Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Waking Up to Economic Realities

By Ron Paul
Published 04/26/11

Last week the financial markets were roiled by Standard & Poor’s announcement that they will change their outlook on the fiscal health of the United States over the next two years from “stable” to “negative”. The administration decried this decision as political. However, it seems the only political thing about this decision is the fact that it took so long. The Washington Post recently reported that the White House and the Treasury Department put tremendous pressure on S&P not to do this. However, if S&P made its ratings based on political pressures rather than economic reality, it would cease to have any relevance to the business community. Even if S&P delayed its announcement that U.S. government bond market would be downgraded, at some point it would become obvious that the finances of this country are out of control and our leadership is out of touch. All credibility would be lost if S&P simply continued to assign U.S. debt a AAA rating.

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The True Nature of Taxation

Mises Daily: Tuesday, April 26, 2011 by Rod Rojas

Nobody really likes paying their taxes. But, as the old adage about “death and taxes” conveys, there is a sense that taxes are as legitimate and as inevitable as death itself. In their acceptance of taxation, many well-meaning people forget that taxation violates our most basic moral principles.

If you have ever been to a kindergarten or a playground where very young children play, you might have realized that, although the kids are too young to understand many things, they already have a surprising sense of justice.

Take a toy away from a toddler who cannot yet speak a word, and you will often be met with a very clear protest. As far as the toddler is concerned, you have stolen her toy, you have initiated violence, and therefore it’s time to cry. The toddler’s reasoning probably isn’t this sophisticated, but the understanding is there.

Slightly older children are even more amazing. They understand that there is illegitimate violence (when a toy gets stolen), but they also understand that there is such a thing as legitimate violence as well, which is when the victimized child goes to the thieving child and takes her toy back. The astonishing thing is that the usual focus is on getting the toy back rather than punishing the aggressor. Punishment is a concept that they learn later, probably from us.

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Why The Ron Paul Presidential Run Will Be A MUCH Bigger Deal This Time Around

Joe Weisenthal | Apr. 25, 2011, 8:54 PM

It’s just obvious that in the last four years, since the last time Ron Paul ran for President, the ideological center of gravity in the GOP — and the whole country for that matter — has shifted a lot closer to Ron Paul’s position.

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Ron Paul Launches Presidential Campaign

Rep. Ron Paul, R-Texas, whose outspoken libertarian views and folksy style made him a cult hero during two previous presidential campaigns, will announce on Tuesday that he’s going to try a third time.

Sources close to Paul, who is in his 12th term in the House, said he will unveil an exploratory presidential committee, a key step in gearing up for a White House race. He will also unveil the campaign’s leadership team in Iowa, where the first votes of the presidential election will be cast in caucuses next year.

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Monday, April 25, 2011

EPA Rules Force Shell to Abandon Oil Drilling Plans

By Dan Springer
Published April 25, 2011 | FoxNews.com

Shell Oil Company has announced it must scrap efforts to drill for oil this summer in the Arctic Ocean off the northern coast of Alaska. The decision comes following a ruling by the EPA’s Environmental Appeals Board to withhold critical air permits. The move has angered some in Congress and triggered a flurry of legislation aimed at stripping the EPA of its oil drilling oversight.

Shell has spent five years and nearly $4 billion dollars on plans to explore for oil in the Beaufort and Chukchi Seas. The leases alone cost $2.2 billion. Shell Vice President Pete Slaiby says obtaining similar air permits for a drilling operation in the Gulf of Mexico would take about 45 days. He’s especially frustrated over the appeal board’s suggestion that the Arctic drill would somehow be hazardous for the people who live in the area. “We think the issues were really not major,” Slaiby said, “and clearly not impactful for the communities we work in.”

The closest village to where Shell proposed to drill is Kaktovik, Alaska. It is one of the most remote places in the United States. According to the latest census, the population is 245 and nearly all of the residents are Alaska natives. The village, which is 1 square mile, sits right along the shores of the Beaufort Sea, 70 miles away from the proposed off-shore drill site.

The EPA’s appeals board ruled that Shell had not taken into consideration emissions from an ice-breaking vessel when calculating overall greenhouse gas emissions from the project. Environmental groups were thrilled by the ruling.

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