change the fact that it plays favorites with First Amendment rights and rewrites campaign finance law to advantage the majority party mere months before the midterm elections.

In one of the most egregious aspects of the bill, House Democrats inserted a provision to exempt large, established interest groups such as the National Rifle Association and the Sierra Club from the bill’s disclosure provision. This would set up a two-tiered system of First Amendment rights: one standard for the most powerful lobbying organizations and a tougher standard for most other grassroots groups.

Read more at the Washington Examiner: http://www.washingtonexaminer.com/opinion/blogs/Examiner-Opinion-Zone/Bradley-A-Smith-Democrats-mount-last-ditch-PR-campaign-to-spin-DISCLOSE-Act-99320164.html#ixzz0vPpBsFXE

Levin and a New Isolationism 11 August, 2009

Posted by David Anderson in Fair Tax, federal, President Obama, Tax Hikes.
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Some in the administration and the Senate would put America behind a wall of taxation is the new isolationism. The excuse is trying to prevent people from being able to hide income off shore. The truth is the largest forms of tax evasion are local. What this is doing is locking American investors out of the hottest economies in the world. The Levin bill has the backing of the administration which is hungry for new revenue streams.

While it is advertised as punishing countries that use banking laws to shield anonymous investors. Its sweeping language would punish countries that don’t tax dividends and capital gains like Hong Kong and Singapore. It would be a form of economic imperialism. They are responding by threatening to ban U. S. investment. The damage done to their economic system by losing investment of Americans would be far smaller than the damage of hurting both local and global investment by adopting Democratic tax policy.

If other nations follow suit this could be as damaging as Smoot Harwley Act. If we are to ever have a sustained economic recovery, it has to be based upon sound policy not failed ones.

America needs fundamental tax reform designed by clear thinking, real world, economists. We need policies which encourage American production not flight of production. Levin is right that it starts with the tax code. He couldn’t be more wrong about the solution. Maybe would should take a page from the growing economies instead of closing the book on learning.

5% think President cut the deficit 6 August, 2009

Posted by David Anderson in Budget, federal, President Obama.
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It is not surprising that 71% of people think that President Obama’s policies have increased the deficit. They have. It is not surprising that half of Democrats are not sure or think they had no impact after all you could blame them on the “Bush” recession and say Obama had to spend to fix it. What concerns me are the 5% of people who think that President Obama has cut the deficit which has increased 4 fold on his watch. Why? Because these were registered likely voters not adults. What do you make of these leftists who are that divorced from reality?

Hidden in the numbers 4 August, 2009

Posted by David Anderson in Budget, federal, Tax Hikes.
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You all saw the news about plummeting tax receipts to the federal government. Revenues are down 18% over last year, but what you may not have noticed is social security has moved closer to payout more than it brings in. Estimates put it closer to the worst case scenario of 2013. Democrats blocked President’s Bush’s reform effort. Now they will need their own on top of everything else. Demagoguery has a price.

Democrats you own this problem now solve it.

Wow, If the 2012 race were today 20 July, 2009

Posted by David Anderson in President Obama, Sarah Palin.
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The GOP would be in a horse race with the President. Romney is tied and Palin who polls showed has been hurt by her resignation for now is within single digits. When you live by change….

Fly away for me Mr. Congressman 2 July, 2009

Posted by David Anderson in federal.

Fly away with me– I mean for me. Congressional trips are up big time. Tax payer funded trips nearly doubled since the 2005 ban on funding by outside groups. Both parties do it. Many of the trips are legitimate. Congressman Chris Smith went to Brazil and helped get a high court ruling in favor of an American father whose child was kidnapped. There have been 113 trips to Iraq and Afghanistan. Some are high dollar wining and dining at the Paris air show. Whatever the case, there are a lot more of them. When Republicans took control, they eventually increased trips 6 fold. When Democrats took over they radically increased them in only two years. Trips are 10 times 1995 levels. They now have a fleet of 16 aircraft just for Congressional trips overseas.

The issue is complicated and I won’t demagogue it. Some of it is a useless waste of money while some is valuable. What I will do is ask is it hypocrisy to blast private executives for using planes and have the Air Force maintain a fleet of 16 planes and block full public disclosure of expenses? It is one thing to be fleeced. It is another to be mocked by those doing it.

Obama Update June 09 24 June, 2009

Posted by David Anderson in President Obama.
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The President’s ratio to promises kept to broken is 39 to 6 with over 500 to go. The biggest casualties have been transparency. Overall the ratio seems positive.

Bush Administration Has NO Responsibility for Debt??? 12 June, 2009

Posted by David Anderson in Budget, federal.
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This week we blasted President Obama for his fantasy land Paygo stand.

Now on the Republican side, former Bush Deputy Chief of Staff, Karl Rove said that his administration has zero responsibility for the current situation and deficits. I didn’t say isn’t to blame for most. I said zero responsibility. I must have missed the huge surpluses during the Bush years.

In other news, the Easter Bunny has called for a commission to study the problem of egg poaching.

Santa Claus blasts Materialism at Christmas–ah Obama calls for Paygo 10 June, 2009

Posted by David Anderson in Budget, federal, President Obama.
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President Obama seeks the Fiscal Responsibility Mantle about 10 Trillion Dollars late. After multiplying the deficit 4 fold, the President called for a Pay through the nose law. He lectured Congress on fiscal responsibility. In other news, Santa Clause called for dialing back materialism at Christmas.

I thought it would be interesting to see where the deficit was before Democrats passed Paygo in 2007. Republican spend thrifts 150+ billion dollar deficit. Democrat Congress 400 billion dollar deficit. Democrat Congress and President 1.8 Trillion dollar deficit.

Democrats complaining about Republican over spending is like a husband complaining about his wife charging a $1000 on a credit card when he just came back from buying a luxury car and writing a home equity check for a new boat pulled by a debt funded RV.

Plurality of voters favor National Sales Tax 4 June, 2009

Posted by David Anderson in Economic Policy, Fair Tax, federal.

Fair Tax Supporters have to take note. They are actually winning. 43% to 38% would eliminate the income tax and impose a national sales tax. By about two to 1, 48 % to 26% of the people think a national sales tax would be fairer than the income tax. Democrats are undermining their arguments against the FAIR tax by talking favorably about a VAT. Only 18% of Americans favor adding either a VAT or national sales tax to an income tax.