Tale of 2 wealthy candidates

This is a comparison between Trump and Romney. Both independently wealthy but the contrast couldn’t be any greater.

When Romney ran, his wealth was an embarrassment used against him. Trump’s wealth is a good thing. He self funds. There are pros and cons to that but…like it or not.

Trump doesn’t hide from his wealth, it’s part of who he is. Yet he relates to working class people just as well. Romney had difficulty relating to regular or working people.

Romney’s wealth was used a weapon against him. They don’t seem able to do that with Trump. Are Democrats going to go with the old rule book and demonize him for being rich? Nice try, what will that do? Trump’s wealth is an asset not a liability.

What a difference. Romney would wait to see which way the wind was blowing before making a position statement, parsing it any way he could. Romney had his circle of advisers, who also blew it. Remember the debate where he finally took on Obama and Benghazi? Then he dropped the ball and fumbled the rest of the race. He swore he was the only one who could stand the heat and take on Obama and his long train of abuses. But the left defined him early and often, which he had no answer to. He was disconnected from the actual voters. Romney had his political record and his schizophrenic stances. Finally some concluded he really didn’t care if he won — even with all the RNC’s help and defense.

Trump, on the other hand, has none of the Romney attributes. He does not play by the politically correct rule book. Romney was all about political correctness. Trump is not the wall street insider. He is not predictable as the morning dew. He does respond and answer critics without taking days, even weeks, to formulate a palatable response. Trump swings hard. For a guy who wrote a book on “no apologies,” Romney certainly was apologetic for a lot of things, especially his wealth. Finally for losing. Romney had a history and dynasty aspect to his political career. Trump is very much all on his own, with no family baggage.

Romney allowed himself to be defined by the critics. Trump refuses to fit their mold and play their games. In fact, Trump changes the game. He defines his opponents. Refreshing.

Romney stepped on the conservative vote. Trump broadened the playing field. Trump points to the exact Romney-type people who created the messes. How many people sat out the vote and didn’t participate in 2012? The fix seemed to be in with Romney from early on. Trump redefined what the Washington fix is.

Trump can identify with people where Romney could not. Romney gave the impression of the Northeast RINO. Trump exudes the street fighter persona that Mitt only wished he had. Romney got lost in staff bureaucracy. Trump owns the face of his campaign. Romney was perpetually on defense. (don’t ever run again) Trump is on the offense to spite his critics. Trump attracts attention, Romney put people to sleep. Romney had the golden opportunity handed to him. Trump was attacked from the onset. Trump has the scruffiness of a cab driver. Romney would not think of such things.

Oh but now Romney resurfaces as a backseat critic in the primary process — I guess that’s all you could say Romney won — with his widespread team of gurus and composites in tow. Romney was entrenched in the establishment which separated him from the working class. Romney had the top down approach, Trump has the bottom up “movement” approach. When did you ever see anyone get a tattoo of Romney on their leg? Trump has a brand, like it or not, and a following. Romney had his family and a close set of advisers and hacks. Romney was the carefully scripted candidate, Trump is not.

We were told Romney expanded the party tent. RNC pushed that one. Trump actually does and attracted new and young voters. Actually, a study in December showed Trump had at least 5 points more support among young voters than polls suggested.

So Romney decides he knows better than all injecting his criticism for Trump — possibly on behalf of the RNC establishment et al — to call for a release of Donald’s tax records. There might be a “bombshell” in there he says. Romney goes down the maybe road. Romney takes Harry Reid’s slimy strategy, then asks “What’s he hiding?”

The Romney campaign was train wreck of record chases. No one bests the Democrats at their own game. Romney could not even use Obama’s spurious record trail to his benefit. Failure defines Romney. Winning defines Trump. Still, Trump’s own opposition research turns up things when needed, unlike Romney’s. Now Romney calls for records all over the liberal mainstream media. He even uses their catch phrases like a weapon. Romney is no friend to conservatives, he’s the consummate political hack carping from the bleachers. So the guy who couldn’t take on Obama now plays Mr Rough and tumble critic with Trump. This just shows Romney as the elitist establishment insider he is.

Mitt makes Trump look better, if that’s possible. Thankfully it is not 2012, again.

RightRing | Bullright

Obama’ amnesty freebies

NY Times — Assoc. Press | FEB. 14, 2015

WASHINGTON (AP) – Millions of immigrants benefiting from President Barack Obama’s executive actions could get a windfall from the IRS, a reversal of fortune after years of paying taxes to help fund government programs they were banned from receiving.

Armed with new Social Security numbers, many of these immigrants who were living in the U.S. illegally will now be able to claim up to four years’ worth of tax credits designed to benefit the working poor. For big families, that’s a maximum of nearly $24,000, as long as they can document their earnings during those years. … More>

Moving right along:

Determining Alien Tax Status — (per IRS guidelines)

If you are an alien (not a U.S. citizen), you are considered a nonresident alien unless you meet one of two tests. You are a resident alien of the United States for tax purposes if you meet either the green card test or the substantial presence test for the calendar year (January 1-December 31).

Certain rules exist for determining the Residency Starting and Ending Dates for aliens.

In some cases aliens are allowed to make elections which override the green card test and the substantial presence test, as follows:

Nonresident Spouse Treated as a Resident
Closer Connection To a Foreign Country
Effect of Tax Treaties

You can be both a nonresident alien and a resident alien during the same tax year. This usually occurs in the year you arrive or depart from the United States. If so, you may elect to be treated as a Dual Status Alien for this taxable year and a Resident Alien for the next taxable year if you meet certain tests. (Refer to section “Dual-Status Aliens” – “First Year Choice” in Publication 519, U.S. Tax Guide for Aliens.)

A resident alien who is required to establish his/her U.S. residency for the purpose of claiming a tax treaty benefit with a foreign country should refer to Certification of U.S. Residency for Tax Treaty Purposes.

Substantial Presence Test

You will be considered a U.S. resident for tax purposes if you meet the substantial presence test for the calendar year. To meet this test, you must be physically present in the United States on at least:

31 days during the current year, and

183 days during the 3-year period that includes the current year and the 2 years immediately before that, counting:

  • All the days you were present in the current year, and
  • 1/3 of the days you were present in the first year before the current year, and
  • 1/6 of the days you were present in the second year before the current year.

Not only can they claim tax benefits for being here, but if they owe tax in certain countries, they can seek an exemption by getting a certification from IRS.

Certification of U.S. Residency for Tax Treaty Purposes

U.S. citizens and U.S. residents sometimes need certification of U.S. residency to claim a tax treaty benefit or a reduction of VAT tax with a foreign country. Such persons should file Form 8802 with the IRS to obtain such certification of residency.

The IRS provides this residency certification on Form 6166, a letter of U.S. residency certification. Form 6166 is a computer-generated letter printed on stationary bearing the U.S. Department of Treasury letterhead.

So the agency designated as enforcement arm for Obamacare is the same one enforcing Obama’s amnesty program. Note also that alien is a correct term for a non-citizen.

Oil illusions and/or delusions

(Part 1 of 2)
I posted a piece on the current oil price decline. I could be wrong on my interpretation. Now that I think more about it, I just don’t know.

There are many different angles and factors in the issue. I decided to list some of the variables in an attempt to put the pieces on the table to get a full view, not to prove one view or another. I just thought it would be interesting to see the components.

Basically there is a view catching wide reporting that the decline in prices have hurt the domestic oil industry, and in particular Texas. Some reports describe it as a Saudi war on Texas. The narrative is that Saudis are flooding the market with oil with the intent to hurt our production, namely shale and fracking businesses, which are more cost intensive than cheaper Saudi oil.

A lot of people believe that and follow that line of reasoning. I’m not so sure. I wrote the previous piece off the cuff in reaction to a couple reports I saw getting widely spread. A few days later and I see more reports from economists with the same perspective. It has me wondering am I the lone person who questions that? Did I miss something or am I making a mistake, as sometimes happens? Am I too quick to jump to conclusions or is my bias getting in the way? There can be different opinions.

By nature some reports are kind of hard to understand and complicated anyway. But then I am no economist, and many of these people are degreed academics. I generally have some healthy skepticism and especially when I see piling on a theme. In the end, maybe there is no correct view, and maybe it cannot be seen in just one way.

Supply and demand. This is the talking point that we have heard most in the last 6 or so years. They claim it is market forces driving the high consumer prices we have seen, and actually come to accept as the new normal. This explanation is so institutionalized that we had countless investigations on higher oil prices only to be told it is just supply and demand. Those investigations don’t reveal any gimmickry, so we’re told, and no market manipulation. In fact, reports are no one can manipulate the industry. The very idea would be absurd.

There are investors and traders and hedge funds, oh my. We hear they are the ones to blame for prices. They call them speculators. They bid the prices up to higher levels. There is an awful lot of trading going on.

Cheap oil flooding the market. In the latest analysis the Saudis are leveraging their low cost oil by flooding the market in an attempt to lower costs, making higher cost production less profitable, if at all. This will stop the investment in these processes and stop the industry in its tracks. This is the point of the current reports.

Consumer demand. We will buy something at a marketable price. But in theory the higher the price is the less you will buy, or the less you want to buy it. As prices moderate or come down, you sell more of it. So even in a down economy people will buy just what is necessary, sometimes taking from other expenses. Especially at rising, or higher prices, other goods are affected because they have less money to spend. So people cut back in discretionary spending or luxury areas to offset the higher prices at the pump. Plus they cut use of the product in any ways they can. But other areas of the economy have to be affected because a bigger chunk of the money is going to a particular necessity. For instance less for clothes, food, and less disposable income.

Subsidized economies. Some countries subsidize certain areas of the economy. Many oil rich countries have lower consumer prices due to government subsidies. Some governments own or control the resources and depend on those resources for revenue to fund their government.They make budgets and decisions based on price projections.

Taxes. the money paid to gov’t on refined goods. Higher prices bring higher taxes.

OPEC, a group of oil rich nations allying to make adjustments en masse on production etc.They meet frequently to discuss their issues and concerns. (That I compare them to the Genovese crime family is neither here nor there — they are what they are) They can move or function as a bloc. They have a union concept working for them.

Oil companies, international or domestic, that produce and explore for resources. (Or if you are a card carrying leftist, the bad guys) Private companies in this country making decisions based on a bottom line profit margin, which employ many people. They are involved in production, transportation, refining, storage etc.

Government, involved in regulating, making regulation, protecting resources and assets. Also dispenses permits and approvals, and has oversight capability. It also collects revenues on the business models, as well as on consumer goods, such as refined products.

Retail businesses: Stores that sell finished goods directly to the public consumers.

Fracking and shale oil newer and higher cost drilling operations.

Cost – benefit analysis study of the benefits derived from the cost of materials and production, and projections or decisions based on those factors.

Industry and bulk users corporations and industry that use a particular commodity as basic in their business models. Airlines, freight, energy companies.

Speculators or investors and put hedge funds in this bracket. People or companies investing in oil based on its price fluctuation or performance over a period of time. People buying futures as in any other market, who hope to make a profit. (Such as Hilary’s pork belly futures)

Now, the idea is not to make some grand conclusion by these factors. Just say these are some relevant tangents in the overall picture.

RightRing | Bullright

More fallout on Gruber

Live from Australia, it’s Prez know-nothing at the G-20 Summit commenting on Grubergate.

Obama: We didn’t mislead on health care bill

David Jackson, USA TODAY | November 16, 2014

President Obama says he and his administration did not mislead the public on the financing of the health care law, disputing statements by a consultant who said supporters of the bill took advantage of the “stupidity” of American voters.

“The fact that an adviser who was never on our staff expressed an opinion that I completely disagree with in terms of the voters is not a reflection on the actual process that was run,” Obama told reporters at a news conference following the G-20 summit in Brisbane, Australia.

“I would just advise every press outlet here: Pull up every clip and every story,” Obama said. “I think it’s fair to say there was not a provision in the health care law that was not extensively debated and was fully transparent — it was a tough debate.

From Politico:

“While Gruber was not a staffer, he was a paid consultant whose models were used to help assess the impact of various policy changes being considered as part of health care legislation. Official logs show he visited the White House about a dozen times between 2009 and this year.

More: www.usatoday.com/2014/11/16/obama-health-care-law-jonathan-gruber-g-20-news-conference/

It’s official, not only did they kick the prestigious professor Gruber to the curb, they completely disconnect him to the Obamacare bill.  Fully transparent, extensively debated – and fair to say that?  Back to the lying mode.

Once again, the Oval Office Occupant says he is just learning about this. I imagine Gruber will be stunned to find he had nothing to do with it. All those personal meetings apparently counted for nothing. Gruber is deemed less important than the WH fence jumper.

Politico reported:

When the president was asked whether he had intentionally misled the public in order to get the law passed, he replied: “No. I did not.”

Obama said the notion that any provisions in the bill were hidden is absurd given the intensity of news coverage of the subject when the bill was being drafted and debated in Congress.

Where would you go?

This Map Proves You Could Be Paying Less In Income Taxes If You Lived Here Instead

Justin Koski — July 18, 2014 | Western Journalism

Do states with higher or lower taxes do better economically?

While everyone has their own opinions on the question, a new study on state economic prosperity and taxation will have some saying, “I told you so.”

Governors of states with high taxes will relentlessly deny their effects on the state, or simply justify them with fairness, necessity or needed to sustain the revenue.

Governors of states with low taxes, use that as a means to attract business. For example, Governor Rick Perry (R-Texas) ran advertisements throughout California just last year in an attempt to sway companies to move to Texas because of their lower taxes.


So which of the two is actually true?

The Mercatus Center, a research center at George Mason University conducted a study to find out just that. Its key findings are:

1-Higher taxes reduce economic growth. A one percent increase in taxes results in a 1.9 percent decrease in growth.
2-Taxes impact where people live. People move to states with lower rates and leave those with higher ones.
3-Income tax progressivity (higher rates as income increases) affects new firm creation.

The key findings illustrate that if a governor wants to bring in more residents, create more jobs and make life better for everyone in it, then instead of increasing the taxes, they need to be dropping them.

If only there was a way we could get this into the hands of Congress and see if they could apply these new findings to the whole country…

Read more at http://www.westernjournalism.com/new-study-liberals-livid-challenges-everything-know-raising-taxes/?utm_source=MailChimp&utm_medium=email&utm_content=featured-stories&utm_campaign=DailyEmail07.18.14

— H/T to Dave

More side effects of ObamaCare

New insurance fee in health overhaul law likely to hit consumers

(AP)Your medical plan is facing an unexpected expense, so you probably are, too. It’s a new, $63-per-head fee to cushion the cost of covering people with pre-existing conditions under President Obama’s health care overhaul.

The charge, buried in a recent regulation, works out to tens of millions of dollars for the largest companies, employers say. Most of that is likely to be passed on to workers

/…
Most of the money will go into a fund administered by the Health and Human Services Department. It will be used to cushion health insurance companies from the initial hard-to-predict costs of covering uninsured people with medical problems. Under the law, insurers will be forbidden from turning away the sick as of Jan. 1, 2014.

Read more:http://www.foxnews.com/politics/2012/12/10/new-insurance-fee-in-health-overhaul-law-likely-to-hit-consumers/

Fees, fees, and more fees

ObamaCare is not a solution, it is only a symptom of the disease.

I recently talked to a guy who runs a small arts business. Immediately he mentioned taxes and how it is almost impossile to stay in business. He wondered about all the places that get grants and assistance from either state or federal government. He was not on the special list, not that he wanted anything. He just wanted the deck not to be staked against him. He has around a dozen employees, and with that no one wants to know him or cares. We should tell Obama that these are the people and businesses that are on their own, when he spews the “you are on your own” rhetoric.

Why are those people or businesses being demonized, penalized, and targeted by unions as well?

If you are a big company, there are enticements to attract and keep you in the area. But for the little guy, persona non grata. With those taxes which at least locally go up every year, one eventually asks if it is wort it? They expect you to make it up on your fees from customers, though sometimes that just is not possible or practical. You are penalized for being an employer. Your success is ridiculed.

And these are the folks that Obama says “you didn’t build that”. It seems to me anyone struggling that hard to stay in business, with the odds against them, deserves to say they built it. But can they keep it? That is the real question. The signal sent from the local to the Federal government is “we really could not care less”. However, lots of these benefit the community, not just its coffers. They would be missed — argueably as much as the big guys — if they closed. The payrolls to them are just as important.

I was recently reading the history of a small town. It was founded by business. A couple large companies actually founded and put the town on the map. They paid for and built the origninal roads. They built the schools and hospital. And they atracted more people. They built the much ballyhooed “infrastructure”. Who else was going to do it? These days people have the idea government always comes first, and without it nothing could happen. (ala Obama and Warren) Look at some of history of those towns.

Today the same government holds the life and death of your endeavor over your head. If you are big, they will talk to you. If you are small, you are just a whipping post and more fodder for its schemes. Today, Obama and his ilk have no conception about that America. They render it obsolete and now want to erase it from history…and our memory.