Friday, March 6, 2009

Two Americas! The One He Acknowledges and the One He Hides...

Edwards Admits: I'm the Baby Daddy...
Editor's Note: Normally, The Rapier would not stoop so low as to cite to the National Enquirer. However, this is John Edwards, so naturally we make an exception...

Very legitimate journalist Alan Colmes is quoting very illegitimate* journalists The National Enquirer in saying that former senator and vice presidential candidate and solver-of-all-things-poverty John John Edwards has admitted to his wife, the long suffering Elizabeth, that he is the father of Rielle Hunter’s baby. The Edwards confession is supposedly an attempt to stop the mother of the child from going public.

*Oops - we couldn't resist...

Colmes has this important national story here.


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Thursday, March 5, 2009

Santelli Rant Draws Jon Stewart Riff

Mark Siliva of The Chicago Tribune showcases what has become an entertaining back-and-forth, with Rick Santelli's CNBC rant met head-on by Jon Stewart.

Stewart's roll call of previous CNBC forecasts is priceless.
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Wednesday, March 4, 2009

Change We can Believe In! It is better to give and let the Government Receive. . .

President Obama's proposed budget seeks to increase taxes on charitable gifts by the wealthy.
(The good news is that it won't affect Al Gore's taxes one bit...)

In a document given the rather balsy title, “A New Era of Responsibility – Renewing America’s Promise," the Obama administration has announced plans to cap the tax rate that families with incomes over $250,000 can claim for itemized deductions at 28 percent.

Accordingly, high-income donors who are subject to the 33 or 35 percent income tax bracket and who, under current law, would be able to claim itemized deductions at this rate will, under the new proposal, have to in effect subject between a 5 and 7 percent of their charitable donations to income tax.

Example: A couple in the 35 percent bracket gives $100,000 to charity. Under current law, they will reduce their income taxes by $35,000. The net cost of their gift will be $65,000. Under President Hope's plan, the couple will only be able to deduct their gift at the 28 percent rate, thereby reducing their taxes by $28,000. In essence, they will pay an additional $7,000 in tax for the privilege of making their gift thereby increasing the after-tax cost of their gift to $72,000—a 10.8 percent increase over current law.

The Planned Giving Design Center discusses the Obama proposal in more detail here.


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Tuesday, March 3, 2009

Do As I Say Not As I Do

Geithner Touts Tackling Tax Evaders After Failing to Pay Own Taxes
Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner told the House Ways and Means Committee Tuesday that the Obama administration, which has been riddled with tax problems, is mounting plans to go after tax evaders.

The pot has issued the kettle an ultimatum: tax dodgers beware.

Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner, who was forced to fork up $34,000 in unpaid back taxes, told the House Ways and Means Committee Tuesday that the Obama administration will be going after people who avoid and evade taxes.

In prepared remarks before Congress, he said the president is intent on "tackling tax shelters and other efforts to abuse our tax laws, including international tax evasion efforts."

Geithner himself never used a tax haven to avoid payment, but did neglect to pay Medicare and Social Security taxes while he was a self-employed staffer for the International Monetary Fund. He even hired an accountant for two of the years he forgot to file.

"Over the next several months," he said Tuesday, "the President will propose a series of legislative and enforcement measures to reduce such U.S. tax evasion and avoidance."

But the Treasury secretary might want to heed something of a caveat legislator: such a dragnet could quickly catch a handful of Obama's top appointees.

Tom Daschle, Obama's pick to be Secretary of Health and Human Services, had to bow out when it was disclosed that he had failed to pay $128,000 in back taxes. Nancy Killefer, who was appointed by Obama to scrutinize government spending for the OMB, also had to withdraw her nomination because of tax issues.

And just a day before Geithner's appearance in the House, Obama's designated Trade Representative, Ron Kirk, told the Senate Finance Committee that he owed some $10,000 in back taxes that he had agreed to pay.

Some of the administrations enforcement measures, put forth in good faith inside the president's proposed budget, might be hitting just a little too close to home.
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What Does Obama Know That The Wall Street Experts Don't?

Obama: It's a Good Time to Buy Stocks

President Obama said Tuesday that now is a good time for investors to buy stocks if they focus on the big picture.

The Dow plunged Monday to its lowest level in 12 years.

"What you're now seeing is a profit and earnings ratios get to the point that buying stocks is a good thing if you have a long-term perspective on it," he said to reporters after meeting in the Oval Office with visiting British Prime Minister Gordon Brown.

The president compared the market to daily tracking polls used by politicians, saying that paying too close attention to Wall Street's "fits and starts" could lead to bad long-term policy.

"The stock market is story of like a tracking poll in politics. It bobs up and down day-to-day," Obama said. "And if you spend all your time worrying about that, then you're probably going to get the long-term strategy wrong."

Obama said he is not measuring policies against "the day-to-day gyrations of the stock market," but by whether lending is flowing more freely, businesses are investing and the unemployed are going back to work.

He said he is "absolutely confident" that those things will happen. But the president also said it will take time fore the mistakes of the past to work their way through the system.

"There are a lot of losses that are working their way through the system and it's not surprising the market is hurting as a consequence," he said. "We dug a very deep hole for ourselves. There were a lot of bad decisions that were made. We are cleaning up that mess. It's going to be sort of full of fits and starts, in terms of getting the mess cleaned up, but it's going to get cleaned up. And we are going to recover, and we are going to emerge more prosperous, more unified, and I think more protected from systemic risk."

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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Change! Young inner city black kids can believe in...

Obama's Party Seeks to End DC Voucher System that Allows Poor Minorities the Chance to Attend School with His Daughters

William McGurn of the Wall Street Journal writes today about two young children, Sarah and James Parker. McGurn writes: "Like the Obama girls, Sarah and James attend the prestigious Sidwell Friends School in our nation's capital. Unlike the Obama girls, they could not afford the school without the $7,500 voucher they receive from the D.C. Opportunity Scholarship program. Unfortunately, a spending bill the Senate takes up this week includes a poison pill that would kill this program -- and with it perhaps the Parker children's hopes for a Sidwell diploma." What will Mr. Obama say? Will he sign the bill?

The rest of McGurn's piece can be found here.


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