Friday, April 13, 2012

Quick Hits - April 13, 2012

Friday the 13th...Opening Day at Yankee Stadium...

...and the Yanks shut out the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim, 5-0 behind superb 8+ innings pitched by Hiroki Kuroda, home runs by Alex Rodriguez and Curtis Granderson, and a 1st inning 3 RBI double by Nick Swisher.

Tens of thousands of Syrians took to the streets today to protest against the Assad regime - making the first major challenge to the cease fire that Syria finally adopted yesterday.  The popular opinion against the dictator remains strong despite the military operations and bombardments targeting civilians which have killed over 9,000 in the last year.  The cease fire is still seen to be generally holding - however there have been isolated outbreaks of violence by Syrian military units.

The DPRK (North Korea) launched their latest long range rocket yesterday afternoon (Pacific time - early Friday morning local time) - which broke up and crashed into the ocean less than 90 seconds after liftoff in a major embarrassment to the new leader, Kim Jong-Un. 

Reports out of South Korea indicate that the North Korean government is now working towards conducting a third nuclear weapon test...

The US has responded that the rocket launch was done in violation of agreements - and in addition to referring the incident to the United Nations, they are also cutting off any supply of food aid promised to the DPRK in the agreement.  The DPRK has proven itself to be completely untrustworthy towards any international agreement - and is a reminder that appeasement does not work.

Unfortunately, though, it's the people of North Korea who will continue to suffer for their irresponsible and feckless leadership.

How is the Obama economic policies and recovery working out for you?  The USA Today is reporting that there are over 200,000 households in the United States which will use their tax refunds this year to pay for a bankruptcy filing and associated legal fees.

Speaking of taxes - papers are playing up the release of the 2011 tax returns from President Barack Obama and Vice President Joe Biden - and contrasting the information primarily from the President's to that of his GOP rival, Mitt Romney.

Embracing the Obama campaign class warfare rhetoric, they are noting that on nearly $790,000 of income, and after donating 22% of his income to charity, the President paid an effective tax rate of 20.5% - about 6% higher than the effective tax rate of Mitt Romney despite Romney's $40 million dollar income.  Reasons once again, the left side of the media stresses, for the 'Buffet Rule' - all in the name of fairness.

After earning over $1 million the last several years, the Obama's this year slid to under that 'Buffet Rule'.  So the rule that Obama is pushing - is no longer applicable to him.

Let's look at the differences between Romney, Obama, and Biden - and then talk about fairness.

Mitt Romney paid in 2010 - about $5.6 million in federal income taxes on his income - which was entirely derived from capital gains and dividends.  Barack Obama in 2011, paid $162,000 in federal income taxes on his nearly $790,000 in income - with over half coming from salary.  Joe Biden in 2011, paid $88,000 in federal income tax - a 23.2% effective rate.

Mitt Romney paid substantially more tax than Barack Obama and Joe Biden.  Barack Obama paid nearly double the tax than Joe Biden...but according to the President and the progressive left, Romney's unfair because he paid about 14% effective compared to Obama's 20.5%.  How about Obama paying a lower rate than Biden?  Or is fairness about the fact that one of these people paid $5.6 million in taxes while the others paid a fraction of that amount?

Here's another interesting footnote from the tax returns - Mitt Romney, in 2010, donated over $3 million to charity - while the WH is touting the fact that the Obama's donated over $160,000 to charities - about 22% of their income.  Left unmentioned is that Joe Biden only donated 1.5% of his income to charity.  But it's interesting to see that Obama's $160,000 charitable deductions are seen as being bigger than $3 million in charitable deductions.

The argument around 'fairness' being presented by the progressive left is an argument notable primarily for its vapidity.  It defies common sense.  It is, also, all about ideology - and in this case the progressive left ideology that is based on class warfare, gender warfare, racial warfare, expanding differences, 'social justice', and the laughable application of 'fairness'.\

The 10% across the board (for the progressives, that means for everyone) tax cuts promoted by President Bush are denounced as 'tax cuts for the wealthy'.  We told this is the case by the left because someone earning $200,000 gets a $20,000 break, someone earning $1,000,000 gets a $100,000 break, and someone earning $50,0000 'only' gets a $5,000 break.  How 'unfair' cries the chorus - the rich get $20,000 or $100,000 while the middle class working schmoe only gets $5,000.  Unfair?  They all got the benefits of a 10% cut.

A millionaire earning $1,000,000 a year via capital gains and dividends pays taxes on those at a 15% rate.  We set that rate to encourage capital investment.  He's paying, before deductions, $150,000 in federal taxes.  Yet, the left wants us to believe that he's 'paying less taxes' than someone earning $70,000 a year who has a marginal rate of 25% - and pays about $9,600 to the federal government. 

Only in progressive math does someone paying $9,600 to the federal government is seen as paying more in taxes than someone paying $150,000 to the federal government.

Another of the common canards pushed by the progressive left is that when we are experiencing deficits - we have a revenue problem, not a spending problem.  While every other entity in the country, ranging from business to family, reduce their spending when they find that they are spending more each month to operate / live than they bring in, in progressive governments, they seek to increase revenues by increasing taxes.  But what they refuse to learn and understand is that INCREASING TAXES DO NOT INCREASE REVENUES - AND THEY DAMAGE THE ECONOMY.

Look at California, where Governor Jerry Brown is running the progressive playbook....
The reality for California government is much worse than reported.

While the March 2012 state revenues were down 4.2 percent from estimates, the March 2012 revenues were down 10.9 percent from March 2011.

And while the March 2012 corporate tax revenues were down 8.2 percent from the governor's estimates, March 2012 corporate revenues were down 10.8 percent from March 2011.

California tax revenues are plummeting and Governor Brown's answer is to raise tax rates even higher.
They don't accept the Laffer Curve as real....but it is.

Want more tax revenues - lower taxes, let the economy grow, and you will see higher tax revenues - like the record setting tax revenues the Federal government got in 2006-7.

The Washington Post is writing today about the kerfuffle around Hilary Rosen's attack on Ann Romney.  They are noting that the GOP is now gaining ground in the gender battle that was re-ignited by the controversial statements by Rosen - but the key meme is not that the GOP is gaining now but addressed in the very first sentence of the article...
The so-called war on women escalated Thursday onto a new front, after a Democratic strategist and cable-television pundit declared that Ann Romney, the stay-at-home, mother-of-five wife of the presumptive GOP presidential nominee, had “never worked a day in her life.”

'So-called' is the operative word.  This is a 'so-called' war on women and has been one ever since the Democrats and their media sycophants started blustering about a 'GOP war on women' because of their objections to the Obamacare contraception mandate which trashes constitutionally protected religious freedoms - and our contempt for a whiny progressive activist appearing in a fake Congressional testimony who thinks her rights to not pay $9 per month for the pill exceeds the rights of those who object on moral or religious grounds to provide free contraception because of a government fiat.

But with all this, in particular the WaPo's worry over the effects of Rosen's callous attack on Ann Romney, we can count on the former Speaker of the House, Nancy Pelosi, to articulate the real truth.  She's confident that the 'so-called' war on women - the use of class warfare, gender warfare, and racial warfare is the path for a progressive victory in November 2012.

The President and the Progressives in Congress do not have a record they can run on - so they have to move the goalposts and change the message to promote and accentuate class divisions, gender divisions, and racial divisions.  Then in order to convince themselves that this misdirection is working, they grasp polls that are, as far as can be determined, skewed by the sampling to either oversample Democrats or undersample Republicans, to deliver the desired results which can be used to influence the sheep of this country.

In another major sign of the problems for the progressives over Hilary Rosen's contemptuous attack on Ann Romney, we're seeing Rosen embrace the first rule of hole digging - she's going to stop digging.  She will do this by cancelling her appearance scheduled on NBC's Meet the Press for this Sunday.

However, NBC News is still active in helping dismiss and minimize the Rosen gaffe.   DNC Operative NBC News Chief WH Correspondent Chuck Todd, was on the air attempting to dismiss the outrage over the Rosen attack as a 'manufactured controversy' - using that term or a variation over 8 times in just a couple of minutes of propaganda.

Interesting. The 'manufactured controversy' is not the canard about the 'GOP War on Women' - but that so many are rightfully upset with a partisan political attack on stay-at-home Moms.

Barack Obama's adopted home town newspaper, the Chicago Tribune, gets this far better than Chuck Todd.
Millions of women don't have the luxury of agonizing over whether they should work or stay home. The bigger problem now is that too many Americans of either gender can't afford not to work and yet have no jobs.

That is what this November's election is about.

This Day in History

1742 - The Messiah premiers in Dublin, Ireland...the score was composed in just 24 days by George Friedrich Handel.

1861 - After a 33 hour bombardment by Confederate cannons, the Union garrison at Fort Sumter surrenders to the rebel forces.

1941 - The USSR and Japan sign a non-aggression pact.

1970 - 200,000 miles from Earth, an oxygen tank explodes in the service module of Apollo 13 severely damaging the spacecraft.  The third lunar landing mission turns from one of exploration to one of survival for the three man crew.

1990 - The USSR admitted responsibility for the Katyn Massacre - the execution of 22,000 Polish military officers conducted by the Soviet Secret Police in April and May 1940.

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