In praise of Obama
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06-04-2016, 07:16 AM
In praise of Obama
Two pieces of news from this morning that add to the long list of things that I think President Obama has gotten right.

1) Forcing financial advisors to go from a “suitable” to a “fiduciary” responsibility.
http://www.marketwatch.com/story/new-fid...2016-04-06
In a nutshell: a financial advisor with only a “suitable responsibility” can direct a client towards investments that benefit the advisor more than the client, a clear case of conflict of interest.

2) The Treasury Department blocked a huge merger because one of the driving reasons to do the merger was that a US company wanted to avoid paying US taxes by moving its headquarters overseas. http://www.marketwatch.com/story/pfizer-...2016-04-06
In a nutshell: US corporations will not be allowed to make “corporate inversion” acquisitions to avoid taxes at home.

“President Barack Obama on Tuesday called corporate inversions, in which a U.S. company buys a foreign rival and adopts its lower-tax jurisdiction, one of the “most insidious tax loopholes out there.”

Bravo.

“I am quite sure now that often, very often, in matters concerning religion and politics a man’s reasoning powers are not above the monkey’s.”~Mark Twain
“Ocean: A body of water occupying about two-thirds of a world made for man - who has no gills.”~ Ambrose Bierce
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06-04-2016, 07:20 AM
RE: In praise of Obama
I have to agree on both counts, and I support him generally already.
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06-04-2016, 09:39 AM (This post was last modified: 06-04-2016 10:41 AM by Lord Dark Helmet.)
RE: In praise of Obama
I agree with both of those moves, in theory. My concern, especially with the first one (and I say this about a lot of things Obama does) is that his adminstration seems to bypass Congress and make major changes to existing laws or rules. I'm not well versed on DOL regulations and their ability to modify rules so drastically without congressional approval, but this seems to me to be a major change that should have come in the form of federal law. As for the second issue, corporate inversions aren't illegal, and its unclear from the article exactly how this was "blocked" by Obama. Another article I read said that Obama was calling on Congress to fix these loopholes. It didn't appear that even he believed he could block such things.

Edit: After looking into it further, once again the rules were "tweaked" by the adminstration without congressional approval to prevent the merger. They didn't outright block the merger, they just modified some rules to make this particular merger not worth the effort. Some analysts believe the Treasury department is overstepping their authority.

"Evil will always triumph over good, because good is dumb." - Lord Dark Helmet
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06-04-2016, 10:50 AM
RE: In praise of Obama
(06-04-2016 09:39 AM)Lord Dark Helmet Wrote:  I agree with both of those moves, in theory. My concern, especially with the first one (and I say this about a lot of things Obama does) is that his adminstration seems to bypass Congress and make major changes to existing laws or rules. I'm not well versed on DOL regulations and their ability to modify rules so drastically without congressional approval, but this seems to me to be a major change that should have come in the form of federal law. As for the second issue, corporate inversions aren't illegal, and its unclear from the article exactly how this was "blocked" by Obama. Another article I read said that Obama was calling on Congress to fix these loopholes. It didn't appear that even he believed he could block such things.

Edit: After looking into it further, once again the rules were "tweaked" by the adminstration without congressional approval to prevent the merger. They didn't outright block the merger, they just modified some rules to make this particular merger not worth the effort. Some analysts believe the Treasury department is overstepping their authority.

Think he did the right thing but he needs to get Congress to agree IMO.
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06-04-2016, 11:08 AM
RE: In praise of Obama
(06-04-2016 10:50 AM)MattB Wrote:  
(06-04-2016 09:39 AM)Lord Dark Helmet Wrote:  I agree with both of those moves, in theory. My concern, especially with the first one (and I say this about a lot of things Obama does) is that his adminstration seems to bypass Congress and make major changes to existing laws or rules. I'm not well versed on DOL regulations and their ability to modify rules so drastically without congressional approval, but this seems to me to be a major change that should have come in the form of federal law. As for the second issue, corporate inversions aren't illegal, and its unclear from the article exactly how this was "blocked" by Obama. Another article I read said that Obama was calling on Congress to fix these loopholes. It didn't appear that even he believed he could block such things.

Edit: After looking into it further, once again the rules were "tweaked" by the adminstration without congressional approval to prevent the merger. They didn't outright block the merger, they just modified some rules to make this particular merger not worth the effort. Some analysts believe the Treasury department is overstepping their authority.

Think he did the right thing but he needs to get Congress to agree IMO.

Unfortunately, Obama getting Congress to agree with him on nearly anything is like herding cats.
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06-04-2016, 11:16 AM
RE: In praise of Obama
(06-04-2016 11:08 AM)pablo Wrote:  
(06-04-2016 10:50 AM)MattB Wrote:  Think he did the right thing but he needs to get Congress to agree IMO.

Unfortunately, Obama getting Congress to agree with him on nearly anything is like herding cats.

That's the way it works. He had a democratic Congress at first. The people decided they didn't like the direction he was headed and voted out his Democrat majority. So now he works around it by "tweaking" rules and executive orders.

"Evil will always triumph over good, because good is dumb." - Lord Dark Helmet
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06-04-2016, 11:45 AM
RE: In praise of Obama
(06-04-2016 11:16 AM)Lord Dark Helmet Wrote:  
(06-04-2016 11:08 AM)pablo Wrote:  Unfortunately, Obama getting Congress to agree with him on nearly anything is like herding cats.

That's the way it works. He had a democratic Congress at first. The people decided they didn't like the direction he was headed and voted out his Democrat majority. So now he works around it by "tweaking" rules and executive orders.

Every president does the same thing, W did it, 41 did it, Bill did it, Reagan did it...

It may not be palatable but it has been the MO for all of them.

“I am quite sure now that often, very often, in matters concerning religion and politics a man’s reasoning powers are not above the monkey’s.”~Mark Twain
“Ocean: A body of water occupying about two-thirds of a world made for man - who has no gills.”~ Ambrose Bierce
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06-04-2016, 02:39 PM
RE: In praise of Obama
Come talk to me when the busts open the files of The Fed or dismantles it. Then I will be impressed.

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07-04-2016, 05:15 AM
RE: In praise of Obama
(06-04-2016 11:16 AM)Lord Dark Helmet Wrote:  
(06-04-2016 11:08 AM)pablo Wrote:  Unfortunately, Obama getting Congress to agree with him on nearly anything is like herding cats.

That's the way it works. He had a democratic Congress at first. The people decided they didn't like the direction he was headed and voted out his Democrat majority. So now he works around it by "tweaking" rules and executive orders.

Couldn't it also be argued that executive orders are also "the way it works"?
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07-04-2016, 08:55 AM
RE: In praise of Obama
Bernie called out GE on Monday and the GE CEO Immelt fired back (see transcript below).

Keep in mind as you read that GE had a negative tax rate on average from 2010-14! It hard to cheer when a company with a 288 billion dollar market cap doesn’t pay taxes. Bernie likes to go over the top in some of his rhetoric but from what I have seen there is usually a large kernel of truth to what he says.

[Image: 15corp2015-640x438.jpg?d93230]
http://www.cheatsheet.com/business/4-big...?a=viewall


GE CEO: Bernie Sanders says we’re ‘destroying the moral fabric’ of America. He’s wrong.

General Electric Chairman and CEO Jeffrey Immelt. (Michael Dwyer/AP)
By Jeffrey R. Immelt April 6 at 5:12 PM
Jeffrey R. Immelt is chairman and chief executive of GE.

"We at GE were interested to read comments Monday by Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.), who told the New York Daily News editorial board that GE is among the companies that are supposedly “destroying the moral fabric” of America. The senator had been asked to cite examples of corporate greed at its worst. Somehow that got him to talking about us.

GE has been in business for 124 years, and we’ve never been a big hit with socialists. We create wealth and jobs, instead of just calling for them in speeches. We take risks, invest, innovate and produce in ways that today sustain 125,000 U.S. jobs. Our engineers innovate every day to build hardware and software solutions that meet real-world challenges. Our employees are proud of our company. I meet second- and third-generation employees whenever I travel across the country. I am one myself. Our suppliers and partners are proud of our company. Our communities are proud of our company. Our pride, history and hard work are real — the moral fabric of America.

The senator has never bothered to stop by our aviation plant in Rutland, Vt. We’ve been investing heavily (some $100 million in recent years), hiring and turning out some of the world’s finest jet-engine components in Vermont since the 1950s. The plant employs more than 1,000 people who are very good at what they do. It’s a picture of first-rate jobs with high wages, advanced manufacturing in a vital industry — how things look when American workers are competing and winning — and Vermont’s junior senator is always welcome to come by for a tour.

Elsewhere in Vermont, GE Healthcare employs more than 340 men and women in South Burlington. Yearly, GE does about $40 million worth of business with dozens of suppliers of parts and services across Vermont. Nationwide, we have 200 GE plants, including 15 that were built in the past five years — all with the aim of making GE the world’s premier industrial company.

Democratic presidential candidate Bernie Sanders vowed to stand up "for working people and not just for the 1 percent" during a news conference before his speech at the Pennsylvania AFL-CIO convention April 7. (Reuters)
Sanders says that he is upset about GE’s operations abroad — as though a company that has customers in more than 180 countries should have no presence in any of them. He never mentions that we are one of the United States’ prime exporters, annually selling in excess of $20 billion worth of American-made goods to the world. Nor does he mention that our sales around the world support our manufacturing base here at home, along with the thousands of U.S. companies in our supply chain. You want to cause big problems for our suppliers — many of whom are small and medium-size businesses — and their workers? The surest way would be to pull out of those countries and lose those customers.

We are competing globally with foreign companies whose governments care whether they win and support them in innumerable ways. U.S. companies continue to wrestle with an outdated and complex tax code that puts them at a distinct competitive disadvantage. Sanders has stated many times that GE pays no taxes. Repeating a lie over and over does not make it true. We pay billions in taxes, including federal, state and local taxes. The U.S. tax system has not been updated in 30 years and isn’t designed for today’s economy, which is why we support comprehensive tax reform — even if it raises our tax rate.

It’s easy to make hollow campaign promises and take cheap shots in speeches and during editorial board sessions, but U.S. companies have to deliver for their employees, customers and shareholders every day. GE operates in the real world. We’re in the business of building real things and generating real growth for a nation that needs it now more than ever. I’m proud of all that we do, and how it all figures into “the moral fabric” of America is so plain to me. It seems Sen. Sanders is missing the point.”

“I am quite sure now that often, very often, in matters concerning religion and politics a man’s reasoning powers are not above the monkey’s.”~Mark Twain
“Ocean: A body of water occupying about two-thirds of a world made for man - who has no gills.”~ Ambrose Bierce
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