Democrats and Tax…Inversions

Walgreen Co looked hard at doing one of these—buying an overseas company and then reincorporating in that overseas jurisdiction to lower its US tax bill, a bill flowing from a world-leading 35% tax rate. Indeed, Barclay’s had estimated that Walgreen would save $797 million a year in taxes if it carried through. They were brow-beaten out of the move, though, by the Federal government.

Now, Senator Chuck Schumer (D, NY) and his Senate cronies are looking at getting in the way of inversions generally.

The proposal…would restrict the practice of earnings stripping, where US companies borrow money from overseas parents and deduct the interest expense on US taxes.

A Gun Control Loss

The gun rights sheriff incumbent, David Clarke Jr, defeated his Democratic primary challenger for the Milwaukee (Wisconsin) County job (and he’s in because there’s no Republican challenger for the fall general election). This also had been, among other things, a referendum on ex-New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg’s gun control philosophy, as that one had thrown down $150,000 on TV ads in his own attempt to influence the election.

However, primary challenger Milwaukee Police Lt Chris Moews‘ own justification for gun controls demonstrates the fallacy of the gun control position:

It’s Only 5%

As President Barack Obama said regarding his Obamacare, only 5% of Americans actually are affected by his dissembling about their ability to keep their doctor, their health plan, their medical facility of choice, and these 5% are only a tiny, insignificant minority in the greater scheme of things.

And so it is with the victims of genocide. Obama’s self-described standard for intervention requires a sufficiently large number of humans before they can be a enough of a humanitarian crisis to warrant his attention. In his formula, V(olume) + E(fficacy) + A(uthority) = I(ntervention),  the numbers of Yezidis on the mountaintop no longer meet his standards for a balanced equation; they’re not a Voluminous enough number of victims.

An Inaccurate Description

As Nour Malas and Joe Parkinson, writing for The Wall Street Journal, put it in a larger piece,

They [Western officials, including especially US officials] now face the choice of launching a major armament program to Kurdish forces, and risk accelerating Iraq’s dismemberment, or offering smaller supplies but failing to turn the Peshmerga into the definitive proxy force against the Islamic State.

Of course, the choice is not limited to these options, nor are these options accurate reflections of reality. An obvious third choice is arming, and supporting with other means, the Peshmerga so that they can do far more than just be someone else’s proxy, but instead guarantee the Kurds’ survival as a society and a polity against ISIS’ attempts to crush, if not exterminate, them—even to crush ISIS instead.

e pluribus unum

This post is adapted from a passage in Chapter 4 of my book A Conservative’s Manifesto.

What is the “many” in the title, the pluribus? When the phrase was first proposed for the Seal of the United States in 1776, it referred to the 13 States being joined into one nation. It has come to mean, in addition, the several peoples, religions, languages, heritages, and so on who come to the United States to join our great experiment in individual freedom and individual responsibility.

What is the one, the unum? That’s the point of this post.

Gradual Escalation

We’ve been taking potshots at ISIS targets, ostensibly to bring relief materials to the Yezidis trapped on mountaintop in northern Iraq. The potshots, though, are having a different effect.

Islamic militant forces in northern Iraq appear to be shifting tactics….

[U]ntil now [ISIS] was behaving like a well-organized army, moving with strategic intent and pursuing military objectives. Now, officials are seeing at least a partial shift to classic insurgency tactics, as militants begin to blend in among the population, making targeting more difficult.

A Capital Strike

Here is an argument for not doing business with the Federal government at all. It’s rapidly becoming not worth the cost—in hassle, in dollars, in business’ ability to control over their own operations. This is another of President Barack Obama’s barrage of Executive Orders, and this is how The Wall Street Journal described it over the weekend:

Under the order signed last week, contractors and subcontractors who receive more than $500,000 in federal money will be obliged to report to government agencies any labor-law violations going back three years. The order covers violations of everything from family and medical leave to federal wage and hour laws in the three years before applying for a contract.

Social Guarantees

Ilan Brat and Giada Zampano wrote, in a recent Wall Street Journal piece, about job protections and their effects on the prospects of today’s children and young adults in Europe. The whole article is well worth the read for its specifics, but from my perspective, the following is the money quote, from one of those young adults, Ms Serena Violano, a 31-year-old still sharing a room with her older sister in their parents’ home:

For our parents, everything was much easier. They had the opportunity to start their own life. Instead, we don’t have any guarantees for our own future.

Negotiate with Terrorists?

Democratic Party Presidential contender and current Senator Elizabeth Warren (D, MA) had some thoughts from the Progressive side of the situation unfolding in Iraq. In supporting President Barack Obama’s tepid moves vis-à-vis ISIS, the Yezidis, and the Kurds, Warren said this:

It’s a complicated situation right now in Iraq and the president has taken very targeted actions to provide humanitarian relief that the Iraqi government requested, and to protect American citizens. But like the president, I believe that any solution in Iraq is going to be a negotiated solution, not a military solution. We do not want to be pulled into another war in Iraq.

Lasting Solutions

President Barack Obama has said, in defense of his inaction against the current and planned atrocities of ISIS, that there can be no lasting solution in Iraq until the Iraqis have resolved their governmental failures and impasse—a true national reconciliation.

He’s right about the need for political resolution—for Iraqis. What Obama carefully elides, though, is the lasting solution that will occur vis-à-vis Yezidis and Kurds if we continue our inaction.