Clintons, Clinton Foundation, and Donations

Democratic Party Presidential candidate Hillary Clinton is making the claim, through her campaign staff, that the Clinton Foundation will stop taking donations from foreign countries or from corporations in the event she’s elected President.

Republican Party Presidential candidate Donald Trump and his campaign organization are pointing out a loophole in that Clinton commitment: the promised ban carefully does not include smaller Clinton-tied charities like Alliance for a Healthier Generation, Clinton Giustra Enterprise Partnership, and Clinton Health Access Initiative (CHAI), among others.

There’s another loophole in Clinton’s commitment, though.  The Clinton Foundation would be permitted to accept donations (only) from

Death Tax

Democratic Party Presidential candidate Hillary Clinton demurs from Republican Party Presidential candidate Donald Trump’s plan to repeal the death tax—the 40% tax on a man’s estate that the government currently claims because the man was rude enough to die.  Never mind that the man’s heirs might have a claim on the money—no, it’s Government’s money, says the Progressive Democrat.

Clinton claims she wants to build schools, cancel student loans, and provide health care to veterans with the proceeds from that death tax.

Let’s review the bidding.

The Progressive Socialist Goal Made Manifest

In the context of Aetna’s decision to sharply curtail its participation in ObamaMart—because such participation was costing Aetna millions of dollars—Socialist Senator Bernie Sanders (I, VT) has said openly

The provision of health care cannot continue to be dependent upon the whims and market projections of large private insurance companies whose only goal is to make as much profit as possible.

Because making money—the engine of economic growth and the economic welfare of all Americans—is inappropriate when it’s done outside Government control.  American businesses and Americans can’t be allowed to earn more than Government deems fit.  President Barack Obama (D) has held this before Sanders became a public fixture:

SEC and Boardroom Diversity

The Securities and Exchange Commission is looking to reach inside corporate governance some more because it Knows Better how to run a company than do the leaders and managers of that company.  The latest travesty is a new rule requiring disclosure of the diversity—by which the SEC means ethnic and gender diversity—of a public company’s board of directors.  This would be an expansion of the SEC’s existing 2009 rule requiring companies to disclose their plans for diversity.

Berkshire Hathaway took the correct position in its SEC disclosure regarding those plans:

Clinton State Department and Influence

Shortly after Hillary Clinton left the Obama administration, the State Department quietly took steps to purchase real estate in Nigeria from a firm whose parent company is owned by a major donor to the Clinton Foundation, records obtained by Fox News show.

This should have been a routine expression of interest and possibly consummated (in the event, it never was) Department real estate transaction, as James Rosen noted in his piece.

However.

The principle in the proposed deal is Ronald Chagoury,

the brother and business partner, in the Chagoury Group, of Gilbert Chagoury, a Lebanese-born businessman whom federal records show has donated between $1 and $5 million to the Clinton Foundation.

What’s in Store

…for the rest of us.  Kate Vershov Downing is a Liberal who has been mugged by reality.  She is—or was until she resigned—a member of the Palo Alto, CA, Planning and Transportation Commission, the city’s central planning facility for all things a private citizen might want to do.  Here’s an excerpt from her letter of resignation from that Commission, via PJMedia‘s Tom Knighton.  (Unfortunately, she’s not completely learned the mugging lesson; she and her husband are moving to another California city.)

If You Like Your Plan

Aetna Inc will withdraw from 11 of the 15 states where it currently offers plans through the Affordable Care Act exchanges, becoming the latest of the major national health insurers to pull back sharply from the law’s signature marketplaces after steep financial losses.

Prior Restraint

The EU has it.  And it doesn’t hesitate to reach overseas to try to inflict it outside EU jurisdiction.

The European Union’s antitrust authority on Thursday opened a full-blown investigation into plans by Dow Chemical Co and DuPont Co to merge, on concerns the deal would reduce competition [in] the global agricultural sector.

The European Commission said it would investigate whether the deal may reduce competition in areas such as crop protection, seeds, and certain petrochemicals. Announced in December, the proposed merger aims to create an American industry giant with a combined market cap of about $122 billion.

Money and the EU

Joseph Stiglitz, writing in The Guardian, had some thoughts on this.  Noting the economic situation in the eurozone since the Panic of 2008 (my term, not his):

[T]he unemployment rate in the eurozone reached 10% in 2009 as well, and has been stuck in double digits ever since. On average, more than one out of five young people in the labour force are unemployed, but in the worst-hit crisis countries, almost one out of two looking for work can’t find jobs. Dry statistics about youth unemployment carry in them the dashed dreams and aspirations of millions of young Europeans, many of whom have worked and studied hard. They tell us about families split apart, as those who can leave emigrate from their country in search of work. They presage a European future with lower growth and living standards, perhaps for decades to come.

Central Banks’ Negative Interest Rates are Stimulative?

Maybe not.  Not if this small businesswoman in Germany proves typical.  Heike Hofmann sells fruits and vegetables in a small city in northwestern Germany.

When Ms Hofmann heard the ECB was knocking rates below zero in June 2014, she considered it “madness” and promptly cut her spending, set aside more money and bought gold. “I now need to save more than before to have enough to retire,” says Ms. Hofmann, 54 years old.

Of course.  When she’s retired, she’ll be in no position to participate very much in risky investments; most of her income beyond the German retirement payment system will need to come from fixed income investments.  That fixed income will come in the form of dividend-paying instruments and…interest-paying debt instruments.