Republican nominee Donald Trump’s recently unveiled economic plan was roundly praised for its aggressive pro-growth, job-creating proposals. He would cut income tax rates; increase exemptions for individuals; reduce the number of personal income tax brackets from seven to three; slash the corporate tax to 15 percent, taking it from the highest in the developed world to nearly the lowest; and eliminate the death tax and the destructive alternative minimum tax. Dramatic tax reform is a political winner given the oppressive burdens imposed by the current Byzantine tax code.
Although climate change ranks at or near the bottom of issues most important to the American people, the Obama administration continues to push it like its agenda on radical wealth redistribution depends on it. Because in many ways, it does.
Not that there’s anything wrong with that. But the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) has decided that Medicaid money, intended for clinical services and medications for the poor, now can help the chronically homeless to find and maintain permanent housing.
It’s welfare redux time. The Congressional Budget Office reported that the Obamacare will cost the country the equivalent of 2.5 million full-time jobs by 2024, as people choose not to work or work less in order to keep their Obamacare subsidy. Meanwhile, the Brookings Institution announced that Obamacare stands to shift wealth from the top 80 percent on America’s income ladder to the lowest fifth—a cash grab from most of the bottom half. President Obama and his congressional allies have sacrificed the work ethic and growth on the altar of the Democrats’ upstairs-downstairs coalition, with the emphasis on “downstairs.”
I’m still combing through the details of the “deal” that President Obama, Secretary John Kerry and others in the administration struck with the Iranian regime, but one thing is obvious: it essentially clears the way for Iran to become a nuclear-armed power. Setting aside multiple, hard-fought UN resolutions calling for Tehran to suspend uranium enrichment, the “deal” allows Iran to continue enrichment and requires little to nothing of the regime in return for the easing of some sanctions.
Hey: remember the Left’s chant-of-choice to taunt President Bush during the Iraq war? “Bush lied, thousands died.” That leftist groupthink rant was premised on the erroneous assumption that, in the run-up to the U.S.-led intervention, Bush knowingly lied about the presence of weapons of mass destruction to justify the invasion.
USA Today just published the results of its latest poll on the rolling disaster known as Obamacare. Contrary to what Senator Chuck Schumer predicted at the time of passage—that the more the American people got to know Obamacare, the more we’d just love it—the truth is that we’re hating it now more than ever. Across the political spectrum, from conservatives who warned about the dangerous implications of socialized medicine to labor union heads who pushed for it and now staunchly oppose it, the American people loathe Obamacare and want it repealed—either in its entirety or in massive chunks.
Thought ObamaCare was an unaffordable and an unsustainable entitlement that hasn’t even kicked in yet? You haven’t seen anything yet…for behold amnesty for illegal aliens, which makes socialized medicine look like a walk in the budget park.
More bad jobs numbers. CNBC reports today: “The gloomy news continued for jobs as ADP reported Wednesday that private companies created just 119,000 new positions in April. That was well below expectations and confirmation that the labor market is slowing heading into late spring and early summer. Economists surveyed by Reuters expected the ADP report to show the private sector created 150,000 jobs in April.” This comes just two days before the government releases its numbers for April. Doesn’t look good. Unexpectedly!
Being born with a silver spoon in one’s mouth can give a young man a sense of entitlement or a sense of noblesse oblige. Michael Kranish and Scott Helman’s biography of The Real Romney unintentionally reveals that in Mitt’s case it has done the latter and, moreover, that his serious Mormonism played a central role in insuring that his horizons would not encompass merely his modern day “nobles.” This has been particularly important given his extraordinary talents strong will. Reading the book, I, a 2008 McCain voter, found myself in a position similar to that of Elizabeth Bennett as she was contemplating Fitzwilliam Darcy’s portrait, as a son, husband, father, friend, businessman, governor, “how many people’s happiness were in his guardianship! - How much of pleasure or pain it was in his power to bestow! - How much of good or evil must be done by him!” Increasingly, I came to realize that the man not only can be trusted but that he did not have “any inappropriate pride” but just enough to make sure he achieves his goals without sacrificing his honor. As in Darcy’s case, by his deeds you shall know him.
This morning, I got up to news that Occupy Wall Street was going to use the day traditionally used by communists to celebrate, well, communism, May 1, to mobilize against ugly capitalism by marching in about 140 cities, shutting down bridges and tunnels, blocking traffic, threatening banks, menacing stores and shoppers, and getting in the face (or worse) of law enforcement. Socialism’s storm troopers are on the march.
As you might imagine, I read a tremendous amount of market research from varied sources. I read it all with a jaundiced eye since I principally believe that most of the folks who publish this stuff are trying to sell it. I see absolutely nothing wrong in that, but it does provide a filter and it should for you as well.
At a time Barack Obama celebrates the passage of a two month tax holiday extension after 2 years of failing to pass a budget, Israel’s finance minister’s attribution of Israel’s economic success to a move to a biannual budget should have a particular resonance in the US. Yuval Steinitz explained in an interview to the Times of India:
The U.S. economy is moving sideways. While there are some signs of life, the most important indicators are very weak. Economic growth slowed to a 1.8% annual rate in the first quarter of this year, down from 3.1% of last year’s 4th quarter. If you exclude inventories (which picked up), the economy actually only grew by an anemic .8%.
It should not be a surprise that Americans are losing their faith in Capitalism as they mistakenly identify it with the recent highway robbery of tax payers practiced by so called Capitalist states. For the socialization of private loss and the bout of Fed money printing is nothing less. Unfortunately, the only place tax payers were in a position to prevent their government from such action is in Iceland and they said no. FT editors are right. Other countries should follow Iceland’s example.
The Chairman of the House Budget Committee, Paul Ryan, made a stunning comment this week that got very little attention. He said that the non-partisan number crunchers at the Congressional Budget Office have a computer model that simulates our economy going forward. The model indicates that if we keep spending as we are, without significant cuts and entitlement reform, our economy will crash in 2037. Ryan went on the say that the CBO computer model cannot conceive of any way in which the economy continues after such a collapse.
Correct me if I’m wrong, but it seems like the Scott Walker’s throwdown in Wisconsin over public union workers is long, long overdue. It is almost unfathomable to me that no government official in recent memory has had that intestinal fortitude to step up and say ‘enough is enough.’ Mr. Walker, I applaud you. I also fear for your job, not because I think the voters of Wisconsin disagree with what you are doing, but because you have now incurred the collective wrath of labor unions both public and private nationwide who see their purse strings being closed tight. Like a wild animal trapped in corner, they will fight to the death.
The NYT is struggling with the statistics that show that state and local government workers are better compensated than private workers. Moreover, the are “rarely fired” and have better retirement benefits.
The Asian Cold War is heating up. On Jan. 7 China offered Europeans its services as a white night to the Euro. A mere 3 days later Japan upped the ante for as Lisa Twaronite writes from Japan, Whenever China says it will lend a helping hand, Japan is sure to offer an arm or a leg of its own. Indeed, American decline ends not only the period of Chinese free ridership but even the India one. Sides must be chosen and Japan is determined not to accede to Chinese hegemony without a fight and to do so it must have allies. Everything must be done to secure and strengthen the democratic alliance. That means preventing Europe from becoming even more indebted to China as well as forcing India to enforce sanctions on Iran.
To understand one of the major reasons for American economic decline, one has to come to terms with the dangerous appeasement policies practiced by those amongst the American governing class known as “reasonable moderates.” It is an appeasement policy based on the arrogant assumption that America is so rich and its democratic system so invulnerable that it can afford to pay any price to buy off vocal minorities opposed to democratic capitalism. Amazingly, the obvious recent difficulties of the American economy caused them no second thoughts as demonstrated by recent waste laden compromise tax bill and the Fed’s insistence on continuing with the already failed policy of quantitative easing.
As the economy was so weak, unemployment so high and Congress was in no mood for a second stimulus, I have no choice but to print money, Bernanke has been saying. Fine. But now Congress is about to enact a second stimulus in the form of a series of tax cuts worth 800 billion dollars, so Bernanke has no valid reason to continue his money printing.