Category: Monetary Policy

Feds Set Tax Haul Record: $472B In One Month






” The federal government set a record tax haul in April, taking in nearly a half-trillion dollars in one month alone, according to Congressional Budget Office statistics released Thursday.

  April is always a busy month with the tax deadline on April 15, but this year’s haul was historic, totaling $472 billion, far outstripping the previous monthly record, set last April, of $414 billion.

  Spending, meanwhile, was a more modest $317 billion, leaving the government with a surplus for that one month of $155 billion — also a record.”

Washington Times

Americans Living Abroad Set Record For Giving Up Citizenship




” More Americans living outside the U.S. gave up their citizenship in the first quarter of 2015 than ever before, according to data released Thursday by the IRS.

  The 1,335 expatriations topped the previous record by 18 percent, according to data compiled by Bloomberg. Those Americans are driven to turn in their passports in part because of laws that have expanded bank reporting and tax compliance requirements for expatriates.

  The increase in early 2015 follows an annual record in 2014, when 3,415 Americans gave up their citizenship.

  An estimated 6 million U.S. citizens are living abroad, and the U.S. is the only country within the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development that taxes citizens wherever they reside.”


Read more













Happy Birthday FA von Hayek




Wiki Bio


” Friedrich August Hayek ; 8 May 1899 – 23 March 1992), born in Austria-Hungary as Friedrich August von Hayek and frequently known as F. A. Hayek, was an Austrian, later turned British , economist and  philosopher best known for his defense of classical liberalism. In 1974, Hayek shared the Nobel Memorial Prize in Economic Sciences (with Gunnar Myrdal) for his “pioneering work in the theory of money and economic fluctuations and … penetrating analysis of the interdependence of economic, social and institutional phenomena”.

Hayek is an economist and major political thinker of the twentieth century. Hayek’s account of how changing prices communicate information which enables individuals to coordinate their plans is widely regarded as an important achievement in economics. He also contributed to the fields of systems  thinking ,  jurisprudenceneuroscience, and the history of ideas.

  Hayek served in World War I and said that his experience in the war and his desire to help avoid the mistakes that had led to the war led him to his career. Hayek lived in Austria, Great Britain, the United States and Germany, and became a British subject in 1938. He spent most of his academic life at the London School of Economics (LSE), the University of Chicago, and the University of Freiburg.

  In 1984, he was appointed as a member of the Order of the Companions of Honour by Queen Elizabeth II on the advice of Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher for his “services to the study of economics”. He was the first recipient of the Hanns Martin Schleyer Prize in 1984. He also received the US Presidential Medal of Freedom in 1991 from president George H. W. Bush. In 2011, his article The Use of Knowledge in Society was selected as one of the top 20 articles published in the American Economic Review during its first 100 years.







Concise Encyclopedia Of Economics:


” If any twentieth-century economist was a Renaissance man, it was Friedrich Hayek. He made fundamental contributions in political theory, psychology, and economics. In a field in which the relevance of ideas often is eclipsed by expansions on an initial theory, many of his contributions are so remarkable that people still read them more than fifty years after they were written. Many graduate economics students today, for example, study his articles from the 1930s and 1940s on economics and knowledge, deriving insights that some of their elders in the economics profession still do not totally understand. It would not be surprising if a substantial minority of economists still read and learn from his articles in the year 2050. In his book Commanding Heights, Daniel Yergin called Hayek the “preeminent” economist of the last half of the twentieth century.”




Further Reading


The Friedrich Hayek Quote Page

Biography of F. A. Hayek (1899-1992)

Friedrich Hayek (Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy)

F. A. Hayek |

BBC News – Masters of Money: Friedrich Hayek

F.A. Hayek – Encyclopedia Britannica

BBC News – Keynes v Hayek: Two economic giants go head to head

Friedrich von Hayek Nobel Prize Winner







  • Monetary Theory and the Trade Cycle (1929) 


  • Prices and Production (1931) 
  • Monetary Nationalism and International Stability (1937) 
  • Profits, Interest and Investment (1939) 



  • “The Transmission of the Ideals of Economic Freedom,” (1951) Full Article
  • John Stuart Mill and Harriet Taylor: Their Friendship and Subsequent Marriage (1951) ISBN 978-0-678-06504-4
  • The Counter-Revolution of Science: Studies on the Abuse of Reason (1952) ISBN 978-0-913966-67-9
  • The Sensory Order: An Inquiry into the Foundations of Theoretical Psychology (1952) ISBN 978-0-226-32094-6
  • The Political Ideal of the Rule of Law (1955)










How To Fix The Broken Budget






” Congress is required by law to pass a budget each fiscal year which lays out the framework for allocating taxpayer dollars for all federal programs. Additionally, Congress must pass 12 function and program –related appropriations bills that then distribute the funds to the various departments, agencies, and programs.

  Instead, Congress and the administration have relied on last-minute continuing resolutions (CRs) and omnibus spending bills that kick the can down the road by adopting only set levels of funding — providing no oversight over the worthiness of program spending, nor prioritizing spending according to our country’s needs.

  As President Reagan famously said: “Government programs, once launched, never disappear…a government bureau is the nearest thing to eternal life we’ll ever see on this earth.”

  This broken approach must end if we are to ensure long-term competitiveness and quality of living in America for future generations.

  Let’s take a deeper look at the problem:

  • Continuing resolutions keep programs on “auto-pilot” from year to year without any assessment of whether the money is being well spent. There have been more than 20 of these resolutions in the past five years.
  • Nearly 200 government programs are “fragmented, duplicative, overlapping or just inefficient,” according to a Government Accountability Office (GAO) report.
  • Congressional committees, charged with scrutinizing how each federal department and agency is actually spending taxpayer dollars, are strapped for time to do so. Committees, on average, hold specific program oversight hearings only a few hours each month and generally focus attention on only one or two programs each year — neglecting many programs under their jurisdiction.
  • Without proper legislative oversight, wasteful government spending continues its meteoric climb as more and more power is ceded to the unaccountable executive branch to govern the programs. No oversight translates into a bureaucracy jobs program — paying federal workers billions to implement programs that have outlived their original mission.

  Incredibly, it’s been revealed that the government does not actually know the exact number of agencies, offices and government corporations it comprises. (A cursory count on various lists shows the number is in the several hundreds).”




Read more













Who Pays When The DEA Destroys Your Vehicle And Kills Your Employee During A Botched Sting? Hint: Not The DEA


Craig Patty is seeking damages after his truck was used without his permission as part of a botched law-enforcement operation that left the driver dead. Photo: James Nielsen / © 2011 Houston Chronicle

Photo courtesy of Houston Chronicle




” The DEA likes to borrow stuff. It’s just not very good about returning borrowed items in the same shape it got them.

  Like a woman’s Facebook account. Or a businessman’s semi truck. And his employee’s life.

  Craig Patty runs a tiny trucking company in Texas. He has only two trucks in his “fleet.” One of them was being taken to Houston for repairs by his employee, Lawrence Chapa. Or so he thought.

  In reality, Chapa was working with the DEA, which had paid him to load up Patty’s truck with marijuana and haul it back to Houston so the DEA could bust the prospective buyers. That’s when everything went completely, horribly wrong.

  [A]s the truck entered northwest Houston under the watch of approximately two dozen law enforcement officers, several heavily armed Los Zetas cartel-connected soldiers in sport utility vehicles converged on Patty’s truck.

In the ensuing firefight, Patty’s truck was wrecked and riddled with bullet holes, and a plainclothes Houston police officer shot and wounded a plainclothes Harris County Sheriff’s Office deputy who was mistaken for a gangster.

The truck’s driver was killed and four attackers were arrested and charged with capital murder.

  Until Patty received a call notifying him that his employee had been killed, he was completely unaware of the DEA’s operations involving both his truck and his driver. Unbelievably, things got even worse for Patty after this discovery.

  Patty’s truck was impounded by the DEA. After it was released to him, it was out of service for several months as it underwent more than $100,000-worth of repairs. The DEA offered him no financial assistance for the truck it helped fill with bullet holes nor did it offer to make up for the revenue Patty lost while his truck was out of commission. His insurance company likewise turned down his claim, citing his truck’s use in a law enforcement operation.

 Nor did the DEA offer to do something to repair his newly-acquired reputation as a drug runner and/or DEA informant — something that makes Patty’s life a little bit more dangerous.

  Nor will it have to. A federal judge has dismissed Patty’s lawsuit against the DEA seeking up to $6.4 million in damages. (h/t to attorney Mark Bennett, who previously advised Patty but did not represent him in this lawsuit.)”


TechDirt has more















The Clintons, A Luxury Jet And Their $100 Million Donor From Canada




” Bill Clinton was planning a charity trip to Latin America and needed a big plane.

  For Frank Giustra, who had never met the former president, this was an opportunity. The Canadian mining magnate and onetime Hollywood studio owner stepped up to let the former president borrow his luxurious passenger jet. There was just one condition: Giustra would come along for the ride.

  That 2005 trip was the start of an intense, mutually beneficial friendship — one that has helped propel the Clinton Foundation into a global giant and established Giustra’s reputation as an international philanthropist while helping him build connections in countries where his business was expanding.

  Giustra has since committed more than $100 million to the work of the Clinton Foundation, becoming one of the largest individual donors to the family’s charities.

  Clinton has also gained regular transportation, borrowing Giustra’s plane 26 times for foundation business since 2005, including 13 trips in which the two men traveled together. The numbers on Clinton’s use of the plane, never previously reported, were provided by a spokeswoman for Giustra.”


Washington Post










IRS Caught Violating Its Own Civil Forfeiture Policy;  U.S. Attorney Admonishes Small Business Owner To Keep His Mouth Shut




” Lyndon McLellan has spent more than a decade running L&M Convenience Mart, a gas station, restaurant and convenience store in rural Fairmont, North Carolina. Then, almost one year ago, agents from the IRS came to the store and announced that they had seized his entire bank account, totaling more than $107,000.

  Lyndon did nothing wrong, and the IRS has never alleged that he committed a crime—much less charged him with one. Despite this, in December 2014, the IRS and Department of Justice (DOJ) filed a civil forfeiture complaint in federal court, which, if successful, would allow them to keep Lyndon’s money permanently. The DOJ’s actions came months after the IRS announced a formal policy change prohibiting the agency from using civil forfeiture to take money from law-abiding citizens like Lyndon.

  Yesterday, the Institute for Justice (IJ), a national public interest law firm leading the fight to end civil forfeiture, filed court documents contesting the IRS’s forfeiture of Lyndon’s money.

“ This case demonstrates that the federal government’s recent reforms are riddled with loopholes and exceptions and fundamentally fail to protect Americans’ basic rights,” said Institute for Justice Attorney Robert Everett Johnson, who represents Lyndon. “No American should have his property taken by the government without first being convicted of a crime.”

  In February 2015, during a hearing before the U.S. House of Representatives Ways & Means Oversight Subcommittee, North Carolina Congressman George Holding told IRS Commissioner John Koskinen that he had reviewed Lyndon’s case—without specifically naming it—and that there was no allegation of the kind of illegal activity required by the IRS’s new policy. The IRS Commissioner responded, “If that cases exists, then it’s not following the policy.” “


Institute For Justice












Feds Play The Race Card To Crush Parents’ Revolt Against Common Core



” There was a time when Common Core supporters loudly insisted the program — adopted by no fewer than 46 states — was most assuredly not federal, that any allegation that this astounding national uniformity was the result of federal pressure was a nasty, vicious lie. The State Standards Initiative confidently declares as “myth” the assertions that “Common Core State Standards were adopted by states as part of the [federal] Race to the Top grant program” or that the “federal government will take over ownership” of Common Core. The Initiative’s position is clear: “The federal government will not govern the Common Core State Standards. The Common Core was and will remain a state-led effort.” (Emphasis in original.)

  Yet when Common Core is threatened by a large-scale parental revolt, look who moves in to crush the dissenters’ dreams — Arne Duncan, the race-baiting (federal) Secretary of Education.

  Last week an estimated 184,000 New York students (out of 1.1 million) opted out of this year’s Common Core–mandated English tests, a more than three-fold increase from last year’s 60,000 opt-outs. Large-scale opt-outs threaten the validity of the tests, decreasing the likelihood that they fairly measure overall student achievement. In some schools the opt-out rates have crippled the tests. One Manhattan school reported an 85 percent opt-out rate, and other schools — including one in Park Slope, Brooklyn — have reported opt-out rates exceeding 30 percent.”

” With the tests in crisis, Arne Duncan said this week that if the states can’t fix themselves, the federal government will “have an obligation to step in.” This means not just threatening to cut federal funding, but essentially forcing states to withhold their own funds from delinquent schools. ”


National Review has more











Charity Watchdog: Clinton Foundation A ‘Slush Fund’


Charity watchdog: Clinton Foundation a ‘slush fund’




” The Clinton Foundation’s finances are so messy that the nation’s most influential charity watchdog put it on its “watch list” of problematic nonprofits last month.

  The Clinton family’s mega-charity took in more than $140 million in grants and pledges in 2013 but spent just $9 million on direct aid.

  The group spent the bulk of its windfall on administration, travel, and salaries and bonuses, with the fattest payouts going to family friends.

  On its 2013 tax forms, the most recent available, the foundation claimed it spent $30 million on payroll and employee benefits; $8.7 million in rent and office expenses; $9.2 million on “conferences, conventions and meetings”; $8 million on fund-raising; and nearly $8.5 million on travel. None of the Clintons are on the payroll, but they do enjoy first-class flights paid for by the Foundation.

  In all, the group reported $84.6 million in “functional expenses” on its 2013 tax return and had more than $64 million left over — money the organization has said represents pledges rather than actual cash on hand.

  Some of the tens of millions in administrative costs finance more than 2,000 employees, including aid workers and health professionals around the world.

  But that’s still far below the 75 percent rate of spending that nonprofit experts say a good charity should spend on its mission.

  Charity Navigator, which rates nonprofits, recently refused to rate the Clinton Foundation because its “atypical business model . . . doesn’t meet our criteria.” 

  Charity Navigator put the foundation on its “watch list,” which warns potential donors about investing in problematic charities. The 23 charities on the list include the Rev. Al Sharpton’s troubled National Action Network, which is cited for failing to pay payroll taxes for several years.

  Other nonprofit experts are asking hard questions about the Clinton Foundation’s tax filings in the wake of recent reports that the Clintons traded influence for donations.

“ It seems like the Clinton Foundation operates as a slush fund for the Clintons,” said Bill Allison, a senior fellow at the Sunlight Foundation, a government watchdog group once run by leading progressive Democrat and Fordham Law professor Zephyr Teachout.”


Read more













Fighting For Everyday Americans, And Everyday Uranium-Dealing Kazakhs




” It turns out that, while we were all worrying about the mullahs’ nuclear program, the Clintons’ nuclear program was going gangbusters. Kazakhquiddick dominated the conversation on my weekly chat with Hugh Hewitt:

  HUGH HEWITT: I’m looking at an extraordinary article – Cash Flowed To Clinton Foundation As Russians Press For Control Of Uranium Company. It’s by Jo Becker and Mike McIntire from today’s New York Times. It’s almost unfathomable that Hillary Clinton would consider running for president after this article comes out, but what say you, Mark Steyn?

  MARK STEYN: Yes, I agree. And I like Elizabeth Warren, and I want her to run. And when I say ‘like’, don’t get me wrong – I think she would be a disastrous president for this country, and she would want to turn it into a socialist basket case. But she believes in something, and she wants to do something. And Hillary Clinton is an entirely hollow creation. She is basically just an empty vessel in which the dodgiest characters on the planet pour money in return for favors. And I regret to say her daughter is becoming much the same kind of thing, too. Her daughter’s joined the family on stage with this Kazakh oligarch and all the rest of it. In fairness to Bill Clinton, he likes chasing nymphettes – he’s the only Clinton with a human characteristic…

  HH: Now I don’t want to overstate the complexity, but in a nutshell, Russia has cornered the world uranium market.

  MS: Right.

  HH: They have done so through acquiring huge uranium resources in Canada and the United State subject to review by the State Department was given, and Bill Clinton pocketed a half million along the way, and the foundation picked up two and a half million bucks from interested parties…

  I think I’ve mentioned before that, for a while, the US Department of Labor used to call up my assistant once a year and demand to know whether we “worked with uranium”. And once in a while they’d insist on speaking to me personally and I’d say, “Hmm. Let me have a think on that. Did we use any uranium in my Christmas disco single? No, wait, that was bongos…”

  And, when they’d gone away, I used occasionally to wonder how many American businesses the vast federal bureaucracy had to harass before they got a positive response to that question. But it turns out that, if the Department of Labor were to call up the Clinton Foundation, which Hill’s impressionable rubes seem to think is something to do with reducing diarrhea outbreaks in Africa, and ask them, “Do you work with uranium?”, the answer is yes.”


Saturday’s must read from Mark Steyn










Displaced American Workers Sue DHS Over Work Permit Expansion







” American workers who lost their jobs to foreign replacements are suing the federal government over a new rule that will allow more foreign workers into the job market.

  In a stated effort to encourage guest workers to stick around permanently, the Department of Homeland Security will now grant their spouses work permits in addition to visas. DHS estimates more than 100,000 spouses will be eligible to apply when it begins accepting applications May 26.

  The complaint, filed by the Immigration Reform Law Institute on behalf of the displaced workers, alleges DHS does not have the authority to make the rule, and that the rule violates federal labor protection law. IRLI is asking the judge to halt implementation of the rule until the case is heard.

“ The larger implication is that Obama is arguing he has the executive authority to allow anyone to work in the United States,” John Miano, the attorney for the displaced workers, told The Daily Caller News Foundation. “[He] started with the children, then the parents, and now the spouses of H-1B workers.” “


Daily Caller










Exclusive: Clinton Charities Will Refile Tax Returns, Audit For Other Errors







” Hillary Clinton’s family’s charities are refiling at least five annual tax returns after a Reuters review found errors in how they reported donations from governments, and said they may audit other Clinton Foundation returns in case of other errors.

  The foundation and its list of donors have been under intense scrutiny in recent weeks. Republican critics say the foundation makes Clinton, who is seeking the Democratic presidential nomination in 2016, vulnerable to undue influence. Her campaign team calls these claims “absurd conspiracy theories.”

  The charities’ errors generally take the form of under-reporting or over-reporting, by millions of dollars, donations from foreign governments, or in other instances omitting to break out government donations entirely when reporting revenue, the charities confirmed to Reuters.

  The errors, which have not been previously reported, appear on the form 990s that all non-profit organizations must file annually with the Internal Revenue Service to maintain their tax-exempt status. A charity must show copies of the forms to anyone who wants to see them to understand how the charity raises and spends money.”


    If you were discovered to have wrongly reported income o your tax returns would the IRS be so kind as to give you a do-over ?


Reuters has the whole story












A Multi-Millionaire’s Personal Blueprint For Surviving the Coming Currency Collapse



” Dear Fellow American,

  Do you believe America’s financial problems from 2008 have been fixed?

  Do you think we’ll have another banking crisis in the next few years, or a problem with our currency?

  If you are concerned about these possibilities, you are not alone.

  After all: What we are witnessing in America today is unprecedented.

  Our government has embarked on a gross, out-of-control experiment, expanding the money supply 400% in just six years, and more than doubling our national debt since 2006.

  It took our nation 216 years to rack up the first $8.5 trillion in debt… then just 8 more years to double that amount.

  And this is precisely why so many questions about the economy and our future remain. For example.. “



The tale of financial woe continues …



” The American people deserve to know what our government has done, what’s coming next, and what you must do to protect yourself and your family from the disaster our government has created.

  Many of the smartest people in the industry… like CIA and Pentagon insider Jim Rickards… hedge fund multimillionaire Jim Rogers… and superstar investor Kyle Bass (the minimum to invest with Bass is $5 million), are all taking precautions against a serious market crash and financial crisis.

  • Rickards is publicly recommending people rush to buy gold, real estate and hard assets
  • Rogers moved his entire family to Singapore to essentially get them out of America.
  • And Bass built a 41,000 square foot ranch stocked with firearms and gold “


Read the rest and prepare accordingly











The Current State Of U.S. Entrepreneurship Leaves A Lot To Be Desired


Business Closings Hold Steady While Business Startups Decline



” The current state of entrepreneurship is receiving considerable attention as debate simmers around questions of business dynamism in the United States. According to a Gallup article, the U.S. has dropped to 12th among developed nations in terms of business startups. Economists also recently found evidence for this downward trend in business activity and attribute it to diminished incentives for entrepreneurs to start new firms.

  This raises some questions: What exactly are the factors leading to the decline in business activity in the United States? And what can be done to revive the American entrepreneurial environment?

  Economists identify the costs imposed on entrepreneurs by the regulatory environment as one of the most important influences on business dynamism. Where regulations make it difficult to start and operate businesses, entrepreneurs have a difficult time bringing new ideas and innovations to fruition. Promising entrepreneurs who face burdensome regulations might opt out of doing business or decide to take their ideas to countries with more favorable business climates.”


Continue reading










By One Measure, Hillary Earned More Than America’s Top 10 CEOs




” Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton is drawing a populist bead on lavish Wall Street pay packages as she revs up her march to the 2016 Democratic presidential nomination, but in some respects the fat-per-speech fee she can charge puts her far ahead of the top 10 highest-paid American CEOs.

” I think it’s fair to say that if you look across the country, the deck is stacked in favor of those already at the top. There’s something wrong when CEOs make 300 times more than the American worker…,” Clinton said during her first campaign swing last week at an Iowa community college.

  Bashing Wall Streeters is part of Clinton’s strategy of remaking her image to appear more sympathetic to middle class voters, while also appealing to left-wing Democrats who are attracted to Sen. Elizabeth Warren, D-Mass., and the even more radical supporters of Sen. Bernie Sanders, the Vermont socialist who talks of seeking the 2016 nomination.”








GOP Lawmaker Proposes Lifetime Lobbying Ban







” Rep. Rod Blum (R-Iowa) introduced legislation on Tuesday to prevent members of Congress from ever becoming lobbyists after they leave office.

  Blum, a freshman lawmaker, argued his bill would help limit lobbyists’ influence on the legislative process so members of Congress won’t feel pressured to cater to their wishes for their own self-interest.

” This bill would finally close the revolving door between Congress and special interest groups, restoring integrity to our political system and ensuring that politicians focus on representing their constituents instead of catering to lobbying groups who offer a lucrative post-electoral career,” Blum said in a statement.

” This lifetime ban on lobbying is another step in that effort to make Congress more accountable to the people by reducing the incentive for our elected officials to use their position for their own personal gain,” Blum added.”


The Hill has more on this great first step in the fight for responsible government 











Remy: Best Song Ever! (Tax Code Edition)




Published on Apr 15, 2015

Remy channels One Direction to help us understand the tax code.

Written and performed by Remy. Music tracks and background vocals by Ben Karlstrom. Produced and edited by Meredith Bragg.

Approximately 2 minutes.

Visit… for downloadable versions and subscribe to Reason TV’s YouTube channel to get automatic notifications when new material goes live. You can follow Reason on Twitter at @reason and follow Remy on Twitter at @goremy.

Make them pay four months of earnings (oh, that’s a good one)
Have them look for lost receipts (ooh, I like it!)
They’ll have about as much fun
as their last colonoscopy
People everywhere will get ripped off…
the paper version of the Apple Watch

And we’ll dance all night, it’s the best code ever
Some folks pay a lot, others they pay never
And you’ll get tax breaks if you’re really clever
It’ll take so long, it’s the best code ever
They’ll be like “oh, oh no”
We’ll be like “yeah, yeah, yeah.”
We’ll be like “awww.”

You may have heard that all your info
on our systems can be hacked with ease
But rest assured if they don’t get them
they’ll be in the care of folks like these
Yes historians will all agree
among the greatest works in history

And we’ll dance all night, it’s the best code ever
Some folks pay a lot, others they pay never
and if you don’t comply you’ll go to jail, however
Why would you not file? It’s the best code ever
They’ll be like “Oh, oh no”
We’ll be like “yeah, yeah, yeah” “












Look At How Many Pages Are In The Federal Tax Code




” As they rush to file their taxes by April 15, Americans are rightfully frustrated with the complexity of the 74,608-page-long federal tax code.

  The federal tax code is 187 times longer than it was a century ago, according to Wolters Kluwer, CCH, which has analyzed the federal tax code since 1913.

  Amazingly, in the first 26 years of the federal income tax, the tax code only grew from 400 to 504 pages. Even through President Franklin Roosevelt’s New Deal, the tax code was well under 1,000 pages. Changes during World War II made the length of the tax code balloon to 8,200 pages.

  Most of the growth in the tax code came in the past 30 years, growing from 26,300 pages in 1984 to nearly three times that length today.”


Read more










Students Willing To Give Up U.S. Citizenship For In-State Tuition




Such are the perverse incentives in Obamaworld’s land of academia …

It’s Not Red State vs Blue State. It’s City vs Country




” As a resident of the upstate portion of New York (not the Big Apple) I have written frequently about the depressing, negative effects which liberal tax and spend policies combined with strangling regulatory burdens have had on the state, as well as the economic death spiral which has followed. Many of the complaints I hear from residents of the more rural, upstate region center on the unbalanced power held by New York City and the complete disconnect between the government and the more conservative, rural communities to the north and west. But even as a person studying and experiencing these effects first hand, I don’t think I ever grasped the full impact of this disparity in the way it’s spelled out by William Tucker of the American Media Institute.

  Binghamton, New York — once a powerhouse of industry — is now approaching Detroit in many economic measures, according to the U.S. Census. In Binghamton, more than 31 percent of city residents are at or below the federal poverty level compared to 38 percent in Detroit. Average household income in Binghamton at $30,179 in 2012 barely outpaces Detroit’s $26,955. By some metrics, Binghamton is behind Detroit. Some 45 percent of Binghamton residents own their dwellings while more than 52 percent of Detroit residents are homeowners. Both “Rust Belt” cities have lost more than 2 percent of their populations.

  Binghamton is not alone. Upstate New York — that vast 50,000-square mile region north of New York City — seems to be in an economic death spiral.

  The fate of the area is a small scene in a larger story playing out across rural America. As the balance of population shifts from farms to cities, urban elites are increasingly favoring laws and regulations that benefit urban voters over those who live in small towns or out in the country. The implications are more than just economic: it’s a trend that fuels the intense populism and angry politics that has shattered the post-World War II consensus and divided the nation.

  That comparison between the city of Binghamton and the wreckage of Detroit is a true eye opener, but it’s not the only such story in the non-city portions of the state. IBM was once the powerhouse of employment in the greater Binghamton area, employing more than 16,000 people as recently as the late 1980s. Today the entire complex has been sold to local developers and the computer giant employs a few hundred people (many of whom are contractors) renting out a tiny portion of the old complex. Kodak employed 62,000 people in Rochester during the same period as IBM’s heyday. Today there are roughly 4,000 workers. Xerox and Bausch & Lomb were also huge employers there but are now largely (or entirely) gone.

  These stories are repeated over and over again in cities and towns across the upstate region, so it’s more than coincidence. Tucker ties it all together. “


Read the rest of Jazz Shaw’s piece at Hot Air















Border Agents Bracing For New Immigrant Surge



Families of Central American immigrants turn themselves in to U.S. Border Patrol agents after crossing the Rio Grande River from Mexico on September 8, 2014 in Mission, Texas. Although the numbers of such immigrant families and unaccompanied minors have decreased from a springtime high, thousands continue to cross in the border illegally into the United States. The Rio Grande Valley sector is the busiest area for illegal border crossings, especially for Central Americans, into the U.S.  (Photo by John Moore/Getty Images) Photo: John Moore, Getty Images

John Moore, Getty Images



” On a recent evening near the banks of the Rio Grande, a group of five Guatemalan immigrants, among them two girls, ages 8 and 10 without a parent or guardian by their side, turned themselves over to U.S. Border Patrol agents. 

  It is a familiar scene to law enforcement agencies in South Texas that witnessed nearly 50,000 unaccompanied children and families, mostly from Central America, illegally streaming across the border here last year.

  While far fewer immigrants have been detained in recent months than during the same period a year ago, thousands are still crossing the Rio Grande illegally, and border agents are bracing for thousands more in the months ahead.

  Already, 15,647 minors and 13,911 families have been detained since the beginning of the fiscal year in October, along the whole Southwest border, most of them in Rio Grande Valley. With the historically busy April, May and summer months ahead, it is conceivable that apprehensions this year will surpass all but the unprecedented surge of 2014.”


Houston Chronicle












Iowa Forfeiture: A ‘System Of Legal Thievery’?






The plan: Hitch a ride with a family friend to California, visit relatives and check out community colleges there.

  Sanchez-Ratliff, then 20, did something that in hindsight wasn’t the best idea, but isn’t illegal. He took with him his entire life savings, including about $14,000 provided by his grandmother and an additional $5,000 he had saved from working.”




” The much-anticipated trip took an unexpected turn about eight hours in, as flashing lights appeared in the rear-view mirror. A Pottawattamie County sheriff’s deputy stopped the vehicle for traveling 5 miles per hour over the speed limit.

  An hour later, the deputy seized Sanchez-Ratliff’s cash. Despite a clean criminal record and a search that turned up no sign of drugs or other illegal activity, the deputy concluded the money must somehow be linked to a crime.

  Sanchez-Ratliff is hardly alone.”



The Register continues …



” A Des Moines Register investigation into the use of state and federal civil forfeiture laws in Iowa reveals that thousands of people have surrendered their cash or property since 2009. The system is stacked against property owners while raising millions of dollars annually for law enforcement agencies across the state, something critics contend encourages policing for profit over promoting public safety.

  The bulk of forfeitures reviewed by the Register resulted from traffic stops, often for minor violations and involving vehicles with out-of-state plates. But cash or property also was seized after police were called or sent to homes or businesses. In a few cases, police seized cash carried by johns caught up in prostitution stings.

  Among the Register’s findings:

• Law enforcement agencies in all but seven of Iowa’s 99 counties have used the state’s civil forfeiture law since 2009. They have seized cash or other property 5,265 times. At least 542 more cases have used federal forfeiture laws.

• Many of those property owners — including Sanchez-Ratliff — are sent on their way after surrendering their cash or other property. A sampling of about 600 forfeiture cases from the Iowa counties that seized the most property over the past six years revealed dozens of instances with no record of an arrest or criminal charges.

• Iowa police departments and other law enforcement agencies have seized nearly $43 million over the past six years — money divided among agencies involved in each forfeiture case. Under law, the money is supposed to be used to “enhance” their crime-fighting capabilities.

• Most of the money is used to buy equipment, train officers and fund multiagency task forces. But it also has been spent on tropical fish, scented candles, mulch and other items that appear to have little or no direct link to law enforcement activities.

  Local law enforcement agencies generally keep 90 percent of forfeited cash, split among the agencies that seized the property. The rest goes to the state, for use by the Iowa Attorney General’s office and the state’s public safety departments.”



    The Des Moines Register offers a serious investigation into the blatantly unconstitutional process of stripping law abiding citizens of their money and possessions without due process , otherwise known as “civil” asset forfeiture . Read the whole thing and remember this is not an issue limited to Iowa , your state is doing it too .

Civil asset forfeiture reform now . Every “war” results in a loss of freedoms but none so much as the “war on drugs” .













Young People Inspired By Libertarianism, Conservative Free-Market Ideals Push For Change In Brazil





    Above is a video of the demonstration for those that understand Portuguese and much more may be found here and here .



” Microphone in hand and standing atop the sound truck, the raspy-voiced protest leader jabbed his finger into the air shouting for the ouster of Brazilian President Dilma Rousseff, igniting wild cheers from the crowd below him.

” What Lula and Dilma have done shouldn’t just result in their being banned from politics. It should result in them being in jail!” Kim Kataguiri yelled, denouncing Rousseff and her predecessor, Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva.” 





” The March 15 demonstration was the largest Sao Paulo had seen in more than three decades, since 1984 protests demanding democratic elections after a long dictatorship.

  But more surprising than the crowd of more than 200,000, according to the Datafolha polling and statistics agency, was the fact it was being led by Kataguiri, a skinny, 19-year-old college dropout, and other young Brazilian activists inspired by libertarianism and conservative free-market ideals.

  The grandson of Japanese immigrants, Kataguiri is a social media star whose quirky videos skewer Rousseff and the ruling party’s social welfare policies. His ascent as a protest figure has been rapid. Two years ago, when protests erupted across Brazil over corruption and poor public services, Kataguiri was a high schooler who avoided the unrest.”


Deseret News












Karma Is A B*tch: Check Out What Happened To The Jerk Who BULLIED A Chik-Fil-A Employee



” When Chik-Fil-A  chief operating officer Dan T. Cathy made a series of comments opposing same-sex marriage, it caused a media firestorm.  Gay rights activists called for protests and boycotts of the chain, and even went as far as vandalizing some fast food stores. One man in particular took it upon himself to express his discontent in the most mature way possible, verbally attacking a sweet female employee who had nothing to do with the controversy.

  37-year-old Adam Smith recorded himself being hateful and obnoxious to the employee and posted it to his YouTube channel. 

  Apparently he thought that he was going to get away with harassing the employee without a problem, he thought wrong. He was immediately fired for his intolerance and disgusting behavior.

  He said at the time he was earning $200,000 annually and had over $1 million in stock options.

“ It was taken when I lost my employment,” he said.

  After losing his job, Smith, his wife Amy and their four children also lost their home. They were forced to sell and give away their possessions and move into an RV. A few months later, Smith found a new CFO job in Portland, Oregon. 

  Smith thought he was home free until his new boss caught wind that he was the hateful man from the Chik-Fil-A drive-thru video. He was immediately fired from that job as well. Smith said in subsequent job interviews, he was very honest about the video and while prospective employers seemed empathetic and understanding in the end the companies would rescind the offers saying they didn’t want the distraction.”

Read more


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