Ponder This:

Real public servants are free enterprising individuals who, inspired, embrace challenge, take risks, and create, sometimes big, and often, they create jobs in the process, all out of their ideas, and self initiative...

Friday, February 26, 2010

Sat Feb 20, 2010: Jack Dean, Public Employee Pensions Taking States' Economies over the Edge. Any hope for Reform? & Radio Sat. Nite, 8-11 PM PT

Join me on the air, Saturday at 10 AM PT on CRN, on
CRNtalk.com Channel 1

Call in number: 1-800-336-2225
Jack Dean of Pension Tsunami on the latest in the havoc wrecked by Public Employee Pensions on State and local governments' budgets and solvency, and the efforts by citizens, to curb the Tsunami.

Saturday night I fill in for Nicole Bella Remini on CRN Digital Talk, CRN 1 from 8 pm to 11 pm Pacific Time. Please join me again. We'll have fun, some great guests, and lot's of great hot talk. My guests include Matt Labash on his latest book, Fly Fishing with Darth Vadar, and Danny Tarkanian, a serious contender challenging Harry Reid for the Senate in Nevada.
CRN Digital Talk Radio is now available in High Definition audio! Listen to CRN on your local cable or satellite provider, local radio affiliate, mobile device or at CRN! To see where CRN is available in your area click here.
To request CRN Digital Talk Radio in your home or for advertising information, email info@CRNi.net.

Bookmark and Share

Jack Dean of Pension Tsunami

Friday, February 19, 2010

From the LAT Comments Blog: California, other states face problem of swelling pension liabilities

February 18, 2010 | 7:15 pm
California isn’t alone when it comes to not being able to pay its mounting public pension costs, a Washington think tank says in a report released Thursday.

In all, state governments face a $1-trillion shortfall, the difference between what they owe current and future retirees and what they expect to have available to pay promised benefits. California's two big systems accounted for $122 billion of the deficit as of June 30, 2008. The state's unfunded pension costs totaled $59.5 billion while unfunded healthcare costs were $62.5 billion.
Coming up with the money to cover future obligations is expected to burden state and local governments and school districts and could mean higher taxes and fewer basic services for the next generation of taxpayers.

And pensions are only part of the problem: California's two retirement funds have set aside less than 1% of the $62 billion they need to cover lifetime health insurance benefits for retirees.

Calls for similar changes are growing louder in California. Three proposed initiatives are gathering signatures for the November ballot. The ballot measures, among other things, would limit the amount of pension a retiree could draw. They also would raise the minimum retirement age and reduce benefits for newly hired state and local government workers.

Our readers chimed in about the dilemma. Here is some of what they had to say:

SeniorActuary wrote: The pension funds look really good when the stock market is overpriced with optimism, but then politicians attack the private sector with penalties, taxes, over-regulation, etc. This causes the stock prices to drop and suddenly the pension plans look bad. Lib's: you can't have it both ways. If you don't want profits, then you don't get to cheat on the price of your pension benefits. Pay up out of the govt budget what the pension really costs, and quit lying to taxpayers that pensions are not a problem when they are.Click here to read more...

Bookmark and Share

Sat Feb 20, 2010: Law Enforcement Agents for Ending Prohibition & CA's Republican Party Registration Numbers Drop Further. How to Stop the Bleeding:

Join me on the air, Saturday at 10 AM PT on CRN, on
CRNtalk.com Channel 1

Call in number: 1-800-336-2225
LEAP's Kyle Kazan on U.S. and Mexico's Drug War, Mexico's instability, and our U.S.-Mexico Border violence. Is it time to end Prohibition in the U.S.?

Also, is a state with a large and growing Latino population condemned to a liberal/leftist political balance of power?
(Update, Feb 20, 2010, I didn't get to this topic today. The War on Drugs, or Prohibition generated a lot of passion and discussion and took the hour. I'll visit this topic next week.)
Last week, Allan Hoffenblum published a follow up to his post from a year ago on Fox and Hound. He called it California's Plummeting GOP Registration-Part 2. The GOP voter registration numbers in CA, have declined even further, since his original post on this topic a year ago.

With a leftist dominated Legislature and Congressional delegation, and growing percentage of young Latino voters, is there hope for change to the political balance of power in CA? Latino voters have voted Republican in significant numbers in the past. Why have their numbers dropped off so dramatically in the Republican Party? Can there be a shift in the political balance of power in CA without winning 40 to 45% of the Latino vote?

Can Latino voters be won over, in large enough numbers to make a difference? If so, how?
Here's a little inspiration and example: I love George Strait. He's a cowboy, a vaquero, and he gets the connection. I love his interpretation of this song. This is a song that everybody knows or has at least heard it played in a family venue, if you've grown up with any Mexican heritage. The composer, Jose Alfredo Jimenez is considered a great of Mexico's musical heritage, and this beloved song is called The King, El Rey. Strait sings it with as best an accent as he can muster, and with all his heart, and he cuts straight to my heart, his love, undeniable.
Saturday night I fill in for Nicole Bella Remini on CRN Digital Talk, CRN 1 from 8 pm to 11 pm Pacific Time. Please join me again. We'll have fun, guests, and lot's of great hot talk.

CRN Digital Talk Radio is now available in High Definition audio! Listen to CRN on your local cable or satellite provider, local radio affiliate, mobile device or at CRN! To see where CRN is available in your area click here.
To request CRN Digital Talk Radio in your home or for advertising information, email info@CRNi.net.
Bookmark and Share

Wednesday, February 17, 2010

Remember This When You Hear Politicians and Public Emp Union Reps Condemn Hold-Outs for not "Compromising" (support raising taxes) to Fix the Budget:

Escape from Taxation
A new study shows that wealth flees after taxes rise. WSJ 2-13-2010

( Thanks to friend, Richard Rider for alerting me to this report and for his note, excerpted here, followed by the WSJ op-ed: I've written on this several times.  Those of you who get my "Breaking Bad -- CA vs. Other States" know of our state's net loss of 1.4 million Californians to other states over eight years.

Here's the latest study reaching the same conclusion about the effect of high taxes.  It's based on New Jersey -- a state which in just a few years changed from a low income tax state to a high income tax state -- especially for the wealthy.  When the change took effect, so did net migration change direction.

I don't think this lesson can be repeated often enough.  High taxes drive the wealthy and businesses away -- and discourage their in-migration.  Yet this "soak the rich" mentality is spreading through states -- the latest to fall is Oregon.

For Californians, the more dumb states that boost their taxes (especially on the prosperous), the better -- it reduces our state's financial refugees' options.  Sadly for us, some states are not following suit -- notably income tax-free Florida, Nevada and Texas.  But also South Dakota, Wyoming and Washington state have no personal income tax.  In addition, Tennessee and New Hampshire don't tax "earned" income -- only dividends and interest.

When the "wealthy" have departed -- taking their earning power and wealth with them -- watch what our Big Spenders conclude.  The solution I suspect we'll see from pinhead politicians will be that we need to raise taxes on the less prosperous -- lowering the "millionaires" tax"bracket down to a half million (already there for NJ), a quarter million, $150K and so on.

New Jersey's Governor Chris Christie must be following the economic news from Greece. Its tattered reputation for fiscal control has turned Greece into an international financial nightmare and laughingstock. Perhaps tiring of New Jersey jokes, Governor Christie this week handed down a stiff freeze on spending.

Announcing the freeze on $1.6 billion of unspent money, Mr. Christie was blunt: "Today, we come to terms with the fact that we cannot spend money on everything we want. Today, the days of Alice in Wonderland budgeting in Trenton end."

Not a day too soon, judging from the striking data that a just-released study reveals about the number of residents of the Garden State fleeing to greener pastures.

The study by Boston College's Center on Wealth and Philanthropy—"Migration of Wealth in New Jersey and the Impact on Wealth and Philanthropy"—looked at 1999 to 2008. It found that in the decade's first half New Jersey experienced a "substantial increase in both household wealth and charitable capacity," otherwise known as "expected giving." During those five years the Garden State had a $98 billion net influx of capital due to wealthy households moving into the state, and it enjoyed a corresponding $881 million increase in "charitable capacity."

The Garden State was blooming. Then the trend reversed. From 2004-2008, author John Havens found "a large decline in the number of wealthy households entering New Jersey" as well as "a moderate increase in the outflow of wealthy households leaving." The result: a net decline of $70 billion in household wealth while the "expected giving" became a net outflow of $1.132 billion.

So what happened in 2004?
Click here to read more

Bookmark and Share

Monday, February 15, 2010

Saturday's Show for Feb 13, 2010: Abel Moldonado Provides Comedic Fodder in his bid to be Lt. Gov. in CA, & Will The Citizens' Revolt Against the Political Machine, Proven Strong on the East Coast, Prove Strong in CA?

I said I was going to broadcast from Fullerton, but there was no way to hook up my equipment, so I talk about the Campaign to Unplug the Political Machine from the CRN Studios in Sunland, CA. Also, Maldonado is a hot potato. Dems and some Reps in the CA State Legislature want to prevent him from being seated as Lt. Gov, because he's a Latino who if appointed to this perch, has a good shot at getting elected Gov, especially in this Anti-Incumbent (Anti-Democrat) mood raging across the Country. The Dems don't want a Latino elected Gov in CA to be a Republican. The conservative Republicans, (a minority in the Republican caucus) know that if he were elected Governor, given his track record of voting with the Democrats, and making deals that favor Big Government, it will further sully the Republican Party brand, brutally ravished by Schwarzenegger and other Big Gov Republicans, for the Republicans who want to reposition the Republican Party as the party friendly to small business owners, the middle class, the private sector, and the tax payer, all groups which by the way, include a lot of Latinos, whom too many Republican campaign consultants use as bait and straw men in primary elections, rather than to court them, with inclusive effective messaging.

The Democrats, afraid of being called out for opposing a Latino Republican, even though he votes friendly with Democrat policies, send out Latino Officials to say Abel is not good for "Latinos," so they won't support him, and then to save face with Latino voters, they sit out the vote rather than voting down a son of migrant farm workers, while the non-Latino Dems vote "no." Without several of the Latino Democrats voting, the Dems fail to muster more than 50% no votes against Maldonado in the Assembly, even though the Dems hold 62 percent of the seats in the Assembly. The Gov wants him appointed claiming the Legislature needed to reject him by a majority vote. The Dems argue that he should not be appointed because he got more "no" votes than "yes" votes.
The saga continues. Nero fiddles while Rome burns. Dems fiddle while CA goes bust.

Bookmark and Share

Wednesday, February 10, 2010

Unsustainable's the new normal--Progressives have succeeded in making "Unsustainable" a household word and it's their Policy and Spending that are Absurdly Unsustainable.

How so?

"...according to USA Today, when the economic downturn began the U.S. Department of Transportation had just one employee making over $170,000. A year and a half later, it has 1,690.
Happy days are here again!

Did you get your pay raise this year? What's that, you don't work for the government? Yes, you do, one way or another. Good luck relying on Obama, Pelosi, Frank and the other Emirs of Kleptocristan "taking action" to "resolve" that. In the past month, the cost of insuring Greece's sovereign debt against default has doubled. Spain and Portugal are headed the same way. When you binge-spend at the Greek level in a democratic state, there aren't many easy roads back. The government has introduced an austerity package to rein in spending. In response, Greek tax collectors have walked off the job.

Read that again slowly: To protest government cuts, striking tax collectors are refusing to collect taxes. In a sane world, this would be an hilarious TV comedy sketch. But most of the Western world is no longer sane. It's tough enough to persuade the town drunk to sober up, but when everyone's face down in the moonshine, maybe it's best just to head for the hills. But where to flee? America is choosing to embrace Greece's future when even the Greeks have figured out you can't make it add up. Consider the opening paragraph of Martin Crutsinger, "AP Economics Writer":

'WASHINGTON – President Barack Obama sent Congress a $3.83 trillion budget on Monday that would pour more money into the fight against high unemployment, boost taxes on the wealthy and freeze spending for a wide swath of government programs.'"

Excerpt from: Mark Steyn: Unsustainable's the new normal
Published: Feb. 5, 2010 in the OC Register
Click here to read the article

Bookmark and Share

I'm Not Sure Which is Thicker...The Snow or The Irony

Bookmark and Share

Monday, February 8, 2010

Obama le Pepé Le Pew: Dems are worried Republicans will take Murtha's seat. I hope Obama comes to the Rescue!!!!

Veteran congressman's death adds to Barack Obama's woes (he still doesn't realize he's got that Pepé Le Pew thing going on).

• Democrats fear Republicans will win seat held since 1974
• President's poll ratings fall further amid health care impasse
Click here to read more

Bookmark and Share

The Story of how Global Warming as a Political Movement got Started is a Powerful Lesson in the Fundamental Importance of Integrity in Political Battle. The grassfire for this Deceptive Frankenstein Movement was Started for Expediency, to Retain Power, by a Revered Conservative Darling. We are the fighting the consequences now.

The story about Maggie starting the Green Movement, and a lesson for warriors for liberty today, in why we must never sacrifice integrity in our efforts to be free.
In her effort to survive the coal unions, and avoid the same fate of fellow Conservative PM Heath's Govt, in 1973 at the hands of the coal miners' striking, Maggie seized on the idea of global warming that was just an idea floated by a scientist, Bert Bolin in the late 70s, that Global Warming and rising temperatures, was caused by CO2 emissions. She established the IPCC, and funded it to prove global warming so she could beat the coal unions, and the oil cartels of the middle east, that were also a threat to stable energy for Great Britain's economy, and to push for Nuclear energy. The Leftists and Luddites, haters of development, growth, cars, and especially the amazing U.S., seized on the principle and the simplistic arguments, and the funding the political establishment made available. Science was politicized to prove Global Warming. A Frankenstein was created based on a lie. Amazingly, the truth is out, but many still buy the premise. This story about Thatcher is in the documentary, The Great Global Warming Swindle, at 38 mins into the film: Click here to see the video posted below this post. The Monster is not dead. It's mortally wounded, but it will try to conciliate and reason with us, to compromise. We have to restore the reputation and integrity of Science. Keep government, the politicians and their biased, preferential funding and power out of scientific research.
Bookmark and Share

My Favorite Documentary on Global Warming, It's the History of the Biggest Political Movement of our Era, and who Politicized "Global Warming," and Founded its Base and Power.

Watch The Great Global Warming Swindle in Technology  |  View More Free Videos Online at Veoh.com

Bookmark and Share

See the New Smart Car?

 Very Clean and "Earth Friendly"   Now you see it...

Now you don't... Hey?  Where'd it go?   Is it playing hide n seek? 

Oops!   There it is.  Right between the red truck and the black bed of the "green" truck (no pun intended).  The new smart car is not.

Bookmark and Share

How Unions Destroyed Greece; Union Greed and Gall in Nevada; Union Protests In Utah; Taxes on Food in Phoenix

How Unions Destroyed Greece; Union Greed and Gall in Nevada; Union Protests In Utah; Taxes on Food in Phoenix

Bookmark and Share

Friday, February 5, 2010

So far so very good, Scott Brown's premiere in DC: Smart and pithy statements, he's substantive, and a man of action.

New senator Scott Brown sure gets down to Republican business
By Dana Milbank
Friday, February 5, 2010
Great. Here comes one more model prone to sudden acceleration.
Another Toyota? Actually, no. This one is Scott Brown, as of Thursday the junior senator from Massachusetts.
Click here to read more

Bookmark and Share

Sat Feb 6: Public Unions Ascend to Outnumber Private Sector Unions, & Sink CA's Economy| Also an Extra 3 Hr Special 8-11PM Hot Topics & Guests

Join me on the air, Saturday at 10 AM PT on CRN, on
CRNtalk.com Channel 1

Call in number: 1-800-336-2225
Mark Bucher joins me to discuss California's Economic Crisis, the causes, and a Citizen Power Campaign Intiative to shift power back to the citizens, away from the Public Employee Unions that dominate the State Government at every level.

Public employee union membership now outnumbers private sector union membership. This is a first time ever on record. The impact of this ascendancy is glaringly evident in California. The impact of this turn in the balance of power shows a destructive and unsustainable financial drain across the Country.

Saturday night I fill in for Nicole Bella Remini on CRN Digital Talk, CRN 1 from 8 pm to 11 pm Pacific Time. Please join me again.

Tea Party Patriot Ben Bergquam joins me. The Tea Party Movement is having their 1st ever, National Convention, this weekend. This movement's impact is quantifiable and undeniable. Ben will talk with us about the national movement, and because he is based in CA, he'll talk about the issues the Tea Party Patriots in CA have in their frontsight for CA: Public Employee Unions, their unfunded pensions, hiring and salaries exceeding the private sector, dominating power over legislators and government officials.

Tea Party Patriots were a lethal force against Government run health care legislation passing in Congress, unless the Congress acts in an extraordinary run around rules and procedures.
The most progressive (Leftist) individual States have passed or are attempting to pass their own versions of government run health care. Cap and Trade is dead in the Congress thanks to the scare Democrats have finally responded to, but it took three major earthquake-upset-elections in New Jersey, Virginia, and finally, Ted Kennedy's seat going to a Jack Kennedy Republican, Scott Brown.

CA's own version of Cap and Trade law, AB 32, and Federal EPA Agency and the Democrat Controlled U.S. Congress are distroying CA's largest private sector industry--Agriculture. We'll hear from Bergquam on the way radical environmentalists in Washington D.C. are using environmental laws to kill this vital artery of CA's economic engine, and how CA Democratic Congressmen and Senators in DC are doing nothing to stop them and we'll review the initiatives and races in the frontsight of the CA Tea Party Movement activists.

Andrew Klavan, author of The Long Way Home, talks with us about his latest novel, and his big beef with the hugely successful AVATAR and director James Cameron, his problems with The Hurt Locker, and Quentin Trantino's Inglorious Bastards, all three contenders for Best Picture this year, all three, according to Klavan, push a strong Anti-American message.

CRN Digital Talk Radio is now available in High Definition audio! Listen to CRN on your local cable or satellite provider, local radio affiliate, mobile device or at CRN! To see where CRN is available in your area click here.

To request CRN Digital Talk Radio in your home or for advertising information, email info@CRNi.net.

Bookmark and Share

Thursday, February 4, 2010

Michael Mann Receives Stimulus Money Despite Being Under Investigation for Fraud, for Fabricating and Destroying Data

As for stimulus jobs—whether "saved" or "created"—we thought readers might be interested to know whose employment they are sustaining. More than $2.4 million is stimulating the career of none other than Penn State climate scientist Michael Mann.

Mr. Mann is the creator of the famous hockey stick graph, which purported to show some 900 years of minor temperature fluctuations, followed by a spike in temperatures over the past century. His work, which became a short-term sensation when seized upon by Al Gore, was later discredited. Mr. Mann made the climate spotlight again last year as a central player in the emails from the University of East Anglia's Climatic Research Unit, which showed climatologists massaging data, squelching opposing views, and hiding their work from the public. Michael Mann Received Stimulus Money - WSJ.com

Bookmark and Share

THE DAILY OUTRAGE: A solution to California's problems: Home weatherization! So much for "Shovel Ready Jobs." Your tax dollars at "work."

WHO: California Department of Community Services and Development

WHAT: California received $275 million in federal stimulus and block grant money to winterize homes. Only eight of the 36 service providers, however, were ready to begin weatherizing homes as of Dec. 22, 2009.

WHY IT'S AN OUTRAGE: First, California homes don't need to be weatherized on our dime, and second, these jobs that were described as "shovel ready" obviously weren't.

THE DAILY OUTRAGE: A solution to California's problems: Home weatherization! | Washington Examiner

Bookmark and Share

Michael Mann makes The Washington Examiner's daily rant feature column, The Daily Outrage: Mann Money

By: Daily Outrage
Examiner Editorial Feature
January 15, 2010
WHO: Vice President Joe Biden

WHAT: The National Center for Public Policy Research reports that the National Science Foundation gave a $541,184 stimulus grant to Penn State Professor Michael Mann. The stimulus money is supposed to create jobs.

WHY IT'S AN OUTRAGE: One of the key figures in the Climategate scandal, Mann is currently under investigation by Penn State for allegedly manipulating data in his debunked "hockey stick" graph, which supposedly depicted a rapid rise in global temperatures caused by industrial activity. Pennsylvania's unemployment rate is 8.5 percent.
Click here to read more at the Washington Examiner

Bookmark and Share

Climategate scientist Michael Mann of Penn State got a $540,000 research grant from President Obama's $787 billion economic stimulus package, directly, and $2.4 Million via the National Science Foundation's $3 Billion of Stimulus Grant Dollars.

  Click here to go to  Recovery.gov, the U.S. government’s official website providing easy access to data related to Recovery Act spending.  See how many jobs your state is creating for the billions in Stimulus dollars indebting us, our children, grand children, great grand children.  It's madness.  Look at it.   
Bookmark and Share

The Public-Union Ascendancy: Government union members now outnumber private for the first time.

Published February 3, 2010
It's now official: In 2009 the number of unionized workers who work for the government surpassed those in the private economy for the first time. This milestone explains a lot about modern American politics, in particular the paradox that union clout with Democrats has increased even as fewer workers belong to unions overall.

The Bureau of Labor Statistics reported recently that 51.4% of America's 15.4 million union members, or about 7.91 million workers, were employed by the government in 2009. As recently as 1980, there were more than twice as many private as public union members. But private union membership has continued to decline, even as unions have organized more public employees. The nearby chart shows the historical trend.

Click here to read more

Bookmark and Share

The deluge (no pun intended) of shocking climate-change fraud revelations - Al Gore Still Silent - A round-up

Received from my friend Manny Klausner, for those of us who haven't been following the deluge of shocking climate-change fraud revelations that have recently been disclosed in the media (sadly, excluding most of the American main-stream media), here's a quick round-up:

1. How Climate-Change Fanatics Corrupted Science
By Michael Barone, Washington Examiner, February 3, 2010:
"People will look back and wonder why so many government, corporate and media elites were taken in by propaganda that was based on such shoddy and dishonest evidence. And taken in to the point that they advocated devoting trillions of dollars to a cause that was based on flagrant dishonesty and dissembling."

2. Resisting Temptation
By David Warren, Ottawa Citizen, February 3, 2010:
"To my survey, there is not a single aspect of the 'anthropogenic global warming' hypothesis that has been left standing by recent revelations, and more shoes drop every day."

3. IPCC: International Pack of Climate Crooks
By Marc Sheppard, International Thinker, February 4, 2010:
"A glut of ongoing recent discoveries of systemic fraud has rocked . . . [the] foundation, and the entire man-made global warming house of cards is now teetering on the verge of complete collapse."

4. My Two Cents on AmazonGate
Posted by Marlo Lewis, GlobalWarming.org Blog, January 27, 2010@3:25 pm:
"Climategate, Himalayagate, Pachaurigate, and now NOAAgate — [I]t’s hard to keep up with all the relevations and allegations buzzing around some of the biggest names in climate science. Earlier this week in the Telegraph, the intrepid James Delingpole debuted 'Amazongate.' Like Himalayagate, this is a case in which the IPCC relied on a World Wildlife Fund (WWF) report, rather than a peer-reviewed scientific study, to make a scary claim about global warming."

5. Climategate News and Links
Posted by Steve McIntyre, Climate Audit, January 31, 2010, 11:24 am :
"It’s hard to keep up with the explosion of stories on Climategate, Pachauri and similar stories now that coverage has expanded outside the climate blogs."

6. UK Greenpeace Chief Calls on Pachauri to Resign: Al Gore Still Silent
Posted by Walter Russell Mead, The American Interest Online, February 3, 2010:
[I]n the face of an increasing cascade of inconvenient truths, Al Gore remains silent.
Even the leadership of Greenpeace UK understands that low scientific standards and reckless disregard for the truth are destroying the credibility of the global warming community..."
So thank you Manny!  As always, you always send the most interesting and critical intel.
Bookmark and Share

Wednesday, February 3, 2010

Virginia Is for Tax Cutters -- Stephen Moore, WSJ Political Diary

Jan 27, 2010:
Virginia may become the first state perhaps ever to abolish its state corporate income tax. We hear that this is one of the economic revival strategies that new Governor Bob McDonnell is exploring as he contemplates how to generate more jobs for a state that has seen a huge spike in job losses since the recession began.

Legislation was introduced this month in the Virginia House by Republicans Rep. Harry Purkey, chairman of the Ways and Means Committee, and Senator Ryan McDougle to get rid of the tax effective in January 2012. Mr. Purkey told the Richmond Times-Dispatch that the plan would give Virginia "economic competitiveness that is just really unparalleled." He says the revenue from new jobs might even pay immediately for the $600 million tax cut.

Eric Finkbeiner, director of policy and transition for Mr. McDonnell, calls the plan "an innovative idea and something that we are looking at."

Several of Mr. McDonnell's top advisers have also found that, dollar-for-dollar, repealing the state income tax would have the biggest jobs impact. One Virginia business leader touting the corporate tax repeal plan is Richmond-based investor Bob Marcellus. Mr. Marcellus, who runs the Richmond Group Fund, has told the McDonnell economics team that "our combined federal and state corporate income tax rate of 41% (35% federal plus 6% state) is now the highest in the world -- surpassing Japan and communist China -- and is double the average rate in developed countries. While other countries have been slashing this tax, America has been asleep at the switch." A study by Kevin Hassett of the American Enterprise Institute shows that these high corporate rates deter investment and ultimately reduce the take-home pay of workers.

Mr. Marcellus has been the pied piper of this idea, even talking to union leaders in the state. "We're making progress with the Teamsters and other unions, who realize that this tax destroys jobs in Virginia," he tells me. The Congressional Budget Office reported in 2006 that more than 70% of the burden of corporate income taxes falls on labor.

Gov. McDonnell also faces one of the biggest deficits ($4.2 billion) of any state in the nation in 2010 and 2011. So the potential immediate revenue loss is a big issue. Another even bigger obstacle, say McDonnell advisers, is that a corporate income tax might be seen as giving "a tax break to big banks and corporations a time when big business and Wall Street are not well respected." But keep an eye on Virginia, because if this plan is launched as a jobs program in the Old Dominion state, expect to see it in other states too.

Bookmark and Share

Botched Paramilitary Police Raids: An Epidemic of "Isolated Incidents"

"If a widespread pattern of [knock-and-announce] violations were shown . . . there would be reason for grave concern." —Supreme Court Justice Anthony Kennedy, in Hudson v. Michigan, June 15, 2006. An interactive map of botched SWAT and paramilitary police raids, released in conjunction with the Cato policy paper "Overkill: The Rise of Paramilitary Police Raids," by Radley Balko. What does this map mean? How to use this map View Original Map and Database


Death of an innocent. Death or injury of a police officer. Death of a nonviolent offender.
Raid on an innocent suspect. Other examples of paramilitary police excess. Unnecessary raids on doctors and sick people.
The proliferation of SWAT teams, police militarization, and the Drug War have given rise to a dramatic increase in the number of "no-knock" or "quick-knock" raids on suspected drug offenders. Because these raids are often conducted based on tips from notoriously unreliable confidential informants, police sometimes conduct SWAT-style raids on the wrong home, or on the homes of nonviolent, misdemeanor drug users. Such highly-volatile, overly confrontational tactics are bad enough when no one is hurt -- it's difficult to imagine the terror an innocent suspect or family faces when a SWAT team mistakenly breaks down their door in the middle of the night. But even more disturbing are the number of times such "wrong door" raids unnecessarily lead to the injury or death of suspects, bystanders, and police officers. Defenders of SWAT teams and paramilitary tactics say such incidents are isolated and rare. The map above aims to refute that notion.

Blog Archive