In the case of some Democrats, like President Barack Obama, it looks like us taxpayers pay a significant fraction of the costs. As Mark Knoller of CBS Newsnoted the other day,
Under Federal Election Commission (FEC) rules, the government must be reimbursed for parts of presidential political travel.
“When a trip is for political or unofficial purposes, those involved must pay for their own food and lodging and other related expenses, and they must also reimburse the government with the equivalent of the airfare that they would have paid had they used a commercial airline,” states the Congressional Research Service in a 2012 analysis of “Presidential Travel: Policy and Costs.”
California’s health insurance exchange has awarded $184 million in contracts without the competitive bidding and oversight that is standard practice across state government, including deals that sent millions of dollars to a firm whose employees have long-standing ties to the agency’s executive director.
Several of those contracts worth a total of $4.2 million went to a consulting firm, The Tori Group, whose founder has strong professional ties to agency Executive Director Peter Lee, while others were awarded to a subsidiary of a health care company he once headed.
Mark Helprin had some thoughts a couple years ago about this administration’s Naval policy; they’re worth revisiting these days in light of the People’s Republic of China’s ongoing grab for and occupation of the South and East China Seas, and especially against the backdrop of the PRC’s decision to deny the people of Hong Kong their right to choose their own government members, in particular their Chief Executive, in violation of the Sino-British Joint Declaration. In the latter’s case, the PRC will tell the Hong Kong citizens who will be on the ballot and so for whom they’ll be permitted to “vote.”
A federal judge has dismissed a lawsuit challenging a California law that requires all eggs sold in the Golden State to come from hens housed in roomier cages.
State Attorneys General from Missouri, Iowa, Nebraska, Kentucky, Oklahoma, and Alabama had sued to block implementation of the law on the grounds that it unconstitutionally interfered with interstate commerce under the Commerce Clause.
They said farmers would have to spend hundreds of millions of dollars overhauling farms to ensure they would have access to the California market….
US District Judge Kimberly Mueller of the Eastern District of California disagreed.
The headline numbers are in, and they seem favorable enough: unemployment has dropped to 5.9%, and 248,000 new jobs were created in September.
Counting the 142,000 new jobs created in August, new jobs were created at a monthly average of 195,000 jobs per month over the total interval. Using, instead, Labor’s revised August number of 180,000 new jobs (I’d be curious to learn how President Barack Obama’s Labor Department could make such a large estimation error—a 20% error), that still works out to a pretty anemic 214,000 new jobs per month over the period.
In a letter to the Irish government published Tuesday, the European Commission, the 28-member bloc’s central antitrust authority, said it had reached the “preliminary view” that tax deals struck in Ireland in 1991 and 2007 in favor of Apple constituted state aid.
1991! No statute of limitations here. That’s a small matter, though. The larger matter is the degree of freedom that sovereign nations have to govern their internal affairs while remaining a part of the European Union.
Inversions in this context, to oversimplify, are when American companies buy foreign companies and then relocate their headquarters to that foreign country in order to take advantage of that country’s lower tax rates. That this is part of an American company’s management fiduciary duty to the owners to minimize costs and maximize profits is unimportant to the denizens of the present administration and to too many “Republicans” as well.
President Barack Obama’s Treasury Secretary, Jack Lew, had some thoughts about the evils of inversions.
These transactions erode the US tax base, unfairly placing a larger burden on all other taxpayers, including small businesses and hardworking Americans[.]