Mandel’s Debt Management Office Director: An Answer to Cronyism Allegations

by Daniel Downs

U.S. Senate candidate Josh Mandel is being accused of cronyism by incumbent Sherrod Brown. Mandel is guilty but with some qualification. Obviously, before becoming Ohio’s Treasurer, Mandel had his sights on Congress. When he became Treasurer he hired his friend and campaign manager Joe Aquilino. Keeping Joe’s valuable services for his present and future work was important for Mandel’s future success.

Yes, Mandel deserves criticism for hiring an inexperienced investment bonds manager. If you read how Aquilino’s job is described you will glimpse Mandel’s reasonable strategy. First, he is referred to as the Director of the Debt Management Office and not of the Office of Debt Management. Second, the following is an excerpt from an April 4, 2012 Huffington Post article in which is disclosed Mandel’s view of Aquilino’s position:

“Joe is a licensed attorney. He managed staff in the Debt Management Department, and worked under Seth Metcalf’s direction on debt issuances,” Unger said. “Mr. Metcalf has extensive experience with debt issues, and continues to be the key person overseeing debt issuances in the treasurer’s office.”

In other words, Mandel hired experienced bonds manager Seth Metcalf to handle debt management. He kept attorney Joe Aquilino employed because he is an excellent manager of people and organizations. That is also why Aquilino is now employed as Mandel campaign manager.

Mandel was not rewarding his buddies with big jobs as campaign booty. Rather, it was a wise business decision: keeping a valuable employee.

Sherrod Brown & Josh Mandel Debate

The Biden and Ryan Debate: Energy and Taxes

by Raymond J. Keating

The vice presidential debate between Congressman Paul Ryan and Vice President Joe Biden was a lively affair. Though it often was difficult getting by the many interruptions served up by Biden, and Martha Raddatz’s bias as a moderator, in order to get at the substance.

But some clear themes did emerge that warrant the attention of entrepreneurs and small businesses.

First, this was a debate overwhelmingly about foreign policy, in particular about the Middle East and North Africa. Of course, Afghanistan, Iran, Libya and the rest of the general region rank as the immediate hotspots in terms of U.S. national security. And given the role played in oil markets, it’s a huge economic factor.

In the end, given the Obama administration’s mixed messages and general pulling back from the region, Congressman Ryan was justified in hitting the White House hard on their strategy, or lack thereof. There is no doubt that tumult and uncertainty in the region, including the role of the U.S., has been one of the key reasons for oil prices remaining high.

It also should be pointed out that Ryan mentioned greater North American energy independence. To the degree that is achieved will depend on U.S. policymaking, such as the extent of U.S. domestic exploration and production, as well as moving ahead with projects such as the Keystone XL pipeline. Unfortunately, the Obama administration has been hostile to carbon-based energy in general, raised barriers to domestic production, and blocked the Keystone XL pipeline.

Second, a big difference emerged on the tax front.

Vice President Biden was unrelenting in pushing a class warfare agenda. He spoke of a fictional tax cut for the “middle class.” In fact, the Obama agenda offers no tax relief for middle-income earners. Rather, it proposes leaving today’s tax policies in effect for middle and low-income earners, while jacking up taxes on everyone else.

Meanwhile, Congressman Ryan pointed out that the Obama tax plan rests on a major tax hike on “successful small businesses.” He contrasted the Obama plan with the Romney plan by noting that the top income tax rate on small businesses would be nearly 45 percent under Obama, while it would be 28 percent under Romney. That’s a profound and economically substantive difference on tax rates.

Ryan also pointed out that 53 percent of small business income would be hit by the Obama tax increases.

For good measure, Ryan noted that this top Obama tax rate would make U.S. businesses far less competitive internationally. That’s very important. While President Obama, to his credit, has called for reducing the corporate income tax rate, he has pushed and pushed to increase the personal income tax rate, without mentioning that some 93 percent of businesses pay personal, rather than corporate, income taxes.

In the end, it needs to be understood that any kind of tax increase, especially in a tough economy, makes no sense whatsoever. No economists – no matter what school of economic thought they belong to – would advocate tax increases in this environment. Their reasoning surely would differ, but not their bottom line conclusion. And any economist pushing for a tax increase right now is playing politics, and not thinking as an economist.

And make no mistake, economics makes clear that tax increases on upper incomes – as included in ObamaCare and in terms of the additional hikes advocated by Obama – will hurt everyone, not just higher income earners. Biden asserted that the, as he put it, “super wealthy” can afford to pay more in taxes. What Biden misses in his class warfare hysteria is that the Obama-Biden tax increases mean reduced incentives and resources for entrepreneurship and investment. That means bad news throughout the economy – for everyone.

If we want to get economic growth back on track, experience rising incomes, and create more jobs, then taxes cannot be increased on the entrepreneurs and investors that are critical to making this happen.

Raymond J. Keating is chief economist for the Small Business & Entrepreneurship Council. His article was first published by the SBE Council, 12 October, 2012, http://www.sbecouncil.org/2012/10/12/the-biden-and-ryan-debate-energy-and-taxes.

Paul Ryan on the Economy

[youtube http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HJuyNM_kVFo&w=500&h=281]

A Voter’s Guide to Republicans

[youtube http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=x-oS4WLui3Q&w=500&h=286]

Clinton/Obama and Updated Bush/Obama First Terms “By the Numbers” Released

The Alabama Policy Institute (API) has released a new infographic in its By the Numbers series that presents side-by-side statistics from comparable time periods during the first terms in office of Presidents Bill Clinton and Barack Obama, as well as an updated infographic comparing the first terms in office of Presidents George W. Bush and Barack Obama.

The one-page Clinton/Obama Presidents’ First Terms By the Numbers and the Bush/Obama Presidents’ First Terms By the Numbers infographics cover a variety of key issues including the cost of health insurance and a gallon of gas, as well as federal regulations implemented, length of unemployment, job creation and loss, per capita income, national debt, approval ratings, change in the S&P 500, number of federal employees, Americans on food stamps and others.

The infographics, in which all dollars have been adjusted for inflation to provide realistic comparisons, can be found in their entirety on the By the Numbers page at www.alabamapolicy.org.

According to API Policy Director and General Counsel Cameron Smith, API was vigilant in gathering truly comparable statistics.

“It was important to API that we provide an apples-to-apples comparison,” Smith said. “Since President Obama’s first term is not over, we did not pair statistics of his incomplete term with those of President Clinton’s or President Bush’s full term. If data was only available for the first three years of Mr. Obama’s administration for a particular statistic, we compared that figure to the same information from the first three years of the Bush and Clinton administrations.”

“An informed electorate is a powerful force, and we hope our By the Numbers series provides a basic, easy-to-comprehend snapshot that will educate Americans on the issues that matter most.”

By the Numbers</em. complements API's studies, white papers, issue briefs, editorials and other resources available at www.alabamapolicy.org. Other topics addressed in the By the Numbers series include Energy, K-12 Education and Medicaid.

Broadway Hit “A Few Good Men” Playing at Xenia Area Community Theatre

For ticket information, click here.

Mammosham: Obama’s Regurgitation of the Planned Parenthood Error

President Obama’s political allegence to Planned Parenthood was evident during the second debate. Not only did mentioned it five times, he emphatically oppose defunding the abortion factory. By promoting Planned Parenthood women were supposed to be convinced that he supported all American women. Yet, he used Planned Parenthood as an attempted to mislead American women. His attempt to mislead began with his statement about the reliance of American women on the essential services of Planned Parenthood, services like mammograms. This was the same sales pitched first falsely advertised by Planned Parenthood’s CEO Cecile Richards.

As you will witness, the following investigative video by Live Action reveals that mammograms are not perfromed at any of Planned Parenthood abortion clinics.

[youtube http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7tn2-8IDx2E&w=560&h=315]

During the second presidential debate, Mitt Romney did favor defunding Planned Parenthood. Maybe, he has also seen the growing evidence of Planned Parenthood’s illegal activities much of it uncovered by Live Action investigations. Of course, he might opposed it for economic reasons.

Romney’s Ten Commandments on National Security

Ambassador (ret.) Yoram Ettinger, “Second Thought”

Governor Romney’s Ten Commandments on national security are based on his recent pronouncements, including his October 8, 2012 speech at the Virginia Military Institute.

1. American exceptionalism. Thou shall adhere to the classic US worldview, highlighting American moral and strategic exceptionalism – US global competitive edge. American moral exceptionalism is a derivative of America’s Judeo-Christian values, formulated by the early Pilgrims and the US founding fathers. Romney believes in America’s moral, economic, scientific, technological, educational, medical and military exceptionalism. He is aware that America’s best interests and the minimization of global disorder – militarily and economically – require US pro-active leadership.

2. US global leadership. Thou shall embrace US global leadership, underscoring US freedom of unilateral action, rather than subordinating US policy to multilateral considerations. The US – not the UN or any international order – is the dominant quarterback of international relations. US global leadership is critical for its economic, homeland security and military concerns. It bolsters posture of deterrence, providing a tailwind for allies, thus constraining clear and present threats posed by rogue/terrorist Islamic regimes. On the other hand, US withdrawal is interpreted as weakness, emboldening adversaries, weakening allies, fueling clear and present dangers and facilitating the recurrence of 9/11.

3. Realism. Thou shall abide by realism and experience and not by wishful-thinking and delusion. Thus, the Arab Street intensifies anti-US terrorism and not democracy. Confronting – rather than engaging – rogue regimes upgrades deterrence and reduces the threat of war. Preempting – rather than retaliating against – undeterred rogue regimes spares humanity calamitous wars. Moreover, Putin’s Russia is a rival – not an ally – of the USA. Steadfastness, not flexibility, would restrain Moscow’s imperialistic ambition, reassuring US’ East European allies. Realism requires confidence, marathon-like resolve, and clarity and not apology, hasty-wavering and ambiguity.

4. Moral Clarity. Thou shall follow moral clarity – a prerequisite for operational clarity. Do not subordinate moral clarity to political convenience. For example, Islamic terrorism is the most distinct threat to Western democracies. It must be clearly identified and not be blurred by linguistic acrobatics, such as “workplace violence,” “man-caused disasters,” or “isolated extremism.” The threat of Islamic terrorism must be lucidly presented and not be deleted from the training literature of the defense and counter-terrorism establishment. Islamic terrorism has afflicted the USA –systematically and not randomly – since the 18th century. Core American values of liberty and justice are a lethal threat to rogue and tyrannical Islamic regimes. The US is the chief strategic obstacle to megalomaniac transnational aspirations.

5. Peace through strength. Thou shall advance strength – and not pliability – in order to promote peace. Strength deters, and perceived weakness fuels, terrorism. Enhancing military capabilities – of the US and its European allies – is compulsory in order to face rising threats and deter aggression.

6. Strategic cooperation. Thou shall enhance strategic cooperation with capable, reliable, stable, predictable, democratic and unconditional allies – such as Israel – which contribute to the US in the areas of defense and commercial high-tech, intelligence, battle tactics, training and operations. Israel is the only ally resembling a US aircraft carrier, which does not require a single American on board, cannot be sunk, already deployed in an area critical to primary US interests, snatching hot US chestnuts out of the fire, saving the US taxpayer some $20BN annually.

7. Moral equivalence. Thou shall not indulge in the morally-wrong and strategically-flawed moral equivalence between the role model of counter-terrorism (e.g., Israel) and the role model of terrorism (e.g., Mahmoud Abbas’ PLO); between the role model of unconditional alliance with the US (e.g., Israel) and the role model of systematic alliance with America’s enemies, such as Nazi Germany, the Communist Bloc, Saddam Hussein and Bin Laden (e.g., the Palestinian leadership).

8. Iran. Thou shall prevent Iran’s nuclearization for the sake of the US – and not Israeli – interests. A nuclear Iran would traumatize the supply and price of oil; would devastate pro-US Gulf regimes; would coalesce Iran’s takeover of Iraq; would accelerate nuclear proliferation; would upgrade the military capabilities of anti-US Venezuela, Bolivia and Ecuador; would embolden anti-US Islamic terrorism, including sleeper cells in the US; and would devastate the US posture of deterrence.

9. Palestinian issue. Thou shall be cognizant of the secondary role played by the Palestinian issue in the Middle East. It is not the root cause of regional turbulence and anti-US Islamic terrorism, not the crown jewel of Arab policy-making and not the crux of the Arab-Israeli conflict. As stated by Romney, the Palestinians are concerned about the existence – not the size – of Israel. He is aware of the indispensability of the mountain ridges of Judea and Samaria for Israel’s existence. He is also aware of the adverse impact by the proposed Palestinian state upon cardinal US interests. Hence, the unacceptability of the “two state delusion.”

10. Political correctness. Thou shall not subordinate the Ten Commandments to political correctness, expediency and global/domestic pressure.

Will Governor Romney be faithful to the Ten Commandments on national security if elected on November 6, 2012?

Ambassor Yoram Ettinger’s article reflects an Israeli-American perspective. His artlice was first published in “Israel Hayom”, October 12, 2012, http://bit.ly/RCSZQ0.

“Accessorize, Economize and Socialize” at Greene Community Health Foundation’s 4th annual Fashion Swap ‘N Shop, October 27th

The Greene Community Health Foundation’s 4th annual Fashion Swap ‘N Shop is scheduled for Saturday, October 27th, 2012 from 11 a.m. – 2 p.m. at the Schindler Banquet Center in Xenia.

The Fashion Swap ‘N Shop is just that…a chance for women to come together to “swap” clothing and “shop” with a variety of businesses, just in time for the holidays. Clothing swaps are becoming more and more popular as Americans from every tax bracket are cutting back how much they spend on clothing in local retail shops. And with the focus on living “greener”, it’s a great way to recycle unwanted fashion items from outfits to accessories, such as jewelry, purses and shoes.

Women are invited to bring up to 5 gently-used, upscale and consignment-worthy clothing items of all sizes on hangars, including accessories to swap with other women. The event, featuring a luncheon, chair massages, fashion show and basket raffle, also boasts close to 30 different women’s home-based businesses including Pampered Chef, Tastefully Simple, Gem City Feng Shui, Scentsy, Mary Kay Cosmetics, Silpada, Velata Fondue and many more. Goody bags filled with various items will be provided to each guest, courtesy of Security National Bank. Nathalie Basha of WDTN-TV’s Living Dayton will be the guest emcee for the event.

Proceeds from this event will benefit the Clinic Cupboard housed at the Greene County Combined Health District in Xenia. This cupboard contains basic over-the-counter medical supplies, baby necessities and personal products for GCCHD clients in need throughout Greene County. All remaining clothing from the swap will be donated to Community Action Partnership of Greene County.

Reservations are due by Wednesday, October 19 and are $30.00 per person or $25.00 per person if reserving 4 or more women together. The event is sponsored by Miami Valley Hospital, Simply W.O.M.E.N. Dayton, The Greene, WDTN-TV, Mini University, Inc., Security National Bank, Evergreen Children’s Center and Lori’s Loft Upscale Consignment Boutique. For more information or to make a reservation, please contact Laurie Fox at 937-374-5669 or email her at lfox@gcchd.org. The brochure with a reservation form is available on the website, www.gcchd.org.