Bernie Sanders Defends Israeli Attacks on Gaza

Image: Associated Press

In 2014 we saw yet another round of bloodshed in Gaza as Israel launched an all-out assault after the kidnapping of three Israeli teenagers who were in the West Bank. The 50-day war resulted in 73 killed Israelis, including 6 civilians, and almost 2,200 killed Palestinians, most of whom were civilians, including more than 500 children.

At a town hall meeting in Vermont, someone asked Bernie Sanders about the attacks, and he managed to deflect the question and go on about Hamas’s use of public areas as shields from Israeli bombs as well as their misuse of funds to build tunnels “for military purposes.” He even changed the subject by mentioning ISIS as another danger demanding attention in the Middle East. His weak response worked only to infuriate some of the people who attended, as you can see in the video:

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Rand Paul and the Libertarian Position on Taxes

Image: Associated Press

Rand Paul writes for the Wall Street Journal:

“[O]n Thursday I am announcing an over $2 trillion tax cut that would repeal the entire IRS tax code—more than 70,000 pages—and replace it with a low, broad-based tax of 14.5% on individuals and businesses. I would eliminate nearly every special-interest loophole. The plan also eliminates the payroll tax on workers and several federal taxes outright, including gift and estate taxes, telephone taxes, and all duties and tariffs. I call this ‘The Fair and Flat Tax.’

President Obama talks about “middle-class economics,” but his redistribution policies have led to rising income inequality and negative income gains for families. Here’s what I propose for the middle class: The Fair and Flat Tax eliminates payroll taxes, which are seized by the IRS from a worker’s paychecks before a family ever sees the money. This will boost the incentive for employers to hire more workers, and raise after-tax income by at least 15% over 10 years.”

Read the rest.

Lower rates are a step in the right direction, but what would be the ideal position? Taxes, no matter how low, are still predicated on coercion, and amount to nothing other than systemic theft of a population.

As a reminder, here is a piece by the great Laurence Vance on LewRockwell.com mentioning some key points about the libertarian position on taxes:

Can There Be a Half-Way Decent Tax Policy?
by Laurence Vance

“The best tax is always the lightest.” ~ Jean-Baptiste Say

“There cannot be a good tax nor a just one; every tax rests its case on compulsion.” ~ Frank Chodorov

“There can be no such thing as ‘fairness in taxation.’ Taxation is nothing but organized theft, and the concept of a ‘fair tax’ is therefore every bit as absurd as that of ‘fair theft.’” ~ Murray Rothbard

“Since the very fact of taxation is an interference with the free market, it is particularly incongruous and incorrect for advocates of a free market to advocate uniformity of taxation.” ~ Murray Rothbard

“The real issue is total spending by government, not tax reform.” ~ Ron Paul

When it comes to the subject of taxes, many conservatives and some libertarians just don’t get it.

The Tax Foundation, a “non-partisan research think tank, based in Washington, DC,” has six “principles of sound tax policy” that guides all of its research and “which should serve as touchstones for good tax policy everywhere”: simplicity, transparency, neutrality, stability, no retroactivity, broad bases and low rates. Good tax policy “promotes economic growth by focusing on raising revenue in the least distortive manner possible.”

The Tax Foundation recently charged education tax credits with violating “the principles of sound tax policy by greatly increasing the complexity and distortions in the tax code.” They should be eliminated “within a comprehensive reform package” for a number of reasons, among which is that “trading the elimination of education tax credits for lower marginal tax rates is good for economic growth.” The Tax Foundation does a good job of answering the question of whether “the tax code is the proper tool to increase access to higher education and make college more affordable” (it isn’t), but the organization’s proposal that the government should eliminate all education tax credits and use “the revenues to cut marginal tax rates across the board” is naïve. The government simply can’t be trusted to not turn around and raise marginal tax rates the next it “reforms” the tax code. And the fact that “trading education credits for lower tax rates” would “benefit the Treasury as well” means that the government would collect more money—which is always a bad thing. How about proposing keeping the education credits and cutting marginal tax rates?

The Tax Foundation also recently weighed in on the subject of sales tax holidays. It is against them. Sales tax holidays “are periods of time when selected goods are exempted from state (and sometimes local) sales taxes.” Although “at first glance, sales tax holidays seem like great policy,” they “are based on poor tax policy and distract policymakers and taxpayers from real, permanent, and economically beneficial tax reform,” “introduce unjustifiable government distortions into the economy without providing any significant boost to the economy,” “represent a real cost for businesses without providing substantial benefits,” are also an inefficient means of helping low-income consumers and an ineffective means of providing savings to consumers,” and “impose serious costs on consumers and businesses without providing offsetting benefits.” Although sales tax holidays may eliminate taxes for some period of time, they “are not real tax cuts.” But even if, from an economic and political perspective, everything the Tax Foundation says about sales tax holidays is true, there is one thing they have dead wrong: Sales tax holidays are not just real tax cuts, because they eliminate sales taxes completely, they are the ultimate and ideal tax cut.

And then there is Dan Mitchell, formerly of the Heritage Foundation, now of the Cato Institute, who blogs at International Liberty. He is “a long-time proponent of the flat tax.” One reason is because “other than a family-based allowance, it gets rid of all loopholes, deductions, credits, exemptions, exclusions, and preferences, meaning economic activity is taxed equally.” But because “a national sales tax (such as the Fair Tax) is like a flat tax but with a different collection point,” and “the two plans are different sides of the same coin” with no “loopholes,” even though he is “mostly known for being an advocate of the flat tax,” Mitchell has “no objection to speaking in favor of a national sales tax, testifying in favor of a national sales tax, or debating in favor of a national sales tax.” But as I have lectured about, the flat tax is not flat and the Fair Tax is not fair.

Surprisingly, although Mitchell despises Obamacare, he believes “that there’s one small part of Obamacare that will have a positive impact”: the so-called Cadillac tax on expensive employer-provided health plans. The Cadillac tax:

  • will slightly reduce the distortion in the tax code that encourages over-insurance and exacerbates the healthcare system’s pervasive third-party payer problem.
  • is merely making workers more aware of costs that already exist.
  • discourages overinsurance, and this is already leading to some positive changes in the marketplace.

Although I admire and recommend the work of the Tax Foundation and Dan Mitchell, and regularly visit their websites, for a more libertarian view of sound tax policy I suggest that we turn to Frank Chodorov (1887-1966) and Murray Rothbard (1926-1995).

From his essay “Taxation Is Robbery,” here is Chodorov on the morality of taxation:

THE Encyclopaedia Britannica defines taxation as “that part of the revenues of a state which is obtained by the compulsory dues and charges upon its subjects.” That is about as concise and accurate as a definition can be; it leaves no room for argument as to what taxation is. In that statement of fact the word “compulsory” looms large, simply because of its ethical content. The quick reaction is to question the “right” of the State to this use of power. What sanction, in morals, does the State adduce for the taking of property? Is its exercise of sovereignty sufficient unto itself?

On this question of morality there are two positions, and never the twain will meet. Those who hold that political institutions stem from “the nature of man,” thus enjoying vicarious divinity, or those who pronounce the State the key­stone of social integrations, can find no quarrel with taxation per se; the State’s taking of property is justified by its being or its beneficial office. On the other hand, those who hold to the primacy of the individual, whose very existence is his claim to inalienable rights, lean to the position that in the compulsory collection of dues and charges the State is merely exercising power, without regard to morals.

Taxation for social services hints at an equitable trade. It suggests a quid pro quo, a relationship of justice. But, the essential condition of trade, that it be carried on willingly, is absent from taxation; its very use of compulsion removes taxation from the field of commerce and puts it squarely into the field of politics. Taxes cannot be compared to dues paid to a voluntary organization for such services as one expects from membership, because the choice of withdrawal does not exist. In refusing to trade one may deny oneself a profit, but the only alternative to paying taxes is jail. The suggestion of equity in taxation is spurious. If we get any­thing for the taxes we pay it is not because we want it; it is forced on us.

And as Chodorov explains in his book The Income Tax: Root of All Evil (1954), the income tax means that the state says to its citizens:

Your earnings are not exclusively your own; we have a claim on them, and our claim precedes yours; we will allow you to keep some of it, because we recognize your need, not your right; but whatever we grant you for yourself is for us to decide.

The amount of your earnings that you may retain for yourself is determined by the needs of government, and you have nothing to say about it.

From chapter 22, “The Nature of the State,” in his The Ethics of Liberty, here is Rothbard on the nature of taxation:

All other persons and groups in society (except for acknowledged and sporadic criminals such as thieves and bank robbers) obtain their income voluntarily: either by selling goods and services to the consuming public, or by voluntary gift (e.g., membership in a club or association, bequest, or inheritance). Only the State obtains its revenue by coercion, by threatening dire penalties should the income not be forthcoming. That coercion is known as “taxation,” although in less regularized epochs it was often known as “tribute.” Taxation is theft, purely and simply even though it is theft on a grand and colossal scale which no acknowledged criminals could hope to match. It is a compulsory seizure of the property of the State’s inhabitants, or subjects.

It would be an instructive exercise for the skeptical reader to try to frame a definition of taxation which does not also include theft. Like the robber, the State demands money at the equivalent of gunpoint; if the taxpayer refuses to pay his assets are seized by force, and if he should resist such depredation, he will be arrested or shot if he should continue to resist.

The libertarian approach to tax deductions and credits differs strikingly from those on the left and the right who want to simplify the tax code by eliminating these things to ensure that every individual and corporation pays some uniform and arbitrary fair share. Since the federal government is unlikely to ever eliminate the income tax, proponents of a free society should work toward expanding tax deductions, tax credits, tax breaks, tax exemptions, tax exclusions, tax incentives, tax loopholes, tax preferences, tax avoidance schemes, and tax shelters and applying them to as many Americans as possible. These things are not subsidies that have to be “paid for.” They should only be eliminated because the income tax itself has been eliminated.

From chapter 2, “Ten Great Economic Myths,” in his Making Economic Sense, here is Rothbard on tax deductions and exemptions:

A deduction or exemption is only a “loophole” if you assume that the government owns 100% of everyone’s income and that allowing some of that income to remain untaxed constitutes an irritating “loophole.” Allowing someone to keep some of his own income is neither a loophole nor a subsidy. Lowering the overall tax by abolishing deductions for medical care, for interest payments, or for uninsured losses, is simply lowering the taxes of one set of people (those that have little interest to pay, or medical expenses, or uninsured losses) at the expense of raising them for those who have incurred such expenses.

There is furthermore neither any guarantee nor even likelihood that, once the exemptions and deductions are safely out of the way, the government would keep its tax rate at the lower level. Looking at the record of governments, past and present, there is every reason to assume that more of our money would be taken by the government as it raised the tax rate back up (at least) to the old level, with a consequently greater overall drain from the producers to the bureaucracy.

And from chapter 4, “Binary Intervention: Taxation,” in his Power and Market, here is Rothbard on tax exemptions and loopholes:

Many writers denounce tax exemptions and levy their fire at the tax-exempt, particularly those instrumental in obtaining the exemptions for themselves. These writers include those advocates of the free market who treat a tax exemption as a special privilege and attack it as equivalent to a subsidy and therefore inconsistent with the free market. Yet an exemption from taxation or any other burden is not equivalent to a subsidy. There is a key difference. In the latter case a man is receiving a special grant of privilege wrested from his fellowmen; in the former he is escaping a burden imposed on other men. Whereas the one is done at the expense of his fellowmen, the other is not. For in the former case, the grantee is participating in the acquisition of loot; in the latter, he escapes payment of tribute to the looters. To blame him for escaping is equivalent to blaming the slave for fleeing his master. It is clear that if a certain burden is unjust, blame should be levied, not on the man who escapes the burden, but on the man or men who impose it in the first place. If a tax is in fact unjust, and some are exempt from it, the hue and cry should not be to extend the tax to everyone, but on the contrary to extend the exemption to everyone. The exemption itself cannot be considered unjust unless the tax or other burden is first established as just.

In the literature on taxation there is much angry discussion about “loopholes,” the inference being that any income or area exempt from taxation must be brought quickly under its sway. Any failure to “plug loopholes” is treated as immoral.

From a libertarian perspective, the goal should be no taxes whatsoever. To that end, any decrease in taxes or tax rates is a good thing and any increase is a bad thing and any increase in tax deductions or credits is a good thing and any decrease is a bad thing. No matter whom it benefits, no matter why the government does it, no matter who lobbied for it, no matter who supports or doesn’t support it, no matter how temporary it might be, and no matter how much complexity it adds to the tax code.


Originally posted on LewRockwell.com

Laurence M. Vance [send him mail] writes from central Florida. He is the author of King James, His Bible, and Its Translators, The War on Drugs Is a War on Freedom, War, Christianity, and the State: Essays on the Follies of Christian Militarism and War, Empire, and the Military: Essays on the Follies of War and U.S. Foreign Policy. His newest book is The Making of the King James Bible—New Testament. Visit his website.

Elitist Bilderberg Confab Gears Up for 2015

The secretive annual Bilderberg gathering of more than 100 of the world’s most powerful people is on the heels of the much more public G7 summit. This year’s location is at Telfs-Buchen in Austria.

The Interalpen Hotel in Austria, location of the 2015 Bilderberg meeting.

Charlie Skelton reports:

Forget the G7 summit – Bilderberg is where the big guns go

Covering issues from Europe to terrorism and IT, the lesser known Bilderberg policy conference includes prime ministers, CEOs from banks, airlines, oil and the arms industry, and even George Osborne

As one summit closes, another opens. Thursday sees the start of the influential Bilderberg policy conference, which this year is being held in Austria, just 16 miles south of the G7 summit, and in a similarly inaccessible luxury alpine resort.The participant list for the conference has just been released by the organisation, and some big names leap off the page.

No fewer than three serving European prime ministers will be attending, from the Netherlands, Finland and Belgium. They will be discussing “European strategy” with the head of Nato, Jens Stoltenberg, and the president of Austria, Heinz Fischer. Two European finance ministers are on the list: one Dutch, the other George Osborne. The UK chancellor is a regular attendee of the Bilderberg summit, and this year he will be showing off his post-election glow. Unlike that other Bilderberg regular, Ed Balls, who is being invited back despite having by some considerable distance the weakest job title on the list: “former shadow chancellor of the exchequer.

Europe’s hottest financial potato, Greece, is on the conference agenda, and it’s good to know Benoît Coeuré, a member of the executive board of the European Central Bank, will be there to discuss it in strictest privacy with interested parties, such as the heads of Deutsche Bank, Lazard, Banco Santander and HSBC.

The scandal-hit HSBC and everyone’s favourite vampire squid, Goldman Sachs, are both extremely well represented at this year’s conference. HSBC in particular by its chairman, its busy chief legal officer, and board member Rona Fairhead, who is also on the board of PepsiCo and chair of the BBC Trust. Good to know the BBC is in such safe hands.

Other financial luminaries on the list include the vice-chairman of BlackRock, the CEO of JP Morgan Asset Management and the president of the Royal Bank of Canada, which is the nation’s largest financial institution. Morgan Stanley will be represented in Telfs by board member Klaus Kleinfeld, who also runs the world’s third largest aluminium producer, Alcoa.

From the worlds of industry and manufacturing are some eye-wateringly big names. The CEO of Michelin is invited, along with the head of Roche, the CEO of Royal Dutch Shell, the chairman of BP, the CEO of Siemens Austria and the heads of various industrial conglomerates such as Techint and Investor AB, companies so large they’re hard to classify. Although “gigantic” goes some way towards it.

It’s a heady step up into the big league for Michael O’Leary, the CEO of Ryanair. He’ll doubtless be hoping to thrash out a few last-minute deals over dinner with the head of Airbus, Thomas Enders.

Apart from making holiday jets, Airbus is also one of the world’s biggest arms manufacturers, and the 2015 conference agenda has a distinct whiff of war. Chemical weapons threats and Nato are both set to be discussed. Luckily the head of Nato is there to discuss it.

As ever, foreign policy formation is a big part of the conference. Terrorism and Iran both make the agenda this year, and participants can expect a high-level briefing from senior US State Department official John R Allen, the special presidential envoy for the Global Coalition to Counter Isil. And it’s likely that the subject of Russia will be of interest to the German defence minister and deputy defence minister, both of whom have found the time this week to be in Telfs. As has the head of the Danish intelligence service, who will likely have a part to play in the session of cybersecurity.

Finally, it’s worth noting the growing presence of Google at Bilderberg. The company’s executive chairman, Eric Schmidt, is on the group’s steering committee; he’ll be joined in Austria by his vice-president for engineering, advanced technology and projects, and the vice-president of engineering for the not-at-all terrifying sounding Google DeepMind. They, presumably, will be leading the session on artificial intelligence. This will be listened to with great interest by Peter Thiel, the founder of PayPal and director of Facebook, as he continues his quest to merge with computers. But that’s another story.

For now, the story is: Bilderberg 2015 has an extremely high-powered participant list, featuring a large number of senior politicians and public figures. With participants this powerful, and an agenda containing this many hot topics, the Telfs policy conference is sure to be covered in depth by the world’s press. And by “sure to be”, I mean probably won’t be. For reasons that, as ever, escape me.

Above article originally posted at the Guardian. Follow Charlie Skelton’s Bilderblog updates.

Here is the full list of attendees.

Telfs-Buchen, Austria 11 – 14 June 2015

Final list of Participants

Chairman

Castries, Henri de Chairman and CEO, AXA Group FRA
Achleitner, Paul M. Chairman of the Supervisory Board, Deutsche Bank AG DEU
Agius, Marcus Non-Executive Chairman, PA Consulting Group GBR
Ahrenkiel, Thomas Director, Danish Intelligence Service (DDIS) DNK
Allen, John R. Special Presidential Envoy for the Global Coalition to Counter ISIL, US Department of State USA
Altman, Roger C. Executive Chairman, Evercore USA
Applebaum, Anne Director of Transitions Forum, Legatum Institute POL
Apunen, Matti Director, Finnish Business and Policy Forum EVA FIN
Baird, Zoë CEO and President, Markle Foundation USA
Balls, Edward M. Former Shadow Chancellor of the Exchequer GBR
Balsemão, Francisco Pinto Chairman, Impresa SGPS PRT
Barroso, José M. Durão Former President of the European Commission PRT
Baverez, Nicolas Partner, Gibson, Dunn & Crutcher LLP FRA
Benko, René Founder, SIGNA Holding GmbH AUT
Bernabè, Franco Chairman, FB Group SRL ITA
Beurden, Ben van CEO, Royal Dutch Shell plc NLD
Bigorgne, Laurent Director, Institut Montaigne FRA
Boone, Laurence Special Adviser on Financial and Economic Affairs to the President FRA
Botín, Ana P. Chairman, Banco Santander ESP
Brandtzæg, Svein Richard President and CEO, Norsk Hydro ASA NOR
Bronner, Oscar Publisher, Standard Verlagsgesellschaft AUT
Burns, William President, Carnegie Endowment for International Peace USA
Calvar, Patrick Director General, DGSI FRA
Castries, Henri de Chairman, Bilderberg Meetings; Chairman and CEO, AXA Group FRA
Cebrián, Juan Luis Executive Chairman, Grupo PRISA ESP
Clark, W. Edmund Retired Executive, TD Bank Group CAN
Coeuré, Benoît Member of the Executive Board, European Central Bank INT
Coyne, Andrew Editor, Editorials and Comment, National Post CAN
Damberg, Mikael L. Minister for Enterprise and Innovation SWE
De Gucht, Karel Former EU Trade Commissioner, State Minister BEL
Dijsselbloem, Jeroen Minister of Finance NLD
Donilon, Thomas E. Former U.S. National Security Advisor; Partner and Vice Chair, O’Melveny & Myers LLP USA
Döpfner, Mathias CEO, Axel Springer SE DEU
Dowling, Ann President, Royal Academy of Engineering GBR
Dugan, Regina Vice President for Engineering, Advanced Technology and Projects, Google USA
Eilertsen, Trine Political Editor, Aftenposten NOR
Eldrup, Merete CEO, TV 2 Danmark A/S DNK
Elkann, John Chairman and CEO, EXOR; Chairman, Fiat Chrysler Automobiles ITA
Enders, Thomas CEO, Airbus Group DEU
Erdoes, Mary CEO, JP Morgan Asset Management USA
Fairhead, Rona Chairman, BBC Trust GBR
Federspiel, Ulrik Executive Vice President, Haldor Topsøe A/S DNK
Feldstein, Martin S. President Emeritus, NBER;  Professor of Economics, Harvard University USA
Ferguson, Niall Professor of History, Harvard University, Gunzberg Center for European Studies USA
Fischer, Heinz Federal President AUT
Flint, Douglas J. Group Chairman, HSBC Holdings plc GBR
Franz, Christoph Chairman of the Board, F. Hoffmann-La Roche Ltd CHE
Fresco, Louise O. President and Chairman Executive Board, Wageningen University and Research Centre NLD
Griffin, Kenneth Founder and CEO, Citadel Investment Group, LLC USA
Gruber, Lilli Executive Editor and Anchor “Otto e mezzo”, La7 TV ITA
Guriev, Sergei Professor of Economics, Sciences Po RUS
Gürkaynak, Gönenç Managing Partner, ELIG Law Firm TUR
Gusenbauer, Alfred Former Chancellor of the Republic of Austria AUT
Halberstadt, Victor Professor of Economics, Leiden University NLD
Hampel, Erich Chairman, UniCredit Bank Austria AG AUT
Hassabis, Demis Vice President of Engineering, Google DeepMind GBR
Hesoun, Wolfgang CEO, Siemens Austria AUT
Hildebrand, Philipp Vice Chairman, BlackRock Inc. CHE
Hoffman, Reid Co-Founder and Executive Chairman, LinkedIn USA
Ischinger, Wolfgang Chairman, Munich Security Conference INT
Jacobs, Kenneth M. Chairman and CEO, Lazard USA
Jäkel, Julia CEO, Gruner + Jahr DEU
Johnson, James A. Chairman, Johnson Capital Partners USA
Juppé, Alain Mayor of Bordeaux, Former Prime Minister FRA
Kaeser, Joe President and CEO, Siemens AG DEU
Karp, Alex CEO, Palantir Technologies USA
Kepel, Gilles University Professor, Sciences Po FRA
Kerr, John Deputy Chairman, Scottish Power GBR
Kesici, Ilhan MP, Turkish Parliament TUR
Kissinger, Henry A. Chairman, Kissinger Associates, Inc. USA
Kleinfeld, Klaus Chairman and CEO, Alcoa USA
Knot, Klaas H.W. President, De Nederlandsche Bank NLD
Koç, Mustafa V. Chairman, Koç Holding A.S. TUR
Kogler, Konrad Director General, Directorate General for Public Security AUT
Kravis, Henry R. Co-Chairman and Co-CEO, Kohlberg Kravis Roberts & Co. USA
Kravis, Marie-Josée Senior Fellow and Vice Chair, Hudson Institute USA
Kudelski, André Chairman and CEO, Kudelski Group CHE
Lauk, Kurt President, Globe Capital Partners DEU
Lemne, Carola CEO, The Confederation of Swedish Enterprise SWE
Levey, Stuart Chief Legal Officer, HSBC Holdings plc USA
Leyen, Ursula von der Minister of Defence DEU
Leysen, Thomas Chairman of the Board of Directors, KBC Group BEL
Maher, Shiraz Senior Research Fellow, ICSR, King’s College London GBR
Markus Lassen, Christina Head of Department, Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Security Policy and Stabilisation DNK
Mathews, Jessica T. Distinguished Fellow, Carnegie Endowment for International Peace USA
Mattis, James Distinguished Visiting Fellow, Hoover Institution, Stanford University USA
Maudet, Pierre Vice-President of the State Council, Department of Security, Police and the Economy of Geneva CHE
McKay, David I. President and CEO, Royal Bank of Canada CAN
Mert, Nuray Columnist, Professor of Political Science, Istanbul University TUR
Messina, Jim CEO, The Messina Group USA
Michel, Charles Prime Minister BEL
Micklethwait, John Editor-in-Chief, Bloomberg LP USA
Minton Beddoes, Zanny Editor-in-Chief, The Economist GBR
Monti, Mario Senator-for-life; President, Bocconi University ITA
Mörttinen, Leena Executive Director, The Finnish Family Firms Association FIN
Mundie, Craig J. Principal, Mundie & Associates USA
Munroe-Blum, Heather Chairperson, Canada Pension Plan Investment Board CAN
Netherlands, H.R.H. Princess Beatrix of the NLD
O’Leary, Michael CEO, Ryanair Plc IRL
Osborne, George First Secretary of State and Chancellor of the Exchequer GBR
Özel, Soli Columnist, Haberturk Newspaper; Senior Lecturer, Kadir Has University TUR
Papalexopoulos, Dimitri Group CEO, Titan Cement Co. GRC
Pégard, Catherine President, Public Establishment of the Palace, Museum and National Estate of Versailles FRA
Perle, Richard N. Resident Fellow, American Enterprise Institute USA
Petraeus, David H. Chairman, KKR Global Institute USA
Pikrammenos, Panagiotis Honorary President of The Hellenic Council of State GRC
Reisman, Heather M. Chair and CEO, Indigo Books & Music Inc. CAN
Rocca, Gianfelice Chairman, Techint Group ITA
Roiss, Gerhard CEO, OMV Austria AUT
Rubin, Robert E. Co Chair, Council on Foreign Relations; Former Secretary of the Treasury USA
Rutte, Mark Prime Minister NLD
Sadjadpour, Karim Senior Associate, Carnegie Endowment for International Peace USA
Sánchez Pérez-Castejón, Pedro Leader, Partido Socialista Obrero Español PSOE ESP
Sawers, John Chairman and Partner, Macro Advisory Partners GBR
Sayek Böke, Selin Vice President, Republican People’s Party TUR
Schmidt, Eric E. Executive Chairman, Google Inc. USA
Scholten, Rudolf CEO, Oesterreichische Kontrollbank AG AUT
Senard, Jean-Dominique CEO, Michelin Group FRA
Sevelda, Karl CEO, Raiffeisen Bank International AG AUT
Stoltenberg, Jens Secretary General, NATO INT
Stubb, Alexander Prime Minister FIN
Suder, Katrin Deputy Minister of Defense DEU
Sutherland, Peter D. UN Special Representative; Chairman, Goldman Sachs International IRL
Svanberg, Carl-Henric Chairman, BP plc; Chairman, AB Volvo SWE
Svarva, Olaug CEO, The Government Pension Fund Norway NOR
Thiel, Peter A. President, Thiel Capital USA
Tsoukalis, Loukas President, Hellenic Foundation for European and Foreign Policy GRC
Üzümcü, Ahmet Director-General, Organisation for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons INT
Vitorino, António M. Partner, Cuetrecasas, Concalves Pereira, RL PRT
Wallenberg, Jacob Chairman, Investor AB SWE
Weber, Vin Partner, Mercury LLC USA
Wolf, Martin H. Chief Economics Commentator, The Financial Times GBR
Wolfensohn, James D. Chairman and CEO, Wolfensohn and Company USA
Zoellick, Robert B. Chairman, Board of International Advisors, The Goldman Sachs Group USA

Notably in attendance is Jim Messina, chief advisor to Hillary Clinton, who is presumably the favored candidate in the upcoming 2016 election.

Among Millionaire Voters, Hillary is the Favorite

Image by Getty

Hillary Clinton has never had a reputation for championing — at least in practice — your everyday American. After all, she fully supported the Wall Street bailout in the midst of the 2008 financial crisis, further cementing the financiers’ backing for her presidential run in 2016. She is cozy with Goldman Sachs’ Gary Gensler, and is reportedly preparing to choose him as the country’s next treasury secretary if she gets elected.

Now we have a report from CNBC on a survey showing that Mrs. Clinton is the favorite candidate among millionaire voters, surpassing even Jeb Bush for the top spot:

“The survey, which polls 750 Americans with a net worth of $1 million or more, found that 53 percent of millionaires would vote for the Democratic ex-Secretary of State, compared with 47 percent for the GOP presidential hopeful, in a hypothetical general-election match-up. Clinton had the support of 91 percent of Democratic millionaires, 13 percent of Republican millionaires and 57 percent of Independent millionaires.

“The CNBC Millionaire Survey skews more Republican than the broader voting population, which makes the support for Hillary even more notable. Of the millionaires polled, 34 percent were Independent, 31 percent were Republican and 34 percent were Democrats (a few didn’t give an affiliation).”

There’s nothing wrong with having millionaire support per se, but this is yet another indicator of Mrs. Clinton’s crony agenda to benefit the politically connected few. It also comes with the usual dose of irony, considering her campaign is framing her as an enemy of the 1% who is fighting hard for the middle class and the poor. Many Americans already know whose interests she really has in mind, but it’s time for her liberal supporters to dig a little deeper as to why the banks have been pouring cash into her campaign.