Letting Pictures Do the Talking

I won’t be too wordy today. The State of the Union address was really good. Consistent with my last tome, (click here if you did not get a chance to read it)  the speech epitomized why we must separate the man from the mission when it comes down to personal likes and dislikes. The mission is what matters for the United States, and the mission is a good one. This administration and a GOP run Congress are doing good things for our country. Keep your eyes on the prize folks.

A month ago, I would have said we are going to get whacked in the November mid-term elections, and we would then have to spend the last two years of the Trump administration’s time in DC parrying with a progressive, hate filled mob led by Nancy Pelosi. Now I am not so sure.

I mean, when the President of the United States celebrates the lowest black unemployment in American history, and the Congressional black caucus reacts as captured in the picture hereon, what exactly is going on? Do they see votes they have taken for granted since 1964 slipping away? Are they petrified that their minority base may actually see a pathway to living some of the American dream? God forbid if the private sector becomes the provider of opportunity, rather than big brother in DC doling out guaranteed outcomes and perpetual unemployment!

Steny Hoyer, Nancy Pelosi, Bernie Sanders, Elizabeth Warren and Chuck Schumer are the spokespeople for today’s Democrat party, and they all looked like they had eaten some of that sushi Putin’s goons fed to former KGB agent Litvinenko in London back in 2006. They dressed and acted as though they were at a funeral. The only times they ever came close to clapping about anything was only after they looked around the room to see whether any Democrats were actually clapping. The word “clapping” is a bit of an exaggeration. They managed to make their left and right hands touch upon occasion, if only to see if they could match the sound of a pin dropping. 

If you are reading this article, you care enough to know that Nancy Pelosi called the myriad bonuses American workers have received (as a direct result of passage of the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act of 2017) “crumbs” and “pathetic”. Given an opportunity to retract her comments, she doubled down and repeated them a week later. My friends, just how out of touch are these people? $1,000 bonuses represent real money delivered to real people.

We have seen wonderful stories about pay raises, bonuses, repatriated dollars and investment plans/commitments almost every day since the tax bill was passed. This is not a plan for the wealthy. Tax reform will help our hard working middle class, and it will create more employment opportunity for those striving to enter the middle class. You see, a rising tide really does lift all boats. 

The Democrats appear to be stuck on two themes. If it is about taxes, the playbook calls for running campaigns  based on envy and greed. If the topic has to do with any of our pressing social issues, the lens must be focused on racism. Indeed, it seems all Republicans are greedy racists. 

I think the argument is getting really stale, and most (not all) Americans see right through the pitiful, pandering, populist, shameful, insulting nature of the Democrat gameplan. Of course, the mid-term elections will be the litmus test. The GOP needs to run a spirited campaign, and take absolutely nothing for granted. If you are interested about the right strategy for the 2018 mid-term elections, read this article by Newt Gingrich. He is spot on. The GOP has the right message, but it will get no help from the media and it has historically been horrible at communicating the good things it has done for its constituents. Only time will tell whether the Republicans can get the good message across over the next several months.

More to follow-

 

 

Chuck, Shut up. You Sound Like an Idiot!

He has dug his hole so deep he has no way out.

Yes, I am breaking my rule and writing about tax reform for the third consecutive time. Alas, I can’t help it. Nancy Pelosi and Chuck Schumer are not stupid. They know their personal tax payments are probably going to increase. I know mine will. The difference between Chuck, Nancy and me is that I know those on the upper end of the economic ladder are not getting tax breaks, and the lower middle and middle class are. Well, actually, Chuck and Nancy know that too. They are just too entrenched in the politics of envy to tell the truth to their constituency. Shame on them. 

Immediately following the passage of the tax reform bill yesterday, several Fortune 500 companies announced  they would be distributing bonuses to their employees. I thought it was a moment reminiscent of the Little Rascals. Click here for a 10 second trip down memory lane. Hundreds of thousands of Americans are already feeling the benefit of this tax reform bill, and it hasn’t even taken effect! Click here to read what USA Today had to say. Concurrent with the myriad positive announcements, Mr. Schumer was outlining how the tax bill would have no meaningful impact on America’s working men and women. Click here for that nonsense. Whoops!

Facts are facts, and they are prickly little things when they don’t fit the populist narrative.

Before my centrist friends accuse me of going all hard-ass on them, let me be clear; the GOP is still a fractured lot, and the President manages to boggle the mind with some regularity. But folks, this bill is good for our country, and as its benefits become more and more clear, all but the willfully blind will recognize and acknowledge the benefits. The willfully blind include the likes of Paul Krugman, a Nobel Prize winning economist. Check out this article he wrote. An excerpt (if you, as I, feel nauseous reading too much Krugman) now follows. ” The core of the bill is a huge redistribution of income from lower- and middle-income families to corporations and business owners. Corporate tax rates go down sharply, while ordinary families are nickel-and-dimed by a series of tax changes, no one of which is that big a deal in itself, but which add up to significant tax increases on almost two-thirds of middle-class taxpayers.” I left his link to to the progressive Tax Policy Center data intact. Have at it. Krugman has never encountered a Republican policy he doesn’t disdain, and he has been wrong since God was a small child. The discipline of economics has always been too closely linked to political dogma. Paul Krugman is the poster child for that statement.

One can do anything one wants with data. The Tax Cuts and Jobs Act of 2017 will rest on its own result-based laurels.  

If the GOP will now muster up the nerve to take on run-away entitlement spending before the mid-term 2018 elections, they may just be able to overcome the general sentiment that they don’t get much done!

More to Follow-

Hypocrisy!

All this bloviating and no one is addressing the real issue!

Chuck Schumer calls the GOP tax bills (there are still two bills and only one will ultimately go the the President’s desk for signature into law) “wealthfare”. Nancy Pelosi says they are “give-aways to big corporations and billionaires”. Elizabeth (aka Pocahontas) Warren says the tax cuts will “deliver massive cuts to corporations” and will “kick working families to the curb”. Bernie Sanders says the tax cuts are “morally repugnant” because the rich don’t pay their “fair share”. Oh boy…where does one start? 

First, let’s get real. When over 80% of all federal taxes are paid by less than 10% of the taxpayers, any tax reform is going to impact those who pay virtually all the taxes! Let’s look at this another way. The bottom 50% of taxpayers pay a whopping 3% of the Federal tax bill. Folks, tax reform and cuts will, by definition, impact the people who pay the taxes! The democrat leadership cannot get out of its own way. They pander to the people, preying on their emotions and fears. They will say and do anything to attack the GOP. 

Let’s talk about another  myth. Democrats and liberal think tanks are ridiculing the GOP bills because they increase the deficit. That is rich, isn’t it? Democrats are concerned about the deficit. Give me a break! You need to know two things:

  1. In 1962, President John F. Kennedy slashed investment taxes. After his assassination, his broader tax cuts were enacted, producing eight years of soaring growth — 5 percent a year.In the 1980s, President Ronald Reagan slashed rates again, giving the nation nearly a decade of robust 3.8 percent growth.

    In 2003, George W. Bush’s tax cut boosted the economy, producing 4 percent growth for six straight quarters.

    Compare this vigorous growth with President Barack Obama’s eight years of stagnation. Obama’s economy lumbered along at around 2 percent growth because high taxes and over-regulation discouraged companies from investing. Democrats still insist that 2 percent growth is the new normal. Nonsense. Roll back regulations and taxes, and the economy will surge. (Betsy McCaughey–NY Post, October 1, 2017)

  2. If the deficit increases over the next decade, it will do so because no one has had the guts to control run-away spending on entitlements. Just look at the chart above. Our federal spending on social programs is a disaster waiting to happen. 

 

Time and again over the decades, tax reform has led to increased revenues to the US Treasury. When the environment is right for investment, American companies (big and small) have always spent money, hired people, and generated more tax revenue to Uncle Sam. Our deficit problems have nothing to do with tax reform. They are solely a function of the lack of willpower to come to grips with social spending that is completely out of control!

So, you can listen to the same-old, same-old palaver spewed out by democrat leadership, or you can let history guide you to what will be a good outcome for the United States. Tax reform works. It has always worked. But if we do not get a handle on Federal Government spending, no amount of economic stimulus will be able to stop the tsunami that is headed in our direction. Let’s get the tax bill passed, then focus on passing legislation that corrals our irresponsible escalation in social spending.

More to follow-

Going, Going, Gone!

Nolan Ryan pitching in the 1969 World Series for the New York Mets

You are wondering, “uh-oh, where’s he going with that title?” Fair enough. Well, this is the best weekend of the year in my book. Baseball season starts, and that means every fan of every team has 162 games to live, eat, drink, and sleep thinking about their team. You see, I may live in a football state, but baseball is the American game. Baseball is our melting pot. Nothing beats the boys of summer. Do you follow me? Watch this video of the 1951 Dodgers-Giants playoff game, (won in dramatic fashion in the bottom of the 9th) and tell me you still don’t get it.(Click here for the video.)

Then in an world short of miracles (of the earthly kind) there was the 1969 New York Mets. No one, and I mean no one, predicted this perennial cellar-dweller to be anything but bottom feeding once again as the 1969 season began, and indeed as it progressed into August. But never discount providence! This rag tag group of grizzled veterans, lackluster journeymen, and a very young, talented pitching staff (my Houston friends will recall Nolan Ryan pitching on this team) overcame all odds (and the Chicago Cubs) to win the National League pennant and then they vanquished the heavily favored Baltimore Orioles in the World Series. Perhaps no one personifies what can happen in a single moment in time more than Al Weis, a utility infielder who spent four years with the Mets and batted .191 over that span, amassing a total of 4 home runs. Suffice to say, he was not feared by opposing pitchers when he stepped into the box. But in the 1969 World Series, well, click here to see for yourself.

Of course, nothing is perfect, and over the next nearly 50 years we have seen our share of player strikes, the horrible stain on the game (and some of its best players) caused by steroids, and the big money era which led players to relegate (not blaming them here!) loyalty to team (and fans) to a distant second place as pursuit of personal wealth was the first priority.

But baseball has continued to provide dramatic moments. Who can forget the best championship game ever played? Already you are wondering, right? There was even a book written about it. (Click here for the link to the book on Amazon) It was a heartbreaking loss for Houston Astros fans, but in 16 wild innings it epitomized most of that which is great about baseball.

As mentioned in the opening, baseball has also evolved into a game where star players  hail not just from the United States, from Japan, Korea, Venezuela, Cuba, Puerto Rico, and the Dominican Republic, among other nations.

If only our political disagreements could be settled on the diamond! I can’t quite get over the Republican disfunction exhibited during the Obamacare debacle. We have a Texas Congressman who personifies our problems. He is a member of the Freedom Caucus, and he is unbending in his approach to government. Don’t get me wrong. I favor most of what Louis Gohmert believes in, but his intransigence and unwillingness to compromise is jeopardizing our ability to process the Conservative agenda.  (click here for an example)

To be fair and balanced, I think Ted Cruz, (whose intellect I admire, but whose diplomatic skills I question) does an outstanding job explaining why the Conservative right did not support the House replacement bill. (Click here to see this interview.)

I don’t believe we can fix all these ills at one time. And a step in the right direction is better than the slow-motion train wreck we are now witnessing.

Tax reform is now on the docket. The GOP should be more united on this front, and should be able to do some great things for our economy. The left will employ its throw down redistributionist drivel about the 1% and the rich getting richer. It is all so boring and condescending to  Americans of myriad socio-economic backgrounds who believe in upward mobility. Listen to this clip of DNC chair speaking to his party faithful. He actually says, “Donald Trump, you didn’t win this election.” (Click here) The dems are living in cloud cuckoo-land denial. They are looking under every rock for excuses for their loss, and are either oblivious or choosing to ignore that fact that their candidate was flawed, and their message(s) did not resonate.

Alas, I digress. Because folks, it is baseball season once again, and it is time for hope to spring eternal. Here’s to hoping your team broadcasters will be uttering these words many times about balls hit and not the GOP’s legislative agenda; “And that one is going, going, gone!”

In the Beginning…

In the beginning, God said “let everyone have health care.” Ummm, errrhhh, well, no he didn’t. Contrary to the declarations of the United Nations (oh, the irony) and World Health Organization, (click here to read) the right to receive health care is not a God given mandate. Nor is the right to receive health care found anywhere in the United States Constitution. Now, does that mean that a Liberal (to refresh your memory on the difference between Liberalism with a capital L and today’s mind-numbingly inane American liberal-small case l-click here ) should not aspire to provide health care for the populace? I would argue that it does not. A Liberal (capital L) society should absolutely seek to protect and preserve the well being of its people. 

Here’s the rub; Obamacare was noble in intent, and horribly wrong ( by design-more on this to follow) in execution. Obamacare was dead on arrival because it was driven by liberals (small case l) who believe the government is the source of all solutions. If you took the time to click on the definition of Liberal you would know that original Liberals did not look to government to solve their problems. 

You could (with good reason) take me to task for declaring Obamacare dead on arrival, since as I type it remains the governing health care law of our land. But folks, it is failing, and it is failing because it was intentionally flawed from the outset. Here is the ugly secret no one discusses: President Obama intended for its structure to implode because from the beginning he wanted a “single payer system” (click here for more on that.) The only way President Obama could achieve his end game was to set insurance companies up to fail. By not allowing commerce across state lines, and by continuing to feather the nests of plaintiff’s attorneys from coast to coast (thus driving up health care costs because of runaway tort liabilities) the President knew that eventually Obamacare would be crushed under its own weight and the next step would be to oust the private sector and let the Government come running to the rescue through the single payer system!

Then we have the Republicans. What a nightmare. In the beginning, they promised to repeal this flawed law and replace it with a law that would work. In the end, they failed. Time will tell whether they revisit Obamacare, but what a mess they have made of what should have been a great success story. 

If the Republicans don’t learn from this debacle, they are in a world of hurt. I have said it before and I say it again. Compromise is not a dirty word. The fact that moderate Republicans thought the replacement bill was too draconian, and conservative Republicans thought it was too moderate probably means it was just about right; not perfect, mind you, but infinitely better than where we were and remain today. Shame on Republican obstinance. If this behavior is replicated in the upcoming discussions around tax reform, the Republicans will be signing their death warrant as a leadership party. I know I have been wrong ( with regularity!) on many topics in the past 24 months, but you can put that prediction in the books. 

In the beginning, there was hope. There is still hope, but the hill just got steeper and more obstacles are blocking the path. It’s time for leaders to lead. The next few months will determine whether the we have witnessed the end of the beginning or the beginning of the end.