Sunday, October 30, 2011

Occupy Mobs Organized by Obama Operatives?

As Robin of Berkeley explained in her article that I featured on September 7, 2011, the mobs we see and the violent language we hear have been organized and encouraged by Obama operatives as Barack Obama stands back and pretends otherwise. They have developed into the ‘brown shirts’ of the 1930’s now befouling the streets of our major cities in 2011-2012 – all in the pursuit of an Obama re-election. This is a community organizer at work encouraging class warfare and violence against successful people – in the guise of equality and social justice.

I said during the summer of 2008 that Barack Obama was the most dangerous man ever to appear on the national scene in our country, and nothing I have seen since then makes me think I may have been wrong.

The following article was uncovered by Andrew Breitbart, the journalist to whom all Americans who love freedom owe so much. Biggovernment .com is Breitbart’s website.

Barack Obama organized Occupy Chicago in 1988 using means and to ends eerily similar to today’s ‘Occupy’ mobs. Why would anyone think he is not behind the mobs now protesting something or other today – especially since William Ayers is a prominent speaker featured in the current Occupy Chicago mob scene?

Barack Obama Led #OccupyChicago – Circa 1988

by Joel B. Pollak

Just twenty or so years ago, Barack Obama wouldn’t just have supported the Occupy protests.

He would have organized them.

From Stanley Kurtz’s essential Radical-in-Chief: Barack Obama and the Untold Story of American Socialism, pp. 117-8:

In fact, Obama personally helped plan one of UNO’s most confrontational actions of the eighties [in 1988]: a break-in meant to intimidate a coalition of local business and neighborhood leaders into dropping a landfill expansion deal.

We know of Obama’s involvement in this demonstration only because his supporters in 2008 felt it necessary to rebut charges that, contrary to his claims of inter-racial healing, he had organized exclusively with blacks. Only then did Obama’s former colleagues from UNO [United Neighborhood Organization, a largely Mexican group] of Chicago reveal that he had helped to plan and lead this multi-ethnic demonstration against landfill expansion on Chicago’s South Side.

…Shouting “No deals!” somewhere between eighty and a hundred UNO-DCP [Developing Communities Project, a black group organized by Obama] marched to a local bank. There they broke into a meeting being conducted by the bank president and local community leaders. The group was exploring the possibility of a deal with Waste Management. The protestors, presumably including Obama, surrounded the meeting table while [Mary-Ellen] Montes [of UNO] told the negotiators, “We will fight you every step of the way.”

Obama was also likely involved with other aggressive UNO protests, including protests for school reform, through which he likely met former Weather Underground terrorist Bill Ayers. Ayers is involved in the Occupy protests today.

In the 1990s, Obama maintained his ties to radical activists, and “channel[ed] foundation funding to his confrontational Alinskyite colleagues.”

It’s clear that Obama’s ties to the Occupy movement–its forbears, its tactics, and some of its current luminaries–run deep.

This is what “community organizing” looks like.


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Friday, October 14, 2011

9-9-9? Nein, Nein, Nein

On August 8, well before Rick Perry’s campaign disintegrated in the debates, I warned that it would be a critical mistake to make him our nominee because he would be ridiculed once some of his views became well-known.

I feel the same way about Herman Cain. I love Mr. Cain and his conservative views, but his 9-9-9 tax plan is complete nonsense, and will also become a subject of ridicule. God knows we need a simplified tax code, but a flat tax that rewards millionaires and punishes low income earners is unacceptable, and a sales tax added to an income tax will give future Congresses a weapon similar to handing a match and gasoline to a firebug. Mr. Cain may appeal to some conservatives, but Obama will win 48 states if Cain is our nominee. I wonder how many conservatives recognize that Cain's 9-9-9 tax plan turns Social Security and Medicare into welfare programs entirely financed by Congressional authorizations.

Although the following analysis was published in the NY Times, the author, Bruce Bartlett, is someone to be trusted:

Inside the Cain Tax Plan

By BRUCE BARTLETT October 11, 2011 NY Times

Bruce Bartlett held senior policy roles in the Reagan and George H.W. Bush administrations and served on the staffs of Representatives Jack Kemp and Ron Paul. He is the author of the forthcoming book “The Benefit and the Burden.”

With recent polls showing increased support for Herman Cain as the G.O.P. presidential nominee, attention is being drawn to his platform, especially what he calls the 9-9-9 tax plan. News reports describe it as a 9 percent tax rate on business and personal income, combined with a 9 percent national sales tax.

Little detail has been released by the Cain campaign, so it’s impossible to do a thorough analysis. But using what is available on Mr. Cain’s Web site, I’m taking a stab at estimating its effects.

First, the 9-9-9 plan is actually an intermediate step in Mr. Cain’s plan to overhaul the tax system and jump-start growth. Phase 1 would reduce individual and business taxes to a maximum of 25 percent, which I assume means reducing the top statutory tax rate to 25 percent from 35 percent.

No mention is made on the site of a tax cut for those now in the 10 percent, 15 percent or 25 percent brackets. This means that the only people who would get a tax rate cut are those now in the 28 percent, 33 percent or 35 percent brackets. According to the Joint Committee on Taxation, only 4 percent of taxpayers pay any taxes at those rates.

As for corporations, Mr. Cain’s proposal is primarily going to benefit those with revenues of more than $1 million a year, because they account for 98.7 percent of all receipts by C corporations. (A C corporation is a legal entity separate and distinct from its owners that is taxed as a corporation; its shareholders pay taxes individually on their gains.) Those companies with receipts over $50 million account for 88.8 percent of total receipts.

Other business entities — sole proprietorships, S corporations (which have between 1 and 100 shareholders and pass through net income or losses to shareholders) and partnerships — would not benefit because they are not taxed on the corporate schedule. But they represent 92 percent of all businesses.

Second, Mr. Cain would eliminate all taxes on profits earned by multinational corporations outside the United States. It’s hard to know the impact of this provision, but according to Martin Sullivan, an economist with Tax Analysts, the 50 largest corporations in the United States generated half of their profits in other countries.

The actual benefit of Mr. Cain’s proposal would be much greater to many of them, because, according to Mr. Sullivan, while some of these 50 companies have no foreign operations, others derive 100 percent of their gross profits in foreign countries.

In 2010 these included Philip Morris, Pfizer and Abbott Laboratories.

Third, Mr. Cain would abolish all taxes on capital gains. Such taxes typically generate more than $100 billion in federal revenue annually, according to the Tax Policy Center. According to the Joint Committee on Taxation, two-thirds of all capital gains are reported by those with incomes over $1 million.

Mr. Cain says these three proposals, which he would put into effect immediately without offsetting the lost revenue, will jump-start economic growth. He offers no evidence for this assertion; it is simply put forward as self-evident. But the experience of the George W. Bush administration was that cuts in tax rates on the wealthy and on capital gains had no effect whatsoever on growth, according to the Congressional Research Service.

And this is only Phase 1 of the Cain plan. In Phase 2, the payroll tax would be eliminated, causing more than $800 billion in revenue to evaporate. The estate and gift tax would be abolished, further reducing taxes on the wealthy. And the 9-9-9 plan would be implemented.

It’s important to understand that the 9 percent rates on personal and business income would apply to very different tax bases than now exist. For individuals, the tax would apply to gross income less only the deduction for charitable contributions. No mention is made of a personal exemption.

This means that the 47 percent of tax filers who now pay no federal income taxes will pay 9 percent on their total income. And elimination of the payroll tax won’t even help half of them because the earned income tax credit, which Mr. Cain would abolish, offsets both their income tax liability and their payroll tax payment as well.

Additionally, everyone would now pay a 9 percent sales tax on all purchases. No mention is made of any exemptions from this tax, so we may assume that it will apply to food, medical care, rent, home and auto purchases and a wide variety of other expenditures now exempt from state sales taxes. This would increase their cost of living by 9 percent while, at the same time, the poor would pay income taxes.

The business tax in the Cain plan bears no resemblance to the present corporate income tax. The tax would apply to gross sales less dividends paid and all purchases from other companies, including investment goods. Thus, there would be no deduction for wages.

How benefits would be treated is unclear, because purchases of things like health insurance might constitute a purchase from another company and remain deductible. If so, what is to stop a company from paying its employees by leasing their cars and homes for them and even buying their food and clothing? That would reduce their taxable revenue.

The abolition of any deduction for wages is likely to raise the cost of employing workers, even with abolition of the employers’ share of the payroll tax. And since the dividend deduction doesn’t appear to be related to profitability, companies could borrow to pay dividends and still get the deduction. Even a novice tax lawyer could easily make a tax shelter out of that.

And here’s the kicker in the Cain plan. Phase 2 is merely a transition to yet another fundamental tax reform. In Phase 3, the United States would adopt the so-called Fair Tax, which would replace all federal taxes with a 30 percent sales tax on all goods and services. In a previous post, I explained why the Fair Tax is a bad idea. I went into more detail in testimony before the House Ways and Means Committee on July 26.

Whatever one thinks of the Fair Tax, it makes not the slightest bit of sense to have a plan that requires fundamental changes to the federal tax system twice to achieve its objective.

Veterans of tax reform attempts in the United States know reform is very difficult and time-consuming even once. If the Fair Tax is a good idea, Mr. Cain ought to just do it, without confusing the issue with his unnecessary and highly complicated 9-9-9 plan. After all, one of the prime selling points of the Fair Tax is its simplicity, and the 9-9-9 plan is far from that.

Because so little detail exists, it’s hard to do either a proper revenue estimate or distributional analysis of the Cain plan. It’s obvious, however, that Phase 1 would represent a huge tax cut for the wealthy at a time when federal revenues are at a historical low as a share of the gross domestic product and the economy’s fundamental problem is a lack of aggregate demand.

Thus the Cain plan would increase the budget deficit without doing anything to stimulate demand, because rich people can already spend as much as they want and are unlikely to spend more even if their taxes are abolished.

The poor and the middle class might increase their spending if they could keep more of their earnings, but they will unquestionably pay more under Phase 2 of the Cain plan. With no tax on capital gains, the rich would pay almost nothing, while elimination of all deductions and credits, as well as imposition of a national sales tax, must necessarily raise taxes on everyone else, especially those not now paying income taxes.

At a minimum, the Cain plan is a distributional monstrosity. The poor would pay more while the rich would have their taxes cut, with no guarantee that economic growth will increase and good reason to believe that the budget deficit will increase.

Even allowing for the poorly thought through promises routinely made on the campaign trail, Mr. Cain’s tax plan stands out as exceptionally ill conceived.


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Thursday, October 13, 2011

A Letter to the Lazy

President Obama, VP Biden and Nancy Pelosi are on record as encouraging the mobs now demonstrating in various cities against something or other. This makes sense as the main idea of the Democratic Party seems nowadays to be based on “hate”. They hate anyone who has worked hard and been successful – hence the class warfare gambit. They hate anyone who disagrees with them – they never respond with facts and logic, only abuse and attempts to destroy reputations.

What will become of these mobs is anyone’s guess, but I hope voters aren’t thrilled that an American President is encouraging them. This is another page out of Saul Alinsky’s book, and another indication that Dinesh D'Souza was absolutely correct in his conclusion that what drives Obama is an urge to punish America.

A Letter to the Lazy

By Ben Stein on 10.13.11 American Spectator

Don't just whine and beat drums about people and institutions you don't know the first thing about.

Dear Demonstrators,

What a great time you must be having. I used to demonstrate a lot myself. In the 1950s and 1960s we marched and picketed for civil rights for black Americans and we accomplished a lot. In the late '60s and '70s we demonstrated to end the war in Vietnam and "bring it on home to Babylon..." as we often said. The results were a catastrophe for the Cambodians but probably good for the U.S., which was caught in a meat grinder there in Asia.

My wife and I also danced and screamed and sang for the Black Panther Party. That was a bit of a mistake but we were at Yale and we didn't know any better.

But we always had specific goals: voting rights. Equal housing and accommodations. Bringing the troops home.

What are your specific goals? It means zero to be against greed. Greed is a basic part of animal nature. Being against it is like being against breathing or eating. It means nothing.

And, what does it mean to be against corporations? Corporate ownership is by far the most efficient, responsible way of organizing industrial production there has ever been. It is a billion times more democratic that the Marxist forms of organization some of your speakers are advocating. Marxism is so much uglier than capitalism it's not even in the same universe. Marxism is just systemized envy, violence, and repression.

Besides, your parents and grandparents are the owners of those corporations through their retirement investments. Do you want to impoverish your own parents and grandparents? Do you want to impoverish yourselves?

I agree that there are some bad apples on Wall Street. I spent about ten years exposing corporate and financial fraud for Barron's magazine and I found a lot to write about.

But the overwhelming majority of the people on Wall Street get up early, work an incredibly long, hard honest day, mostly trying to make money for your parents and grandparents and for the endowments of your universities -- and for a very few wealthy people who often leave their money to your schools.

To tar all of Wall Street with the same brush is outrageously unfair and false.

Look, many of you have educations. If you want to fight the evil you see in finance and industry, get to work reading the corporate filings, see if there has been fraud, and where you find it, report it to the SEC or write about it or blog about it.
But don't just whine and beat drums about people you don't know and don't mock the best political and economic system there has ever been. Do something specific and constructive, and if you are willing to work as hard as the people on Wall Street, you might just accomplish something.

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