Category Archives: Politics
“The populist notion of taxing the rich once again turned up in the International Monetary Fund’s Fiscal Monitor Reportreleased in October, but scarcely anyone noticed. In an arcane chart-laden 107-page-long report that was competing at the time with the government shutdown, the failing rollout of ObamaCare, and other concerns, crises, and disasters, why should they?
Here’s why. On page 49, the authors said, “The sharp deterioration of the public finances in many countries has revived interest in a ‘capital levy’ — a one-time tax on private wealth — as an exceptional measure to restore debt sustainability.”
Let’s be clear: That tax would apply to all private wealth on the planet. And it wouldn’t balance budgets but would only bring them down to a slightly more manageable level so that government borrowing and spending could continue without interruption. The levy would have to be implemented rapidly, before the wealthy could react and move their assets, or themselves, out of harm’s way: “The appeal is that such a tax, if it is implemented before avoidance is possible … [will not] distort behavior.”
If such a tax were delayed in implementation, governments that had borrowed and spent too much might not be able to confiscate enough money to escape short-term financial trouble and would have to default on their promises or inflate them away:
The conditions for success are strong, but also need to be weighed against the risks of the alternatives, which include repudiating public debt or inflating it away (these, in turn, are a particular form of wealth tax — on bondholders).
This is where the IMF’s interests really lie: Those bondholders, including central banks, which have allowed governments to exceed their borrowing capacity and are now facing the threat of severe haircuts through either default or inflation.
Just how much would the IMF’s “capital levy” be? Say the authors:
The tax rates needed to bring down public debt to precrisis levels are sizable: reducing debt ratios to end-2007 levels would require … a tax rate of about 10 percent on households with positive net worth.
After reading the entire 107 pages, Forbes’ columnist Bill Frezza was livid:
[The IMF proposal] means that all households with positive net worth — everyone with retirement savings or home equity — would have their assets plundered….
It would merely “restore debt sustainability,” allowing free-spending sovereigns to keep tapping the bond markets until the next crisis comes along.
Romain Hatchuel, the managing partner of asset-manager Square Advisors, saw the same dangers but noted that the tax rate on everyone owning anything in the United States would be much higher than just 10 percent:
As the IMF calculates, the … revenue-maximizing [tax] rate … is around 60 percent, way above existing levels.
For the U.S., it is [between] 56% and 71% — far more than the current 45% paid … by those in the top tax bracket…
From New York to London … powerful economic players are deciding that with an ever-deteriorating global fiscal outlook, conventional levels and methods of taxation will no longer suffice. That makes weapons of mass wealth destruction — such as the IMF’s one-off capital levy… — likelier by the day.
This is going to be a tough sell, which is why it must be mandated through international agreements…..”
“Former U.S. Rep. Allen West, R-Fla., is joining the National Rifle Association and other gun-rights groups to warn about a back-door attack on the Second Amendment by the Obama administration’s Environmental Protection Agency.
In a column posted on his website Sunday, West wrote about the Doe Run company’s lead-producing plant in Herculaneum, Mo., which is being forced to close after the EPA required it to spend up to $100 million on upgrades.
Doe Run, the last primary lead smelter in the United States, has been around since 1892 but is closing on Dec. 31.
West accused Obama of using the EPA to advance “backdoor gun control … while we are all distracted with Obamacare and Iran nuclear negotiations.”
West argued the Obama administration’s “new extremely tight air-quality restrictions” have led to the end of lead as the primary metal in bullets — making ammunition much more expensive and less accessible and leaving America no choice but to turn to overseas operations to produce lead bullets, a situation West says is akin to a federal power grab on guns.
“Come 2014, all ammunition sold to civilian gun owners in America will have to be imported, a result of President Obama’s crackdown on sulfur dioxide and lead emissions and accompanying harsh Environmental Protection Agency regulations,” wrote West….”
“For a crime to exist, there must be an injured party (Corpus Delicti) There can be no sanction or penalty imposed on one because of this Constitutional right.” Sherer v. Cullen 481 F. 945:
“With no injured party, a complaint is invalid on its face”. Gibson v. Boyle, 139 Ariz. 512
Supreme courts ruled “Without Corpus delicti there can be no crime”“In every prosecution for crime it is necessary to establish the “corpus delecti”, i.e., the body or elements of the crime.” People v. Lopez, 62 Ca.Rptr. 47, 254 C.A.2d 185.
“In every criminal trial, the prosecution must prove the corpus delecti, or the body of the crime itself-i.e., the fact of injury, loss or harm, and the existence of a criminal agency as its cause. ” People v. Sapp, 73 P.3d 433, 467 (Cal. 2003) [quoting People v. Alvarez, (2002) 27 Cal.4th 1161, 1168-1169, 119 Cal.Rptr.2d 903, 46 P.3d 372.].
“As a general principal, standing to invoke the judicial process requires an actual justiciable controversy as to which the complainant has a real interest in the ultimate adjudication because he or she has either suffered or is about to suffer an injury. ” People v. Superior Court, 126 Cal.Rptr.2d 793.
“Without standing, there is no actual or justiciable controversy, and courts will not entertain such cases. (3 Witlen, Cal. Procedure (3rd ed. 1985) Actions § 44, pp 70-72.) “Typically, … the standing inquiry requires careful judicial examination of a complaint’s allegations to ascertain whether the particular plaintiff is entitled to an adjudication of the particular claims asserted. ” (Allen v. Wright, (1984) 468 U.S. 737, 752…Whether one has standing in a particular case generally revolved around the question whether that person has rights that may suffer some injury, actual or threatened. ” Clifford S. v. Superior Court, 45 Cal.Rptr.2d 333, 335.
There are seven elements of jurisdiction and every element MUST be met in order for the court to proceed.
SEVEN ELEMENTS OF JURISDICTION….”
“In my last column I emphasized that it was important for American citizens to demand to know what the real agendas are behind the wars of choice by the Bush and Obama regimes. These are major long term wars each lasting two to three times as long as World War II. Forbes reports that one million US soldiers have been injured in the Iraq and Afghanistan wars. RT reports that the cost of keeping each US soldier in Afghanistan has risen from $1.3 million per soldier to $2.1 million per soldier. Matthew J. Nasuti reports in the Kabul Press that it cost US taxpayers $50 million to kill one Taliban soldier. That means it cost $1 billion to kill 20 Taliban fighters. This is a war that can be won only at the cost of the total bankruptcy of the United States.
Joseph Stiglitz and Linda Bilmes have estimated that the current out-of-pocket and already incurred future costs of the Afghan and Iraq wars is at least $6 trillion.
In other words, it is the cost of these two wars that explain the explosion of the US public debt and the economic and political problems associated with this large debt.
What has America gained in return for $6 trillion and one million injured soldiers, many very severely?
In Iraq there is now an Islamist Shia regime allied with Iran in place of a secular Sunni regime that was an enemy of Iran, one as dictatorial as the other, presiding over war ruins, ongoing violence as high as during the attempted US occupation, and extraordinary birth defects from the toxic substances associated with the US invasion and occupation.
In Afghanistan there is an undefeated and apparently undefeatable Taliban and a revived drug trade that is flooding the Western world with drugs.
The icing on these Bush and Obama “successes” are demands from around the world that Americans and former British PM Tony Blair be held accountable for their war crimes. Certainly, Washington’s reputation has plummeted as a result of these two wars. No governments anywhere are any longer sufficiently gullible as to believe anything that Washington says.
These are huge costs for wars for which we have no explanation.
The Bush/Obama regimes have come up with various cover stories: a “war on terror,”
“we have to kill them over there before they come over here,” “weapons of mass destruction,” revenge for 9/11, Osama bin Laden (who died of his illnesses in December 2001 as was widely reported at the time).
None of these explanations are viable. Neither the Taliban nor Saddam Hussein were engaged in terrorism in the US. As the weapons inspectors informed the Bush regime, there were no WMD in Iraq. Invading Muslim countries and slaughtering civilians is more likely to create terrorists than to suppress them. According to the official story, the 9/11 hijackers and Osama bin Laden were Saudi Arabians, not Afghans or Iraqis. Yet it wasn’t Saudi Arabia that was invaded.
Democracy and accountable government simply does not exist when the executive branch can take a country to wars in behalf of secret agendas operating behind cover stories that are transparent lies.
It is just as important to ask these same questions about the agenda of the US police state. Why have Bush and Obama removed the protection of law as a shield of the people and turned law into a weapon in the hands of the executive branch?….”
This would eventually force a single payer system….no?
“During testimony this past week on Capitol Hill, Health and Human Services Secretary dropped a bombshell. Being grilled about Barack Obama’s lie regarding people being able to keep their insurance plans and doctors, Sebelius also said that with the grandfathering process comes certain caveats, which means that the existing plans would have to meet the new standards or they would be cancelled. She then went on to say, “Employer based grandfathered plans will have the same caveats.”
Barack Obama has tried to pull a fast one and snuck in a two letter word into his lie, “if.” “What we said was: You could keep it if it hasn’t changed since the law passed,” Obama said.
He immediately moved from that lie to another one, saying “The bottom line is we are making the insurance market better for everybody.”
obamacare_13509No, they are not. They are attempting to move to a single payer system and this fiasco is the stepping stone to that goal. Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-NV) told us that.
Obama has been lying all along…”
There are many ways to hose the taxpayer; let’s make sure this will not be one of them. Don’t get *^#*!$ in the @$$
“Statement by Francisco Enriquez, U.S. Public Interest Research Group Tax and Budget Associate, in response to recent news reports that JPMorgan will admit fault as part of its $100 million settlement with the Commodity Futures Trading Commission for the $6 billion “London Whale” trading fiasco.
“On Wednesday, reports emerged that JPMorgan Chase will agree to admit to wrongdoing and pay a $100 million penalty for improper market manipulation that led to a multibillion dollar trading loss. Yet unless the Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC) explicitly forbids it, the bank could write off the settlement as a tax deduction, forcing taxpayers to shoulder some of the cost of JPMorgan’s admitted reckless behavior.
“JPMorgan’s admission of wrongdoing will only benefit the public if investors can be made whole through ensuing civil litigation, and if taxpayers are protected from bearing the cost of tax windfalls to the bank.
“Federal law forbids companies from deducting public fines and penalties from their taxes, but payments made as part of a settlement can be treated differently. Companies that cut deals with an agency to resolve charges through a legal settlement typically manage to deduct the penalties as a tax write-off unless specifically forbidden from doing so. In essence, companies are allowed to receive a tax subsidy for their wrongdoing, forcing ordinary taxpayers to shoulder the budgetary burden.
“Despite an admission of wrongdoing….”
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“A controversial report released this month by the International Monetary Fund outlines schemes to have big-spending governments with out-of-control debts plunder humanity’s wealth using a mix of much higher taxes and outright confiscation. The goal: Prop up Big Government. Because people and their assets are generally mobile, the radical IMF document, dubbed “Taxing Times,” also proposes measures to prevent them from escaping before they can be fleeced. Of course, the real problems — debt-based fiat currency, lawless bank bailouts, and a cartel-run monetary system — are virtually ignored.
Pointing to absurd and rising levels of government debt, as well as increasing income inequality, the IMF document suggests there are few remaining options for desperate policymakers to explore. Two that are mentioned include “repudiating public debt” — in other words, defaulting on government bonds — or “inflating it away” by having privately owned central banks conjure even more gargantuan amounts of fiat currency into existence at interest. Both of those plots, of course, would still represent a massive transfer of wealth.
However, even though it hides behind the passive voice, the IMF preference for dealing with the debt problems appears to be simply confiscating the wealth more directly. “The sharp deterioration of the public finances in many countries has revived interest in a capital levy, a one-off tax on private wealth, as an exceptional measure to restore debt sustainability,” the report claims. “The appeal is that such a tax, if it is implemented before avoidance is possible, and there is a belief that it will never be repeated, does not distort behavior (and may be seen by some as fair).”
Reducing government debt ratios to “pre-crisis levels” seen at the end of 2007 — before the multi-trillion-dollar banker bailouts and ramping up of the lawless currency printing at central banks — will require “sizeable” tax rates, the IMF continues. Citing a sample of 15 euro-area nations, the report claims that all households with positive net wealth — anyone with more assets than debt, in essence — would have to surrender about 10 percent of it. Because many people who lived responsibly and saved would try to avoid the looting of their wealth, drastic measures must be considered to stop them.
“There is a surprisingly large amount of experience to draw on, as such levies were widely adopted in Europe after World War I and in Germany and Japan after World War II,” the IMF report notes. “This experience suggests that more notable than any loss of credibility was a simple failure to achieve debt reduction, largely because the delay in introduction gave space for extensive avoidance and capital flight, in turn spurring inflation [sic].”
By proposing the outright confiscation of middle-class wealth, analysts say the IMF is essentially acknowledging that simply looting “the rich” will not be enough to even restore government debt to “sustainable” levels. Still, the non-establishment “rich” would face by far the most ferocious assaults on their assets under the schemes outlined in the radical IMF report, which was promptly celebrated by Big Government-supporting politicians.
Noting that financial wealth and people are mobile, the document suggests that there “may be a case” for confiscating varying amounts of wealth using various means — all depending on how easy it would be for people to protect the assets in question from legalized looting. “Substantial progress likely requires enhanced international cooperation to make it harder for the very well-off to evade taxation by placing funds elsewhere,” the report says matter-of-factly.
Taxes on the “rich” of around 60 percent to 70 percent, according to the IMF, would likely be the rate at which the most plunder could be extracted for desperate governments. “A revenue-maximizing approach to taxing the rich effectively puts a weight of zero on their well-being,” the report explains, calling that notion “contentious.” “If one attaches less weight to those with the highest incomes, the vote would be to increase the top marginal rate.”
Private companies that try to reduce their already-crushing tax burdens using “tax planning schemes,” as the report calls them, are also in the IMF crosshairs for increased wealth confiscation. In a section headlined “Tricks of the Trade,” for example, the document blasts business efforts to provide services directly from “low-tax jurisdictions” as “abusive.”
In essence, the IMF and other taxpayer-funded international institutions hope to see a stronger global regulatory regime to ensure maximum wealth extraction via corporate taxation, too. “The chance to review international tax architecture seems to come about once a century; the fundamental issues should not be ducked,” the report argues.
The devastating consequences of squandering ever-greater amounts of productive capital on government programs, of course, are largely overlooked. Meanwhile, the unspoken assumption underpinning the radical ideas is essentially that companies exist to produce wealth for governments to spend — rather than value for shareholders and consumers as has traditionally been the case.
Looking past the bureaucratic language, the IMF caveats, its effort to hide behind the passive voice, and the thinly disguised attempt to make the heist sound palatable to the public because not everyone would be fleeced just yet…..”
“OBAMA SECRETLY SIGNING AWAY U.S. SOVEREIGNTY
Shock plan regulates food, medicine, financial markers, Internet freedom
Despite the government shutdown, the Obama administration has continued secret negotiations to complete what is known as the Trans-Pacific Partnership, or TPP.
The expansive plan is a proposed free-trade agreement between the U.S., Australia, Brunei, Chile, Canada, Japan, Malaysia, Mexico, New Zealand, Peru, Singapore and Vietnam.
The agreement would create new guidelines for everything from food safety to fracking, financial markets, medical prices, copyright rules and Internet freedom.
The TPP negotiations have been criticized by politicians and advocacy groups alike for their secrecy. The few aspects of the partnership leaked to the public indicate an expansive agenda with highly limited congressional oversight.
A New York Times opinion piece previously called the deal the “most significant international commercial agreement since the creation of the World Trade Organization in 1995.”
Last week, the White House website released a joint statement with the other proposed TPP signatories affirming “our countries are on track to complete the Trans-Pacific Partnership negotiations.”
“Ministers and negotiators have made significant progress in recent months on all the legal texts and annexes on access to our respective goods, services, investment, financial services, government procurement, and temporary entry markets,” the White House said.
The statement did not divulge details of the partnership other than to suggest a final TPP agreement “must reflect our common vision to establish a comprehensive, next-generation model for addressing both new and traditional trade and investment issues, supporting the creation and retention of jobs and promoting economic development in our countries.”
In February, the Open the Government organization sent a letter to Obama blasting the lack of transparency surrounding the TPP talks, stating the negotiations have been “conducted in unprecedented secrecy.”
“Despite the fact the deal may significantly affect the way we live our lives by limiting our public protections, there has been no public access to even the most fundamental draft agreement texts and other documents,” read the letter.
The missive was signed by advocacy groups such as OpenTheGovernment.org, Project On Government Oversight, ARTICLE 19 and the Global Campaign for Freedom of Expression and Information.
The groups warned issues being secretly negotiated include “patent and copyright, land use, food and product standards, natural resources, professional licensing, government procurement, financial practices, healthcare, energy, telecommunications, and other service sector regulations.”
Lack of oversight….”
The house will meet today at 10am and the senate will meet over lunch. These clowns have one more day to get a deal done or we enter fun times ahead…..
“Morgan Stanley’s chief U.S. economist Vincent Reinhart published a brief note minutes after the U.S. government shutdown went into effect.
“Dysfunction is not new, in that this marks the seventeenth shutdown in the past forty years,” wrote Reinhart. “About 800,000 government workers will stay home, as federal employees who cannot be paid should not work.”
Here’s the key takeaway from the note:
In addition to finger pointing to assign blame, expect:
- A 15 basis point drag on fourth-quarter real GDP growth, at an annual rate, for every week of shutdown as those furloughed workers do not put in their usual hours;
- Most data releases to be delayed…”
“Barring some last-minute miracle, it looks like the government is going to shut down at midnight tonight.
The crux of the matter is that the House GOP is not inclined to pass a budget that doesn’t include some kind of delay or defunding to Obamacare. And obviously Democrats won’t agree to that. So, impasse.
Markets are already falling, it would seem, on the news.
But there are reasons to think this would be good.
Goldman explained why this could be helpful in a note to clients last Friday:
It would be a mistake to interpret a shutdown as implying a greater risk of a debt limit crisis, in our view. It would not be surprising to see a more negative market reaction to a shutdown than would be warranted by the modest macroeconomic effect it would have. We suspect that many market participants would interpret a shutdown as implying a greater risk of problems in raising the debt limit. This is not unreasonable, but we would see it differently. If a shutdown is avoided, it is likely to be because congressional Republicans have opted to wait and push for policy concessions on the debt limit instead. By contrast, if a shutdown occurs, we would be surprised if congressional Republicans would want to risk another difficult situation only a couple of weeks later. The upshot is that while a shutdown would be unnecessarily disruptive, it might actually ease passage of a debt limit increase.
This seems kind of vague, but there are three distinct reasons it could be a positive.
- The market is reacting now….”
“West Coast of North America to Be Hit Hard by Fukushima Radiation
Radiation Levels Will Concentrate in Pockets In Baja California and Other West Coast Locations
An ocean current called the North Pacific Gyre is bringing Japanese radiation to the West Coast of North America:
The leg of the Gyre closest to Japan – the Kuroshio current – begins right next to Fukushima:
While many people assume that the ocean will dilute the Fukushima radiation, a previously-secret 1955 U.S. government report concluded that the ocean may not adequately dilute radiation from nuclear accidents, and there could be “pockets” and “streams” of highly-concentrated radiation.
The University of Hawaii’s International Pacific Research Center created a graphic showing the projected dispersion of debris from Japan:…”