Category Archives: Free enterprise

AP account of CBO scoring of “Border Security” Act ignores findings that borders will not be secured, wages will fall and unemployment will increase . . .

1. USA Today: WASHINGTON — The American economy would suffer some initial struggles if a Senate bill legalizing the nation’s million unauthorized immigrants becomes law, but the overall effect would be a reduction in the federal deficit, according to an analysis from the Congressional Budget Office.

But the CBO also found that the border security components in the bill would reduce illegal immigration only by 25%.

2. AP: http://news.yahoo.com/cbo-senate-immigration-bill-help-economy-010711853.html

“Not all the forecast was as favorable, though. CBO said average wages would decline through 2025 as a result of the bill, and that unemployment would go up slightly.”

Detroit defaults: “We’re tapped out,” creditors will get 10 cents on the dollar; community “blight fight” groups will get $ 500 million . . .

DETROIT (WWJ) – . . . Detroit Emergency Manager Kevyn Orr . . . sat down in a closed-door meeting with about 150 creditors, bond holders and unions to discuss the city’s fiscal situation, seeking concessions that would save Detroit millions of dollars in payments.

Perhaps the most dramatic aspect of his plan: Orr said, starting now, there will be a moratorium on debt payments for all unsecured funded debt. Creditors are being asked to take about 10 cents on the dollar of what’s owed them. Underfunded pension claims would get less.

This latest comes as Detroit continues to spend more money than it takes in as revenue. The city’s budget deficit could top $380 million by July 1, and Orr now estimates the city’s long-term debt at $20 billion.

As part of the proposal, Orr said he wants to invest $1.25 billion in the city for police and fire; and $500 million to fight blight.

“We’re tapped out,” Orr said.

Bloomberg’s “arbitrary and capricious” dictates are not limited to cigarettes, soda and guns . . .

centernewsnetwork.com:

The New York Post recently reported on appellate argument over Mayor Bloomberg’s ban on large sugary drinks. The issue is whether the law, and its many exceptions and loopholes, is “arbitrary and capricious.”

One of the judges asked Bloomberg’s attorney whether a “7-Eleven on the same block could sell the same drink [that a bodega could not sell]?”

Bloomberg’s lawyer replied, “Maybe.” Sounds arbitrary and capricious to us.

The same can be said of Bloomberg’s dictates on smoking and guns. Conservatives have no problem condemning Bloomberg on these issues.

What conservatives avoid acknowledging, however, is that Bloomberg’s “stop and frisk” policing policy is similarly “arbitrary and capricious” despite its undeniable effectiveness in reducing violent street crime. The arguments offered to support “stop and frisk” are not appreciably different from those arguments suggesting that Obama’s NSA “Prism” surveillance program is just fine because it protects us from the terrorists despite its intrusiveness, and, ultimately, it’s unconstitutionality.

Conservatives must be careful not to casually accept limiting liberty for security when it seemingly only affects some “other” citizens or groups of citizens.

Congress fears “brain drain” over Obamacare cost; the brains to be drained are the same brains which wrote and passed Obamcare . . .

Politico:

Dozens of lawmakers and aides are so afraid that their health insurance premiums will skyrocket next year thanks to Obamacare that they are thinking about retiring early or just quitting.

The fear: Government-subsidized premiums will disappear at the end of the year under a provision in the health care law that nudges aides and lawmakers onto the government health care exchanges, which could make their benefits exorbitantly expensive.

If the issue isn’t resolved, and massive numbers of lawmakers and aides bolt, many on Capitol Hill fear it could lead to a brain drain just as Congress tackles a slew of weighty issues — like fights over the Tax Code and immigration reform.

Hmmm. NYC Housing Authority is “cash-strapped” while NYC “Homeless-housing business booming” . . .

From the Center:

You can learn a lot by reading the papers two days in a row. On Sunday, June 9, the NY Post reported that “Homeless-housing” nonprofit businesses are “booming.” These so-called “nonprofits” deliver huge profits to their politically connected crony capitalist operators.

Yet on Monday, June 10, the Post reported that the NYC Housing Authority is “cash-strapped” due to the dreaded federal sequestration “cuts.”

Cuomo’s “crony capitalism” tax-free communities proposal follows Democrats divide and prosper strategy . . .

Governor Cuomo’s latest crony capitalism scheme, called the “Tax-free Communities” bill, adheres to the progressives long-time political strategy.

According to Cuomo’s Bill Memo, it would allow favored entities, primarily public universities under state control, to “bring [business] ventures to these communities by offering new businesses and expanding businesses that create net new jobs the opportunity to operate completely tax-free – including no income tax for employees, no sales, property or business tax while partnering with higher education institutions.”

If tax-free zones are beneficial to communities then why not apply such policies state-wide? It’s really very simple. Legislation and tax policies which provide benefits to all citizens yield fewer votes, political contributions and favors to Democrats than “targeted” proposals. The Democrat guiding principle is to divide us into groups, and then to threaten punishment to certain groups while offering rewards to others.

Despite the Democrats incessant bleating about “fairness,” unequal treatment of both groups and individuals is essential to Democrat electoral success. Envy and anger are the keys to Democrat hope and change.

More crony capitalism success: Taxpayers to lose $10 billion on $50 billion GM “investment” . . .

Detroit Free Press:

Washington — The U.S. Treasury said Wednesday it plans to sell 30 million additional shares of General Motors stock in a new public offering in conjunction with GM’s return to the S&P 500 index on Thursday . . . The Treasury, which initially held 60.8 percent of GM as part of the U.S. $49.5 billion bailout, now owns just 16.4 percent, or 241.7 million shares. In December, the Treasury sold GM 200 million shares of its stake for $5.5 billion to reduce its stake to 300 million shares.

In total, Treasury has recouped $30.6 billion. At current trading prices, Treasury would lose around $10 billion on its GM bailout.

Liberals and their reliance on “studies” . . .

From the Center for the Center:

Democrats invariably support their legal and public policy proposals and positions by citing “studies” emanating from academia or democrat “think tanks.” These often counterintuitive studies are offered as received scientific wisdom from our self-proclaimed intellectual betters.

This practice flourished with the Progressive legislative movement of the early 20th century. Its legal aspect is observed in the “social briefs” pioneered by progressive activist lawyer Louis Brandeis. The reason for the democrat reliance upon social science “studies” is clear: Progressive (liberal) policies usually conflict with common sense, human nature and real world experience . . .

Why the IRS scandal is “different” . . .

Peggy Noonan

“[T]his scandal isn’t a discrete event in which a president picks up a phone and tells someone in the White House to look into the finances of some steel industry executives, or to check out the returns of some guy on an enemies list.

But my friend got to the essence. He wrote, ‘Watergate was bad—don’t get me wrong. But it was elites using the machinery of government to spy on elites. . . . It’s something quite different when elites use the machinery of government against ordinary people. It’s a whole different ball game.’

It is . . .

In previous IRS scandals it was the powerful abusing the powerful—a White House moving against prominent financial or journalistic figures who, because of their own particular status or the machineries at their disposal, could pretty much take care of themselves. A scandal erupts, there are headlines, and then people go on their way. The dreadful thing about this scandal, what makes it ominous, is that this is the elites versus regular citizens. It’s the mighty versus normal people. It’s the all-powerful directors of the administrative state training their eyes and moving on uppity and relatively undefended Americans.
That’s what makes this scandal different, and why if it’s not stopped now it will never stop. Because every four years you can get yourself a new president and a new White House, but you won’t easily get yourself a whole new administrative state.

Darn those coincidences! Wife of Former IRS Commisioner who targeted Tea Party is Program Director for group trying to shut down Tea Party . . .

Breitbart.com:

Former IRS chief Doug Shulman’s wife works with a liberal lobbying group, Public Campaign, where she is the senior program advisor. Public Campaign is an “organization dedicated to sweeping campaign reform that aims to dramatically reduce the role of big special interest money in American politics.”

The goal of Public Campaign is to target political groups like the conservative non-profits at issue in the IRS scandal. The Campaign says it “is laying the foundation for reform by working with a broad range of organizations, including local community groups, around the country that are fighting for change and national organizations whose members are not fairly represented under the current campaign finance system.”

CEO of Public Campaign Nick Nyhart has offered words of support for the IRS’ targeting: “There are legitimate questions to be asked about political groups that are hiding behind a 501(c)4 status. It’s unfortunate a few bad apples at the IRS will make it harder for those questions to be asked without claims of bias.”

Public Campaign gets its cash from labor unions like AFL-CIO, AFSCME, SEIU, and Move On.