New News Website on Dem Efforts to Strip Workers of their Secret Ballot
A new news site has just gone up providing the latest news on the battle over the Democrats' brazen plans to strip workers of a private ballot in unionization elections, subjecting millions of Americans to harassment and intimidation in the workplace on an unprecedented scale.
Here's what the Washington Post said about the new efcawire.com site:
Anti-EFCA Forces Launch ‘News’ Site On Employee Forced Choice Act Okay, this one is really going to infuriate organized labor. The forces massed against the Employee Free Choice Act have just launched a new 'news' site that’s totally devoted to making the case against the measure, with a particular emphasis on the damage it would allegedly do the economy. The site calls the measure the 'Employee FORCED Choice Act.' You can see the new homepage by clicking right here; note the similarities to Drudge. The url will be blasted out later today to hundreds of thousands on the email list of the anti-EFCA group Workforce Fairness Institute, which created the site … It’s no accident that the new site is being released on the day that new job losses were announced. (Greg Sargent, "Anti-EFCA Forces Launch ‘News’ Site On Employee Forced Choice Act," The Washington Post, 4/3/09)
Taking the White House’s relationship with the press to an entirely new level, reporters were treated to an…interesting greeting when they attempted to dial into a conference call with senior administration officials Secretary of State Hillary Clinton and National Security Advisor James Jones.
To the AFP wire story:
“‘Do you have any hidden desires?’ a sultry voiced woman asked.
“‘Well, do you feel like getting nasty? Then you came to the right place – brough to you by the girls of Swank magazine,’ she said. …
“The White House did not offer an explanation when asked how it sent the wrong number in an email listing both numbers – one for journalists in the United States and the other for those overseas. …
“When pressed further about the number, [White House spokesman] Vietor replied: ‘I haven’t dialed whatever number you’re referencing. Please call such numbers on your free time!’”
A joke meant to deflect or a veiled suggestion? You decide.
"The President's budget calls for the largest increase in the death tax in U.S. history in 2010.
"The announcement of this tax increase is buried in footnote 1 on page 127 of the President's budget. That note reads: 'The estate tax is maintained at its 2009 parameters.' This means the death tax won't fall to zero next year as scheduled under current law, but estates will be taxed instead at up to 45%.
"In other words, by raising the estate tax in the name of fairness, Mr. Obama won't merely bring back from the dead one of the most despised of all federal taxes, and not merely splinter many family-owned enterprises. He will also forfeit half the jobs he hopes to gain from his $787 billion stimulus bill. Maybe that's why the news of this unwise tax increase was hidden in a footnote." (Editorial, “Night Of The Living Death Tax,” Wall Street Journal, 3/31/09)
Are President Obama and his chief economic advisor unaware of what is actually in their budget plans or are they intentionally misrepresenting unpopular tax provisions to the American people?
Whatever the reason and contrary to Mr. Summers claims, it’s clear that Americans, and our country’s small and family-owned businesses in particular, have much to worry about in the way of new taxes.
Democrats’ Budget Worse Than European-Style Spending
"I said that this would replace the American system of government with a European-type system of government. That was unfair. That was unfair to Europe. This budget would be actually be in violation of the European Maastricht Treaty. This budget proposes, using your own numbers, that our deficit never even gets below four percent of GDP, which would put you in violation of the European Maastricht Treaty. This doesn’t even conform to European standards.”
April 1, 2009: Shutting Down 8,000 Gasoline Stations
Not only will April 1st bring cuts to education and healthcare services, but every Californian will see their taxes increase and they may have to drive a little further to find a gas station still in business.
In 2000, the unelected California Air Resource Board (CARB) implemented a "vapor-recovery" rule. While the rule was implemented in 2000, CARB did not provided the specific equipment required until 2008, with an April 2009 deadline.
With a recession, a credit crunch, and higher costs, many local gasoline owners were left with no time to finance, buy, and install the newly mandated $11,000 nozzles. The average gas station will face $50,000 in new costs associated with the regulations.
According to John Howard of Capitol Weekly, "the new rule, scheduled to take effect Wednesday, requires the nozzle to block 98 percent of fuel vapor, up from the current regulation of 95 percent." Experts estimate the new regulations could lead to the closure of as many as 8,000 gas stations that are unable to meet the deadline for compliance.
Day in the day out, California businesses are finding it more difficult and costly to get by. As food and fuel get more expensive, and jobs become scarcer, California families are finding it more and more difficult to make ends meet.
Our communities and families expect our lawmakers and regulators to act to help and not hurt us, to understand the pain felt by so many, and to understand that their actions will put our friends, families, and neighbors out of a job. And yet, we are constantly disappointed by a barrage of overregulation and job-killing legislation.
Assemblyman Martin Garrick (R-San Diego) is introducing legislation to save thousands of California jobs by halting the implementation of these harmful regulations. Garrick will introduce a bill today in the Third Extraordinary Session to give an "enforcement holiday" until April 1, 2010 to gas station owners unable to comply with the Enhanced Vapor Recovery (EVR) Phase II installation.
"Thousands of gas stations could face significant fines or the possibility of being shut down unless the Legislature takes action now to give them some breathing room," said Assemblyman Martin Garrick, R-Carlsbad, the author of the emergency legislation. "We simply cannot allow the potential for massive job losses or higher gas prices. That's why Republicans have introduced this emergency legislation - to give gas stations more time to afford these costly new fuel nozzles and protect small businesses and jobs."
After a recent public relations flap, where U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton gave her Russian counterpart a “reset” button with an ironic misspelling, one would have thought that more research and preparation was in order for Clinton and her state department. But the opposite seems to be true after Clinton, on a trip to Mexico, told a group gathered outside the Basilica of Our Lady of Guadalupe in Mexico, “You have a marvelous virgin!”
If that wasn’t a big enough insult, while viewing the image of Our Lady of Guadalupe on the tilma, Clinton asked Msgr. Diego Monroy, “who painted it?” Msgr. Monroy responded “God!”
It seems the computer savvy of the Obama campaign has not made its way to the State Department, as a quick google search would have revealed some important details to Clinton:
“Our Lady of Guadalupe is an aspect of the Virgin Mary, who is believed to have appeared to St. Juan Diego Cuauhtlatoatzin, an Aztec convert to Roman Catholicism in 1531. According to the traditional account, Juan Diego was walking between his village and Mexico City on December 12, 1531 when Our Lady of Guadalupe appeared, speaking to him in his native Nahuatl language. She told him to build a church at the site.
“When Juan Diego spoke to the Spanish bishop, the bishop did not believe him, asking for a miraculous sign. Although it was winter, the Virgin told Juan Diego to gather flowers, and Spanish roses bloomed right at his feet.
“When Juan Diego presented these to the bishop, the roses fell from his apron (the Tilma) and an icon of the Virgin was miraculously imprinted on the cloth.”
New Taxes: Obama Breaks Promise to Those Earning Under $250K
As a candidate for President, Barack Obama repeatedly pledged that families with incomes under $250,000 would not be hit with a tax increase. He put it this way:
"I can make a firm pledge…Under my plan, no family making less than $250,000 a year will see any form of tax increase. Not your income tax, not your payroll tax, not your capital gains taxes, not any of your taxes."
The pledge was key to Obama's ability to deflect Republican claims, since justified, that he would in fact raise taxes on those same people through indirect means.
The tactic worked, and the promise has now been broken.
Higher taxes on tobacco products have gone into effect today, hitting particularly hard lower income folks who are more likely to smoke. Worse, it takes advantage of a group of people (smokers) who are often addicted to the product being taxed, making the tax more difficult to avoid.
To those of us active in the 2008 campaign, we knew Obama’s rhetoric couldn't square with reality. There's simply no way to fund Obama's myriad of promises without a dramatic rise in the size - and cost - of government, and that money needs to come from somewhere.
For now, Obama's budget plans to stick the bill for his huge increases in the size and power of government to the next generation in the form of skyrocketing national debt that will eventually have to be repaid by our children and grandchildren. They will be sadded with perpetually higher tax rates because the Democrat-controlled federal government today has such a warped view of the appropriate size, scope and cost of government.
Barack Obama and the Democrats continue to use the current economic downturn as justification for all kinds of new spending, much of which has little to do with the overall health of the economy, or "creating jobs."
The Sales Tax Hike and California's Competitiveness
Higher sales taxes went into effect today, making life in California even more expensive than it was already.
Californians were already the highest taxed people in the West, and this continues to place our state at a competitive disadvantage with other states, particularly our low tax neighbors of Arizona, Nevada, and Idaho.
I'm reminded of the news it made in San Diego when Buck Knives moved its operations out of El Cajon as a result of the crushing tax and regulatory burden California's "helpful" government imposed on the company. The Union-Tribune put it this way in a story written following the company's move:
This is Post Falls, the northern Idaho town where Chuck Buck and his son, C.J., moved their company just over a year ago after 38 years as an El Cajon mainstay.
The Bucks said it cost too much to make their rugged outdoor knives in California, and Idaho was all too happy to welcome them with financial incentives. Fifty-eight employees came along. About 200 others were laid off.
Local leaders considered Buck Knives' departure a visible blow to San Diego County's economic landscape and a symbol of the state's problems in attracting and keeping companies.
"I'm always sorry when I see a company leave the state, but I use the experience of Buck Knives to warn elected officials to pay attention to competitiveness issues," said Julie Meier Wright of the San Diego Regional Economic Development Corp.
Higher taxes enables more government spending, and therein lies California's perpetual problem. The Democrats in the legislature, with their "power of the purse," have consistently pushed to spend every last dime of tax revenue, borrowing even more, and insisting on higher taxes, all at the same time. In boom years, one-time revenues are too often used for ongoing programs, producing a shortfall when revenue declines in leaner years.
No business could survive if it managed its affairs the way the state of California does. The federal government is even worse, although it has the flexibility of not being required to balance its budget (it doesn't, by a long shot), and it can print money, which the state cannot do.
NEW TAXES FALL SHORT OF PROJECTIONS The higher tax revenues projected by government bureaucrats never produces the anticipated revenue, which worsens the problem. If these revenue forecasters were psychics at the county fair, they would be out of business. Standard-issue government forecasting models ignore or underestimate the impact taxes have on behavior. That is, assumptions are made that if an activity is taxed more (making it more expensive), people will engage in the same amount of that activity as before.
This creates an institutional bias in favor of higher taxes and against tax cuts because it overestimates the new revenues a tax hike will produce, while underestimating the increased economic activity produced by lower taxes.
For California, it means new taxes will likely fail to meet projections, producing yet another budget shortfall. Meanwhile, the state suffers because employers considering where to move or expand now see a state that is even more expensive to operate in.
HIDING THE TRUE COST OF GOVERNMENT The impact on individual families should not be overlooked, either. While the impact on the family budget may not be obvious from any single purchase, it's still there. Consider how much greater the outcry over this tax would be if people were required to submit a single check at the end of the year for their sales tax liability, instead of having it collected at the time of purchase.
Point-of-purchase sales tax collection, payroll deduction of income and other taxes, imposing taxes and fees on employers who have to pass those costs on, and other means of hiding the true cost of government doesn't make it cost less.