Archive for April 16th, 2010

The Teacher Pension Nightmare: Josh Barro, Forbes

Friday, April 16th, 2010

Pension and retirement plans all over America have lost value. Plans covering public school teachers, by their own admission, are underfunded by $332 billion. However, the plans’ real funding gap is far worse than their financial statements show, at nearly a trillion dollars–and you and I will bear the burden of covering their shortfall.

Investor’s Business Daily: Small Business Vs. Big Government

Friday, April 16th, 2010

While the stock market has been buoyant over the last several weeks, small businesses, the heart of U.S. job creation, remain extremely gloomy.

April’s survey of the National Federation of Independent Businesses shows deep pessimism among small-business owners with the “Optimism Index” showing readings under 90 for the 18th consecutive month.

WSJ: Goldman Is Charged With Subprime Fraud

Friday, April 16th, 2010

The Securities and Exchange Commission on Friday charged Goldman Sachs Group Inc. with defrauding investors, alleging that Goldman let a big hedge fund fill a financial product with risky subprime mortgages and then failed to disclose that to the product’s buyers.

The SEC said in the civil complaint that Goldman and Fabrice Tourre, then vice president, created and sold opaque collateralized-debt obligations, or CDOs, that hinged on the performance of subprime-mortgage-backed securities.

Unconstitutional — NY Times: Obama Pushes for D.C. Congressional Seat

Friday, April 16th, 2010

President Obama called Friday for Congress to pass legislation giving voting representation to residents of the nation’s capital.

The House Democratic leader, Representative Steny Hoyer of Maryland, plans to bring the measure, called the D.C. Voting Rights Act, to the floor next week for a vote.

Orange County Register — Emily Cadei: Boxer could lose this time

Friday, April 16th, 2010

Democratic Sen. Barbara Boxer of California has been the subject of any number of unflattering portrayals by Republican detractors over the past few months: a talkative blimp, an “obnoxious left-wing ideologue,” and “bitterly partisan,” to name a few.

The barrage of criticism, which took on a new level of intensity with the state Republicans’ convention the weekend of March 12, appears to be taking its toll on the three-term senator.

65% in New Jersey Favor Pay Freeze For Teachers, School Employees

Friday, April 16th, 2010

Link.

Rasmussen — Arizona Republican Primary for Senate: Jerry Moran-endorser John McCain at 47%, former Congressman JD Hayworth 42%

Friday, April 16th, 2010

Incumbent John McCain now earns just 47% support to challenger J.D. Hayworth’s 42% in Arizona’s hotly contested Republican Senate Primary race, according to the latest Rasmussen Reports telephone survey of likely primary voters.

McCain has been losing ground since January when he picked up 53% of the potential GOP Primary vote and Hayworth had only 31% support. Last month, the longtime senator and 2008 GOP presidential candidate earned 48% of the vote, while 41% of likely primary voters supported his challenger.

UK — Outsider Clegg judged winner in first TV debate

Friday, April 16th, 2010

MANCHESTER (Reuters) – Nick Clegg, a rank outsider to become next prime minister, upstaged the two main candidates in an unprecedented televised debate on Thursday, according to snap polls of viewers.

The leader of the Liberal Democrats could hold the balance of power if, as some opinion polls suggest, neither of the two larger parties win an outright majority in the election.

US Senate climate bill to be unveiled April 26

Friday, April 16th, 2010

WASHINGTON, April 15 (Reuters) - A long-awaited compromise bill to reduce U.S. emissions of carbon dioxide and other gases blamed for global warming will be unveiled by a group of senators on April 26, sources said on Thursday.

OPEC will step in if oil price hits 100 dollars: Kuwait

Friday, April 16th, 2010

Link.

GE: 7,000 tax returns, $0 U.S. tax bill

Friday, April 16th, 2010

NEW YORK (CNNMoney.com) -- General Electric filed more than 7,000 income tax returns in hundreds of global jurisdictions last year, but when push came to shove, the company owed the U.S. government a whopping bill of $0.

How’d it pull off that trick? By losing lots of money.

Video, NBC Reporter To Black Man At Tea Party: “Have You Ever Felt Uncomfortable?”

Friday, April 16th, 2010

Link.

Obama makes light of anti-tax protests

Friday, April 16th, 2010

MIAMI (AP) – President Barack Obama said Thursday he’s amused by the anti-tax tea party protests that have been taking place around Tax Day.
Obama told a fundraiser in Miami that he’s cut taxes, contrary to the claims of protesters.
“You would think they’d be saying thank you,” he said.

Flight disruptions in Europe get even worse

Friday, April 16th, 2010

LONDON (AP) – Thick drifts of volcanic ash blanketed parts of rural Iceland on Friday as a vast, invisible plume of grit drifted over Europe, emptying the skies of planes and sending hundreds of thousands in search of a hotel room, a train ticket or a rental car.

Icelandic volcano still spewing huge ash plume

Friday, April 16th, 2010

REYKJAVIK (Reuters) - An Icelandic volcano is still spewing ash into the air in a massive plume that has disrupted air traffic across Europe and shows little sign of letting up, officials said on Friday.

IRS Will Withhold Refund if You Don’t Get Health Insurance — Club for Growth

Friday, April 16th, 2010

When ObamaCare passed into law, it gave the IRS vast new powers since the agency will now be the official gatekeeper for complying with the individual mandate.  Excerpt from the Wall Street Journal:
The Internal Revenue Service won’t audit you to make sure you have purchased health insurance under provisions of the new health-care law-but it may withhold your tax refund if you can’t demonstrate that you are insured, an IRS official said Thursday.

Steven T. Miller, IRS Deputy Commissioner for Services and Enforcement, made the comments during a hearing of the Senate Finance Committee. He echoed earlier comments by IRS Commissioner Doug Shulman that questions about health coverage won’t in and of themselves lead to an IRS audit.

“There are tools we can use. We obviously will be notifying folks [for whom there is no record of health insurance] that we have these questions,” said Mr. Miller. “We have a refund offset mechanism in order to enforce that provision.”