Air Force One Costs $179,750 Per Hour

Feb 23, 2012, 6:06 pm EST
Air Force One Costs $179,750 Per Hour

With the cost of fuel rising, and airlines worrying more and more about their bottom lines, the price of an airline ticket keeps going up and up. Yesterday, United Continental (NYSE:UAL) announced a fare increase, and last week, Southwest Airlines (NYSE:LUV) kick-started a fare-raising party by the rest of the major airlines by raising its fares.

Still, that’s nothing compared to the cost of flying Air Force One.

When considering fuel, repairs, maintenance, and other “flight consumables,” Air Force One, the president’s airplane, costs $179,750 per hour to fly. This cost doesn’t even include the pilot or other airmen’s salaries. Read 

2 Takeaways From the Arizona GOP Debate

Feb 23, 2012, 8:47 am EST
2 Takeaways From the Arizona GOP Debate

While the commentariat and pollsters may argue about who “won” Wednesday’s GOP debate in Arizona, let’s look more broadly down the road about how this Republican primary season will shape the general election. 1. It won’t be “just the economy” in 2012

One clear conclusion from this debate: This election won’t be fought only over the economy. While we all expected 2012 to be a referendum on President Barack Obama’s stewardship of the economy, the GOP candidates are ensuring that foreign policy and social issues will be front and center as well.

Iran Read 

Roemer Drops Bid For GOP Nomination

Feb 22, 2012, 6:21 pm EST

After getting shut out of yet another Republican presidential candidate debate, it appears that former Lousiana Gov. and U.S. Rep. Buddy Roemer will go elsewhere to continue his run for president. The GOP candidate that almost nobody knew about released a statement today ending his candidacy for the Republican nomination.

What’s next for Roemer? A run at getting nominated by a third party. In the same statement, he declared he would seek the Reform Party’s blessing to run for president. Founded by former third-party presidential candidate Ross Perot, the Reform Party’s shining moment was when former professional wrestler Jesse Ventura was elected as governor of Minnesota in 1998. Since then, they haven’t had much luck in influencing U.S. politics. Roemer might be a big name for them, but not as big a name as Perot or Ventura. It’ll remain an uphill battle for Roemer to get media attention, especially with the topsy-turvy GOP primary process still ongoing.

— Benjamin Nanamaker, InvestorPlace Money & Politics Editor Read 

New Obama Tax Plan Doesn’t Go Far Enough

Feb 22, 2012, 6:01 pm EST

President Barack Obama’s proposal to lower the tax rate on U.S. corporations to 28% from 35% and to close dozens of tax loopholes does not go far enough to make much of an economic difference.

If enacted, the U.S. would go from having the highest corporate tax rate to the fourth highest, after Japan, France and Belgium, according to a blog post by Scott Hodge, president of the Tax Foundation. When the average tax rate of 6.4% is factored in, the proposed cut is even less impressive, since it would result in rates of 32.6%, still above the 25% average of the members of the Organization of Economic Cooperation and Development. Hodge writes:

“Let’s not forget that none of these changes are happening in a vacuum. On January 1st of this year, the Canadian corporate rate fell to 15 percent from 16.5 percent and the British corporate rate fell to 25 percent from 26 percent. And, as is well known, Japan will cut their overall rate to 38.01 percent from over 40 percent on April 1st.” Read 

Ron Paul’s Vision of a Federal Republic

Feb 22, 2012, 12:44 pm EST

Congressman Ron Paul correctly writes that “tyrants from Hitler to Mao to Stalin have sought to disarm their own citizens, for the simple reason that unarmed people are easier to control.” Paul rightly concludes that “only armed citizens can ultimately resist tyrannical government.”

President Barack Obama has appointed two Supreme Court justices, Elena Kagan and Sonia Sotomayor, whose position on the second amendment makes me uncomfortable. They join wildly out-of-touch and scary Justice Stephen Breyer on the bench.

Ron Paul is the only candidate for president who offers a platform of Federal Republic thinking, including a strict interpretation of the Constitution and powerful support of the second amendment. There is an excellent summation in The New Yorker of Paul’s Federal Republic approach to governing. Read 

4 Candidates Who Might be the GOP’s ‘Plan B’

Feb 21, 2012, 6:58 pm EST
4 Candidates Who Might be the GOP’s ‘Plan B’

With the important GOP primaries in Arizona and Michigan just a week away, and with the absolutely critical Super Tuesday slate of primaries just two weeks off, it is looking more and more likely that the Republican presidential nominee won’t be definitely selected after these primaries. This has led to whispering about a “brokered convention”, with no one candidate receiving enough delegates through the primaries and caucuses, which would lead to a re-vote and release of all previously bound delegates.

It has also led some nervous Republican party members to suggest another candidate enter the primary fray.

Though no one has been brave enough to publicly discuss it, there is apparently a memo circulating around the Republican ranks discussing how another candidate might enter the remaining primary races, and who they might be. Granted, the odds would be stacked against someone who has missed out on the early primary season, particularly the momentum building events in Iowa, New Hampshire, South Carolina, and Florida. But a majority of delegates are still up for grabs, and many primaries and caucuses award delegates proportionally and not winner-take-all, giving a late-comer more of a chance to make up ground. Read 

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