Wintery Knight

…integrating Christian faith and knowledge in the public square

Sherrod Brown delinquent at paying his own taxes

Sherrod Brown: the most liberal senator in the U.S. Senate

Sherrod Brown: the most liberal senator in the U.S. Senate

From Cleveland.com, a horrifying tale of liberal hypocrisy in one of the bluest cities in the country. (H/T Doug Ross @ Journal)

Excerpt:

Ohio Democratic U.S. Sen. Sherrod Brown was more than four months delinquent in paying taxes on his Washington, D.C., apartment and had to pay a penalty and interest last week.

This was not the first time, records show.

Brown also was delinquent in 2006 and 2007 and paid penalties and interest, according to tax records from the District of Columbia.

“I was late,” he said on a conference call with reporters when asked about the recent delinquency. “I misplaced the bill and I paid it as soon as I found out. I paid a penalty for being late, and it won’t happen again.”

When a reporter noted that it also happened five and six years ago, Brown said: “I misplaced it then. This is a small apartment. I’m not in D.C. nearly every week, I’m here when the Senate’s in session, I’m here three or four nights a week.

Actually, a lot of Democrats get into trouble for not paying their taxes:

A new report just out from the Internal Revenue Service reveals that 36 of President Obama’s executive office staff owe the country $833,970 in back taxes. These people working for Mr. Fair Share apparently haven’t paid any share, let alone their fair share.

Previous reports have shown how well-paid Obama’s White House staff is, with 457 aides pulling down more than $37 million last year. That’s up seven workers and nearly $4 million from the Bush administration’s last year.

Nearly one-third of Obama’s aides make more than $100,000 with 21 being paid the top White House salary of $172,200, each.

The IRS’ 2010 delinquent tax revelations come as part of a required annual agency report on federal employees’ tax compliance. Turns out, an awful lot of folks being paid by taxpayers are not paying their own income taxes.

The report finds that thousands of federal employees owe the country more than $3.4 billion in back taxes. That’s up 3% in the past year.

That scale of delinquency could annoy voters, hard-pressed by their own costs, fears and stubbornly high unemployment despite Joe Biden’s many promises.

The tax offenders include employees of the U.S. Senate who help write the laws imposed on everyone else. They owe $2.1 million. Workers in the House of Representatives owe $8.5 million, Department of Education employees owe $4.3 million and over at Homeland Security, 4,697 workers owe about $37 million. Active duty military members owe more than $100 million.

The Treasury Department, where Obama nominee Tim Geithner had to pay up $42,000 in his own back taxes before being confirmed as secretary, has 1,181 other employees with delinquent taxes totaling $9.3 million.

As usual, the Postal Service, with more than 600,000 workers, has the most offenders (25,640), who also owe the most — almost $270 million. Veterans Affairs has 11,659 workers owing the IRS $151 million while the Energy Department that was so quick to dish out more than $500 million to the Solyndra folks has 322 employees owing $5 million.

The country’s chief law enforcement agency, the Department of Justice, has 2,069 employees who are nearly $17 million behind in taxes.

Even Warren Buffet’s company is in a dispute with the IRS over unpaid taxes:

Two weeks ago, when billionaire Warren Buffett called for higher taxes on rich people like him, the liberal media predictably gushed and fawned.

Yet when Americans for Limited Government revealed last week that Buffett’s company Berkshire Hathaway has been in an almost decade-long dispute with the IRS over how much taxes it owes, these same press members couldn’t care less:

According to Berkshire Hathaway’s own annual report — see Note 15 on pp. 54-56 — the company has been in a years-long dispute over its federal tax bills.

According to the report, “We anticipate that we will resolve all adjustments proposed by the U.S. Internal Revenue Service (‘IRS’) for the 2002 through 2004 tax years at the IRS Appeals Division within the next 12 months. The IRS has completed its examination of our consolidated U.S. federal income tax returns for the 2005 and 2006 tax years and the proposed adjustments are currently being reviewed by the IRS Appeals Division process. The IRS is currently auditing our consolidated U.S. federal income tax returns for the 2007 through 2009 tax years.”

Americans for Limited Government researcher Richard McCarty, who was alerted to the controversy by a federal government lawyer, said, “The company has been short-changing the tax collection agency for much of the past decade.   Mr. Buffett’s company has not fully settled its tax bills from 2002-2009.  Yet he says he’d happily pay more.  Except the IRS has apparently been asking him to pay more going on nine years.”

I wrote an entire post about hypocrisy on the left. It’s worth a read so that you know what to make about the “compassion” rhetoric of the left.

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

Polls show voters swinging to Romney after decisive debate victory

Robert Stacy McCain reports on the latest post-debate polls, but urges us to be cautious about believing them now, just because they are in our favor.

He writes: (links removed)

Nevertheless, for several months, I had been saying that I thought the outcome of the election would hinge on the debates, and the one-sided ass-whupping Romney put on Obama may have triggered a decisive shift that the polls are already beginning to detect.

If you check the Real Clear Politics national average, you see that Sept. 26/Oct. 1, Obama held a lead of four or more points after having been tied with Romney just a month earlier. According to Gallup’s tracking poll, Obama had led by 6 points most of the way from Sept. 19/Oct. 2. Both of these key indicators now show a trend toward Romney, who has closed the gap to 3 points in Gallup and 1.6 points in the RCP, which is mirrored in recent state-by-state results for Florida, Ohio, Colorado andWisconsin.

However, to emphasize again, polls are a lagging indicator. What is important in studying election polls is to follow the trendline, and we don’t yet have enough results from different firms to be able to say (on Oct. 7) that Romney’s looking like a definite winner for Nov. 6.

And McCain also links to this story about one of the bluest counties in the United States: (links removed)

You’d have to reckon that our president’s handlers thought that he would be safe visiting Cleveland, Ohio, a place that helped him win Ohio four years ago. Cuyahoga County yields the majority of Democratic votes from our state. But there’s trouble for Team Obama there today, in a dearth of Democrat registrations.

Here was how Mr. Obama was greeted at a local market:

An Ohio market vendor told President Barack Obama on Friday that his business has been going “terrible” since the president’s arrival, according to media reports.

Obama was greeting different vendors at Cleveland’s West Side Market when he came upon the proprietor of Rolston Poultry.

According to the White House pool report, Obama asked the man how business was going.

“Terrible since you got here,” he replied.

[...]That small business owner summed up the sentiments of many Ohioans, reflected in the new Rasmussen poll, also cited in the PJ Media piece on Obama’s Buckeye state woes.

So, there’s a problem with registering Dems in Cuyahoga County? That’s according to analysis by Clinton Cooper of Election Insights, who has been involved in local and regional government and politics for the last 10 years, including at The Ohio State University and in a policy advisory role for several government agencies and consulting firms in Ohio. Mr. Cooper claims that his data shows that the changes in voter registration in Cuyahoga County have made it extremely difficult for Obama to win Ohio.

Remember, the Paul Ryan vs Joe Biden VP debate is on Thursday night this week.

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

GAO study: EPA regulations will kill coal plant jobs and raise energy prices

From CNS News.

Excerpt:

New regulations issued by the Environmental Protection Agency will lead to the closure of older, coal-fired power plants and boost electricity prices in some parts of the country, according to a new report from the Government Accountability Office.

The GAO, at the behest of Sen. Jay Rockefeller (D-W.Va.), reviewed a host of information from government sources such as the EPA and Energy Information Agency (EIA) as well as private energy-sector forecasters to determine the likely impact of four new EPA regulations aimed at coal-fired power plants.

[...]GAO found that as many as 12 percent of coal-fired power plants may be closed because the EPA regulations make it too expensive for power companies to operate them, despite coal being one of world’s cheapest fuels.

“It is uncertain how power companies may respond to four key Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) regulations, but available information suggests companies may retrofit most coal-fueled generating units with controls to reduce pollution, and that 2 to 12 percent of coal-fueled capacity may be retired,” GAO said.

These changes – either installing expensive retrofits or closing power plants – will drive up electricity prices by as much as 13.5 percent in some areas of the country.

“Available information suggests these actions would likely increase electricity prices in some regions,” GAO said. “Regarding prices, the studies GAO reviewed estimated that increases could vary across the country, with one study projecting a range of increases from 0.1 percent in the Northwest to an increase of 13.5 percent in parts of the South more dependent on electricity generated from coal.”

Coal is the country’s single-largest source of electricity, accounting for 42 percent of power generation in 2011, GAO reported.

[...]The regulations at issue were all put in place by President Obama’s EPA to deal with power plant emissions and industrial waste called coal ash, the byproduct of burning coal.

This is another issue to communicate to everyone who will be voting in November. We already have price inflation from rising gas prices due to insufficient energy production at home, as well as currency inflation from several rounds of money printing and debt monetization. If we have to add to that higher electricity costs, then we really will be in trouble.

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

Ohio governor John Kasich’s energy policy: sustainability and job creation

All of the above makes a lot of sense in Ohio, as John Kasich explains in the Columbus Dispatch.

Excerpt:

Ohio’s agriculture and manufacturing sectors are highly productive and among our state’s largest employers. They’re also big energy users and part of the reason why Ohio ranks seventh nationally in energy generation.

With energy being so important to major Ohio job creators, it’s critical that we do everything possible to make it inexpensive, plentiful and reliable.

Unfortunately, Ohio faces major headwinds on energy from Washington. The U.S. lacks the kind of comprehensive energy policy it takes to achieve energy independence and help job creators secure low prices and reliable supplies. Furthermore, coal — which supplies 86 percent of our electricity — irritates the current president, and his administration’s EPA repeatedly threatens more red tape on Ohio’s growing shale-oil-and-gas industry.

This uncertainty from Washington isn’t sustainable for Ohio. If we want to see more Ohioans working again, we need to foster low costs and greater certainty in energy, and if we can’t get it with help from Washington, then Ohio must seek it ourselves.

That’s his thesis – now let’s see some of the details:

[M]y administration worked with Ohio State University and Battelle to convene the Governor’s 21st Century Energy & Economic Summit. Over two days, the summit brought together 50 panelists from business, government, academia and environmental groups and more than 1,000 attendees to discuss the latest, brightest thinking on energy. These conversations were the first step in helping Ohio’s policymakers develop a comprehensive energy policy to support job creation. That work continued over the winter and produced a comprehensive plan covering the full range of Ohio energy issues. I’m proud to say I’m signing that plan into law on Monday.

A major focus of Ohio’s new energy policy is oil-and-gas production in our state’s Utica shale formations. With new technologies making it possible to tap oil, natural gas and natural-gas liquids in shale rock deep beneath the surface, the potential exists to permanently lift the economy of eastern Ohio and turn Ohio into a major oil-and-gas producer. It’s only smart to make sure that as this new industry comes on the scene, strong policies are in place that can help ensure its safety and success. Ohio’s energy policy does that by modernizing our regulatory structure to protect the public, the environment and the industry’s workers and to facilitate the industry’s growth.

Ohio’s new energy policy also promotes clean-energy generation. While Ohio’s manufacturers are certainly big energy users, they’re also potential sources of clean energy. The U.S. Department of Energy estimates that as much as 2,000 megawatts of energy could be generated by capturing and reusing the waste heat in Ohio factories. That’s enough to power more than 1.4 million Ohio homes. To help encourage this, Ohio’s new energy policy adds waste heat to the list of clean-energy sources, along with solar and wind, that can earn special “renewable energy credits,” credits that manufacturers can then sell for extra income.

Other highlights of Ohio’s new energy policy include efforts to encourage the use of cars that run on natural gas, to improve state buildings’ energy efficiency, to get electricity to the places where it’s most needed to create jobs, to create programs that link Ohioans who need jobs with training for the new jobs in the oil-and-gas industry, and to make valuable investments in clean-coal research   and technology.

If I had to pick the 3 best governors in the USA, I would pick Scott Walker in Wisconsin, John Kasich in Ohio and Bobby Jindal in Louisiana. These guys punch way above their weight, and all 3 states are swing states. You have to have better ideas to win those states. You have to win on the merits.

Filed under: Commentary, , , , , , ,

Republicans ban taxpayer-funding of abortion in Arizona

ECM sent me this story from Fox News.

Excerpt:

Arizona Gov. Jan Brewer on Friday signed into law a bill to cut off Planned Parenthood’s access to taxpayer money funneled through the state for non-abortion services.

Arizona already bars use of public money for abortions except to save the life of the mother, but anti-abortion legislators and other supporters of the bill have said the broader prohibition is needed to make sure that no public money indirectly supports abortion services.

“This is a common sense law that tightens existing state regulations and closes loopholes in order to ensure that taxpayer dollars are not used to fund abortions, whether directly or indirectly,” said Brewer, a Republican. “By signing this measure into law, I stand with the majority of Americans who oppose the use of taxpayer funds for abortion.”

Arizona has said a funding ban would interrupt its preventive health care and family planning services for nearly 20,000 women served by the organization’s clinics. The organization has said it will consider a legal challenge.

The measure targeting funding for Planned Parenthood for non-abortion services was one of several approved by Arizona’s Republican-led Legislature related to contentious reproductive health care issues during a 116-day session that ended Thursday. Brewer is a Republican.

Other approved Arizona bills include one generally banning abortions after 20 weeks of pregnancy, which Brewer has already signed, and one loosening a state law that generally requires health care plans to cover contraception.

This is good news for pro-lifers in Arizona, but we are facing some setbacks in Ohio and Texas.

Related posts on Planned Parenthood

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

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