Wednesday, January 30, 2013

January 30, 2013

Cruz to Banks Being Bullied by Emanuel Over Guns: Come to Texas
by Katie Pavlich 
January 29, 2013

Late last week, Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel sent letters to the CEOs of Bank of America and TD Bank Group urging them to cut off business with gun manufacturers. Both banks operate out of Chicago. Now, freshman Senator Ted Cruz has sent a letter of his own to the same CEOs urging them to do more business in Texas, away from the bully tactics of Chicago.

To the CEOs of Bank of America and TD Bank Group, it has recently been reported that Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel sent each of you letters urging that you threaten to cease transacting business with American firearm manufacturers Smith & Wesson and Sturm, Ruger & Co.

Both of your companies do considerable business in the City of Chicago, and you may be understandably concerned that there are risks to refusing to comply with the demands of a politicians who has earned the nickname, "The Godfather."

In Texas, we have a  more modest view of government.

We do not accept that notion that government officials should behave as bullies, trying to harass or pressure private companies into enlisting in a political lobbying campaign. And we subscribe to the notion, quaint in some quarters, that private companies don't work for elected officials; elected officials work for private citizens.

In light of the reception you have received in the Windy City, please know that Texas would certainly welcome more of your business and the jobs you create. Texans value jobs and value freedom and over 1000 people a day are moving to Texas (often from cities like Chicago), because Texas is where the jobs are.

If I can be of assistance in that regard, please do not hesitate to call.

Cruz cc'ed Emanuel on the letter and thanked Smith & Wesson and Sturm, Ruger & Co. for their commitment to the Second Amendment.

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A Conservative Warrior with a true backbone!  Click ^^pic^^ to read Ted's letter
Rick Snyder mousetraps Michigan Right To Work opponents
by Moe Lane
January 29, 2013

Hey, do you want to see what it looks like to have your planned judicial delaying tactics trip, fall, and face-plant before it even clears the door?

…Yeah, sorry about the metaphor, but sometimes the convoluted ones are really the only ones that fit. Case in point:
Opponents of the state’s new right-to-work law promised a challenge of the controversial bill that passed the lame-duck Legislature in December. 
But those challenges may become a moot point since Gov. Rick Snyder asked the Michigan Supreme Court on Monday to review the bill and determine whether it passes constitutional muster.
What was going to happen was that labor reform opponents were going to judicial shop until they found a tame judge ready and willing to pass a temporary injunction on the law until it… reached the Michigan Supreme Court. Governor Snyder, knowing this perfectly well, is simply going to move the process along – secure in the knowledge that Right-To-Work has passed muster in the courts time and again, and perhaps even more secure in the knowledge that the Michigan Supreme Court has a comfortable Republican majority, thanks to Democratic MI Supreme Court judge Diane Hathaway’s recent resignation in the face of charges of real estate fraud. Hence, the short-circuiting; the sooner this all gets resolved, the better.

Anyway, go read the Detroit Free Press article: it’s got some awesomely cranky Democrats being quoted in it. Apparently they don’t like it when Republicans are too busy to indulge the Left in its usual judicial Kabuki theater… but, honestly: jumping the queue to the Supreme Court is a perfectly-reasonable response to make to what is often a very childish, and always predictable, strategy by Democrats. If the Democrats don’t like that, then maybe they shouldn’t try to quick-draw an injunction every time they lose an important vote…

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Right to Work States

How politicians are planning the return of taxation without representation
by Christopher Bedford
January 30, 2013

It’s been nearly 250 years since the king passed his Stamp Act to pay for all that royal spending, and nearly 240 years since gramps found that generally Intolerable and sent the British running. But the issue is not dead. On the contrary, legislators are again actively attempting to pass what is effectively taxation without representation, and far from being a distant king in England, the villains today are both Democratic and Republican lawmakers from Washington to Tennessee.

That’s right: Taxation without representation is the situation we may find ourselves in soon if the states get the feds to pass their Internet tax law. And stop right there! Because before anyone says Internet taxes are boring, reread the first graph of this riot; and also recall that stamps and tea are way more boring than the Internet, but that didn’t stop grandpa from dressing up in war paint and bashing things up over them.

So in the vein of old Paul Revere, we’re here to spread the alarm and lay out exactly what it is they’re scheming.

How they usually steal money

Typically, politicians confiscate Americans’ money through an origin-based system — essentially, one based on physical presence. So, if we drive to Virginia to buy a book, we pay the sales tax in Virginia and no one asks us where we’re going to read that book. And if we live in a home in Maryland, we pay property taxes and the rest in Maryland. And if we own a business in Washington, D.C., we pay a whole slew of other taxes in Washington, D.C.

While there are plenty of overly complicated deviations from this basic rule, by and large, physical presence is the anchor. This is really, really important, because it keeps the tax man in check: Virginia doesn’t want to make it too expensive to buy a book in Virginia; Maryland doesn’t want to make it too expensive to live in Maryland (plus the homeowner can vote there); and D.C. doesn’t want to make it too difficult to operate a business in D.C.

These are the checks and balances that generally stop the greedy tax man from fleecing the people he relies on. Allowing for the precedent of the 50 states to tax beyond their borders is dangerous as hell, not only to our wallets but to the very way people operate in this country.

But so far, we’ve been talking about physically present, brick & mortar things. So what about the Internet?

How the schemers want to steal (more) money

What the schemers want to do is tax transactions that take place on the Internet. Basically, states want to tax Internet imports. So if we want to sell something on eBay to a buyer in Florida, Florida wants to tax us, even though we have no property, physical presence or political representation in Florida. And if we tell Florida to take a hike, we have to leave the comforts of home and fight that in court in Florida.

All of this, of course, is in the interest of “fairness.” See, legislators point out that Internet businesses should not be able to dodge the taxes that brick & mortar businesses pay every day. But since “fairness” is almost always a code word for an incredibly stupid government idea, the major proposal to fix this is a lot more taxes on a lot more people with a lot less accountability.

Now, the real problem with this is when a state can tax people who have no property, physical presence or political representation in them, that state then has zero incentive not to tax those people out of existence. In fact, making it harder for folks in our state to compete with folks in Florida could serve as an actual incentive for Florida to tax our business! That, friends, is a form of protectionism, and it’s something we’ve seen before.

We’ve seen it before because when states were allowed to engage in protectionist policies, they did. Little known fact: The U.S. Constitution is not the first constitution we had — it just worked a lot better than the first, known as the Articles of Confederation. Under the Articles, Congress was powerless to regulate interstate commerce, leaving the states free to engage in trade wars with each other, which they did with great mirth while the Red Coats ran roughshod over the young country’s attempts to get its shit together. This, to say the least, was bad for American prosperity.

Fortunately, today, as the states fight to see who will get the plunder and who won’t, we have the modern Constitution, which gives Congress the power “To regulate commerce … among the several states.”

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