Tidbits Quotations
To Accompany the June 11, 2013 edition of Tidbits
Bob Jensen at Trinity University

My Free Speech Political Quotations and Commentaries Directory and Log ---

Barack Obama beat Mitt Romney in the 2012 elections 65,909,451 Obama 60,932,176 Romney votes.
Among the 48 million people of food stamps, how many voted for Mitt Romney?
The GOP will never win without gaining half the food stamp votes.

(The Wall Street Journal and other media outlets) reported Thursday that Cincinnati IRS employees are now telling investigators that they took their orders from Washington. For anyone with a memory of 2010 politics, that was obvious from the start.
Kimberly A. Strassel, June 6, 2013


In fact, Newark (N.J.) Mayor Cory Booker, a very liberal guy, has as many campus (commencement) addresses as all elected Republicans combined.
Bill O'Reilly ---


'Uncommon Knowledge:' Who Killed the Liberal Arts? --- Click Here


"The Best (Politically Correct) Commencement Speeches of 2013 ---

It shouldn't surprise me that parents want to shelter their kids from all risk. The parents themselves live in a society where risk is less and less acceptable. We expect regulations to protect us from accidents. We expect police to protect us from every imaginable criminal threat. We demand welfare, unemployment insurance and bailouts to protect every level of society from economic risk. When something goes wrong, we sue. It wasn't always like this.
John Stossel, May 15, 2013

"Hating America," by Walter E. Williams, Townhall, May 15, 2013 --- Click Here

Afghanistan Parliament Blocks Law That Would Ban Selling Women – It’s Un-Islamic (Video) ---

The 20 Greatest Quotations From Rush Limbaugh --- Click Here

"Sage Survey: Most Small and Midsized Businesses Not Hiring in 2013," by Jason Bramwell, AccountingWeb, May 30, 2013 ---

"GSA Blows Quarter Billion Dollars on Breaking Lease; Lies to Congress About It," by John Ransom, Townhall, June 3, 2013 --- Click Here

Bob Jensen's Fraud Updates ---

Bob Jensen's threads on the sad state of governmental accounting and accountability ---

"Intellectual Dishonesty and Insanity," by Paul Krugman, Townhall, June 1, 2013 --- Click Here

"There's No Magic Keynesian Bullet That'll Save Europe," by Kenneth Rogoff, Business Insider, May 24, 2013 ---

Jensen Comment
I want to preface this tidbit by asserting that I'm 100% in favor of the current NSA metadata surveillance of phone records. I do not want it curtailed in any way since the content of messages and even identification of the callers is not being captured until possible terror dangers are identified and the FBI is called in to perform more intensive surveillance.

"Correlation Is Main Concern Over Data Verizon Gives NSA," by Tom Simonite, MIT's Technology Review, June 6, 2013 --- Click Here

Mississippi is Not Finland

On June 4, 2013 the Governor of Mississippi made a politically incorrect statement in public to the effect that reading performance of our USA children would improve dramatically if more mothers stayed home with children rather than have jobs outside the home. CBS News that same evening countered with the argument that Finland has the most literate children in the world (usually in at least two languages) when 77% (the CBS-reported percentage) of the Finnish mothers work outside the home.

Comparing education, poverty, health, and most anything else between nations is very difficult because there are usually confounding factors that differ greatly. For example, about 16% of children globally live in single-parent homes whereas in the USA this has exploded to 26% with even higher percentages among African Americans ---
In Finland it's about 80% of the children coming home to two parents. This probably contributes to higher academic achievement, but there are many confounding factors including living standards and school resources.

This leads me to imagine other important factors leading to the decline in reading (and math) skills of our children. One thing stands out in my mind. My small Iowa hometown had no kindergarten when I was a child. But when I attended the public school from Grades 1-12 the school day was eight hours. After subtracting a morning and afternoon playground recess (30 minutes each) and an hour for lunch, this left six classroom hours each day in my schooling. Lunchtime was scheduled for an hour because most town children went home for lunch. Children from the farms brought lunch boxes.

By comparison, most New Hampshire schools days are 5.25 hours with lunch and break times. This leaves slightly over four hours per cay in the classroom ---

It seems to me that Mississippi governor should first look to classroom time before he takes on the working mothers.

However, Finland has the lowest classroom time and the highest academic performance among the developed nations. The reasons are complicated, but this illustrates how difficult it is to compare education factors across nations ---

. . .

The educational system's success in Finland seems to be part cultural. Pupils study in a relaxed and informal atmosphere.

Finland also has low levels of immigration. So when pupils start school the majority have Finnish as their native language, eliminating an obstacle that other societies often face.

The system's success is built on the idea of less can be more. There is an emphasis on relaxed schools, free from political prescriptions. This combination, they believe, means that no child is left behind.

Jensen Comment
Thus there are no easy answers. We should not blame working mothers for relatively poor academic performance in states like Mississippi. But we should also not expect great achievements in Mississippi if Mississippi schools try to copy Finland. Finland is not Mississippi.  It may well be that in the USA we would get more bang added bucks if we had longer school days and more pressures to learn.

"The Great Reflation," by Peter Schiff , Townhall, June 01, 2013 --- Click Here

This week economists, investors and politicians were treated to some of the "best" home price data since the frothy days of 2006 when home loans were given out like cotton candy and condo flipping was a national pastime. The Case-Shiller 20 City Composite Home price index was up a startling 10.9% for the 12 month period ending in March. Prices in all 20 cities were up, with some (Las Vegas, Phoenix, and San Francisco) notching gains of more than 20%. Meanwhile the National Association of Realtors announced that April pending home sales volume reached the highest level in nearly three years.

The strong housing data is taken as proof that the economy has turned around and that a recovery is under way. Cooler heads may simply see how government policies have channeled money into real estate in order to reflate a bubble that has been collapsing for the last five years. Although the money is entering the market through slightly different paths than it did in 2005 and 2006, its effects on housing, and the broader economy, are the same as they were before the bubble burst. When the inevitable happens again, the ensuing damage will be eerily familiar.

After five years of dismal real estate performance and a lackluster economy, it's hard to fault people for believing that rising home prices are a good barometer of economic health. There can be little doubt that rising home prices feel good. Even single digit appreciation can make modest home buyers feel like mini-moguls. The effect is magnified in a falling interest rate environment where any appreciation can be instantly turned into an opportunity for cash out refinancing. The "wealth effect" created by such activities then translates into consumer spending and other seemingly positive economic developments. But some things can taste great but be very harmful (cinnamon buns come to mind). It felt good when real estate prices were rising during the pre-financial crisis bubble, but that rise only exacerbated the problems when the bubble burst. The questions we should now be asking ourselves is why are prices rising, are those higher prices sustainable, and what are the costs to the broader economy?

The truth is that most buyers cannot afford today's prices without the combination of government guarantees and artificially low mortgage rates. The Federal Reserve has been conducting an unprecedented experiment in economic manipulation. By holding interest rates near zero and by actively buying more than $40 billion monthly of mortgage-backed securities and $45 billion of Treasury bonds, the Fed has engineered the lowest mortgage rates in generations. At the same time, Federal control of the mortgage industry has become nearly complete, with government agencies Fannie Mae, Freddie Mac, and the FHA buying or guaranteeing virtually all new mortgages. In addition, a variety of Federal programs, such as the Home Affordable Modification Program (HAMP) are in place to help keep underwater homeowners in homes that they could not otherwise afford. Taken together, these programs create far more favorable terms for home buyers than those that existed before the crash.

The big difference between then and now however is that banks are much more reluctant to extend loans to people with bad credit. But that has not stopped money from flowing into real estate. Ultra low interest rates also mean that fixed income investments, that have long been the staple of hedge funds and private equity funds, no longer deliver decent returns. To find yields in such an environment, many of these professional investment funds have scooped up single family homes out of foreclosure and put them into the rental market in order to generate a decent return on equity. These buyers come to the table with war chests full of cash which puts them in a position to avoid all of the credit obstacles that continue to plague individual buyers.

This trend has allowed a recovery in home sales even while the national home ownership rate has dropped to 65%, the lowest rate since 1995 (down from almost 70% during the last decade). Now that most of the available foreclosures have been picked through (with the rest log jammed with litigation and red tape), many of the new classes of investment buyers are striking deals directly with the large home builders to buy homes before they are even built. It is no coincidence that the southern tier markets with the fastest appreciation, and the fastest declines in inventories, have been those with the greatest participation of institutional investors.

But their activities have a latent downside. The new ownership class is not motivated to buy and hold the way Mom and Dad would. They are not looking for a place to live, raise families, and retire. They are simply looking for a decent return on equity relative to other investments. Many would happily put money in higher yielding bonds where landlord headaches don't exist. If better deals beckon, or if risks increase in the real estate market, the homes they bought will be dumped even faster.

In the meantime, bidding wars involving hedge funds are forcing real buyers to pay more, oftentimes pricing them out of the market completely. Then as these properties hit the rental market, an absence of qualified tenants will depress rents. Lower rents will in turn put downward pressure on property values. Many rental houses will also sit vacant. Though hedge funds are cash buyers, most borrow large percentages of that cash to lever up their returns. However, when interest rates rise and rents fall, hedge funds will be forced to sell. But where will the buyers come from? The current crop of renters cannot afford to buy even with mortgage rates at historic lows. When rates rise, prices will have to plunge before real buyers could even qualify for mortgages.

The current combination of low rates and investor demand has succeeded in pushing up prices. But that doesn't mean the market is healthy. For the first quarter of 2013, the Federal Reserve reports a 10% delinquency rate for residential mortgages (those with payments that are at least 90 days past due). This is more than 6 times the rate in the first quarter of 2006. In contrast, credit card delinquencies currently stand at 2.65%, the lowest rate in decades and 31% lower than the rate in the first quarter of 2006. Whether it is by choice, or simply by the ability to pay, Americans are clearly placing a low priority on paying their mortgages.

Continued in article

"What Would Milton Friedman Say? Immigration opponents often try to claim the famed economist as an ally. They're mistaken," by Stephen Moore, The Wall Street Journal, May 29, 2013 ---

One of the fascinating sideshows of the immigration debate within the Republican Party and the conservative movement is the debate about where the late Nobel Prize-winning economist Milton Friedman stood on the issue. The blogosphere is abuzz with varying interpretations of what Friedman thought about the impact of immigration on the economy.

Quoting the most-revered champion of free-market economics since Adam Smith has become a little like quoting the Bible: There are sometimes multiple and conflicting interpretations. So it is that both sides of the immigration debate are invoking Friedman to bolster their position on the current immigration bill.

Earlier this month when the Heritage Foundation released a study on the multitrillion dollar economic costs of the immigration bill, its new president, Jim DeMint, wrote in the Washington Post: "The economist Milton Friedman warned that the United States cannot have open borders and an extensive welfare state."

Sure enough, Friedman did say this sort of thing on multiple occasions. He once declared in a speech easily accessible on YouTube that: "It is one thing to have free immigration to jobs. It is another to have free immigration to welfare. And you cannot have both." Indeed, he was convinced that what some refer to as open immigration and others refer to as open borders was "incompatible" with a large welfare state.

In 1988, I attended a small lunch with Friedman and the economist Julian Simon, who had a mutual admiration for each other's work. But the two locked horns on this issue. Simon, who had recently published "The Economic Consequences of Immigration," argued that the bigger the welfare state, the greater the case for more immigration because immigrants use less in income-transfer programs than the native born and thus subsidize the cost of the welfare state. Friedman was not convinced.

But Friedman was unquestionably pro-immigration. In 1984, when I was working at the Heritage Foundation, I surveyed the top 75 economists in the country on their views on the economics of immigration. There are few issues that economists agree on so universally: The views of the Keynesians and free marketers ran equally about 9 to 1 in favor of immigration.

Friedman responded to the survey by saying that "legal and illegal immigration has a very positive impact on the U.S. economy." He believed that one of the most powerful forces of freedom was that people could "move across borders and vote with their feet." He wholly rejected the idea that immigrants are undesirable because they compete with Americans for jobs and lower wages. The free enterprise system, he argued, "created the high wages in the first place."

Friedman also had an unorthodox opinion of illegal immigration that many of the restrictionists who are so eager to cite him might find troubling. "Look, for example, to the obvious, immediate and practical example of illegal Mexican immigration," he said in "What is America?" a 1978 lecture available on YouTube. "Now that Mexican immigration over the border is a good thing. It is a good thing for the illegal immigrants. It is a good thing for the United States, and it is a good thing for the citizens of the country."

Then came this zinger: "But it is only a good thing if it is illegal." Why? Because the illegals "don't qualify for welfare and social security" and other government benefits.

His point was that as long as immigrants are attracted to the U.S. for jobs and economic opportunity, they are contributors—but not necessarily so if the welcome mat comes with government benefits that are paid for by taxpayers. If they cannot gain access to the entitlement state, Friedman said, the country benefits.

The 1996 welfare reform, signed into law by President Bill Clinton, imposed tight restrictions on welfare benefits for new immigrants. Welfare caseloads among the foreign born fell by half, although some of those rules have been eroded—for instance, by ending some of the work requirements—under President Barack Obama, whose economists believe that welfare is a fiscal stimulus.

Continued in article

Jensen Comment
I don't know that Professor Friedman ever supported allowing illegal immigrants to jump to the head of the line in front of those that await legal immigrant status. The numbers of people crossing illegally past our southern USA border has greatly increased in recent months --- purportedly in anticipation of getting in front of those that are opting for the legal approach.

The opposition against greatly expanded immigration quotas often comes from labor unions --- which then puts liberal economists and politicians in a bind. Many (most?) businesses favor more immigration into the United States, although the Republican Party understandably worries about a losing out more and more in the electoral process.

What does Paul Krugman have to say about legal and illegal immigration?

"Tax Havens Are Okay if You’re a Politically Connnected Leftist," by Daniel J. Mitchell, Townhall, June 5, 2013 --- Click Here

(The Wall Street Journal and other media outlets) reported Thursday that Cincinnati IRS employees are now telling investigators that they took their orders from Washington. For anyone with a memory of 2010 politics, that was obvious from the start.
Kimberly A. Strassel, June 6, 2013

From the TaxProf Blog on June 6, 2013 ---

The IRS Scandal, Day 28


From the CFO Journal on May 29, 2013

Surging home prices are bolstering hopes that the recovery is gaining some serious momentum. Home prices in March were up 10.2% from a year earlier, according to the S&P/Case-Shiller index. That’s the largest annual gain since prices began to fall in 2006. Meanwhile, the Conference Board said its consumer confidence index in May increased to the highest level since February 2008, the WSJ reports.

The improvements in housing appear to be boosting confidence and spending, countering fears earlier this year that consumers would pull back in response to the end of the payroll-tax holiday and government spending cuts that started in March, the NYT notes. But Lynn Franco, director of economic indicators at the Conference Board, tells the Washington Post that while the budget wars in Congress and the payroll-tax increase damped consumers’ mood over the winter, Americans seem to have weathered Washington’s troubles.“They were shocked,” she said. “They’ve absorbed it. They’ve processed it.”

The upbeat housing data could also fuel debate over bond buying at the Fed. Fed officials say they’ve been considering when to wind down the program, the Journal notes. “The data we’re seeing tells the Fed we’re moving in the right direction, but I don’t know if it’s enough to really have the Fed scale back what they’re doing,” said Scott Buchta, head of fixed-income strategy at Brean Capital.

Jensen Comment
The Fed's "bond buying program" refers to the Quantitative Easing program that allows the Fed to print trillions of dollars to pay government invoices and payrolls without having to tax or borrow money (which adds to the National Debt) ---

The Quantitative Easing program contributes to low interest rates, including low mortgage borrowing rates. Much of the rise in demand for home purchases is fueled by anticipation that mortgage rates are going up, up, and away like hot air balloons.


Sounds Like Something to Be Ordered in a Pub on St. Patrick's Day
"Did Apple Pare Its Tax Bill With a 'Double Irish?' by Carol Matlack, Bloomberg Businessweek, May 22, 2013 ---

"Data Won the Election. Now Can It Save the World? Data scientist Rayid Ghani helped persuade voters to reëlect President Obama. Now he’s using big data to create a groundswell of social good," by Ted Greenwald, MIT's Technology Review, May 29, 2013 ---

"Obama's Dangerous Confusions When the President speaks on national security, it is hard to distinguish between personal belief and political calculation," by Daniel Henninger, The Wall Street Journal, May 29, 2013 ---

More than anything, what one should want from an American president on matters of U.S. strategic interests is clarity. Clarity minimizes unwanted mistakes and miscalculations by both friends and foes.

Then there's a speech by President Obama on America's national interests.

Pundits everywhere have been writing that Mr. Obama's speech last Thursday on terror announced that the war on terror is over. That's embedded now as the consensus view. What to make, then, of the president's assertion in that speech that "the United States is at war with al Qaeda, the Taliban and their associated forces"? Which is it—war over or war on?

At the end of a long article Tuesday in the New York Times, describing the president's laborious path to the terror speech's proposals, one finds this passage: "Even as he set new standards, a debate broke out about what they actually meant and what would actually change."

The bureaucrats translating the text of the Affordable Care Act are having similar debates about intent and meaning. But there the costs are mostly economic if HHS's Kathleen Sebelius can't figure out what she is supposed to do. If the national security bureaucracies are uncertain about a president's intentions, the costs may be counted in lives.

The day after delivering his thoughts on terror at the National Defense University, Mr. Obama spoke at the Naval Academy's commencement in Annapolis and then at Arlington Cemeteryon Memorial Day. Those speeches also reflected the Obama technique on matters of war and peace. They combined eloquence, empathy, scapegoating and politics. Listeners the world over may ask: What exactly is he saying to us?

At Arlington, Mr. Obama noted that when he spoke there last year, "for the first time, Americans were no longer fighting and dying in Iraq." And "this time next year, we will mark the final Memorial Day of our war in Afghanistan." Not one positive word about either effort.

The three military deaths in Afghanistan Mr. Obama cited were similarly—and oddly—drained of meaning. The first was a woman, a pilot, whose helicopter crashed "during a training mission near Kandahar." A staff sergeant died three weeks ago "when his vehicle was hit by a roadside bomb." And another staff sergeant died while escorting a U.S. official to a meeting with Afghan leaders.

There is no point at which Mr. Obama even suggests that the effort of the military who served in these missions was worth it. Indeed, he seems to be saying it wasn't worth it. Opinion polls suggest some Americans agree, but it is unprecedented for a commander in chief to encourage feelings of failure and defeat.

The graduating Naval Academy midshipmen heard much the same thing.

"Before you arrived here," he told them, "our nation was engaged in two wars, al Qaeda's leadership was entrenched in their safe havens, many of our alliances were strained, and our nation's standing in the world had suffered." He is saying: The midshipmen who preceded you served under a president, George W. Bush, whose commitments were mistaken or failed. And now, "over the past four years, we've strengthened our alliances and restored America's image in the world." What strangely conflicting and partisan thoughts for a president to put in the minds of midshipmen headed into service, presumably for all the people of the United States.

He told them about two academy graduates wounded in Afghanistan. The first one "stepped on an IED [improvised explosive device] and lost both his eyes." The other "lost both his legs" when an IED exploded. Mr. Obama noted that the first individual won three medals at the London Paralympics and the second redeployed to Afghanistan as a double amputee.

It's a guess, but one doubts that Admirals Nimitz, Halsey or Spruance would have delivered this speech. Nor can one imagine any president in the past 70 years who would have suggested to young military officers at the dawn of their careers that his predecessor sent their peers to perform crap missions from which no good came.

In the near term, the most damaging confusions about the intentions of this presidential mind may spread among antiterrorism officials at the FBI, CIA and defense intelligence agencies. If these bureaucracies believe the war on terror is being redefined away from 9/11, make no mistake: In time, they will redefine their energies, resources and budgets. At the margins of safety, that matters.

Continued in article


"Governor Cuomo Seeks to Turn SUNY Campuses (all 64) Into Tax-Free Zones," by Don Troop, Chronicle of Higher Education, May 23, 2013 ---

. . .

In a statement released by Governor Cuomo’s office, Nancy L. Zimpher, chancellor of SUNY, said, “The governor has said many times that SUNY is the economic engine for New York, and these new tax-free zones will further our campuses’ ability to innovate, create jobs, and attract new companies through public-private partnerships.”

Under the plan, the companies would pay no sales, property, or business taxes for a decade, and employees would pay no income taxes. The venture seeks to replicate the economic success of SUNY’s College of Nanoscale Science and Engineering, which Mr. Cuomo said had attracted billions of dollars of investment to Albany, N.Y.

The tax-free areas would include all SUNY campuses outside of New York City and north of Westchester County, and up to 200,000 square feet adjoining the campuses, three million square feet for designated private colleges, and 20 state-owned properties.

In making the announcement at the soon-to-be-completed NanoFabX building on the Albany campus, Mr. Cuomo, a Democrat, was joined Sen. Dean G. Skelos, the Senate Republican Conference leader; Sen. Jeffrey A. Klein, the Independent Democratic Conference leader; and Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver, the Albany Times-Union reported. A press aide to Mr. Cuomo cautioned that the presence of the lawmakers did not mean they were endorsing the plan, although all three men spoke favorably of the prospect of more jobs for New Yorkers.

Richard Overmoyer is executive director of the University Economic Development Association, a national group that encourages university-based economic development. As a past deputy secretary for technology innovation at the Pennsylvania Department of Community and Economic Development, Mr. Overmoyer helped create the Keystone Innovation Zone Tax-Credit Program, which assists start-up companies in the state.

He cautioned that the broadness of Mr. Cuomo’s proposal, as presented, raised many questions about its viability.

“The challenge is how you draw those maps,” Mr. Overmoyer said. In Pennsylvania, “we purposely did it in a way that limited that geographic range to no more than four square miles around the campus.”

“Some of the SUNY campuses are in rural settings,” he said. “Do you really want to encourage development on greenfield sites? That’s not going to help you.”

A bill containing the details of Governor Cuomo’s tax proposal will be introduced during the current legislative session, which is scheduled to end on June 21. Many details remain to be worked out, the governor’s office said.

May 24, 2013 reply from Elliot Kamlet

You have to work with Professors and employ a certain number of employees too.

Elliot Kamlet
Binghamton University

May 25, 2013 reply from Bob Jensen

Hi Elliott,

It gets even tougher when you factor in the tightening of ethics rules on the extent to which professors are allowed to be employed by business corporations. Out of concerns for "independence" of research findings, textbooks, and journal articles, both the AAUP and universities are greatly limiting the freedoms of faculty to work with industry.

In fact, Governor Cuomo's proposal will stir up a hortet's nest of protest that the 64 SUNY universities will no longer be sufficiently independent of the business corporations in their tax-free zones, especially considering that they will have to compete certain popular companies like high tech and biomedical research plums.

This whole idea sounds like a bad idea to me from the standpoint of creating moral hazards for the Academy.

If this is such a good idea why hasn't it already happened in the State of Mississippi?

"Mississippi Sets A Record For Unreported Subsidies (to companies)," by Kenneth Thomas, Business Insider, May 24, 2013 ---


"Women fall behind men at the top because they don’t put in enough hours," by Marina Krakovsky, Quartz, May 20, 2013 ---

Jensen Comment
Please don't shoot the messenger.

This research was conducted by a doctoral student and her faculty advisor in the  Graduate School of Business at Stanford University. The findings are consistent with earlier findings about women physicians.

Hypothesized reasons female doctors earn less than male physicians ---
What I would like to see is whether there is a significantly higher ratio of males to females in the highest paying medical careers. For example, do women tend to avoid those specialties taking the longest time to complete slave-driving residencies (such as neurosurgery)? Do women tend to avoid those specialties requiring more strength and endurance such as orthopedics? A friend who is a physician tells me this is the case, but I've not investigated the data.

Having said this, it should be noted that there are significant variances in these findings. My own female physician is one of the hardest working physicians I've ever seen. She works what seems to be 12-hour days on average 24/7. She's never been married and to my knowledge only has a relationship with her work. I also know a number of female professors who work about at the same pace.

Women Comprise 45% of the Graduating MBA Class at Wharton ---

History and Professionalism of Women ---

How long before whites swim the Rio Grande to find jobs in Mexico?

From the CFO Journal on May 28, 2013

American companies are reaping big benefits from a sharp uptick in foreign direct investment in Mexico. Auto makers are among the businesses ramping up their investments in the country. Last year, no fewer than eight global car makers said they planned to build one or more new plants in Mexico, writes CFOJ’s Maxwell Murphy in today’s Marketplace section. That’s good news for a range of U.S. companies. Union Pacific CFO Rob Knight said the jump in production has translated into increased rail shipments of autos to the U.S. And Delphi CFO Kevin Clark told analysts and investors last week that the auto-parts supplier “should be very well positioned to win a fair amount of that business.”

Other U.S. companies are also increasingly bullish. Home Depot opened its 101st store in Mexico last quarter, and has plans to open another six by the end of its fiscal year in early 2014. “We have a pretty clear line of sight to 125 [Mexican] stores” over the next several years, CFO Carol Tomé said in an interview. Ms. Tomé said she has heard the bold projections for Mexican investment, and added that one Home Depot supplier recently began producing toilets in Mexico. She said that if FDI is so strong, it could “extend the opportunity” to open stores beyond 125, and could result in better-than-planned growth in comparable-store sales at its existing locations.

Meanwhile, Robert Ryder, CFO of wine, beer and spirits company Constellation Brands, said his company plans to spend about $500 million over three years to double capacity at a brewery it will soon acquire in Mexico.

"Economists Brawl Over Austerity, Debt," by Brenda Cronan, The Wall Street Journal, May 27, 2013 ---

An academic dispute over government austerity and the dangers of debt has boiled over.

Harvard economists Kenneth Rogoff and Carmen Reinhart over the weekend accused Princeton economist and New York Times columnist Paul Krugman of "spectacularly uncivil behavior" and of inaccurately alleging that they refused to share data supporting their work linking heavy debt levels to subsequent slow economic growth.

Papers such as Mr. Rogoff's and Ms. Reinhart's, which warn of the perils of too much government debt, "haven't just lost their canonized status, they've become the objects of much ridicule," Mr. Krugman wrote in the New York Review of Books recently. "Despite their paper's influence, Reinhart and Rogoff had not made their data widely available—and researchers working with seemingly comparable data hadn't been able to reproduce their results," Mr. Krugman wrote.

Mr. Rogoff and Ms. Reinhart responded to Mr. Krugman in a letter on their website.

"We admire your past scholarly work, which influences us to this day. So it has been with deep disappointment that we have experienced your spectacularly uncivil behavior the past few weeks," the letter said, adding that Mr. Krugman had "attacked us in very personal terms, virtually nonstop."

A body of research by Mr. Rogoff and Ms. Reinhart concluded that levels of public debt above 90% of a country's gross domestic product generally translate into years of slow growth. A 2010 paper and other works by the economists were cited by austerity advocates as a justification for ratcheting back public spending after the financial crisis.

The findings came under a cloud last month. Thomas Herndon, a graduate student at the University of Massachusetts Amherst, found a spreadsheet error in the calculations in attempting to replicate the paper. A resulting UMass Amherst paper sparked a world-wide rethink of austerity policies. Mr. Krugman, a Nobel Prize winner, has long warned that curbing government spending is likely to hinder the economic recovery.

Mr. Rogoff and Ms. Reinhart conceded the error and corrected the 2010 paper, but they stood by its findings. They said data used for the paper had been on their website since 2010.

In an email Sunday, Mr. Herndon recalled accessing debt and GDP data for his exercise via the authors' website. He noted he didn't receive their spreadsheet—which was essential for his replication exercise—until early last month.

The dispute rippled across the Internet. On Sunday, Mr. Krugman responded with two posts, including one titled "Reinhart and Rogoff Are Not Happy."

"This could go on forever, and both they and I have other things to do," he wrote.


How Baloney/Sausage is Made
"How the Case for Austerity Has Crumbled," by Paul Krugmanm New York Review of Books, June 6 2013 ---

In normal times, an arithmetic mistake in an economics paper would be a complete nonevent as far as the wider world was concerned. But in April 2013, the discovery of such a mistake—actually, a coding error in a spreadsheet, coupled with several other flaws in the analysis—not only became the talk of the economics profession, but made headlines. Looking back, we might even conclude that it changed the course of policy.

Why? Because the paper in question, “Growth in a Time of Debt,” by the Harvard economists Carmen Reinhart and Kenneth Rogoff, had acquired touchstone status in the debate over economic policy. Ever since the paper was first circulated, austerians—advocates of fiscal austerity, of immediate sharp cuts in government spending—had cited its alleged findings to defend their position and attack their critics. Again and again, suggestions that, as John Maynard Keynes once argued, “the boom, not the slump, is the right time for austerity”—that cuts should wait until economies were stronger—were met with declarations that Reinhart and Rogoff had shown that waiting would be disastrous, that economies fall off a cliff once government debt exceeds 90 percent of GDP.

Indeed, Reinhart-Rogoff may have had more immediate influence on public debate than any previous paper in the history of economics. The 90 percent claim was cited as the decisive argument for austerity by figures ranging from Paul Ryan, the former vice-presidential candidate who chairs the House budget committee, to Olli Rehn, the top economic official at the European Commission, to the editorial board of The Washington Post. So the revelation that the supposed 90 percent threshold was an artifact of programming mistakes, data omissions, and peculiar statistical techniques suddenly made a remarkable number of prominent people look foolish.

The real mystery, however, was why Reinhart-Rogoff was ever taken seriously, let alone canonized, in the first place. Right from the beginning, critics raised strong concerns about the paper’s methodology and conclusions, concerns that should have been enough to give everyone pause. Moreover, Reinhart-Rogoff was actually the second example of a paper seized on as decisive evidence in favor of austerity economics, only to fall apart on careful scrutiny. Much the same thing happened, albeit less spectacularly, after austerians became infatuated with a paper by Alberto Alesina and Silvia Ardagna purporting to show that slashing government spending would have little adverse impact on economic growth and might even be expansionary. Surely that experience should have inspired some caution.

So why wasn’t there more caution? The answer, as documented by some of the books reviewed here and unintentionally illustrated by others, lies in both politics and psychology: the case for austerity was and is one that many powerful people want to believe, leading them to seize on anything that looks like a justification. I’ll talk about that will to believe later in this article. First, however, it’s useful to trace the recent history of austerity both as a doctrine and as a policy experiment. 1.

In the beginning was the bubble. There have been many, many books about the excesses of the boom years—in fact, too many books. For as we’ll see, the urge to dwell on the lurid details of the boom, rather than trying to understand the dynamics of the slump, is a recurrent problem for economics and economic policy. For now, suffice it to say that by the beginning of 2008 both America and Europe were poised for a fall. They had become excessively dependent on an overheated housing market, their households were too deep in debt, their financial sectors were undercapitalized and overextended.

All that was needed to collapse these houses of cards was some kind of adverse shock, and in the end the implosion of US subprime-based securities did the deed. By the fall of 2008 the housing bubbles on both sides of the Atlantic had burst, and the whole North Atlantic economy was caught up in “deleveraging,” a process in which many debtors try—or are forced—to pay down their debts at the same time.

Why is this a problem? Because of interdependence: your spending is my income, and my spending is your income. If both of us try to reduce our debt by slashing spending, both of our incomes plunge—and plunging incomes can actually make our indebtedness worse even as they also produce mass unemployment.

Students of economic history watched the process unfolding in 2008 and 2009 with a cold shiver of recognition, because it was very obviously the same kind of process that brought on the Great Depression. Indeed, early in 2009 the economic historians Barry Eichengreen and Kevin O’Rourke produced shocking charts showing that the first year of the 2008–2009 slump in trade and industrial production was fully comparable to the first year of the great global slump from 1929 to 1933.

So was a second Great Depression about to unfold? The good news was that we had, or thought we had, several big advantages over our grandfathers, helping to limit the damage. Some of these advantages were, you might say, structural, built into the way modern economies operate, and requiring no special action on the part of policymakers. Others were intellectual: surely we had learned something since the 1930s, and would not repeat our grandfathers’ policy mistakes.

On the structural side, probably the biggest advantage over the 1930s was the way taxes and social insurance programs—both much bigger than they were in 1929—acted as “automatic stabilizers.” Wages might fall, but overall income didn’t fall in proportion, both because tax collections plunged and because government checks continued to flow for Social Security, Medicare, unemployment benefits, and more. In effect, the existence of the modern welfare state put a floor on total spending, and therefore prevented the economy’s downward spiral from going too far.

On the intellectual side, modern policymakers knew the history of the Great Depression as a cautionary tale; some, including Ben Bernanke, had actually been major Depression scholars in their previous lives. They had learned from Milton Friedman the folly of letting bank runs collapse the financial system and the desirability of flooding the economy with money in times of panic. They had learned from John Maynard Keynes that under depression conditions government spending can be an effective way to create jobs. They had learned from FDR’s disastrous turn toward austerity in 1937 that abandoning monetary and fiscal stimulus too soon can be a very big mistake.

As a result, where the onset of the Great Depression was accompanied by policies that intensified the slump—interest rate hikes in an attempt to hold on to gold reserves, spending cuts in an attempt to balance budgets—2008 and 2009 were characterized by expansionary monetary and fiscal policies, especially in the United States, where the Federal Reserve not only slashed interest rates, but stepped into the markets to buy everything from commercial paper to long-term government debt, while the Obama administration pushed through an $800 billion program of tax cuts and spending increases. European actions were less dramatic—but on the other hand, Europe’s stronger welfare states arguably reduced the need for deliberate stimulus.

Now, some economists (myself included) warned from the beginning that these monetary and fiscal actions, although welcome, were too small given the severity of the economic shock. Indeed, by the end of 2009 it was clear that although the situation had stabilized, the economic crisis was deeper than policymakers had acknowledged, and likely to prove more persistent than they had imagined. So one might have expected a second round of stimulus to deal with the economic shortfall.

What actually happened, however, was a sudden reversal. 2.

Neil Irwin’s The Alchemists gives us a time and a place at which the major advanced countries abruptly pivoted from stimulus to austerity. The time was early February 2010; the place, somewhat bizarrely, was the remote Canadian Arctic settlement of Iqaluit, where the Group of Seven finance ministers held one of their regularly scheduled summits. Sometimes (often) such summits are little more than ceremonial occasions, and there was plenty of ceremony at this one too, including raw seal meat served at the last dinner (the foreign visitors all declined). But this time something substantive happened. “In the isolation of the Canadian wilderness,” Irwin writes, “the leaders of the world economy collectively agreed that their great challenge had shifted. The economy seemed to be healing; it was time for them to turn their attention away from boosting growth. No more stimulus.”

Continued in article

Jensen Comment
What happens when nations cannot borrow or print money in global capital markets to flip a bird at austerity (e.g., Greece and Spain) or are getting too dependent upon stimulus with quantitative easing (read that printing money without taxing or borrowing) to a point where disaster may strike when the money printing machines are turned off (like will happen in the United states that is increasingly dependent upon simply printing trillions of dollars to pay government bills)?

Thus far the USA government is showing negligible price inflation by redefining price inflation (leaving out such things as food and fuel price increases).

Bob Jensen's threads on the looming entitlements crisis ---

What going "Dutch" means in terms of defined-benefit pensions"
If only the old folks could survive on tulips.

"More Defined Benefit Pension Plans Going Bankrupt," by Mike Shedlock, Townhall, May 28, 2013 --- Click Here

Bob Jensen's threads on pension accounting ---

Bob Jensen's threads on the looming entitlements crisis ---

"Government Gone Wild:  How Obama's "smart" government became abusive government," by Daniel Henninger, The Wall Street Journal,  May 22, 2013 ---

Of all the excuses, explanations and alibis pouring forth in the saga of the IRS kneecapping of conservative groups during the victorious Obama 2012 campaign, the one that deserves attention is this from David Axelrod:

"Part of being president is that there's so much beneath you that you can't know, because the government is so vast."

This makes the federal government sound like the endless void in "Star Trek"—a place "where no man has gone before."

Under Mr. Axelrod's Spock-like logic, the federal government has become a Milky Way of incomprehensibility, and so it follows that the IRS scandal could have originated with a few federal Klingons in faraway Cincinnati.

The Cincinnati-did-it defense degraded this week when the IRS's Washington-based Lois Lerner lawyered up and invoked the Fifth Amendment before Rep. Darrell Issa's House committee. Any veteran of the Washington scandal wars—Watergate, Iran-Contra, Whitewater—will tell you there's one unimpeachable sign that a presidency has trouble on its hands: That's when the Washington defense bar joins the cast of characters. Public officials don't hire lawyers to protect their jobs. They hire lawyers to stay out of the slammer.

But back to David Axelrod. It behooves us to focus on the implication in his assertion that the government has become too vast for a mere U.S. president to bear responsibility. This may be the most significant Freudian slip in 50 years.

Barack Obama was the president who on entering the White House promised an era of "smart government." It was Barack Obama who told graduates at Ohio State that the government is good. In that light, the Axelrod admission is historic. Historic because it was during Franklin Roosevelt's presidency that liberal policy makers and intellectuals promised good government forever via something called the administrative state—in which dedicated bureaucrats would carry out benevolent public policies designed by smart social scientists.

This belief is in a state of collapse, largely for the reason Mr. Axelrod described. In the first Obama term, the Obama Democrats enacted the Affordable Care Act and Dodd-Frank. Both were supposed to represent the promise of a benign administrative state. Both these new laws are—in an awful but apt word—un-implementable. After decades of nonstop legislating, we've arrived at laws so "vast" and so complex that the bureaucracies cannot figure out how to implement them.

A few months ago at a health-care conference, the chief information officer for the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services said of the Affordable Care Act's coming insurance exchanges, "Let's just make sure it's not a third-world experience." The Volcker rule, at the center of 2010's Dodd-Frank, still doesn't exist because the bureaucracies can't decipher how to write it.

In an article this week in the Hill newspaper, a reporter put to an official in the Obama administration the argument that the IRS scandal and the Justice Department's penetrations of the Associated Press and Fox News suggest the federal government has too much power. "I don't buy that," the official replied. "These things are totally newsworthy and valid points for conversation. But they don't string together to make a compelling philosophical argument."

Yes they do.

It isn't just these scandals. Rather than delivering good, smart or transparent government, the Obama policy squads are doing what happens after they realize the "good" model isn't working as they planned. Then we get what's coming to light now—government that coerces people or pushes past the law's limits. This is government gone wild.

Here are two examples of the coercion default. The first is the administration's use of "disparate impact," a statistical divining rod deployed in a widening array of federal antidiscrimination lawsuits. Its leading proponent is Thomas Perez, the Justice Department official Mr. Obama nominated to be secretary of labor, a department whose enforcement powers blanket the workplace. A Senate vote for Mr. Perez is to confirm disparate impact to the outer federal galaxy.

Then there is ObamaCare's Independent Payment Advisory Board. This 15-member panel will order change in the health-care industry. Both of these represent a level of coercion—call it command-and-obey—that is alien to the American experience. Years hence, federal Dilberts toiling in some IRS outpost in Omaha will be blamed for abusive ObamaCare prosecutions. How is a busy president to know about beatings in the provinces?

The IRS audit scandal is this government's most famous break through the boundaries of the law. But arguably the greater grab for extralegal power was the president's 2012 "recess" appointments—overturned by an appellate court—to the National Labor Relations Board and Consumer Financial Protection Bureau. Mr. Obama's goal was to get two potent bureaucracies in motion producing command-and-obey rules. The recess appointments and Cincinnati audits spring from the same well.

Continued in article

Teaching Case from The Wall Street Journal Accounting Weekly Review on May 31, 2013

Curious IRS Timing
by: WSJ Opinion Page Editors
May 29, 2013
Click here to view the full article on WSJ.com

TOPICS: Charitable Deduction, Tax Regulations

SUMMARY: The scandal of excessive scrutiny into non-profit organizations by the Internal Revenue Service is expanding. At a House Oversight Committee hearing, Treasury Inspector General Russell George spoke about the results of an audit into IRS practices in choosing 501(c)(3) and 501(c)(4)applications for special scrutiny. Politically-oriented groups have a great possibility for undertaking activities that would violate their non-profit status. But the WSJ Opinion page editors propose that the IRS tactics could have been directed according to the White House Administration desires for specific political ends. The related video shows assistant Editor James Freeman who describes the Commissioner of the IRS meeting with White House Officials over 180 times whereas his predecessor went to the White House just once in many more years. The related article by former Deputy Chief of Staff to President George W. Bush provides background on one organization that faced IRS scrutiny but is written from the perspective of a supporter of the entity in question.

CLASSROOM APPLICATION: The article may be used in a tax class or in an ethics class to discuss the potential for political influence on a process that should seem, at first glance, to be purely a bureaucratic control over a straightforward status as a non-profit entity registered with the IRS.

1. (Advanced) What is the role of a newspaper opinion page editor? From what general political viewpoint do you expect a WSJ editor to speak?

2. (Introductory) According to this editorial, what are two possible explanations for the focus of some of the problems at the Internal Revenue Service?

3. (Advanced) How do you think the editors' political viewpoint could influence these thoughts on possible explanations for the IRS conduct?

4. (Introductory) Refer to the related video. Why does James Freeman discuss the number of times that the Commissioner of the Internal Revenue Service visited the White House?

5. (Advanced) As an accountant who could potentially work for the IRS, how do you view the possibility of political influence on your work?

Reviewed By: Judy Beckman, University of Rhode Island

Dick Durbin, the IRS, and Me
by Karl Rove
May 30, 2013
Page: A13


"Curious IRS Timing," by WSJ Opinion Page Editors, The Wall Street Journal, May 31, 2013 ---

The IRS has admitted targeting groups that wanted to speak on issues during the 2012 election season. But did the agency also target tax-exempt groups that opposed Administration policy priorities?

At a House oversight hearing last week, Treasury Inspector General Russell George opened the door on the possibility of more IRS political targeting. Asked by Chairman Darrell Issa whether there were other political criteria that IRS workers had been told to "be on the lookout" for, Mr. George said he could "not give you a definitive answer, sir, at this time. But I certainly will."

A definitive answer is needed because troubling cases are surfacing. The Arlington, Virginia-based Leadership Institute, a 501(c)(3) that trains young conservative activists, says it was audited in 2011-2012 and had to produce some 23,000 pages of documents for the IRS as well as answer questions about where its interns came from and where they are currently employed.

Curiously, the intrusive questionnaire came from the IRS's Baltimore office on February 14, 2012, soon after the Cincinnati office asked the Hawaii Tea Party on January 26, 2012 to "provide details regarding your relationship with the Leadership Institute" and "provide copies of their training materials." The group's audit fell squarely within the IRS's 2010-2012 season for conservative targeting.

A Pennsylvania pro-Israel group called Z Street says it filed for 501(c)(3) status in December 2009, intending to operate purely as an educational group. Founder Lori Lowenthal Marcus says that its tax counsel called the IRS in July 2010 to check on the slow pace of approval, and the IRS acknowledged its targeted enforcement.

Asked about the slow pace of approval, the IRS auditor on the case, Diane Gentry, said the application was taking so long because auditors were supposed to give special scrutiny to groups "connected with Israel." Ms. Marcus says Ms. Gentry further explained that many applications related to Israel had to be sent to "a special unit in D.C. to determine whether the organization's activities contradict the Administration's public policies." Z Street filed suit in August 2010 in federal court in Pennsylvania alleging "viewpoint discrimination," and its case has since been moved to Washington, D.C. Ms. Gentry did not return our phone calls.

Why the special scrutiny for pro-Israel groups? A New York Times article in July 2010 provided a clue: Tax-exempt groups were donating to West Bank settlers, and State Department officials wanted the settlers out. "As the American government seeks to end the four-decade Jewish settlement enterprise and foster a Palestinian state in the West Bank," the Times wrote, "the American Treasury helps sustain the settlements through tax breaks on donations to support them."

Did the T-men take their political cues from such stories, or did Administration officials give them orders? Either explanation would be a violation of public trust.

This would also suggest a pattern: Washington officials sent a message for tougher scrutiny of certain 501(c) groups, and the IRS coincidentally adjusted its enforcement regime. That's what happened in 2010 and 2012 when Democrats Max Baucus and Chuck Schumer encouraged the IRS to tighten the screws on conservative tax-exempt groups.

Most tea party groups targeted by the IRS were applying for 501(c)(4) status, which allows considerable leeway for political engagement. A 501(c)(4) group can spend 100% of its money on lobbying and may spend directly in support of candidates or campaigns as long as that activity isn't its primary purpose.

Continued in article


WASHINGTON (AP) — The Internal Revenue Service inappropriately flagged conservative political groups for additional reviews during the 2012 election to see if they were violating their tax-exempt status, a top IRS official said Friday.

Organizations were singled out because they included the words "tea party" or "patriot" in their applications for tax-exempt status, said Lois Lerner, who heads the IRS division that oversees tax-exempt groups.

In some cases, groups were asked for their list of donors, which violates IRS policy in most cases, she said.

"That was wrong. That was absolutely incorrect, it was insensitive and it was inappropriate. That's not how we go about selecting cases for further review," Lerner said at a conference sponsored by the American Bar Association.

"The IRS would like to apologize for that," she added.

Continued at

"IRS targeted conservative college interns," by Patrick Howley, The Daily Caller, May 22, 2013 ---
Thank you Dennis Huber for the heads up.

The Internal Revenue Service (IRS) demanded information about conservative groups’ college-aged interns, prompting outrage from one of the country’s top conservative activist organizations and leading one former intern to wonder whether his family’s pizza parlor would be endangered.

The IRS requested, in an audit, the names of the conservative Leadership Institute’s 2008 interns, as well as specific information about their internship work and where the interns were employed in 2012, according to a document request the IRS sent to the Leadership Institute, dated February 14, 2012.

“Copies of applications for internships and summer programs; to include: lists of those selected for internships and students in 2008.
– In regards to such internships, please provide information regarding where the interns physically worked and how the placement was arranged.
– After completing internships and courses, where were the students and interns

The Arlington, Virginia-based Leadership Institute is a conservative activist training organization founded in 1979 by Virginia Republican National Committeeman Morton C. Blackwell, the youngest elected delegate to the 1964 Republican convention that nominated Barry Goldwater. The institute was audited in 2011. As The Daily Caller has reported, at least two different IRS offices made a concerted effort to obtain the group’s training materials.

Read more: http://dailycaller.com/2013/05/20/irs-targeted-conservative-college-interns/#ixzz2U9HSJp1B

"Shakespeare Knew all About Deniability," by Paul Greenberg, Townhall, May 25, 2013 --- Click Here

. . .

Here's the latest example of how the Great Game of Deniability is played: It now comes out that, despite earlier claims from the president's press secretary, the White House knew that an inspector general's report was about to show that the IRS had targeted conservative groups like the tea party for special scrutiny. The president's counsel knew it, the president's chief of staff knew it. But it seems they were careful not to tell the president about it.

The current presidential press secretary's name is Jay Carney, but it might as well be Ron Ziegler, who was Richard Nixon's mouthpiece and was always being caught up in his own contradictions.

How could Mr. Carney claim the president didn't know that this scandal at the IRS was about to blow up on him -- even though his closest advisers did? Jay Carney explained that "some matters are not appropriate to convey to him, and this (was) one of them."

That way, like any gang boss called to testify before the old McClellan Committee back in the mobsterish Fifties, the president can claim, "I didn't know nuttin.' " It seems you can take a president out of Chicago, but not the Chicago out of a president.

. . .

Deniability. It's become almost a standard feature of modern presidential politics, whether the subject is Watergate, Iran-Contra, L'Affaire Lewinsky and now the games at the IRS. But the history of deniability goes back a lot further. All the way back to an Elizabethan playwright of some note, W. Shakespeare.

Master Will knew all about deniability and how it works. See Act II, Scene 7 of Antony and Cleopatra. The names may be different now, but the way White House counsel Kathryn Ruemmler and Chief of Staff Denis McDonough served their president is pretty much how a Roman statesman named Pompey wished his friend and servant Menas had had the subtlety to pull off.

In Shakespeare's account, Pompey is entertaining the Roman triumvirate -- Marc Antony, Octavius Caesar and Lepidus -- aboard his galley when Menas interrupts him during cocktail hour. It seems Pompey's major-domo has devised a scheme that's sure to work, and he can't resist letting his boss know how clever he's been to come up with it.

Menas begins his whispered aside with Pompey by tempting him with the one lure no politician may be able to resist -- power. Great power.

"Wilt thou be lord of all the world?" asks Menas.

"What says't thou?" asks Pompey, who heard him very well.

"Wilt thou be lord of all the world? That's twice."

"How should that be?"

"But entertain it, and, although thou think me poor, I am the man will give thee all the world."

"Hast thou drunk well?" asks Pompey, who's been the one drinking.

"Now, Pompey, I have kept me from the cup. Thou art, if thou dar'st be, the earthly Jove: Whate'er the ocean pales or sky inclips is thine, if thou wilt have't."

"Show me which way," says Pompey, who is not an unambitious man, and Menas shows him:

"These three world-sharers, these competitors, are in thy vessel: let me cut the cable; and when we are put off, fall to their throats: All then is thine."

. .

Given the deterioration of the English language since its Elizabethan zenith, such a scheme might today be known as Policy Proposal 89, Operation Globe. And given the growth of bureaucracy since Pompey's time (it was not inconsiderable then) Menas' draft proposal might have to go through three different levels of the National Security Council before being considered, debated, redrafted and then indefinitely postponed.

Not so in one of Shakespeare's historical plays, which require, among other things, clarity and moral force as well as drama.

. .

Menas gets an immediate response to his proposal, though it is not the one he had hoped for:


"Ah," says Pompey, "this thou shouldst have done, and not have spoken on't! In me 'tis villainy; in thee't had been good service. Thou must know 'tis not my profit that does lead mine honour; mine honour it. Repent that e'er thy tongue hath so betray'd thine act: being done unknown, I should have found it afterwards well done; but must condemn it now. Desist, and drink."

Ah, well, so go the best-laid plans of mice and White House courtiers. Pompey, saddled with a jabbering aide like Menas, would have found the current White House counsel and chief of staff much more to his liking. More important than knowing what to advise him, they would know what to keep from him.

Yes, much better to let the dirty work go forward and have the president learn the grimy details only later, if ever. And then, if necessary, he can deny ever knowing about it and, in the most righteous tones, fire a head bureaucrat or two and snuff out the whole scandal. That's the essence of what in our era has come to be known as Plausible Deniability. It's also called "insulating" the chief executive. Pompey would have called it good service.

As Shakespeare has Pompey say, "being done unknown, I should have found it afterwards well done; but must condemn it now." Describing how the IRS had targeted his critics, the president sounded shocked, shocked! And proceeded to fire the IRS' top administrator. For his presidential aides had provided him with ... deniability. Pompey would have been proud of them.


Why Lois Lerner Took the Fifth --- Click Here

Jensen Comment
President Obama asked Lois Learner to resign. She flatly refused! President Obama could fire her, but the fear is that she might then talk.

As a result she could become a lifelong Federal employee on paid (over $200,000 per year plus benefits) who never has to go to work. Nice job if you can get it.

From the TaxProf Blog on May 16, 2013 --- http://taxprof.typepad.com/
For a change, the liberals and conservatives are equally upset over this IRS scandal

The Deepening IRS Scandal

From the TaxProf Blog on May 29, 2013 --- http://taxprof.typepad.com/
For a change, the liberals and conservatives are equally upset over this IRS scandal

The IRS Scandal, Day #20

IRS Logo 2


"Curious IRS Timing Did the tax agency also target groups that support Israel?" The Wall Street Journal, May 29, 2013 --- Click Here

"Americans Deserve the IRS," by Walter E. Williams, Townhall, May 29, 2013 --- Click Here

The IRS has admitted targeting groups that wanted to speak on issues during the 2012 election season. But did the agency also target tax-exempt groups that opposed Administration policy priorities?

At a House oversight hearing last week, Treasury Inspector General Russell George opened the door on the possibility of more IRS political targeting. Asked by Chairman Darrell Issa whether there were other political criteria that IRS workers had been told to "be on the lookout" for, Mr. George said he could "not give you a definitive answer, sir, at this time. But I certainly will."

Continued in article

From The Wall Street Journal Accounting Weekly Review on May 17. 2013

Wider Problems Found at IRS
by: John McKinnon and Siobhan Hughes
May 13, 2013
Click here to view the full article on WSJ.com

TOPICS: IRS, Taxation, Treasury Department

SUMMARY: The IRS has apologized for inappropriately targeting specific political groups' applications for tax-exempt status as 501(c)(4) organizations. The apology came just prior to a report being issued by the Treasury Department's inspector general for tax administration, which finds that lower level IRS employees targeted certain political terms in deciding on which applications to scrutinize for potential violation of the 501(c) tax exempt status. As reported in the related article, "A congressional aide familiar with the findings of the inspector general's report said it concludes that tea-party groups were delayed in the application process, and were asked unnecessary questions." The Treasury Department audit was initiated after "the controversy arose in early 2012, when reports began to surface that newly formed tea-party and other conservative groups that had applied for tax-exempt status were receiving letters from the IRS asking for disclosure of their donors and other information that typically isn't requested of groups making such applications." Many find the apology too late and are calling for resignations since "IRS officials, in congressional testimony soon after [the reports surfaced], denied targeting of tea party groups had occurred."

CLASSROOM APPLICATION: The article is useful to discuss the role of the IRS; its potential for overstepping bounds; and the controls needed to ensure such inappropriate behavior in government does not run rampant, including an audit function within our U.S. system of checks and balances. The article can also be used for a similar discussion when covering accounting for not-for-profit organizations or in an auditing, ethics, or other professional-practice oriented course.

1. (Introductory) What organization has issued a report on the Internal Revenue Service (IRS)? What is the organization's responsibility within the U.S. government in general and for the IRS?

2. (Introductory) According to the main and related articles, what are the findings of the report on the IRS's actions in relation to certain not-for-profit organizations?

3. (Advanced) What is the possbile concern about organizations with politically oriented names and the potential for violation of requirements for 501(c)(4) status?

4. (Advanced) What are the "wider problems" driving the title of this article?

5. (Introductory) Click on the related article and its video of one of this article's authors, John McKinnon. When did the IRS decide to apologize for its actions in targeting certain groups?

6. (Advanced) What is the source of the complaint that the IRS leaders lied about the targeting of specific political groups for scrutiny?

Reviewed By: Judy Beckman, University of Rhode Island

IRS Apologizes for Scrutiny of Conservative Groups
by John McKinnon and Corey Boles
May 11, 2013
Page: A1

"Wider Problems Found at IRS," by John McKinnon and Siobhan Hughes, The Wall Street Journal, May 13, 2013 ---

The Internal Revenue Service's scrutiny of conservative groups went beyond those with "tea party" or "patriot" in their names—as the agency admitted Friday—to also include ones worried about government spending, debt or taxes, and even ones that lobbied to "make America a better place to live," according to new details of a government probe.

The investigation also revealed that a high-ranking IRS official knew as early as mid-2011 that conservative groups were being inappropriately targeted—nearly a year before then-IRS Commissioner Douglas Shulman told a congressional committee the agency wasn't targeting conservative groups.

Enlarge Image image image Associated Press

Tax-exempt groups organized under section 501(c)(4) of the Internal Revenue Code are allowed to engage in some political activity, but the primary focus of their efforts must remain promoting social welfare. Previously

IRS Apologizes for Scrutiny of Conservative Groups IRS Apologizes for Improper Scrutiny of GOP Groups

The new disclosures are likely to inflame a widening controversy over IRS handling of dozens of applications by tea-party, patriot and other conservative groups for tax-exempt status.

The details emerged from disclosures to congressional investigators by the Treasury Inspector General for Tax Administration. The findings, which were reviewed by The Wall Street Journal, don't make clear who came up with the idea to give extra scrutiny to the conservative groups.

The Internal Revenue Service inappropriately flagged conservative political groups for additional reviews during the 2012 election to see if they were violating their tax exempt status. John McKinnon reports on the News Hub.

The inspector general's office has been conducting an audit of the IRS's handling of the applications process and is expected to release a report this week. The audit follows complaints last year by numerous tea-party and other conservative groups that they had been singled out and subjected to excessive and inappropriate questioning. Many groups say they were asked for lists of their donors and other sensitive information.

On Sunday, a government official said the report will note that IRS officials told investigators that no one outside the IRS was involved in developing the criteria the agency now acknowledges were flawed.

On Friday, Lois Lerner, head of the IRS tax-exempt-organizations division, said the agency was "apologetic" for what she termed "absolutely inappropriate" actions by lower-level workers. She said those workers had selected some conservative groups for extra scrutiny to determine whether their applications should be approved. She said they had picked groups for extra scrutiny according to whether they had "tea party" or "patriot" in their names, among other criteria.

s. Lerner came to the IRS in 2001 from the Federal Election Commission, and assumed her current position in 2006. IRS officials said Sunday that Ms. Lerner wasn't available for comment, and she didn't respond to an emailed request.

GOP lawmakers stepped up their criticism on Sunday. "The bottom line is [IRS officials] used key words to go after conservatives," Rep. Darrell Issa (R., Calif.), said Sunday on NBC's "Meet the Press." "There has to be accountability for the people who did it. And, quite frankly…there's got to be accountability for people who were telling lies about it being done."

Some Democrats also voiced criticism. "I'm concerned about that," said Sen. Dianne Feinstein (D., Calif.), also on NBC. "Somebody made the decision that they would give extra scrutiny to this particular group. And I think we have to understand why."

The IRS said over the weekend it is in the process of independently confirming the dates mentioned on the timeline of events contained in the inspector general report, "but we believe the [inspector general's] timeline is correct." The IRS said the report supports its view that its missteps weren't politically motivated and were limited to lower-level workers.

The IRS also said the report reflects that "IRS senior leadership was not aware of this level of specific details" at the time of a March 2012 hearing where Mr. Shulman denied any targeting of conservative groups. Mr. Shulman, who no longer works for the IRS, declined to comment.

The new details suggest that agency workers were examining statements in applications for tax-exempt status to determine whether groups had political leanings.

Tax-exempt social-welfare groups organized under section 501(c)(4) of the Internal Revenue Code are allowed to engage in some political activity, but the primary focus of their efforts must remain promoting social welfare. That social-welfare activity can include lobbying and advocating for issues and legislation, but not outright political-campaign activity. But some of the rules leave room for IRS officials to make judgment calls and probe individual groups for further information.

Organizing as such a group is desirable, not just because such entities typically don't have to pay taxes, but also because they generally don't have to identify their donors.

IRS officials said last week that the focused review of conservative groups was initiated by lower-level civil servants in the IRS Cincinnati office, not by political appointees in Washington, and that it wasn't politically motivated. They say it stemmed from a misguided effort to centralize review of a growing number of applications for tax-exempt 501(c)(4) status.

But questions continued to swirl about the failure of IRS officials to disclose the problems until the inspector general's report was about to become public.

The timeline contained in the draft report indicates that IRS scrutiny of tea-party and other conservative groups began as early as 2010 and came to the attention of Ms. Lerner, the head of the tax-exempt-organizations division, at least by the following year.

The report's timeline indicates that the criteria were changed to be more neutral in July 2011 after Ms. Lerner "raised concerns." The criteria for heightened scrutiny continued to evolve over the next year or so, even as complaints from tea-party groups—and questions from GOP lawmakers—mounted over IRS inquiries to various groups about their activities.

Letters from Ms. Lerner in April and May 2012 responding to questions by Republican lawmakers made no mention of the problems that had surfaced in the IRS unit.

According to the draft report, on April 24 and 25 of last year, officials in Ms. Lerner's office were reviewing "troubling questions" that had been asked of organizations, including "the names of donors."

Ms. Lerner's April 26 letter to Mr. Issa, the chairman of the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee, said that "there are instances where donor information may be needed…such as when the application presents possible issues of…private benefit."

The report indicates that in 2010 and 2011, some IRS workers weren't just singling out groups because their names contained certain words, as IRS officials suggested on Friday, but appeared to be probing for indications of political interests or leanings.

Continued in article


Penny Pritzker:  When Failure to Disclose $80 Million in Income is a Simple Oversight
Her Commerce Secretary Salary Will Barely Pay for the Crumbs to Feed the Washington DC Pigeons on Top of the DC Hyatt Hotel
She Does Have a Penny to Her Name

"Pritzker Understated Income, Files Amended Disclosure," by Brian Wingfield, Bloomberg News, May 22, 2013 ---

"The Pentagon Is Wasting Billions Of Dollars Because It Can't Audit Its Own Contracts," by David Francis (The Fiscal Times), Business Insider, May 22, 2013 ---

"Improvements Are Needed to Enhance the Internal Revenue Service’s Internal Controls," by Steven T . Miller,  Former Acting Commissioner of Internal Revenue, May 13, 2013 ---
Also see

Jensen Comment
The GAO declared that it's impossible to audit the Pentagon and the IRS. Both departments rely a lot on the Fifth Amendment.

Bob Jensen's threads on the sad state of governmental accounting ---


"First ACLU, Now NYT Blasts Obama for Spying on Media," Judicial Watch, May 22, 2013 ---

"Morning Bell: A Bumper Crop of Food Stamps," by Amy Payne, Heritage Foundation, May 23, 2013 --- Click Here


This is not a parody: World Health Organization condemns Israeli medical care for Syrians and 'Palestinians' ---

Halifax Health To Pay Between $350-$600 Million In Whistleblower Suit --- Click Here

"Coming Soon To America: A Two-Tiered, Canadian-Style Health Care System," by John Goodman, Forbes, February 23, 2013 ---

I believe we are moving toward two different health systems. In one, patients will be able to see doctors promptly. They will talk to physicians by phone and email. They will have no difficulty scheduling needed surgery. If they have to go into a hospital, a “hospitalist” (who reports to them and not to the hospital administration) will be there to make sure their interests are looked after. They may even have an independent agency that reviews their medical records, goes with them when they meet with specialists, and gives them advice on every aspect of their care.

In the other system, waiting times will grow for almost everything ― to get appointments with physicians, to get tests, to obtain elective surgery, etc. Patients may find that they don’t have access to the best doctors or the best hospitals. They may find that the facility where they are treated does not have the latest technology. In terms of waiting times and bureaucratic hassles, health care for these patients may come to resemble the Canadian system. It may become even worse than the Canadian system.

The evolution toward a two-tiered system was already under way before Barack Obama became president. But ironically, the Affordable Care Act (ObamaCare) is accelerating the pace of change. It is doing so in four ways.

First, ObamaCare is supposed to insure 32 million additional people by this time next year. If the economic studies are correct, these newly insured will try to consume twice as much medical care as they have been. In addition, most of the rest of us will be forced to have more generous coverage than we previously had. There will be a long list of preventive services that all plans will be required to cover ― with no deductible and no copayment ― and commercial insurance will be required to cover a great many services previously avoided (including, everyone must know by now, contraception). These two changes alone will boost the demand for care considerably.

On the supply side, there is really no provision under ObamaCare to create more doctors. In fact, the supply of doctor services is likely to decrease because of two more features of health reform. Doctors, who are already weary from third-party interference in the practice of medicine, will step up their retirement dates as they contemplate the prospects of even more bureaucracy. Also, hospitals are acquiring doctors as employees at a rapid rate. Indeed, more than half of all doctors are now working for hospitals. When doctors quit their private practices and start working for hospitals, they reduce the number of hours they work. (Forty hour work weeks and golf on the weekends replaces 50 and 60 hour work weeks.) Since they have a guaranteed income, they also become less productive.

These four changes add up to one big problem: we are about to see a huge increase in the demand for care and a major decrease in the supply. In any other market, that would cause prices to soar. But government plans to control costs (even more so than in the past) by vigorously suppressing provider fees and the private insurers are likely to resist fee increases as well. That means we are going to have a rationing problem. Just as in Canada or Britain, we are going to experience rationing by waiting.

Consider how much waiting there already is in the U.S. health care system. On the average, patients must wait three weeks to see a new doctor. In Boston, where we are told they have universal coverage, the average wait time is two months to see a new family doctor. Amazingly, one in five patients who enters a hospital emergency room leaves without ever seeing a doctor ― presumably because they get tired of waiting.

All this is about to get worse. Waiting times are going to be especially lengthy for anyone in a health insurance plan that pays providers below-market fees. The elderly and the disabled on Medicare, low income families on Medicaid, and (if the Massachusetts precedent is followed) people who acquire health insurance in the new health insurance exchanges will find they are financially less desirable to providers than other patients. That means they will be pushed to the end of the waiting lines.

Those who can afford to will find a way to get to the head of the line. For a little less than $2,000 a year, for example, seniors on Medicare can contract with a concierge doctor. These doctors promise prompt access to care and usually talk with their patients by telephone and email. They serve as an advocate for their patients, in much the same way as an attorney is an advocate for his client.

But every time a doctor becomes a concierge doctor, he (or she) leaves an old practice serving about 2,500 patients and takes only about 500 patients into the concierge practice. (More attention means fewer patients.) That means about 2,000 patients now must find a new physician.

Continued in article

Jensen Comment
Not mentioned in the above article is how Canada saves immensely on malpractice insurance of hospitals and medical workers by eliminating punitive damages and settling claims via arbitration rather than making Canadian lawyers rich off the medical system piñata.

"Canadian Malpractice Insurance Takes Profit Out Of Coverage," by Jane Akre, Injury Board, July 28, 2009 ---
Click Here

The St. Petersburg Times takes a look at the cost of insurance in Canada for health care providers.

A neurosurgeon in Miami pays about $237,000 for medical malpractice insurance. The same professional in Toronto pays about $29,200, reports Susan Taylor Martin.

A Canadian orthopedic surgeon pays just over $10,000 for coverage that costs a Miami physician $140,000. An obstetrician in Canada pays $36,353 for insurance, while a Tampa Bay obstetrician pays $98,000 for medical malpractice insurance.

Why the difference?

In the U.S., private for-profit insurance companies extend medical malpractice coverage to doctors.

In Canada, physicians are covered through membership in a nonprofit. The Canadian Medical Protective Association offers substantially reduced fees for the same coverage, especially considering that their payout is limited by caps in Canada just as in some U.S. states.

In 1978, the Canadian Supreme Court limited pain and suffering awards to just over $300,000, circumventing the opportunity for a jury to decide on an award depending on the case before them.

Canadian Medical Protective Association

Here’s how it works.

Fees for membership vary depending on the region of the country in which the doctor works and their specialty. All neurosurgeons in Ontario will pay the same, for example. The number of claims they have faced for medical malpractice does not figure into their premium

"We don't adjust our fees based on individual experience; it's the experience of the group,'' says Dr. John Gray, the executive director, "That's what the mutual approach is all about, and it helps keep the fees down for everyone,” he tells the St. Petersburg Times.

If a doctor is sued, the group pays the claim and provides legal counsel.

In the U.S., the push has been on for limiting claims, no matter how egregious the medical malpractice. President Obama was booed in June when, before the American Medical Association, he said he would not limit a malpractice jury award.

"We got a crazy situation where Obama is talking about the cost of medicine but he said, 'I don't believe in caps,' " complains Dr. Dennis Agliano, past president of the Florida Medical Association. "If you don't have caps, the sky's the limit and there's no way to curtail those costs.''

But the importance of limiting jury awards may not play into the big picture on health care reform.

Malpractice lawsuits amount to less than one percent of both the Canadian and the U.S. healthcare system, meanwhile between 44,000 and 98,000 Americans die each year due to medical errors in hospitals alone, while 16 times as many suffer injuries without receiving any compensation, reports the group Americans for Insurance Reform.

Major Difference

In Canada, an injured patient is often required to pay for the initial investigation into his case. In the U.S. the contingency fee basis, usually in the range of 30 percent, allows the injured party to proceed without a financial downside.

In both the U.S. and Canada, the definition of medical negligence is that a duty of care was owed to the patient by the physician, there was a breach h of the standard of care and the patient suffered harm by the physician’s failure to meet that standard of care.

A bad outcome in itself is not the basis of a lawsuit.

The Canadian Medical Protective Association insures virtually all of the country’s 76,000 doctors, as opposed to the U.S. where private for-profit insurance companies cover physicians for medical malpractice.

In Canada, the median damaged paid in 2007 was $91,999 and judgments favored patients 25 times, doctors 70 times.

In the U.S., many physician groups are requiring patients to waive their rights to a jury trial, even though malpractice litigation accounts for just 0.6 percent of healthcare costs.

Public Citizen, the consumer group, charges that the facts don’t warrant the “politically charged hysteria surrounding medical malpractice litigation.”

For the third straight year, medical malpractice payments were at record lows finds the group in a study released this month. The decline, however, is likely due to fewer injured patients receiving compensation, not improved health safety.

2008 saw the lowest number of medical malpractice payments since the federal government’s National Practitioner Data Bank began compiling malpractice statistics. In 2008, payments were 30.7 percent lower than averages recorded in all previous years.

In the report titled, The 0.6 Percent Bogeyman, the nonprofit watchdog group states, “between three and seven Americans die from medical errors for every 1 who receives a payment for any type of malpractice claim.”

Public Citizen previously reported that about five percent of doctors are responsible for half of the medical malpractice in the U.S. that can result in permanent injury or death. #
Read more:

"5 Lies the Democrats Told To Sell Obamacare," by John Hawkins, Townhall, June 4, 2013 --- Click Here

. . .

It sounded great.

Of course, it also sounds great when a Nigerian prince offers to give you millions of dollars to help him get money into the United States. Unfortunately, those Nigerian princes with the funny names won't make you any richer, just as Presidents with funny names won't improve your health care. They'll just tell you lies like these.

1) Obamacare will cut the cost of your health care. If only. When Obamacare goes into effect next year, many Americans can expect STEEP increases in the cost of health care.

President Obama (promised)...that the cost of insurance would go down “by $2,500 per family per year.” ...In fact, the average 25 and 40-year-old will pay double under Obamacare what they would need to pay today, based on rates posted at eHealthInsurance.com (NASDAQ:EHTH). More specifically, for the typical 25-year-old male non-smoker, the average Obamacare “bronze” exchange plan in California will cost between 64 and 117 percent more than the cheapest five plans on eHealth. For 40-year-old male non-smokers, it’s between 73 and 146 percent more.

2) Obamacare will not increase the deficit. Calling for a massive new government program to cut costs is sort of like moving to Death Valley for the reduced air conditioning bills. Alas, it's not so.

Obamacare will increase the long-term federal deficit by $6.2 trillion, according to a Government Accountability Office (GAO) report released today.

Senator Jeff Sessions (R., Ala.), who requested the report, revealed the findings this morning at a Senate Budget Committee hearing. The report, he said, “confirms everything critics and Republicans were saying about the faults of this bill,” and “dramatically proves that the promises made assuring the nation that the largest new entitlement program in history would not add one dime to the deficit were false.”

President Obama and other Democrats attempted to win support for the health-care bill by touting it as a fiscally responsible enterprise. “I will not sign a plan that adds one dime to our deficits — either now or in the future,” Obama told a joint-session of Congress in September 2009. “I will not sign it if it adds one dime to the deficit, now or in the future, period.”

You mean Obama lied to us AGAIN? Who would have ever guessed?

3) "If you like your doctor, you will be able to keep your doctor. Period." Soon, many Americans will be happy if they can find A DOCTOR, much less THEIR DOCTOR.

Eighty-three percent of American physicians have considered leaving their practices over President Barack Obama’s health care reform law, according to a survey released by the Doctor Patient Medical Association.


The DPMA, a non-partisan association of doctors and patients, surveyed a random selection of 699 doctors nationwide. The survey found that the majority have thought about bailing out of their careers over the legislation, which was upheld last month by the Supreme Court.

Even if doctors do not quit their jobs over the ruling, America will face a shortage of at least 90,000 doctors by 2020. The new health care law increases demand for physicians by expanding insurance coverage. This change will exacerbate the current shortage as more Americans live past 65.

What good is health care, even the bad health care we'll get through Obamacare, if you can't find a doctor to see you when you're sick?

4) Obamacare will create jobs. That would be true if you added "...at the IRS" to the end of it, but companies have already begun to move millions of workers from full to part time to avoid punitive new costs under Obamacare.

Retailers are cutting worker hours at a rate not seen in more than three decades — a sudden shift that can only be explained by the onset of ObamaCare’s employer mandates.


Nonsupervisory employees logged an average 30.0 hours per week in April, the shortest retail workweek since early 2010, Labor Department data out Friday show.

…This reversal doesn’t appear related to the economy, which has been consistently mediocre. Instead, all evidence points to the coming launch of ObamaCare, which the retail industry has warned would cause just such a result.

...One way for employers to minimize the costs of providing “affordable” coverage to modest-wage workers is to shift more work to part-time, defined as less than 30 hours per week under ObamaCare.

So not only are they going to get crummy health care, they're getting their hours cut back, too. Thanks, Obama!

5) If you like your health care plan, you'll be able to keep it. According to Obama, even though the government is about to come crashing into the health care market like a Blue Whale bellyflopping into a pond, it isn't going to have any impact at all on the insurance companies that were already swimming along. Why, if you like your own insurance, then there is nothing to worry about because you can keep it.

Yet, just last week Fox News reported,

New health insurance rules under ObamaCare could lead to a host of personal insurance plans being canceled as early as this fall, a scenario expected to cause consumer confusion.


Under the federal overhaul, those policies that cannot meet new insurance plan standards may be discontinued. This means individuals, and some small businesses, that rely on those plans will have to find new ones.

The goal is to ensure that most insurance policies offer a basic set of coverage, as part of the Obama administration's plan to cover most of the nation's 50 million uninsured.

Yet it also seems to run afoul of one of the president's best-known promises on the law: "If you like your health care plan, you'll be able to keep your health care plan."

In fact, state insurance commissioners largely are giving insurers the option of canceling existing plans or changing them to comply with new federal requirements. Large employer plans that cover most workers and their families are unlikely to be affected.

The National Association of Insurance Commissioners says it is hearing that many carriers will cancel policies and issue new ones because administratively that is easier than changing existing plans.

..."You're going to be forcibly upgraded," said Bob Laszewski, a health care industry consultant. "It's like showing up at the airline counter and being told, 'You have no choice, $300 please. You're getting a first-class ticket, why are you complaining?'"

On a personal note, as someone who buys his own insurance, the cost of my policy has gone up $50 a month since Obamacare passed and I expect it to be cancelled this fall, but I guess it's a small price to pay for us little people if it allows Barack Obama to feel like he finally accomplished something "historic."

Obamacare hasn't fully taken effect yet, but when it does, it's only going to get worse. Everything from death panels to unimaginably long waits for surgeries to bureaucrats denying effective, relatively common, currently in use treatments because they are "too expensive" are all coming down the pike. Obamacare is too much of a disaster to truly fix; so the best thing we can do right now is let this nightmare become reality, let people see how bad it is and then insist on a repeal or bust. Either the Democrats live with the disaster they've inflicted on the American people at the ballot box long term or they do the right thing and allow us to repeal this monstrosity before it does even more damage to our country.

Bob Jensen's universal health care messaging --- http://www.trinity.edu/rjensen/Health.htm

Bob Jensen's universal health care messaging --- http://www.trinity.edu/rjensen/Health.htm

Bob Jensen's Tidbits Archives ---

Bob Jensen's Pictures and Stories

Summary of Major Accounting Scandals --- http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Accounting_scandals

Bob Jensen's threads on such scandals:

Bob Jensen's threads on audit firm litigation and negligence ---

Current and past editions of my newsletter called Fraud Updates ---

Enron --- http://www.trinity.edu/rjensen/FraudEnron.htm

Rotten to the Core --- http://www.trinity.edu/rjensen/FraudRotten.htm

American History of Fraud --- http://www.trinity.edu/rjensen/FraudAmericanHistory.htm

Bob Jensen's fraud conclusions ---

Bob Jensen's threads on auditor professionalism and independence are at

Bob Jensen's threads on corporate governance are at


Shielding Against Validity Challenges in Plato's Cave ---

·     With a Rejoinder from the 2010 Senior Editor of The Accounting Review (TAR), Steven J. Kachelmeier

·     With Replies in Appendix 4 to Professor Kachemeier by Professors Jagdish Gangolly and Paul Williams

·     With Added Conjectures in Appendix 1 as to Why the Profession of Accountancy Ignores TAR

·     With Suggestions in Appendix 2 for Incorporating Accounting Research into Undergraduate Accounting Courses

Shielding Against Validity Challenges in Plato's Cave  --- http://www.trinity.edu/rjensen/TheoryTAR.htm
By Bob Jensen

What went wrong in accounting/accountics research?  ---

The Sad State of Accountancy Doctoral Programs That Do Not Appeal to Most Accountants ---


Bob Jensen's threads on accounting theory ---

Tom Lehrer on Mathematical Models and Statistics ---

Systemic problems of accountancy (especially the vegetable nutrition paradox) that probably will never be solved ---

Bob Jensen's economic crisis messaging http://www.trinity.edu/rjensen/2008Bailout.htm

Bob Jensen's threads --- http://www.trinity.edu/rjensen/threads.htm

Bob Jensen's Home Page --- http://www.trinity.edu/rjensen/