With a new tax, of course! What else?
A controversial “violence tax” on guns in the Chicago area was approved Friday by Cook County commissioners, NBCChicago.com reported.
The $25 tax on every gun purchased in the county—city law prohibits gun sales in Chicago—is meant to offset health care and other costs of gun violence, Board President Toni Preckwinkle said.
“Gun violence is a real problem for us,” she said. “It’s a problem for us in our criminal justice system and it’s a problem for us in our health care system, and I make no apologies for the proposal.”
Preckwinkle said the average shooting victim cost taxpayers $52,000 in acute care because nearly 70 percent of the victims don’t have health insurance, NBCChicago.com reported.
The vote follows a violent Chicago summer, when some weekends left multiple people killed and dozens of others injured in shootings, NBCChicago.com reported. The city’s murder rate is up 25 percent for the year, and the Cook County Jail is near capacity with 9,000-plus inmates.
A relatively moderate-sized carbon tax could raise $1.25 trillion over the next decade, a huge chunk of the money needed to bring the federal budget deficit under control. And the idea is getting a closer look now that the election is over and the “fiscal cliff” is looming.
Because it would tax fossil fuel use, the carbon tax pleases economists who want to encourage investment and discourage consumption. Climate activists hope it would reduce greenhouse-gas emissions by penalizing the use of coal, oil and natural gas. And for lawmakers opposed to any change in tax rates or deep cuts in spending, the carbon tax could be a lifeline.
“In the general scheme of things, taxes discourage whatever you’re taxing,” said William Pizer, associate professor of economic and environmental policy at Duke University. “If something is discouraged, it might as well be something bad like pollution instead of employment and savings.”
Pizer said that a $20-a-ton tax on carbon dioxide would raise gasoline prices by about 20 cents per gallon and boost electric bills slightly. It could be most efficiently collected “upstream,” at coal mines, oil and gas wells, or terminals for oil tankers arriving at U.S. shores.
MADISON, WI (WTAQ) - Wisconsin’s Republican legislative leaders say they will not try to eliminate private sector employee unions, as some Democrats fear.
Voters put the GOP back in charge of both houses, more than a year-and-a-half after those Republicans virtually eliminated collective bargaining privileges for most public employee unions in the state.
I sure hope that after the Republicans were re-elected after advancing a bold agenda that they aren’t going to get wimpy now.
The Interior Department on Friday issued a final plan to close 1.6 million acres of federal land in the West originally slated for oil shale development.
The proposed plan would fence off a majority of the initial blueprint laid out in the final days of the George W. Bush administration. It faces a 30-day protest period and a 60-day process to ensure it is consistent with local and state policies. After that, the department would render a decision for implementation.
The move is sure to rankle Republicans, who say President Obama’s grip on fossil fuel drilling in federal lands is too tight.
Interior’s Bureau of Land Management cited environmental concerns for the proposed changes. Among other things, it excised lands with “wilderness characteristics” and areas that conflicted with sage grouse habitats.
Hmmmm... he was scheduled to testify in Congress about Benghazi next week.
WASHINGTON (AP) — David Petraeus has resigned as director of the CIA after admitting he had an extramarital affair.
According to his letter of resignation, Petraeus asked President Barack Obama on Thursday to allow him to resign, and on Friday the president accepted.
Robert E. Murray read a prayer to a group of company staff members on the day after the election, lamenting the direction of the country and asking: “Lord, please forgive me and anyone with me in Murray Energy Corp. for the decisions that we are now forced to make to preserve the very existence of any of the enterprises that you have helped us build.”
On Wednesday, Murray also laid off 54 people at American Coal, one of his subsidiary companies, and 102 at Utah American Energy, blaming a “war on coal” by the administration of President Barack Obama.”