A cabal of state tax and local collectors is lobbying the Senate to hold the Internet Tax Freedom Act hostage. Their plan is to tie an extension of the longstanding ban on email taxes to their controversial plan to give states and municipalities new powers to collect sales taxes on transactions far outside their borders. Illinois Senator Dick Durbin, the number two Democrat, is mulling whether to lead the hostage-taking for these taxing interests.
Since this sales-tax scheme has been going nowhere in the House, the Durbin gang could end up …
Americans learned in the IRS political targeting scandal that government enforcement power can be used to stifle political speech. Something similar may be unfolding in Wisconsin, where a special prosecutor is targeting conservative groups that participated in the battle over Governor Scott Walker’s union reforms.
Copies of two subpoenas we’ve seen demand “all memoranda, email . . . correspondence, and communications” both internally and between the subpoena target and some 29 conservative groups, including Wisconsin and national nonprofits, political vendors and party committees.
One subpoena also demands “all records of income …
Some union officials, however, would be unhappy to see her become the nominee. One union, Unite Here, has targeted Ms. Pritzker and her family’s Hyatt hotel chain, enlisting the Obama Labor Department in an 18-month investigation of alleged worker-safety violations. The federal probe ended with a finding of no major violations.
Last July, a group of labor leaders, including Obama ally and AFL-CIO President Richard Trumka, joined Unite Here at a news conference in Washington, where Unite Here called for a global boycott of Hyatt Hotels.
Several union officials said Thursday they …
Offended by President Obama’s decision to force health insurers to pay for contraception and surgical sterilization? It gets worse: In the future, thanks to ObamaCare, the government will issue such health edicts on a routine basis—and largely insulated from public view. This goes beyond contraception to cancer screenings, the use of common drugs like aspirin, and much more.
Under ObamaCare, a single committee—the United States Preventative Services Task Force—is empowered to evaluate preventive health services and decide which will be covered by health-insurance plans.
Read more at WSJ
Now, suddenly, we have headlines about the president’s “war on the Catholic Church.” Mostly they stem from a Health and Human Services mandate that forces every employer to provide employees with health coverage that not only covers birth control and sterilization, but makes them free. Predictably, the move has drawn fire from the Catholic bishops.
Less predictable—and far more interesting—has been the heat from the Catholic left, including many who have in the past given the president vital cover. In a post for the left-leaning National Catholic Reporter, Michael Sean Winter …
From the president’s hometown comes an example of what he is actually supporting. The Chicago Tribune reports that an investigation it conducted with WGN-TV found “23 retired union officials from Chicago stand to collect about $56 million from two ailing city pension funds.”
That’s an average of $2.4 million each, and some will rake in even more. Dennis Gannon, a former president of the Chicago Federation of Labor, stands to collect some $5 million. In line for $4 million apiece are Liberato “Al” Naimoli, president of the Cement Workers Union Local …
From the WSJ
In a discussion about the debt ceiling, Durbin said he was “going to point the finger at my Republican colleagues for a moment.” He went on to say “Many of them have said they like war. They like waging war. They like the notion of staying in war. They think we should spend a lot of money in war.”
In these tough economic times, the sight of angry taxpayers filling the auditorium of a suburban high school isn’t unusual.
But those gathered in this Chicago suburb earlier this month weren’t facing off against impassive town officials. In a rare expression of direct democracy that invoked a 100-year-old state law, all 200 people present got to vote, and resoundingly overturned the township’s plan to build a new $1.5 million civic office.
Read more at the WSJ
Details at WSJ
Billionaire Bill Gates on Thursday agitated for state governments to adopt “clear and honest” accounting of their budgets, saying states’ true finances are being obscured from voters and threaten America’s public-education system.
Speaking at a meeting here of leading thinkers known as the TED conference, Mr. Gates said that state budgets need more scrutiny and should follow more-transparent accounting principles, such as those used by Google Inc. and Microsoft Corp, which Mr. Gates co-founded.
“It’s riddled with gimmicks,” Mr. Gates said of the “tricks” states use to balance their budgets. Citing moves …