Monday, November 30, 2015

How High Corporate Taxes Lost America The World’s Next Biggest Drug Company

By Guy Bentley
Pfizer and Allergan are preparing to merge in a $160 billion deal that will create the world’s largest drug company. But instead of being based in the U.S., the heart of medical innovation, the new company will headquarter in Ireland.
The historic deal will create a company with an operating cash flow of $25 billion per year. The merger will need to pass regulatory hurdles to avoid any anti-trust violations. The new company, Pfizer Plc, is expected to save $2 billion in the first three years.
Pfizer Plc is the latest in a string of high-profile companies to undertake what is known as a “tax inversion,” where a company domiciles in a foreign country with a corporate tax rate lower than the Ameriac’s 35 percent. Ireland has a corporate tax rate of just 12.5 percent, making it an extremely attractive proposition to many of the world’s leading companies.
President Barack Obama is a vocal critic of tax inversions, calling them “unpatriotic.” The administration has taken steps to clamp down on the practice.
But leading experts believe the Pfizer and Allergan inversion is just the symptom of the fundamental problems besetting America’s corporate tax system.
Chris Edwards, director of tax policy studies at Cato Institute, tells The Daily Caller News Foundation, “we [America] have an emergency situation with the corporate tax system,” and “we are shooting ourselves in the foot,” with excessively high tax rates.
“With a globalized economy you can’t trap your tax base,” he added. The U.S. is an outlier among developed economies in maintaining a punitively high corporate rate. “Even left of center governments in Europe and Canada have slashed their corporate tax rates. The trends are so obvious it’s remarkable we haven’t acted.”
Jared Meyer, a fellow at the Manhattan Institute, argued, “capital is mobile in this global economy, and US corporate taxes are uncompetitive. When average state corporate taxes are included, the top U.S. marginal rate tops 39 percent.
“This rate is much higher than the developed world’s average of 25 percent. Can anyone blame Pfizer for taking steps to help its shareholders and keep costs down for its customers?”
Meyer warns that “until there is corporate tax reform, more companies will follow Pfizer and leave America.” But beyond the high corporate tax rate American companies are expected to pay, there is another aspect to the system that puts them at a further disadvantage.
Veronique de Rugy, a senior research fellow at the Mercatus Center, says she isn’t at all surprised by Pfizer’s decision and says what “adds insult to injury” is that the U.S. corporate tax is a worldwide system. This means if an American company repatriates foreign earnings, they are still obligated to pay a tax on these earnings to the US government.
Aparna Mathur, a resident scholar at the American Enterprise Institute, told TheDCNF, “I think the reason we are seeing a wave of inversions is precisely because the US corporate tax system is so out of line with that of the rest of the world.”
One of the reasons why there has been some reluctance to reform the system is that Democrats, in particular, believe “corporations are bad, that they’re dodging taxes and we need to hammer them,” says de Rugy.
But if anyone thinks corporate taxes just hit the wealthy they are sorely mistaken, says Edwards. “It is a consensus view that the corporate tax burden is shifted on labor.” A study of 65 countries finds increasing the corporate tax by 1 percent decreases wages by 0.5 percent. “Democrats need to bone up on their tax economics,” Edwards adds. There is little prospect of a large-scale cut in the corporate tax rate before a new administration enter the White House in 2016, according to Edwards.
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We’ll be doing wall-to-wall coverage of the off-the-wall climate talks in Paris this week, but I can hardly do better in setting this up than to recall some of the testimony I presented to the House Foreign Affairs Committee back in 2011. Here are a couple of excerpts:
I will begin with my contentious conclusion, which is that the international diplomacy of climate change is the most implausible and unpromising initiative since the disarmament talks of the 1930s, and for many of the same reasons; that the Kyoto Protocol and its progeny are the climate diplomacy equivalent of the Kellogg-Briand Pact of 1928 that promised to end war (a treaty that is still on the books, by the way), and finally, that future historians are going to look back on this whole period as the climate policy equivalent of wage and price controls to fight inflation in the 1970s. . .
One of the problems of the sheer sprawling nature of climate change science and policy is that it became something of an all-purpose issue on which advocates could attach their pet ideas and concerns. The idea of climate adjustment assistance has revived at the UN an old idea from the 1970s—what was called then the “New International Economic Order.” The premise of the New International Economic Order, as explained at the time by West Germany’s Chancellor Willy Brandt, was that there needed to be “a large scale transfer of resources to developing countries.” This was back in the hey-day of post-colonial Western guilt, and it came to an abrupt end in the 1980s when President Reagan forcefully repudiated it at a UN summit in, coincidentally, Cancun.
But climate assistance has revived the old idea of requiring wealthy nations to indemnify poor nations. The German newspaper Neue Zurcher Zeitung observed shortly before the Cancun summit last year: “The next world climate summit in Cancun is actually an economy summit during which the distribution of the world’s resources will be negotiated.”   What prompted this conclusion was a candid admission from a UN official closely involved with the climate negotiations, German economist Ottmar Edenhoffer: “But one must say clearly that we redistribute de facto the world’s wealth by climate policy. Obviously, the owners of coal and oil will not be enthusiastic about this. One has to free oneself from the illusion that international climate policy is environmental policy. This has almost nothing to do with environmental policy anymore.”
I expect we’ll hear a lot of this kind of talk coming out of Paris, because these folks just can’t help themselves when they want to help themselves to your money.

The Left’s Wrong Reactions to the Paris Terrorist Attack

The Left’s Wrong Reactions to the Paris Terrorist Attack
By Dennis Prager 

ISIS Is Barack Obama’s Creation

ISIS Is Barack Obama’s Creation
After he sold Iraq down the Euphrates, a resistance became inevitable.
By Mona Charen 

Sunday, November 29, 2015

Refugees and the Jihadist Fifth Column

Refugees and the Jihadist Fifth Column

By Andrew C. McCarthy 

Prominent Scientists Declare Climate Claims Ahead of UN Summit ‘Irrational’ – ‘Based On Nonsense’ – ‘Leading us down a false path’

Prominent Scientists Declare Climate Claims Ahead of UN Summit ‘Irrational’ – ‘Based On Nonsense’ – ‘Leading us down a false path’

Note: CFACT’s new skeptical documentary, Climate Hustle, is set to rock the UN climate summit with red carpet’world premiere in Paris. 
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From Left to Right: Dr. Will Happer, Dr. Richard Lindzen & Dr. Patrick Moore
AUSTIN, Texas – A team of prominent scientists gathered in Texas today at a climate summit to declare that fears of man-made global warming were “irrational” and “based on nonsense” that “had nothing to do with science.” They warned that “we are being led down a false path” by the upcoming UN climate summit in Paris.
The scientists appeared at a climate summit sponsored by the Texas Public Policy Foundation. The summit in Austin was titled: “At the Crossroads: Energy & Climate Policy Summit.”
Climate Scientist Dr. Richard Lindzen, an emeritus Alfred P. Sloan Professor of Meteorology at the Department of Earth, Atmospheric and Planetary Sciences at MIT, derided what he termed climate “catastrophism.”
“Demonization of CO2 is irrational at best and even modest warming is mostly beneficial,” Lindzen said.
Lindzen cautioned: “The most important thing to keep in mind is – when you ask ‘is it warming, is it cooling’, etc.  — is that we are talking about something tiny (temperature changes) and that is the crucial point.”
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Lindzen also challenged the oft-repeated UN IPCC claim that most of warming over past 50 years was due to mankind.
“People get excited over this. Is this statement alarming? No,” Lindzen stated.
“We are speaking of small changes 0.25 Celcius would be about 51% of the recent warming and that strongly suggests a low and inconsequential climate sensitivity – meaning no problem at all,” Lindzen explained.
“I urge you when looking at a graph, check the scales! The uncertainty here is tenths of a degree,” he noted.
“When someone points to this and says this is the warmest temperature on record. What are they talking about? It’s just nonsense. This is a very tiny change period. And they are arguing over hundredths of a degree when it is uncertain in tenths of a degree,” Lindzen said.
“And the proof that the uncertainty is tenths of a degree are the adjustments that are being made. If you can adjust temperatures to 2/10ths of a degree, it means it wasn’t certain to 2/10ths of a degree,” he said. (Also See: Scientists balk at ‘hottest year’ claims: Ignores Satellites showing 18 Year ‘Pause’ – ‘We are arguing over the significance of hundredths of a degree’ – The ‘Pause’ continues)
“The UN IPCC wisely avoided making the claim that 51% of a small change in temperature constitutes a problem. They left this to the politicians and anyone who took the bait,” he said.
Lindzen noted that National Academy of Sciences president Dr. Ralph Cicerone has even admitted that there is no evidence for a catastrophic claims of man-made global warming. See: Backing away from climate alarm? NAS Pres. Ralph Cicerone says ‘we don’t have that kind of evidence’ to claim we are ‘going to fry’ from AGW
Lindzen also featured 2006 quotes from Scientist Dr. Miike Hulme, Professor of Environmental Sciences at the University of East Anglia, and Director of the Tyndall Centre for Climate Change Research, admitting that claims of a climate catastrophe were not the “language of science.”
“The discourse of catastrophe is a campaigning device,” Hulme wrote to the BBC in 2006. “The language of catastrophe is not the language of science. To state that climate change will be ‘catastrophic’ hides a cascade of value-laden assumptions which do not emerge from empirical or theoretical science,” Hulme wrote.
“Is any amount of climate change catastrophic? Catastrophic for whom, for where, and by when? What index is being used to measure the catastrophe?” Hulme continued.
Lindzen singled out Secretary of State John Kerry for his ‘ignorance’ on science.
“John Kerry stands alone,” Lindzen said. “Kerry expresses his ignorance of what science is,” he added.
Lindzen also criticized EPA Chief Gina McCarthy’s education: “I don’t want to be snobbish, but U Mass Boston is not a very good school,” he said to laughter.
Lindzen concluded his talk by saying: “Learn how to identify claims that have no alarming implications and free to say ‘So what?’”
Princeton Physicist Dr. Will Happer, who has authored over 200 peer-reviewed papers, called policies to reduce CO2 “based on nonsense.”
“Policies to slow CO2 emissions are really based on nonsense. They are all based on computer models that do not work. We are being led down a false path.
“Our breath is not that different from a power plant,” he continued.
“To call carbon dioxide a pollutant is really Orwellian. You are calling something a pollutant that we all produce. Where does that lead us eventually?” he asked.
“Coal, formed from ancient CO2, is a benefit to the world. Coal is CO2 from ancient atmospheres. We are simply returning CO2 to the atmosphere from which it came when you burn coal. And it’s a good thing since it is at very low levels in the atmosphere. We are in a CO2 famine. It is very, very low,” Happer explained.
Happer continued: “CO2 will be beneficial and crop yields will increase.” “More CO2 will be a very significant benefit to agriculture,” he added.
Happer then showed a picture of polluted air in China with the caption: “Real pollution in Shanghai.”
“If you can see it, it’s not CO2,” Happer said.
“If plants could vote, they would vote for coal,” Happer declared.
Happer also rebutted the alleged 97% consensus.
“97% of scientists have often been wrong on many things,” he said.
Ecologist and Greenpeace founding member Dr. Patrick Moore discussed the benefits of rising carbon dioxide in the atmosphere.
“Let’s celebrate CO2!” Moore declared.
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“We know for absolute certain that carbon dioxide is the stuff of life, the foundation for life on earth,” Moore said.
“We are dealing with pure political propaganda that has nothing to do with science,” he continued.
“The deserts are greening from rising CO2,” he added.
“Co2 has provided the basis of life for at least 3.5 billion years,” Moore said.

Read more:

Media That Claimed Bush Chilled Speech Strangely Quiet Under Obama

Media That Claimed Bush Chilled Speech Strangely Quiet Under Obama

Media That Claimed Bush Chilled Speech Strangely Quiet Under Obama

On September 30, 2001, Maureen Dowd published a column in The New York Times in which she lambasted the Bush administration for creating a climate where she said speech was restricted. A mere 19 days after Islamist terrorists had launched their most successful attack against the U.S., Dowd sounded the alarm.
Her primary example was actually not quite accurately conveyed. The real story is that Bush spokesman Ari Fleischer had critiqued a Republican congressman’s bigoted remarks against turban-wearers as well as comedian Bill Maher’s comments that the U.S. military was cowardly while terrorists had the virtue of bravery. Louisiana Rep. John Cooksey had said, “If I see someone come in and he’s got a diaper on his head and a fan belt around that diaper on his head, that guy needs to be pulled over and checked.” Maher had said, “We have been the cowards, lobbing cruise missiles from 2,000 miles away. That’s cowardly. Staying in the airplane when it hits the building, say what you want about it, that’s not cowardly.”
Asked about those comments during a presser, Fleischer had called for prudence saying, “I’m aware of the press reports about what he’s said. I have not seen the actual transcript of the show itself. But assuming the press reports are right, it’s a terrible thing to say. And it’s unfortunate. And that’s why there was an earlier question about, “Has the President said anything to people in his own party?” There are reminders to all Americans that they need to watch what they say, watch what they do. This is not a time for remarks like that; there never is.”
Many people lost their minds. For years after that. Dowd’s column probably started it all, but even years later New York Times columnist Paul Krugman said Fleischer “ominously warned” Americans to “watch what they say, watch what they do.” He accused him of telling Americans “to accept the administration’s version of events, not ask awkward questions.”
A few years after that, then-New York Times columnist Frank Rich said Fleischer “condemned Bill Maher’s irreverent comic response to 9/11 by reminding ‘all Americans that they need to watch what they say, watch what they do.’ Fear itself — the fear that ‘paralyzes needed efforts to convert retreat into advance,’ as FDR had it — was already being wielded as a weapon against Americans by their own government.” These are just three examples of prominent columnists from one media establishment. Over at The Washington Post in 2009 (!), the imaginative Dana Milbanksaid of Fleischer’s remarks that they were “intended to be chilling” and that he “was basically telling people ‘we’re at war; shut your mouth.'”
Dissent, we were told time and time again during the Bush presidency, is the highest form of patriotism.
Fleischer, for his part, has said his words “could have been more carefully chosen,” but that “my remarks urged tolerance and openness and were addressed to those who made statements and threatened actions against Muslims or Sikhs in America.”
The media and various other progressives also were upset by Bush’s remarks from his September 20, 2001, address to Congress in which he bluntly said, “Either you are with us, or you are with the terrorists.”
Dowd said, “Even as the White House preaches tolerance toward Muslims and Sikhs, it is practicing intolerance, signaling that anyone who challenges the leaders of an embattled America is cynical, political and — isn’t this the subtext? — unpatriotic.”
Dissent, we were told time and time again during the Bush presidency, is the highest form of patriotism.

Is Dissent Still Patriotic?

Cut to last week when Colorado Gov. John Hickenlooper (D) explained why he was one of the rare, unquestioning supporters of President Obama’s proposed Syrian refugee policy:
Hickenlooper: "If your President decides something, you have to support it... if it's a matter of National Security"

Which is nothing at all compared to what Obama said about how people opposed to his policy distractions needed to watch what they said and did because they were helping recruit terrorists. Really:
I cannot think of a more potent recruitment tool for ISIL than some of the rhetoric that’s coming out of here during the course of this debate.
This is years after both Hillary Clinton and Obama were featured in a video the Obama administration aired in Pakistan. In that video, which was a response to the incendiary, anti-Islam video made by an American, Obama claimed that in the U.S., “we reject all efforts to denigrate the religious beliefs of others.” Clinton said of the U.S. government, “we absolutely reject its content and message.”
Except that our country doesn’t reject all efforts to denigrate the religious beliefs of others. In fact, we state quite clearly that we believe everyone has the right to denigrate the religious beliefs of anyone, from Mormon to Methodist to Muslim. And the U.S. government has no business weighing in on videos made by Americans and has no right to try to get Google to pull it down when people object to it.
Obama further “chilled” religious and political speech by saying before the U.N. that “The future must not belong to those who slander the prophet of Islam.”
An Obama official just last week made ominous comments about critics of Islam when he said that the massacre of Charlie Hebdo employees had a “legitimacy” and certain “rationale” to it.
In these cases, Obama officials have gone far beyond admonitions to prudence and lobbed direct assaults against principles that underlie multiple aspects of the First Amendment. I’m sure I’ve missed Dowd, Krugman, and Rich’s columns sounding the alarm.
Mollie Ziegler Hemingway is a senior editor at The Federalist. Follow her on Twitter at @mzhemingway