North Archives - June 16, 2009
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By John McClaughry
you - or your brother, or your neighbor - owns or works for a small business
- plumber, convenience store, homebuilder, auto repair shop, restaurant.
How did the owners and employees of those independent businesses fare at
the hands of the 2009 legislature?
for Me But Not for Thee
By Martin Harris
you’ve ever harbored the dark and nasty suspicion that a "no-growth" objective
lies semi-concealed behind the decisions of planning and zoning folks who
are specifically so driven by their demanding constituencies, you’ll want
to read Robert Bruegmann’s "Sprawl".
Overrides Reveal an Unwanted and Dangerous Imbalance of Power
What did Vermonters get for
bestowing unchecked power on the Democrat-run legislature? The Democrats'
budget - passed over the objections of Republicans and every elected Independent
-- contained $26 million in new taxes, leaves us with a $208 million deficit
by 2012, and actually grows state government by over 3% on the backs of
taxpayers who are already struggling to keep their heads above water.# # #
"Since when can you
get out of huge national debt by creating trillions of dollars of new debt?
It all is really so backwards and skewed as to sound like absolute nonsense
when some of this economic policy is explained. How do you put more Americans
to work when you disincentives business with threats of taking them over
or bailing them out for decision that they have made.
is not only not economically counterproductive but immoral. Doesn’t
anyone remember, Life, Liberty and the pursuit of happiness? Socialism
takes away freedom, opportunity and hope. "
# # #
Palin in a speech introducing Michael Reagan
Weekly News Round-Up
From Vermont Tiger, June
Vermont's quiet little
secret in this regard was that we didn't tax the very rich much at all,
compared to other states. --Rutland
Actually, no. In Vermont,
we tax the rich a lot. About 8,000 Vermont taxpayers --out of more than
300,000 who file an income tax form-- pay more than 40% of the $500 million
the state collects in income taxes. According to the Federation
of Tax Adminstrators, we have one of the highest marginal
income taxes in the nation, and compared to other states with high marginal
rates, the tax rate starts at a pretty high income level.
The real secret is that if
you're a middle income Vermonter, earning, say $50,000 to $100,000, you
pay less income taxes than you would if you lived in just about any other
state with an income tax. It's the middle class that is relatively
lightly taxed, not the rich.
Pursues Unconstitutional Decision
From The Caledonia Record,
June 11, 2009
The public employees' union
(VSEA) is trying to stop the job layoffs that have been ordered by Gov.
Jim Douglas. They got their courage to challenge what is the clear constitutional
prerogative of the governor from the audacity of the Democratic Legislature.
Many Schools, Too Few Students, Says Vt's Ed Chief
By Peter Hirschfeld, Vermont
Press Bureau, June 12, 2009
As lawmakers and the governor
clash over how to rein in spiraling education costs, Vermont's commissioner
of education is taking aim at what he says is the source of the state's
Too many schools and too
few students, according to Armando Vilaseca, have fueled an education system
that now consumes half of all state spending. The more than 300 public
schools in Vermont, many of which serve only dozens of students, are too
powerful a financial drain in a state whose school-aged population numbers
less than 90,000.
Signs Budget Companion Bill
By Terry Hallenbeck, The
Burlington Free Press, June 10, 2009
Gov. Jim Douglas signed a
budget companion bill into law Tuesday even as he maintained that part
of it is unconstitutional.
That piece has to do with
legislative oversight of state job
cuts. Douglas contends that the Legislature is overstepping its bounds
by dictating how the executive branch carries out its job.
Recession Likely to Get Worse
From WCAX-TV, June 11, 2009
The state economist says
the recession in Vermont is likely to get worse before it gets better.
Right now the unemployment
rate is 7.1 percent. Economist Jeff Carr predicts it will peak at about
9 percent, and not rebound to where it was for a few more years. One of
the challenges -- the work force is no longer shrinking the way it had
been. People in retirement age who may have left the work force are now
returning to it as their savings have shrunk.
Gets $13 Million Windfall Inheritance Tax Payment
From The Associated Press,
June 9, 2009
The Vermont budget is getting
a $13 million boost at a critical time. State officials say the money came
from an estate tax of someone who was worth between $80 million and $100
million at the time of their death last year.
# # #
Global War on Terrorism
Pakistani Villagers Take On Taliban
By Sabrina Tavernise &
Irfan Ashraf, The New York Times, June 9, 2009
Villagers are rising up against
in a remote corner of northern Pakistan, a grass-roots rebellion that underscores
shift in the public mood against the militants and a growing
confidence to confront them.
Rights for Terrorists
By Dr. Walid Phares, Family
Security Matters, June 4, 2009
If Tenet is right, it’s a
good thing KSM was captured before Barack Obama became president. For,
the Obama Justice Department has quietly ordered FBI agents to read Miranda
rights to high value detainees captured and held at U.S. detention facilities
in Afghanistan, according a senior Republican on the House Intelligence
Committee. "The administration has decided to change the focus to law enforcement.
Here’s the problem. You have foreign fighters who are targeting US troops
today – foreign fighters who go to another country to kill Americans. We
capture them…and they’re reading them their rights – Mirandizing these
foreign fighters," says Representative Mike Rogers, who recently met with
military, intelligence and law enforcement officials on a fact-finding
trip to Afghanistan.
Bear Is Back – We Face Increasing Challenges from a Resurgent Russia
By Peter Brookes, Family
Security Matters, June 10, 2009
Both Russia and the United
States insist one Cold War was enough. But considering the frosty rhetorical
winds blowing back and forth between the two former, bitter rivals the
last few years, one has to wonder.
Even with the Obama White
House’s efforts to push a gimmicky "reset button" with the Kremlin in hopes
that it will make everything better, it appears that a persistent cold
front has descended on U.S.-Russia ties.
Morocco Save the Middle East?
By S. E. Cupp, Town Hall,
June 10, 2009
Morocco can play a significant
role in brokering peace between the Israelis and Palestinians, if Obama
is willing to give it a microphone. A progressive Muslim country with both
African and European influences, it is strategically located to be a centerpiece
of Western-Muslim dialogue.
King Mohammed VI, at only
46, represents the kind of moderate and progressive world views on which
Obama and the Western world should capitalize and promote as a formidable
and open-minded new brand of Islam. Under Mohammed VI, Morocco has become
increasingly more democratic. It is a safe haven for religious freedom,
the likes of which most Arab countries have never seen. In 2000 he was
awarded an honorary degree by George Washington University for his promotion
of democracy in Morocco.
Military Is a Catalyst for Reform?
By David Capezza, Middle
East Quarterly, Summer 2009
Analysts generally consider
military influence in politics and society to be a critical impediment
to the development of democratic political and civil rights and freedoms.
According to Freedom House, for example, greater military involvement in
government politics decreases civil liberties and political rights in any
given country; this infringes on a government's ability to develop democracy.
Turkey may be an exception.
The military has deep roots in society, and its influence predates the
founding of the republic. But rather than hinder democratization, Turkey's
military remains an important component in the checks and balances that
protect Turkish democracy. Herein lies an irony: European officials have
made diminishment of military influence a key reform in Turkey's European
Union accession process. This may be a noble goal, but by insisting on
dismantling the military role in Turkish society without advancing a new
mechanism to guarantee the constitution, well-meaning reformers may actually
undercut the stability of Turkey as a democracy.
Collapsing Global Left
By Bruce Walker, American
Thinker June 09 2009
Does the smashing victory
of the Conservative Party, and these other victories mean that the democratic
world is suddenly embracing our conservative principles? No:
not at all. But does it mean that voters, almost everywhere they
can vote, are rejecting the message of the Left? Yes. Real
conservatism is not winning elections yet; but the Left is clearly losing.
American voters are bombarded
by their media with the message that conservatism is dead, because a Democrat
got 52 perecent of the presidential vote. Meanwhile, the collapse of the
Left proceeds apace elsewhere in the world.
No longer can anyone
pretend theocracy and democracy are compatible.
By Amir Taheri, Wall Street
Journal, June 16, 2009
Having won re-election amid
allegations of fraud, Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad yesterday tried
to show that he also controlled the streets where the Khomeinist regime
first seized power in the 1979 revolution. The show was less than impressive.
# # #
Not Pipe Dream: Credit Palin
From Investor's Business
Daily, June 12, 2009
Energy: Exxon Mobil's surprise
decision to join Trans-Canada on a vast Alaska gas pipeline project is
a big step toward making the U.S. self-sufficient in domestic energy. By
defying naysayers, Sarah Palin is now vindicated.
By Oskari Juurikkala, Acton
Institute for Religion and Liberty, June 10, 2009
The global financial crisis
has prompted numerous calls for regulatory reform in areas such as banking,
hedge funds, financial innovation and executive compensation. Reforms may
be needed. But the first and most fundamental changes must take place in
the human heart.
It is precisely in times
when institutional reforms seem most urgent that restraint and prudence
are sorely needed. Large-scale crises, such as the present one, have deep
roots that are mostly not visible and obvious. Focusing energies on the
surface is not only wasteful; it also risks masking the deeper causes,
which will then continue to propagate like weeds right under our unseeing
Beck: Time for a Czar Czar?
From The Glenn Beck Show,
June 10, 2009
Here's the one thing: A shadow
government is giving the Obama administration unprecedented power with
virtually no oversight. …
During FDR's administrations,
some executive positions were actually called "dictators" — like the "dictator
of steel," "dictator of lumber," etc. The idea was for them to control
supply within each industry in order to keep up prices.
Richard Nixon did the same
thing, but instead of calling them "dictators" he called them "czars."
The first was an "energy czar" who was charged with overseeing the 1970s
energy crisis. (And what a bang-up job he did. We are a-OK on the old energy
front these days!)
Other presidents have also
named czars, but no
one can hold a candle to President Obama who has named 16 czars so far
— and he's not done yet!
Damned Lies And 'Saved' Jobs
From Investor's Business
Daily, June 09, 2009
Economy: More than 1.6 million
jobs have disappeared since the stimulus package was signed in February.
Government can't create jobs, only dependency. Make-work jobs will not
turn the economy around.
EPA's Protection Racket
By Angela Logomasini, Competitive
Enterprise Institute June 9, 2009
Politically speaking, the
new Obama EPA may indeed be making some strides. But what concrete public-health
benefits can Jackson — or any EPA administrator — realistically claim to
The EPA’s public-health mission
is misleading, because it is charged with addressing risks that are too
small to measure or be regulated away. The agency’s current risk-assessment
practices compound the problem, harming both public health and our economic
well-being. The agency issues extremely high benefit estimates for its
regulations. But these estimates are out of touch with reality.
Paul’s HR1207 is Unstoppable! 207 Cosponsors Now
From Liberty Maven, June
According to Matt Hawes at
the Campaign For Liberty Ron Paul’s HR1207 to audit the Federal Reserve
now has 207 cosponsors, including House Minority leader John Boehner!
IRS Phones Home
What's next, a tax
on each sip of office coffee?
Wall Street Journal Editorial,
June 16, 2009
With federal spending in
2009 at 28% of the economy and deficits heading north, Democrats are eyeing
tax increases on everything from soft drinks to electricity to health benefits
to charitable contributions. But the palm for creativity goes to the Internal
Revenue Service, which is contemplating a new tax on the use of business
# # #