Don’t Close the Tax “Loopholes”

Why do some conservatives and libertarians want some Americans to pay more in taxes?
Oh, they don’t actually come out and say that. Then they would sound like Bernie Sanders or Hillary Clinton.
What they do say is that certain tax deductions are ‘loopholes’ that need to be ‘closed’ because they ‘distort’ the tax code, ‘subsidize’ high-income taxpayers, and encourage people to make ‘economically unwise decisions.’ Although most of them also add that the increased government revenue that would result from the elimination of a particular deduction should be used to ‘pay’ for ‘good tax reform’ by ‘offsetting’ the ‘cost’ of lowering tax rates and making the tax code ‘simpler’ and ‘fairer,’ there is no getting around the fact that some conservatives and libertarians still want certain Americans to pay more in taxes.
The latest deduction under attack is the State and Local Tax Deduction (the SALT deduction).

This post was published at Ludwig von Mises Institute on November 27, 2017.

Team Bernie Chimes In: “DNC Corruption Is Bigger Than One Primary”

Former interim DNC Chairwoman Donna Brazile confirmed what many widely suspected in an essay published in Politico today where she called out former DNC Chairwoman Debbie Wasserman Schultz and former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton for unfairly rigging the 2016 primary against Bernie Sanders.
In her expose, Brazile described how the Clinton campaign siphoned money from state party chapters, and asserted her control over the DNC by making it financially reliant on her fundraising abilities, even describing the campaign’s actions as ‘essentially money laundering.’
The agreement – signed by Amy Dacey, the former CEO of the DNC, and Robby Mook with a copy to Marc Elias – specified that in exchange for raising money and investing in the DNC, Hillary would control the party’s finances, strategy, and all the money raised. Her campaign had the right of refusal of who would be the party communications director, and it would make final decisions on all the other staff. The DNC also was required to consult with the campaign about all other staffing, budgeting, data, analytics, and mailings.
Brazile’s revelations have revived conversations about whether the party has an obligation to ensure a fair primary (one judge who dismissed a lawsuit against the DNC suggested the organization is actually under no obligation to do so, even confirming that it showed a ‘palpable bias’ toward Clinton).

This post was published at Zero Hedge on Nov 2, 2017.

MEDIA BLACKOUT: FBI SEIZED SMASHED HARD DRIVES FROM EX-DNC CHAIR

The ongoing scandal deep within the DNC continues. But this has nothing to do with Republicans or the Russians, so the media is completely silent.
The corruption in the Democratic National Committee is bone-deep, and the finger cannot be pointed elsewhere. The FBI just seized smashed hard drives from the former DNC chair, Debbie Wasserman Schultz. Wasserman-Schultz and those with high positions in the DNC are accused of rigging the primary election against socialist Bernie Sanders in favor of the overtly corrupt, Hillary Clinton.
Because of the criminal investigation into fraud at the DNC, Capitol police took custody of laptops and other equipment belonging to Imran Awan, a former aide to both Reps. Marcia Fudge (D-OH) and former DNC chair Debbie Wasserman Schultz (D-FL). Last night, the Daily Caller reported that the FBI has become part of the investigation by taking custody of smashed hard drives found in Awan’s home.

This post was published at The Daily Sheeple on JULY 25, 2017.

Seth Rich Plot Thickens: “DC Insider” Speaks Of “Complete Panic” At Highest Levels Of DNC

Last week, Fox News dropped a bombshell report officially confirming, via anonymous FBI sources, what many had suspected for quite some time, that murdered DNC staffer Seth Rich was the WikiLeaks source for leaks which proved that the DNC was intentionally undermining the campaign of Bernie Sanders. In addition to exposing the corruption of the DNC, the leaks cost Debbie Wasserman Shcultz her job as Chairwoman.
Of course, if it’s true that WikiLeaks’ emails came from a DNC insider it would end the “Russian hacking” narrative that has been perpetuated by Democrats and the mainstream media for the past several months. Moreover, it would corroborate the one confirmation that Julian Assange has offered regarding his source, namely that it was “not a state actor.”
Meanwhile, the plot thickened a little more over the weekend when Kim Dotcom confirmed via Twitter that he was working with Seth Rich to get leaked emails to WikiLeaks.
I knew Seth Rich. I know he was the @Wikileaks source. I was involved. — Kim Dotcom (@KimDotcom) May 20, 2017

This post was published at Zero Hedge on May 22, 2017.

Russian Embassy Implicates Hillary In Tweet Asking: “Who Killed Seth Rich?”

#WikiLeaks informer Seth Rich murdered in US but MSM was so busy accusing Russian hackers to take notice. pic.twitter.com/0XVezTyfHM
— Russian Embassy, UK (@RussianEmbassy) May 19, 2017

Earlier this week, Fox News dropped a bombshell report officially confirming, via anonymous FBI sources, what many had suspected for quite some time, that murdered DNC staffer Seth Rich was the WikiLeaks source for leaks which proved that the DNC was intentially undermining the campaign of Bernie Sanders. In addition to exposing the utter corruption of the DNC, the leaks cost Debbie Wasserman Shcultz her job as Chairwoman.
At the time, we mockingly wondered why the mainstream media seemingly overlooked a huge new development in a highly suspicious unsolved murder case.
Finally, we find it ‘shocking’ that while the New York Times, Washington Post, CNN, etc are all too eager to regurgitate each others anonymously sourced stories that are critical of Trump, not a single one of them had a single reference of this Fox News bombshell on their website at the time this article was published.
Turns out we weren’t alone, as the Russian Embassy in the U. K. just sent out the following tweet:
“#WikiLeaks informer Seth Rich murdered in US but MSM was so busy accusing Russian hackers to take notice.”

This post was published at Zero Hedge on May 19, 2017.

Trump Slams “Astronomical” Drug Prices, Tells CEOs To “Get Prices Down”

In his latest close encounter with top US CEOs, President Donald Trump told drugmakers at a White House meeting Tuesday they were charging ‘astronomical’ prices and promised to get better bargains for government health programs, something even Bernie Sanders would agree with. He also said he would focus on finding ways to get new medicines to market faster.
‘The pricing has been astronomical,’ Trump said to CEOs of some of the world’s biggest drugmakers, who came to Washington after Trump’s criticism of the industry earlier this month sent drug and biotechnology stocks plunging. ‘You folks have done a very great job over the years but we have to get the prices down.’
At the meeting was Pharmaceutical Research and Manufacturers of America CEO Stephen Ubl, Merck & Co. CEO Ken Frazier, Eli Lilly & Co. CEO Dave Ricks, Celgene Corp. CEO Bob Hugin and others. They embraced Trump’s calls for lower taxes and fewer regulations. The gathering with drug CEOs came after Trump’s said on Jan. 12 that the industry was ‘getting away with murder’ and promised to act on drug prices. Since then, drugmakers have turned up their lobbying efforts with Congress as a potentially friendlier force that might counter Trump.
‘Some of the policies you’ve come out and suggested i think can help us do more — tax, regulations,’ said Lilly’s Ricks. Also at Tuesday’s White House meeting were Novartis AG CEO Joe Jimenez and Johnson & Johnson Worldwide Chairman of Pharmaceuticals Joaquin Duato.

This post was published at Zero Hedge on Jan 31, 2017.

Drug Prices in the US vs. Canada – The Big Pharma Political Connection of Corporatist Democrats

This is a slide used by Bernie Sanders when he proposed making drug imports from Canada to the US legal.
The proposal was voted down in the Senate 52-46, with a few key Democrats helping overturn Bernie’s proposed legislation.
Among those voting against it was the recipient of big pharma campaign contributions Democratic rising star Cory Booker.
Booker used the Big Pharma talking point that ‘the bill did not include provisions requiring the protections of the FDA.’
Oh really? We think that the Canadian government’s regulation of medicine is weaker than in the US? Please, Cory, tell us exactly where they fall down on the job.


This post was published at Jesses Crossroads Cafe on 29 JANUARY 2017.

Pharmaceutical Corruption

Here is the latest example of corrupt politicians voting in favor of their own self-interests. Bernie Sanders may be a bit fanatical, yet he has been trying to push a bill through to allow Canada and other countries to import prescription drugs to the U. S., which would significantly decrease the price that consumers have to pay for medication.

This post was published at Armstrong Economics on Jan 18, 2017.

Trump Might Be the End of the Bush-Obama Consensus

Say what you want about the Obama economy, but one aspect of it must be stated up front: It was the ‘Happy Time’ of crony capitalism. I know this statement departs from the glowing narrative being promoted by mainstream sources, but facts are facts. Maybe Obama’s was left-cronyism, whereas Bush pushed a right one, but no matter. Crony capitalism has done well since 2009.
It’s not hard to understand why. When an era’s political milieu is defined by Dodd-Frank, the Affordable Care Act, feeding the national security monster, climate-change-inspired central planning, Elizabeth Warren, and Bernie Sanders, then you are going to increase costs of doing business. Large, well-connected firms will benefit, as a result if only because large, well-connected firms can afford to comply. Everyone else will go out of business, become an entrepreneur, do consulting, join the gig economy, or whatever else is necessary to just get by.
Such is the conclusion of regulatory capture, and it’s no surprise. The sainted Franklin Roosevelt embarked on a similar round of unprecedented regulation during the so-called First New Deal. The large corporations of his day did very well – from 1933 to 1937 – and worked hard for his reelection. If you worked for one of these lucky organizations, you wouldn’t even know there was a Depression going on. FDR’S economy was one in which real incomes rose – a glorious thing to anyone earning an income in those days.

This post was published at Ludwig von Mises Institute on December 26, 2016.

‘No Really, The Russians Hacked Us’

Hillary and her supporters have vehemently asserted that ‘seventeen intelligence agencies’ agree with the assessment that Russia hacked the election. It might be greater news to the American people to hear that there actually are seventeen such agencies out there. Perhaps Mrs. Clinton or Mr. Obama might explain exactly what they are beyond the CIA, the FBI, the DIA, the NSA, and DHS. Personally, I feel less secure knowing that there are so many additional surveillance services sifting through everybody’s digital debris trail. – James Kunstler, ‘Deep State Blues’
The public voted with its wallet and truthseeking data reveals that in any election in which the growth in average household real disposable income is less than 3.1%, the incumbent party loses the White House. The study goes back to the 1932 election. Real disposable income growth was well below 3.1% in 2016 and the Democrats lost the White House. It’s really as simple as that, for the most part.
In addition, enough of the voting public determined that, with the help of the Wikileak emails, Hillary Clinton could not be trusted. In fact, the Wikileak oeuvre revealed that the entire Democratic Party was indefatigably corrupt. At the root of this corruption is the Clinton Foundation. But beyond that it was discovered that, among other atrocities, the DNC conspired to rig the Democratic Primary against Bernie Sanders and the current DNC Chairman, Donna Brazile, slipped debate questions to Hillary ahead of the debates.

This post was published at GoldSeek on 20 December 2016.

Sarah Palin Slams Trump Carrier Deal As “Crony Capitalism”, “Corporate Welfare”

Former Gov. Sarah Palin has criticized President-elect Donald Trump’s deal with the Carrier, in which as reported previously the air conditioner company would not outsource 1,100 workers to Mexico in exchange for $7 million in tax incentives over 10 years, saying that it yet another example of “corporate welfare.” The harsh criticism of Trump’s economic policy comes as she is reportedly under consideration to serve as Trump’s secretary of Veterans Affairs.
Writing an op-ed in the Young Conservatives blog, Palin said that while he is excited for the Carrier employees whose jobs are staying in Indiana, saying the deal is “a relief for hundreds of workers… Merry Christmas Indiana!’, she then joins Bernie Sanders and other critics in vlasting the deal as ‘crony capitalism” and an example of the “hallmark of corruption” and “socialism“, adding the arrangement could set “inconsistent, unfair and illogical precedent.”
Suggesting that the Trump deal is a carryover from the Obama administration’s “crony” ways of doing business, Palin wrote that ‘when government steps in arbitrarily with individual subsidies, favoring one business over others, it sets inconsistent, unfair, illogical precedent. Then, special interests creep in and manipulate markets. Republicans oppose this, remember?’
‘Instead, we support competition on a level playing field, remember? Because we know special interest crony capitalism is on big fail.’
Palin then made a statement many conservatives and virtually all libertarians would agree with, saying that “however well meaning, burdensome federal government imposition is never the solution. Never. Not in our homes, not in our schools, not in churches, not in businesses.’

This post was published at Zero Hedge on Dec 3, 2016.

The Fallacies of Bernie Sanders

Where Bernie Went Wrong: And Why His Remedies Will Just Make Crony Capitalism Worse. By Hunter Lewis. Axios Press, 2016. 284 pages.
Hunter Lewis has rendered a great service with his new book. Writing from an Austrian perspective, he has given us the definitive analysis of the Bernie Sanders phenomenon. Though Sanders did not win the Democratic nomination, he accomplished something remarkable. ‘If Bernie’s campaign was primarily an exercise in moving public opinion, it was wildly successful. He carried young people by wide margins. He shifted the Democratic Party and eventually its platform in his direction.’ (p.1)
How did he do this? ‘Bernie often says out loud what others are privately thinking.’ (p.13) The middle class and the poor are not doing well, he says; and the fault lies in a ‘rigged’ system. ‘The economy becomes rigged because the rich, primarily represented by ‘greedy’ billionaires and corporations, use their wealth to subvert the political process and take command of government.’ (p.24)
Lewis finds much truth in Sanders’s accusation. In a manifestly corrupt way, for example, failed banks and businesses were ‘bailed out’ after the financial crash of 2008. ‘[Hank] Paulson, former CEO of Goldman Sachs, was one of the architects of the Wall Street bailout of 2008 which not only rescued Wall Street, but also rescued his own firm, along with all the shares he still retained in that firm.’ (p.132)

This post was published at Ludwig von Mises Institute on Nov 25, 2016.

Wall Street Democrats Proved Yesterday That They Still Don’t Get It

After a humiliating election loss just eight days earlier, the Wall Street Democrats in the U. S. Senate laid the groundwork for another humiliating defeat in the midterms in 2018 by electing Senator Chuck Schumer to be the Senate Minority Leader.
Schumer is considered the poster boy for Wall Street – as their mouthpiece for lax regulation and a reliable Senate confirmation vote for Wall Street cronies to lead regulatory agencies. Over the past five years, Schumer has raised over $25.8 million for his campaign committee and Leadership PAC with the leading donors being security and investments firms and their outside law firms, according to data from the Center for Responsive Politics. Schumer’s top ten largest donors over his entire political career include seven major Wall Street banks: Goldman Sachs, Citigroup, JPMorgan Chase, Credit Suisse, Morgan Stanley, UBS and the now defunct Bear Stearns. Also in the top ten are two law firms that regularly represent Wall Street firms when they are charged with fraud: Paul Weiss and Sullivan and Cromwell.
The Democrats’ head-in-the-sand vote yesterday came despite progressive activists staging a sit-in in Schumer’s office on Monday to demand that he step aside and allow the Senate Minority Leader post to go to Senator Bernie Sanders – now widely seen across America as the true leader of the Democratic Party.

This post was published at Wall Street On Parade on November 17, 2016.

Why We’re Ungovernable, Part 15: Glenn Greenwald Explains The Election

The world’s elites, because they live in a system created by themselves for themselves, tend to see events like Brexit and President Trump as aberrations rather than symptoms of a fatal disease. They’re wrong of course, and the great Glenn Greenwald has posted an essay (Democrats, Trump, and the Ongoing, Dangerous Refusal to Learn the Lesson of Brexit) that explains why. Here are a few excerpts:
Put simply, Democrats knowingly chose to nominate a deeply unpopular, extremely vulnerable, scandal-plagued candidate, who – for very good reason – was widely perceived to be a protector and beneficiary of all the worst components of status quo elite corruption. It’s astonishing that those of us who tried frantically to warn Democrats that nominating Hillary Clinton was a huge and scary gamble, that all empirical evidence showed that she could lose to anyone and that Bernie Sanders would be a much stronger candidate especially in this climate – are now the ones being blamed: by the very same people who insisted on ignoring all that data and nominating her anyway.
But that’s just basic blame-shifting and self-preservation. Far more significant is what this shows about the mentality of the Democratic Party. Just think about who they nominated: someone who – when she wasn’t dining with Saudi monarchs and being feted in Davos by tyrants who gave million-dollar checks – spent the last several years piggishly running around to Wall Street banks and major corporations cashing in with $250,000 fees for 45-minute secret speeches even though she had already become unimaginably rich with book advances while her husband already made tens of millions playing these same games. She did all that without the slightest apparent concern for how that would feed into all the perceptions and resentments of her and the Democratic Party as corrupt, status-quo-protecting, aristocratic tools of the rich and powerful: exactly the worst possible behavior for this post-2008-economic-crisis era of globalism and destroyed industries.

This post was published at DollarCollapse on NOVEMBER 9, 2016.

Wikileaks Releases Part 31 Of Podesta Emails: Total Is Now 50,408

RELEASE: The Podesta Emails Part 31 #PodestaEmails #PodestaEmails31 #HillaryClinton #imWithHer pic.twitter.com/nTBT5I3YZk
— WikiLeaks (@wikileaks) November 5, 2016

With just two days until the election, WikiLeaks unveiled Part 31 of Podesta Email party moments ago which revealed another 2,574 emails, bringing the total to 50,408.
At first glance, we get more of the same, with more evidence of conflicts of interest, at the Clinton foundation, a request by Colin Powell not to be involved in the Clinton campaign (it was ignored), more collusion with the media, more scheming how to bring down Bernie Sanders and so on.
As usual we are parsing through the latest release and will bring readers the more notable emails.

This post was published at Zero Hedge on Nov 5, 2016.

Wikileaks Releases Part 30 Of Podesta Emails: Total Is Now 47,834

The Friday before the election turned out to be another twofer for Wikileaks which just like yesterday, released two seperate Podesta email batches, unveiling Part 30 moments ago which revealed another 559 emails, brining the total to 47.834.
In the earlier disclosure, we got more of the same, with more evidence of conflicts of interest, at the Clinton foundation, a request by Colin Powell not to be involved in the Clinton campaign (it was ignored), more collusion with the media, more scheming how to bring down Bernie Sanders and so on.
As usual we are parsing through the latest release and will bring readers the more notable emails.

This post was published at Zero Hedge on Nov 4, 2016.

Donna Brazile Shared More Debate Questions With Hillary

Over the past several weeks DNC Chair Donna Brazile has been pummeled in the media after Podesta’s emails revealed that she provided a debate question to Hillary in advance of a March 13, 2016 debate with Bernie Sanders.
Now, the latest WikiLeaks dump reveals that it wasn’t just a one-off thing. The following email from Brazile, sent one day prior to a March 6th debate with Bernie, shows yet another occasion of her providing an advanced peak at debate questions to the Hillary campaign. We can’t imagine that Bernie supporters are very happy that this is the person chosen to takeover the leadership position at the DNC after Schultz was pushed out for showing favoritism toward the Clinton campaign.


This post was published at Zero Hedge on Oct 31, 2016.

Week in Review: October 29, 2016

Obamacare premiums are exploding, just as mises.org has long predicted. Another disastrous example of politicians discarding basic common sense in passing through legislation to address a problem they themselves have created. Unfortunately there is little hope of politicians learning from their mistakes, as they continue to push through bill, after bill, after bill that expands their influence at the expense of the market and human freedom. No wonder public faith in elections is collapsing as the reach of the state grows larger. Hopefully this growing distrust can spur a libertarian populist awakening, leading to the spread of the ideas that make civilization prosperous.
The Mises Institute will further discuss the collapsing public trust in politics next weekend during our Dallas-Ft. Worth, Mises Circle. You can join Jeff Deist, Lew Rockwell, Robert Murphy and our other great speakers in person, or follow the event live at Mises.org/live.
On Mises Weekends, Jeff is joined by Nomi Prins, a prolific writer and speaker on the subjects of central banking, financial markets, and Wall Street cronyism. She is a former managing director at Goldman Sachs and Bear Stearns, but left investment banking to speak out against what she perceives as global financial malfeasance by commercial, investment, and central banks. Nomi is a dedicated progressive who supported Bernie Sanders, but she’s also a harsh critic of the Fed and sympathetic to Austrian depictions of malinvestment and artificially-created bubbles.

This post was published at Ludwig von Mises Institute on October 29, 2016.

THE FEDERAL RESERVE JUST MADE A FACEBOOK PAGE… AND IT’S ALREADY GETTING DESTROYED BY TROLLS

The Federal Reserve bank is well-known for its secrecy. But in an attempt to reach out to the people it claims to serve, the monolithic bank just created a Facebook page . . . and it’s probably really regretting that decision.
Unlike Twitter, where the Fed decides which comments to reply to – and therefore which show up publicly on its page – its public Facebook page, launched Thursday morning, is not as restrictive. In fact, the Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System page has been relentlessly trolled since it went up.
The Federal Reserve bank was originally crafted largely by bankers, including JPMorgan Chase & Co. It has never been fully audited since the Federal Reserve Act was passed in 1913, yet it enjoys an omnipresent status in the United States. As the Fed’s Facebook page points out, ‘Over the years, its role in banking and the economy has expanded.’
People have protested the banking institution since it was created, but it remains one of the best-guarded, most opaque institutions in the country.
A congressionally mandated audit by the Government Accountability Office in 2011 found the Fed had loaned out $16 trillion dollars to big banks around the world. As noted by Senator Bernie Sanders at the time, ‘This is a clear case of socialism for the rich and rugged, you’re-on-your-own individualism for everyone else.’
Sanders’s press release highlighted a more specific conflict of interest:

This post was published at The Daily Sheeple on AUGUST 23, 2016.

53% Of Clinton Foundation Donors Would Be Barred Under Proposed Rule

On Thursday evening, alongside Trump’s unexpected statement of “regret“, Bill Clinton made another just as important announcement when he said that should Hillary become president, the $2 billion Clinton Family foundationwill no longer accept money from any corporate and foreign donors and will bring an end to its annual Clinton Global Initiative meeting regardless of the outcome of the November election. To this we responded that this was to be expected: after all “once Hillary is president, she will no longer need a backdoor way of legally receiving Saudi and other foreign money: at that moment, billions in Saudi dollars will be deemed perfectly acceptable for passage through the front door, mostly in exchange for weapons and ammo.”
Other had similar reactions, with the announcement drawing skepticism on Friday mostly from the right left as critics wondered why the Clintons have never before cut off corporate and overseas money to their charity, and more importantly why they would wait until after the election to do so. Republican National Committee Chairman Reince Priebus tweeted Friday that the Clintons’ continued acceptance of those dollars during the presidential campaign is a ‘massive, ongoing conflict of interest.”
The left also spoke up, when Nina Turner, a former Ohio state senator who was a leading surrogate for Clinton’s rival in the Democratic primary race, Sen. Bernie Sanders (Vt.), said the restrictions were a good step but should be imposed immediately. ‘In my opinion, and in the opinion of lots of Americans, this should have been done long ago,’ she said.

This post was published at Zero Hedge on Aug 20, 2016.