David Axelrod, long-time trusted advisor to President Barack Obama, told MSNBC in a mid-May interview,
Part of being president is there’s so much beneath you that you can’t know because the government is so vast[.]
He said this in defending Obama’s claimed ignorance of the doings of the IRS, DoJ’s attacks on the press, and so on.
There’s no greater proof than this of the desperate need to shrink the Federal government, reduce its scope of activity, slash its budget, generally rein it in, and to restore it to the control of the American citizenry.
Some of what Ben Domenech had to say at Real Clear Politics:
The sudden deluge of scandal which dominates the discussion around President Obama’s administration at the moment has handed a golden opportunity to Republicans. Yet if they aren’t careful, they’ll squander this opening completely by allowing their intense dislike of the president to cloud their judgment, missing the broader political lessons for the sake of personal point scoring.
At the start of her testimony before the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee, Lois Lerner, the head of the IRS facility that ran the targeting of government-disfavored Americans and groups of Americans, made a brief statement, asserted her 5th Amendment right not to testify against herself, and then refused to testify further. Lerner said, in her statement,
On May 14th, the Treasury inspector general released a report finding that the Exempt Organizations field office in Cincinnati, Ohio used inappropriate criteria to identify for further review applications from organizations that planned to engage in political activity, which may mean that they did not qualify for tax exemption.
This is a preview of
Did Lois Lerner Waive Her 5th Amendment Right?
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The Wall Street Journal has reported that
Apple, Inc paid no corporate income tax to any national government on tens of billions of dollars in overseas income over the past four years, Senate investigators found, a revelation that fuels the debate over whether the US tax code needs an overhaul.
The Senate thinks this is a bad thing, even as they acknowledge that Apple actually paid all the taxes it legally owed. Senator John McCain (R, AZ), ranking Republican on the Senate Permanent Subcommittee on Investigations that hectored Apple’s CEO, Tim Cook, on that dastardly legal behavior earlier this week, gripes that
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.
Employers are increasingly recognizing they may be able to avoid certain penalties under the federal health law by offering very limited plans that can lack key benefits such as hospital coverage.
Benefits advisers and insurance brokers—bucking a commonly held expectation that the law would broadly enrich benefits—are pitching these low-benefit plans around the country.
This, of course, is backwards. The coverages here should be paid out of pocket. The better policy would cover only catastrophic events—like hospitalization.
Then there’s this:
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….
Joe Rosenberg, Loews Corp Chief Investment Strategist, has suggested that large, rich corporations should bailout a spendthrift, debt-ridden Federal government. After all, he says, since the Federal government had bailed out some big businesses in the Panic of 2008, it’s only proper to return the favor. As if two wrongs would make a right.
Rosenberg’s proposal is this in its essence:
Companies like Apple, J&J, Microsoft, and other US multinationals are major vendors to the federal government. Instead of the deficit-ridden government borrowing money to buy their products, let the companies offer the government long-term, no-interest financing in lieu of cash.
British PM David Cameron, in another step in his push to give the British people a vote on their continued membership in the EU, has
given his Conservative Party’s backing to a draft bill that would commit the UK to holding an EU referendum by the end of 2017[.]
Of course many of his governing coalition partners oppose this bill—they not only want continued membership in the EU, they want the matter closed without the people’s further input.