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Hensarling: Senators Should Look Out for Interests of Taxpayers and Confirm Scott Garrett

Scott Garrett

November 3,2017

the staff of the Ridgewood blog

Washington DC , House Financial Services Committee Chairman Jeb Hensarling (R-TX) issued the following statement about today’s Senate committee hearing on the nomination of Scott Garrett to be President of the Export-Import Bank:

“The Export-Import Bank is a deeply troubled government agency connected to cases of fraud, bribery and abuse.  Scott Garrett is a true reformer who will steer the Bank in a much-needed new direction.  Instead of bowing down to pressure from inside-the-Beltway special interest groups, senators should be looking out for the interests of hardworking taxpayers.  President Trump was right to nominate Scott Garrett, a principled leader who will put an end to the Bank’s well-documented management failures.”

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Corporate Welfare : Cronies Want a Pushover as President of the Ex-Im Bank

Scott Garrett

by VERONIQUE DE RUGY July 13, 2017 3:10 PM

It is unfortunate that so many Republicans, conservatives lawmakers, and pundits conflate being pro-market with being pro-business. These are two separate things. Unfortunately, this confusion has produced thousands of government handouts and privileges to companies in the name of being pro-business — and these companies have developed a sense of entitlement. Worst of all, for many of them, government-granted privileges are an inherent part of their business models.

The latest example of this has to do with the nomination by President Trump of former Representative Scott Garrett to become the new president of the crony Export-Import Bank. The institution has been pretty much zombified since 2015 thanks to a few Republicans in Congress who actually believe in the free-market and despise government subsidies (no matter what form they take) to big businesses. As a reminder, during the heyday of the Ex-Im Bank, ten massive domestic companies benefited from 65 percent of the agency’s activities, which subsidized loans to equally massive and often state-owned foreign companies. Also, while the bank also subsidizes billion of dollars in loans to companies in countries that President Trump claims are hurting us on trade, such as China and Mexico, Trump has reversed his position on Ex-Im and wants it up and running and sponsoring large firms again. Go figure. The silver lining is that while the bank will be back in business, at least the man he has nominated understands full well the many problems with the institution — including fraud, abuse, and mismanagement. Scott Garrett was a staunch opponent of the Ex-Im Bank and he is exactly the kind of guy you want there

Read more at: http://www.nationalreview.com/corner/449467/cronies-will-be-cronies

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Seven ways the Clinton Foundation failed to meet its transparency promises

bill-and-hillary-clinton-foundation-global-initiative-AFP-640x480

By Jonathan Swan – 08/27/16 09:04 AM EDT

Hillary Clinton made sweeping promises about transparency at her family’s foundation before she was confirmed in 2009 as President Obama’s secretary of State.

At the time, Clinton was under pressure from senators in both parties and even the White House to agree to be transparent given the potential for ethical concerns with the Clinton Foundation, which has accepted donations or entered into charitable partnerships with foreign and corporate interests.

During her confirmation hearing, the Clinton Foundation was mentioned 62 times as senators worried that foreign governments could use donations to the foundation to curry favor with the Clinton State Department.

Clinton said at the hearing that “all contributors will be disclosed,” and pointed to a memorandum of understanding co-signed in December 2008 between the foundation and the transition team of then president-elect Barack Obama that pledged unprecedented transparency into her family’s sprawling organization.

Some of Clinton’s transparency promises ended up not being kept.

The failures were sometimes complicated – in one example a foreign country’s laws hampered the foundation’s ability to reveal names of donors. Nonetheless, these controversies are now returning to haunt Clinton as November’s election draws near.

Here are seven ways in which the foundation fell short on its transparency pledges.

http://thehill.com/homenews/campaign/293507-seven-ways-the-clinton-foundation-failed-to-meet-its-transparency-promises

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MANY DONORS TO CLINTON FOUNDATION MET WITH HER AT STATE

hillary-clinton-what-difference-does-it-make

BY STEPHEN BRAUN AND EILEEN SULLIVAN
ASSOCIATED PRESS

WASHINGTON (AP) — More than half the people outside the government who met with Hillary Clinton while she was secretary of state gave money – either personally or through companies or groups – to the Clinton Foundation. It’s an extraordinary proportion indicating her possible ethics challenges if elected president.

At least 85 of 154 people from private interests who met or had phone conversations scheduled with Clinton while she led the State Department donated to her family charity or pledged commitments to its international programs, according to a review of State Department calendars released so far to The Associated Press. Combined, the 85 donors contributed as much as $156 million. At least 40 donated more than $100,000 each, and 20 gave more than $1 million.

Donors who were granted time with Clinton included an internationally known economist who asked for her help as the Bangladesh government pressured him to resign from a nonprofit bank he ran; a Wall Street executive who sought Clinton’s help with a visa problem; and Estee Lauder executives who were listed as meeting with Clinton while her department worked with the firm’s corporate charity to counter gender-based violence in South Africa.

The meetings between the Democratic presidential nominee and foundation donors do not appear to violate legal agreements Clinton and former president Bill Clinton signed before she joined the State Department in 2009. But the frequency of the overlaps shows the intermingling of access and donations, and fuels perceptions that giving the foundation money was a price of admission for face time with Clinton. Her calendars and emails released as recently as this week describe scores of contacts she and her top aides had with foundation donors.

http://hosted.ap.org/dynamic/stories/U/US_CAMPAIGN_2016_CLINTON_FOUNDATION?SITE=AP&SECTION=HOME&TEMPLATE=DEFAULT&CTIME=2016-08-23-14-35-04

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Gottheimer/Clinton tax plan will Hit Bergen County Residents Especially Hard

Joshua S

August 23,2016

the staff of the Ridwood blog

Ridgewood NJ, As a professional political operative, Josh Gottheimer knows how to lie to voters in order to get what he wants. He helped Bill Clinton do it for years.

Now, Josh Gottheimer is lying to Fifth District voters about being a “fiscal conservative ” ,when in reality, he supports Hillary’s extreme tax agenda.

This is an agenda that will hit residents of the Fifth District even harder than average Americans . Bergen County already ranks #17 in the country in taxes paid out of 3,007 counties nationwide. The average amount in taxes paid per Bergen County resident is $17,889 and the Gottheimer/Clinton Tax plan will make that number even higher.

Gottheimer learned to lie from the best . Voters may remember that then Senator Hillary Clinton pledged she would not raise taxes on the middle class, then voted repeatedly to do so, including voting in favor of raising taxes on individuals earning as little as $41,500.

The Clintons expect loyalty from those they’ve helped, so will Josh Gottheimer do what he’s always done, and advance the wishes of his biggest patrons by supporting Clinton’s tax plan.

Clinton’s tax plan is bad for Fifth District voters. It means less money in our wallets, less money for our retirement accounts, and fewer job opportunities.

The Tax Foundation has data on what the Gottheimer/Clinton tax plan has in store for voters, and it’s not good:

Table 1. Tax Brackets under Hillary Clinton’s Tax Plan
Ordinary Income Capital Gains and Dividends Single Filers Married Filers Head of Household
10% 0% $0 to $9,275 $0 to $18,550 $0 to $13,250
15% 0% $9,275 to $37,650 $18,550 to $75,300 $13,250 to $50,400
25% 15% $37,650 to $91,150 $75,300 to $151,900 $50,400 to $130,150
28% 15% $91,150 to $190,150 $151,900 to $231,450 $130,150 to $210,800
33% 15% $190,150 to $413,350 $231,450 to $413,350 $210,800 to $413,350
35% 15% $413,350 to $415,050 $413,350 to $466,950 $413,350 to $441,000
39.6% 20% $415,050 to $5 million $466,950 to $5 million $441,000 to $5 million
43.6% 24% $5 million and above $5 million and above $5 million and above
  • Enacts the “Buffett Rule,” which would establish a 30 percent minimum tax on taxpayers with adjusted gross income (AGI) over $1 million – this hurts job-creating small businesses in the Fifth District.
  • Caps all itemized deductions at a tax value of 28 percent.
  • Adjusts the schedule for long-term capital gains by raising rates on medium-term capital gains to between 27.8 percent and 47.4 percent (Table 2).

 

Table 2. Top Marginal Long-Term Capital Gains Tax Rate Schedule under Hillary Clinton’s Tax Plan
Years Held Marginal Tax Rate Net Investment Income Tax Surtax on incomes over $5 million Combined Rate on Capital Gains
Less than One 39.6% 3.8% 4% 47.4%
One to Two 39.6% 3.8% 4% 47.4%
Two to Three 36% 3.8% 4% 43.8%
Three to Four 32% 3.8% 4% 39.8%
Four to Five 28% 3.8% 4% 35.8%
Five to Six 24% 3.8% 4% 31.8%
More than Six 20% 3.8% 4% 27.8%
  • Limits the total value of tax-deferred and tax-free retirement accounts.*
  • Taxes carried interest at ordinary income tax rates instead of capital gains and dividends tax rates.*

 

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Garrett: Boeing deal with Iran proves crony capitalism is alive and well

Scott_Garrett_theridgewoodblog
June 16,2016
the staff of the Ridgewood blog

Ridgewood NJ,  Rep. Scott Garrett (NJ-05) released the following statement in response toreports that Boeing has reached a multibillion-dollar deal to sell commercial passenger planes to Iran.  Boeing is one of the largest beneficiaries of the Export-Import (Ex-Im) bank which perpetuates corporate welfare to mega corporations by handing out taxpayer-backed loans.

“This agreement between Boeing and the world’s largest state sponsor of terrorism is extremely troubling and shows that crony capitalism remains alive and well in Washington.  Not only has Boeing lobbied for years to keep the taxpayer-backed Export Import bank alive, it now has also used its powerful position to take advantage of the ill-conceived nuclear deal with Iran.  This agreement is bad news, not just for taxpayers but for our national security.”

Boeing was lobbying Congress to keep their Ex-Im bank subsidies at the same time it was seeking carve outs from the Obama Administration to do more business with the dangerous Iranian regime. Garrett has been an outspoken critic of the Ex-Im bank and the Iran nuclear deal.

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Not Much in the Way of Free Market Principles” at work in the Over development of Ridgewood

Paul V garage pledge

May 6 2016
the staff of the Ridgewood Blog

Ridgewood NJ, Reader challenges Ridgewood blog on “Free Market principles “claiming we are picking the candidates in favor of more regulation against “free market developers and development”.

“Ironic that “Free Market Laissez-faire Point of View” is in favor of a government that promises to be more restrictive than the alternative, but in this case, Jamsie, I agree with you 100%.

I hope you are learning the flaws in your Randian world view, specifically, left to their devices, the “job creators” would starve themselves out of existence. In the case of Ridgewood: motivated by short term benefit, the Job Creators (i.e. CBD restaurant owners and landlords) would overdevelop the CBD and surrounding areas to the detriment of our community, schools and way of life. In the long term, the quality of the schools would decline even more, the quaintness of the village would erode, property values would drop, and before you know it, you live in a version of Caldwell or whatever.

The judicious application of regulation is a good thing.”

Got to laugh on this one but the reader is a bit confused ;

The Free Market is ,”A system of economics that minimizes government intervention and maximizes the role of the market. According tothe theory of the free market, rational economic actors acting in their own self interest deal with information and price goods and services the most efficiently. Government regulations, trade barriers, and labor laws are generally thought to distort the market. Proponents of the free market argue that it provides the most opportunities for both consumers and producers by creating more jobs and allowing competition to decide what businesses are successful. ”

What we have in Ridgewood and New Jersey as well as on a National level  is called by many Crony capitalism or Cronyism , “Crony capitalism is a description of capitalist society as being based on the close relationships between businessmen and the state. Instead of success being determined by a free market and the rule of law, the success of a business is dependent on the favoritism that is shown to it by the ruling government in the form of tax breaks, government grants and other incentives.”

Developers using the Village Council forcing tax payers to pick up the tab for a parking garage that clearly benefits certain businesses  ie those that support the Mayor and his consorts is not in any way shape or form “Free Market Capitalism” but clearly a local example and the very definition of “Cronyism”. The negative issues associated with over development in the Village are all a direct or indirect cause be they foreseen and unforeseen consequences of government intervention ie.. 3066 , COAH, open space , and so on . These tax breaks, government grants and other incentives are all put in place to aid developers and to garner political contributions .

Crony capitalism is the marriage of the state and private special interests. Some people have called it corporatism, mercantilism, fascism, or even Communism.

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China Warns U.S. After Trump Wins Nevada Caucus

-donald-trump-candidacy-speech-thridgewoodblog

Trump has promised to punish Chinese currency manipulation

BY: Bill Gertz
February 24, 2016 5:00 pm

China warned the United States on Wednesday not to adopt punitive currency policies that could disrupt U.S.-China relations after Donald Trump’s win in the Nevada caucus.

Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Hua Chunying told reporters in Beijing that “we are following with interest the U.S. presidential election.”

Hua was asked about China’s response to a possible Trump presidency and his announced plan to punish China for currency manipulation with a tax on Chinese goods.

http://freebeacon.com/politics/china-warns-u-s-after-trump-wins-nevada-caucus/

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How a deeper dive by Apple could crush this market

apple

Published: Aug 4, 2015 10:38 a.m. ET

Crumbles by commodities and the Colossus of Cupertino have been getting much of the blame for the stock market slumping in seven of the past 10 sessions.

“If AAPL doesn’t find its footing soon, it may risk a deeper drop,” writes Andrew Nyquist, over at See It Market.

And as goes the largest company by market value, so goes the whole U.S. stock market. Or at least a further slide by Apple would act as a mighty powerful brake on the S&P 500 SPX, -0.05% SPY, -0.06%  , where it’s about 4% of the benchmark, and on the growthier Nasdaq 100 NDX, -0.44% QQQ, -0.43%  where it’s a 14% chunk.

So, what’s the matter with Apple AAPL, -3.06% ? For the first time since September 2013, the tech giant’s stock has knifed under the closely watched 200-day moving average. Many chart lovers use that as a guide to a stock’s long-term trend.

Also, Apple has entered into what’s often called “correction territory,” by dropping more than 10% from its peak. Go here for more on the iPhone maker’s technicals, from one of MarketWatch’s resident chart nerds, Tomi Kilgore.

Nyquist suggests Apple, which closed at $118.44 on Monday, could tumble into the $109-to-$115 range — an area the tech giant jumped out of in January, after quarterly results crushed forecasts.

http://www.marketwatch.com/story/how-a-deeper-dive-by-apple-could-crush-this-market-2015-08-04

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Cruz accuses McConnell of lying

ted_cruz_theridgewoodblog

By Jordain Carney

Sen. Ted Cruz (R-Texas) in a blistering floor speech Friday accused Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky) of lying to him over a deal to vote on reauthorizing the Export-Import Bank.

“Today is a sad day for this institution,” said Cruz, who is running for president. “What we just witnessed this morning is profoundly disappointing.”

The Texas Republican’s remarks come after McConnell set up a procedural vote on Sunday to reauthorize the Export-Import Bank, which saw its charter expire last month. Democrats have said McConnell agreed to allow a vote on attaching Ex-Im to “must-pass” legislation to win support from Sen. Maria Cantwell (D-Wash.) for a trade package earlier this year.

On the floor, Cruz said McConnell in a private conversation denied to him that there was such a deal.

“The majority leader was visibly angry with me that I would ask him such a question,” Cruz said. “The majority looked at me and said ‘there is no deal, there is no deal, there is no deal.'”

The Texas Republican said his staff at the time told him that McConnell is “lying to you,” but Cruz suggested that he took the Republican leader at his word.

“What I told my staff that afternoon, I said, well I don’t know if that’s the case or not. But I don’t see how when the majority leader looks me in the eyes and makes an explicit promise,” he added. “I don’t see how I cannot take him at his word.”

http://thehill.com/blogs/floor-action/senate/249076-cruz-accuses-mcconnell-of-lying-to-him-on-ex-im-bank