Dempsey: If Boots on the Ground Are Needed… + More – Daily Digest

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The Patriot Post ~

THE FOUNDATION

“The Grecians and Romans were strongly possessed of the spirit of liberty but not the principle, for at the time they were determined not to be slaves themselves, they employed their power to enslave the rest of mankind.” –Thomas Paine, The American Crisis, No. 5, 1778

TOP 5 RIGHT HOOKS

Dempsey: If Boots on the Ground Are Needed…

In testimony before Congress Tuesday, U.S. Army General Martin Dempsey, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, warned that if airstrikes fail to push back ISIL it could mean boots on the ground. Dempsey was clear that the airmen bombarding ISIL “are very much in a combat role,” but that “the folks on the ground are very much in a combat advisory role. They are not participating in direct combat. There is no intention for them to do so.” However, he said, should circumstances change, “then I would, of course, change my recommendation.” Dempsey added, “To be clear, if we reach the point where I believe our advisers should accompany Iraqi troops on attacks against specific ISIL targets, I will recommend that to the president.” Barack Obama has taken great pains to assure the American people that he is not George W. Bush, and that he has no intention of doing what’s necessary to defeat ISIL if that means “boots on the ground.” Politics above all else. But there are already boots on the ground with more to come, and if combat comes to them, we certainly hope they’re permitted to fight.

Kerry: ISIL Isn’t ‘Real Islam’

Secretary of State John Kerry had some strong words regarding ISIL – at least aimed at its critics. ISIL may claim a “religious foundation” for its actions, he said, but we must “begin to put real Islam out there.” In other words, the “real Islam” isn’t a violent gang of jihadis. This is in line with Kerry’s recent pronouncement that ISIL’s “hateful ideology has nothing to do with Islam.” Strategically, it’s understandable why the administration (and George W. Bush’s before it) doesn’t want to be seen as fighting a war against a religion. But Kerry’s apologist rhetoric goes too far. And why is it that Beltway leftists are the only ones protesting so much about ISIL not representing “real Islam”? More…

U.S. to Send Troops to Liberia

In response to the growing Ebola crisis and pleas from the Liberian government, the U.S. says it will send 3,000 troops and $500 million to fight the disease. In a letter to Barack Obama Sept. 9, the president of Liberia, Ellen Johnson-Sirleaf, writes, “The virus spreading at an exponential rate and we have limited time window to arrest it. Mr. President, well over 40% of total cases occurred in the last 18 days. … I am being honest with you when I say that at this rate, we will never break the transmission chain and the virus will overwhelm us. … In a country that has barely emerged from a 30-year period of civil and political unrest, with the presence of a large youthful (mainly unemployed) population, some of whom were child soldiers – this health emergency threatens civil order.” Obama’s announcement is merely another diversion from foreign and domestic policy failures to boost his credibility as a “humanitarian” leader. More…

Note: Mark Alexander covered the Ebola threat several weeks ago.

Immigration Flood Is Over – Or Is It?

Great news: “The Obama administration isn’t claiming ‘mission accomplished’ but it may be as close as the White House can get,” reports ABC News. “The Border Patrol announced [Tuesday] that the unaccompanied minors crisis has all but ended, as the rise in children crossing the Southwest border has stopped.” Indeed, the hot summer months did see a precipitous decline in illegal minors crossing the border, but that was no thanks to the Obama administration’s policies – to date or pending after the election. And according to the Washington Examiner, “The summer lull in illegal border crossings from Mexico is about to give way to a rush of even more immigrants in a frenzy of fear that Washington is about to shut the door, according to several Hispanic leaders.” That’s certainly the message Obama has been sending: Come on in before it’s too late.

ObamaCare Subsidy Costs Will Soar in Coming Years

When selling ObamaCare in 2009 and 2010, Democrats specifically designed the law to bring in revenue years before money was spent. The goal was to be able to claim the price tag would be less than $1 trillion over 10 years. We didn’t buy it then, and time has proven our disbelief correct. Now it seems every time we turn around, the price of ObamaCare is going up. CNSNews.com reports, “The cost of the Obamacare subsidy that the U.S. Treasury will pay on behalf of people who earn under 400 percent of the federal poverty level and who buy a government-approved health-care plan on a government-run health-insurance exchange will increase by approximately 8-fold in its first ten years of operation, according to the latest budget estimate from the Congressional Budget Office.” Not only that, “Medicaid spending will double in the first ten years of full implementation of Obamacare, according to the CBO estimates.” We suppose that’s just the price of finding out what’s in it. More…

For more, visit Right Hooks.

Constitution Day 2014

The U.S. Constitution

Today, Sept. 17, 2014, marks the 227th anniversary of the signing of our Constitution at the Philadelphia Convention in 1787. You can honor the day by reading it. It’s up to “We the People” to hold our elected representatives accountable for failing to honor their oaths.

Mark Alexander has an extensive archive of columns on the Constitution as it relates to various subjects over the years. And he’ll be writing more today. Don’t miss it!

Today is also The Patriot Post’s 18th anniversary. Thanks to you, our readers – and our financial supporters – for making what we do possible!

RIGHT ANALYSIS

The Only Transparent Thing About Benghazi Is the Cover-Up

Two years ago, jihadis attacked the U.S. Embassy in Benghazi, Libya, killing four Americans – U.S. Ambassador Christopher Stevens, his aid Sean Smith, and former Navy SEALs Glen Doherty and Tyrone Woods. No doubt Hillary Clinton wishes the American people would just forget what happened that night. After all, not only has it been two years since the attacks but it’s only two years until the 2016 election. And getting to the truth might impinge on valuable campaign time.

A new Benghazi bombshell reported by investigative journalist Sharyl Attkisson has just made Hillary Clinton’s political life – and presidential campaign prospects – a bit more problematic. According to former State Department Deputy Assistant Secretary Raymond Maxwell, who was punished and then cleared of wrongdoing surrounding the failures in Benghazi, high level State Department officials took decisive action as events unfolded – not in getting to the bottom of the attacks, but in purging State Department records of any documents that might make Clinton look bad.

Mere weeks after the Benghazi attacks, the Accountability Review Board (ARB), which was investigating the attacks, asked the State Department to turn over relevant documents. According to the State Department, employees were ordered to cooperate “fully and promptly” with ARB’s request. Of course, this is the same State Department that blamed a coordinated terror attack on a YouTube video, scapegoating one amateur filmmaker for an entire administration’s incompetence, so naturally the whole “fully and promptly” claim should be taken with a spoonful of salt.

No, make that a boatload of salt. According to Maxwell, before ARB ever got its hands on those relevant documents, key State employees held an secretive basement meeting, where they combed through documents to remove anything incriminating before turning the docs over to ARB. Maxwell heard about the meeting and, on showing up uninvited, was told by an office director close to Clinton’s top advisers that the plan was to “go through these stacks and pull out anything that might put anybody in the [Near Eastern Affairs] front office or the seventh floor in a bad light.” The “seventh floor” was a reference to then-Secretary of State Hillary Clinton.

Attkisson reports that soon after, two high-ranking State Department officials, former White House counsel and Hillary Clinton’s Chief of Staff Cheryl Mills, and Deputy Chief of Staff Jake Sullivan, joined the “meeting,” seemingly to see how things were going, then left.

In other words, the ARB, which, incidentally, never bothered to interview several of the most obvious sources, including Hillary Clinton, also may have been given documents that were purged of key information. We can’t help but ask: Among the 29 recommendations ARB issued to the State Department following the investigation, was “do not destroy evidence” one of them?

It’s disgraceful that, two years after the attack on a U.S. Embassy and the murder of four Americans, those who seem least interested in finding the truth are those in this administration and those who led the State Department at the time of the attacks. But then again, that’s not surprising. After all, the photo-op with those four, flag-draped caskets has passed.

Barack Obama pledged the utmost transparency, but the only transparent thing is that truth means nothing to this administration.

Thankfully, the House Select Committee on Benghazi, chaired by Rep. Trey Gowdy (R-SC), will be investigating Maxwell’s allegations. And among the questions the Committee will ask, “What difference does it make?” will not be one of them.

U.S. Lagging Behind in the Race on Tax Policy

The Tax Foundation released its International Tax Competitive Index this week. The index rates 34 members of the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) on the degree to which they promote free market economies through tax policies. Unfortunately, the U.S. made a poor showing, ranking 32 out of 34 nations, just above Portugal and France. Even our tax policy leads from behind.

The index measures “the extent to which a country’s tax system adheres to two important principles of tax policy: competitiveness and neutrality.” Competitiveness is defined as limiting the taxation of businesses and investment. Neutrality refers to “a tax code that seeks to raise the most revenue with the fewest economic distortions. This means that it doesn’t favor consumption over saving, as happens with capital gains and dividends taxes, estate taxes, and high progressive income taxes. This also means no targeted tax breaks for businesses for specific business activities.”

To business, profits are simply revenue minus costs, but government and business rarely agree, even on simple terms. Companies in most countries aren’t allowed to deduct the entire cost of doing business, and thus taxable income is artificially pumped up. And because the after-tax rate of return is unnaturally reduced, the incentive for either managers or investors to invest also decreases.

The Tax Foundation believes, “A neutral tax code would define business income the way that businesses see it: revenue minus costs.”

Researchers looked at three factors affecting corporate taxes – the corporate marginal tax rate, the cost recovery system and tax code complexity.

Cost recovery involves how quickly a business can deduct capital investments from its taxes, a crucial factor for a pro-growth tax code. Currently, depreciation differs for different office supplies and equipment. In an ideal world, the business could deduct the cost of all such capital costs in that same year. As reasonable as that sounds, it’s more realistic to look at other changes, for example, shortening depreciation periods.

The U.S. has the world’s highest corporate tax rate, which must eventually be reduced by a significant amount if we wish to remain competitive. But, as with the other “features” of our tax system, we can begin more modestly and still achieve significant improvement. “We don’t need to get into the top ten” near Estonia, New Zealand and Switzerland, argues Forbes’ Ryan Ellis. “We just need to get into the high teens or early twenties, and we’ll be in very good shape.” Hungary (18), Mexico (19), Germany (20) and the UK (21) are all major competitors of ours. By at least aiming there, we could begin rebuilding our edge.

One reform that would improve the code greatly is to reduce the tax rate on international business from its current 40% (including state taxes) to 25%, the average of developed nations. Because states tax this income too, the federal tax should actually drop to about 20% or less. Even Barack Obama admitted the corporate rate has to come down, though his goal is ultimately to raise taxes through eliminating some deductions.

Another idea is to change from a worldwide system of taxation – in which U.S. companies pay taxes overseas on their profits and then a second time to the IRS – to a territorial system. In this case companies taxed overseas are exempt from further taxation at home. That might not fly with money-hungry Beltway politicos, but even reducing the current taxation level companies face in the U.S. would be a good second-best.

Ironically, former Soviet slave state Estonia currently has the most competitive tax code in the OECD. Four features make it the best: First, a 21% tax on corporate income applied only to distributed profits; second, a flat 21% tax on individual income and no tax on personal dividend income; third, its property tax applies only to the value of land; and last, its territorial tax system exempts virtually 100% of foreign profit earned by domestic corporations from domestic taxation.

Those who’ve escaped slavery know true freedom, and we would do well to follow their example. Given the anemic Obama “recovery,” hindered by his own Socialist policies, a move toward more free market tax policy would be welcome.

For more, visit Right Analysis.

TOP 5 RIGHT OPINION COLUMNS

For more, visit Right Opinion.

OPINION IN BRIEF

Economist Milton Friedman (1912-2006): “The heart of the liberal philosophy is a belief in the dignity of the individual, in his freedom to make the most of his capacities and opportunities according to his own lights… This implies a belief in the equality of man in one sense; in their inequality in another.”


Economist Stephen Moore: “The demographic groups that voted most heavily for Barack Obama in 2012 have suffered the most from this president’s economic policies. … I looked at the most recent Census Bureau data as analyzed by statisticians from Sentier Research. … According to the Sentier research, single women with and without children present saw their incomes fall by roughly 5 percent. Those age 25-34 experienced an income decline of 4.4 percent. Black heads of households saw their income tumble by 7.7 percent, while the income of Hispanic heads of households fell 5.6 percent. In other words, many of these groups experienced double the income fall than the average voter. Oh and by the way, the poor and unskilled that Mr. Obama says he cares so much about saw their incomes fall by 7.4 percent for those with less than a high-school diploma and 8.2 percent for those with only a high-school diploma. … Income redistribution isn’t an economic strategy for growth. It’s a lifeboat strategy. … The poor and minorities have taken the big hit – and that’s the real injustice of Obamanomics.”

Columnists L. Brent Bozell & Tim Graham: “‘Careful’ or ‘professorial’ are the adjectives Obama uses to describe statements that make no sense whatsoever. ‘Islamic State’ is neither Islamic, nor a state. ‘War’ is not a word to define the current airstrikes or deployment of more than 1,000 military advisers. … Obama doesn’t have a strategy to take down global jihad. He barely acknowledges it exists. The emergence of ISIS, now covering a territory in Iraq and Syria larger than Great Britain, is dragging Obama kicking and screaming back into the reality of persistent radical Islamist war on the West. No mere change in American presidents, no premature Nobel Peace Prize or Islam-pandering speech in Cairo was ever going to degrade or destroy it. Only a fool impressed with his own talents would think so.”

Comedian Argus Hamilton: “Bill Clinton and George W. Bush spoke onstage together at the Newseum in Washington to launch a scholarship program. They have a great act. George W. Bush talks about the importance of faith and family for thirty minutes and then Bill Clinton delivers the rebuttal.”

Semper Vigilo, Fortis, Paratus et Fidelis!
Nate Jackson for The Patriot Post Editorial Team

Join us in daily prayer for our Patriots in uniform – Soldiers, Sailors, Airmen, Marines and Coast Guardsmen – standing in harm’s way in defense of Liberty, and for their families.

Read more excellent articles at The Patriot Post

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