Obama Uses Pen to Fight Rising Seas + More – Daily Digest

Posted on Tue 02/03/2015 by

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THE FOUNDATION

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TOP 5 RIGHT HOOKS

Obama Uses Pen to Fight Rising Seas

Upon securing the Democrat presidential nomination in 2008, Barack Obama declared that future generations would mark the occasion as “the moment when the rise of the oceans began to slow and our planet began to heal.” Now, the president has signed an executive order dictating that every federal project must now take into account the flooding that would come about due to global warming. This order was inevitable after the Senate’s vote that showed all but one senator believed climate change is happening – although not necessarily man-made. Jerry Howard, CEO of the National Association of Home Builders, warned that “any reforms must preserve the strong partnership between state and local governments so that they, not the federal government, retain primary authority over land use decisions.” But Obama doesn’t care about federalism. He’ll take this executive order to Paris later this year for the UN meeting to craft a treaty on climate change as further evidence that he, Barack Obama, can stop the rising tide. More…

EPA Cozies Up With Vatican on Climate Change

The Obama administration appealed to a higher power this week when a delegation from the Environmental Protection Agency traveled to Vatican City to meet with members of the Holy See and establish a mutual stance on climate change. Pope Francis has been somewhat liberal in his comments on poverty and culture, and now the EPA sees an opportunity to score political points with its crusade against global warming. The National Catholic Reporter writes that, before the visit, EPA Administrator Gina McCarthy said, “I want [the pope] to know that the president is aligned with him on these issues [of climate change] and that we are taking action in the United States. … One of the challenges that I think we face in the U.S. is that climate change is very often viewed as a political issue. … I think we need to get this out of the political arena and get it back to the arena we work most effectively on: What’s right for our kids, for our families, for public health, and what solutions do we bring to the table that are going to address those?” If nothing else, this illustrates that, in the eyes of McCarthy and her fellow warmists, climate change is not a question of policy; it’s one of religion. More…

White House Doesn’t Admit Crusade Against Heretics

While the jihadists bitterly cling to their bombs and religion, the White House continues its holy war to wipe out Islamic heretics. Barack Obama declared that the War on Terror is not a war against religion – not one he recognizes at least. “I think that the way to understand this is there is an element growing out of Muslim communities in certain parts of the world that have perverted the religion, have embraced a nihilistic, violent, almost medieval interpretation of Islam,” he pontificated. “And they are doing damage in a lot of countries around the world.” Yet the militant Islamists themselves are not nihilistic about their faith. Richard Reid, who is sitting out a lifetime prison sentence, tried to blow up American Airlines Flight 63 in December 2001, but his shoe bomb wouldn’t light. Recently, he wrote from prison that he has “some tactical regrets” over the dud bomb. “However,” he continued, “at the same time I also believe that it wasn’t supposed to happen, not because it was displeasing to God … rather because it was not either my time to die nor that of those on the plane with me, and he had other plans for me which include my staying in prison and other matters which I may not be aware of as of yet.” But remember: Reid’s attack has nothing to do with Islam.

Obama Says to Keep Terrorism ‘In Perspective’

The Islamic State’s unfettered expansion in the Middle East has all but vanished, at least for now. Unfortunately, the White House takes this to mean victory is commensurate with a geographic stalemate. By Barack Obama’s logic, an acquiescent foreign policy is justified by self-convincingly belittling our enemies to a nominal threat. “What I do insist on is we maintain a proper perspective and that we do not provide a victory to these terrorist networks by over-inflating their importance and suggesting in some fashion that they are an existential threat to the United States or the world order,” the president told CNN’s serial plagiarist Fareed Zakaria. No doubt al-Qaida operatives are nodding in agreement. Obama explained that keeping terrorism in a proper perspective “means we don’t approach this with a strategy of sending out occupying armies and playing Whac-a-Mole wherever a terrorist group appears because that drains our economic strength and it puts enormous burdens on our military. What’s required is a surgical, precise response to a very specific problem.” The wildfire-like spread of jihadi fundamentalism demonstrates exactly why all radical Islamists pose an existential threat, regardless of size. ISIL may represent the early onset of a small, albeit vicious, cancer, but that doesn’t mean the remedy is letting it take its course. Because by the time it matures, it’s too little, too late.

Al Sharpton Owes More Taxes

Al Sharpton’s nonprofit, the National Action Network, isn’t the only organization of his that owes hundreds of thousands of dollars in unpaid taxes. An investigation by National Review shows that every for-profit enterprise the race baiter has started is on the financial rocks because of – you guessed it – taxes. The state has shut down his businesses. Liens were placed against him for owing tens, sometimes hundred of thousands of dollars. He is constantly late when he files his taxes for NAN. A former aide of Sharpton’s, Carl Redding, told National Review, “What he’s doing is negligent. … Absolute power corrupts absolutely. I believe that Sharpton has become so powerful it’s diluting everything about him. The African-American community doesn’t trust Sharpton anymore. He’s living in a fantasy world if he thinks he has credibility.” Sharpton has become a man wearing a borrowed Rolex. And he’s supposed to be the shining spokesman for blacks in this nation? More…

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RIGHT ANALYSIS

Obama’s Tax Piracy

Reforming the corporate tax structure in the United States has been a long time coming. Both parties agree it is sorely in need of an overhaul, but the change Barack Obama has in mind is not one that will help our economy. In fact, it’s nothing but piracy on the high seas.

Obama’s 2016 budget proposal includes a plan to force corporations to pay a 14% tax on accumulated overseas profits. In the past, businesses earning money overseas were able to defer taxes on those profits until the money was brought back to the U.S. This new 14% tax does away with that practice.

The second part of Obama’s one-two punch proposes a 19% minimum tax on foreign profits. Companies that reinvest foreign profits directly into the U.S. would be exempt from walking the plank the additional penalty.

This is all part and parcel of Obama’s call for “economic patriotism” – defined as paying what he deems is a “fair share” of taxes.

The president claims his corporate tax proposal is necessary to help fund badly needed infrastructure investment to the tune of $478 billion over six years. He wants multinational corporations to cover at least $238 billion of that tab.

Republicans have expressed interest in more infrastructure spending, and it may be one of the few points of agreement they have with the president’s $4 trillion budget plan. Such spending can upgrade America’s roads and bridges, ports and railroads, as well as create more jobs.

But Obama’s corporate tax hike is not the way to pay for it. “Changes to our tax code just to fund more spending by our already bloated government is not the way to boost our economy and encourage job creation,” said Rep. Pat Tiberi (R-OH).

Higher taxes on corporations won’t encourage investment in the U.S. or motivate those companies to bring that money back home. The federal government’s corporate tax rate is already 15 points higher than most of our global competitors. The U.S. is also the only nation that taxes foreign income on our own companies. With a corporate tax policy like this in place, it’s no wonder the U.S. has been losing its competitive edge.

Obama claims he’s doing companies a favor by charging a 14% tax on earnings not yet repatriated rather than what current law demands. The profits he’s looking to plunder, however, have not specifically been earmarked for U.S. investment, so, according to current law, they should not be taxed at all.

The White House says the suggested rates in the president’s proposal are still open to debate. “When people are putting out numbers, you’re opening up a process for negotiation,” said Gene Sperling, liberal economic guru and former top economic adviser to Obama. The president will negotiate? Right, and we have oceanfront property in Arizona to sell him.

The truth is, Obama sees a glut of cash and he wants to get his hands on it. U.S. companies have accumulated foreign profits in excess of $2 trillion. To a statist pirate like Obama, that’s a lot of booty just begging to be confiscated.

Obama’s corporate tax “reform” is a mask to hide further government plundering in the private sector. As for using it to balance out spending, when has the federal government ever been concerned about that? With an $18 trillion debt and a 2016 budget that includes a 7% spending increase, does it really matter if an additional $238 billion in spending goes unfunded?

Real corporate tax reform would overhaul the system to make the U.S. more competitive in overseas markets. It would encourage multinational corporations to bring profits back home and invest in infrastructure and job creation, things Obama supposedly cherishes. It might even end the practice of taxing foreign profits altogether. Real reform would help shore up the economy that, despite platitudes and projections, is far from stable. Democrats lauded Obama’s handling of the economy in the third quarter of last year when GDP grew by 5%. They were quieter in the fourth quarter when that growth dropped to 2.6%.

Obama claims, “This country does best when everyone gets their fair shot, everyone does their fair share, and everyone plays by the same set of rules.”

But that’s not the policy he’s followed since taking office. Every one of the seven budgets the president has submitted to Congress included massive deficit spending backed by sharp, punitive tax hikes on the same individuals and corporations. If everyone is supposed to be playing by the same rules, then why is Captain Obama picking winners and losers from his pirate ship?

How to Boost Employment

If there’s one thing on which Barack Obama is consistent, it’s taking credit for the success of policies that weren’t actually his. Recall his boasts about wiping out al-Qaida, the boom in U.S. oil production and boosting job creation while ending the recession. In the latter case, it turns out it was the end of one of his polices that had a significant role in creating jobs in 2014.

In 2008 and 2009, the narrative was that the government needed to pump billions of dollars into the economy in order to fix it. Leftist central planners hailed this Keynesian approach as the answer to America’s economic woes. We witnessed cash for clunkers, the auto bailout, and, of course, the “stimulus.”

Part of that near-trillion-dollar boondoggle was the lengthy extension of unemployment benefits. The Wall Street Journal notes that before the stimulus states would typically offer unemployment benefits that would expire after 26 weeks. Under the Pelosi Congress, those benefits were extended an additional 53 weeks, but that apparently wasn’t enough, so Congress created a 20-week bonus program on top of that. This lavish giveaway granted almost two years’ worth of unemployment compensation to qualified individuals.

In December 2013, Obama refused to work with the GOP-led House on unemployment reform, so the House let the unemployment extensions expire. Predictably, the president blasted cruel Republicans for denying people the opportunity to pay rent or buy food. Obama deemed it nearly impossible for millions of Americans to make it on their own without long-term assistance from government.

Yet according to a recent report from the National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER), “1.8 million additional jobs were created in 2014 due to the benefit cut. Almost 1 million of these jobs were filled by workers from out of the labor force who would not have participated in the labor market had benefit extensions been reauthorized.”

However, other economists found the methodologies used to arrive at the 1.8 million jobs estimate inaccurate, and they contend that one policy change cannot account for that many jobs. Dr. Salim Furth, a senior policy analyst in macroeconomics at the Heritage Foundation, suggests, “Despite the promising macro statistics, the new paper struggles to accurately measure the impact of unemployment insurance.”

What does this mean and why does it matter?

According to Dr. Furth, there is a cost-benefit aspect of unemployment insurance. “The macroeconomic costs to unemployment insurance come from the demand side. Employers have a narrow benefit from each marginal hire, so hiring can respond a lot to a small shift in wages. Unemployment insurance gives potential employees more bargaining power, raising the equilibrium hiring wage a little, but lowering the equilibrium number of hires a lot.”

While the GOP’s decision to end the perpetual extension of unemployment benefits certainly wasn’t the single cause of an increase in jobs in 2014, there is no doubt a correlation in the number of people now in the workforce.

If people are paid not to work for an extended period of time, it creates a disincentive to find a job. While those who are hired for a job paying below what they want to earn may not like it, at least they are working and at least they have the opportunity to move up or move on to something else rather than staying on the taxpayer dole.

James Madison, the author of our Constitution, once said, “Charity is no part of legislative duty of government.” This is an incredibly difficult and seemingly heartless argument to make today. The vast majority of Americans either do depend or have depended on some form of the “safety net,” or they at least advocate its continuance.

The best practical solution then is to push policies that promote the general welfare rather than provide for it – which is exactly what ending the extension of unemployment benefits has done for many Americans.

Unemployment insurance can ease the pain of someone losing their job. However, relying on it for too long during a time of recession leads to a longer and slower recovery.

Obama and those around him who subscribe to a centrally planned economy tend to really mess things up rather than make them better. One can only imagine what our economy would be like if the central planners would let go of the reins.

For more, visit Right Analysis.

TOP 5 RIGHT OPINION COLUMNS

For more, visit Right Opinion.

OPINION IN BRIEF

Author James Thurber (1894-1961): “It is better to know some of the questions than all of the answers.”

Columnist Thomas Sowell: “Putting together a successful model – of anything – is a lot more complicated than identifying which factors affect which outcomes. When many factors are involved, which is common, the challenge is to determine precisely how those factors interact with each other. That is a lot easier said than done when it comes to climate. Everyone can agree, for example, that the heat of the sunlight is greater in the tropics than in the temperate zones or near the poles. But, the highest temperatures ever recorded in Asia, Africa, North America or South America were all recorded outside – repeat, OUTSIDE – the tropics. No part of Europe is in the tropics, but record temperatures in European cities like Athens and Seville have been higher than the highest temperatures ever recorded in cities virtually right on the equator, such as Singapore in Asia or Nairobi in Africa. None of this disproves the scientific fact that sunlight is hotter in the tropics. But it does indicate that there are other factors which go into temperatures on earth.”

Columnist Cal Thomas: “The greatest warning against trusting politicians to improve a nation’s virtue comes from King David. When he had all the power his theocracy could offer him in ancient Israel, he wrote, ‘Do not put your trust in princes, in human beings, who cannot save.’ (Psalm 146:3 NIV). … What does true faith look like? The apostle James wrote to believers: ‘Pure and genuine religion in the sight of God the Father means caring for orphans and widows in their distress and refusing to let the world corrupt you.’ (James 1:27, New Living Translation) Unfortunately, politicians can’t raise money on that agenda and the likelihood of one getting elected on such a platform in our day is nil. But by embracing ‘true religion,’ one ultimately affects the social order in ways that the political system is incapable of doing. This is not to say people shouldn’t pray for those in authority, including those for whom they did not vote, because Scripture commands believers to do so. It is to say conservative Christians who salivate when politicians speak their ‘language’ should heed King David’s warning and the statement about the two kingdoms.”

Twitter satirist @weknowwhatsbest: “The president has convinced the public that the White House beer is made from Michelle’s garden ingredients. The beer will be named Nonetheweiser.”

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