Martin O’Malley Takes Aim At Wall Street, Student Debt

omalley1Former Governor Martin O’Malley of Maryland, a Democrat, began his presidential campaign in May with a speech that led some to call him the financial industry’s “public enemy number one,” writes Business Insider.

O’Malley revealed his policy proposals today, Thursday, July 9th.  He is continuing to take aim at Wall Street, and – in other news – he also looks to eradicate student debt.

Media sources immediately began portraying the situation as a “cat-fight” between O’Malley and candidate Bernie Sanders.

According to his deputy campaign manager Lis Smith, O’Malley plans to release, along with the letter, a “detailed Wall Street white paper that continues in (the) mold of O’Malley leading with bold, progressive policy agenda,” writes Business Insider.

In conjunction with the policy rollout, O’Malley is sending an open letter to “megabanks.”  In the letter, O’Malley directly blamed the Wall Street “megabanks” for the 2008 financial crisis and warned, “As President, I have no plans to let up on you.”

In his letter, O’Malley describes the “megabanks” as a “grave threat” to the US economy with executives who are “somehow classified as too big to prosecute and too big to jail.”

“I know that many of you have tried to dismiss and undermine my calls for stronger reforms as ‘anti-capitalist,'” O’Malley wrote. “Let me be clear — the ongoing reckless behavior of your megabanks isn’t capitalism — it’s the antithesis of it. True capitalism requires a level playing field on which everyone plays by the same set of rules. True capitalism requires competition. True capitalism means that just as businesses and banks can succeed – they can also fail.”

“Today, your — too-big-to-fail, too-big-to-manage, and too-big-to-jail — megabanks pose an enormous risk to the financial system, the economy, and American families,” O’Malley wrote. “They are so big and so interconnected with the entire financial system that the failure of one or more of them could cause the collapse of the entire US economy.”

In related news, O’Malley has made debt-free college a priority.

He has put several proposals on the table to make that happen, including tuition freezes, making it possible for students to refinance student loans for lower rates, basing re-payment on income, and increasing funding to schools.

(Updated article)

http://www.businessinsider.com/martin-omalleys-open-letter-to-wall-street-2015-7#ixzz3fP69WFmm

https://martinomalley.com/policy/make-college-debt-free/

USA Today: Should Hillary Pay Interns?

Carolyn Osorio recently wrote an op-ed for the USA Today about her unpaid internship with the campaign of Hillary Clinton.  Osorio believed that the “fellow” position would be paid.  Below are some excerpts.

“When Hillary announced her second run for the White House, I felt my passion for politics reignite. I quickly applied for and was offered a position as a Hillary for America fellow to work on the campaign. I couldn’t have been more excited — until I was told I’d have to move to Nevada and work full time on my own dime.”

“I couldn’t believe my ears. I did not apply as a routine volunteer but as a fellow. Its application process with an elaborate screening and interview process was now revealed to be an ugly lie. If Hillary hopes to inspire young people, to prove she understands our interests she should offer substance to earn our votes.”

“The campaign’s ‘cheapness’ is being lauded as a successful step away from her failure in 2008.”

“I had hoped a trailblazer would be more willing to break the mold of indentured servitude that haunts my generation. Finding out that Hillary perpetuates the exploitation known as unpaid internships was like discovering that Santa wasn’t real.”

Romney Voters Like The Duggars More Than The Obamas

TYT Network

People who voted for Republican presidential nominee Mitt Romney in the last election have a higher opinion of the scandal-plagued Duggar family than of President Barack Obama, writes Talking Points Memo.

A survey by the firm Public Policy Polling found that 67 percent of respondents who voted for Romney in 2012 said they had a higher opinion of the family from channel TLC’s “19 Kids and Counting.” Just 12 percent of Romney voters said they had a higher opinion of the President than the Duggars.

http://talkingpointsmemo.com/livewire/ppp-poll-obama-duggars-romney

http://www.mediaite.com/online/shocker-romney-voters-like-the-duggars-way-more-than-they-do-the-obamas/

What Is Hillary Clinton’s Position On The TPP Trade Agreement?

CNN

Hillary Clinton’s position on the TPP trade agreement is as of yet unclear.

Some critics – including those on the left-wing – have said she needs to take more of a stand on the huge trade deal, which is still being negotiated with other countries, according to USA Today.

Union leaders and many Democratic politicians fear the deal would lead to losses of U.S. jobs to overseas competitors.

Seder And Caller Discuss Tax Policy / Reaganomics

Sam Seder / Majority Report

Many conservatives believe that if you lower taxes on the wealthy, tax revenue will go up – a core belief of “Reaganomics.”   Majority Report’s Sam Seder discusses “Reaganomics” with a caller.

Who is Arthur Laffer?

Wikipedia:  “Arthur Betz Laffer (/ˈlæfər/;[1] born August 14, 1940) is an American economist who first gained prominence during the Reagan administration as a member of Reagan’s Economic Policy Advisory Board (1981–89). Laffer is best known for the Laffer curve, an illustration of the theory that there exists some tax rate between 0% and 100% that will result in maximum tax revenue for governments.”

What is the “marginal tax rate?”

The marginal tax rate is the tax rate above a certain dollar amount earned.  For example if there is a marginal tax rate of 90% at 4 million dollars per year, that means that every dollar starting at 4 million dollars would be taxed at 90%.   So, if you made 5 million dollars, only 1 million would be taxed at 90%.  Everything below 4 million is taxed at a different amount.

Wikipedia:  “Thus, the marginal tax rate is the tax percentage on the last dollar earned. In the United States in 2013, for example, the highest marginal tax rate was 39.6%, applying to earnings over $400,000. Earnings under $400,000 that year had a lower tax rate of 33% or less.”

You can calculate “marginal tax rates” at Money Chimp here.

(Updated article)

The Newest Hot Hillary Clinton Scandal? NYT Claims Questionable Donations Between Russian Uranium Group And Clinton Foundation

Leaks are now coming out from the book “Clinton Cash: The Untold Story of How and Why Foreign Governments and Businesses Helped Make Bill and Hillary Rich,” by Peter Schweizer, which is supposed to hit the shelves May 5th.   The book is supposed to cover controversial donations made to the Clinton Foundation.

The book “tries to draw connections between Clinton Foundation donations and speaking fees and Hillary Clinton’s actions as Secretary of State,” writes Politico.

Recently, the New York Times wrote about an instance from that book regarding the uranium industry.

In January, 2013, an article in the Russian newspaper Pravda described how the Russian atomic energy agency Rosatom had taken over a Canadian company with uranium-mining rights stretching from Central Asia to the American West. The deal made Rosatom one of the world’s largest uranium producers.  It also brought Russian President Putin closer to his goal of controlling much of the global uranium supply chain.

But there is an untold story behind that story that involves not just the Russian president, but also The Clinton Foundation.

Several people, leaders of the Canadian mining industry, have been major donors to the charity run by former President Bill Clinton and his family.

Members of that group built, financed, and eventually sold off to the Russians a company that would become known as Uranium One.

The sale gave the Russians control of very lucrative mines in Kazakhstan as well as one-fifth of all uranium production capacity in the United States.  Uranium One has mining operations in Australia as well.

Since uranium is considered a strategic asset with implications for national security, the deal had to be approved by a committee composed of representatives from a number of United States government agencies – including the State Department.

The State Department was at that time headed by Hillary Clinton.

As the Russians gradually assumed control of Uranium One in three separate transactions from 2009 to 2013, Canadian records show that a flow of cash made its way to the Clinton Foundation. Uranium One’s chairman used his family foundation to make four donations totaling $2.35 million. According to the New York Times, those contributions were not publicly disclosed by the Clintons, despite an agreement Mrs. Clinton had struck with the Obama White House to publicly identify all donors.

Other people with ties to the company made donations as well.

shortly after the Russians announced their intention to acquire a majority stake in Uranium One, Mr. Clinton received $500,000 for a Moscow speech from a Russian investment bank with links to the Kremlin that was promoting Uranium One stock.

At the time, both Rosatom and the United States government made promises intended to ease concerns about ceding control of the company’s assets to the Russians. Those promises have been repeatedly broken, records show.

The New York Times claims its examination of the Uranium One deal is based on dozens of interviews, as well as a review of public records and securities filings in Canada, Russia, and the United States. Some of the connections between Uranium One and the Clinton Foundation were unearthed by Peter Schweizer, a former fellow at the right-leaning Hoover Institution and author of book previously mentioned.   He is currently the president of the Government Accountability Institute, a conservative research group.  Schweizer provided a preview of material in the book to The New York Times.

Whether the donations played any role in the approval of the uranium deal is unknown. However, the episode underscores the special ethical challenges presented by the Clinton Foundation, headed by a former president who relied heavily on foreign cash to accumulate $250 million in assets even as his wife helped steer American foreign policy as secretary of state.

In their defense, Brian Fallon, a spokesman for Mrs. Clinton’s presidential campaign, said no one “has ever produced a shred of evidence supporting the theory that Hillary Clinton ever took action as secretary of state to support the interests of donors to the Clinton Foundation.”

Fallon emphasized that multiple United States agencies, as well as the Canadian government, had signed off on the deal and that, in general, such matters were handled at a level below the secretary.

More:

http://www.nytimes.com/2015/04/24/us/cash-flowed-to-clinton-foundation-as-russians-pressed-for-control-of-uranium-company.html

(Updated article)

Majority Report Discusses Netanyahu Speech


Majority Report

Majority Report discusses Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s “State of the Union Address” to Congress and the pointed MSNBC / Chris Matthews reaction.

GOP Warns Iranian Nukes May Hit US Cities: Are They Serious?

A week ago, three presidential candidates talked to a roomful of wealthy donors at the Koch Brothers’ American Recovery Policy Forum in Palm Springs, California. The discussion underscored disagreement within the GOP over global affairs and national security.

Republican Sens. Marco Rubio, Ted Cruz and Rand Paul took part in a largely friendly, but occasionally fiery, panel at the event sponsored by Charles and David Koch.

The event was moderated by ABC’s Jonathan Karl, and marked the first time potential GOP contenders gathered on the same stage at the same time to talk about policy in 2015, a year that’s expected to see several candidates compete for the Republican nomination.

TYT Network

Huff Post: Some Immigrants May Be Eligible For Social Security Under Executive Order, But Not For Welfare Or Food Stamps

immigrants

According to the Huffington Post, the White House states that many immigrants in the United States illegally who apply for work permits under President Barack Obama’s new executive actions would be eligible for Social Security and Medicare benefits upon reaching retirement age.

Under Obama’s actions, immigrants who are spared deportation could obtain work permits and a Social Security number. As a result, they would pay into the Social Security system through payroll taxes.

No such “lawfully present” immigrant, however, would be immediately entitled to the benefits because like all Social Security and Medicare recipients they would have to work 10 years to become eligible for retirement payments and health care.

To remain qualified, either Congress or future administrations would have to extend Obama’s actions so that those immigrants would still be considered lawfully present in the country.

None of the immigrants who would be spared deportation under Obama’s executive actions would be able to receive federal assistance such as welfare or food stamps, or other income-based aid.

They also would not be eligible to purchase health insurance in federal exchanges set up by the new health care law and they would not be able to apply for tax credits that would lower the cost of their health insurance.

The issue of benefits for immigrants who are illegally in the United States is a particularly sensitive one for the Obama administration. As a result, the White House has made it clear that none of the nearly 5 million immigrants affected by Obama’s actions would be eligible for federal assistance.

The Obama administration first denied younger immigrants who entered the U.S. illegally as children access to health care exchanges and tax credits in 2012, especially disappointing immigrant advocates.

Conservative Reactions To Obama’s Immigration Policy

After President Obama announced executive action on immigration reform, a range of conservative commentators and legislators denounced the move.

Some described it as “amnesty,” others compared Obama to a dictator and his policy to Hitler’s invasion of Poland.

TYT video.