…most recently in our financial markets. Now the Feds are expanding their hectoring of our financial institutions over their fees. The Federal government already has chosen to prevent them from making money the old fashion way—through lending—with its artificially suppressed interest rates. It’s already inveighed against them over one set of fees which they charge as a means of earning a profit for their owners—our fellow Americans.
Now the government is going after another set of fees, with their objection centered on the fact that these Know Betters just don’t like the fees.
This is a preview of
Continued Government Interference in our Markets
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In no particular order, we’ve had in just the last few months the following:
1. The State Department leaving Benghazi consulate personnel to die, with too little security and no effort to help real-time; a President who absented himself from the situation in favor of a political campaign; and subsequent lies and cover-ups by both about events surrounding that.
2. The Department of Justice targeting our free press and individual members of it in order to suppress reporting of the secret doings of our government.
In a Friday op-ed, the editors of the WSJ had this to say, among other things, about the government’s invasion of American privacy in the name of “security.”
The effectiveness of data-mining is proportional to the size of the sample, so the NSA must sweep broadly to learn what is normal and refine the deviations. A nongovernment analogue might be the credit card flags that freeze payment when, say, a New Yorker goes on a shopping spree in Phoenix.
This is a preview of
The Wall Street Journal’s Embarrassing…Naiveté
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…when I wish The New York Times could still be taken seriously. Their editorial in this morning’s edition is one of those times.
Read it in full. It still beats the drums for some of NYT‘s hobby horses (not to mix metaphors, or anything), but those are asides; the central point is plain. It may be that the NYT finally is waking up to reality.
Permanent link to this post
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The Federal government wants to nationalize another American private industry, this one nascent rather than burgeoning. The State Department wants to classify privately owned and operated manned space vehicles as weapons and then to control these as such.
In a proposed Amendment to the International Traffic in Arms Regulations (recall that Secretary of State John Kerry says in all seriousness that the US will sign the just concluded international arms control “treaty”), State insists pretty much that anything that flies into space must be a weapon, and so cannot be allowed to leave the United States government’s control. The immediate effect will be to hinder, if not destroy, a budding space tourism industry, an industry that has such serious enterprises as Virgin Space, Xcor, and SpaceX, as major players.
On 15 May, Attorney General Eric Holder testified under oath before the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee that
With regard to potential prosecution of the press for the disclosure of material, that is not something that I have ever been involved in, heard of, or would think would be a wise policy.
Yet he had already been consulted concerning, and subsequently approved, a search warrant application to search the personal emails of an individual reporter (James Rosen of Fox News), a warrant that said in part
Because of the Reporter’s [Rosen's] own potential criminal liability in this matter….
The IRS’ targeting of groups and individuals who disagree with government increased sharply with President Barack Obama’s accession to office. Reminds me of how he won his first election in Illinois.
As a community organizer, [Obama] had helped register thousands of voters. But when it came time to run for office, he employed Chicago rules to invalidate the voting petition signatures of three of his challengers.
The move denied each of them, including incumbent Alice Palmer, a longtime Chicago activist, a place on the ballot. It cleared the way for Obama to run unopposed on the Democratic ticket in a heavily Democrat district.
Fox News is asking the question, “Is it time to overhaul the IRS?”
I say, no, but not for any of the reasons offered by Fox. It’s time to overhaul our tax code to simplify it to a single flat tax at, say, 10% with no deductions, credits, subsidies, exceptions, differences depending on source of income, or what-have-you, and that everyone pays.
How much money did you make from all sources (wages, cash payments, interest, capital gains, dividends, gambling, etc)? Pay 10% of that total. Based on 2007 numbers (i.e., pre-Panic), that actually would increase revenue to Uncle Sugar by a substantial amount. That’s only a static analysis. Considering the ripple effects on our pocketbooks and so on our economy—which would take off—that would yield an even more substantial amount of revenue for the government.
What a breathtaking failure to communicate. Regarding the IRS failure to perform, The Wall Street Journal reported this tidbit over the weekend.
The Internal Revenue Service’s watchdog told top Treasury officials around June 2012 he was investigating allegations the tax agency had targeted conservative groups….
The disclosure to the Treasury general counsel and the deputy secretary was a cursory one, according to J Russell George, the Treasury inspector general for tax administration. He said he didn’t reveal conclusions of the probe, which was in its early stages….
Recall that California’s gas and oil industry has been shrinking for years. It’s a slow shrinkage, but in the present political clime—the green political clime—it’s been inexorable. This graph tells the tale (ignore, for this post the loud contrast with Texas).
Now this administration’s Bureau of Land Management, the agency responsible for leasing and permitting of Federal lands to oil and gas producers, is claiming that it’s helpless to reverse this trend—the sequester, you see. The BLM has announced that it
will stop scheduled oil and gas leasing on public lands for the rest of the fiscal year. At least two auctions of more than 3,000 acres with promising oil deposits have already been canceled.