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-

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. 

Twilight Zone Redefined

So here we are, wandering around in the mist (dense fog?) of reality (yes, somewhere between the sublime and the surreal in our redefined Twilight Zone) trying to figure out exactly what we have got ourselves into! Yesterday’s presser was a gem! Have you ever seen anything like it? (Click here to see an excerpt.) Fasten your seat belts because the ride has just begun.

Readers, this much I know. The mainstream media and the progressive left are beside themselves. They literally cannot come to grips with our 45th President. They are convinced he is ga-ga. The best I can tell, he is just himself. This President is perhaps the most villified, detested man to ever enter the office. The honeymoon was over before it began, right? Wrong!

The honeymoon was over in the eyes of the elite on both coasts, and those in some of our bigger cities across the land. The honeymoon never began in our college classrooms and in the editorial rooms of virtually every newspaper and news show in the country. But the honeymoon is alive and well with the “irredeemable deplorables” who voted Donald Trump into office! Donald Trump is speaking to everyone who supported him, and anyone else who will listen. He is acting quickly and unapologetically to fulfill as many campaign promises as he can. The left simply hate this man, but he is not crazy. He may may obnoxious, arrogant, factually challenged (!), in your face, unattractive, and the list could go on. But he is not cra-cra! 

Long story short, he is strengthening his base, and the base likes what it sees. The left is so out of touch and find his tactics so deplorable (a touch of irony there) they simply cannot fathom what is happening. 55% of Americans approve of the job he is doing! If you don’t believe me, you can see for yourself by clicking here.  If one were only to watch the mainstream news outlets or read the New York Times or Washington Post, one would conclude his administration is imploding and his days in office are numbered. It simply isn’t true. 

And that is where I bring this brief tome back into its title. We really are living in parallel universes. The mainstreamers continue to vent wildly about Trump, and Trump continues to talk directly to his supporters. The conversations are completely disconnected. Wow. Do not remove those seat belts. It is not yet safe to walk about the cabin.

More to follow-

 

Whoops!

Trump Acceptance Speech

What to say other than “I was wrong again!” I need to take this moment to acknowledge to Doug Holmes and Roger Sahni (two unrelenting Trumpsters) that they were right!

The United States has had its own Brexit moment. Virtually every pollster in the country was wrong. Pierce Wire was wrong. The main stream media is in a state of apoplexy. The sky is falling!

I have friends who think the world has just ended, and all that is left is for us to mop up the debris.

OK, people, slow down!

We have a Republican Congress and Donald Trump. We have two years (at least) to implement meaningful tax reform (which, if done properly, will generate hundreds of thousands of new jobs here in the U.S.) and to repeal and replace Obamacare. And yes (to all those nattering nabobs who say the Republicans do not have a viable health care plan) we do have a great way forward. Click here to see it. 

Let there be no end of celebration in acknowledgement of the fact that we have just staved off a liberal bias to the Supreme Court that would have discarded the Constitution to the dustbin of relevance had Hillary won this election.

Will there be a new wall and will Mexico pay? I doubt it, but frankly, in the overall scheme of things, it makes for amusing theater. Trump expresses himself horribly. But if one really listens, he will stand by people of all races, colors, and creeds. All they need to do is be in the United States legally. Sounds like a fair trade to me.

Will we abandon our commitments to our allies? No.

Will Donald Trump start a nuclear war? I mean, are there people who actually believe that nonsense?

Will Trump endeavor to be a President to all Americans, as he said he would do in his victory speech? He is a narcissist, but I actually take him at his word on that front.

Will we finally have a President who will call Islamic Terrorism by its name? Thank God, yes.

Will he keep saying things that make you cringe? Probably.

Will he really tear up our trade agreements? I don’t know. I suspect he will instruct our trade negotiators to obtain concessions that he can point to as having fulfilled some kind of promise. Time will tell.

Will he work with Congress to address the deficit? I believe he will.

Will we be in a “better place” two years from January? I believe we will.

Will he delegate? Yes. VP elect Pence will probably have a really interesting job; one worth more than a warm bucket of spit.

Will Giuliani, Christie, Gingrich, Dr. Ben Carson, and other loyalists end up in D.C.? Yes.

I was disappointed in Hillary not giving a speech last night, but both she and the President took the high road today. Let’s see if it lasts.

I hope the democrats behave with grace. The President has been most un-presidential of late. He played the race card on Trump. Now, on January 20, he has to stand with him and be part of a peaceful transition of power. It is the quintessential American moment, made all the more striking by this strange election year.

Who knows, maybe Trump will lean over and ask him if he has his birth certificate with him!

More to follow-

The Fat Lady Sang Nearly a Year Ago

fat ladyPlease don’t tell me you believe the recent spate of polls showing this Presidential race tightening. Folks, the fat lady sang, and she sang nearly a year ago. Seriously, most of the remnants of the Big Tent that was the Republican Party have been deluding themselves for at least a year. We live in strange times. The Democrats have nominated the most flawed, dishonest, disingenuous, elitist candidate possible, and yet their nominee will win. The election was over the day it became clear Donald Trump was going to wipe the Republican slate clean during the long, convoluted, mindlessly self-defeating primary process. Indeed, we have met the enemy and he is us.

Readers of Pierce Wire will know I am no fan of Donald Trump. Please don’t misunderstand me. I am voting for him. On the issues of taxes and the Supreme Court alone, he gets my vote. She (whom I cannot call by name without summoning bile) is simply so bad it defies the imagination that she will be our next President. Alas, barring a cataclysmic event, she will be our next President.

It could be so bad that we actually cede the Senate back to the socialists; whoops, I mean democrats. Even the House of Representatives may drop to a single digit majority. Woe are we. The ultimate woe would be losing the House too. Then even Katy won’t be able to bar the door. The horses will be out of the stable and you can kiss what we grew up knowing as “American Capitalism” goodbye. I’m not kidding. You’ll need to buckle your seat belts and get ready to take a ride on the redistribution express. She would make the O-man look like a novice.

From the ashes we will have to determine whether we want to rebuild the fire that was the Republican Party. We will have to figure out whether there are enough people “out there” who care about:

–celebrating traditional values,

–policies that help people lift themselves up,

–the notion that hard work should be rewarded, not taxed into oblivion,

–consistency and strength abroad, and, perhaps with tongue slight pressed into cheek,

–calling Islamic terror what it is without worrying about PC recriminations!

In short, we need to ascertain whether or not we can coalesce around the notion that we are the party that cares most about those who have been left behind, and it is the Republican economic platform (not Donald Trump’s inwardly focused deception) that will provide our great population with more chances to succeed.

We’ll need a new generation of leaders. Tom Cotton from Arkansas comes to mind. Click here to learn more about him.  It will take smart, dedicated public servants with an ability to connect with every day folk for the Republicans to emerge from the depths of the swamp into which they have willingly hurled themselves.

The tryouts for the opera and the opera itself were one and the same. Our chances of victory began and ended in the primaries. The fat lady sang months and months ago. It’s over.

Have I cheered you up?

More to follow-

Philanthropy Is An American Tradition

Benjamin Franklin | A Founding Philanthropist

Benjamin Franklin | A Founding Philanthropist

Philanthropy in the United States is as American as apple pie. As a people, we give more of our money to charitable causes than any other citizens in the world.

I was prompted to write about this topic by a note I saw on Facebook. I am Chairman of I Am Waters, a wholly non-political 501© 3 Foundation committed to providing physical and spiritual hydration to America’s homeless population. We recently held a successful fundraiser in Houston, Texas. In discussing the success of the event, I made the comment that we have a growing homeless population in the United States, and I Am Waters is committed to working with and helping this “underclass” of our society. One comment (in reference to our growing homeless population) posted after my observations was “Thanks to the Republicans”.

After shaking my head, and deciding to ignore the comment, I started thinking, “how can people be so misinformed?” This comment was offensive on at least two levels. It:

  • politicized a wholly non-political charitable foundation, and
  • explicitly (and groundlessly) blamed Republicans for our homeless population.

Do these people ever stop and wonder why the 10 cities in the United States with the highest level of poverty and unemployment are cities with a legacy of democrat mayors and entitlement spending that have done nothing but encourage indigence and cultures of unfulfilled expectations? George W. Bush called it the “soft bigotry of low expectations”, and he was spot on.

I write about the historical connectivity between private sector success and philanthropy because it is clear many people today have not the slightest inkling of how the United States of America became such an incredibly exceptional nation. The lack of understanding and appreciation for the work ethic and philanthropic mentality that helped us grow yesterday is part of the reason we are so challenged by such destructive social and economic redistributionist policies today.

The art of giving is not a new phenomenon. Benjamin Franklin epitomized the charitable nature of our founding fathers. Alexis de Tocqueville, when writing his book on the uniqueness of the American experiment, noted that ours was a nation that believed in creating opportunity for the private citizen to succeed; partially so that citizen (not the government) could initiate “private initiatives for public good, focusing on quality of life”.

Indeed, until the last few decades, it was implicitly understood that if one were to achieve success in life, it was incumbent upon that person to find a way to give some of that success back to the greater good. This was an intrinsic American way of life, born of our pioneering colonial “can-do” attitude, and infused with and by a strong Judeo-Christian ethic. While many choose to remember George H.W. Bush’s “no new taxes” pledge in the 1988 Republican Convention in New Orleans, many also remember his call to all Americans to give of themselves to others, and for each to become one of a “1000 points of light”.

Somewhere along the way in the madness of our inexorable post WWII rush to political correctness, we lost the thread of connectivity between success and philanthropy. The progressive left began to disconnect the historical association between living the American dream and voluntarily giving back. Worse, these liberals (those who denounce our history [the way we grew into ourselves] in the 17th-19th centuries, and view virtually all past events in apologetic terms) began to build and perpetuate a new reality; namely, that success is evil, and private sector philanthropy should be largely replaced by something mandated by the federal government.

In essence, while the democrats still talk about philanthropy, (and many democrat citizens still give large amounts of money to worthy causes) the reality is that the democrat party believes in forced philanthropy though taxation, with the end game being one in which our successful producers are diminished by way of their accumulated capital being involuntarily redistributed to those less successful.

History matters! And to that person who thought to politicize the good work of I Am Waters, I implore you to look at the homeless populations and poverty levels of every government in the recorded annals of man that tried to socialize its industry, commerce, and engines of societal production.

Whenever it has been the goal of government to create equality of outcome for its people, there has been failure. Our unprecedented success and growth as a fledgling nation was, in large part, due to:

  • access to property, and
  • a governing philosophy that was driven by a desire to create equality of opportunity. By so doing, our founding fathers and those who followed in their footsteps ensured that a man’s work ethic and a burgeoning private sector economy lifted the spirits and livelihoods of far more people than ever possible in a redistributionist state.

The left refuses to acknowledge that employment and hope cannot be created by the whims of social progressive politicians. Long-term jobs are only sustained by the private sector. And only with jobs and a viable economic outlook will philanthropy thrive.

Ronald Reagan understood the importance of our history. You may see him say it for himself here:

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