Tuesday, October 05, 2010

Democrats, Union Workers, and Communists Rally Together in Washington

Unmotivated, Lethargic Astroturfers Trash the Nation’s Capital

The lines between the Democratic Party, labor unions, socialist and communist organizations, were blurred at the One Nation Working Together rally at the Lincoln Memorial on Saturday. It was organized by One Nation Working Together, which is headed by the cream of the Democratic Party.

National Campaign Manager of One Nation Working Together, Leah Daughtry, was CEO and top organizer of the 2008 Democratic National Convention in Denver Colorado where Barack Obama was nominated to be the parties candidate for president. Many of the top organizers have been Democratic candidates for office, or work for Obama for America.

The page on the National Education Association’s website inviting its members to travel to the rally quotes its president: “NEA is proud to be standing with our brothers and sisters in the labor and social justice movement …”

Much more HERE


Useful Idiots And Usual Suspects

Historian Paul Kengor clearly loves the research aspect of writing. His latest book bears witness to how digging for detail can yield not only clues to the past, but insights for the present. His recently released 600-page tome, Dupes: How America’s Adversaries Have Manipulated Progressives For A Century, complete with more than 1,500 detailed supporting notes, is a case in point.

Dr. Kengor is a professor of political science at Grove City (Pennsylvania) College and the executive director its excellent Center for Vision and Values. His prolific pen has produced past bestsellers such as, The Crusader: Ronald Reagan and the Fall of Communism. Now, with Dupes, he has written the most exhaustive and definitive account of Communism’s 20th century assault on America to date. It is a story that flows with virtual seamlessness into the defining conflict of the new century and millennium—the threat of Islamism. Though the ideologies are vastly different and even the methodologies used in propagation don’t always resemble each other, the Communist threat of the Cold War and before, as well as the current conflict with Islamism, have one clear and sad thing in common.

Our enemies have been aided and abetted by liberal dupes.

That’s right, the names and faces change over time, but the gullibility and culpability of the ever-present usual suspects of American liberalism continue to provide cover for our enemies, as was the case—now completely documented—from 1917 to 1989. In fact, Kengor makes it clear that our real enemy for nearly a century now has been the “anti-anti” mindset. First, it was “anti-anti-communism,” which is alive and well in college history departments across the country, now it is “anti-anti-Islamism,” which ignores an obviously concrete threat in favor of the nebulous mirage of “anti-Islamophobia.”



Capital Gains Taxation: Less Means More

A new study suggests a zero cap gains rate could create millions of jobs at a fraction of the cost of the spending stimulus

Congress is deliberating on what to do about the "Bush tax cuts"—the reductions in income, capital gains and dividend taxes legislated in 2001 and 2003—currently set to expire at the end of this year. The recession may officially be over, but what Washington does on tax policy still matters for an economy that's creating very few net new jobs and is stuck with an unacceptably high unemployment rate and record-high federal budget deficits of over 9% of GDP.

Capital gains taxation is one area in which lawmakers can help jump-start the economy. Capital gains tax rates for taxpayers in the top four income brackets are set to move higher in a few months. My new study, "Capital Gains Taxes and the Economy," published this week by the American Council for Capital Formation, shows that the net effect of lower capital gains taxation is a significant plus for U.S. macroeconomic performance.

The study simulated reductions and increases in capital gains taxes starting in 2011 and extending to 2016 to estimate the effects on economic growth, jobs and unemployment, inflation, savings, the financial markets and debt.

Here are a few of the relevant findings:

• Hiking capital gains tax rates would cause significant damage to the economy.

Raising the capital gains tax rate to 20%, 28% or 50% from the current 15% would reduce growth in real GDP, raise the unemployment rate and significantly reduce productivity. These losses to the economy outweigh any gains in tax receipts from the increase in the capital gains tax rate.

For example, at a 28% capital gains tax rate, economic growth declines 0.1 percentage points per annum and the economy loses about 600,000 jobs yearly. If the capital gains tax rate were increased to 50%, real GDP growth would decline by 0.3 percentage points per year, and there would be 1.6 million fewer jobs created per year. At a 20% capital gains rate compared with the current 15%, real economic growth falls by a little less than 0.1 percentage points per year and jobs decline about 231,000 a year. Smaller increases in the capital gains tax rate have smaller effects on the economy, but the effects are still negative.

• Lowering capital gains tax rates would help grow the economy and jobs.

My study found that when capital gains taxes are reduced to below 15%, the after-tax return on equity rises, stock prices increase, household wealth rises, consumption moves higher, and capital gains can be realized. Capital gains tax receipts to the government increase and household financial conditions improve to provide a healthier basis for future consumer spending.

My study also found that a reduction in the capital gains tax rate to 5% from 15% raises real GDP growth by 0.2 percentage points per year, lowers the unemployment rate by 0.2 percentage points per year, and increases nonfarm payroll jobs by 711,000 a year. Productivity growth improves 0.3 percentage points a year.

Taken to its logical conclusion, moving to a zero capital gains tax rate would have an even bigger effect, increasing growth in real GDP by over 0.2 percentage points per year and approximately 1.3 million additional jobs per year.

• Higher capital gains taxes will not substantially reduce the deficit.

The net impact on the federal budget deficit of a reduction in the capital gains tax rate to 0% is a decline in tax receipts of $23 billion per year after the positive effects of stronger economic growth on payroll, personal and corporate income taxes are taken into account. This is significantly less than the $30 billion per year static revenue loss estimate, which does not include feedback effects. A capital gains tax reduction to 0% produces new jobs at a cost of $18,000 per worker, far less than might occur from many other proposals.

The bottom line is that any capital gains tax increase is counterproductive to real economic growth. To the contrary, a reduction in the capital gains tax rate would be a pro-growth fiscal stimulus that creates new jobs and new businesses, funds entrepreneurship, reduces the unemployment rate, increases productivity, and in the long run brings in more payroll taxes. In the case of capital gains taxation, less means more.




The new elite: "Greenhut not only addresses the financial exposure we face from the unsustainable pension and health care benefits that our public employees are receiving, but describes how they are taking advantage of us in other ways. For example, several years ago unions argued that in order to protect their privacy, police and firefighters should not have their addresses available in the Department of Motor Vehicles database. Whether or not that makes sense, it has now been expanded to virtually every government worker in California. That amounts to over 1 million people, which is 1 out of every 22 California licensed drivers. If you get a photo-ticket for a questionable move at an intersection, you will likely have to pay a very hefty fine. But because their information is not in the DMV database, public employees and their families virtually never receive that same ticket. There are a myriad of other traffic violations they escape because of this exclusion, and it’s not just cops who are protected – it’s also the school janitor!

A day of reckoning for public pensions: "In 1967, Dustin Hoffman’s character in The Graduate received a single word of advice for his future: ‘Plastics!’ If Hollywood were to remake that movie today, the updated scene would offer two words of counsel: ‘Government job!’ After all, a number of recent studies conclude that federal workers earn 20 to 30 percent more per hour than their private sector counterparts. And where local, state, and federal government workers really come out ahead isn’t just in pay; it’s in the benefits. Most private sector workers can only dream of getting the generous lifetime pension and health benefits typical of government service. These dream benefits are fast becoming a nightmare for taxpayers.”

Ex-workers get first class deals with Postal Service: "Who says you can’t go back? Apparently you can at the US Postal Service. Dozens of former top executives and hundreds of former employees have returned to the agency in recent years as private contractors, sometimes making double the salaries they made as full-time workers, according to one of three watchdog audits. The reports said the cash-strapped Postal Service is doing a poor job tracking its use of no-bid contracts, contributes more to worker health and life insurance benefits than other federal agencies, and should consider closing more of its regional offices to help address an expected $230 billion, 10-year budget gap. The Postal Service recently reported billions of dollars in losses because of declining mail volume.”

Media hearts Islam: "This weekend appears to mark a turning point in Islam’s war against America. This weekend, the lamestream media, via ABC News, officially declared its allegiance to Islam. On Friday night, Diane Sawyer and Bill Weir hosted a laughably shallow and juvenile (and one-sided) “special,” "Faith and Fear: Islam in America.” And today, the absurdly miscast and undertalented Christiaaaaane Amanpooooouuuuur ran an even worse “town hall“ show, “Holy War: Should Americans Fear Islam?”

Insurers get real: "Since January, the nation’s five largest insurers and the industry’s Washington-based lobbying arm have given three times more money to Republican lawmakers and political action committees than to Democrats. That is a marked change from 2009, when the industry largely split its political donations between the two parties, according to federal election filings. The largest insurers also are paying hundreds of thousands of dollars to lobbyists with close ties to key Republican lawmakers who could be shaping health policy in January, records show.”

China: Wen Jiabao promises political reform: "Wen Jiabao, the Chinese prime minister, has promised that China will carry out political reform and acknowledged that the need for democracy and freedom in China is ‘irresistible.’ … The interview marks the third time in recent weeks that Mr Wen has raised the topic of political reform.”

Science kit makers battle feds over safety tests: "Federal regulators are hard at work making the world a safer place for kids — starting with the threat posed by ‘toxic paper clips.’ Never heard of a toxic paper clip? Neither have the manufacturers of science kits for classrooms across the country. But they’re now locked in a debate with federal officials, who just moved a step closer to requiring costly new safety tests on the components of those kits. The kit makers warn the requirements could end up mandating pointless tests on components ranging from paper clips to nails to rulers.”

Big dig problems never end: "After Sam Maurer’s 19-year-old son was killed in a gruesome crash into handrails in the Big Dig tunnels, Mauer vowed to come up with a fix for the so-called ginsu guardrails that have been involved in seven traffic deaths between 2005 and 2008. This spring, Maurer, a 59-year-old industrial engineer, commissioned graduate engineering students at the Midwest Roadside Safety Facility in Nebraska to search for a repair to the guardrails. The students’ recently finished report urges a chain-link-style fence system that they say would help save the lives of motorcyclists and motorists. They estimated the cost at $873,000. It comes after stories in the Globe in February that pointed out possible design flaws in the handrails that might have contributed to the deaths.”

Company stops insuring titles in Chase foreclosures: "Amid growing concerns about the legal practices of mortgage lenders, Old Republic National Title Insurance told agents Friday it would stop insuring homes foreclosed by JPMorgan Chase & Co (JPM.N), The New York Times reported Saturday, citing a company memo. … When house foreclosures are done with faulty documentation, new owners could be vulnerable to ownership claims. Title insurers agreed to protect buyers against defects or errors in the title.”

The real Democratic whiners: "The way Democratic leaders tell it, their party’s current ‘enthusiasm gap’ comes from rank-and-file voters who are irrational and pessimistic complainers. ‘Democrats, just congenitally, tend to (see) the glass as half empty,’ President Obama said last month during a $30,000-a-plate fundraiser at the Connecticut home of a donor named (no joke) Rich Richman. Days later, Vice President Biden told a separate audience of donors that voters need ‘to stop whining.’ Apparently, the two believe that a mix of Marie Antoinette’s ‘let them eat cake’ motto and Phil Gramm’s ‘nation of whiners’ mantra will excite the Democratic base. Who knows? Maybe it’ll work. But probably not.”

There is a new lot of postings by Chris Brand just up -- on his usual vastly "incorrect" themes of race, genes, IQ etc.

My Twitter.com identity: jonjayray. My Facebook page is also accessible as jonjayray (In full: http://www.facebook.com/jonjayray). For more blog postings from me, see TONGUE-TIED, EDUCATION WATCH INTERNATIONAL, GREENIE WATCH, POLITICAL CORRECTNESS WATCH, GUN WATCH, FOOD & HEALTH SKEPTIC, AUSTRALIAN POLITICS, IMMIGRATION WATCH INTERNATIONAL, EYE ON BRITAIN and Paralipomena

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The Big Lie of the late 20th century was that Nazism was Rightist. It was in fact typical of the Leftism of its day. It was only to the Right of Stalin's Communism. The very word "Nazi" is a German abbreviation for "National Socialist" (Nationalsozialist) and the full name of Hitler's political party (translated) was "The National Socialist German Workers' Party" (In German: Nationalsozialistische Deutsche Arbeiterpartei)


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