Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton will propose nearly doubling the U.S. capital gains tax rate on short-term investments to 39.6 percent, the Wall Street Journal reported Friday.
A Clinton campaign official said the Clinton rate plan would affect investments held between one and two years, which are currently taxed at a 20 percent capital gains rate, the newspaper reported.
Clinton, the front-runner for the 2016 Democratic presidential nomination, will outline her plan in a speech Friday in New York. She will argue that corporate efforts to boost stock prices in the short term undercuts longer-term economic growth and hurts American workers, the newspaper said.
Top-bracket single earners with taxable income higher than $413,201 and married couples filing jointly with income above $484,850 would be affected, the newspaper reported.
The campaign official, who was not identified, said the plan would not change the capital gains rate for lower-income taxpayers, the journal said.
The plan would not count an extra 3.8 percent tax on net investment income included as part of the federal healthcare law, it said.
As the push continues in various locations around the country to raise the minimum wage to $15 per hour, the real world consequences of such a move have begun to surface.
Seattle became the first city in the nation to implement the $15 per hour minimum wage this past spring. Fox News reports that one unintended effect is that workers who are earning the higher wage are asking for fewer hours, so they can remain eligible for low income government benefits like childcare and tax credits.
Full Life Care, a home nursing nonprofit, told KIRO-TV in Seattle that several workers want to work less.
Local radio talk show host Jason Rantz on KIRO-FM noted the irony: “If [employees] cut down their hours to stay on those subsidies because the $15 per hour minimum wage didn’t actually help get them out of poverty, all you’ve done is put a burden on the business and given false hope to a lot of people.”
“Despite a booming economy throughout western Washington, the state’s welfare caseload has dropped very little since the higher wage phase began in Seattle in April. In March 130,851 people were enrolled in the Basic Food program. In April, the caseload dropped to 130,376,” according to Fox News.
As reported by Western Journalism, private businesses, unlike government entities (which, in theory, can always raise taxes or borrow), must make more than they spend in order to pay the rent, make payroll, keep the lights on, pay their business taxes, and, heaven forbid, have some left over for the owners and investors who are taking the risk and putting in the long hours.
“Some restaurants have tacked on a 15 percent surcharge to cover the higher wages. And some managers are no longer encouraging customers to tip, leading to a redistribution of income. Workers in the back of the kitchen, such as dishwashers and cooks, are getting paid more, but servers who rely on tips are seeing a pay cut,” Fox News reported.
Earlier this year, as the implementation of the minimum wage law loomed, Seattle Magazine noted that something appeared to be afoot affecting the restaurant industry in the city, asking: “Why Are So Many Seattle Restaurants Closing Lately? “Seattle foodies [are] downcast,” the magazine reported, “as the blows kept coming: Queen Anne’s Grub closed February 15. Pioneer Square’s Little Uncle shut down February 25. Shanik’s Meeru Dhalwala announced that it will close March 21. Renée Erickson’s Boat Street Café will shutter May 30 after 17 years with her at the helm… What the #*%&$* is going on? A variety of things, probably – and a good chance there is more change to come.”
The magazine went on to report that one “major factor affecting restaurant futures in our city is the impending minimum wage hike.” Anthony Anton, president and CEO of the Washington Restaurant Association, told the magazine: “It’s not a political problem; it’s a math problem.” He estimates that restaurants usually have a budget breakdown of about 36 percent for labor, 30 percent for food costs, and 30 percent to cover other operational costs. That leaves 4 percent for a profit margin. When labor costs shoot up to, say 42 percent, something has to give.
Shah Burnham is just one Seattle restaurant owner who believes that keeping her doors open is no longer worth it. She owns a popular Z Pizza restaurant location and says that even though her one store only has 12 employees, she’s considered part of the Z Pizza franchise – a large business. So she has to give raises within the next two years. “Small businesses in the city have up to six more years to phase in the new $15 an hour minimum wage,” according to Seattle’s Fox News 13.
“I know that I would have stayed here if I had 7 years, just like everyone else, if I had an even playing field,” she says. “The discrimination I’m feeling right now against my small business makes me not want to stay and do anything in Seattle.”
“It’s what happens when the government imposes a restriction on the labor market that normally wouldn’t be there” …usually the “small, neighborhood businesses” get hit the hardest, said Paul Guppy of the Washington Policy Center.
San Francisco and Los Angeles have already embraced the $15 per hour benchmark being pushed by some Democrat politicians and labor unions, while New York regulators announced their recommendation to the state’s governor this week to raise the rate for fast food workers to the same level.
The Heritage Foundation notes the minimum wage is usually for new workers, with a low percentage of Americans receiving it. The organization notes some other interesting statistics:
* Over half of minimum-wage earners are between the ages of 16 and 24.
* Two-thirds of minimum-wage workers earn raises within a year – without the government’s help.
* Only 2.9 percent of wage earners earn the federal minimum wage.
* Most minimum-wage earners are teenagers or young adults, not heads of families.
* Two-thirds work part time (defined as less than 35 hours a week).
* Two-thirds of minimum-wage workers live in families with incomes above 150 percent of the poverty line.
* Just 4 percent of minimum-wage workers are single parents working full time, compared to 5.6 percent of all U.S. workers.
* Studies find raising the minimum wage does not reduce poverty.
Heritage recommends that if government leaders want to reduce poverty, they should focus on growing the economy through better tax policies and restructuring the welfare state to remove the current disincentives to work more hours, or work at all.
Early indicators suggest that the $15 minimum wage is a lose, lose proposition for employers and employees.
In 2008, construction was completed on the 757-room Baltimore Hilton, a $305 million publicly-funded hotel spearheaded by Baltimore’s mayor at the time, Martin O’Malley. The hotel, in seven years of operation, has never turned a profit. The best year of operation saw a $2.9 million loss.
“It’s the biggest boondoggle ever. It’s hemorrhaging money every year and has less-than-stellar performance,” Democratic Maryland state Sen. James Brochin told The Daily Caller.
Originally intended to draw revenue from a supposed untapped convention market in Baltimore, the Hilton Hotel project slowly began losing money when conventions passed on Baltimore for other locations such as Austin, Texas and nearby Washington, D.C.
In July 2005, more than three years after the plan was finalized, it was still facing opposition in the city council. Of the 15 council members, only three said they believed the hotel would actually help the city.
“In my district, I can’t get funding to fix vacant houses,” Councilwoman Mary Pat Clarke told The Baltimore Sun in 2005. “I’m worried about the financing and the kind of precedent this is setting.”
After O’Malley pushed the hotel vote to pass with the council, The Sun reported that this, the “costliest public project in Baltimore history” may see the fate of other cities’ failed publicly funded hotel ventures, such as St. Louis, Omaha, and Overland Park, Kan., “all cities that used public money to build hotels. Failing hotels.”
“The government shouldn’t be in the business of owning businesses. It was a catastrophic economical mistake by O’Malley, and the whole thing is ridiculous,” said Brochin.
O’Malley’s hotel, which he claimed in 2005 to be “risk-free,” is now entering its seventh year of public losses, the Sun reported earlier this year.
Even in times of great profit for the city, the hotel has weighed it down. In 2014, 2.4 million fans were drawn to Camden Yards when the Orioles took home the AL East pennant and, even though the hotel is situated directly adjacent to the stadium, it reported losses of $5.6 million.
Jan Freitag, a vice president with the Tennessee-based firm Smith Travel Research, told the Sun 2014 was a banner year for hotels across the country, including Baltimore, which saw a 7.9 percent growth in hotel revenue. Yet the Hilton’s losses persisted.
In a 2008 sports column in The Washington Post, Thomas Boswell used the Hilton Hotel’s burgeoning construction to illustrate the sadness of the Orioles as a whole. He described the sadness of their opening day loss as “begin[ning] their season as expected – in the utter misery of a complete rebuilding program,” referring to the ball club and the city of Baltimore.
Boswell continues: “The Hilton Convention Center Hotel next door, when finished, may merely be ugly. However, in its current state, with huge random splotches of yellow, white and blue, it’s like a cruel cubist joke. Forever, it will dominate the horizon and block views of the… adored Bromo Seltzer Tower… lording [its] eyesore [self] over previously perfect Camden Yards.”
A request for comment to the O’Malley campaign went unreturned.
The National Institutes of Health (NIH) has now spent over $3.5 million of taxpayer’s money to try and determine why the majority of lesbians in the US are obese.
The study entitled, ‘Sexual Orientation and Obesity: A Test of a Gendered Biopsychosocial Model,’ is aimed at concluding why nearly three-quarters of adult lesbians are dangerously overweight.
The study is also investigating why heterosexual men are twice as likely to be obese when compared to gay males.
Fat disparity: The National Institutes of Health (NIH) has now spent over $3.5 million of taxpayer’s dollars in an effort to determine why the majority of lesbians in the U.S. are obese
‘It is now well-established that women of minority sexual orientation are disproportionately affected by the obesity epidemic, with nearly three-quarters of adult lesbians overweight or obese, compared to half of heterosexual women. In stark contrast, among men, heterosexual males have nearly double the risk of obesity compared to gay males,’ says the study.
The NIH has cited public health and the risks associated with obesity in their continued funding of the project.
The study first began in 2011 and it will continue until June of next year.
Free Beacon reports that the total funding for the research is now $3,531,925. Funding has more than doubled since the study was first reported on by CNSNews.com in 2013.
A scientific paper associated with the study asserted that lesbians have lower ‘athletic-self esteem’ that could be linked to higher rates of obesity.
A separate research paper found that lesbians are more likely to see themselves as a healthy weight even if they are not.
Athletic confidence: A scientific paper associated with the study asserted that lesbians have lower ‘athletic-self esteem’ that could be linked to higher rates of obesity and that they exercised fewer hours when compared to their heterosexual female peers
A study published last month by the project’s lead investigator, S. Bryn Austin, concluded that young gay and bisexual men were more concerned with being lean than their heterosexual male counterparts . The study found that both heterosexual and homosexual males were concerned with their muscles at a young age.
‘Latent transition analyses revealed that sexual minority males (i.e., mostly heterosexual, gay, and bisexual) were more likely than completely heterosexual males to be lean-concerned at ages 17-18 and 19-20 years and to transition to the lean-concerned class from the healthy class,’ said the scientific paper.
‘There were no sexual orientation differences in odds of being muscle-concerned.’
The study also investigated body issues among young men and suggested that they should be screened to ensure they didn’t have too much of a preoccupation with their biceps.
TPA is “Trade Promotion Authority” legislation currently being considered by Congress. TPP is the “Trans-Pacific Partnership,” the pact the Obama administration is currently negotiating with several Asia Pacific nations. As the editors point out today, the two are not one and the same and they should not be conflated.
The rationale that, because President Obama abuses executive authority, he should be denied any tool that enhances executive authority is a worthy rule of thumb. But its premise is that executive authority is actually being enhanced in a manner that Congress cannot check. That, as our editorial explains, is simply not true when it comes to TPA.
The contention that TPA is unconstitutional is meritless. In our system, as Jefferson put it, “the transaction of business with foreign nations is executive altogether,” and “exceptions are to be strictly construed.” In the case of trade agreements, those exceptions include the Senate’s power over the approval of treaties and the powers of Congress over both foreign commerce and any legislation necessary to implement a trade agreement. TPA is not only fully compliant with, but reinforcing of, this constitutional arrangement.
Foreign countries should not be made to negotiate with both the president and Congress in striking a deal. It is enough for them to know (as Senator Tom Cotton outlined in connection with President Obama’s Iran deal) that any agreement the president makes is subject to congressional approval if it is to have the force of law. Since the point of a trade agreement is to structure a legal framework for international commerce, we must thus infer that the countries negotiating such a deal want a workable legal structure. Our constitutional division of authorities between the president and Congress gives foreign nations an incentive not to press for terms the president will not be able to sell at home – thus strengthening the president’s negotiating position.
Meanwhile, whether the international agreement in question is deemed a treaty or an agreement requiring implementing legislation, Congress gets the final say on whether the agreement is approved.
To claim that this deprives Congress of its ability to shape the deal is as specious as claiming that the president’s limited power to sign or veto legislation deprives him of the ability to shape congressional statutes. In our system, the president gets to negotiate deals with other nations; if Congress does not like the deal – if it concludes that the bad outweighs the good – lawmakers can and should vote “no,” sending the president back to the drawing board. That is how it is supposed to work.
To my mind, there is no more promiscuous practice in the formulation of multilateral agreements than the Senate’s addition of caveats and reservations to rationalize approving objectionable treaties. The way the international law game gets played, these caveats and reservations get marginalized and the “law” becomes the unadorned text of the treaty accepted by the signatory nations. That is, the treaty in effect becomes the agreement as signed by the president, not the ratified agreement the Senate thought it had successfully amended. We would be much better off if, instead of deluding itself with caveats and reservations, the Senate refused to ratify the treaty, forcing the president to either abandon the agreement or go back to the negotiating table and fight for acceptance of the Senate’s demands.
It is the same thing with multilateral agreements that are not regarded as treaties. There should be a clear international agreement that Congress can either approve or reject. To contort the agreement with legislative caveats injects ambiguity into the duties and benefits the negotiating nations believed they were agreeing to. Moreover, it probably won’t work: Within a short time, the international law professors will tell us that the text of the original agreement – not the agreement as Congress amended it – has transmogrified into binding international law… and the State Department will say we really have no choice but to accept the consensus of “the international community.”
Better to let the president make the agreements and let Congress say “yes” or “no” – and be ready to say “no,” not con itself into thinking it can materially improve a bad deal.
Finally, as the editorial elucidates, agreeing to TPA is not agreeing to TPP.
I confess to being troubled by reports about the secrecy in which TPP negotiations and drafts have been shrouded, although these reports may be overwrought – something I’ll address in a subsequent post. If there is, in fact, a lack of sufficient transparency on TPP, it makes perfect sense for lawmakers to condition support for TPA on better transparency. That kind of leveraging is a routine part of the legislative process. It is also especially appropriate when dealing with a president who has a long record of mendacity, lawlessness, and the exploitation of complex legal arrangements to reward cronies.
Nevertheless, if we assume for argument’s sake that TPP is a bad deal, that would be a good reason to vote down TPP. It would not be a good reason to oppose TPA.
In yesterday’s post, I argued – in agreement with NR’s editorial – that it is a mistake to conflate (a) the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) trade pact that the Obama administration is still negotiating with (b) Trade Promotion Authority (TPA) legislation that would grant the president the ability to seek an up-or-down vote from Congress on trade deals (including TPP) on a reasonably swift time frame. TPA is a good idea, is fully constitutional, and would not prevent Congress from rejecting a bad trade deal – which is exactly what Congress should do in the case of TPP if it turns out to be a bad deal. In a column on the homepage today, I examine another objection TPP opponents raise: the purported secrecy in which the agreement is shrouded. As readers will see, this objection is a red herring which confuses the draft agreement (the work in progress that the administration has made available to Congress under restrictive terms while it conducts the sensitive negotiations) with the final agreement (which will be available to both the public and Congress long before Congress is asked to vote on TPP legislation).
As today’s column relates:
There is no requirement for the executive branch to show Congress anything that is preliminary. The only agreement that is going to be voted on is the final agreement – at least if Obama wants that agreement to have the force of American law.
Significantly, with respect to that final agreement – which, to repeat, does not exist yet – the transparency protocols are apparently extensive. According to AEI’s Claude Barfield, the legislation will provide that the actual text of the final TPP agreement must be available not just to Congress but to the public for 60 days before the president is permitted to sign it. After that, if he wants the agreement to have the force of American law, the president must formally submit the final agreement to Congress, which would then have 90 days to review and vote on it.
That is, the supposedly “secret” TPP may not be approved until the public and our representatives in Congress have five months to scrutinize it.
If Dr. Barfield is correct, and I have found nothing to suggest otherwise, then the complaints about a secret deal being rammed through Congress and foisted on an unsuspecting public – à la Obamacare – are risible.
The full column is here.
These Are The Republican Members Of Congress With An American Conservative Union Rating Of 90 Or Above Who Support The Trade Promotion Authority (TPA) Act.
Representative Joe Barton – 92
Representative Marsha Blackburn – 96
Representative John Boehner – 94
Representative Steve Chabot – 92
Representative Mike Conaway – 92
Senator John Cornyn – 92
Senator Tom Cotton – 100
Senator Mike Crapo – 92
Senator Ted Cruz – 100
Representative Ron DeSantis – 100
Representative Scott DesJarlais – 100
Senator Jeff Flake – 92
Representative Trey Gowdy – 92
Senator Chuck Grassley – 92
Representative Tom Graves – 92
Representative Jeb Hensarling – 96
Representative George Holding – 96
Representative Tim Huelskamp – 96
Senator Jim Inhofe – 92
Senator Ron Johnson – 96
Representative Doug LaMalfa – 96
Senator James Lankford – 94
Representative Kenny Marchant – 96
Representative Tom McClintock – 100
Representative Jeff Miller – 92
Representative Randy Neugebauer – 96
Representative Robert Pittenger – 92
Representative Mike Pompeo – 100
Representative Tom Price – 92
Senator James Risch – 92
Representative Ed Royce – 92
Senator Marco Rubio – 96
Representative Matt Salmon – 96
Representative Steve Scalise – 96
Representative David Schweikert – 100
Senator Tim Scott – 96
Representative Austin Scott – 92
Representative Jim Sensenbrenner – 100
Representative Marlin Stutzman – 96
Representative Randy Weber – 100
Representative Roger Williams – 100
These Are The Democrat Members Of Congress With An American Conservative Union Rating Of 0 Who Support The Trade Promotion Authority (TPA) Act.
Representative Ami Bera
Representative Susan Davis
Representative John Delaney
Representative Debbie Wasserman Schultz
Senator Ben Cardin
Senator Dianne Feinstein
Senator Tim Kaine
Senator Patty Murray
Senator Bill Nelson
These Are The Republican Governors Who Support The Trade Promotion Authority (TPA) Act.
Robert Bentley – Alabama
Terry Branstad – Iowa
Sam Brownback – Kansas
Phil Bryant – Mississippi
Mary Fallin – Oklahoma
Gary Herbert – Utah
Susana Martinez – New Mexico
Mike Pence – Indiana
Pete Ricketts – Nebraska
Brian Sandoval – Nevada
Rick Scott – Florida
Scott Walker – Wisconsin
These Are The Democrat Governors Who Support The Trade Promotion Authority (TPA) Act.
Steve Beshear – Kentucky
John Hickenlooper – Colorado
These Are The Conservative Organizations That Support The Trade Promotion Authority (TPA) Act.
60 Plus Association
Advance Arkansas Institute
American Conservative Union
American Enterprise Institute
Americans For Job Security
Americans For Tax Reform
Cardinal Institute For West Virginia Policy
Center For Individual Freedom
Citizens For Limited Taxation
Club For Growth
Competitive Enterprise Institute
Conservative Reform Network
Council For Citizens Against Government Waste
Frontiers Of Freedom
Georgia Center Right Coalition
Institute For Liberty
Institute For Policy Innovation
Minnesota Center-Right Coalition
National Taxpayers Union
Property Rights Alliance
R Street Institute
Rio Grande Foundation
Small Business & Entrepreneurship Council
Taxpayers Protection Alliance
The Jeffersonian Project
Thomas Jefferson Institute For Public Policy
These Are The Leftist Organizations That Support The Trade Promotion Authority (TPA) Act.
Progressive Coalition For American Jobs
These Are The Republican Members Of Congress With An American Conservative Union Rating Of 90 Or Above Who Oppose The Trade Promotion Authority (TPA) Act.
Representative Jim Bridenstine – 96
Representative Michael Burgess – 92
Representative Jeff Duncan – 100
Representative John Fleming – 96
Representative Scott Garrett – 96
Representative Louie Gohmert – 96
Representative Paul Gosar – 92
Representative Jim Jordan – 100
Senator Mike Lee – 100
Representative Cynthia Lummis – 92
Representative Mark Meadows – 96
Representative Mick Mulvaney – 95
Senator Rand Paul – 96
Representative Scott Perry – 96
Representative Bill Posey – 92
Representative Dana Rohrabacher – 96
Senator Jeff Sessions – 96
These Are The Democrat Members Of Congress With An American Conservative Union Rating Of 0 Who Oppose The Trade Promotion Authority (TPA) Act.
Representative Alma Adams
Senator Tammy Baldwin
Representative Tim Bishop
Representative John Carney
Representative William Clay
Representative Emanuel Cleaver
Representative Jim Clyburn
Senator Dick Durbin
Representative Bill Foster
Representative Steny Hoyer
Representative Tim Johnson
Representative Marcy Kaptur
Representative Ann Kuster
Senator Pat Leahy
Senator Barbara Mikulski
Senator Chris Murphy
Representative Patrick Murphy
Representative Donald Norcross
Representative David Price
Representative Cedric Richmond
Senator Brian Schatz
Representative Brad Sherman
Senator Chuck Schumer
Senator Debbie Stabenow
Senator Tom Udall
These Are The Republican Governors Who Oppose The Trade Promotion Authority (TPA) Act.
Chris Christie – New Jersey
Bobby Jindal – Louisiana
These Are The Democrat Governors Who Oppose The Trade Promotion Authority (TPA) Act.
Jay Nixon – Missouri
These Are The Conservative Organizations That Oppose The Trade Promotion Authority (TPA) Act.
Americans For Limited Government
Heritage Action For America
These Are The Leftist Organizations That Oppose The Trade Promotion Authority (TPA) Act.
Association Of Flight Attendants – CWA
American Federation Of Government Employees
American Foreign Service Association
American Federation Of State, County And Municipal Employees
American Federation Of Teachers
Alliance For Justice
Air Line Pilots Association
American Postal Workers Union
International Union Of Bricklayers And Allied Craftworkers
Bakery, Confectionery, Tobacco Workers And Grain Millers’ International Union
Commonwealth Association Of School Administrators
Chicago Federation Of Labor
Civil Service Employees Association
Communications Workers Of America
Democracy For America
Doctors Without Borders
Farm Labor Organizing Committee
Global Trade Watch
Glass, Molders, Pottery International Union
International Association Of Fire Fighters
International Association Of Machinists And Aerospace Workers
International Alliance Of Theatrical Stage Employees
International Brotherhood Of Boilermakers
International Brotherhood Of Electrical Workers
International Brotherhood Of Teamsters
International Federation Of Professional & Technical Engineers
International Longshoremen’s Association
International Longshore And Warehouse Union
International Union Of Operating Engineers
International Union Of Painters and Allied Trades
Laborers’ International Union Of North America
North America’s Building Trades Unions
National Association Of Letter Carriers
National Air Traffic Controllers Association
Natural Resources Defense Council
National Education Association
National Football League Players Association
National Nurses United
National Postal Mail Handlers Union – LIUNA
National Taxi Workers’ Alliance
Operative Plasterers’ And Cement Masons’ International Association
Office And Professional Employees International Union
Oregon Fair Trade Campaign
Retail, Wholesale And Department Store Union
The Screen Actors Guild‐American Federation Of Television And Radio Artists
Service Employees International Union
Seafarers International Union
International Association Of Sheet Metal, Air, Rail And Transportation Workers
Transportation Communications International Union-IAM
Transport Workers Union Of America
United Automobile Workers
United Brotherhood Of Carpenters
United Food And Commercial Workers International Union
United Mine Workers Of America:
Utility Workers Union Of America