Wintery Knight

…integrating Christian faith and knowledge in the public square

Hillary Clinton’s views on the economy, taxes and jobs

The video above explains Hillary Clinton’s views on how jobs get created. She doesn’t think that private companies create jobs.

Here’s the story from economist Stephen Moore writing at Investors Business Daily.

Excerpt:

Hillary Clinton is getting deservedly attacked for her imbecilic statement at a Democratic political gathering in Massachusetts on Friday about business and jobs.

“Don’t let anybody tell you that, ah, you know, it’s corporations and businesses that create jobs,” she preached, to loud applause. “You know that old theory, trickle-down economics. That has been tried, that has failed. It has failed rather spectacularly.”

It may not be too surprising that Hillary can’t connect the dots that it takes an employer to create an employee to create wages and salaries.

That’s how some 150 million Americans get paid every week. Ms. Clinton has made her millions in the cattle futures market, as a government employee and giving speeches for fees of $250,000 a pop. Nice work if you can get it. The rest of us mere mortals need a paycheck.

Hillary’s witless statement might be written off as campaign hyperbole, and some might think the Democratic front-runner for president simply got carried away speaking to her “progressive” base and didn’t really mean it. Sometimes Republicans get into the act, as when Mitt Romney’s GOP rivals attacked him in 2012 for being rich and a successful investor.

But the scary thing is she really DID mean it. Her sophomoric comment, alas, reflects a long-simmering ideologically driven war against business that has become a central platform of the modern-day Democratic party.

Her remarks were simply an extension of President Obama’s “you didn’t build that” statement denigrating businessmen and women who have created companies — large and small.

In the left mindset, economic output and jobs are achieved collectively and thanks to the beneficence of government, not because of the ambition, drive, vision, risk-taking and guts that it takes to start a new enterprise out of nothing.

So who creates jobs then? Well, if it’s not private sector businesses then the only thing left to create jobs is the government. She thinks government creates jobs. And the more government raises taxes, the more money government has to give people jobs.

But is that really how it has worked in the past?

Let’s see.

Consider this article by the Cato Institute, a libertarian think tank, which discusses how the Reagan tax cuts affected the unemployment rate.

Excerpt:

In 1980, President Carter and his supporters in the Congress and news media asked, “how can we afford” presidential candidate Ronald Reagan’s proposed tax cuts?

Mr. Reagan’s critics claimed the tax cuts would lead to more inflation and higher interest rates, while Mr. Reagan said tax cuts would lead to more economic growth and higher living standards. What happened? Inflation fell from 12.5 percent in 1980 to 3.9 percent in 1984, interest rates fell, and economic growth went from minus 0.2 percent in 1980 to plus 7.3 percent in 1984, and Mr. Reagan was re-elected in a landslide.

[...]Despite the fact that federal revenues have varied little (as a percentage of GDP) over the last 40 years, there has been an enormous variation in top tax rates. When Ronald Reagan took office, the top individual tax rate was 70 percent and by 1986 it was down to only 28 percent. All Americans received at least a 30 percent tax rate cut; yet federal tax revenues as a percent of GDP were almost unchanged during the Reagan presidency (from 18.9 percent in 1980 to 18.1 percent in 1988).

What did change, however, was the rate of economic growth, which was more than 50 percent higher for the seven years after the Reagan tax cuts compared with the previous seven years. This increase in economic growth, plus some reductions in tax credits and deductions, almost entirely offset the effect of the rate reductions. Rapid economic growth, unlike government spending programs, proved to be the most effective way to reduce unemployment and poverty, and create opportunity for the disadvantaged.

The Daily Signal describes the effects of the Bush tax cuts.

Excerpt:

President Bush signed the first wave of tax cuts in 2001, cutting rates and providing tax relief for families by, for example, doubling of the child tax credit to $1,000.

At Congress’ insistence, the tax relief was initially phased in over many years, so the economy continued to lose jobs. In 2003, realizing its error, Congress made the earlier tax relief effective immediately. Congress also lowered tax rates on capital gains and dividends to encourage business investment, which had been lagging.

It was the then that the economy turned around. Within months of enactment, job growth shot up, eventually creating 8.1 million jobs through 2007. Tax revenues also increased after the Bush tax cuts, due to economic growth.

In 2003, capital gains tax rates were reduced. Rather than expand by 36% as the Congressional Budget Office projected before the tax cut, capital gains revenues more than doubled to $103 billion.

The CBO incorrectly calculated that the post-March 2003 tax cuts would lower 2006 revenues by $75 billion. Revenues for 2006 came in $47 billion above the pre-tax cut baseline.

Here’s what else happened after the 2003 tax cuts lowered the rates on income, capital gains and dividend taxes:

  • GDP grew at an annual rate of just 1.7% in the six quarters before the 2003 tax cuts. In the six quarters following the tax cuts, the growth rate was 4.1%.
  • The S&P 500 dropped 18% in the six quarters before the 2003 tax cuts but increased by 32% over the next six quarters.
  • The economy lost 267,000 jobs in the six quarters before the 2003 tax cuts. In the next six quarters, it added 307,000 jobs, followed by 5 million jobs in the next seven quarters.

The timing of the lower tax rates coincides almost exactly with the stark acceleration in the economy. Nor was this experience unique. The famous Clinton economic boom began when Congress passed legislation cutting spending and cutting the capital gains tax rate.

So in the past, the trickle-down supply-side tax cuts that Hillary Clinton derided in her speech created lots of jobs. We have to do what is known to work.

Filed under: News, , , , , , , , , ,

New e-mails: IRS official Lois Lerner called conservatives “a**holes” and “terrorists”

CNS News reports.

Full text:

A newly discovered email exchange from Lois Lerner’s official IRS email account “directly demonstrates Ms. Lerner’s deep animus towards conservatives, which she refers to as ‘—holes,'” House Ways and Means Committee Chair Dave Camp wrote in a letterto Attorney General Eric Holder on Wednesday.

In that Nov. 9, 2012 email, Lerner further suggests that conservatives will ruin the country: “So we don’t  need to worry about alien teRrorists (sic). It’s our own crazies that will take us down,” she wrote.

Camp (R-Mich.) told Holder the email “shows that Ms. Lerner’s mistreatment of conservative groups was driven by her personal hostility toward conservatives.”

Camp said he also has discovered that Lerner used her personal email to conduct official business,including confidential tax return information, and he once again urged the Justice Department to ramp up its investigation:

“While the Committee has not seen any evidence of a serious investigation by  your Department, it is my sincere hope that in light of this new, strong evidence that you immediately begin aggressively investigating this matter or appoint a special counsel.”

Camp warned that failure to do so “will only further erode public trust” in the Internal Revenue Service and the Justice Department.

Ways and Means is one of three congressional committees investigating the way the IRS, during Lerner’s tenure, handled groups seeking tax-exempt status. The IRS admits that conservative groups were singled out for inappropriate scrutiny and delay before the 2012 election.

But of course all the e-mails showing the direct intent to use government to persecute conservatives have been “lost”, as Newsbusters recalls:

The committee released a partial transcript of an interview it conducted last week with IRS Deputy Associate Chief Counsel Tom Kane, who reported the computer problems. When asked how many others might be having this problem, Kane said it was “less than 20.”

The IRS has told the House that several more IRS workers have experienced a computer crash, including some who worked with former IRS official Lois Lerner. Among that number are a few who worked closely at the IRS division dealing with tax-exempt organizations, which Lerner headed. Lerner has since become the prime target of Republican investigators, although the GOP has been hindered by the supposed loss of her emails.

According to the committee, another IRS official who suffered computer problems is Justin Lowe, a technical adviser to the commissioner of Tax-Exempt and Government Entities.

Another is David Fish, an adviser to Lois Lerner. Andy Megosh was also named; he is a manager of Exempt Organizations Guidance.

Has the mainstream media done a good job of reporting on all this?

No:

The saga of Lois Lerner’s missing emails took a bunch of twists and turns this past week, but you wouldn’t know that if you only got your news from the Big Three (ABC, CBS, NBC) networks. On July 21, it was reported that even more IRS officials had their hard drives crash on them, including employees who “routinely corresponded” with Lerner. What a coincidence! On that same day it was revealed that a top IRS official was uncertain if backup tapes of Lerner’s lost emails still existed. The next day the story changed again when it was reported that Lerner’s hard drive was only “scratched” and the data was recoverable.

Then on July 23 the head of the IRS testified that the back up tapes had finally been discovered but stressed he does not “how they found them” or “whether there’s anything on them or not.” So how many of these intriguing nuggets were reported on any of the network evening or morning shows last week?

Zero.

The last time the IRS story was mentioned on the Big Three nets was almost a week ago on the July 19 CBS This Morning. The last time ABC offered an IRS story was on the July 17 Good Morning America. And you have to go all the way back to last month (June 24 Today show) to find the last time NBC touched the scandal.

And the Lerner missing email story didn’t exactly heat up coverage of the IRS targeting controversy. Since the story first broke over a month ago on June 13 there have been a total of just 18 stories (CBS 10, NBC 5, ABC 3) on the IRS scandal through the morning of July 28.

I always find it a mystery when I go to the gym and see people watching something other than Fox News for news. Do they actually think that these mainstream leftist networks show news?

Filed under: News, , , , , , , ,

IRS Lois Lerner pushed to have Republican senator Chuck Grassley audited

From the web site of the House Ways and Means Committee.

Full text:

Washington, DC – Today, Ways and Means Committee Chairman Dave Camp (R-MI) announced the Internal Revenue Service’s (IRS) targeting of conservative individuals includes a sitting United States Senator.  According to emails reviewed by the Committee under its Section 6103 authority, which allows the Committee to review confidential taxpayer information, Lois Lerner sought to have Senator Chuck Grassley (R-IA) referred for IRS examination.

“We have seen a lot of unbelievable things in this investigation, but the fact that Lois Lerner attempted to initiate an apparently baseless IRS examination against a sitting Republican United States Senator is shocking,” said Camp.  “At every turn, Lerner was using the IRS as a tool for political purposes in defiance of taxpayer rights.  We may never know the full extent of the abuse since the IRS conveniently lost two years of Lerner emails, not to mention those of other key figures in this scandal.  The fact that DOJ refuses to investigate the IRS’s abuses or appoint a special counsel demonstrates, yet again, this Administration’s unwillingness to uphold the rule of law.”

Background: 
While the Ways and Means Committee investigation into Lerner’s involvement in the potential Grassley examination is ongoing, documents show that Lerner received an invitation to a speaking event that was intended for Senator Grassley.  Instead of forwarding the invitation to Grassley’s office, Lerner immediately suggested to others in her office that the issue should be referred for examination.  The Committee was able to investigate this information through its authority under Section 6103 of the tax code.  A waiver was signed by Senator Grassley and his wife in order to make this information public.

And there is good news about the corruption at the IRS – the news is reaching the American public.

The Daily Signal reports:

Americans are running out of faith in the Internal Revenue Service.

Seventy-six percent believe that the “lost” Lois Lerner emails were deliberately destroyed, according to a Fox News poll. Only 12 percent believe the destruction resulted as an accident.

This skepticism crossed party lines. A whopping 90 percent of Republicans doubt the IRS’s most recent claims, as do 74 percent of independents and 63 percent of Democrats.

There remains desire for congressional action. Seventy-four percent feel that lawmakers should continue investigating the IRS’s targeting of conservative groups “until someone is held accountable.”

Americans are also dubious about President Barack Obama’s claims that he first learned about the scandal through the media, with just 31 percent believing this to be true.

This poll surveyed 1,018 adults at random and has a margin of error of plus-or-minus three percentage points.

And finally, this, which I posted previously, but it’s SO GOOD:

Now that’s effective cross-examination.

Filed under: News, , , , , , , ,

IRS e-mail backups destroyed shortly after targeting of conservatives was discovered

Investors Business Daily reports.

Excerpt:

The IRS canceled a contract with an email storage contractor weeks after Lois Lerner reported lost personal files and before other IRS officials had their hard drives crash as Tea Party-targeting investigations began.

Timing is everything, the saying goes, and sometimes the timing of events is also very curious, as in the case of the lost emails of Lerner and at least six other officials at the very same time the IRS canceled its contract to back up and preserve those emails as required by federal law.

So the IRS did at one time have back-ups of the e-mails. And they seem to have admitted it in Congressional Testimony:

Perhaps this is what IRS Commissioner John Koskinen was referring to when in March testimony before the House Oversight Committee he assured Rep. Jason Chaffetz that the reason requested emails were difficult to provide was that IRS emails “get taken off and stored in servers.”

Later we would be told that the emails were lost forever and, as we noted, Koskinen was lying in March, when he said they were somewhere, or in June, when he said they were nowhere to be found. Let us ponder another possibility: that the emails were taken off and stored in Sonasoft servers, emails that would be deleted when the IRS contract for their storage ended. They were not lost, but, in effect, deliberately destroyed.

[...]Sonasoft’s fiscal 2011 contract with the IRS ended Aug. 31, 2011. Eight days later, and about a month after Lerner’s computer allegedly crashed, the IRS officially severed its relationship with Sonasoft.

Three months later, IRS official Nikole Flax, who visited the White House more than 30 times, had her computer crash with a similar loss of critical emails, something that afflicted at least half-a-dozen IRS officials in a chain of events that defies logic and the smell test.

You can kind of form a hypothesis of who ordered the hit on the conservative groups by seeing whose e-mails are being deleted and who they were talking to. If I had to bet on it, I’d say that the order to persecute the conservative groups came from the White House, perhaps from the community organizer Barack Obama himself.

George Will has a good column up in the leftist Washington Post about how the Republicans can respond to Obama’s decision to act outside the rule of law.

Filed under: News, , , , , , , ,

IRS required BY LAW to store hard copies of all e-mails they claim to have lost

From the Daily Caller.

Excerpt:

The Internal Revenue Service is required by federal law to keep records of all agency emails and to print out hard copies of the emails to make sure they get saved in the event of a computer glitch.

The IRS recently claimed that it lost 24,000 of 67,000 emails that ex-official Lois Lerner sent between 2009 and 2011, due to a computer crash. The IRS, which agreed to turn over all of Lerner’s emails to the House Committee on Ways and Means, specifically lost emails Lerner sent to other Obama administration agencies and the White House. Lerner is a major figure in the targeting scandal that has hit the IRS.

[...]The IRS’s own definition of the Federal Records Act makes clear that emails must be saved and documented, according to an instructional page for employees on the IRS website.

“The Federal Records Act applies to email records just as it does to records you create using other media,” according to the IRS. “Emails are records when they are: Created or received in the transaction of agency business; Appropriate for preservation as evidence of the government’s function and activities; or Valuable because of the information they contain.”

“If you create or receive email messages during the course of your daily work, you are responsible for ensuring that you manage them properly,” according to the IRS. “The Treasury Department’s current email policy requires emails and attachments that meet the definition of a federal record be added to the organization’s files by printing them (including the essential transmission data) and filing them with related paper records. If transmission and receipt data are not printed by the email system, annotate the paper copy.”

“Please note that maintaining a copy of an email or its attachments within the IRS email MS Outlook application does not meet the requirements of maintaining an official record,” the IRS stated. “Therefore, print and file email and its attachments if they are either permanent records or if they relate to a specific case.”

Losing all evidence of agency emails, therefore, is a violation of federal law.

So if the e-mails are not found, then it’s a violation of federal law, and there will have to be an investigation, and charges will have to be laid against the guilty parties. Although you would never know it from the mainstream media, our beloved socialist government is acting more like on organized crime syndicate. It’s gangster government, as Michele Bachmann used to say.

 

 

 

Filed under: News, , , , , , , ,

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