Conservative Maine Government Doubles Down On Successful Welfare Reform Policies Despite Leftist Whining

Maine Doubles Down On Welfare Reform Despite Media Backlash – Daily Signal


Mary Mayhew, commissioner of Maine’s Department of Health and Human Services, knows her politics aren’t always popular.

“I can’t stress enough what an attack campaign it has been from the media for four and a half years,” Mayhew said Thursday at an anti-poverty forum in Washington, D.C., hosted by The Heritage Foundation.

Then there are the more personalized critiques: “There is a poet, or he calls himself a poet, and he sends me poems all the time,” she added. “They are not nice poems.”

Mayhew claims that detractors – who mostly take issue with welfare reforms enacted by Gov. Paul LePage, a Republican, since his election in 2011 – have gone so far as to call her “Commissioner Evil,” and her and LePage’s policies a “War on the Poor.”

The irony, according to Mayhew, lies in the fact that her and LePage’s efforts actually aim to empower Maine’s poorest citizens. She says a third of the state is on welfare.

“The welfare hurricane doesn’t just destroy one family; it destroys generations of them,” Tarren Bragdon, president and CEO of the Foundation for Government Accountability, said at the event Thursday. “This work is about giving children a better chance for a future.”

To illustrate that point, Mayhew told a story of one of her first days on the job as DHHS commissioner, spent touring a substance abuse treatment facility for adolescents:

I was taken aback by one of the youth who came up to me – it was actually several youth, who were just completely focused on whether I could help them get disability. These were 15-year-old, 16-year-old young men clearly battling addiction, but they had decided that the answer for them was to pursue disability. And, frankly, as we all look at that pathway, that truly is committing individuals to a lifetime of poverty.

Since LePage assumed the governorship, Maine has reduced enrollment in the state’s food stamp program by over 58,000; currently, according to Mayhew, there are 197,000 people on food stamps, down from a high of 255,663 in February 2012.

Mayhew says the decline is due to eliminating the waiver of the work requirement previously attached to food stamps, as also witnessed in Kansas. Under the new legislation, recipients would need to work 20 hours per week, volunteer for about an hour a day, or attend a class to receive food stamps past three months.

LePage and Mayhew have also rolled back Medicaid eligibility through a series of battles Mayhew called “fierce.”

With a population of roughly 1.3 million, Maine had 357,000 individuals receiving Medicaid benefits when LePage took office. Today, 287,000 people are on Medicaid, according to Mayhew.

“What we have done truly has taken the arguments to the public to underscore what has been lost as that program grew out of control, never mind that the resources that had to be devoted to Medicaid were being taken away from education, infrastructure, and reduced tax burden on the state of Maine,” Mayhew said.

In August, Maine DHHS announced they planned to redirect $3.24 million in welfare savings to fund home care services for elderly citizens as well as the Meals on Wheels program.

Lastly, Mayhew touched upon Maine’s efforts to retool the Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF) and Electronic Benefit Transfer (EBT) card programs, stating that Maine had over 15,000 open TANF cases when LePage took office. That number is down to less than 5,000.

LePage’s and Mayhew’s policies, as Mayhew herself highlighted, have not been without controversy.

Earlier this week, amid an ongoing dispute over EBT cards being used to wire money abroad, critics accused the LePage administration of using last Friday’s terror attacks in Paris to justify reforms.

“This proposal is really an example of fear-mongering at its worst,” Robyn Merrill, executive director of Maine Equal Justice Partners, told MPBN News.

But Mayhew does not plan to back down – especially if it means reducing her own influence long-term, and shifting that responsibility to local non-profits.

“I can’t underscore enough that part of the issue is government is too big, my agency is too large, and people are trying to preserve their jobs,” she said.

“We have got to reduce the size and scope of these agencies if we are going to have communities really take on the responsibility of supporting these families and these individuals on those pathways [to independence].”



*VIDEO* Fox Business GOP Presidential Primary Debate (11/10/15)



*LIVE STREAMING* Fox Business Republican Presidential Primary Debate (11/10/15 – 9pm ET)

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Participants: Ted Cruz, Ben Carson, Marco Rubio, Rand Paul, Donald Trump, John Kasich, Jeb Bush and Carly Fiorina

NOTE: Kiddie table debate begins at 7pm and includes the following candidates: Chris Christie, Mike Huckabee, Rick Santorum and Bobby Jindal



National Debt Jumps $339B On Day Debt Ceiling Is Lifted

Debt Ceiling Lifted, And The Same Day, Debt Jumps $339B – Washington Examiner


The U.S. national debt jumped $339 billion on Monday, the same day President Obama signed into law legislation suspending the debt ceiling.

That legislation allowed the government to borrow as much as it wants above the $18.1 trillion debt ceiling that had been in place.

The website that reports the exact tally of the debt said the U.S. government owed $18.153 trillion last Friday, and said that number surged to $18.492 on Monday.

The increase reflects an increasingly common pattern that can be seen in the total U.S. debt level when the debt ceiling is reached.

At the end of 2012, for example, the government hit the debt ceiling, and the Treasury Department was forced to use “extraordinary measures” to keep the government afloat until the ceiling could be increased again. Those measures included decisions to delay issuances of certain debt instruments.

When the ceiling was finally lifted a little more than a month later, the debt jumped $40 billion in a day as the pressure to stay under the ceiling eased, and after nine days, the U.S. was $100 billion deeper in debt.

In February 2013, the debt ceiling was suspended until mid-May. Extraordinary measures were again used through mid October, and the official debt burden hovered in place for more than six months. When the debt ceiling was suspended again in October, the debt exploded by $300 billion the next day.

This time around, the national debt has been frozen at its ceiling of about $18.1 trillion since late January, longer than nine months. The Bipartisan Policy Center estimated that the government had somewhere around $370 billion worth of extraordinary measures to use this time around.



*VIDEO* Ben Carson: Colorado Christian University



David Leach Says The New Budget Deal Effectively Kills The GOP

Budget Deal Effectively Kills The GOP – Strident Conservative


As you probably know by now, the budget and debt ceiling deal I wrote about a few days ago has officially passed the House of Representatives. And while it’s true that it runs contrary to every principle that Republicans campaigned on when they convinced America to give them the majority in 2010, the policy and political implications of this legislation will be far-reaching with severe consequences.

So, how bad is it? In an opinion piece on Conservative Review, Daniel Horowitz gives seven reasons why this betrayal will probably be the end of the Republican party:


1. Increases Debt Ceiling Unconditionally

This bill suspends the debt ceiling through March 2017, granting this president another $1.5 trillion in debt authority after already amassing $7.5 trillion in debt. This, at a time when revenue is at record highs. There are now no external constraints on the amount of debt this president can accumulate in his final year.

2. Budget Control Act Permanently Terminated

The bill increases spending by $112 billion, thereby permanently overturning the only meaningful spending victory secured by conservatives over the past five years. There will be little leverage to preserve these cuts in the future. Spending was already slated to increase by $250 billion for the new year (from $3.677 trillion to $3.928 trillion); this bill will bump that increase to over $310 billion for 2016 alone. This is why Republicans have never cut spending. Despite record projected revenue of $3.5 trillion for 2016, they can’t balance the budget and will spend $4 trillion annually for the first time ever. In the era of “austerity,” the federal government is now growing by 8.4% despite the fact that the private economy is averaging 2.5% growth.

3. Rubber Stamps Obama’s Backwards Foreign Policy

Included in the increased spending is an extra $32 billion in war spending on top of existing appropriations. This comes on the heels of reports that Obama is commencing ground operations involving our military in the Islamic civil war in both Iraq and Syria. It is cowardly of Congress to not issue a declaration of war with specific policy demands from Obama dictating our strategic goals. Nobody can identify the mission – who we are fighting and with whom we are allying? Yet, this is Congress’ backdoor means of greenlighting this tepid and aimless effort without taking responsibility for supporting it or blocking it. As we’ve noted before, much of the money we send to the Middle East has wound up in the hands of Al-Nusra in Syria and Iranian-backed Shiite forces in Iraq. This budget allows Obama to invest more in failure, and worse – our enemies – because much of the OCO funds go to the State Department.

4. Paves the Way for More Spending with Enron Style Accounting

It would have been better had Congress not deceived the public with Enron-style accounting gimmicks to “offset” the cost of the bill. As Congressional Quarterly noted today, “Budget Deal Pay-Fors May Provide Template for Future Accords.” The political class thinks that a hodgepodge of notional and intangible offsets spread out 10 years from now are so clever. They will be emboldened to use the same gimmicks to bust even more spending caps, even in areas of the budget they’ve been cautious to do so until now.

5. We are at the mercy of Obama with no leverage

The most under-reported aspect of this deal is that it completely “clears the decks” of any budget bill for the remainder of Obama’s presidency, thereby taking the power of the purse off the table. As bad as the increased spending is for our fiscal solvency, the Obama policies are worse. There will be no budget to leverage against Obama’s growing amnesty, EPA overreach, foreign policy disasters, prison break, and dangerous clemencies. For example, Obama released 66,000 criminal aliens in 2013-2014, who had accrued a total of 166,000 convictions: 30k DUIs, 414 kidnappings, 11,000 sex assaults, and 395 homicides. They went on to commit at least 121 murders after being released. Who knows how high those numbers will go now that Obama has completely suspended deportations. Yet, conservatives will not have an opportunity to leverage DHS and Justice Department funding against his amnesty, which will likely grow more dangerous and lawless in his final year.

6. Paul Ryan Owns This Budget

Even if one buys into Ryan’s defense that he had nothing to do with the budget, a dubious assertion in itself, he clearly owns this deal for two reasons.

* First, the notion that the Speaker-elect cannot speak out against this travesty and demand it be halted is like saying that a newly elected fire chief is powerless against ordering his men to put out the flames of an arson that began the day before. Even if we accept that the debt ceiling deadline was sprung on him and cannot be stopped, there is no reason for him to agree to the budget deal, which does not come due for another six weeks. He certainly doesn’t have to agree to take the debt ceiling AND budget off the table for the rest of Obama’s presidency; he could have opted for a shorter-term bill so that he can show us the magic of his budget work and his amazing messaging skills. Now he will have no leverage to enact all of the fiscal reforms he will so eruditely articulate in the coming months.

* Second, Paul Ryan forged the original Ryan-Murray bill in 2013, which established the precedent that breaking the budget caps is a “must-pass” initiative. Until that point, Republicans had held firm. In that sense, this deal is merely the grandchild of Ryan’s original betrayal.

The fact that Ryan supported this excrement sandwich shows that he has no desire to actually force important conservative changes. He relishes the opportunity to “clear the barn” of any meaningful leverage so that he can discuss policy reforms in the abstract without having to fight for them in any significant way.

7. The Republican Party is Dead

Republicans have checked out from the fight against the consequential societal transformational issues for years: marriage, religious liberty, immigration, law and order, etc. They have made it clear now they will never fight for fiscal conservatism. Unless a true conservative is elected as president, the party is done.


As I wrote a week ago, the ascension of Paul Ryan to the Speaker’s job was reason enough to begin a new Conservative Revolution.The death of the GOP following this travesty of budgetary irresponsibility gives us one more reason to see it begin.



Boehner Gives Constituents One Last Kick In The Teeth On His Way Out The Door

Boehner Makes Horrendous Last Minute Debt Deal With Obama – Conservative Intelligence Briefing


Looks like House Speaker John Boehner is going out with a raise – to the nation’s debt ceiling.

President Obama has struck a deal with Congressional leaders that will again increase America’s debt borrowing limit with no end to the spending in sight…

Boehner, working directly with Obama and his staffers, was vital to the agreement though other Congressional leaders were also involved.

The deal may be voted on Wednesday, which happens to be the same day Paul Ryan may be nominated by the House GOP conference to replace Boehner as Speaker.

According to CNN:

“Bipartisan congressional leaders and the White House struck a major fiscal deal in principle Monday that would raise the debt ceiling and lift budget caps on both defense and domestic programs, according to congressional sources familiar with the deal.

The final details are being ironed out and a bill could be introduced later Monday as negotiators draft the language to prepare for it for vote.

This deal would avoid a potential debt default on November 3, and it would reduce the chances of a government shutdown on December 11.”

Boehner and his office were vital in creating the framework for the debt ceiling increase.

“Boehner’s office negotiated many of the details directly with the White House, but House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell and Senate Minority Leader Harry Reid were also part of the discussions as the framework was developed, according to a source familiar with the talks.”

The article notes House Conservatives vehemently oppose the debt increase deal.

“Conservatives sharply panned the deal.

“It’s emblematic of five years of failed leadership,” said Rep. Justin Amash, R-Michigan.”



EPA Pisses Away Another $1.2M In Taxpayer Money On “Environmental Justice” Grants

EPA Doles Out $1.2 Million In Environmental Justice Grants To Prepare Poor Neighborhoods For Climate Change – CNS


The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has announced the recipients of nearly $1.2 million in grants to non-profit and tribal organizations “to address environmental justice issues nationwide.”

“The grants enable these organizations to conduct research, provide education, and develop solutions to local health and environmental issues in minority and low-income communities overburdened by harmful pollution,” the Oct. 8 press release stated.

“EPA’s environmental justice grants help communities across the country understand and address exposure to multiple environmental harms and risks at the local level,” Matthew Tejada, director of EPA’s Office of Environmental Justice, said in the press release.”

“Addressing the impacts of climate change is a priority for EPA and the projects supported by this year’s grants will help communities prepare for and build resilience to localized climate impacts,” Tejada said.

“Environmental justice is the fair treatment and meaningful involvement of all people regardless of race, color, national origin, or income with respect to development, implementation, and enforcement of environmental laws, regulations, and policies,” thedocument announcing the recipients of the grant funding stated.

“Fair treatment means that no group of people, including racial, ethnic, or socioeconomic groups, should bear a disproportionate share of the negative environmental consequences resulting from industrial, municipal, and commercial operations or the execution of federal state, local, and tribal programs and policies,” the documents stated.

One of the recipients is the Green Jobs Corps in New Haven Connecticut for “Creating a New Generation of New Haven Environmental Justice Leaders.”

The Greater Northeast Development Corporation in Virginia will use a “community-based participatory approach for southeast community resilience and adaptation to address lung health impacts exacerbated by climate change.”

In certain neighborhoods in Baltimore, Md., the grant funding will “mitigate the impacts of climate change on these communities by increasing the area of ‘green’ spaces…”

The Center for Neighborhood Technology in Chicago will help make the Chatham neighborhood “rain ready” to prepare for an increase of “rain events” from climate change.

Some other projects being funded include:

• A program will install solar panels in the homes of low-income residents in Colorado.

• Teaching Washington state residents about producing “locally grown food with a low-carbon footprint.”

• Educate residents of the Chickaloon Native Village in Alaska about “the connection between coal surface strip mining, transporting, exporting, and consumption in relation to climate impacts, how climate impacts are being experienced locally, statewide, nationally, and globally. “

• Ground Water New Orleans will be “teaching students to design, build, and install solar powered charging benches on or near bus stops in underserved communities.”

This grant funding dates back to 1994, according to the recipient document.

“In 1994, the Office of Environmental Justice established the Environmental Justice (EJ) Small Grants Program whose purpose is to assist communitybased/grassroots organizations and tribal governments that are working on local solutions to local environmental problems. Funding specifically supports affected local communitybased efforts to examine issues related to a community’s exposure to multiple environmental harms and risks.”

The document stated that the funds are divided equally between organizations in 10 regions across the country designated by EPA.



*VIDEO* Ted Cruz: Iowa Town Hall



Obamanomics Update: Feds Take In Record $3,248,723,000,000 In Tax Revenues; Still Run $438,899,000,000 Deficit

$3,248,723,000,000: Federal Taxes Set Record In FY 2015; $21,833 Per Worker; Feds Still Run $438.9B Deficit – CNS

The federal government took in a record of approximately $3,248,723,000,000 in taxes in fiscal 2015 (which ended on Sept. 30), according to the Monthly Treasury Statement released today.

That equaled approximately $21,833 for every person in the country who had either a full-time or part-time job in September.

It is also up about $212,927,100,000 in constant 2015 dollars from the $3,035,795,900,000 in revenue (in 2015 dollars) that the Treasury raked in during fiscal 2014.


Even as the Treasury was hauling in a record $3,248,723,000,000 in tax revenues in fiscal 2015, the federal government was spending $3,687,622,000,000. So, the federal government ran a deficit of $438,899,000,000 for the fiscal year.

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, total seasonally adjusted employment in the United States in September (including both full and part-time workers) was 148,800,000. That means that the federal tax haul for fiscal 2015 equaled about $21,832.82 for every person in the United States with a job.

In 2012, President Barack Obama struck a deal with Republicans in Congress to enact legislation that increased taxes. That included increasing the top income tax rate from 35 percent to 39.6 percent, increasing the top tax rate on dividends and capital gains from 15 percent to 20 percent, and phasing out personal exemptions and deductions starting at an annual income level of $250,000.

An additional 3.8 percent tax on dividends, interest, capital gains and royalties – that was embedded in the Obamacare law – also took effect in 2013.

The largest share of fiscal 2015’s record-setting tax haul came from the individual income tax. That yielded the Treasury $1,540,802,000,000. Payroll taxes for “social insurance and retirement receipts” took in another $1,065,277,000,000. The corporate income tax brought in $343,797,000,000.



*VIDEO* Ted Cruz Slams Sierra Club Weasel Over Fake Global Warming



Congressional RINOs Help Leftists Pass Spending Bill That Funds Evil, Baby-Killing Scumbags

Find Out How Your Lawmakers Voted on Government Spending Bill That Averts Shutdown, Funds Planned Parenthood – Daily Signal


On the last day of the fiscal year, Congress approved a short-term spending measure that keeps the federal government operating through Dec. 11.

The bill passed easily in the Senate, 78-20:


The bill faced strong dissension in the House, where 151 Republicans voted against it because the bill does not cut off federal funding for Planned Parenthood (vote roll call here).

President Barack Obama signed the spending bill late Wednesday.

The vote was notable in the House in that it provided a chance for candidates for upcoming leadership races to weigh in on a controversial issue in the caucus.

Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy, R-Calif., who is the leading candidate to replace Speaker John Boehner, voted for the measure.

His only opponent for speaker, Rep. Daniel Webster, R-Fla., voted against the bill, as did Rep. Tom Price, R-Ga., who is one of two lawmakers running for majority leader.

The other majority leader contender, Rep. Steve Scalise, R-La., voted for the spending bill.

Some House members believed that the vote on the continuing resolution, as the funding measure is known, would be telling in how potential new leadership may handle future issues.

Conservatives argued that leadership candidates would be judged on if they stood up to Planned Parenthood in the face of a potential shutdown.

“It’s unfortunate that this thing passed,” said Rep. Jim Jordan, the chairman of the House Freedom Caucus, in an interview with The Daily Signal. “But I think the most unfortunate thing is we should have back on July 14, when the first [Planned Parenthood] video came out, went full commitment to making this a national debate and really elevating it and going all in. We could have been in a position to win, but we didn’t, and this is the part that frustrates me.”

Jordan added:

“Our new leadership has to commit, whoever that happens to be, to the same effort on things that we’ve told the voters we were gonna do – like we all told them we were pro-life, right? – we have to have the same intensity in getting those things done that we did on, for example, trade promotion. We have to demonstrate we are actually fighting on the things we said and have that full debate. And that’s what we are not doing.”

Taking a different view, Rep. Charlie Dent, a moderate Republican from Pennsylvania, told the The Daily Signal that conservatives were wrong to try to hold up the spending measure to cut off funding for Planned Parenthood.

“Leadership will look feckless and ineffective if they try to appease the rejectionist members of this conference,” Dent said.

“Going forward,” Dent remarked, “leadership will have to find a way to move forward on five or six measures that must be resolved, including a budget agreement, tax extenders, the debt ceiling, and a long-term transportation measure. All will require a level of compromise required to move beyond the warfare and get to a better place.”

The continuing resolution funds the government at a rate of $1.017 trillion annually for the next two and a half months. Senate leaders argued the deal gives Congress time to negotiate a budget deal with the president, though Obama has been pushing Congress to break the spending caps imposed by the 2011 Budget Control Act.

The continuing resolution also provides $74.7 billion for Overseas Contingency Operations and reauthorizes the Federal Aviation Administration, E-verify program, and Internet Tax Freedom Act.

Senate Republican leaders introduced a government spending bill last week that included a one-year moratorium on funding for Planned Parenthood. The legislation also directed the $235 million in savings derived from the government funding allocated for Planned Parenthood to be directed to community health centers.

That bill, however, was blocked in the upper chamber, after it failed to reach the 60 votes needed to advance.



The Donald Reveals His Tax Plan (Video)

Trump Plan Cuts Taxes For Millions – Wall Street Journal


Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump unveiled an ambitious tax plan Monday that he says would eliminate income taxes for millions of households, lower the tax rate on all businesses to 15% and change tax treatment of companies’ overseas earnings.

Under the Trump plan, no federal income tax would be levied against individuals earning less than $25,000 and married couples earning less than $50,000. The Trump campaign estimates that would reduce taxes to zero for 31 million households that currently pay at least some income tax. The highest individual income-tax rate would be 25%, compared with the current 39.6% rate.

Many middle-income households would have a lower tax rate under Mr. Trump’s proposal, but because high-income households generally pay income tax at much higher rates, his proposed across-the-board rate cut could have a positive impact on them, too. For example, an analysis of Jeb Bush’s plan – taxing individuals’ incomes at no more than 28% – by the business-backed Tax Foundation found that the biggest percentage winners in after-tax income would be the top 1% of earners.

Mr. Trump’s plan appears designed to help him, as the GOP front-runner, cement his standing as a populist – though that message is complicated by the fact that the billionaire, like other Republican leaders, would eliminate the estate tax.

“My plan will bring sanity, common sense and simplification to our country’s catastrophic tax code,” Mr. Trump said in an interview. “It will create jobs and incentives of all kinds while simultaneously growing the economy.”

But Mr. Trump will face a challenge in convincing skeptics that his aggressive tax cuts can be implemented without adding to the federal deficit.

To pay for the proposed tax benefits, the Trump plan would eliminate or reduce deductions and loopholes to high-income taxpayers, and would curb some deductions and other breaks for middle-class taxpayers by capping the level of individual deductions, a politically dicey proposition. Mr. Trump also would end the “carried interest” tax break, which allows many investment-fund managers to pay lower taxes on much of their compensation.

A significant revenue gain would come from a one-time tax on overseas profits that could encourage U.S. multinational corporations to return an estimated $2.1 trillion in cash now sitting offshore, largely to avoid U.S. taxes. His proposal would impose a mandatory 10% tax on all of that money, even if the money stays overseas, but allow a few years for the tax to be paid. The Trump campaign estimates that many companies would choose to bring their money back home, boosting jobs and investment in the U.S.

Mr. Trump also would impose an immediate tax on overseas earnings of American corporations; currently, such tax payments can be deferred. All told, the campaign says the plan would be revenue neutral – neither raising nor lowering federal revenues – by the third year and then begin adding revenue.

With the tax plan’s release, Mr. Trump is moving to quell criticism that his campaign has been more style and less substance. This tax proposal follows his well-known immigration plan in the summer and one on gun rights last week.

Mr. Trump saves some money and fiscal headaches by skipping some of the big but complicated and costly changes that other candidates have embraced, such as business-expensing breaks and so-called territorial taxation for multinational corporations.

On the individual side, Mr. Trump would consolidate the current seven rates to four, of 0%, 10%, 20% and 25%. Those changes alone would exempt all married couples making $50,000 or less from the income tax, as well as singles making $25,000 or less.

The 10% bracket would apply to incomes from $50,000 to $100,000 for a married couple; the current 10% bracket has a ceiling of $18,450. The new 25% top bracket would apply to married couples’ incomes in excess of $300,000, which currently are subject to rates as high as 39.6%. Mr. Trump also would cut the top capital gains rate to 20%, from the current 23.8%. And he would eliminate the alternative minimum tax.

But the candidate doesn’t propose to end taxation of individuals’ investment income, as some other Republicans propose, nor would he expand the standard deduction, child-credit and other middle-class breaks as some other GOP candidates have suggested.

For businesses, Mr. Trump’s 15% rate is among the lowest that have been proposed so far. Rand Paul has proposed a 14.5% flat-tax rate for all types of income. Marco Rubio, another candidate with a detailed plan, would tax all business income at no more than 25%. Mr. Bush has proposed a 20% top corporate rate. The current top corporate tax rate is 35%, and small business income is subject to rates of as much as 39.6% (although many small businesses pay out a lot of their profits as lower-taxed dividends or capital gains). The campaign argues the rate would be among the lowest among industrialized nations, giving U.S. companies an edge to compete.

The lower corporate rates would provide “a tremendous stimulus for the economy,” the campaign’s plan argues. Mr. Trump would not, however, allow businesses to expense all their new equipment purchases, as some other Republicans do.

The plan proposes to simplify tax filing for many lower- to middle-income households. The plan says that some 42 million households that currently file tax forms to establish that they don’t owe any federal income tax now will be able to file their returns on a single page.

The 31 million households that have been paying some taxes but now won’t have any tax liability can use the same single-page, and keep an average of $1,000 in tax savings, the Trump campaign says. Today, 36% of American households today pay no income taxes, and that number would grow to 50%.

The Trump plan would raise revenues in at least a couple of significant ways. It would limit the value of individual deductions, with middle-class households keeping all or most of their deductions, higher-income taxpayers keeping around half of theirs, and the very wealthy losing a significant chunk of theirs. It also would wipe out many corporate deductions.

All taxpayers would keep their current deductions for mortgage-interest on their homes and charitable giving.

The plan also proposes capping the amount of interest payments that businesses can deduct now, a change phased in over a long period, and would impose a corporate tax on future foreign earnings of American multinationals.

Click HERE to view the entire Trump tax plan.



*VIDEO* Greg Gutfeld: Why The Right Is Right

H/T Right Scoop



Obama’s Recovery In Just 9 Charts (Tyler Durden)

Obama’s Recovery In Just 9 Charts – Tyler Durden




President Asshat To Flush Another $120M Down “Green Energy” Toilet

Obama Pledges $120M Toward Solar Power, Clean Energy – The Hill


The Obama administration announced Wednesday morning a series of efforts worth more than $120 million aimed at boosting solar and other clean energy sources.

The initiatives focus on the Department of Energy, where the bulk of the funding will go to programs to develop solar power technology and get it into homes, businesses and other facilities.

“President Obama and Vice President Biden are committed to promoting smart, simple, low-cost technologies to help America transition to cleaner and more distributed energy sources, help households save on their energy bills, and to address climate change,” the White House said in a fact sheet outlining the efforts.

“All told, this funding will drive the development of affordable clean energy throughout the country,” it said.

The actions aim to help out solar power in 24 states, officials said.

The announcements come the same day Biden, currently considering a bid for president, is scheduled to speak at a major solar industry conference in California and at a climate change summit with U.S. and Chinese leaders later in the afternoon.

Solar power has been a top priority and talking point for the Obama administration’s energy and environmental policy priorities as officials push for an increase in low- or zero-carbon electricity sources.

The industry has expanded greatly under Obama. The White House says approximately 734,000 homes have solar panels, up from 66,000 homes when Obama took office.

But solar still only represents a small sliver of the country’s power generation. Solar produced 0.4 percent of the United States’s electricity last year.



*VIDEO* Ben Carson Speech And Q&A At Steamboat Institute Freedom Conference (08/28/15)



Over Half Of All Immigrant Households In U.S. On Some Form Of Welfare

Report: Immigrant Households Using Welfare At Vastly Higher Rate Than Native-Born Households – Big Government


Immigrant-headed households in the U.S. use welfare at a much higher rate than their native-born counterparts and that trend holds true for both new and long-time immigrant residents, according to a new study.

According to a report released Wednesday from the Center for Immigration Studies, 51 percent of immigrant-headed households (both legal and illegal) reported using at least one welfare program during the year in 2012. Thirty-percent of native-headed households meanwhile used at least one welfare program.

The CIS report analyzed welfare data from the Census Bureau’s Survey of Income and Program Participation (SIPP). Included in the center’s definition of welfare is Medicaid, cash, food, and housing programs.

“If immigration is supposed to benefit the country, then immigrant welfare use should be much lower than native use,” Steven Camarota the CIS’s Director of Research and the report’s author said. “However two decades after welfare reform tried to curtail immigrant welfare use, immigrant households are using most programs at higher rates than natives.”

Camarota noted that the skill and education level of many current immigrants is contributing to their welfare use.

“The low-skill level of many immigrants means that although most work, many also access welfare programs. If we continue to allow large numbers of less-educated immigrants to settle in the country, then immigrant welfare use will remain high,” he added.

While welfare use among both new and old immigrants is high – with 48 percent of immigrants in the U.S. for more than 20 years reporting welfare use – the rates vary based on region of origin.

In 2012, 73 percent of immigrant-headed households from Central America and Mexico reported using one of more welfare program. Households from the Caribbean used welfare at a rate of 51 percent, African immigrants were at 48 percent, South America at 41 percent, East Asia 32 percent, Europe 26 percent, South Asia 17 percent.

The report further highlights that while immigrant-headed households use welfare at a higher rate than natives they also pay taxes at a lower rate.

“On average, immigrant-headed households had tax liability in income and payroll taxes in 2012 that was about 11 percent less than native households, or about 89 cents for every dollar native households pay, based on Census Bureau data. Immigrant households have lower average incomes (from all sources) than native households and are a good deal larger, giving them more tax deductions. As a result, their average income tax liability is less than native households,” the report reads

Other findings in the CIS report include:

• No single program explains immigrants’ higher overall welfare use. For example, not counting subsidized school lunch, welfare use is still 46 percent for immigrants and 28 percent for natives. Not counting Medicaid, welfare use is 44 percent for immigrants and 26 percent for natives.

• Immigrant households have much higher use of food programs (40 percent vs. 22 percent for natives) and Medicaid (42 percent vs. 23 percent). Immigrant use of cash programs is somewhat higher than natives (12 percent vs. 10 percent) and immigrant use of housing programs is similar to natives.

• Many immigrants struggle to support their children, and a large share of welfare is received on behalf of U.S.-born children. However, even immigrant households without children have significantly higher welfare use than native households without children – 30 percent vs. 20 percent.

• The welfare system is designed to help low-income workers, especially those with children, and this describes many immigrant households. In 2012, 51 percent of immigrant households with one or more workers accessed one or more welfare programs, as did 28 percent of working native households.

• The large share of immigrants with low levels of education and resulting low incomes partly explains their high use rates. In 2012, 76 percent of households headed by an immigrant who had not graduated high school used one or more welfare programs, as did 63 percent of households headed by an immigrant with only a high school education.

• The high rates of immigrant welfare use are not entirely explained by their lower education levels. Households headed by college-educated immigrants have significantly higher welfare use than households headed by college-educated natives – 26 percent vs. 13 percent.

• In the four top immigrant-receiving states, use of welfare by immigrant households is significantly higher than that of native households: California (55 percent vs. 30 percent), New York (59 percent vs. 33 percent), Texas (57 percent vs. 34 percent), and Florida (42 percent vs. 28 percent).



Tuesday’s Close: Dow Plummets Another 470 Points

New Month, Same Woes: Dow Plummets 470 Points – Daily Freeman


Stocks plunged again Tuesday, continuing a rocky ride for Wall Street, after an economic report out of China rekindled fears that the world’s second-largest economy is slowing more than previously anticipated.

The sell-off adds to what has been a difficult few weeks for U.S. and international markets. U.S. stocks just closed out their worst month in more than three years. Tuesday’s drop also dashed hopes that, after some relatively calm trading Friday and Monday, the stock market’s wild swings were coming to an end.

“This market remains fragile,” said Jack Ablin, chief investment officer at BMO Private Bank. “There’s nothing fundamentally wrong with the U.S. economy, but we are going through this correction process. We’ve got a rocky road ahead of us.”

Stocks started the day sharply lower and never recovered, with the Dow Jones industrial average falling as much as 548 points. No part of the market was spared. All 10 sectors of the Standard & Poor’s 500 index fell more than 2 percent. Just three stocks in the S&P 500 closed higher.

“Monday’s relatively peaceful markets are a distant memory as Chinese data and shares sparked another severe … reaction from the developed world,” said John Briggs, head of fixed income strategy at RBS.

In the end, the Dow lost 469.68 points, or 2.8 percent, to 16,058.35. The S&P 500 fell 58.33 points, or 3 percent, to 1,913.85 and the Nasdaq composite fell 140.40 points, 2.9 percent, to 4,636.10.

As it’s been for the last several weeks, the selling and problems started in Asia.

An official gauge of Chinese manufacturing fell to a three-year low last month, another sign of slowing growth in that country. The manufacturing index, which surveys purchasing managers at factories, dropped to a reading of 49.7 in August from 50.0 in July. A reading below 50 indicates a contraction.

China’s stocks sank on the news, with Shanghai Composite Index closing down 1.2 percent. The index has lost 38 percent of its value since hitting a peak in June.

The Chinese economy has been a focus for investors all summer, and the concerns have intensified in the last three weeks. China devalued its currency, the renminbi, in mid-August. Investors interpreted the move as a sign that China’s economy was not doing as well as previously reported.

Investors moved into traditional havens like bonds and gold Tuesday. Bond prices rose, pushing the yield on the benchmark 10-year Treasury note down to 2.16 percent from 2.22 percent on Monday. Gold rose $7.30, or 0.6 percent, to settle at $1,139.80 an ounce.

Faced with the possibility of slowing demand in China, the commodity markets once again took the brunt of the hit.

U.S. crude oil fell $3.79 to close at $45.41 a barrel in New York. Brent Crude, a benchmark for international oils used by many U.S. refineries, fell $4.59 to close at $49.56 in London.

Energy stocks were once again among the biggest decliners. Exxon Mobil fell nearly 4 percent and Chevron fell 2.5 percent. Exxon is down 22 percent this year, Chevron 30 percent.

In a sign of how battered energy companies have been this year, ConocoPhillips announced it was laying off 10 percent of its workers, roughly 1,800 workers, as a reaction this year’s plunge in oil prices.

Along with worries about China, speculation about whether or not the Federal Reserve will raise interest rates as soon as this month continues to weigh on markets. Traders say a lot hinges on the August jobs report, which will be released this Friday. Economists are forecasting that U.S. employers created 220,000 jobs in the month and that the unemployment rate fell to 5.2 percent.

The Federal Reserve meets September 16 and 17. Some economists are predicting that policymakers will be confident enough in the U.S. economic recovery to raise interest rates for the first time in almost a decade. While Fed officials are mostly focused on the U.S. economy, they cannot ignore problems in the global economy.

“China’s problems are totally a concern for the Fed,” said Tom di Galoma, head of rates trading at ED&F Man Capital. “With inflation remaining low here, I just don’t a reason why they would raise rates.”

Markets in Europe were broadly lower. Germany’s DAX fell 2.4 percent, France’s CAC-40 lost 2.4 percent and the U.K.’s FTSE 100 index declined 3 percent. Japan’s Nikkei 225 was also volatile, dropping 3.8 percent. The Hang Seng in Hong Kong sank 2.2 percent. Stocks also fell in South Korea and Australia.

The dollar fell to 119.68 yen from 121.20 yen on Monday. The euro rose to $1.1307 from $1.1225.

In other energy markets, wholesale gasoline fell 10.3 cents to close at $1.396 a gallon, heating oil fell 12.3 cents to close at $1.578 a gallon and natural gas rose 1.3 cents to close at $2.702 per 1,000 cubic feet.

Copper lost 4 cents to $2.30 a pound and palladium slumped $23.05 to $578.50 an ounce. The price of silver edged down four cents to $14.61 an ounce and platinum edged down $2.10 to $1,008.40 an ounce.



Feds Overpaid $371.5 Million In Benefits To Disability Recipients

Social Security Administration Overpaid $371.5 Million In Disability Benefits – Washington Free Beacon


The Social Security Administration (SSA) overpaid individuals a total of $371.5 million in disability benefits from fiscal year 2009 through fiscal 2013, according to a Government Accountability Office (GAO) report.

These overpayments are cause for concern, as the Social Security’s Disability Insurance Trust Fund is expected to go broke by 2016, according to SSA’s 2015 annual report.

“During a time of growing concern about the solvency of the DI trust fund, it is important for SSA to take every opportunity to help improve the financial status of the program,” the GAO said. The report examined how these concurrent Federal Employees’ Compensation Act (FECA) payments affect Disability Insurance (DI) overpayments.

The GAO found that SSA did not detect concurrent FECA payments for about 1,040 individuals during at least one month from July 1, 2011, through June 30, 2014.

To test SSA’s internal controls, GAO randomly selected 20 beneficiaries for review. In all 20 cases, SSA’s controls failed to detect and prevent overpayments. In seven of the cases, SSA did not detect overpayments for more than a decade, and each of these individuals received $100,000 in overpaid benefits.

One of these seven individuals received FECA benefits in the 1980s and was approved for disability benefits 14 years later in 1994. The GAO found that this individual received $200,000 in overpayments for more than 20 years.

The SSA’s “internal controls” rely on beneficiaries to self-report overpayments.

“SSA officials told us that if beneficiaries do not self-report benefits, there are no system prompts that would alert SSA staff to ask beneficiaries if they are receiving any workers’ compensation benefits, including FECA payments,” states GAO. “SSA officials agreed that relying on beneficiaries to self-report benefits presents a challenge in identifying overpayments related to the concurrent receipt of FECA benefits.”

The disability insurance program is the nation’s largest cash assistance program for workers with disabilities. In fiscal year 2014 it paid $142 billion to 11 million beneficiaries.