These are my links for October 17th through October 18th:
- Obama needs to win back the hearts of the country – Obama Needs to Win the Not-So-Optomistic– Barack Obama won the hope vote in 2008. Now, to keep the White House, President Obama needs to win back the disappointed.Michael Jones is one of them. Jones, one of the questioners during Tuesday night’s debate, wanted to know what the president has done to earn his support in 2012. This time around, “I’m not that optimistic,” said Jones.Obama’s answer to a critical voter concern was one of his weakest and one of challenger Mitt Romney’s strongest. It’s partly because Obama never got a chance to respond to his rival, but also because Obama didn’t seize the opportunity when Jones first presented to him.You could picture Bill Clinton telling the citizen-questioner in deeply personal terms how hard he is working on his behalf and how hard he would continue to work in a second term. Candidate Clinton showed how that’s done in a 1992 town hall debate that came to symbolize his unique ability to connect viscerally with ordinary people — even as it illustrated President George H.W. Bush’s inability to do so.
- Rove: Obama Won the Debate but Is Losing the Argument– Americans on Tuesday night watched what was the most ferocious presidential debate ever. Barack Obama and Mitt Romney circled and interrupted each other, jabbed fingers, got into each other’s space, and exchanged verbal body blows for 90 minutes at Hofstra University in Hempstead, N.Y.Yet it did not change the campaign’s dynamic. President Obama won the postdebate polls, but he’s losing the argument.In CNN’s insta-poll, 46% said Mr. Obama did the “best job” while 39% chose Mr. Romney. And in CBS’s survey of uncommitted voters, 37% said Mr. Obama won the night while 30% gave it to Mr. Romney. But to reverse the GOP challenger’s momentum, the president required nearly as big a victory Tuesday as Mr. Romney had last week. He didn’t get it.
- Massive study finds only 3.4% of American adults identify as LGBT– A massive new survey published this morning reveals that only 3.4% of American adults publicly identify themselves as lesbian, gay, bisexual or transgender, with the highest percentage coming among the younger, less-educated non-whites.The new Gallup Poll of more than 121,000 adult, the largest of its kind on record, wass conducted during the past four months. It finds the percentage of self-reported LGBT Americans to be much smaller than a general impression derived from their presence in popular culture and their perceived influence in liberal American politics.The special report found 3.4% of adult Americans publicly reporting themselves as personally identifying with those categories, 92.2% saying they do not and 4.4% refusing to say or claiming not to know.Given the stigma often attached by some to those categories, some unknown portion of the Didn’t Say’s and No’s presumably are choosing to remain in the closet, holding down the LGBT number somewhat.
“This initial analysis,” Gallup reports, “reveals new insights into the composition of the LGBT community in the U.S. In particular, the findings challenge both media and cultural stereotypes to reveal that the LGBT population is in a number of ways not that different from the broader U.S. population.”
- In full-page newspaper ad, 13 Iowa voters apologize for supporting Obama in 2008– A full-page Mitt Romney campaign ad in today’s Cedar Rapids Gazette takes the form of an open letter from 13 Iowans who say they voted for President Barack Obama in 2008 but regret their choice and won’t do so again in 2012.The letter is phrased as an apology, and lays out a case for why Romney, the Republican nominee is a better choice this time around.“Mitt Romney will deliver the real recovery that President Obama has failed to bring, he’ll get Americans working again, and he’ll turn our economy around,” the letter says
- Report: Obama campaign turning grim on Florida, Virginia, North Carolina — and Colorado? – It’s not that Romney has insurmountable leads in FL, VA, and NC, it’s that Team O has to decide how to allocate what’s left of its campaign treasury down the stretch and there are better bets for them than those three states. Triage, in other words. Mitt’s up 4.7 points on average in North Carolina, which would be tough for O to make up, and 2.5 points in Florida, which might be doable but would be hugely expensive in terms of reserving enough ad time to make a dent. I’m a little surprised to see Virginia included — O actually leads there by eight-tenths of a point, although Romney’s (narrowly) won the last three polls, so maybe Obama’s campaign figures it’s not worth resisting that momentum in a state they don’t really need. They do kind of need Colorado, though, and that actually looks tougher than Virginia for them at the moment: Romney leads by seven-tenths of a point and has won six of the nine polls taken since the first debate. If I had to guess, I’d bet they’re looking at Virginia and Colorado now as an either/or situation; if Romney’s lead opens a bit in one rather than the other, that one will be written off and an investment made in the closer state.
- Terrorist arrested after trying to ‘destroy America’ with Fed Reserve Bank attack– A young Bangladeshi on a mission to “destroy America” tried to blow up the Federal Reserve Bank in lower Manhattan Wednesday with what he thought was a 1,000-pound van bomb, according to a criminal complaint.Quazi Mohammad Rezwanul Ahsan Nafis, 21, allegedly wanted to kill scores of people, wreak havoc on the US economy and stop the presidential election when he parked on Liberty Street around 8 a.m. and repeatedly dialed into the cellphone detonator from a nearby hotel room.But all he did was set off an indicator in the van that proved he tried to set off the explosion. He was promptly arrested, with his grand plans up in smoke.“I don’t want something that’s like small. I just want something big,” Nafis, 21, told an undercover agent during a recorded August meeting in Central Park.
“Something very big. Very very very very big, that will shake the whole country . . . that will make us one step closer to run the whole world. I want to do something that brothers coming after us can be inspired by us.”
The al Qaeda-obsessed terrorist — who was living with relatives in Queens — also recorded a video addressed to Americans right before he tried to detonate the bomb.
- A Turn of the Page for Newsweek – Out of Print– We are announcing this morning an important development at Newsweek and The Daily Beast. Newsweek will transition to an all-digital format in early 2013. As part of this transition, the last print edition in the United States will be our Dec. 31 issue.Meanwhile, Newsweek will expand its rapidly growing tablet and online presence, as well as its successful global partnerships and events business.Newsweek Global, as the all-digital publication will be named, will be a single, worldwide edition targeted for a highly mobile, opinion-leading audience who want to learn about world events in a sophisticated context. Newsweek Global will be supported by paid subscription and will be available through e-readers for both tablet and the Web, with select content available on The Daily Beast.Four years ago we launched The Daily Beast. Two years later, we merged our business with the iconic Newsweek magazine—which The Washington Post Company had sold to Dr. Sidney Harman. Since the merger, both The Daily Beast and Newsweek have continued to post and publish distinctive journalism and have demonstrated explosive online growth in the process. The Daily Beast now attracts more than 15 million unique visitors a month, a 70 percent increase in the past year alone—a healthy portion of this traffic generated each week by Newsweek’s strong original journalism.
- Scott Adams Blog: Firing Offense – Endorses Romney– Romney is likely to continue the same drug policies as the Obama administration. But he’s enough of a chameleon and a pragmatist that one can’t be sure. And I’m fairly certain he’d want a second term. He might find it “economical” to use federal resources in other ways than attacking California voters. And he is vocal about promoting states’ rights, so he’s got political cover for ignoring dispensaries in states where medical marijuana is legal.So while I don’t agree with Romney’s positions on most topics, I’m endorsing him for president starting today. I think we need to set a minimum standard for presidential behavior, and jailing American citizens for political gain simply has to be a firing offense no matter how awesome you might be in other ways.
- The schedule becomes the story– e are at the point now in the race for the White House where decisions must be made by both campaigns on where to spend precious time in the final days of this race, as what seems like a simple decision not to campaign in a certain state can quickly blossom into a major story.The number of swing states I have been watching is ten – New Hampshire, Virginia, North Carolina, Florida, Ohio, Michigan, Wisconsin, Iowa, Colorado and Nevada.With 19 days until Election Day, how many times will the President and Mitt Romney get to those states? Will any of them go wanting?The President spent the day after the second Obama-Romney debate in Iowa and Ohio; as I wrote earlier in the week, don’t underestimate the importance of Iowa’s six Electoral Votes.
“We’re in Iowa and Ohio today specifically because early voting has already started,” Obama Press Secretary Jen Psaki told reporters on Air Force One. “As you know, that’s a key part of our strategy.”
Reporters then asked about speculation that the Obama campaign might be easing off the pedal in some southern states – specifically, Florida, North Carolina and Virginia.
“The same states that were in play and that we’re competing in every single day are the same states today as they were three weeks ago,” Psaki said. “And that includes Florida, and that includes North Carolina.”
But the schedule already tells a story about North Carolina.
- My Daily Twitter Digest for 2012-10-17 – Locum Tenens (Temporary) Dentist – Gregory Cole, D.D.S. – My Daily Twitter Digest for 2012-10-17
- Gallup: Mid-October U.S. Unemployment Rate Falls to 7.3 Per Cent – Flap’s Blog – Gallup: Mid-October U.S. Unemployment Rate Falls to 7.3 Per Cent #tcot
- The Morning Flap: October 17, 2012 – Flap’s Blog – The Morning Flap: October 17, 2012 #tcot
- Trooth.Com – The David Nicholls DDS Interview Part Two – Flap’s Blog – – The David Nicholls DDS Interview Part Two #tcot
- A President Without a Plan– President Obama bounced off the canvas with a more spirited debate at Hofstra University on Tuesday night, as everyone expected he would. He was animated and on the attack. The question we kept asking as the evening wore on, however, is what does he want to do for the next four years?At least two questioners put the point directly, yet Mr. Obama never provided much of an answer. Sure, he wants to hire 100,000 more teachers, as if there is the money to hire them or it would make much difference to student outcomes.He wants to invest in “solar and wind and biofuels, energy-efficient cars,” which probably means more Solyndras and A123s (see nearby). He wants to raise taxes on the rich—that’s one thing he’s really passionate about. Oh, and he does want to pass the immigration reform he said he’d propose four years ago but never did propose in his first two years when his party controlled Congress and he might have passed it.But otherwise, what’s his case for four more years? Judging by Tuesday’s debate, the President’s argument for re-election is basically this: He’s not as awful as Mitt Romney. Mr. Obama spent most of his time attacking either Mr. Romney himself (he invests in Chinese companies), his tax plan as a favor for the rich (“that’s been his history”) or this or that statement he has made over the last year (“the 47%,” which Mr. Obama saved for the closing word of the entire debate).
- Record High Enrollment for Food Stamps: 46,681,833 Million– Food stamps enrollment has hit a new record high. 46,681,833 million are now enrolled in the social welfare program, according to the United States Department of Agriculture, the federal department that runs the program.As the chart shows, when President Obama took office, enrollment in the food stamps program was 31.98 million. Now, not even four years later, it’s a whopping 46.48 million. (In 2002, as the chart states, “19.1 million Americans received food stamps.”)In fact, the newly released data represents enrollment in July (the last month for which data is available). Assuming the program remained on its projected path, the number of those enrolled in food stamps is likely now larger by several hundreds of thousands.”USDA has engaged in an aggressive outreach and promotional campaign to boost food stamp enrollment. Among these efforts are an ongoing partnership with the Mexican government to advertise food stamps to Mexican nationals, migrant workers, and non-citizen immigrants. Partly as a result of these efforts, the number of non-citizens on food stamps has quadrupled since 2001,” explains the Republican side of the Senate Budget Committee.
And the cost, the committee explains, is astronomical. “Total spending on food stamps is projected to reach nearly $800 billion over the next 10 years, with no fewer than 1 in 9 people on the program at any given time. Neither food stamp participation nor spending on the program are ever projected to return to pre-recession levels at any point in the next 10 years.”
- A new, improved Barack Obama shows up for the second debate but fails to halt Mitt Romney’s momentum– President Barack Obama needed a game-changing night here in Hampstead, New York and Mitt Romney made sure he didn’t get it. Over the 90 minutes, Obama might have edged it – just – but strategically he did little if anything to blunt Romney’s growing advantage.Just as Al Gore over-compensated for his poor first debate in 2000, we saw a completely different Obama this time around. He had clearly had some intensive coaching from his debate prep team and was acting under orders to do change everything. Romney strategist Stuart Stevens quipped afterwards that he became ‘Joe Biden without the charm’.The problem is that the difference was so stark it was jarring. And by throwing everything but the kitchen sink at Romney – we had tax rates, Bain, big bird and the 47 per cent – there was more than a whiff of desperation. While Obama flung mud, Romney was intent on dismantling Obama’s record in office.
- Windows Pushes Into the Tablet Age – WSJ.com – Windows Pushes Into the Tablet Age – #tcot
- ESPN: The Worldwide Leader In Sports – RT @darrenrovell BREAKING: Nike has terminated the contract of Lance Armstrong. More to come on .
- Twitter / waltmossberg: Here’s a visual guide to the … – Here’s a visual guide to the new Windows 8 interface. Read my full review at .
- Windows Pushes Into the Tablet Age – WSJ.com – Here’s a visual guide to the new Windows 8 interface. Read my full review at .
- The Hill’s 50 races to watch – The Hill’s Ballot Box – RT @thehill The Hill’s 50 congressional races to watch #tcot
These are my links for July 14th from 12:29 to 13:05:
- Althouse: Obama lied about a central fact about his own life which he used — powerfully — to push health care reform – "Book Challenges Obama on Mother’s Deathbed Fight," says the NYT, which, of course, isn't generally inclined to cast unnecessary aspersions on this President. "Lied" is my paraphrasing. The NYT wrote "mischaracterized."
During his presidential campaign and subsequent battle over a health care law, Mr. Obama quieted crowds with the story of his mother’s fight with her insurer over whether her cancer was a pre-existing condition that disqualified her from coverage.
In offering the story as an argument for ending pre-existing condition exclusions by health insurers, the president left the clear impression that his mother’s fight was over health benefits for medical expenses.
But in “A Singular Woman: The Untold Story of Barack Obama’s Mother,” author Janny Scott quotes from correspondence from the president’s mother to assert that the 1995 dispute concerned a Cigna disability insurance policy and that her actual health insurer had apparently reimbursed most of her medical expenses without argument….
The book came out in early May. The reason this article is hitting the front page today is that the NYT has been trying to extract a response from Obama.
Read it all
- Jerry Brown signs bill requiring schools to teach gay history – Gov. Jerry Brown has signed legislation requiring public schools to include the contributions of gay and lesbian people in their curriculum, making California the first state to adopt such a requirement.
The legislation, authored by Sen. Mark Leno, D-San Francisco, was approved in the Legislature along party lines, with Democrats in favor and Republicans opposed. The governor's office announced this morning that Brown had signed the bill.
Senate Bill 48 requires public instruction in social sciences to include the role and contributions of lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender Americans, as well as people with disabilities and members of other cultural groups.
It would prohibit teaching from textbooks or other instructional materials that reflect adversely on people because of their sexual orientation.
Now, the LEFT Nanny State is directing what can be taught in the public schools.
Guess more home schooling and private schools in California.
I doubt too many states will follow California's lead here.
These are my links for April 25th from 17:30 to 17:32:
- Mitch Daniels: I would have backed Haley Barbour – In a statement sure to stoke speculation about his presidential intentions, Mitch Daniels said Monday that he would have backed Haley Barbour had the Mississippi governor not opted out of a White House bid.
“Haley Barbour is a great citizen; he’d have made a great president," Daniels, the Indiana governor, said in a statement. "I’d have been proud to try to help him had he chosen to run."
Daniels, who first became friends with Barbour when they served together as 30-somethings in the Reagan White House added: "The Barbours have been close and true friends to the Daniels family, and we will always be 100 percent supportive of any decision they believe is best for them.”
Daniels has said in the past that he would likely not run if Barbour is in the race.
Now, will Haley Barbour reciprocate?
- Motion to Vacate Judge Walker’s Anti-Prop 8 Judgment for Failure to Recuse – It is important to emphasize at the outset that we are not suggesting that a gay or lesbian judge could not sit on this case. Rather, our submission is grounded in the fundamental principle, reiterated in the governing statute, that no judge “is permitted to try cases where he has an interest in the outcome.” Surely, no one would suggest that Chief Judge Walker could issue an injunction directing a state official to issue a marriage license to him. Yet on this record, it must be presumed that that is precisely what has occurred. At a bare minimum, “[r]ecusal is required” because former Chief Judge Walker’s long-term committed relationship, his failure to disclose that relationship at the outset of the case, his failure to disclose whether he has any interest in marriage should his injunction be affirmed, and his actions over the course of this lawsuit give rise to “a genuine question concerning [his] impartiality.”
We deeply regret the necessity of this motion. But as the Supreme Court emphasized earlier in this very case, “[b]y insisting that courts comply with the law, parties vindicate not only the rights they assert but also the law’s own insistence on neutrality and fidelity to principle.… If courts are to require that others follow regular procedures, courts must do so as well.” The “regular procedure” here requires adherence to the principles that a judge may not sit on a case when “his impartiality might reasonably be questioned,” 28 U.S.C. § 455(a), and certainly not when he has an “interest that could be substantially affected by the outcome of the proceeding,” 28 U.S.C. § 455(b)(4). Proponents ask only that these principles be applied faithfully and neutrally here as in any other case.
The failure to disclose will doom this case
These are my links for April 25th from 10:15 to 10:36:
- Boeing and the Wages of Subsidy – Is Boeing to Dependent Upon Obama to Fight? – Is Boeing too compromised by its dependence on Obama administration subsidies to fight a ruling by the administration’s National Labor Relations Board telling it where to build the 787? … Even if you heroically assume the NLRB is independent of political influence, that doesn’t mean the administration couldn’t retaliate elsewhere if Boeing fights the NLRB too vigorously. Boeing has recently gotten $15 billion in loan guarantees from the Export-Import Bank. Is the Ex-Im Bank insulated from political influence too? The Washington Examiner rightly points out that it was just assumed–not even a scandal, no surprise at all–that banks receiving TARP funds were inhibited when it came to contesting their treatment as creditors in the administration’s auto bailout.
If Boeing knuckles under, then you have your answer. But, my bet is that they fight.
- Supreme Court turns down Va.’s request to expedite review of health-care law – ObamaCare – The Supreme Court on Monday turned down Virginia’s request that it rule immediately on the constitutionality of the nation’s health-care overhaul.
The decision to reject Virginia Attorney General Ken Cuccinelli II’s request for expedited review, announced routinely without elaboration or noted dissent, is not surprising. The court rarely takes up issues that have not received a full review in the nation’s appeals courts.
Perfect…. SCOTUS will take up the matter in the middle of the 2012 Presidential campaign.
Let the repeal begin…..
- Rep. Dan Lungren on King and Spalding’s ‘Insult to the Legal Profession’ – California Republican Dan Lungren is chairman of the House Committee on House Administration. He just issued this statement regarding King and Spalding and Paul Clement:
“I want to express my gratitude to former Solicitor General Clement. I admire his unwavering commitment to his clients and his dedication to uphold the law – qualities that appear to be inconsequential at King and Spalding where politics and profit now appear to come first.
“King and Spalding’s cut and run approach is inexcusable and an insult to the legal profession. Less than one week after the contract was approved engaging the firm, they buckled under political pressure and bailed with little regard for their ethical and legal obligations. Fortunately, Clement does not share the same principles. I’m confident that with him at the helm, we will fight to ensure the courts – not the President – determine DOMA’s constitutionality.”
Paul Clement has resigned from King and Spalding and now has joined the firm Bancroft PLLC. He will continue to defend the Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA) for the House
- DOMA’s Erstwhile Defenders – News reports this morning indicate that King & Spalding — the law firm whose partner, former solicitor general Paul Clement, was slated to defend the Defense of Marriage Act — has decided to withdraw. This follows a campaign of intimidation with threats from law schools and activist groups that retribution would follow if the firm continued to defend the law. This tantrum and its seeming success tell us that many on the left believe they have a veto on the principle that everybody deserves to be represented in court. It also suggests that there are few limits on what gay marriage supporters will do to marginalize those with whom they disagree. It’s worth remembering, as Maggie Gallagher says, that this is what “marriage equality” means. Paul Clement’s principled stand, which Kathryn has noted, is a much-needed grown-up decision and a very powerful rebuke to the intimidators.
Intimidation worked for the firm but not attorney Paul Clement who has resigned.
- Paul Clement law firm drops DOMA case because of protests – In a real victory for supporters of same-sex marriage — and marking what seems like real marginalization for its foes — a major law firm has reversed course and will refuse to represent the House of Representatives in defending the Defense of Marriage Act.
King and Spalding Chairman Robert D. Hays, Jr., whose partner Paul Clement was to lead the defense, said in a statement through a spokesman, Les Zuke:
Today the firm filed a motion to withdraw from its engagement to represent the Bipartisan Legal Advisory Group of the House of Representatives on the constitutional issues regarding Section III of the 1996 Defense of Marriage Act. Last week we worked diligently through the process required for withdrawal.
In reviewing this assignment further, I determined that the process used for vetting this engagement was inadequate. Ultimately I am responsible for any mistakes that occurred and apologize for the challenges this may have created.
The statement is silent on the reasons for the decision, but the firm faced protests at its Atlanta office and a national campaign against it. And now the House majority may have to find a new lawyer.
Of course, Paul Clement has now resigned from the firm.
I thought law firms were to represent the innocent and guilty or disparate interests?
Guess expedience is OK with King and Spalding
These are my links for April 18th from 18:41 to 18:49:
- Speaker John Boehner asks Dem Nancy Pelosi to join him in cutting funds from the DoJ to defend DOMA – Speaker John Boehner asked House Democratic Leader Nancy Pelosi's for her support to cut funds for the Department of Justice and use them to defend the Defense of Marriage Act.
In a letter sent to Pelosi (D-Calif.) Monday, Boehner (R-Ohio) wrote that the funds Justice would have used to protect the law should be used by the Bipartisan Legal Advisory Group (BLAG) to protect the act.
"The burden of defending DOMA, and the resulting costs associated with any litigation that would have otherwise been born by DoJ, has fallen to the House," Boehner wrote. "Obviously, DoJ’s decision results in DoJ no longer needing the funds it would have otherwise expended defending the constitutionality of DOMA. It is my intent that those funds be diverted to the House for reimbursement of any costs incurred by and associated with the House, and not DoJ, defending DOMA."
The speaker also argued the funds Justice would have used to defend DOMA should be used by BLAG so that taxpayers aren't burdened with the additional expenses.
Yeah and pigs fly.
By the way, Nancy Pelosi represents most of San Francisco where a large gay population resides.
- Illinois-based Amazon affiliates go dark because of Amazon Internet Sales Tax – JEREMY HOBSON: Today is the day thousands of retailers in Illinois had been dreading. That's because they'll lose their affiliation with online retailers like Amazon and Overstock.com, thanks to a new state sales tax for online purchases.
But as Tony Arnold reports from Chicago Public Radio, Amazon and others have already found a way around the tax.
TONY ARNOLD: Brad Wilson runs the aptly named BradsDeals.com — a coupon web site based in downtown Chicago.
BRAD WILSON: Ultimately, Amazon and Overstock hold the trump card in this situation.
Wilson says after today — Amazon will boycott business with BradsDeals — and roughly 9,000 other retailers in Illinois to skirt the tax. Illinois residents can still go online and get the latest best seller from Amazon, they just won't be getting that book from any Amazon affiliate in Illinois.
WILSON: We're looking at a lot of options that I wouldn't want to have ever had to think of, unfortunately.
Wilson says he's considering picking up shop and relocating to another state to make up for the money he'll lose. He wouldn't say how much.
One Amazon affiliate — FatWallet.com — has already moved its headquarters from Illinois to Wisconsin which doesn't have the online tax. Amazon did not respond to requests for comment.
Meantime, Overstock.com's president Jonathan Johnson confirmed his company plans to cut off Illinois affiliates on May 1st. Others like Zappos and Shoes.com are planning a similar move.
Just like they will do in California if the California Democrats have their way with imposing a California based Amazon Tax.
These are my links for April 18th from 13:43 to 13:47:
- Former U.S. Solicitor General Paul Clement will defend DOMA – Speaker John Boehner announced that former Bush administration Solicitor General Paul Clement will defend the Defense of Marriage Act on behalf of the House of Representatives, in the wake of the Justice Department's decision to no longer defend the law.
"At last we have a legal eagle on this case who actually wants to win in court! Paul Clement is a genuinely distinguished lawyer, a former solicitor general of the United States, who we are confident will win this case. Thanks to Speaker Boehner's actions, President Obama's attempt to sabotage the legal defense of DOMA is not going to work," said Brian Brown, president of the National Organization for Marriage, in a release.
See President Obama's pattern?
Fight like mad for legislation and when you lose either ignore the law with signing statements or refuse to defend it when the Left challenges it on court.
How Undemocratic, right?
- Arthur B. Laffer: The 30-Cent Tax Premium – WSJ.com – There is a lot more to taxes than simply paying the bill. Taxpayers must spend significantly more than $1 in order to provide $1 of income-tax revenue to the federal government.
To start with, individuals and businesses must pay the government the $1 in revenue plus the costs of their own time spent filing and complying with the tax code; plus the tax collection costs of the IRS; plus the tax compliance outlays that individuals and businesses pay to help them file their taxes.
In a study published last week by the Laffer Center, my colleagues Wayne Winegarden, John Childs and I estimate that these costs alone are a staggering $431 billion annually. This is a cost markup of 30 cents on every dollar paid in taxes. And this is not even a complete accounting of the costs of tax complexity.
Like taxes themselves, tax-compliance costs change people's behavior. Taxpayers, whether individuals or businesses, respond to taxes and tax-compliance costs by changing the composition of their income, the location of their income, the timing of their income, and the volume of their income. So long as the cost of changing one's income is lower than the taxes saved, the taxpayer will engage in these types of tax-avoidance activities.
A complete accounting of compliance costs would also include the efficiency losses created when individuals and businesses invest in tax-avoidance activities that lower their tax liability at the expense of creating more jobs and economic growth. These lost opportunities are impossible to measure but could be the largest cost of all.
Read it all