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Posts tagged ‘money’

Michael Austin Op-ed: Some Americans Already Pulling Their Accounts from Credit Unions Over Dems’ IRS Spying Plan


Commentary By Michael Austin  October 15, 2021 at 2:23pm

Read more at https://www.westernjournal.com/americans-already-pulling-accounts-credit-unions-dems-irs-spying-plan/

A proposal within Biden’s new $3.5 trillion plan will allow the Internal Revenue Service to stick its fingers in your personal finances. More specifically, the measure will give the IRS the authority to track each year the total deposits and withdrawals from accounts that have a balance of over $600 or bring in over $600 annually, according to WMUR-TV.

Americans are understandably upset over the prospect of having the government spy on their bank accounts. According to Just the News, this has become so much the case that some are even pulling their accounts from credit unions over the prospect of possible government surveillance.

The president and CEO of the National Association of Federally-Insured Credit Unions, Dan Berger, claims that Biden’s new spying plan will carry with it “extremely serious and costly implications for consumers and financial institutions.”

“If this provision goes into effect, credit unions would not only be left facing technical challenges and added costs to meet the reporting requirements, they would also have to deal with an increase in questions and concerns about what they are reporting from their members,” Berger said according to Just the News.

“Not to mention the major financial data privacy concerns they’d need to address to ensure their members feel safeguarded and still willing to place their trust in credit unions.”

“Some credit unions are already seeing consumers withdraw their accounts because they are concerned about the possibility of this government intrusion,” Berger said. “Any increase in compliance burdens ultimately leads to higher operational costs that could impact service and credit unions’ lending capacity. Every dollar spent on cumbersome compliance costs is one less dollar to lend to members.”

These new rules won’t hurt the richest Americans. They already have a team of lawyers making sure their client is able to use every possible loophole. Moreover, the rich elite who are trying to evade taxes don’t keep the money they’re trying to hide in checking accounts at credit unions.

Rather, the targets hit worst will likely be lower-income single mothers who run businesses out of their homes and high-school dropouts working for the minimum wage, to name just two examples. Those are the people on whom the IRS will clamp down.

Many Americans are already aware of this reality. According to Just the News, some of the Americans most concerned over the new proposal are immigrants who escaped from countries with “state-controlled banks.”

“We work with a number of minority banks across the country, minority depository institutions,” said Aaron Stetter, the executive vice president of The Independent Community Bankers of America.

“And many of them that are within our membership have come to us, and their concern is that many are serving a community that have come from authoritarian regimes, that have a natural distrust for governments and big government. And this is actually furthering or exacerbating those concerns, so they’re very concerned with how they communicate to their customer base.”

When big government is given more power, despite what Biden may claim, rich elites aren’t ultimately the ones who pay the price. It’s everyday, low-to-middle income Americans that will face the consequences.

Michael Austin

Michael Austin joined The Western Journal as a staff reporter in 2020. Since then, he has authored hundreds of stories, including several original reports. He also co-hosts the outlet’s video podcast, “WJ Live.”

@mikeswriting

C. Douglas Golden Op-ed: The Truth About Democrats’ Tax Bill Revealed, Middle-Class Americans Are in for a Nasty Surprise


Commentary By C. Douglas Golden | September 29, 2021

Read more at https://www.westernjournal.com/truth-democrats-tax-bill-revealed-middle-class-americans-nasty-surprise/

President Joe Biden, left, meets with Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi and committee chairs to discuss the coronavirus relief legislation in the Oval Office at the White House on Feb. 5, 2021, in Washington, D.C. (Stefani Reynolds – Pool / Getty Images)

President Joe Biden’s “Build Back Better” agenda is supposed to tax the wealthy to help the middle class. If you don’t believe me, just ask Biden, who’s more than willing to tell you about it on his Twitter account.

To be fair, I’m assuming the messages aren’t written by Biden himself, a man who seems like his relationship with technology involves yelling at his phone, either asking Siri to find his slippers or telling Scotty to beam him up. However, whoever tweets for him stays on message when it comes to the president’s tax-and-spend plan.

“We’re going to pass a historic middle class tax cut — and we’ll do it by making those at the top pay their fair share,” one tweet from Sunday read. “I know the crowd on Park Ave might not like it, but it’s time we give people in towns like Scranton — the folks I grew up with — a break for a change.”

“From health care to child care, my Build Back Better Agenda will lower everyday costs for middle class Americans,” a tweet from this Monday read.

“I’m not looking to punish anyone, I just think it’s only fair that the wealthiest Americans pay their fair share once again. Then, we’ll use that money to invest in the middle class,” a tweet from last week reads.

“For me it’s pretty simple: It’s about time working people got the tax breaks in this country,” a tweet from the day before that read. “That’s the Build Back Better Agenda.”

If someone has to repeat themselves this much, it’s usually because they’re lying — and, lo and behold, the Joint Committee on Taxation seems to have confirmed that.

According to a media release from the Republicans on the House Ways and Means Committee on Tuesday, the Joint Committee on Taxation — a non-partisan congressional tax scorekeeper — found that almost every income level below the threshold the Biden administration said would be immune would take a hit.

Furthermore, the committee’s analysis found the vast majority of taxpayers would see no benefit from the plan in its current form.

According to the analysis, by the calendar year 2023, nearly 5 percent of those making between $40,000 and $50,000 would see a tax increase. Nine percent of those making between $50,000 and $75,000 would see an increase, 18 percent earning between $75,000 and $100,000 would see their taxes go up and 35 percent of those earning between $100,000 and $200,000 would be subject to a hike.

The media release also noted that the benefit most people see will pretty much be nil.

In 2023, two-thirds of all taxpayers won’t get see any kind of real benefit from the legislation, either seeing their tax bill changed by less than $100 or getting a tax increase.

By 2027, this number would balloon to 85.5 percent, with huge swaths of the middle class seeing a sizable tax increase; these numbers are projected to stay mostly steady until 2031.

Meanwhile, the Joint Committee on Taxation also found that hiking corporate taxes would hit middle-class Americans hard, too.

“Within 10 years of a corporate tax increase from 21 percent to 25 percent, 66.3 percent of the corporate tax burden would be borne by lower- and middle-income taxpayers with income well below $500,000,” an August media release from the Republicans on the House Ways and Means Committee read.

“This statistic becomes only more striking in absolute number of taxpayers. Of the more than 172 million taxpayers who would bear the burden of the increased corporate tax rate, 98.4 percent, or about 169 million, have incomes under $500,000.”

Of course, the charge from the left would be that this doesn’t take into account what the spending these tax hikes will pay for is going to buy for the middle class. Beyond the fact these “investments” never bring back the kind of returns that are promised, Biden promised a middle-class tax cut. At least in the plan’s current form, it doesn’t look like it’ll end up delivering — no matter what the president says.

Do you know who did lower taxes on the middle class? Former President Donald Trump.

Joe Biden may have spent much of the campaign whining about Trump’s Tax Cuts and Jobs Act of 2017, which slashed taxes across the board. Most of the outrage focused on the fact he didn’t soak the rich: “Tax experts estimate that over the long run, 83% of Trump’s tax giveaway will flow to the top 1% of earners in this country,” Biden’s campaign website read.

And yet, in March of 2020, MarketWatch reported that “Americans paid almost $64 billion less in federal income taxes during the first year under the Republican tax overhaul signed into law in late 2017 by President Donald Trump, with some of the sharpest drops clustered among taxpayers earning between $25,000 and $100,000 a year, even as the overall number of refunds dropped during a turbulent tax season” in 2019.

Biden plans on taking that away. In return, he’s offered nothing of substance — except, as promised, he’s soaking the rich. And the upper-middle class. And some people in the middle class, too. But mainly the rich. See, priorities!

Biden may not be giving people in towns like Scranton — the folks he grew up with — a break the same way Trump did. But at least they can watch as his administration takes (and then squanders) Park Avenue’s money. He’ll be squandering Scranton’s money, too, but at least they get the joy of class-based schadenfreude out of the deal.

C. Douglas Golden, Contributor

C. Douglas Golden is a writer who splits his time between the United States and Southeast Asia. Specializing in political commentary and world affairs, he’s written for Conservative Tribune and The Western Journal since 2014.

@CillianZealFacebook

Hidden on Page 508 of the Infrastructure Bill Is a Plan to Make It Too Expensive to Drive a Car


Reported by Taylor Penley | August 4, 2021

Read more at https://www.westernjournal.com/hidden-page-508-infrastructure-bill-plan-make-expensive-drive-car/

The cost of living is on the rise, calls for yet another wave of pandemic restrictions have begun and now, buried deep in the so-called bipartisan infrastructure bill, the left has laid out yet another idea to bring Americans to their knees. Make no mistake: The suffering is intentional, goal-oriented and not bound to stop anytime soon. Still, one proposal in the 2,702 page infrastructure bill seems especially cruel — cruel enough to make it too expensive for many Americans to even drive a car.

Nick Short of the Claremont Institute highlighted an item on Pages 508-519 of the bill that would introduce a national per-mile motor vehicle user fee on a trial basis.

“Buried on page 508 of the 2,702 page infrastructure bill is a pilot program for a national motor vehicle per-mile user fee (MBUF) which is basically a long-term plan to make it too expensive to drive a car,” Short said Tuesday on Twitter.

The pilot program is set up “to test the design, acceptance, implementation, and financial sustainability of a national motor vehicle per-mile user fee, to address the need for additional revenue for surface transportation infrastructure and a national motor vehicle per-mile user fee” and “to provide recommendations relating to the adoption and implementation of a national motor vehicle per-mile user fee,” the bill says.

An article from The Lid Blog attached to Short’s tweet detailed the proposal even further, breaking down each component, from the program’s objectives to its proposal that “volunteers” from each state should discover different ways to collect data on miles driven by “both commercial and private vehicle operators.”

On Page 513, the proposal says that the “Secretary of the Treasury shall establish, on an annual basis, per-mile user fees for passenger motor vehicles, light trucks, and medium- and heavy-duty trucks.” In theory, these per-mile user fees would vary by vehicle contingent upon several factors, including — you guessed it — environmental impact.

To ease any apprehension about participating in the pilot program, the measure indicates that participants’ identities will be protected, perhaps, as The Lid said, to prevent ostracization “if this happens and achieves the desired result.”

The left can chalk up this test run of what eventually might turn into a full-blown measure to make owning a vehicle next-to-impossible as an effort to be “environmentally conscious,” but is it instead another way to cripple our existing ways of life?

We might dismiss it now, but imagine telling yourself five years ago that the government would order small business closures, codify when and how Americans could worship and adopt an increasingly draconian do as I say, not as I do” policy to address a global pandemic.

From the way we work to the way we breathe, so many aspects of our lives have already changed — albeit willingly, for some. What’s so different about changing how we get to one place from another?

With $10 million dedicated to this program for each year from 2022 to 2026, it’s easy to see how the government doles out what it acquires from hardworking Americans.

Any Republican lawmakers who vote in favor of this “bipartisan” bill have no right to label themselves “conservative.”

This proposal is the antithesis of conservatism.

Taylor PenleyContributor,

Taylor Penley is a political commentator residing in Northwest Georgia. She holds a BA in English with minors in rhetoric/writing and global studies from Dalton State College. As a student, she worked in government relations and interned for Georgia’s 14th congressional district. She previously published an article with Future Female Leaders and published a rhetorical analysis of President Reagan’s Brandenburg Gate Address in a collegiate journal. She aspires to earn an MA and a PhD in journalism in the near future.

12 Times Florida County’s Elections Supervisor Has Been ‘Incompetent and Possibly Criminal’



Authored By Luke Rosiak | November 9, 2018 at 9:55am

URL of the original posting site: https://www.westernjournal.com/12-times-florida-countys-elections-supervisor-has-been-incompetent-and-possibly-criminal/

Broward County Elections Supervisor

Dr. Brenda Snipes, Broward County Supervisor of Elections, left, looks on with an unidentified elections official during a canvassing board meeting on November 10, 2018 in Lauderhill, Florida. Three close midtern election races for governor, senator, and agriculture commissioner are expected to be recounted in Florida. (Photo by Joe Skipper / Getty Images)

As both parties scrutinize the vote count in Florida’s Broward County, with the state’s gubernatorial and senatorial races closing in on a tie, Sen. Marco Rubio said the county’s elections office has a history of malfeasance.

“This is at a minimum a pattern of incompetence. Voters deserve better,” the Florida Republican said Thursday on “Tucker Carlson Tonight.”

“This is not even a partisan thing. This is a county that apparently cannot even count votes as well as a county that just got wiped out by a hurricane.”

The state’s Republican Gov. Rick Scott filed a lawsuit Thursday against Broward election supervisor Brenda Snipes for allegedly refusing to tell them about votes she has not yet counted. The vote totals Snipes tabulated two days after the election would have readers believe that more people cast votes for agricultural commissioner than for U.S. Senator.

Additionally, lawyer Marc Elias of Perkins Coie — who hired Fusion GPS for the Democratic National Committee to investigate Donald Trump during the 2016 presidential election — has been hired to litigate a recount on behalf of Democrats.

The Republican National Committee also pointed out 12 times news stories using its own headlines where Snipes has “been outright incompetent and possibly criminal”:

1 — Illegally destroying ballots (Sun Sentinel, May 14, 2018)

2 — Absentee ballots that never arrived (Miami Herald, November 6, 2018)

3 — Fellow Democrats accused her precinct of individual and systemic breakdowns that made it difficult for voters to cast regular ballots (Miami Herald, November 4, 2014)

4 — Posted election results half an hour before polls closed – a very clear violation of election law. (Miami Herald, November 2, 2018)

5 — Sued for leaving amendments off of ballots (Miami Herald, October 20, 2016)

6 — Claiming to not have the money to notify voters when their absentee ballot expired (Sun Sentinel, November 8, 2018)

7 — Having official staffers campaign on official time (Broward Beat, July 20, 2016)

8 — Problems printing mail ballots (Miami Herald, November 2, 2018)

9 — Accusations of ballot stuffing (Heritage, August 1, 2017)

10 — Voters receiving ballots with duplicate pages (Miami Herald, November 2, 2018)

11 — Slow results and piles of ballots that cropped up way after Election Day (The Capitolist, November 8, 2018)

12 — Opening ballots in private, breaking Florida law (Politico, August 13, 2018)

A version of this article appeared on The Daily Caller News Foundation website.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR:

Founded by Tucker Carlson, a 25-year veteran of print and broadcast media, and Neil Patel, former chief policy adviser to Vice President Dick Cheney, The Daily Caller News Foundation is a 501(c)(3) non-profit providing original investigative reporting from a team of professional reporters that operates for the public benefit.

Report: Trump’s Wall Could Pay For Itself By Cutting Welfare To Illegals


Reported By Randy DeSoto | March 12, 2018 at 10:58am

URL of the original posting site: https://www.westernjournal.com/report-trumps-wall-pay-cutting-welfare-illegals/

A new study says there may be no need for President Donald Trump to have Mexico pay for the southern border wall, because it would pay for itself in savings to the American taxpayer. The Center for Immigration Studies report revealed the costs of the $18 billion wall would be quickly compensated by curbing the number of illegal immigrants who enter the country and enroll in public programs, as well as the costs associated with crime.

“The wall could pay for itself even if it only modestly reduced illegal crossings and drug smuggling,” CIS President Steven A. Camarota told New York Post.

According to federal data, illegal border crossings in El Paso, Texas dropped 89 percent over a 5- year period after a two-story-high fence was erected during the George W. Bush administration. Similarly, in San Diego, crossings dropped 95 percent in 2006 after a fence was erected as part of the Secure Fence Act of 2006, which passed both chambers of Congress by large majorities.

Without a wall, the Homeland Security Department estimates there will be 1.7 million illegal crossings from Mexico into the U.S. over the next decade. Camarota said if just 200,000 of those crossings were stopped by the wall, it would pay for itself in savings from welfare, public education, refundable tax credits and other benefits currently given to low-income immigrants from Mexico and Central American countries.

According to CIS, 75 percent of the illegal immigrants in the country are from those regions.

Camarota added if the crossings were reduced by 50 percent, the savings to the American taxpayer would be $64 billion, or well over 3.5 times the wall’s cost.

“A large share of the welfare used by immigrant households is received on behalf of their U.S.-born children,” he said. “This is especially true of households headed by illegal immigrants.”

The U.S. Census Bureau’s latest “survey of income and program participation” showed 62 percent of illegal immigrant heads of household are on the federal dole.

Appearing Monday on “Fox & Friends,” Brandon Judd, president of the National Border Patrol Council, affirmed the conclusions of the CIS study.

“When you look at what a wall will do in allowing us to apprehend the vast majority of those individuals that are coming across the border, it will cut down on how much the taxpayer burden will be, which then will go straight into funding the wall,” he said.

Homeland Security Secretary Kirstjen Nielsen stated in January that the administration is seeking funding for 700 miles of wall construction for target strategic areas along the 2,000-mile border. There are currently approximately 650 miles of fencing in various forms. Around 350 miles consist of pedestrian fencing, usually about 15-feet tall, and there are 300 miles of vehicle barriers.

Fox News reported that Trump plans to view the eight prototypes of his “big, beautiful wall” on Tuesday near San Diego. Each is 30-feet high. Four are made of concrete, while the others incorporate concrete among other construction materials.

At a rally in Pennsylvania on Saturday night, Trump affirmed, “We are building the wall, 100 percent,” in response to chants of “Build that wall.”

“For people, for gangs, for drugs. The drugs have never been a problem like we have right now,” the president stated.

He also told the crowd he would not accede to Mexican President Enrique Peña Nieto’s request to state publicly that his country would not have to pay for the wall. Trump recounted ending the call: “I said ‘Bye, bye. We’re not making that deal.’”

New York Dem Arrested for Stealing from Hurricane Sandy Victims


 

Reported By Joe Setyon | January 11, 2018 at 10:46am

URL of the original posting site: https://www.westernjournalism.com/new-york-democrat-arrested-for-stealing-from-victims-of-hurricane-sandy/

New York State Democrat Assemblywoman Pamela Harris was arrested Tuesday for allegedly defrauding the federal and state governments out of $60,000, including $25,000 in FEMA funds that were allocated for residents left homeless in the aftermath of Hurricane Sandy.

But officials say Harris — who represents parts of Brooklyn in the state assembly — was not among the homeless. Instead, her Coney Island residence was still intact following the devastating 2012 storm, according to the New York Daily News.

The 57-year-old remained in her home after the storm but allegedly filed fake paperwork to prove she was paying rent for a residence in Staten Island. FEMA then compensated her with money that was set aside for “temporary housing assistance,” officials said.

In an effort to cover up what she had done, Harris is accused of telling witnesses they should lie to the FBI.

“Harris was busy brewing a storm of her own — one that resulted in her receiving significant payouts by the very federal agency charged with helping those truly in need,” said William Sweeney Jr., the head of the bureau field office in New York.

Prior to her 2015 election to the state assembly, Harris ran a non-profit training and mentoring organization. But she allegedly pocketed $34,000 that the city council had given to her group to pay for rent. Officials believe Harris used $10,000 to pay for vacations — including one on a cruise ship. She also allegedly used stolen money to shop for lingerie from Victoria’s Secret, as well as pay off bills she had accumulated from Kohls and the mortgage on her Coney Island home.

For her alleged crimes — which authorities say took place between 2012 and 2016 — Harris was charged with wire fraud, conspiracy to commit wire fraud, making false statements, bankruptcy fraud, witness tampering and conspiracy to obstruct justice, according to the Daily News. Harris pleaded not guilty and was released on $150,000 bond.

“Ms. Harris has been an invaluable community organizer and a well-regarded legislator,” her attorneys said in a statement. “Especially given her background, we are disappointed that Ms. Harris was indicted.”

“She has pleaded not guilty, and we look forward to her day in court and an opportunity there to present the full facts.”

The Democrat assemblywoman’s arrest came the same week New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio announced a lawsuit against the five largest oil companies in the nation, claiming Sandy’s destruction was amplified due to the climate change those companies contributed to. The storm struck the city in October 2012, leaving more than 40 New Yorkers dead and causing tens of billions of dollars in damage.

“After Sandy, it became clear that climate change was an active threat to our lives. It may have happened five years ago, but we are still dealing every day with the destruction it caused,” de Blasio tweeted Wednesday.

“It’s time for Big Oil to pay for that damage.” 

De Blasio also noted that New York is “the first major American city to take this action against fossil fuel companies.”

New York’s road to recovery has been a long one, with multiple resiliency projects being carried out in order to prevent future natural disasters from affecting the city in a similar manner, according to Politico.

“The city seeks to shift the costs of protecting the city from climate change impacts back onto the companies that have done nearly all they could to create this existential threat,” the lawsuit reads, as reported by the New York Post.

Moreover, de Blasio wants the city’s pensions to divest from oil companies. But according to the National Association of Manufacturers — an industry trade group — this move will come with a high price tag, as it could cost city employees $2.8 billion over 20 years.

“Divestment won’t do anything to cut greenhouse gas emissions. All it does is pass stocks from one shareholder to another,” NAM Vice President Chris Netram said Wednesday.

FEC Complaint: Clinton Campaign, DNC Violated Campaign Finance Law With Dossier Payments


Reported By Jack Davis | October 25, 2017 at 5:01pm

URL of the original posting site: https://www.westernjournalism.com/fec-complaint-clinton-campaign-dnc-violated-campaign-finance-law-dossier-payments/?

Former Democrat presidential nominee Hillary Clinton’s campaign and the Democratic National Committee broke the law in the way they handled their effort to dig up dirt on President Donald Trump, according to a complaint filed Wednesday with the Federal Election Commission.

On Tuesday, it was revealed that the Clinton campaign and the DNC funded development of a now-discredited dossier that claimed to document misbehavior by Trump while in Russia and also claimed Trump had close connections with Russian officials.

Marc E. Elias, a lawyer representing the Clinton campaign and the DNC, retained the firm Fusion GPS to conduct the research into Trump. Fusion GPS then hired Christopher Steele, a former British intelligence officer, to do the work.

Perkins Coie, the firm for which Elias works, was paid $12.4 million to represent the Clinton campaign and the DNC during the 2016 campaign.

The complaint from the nonprofit Campaign Legal Center said that by paying the firm of Perkins Coie to fund development of the dossier while not saying that’s what it was doing, the campaign and DNC broke the law.

The Clinton and campaign and the DNC “failed to accurately disclose the purpose and recipient of payments for the dossier of research alleging connections between then-candidate Donald Trump and Russia, effectively hiding these payments from public scrutiny, contrary to the requirements of federal law,” the Center said on its website.

According to FEC reports, Clinton’s campaign reported 37 payments to the law firm and reported each disbursement as “Legal Services.”

The DNC reported 345 payments to Perkins Coie during the election cycle and marked the payments as “legal and compliance consulting,” “administrative fees,” “data services subscription” and others.

“The purpose of at least some portion of the payments to Perkins Coie was not for legal services; instead, those payments were intended to fund opposition research,” the complaint said. “This false reporting clearly failed the Commission’s requirements for disclosing the purpose of a disbursement.”

The CLC said the campaign and DNC tried to end run the rules.

“By filing misleading reports, the DNC and Clinton campaign undermined the vital public information role of campaign disclosures,” said Adav Noti, senior director of trial litigation and strategy at CLC. “Voters need campaign disclosure laws to be enforced so they can hold candidates accountable for how they raise and spend money.

“The FEC must investigate this apparent violation and take appropriate action,” Noti added.

“Questions about who paid for this dossier are the subject of intense public interest, and this is precisely the information that FEC reports are supposed to provide,” said Brendan Fischer, director of federal and FEC reform at CLC.

“Payments by a campaign or party committee to an opposition research firm are legal, as long as those payments are accurately disclosed,” he said. “But describing payments for opposition research as ‘legal services’ is entirely misleading and subverts the reporting requirements.”

Writing on LawNewz, Rachel Stockman said there is a fine line separating legal fro illegal activities.

“It is legal under current campaign finance law for the Hillary Clinton campaign to commission an opposition research company to dig up dirt on Donald Trump,” she wrote. “What is not legal, according to campaign legal experts, is for the campaign to pay a law firm who then hires other to perform campaign related activities without reporting the purpose of the expenditures.”

FBI uncovered Russian bribery plot before Obama administration approved controversial nuclear deal with Moscow


Reported

 
 
 

Before the Obama administration approved a controversial deal in 2010 giving Moscow control of a large swath of American uranium, the FBI had gathered substantial evidence that Russian nuclear industry officials were engaged in bribery, kickbacks, extortion and money laundering designed to grow Vladimir Putin’s atomic energy business inside the United States, according to government documents and interviews.

Federal agents used a confidential U.S. witness working inside the Russian nuclear industry to gather extensive financial records, make secret recordings and intercept emails as early as 2009 that showed Moscow had compromised an American uranium trucking firm with bribes and kickbacks in violation of the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act, FBI and court documents show.

They also obtained an eyewitness account — backed by documents — indicating Russian nuclear officials had routed millions of dollars to the U.S. designed to benefit former President Bill Clinton’s charitable foundation during the time Secretary of State Hillary Clinton served on a government body that provided a favorable decision to Moscow, sources told The Hill.

The racketeering scheme was conducted “with the consent of higher level officials” in Russia who “shared the proceeds” from the kickbacks, one agent declared in an affidavit years later.

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Rather than bring immediate charges in 2010, however, the Department of Justice (DOJ) continued investigating the matter for nearly four more years, essentially leaving the American public and Congress in the dark about Russian nuclear corruption on U.S. soil during a period when the Obama administration made two major decisions benefiting Putin’s commercial nuclear ambitions.The first decision occurred in October 2010, when the State Department and government agencies on the Committee on Foreign Investment in the United States unanimously approved the partial sale of Canadian mining company Uranium One to the Russian nuclear giant Rosatom, giving Moscow control of more than 20 percent of America’s uranium supply.

When this sale was used by Trump on the campaign trail last year, Hillary Clinton’s spokesman said she was not involved in the committee review and noted the State Department official who handled it said she “never intervened … on any [Committee on Foreign Investment in the United States] matter.”

In 2011, the administration gave approval for Rosatom’s Tenex subsidiary to sell commercial uranium to U.S. nuclear power plants in a partnership with the United States Enrichment Corp. Before then, Tenex had been limited to selling U.S. nuclear power plants reprocessed uranium recovered from dismantled Soviet nuclear weapons under the 1990s Megatons to Megawatts peace program.

“The Russians were compromising American contractors in the nuclear industry with kickbacks and extortion threats, all of which raised legitimate national security concerns. And none of that evidence got aired before the Obama administration made those decisions,” a person who worked on the case told The Hill, speaking on condition of anonymity for fear of retribution by U.S. or Russian officials.

The Obama administration’s decision to approve Rosatom’s purchase of Uranium One has been a source of political controversy since 2015. That’s when conservative author Peter Schweitzer and The New York Times documented how Bill Clinton collected hundreds of thousands of dollars in Russian speaking fees and his charitable foundation collected millions in donations from parties interested in the deal while Hillary Clinton presided on the Committee on Foreign Investment in the United States.

The Obama administration and the Clintons defended their actions at the time, insisting there was no evidence that any Russians or donors engaged in wrongdoing and there was no national security reason for any member of the committee to oppose the Uranium One deal.

But FBI, Energy Department and court documents reviewed by The Hill show the FBI in fact had gathered substantial evidence well before the committee’s decision that Vadim Mikerin — the main Russian overseeing Putin’s nuclear expansion inside the United States — was engaged in wrongdoing starting in 2009.

Then-Attorney General Eric Holder was among the Obama administration officials joining Hillary Clinton on the Committee on Foreign Investment in the United States at the time the Uranium One deal was approved. Multiple current and former government officials told The Hill they did not know whether the FBI or DOJ ever alerted committee members to the criminal activity they uncovered.

Spokesmen for Holder and Clinton did not return calls seeking comment. The Justice Department also didn’t comment.

Mikerin was a director of Rosatom’s Tenex in Moscow since the early 2000s, where he oversaw Rosatom’s nuclear collaboration with the United States under the Megatons to Megwatts program and its commercial uranium sales to other countries. In 2010, Mikerin was dispatched to the U.S. on a work visa approved by the Obama administration to open Rosatom’s new American arm called Tenam.

Between 2009 and January 2012, Mikerin “did knowingly and willfully combine, conspire confederate and agree with other persons … to obstruct, delay and affect commerce and the movement of an article and commodity (enriched uranium) in commerce by extortion,” a November 2014 indictment stated.

His illegal conduct was captured with the help of a confidential witness, an American businessman, who began making kickback payments at Mikerin’s direction and with the permission of the FBI. The first kickback payment recorded by the FBI through its informant was dated Nov. 27, 2009, the records show.

In evidentiary affidavits signed in 2014 and 2015, an Energy Department agent assigned to assist the FBI in the case testified that Mikerin supervised a “racketeering scheme” that involved extortion, bribery, money laundering and kickbacks that were both directed by and provided benefit to more senior officials back in Russia.

“As part of the scheme, Mikerin, with the consent of higher level officials at TENEX and Rosatom (both Russian state-owned entities) would offer no-bid contracts to US businesses in exchange for kickbacks in the form of money payments made to some offshore banks accounts,” Agent David Gadren testified.

“Mikerin apparently then shared the proceeds with other co-conspirators associated with TENEX in Russia and elsewhere,” the agent added.

The investigation was ultimately supervised by then-U.S. Attorney Rod Rosenstein, an Obama appointee who now serves as President Trump’s deputy attorney general, and then-Assistant FBI Director Andrew McCabe, now the deputy FBI director under Trump, Justice Department documents show.

Both men now play a key role in the current investigation into possible, but still unproven, collusion between Russia and Donald Trump’s campaign during the 2016 election cycle. McCabe is under congressional and Justice Department inspector general investigation in connection with money his wife’s Virginia state Senate campaign accepted in 2015 from now-Virginia Gov. Terry McAuliffe at a time when McAuliffe was reportedly under investigation by the FBI.

The connections to the current Russia case are many. The Mikerin probe began in 2009 when Robert Mueller, now the special counsel in charge of the Trump case, was still FBI director. And it ended in late 2015 under the direction of then-FBI Director James Comey, whom Trump fired earlier this year.

Its many twist and turns aside, the FBI nuclear industry case proved a gold mine, in part because it uncovered a new Russian money laundering apparatus that routed bribe and kickback payments through financial instruments in Cyprus, Latvia and Seychelles. A Russian financier in New Jersey was among those arrested for the money laundering, court records show.

The case also exposed a serious national security breach: Mikerin had given a contract to an American trucking firm called Transport Logistics International that held the sensitive job of transporting Russia’s uranium around the United States in return for more than $2 million in kickbacks from some of its executives, court records show.

One of Mikerin’s former employees told the FBI that Tenex officials in Russia specifically directed the scheme to “allow for padded pricing to include kickbacks,” agents testified in one court filing.

Bringing down a major Russian nuclear corruption scheme that had both compromised a sensitive uranium transportation asset inside the U.S. and facilitated international money laundering would seem a major feather in any law enforcement agency’s cap. But the Justice Department and FBI took little credit in 2014 when Mikerin, the Russian financier and the trucking firm executives were arrested and charged. The only public statement occurred a year later when the Justice Department put out a little-noticed press release in August 2015, just days before Labor Day. The release noted that the various defendants had reached plea deals.

By that time, the criminal cases against Mikerin had been narrowed to a single charge of money laundering for a scheme that officials admitted stretched from 2004 to 2014. And though agents had evidence of criminal wrongdoing they collected since at least 2009, federal prosecutors only cited in the plea agreement a handful of transactions that occurred in 2011 and 2012, well after the Committee on Foreign Investment in the United State’s approval.

The final court case also made no mention of any connection to the influence peddling conversations the FBI undercover informant witnessed about the Russian nuclear officials trying to ingratiate themselves with the Clintons even though agents had gathered documents showing the transmission of millions of dollars from Russia’s nuclear industry to an American entity that had provided assistance to Bill Clinton’s foundation, sources confirmed to The Hill.

The lack of fanfare left many key players in Washington with no inkling that a major Russian nuclear corruption scheme with serious national security implications had been uncovered.

On Dec. 15, 2015, the Justice Department put out a release stating that Mikerin, “a former Russian official residing in Maryland was sentenced today to 48 months in prison” and ordered to forfeit more than $2.1 million.

Ronald Hosko, who served as the assistant FBI director in charge of criminal cases when the investigation was underway, told The Hill he did not recall ever being briefed about Mikerin’s case by the counterintelligence side of the bureau despite the criminal charges that were being lodged.

“I had no idea this case was being conducted,” a surprised Hosko said in an interview.

Likewise, major congressional figures were also kept in the dark.

Former Rep. Mike Rogers (R-Mich.), who chaired the House Intelligence Committee during the time the FBI probe was being conducted, told The Hill that he had never been told anything about the Russian nuclear corruption case even though many fellow lawmakers had serious concerns about the Obama administration’s approval of the Uranium One deal.

“Not providing information on a corruption scheme before the Russian uranium deal was approved by U.S. regulators and engage appropriate congressional committees has served to undermine U.S. national security interests by the very people charged with protecting them,” he said. “The Russian efforts to manipulate our American political enterprise is breathtaking.”

Indictment Affidavit by M Mali on Scribd

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Warrant Affidavit by M Mali on Scribd

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Mikerin Plea Deal by M Mali on Scribd

https://www.scribd.com/embeds/361783782/content?start_page=1&view_mode=scroll&access_key=key-9FqAb64N1wtBrEk5gxzZ&show_recommendations=true

Corporate Tax Cut Will Raise Middle-Class Wages


Reported 

URL of the original posting site: https://www.westernjournalism.com/corporate-tax-cut-will-raise-middle-class-wages/?

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A study released Monday by Kevin Hassett, President Donald Trump’s chief economist, gives a boost to Trump’s proposed corporate tax cut. The study shows that if the tax cut is implemented, the average family could see an income boost in the thousands of dollars.

The tax cut would lower the current rate of 35 percent to 20 percent. Based on “conservative estimates,” this decrease would boost the average household income by $4,000, the paper said. But more “moderate estimates” reveal increases of $9,000 per family.

“Put simply, capital deepening, which brings additional returns to the owners of capital, brings substantial returns to workers as well,” said the paper, which studied evidence from other countries that have lowered their corporate tax rates.

But Democrats have disapproved of Trump’s proposed tax cut from the start. They believe it will not benefit ordinary families, but only business themselves.

The new study will allow Republicans to offer a rebuttal.

Hassett, the chair of the White House Council of Economic Advisers, insists that American families would benefit the most from significantly lower corporate tax rates, more so than the companies themselves.

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“America’s broken corporate tax system creates incentives for firms to hold their money outside of our borders,” Hassett told reporters on Sunday, according to the Washington Examiner. “When firms hold their money overseas rather than invest them in America, they’re holding down the productivity of the American economy and the wages of American workers.”

The United States has one of the highest corporate tax rates in the world, leading many companies to keep their profits abroad in lower-tax countries to avoid significant tax hits back home.

By cutting the tax rate, the idea is that companies would then invest more within the United States. This would cause a boost in productivity throughout the country.

This productivity would then boost wages, according to Hassett’s study.

“More assets like machines let workers produce more, and when workers can produce more, businesses can afford to pay their workers more,” Hassett said, as reported by The Hill. 

But some economists and tax policy experts have voiced their concerns about the tax cut directly benefiting workers. Although they agree this would attract companies to invest more in the United States economy, they cannot predict how much money will bring back home. There is also concern over what corporations will do with their tax savings.

Trump announced his tax proposal during a September a speech in Indianapolis. Calling it a “revolutionary change,” he said it would boost wages to “levels that you haven’t seen in many years,” according to The New York Times. 

Rush Limbaugh Says 1 Person Is Taking Over The GOP


Reported 

URL of the original posting site: https://www.westernjournalism.com/rush-limbaugh-says-1-person-is-taking-over-the-gop/?

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Conservative radio host Rush Limbaugh made a bold statement on his program about Steve Bannon and the current state of the Republican Part y.

Limbaugh believes Bannon, the former White House chief strategist, is taking over the roles and responsibilities meant for GOP leadership by enforcing conservatism onto Republican candidates up for re-election.

“I think what Bannon is doing is slowly but surely taking over the role of the Republican Party,” Limbaugh said Wednesday. “The Republican Party is obviously not with Trump on balance — you have some in the House who are — but the Republican Party on balance is not with Trump.”

Steve Bannon played a major role in then-candidate Donald Trump’s presidential victory upset last year and led the formulation of White House policy in the months that followed. He was Trump’s campaign chairman during the 2016 election and later served as a White House chief strategist — leading the nationalist wing of the administration.

After abruptly leaving the administration in mid-August, Bannon returned to his prior position as executive chairman of Breitbart News. Since leaving the White House, he made it clear he would use his position as a media executive to support insurgent conservative candidates running primaries against establishment GOP lawmakers.

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Bannon already appears good for his word.

In the special election in Alabama to fill the Senate seat once held by now-Attorney General Jeff Sessions, Bannon went against the Trump administration with his endorsement of Roy Moore. Bannon supported the successful candidacy of Moore, a controversial former judge, in a move that was at odds with Trump, who campaigned vehemently for Moore’s opponent, Sen. Luther Strange. By election day, it wasn’t even close. Moore bested Strange in the GOP primary by almost double digits. Moore now heads into the Alabama general election, where he will likely win in a state that leans red.

The primary results demonstrated the power of Bannon’s support.

The leader of Breitbart is not stopping with the Alabama special election. Bannon has recently announced he is expanding his GOP targets, adding Republican Sens. Deb Fischer of Nebraska, John Barrasso of Wyoming and Orrin Hatch of Utah to his hit list.

> In Wyoming, Bannon is pushing Erik Prince, the brother of Education Secretary Betsy DeVos and founder of major security contractor Blackwater, to challenge Barrasso, CNN reported. 

> In Utah, Hatch may very well retire on his own. If he does, former Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney is reportedly eyeing a run in the Mormon-majority state. If that happens, Bannon is ready to run a candidate against him.

According to a source close to Bannon, this is just a “partial” list of elections he is looking to influence.

Bannon is already working to knock off Republican Arizona Sen. Jeff Flake and his beleaguered campaign for re-election. Nevada Sen. Dean Heller and Mississippi Sen. Roger Wicker are also on Bannon’s radar.

“Some people make an argument that there really isn’t a Republican Party left. I mean, there are people who call themselves that and they go out and raise money and they raise a lot. But whereas the party used to be known for one, two, or three very serious things, they’re not anymore,” Limbaugh added on his radio show.

The conservative talk radio host believes Bannon and others are trying to keep the identity of the Republican Party alive by enforcing such standards onto them by way of primary challenges.

A REAL FEEL GOOD STORY: Young Boy Takes Matters Into His Own Hands After Coming Across Irma Evacuee


Reported 

URL of the original posting site: https://www.westernjournalism.com/young-boy-takes-matters-into-own-hands-after-coming-across-irma-evacuee/?

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Landon Routzong of Troy, Alabama, has a big heart for the age of 9, and he proved just how big over the weekend at a Chick-fil-A drive-thru. While he and his mother were waiting in line to pick up their lunch, Landon Routzong noticed the Florida license plate on the back of the car in front of theirs. So, he told his mom he wanted to pay for that car’s meal.

“I didn’t want them to waste their money on food because they’re trying to escape the hurricane,” Landon Routzong told ABC News. “I felt like I should help out.”

But in order to pay for the meal, he had to get to the drive-thru window before the Florida car did. As a result, his mother, Tara Parker Routzong, gave him her debit card and told him to run. The man in the Florida car agreed to let Landon Routzong pay for his meal.

Later, the man pulled over to meet the family, telling the mother and her son he was from Miami and was fleeing Hurricane Irma. He said was on his way to Birmingham to stay with relatives.

“Landon and I both had tears in our eyes from how appreciative he was,” Tara Parker Routzong wrote on Facebook in a Friday post detailing the encounter.

Routzong’s post has since been shared over 700 times has over 1,800 likes.

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Tara Parker Routzong told Inside Edition she and her husband always try to help out. She was proud to see her son do the same thing.

“A 9-year-old could be focused on so many other things, but whenever a situation presents itself, Landon is always thinking of how we can help,” she said.

Routzong said the encounter gave her hope that she is doing a good job as a mother.

“I often feel like I’m failing because I can’t do it all, all the time and then things like this happen and remind me that I don’t have to,” she said in her Facebook post. “My most important job is going just fine.”

Hurricane Irma was downgraded to a tropical storm after it made landfall along the coast of Florida over the weekend. But the storm’s overall damage has been severe, with more still to come. Irma still had sustained winds of up to 70 mph as of Monday afternoon, while over 6.2 million Floridians have experienced power outages.

Liberals Whine About Trump’s Border Wall, Then This 1 Map Leaves Them Dead Silent


waving flagBy: C.E. Dyer on August 10, 2016

Liberals whine that GOP presidential nominee Donald Trump’s proposal to build a wall along the U.S.-Mexico border is racist.

But Breitbart reported that the editorial board of El Mañana — one of the country’s largest newspapers — wrote an article titled “Yes to the Border Wall … but in Mexico’s South,” calling for the country to build a wall along its southern border to stem the tide of illegal immigrants pouring across from Central America.

But when was the last time you heard American liberals up in arms about how Mexico treats illegal immigrants coming across its own border from the south? Apparently there’s nothing wrong with Mexico wanting to build a wall to protect its territory, but when the United States wants to do it, suddenly it’s “racist.”

This maps below are just another example of the hypocrisy of the left:

Mexico's Southern Border Wall

Conservative Post reported exactly how Trump can fund the wall, explained why it’s important and debunked the left’s assertions that it isn’t possible. Thanks to Mexicans who live and work in the United States, $24 billion flows into Mexico a year. If the Mexican government wants that money to continue, it will have to come up with a one-time payment of $5 to $10 billion in order to build the border wall, according to the Conservative Post.

The Mexican government officials can protest all they want, but if the money gets cut off, it’s likely they will sing a different tune.

Conservative Post mentioned three things that would help pay for the wall:

“Trade tariffs, or enforcement of existing trade rules.” As Trump has repeatedly said, we need to renegotiate trade deals in America’s favor. Doing so would provide a huge source of money to put toward building the wall.

“Cancelling visas.” America is not required to take in everyone around the world and, as the article pointed out, it is a privilege to come to the United States.

illegalalienvoters-300x300The U.S. holds a great deal of power in these negotiations as Mexico uses the U.S. as a de facto welfare state and also needs visas for business and tourism purposes.

“Visa Fees.” The left regularly likes to talk about increasing taxes on Americans, but what about visa fees? Conservative Post argued that just a small increase in visa fees could pay for the wall itself.

America needs to build a wall in order to protect Americans from drug trafficking, crime and gangs.  In addition, we need to start, as Trump has said, putting Americans first. Building a wall is not only doable, it is critical for the future of America.

H/T Defund.com

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