Nevada Legislative News: For an analysis of the tax reform battle currently on view in the Nevada Legislature, see “Mining for Clarity,” from the Nevada Progressive. You’ll find some context in “Let’s Talk Tax Reform and Mean It” from a February edition of the Nevada Public Employees Focus, and a bit more from The Nevada View. For more information see: “Nevada Funds Mining’s Big Mistakes,” in CityLife. And, there’s more from the mining corporations in “Mining Rep: Republican Effort to Tax Us in Punitive,” Las Vegas Sun.
The economy: The battle over the provisions of the Dodd-Frank Act have moved into the caliginous rule making phase. The efforts were the subject of an MSNBC piece (video), which (finally) picks up on a review from The Hill, in which it was reported that more than half of the Dodd-Frank Act rules are still “in the works” from January 28, 2013. There’s more from the Angry Bear economics blog, in which we find the fraudsters now seeking to use the Sequester to cut funding for rule making and implementation. The following does not bode well for assisting the various Federal agencies tasked with keeping up with the “creative” machinations of the Wall Street Wizards:
“Aside from federal civil and voting rights programs, investment law enforcement agencies and commissions on the chopping block include the Securities and Exchange Commission (a possible $115 million reduction), Commodity Futures Trading Commission ($17 million), federal courts ($384 million at risk), Public Accounting Oversight Board ($18 million) and the Securities Investor Protection Corporation ($23 million). In sum, $557 million could be cut from investor protection programs, barring Congressional intervention.” [Angry Bear]
Naked Capitalism has an excellent piece on the prevarications of banking regulators who are supposed to be keeping an eye on the welfare of Americans who have money in the banks, not just the bankers who are raking in more American money, they call it “safety and security” — they mean “profitability.” In a more general vein, there’s a MUST read post from Henry Blodget, “In Case You Needed More Proof That It’s Stupid To Cut Government Spending In A Weak Economy…” in Business Insider. And, if you have not already read Michael Hiltzik’s piece for the Los Angeles Times, “The five biggest lies about entitlement programs,” please click over and read his summarization. Here’s a taste:
“As efforts to cut Social Security and Medicare gather steam in the budget wrangling in Washington, you’ll hear these mega-trillions being thrown around more and more. Beware. They’re numbers designed to terrify, not edify. The assertion comes from something called the “infinite horizon” projection. It’s a calculation of funding gaps projected out to the limitless future and then converted to present value — meaning what the cost would be if we had to pay it all today. For Social Security, the figure was $20.5 trillion, as reported in the program trustees’ latest report. For Medicare, the number comes to about $42.7 trillion. Even professional actuaries say this calculation is bogus.”
Media and Politics: Finally! Someone calls out the Village Press Corps for continuing to bleat that the “President should reach out more…,” another Must Read is Dee Evan’s blast of sanity “More Selective Memory…” in the Huffington Post.