Talking About Minimum Wage Law And Fast Food Boycotts As Symptoms of Failed Life

"If you're a 30-something and you're working at a fast-food restaurant and you're only making minimum wage -- and you have no ambition to improve your station in life other than to go stand out on the sidewalk and hold a protest sign and demand the government raise your wage for you -- you've failed at life." ~Erick Erickson

Erick Erickson is a conservative that I sometimes disagree with (to the point of once being banned from the RedState blog) but not in this case. His comment was a valid response to illegal shutdowns of American businesses orchestrated by the Service Employees International Union. The fact is that laziness and limited education appear to be the dominating characteristics of those large numbers of people constantly searching for their next government handout - thereby seeking and often finding the yellow brick road of least resistance in day-to-day living. Equal opportunity does not mean equal outcomes and those who aggressively seek better opportunities through honest labor and effort register success while cry-babies often fail. But Erickson slipped up, perhaps because he did 12 hours of radio broadcasting over two days while substituting for Rush Limbaugh, whose radio time slot is constantly monitored by liberals with no other purpose but to criticize conservative thought. Play the entire 3:33 minute recording here.

Admittedly, attacks from the liberal media at Mediaite, TPM, and DailyKos are not unexpected, so negative press was th order of the day, but the attack by a supposed conservative columnist, Peter Wehner at Commentary is ill-conceived and poorly researched. Wehner, in a tradition best described as "progressive," set up not one, not two, but three imaginary straw men to use in belittling Erickson's so-called "mockery" -- then he labeled the talk show host's premise as materialistic and misguided. Poor Peter summed up his character assassination by calling forth support from the words of C.S. Lewis on the subject, "there are no ordinary people." Huh?

Mr, Wehner obviously did not hear the broadcast as I did, nor did he listen to the recording of or from The Rush Limbaugh Show; instead he based his screed on the written words in the Mediaite article which went like this:
“The minimum wage is mostly people who failed at life and high school kids,” Erickson said. “Seriously, look. I don’t mean to be ugly with you people. … If you’re a 30-something-year-old person and you’re making minimum wage you probably failed at life.”
Erickson dismissed the idea that some of those people may have just been down on their luck. “It is not that life dealt you a bad hand,” he said. “Life does not deal you cards. It’s that you failed at life.”
So Peter Wehner strangely reads Mediaite but without ever checking RedState where Erickson pointed out the errors of his critics, writing about his "failed at life" comments. Perhaps you could surmise that the Commentary piece was oriented to the social aspects of the perceived insult, that is if you failed to research Peter Wehner's writings, which includes this brilliant passage, which is totally germane to Erickson's view of why people fail at life, from "A Conservative Vision of Government."
Conservatives believe not in equal results — a goal that leads to an excessive concentration of government power and to shared economic mediocrity — but in equality of opportunity. Government holds some responsibility for creating the ground for that equality of opportunity, which is not a natural condition. But government oversteps itself, creating corrosive resentments and economic havoc, when it tries to guarantee equality of results. Often, the damage extends to government's intended beneficiaries.
If conservatives are rightly at odds with liberals on this point, however, many conservatives fail to see the extent to which equal opportunity itself, a central principle of our national self-understanding, is becoming harder to achieve. It is a well-documented fact that, in recent years, economic mobility has stalled for many poorer Americans, resulting in persistent inter-generational inequality. This phenomenon is more complex than an income gap. It involves wide disparities in parental time and investment, in religious and community involvement, and in academic accomplishment. These are traceable to a number of factors, including the collapse of working-class families, the flight of blue-collar jobs, and the decay of neighborhoods that once offered stronger networks of mentorship outside the home.
But if Wehner identified the some causes for the failures by "30-something" liberals does not mean he can simply excuse their lethargy. Perhaps this Erick Erickson quotation from Rush Limbaugh's website would help Mr. Wehner to better understand the need to criticize his enemy, but not his ally.
"Liberal policies are failing. They've wanted to fundamentally transform the nation. They're only making things worse. And because we point it out, they yell at us, they try to censor us, they try to shut us up and shut us down. This is the path the left has taken: Censorship and shaming. But they can't shut us all up. We still exist, and we're here to point out that they're failing badly."

Cue the fat momma sayin’ “mah baby din do nuffin!”

The title of this piece (for which I will not apologize for reasons that will become clear) comes from TraditionalConservativeTX, commenting on a story in The Blaze about the Ferguson, MO shooting. Unrest, violence and property damage in the Saint Louis suburb has continued into the ninth day following the shooting of 18-year-old, 6'4", 292 lb, Michael "Big Mike" Brown, Jr. following a confrontation with Ferguson police officer Darren Wilson. Brown's mother, Leslie McSpadden, has stated that unrest will likely continue until justice is served and Officer Wilson arrested. She has already judged.
“All we want is an arrest. Let officer Wilson have his day in court and explain why he murdered our son. Is it too much to ask for him to be held accountable to a judge and jury and have to explain his actions? All we want is an arrest so we can see justice”.
Politics are now in play and the push by the black heavyweights will put another white cop under the microscope of a trial for doing his job. The grand jury will be assembled this week despite a statement by Ferguson Police Chef Jackson that Darren Wilson would not likely be charged. He was overruled.

The bad news was that Brown is black, Wilson is white and Big Mike was unarmed and had no criminal record. Also bad news is that the Brown family is being represented by none other than Benjamin Crump, who also irresponsibly tried the Trayvon Martin shooting in the media and whose law firm or any of its lawyers, coincidentally, have no licenses to practice law in Missouri. Crump kindly admits that: “This family has never said Michael Brown was a perfect kid” - whatever that is supposed to mean.

Community witnesses and Brown's buddy, Dorian Johnson (who confessed that the two had just robbed a convenient store) say that Mike Brown raised his hands above his head in surrender when the shooting began but was shot multiple times - but there now appears to be evidence to refute that claim. Indeed, audio from a newly discovered video made shortly after the shooting captures an unidentified eyewitness closely describing the encounter details previously released on behalf of the policeman.

In the meantime, the Missouri shooting has found its way, in the form of a so-called prayer meeting, into the "halcyon" city of Fort Wayne, IN.
While tensions continued to escalate in a city hundreds of miles away where a white police officer shot and killed an unarmed black teenager, a crowd of about two dozen gathered on the Courthouse Green in Fort Wayne on Sunday. They held their hands above their heads at times, just the way witnesses say Michael Brown did in Ferguson, Missouri, before he was shot and killed.
The group on the green prayed. They held signs. Then some spoke and shared stories.
They were there as part of a prayer vigil set up by the local NAACP. Among them, though, was one local woman who said she knows what the mother and family of Michael Brown are going through.
She knows, she said, because she’s been where they've been. News coming out of Ferguson, according to Rose Haney, is a replay of her son’s death.
“He had his hands up and they shot him,” said Rose Haney of her son, 20-year-old TaVontae Jamar Haney.
But "the truth" is just as hard to come by in Fort Wayne as it is in Ferguson, where the likes of Al Sharpton, Jesse Jackson, Benjamin Crump, his partner, Daryl Parks and Barack Obama have kept up the heat through nightly riots. Fortunately, there is a pattern being displayed by liberal black groups designed to foment mistrust of authority, especially white justice. We can better comprehend the changes that have now come over Rose Haney.

On May 5, 2014, the local NAACP held a Pick Up A Book Not A Gun rally and Rose Haney was there to speak but there was not a word about hands in the air.
It was April 27, 2013, when Rose Haney heard gunfire down the block.
It wasn't long before she learned her son TaVontae Jamar Haney, 19, had been killed. When she went to the scene she discovered it was two Fort Wayne Police officers who had shot and killed her son.
“It's painful; you cannot find words to express it,” Haney said, referring to the loss of her child. Her life is not the same. Her son's death has left a void that can never be filled. Haney is still wrestling with just what happened. “I miss his smile,” Haney said. [. . . ]
Haney said her son was a good child, educated, and employed. She wants the violence to stop with this generation before it is to late.
And in the original news story carried by the Fort Wayne News-Sentinel on April 28, 2013 concerning the shooting of TaVontae, the real reason for the shooting was revealed.
According to police spokesman Jeremy Webb, police had tried to stop a red SUV in a routine traffic stop at the intersection of Congress Avenue and Gaywood Drive at around 3:50 p.m. Saturday. The two people inside the vehicle ran and were chased by police. The driver of the vehicle got away. The passenger ran through the neighborhood and at some point confronted police and was fatally shot, according to Webb. A firearm was found near Haney's body In the 4300 block of Spatz Avenue . . .
The Washington Times reported that the Allen County, IN Prosecutor ruled on the shooting in February 2014.
Prosecutor Karen Richards issued a statement Wednesday saying witnesses told state police that 19-year-old Tavontae Haney of Fort Wayne was shot by police after he pointed a gun at them. Police have said the shooting occurred after Haney fled on foot from a traffic stop after the driver of the car he was in did not stop at a stop sign.
So obviously, the witnesses to the shooting changed their stories over time and after careful questioning by trained Indiana State Police investigators. Here is what WANE-TV reported in May 2013:
  • Witnesses say, it didn’t have to end in death.
  • Witnesses who spoke to NewsChannel 15 said Haney complied with directives from police.
  • “They told him to stop, so he stopped and put his hands up,” 12-year-old David Jackson, Jr. said.
  • Clifton Mauricio recalled the situation similar to Jackson’s statement. “They told him to put his hands up and they just started shooting him,” Mauricio said.
On May 9, 2013, Frost Illustrated, Fort Wayne's black newspaper, expressed doubt about the shooting and printed these rumors and speculations:
Community members are questioning why police shot and killed a man who appeared to be fleeing and therefore presented no danger to officers.
Some in the community are questioning if the shooting was actually necessary, especially in the wake of rumors circulating that Haney was shot in the back.
Other conflicting accounts from the streets and conflicting reports from people in the area as to whether he was armed or not.
Media reports also have surfaced that [one of the officers involved] . . ., in addition to having three letters of commendation for service also has had his share of run-ins with police authorities.
“The killing of TaVontae Jamar Haney, the 16th homicide of the city this year, is under investigation by the NAACP,” said Fort Wayne NAACP President Dr. Saharra Bledsoe in a statement.
The pattern is the same at both Ferguson and Fort Wayne. Question and disrespect authority, don't snitch, and always assume that white folks are out to kill black folks (but it is OK that black on black crime is the largest danger to the well-being of the black minority).

Here are some tell-tale remarks by Rose Haney that prove that the indoctrination of blacks by blacks works.
Rose Haney said she’s spoken to other witnesses who claim he did not point a gun at officers but instead raised his hands. In fact, she said, she never knew anything about a gun being found by his body until the January or February following his death.
If she is telling the truth, she simply did not want to know about the gun but how could the conversation with the other witnesses have made any sense without the element of his possession of a gun?
And she doesn't want her son’s children – a 4-year-old girl and a 3-year-old boy – to grow up in a world where they think all police officers are the enemy. But that might already be happening, the way she sees her granddaughter interact with police officers she meets.
“She says, ‘You’re the police that killed my daddy,’ ” Haney said.
The child was 2 1/2 to 3 years old when her Daddy died, so I doubt very much that she remembers much about her father except for the information being provided currently by her grandmother. And exactly how many cops meet up with the four-year old, on say, a weekly basis? The answer? Not many but usually none.

As long as we are having a prayer meeting, perhaps a Come to Jesus Meetin' might be appropriate for the liberal blacks leading their flocks astray.

If Elephants and Pigs Could Fly

Soy Beans!

Back in the news this month is the results of bidding by Amtrak and four private companies to operate the Hoosier State train between Indianapolis and Chicago. I wrote about the events leading up to the bidding process here, but simply put, Congress changed the law by making subsidies for short haul corridor train service the responsibility of the states and provided methods for appointing train operators other than Amtrak.

The bid winner, Corridor Capital LLC (of Chicago, not the private equity firm from L.A.) was a major surprise, simply because the company has focused on railroad rolling stock leasing since it was formed by James E. Coston in 2005 as an offshoot of his law practice which was involved in all things legal regarding equipment leasing. Corridor "owns or has options" on 50 Santa Fe Railway El Capitan "high-level" passenger coaches built in the '50s and '60s, that Amtrak took out-of-service in 2002. Since Corridor is privately held, it is impossible to determine its profitability but there is no indication that the company has ever operated a railroad or has sold or leased passenger rail rolling stock since 2005. "High-levels" controlled by Corridor require major refurbishing and the company is presently trying very hard to sell or lease them to the State of Michigan. Unfortunately, Michigan is leaning toward purchasing the surplus, unused Talgo trains initially built for Wisconsin. Before Corridor, a Coston company called New Trains Leasing System attempted to lease these same "high-levels". The CC rolling stock inventory of cars are obviously not immediately available for use on Hoosier State trains at October 1.

Corridor Capital's interest in trains starts with Chairman Coston, whose work history traces to Amtrak operations at Chicago's Union Station which was then politically bolstered by appointment to the now-expired Amtrak Reform Council by former Senate Majority Leader Tom "Puff" Daschle (Dem-SD). Frankly, Corridor Capital appears to be a business structure created to give a most likely self-absorbed Jim Coston a place in the sun where he can play "big shot" with "choo-choo" trains. He seems to join every known American rail organization and spends lots of time consulting on railroad equipment - often giving ill-considered opinions in attempting to justify government subsidies for railroads.

In a nutshell, here is the hucksterish pitch that Corridor is giving to potential government clients wishing to privatize their short haul passenger trains - and sadly, Indiana is guinea pig numero uno.
Corridor Capital LLC is a Chicago-based passenger-train development company that assembles all of the elements that states and communities need to manage their own passenger-rail service. Just as a real-estate developer brings planners, architects, engineers, financiers, contractors and legal expertise together to open a new building or project, Corridor Capital brings together the appropriate cadre of civil and mechanical engineers, railcar and locomotive builders, station and terminal managers, planners, financiers, ticketing/marketing professionals, maintenance contractors, hospitality services and information-technology specialists that governments require in order to establish and operate their own passenger-rail services. Corridor Capital LLC also maintains close relationships with Amtrak, our partner and operator of all state-supported corridor services, and with the Association of American Railroads, to make sure that clients’ operations interact successfully with the nation’s freight-railroad industry. [or if you prefer . . .]
Corridor ... is a passenger-rail development company which assembles and integrates the multiple elements needed to provide a successful intercity passenger-train service. The company is managed by seasoned transportation professionals with decades of successful experience in planning and operating passenger trains. The company owns uniform passenger rolling stock and commands the professional skills of several dozen additional veteran passenger train professionals, including civil and mechanical engineers, passenger car and locomotive builders, station and terminal managers, locomotive and car maintenance specialists, planners, financiers, information technologists, travel marketing and ticketing specialists and contractors providing onboard food, beverage and hospitality services.
Remember the wisdom of Samuel L. Clemons, writing as Mark Twain: "Actions speak louder than words, but not nearly as often." Shania Twain (no relation to Mark) also reminds us:
If elephants could fly I'd be a little more optimistic
But I don't see that happening anytime soon
I don't mean to sound so pessimistic
But I don't think that the cow really jumped over the moon
Corridor's website is not at all reassuring about their claimed resources and capabilities.
Like most businesses today, Corridor Capital stays nimble by owning as few assets as possible and using contractors to provide specific services, facilities and products on an ‘as-needed’ basis.
Allowing the Hoosier State to be operated by Corridor is not quite as simple as might be imagined. For example, Amtrak has contractual rights to operate over the tracks that make up the Hoosier State route and Corridor does not.
Amtrak alone has statutory access authority to operate corridor and long-distance passenger trains over freight railroad-owned track, which effectively eliminates competing operators unless the freight railroad voluntarily agrees to grant others access. While commuter agencies have successfully negotiated such access for operators other than Amtrak, access over non-commuter, state-supported passenger rail corridors is problematic for operators other than Amtrak.
Amtrak might, for example, insist that their unionized train crews be contracted to run the trains - a real bummer, especially if Corridor is considering the labor dollar savings and work rule avoidance that should be theirs to harvest. Speculations are rampant that the poorly performing Amtrak conductors and engineers will continue to operate the trains.

Those of us interested in the exact details contained in CC's accepted Request for Proposal also patiently await the release of the nitty gritty contained in all bids for comparison purposes. Here is about everything with substance that has been publicly released:
Fritz Plous, the director of communications for Corridor Capital, spoke of his company’s plans to improve the Hoosier State during a town hall discussion in Crawfordsville, Ind.
In the short term, Corridor Capital needs to boost ridership, which is now about 85 passengers a day aboard the quad-weekly train.
“We need to see it at double that,” said Plous said, adding that such amenities Wi-Fi and information screens could draw more passengers.
“That’s the first step towards legitimacy: Get people a nice, new train,” Plous said. But, “the funding has to be there.”
Another priority will be reducing the current running time of 5 hours and 10 minutes from Indianapolis to Chicago to about two hours less. Plous did not provide any details as to how that could be accomplished on the train’s circuitous route.
“We won the beauty contest,” Plous said. “We don’t know what mojo made INDOT choose us.”
Unmentioned is the appalling fact that the Chicago-Indianapolis route (2011 statistics displayed at link are for the Hoosier State train only) represents the worst revenue per passenger mile vs cost per passenger mile performance anywhere in the Amtrak system. (Note that the cost per passenger mile does not include depreciation or track maintenance.) From Cato Institute transportation expert Randal O'Toole:
The worst-performing route, Chicago-Indianapolis, loses 80 cents a passenger mile. But this is because Amtrak uses this train to shuttle cars that need repair from the Chicago hub to its Beech Grove shops in Indianapolis. The fact that Amtrak can carry some revenue riders on this train is just a bonus. Even without this train, the range in net revenues is far too wide.
Cutting Hoosier State time from the 5 hour plus, 196 mile trip could begin with the elimination of stops where few passengers get on or off the trains - namely, Crawfordsville, Beech Grove, Rensselaer and Dyer, which would exclude only 5,100 daytrippers per year (as well as the totally unneeded side trip to Beech Grove's Amtrak repair facility which can be done exclusively by Amtrak's Cardinal train). It is silly to even think that such a minuscule service level cut would be challenged but you will not find this suggestion made elsewhere. With service stops reduced from seven to three (Indianapolis, Lafayette and the Chicago terminus), improved run times on the new express schedule would help attract more ridership but not likely enough to supplant the option preferred by Hoosiers - driving up Interstate 65 to Chicago's loop and airports.

New mass transit service proposals always stipulate some unreachable ridership goal and predictably Corridor Capital is looking to double ridership - but.that.will.never.happen - unless the new Hoosier State Express goes into direct competition with Amtrak by scheduling train runs at more convenient times on the remaining three days each week when the national Cardinal train operates. Adding Wi-Fi service would be nice, but the Grey Dog and Megabus already offer it, plus faster times, more frequent runs and lower fares. "Amtrak’s galvanized chicken sandwiches," overpriced and often inedible, will not displace the brown bags now carried onto the trains - bad food does not encourage more ridership.

Americans may love trains but they will not be inconvenienced to ride them nor will they continue to indirectly pay the exorbitant costs to operate them. When the Hoosier State train (and all government-operated mass transit) can run on time and not penalize state taxpayers with what has become wasted subsidies, the bloom may return to the rose but don't hold your breath in anticipation of such a change.

The ironies of all ironies may have suddenly intervened to put an end to the "new" Hoosier State service before it begins.
Amtrak’s Hoosier State may be doomed after the City of Indianapolis decided to cease helping to fund the quad-weekly service between Chicago and Indy. Indianapolis was one of a handful of communities served by the train that agreed to help fund it [to the tune of $300,000] last October after a new federal law took effect that shifted more of the burden of funding the losses of short-haul trains onto state and local governments. “They have told me they are not interested in doing it next year, and take that as a final no,” said Bob Zier, director of multimodal program and planning for Indiana Department of Transportation.
But Indiana DOT is eyeing the state's 2 billion dollar surplus and is conspiring with rent-seeking Corridor Capital to raise the stakes rather than back away from a little-used train that should be left for dead.
Zier tells Inside INdiana Business, "if we lose passenger rail service that we have today, I'm not sure we can get it back."
He says the state is still working with Indianapolis officials to determine why they aren't interested in contributing to the route. Zier says he would be "very disappointed" if an agreement can't be reached that includes future support from the Marion County city.
He says the train could operate in "reverse" to not only deliver Hoosiers to Chicago, but to bring economic development opportunities, business travelers and commerce back into the state.
Zier says the state is seeking corporate sponsors to help offset some costs. He says some ideas being discussed with Corridor Capital, CSX and Canadian National would include a faster train that has a "wow factor" for travelers and would knock up to 90 minutes off of travel times.
He says other concepts that involves "high-level capital investment" would shrink time between Indianapolis and Chicago to 2 or 2 1/2 hours and become the "premiere way of getting to Chicago."
Oopsies! High-speed rail has raised it ugly head (but it is unlikely that such train sets are going to be available if Michigan buys the two Talgos designed for a speed maximum of 125 mph) but the required trackage investment over 196 miles simply cannot be supported and repaid even using Northeast Corridor level fares likely unattainable in flyover country. Since there is no chance of help from freight railroads that own the tracks, we can expect that INDOT will have to tap the state surplus but we can hope that they will bring Illinois to the party. But a far better idea is to fire Bob Zier. Are you listening, Mike Pence?

Workers and Shareholders Unite! Abolish the Corporate Income Tax

art by Christopher Sergio

Sometimes the plain logic of a learned economist is just too simple to ignore, especially when the economist happens to be Professor Laurence J,. Kotlikoff, a former adviser to Ronald Reagan.  His Op-Ed appeared in the New York Times last January 14.
Jobs don’t grow out of thin air, especially well-paying ones. They require, among other things, companies that are willing to operate where you live. Just ask the Seattle-based District 751 of the machinists’ union, which was worried that Boeing will build its new 777X airliner someplace far away where it is cheaper to produce. Last month the union offered contract concessions, as its president explained, to ensure “the long-term success” of Boeing in Washington State. And on Friday, Boeing machinists approved a contract with concessions to keep assembly of the plane in the area.
In recent decades, American workers have suffered one body blow after another: the decline in manufacturing, foreign competition, outsourcing, the Great Recession and smart machines that replace people everywhere you look. Amazon and Google are in a horse race to see how many humans they can put out of work with self-guided delivery drones and driverless cars. You wonder who will be left with incomes to buy what these robots deliver.
What can workers do to mitigate their plight? One useful step would be to lobby to eliminate the corporate income tax.
That might sound like a giveaway to the rich. It’s not. The rich, including Boeing’s stockholders, can take their companies and run — and not just from Washington State to, say, North Carolina. To avoid our federal corporate tax, they can, and often do, move their operations and jobs abroad. Apple’s tax return says it all: The company, according to one calculation, paid only 8.2 percent of its worldwide profits in United States corporate income taxes, thanks to piling up most of its profits and locating far too many of its operations overseas.
I, like many economists, suspect that our corporate income tax is economically self-defeating — hurting workers, not capitalists, and collecting precious little revenue to boot.
The United States may well have the highest effective marginal corporate income tax rate of any developed country. Jack Mintz, public finance economist and director of the School of Public Policy at the University of Calgary, puts the rate close to 35 percent, which is also the statutory rate. Other economists, using different techniques, calculate the marginal rate to be as low as 23 percent. But both figures are miles above zero.
They are also miles above our 13 percent average corporate income tax rate — the ratio of corporate taxes to total corporate profits. The fact that the marginal tax rate, whether 23 percent, 35 percent or somewhere in between, is so much larger than the average rate suggests that a sizable share of corporate profits and production is ending up overseas and untaxed.
Making, rather than just stating, this case requires constructing a large-scale computer simulation model of the United States economy as it interacts over time with other nations’ economies, and then seeing how the model reacts when you change the American corporate income tax. I’ve developed such a model with three colleagues through the Tax Analysis Center, a nonpartisan research group. Our findings make a very strong, worker-based case for corporate tax reform.
In the model, eliminating the United States’ corporate income tax produces rapid and dramatic increases in American investment, output and real wages, making the tax cut self-financing to a significant extent. Somewhat smaller gains arise from revenue-neutral corporate tax base broadening, specifically cutting the corporate tax rate to 9 percent and eliminating all corporate tax loopholes. Both policies generate welfare gains for all generations in the United States, but particularly for young and future workers. Moreover, all Americans can benefit, though by less, if foreign countries also cut their corporate tax rates.
John Steele Morgan at Commentary Magazine fills in the rest of the story, even if our other tax laws did not change:
Abolishing the corporate income tax would bring howls of protest from the left that corporations aren’t paying “their fair share.” But corporations, of course, don’t pay the corporate income tax. Instead it’s paid by some combination of workers, with lower wages; customers, with higher prices; and shareholders, with lower profits. The particular combination depends on the economic circumstances of each industry. And abolishing the corporate income tax (which was, anyway, only intended to be a stopgap until a personal income tax amendment could be ratified) would have many extremely positive effects for the American economy.
  • It would then be fair to tax dividends as ordinary income, which they are not now. That means that rich stockholders would pay 39.6 percent on that income, not 20 percent as now.
  • Corporations would repatriate trillions in profits now held overseas to avoid U.S. taxes and invest much of that money here.
  • Foreign corporations would flock to the United States instead of U.S. corporations moving their headquarters overseas.
  • Corporations would concentrate on pre-tax income, which is a function of economic success in the marketplace, not after-tax income, which is a function of lobbying success in Washington.
  • Tens of thousands of tax lawyers, accountants, lobbyists, and IRS agents would be out of work and would have to find something economically productive to do.
  • Corporations would have much less interest in providing perks to their executives that the corporation can write off instead of taxable salaries.
  •  There would be a race among the 50 states to lower or abolish their own corporate tax rates.
Unfortuntely, all of these positive results will never be seen clearly by low-information Democrats, especially the politicians who will see corporate lobbying money dry up. But the opportunity to be rid of crony capitalism, once and for all, is a powerful incentive for those of us interested in having this country return to its economic greatness.

The Word "Nigger" Isn't Racist but Opposing Obama's Politics Is

"Scream" image courtesy
In the finest display of illogical liberal journalism, the op-ed that follows takes a Republican against Republican congressional election in Virginia where the incumbent was booted (for a lot of reasons but mostly about lying to constituents) and without a scrap of evidence to support the editorial theme, labels all conservative Republicans as racist.
"If Eric Cantor had played it straight on the issues, he might have won. But instead, he tried to call someone who had the endorsements of Glenn Beck and Laura Ingraham a liberal, for goodness sake! All that did was anger and energize Brat's supporters."
This writing effort probably ranks up there with the average skill level of a ten-year-old.

The Nigger in the White House
Jim Collier is a straight-talking man so when a few months ago he wanted to use the word "nigger" in an article to shock  us into accepting that there are still people who believe and use this outrageous word, our editorial staff took collective objection and we did not print it. The editorial staff continues to object. In this article, however, Jim reminded me that the New York Times avoids using the word which convinced me that WestView should. ~George Capsis, publisher 
The uproar in the press at the stunning defeat of Eric Cantor, the former Majority Leader of the House, "unrivaled in the history of congressional primaries" according to the New York Times has shown a persistence of racism  in the United States. The newspaper reports have said that Cantor was "insufficiently conservative" on issues like immigration. This is undoubtedly true but it covers a greater and more important truth; Cantor was defeated because his opponent, a man happily called Brat, was able to tie him to Obama in the eyes of the voters. Again according to the Times, Brat's most effective campaign tool was a photograph showing Cantor standing next to the president. Brat took it for granted that a connection to Obama would be disliked by the voters in question. The Times added that such conservative Republicans have a vocal base that "demands unflinching opposition to Obama and are determined to stage confrontations with the president at every juncture."
Presidents have been subject to stinging attacks before. Franklin Roosevelt was royally hated by conservatives for his advocacy of social programs and support for unions and Lincoln was shot for his tolerance of the recent enemy. Ironically, Obama was never strongly pushed for the strong social programs liberals expected of him. He has indeed been quite passive in his approach to governing. Conservatives ought therefore to have recognized that for a Democrat, Obama was about as good as they would get. But, says the Times, any hint of cooperation with the president" was the kiss of death for candidates in conservative territory.
It is only possible to draw one conclusion; these far right voters hate Obama because he is black. The simple truth is that there is still in America an irreducible measure of racism. A large minority have for some six years been quietly angry that they must have in the White House a member of an inferior class of people. Until recently, however, they have felt constrained to keep their mouths shut. But America's increasing tolerance of far right opinion has made racism more acceptable, so long as it can be disguised, however thinly, as politics. 
Unfortunately the media, including the New York Times, has been wary of addressing this issue. In its reporting on the subject, it says that Cantor's problem was his support for immigration reform, including the legalization of people who had been smuggled in as children. There is no doubt that easing of restrictions on immigration, which basically means admitting more Hispanics from  Central and South America, is opposed by substantial numbers of Americans. So doing is entirely consistent with what we know about the behavior of groups, about which I have written in WestView before.  Groups don't like strangers, and to non-Hispanic Americans these Central Americans are strangers with a different language and set of folkways.
But blacks are seen as even more "different." In this viewpoint, Obama is not "one of us" to many Americans and is therefore, if not exactly the enemy, at least an outsider.
One of the great surprises of this particular election was that the polls consistently showed that Cantor had a huge lead over Brat. The polls were not just slightly off, as they often are, but dramatically wrong. Clearly a whole lot of people would not admit to a stranger on the phone to being racist, in the polling booths did what their hearts urged them to do: vote against Obama, even though he was not on the ballot. And one of the results of the Brat victory is that we are unlikely to see another black candidate for president for some time to come; the risks are too great for major political parties to take.
Unsurprisingly, New York liberals know nothing about the popularity of Dr. Ben Carson among conservative Republicans. And why should they? He was merely the director of pediatric neurosurgery at Johns Hopkins Hospital and Baltimore is on the other side of the Hudson River somewhere. He is credited with being the first surgeon to successfully separate twins conjoined at the head. He couldn't be any good since George W. Bush awarded him the Presidential Medal of Freedom in 2006. And, by the way, both of Dr. Carson's parents are black and there is no mystery surrounding his early life, his academic background or his professional accomplishments that are readily available to read on the internet.

Outlook on IRS E-Mails Not Promising

If IBM can continue to use its antiquated and buggy Lotus Notes e-mail system since 1989, it is pure speculation as to the version of Microsoft Outlook that is managing the e-mails of the Internal Revenue Service, but the version can make a difference as to the extent to which e-mails are available to retrieve. Outlook 2003 was a stable system relying on central servers to provide a place to archive the e-mail documents. With Microsoft Outlook 2007 and later versions came the ability to limit the number of emails that could store in each users account. Megan McArdle made some inquiries and determined:
As far as I can tell, the agency is using exchange servers with Microsoft Outlook e-mail clients. In a system like this, messages are normally stored on the server. However, the IRS sharply limits the size of mailboxes. In 2009, the limit was 150 megabytes; by 2011, it had increased that to 500 MB. Either way, this is a low limit, in these days of sizable attachments. This would require anyone but the proverbial Web-browsing grandmother to regularly archive their e-mails on a hard drive or delete them.
According to documents provided by the IRS, [Lois] Lerner was archiving her e-mails on her local hard drive, which developed fatal problems (bad sectors) in the middle of June 2011. The data proved unrecoverable despite heroic efforts on the part of the IT staff. They can partially reconstruct her mailbox by searching the archives of other IRS employees but cannot retrieve any e-mails to or from outside users, because the server's backup tapes have been recycled, and the hard drive is gone.
So the IRS encouraged individual e-mail clients through its files limits to pick and choose which e-mails would be archived and where the archived files were saved. Lois Lerner chose which e-mails she wanted saved and she also was permitted to chose the convenience of having important e-mails organized for retrieval on her own computer since 2009. The IRS could have chosen (but did not) to install a back-up system to regularly save all e-mails and other data from all IRS computers as often as daily, but, as Megan McArdle points out, such a system would cost these penny-pinchers another $10 million a year against the IRS IT budget of $1.8 billion to do so.

So is it possible that the missing Lerner e-mails were really related to a hard drive failure, the answer is most certainly. And is it possible in this age of multiple computer server backups that this data could be lost? The answer is that data is being deliberately deleted every minute of every day by e-mail clients and back-up practices of local hard drives linked through servers at the IRS were, until recently, poorly conceived and executed.

While it is difficult to swallow the theory that all the employees at the IRS are engaged in a conspiracy, it is easier to reason that not all employees need be conspirators - only those appointed into power positions and those who are long-time Democrats who treasure their well-paying, rocking chair jobs that lately pay bonuses to those who cooperate.

Lois Lerner got caught on tape expressing what could be a dominate view among those in the Internal Revenue Service leadership regarding the Supreme Court's ruling in the Citizen's United case.
Lerner spoke to a small group at Duke's Sanford School of Public Policy on October 19, 2010, just two weeks before the wave election that brought the Tea Party and Republicans significant gains in Congress. During her appearance Lerner was asked about the flow of money from corporations to 501(c)(4) groups. "Everyone is up in arms because they don't like it" Lerner replied, adding "Federal Election Commission can't do anything about it; they want the IRS to fix the problem."
Lerner goes on to outline the fact that 501(c)(4) organizations have the right to do "an ad that says vote for Joe Blow" so long as their primary activity is social welfare. However Lerner again emphasizes the political pressure the IRS was under at the time saying, "So everybody is screaming at us right now 'Fix it now before the election. Can't you see how much these people are spending?'" Lerner concludes by saying she won't know if organizations have gone too far in campaigning until she looks at their "990s next year."
As I noted previously in an article on the effects of IRS rules on Tea Party groups, there never was enabling legislation to permit the IRS to administer to the qualification of 501(c)(4) organizations. The agency simply wrote rules affecting them. And it is now obvious that government arrogance prevails inside its most-feared agency. It has taken the stance that the IRS does nothing wrong and Congress has no need to question its actions or authority. And just in case you haven't figured it out, the entire Federal government now operates on the rules of law that suit the Obama administration, without care to treat citizens and taxpayers evenly and fairly.

But we will likely never know how dishonest the IRS really is - as demonstrated by the Kim Strassel revelation in the WSJ that the Lerner hard drive failed within two weeks of an inquiry to the IRS from House Ways and Means Committee chairman Dave Camp concerning the targeting of Tea Party groups. Power Line has additional coverage of this amazing. perhaps unbelievable, coincidence here, here and here.