What’s Up: November 2, 2012?

To read the entire article click on the title or Story Continued. Enjoy as the world turns.

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· Opinion: Here comes the landslide – By Dick Morris – 10/30/12 06:33 PM ET. Voters have figured out that President Obama has no message, no agenda and not even much of an explanation for what he has done over the past four years. His campaign is based entirely on persuading people that Mitt Romney is a uniquely bad man, entirely dedicated to the rich, ignorant of the problems of the average person. As long as he could run his negative ads, the campaign at least kept voters away from the Romney bandwagon. But once we all met Mitt Romney for three 90-minute debates, we got to know him — and to like him. He was not the monster Obama depicted, but a reasonable person for whom we could vote.

As we stripped away Obama’s yearlong campaign of vilification, all the president offered us was more servings of negative ads — ads we had already dismissed as not credible. He kept doing the same thing even as it stopped working.

The result was that the presidential race reached a tipping point. Reasonable voters saw that the voice of hope and optimism and positivism was Romney while the president was only a nitpicking, quarrelsome, negative figure. The contrast does not work in Obama’s favor.

His erosion began shortly after the conventions when Indiana (10 votes) and North Carolina (15) moved to Romney (in addition to the 179 votes that states that McCain carried cast this year).

Then, in October, Obama lost the Southern swing states of Florida (29) and Virginia (13). He also lost Colorado (10), bringing his total to 255 votes.

And now, he faces the erosion of the northern swing states: Ohio (18), New Hampshire (4) and Iowa (6). Only in the union-anchored state of Nevada (9) does Obama still cling to a lead.

In the next few days, the battle will move to Pennsylvania (20), Michigan (15), Wisconsin (10) and Minnesota (16). Ahead in Pennsylvania, tied in Michigan and Wisconsin, and slightly behind in Minnesota, these new swing states look to be the battleground.

Or will the Romney momentum grow and wash into formerly safe Democratic territory in New Jersey and Oregon?

Once everyone discovers that the emperor has no clothes (or that Obama has no argument after the negative ads stopped working), the vote shift could be of historic proportions.

The impact on Senate races could be profound. Give the GOP easy pickups in Nebraska and North Dakota. Wisconsin has been a roller coaster. Once an easy win for Republican Tommy Thompson, then a likely loss as Democrat Tammy Baldwin caught up, and now Republican again, it will probably be a third pickup. Romney’s surge in Virginia is propelling George Allen to a good lead for the first time all campaign. In Montana, Republican Denny Rehberg holds and has held for some time a small lead over Democrat incumbent Jon Tester. And, in Pennsylvania, Smith has powered his campaign to a small lead over Democrat Bob Casey Jr.

The GOP now leads in these six takeaways. But it is also within easy striking distance in Ohio and Florida, where incumbents are under 50 percent and Republican challengers Connie Mack (Fla.) and Josh Mandel (Ohio) are only a few points behind. It may even be possible to entertain daydreams of Rhode Island (Barry Hinckley) and New Jersey (Joe Kyrillos) going Republican.

Republican losses? Look for a giveback in Maine and possibly in Indiana and Massachusetts. In Indiana, Republican Richard Mourdock had established a 5-point lead over Democrat Joe Donnelly. But his comments about rape knocked him back to a tie. With Romney carrying the state by 15 points, however, Mourdock could still make it. In Massachusetts, Brown has been in hand-to-hand combat with Elizabeth Warren. Down by five a few days ago, he’s now tied, but the undecided usually goes against the incumbent.

The most likely outcome? Eight GOP takeaways and two giveaways for a net gain of six. A 53-47 Senate, just like we have now, only opposite.

Barack Obama’s parting gift to the Democratic Party. Story Continued:

– I have followed Dick Morris for years. Recently he has stated that the polls were not accurately tabulating the results. After the debates Romney has picked up a surge and appears to be headed for a victory. However, both sides claim their candidate is going to win. Morris has so far proved he knows what is going on. We will find out next Tuesday. PdC

· Obamacare exempts millions–prisoners, illegals, welfare recipients – In just 14 months, Americans will be required to prove that they have federally “qualified” health insurance or face an Obamacare tax of $695 to $2,085. That is unless you are in prison, below the poverty line, or are an undocumented immigrant, according to the anti-tax group Americans for Tax Reform.

When added together, those three groups total up to one-sixth of the nation’s population of 314 million: 218,929 are in federal prisons, 12 million are illegals and 42 million are below the poverty line and eligible for welfare, though some fit into all three categories, according to federal reports.

ATR highlighted the groups eligible from the mandate to get health insurance in a mock Internal Revenue Service form they developed to show the extra paperwork Americans will be required to fill out once the full Obamacare law kicks in, January 2014. It is based on testimony from the IRS given in September that said, “taxpayers will file their tax returns reporting their health insurance coverage, and/or making a payment.”

Based on other IRS requirements, ATR said that Americans will have to show that they have health insurance “qualified” by the Department of Health and Human Services. They will also have to disclose if they were covered by a qualifying plan during the year and for how long. And they could be subject to penalties and interest on unpaid Obamacare taxes for periods they were not covered.

Their mock form includes groups qualifying for exemptions from the Obamacare health insurance mandate and tax. “Classes of individuals who are exempt from the mandate include but are not limited to: those serving sentences in the federal penitentiary system; those persons not legally able to work in the U.S.; welfare recipients (since they are below the poverty line); and those qualifying for an HHS-granted religious exemption,” said ATR, citing section 1501 of the Affordable Care Act that also exempts many others, including native Americans.

The anti-tax group had some fun with the mock tax form, calling theirs “Form OBMA.” Story Continued:


· Iowa warns international observers of arrest

Iowa has joined Texas in warning international election observers of possible criminal prosecution if they violate state laws and get near polling places on Election Day.

Iowa Secretary of State Matt Schultz — like Texas Attorney General Greg Abbott last week — on Tuesday threatened Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe election observers with arrest if they came within 300 feet of a polling place’s entrance, in violation of state law. (In Texas, it’s 100 feet.)

“My office met with two delegation representatives last week to discuss Iowa’s election process, and it was explained to them that they are not permitted at the polls,” Schultz said in a statement. “Iowa law is very specific about who is permitted at polling places, and there is no exception for members of this group.”

The OSCE — comprised of 56 countries, including the United States — is chiefly a crisis mediation and conflict resolution group in Europe, Asia and North America. Since 2002, the organization’s poll watchers have observed six U.S. elections, without incident, said Janez Lenari, the OSCE’s director for the Office for Democratic Institutions and Human Rights.

In a letter to Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, Lenari wrote, “The threat of criminal sanctions against OSCE/ODIHR observers is unacceptable. The United States, like all countries in the OSCE, has an obligation to invite ODIHR observers to observe its elections.”

Victoria Nuland, a State Department spokesman, said last week the group assured Texas authorities and the State Department that observers will respect Texas laws.

“To my knowledge, [Texas] is the only state that came forward and said ‘please reassure us that you’re going to follow our state electoral law.’ And they have now been reassured,” Nuland said. Story Continued:

· US monitoring Iranian warships’ Sudan visit


The United States said Wednesday it was monitoring a visit by two Iranian warships to a Sudanese port this week, but had no details about it.

The warships left Port Sudan on the Red Sea earlier, an AFP photographer said, after a visit that coincided with Khartoum’s denial that Iran is making weapons in Sudan.

Acting US State Department spokesman Mark Toner said the United States was “obviously watching that closely.”

“We monitor Iran’s activities in the region very closely,” he added.

Sudan’s links to Iran have come under scrutiny after Khartoum accused Israel of sending four radar-evading aircraft to strike the Yarmouk military factory in the heart of the capital Khartoum at midnight on October 23.

The factory compound exploded and burst into flames, and speculation followed that Iranian weapons were stored or manufactured there.

The United States was “aware of an explosion,” Toner said, but added that Washington had no more details of what the incident entailed and how it was caused.

Turning to the visiting Iranian warships, he added: “It’s hard for us to know what the details are of this visit right now… Certainly we would be concerned, but we don’t have any more details.”

Sudan’s army spokesman Sawarmi Khaled Saad told the official SUNA news agency on Tuesday that the Iranian ship visit “will support strong political, security and diplomatic relations between the two states.”

Saad said the port call was a chance for Sudanese naval personnel “to see advanced weapons and advanced ships.”

Iran’s Press TV reported that the two vessels had arrived on Monday. They had been sent to the Djibouti area in September “to convey Iran’s message of peace to the regional countries and maintain the security of shipping corridors against maritime terrorism,” Press TV said. Story Continued:

· Biden Jokes About 2016 Run for President – Joe Biden’s attempt to convince a Republican to vote for Barack Obama Nov. 6 ended with the vice president jokingly referring to his own potential run for the top job in 2016.

At a restaurant called 400 Station in Sarasota, Florida on Wednesday, Biden spoke on the phone with the brother of a voter who wanted him to chat with her Republican relative, according to a pool report.

After chatting about the health insurance law, Biden concluded, “Well look, I’m not trying to talk you into voting for me, I just wanted to say hi to you, okay? And after it’s all over when your insurance rates go down then you’ll vote for me in 2016. I’ll talk to you later.”

No matter who wins next Tuesday – President Obama or Mitt Romney – Democrats are likely to be searching for a new candidate in 2016, either because he will have met his two consecutive term limit or because there will be a primary. Biden has run for president twice before – in 1988 and in 2008, but never received his party’s nomination. Story Continued:


· Report: Obama Inauguration Preacher Says ‘America Is Going To Hell In A Hand Basket’

FORSYTH, Ga. (CBS Atlanta) — The reverend who gave the benediction during President Barack Obama’s inauguration said America is “going to hell,” and white people may go with it.

Rev. Joseph Lowery, 91, made the comments at St. James Baptist Church in Forsyth, Ga., as part of a Southern Christian Leadership Conference tour to encourage African-Americans to vote for Obama, according to the Monroe County Reporter.

The paper reports that Lowery apparently told parishioners in the crowd that he is back to believing that all white people will not get into heaven because of what’s been happening during the campaign.

“I’m frightened by the level of hatred and bitterness coming out in this election,” Lowery said, according to the County Reporter.

Lowery blasted blacks for costing Obama the state of Georgia in the 2008 election because 390,000 African-Americans decided to stay home and not vote.

“I don’t know what kind of a n***** wouldn’t vote with a black man running,” Lowery extolled, according to the paper. “All that he did with the stimulus was genius. Nobody intelligent would risk this country with Romney.”

Lowery added that “America is going to hell in a hand basket.”

Lowery tells The Daily Caller“ of course he doesn’t believe that all whites should go to hell,” Helen Butler, executive director of Lowery’s Georgia-based Coalition for the People’s Agenda, told The Daily Caller that the white people comment was meant as a joke and that he doesn’t remember saying the “n” word.

Forsyth Mayor John Howard, who took part in the event, told the County Reporter that he was “pretty shocked” by Lowery’s statement.

“The Bible doesn’t say anything about white or black to go to heaven,” Howard said. “I have great number of black and white friends. I’ve been in the military. I make friends with everybody. I’m too old for enemies.”

Lowery, along with Martin Luther King, helped founded the Southern Christian Leadership Conference in 1957.

Obama awarded Lowery with the Presidential Medal of Freedom in 2009. Story Continued:

· Ex-Penn State president charged in Sandusky case – Graham Spanier had told a grand jury he was not aware of a university police investigation of former coach Jerry Sandusky.

2:36PM EDT November 1. 2012 – Former Penn State president Graham Spanier and two other former administrators were charged Thursday with perjury, obstruction of justice and endangering children in an alleged cover up of sexual abuse of children by assistant football coach Jerry Sandusky.

Prosecutors said all three officials knew of complaints involving Sandusky showering with boys in 1998 and 2001 and failed to take action to stop it.

“This is about three powerful and influential men, three men who used their positions at Penn State to cover up and conceal the activities of (Sandusky),” said Pennsylvania Attorney General Linda Kelly in announcing the charges.

Sandusky, 68, was convicted this summer of 45 criminal counts of sexual abuse of 10 boys and received a prison sentence of 30 to 60 years. He has maintained his innocence and is pursuing appeals.

On Wednesday, he was transferred to a prison in southwestern Pennsylvania that includes most of the state’s death row inmates, the Associated Press reported.

The three administrators were accused of turning a blind eye to Sandusky’s “serial predatory acts” — some of which occurred at Penn State athletic facilities — by failing to notify police or even attempt to learn the identity of the victims.

Spanier is charged with five criminal counts, while former athletic director Tim Curley and former vice president Gary Schultz, who are already charged with perjury and failure to report child abuse, face new allegations of conspiracy, obstruction and endangering children.

One year later: Penn State and the Sandusky scandal

The attorney general accused them of showing “callous lack of concern” for Sandusky’s victims.

“This was not a mistake by these men, this was not an oversight, it was not misjudgment on their part,” she said. “This was a conspiracy of silence by top officials to actively conceal the truth.”

Curley and Schultz have repeatedly asserted they are innocent, and at a news conference this summer Spanier’s attorneys insisted he was never told there was anything of a sexual nature involving Sandusky and children.

Defense attorneys for the three men had no immediate comment Thursday on the latest charges. They were scheduled to appear in court on Friday.

Curley and Schultz are scheduled for trial in January on earlier perjury and failure-to-report charges in the Sandusky case.

Penn State spokesman David La Torre said Thursday that Spanier, who continued to serve as a tenured professor after he was fired as president in November, “will be placed on leave, effective immediately.”

The charges against the 64-year-old Spanier involve statements he made to a grand jury in 2011 in which he denied being aware of a university police investigation of Sandusky over a shower incident.

The charges stem in part from evidence uncovered in a report last summer by former FBI director Louis Freeh, who was tasked by the university to investigate the Sandusky case. Spanier and his attorney have denounced the Freeh report.

The report concluded that Spanier, Curley, Schultz and then-coach Joe Paterno concealed Sandusky’s activities from the university trustees and “empowered” the abuse by giving him access to school facilities and the prestige of his university affiliation.

In the 1998 case, the earliest criminal investigation of Sandusky’s activities, university police reviewed allegations brought by a young victim’s mother who became suspicious of the former coach after learning that he had showered with her son following a workout at the university. Story Continued:


· FRAUD? MORE BALLOTS FOR ROMNEY SHOW OBAMA – ‘You want to vote for who you want to vote for.’ Are voting machines not properly recording the intended votes of American citizens this election cycle?

With early voting underway already, more examples are being found across the nation of problems at polling places.

The latest comes from Marion County in the battleground state of Ohio, where Joan Stevens tried to vote for Mitt Romney Monday on an electronic touch screen, but Barack Obama’s name kept lighting up.

According to the Marion Star, it took her three tries for her choice to be accurately recorded.

“You want to vote for who you want to vote for, and when you can’t it’s irritating,” Stevens said.

ROB THE VOTE! From dead people, pets and felons voting, learn Obama’s secret strategy for staying in power

Stevens says she alerted Jackie Smith, a Board of Elections member, who reportedly told her the machine had been having problems all day.

Stevens also reported her concern to Sophia Rogers, the director of the Board of Elections for Marion County.

The Star says Rogers indicated the machine had worked fine when she and others tried using it, and suggested the problem may have been improper use, such as not hitting the button directly or tapping with more than one finger.

“I know how to do the voting,” Stevens said, affirming she was aware of how to use the device.

Rogers contacted the machine’s vendor to inspect the device.

“Because of her issue, we had that machine recalibrated,” Rogers said. “I am certain the equipment works properly.”

Meanwhile, this is not the only case of voting-machine problems.

Just last week, there were similar cases documented at several polling places in North Carolina, in Guilford County, Jamestown and Pleasant Garden.

Sher Coromalis says she cast her ballot for Romney, but the machine defaulted to President Obama each time.

“I was so upset that this could happen,” Coromalis told WGHP-TV. “I should have just mailed it in.”

Marie Haydock, who also voted at the Bur-Mil Park polling location, had the same problem.

“The frustration is, every vote counts,” said Haydock.

Faurest Stum voted at the Pleasant Garden Town Hall location, and says her vote was for Romney, but the machine cast the vote for Obama.

“I thought this might be a one-time glitch in the machine. I had no idea that it might be happening somewhere else. This is when I called in and said this needs to stop,” she told WGHP.

George Gilbert, director of the Guilford County Board of Elections, indicated the machines had to be recalibrated.

“If you have calibration issues, it’s not systematically one way or another. It can go either way – and it has,” said Gilbert.

He says the voting machines are checked daily, and the problem is not unusual, as they popped up during the 2008 presidential election as well.

Voters who complained were able to get their vote corrected.

“To all those people that haven’t voted yet, encourage them to review their ballot before they cast their vote,” said Gilbert.

WGHP notes Guilford County switched to touchscreen voting in 1994, and the electronic machines were purchased in 2006 from Electronic Systems Software. Story Continued:

– This article implicates Nebraskans in this fraud as Electronic Systems Software is located in Omaha. It also lends credibility to the claim of voter fraud by the Republicans. Democrats claim that there is no voter fraud. PdC

· 2ND JUDGE HALTS ENFORCEMENT OF OBAMACARE MANDATE Confirms companies do have 1st Amendment rights.

A federal judge in Michigan has become the second in the nation to say he would halt the federal government’s enforcement of the Obamacare mandate that employers pay for abortifacients – regardless of their religious views.

Writing that “a preliminary injunction would serve the public interest,” Judge Robert H. Cleland said in a decision issue late Wednesday that he would issue that order.

“The potential for harm to plaintiffs exists, and with the showing plaintiffs have made thus far of being able to convincingly prove their case at trial, it is properly characterized as irreparable.”

The case was brought against the federal government by the Thomas More Law Center on behalf of Legatus, a coalition of Catholic business owners, Daniel Weingartz and his company, Weingartz Supply.

The judge’s decision means the federal government will not be allowed to enforce its abortion mandate against the company until the lawsuit is resolved. The decision does not affect Legatus, the judge ruled, because as a nonprofit the rules for that application remain in development.

Erin Mersino is the lead counsel on the case for the plaintiffs, and she said, “The federal court has found that our clients have a likelihood of success and would be irreparably harmed by the unconstitutional overreaching of the HHS mandate. This is not only a victory for our clients, but for religious freedom.”

In an earlier case in Denver, WND reported when U.S. District Judge John J. Kane of Colorado granted Hercules Co. owners Andy Newland and other family members a similar order preventing enforcement of the mandate against that family owned company.

The “mandate” is a set of regulations adopted by Barack Obama’s Department of Health and Human Services, run by the emphatically pro-abortion Kathleen Sebelius, that forces employers, regardless of religious faith, to provide insurance coverage for abortion-inducing drugs, sterilization and contraception under threat of financial penalties.

“The loss of First Amendment freedoms, for even minimal periods of time, unquestionably constitutes irreparable injury,” Cleland wrote. “The harm in delaying the implementation of a statute that may later be deemed constitutional must yield to the risk presented here of substantially infringing the sincere exercise of religious beliefs. The balance of harms tips strongly in plaintiffs’ favor. A preliminary injunction is warranted.”

The case was brought over the provisions of the Obamacare law that demands Americans buy products from insurance companies or face government penalties of thousands of dollars. It was filed against Sebelius, Labor Secretary Hilda Solis, Treasury Secretary Tim Geithner and others.

The judge said the injunction would not apply to Legatus since, as a nonprofit, the rules applying to that group of organizations was not yet final.

The judge ordered the government to file a statement describing the status of that progress.

The case alleges the Obama administration is violating the First Amendment’s Free Exercise of Religion and Free Speech clauses, as well as the Religious Freedom Restoration Act and the Administrative Procedure Act. Story Continued:

· THE FAIRY TALE ECONOMY – Why almost everything you hear from government and the media is wrong

The jobless rate is down. The stock market is up. Inflation is low. The Fed is stimulating the economy through quantitative easing. The recovery is picking up steam.

Such daily feel-good headlines, created by government and amplified by the press, glide pleasantly over our minds and reassure us all is well, or soon will be. But what do these headlines actually have to do with reality?

So, what are the government, the Fed and their media cheerleaders hiding?

The answers are presented in a remarkably clear and compelling way in November’s blockbuster issue of Whistleblower magazine, titled “THE FAIRY TALE ECONOMY: Why almost everything you hear from government and the media is wrong.”

“It is impossible to understand the present, and to anticipate the future, if you listen to the government and elite media on the economy,” says Whistleblower Editor David Kupelian. “They are not in the truth business. They are in the pacifying-the-public business and the preserving-power-and privilege-for-themselves business.”

“The truth is: America is burdened today with the twin curses of a corrupt, out-of-control government and a corrupt, unaccountable monetary and banking system, each enabling the other in symbiotic fashion,” says Kupelian. “This issue of Whistleblower takes the normally opaque subject of money, government, banking and today’s extremely troubled economy – which media “experts” typically make complex and misleading – and manages to make it all perfectly simple and clear.”

“How government lies about the economy” by David Kupelian, exposing the financial fairy tales Americans are told daily

“Why government inflates – the secret reasons”

“Our massive money problem” by Art Robinson, Ph.D., an eye-opening, common-sense explanation of today’s severe economic mess

“Whatever happened with that debt issue?” by Joseph Farah, who asks, will Washington now get serious about tackling the debt crisis?

“We fund dependency” by John Stossel, who proves government is more interested in promoting welfare than independence

“Solving America’s biggest fiscal problem” by Phyllis Schlafly, making the startling case that broken families and dependence on government are “a conscious political strategy”

“The Mandrake Mechanism” by G. Edward Griffin, in which one of the Fed’s most articulate analysts exposes the magic and manipulation behind America’s fraudulent money system

“Why the Fed must be abolished” by U.S. Rep. Ron Paul, R-Texas, in which the former presidential candidate shows how America’s central bank has been responsible for “every economic downturn” in the past 80 years

“Welfare state: Immoral and irredeemable” by Walter Williams, on how “our current economic crisis, as well as that of Europe, is a direct result of immoral conduct”

“We need more economic nationalists” by Patrick Buchanan, who shows how “free trade makes suckers and fools out of patriots”

“Reagan had it right on ‘free trade’” by Phyllis Schlafly, who agrees that “the Gipper” wouldn’t have allowed foreign countries to cheat America

“How the president can fix America’s economy” by Thomas Sowell, in which the revered economist reveals the secret to helping a great nation emerge from recession as quickly and easily as possible

“Never retire” by Rabbi Daniel Lapin, on why withdrawing from work or business is a huge mistake – at any age

“A 91-year-old’s economic survival guide” by Chuck Norris, who proves a brand-new “Chuck Norris Fact” – namely, that Chuck’s mother has more wisdom than the entire U.S. government.

“America’s economy – why it’s so troubled, how the middle class is being crushed and where things are headed next year – is more important for people to understand that perhaps any other issue right now,” said Kupelian. “‘THE FAIRY TALE ECONOMY’ answers the most crucial questions in a way that is crystal-clear, enlightening and maybe even liberating.”

Mesmerized by the amazing convenience and connectedness made possible by gee-whiz consumer electronics, most Americans don’t realize their world is rapidly coming to resemble the totalitarian society described by novelist George Orwell in “1984,” one characterized by universal surveillance. In fact, as this issue of Whistleblower proves, in today’s America “Big Brother is watching in ways Orwell never dreamed.” “ONE NATION UNDER SURVEILLANCE” comprehensively documents how Americans today face unprecedented attacks – from all directions – not just on their privacy, but on their liberty. Story Continued:

· Congressional Research Service Report On Tax Cuts For Wealthy Suppressed By GOP

The New York Times reported on Thursday that Senate Republicans applied pressure to the nonpartisan Congressional Research Service (CRS) in September, successfully persuading it to withdraw a report finding that lowering marginal tax rates for the wealthiest Americans had no effect on economic growth or job creation.

“The pressure applied to the research service comes amid a broader Republican effort to raise questions about research and statistics that were once trusted as nonpartisan and apolitical,” the Times reported. Democrats in Congress, however, have resurfaced the report and published it in full. It can be read below.

Republicans told the Times they had issues with the tone, wording and scope of the report, but they clearly objected most strongly to its findings, which undermine the governing fiscal philosophy of the party, that tax cuts for the wealthy will spur growth and benefit everybody.

GOP officials told The Times that the decision by the CRS came after a cooperative discussion, but Democrats have suggested that the move is part of a broader effort by Republicans to squelch legitimate research that runs counter to their economic principles.

The CRS concluded:

The results of the analysis suggest that changes over the past 65 years in the top marginal tax rate and the top capital gains tax rate do not appear correlated with economic growth. The reduction in the top tax rates appears to be uncorrelated with saving, investment, and productivity growth. The top tax rates appear to have little or no relation to the size of the economic pie.

However, the top tax rate reductions appear to be associated with the increasing concentration of income at the top of the income distribution. As measured by IRS data, the share of income accruing to the top 0.1% of U.S. families increased from 4.2% in 1945 to 12.3% by 2007 before falling to 9.2% due to the 2007-2009 recession. At the same time, the average tax rate paid by the top 0.1% fell from over 50% in 1945 to about 25% in 2009. Tax policy could have a relation to how the economic pie is sliced—lower top tax rates may be associated with greater income disparities.

Rep. Sandy Levin of Michigan, the top Democrat on the Ways and Means Committee, demanded the CRS explain its decision. “The impartial research and advice provided by CRS experts informs and strengthens the work of Congress. However, this valuable role hinges on the impartiality of CRS analysts and their freedom from political pressure. As with other non-partisan institutions, subjecting CRS analysts to political considerations undermines the legislative process and the American people’s trust in it,” Levin wrote in a letter to CRS. “Therefore I was deeply disturbed to hear that Mr. Hungerford’s report was taken down in response to political pressure from Congressional Republicans who had ideological objections to the report’s factual findings and conclusion.”

The report is extensive, but the reasoning behind its conclusion is fairly straightforward. The richest Americans are the least likely to spend extra money they get as a result of a tax cut, and are more likely to save it or invest it offshore. Those on the lower end of the economic spectrum, meanwhile, are the most likely to spend transfer payments they receive from the government.

A release by the Democratic Policy & Communications Center on Wednesday accused Republicans of attempting to bury the report because its “findings undermine a central tenet of Republican party orthodoxy on taxes.” They included a copy of the original report, which is available below:

CRS Report: Top Tax Rates. Story Continued:

· Romney Caught Trying to Swiftboat Obama on the Auto Rescue – Jared BernsteinFmr. Obama administration economist; CNBC and MSNBC contributor.

One of the most deceptive jujitsu moves in modern campaign is known as swiftboating: Trying to turn one of your opponent’s strengths into a weakness. Given the centrality of Ohio to electoral success less than a week from today (!), it should be no surprise that the Romney team choose that locale to go after the success of the president’s auto rescue.

Full disclosure: As a member of the president’s economics team I strongly advocated for the rescue, as per both my principal (the vice president) and the view held by myself and others that the employment costs would be particularly steep in communities that comprised the relevant supply chains. When you think about auto jobs, don’t just think about the factory at the end of the line where they assemble the cars and trucks. Think about all the small and medium size manufacturers that make those parts.

That’s where many of the new jobs in Ohio are coming from and it’s an important piece of evidence for the bailout’s success. Which makes it catnip for the Romney swiftboaters.

Dana Milbank takes this apart in Wednesday AM’s Washington Post, but the gist is that Chrysler recently announced that they’d be expanding production of Jeeps — adding new plants — in China to help sell into that market. Note that they’re not talking about shifting U.S. production overseas. They’re talking about tapping a trend that I’ve written about before: producing closer to your target markets.

But in Romney-world, this became an attack on the president auto rescue because according to the campaign, Chrysler was planning to move all of their U.S. production of Jeeps to China. Romney: “I saw a story today that one of the great manufacturers in this state, Jeep, now owned by the Italians, is thinking of moving all production to China.”

Milbank prints the response from an aghast Chrysler exec:

Romney’s fiction was apparently based on a misreading of a Bloomberg News report a few days earlier, which said that Chrysler would resume production in China for the first time since parent Fiat SpA bought the company — in addition to Chrysler’s production in Michigan, Illinois and Ohio.

“Let’s set the record straight: Jeep has no intention of shifting production of its Jeep models out of North America to China,” Chrysler executive Gualberto Ranieri wrote in a statement, using italics for emphasis. “A careful and unbiased reading of the Bloomberg take would have saved unnecessary fantasies and extravagant comments.” Ranieri said the conclusion that it was moving all production to China was “a leap that would be difficult even for professional circus acrobats.”

But what’s particularly ridiculous here is that Romney is criticizing Chrysler’s global expansion. Since when do conservatives object to that? Is there anyone who believes for a nanosecond that expansion abroad by U.S. multinational’s would be viewed critically by a Romney administration?

Back here in reality what we should be debating right about now is the relative positions of the candidates on policies that really matter to both auto production here and investment abroad. Gov. Romney opposed the government’s role in GM and Chrysler’s managed bankruptcy. Given the absence of private financing at the time, had he been in charge, these companies would have been facing liquidation. Instead, as the chart shows (below), the American auto industry has added 250,000 just since its turnaround (and not that this chart is a few months old; autos employment is up to 250K and sales are on track for 15 million this year).

Moreover, on international tax policy there are big, important differences that haven’t gotten enough emphasis so far. Gov. Romney’s plan is to allow multinationals to avoid paying any American taxes on their overseas earnings, a clear incentive to outsource, and one according to economist Kim Clausing would lead to 800,000 jobs shifted overseas.

Note the difference between this and the Jeep case. The Chrysler executive cited above explicitly denounced shifting production overseas. Clausing’s analysis, however, suggest that Romney “territorial” tax plan would incentivize precisely such shifts.

The president’s plan is to increase the tax incentives for producing here, not abroad. These include a lower corporate tax rate with benefits for manufacturers and for on-shoring formerly off-shored work, paid for in part by closing loopholes that currently make it cheaper to produce abroad. Given my view of the most relevant elasticities in play here, the most potentially helpful proposals in this space are the president’s minimum tax on foreign earnings (a whack at tax havens) and an end to deferral (where foreign earnings can be endlessly held abroad.) Story Continued:


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Filed under Left - Off Base, Politics from Just Right of Center - I want Balance!, Right - too Religous for me

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