Peter Flaherty's blog

New Congress Must Defund Legal Services Corporation, AARP, and Soros

John Boehner photoIn the previous years, NLPC has demanded an end to taxpayer funding for the Legal Services Corporation (LSC), AARP and George Soros’ private foundations, only to be rebuffed by Democratic and Republican Congresses. The incoming Congress was elected to cut out inappropriate spending. The practice of collecting money from all taxpayers and using it to promote political causes with which many disagree is simply unethical. Incoming House Speaker John Boehner (R-OH) must put a stop to it.

Legal Services Corporation- This year, LSC is receiving $420 million in tax dollars. LSC funds 136 local groups to provide civil (not criminal) day-to-day legal help to poor people. Unfortunately, many LSC-funded lawyers instead spend their time on liberal political and social causes.

Corporate CEOs Must Heed Election Results, Too

Kindler photoThe electorate’s repudiation of Barack Obama and his Congressional allies was not only a rejection of Big Government, but also of business elites who were buffeted from the downturn by political dealing at the expense of ordinary people.

Unless Corporate America heeds the election results, it too will risk the wrath of an informed and energized public. Here are CEOs who must pay attention to what happened yesterday:

Pfizer CEO Jeffrey Kindler- Not only did Kindler (above) lead the charge of Big Pharma CEOs for ObamaCare, he actually got a multi-million dollar bonus from Pfizer for doing so. This is not going to look very good once ObamaCare spikes insurance premiums, prompts hospital closures, and explodes the number of uninsured. Of course, Kindler wasn’t naïve or confused, he had reason to help destroy the health system. Big Pharma made a deal that guarantees it customers and insulation from competition. (I assume Kindler plans to retire before the government forces Pfizer to sell its products for less than it costs to produce them.)

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.

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.

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:

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:

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.

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.

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.

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.

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