Bernanke Should Heed Election Results and Abandon Quantitative Easing

BernankeThe Fed is supposed to be insulated from politics but it is not supposed to be divorced from reality. In the face of the election results, Ben Bernanke’s reported plan for hundreds of billions in additional government bond purchases seems ill advised.

The American people have spoken. Government spends and borrows too much. The electoral repudiation of Big Government was preceded by the emergence of the Tea Party movement, which is transforming debate over our financial nation’s future. Public debt has become Public Enemy #1.

It is arguable whether Bernanke’s first expansion of the Fed’s balance sheet saved us from a depression. He thinks so. After all, he has devoted his entire academic career to studying the notion that lack of liquidity is what caused the Great Depression. But whether he is right or not is beside the point. Liquidity does not solve all future problems.

No depression looms but … Read More ➡

Politico: Rangel in Disarray

John Bresnahan of Politico reports today:

Rep. Charles Rangel is heading into a Nov. 15 ethics trial with no lawyers, little money and a risky strategy that may turn his trial into a political showdown, rather than a legal face-off, according to sources close to the New York Democrat.

It’s not even clear if the ethics trial will start on time. Rangel has asked for a delay in the proceedings, but the ethics committee – with members off running their own reelection campaigns – has not publicly ruled on the request.

The article includes speculation that Democrats might go easy on Rangel because they will have already have lost their majority. Indeed, with the latest projections that they will lose 50 or more seats on Tuesday, Democrats may be so shell shocked that the Rangel trial may be the last thing on their minds. The path of least resistance may … Read More ➡

Bailed-Out Bank of America Bails Out Democrats With Loans

Bank of America logoPajamas Media reports today:

Shortly after Labor Day, as polls continued to sink, the Democratic National Committee (DNC) realized it needed a cash infusion for the upcoming midterm elections. Its chairman, former Virginia Governor Tim Kaine, turned to the Bank of America to secure a $15 million revolving credit line. Then, in the middle of this month, the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee (DCCC) got another loan from BofA for an additional $17 million.

The loans might be illegal. A key question is whether adequate collateral was posted for the loans. The DNC says it pledged its donor mailing list but:

“Donor lists do have value, but very fleeting value,” Ken Boehm, chairman of the National Legal and Policy Center, told Pajamas Media. “Lists do deteriorate and $15 million is an awful lot of money. So if the bank ends up with the list because the party is broke, where are

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NPR Ombudsman Cited Extremist in Defense of Juan Williams Firing

Alicia Shepard photoOn Thursday, National Public Radio’s Alicia Shepard (at right) defended the firing of Juan Williams by claiming on the NPR website:

Even though NPR handled this situation badly, the fact remains that NPR must uphold its journalistic standards, which, after all, provide the basis that earned public radio’s reputation for quality.

Shepard described the unprecedented outpouring of outrage at NPR at the firing but also ballyhooed “hundreds” of listener requests to fire or discipline Williams. She quoted exactly one:

“On the Radio, Williams is somewhat of a thoughtful though superficial moderate while on FOX he shows his politically correct submissive Pro Fox bigotry for a few dollars more,” wrote Mohamed Khodr, a doctor from Winchester, VA, who was among scores who contacted me Wednesday.

“NPR must and should take a stand against this bigotry and tell Williams’ he must choose NPR’s code of ethics or be let go to

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Along With NPR, Soros Groups Get Millions in Taxpayer Funds

Soros report coverNational Public Radio’s firing of Juan Williams and its acceptance of a $1.8 million gift from left-wing billionaire George Soros’ foundation have put the spotlight on the NPR’s taxpayer subsidy. What is less well known is that Soros’ private foundations also receive millions in taxpayer funds.

Not only that, but the projects that taxpayers fund through Soros’ foundations appear to violate a federal prohibition on the use of taxpayer funds to promote drug use and prostitution. Our efforts to expose this misuse of tax money in 2007 were met with hostility by the State Department and disinterest in Congress.

In October 2007, NLPC asked the Inspector General of the United States Agency for International Development (USAID) to investigate the possibility that the agency was violating federal law. Our request came in the wake of the publication of our Special Report titled Soros Groups Receive Taxpayer Funds: State Department Collaborates in Read More ➡

Google is 100% Hypocritical By Paying 2.4% Tax Rate

Obama Schmidt photo

According to Jesse Drucker of Bloomberg today:

Google Inc. cut its taxes by $3.1 billion in the last three years using a technique that moves most of its foreign profits through Ireland and the Netherlands to Bermuda.

Google’s income shifting — involving strategies known to lawyers as the “Double Irish” and the “Dutch Sandwich” — helped reduce its overseas tax rate to 2.4 percent, the lowest of the top five U.S. technology companies by market capitalization, according to regulatory filings in six countries.

Of course, Google executives were among Barack Obama largest campaign contributors. CEO Eric Schmidt stumped for candidate Obama, and he and other senior executives contributed $150,000 to help pay for the inaugural celebration.

Obama rails against “loopholes” that allow corporations to escape taxes on foreign earnings. He demonizes bankers and he wants to raise taxes on “the rich.” In reality, Obama is the best friend the wealthy … Read More ➡

Exec at Rangel’s Nonprofit Got $250K in Fake Tax Refunds

According to WebCPA.com:

A senior executive of the Upper Manhattan Empowerment Zone who is also a tax preparer has pleaded guilty to submitting false and fraudulent tax returns to the Internal Revenue Service and cashing approximately $250,000 in fraudulently obtained tax refund checks.

Kelvin Crucey, 41, has been employed since 1996 by the empowerment zone, most recently as senior vice president of finance and administration.

Embattled Rep. Charles Rangel (D-NY) played a key role in the creation of the Upper Manhattan Empowerment Zone (UMEZ). He exercises dominating influence over its board of directors and has secured millions in federal earmarks. Rangel directed millions in taxpayer money through UMEZ to another nonprofit known as Alianza Dominicana, which is Spanish for Dominican Alliance.

On August 9, NLPC filed a Complaint against Rangel with the House Ethics Committee, alleging a pattern of inside dealing, cronyism and corruption at Alianza. Click here to Read More ➡

Rangel Parts Company With Ethics Lawyers, $2 Million Lighter

John Bresnahan of Politico reports today:

Rep. Charles Rangel (D-N.Y.), who faces an ethics trial next month, has parted ways with his lead defense attorneys in the case, according to several sources familiar with the matter.

It is unclear what, if any, impact this will have on the Rangel trial, which is scheduled to begin Nov. 15. It is also not clear whether Rangel decided to get rid of his attorneys or if they left of their own volition.

Whatever the case, Rangel’s lawyers were not underpaid. During his August 10 House floor speech, when he wasn’t criticizing NLPC, Rangel complained that he “paid close to two million dollars” to his legal team.

This is not the first time Rangel has parted company with lawyers assisting him on his ethics case. Two years ago, after NLPC exposed Rangel’s failure to disclose, or pay taxes on, income from his Dominican Republic … Read More ➡

Murkowski Now Says Nothing Wrong With Sweetheart Land Deal

Murkowski photoOn July 26, 2007 Senator Lisa Murkowski (R-AK) announced that she would sell back an undeveloped piece of land that she purchased in 2006, one day after NLPC filed a Complaint with the Senate Ethics Committee alleging a “sweetheart deal.”

We took Murkowksi’s action as an admission that we were right, and that it mooted out the issue. Since she undid the questionable deal, we assumed there was no reason for the Ethics Committee to pursue the matter. But now Murkowski is claiming that there was nothing wrong with the deal after all.

The land is located on the scenic Kenai River, Alaska’s most popular waterway, where property values were rapidly escalating. The seller was real estate developer Bob Penney, a crony of the late Senator Ted Stevens (R-AK). The purchase price was $179,600, while similar lots were selling for between $250,000 and $350,000.

Joshua Saul reported in yesterday’s Alaska Read More ➡

CNBC: Flaherty Says Bailouts Fuel Wall Street Pay

Today I debated Wall Street pay with Keith Boykin of The Daily Voice. CNBC hosts were Melissa Francis, Larry Kudlow and Trish Regan. Here is a transcript:

Larry Kudlow: Is Wall Street pay too high? Here is what you said: Dave from Texas, “Absolutely they are overpaid. How many other American businesses have this kind of compensation”? But David from Illinois, “If we would stop being concerned about what someone else is making and focus on our own lives, the country would be better off”. Woah. Joining us now to see if the country is better off, Keith Boykin, editor of the Daily Voice and a CNBC contributor and Peter Flaherty, President of the National Legal and Policy Center. Keith Boykin, why do we bother to play these silly games? Who is making what compared to who and how and why? Isn’t that just a little class warfare?

Keith Boykin:Read More ➡