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Thursday, August 21, 2014

Oversight Report: Obama Admin Violated Law by Freeing Taliban Members

Oversight Report: Obama Admin Violated Law by Freeing Taliban Members

Further Proof No Country Fears or Respects US Under Obama: Chinese Jet Threatened American Intelligence Aircraft

Chinese Jet Threatened U.S. Intelligence Aircraft

Government's Idea of Protection


Bill O'Reilly: Fueling the Ferguson Fire

Fueling the Ferguson Fire

GUEST COLUMN: Jedis, DREAMers and Tax Schemers

By Lowman S. Henry
Guest columnist


It could be labeled a Jedi mind trick, or perhaps double speak worthy of a George Orwell novel.  President Obama and the Left have raised to an art form the ability to name a policy initiative the exact opposite of what it actually is, thus making opponents look bad for opposing it.

The “Affordable” Health Care Act which has resulted in higher health care costs; and the proposed “DREAM” Act that supposedly would solve the nation’s immigration crisis, but actually would simply grant amnesty to lawbreakers are but two examples. In recent weeks the president and his minions have been touting “economic patriotism.”

Setting aside the obvious irony of the Obama Administration posing as patriotic, it is safe to assume most Americans would not want to be viewed as unpatriotic.  On the face of it “economic patriotism” would sound like the latest version of a “buy American” campaign, or a push to patronize your local small business.  In actuality it is part of the administration’s effort to demonize corporations for trying to lower their tax burden and maximize profits.

Taken a step further, as individuals we would be viewed as economically unpatriotic if we took our home mortgage deduction, child tax credit or charitable giving deduction because we are depriving the federal treasury of the funds it needs to finance the President’s big government agenda.  So, stop waving that flag and start finding ways to maximize the amount of money you fork over to the IRS every April.

What has set the president’s patriotic heart aflutter is the growing trend of large U.S.-based corporations merging with partners overseas and locating their corporate headquarters in nations with more favorable corporate tax rates, a practice known as corporate inversion.  This is totally legal and what would be expected in a free market system.  But the president has determined that legal or not, it is - in his opinion - wrong.  And, he having a pen and a phone is the final arbiter of all things legal and moral.

Treasury Secretary Jacob Lew got the debate started by asking congress to outlaw corporate inversion.  In highly inflammatory language he proclaimed corporations “seek to shift their profits overseas to avoid paying their share of taxes while benefiting from the United States without paying a dime.”

That, of course, is absurd.  Both foreign and domestic corporations are subject to the U.S. corporate income tax.  The problem is the United States sports a 35% corporate tax rate, the highest rate among the world’s 34 most industrialized nations. And this gets to the heart of the matter.  Scott Eastman of the Tax Foundation explains: “The U.S. is one of only six developed nations with a ‘worldwide’ tax system that subjects its domestic corporations to double taxation. Income earned by American corporations abroad is taxed once by the nation in which it was earned, and again when the income is back within our borders.”

It is both the structure of American tax policy and the excessively high tax rate that makes it attractive for corporations to headquarter elsewhere.  Consider that Japan is in the process of lowering its corporate tax rate to 25%.  Thus, an American corporation that executes an inversion with a Japanese partner will immediately realize a 10% decrease in its tax obligation simply by virtue of that move alone.

Rather than demonizing American companies that are simply reacting to the nation’s oppressive corporate tax policies the Obama Administration should be working with congress on reforming the system.  Republicans in the U.S. House of Representatives have been pushing for such comprehensive reform, but as with virtually all GOP initiatives it has been met with a stone wall of opposition from the White House.

In the meantime, recovery from the Great Recession continues to lag as it will until and unless the underlying disincentives for business investment and growth contained within U.S. tax policy are changed.  And no amount of name calling by the president and the treasury secretary will change that fact.

Lowman S. Henry is Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of the Lincoln Institute of Public Opinion Research Inc., a non-profit educational foundation based in Harrisburg, PA, and host of the weekly Lincoln Radio Journal.  His e-mail address is lhenry@lincolninstitute.org

Poll: Support for Common Core Drops Sharply

Poll: Support for Common Core Drops Sharply

Israeli Air Strike Kills 3 Hamas Commanders in Gaza

Israeli Air Strike Kills Three Hamas Commanders in Gaza

Is that Tom Wolf behind the wheel?


Millionaire Democrat Tom Wolf keeps saying there's no public pension crisis in Pennsylvania even though pensions for teachers and government workers are nearly $50 billion in the red.

The war on Iraq's Christians

The war on Iraq's Christians

Wednesday, August 20, 2014

You are Christian. You are a conservative. What should you do when the homeless put out their hands?

James Pethokoukis: You are Christian. You are a conservative. What should you do when the homeless put out their hands?

Gallup: 76% Not Satisfied With Way Things Are Going Under Obama

After 5 full years of Obama policies, nearly 8 in 10 Americans are not satisfied with the way things are going in this country, according to a new Gallup survey. The other two people probably work for the Obama Administration.

Satisfaction With the United States | Gallup Historical Trends

Obama's Role In Grand Scheme of Things


Obama's secret raid in Syria to free American hostages failed

Shades of Jimmy Carter and the botched rescue mission of American hostages in Iran.

Obama's secret raid in Syria to free American hostages failed | TheHill

Pension Costs Forcing Teacher Layoffs in Pa.

Pension Costs Forcing Teacher Layoffs

Radar gun bills languish in Pa. Legislature

Radar gun bills languish in Legislature | News | witf.org

Obama's America: 1 in 5 Berks County, Pa., residents hasn't had enough to eat

One in five Berks residents hasn't had enough to eat | Reading Eagle - NEWS

Monday, August 18, 2014

Paying Pa. School Taxes In Dollar Bills

Guest Column: The Current U.S. Interest in Cyprus: 'Trust, but Verify'



By Nick Larigakis
Guest columnist

In the past two months, we have witnessed unprecedented engagement on the Cyprus issue by the Obama Administration, namely, Vice President Joe Biden. I have never seen anything like it in my 27 years of advocating for Cyprus with the American Hellenic Institute. The vice president’s visit to Cyprus was historic. It was the first time in 52 years a sitting vice president visited there. He also hosted two off-the-record meetings at the White House with leaders of the Greek American community. One was a pre-trip briefing and the second a post-trip debriefing. I had the privilege to attend them.

Folks who follow the Cyprus issue know Biden is no stranger to Cyprus. He is probably the most well-educated and well-versed public official on the nuances of the Cyprus issue. For this result, credit must be given to the Greek American community’s grassroots. For example, it was the then American Hellenic Institute Public Affairs Chairman Dr. Dean C. Lomis, along with members of AHI-Delaware back in 1974, who met with Biden to educate him about the conflict and who have been keeping him informed ever since.

Without Biden’s strong support through the many years as chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations committee (along with Senator Paul Sarbanes) who knows where this issue would be today. Furthermore, we certainly would not have been as successful in having Congress impose an arms embargo on Turkey immediately following Turkey’s invasion were it not for his assistance at the time.

This year, Cyprus received high-level visits from U.S. Department of State Assistant Secretary Victoria Nuland in February; and just two weeks ago, on the heels of the vice president’s visit, Deputy Assistant Secretary of State for European and Eurasian Affairs Amanda Sloat and Deputy Assistant Secretary of Defense for European and NATO Policy James Townsend.
What does all this mean?

The only plausible explanation is that Cyprus now has the potential to be a major energy supplier for Europe and beyond. This is a game changer. However, as long as the Cyprus issue remains unresolved, it will compromise how this energy will be fully developed, and more importantly, how it will be exported. Biden underscored this point when he spoke at the 2014 Clergy Laity Congress in Philadelphia. He said: “The exciting discoveries of natural gas and oil offshore in Cyprus and Israel, as well as potential discoveries in Greece and Lebanon, have an opportunity to position the region as a global energy hub, and we have no bones about it from the very beginning. And under international law, Cyprus owns access to these valuable fields within the region.”

But exporting it out of the region is important. The United States and others would prefer that it be piped through Turkey. This will never happen because it would have to go through Cyprus’s Economic Exclusive Zone (EEZ) and without a settlement, it’s a non-starter. Therefore, energy has been the number one catalyst for increased U.S. engagement, making Cyprus a strategic partner of the U.S.

In Philadelphia, Biden added: “…Cyprus…has become a genuine, strategic partner. That’s what’s basically changed; it’s become a genuinely strategic partner of the USA.” There are other areas that are also defined as strategic, and Biden continued, “On the issue of counter-terrorism, Cyprus is an essential link to our war on terrorism. Essential Partner! That is no hyperbole; that is absolutely true. Counter-terrorism is an area of strategic partnership, and preventing the spread of weapons of mass destruction, including the removal of serious chemical weapons and the prevention of re-acquiring the nuclear weapons, little Cyprus has taken on an outsized role in our pure national interest in our strategic relationship. But it’s not just a strategic partnership; it’s a growing strategic partnership.”

For the United States to benefit fully from this strategic relationship Cyprus needs to be free and united. A settlement must be reached that is just and viable, incorporating the norms of democratic principles. The United States can go a long way to make it happen. The vice president has started.
In Cyprus, he stated: “The matter of the fact is that the Government of Turkey, in my view, is coming to understand, not for any noble reasons, but for practical reasons, that the status quo on the island does not benefit them economically, militarily and politically. And there is significant potential benefit for Turkey in a bizonal, bicommunal federation.”

Biden’s remarks at the Clergy-Laity Congress demonstrated his further, active engagement on the issues. There, he stated he raised the issues in conversations with Turkish Prime Minister Erdogan. There, he also stated publically that Turkish troops should be removed from Cyprus. “I opened up and made clear the U.S. position that although it was a Cypriot negotiation, there was and is and can only be one government, one Cypriot, Greek Cypriot government, on the island, with no Turkish troops on the island,” he said.

As extremely important as these comments are, it would be helpful to see additional signs that the vice president’s statements are the administration’s policy. Signs Turkey will cease its intransigence on these issues and play a constructive role would also be welcomed. Turkey has not shown it’s willingness to do this. In the past, Turkey has manipulated the negotiations through the Turkish Cypriot leader. Turkey’s interests on Cyprus are not the same of the people of Cyprus. Unfortunately, not much progress has been made as evidenced by the lack of movement on confidence-building measures. This is reality. Biden and the State Department would be wise to understand it. While it’s extremely important for negotiations to proceed, they cannot succeed if the Turkish Cypriots will continue to take their instructions from Ankara and the political will is absent.

Therefore, the United States government must continue to put open pressure on Turkey. As a community, we must do our part to remind policymakers of Vice President’s Biden’s encouraging remarks. Because as historic and important as the recent flurry of comments and visits have been, we need to be vigilant and adopt President Reagan’s slogan, “Trust, but verify!”

Nick Larigakis is president of the American Hellenic Institute, a non-profit Greek American think tank and public policy center that works to strengthen relations between the United States and Greece and Cyprus, and within the Greek American community.

Top Democrat Lanny Davis critical of Dems' rush to judgment in Rick Perry case

Democrats must denounce the Rick Perry indictment, and the rush to judgment culture | TheHill

Just like Obama, PA Democrat Tom Wolf disparages gun owners

Woman protests Pa. property taxes by paying in $1 bills

Woman protests property taxes by paying in small bills | Reading Eagle - NEWS

Disney to release original, unedited 'Star Wars' trilogy on Blu-ray

Disney to release original, unedited 'Star Wars' trilogy on Blu-ray

EDITORIAL: Steelworkers taken for ride by Reid, Pelosi

EDITORIAL: Steelworkers taken for ride by Reid, Pelosi

Diva Hillary: High fashion, expense for travel

High fashion, expense for Hillary travel

Sunday, August 17, 2014

Bus Drivers Collects $80K in Overtime

NEWS ITEM: The Pittsburgh Tribune-Review reported on Saturday that six of the eight highest-paid transit agency employees were drivers, some earning more than $80,000 in overtime.

How PA Gov. Tom Corbett could still win in November

Brad Bumsted: How Corbett could still win

Report: IRS puts taxpayer data at risk

Report: IRS puts taxpayer data at risk | Human Events

Further misadventures of Obama's deleted administration

Nixon may have had an 18-minute gap on a tape, but Obama and his minions have deleted thousands of incriminating emails from the most corrupt administration in US history.

Further misadventures of Obama's deleted administration | Human Events

Friday, August 15, 2014

How Captain America conquered China — and why it matters

How Captain America conquered China — and why it matters

Scarborough: Obama Just Doesn't Give A Damn

I'm not a big fan of Joe Scarborough, but he's right about Obama: He just doesn't give a damn about middle class Americans.

Scarborough: Obama Just Doesn't Give A Damn

Obama's Real Legacy


Here are jobs that are most and least likely to be taken by robots

Here are jobs that are most and least likely to be taken by robots

Official: Second illegal immigrant wave of 30,000 coming in September, October

Official: Second illegal immigrant wave of 30,000 coming in September, October | WashingtonExaminer.com

'Americans have lost a lot of confidence and replaced it with fear'

James Pethokoukis of the American Enterprise Institute on the continuing economic malaise following six years of disastrous policies under Barack Obama:
Americans have lost a lot of confidence and replaced it with fear and concern that if something goes wrong things will get even worse. People no longer have that feeling that if they fall down they can pick themselves back up. And I think that's expressed in
the expectation variables. The economy needs to put in stronger numbers for people to feel that they are on more solid ground. And it's fair to say that the politician simply don't get it and don't accept the blame for their contribution to this difficult situation. I was not very optimistic about what the Michigan index would do this week. But the survey managed to come in bellow my expectations. It's a very depressing report.
Economist: 'Americans have lost a lot of confidence and replaced it with fear'

Cyprus occupation and the hypocrisy of Gaza outrage

Victor Davis Hanson: Cyprus occupation and the hypocrisy of Gaza outrage | StAugustine.com

Obama's Version of Stable Iraq


Bill O'Reilly: Obama's American Built on Racism and Lies

O'Reilly: A Weaker America Built on Racism and Lies | Truth Revolt

Laura Ingraham: Obama Plays the Race Card Again

Ingraham: Obama Using Racism to Win in 2014 | Truth Revolt

Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew Condemns Violence Against Christians

His All-Holiness Ecumenical Patriarch Batholomew, leader of the world's 300 million Orthodox Christians, condemns the persecution of Christians in Iraq and Syria: "We will not remain indifferent or silent before such irrational persecution, cultural intolerance and appalling loss of life, especially when it is caused by religious hatred and racial hostility. The targeting of tens of thousands of Christians (including Arameans, Chaldeans, and Assyrians) and other religious minorities (including Turkmens, Yazidis, and Kurds) can never be justified in the name of any religious creed or conviction."

Statement by His All-Holiness Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew on the Present Violence in Iraq — Greek Orthodox Archdiocese of America

Va. Schools Ordered To Waive Health & Immunization Requirements For Illegals

Virginia Schools Ordered To Waive Health & Immunization Requirements For Immigrants | Truth Revolt

AMERICAN EDUCATION: THE STRUGGLE FOR STUPIDITY

Pinocchios for latest Tom Wolf attack ad

Millionaire Democrat Tom Wolf is a one-trick pony whose entire campaign for Pennsylvania governor is targeted to unionized teachers. The real culprit with education spending in Pennsylvania is a pension crisis that only one candidate, Gov. Tom Corbett, is trying to address.Wolf has even said there is no pension crisis, which shows he's not serious about solving problems.
Pennsylvania's public school staffing at 10-year low

Is there anything Obama hasn't lied about?


Report: IRS Exposed 1.4 Million Taxpayers to Identity Theft

Report: IRS Exposed 1.4 Million Taxpayers to Identity Theft

NEW POLL: 42% of Americans Think Obama Has Expanded Presidential Power Too Much

NEW POLL: 42 Percent of Americans Think Obama Has Expanded Presidential Power Too Much; 53 Percent Want the US Less Involved in Israel-Hamas Peace Talks

Wednesday, August 13, 2014

Democrat Kirsten Powers: Obama Failed Iraqi Christians

Kirsten Powers: Obama Failed Iraqi Christians | Truth Revolt

Hypocrisy: Chicago Teachers Union Prez Shames Wealthy, Makes $200K/Year

Hypocrisy: Chicago Teachers Union Prez Shames Wealthy, Makes $200K/Year | Truth Revolt

300,000 Obamacare Recipients About To Be Cut Off

Over 300,000 Obamacare Recipients About To Be Cut Off | Truth Revolt

Obama, Hillary Trade Catch-Phrases


Guest Column: Jedis, DREAMers and Tax Schemers

By Lowman S. Henry
Guest columnist

It could be labeled a Jedi mind trick, or perhaps double speak worthy of a George Orwell novel.  President Obama and the Left have raised to an art form the ability to name a policy initiative the exact opposite of what it actually is, thus making opponents look bad for opposing it.

The "Affordable" Health Care Act which has resulted in higher health care costs; and the proposed "DREAM" Act that supposedly would solve the nation's immigration crisis, but actually would simply grant amnesty to lawbreakers are but two examples. In recent weeks the president and his minions have been touting "economic patriotism."

Setting aside the obvious irony of the Obama Administration posing as patriotic, it is safe to assume most Americans would not want to be viewed as unpatriotic.  On the face of it "economic patriotism" would sound like the latest version of a "buy American" campaign, or a push to patronize your local small business.  In actuality it is part of the administration's effort to demonize corporations for trying to lower their tax burden and maximize profits.

Taken a step further, as individuals we would be viewed as economically unpatriotic if we took our home mortgage deduction, child tax credit or charitable giving deduction because we are depriving the federal treasury of the funds it needs to finance the President's big government agenda.  So, stop waving that flag and start finding ways to maximize the amount of money you fork over to the IRS every April.

What has set the president's patriotic heart aflutter is the growing trend of large U.S.-based corporations merging with partners overseas and locating their corporate headquarters in nations with more favorable corporate tax rates, a practice known as corporate inversion.  This is totally legal and what would be expected in a free market system.  But the president has determined that legal or not, it is - in his opinion - wrong.  And, he having a pen and a phone is the final arbiter of all things legal and moral.

Treasury Secretary Jacob Lew got the debate started by asking congress to outlaw corporate inversion.  In highly inflammatory language he proclaimed corporations "seek to shift their profits overseas to avoid paying their share of taxes while benefiting from the United States without paying a dime."

That, of course, is absurd.  Both foreign and domestic corporations are subject to the U.S. corporate income tax.  The problem is the United States sports a 35% corporate tax rate, the highest rate among the world's 34 most industrialized nations. And this gets to the heart of the matter.  Scott Eastman of the Tax Foundation explains: "The U.S. is one of only six developed nations with a 'worldwide' tax system that subjects its domestic corporations to double taxation. Income earned by American corporations abroad is taxed once by the nation in which it was earned, and again when the income is back within our borders."

It is both the structure of American tax policy and the excessively high tax rate that makes it attractive for corporations to headquarter elsewhere.  Consider that Japan is in the process of lowering its corporate tax rate to 25%.  Thus, an American corporation that executes an inversion with a Japanese partner will immediately realize a 10% decrease in its tax obligation simply by virtue of that move alone.

Rather than demonizing American companies that are simply reacting to the nation's oppressive corporate tax policies the Obama Administration should be working with congress on reforming the system.  Republicans in the U.S. House of Representatives have been pushing for such comprehensive reform, but as with virtually all GOP initiatives it has been met with a stone wall of opposition from the White House.

In the meantime, recovery from the Great Recession continues to lag as it will until and unless the underlying disincentives for business investment and growth contained within U.S. tax policy are changed.  And no amount of name calling by the president and the treasury secretary will change that fact.

Lowman S. Henry is Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of the Lincoln Institute of Public Opinion Research Inc., a non-profit educational foundation based in Harrisburg, PA, and host of the weekly Lincoln Radio Journal.  His e-mail address is lhenry@lincolninstitute.org.

Hollywood pumps cash to save Senate majority for Democrats

Hollywood pumps cash to save Senate majority for Democrats | TheHill

Former PA lawmaker used tax-free per diem to buy house

Update: Former PA lawmaker used per diem to buy house - WHP CBS 21 Harrisburg - Top Stories

Who rules America?

Who rules America? | TheHill

Obama agencies routinely do union business on taxpayer's dime

Federal agencies spend millions on union business | Human Events

Is Pa. Millionaire Tom Wolf paying his fair share of taxes?