May 19, 2013
Photo: New England College faculty participate in a student-led protest against the selection of U.S. Sen. Kelly Ayotte as commencement speaker.
Kelly Ayotte delivered some innocuous, personal remarks to the graduates of New England College yesterday, but that didn’t stop the predictable liberal protests against their political opponents. Just as predictably, the protest revealed more about the protesters than the protested:
Jesse Kilcullen held a sign proclaiming “gay rights are civil rights” during
Ayotte’s speech, and said she disagreed with the college’s decision to invite Ayotte. Many students don’t share the senator’s conservative political beliefs, she said. “I think it was in poor taste for the school . . . we’re known to be a very liberal place,” Kilcullen said.
Translation: How dare they expose us to a person holding contrary beliefs, even if those beliefs are not the subject of her appearance? The mere presence of an ideological opponent is offensive.
The protest was initiated by graduate Beth Page (who is openly gay), also a commencement speaker. Her prescription for avoiding future unsettling speaker choices is right out of the left-wing academic playbook:
[An NEC executive] said the university is proud of Page’s commitment to her point of view and is willing to work with her to create a more inclusive commencement speaker selection process. Currently, a subcommittee of the college’s board of trustees selects the honorary degree recipient and commencement speaker, taking suggestions from the community.
If Page has her way, that process will include more stakeholders in years to come, including student, faculty, staff and community representatives.
Translation: The group choosing the commencement speaker should include more committed ideologues who will threaten controversy to cow non-ideologues into acquiescence. Agreed? Good.
More than an inspirational pep-talk, perhaps some NEC graduates could use a refund.
As an aside, the notion that any decision (i.e., choice of commencement speaker) is illegitimate unless the decision-making body includes one’s own selected representatives is a key part of what academics call “shared governance.” As you might expect, most committees built to appease constituencies rather than make decisions accomplish exactly what they’re intended to do — be unwieldy, indecisive, but at least inoffensive.
Former Miami University President James Garland, in his book Saving Alma Mater, documents how shared governance breeds inefficiency, obstructs any semblance of educational innovation, and helps fuel the skyrocketing costs of higher education.
May 19, 2013
Former Speaker Bill O’Brien, who is “officially exploring a run” for Congress in CD-2, has reportedly hired Andy Demers. Andy, of course, has a national profile as an inside veteran of the Paul campaigns — both Ron and Rand. O’Brien endorsed Newt Gingrich in the 2012 NH Presidential Primary. So query what this means for possible unity among those two factions in 2014.
Republican-oriented campaign news site Red Racing Horses isn’t bullish: “O’Brien, a staunch conservative, is a poor fit for this light-blue district.” The author omits that Ann Kuster is, if anything, an even worse fit in her ideological extremism.
May 16, 2013
Of the new taxes included in Obamacare and effective as of 2013, alongside the job-killing taxes on medical devices, the one intended to “strengthen” Medicare was a new 3.8% tax on investment income such as capital gains (including home sales), dividends, and interest. See the new Section 1411 of the Internal Revenue Code.
There’s no question this tax is intended to fund Medicare. Both Section 1402 of the monstrous statute and the new Chapter 2A of the Internal Revenue Code are entitled “Unearned Income Medicare Contribution.” Thousands of google hits will describe this tax as a new Medicare tax.
There’s one big problem. The new tax doesn’t go to Medicare. By that I mean, perhaps out of malice but more likely out of the gross stupidity and negligence we’ve come to expect from Obamacare, the proceeds of this tax go right into the General Fund, unlike other Medicare taxes which are paid into the Medicare Trust Funds.
Once in the General Fund, the new taxes will help pay for non-Medicare federal government spending rather than, say, Medicare, which is set to go bust in 2016.
Who should we thank for sniffing out this piece of overlooked news? Meet the Joint Committee on Taxation, the nerdy think shop from which Congress gets (or at least should get) its information on the technical effects of tax legislation. (My old tax professor, George Yin, was the Chief of Staff at the JCT from 2003-05).
Check out this nugget from the JCT’s report JCS-2-11, the “General Explanation of the Tax Legislation Enacted in the 11th Congress,” which includes Obamacare. On page 363 of the pdf, in explaining the new IRC Section 1411, the committee states:
No provision is made for the transfer of the tax imposed by this provision from the General Fund of the United States Treasury to any Trust Fund.
Anybody care to ask Jeanne Shaheen or Carol Shea-Porter why they voted for a fraudulently advertised “Medicare” tax that doesn’t go to Medicare?
May 16, 2013
Former NH GOP Chair Fergus Cullen, who last November pinned a bad election cycle on “the motley crew of insular Tea Partiers, Free Staters, birthers, Agenda 21 conspiracy theorists, and borderline anarchists calling themselves Libertarians,” likes what he sees in “Chandler, Horn, Duprey, Douglas and others are doing the politically unpleasant but necessary work” of ostracizing Stella Tremblay and the “too many brand-killing rats” that hurt the party’s electoral chances.
That sounds a bit harsh to lump Tea Partiers in with Stella Tremblay, but fyi in all events.
May 16, 2013
New Hampshire Business Review is reporting that New Hampshire has received a near perfect score in a survey of small businesses in the state. The website Thumbtack.com surveyed 7000 businesses nation wide, and then broke down the results by state. The 56 small businesses surveyed in New Hampshire lead them to conclude everything is great here.
Methodology and sample size aside, one wonders what might happen to such rankings if and when certain business friendly legislation passed by the previous legislature is repealed or suspended by the next state budget. Both the House Democrat and Governor’s versions of the budget call for the suspension of several business tax reforms and/or cuts passed in 2011-2012. The analyses available conclude that this would result in as much as $43million coming out of the pockets of small businesses over the next 2 years. This is money that could be used to reinvest, purchase equipment and create new jobs.
The legacy from the Republican super majority of the last legislative term, it is the meaningful reductions in regulations, fees and tax reforms that chipped away at what the Democratic majority had put in place from 2007-2010.
We’re hopeful the Senate’s chief budget writer, Sen. Chuck Morse will look at other ways to fund state government and remove these suspensions from the Senate’s budget proposal. As a business owner himself, he is certain to see the benefits of leaving the tax reforms in place and helping businesses grow.