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Archive for January 9th, 2013

Murdochgate grinds forward

Posted by Charles II on January 9, 2013

Lisa O’Carroll, The Guardian:

News International has agreed to settle 130 civil damages claims for News of the World phone hacking with individuals including Cherie Blair, David Beckham’s father, and actor James Nesbitt, at a cost to the company expected to run into millions.

The publisher of the now-closed Sunday tabloid faces 167 phone-hacking damages claims filed by September from almost 180 individuals, after settling more than 50 earlier in 2012 from individuals including Lord Prescott, Jude Law and Sienna Miller.

“…expected to run into millions”

Oh the pity of it! The News of the World was a 130M pound (annually) business. Murdoch upends the lives of over a hundred people and he has to sacrifice perhaps 10% of the proceeds of one year?

Where is the deterrence in this?


Posted in Rupert Murdoch, wiretapping | Comments Off on Murdochgate grinds forward

Corporate welfare vs. general welfare

Posted by Charles II on January 9, 2013

Via Ritholtz, a synopsis by ataxingmatter of the social welfare vs. corporate welfare components of the fiscal cliff deal and of the tax code. It’s fascinating how so-called conservatives demand that we give money to companies, something that they themselves call “socialism.” All of Social Security and most of Medicare are paid for with taxes, while things like the R&D tax credit are not.

The tax subsidies to 27 companies for 2008-11 alone were larger than what is needed for Hurricane Sandy relief, so I guess you could say those companies are worse than a major natural disaster for this country. Depreciation, depletion, deferral and the R&D tax credit (which is supposed to help small hi-tech businesses) account for most of the tax dodging.

Let’s call this what it is: corruption.

Posted in taxes, The Plunderbund | 1 Comment »

Former Head Of US Mint: The $1T Platinum Coin Is Legal AND Feasible

Posted by Phoenix Woman on January 9, 2013

I think this should settle it once and for all as to whether the famed Platinum Coin Option is feasible.

Via Daily Kos, we see that Philip N. Diehl, who was not only the Director of the United States Mint under Bill Clinton but the co-author (with Mike Castle) of the bill making platinum coinage legal, says the PCO is legal and easily done — and if you read between the lines, he’s just about jumping up and down yelling “DO IT DO IT DOOOOO ITTTTTTT!”

I’m the former Mint director and Treasury chief of staff who, with Rep. Mike Castle, wrote the platinum coin law and produced the original coin authorized by the law. Therefore, I’m in a unique position to address some confusion I’ve seen in the media about the $1 trillion platinum coin proposal.

* In minting the $1 trillion platinum coin, the Treasury Secretary would be exercising authority which Congress has granted routinely for more than 220 years. The Secretary’s authority is derived from an Act of Congress (in fact, a GOP Congress) under power expressly granted to Congress in the Constitution (Article 1, Section 8). What is unusual in this case is that the law gives the Secretary discretion regarding all specifications of the coin, including denominations.

* The accounting treatment of the coin is identical to the treatment of all other coins. The Mint strikes the coin, ships it to the Fed, books $1 trillion, and transfers $1 trillion to the treasury’s general fund where it is available to finance government operations just like with proceeds of bond sales or additional tax revenues. The same applies for a quarter dollar.

* Once the debt limit is raised, the Fed ships the coin back to the Mint, the accounting treatment is reversed, and the coin is melted. The coin would never be “issued” or circulated and bonds would not be needed to back the coin.

* There are no negative macroeconomic effects. This works just like additional tax revenue or borrowing under a higher debt limit. In fact, when the debt limit is raised, Treasury would sell more bonds, the $1 trillion dollars would be taken off the books, and the coin would be melted.

* This does not raise the debt limit so it can’t be characterized as circumventing congressional authority over the debt limit. Rather, it delays when the debt limit is reached.

* This preserves congressional authority over the debt limit in a way that reliance on the 14th Amendment would not. It also avoids the protracted court battles the 14th Amendment option would entail and avoids another confrontation with the Roberts Court.

* Any court challenge is likely to be quickly dismissed since (1) authority to mint the coin is firmly rooted in law that itself is grounded in the expressed constitutional powers of Congress, (2) Treasury has routinely exercised this authority since the birth of the republic, and (3) the accounting treatment of the coin is entirely routine.

* Yes, this is an unintended consequence of the platinum coin bill, but how many other pieces of legislation have had unintended consequences? Most, I’d guess.

Philip N. Diehl
35th Director
United States Mint

Heh heh heh heh.

Posted in Uncategorized | 9 Comments »

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