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NSA-IRS-M-O-U-S-E: Email Hate Mail

The opinions expressed by columnists are their own and do not necessarily represent the views of Townhall.com.

dhensley813 wrote: The city of Chicago really had no option but to curtail the benefits of retirees. It's not as bankrupt as Detroit, but it was getting there. Obamacare wasn't so much the reason the city cut retiree insurance, as the excuse it gave them to say that they weren't really being dropped. - Obama Solves Mass-Layoff Problem by Laying Off Mass-Layoff Statistics Guys at BLS


Dear Comrade 813,

I think they had no choice once they negotiated a contract that allowed retirees to have benefits that the city knew it couldn’t afford.

That’s outrageous enough. But to make matters worse they are shifting the costs to the rest of us. And don’t forget the retirees who will have to shell out more money for fewer benefits.

This is of course why government employees should not be allowed to unionize. Ever.

If you want to get at the problem of money in politics, I have a one-word answer for you: Unions.

Imagine if unions gave money to GOP candidates, who then went and signed fat benefit contracts on behalf of the people who gave them money. And remember, Chicago’s current mayor is Obama’s made-man, former chief of staff, Rahm Emanuel, who likely is as responsible for the passage of Obamacare as anyone alive.

And if you know anything about how economics works under the Rahm and Obama show, you’ll know that the fact that the combined cost of $277 million to taxpayers and citizens to save Chicago a $109 million next year is a benefit under the system. 

As the Wall Journal reported earlier this year, more cities might be looking to do the same and shift costs from big cities to the federal government.

And that’s when the real hopey and changey stuff begins.

That means that there will be more state and city money in budgets available for the dues-paying, non-retired members of the government employee unions.

“All told, state and local governments are on the hook for between $700 billion and $1.5 trillion for retiree health benefits,” writesthe Journal, “and like Chicago most will soon be unable to afford even their minimum annual payments. Offloading the costs on Uncle Sam will look attractive since retiree health benefits don't enjoy the legal protections that some states have bestowed upon pensions. Stockton, California intends to shed its $400 million unfunded liability for retiree benefits in bankruptcy.”

So while the responsible thing to was to reduce the benefits, Rahm chose to do it with the usual Obama flair, in the most irresponsible manner by passing along those costs to U.S. taxpayers.

In my opinion, the taxpayers of Chicago should have to clean up the mess.

And if you elect me president, I’ll take care of that on day number one ;-0. 

Eliot Brenner, Director, Office of Public Affairs U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission wrote: Beyond our workload dropping precipitously for unforeseen reasons (cheap natural gas delaying nuclear plants), in 2012 the administration launched an effort to reduce the amount of space allocated to each worker. Our new building was just being finished and its layout was fixed. We are working steadily to reduce our footprint, closing satellite offices that had to be created during a significant rampup in employment that occurred until utilities decided to ask us to slow or stop work on some projects. - Vacant Buildings Now Cost Half Billion Dollars Plus, But Who’s Counting? Not the Government

Dear Comrade Brenner,

It’s terrible when unforeseen regulatory action affects any business like yours. But unlike a government agency, private businesses may shut down as a result, or layoff employees, or see their share price decrease. They don’t have the option of just asking the government to cover their losses.

Oh wait: I guess they DO have the option, but I’m against it, for obvious reasons. Where it not for your boss’ hostility to any power option beyond windmills and solar, perhaps companies would still be pursuing nuclear plants.

But who can blame them for not wanting to take the risk?

There are many unforeseen results that the American public has learned to live with as a result of government action.

For example, as youngster, I can remember when Washington Public Power Supply System bonds defaulted on $2.25 billion...in 1983. That's the equivalent of about $5.25 billion today.


As you might be aware, the “Whoops” (WPPSS) bonds were issued to build five nuclear power plants in Washington State. As a result of government regulatory actions- including that of the Nuclear Regulatory Commission- and mob/court rule, the plants were never completed.

Do you know how much money a partially-completed nuclear power facility fetches in the open market at liquidation? Not much.

I know this because my father was one of the trustees for the bond issue and helped oversee the liquidation. Bondholders got stiffed.

It’s too bad we can’t do that with some government agencies right now. Forget the loss on investment.

We’d save a fortune in operations costs every year. 

Take for example your empty building...Vacant Buildings Now Cost Half Billion Dollars Plus, But Who’s Counting? Not the Government

Matthew wrote: GET OVER IT! You people are as ignorant as you are loud. Why all this hate for our nations elected leader? Romney will never be president so deal with that and the fact that President Obama will be there until 2016. Not everyone in America is anti Obama.

Dear Comrade Matthew,

You are 100 percent wrong.

We are louder than we are ignorant.

Why do liberals automatically assume that just because we don’t like Obama; we don’t like his ideology, his pompous and arrogant demeanor; his inability to do anything without a teleprompter; his cover up of his academic record; his inability to take responsibility for anything that his administration does; his dismissive attitude towards accomplishments other than his own; his overestimation of his own intelligence; his ignorance of American history beyond his own bias; and finally, that we also don’t like his wife; that therefore we want Romney to be president?

Plus hate’s a strong word.

And some of us are just stronger than others.

Livestrong. That's my motto.

Earl50 wrote: Another point that should be made here is the rise in s-corporations in the last 10-15 years that are taxed like a partnership. What this means is that the profits of the corporation are allocated to the shareholders per their ownership percentage and thus are included on their personal tax returns. - The Economic Illiteracy – or Lies- of the Huffington Post

Dear Earl,

Yes, I received many emails from readers about this.

Although I have no way of determining whether pass-through income like you describe has accounted for a larger share of government revenue, I do know that the share just from income taxes has remained fairly stable no matter what the tax rate has been.

My objection to the HuffPo’s article was that the guy they have hired as the chief finance editor has no idea how the tax code works or just forgot. This is a guy who apparently worked at the Wall Street Journal as a contributor for premiere features such as  “Heard on the Street,” “Ahead of the Tape,” and “Evening Wrap” columns.

So, not only are WSJ readers expected to get yesterday’s news tomorrow, but they also are expected to swallow expert commentary about money and markets by people who don’t seem to know anything about payroll taxes.

Here’s where the argument becomes more than just academic: Those who have real experience running businesses can NEVER forget the function of payroll taxes. Payroll taxes, combined with benefits, add an additional 30 percent to labor costs when you hire a full-time, regular employee.

Only someone who has never had to write that check can possibly forget it. 

Englishlass wrote: What do you expect from someone that PROBABLY got his degree in JOURNALISM from some leftist liberal college full of ignorant liberals professors that NEVER worked a day in their lives? ALL he learned was how to spell his name correctly. - The Economic Illiteracy – or Lies- of the Huffington Post


Dear Lassie,

Gongloff got his degree in journalism from University of South Carolina.

Here’s the rest of his bio with my emendations:

His trenchant insights, [Really? Trenchant?]wry sense of humor [oh, maybe that was a parody of finance journalism], and nose for scoops will now be unleashed [Unleashed? What is he? A dog?]across our site in myriad [Myriad is one of those word that makes smart people seem dumb] forms — via a morning newsletter, frequent posts throughout the day, and in television spots.

Mark brings a dozen years of experience covering financial markets and the economy, [I think someone needs to go back to school] having held prominent positions as a reporter, editor, columnist and blogger — first for CNN/Money and then for the Wall Street Journal. His ground-breaking work exploring the extent of the Fed’s special lending programs to banks during the financial crisis was cited in a congressional investigation [That’s kind of like a vanity press author citing his own work]. He was part of a team of finalists for the Scripps-Howard award for Web reporting on mortgage delinquencies in 2007. He authored or collaborated on several Page One stories for the Journal, contributed to its “Heard on the Street” column, and wrote both its “Evening Wrap” and “Ahead of the Tape” columns. Since August he has been the lead writer for the Journal’s MarketBeat blog, amassing record traffic. [Not anymore].

jdmeth wrote: So where did Apple's 100 billion cash reserve come from? Tax avoidance maybe? - The Economic Illiteracy – or Lies- of the Huffington Post

Dear Comrade Lawyer Meth,

If you knew what “tax avoidance” was, you’d know that certainly Apple amassed $100 billion through “tax avoidance.” Tax avoidance isn’t a dirty word though. It’s what you do on your tax return, it’s what companies do on their tax returns, its what everyone does legally to limit the amount of money they pay in taxes.

What the hell is wrong with you liberals?

Breaking the law is now OK, but following the law is a crime?

It follows the rest of your thinking, which is just downright weird. 

Islamic fundamentalists are OK even though they practice the most punishing type of oppression against women, but Christians aren’t OK because they don’t want to pay for Sandra Fluke’s birth control.

Seriously: How did you listen to Obama’s speech to the Irish about religious schools and peace without picturing him with a red, rubber nose, floppy shoes and an over-sized yellow tie? 

Joe296 wrote: But, the employer part is deducted as an expense on the business income tax return so the government is subsidizing part of the amount the business is paying. - The Economic Illiteracy – or Lies- of the Huffington Post

Dear Comrade 269,

The government GETS subsidies; it doesn’t give them out. 

Every dollar the government gets first starts out as a dollar in our private economy. The government taxes profits, not revenues.

Companies merely write off the entire labor expense, including wages, taxes and benefits when they do their taxes, just like they would deduct raw material or other expenses to determine profits.

You get to write off other taxes, like state taxes, when you do your federal tax return. Is that YOUR subsidy that you now owe me?

Pay up dude.

Or the next GOP president will put the NSA-IRS-M-O-U-S-E on you.

That’s it for this week.

Bobert wrote: Mitt Romney would be as bad as bush so we would have a tie for worst president ever. -There is No God but Barack Obama; and Chris Matthews is His Prophet

Dear Comrade Bobert,

I loved the album Bad as Bush. It’s in my vinyl collection along with Cheap Trick Live at Budokan, Ted Nugent Double Live Gonzo and More of the Monkees. 

I think maybe you mean Bad-A$$ed Bush, perhaps?


Que es muy macho? Obama använder en drönarattack? Eller? Bush öppnar en burk whoop-arsle?

I like the Whoop-Arsle strategy best personally.

I think it worked better than Obama’s proxy-war idea, where he’s arming Al Qaida around the world. No one who counts is sweating Obama being commander-in-chief.

Bush was right: Osama bin Laden didn’t matter. He was a non-entity hiding in compound in Pakistan, doing nothing.

Obama’s foreign policy is non-existent: He lost us Iraq, Afghanistan, Libya, Egypt- although because of the good sense of the Egyptians hopefully we’ll get that one back. And he’s trying his very best to lose us Syria.

Imagine this: Obama chose to back the one group of people who make Syrian dictator Assad look like an attractive alternative.

Obama’s foreign policy can be summed up in one phrase: Wrong Every Single Time.

Patrick wrote: Mitt Romney is the worst Presidential candidate ever! Mitt and his corporate raiding overseas accounts buddies! We need someone who cares about America instead of lining his pockets and protecting the tax status of the super rich. -There is No God but Barack Obama; and Chris Matthews is His Prophet

Dear Comrade Patrick,

Well he’s the second candidate to lose to Obama, so perhaps he’s tied for the worst candidate. But it’s a three-way tie.

It goes: 1a) McCain, 1b) Romney, 1c) Obama.

Barack Obama has a very impressive GOTV apparatus. He’s got the media on his side too. He has many advantages that other candidates won’t have.  And twice he eked out a victory. 

But don’t make the mistake of thinking that an electoral victory is the same thing as getting whatever you want politically.

Obama made the mistake of thinking his re-election was a coronation, and he was wrong. He wasn’t a strong candidate. And this is born out by the fact that politically he hasn’t been able to do much.

I can’t think of a president who has done less in a term than Barack Obama. We will see how much of Obamacare, Dodd-Frank and other so-called reform measures will last the test of time, but I don’t see much future in them.

Besides the fact that none of these legislative schemes work, they also aren’t popular with anyone, either.

So far, the only people who have benefited by Barack Obama are people at the top of the oligarchy that is currently mismanaging the country. 

Scott4616 wrote: Greece should declare national bankruptcy, tell all of the creditors to take a flying leap, exile all Communists and Leftists, establish a minimalist government with a Constitution to protect individual freedom and property rights, then declare Greece as a Tax Free Zone and welcome any law-abiding Greeks and visitors who want to set up shop and do business. -Congrats President Nobel: Obama Allies Behead Catholic Priest In Syria

Dear Comrade Scott,

And posters shouldn’t split hairs on matters of Christian doctrine especially as: 1) It might annoy me; 2) You might be wrong; 3) It’s off topic.

Salvation may come from grace alone, but faith without works is dead.

Matthew 25:31-46

31 When the Son of man shall come in his glory, and all the holy angels with him, then shall he sit upon the throne of his glory:

32 And before him shall be gathered all nations: and he shall separate them one from another, as a shepherd divideth his sheep from the goats:

33 And he shall set the sheep on his right hand, but the goats on the left.

34 Then shall the King say unto them on his right hand, Come, ye blessed of my Father, inherit the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world:

35 For I was an hungred, and ye gave me meat: I was thirsty, and ye gave me drink: I was a stranger, and ye took me in:

36 Naked, and ye clothed me: I was sick, and ye visited me: I was in prison, and ye came unto me.


37 Then shall the righteous answer him, saying, Lord, when saw we thee an hungred, and fed thee? or thirsty, and gave thee drink?

38 When saw we thee a stranger, and took thee in? or naked, and clothed thee?

39 Or when saw we thee sick, or in prison, and came unto thee?

40 And the King shall answer and say unto them, Verily I say unto you, Inasmuch as ye have done it unto one of the least of these my brethren, ye have done it unto me.

41 Then shall he say also unto them on the left hand, Depart from me, ye cursed, into everlasting fire, prepared for the devil and his angels:

42 For I was an hungred, and ye gave me no meat: I was thirsty, and ye gave me no drink:

43 I was a stranger, and ye took me not in: naked, and ye clothed me not: sick, and in prison, and ye visited me not.

44 Then shall they also answer him, saying, Lord, when saw we thee an hungred, or athirst, or a stranger, or naked, or sick, or in prison, and did not minister unto thee?

45 Then shall he answer them, saying, Verily I say unto you, Inasmuch as ye did it not to one of the least of these, ye did it not to me.

46 And these shall go away into everlasting punishment: but the righteous into life eternal. 

The Gospel of the Lord. 

Troglodite wrote: Actually, Russia spent much of the 19th century trying to act as the (mostly self-appointed) protector of Christians in the Ottoman Empire, so this is "deja vu all over again." Personally, I would prefer a "protector" less thuggish than Putin, but would certainly rather bet on Putin than on Obama. Putin is self-interested and nasty, but at least a man. Obama is malevolent and a weakling. -Congrats President Nobel: Obama Allies Behead Catholic Priest In Syria

Dear Trog,

It began earlier than that.

Peter the Great was called Liberator of the Balkan Christians by biographer Robert K. Massie for his role in fighting the Ottoman Empire in the early 18th Century.

And of course, the Russian and Greek Orthodox churches are both part of the Eastern Orthodox Church. It would be natural for Russia to consider herself defender of the Christian faith now that the communists are gone. 

Corbett wrote: The Catholics in the US overwhelmingly vote Democrat. That is an absolute fact & you cannot truthfully deny it. As long as that is the case, the Catholics will be treated like dirt by the Democratic Party. In his article, Mr. Ransom bemoans the administration's treatment of the Catholic Church and Catholics. I merely explain WHY the Democrats treat Catholics the way they do. I do not agree with the way the Democrats treat Catholics, but then I do not agree with the way the vast majority of Catholics vote for Democrats. -Congrats President Nobel: Obama Allies Behead Catholic Priest In Syria

Dear Comrade Corbett,

It would more truthful to say that Hispanic Catholics vote overwhelmingly for Democrats. In 2012 Obama got 50 percent of the Catholic vote, while Romney got 48 percent. That’s not an overwhelming total. It actually makes me feel pretty good about the odds of getting back a majority of Catholics. 

In 2004, Bush got 52 percent of the vote to John Kerry’s 47 percent. Kerry by the way is Catholic.

So if there is some secret Catholic handshake, John Kerry doesn’t know about it.

One problem that outsiders seem to have is in understanding that Catholics are diverse voting block. There is no solid Catholic vote. It’s up for grabs.

But as the largest, single, religious voting block- with stated values more on the conservative side than liberal- it’s a block worth working.

I will happily work it.

I don’t bemoan anything.

I work at politics, especially voting. 

DG Wrote: John said: ..... "Happy Dependence, I say to you Sirs." Reminds me. The IRS bosses are not celebrating the Fourth this year. Instead they celebrate the Fifth. - This Will Leave a Mark: More Bi-Partisan "Reform"


Dear DG,


Goldilocks wrote: please explain how [Obama did everything to keep the economy bad]. explain how he is an ideologue. - This Will Leave a Mark: More Bi-Partisan "Reform"

Dear Comrade Goldilocks,

Hopefully this explanation will be just right for you.

Obama’s overseen the worst jobs recovery since the Great Depression. Remember all of those Recovery Summers we were supposed to have?

Either Obama’s ideas to get the economy working were faulty or he just doesn’t care.

I’m inclined to think it a bit of both.

The chart above graphs real unemployment in the United States. It includes U6 unemployment plus long-term discouraged workers, who were written out of the data in 1994.

As the blue line shows, a quarter of the labor force is either unemployed, underemployed or has just given up hope of ever finding a job, which while that doesn’t count as unemployed by government statisticians- or Obama- it’s good enough for me to count as unemployed.

For the most part, the unemployment-underemployment trend has been confined to the Obama’s term, hence the growing divergence between the blue line and the other lines used to measure unemployment.

Into this miasma of economic slop that Obama has created he has: 1) Imposed the one of the biggest tax increases ever; 2) Imposed more regulatory burden on companies than any of his predecessors with 131 new rules that cost $70 billion per year to enforce- including rules that will negatively impact the cost of everything from energy to healthcare to autos to homes; 3) He’s proposing even more regulatory burden by trying to impose carbon taxes by executive fiat because Congress won’t pass carbon legislation and 4) He’s not reformed the financial industry so that it is any more sound than it was previously. In fact, the financial industry now has more assets, concentrated in fewer big banks- and now under the law the federal government is required to bail them out if they fail, which they likely will… again.

Amy DB wrote: Thank you Mr. Ransom for a brief & concise bit of history. -Washington's First Fourth

Dear Amy,

You’re welcome.

I think Washington is one of the most interesting and enigmatic leaders the world has ever produced. After long study, I’m persuaded that King George III was right. 

I’ll let Cato’s David Boaz tell that part:

The writer Garry Wills called him “a virtuoso of resignations.” He gave up power not once but twice – at the end of the revolutionary war, when he resigned his military commission and returned to Mount Vernon, and again at the end of his second term as president, when he refused entreaties to seek a third term. In doing so, he set a standard for American presidents that lasted until the presidency of Franklin D. Roosevelt, whose taste for power was stronger than the 150 years of precedent set by Washington.

Give the last word to Washington’s great adversary, King George III. The king asked his American painter, Benjamin West, what Washington would do after winning independence. West replied, “They say he will return to his farm.”

“If he does that,” the incredulous monarch said, “he will be the greatest man in the world.”

I agree.

Oligarchyrising wrote: Score one for the Grand Kids; well, at least temporarily. Now, to stop the friggin, fracking! But, that may not be necessary; as, the price of Natural Gas is so low, that Producers can't bring it out of the Ground. One thing is certain; the Country don't need no more of that, "Stinkin," Carbon - - in any form! -What Obama Did on His Summer Vacation: Kill 760,000 Jobs

Dear Comrade Oligarch,

You must be one of those Obama guys who owns a lot of solar or G.E. stock.

I guessed you missed the part where the United States will sell its coal overseas to countries like China. Carbon output will be about the same actually regardless of what energy we use.


What Obama is asking Americans to do is to finance the cheap energy of other countries at the expense of American citizens. We pay more; they pay less.

China already spews out about 5 times the amount of carbon we do to produce one dollar of GDP. In absolute terms, China is the biggest polluter in the world.

And by the way, isn’t it all you liberals who are celebrating the fact that China will overtake the United States as number one economy in the world by the middle of next week or certainly by year 2178?

Experts have changed their minds and made revisions to the obituary of the United States so many times that I’ve lost count. 

Anywho…I’ll keep my carbon.

Do us all a favor and live for one week without any sort of “stinkin carbon - - in any form.”

Good luck breathing.

Bskeptik wrote: Did Ranson READ any of the links in his story? The EPA regs WILL NOT cost the power industry 760k jobs, just as the previous round did not cost them 60k jobs. The fact is, the industry employs 760k jobs and enforcing tighter regulations is going to provide an opportunity for many power generating companies to convert older plants to natural gas, or, to build NG plants to replace their very old, very expensive to maintain, fully depreciated plants with new NG plants with lower maintenance and operating costs. Georgia power completed two of those projects last year with a net gain of 10 employees and created 600 construction jobs in the process. I don't like, don't agree with the EPA actions. There's no reason to paint these regs and their impact as worse than they really are. -What Obama Did on His Summer Vacation: Kill 760,000 Jobs

Dear Comrade Skeptik,

Oh, let me guess: I bet you’re a Republican too?

Why can’t you let the industry decide whether take advantage of the opportunity to “convert older plants to natural gas, or, to build NG plants to replace their very old, very expensive to maintain, fully depreciated plants with new NG plants with lower maintenance and operating costs”?

Oh, I forgot: You’re liberal; that’s why.

You just can’t stand it when people don’t see it your way. So instead of conceding that in some things people get to decide for themselves, you have to force people to take on whatever nut-job ideas that you have about what’s good for them.

Look, I can accept that we have differing ideas about climate change, but please spare me the lecture about how you and Obama are just helping power companies by forcing them to do what they wouldn’t do if given a choice. 

This is like me and our readers deciding that your neighbor needs a new roof; and, by the way, you and the guy next door to him? You get to pay for it.

Please send an estimate for the work and your neighbor’s address as soon as possible.

Jokamura wrote: I will believe all of this has an effect, when I see Obama's job approval rating plummet. -The Obamacare Jobless Rate Soars from 13.8 percent to 14.3 percent

Dear Joker,

53.4 percent approval to 45.3 percent is a plummet.

That’s it for this week.





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