ANR: Dems Hatch Plan to Get Around Norquist’s Pledge; Failure at the CFTC; Salzberg on Deloitte’s Generosity | 07.18.12

Democrats Propose Plan to Sidestep Anti-Tax Pledge [NYT]
 Senate Democrats — holding firm against extending tax cuts for the rich — are proposing a novel way to circumvent the Republican pledge not to vote for any tax increase: Allow all the tax cuts to expire Jan. 1, then vote on a tax cut for the middle class shortly thereafter. The proposal illustrates the lengths lawmakers are going to in an effort to include new federal revenues in a fix for the “fiscal cliff,” the reckoning in January that would come when all Bush-era tax cuts expire and automatic spending cuts to military and domestic programs kick in. Virtually every Republican in Congress has taken the pledge, pushed by Grover Norquist’s Americans for Tax Reform, never to vote for a tax increase — a pledge both parties see as a serious impediment to a tax compromise. But if tax rates snap back to the levels of the Clinton presidency on Jan. 1, any legislation to reinstate some of those tax cuts — but not all of them — would be considered a tax cut. “Many Republicans are starting to realize something important: On Jan. 1, if we haven’t gotten to a deal, Grover Norquist and his pledge are no longer relevant to this conversation,” Senator Patty Murray, Democrat of Washington, said this week in a speech at the Brookings Institution. “We will have a new fiscal and political reality.”

CFTC chief admits failure [Reuters]
CFTC Chairman Gary Gensler, in testimony before the Senate Agriculture Committee, outlined his agency's plans to contain the fallout from the Peregrine case, including new rules that would allow direct access to brokers' bank accounts and a reassessment of the role of self-regulatory organizations. "Although we do not know the full facts of what happened in this matter, the system failed to protect the customers of Peregrine," Gensler said. "Just like the local police cannot prevent all bank robberies, however, market regulators cannot prevent all financial fraud. "Nevertheless, we all must do better."

Peregrine CEO Gets Public Defender [WSJ]
The judge appointed Jane Kelly to defend Mr. Wasendorf at the preliminary examination and detention hearing in Cedar Rapids Wednesday afternoon. Ms. Kelly is listed as an assistant federal defender in the Cedar Rapids office of the Federal Public Defender for Iowa, according to the agency's website.

Global CEO of Deloitte on Supporting United Way, Leadership, and CSR [Forbes]
Dr. Phil: "Under my leadership as Deloitte U.S. CEO, the U.S. member firm ran consecutive record-breaking United Way campaigns, with the most Tocqueville donors (above $10,000) of any company in the United States for 10 years in a row."

Jonah Falcon, Man With World's Largest Penis, Frisked By TSA At California Airport [HP]
Jonah Falcon was stopped and frisked by the TSA at the San Francisco International Airport on July 9 because of a bulging package hidden in his pants. But the 41-year-old New Yorker wasn't packing a dirty bomb, drugs or a Costco-sized tube of toothpaste. The New Yorker has the world's largest recorded penis. In an exclusive interview with The Huffington Post, Falcon described his hard times with security guards after his extra carry-on became suspect. "I had my 'stuff' strapped to the left. I wasn't erect at the time," said Falcon, whose penis is 9 inches flaccid, 13.5 inches erect. "One of the guards asked if my pockets were empty and I said, 'Yes.'" Falcon said he knew that his interview was about to get a lot more personal when he was led through one of the X-ray body scanners and passed a metal detector. "Another guard stopped me and asked me if I had some sort of growth," Falcon said, laughing.

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