Sunday, April 30, 2017

The Federal Tax Code Should Not Subsidize Greedy Politicians in New York and California

April 29, 2017 by Dan Mitchell @ International Liberty

If I had to pick my least-favorite tax loophole, the economist part of my brain would select the healthcare exclusion. After all, that special preference creates a destructive incentive for over-insurance and contributes (along with Medicare, Medicaid, Obamacare, etc) to the third-party payer crisis that is crippling America’s healthcare system.

But if I based my answer on the more visceral, instinctive portion of my brain, I would select the deduction for state and local taxes. As I’ve previously noted, that odious tax break enables higher taxes at the state and local level. Simply stated, greedy politicians in a state like California can boost tax rates and soothe anxious state taxpayers by telling them that they can use their higher payments to Sacramento as a deduction to reduce their payments to Washington.

What’s ironic about this loophole is that it’s basically a write-off for the rich. Only 30 percent of all taxpayers utilize the deduction for state and local taxes. But they’re not evenly distributed by income. Here’s a sobering table from a report by the Tax Foundation.


The beneficiaries also aren’t evenly distributed by geography.

Here’s a map from the Tax Foundation showing in dark blue that only a tiny part of the country benefits from this unfair loophole for high-income taxpayers.


As you can see from the map, the vast majority of the nation deducts less than $2,000 in state and local taxes.

But if you really want to see who benefits, don’t simply look at the dark blue sections. After all, most of those people would happily give up the state and local tax deduction in exchange for some of the other policies that are part of tax reform – particularly lower tax rates and less double taxation.
And I suspect that’s even true for the people who hugely benefit from the deduction. The biggest beneficiaries of this loophole are concentrated in a tiny handful of wealthy counties in New York, California, New Jersey, and Connecticut.

As you can see, they reap enormous advantages from the state and local tax deduction, though I suspect these same people also would benefit if tax rates were lowered and double taxation was reduced.

Regardless of who benefits and loses, there’s a more fundamental question. Should federal tax law be distorted to subsidize high tax burdens at the state and local level?

Kevin Williamson of National Review says no.
…the deduction of state taxes against federal tax liabilities creates a subsidy and an incentive for higher state taxes. California in essence is able to capture money that would be federal revenue and use it for its own ends, an option that is not practically available to low-tax (and no-income-tax) states such as Nevada and Florida. It makes sense to allow the states to compete on taxes and services, but the federal tax code biases that competition in favor of high-tax jurisdictions.
The Governor of New York, by contrast, argues that the tax code should subsidize his profligacy.
It would be “devastating on the state of New York, California, et cetera, if you didn’t allow the people of this state to deduct their state and local taxes,” Cuomo told reporters… State and local governments have been working to preserve the deduction, and they argue that doing away with the preference would hurt states and localities’ flexibility to make tax changes.
By the way, I noticed how the reporter displays bias. Instead of being honest and writing that that the loophole enables higher taxes, she writes that the loss of the preference “would hurt states and localities’ flexibility to make tax changes.”

Gee, anyone want to guess how that “flexibility” is displayed?

Though at least the reporter acknowledged that the deduction is primarily for rich people in blue states.
…the deduction…is viewed as disproportionately benefiting wealthy people. It also tends to be used in areas that lean Democratic.
And that’s confirmed by a 2016 news report from the Wall Street Journal.
Repealing the federal deduction for state and local taxes would make 23.6% of U.S. households pay an average of $2,348 more to the Internal Revenue Service for 2016. But those costs—almost $1.3 trillion over a decade—aren’t evenly spread… Ranked by the average potential tax increase, the top 13 states (including Washington, D.C.), as well as 16 of the top 17, voted twice for President Barack Obama. …And nearly one-third of the cost would be paid by residents of California and New York, two solidly Democratic states. …President Ronald Reagan tried repealing the deduction as part of the tax-code overhaul in 1986, but he was rebuffed by congressional Democrats and state officials. …Republicans argue that the break subsidizes high state taxes, because governors and legislators know they can raise income taxes on their citizens and have the federal government pick up part of the tab. …half the cost of repealing the deduction would be borne by households making $100,000 to $500,000, using a broad definition of income. Another 30% would be borne by households making more than $1 million. Under the GOP plans, residents of high-tax states wouldn’t necessarily pay more in federal taxes than they do now. They would benefit from tax-rate cuts.
Here’s one final image that underscores the unfairness of the deduction.

The Tax Policy Center has a report on the loophole for state and local taxes and they put together this chart showing that rich people are far more likely to take advantage of the deduction. And it’s worth much more for them than it is for lower-income Americans.

How much more? Well, more than 90 percent of taxpayers earning more than $1 million use the deduction and their average tax break is more than $260,000. By contrast, only a small fraction of taxpayers earning less than $50 thousand annually benefit from the deduction and they only get a tax break of about $3,800.


Yet leftists who complain about rich people manipulating the tax system usually defend this tax break.

It’s enough to make you think their real goal is bigger government.

I’ll close by calling attention to the mid-part of this interview. I shared it a couple of days ago as part of a big-picture discussion of Trump’s tax plan. But I specifically address the state and local tax deduction around 3:00 and 4:30 of the discussion.



P.S. In addition to the loophole that encourages higher taxes at the state and local level, there’s also a special tax preference that encourages higher spending at the state and local level. Sigh.

P.P.S. Now, perhaps, people will understand why I want to rip up the current system and replace it with a simple and fair flat tax.

The Theory of the Infinite Universe

James A. Marusek
 
Introduction

Our universe extends outward in three dimensions into infinity. The universe is populated by a great number of endothermic stars, which are scattered about the universe. Many of these are very ancient, super massive endothermic stars that are so dark and distant that they no longer interact in near space. As a result, the universe is a very dark and cold space. The average temperature of the universe today is approximately 2.73 Kelvin or absolute zero (−270.42 °C; −454.76 °F), based on measurements of cosmic microwave background radiation. Our universe extends across infinite time. The local region of space, our visible universe, was created from a massive explosion called the Big Bang that occurred approximately 13.8 billion years ago. Major events, such as a Big Bang, occur repeatedly over great time intervals like brilliant explosions of mass and light in this great dark void......... To Read More....
 

 

Yale Twerps’ Anti-Trump Hunger Strike Gets New Neighbors: Barbecuing Campus Republicans

By Andrew West April 29, 2017

While the left has been busy protesting at the drop of a hat anytime President Trump so much as sneezes, one delicious counter protest will leave you hungry for more. On the campus of prestigious Yale University, one student group believes that Donald Trump is stalling a decision that could greatly affect their liberal ways.

To combat the wait, the group of graduate student teachers has decided to use one of the oldest tricks in the book: A hunger strike. Unfortunately for the rabble-rousers of Local 33, a group of on-campus republicans, fed up with their striking shenanigans, has deployed a hilarious new tactic in the fight against the liberal union. The counter protest was well done…or medium rare, depending on your taste preference.......To Read More....

Elizabeth Warren Takes Her Deplorable Rhetoric To Disgusting New Low

By Andrew West April 29, 2017

In this modern society filled with hateful liberals and their New Fascist cronies, it was really only a matter of time before one of their own in government turned monstrous. The left has been busy in the wake of the Trump presidency, and previously, the Trump candidacy, doing everything in their power to violently assault the entire conservative population of the United States.

There have been legitimate riots in the streets of California, fence jumpers and intruders at the White House, and more than a few threats of bodily harm aimed at America’s right wing in recent months.

Now, one feisty leftist icon is heading down that same path with a bold and despicable statement regarding their true feelings about American republicans........To Read More.....

Richard Dreyfus and Tucker Carlson: Six minutes with two real American thinkers

By James Longstreet April 29, 2017

How about six minutes with a real American thinker?  Refreshing and crystalline, patriotic and commonsensical is the description of these six minutes of Richard Dreyfus with Tucker Carlson.

Take a look:



But Dreyfus continues to a greater issue. With a touch of John Locke and a dash of Thomas Jefferson, .......... More

My Take - Amazing!  It's almost shocking to hear Dreyfuss saying the things he's saying.  Well, one thing is clear - Dreyfuss is going to be thrown out of the Club For the Galacticly Stupid, and I say welcome back to the land of the sane!

The Unfortunate Phenomenon of Black Political Groupthink

By Lloyd Marcus April 30, 2017

My black brother called me from Baltimore feeling frustrated and alone. He is surrounded by blacks, including his own household, who believe everything they are told by fake news media. No amount of data, logic, or truth seems to penetrate their wall of brain-dead loyalty to the Democrat party and worship of Obama.

My brother said that even at his all-black church every sermon includes digs against Trump. In his black circles, spouting the truth about Obama is not tolerated. They angrily reject data confirming that blacks moved backwards culturally and economically after eight years of Obama.

As a strong Christian, my brother is saddened that many of his black peers abandoned Christ's agenda to worship at the feet of their black-golden-idol Obama. Many black Christians ignore the truth that Obama was the most biblically-hostile president in U.S. history. Remarkably, even some black preachers threw their Bibles under the bus to support Obama's anti-biblical mandates......Frustrated, my brother asked how can he get through to blacks who automatically dismiss him as an Uncle Tom without researching his reasons why blacks should stop voting Democrat? I told him experience has taught me no amount of truth will penetrate willful ignorance..... Read more

Liberals, Scientism, and the Politics of Pleasure

 


 

Machiavelli's Advice for Mr. Trump – and Us

It is one thing to reform a corrupt state.  It's another to reform a corrupt people.

By James G. Wiles

Perhaps the best explanation for the frustration of President Trump's first Hundred Days can be found in a not-much-read book by Niccolo Machiavelli.

The great Florentine political thinker is best-known today for The Prince. But his most extended work -- which also showed the shape of Machiavelli's heart -- are the Discourses on Livy. It's an extended meditation on democratic politics in a republic, as exemplified by the history of Rome. Machiavelli, as always, doesn't mince words -- and he has some extremely pertinent (and uncomfortable) things to say to us.

Here's the question: have the American people been so corrupted by the welfare state that they can no longer reclaim their liberty? Is restoration of the American republic along the lines originally conceived by the Founders, impossible?  More

George Soros and German Media Mark MusserIt's highly unlikely that George Soros could have such a dominating influence over world affairs without state sponsorship of his activities. More

Saturday, April 29, 2017

What Ivanka Should Have Said Upon Being Booed in Germany

Ben Stein

So I see that Ivanka Trump was booed and jeered at a gathering of power women in Germany a few days ago. She responded with her customary politesse. But as I thought about it the consciousness came to me that Ivanka Trump might have been more assertive. She might have said, “I am a person, just one person, and as just one person you can treat me as you wish. But I am a Jew. My husband is a Jew. We are Jews and we are Americans and I am here at the request of the President.

Your ancestors murdered six million of my fellow Jews and killed hundreds of American prisoners of war. Nevertheless, when the war ended, America fed your ancestors, gave them medical care. We funded the rebirth of German industry. We kept a large force in Germany to protect you from the Russians for 72 years and we paid for it even as Germany grew rich. So I don’t think I’ll listen to your jeers any longer. And I’ll tell my father that you don’t need us any more and we surely don’t need you.”

But she was more polite than I am.

This appeared here.....

Gender Disparity in Physician Income; New Straw Man Rises

By Chuck Dinerstein — April 26, 2017

Doximity [1], a social network of physicians, released its first annual survey of physician compensation and once again highlighted what they describe as a gender gap in physician payment.
“The average national gender gap among physicians is 26.5 percent less per year, meaning that on average, female doctors make $91,284 less than what the average male doctor makes. This topline number factors in all specialties examined, and regional differences.”
The flaw in their analysis is in their methodology
“We also controlled for ... their self-reported average hours worked per week.".......To Read More.....
My Take -  I've no doubt, based on all the other misleading claims about gender gap compensation,  this one is as equally unfounded. I hate having to say this over and over again - I don't care if there's a gender gap in all of this.  I never once heard anyone complain about the athletic compensation gap?  Not the difference between female and male athletes at the professional level.  I'm talking about the difference between the 98 pound weaklings and those athletes who are big, strong, fast and have amazingly quick reflexes.  Shouldn't there be some arrangement in professional athletics for them?  And I'm not talking equipment manger jobs - but players - first string players.  And why are there no athletic scholarships for 98 pound weaklings at the nation's universities?

How about this.  They give academic scholarships based on a criteria of performance.  Why don't they have scholarships based on stupidity and a complete lack of performance?  Is it fair some people are smart and and hard working and others aren't?    Is it fair some people are gifted athletically and others aren't?  And why isn't that studied?  Because it's stupid - that's why! 
\
Let's get over this crap already! 

‘Clueless’ GOP wants to exempt itself from health care reform

Posted April 26, 2017 10:42 AM by Chris Pandolfo

How many times have conservatives criticized Democrats in Congress for exempting themselves from feeling the full effects of Obamacare?   Well, now Republicans in Congress have done the same thing, exempting themselves and their staff from the effects of their own proposed health insurance legislation.

The GOP’s proposed reforms to the Affordable Care Act will permit states to apply for waivers to repeal Obamacare regulations driving up the cost of premiums — regulations like the essential benefits mandates and community rating requirements. The tentative proposal is a compromise between the Freedom Caucus conservatives who want to see Obamacare fully repealed and the party moderates who want Obamacare regulations to remain in place. On the face of it, the idea is “if you can’t fix it, federalize it.” But the GOP plan won’t fix anything......To Read More.... 

My Take - Well, there's a reason why the Republicans are called "The Dumb Party". 


Freedom Caucus tried its best, but Obamacare bill is still lousy
Daniel Horowitz
The waivers will do little to bring down the cost of health insurance.

The Unified Theory of Stellar Evolution

By James A. Marusek

Introduction

Massive stars are continually being created in our spiral arm galaxy.  Plasmas of energetic protons and electrons combine and form hydrogen, the lowest element on the periodic table.  [In many cases, the plasmas of elementary particles were ejected during past supernova explosions.]  A new star is formed as this super heated hydrogen accumulated into a great spherical ball. 
 
The process of fusion begins as the star gains sufficient mass.  Two atoms of hydrogen are combined and transformed into an atom of helium releasing vast amount of fusion energy.  O-type stars are very hot and luminous, and appear in the visible spectrum as bluish-white stars.  These stars are commonly called giants, and supergiants.  These stars have between 15 and 90 times the mass of our Sun and surface temperatures between 30,000 and 52,000° K.  
 
They are between 30,000 times and several million times as luminous as our Sun.  The massive O- and B-type stars that occupy the spiral arms have relatively short life spans in the order of 3-30 million years depending on their size.  As these stars exhaust their nuclear fuel, they self-destruct in a massive explosion called a supernova leaving behind a dead carcass called a black hole. 
 
The reason why these stellar remnants are referred to as black holes is because they are essential invisible.  In general, light and matter that enters a black hole never comes out again.  After a black hole has formed, it can continue to grow by absorbing mass from its surroundings.  By absorbing and merging with other stars, black holes can grow in size.  Some black holes are so large that they anchor entire galaxies together with its massive gravitational force.  Generally these supermassive black holes exist in the centers of most galaxies.  For example, Sagittarius A, at the core of our own Milky Way galaxy, contains a supermassive black hole with an estimated mass equivalent to approximately 4.3 million times the mass of our sun.......To Read More....

 

 

Cartoon of the Day

 

Culture of Contempt

By Daniel Greenfield 27 Apr 2017 @ The Sultan Knish Blog

The Atlantic’s May cover features Alec Baldwin covered in orange makeup holding up a Trump wig. The cover asks, “Can Satire Save the Republic?” What is satire saving the Republic from? Republicans. While making America safe for Socialism.

After Bush won, Democrats fought back by doubling down on the ridicule. Before long they were getting their news from Jon Stewart’s smirk. Stewart spawned a whole range of imitators. Today you can find numberless clones of the Daily Show across cable and even on CBS and, soon, on NBC.

The left is devoutly convinced that this snickering can save America. That it’s better than the news.

The Peabody awards celebrated the Daily Show as “a trusted source of news for citizens united in their disappointment and disgust with politics and cable news”. But the media was the first in line to anoint the politics of contempt, ridicule and disgust as the future of journalism. Now the future is here.

The Washington Post, once a paper of record, swarms with snarky Stewartesque headlines like, “Jeff Sessions doesn’t think a judge in Hawaii — a.k.a. ‘an island in the Pacific’ — should overrule Trump”. Journalism is dead. And replacing it with snarky lefty spin hasn’t saved the Republic. Or anything else.

But the left’s faith in the power of its contempt has nothing to do with its tactical effectiveness.

The left remains convinced that Jon Stewart brought down Bush and Tina Fey brought down Palin because ridiculing the right isn’t just an ugly tactic. Instead it carries an almost religious meaning. Mocking Republicans can save us. Every ideology expresses its superiority through its own triumphalism. Sneering is the left’s own invocation of its own superiority. These are the grown up politics of kids who were convinced that they were better than everyone else because they looked down on them.

Much as Allahu Akbar denotes the superiority of the Muslim and the inferiority of the non-Muslim, the knowing smirk, the lifted eyebrow and the braying laugh of the audience when the unironic applause sign flashes is the prayer of the progressive to the cruel little god of his own ego. The ritual is tribal. A lefty dons the mock wig of the hated enemy and is ritually humiliated for the entertainment of the tribes of Manhattan, Berkeley and Marin County. The foe is destroyed in effigy. The video of his destruction is virally spread with titles such as, “Saturday Night Live Destroys Trump”.

And yet Trump, like all the other viral subjects of destruction, is never destroyed. The tribal ritual lets lefties vent their anger on a totem that, unlike Trump, can actually be destroyed by liberal laughter.

Satire isn’t trying to save the Republic. It isn’t stopping Trump. It’s saving the left.

Trump has proven even more indestructible than Bush. It’s hard to think of any insult that the left hasn’t hurled his way. A dictionary of them could run all the way from Abuser to Xenophobe. To no avail. Instead he has proven exceptionally adept at treating the left with as much contempt as it treats him. When lefties bemoans his cruelty and vulgarity, what they really mean is that he is beating them at their own game without wasting time on their pretenses to saving the Republic on Saturday Night Live.

Saturday Night Live is still the only place that progressives have been able to beat Trump.

Mocking Bush didn’t save the Republic from him. If anything, liberal disdain helped make him a two-term president the way that it helped put Trump in office. Obama won by taking the opposite road. He kept his contempt and arrogance just enough in check to appear aspirational during his original race.

Elitist contempt isn’t an effective tactic. American politics is anti-establishment. Stewart, Colbert, Oliver and Bee are only revolutionary to likeminded lefties in lavish condos. To the Tennessee coal miner, the New Mexico checkout girl and the Pennsylvania steelworker they convey the smugness of an establishment in all its insufferable disdain for flyover country, for the working class and for everyone outside that golden circle of the tall towers and hot clubs in the big cities that really, truly matter.

Liberals need to believe that even their pettiest acts are ennobling. Their Whole Foods organic avocados are saving the planet. Their fair trade yoga pants are saving indigenous tribes. Even their ridicule of the “Other” on TV is the redemptive and salvific process by which they save America.

This isn’t idealism. It’s elitism. They’re not spitefully lashing out because they lost an election. Instead they’re saving the country by watching a lefty hack who had become more famous for his credit card commercials, and racist and homophobic slurs do a tepid slurred imitation of Trump.

What a piece of work is a progressive. How noble in reason, how infinite in faculty. In action how like an angel, in apprehension how like a god. Beneath the Midtown Manhattan sound stages and green rooms, the million dollar contracts of the performers, the Ivy League degrees of the writers and the suave sophisticated five-star restaurants where they rendezvous is the dark and primitive world of the firelit circle in which enemies are bound and destroyed by a magic fed on the anger and hatred of the watchers.

The tribal signifiers of power have changed. The totems are class, cool and hip. And much of the country does not recognize their claim to lead the tribe. Each time America dissents, the left wears out its lip sneering at them. Contempt is the final refuge of failed tyrants. If you can’t rule, you can always sneer.

The left’s faith in contempt tells us far more about them than it does about the objects of their contempt. Art is a reflection of the artist. Some artists strive to create while others only destroy. The left remains convinced that it can create through destruction, that it can build a fair society through theft, an ethical society by destroying its values and a high-minded society through contempt.

It must believe in the redemptive power of its thievery, amorality and hatred. Or face a moral reckoning.

When they go low, we go higher, they chant, before laughing as Alec Baldwin snorts through his nose. It’s not funny or meaningful. It’s wish fulfillment. The left gets a Trump they can destroy in a world where they are bound to win because they are naturally superior.

For a movement obsessed with the redemptive power of its own power and convinced of the utter truth of its own imaginary visions, what could be more sacred than acting out the destruction of its enemies?

Is it any wonder that getting high on snarky delusions of potency and superiority appears so uplifting? Can satire save the Republic? Its fumes are almost as good as actually winning an election. But a better question would be can the Republic save satire?

Saturday Night Live's war on Trump is also a war on comedy as mediocre casts turn to outside performers to portray recognizable political figures, based not on talent, but sheer recognizability.

Tina Fey had a passing resemblance to Sarah Palin while Larry David shared an accent with Bernie Sanders and was forty years older than the average SNL cast member. Alec Baldwin is a real life version of what progs think Trump is; angry, dumb and bigoted. A bad man with no self-control. And that is appropriate. The left's effigy of Trump is a self-portrait. Their hatred of Trump is pure projection.

Baldwin's bad acting won't save the Republic.. He isn't funny, but he doesn't need to be. Funny is surplus to requirements. The point isn't laughter, it's barely sublimated hatred. Baldwin understands hatred far better than comedy. He knows that what his prog audience wants is not a good imitation but a contemptible one. One they can despise and feel superior to. And that is what he gives them.

Saturday Night Live could not satirize Obama to save its life. It can't satirize Trump either for the same reason. The façade of humor is falling away from the left’s worship of its ideological idols and fanatical hatred of its enemies. And hatred isn’t funny. It’s clumsy. It’s stupid. And it’s ugly.

Comedy is creative. Contempt isn’t comedy. Ultimately it’s just contemptible.

A Report Card on Trump’s 100 Days

April 28, 2017 by Dan Mitchell @ International Liberty

Back in March, I wrote a 50-day assessment on Trump’s presidency.

I listed six questions and mostly concluded that there wasn’t enough information to give accurate answers. In other words, if Trump was a student, he would have received an “I” for incomplete.
Now that we’re at the 100-day point, I’m tempted to say that his grade hasn’t changed.

We still don’t know what he’ll do on issues such as the entitlement crisis, the border-adjustable tax, infrastructure, and red tape.

But I feel compelled to issue another report card, so here’s my take on the Trump’s economic performance, based on the five big categories from Economic Freedom of the World.

  • Fiscal Policy – Trump has proposed a good tax cut, though I fear it won’t go anywhere because a sufficient number of squeamish Republicans will feign concern about deficits. That excuse wouldn’t exist if the White House and congressional GOPers were more serious about spending restraint, so there’s plenty of blame to go around. Though I’m nonetheless hopeful that the corporate tax rate will be reduced. Trump Grade: B
  • Trade – Trump has moved policy in the wrong direction, but I’m weirdly relieved that he’s being somewhat restrained. He decided China is not a currency manipulator and he decided that the U.S. should remain part of NAFTA. In other words, he been doing a lot of saber-rattling, but fortunately not drawing too much blood. That being said, he is imposing new burdens on consumers and taxpayers. Trump Grade: D
  • Regulation – This is Trump’s best issue area. He’s rolled back some Obama-era regulations, which is a good start. And he’s made some very sensible appointments, which means there’s hope of ameliorating the statist orientation of bureaucracies such as the FDA and the FCC. Trump Grade: B
  • Monetary Policy – I have no idea how to assign a grade. Trump hasn’t said anything, much less done anything, on monetary policy. Trump Grade: I
  • Rule of Law – Trump has been aggressive with executive orders, which worries me even if I happen to agree with the underlying policy. The White House hasn’t tried to flout court decisions, however, so that’s a good sign. The appointment and confirmation of Justice Gorsuch also bodes well (assuming he doesn’t “grow in office” like Justice Roberts). Trump Grade: B
Overall, Trump’s GPA is better than I would have predicted before the election, so I’m pleasantly surprised. But there’s still a long way to go before final exams.

P.S. Trump also has generated some first-rate political humor, which is always appreciated. In that sense, he’s no different than his predecessor.

Has Science Lost Its Way?

Michael Guillen, Fox News  4/28/17

There were many impassioned political orations delivered at Saturday’s so-called March for Science. Sadly, I heard nothing about the truly serious problem plaguing science today.

Image result for GWPF science crisis
 
The single greatest threat to science right now comes from within its own ranks. Last year Nature, the prestigious international science journal, published a study revealing that “More than 70% of researchers have tried and failed to reproduce another scientist’s experiments, and more than half have failed to reproduce their own experiments.”
 
Reproducing experiments is to science’s credibility what verifying financial statements is to a company’s credit rating. The astronomical failure to confirm research that was published in highly respected, peer-reviewed journals suggests something is very wrong with how science is being done. Fifty-two percent of the 1,576 researchers surveyed for the study call it “a significant crisis.”
The crisis appears to be exacerbated by a marked reluctance among scientists to out the epidemic, to contact one another about irreproducible experiments. “That may be because such conversations are difficult,” Nature speculates. “If experimenters reach out to the original researchers for help, they risk appearing incompetent or accusatory, or revealing too much about their own projects.”.....To Read More......

Is Fox News About To Be Challenged By A New Conservative Network?

By Andrew West April 28, 2017

Fox News has had an interesting few months, with massive lineup changes and lawsuits dominating their landscape. With the losses of on-air personalities Megyn Kelly and Bill O’Reilly in recent months, and bigwig Roger Ailes being ousted after allegations of sexual harassment surfaced surrounding him, the network has seen better days.

 While still dominating the cable lineup in terms of ratings, there is no denying that Fox News is rapidly evolving, and soon the network may not be able to recognize itself. Now, given the smattering of conservative opinions that are gaining momentum in America, and the perceived fracturing of Fox, the conditions could be just right for a challenger to the cable news throne…and that is exactly what one group of so-called “fat cats” are counting on........To Read More.....

My Take - Does anyone remember not that many years ago when CNN was watched with gusto because it presented more news in depth than the others, and gave the appearance of at least presenting some conservative views.  Then came Fox News and everyone laughed at them.  I don't know the time line but about the same time the Drudge Report appeared and the Mighty Leftie Media laughed and mocked them all.  Well, the worm turned. 
 
The New York Times and the rest of the Mighty Leftie TV  and Print News Media are in trouble, and Fox dominates cable news.  Why?  Because they gave the impression they were a conservative news source.  And compared to the rest - they were far more conservative than anyone else in television - and there was a massive audience out there with "traditional values" craving to have their positions heard. 
 
Notice that I said they had "traditional values" - I didn't say conservative values.  The reason why is because there are entirely too many "conservatives" like John Kasich, Mitch McConnell, John McCain, George Will, Charles Krauthammer and others who have trouble defining conservative values that are in line with traditional values.  With George Will and Krauthammer I understand it.  They're atheists and as a result have floating foundational values. 

John Kasich I also understand - he claims he has the right to define conservatism as he sees fit.  I've met him and he suffers from a serious case of weird compounded by a massive infection of hubris.  In short I think he's a bit crazy.  He often reminds me of Bill Clinton with his ability to be charming on cue - but Bill Clinton is a psychopath, and I think Kasich is also.

McCain and McConnell are both self serving politicians who love the position, privileges and perks that come with being a U.S. Senator, and catered to by the media, as for McCain - I often wonder if his corrupt days with the Lincoln Savings scandal are really over.  Either way - they've both been there too long to know what's right about anything. 

Now Fox is going to come under the sway of the Murdoch kids and they're liberals.  If that happens Fox is doomed and a real conservative network will do to Fox News what Fox did to CNN.  I'm looking forward to it. 

Oh, one more thing.  I've not really addressed this stuff about O'Reilly and there's a reason for it. I don't like him.  I think he's arrogant, self serving and more than willing to dump on the lesser lights at Fox, especially when he had his eye candy "blonds" on to interrupt and talk over. 

I decided he's fundamentally dishonest and I think that because he claimed the Obama birth cirtificate was a non issue because "he's seen it".  No one else in the world saw it but Bill O'Reilly did.  I think he was fundamentally afraid of the rich, prominent and powerful.  When he interviewed Obama he was a wimp and when he interveiwed Alec Baldwin it was the same - Baldwin - who in no way could be called the brightest pebble in the brook - dominated him.  And - I think he did exactly what they've claimed.  I think he's a self serving -cad and stopped watching him years ago. 

Deja Vu: Yet Another North Korean Missile Test Fails Miserably

By Andrew West April 28, 2017

North Korean leader Kim Jong Un is nothing if not persistent, with yet another bit of provocation against the United States occurring early Saturday morning local time. Mere hours ago, the United States received word that another ballistic missile test in the rogue nation of North Korea has failed miserably. The test, which occurred at approximately 5:30am local time, was of a short range missile that was deemed to be incapable of carrying a nuclear warhead or reaching a target any further away than Seoul, South Korea.......To Read More.....

Yes, President Trump Can Undo Controversial National Monuments

Jonathan Wood

Yesterday, President Trump signed an executive order requiring a review of the large national monuments that have been created over the last 21 years. The president ran on a platform of reducing regulations to promote jobs and economic growth, but he inherited vast areas -- nearly a billion acres in total -- that have been shut off from productive use under the Antiquities Act.

His predecessor, Barack Obama, was the king of Antiquities Act abuse, designating more monuments covering more area than any prior president. He tripled the total area restricted, adding more than 500 million acres in new and expanded monuments. Most of this area was locked up during the last year of Obama's presidency, once he was no longer accountable to voters.

There's a reason presidents designate "midnight" monuments at the end of their terms: they can be extremely controversial when people depend on the use of areas being closed off to support their families.............  More

Judicial Watch: Grand jury targeted Hillary Clinton

By Rick Moran April 28, 2017

A new revelation growing out of a FOIA request made by Judicial Watch shows that the FBI agent in charge of the Hillary Clinton's emails investigation said the former secretary of state was the target of a grand jury investigation...........I don't think there can be any doubt that there is more of this story to tell, including whether A.G. Lynch interfered in the grand jury process and why the FBI still refused to prosecute Clinton.  At the time that the FBI refused to recommend that Clinton be charged with a crime, Director Comey suggested that "no prosecutor" would touch the case because of the difficulty in getting a conviction.  I think we can safely dismiss that argument.  A determined prosecutor can get a grand jury to indict anyone, especially given the evidence the FBI had been able to amass against Clinton.  A conviction probably wouldn't have been necessary, given the likelihood that Clinton would have sought a plea deal............Read more

Can Islam ever be reformed?

World’s First Commercial Fusion Reactor Takes First Steps Towards Generating Energy

Switch flipped on UK’s newest
tokamak fusion reactor
 
Brought to you by Benny Peiser's Global Warming Policy Forum
 
 
Oxfordshire-based Tokamak Energy has fired up its latest fusion reactor for the first time and aims to reach temperatures of 100m degrees Celsius next year. Known as the ST40, the reactor represents the third of five stages in the company’s plan to deliver fusion energy to the grid by 2030. Controlled fusion requires temperatures in excess of 100m°C, but this has never been achieved by a privately funded company. To reach that goal, Tokamak Energy is focusing on compact, spherical tokamak reactors, as it believes they are quicker to develop and offer the quickest route to commercial fusion power. -- The Engineer, 28 April 2017

Britain’s newest fusion reactor has been fired up and taken the UK one step further towards generating electricity from the power of the stars. The heart of the Tokamak ST40 reactor – a super-hot cloud of electrically charged gas, or plasma – is expected to reach a temperature of 100 million centigrade in 2018. The new reactor was built at Milton Park, Oxfordshire, by Tokamak Energy, a private company pioneering fusion power in the UK. Speaking after the ST40 reactor was officially turned on and achieved “first plasma”, Tokamak Energy chief executive Dr David Kingham said: “Today is an important day for fusion energy development in the UK, and the world. We are unveiling the first world-class controlled fusion device to have been designed, built and operated by a private venture. The ST40 is a machine that will show fusion temperatures – 100 million degrees – are possible in compact, cost-effective reactors. This will allow fusion power to be achieved in years, not decades.” --Energy Voice, 28 April 2017

Our obsession with cutting carbon emissions has had terrible consequences. Our attempts to be altruistic have harmed rather than helped the most vulnerable. Almost as bad, those 11 million people who now own a diesel car are about to be penalised for following government advice a decade ago that the vehicles would help the country cut CO2 emissions. It is car manufacturers who are still making the most money out of this great green swindle — consumers certainly aren’t. Downing Street policy advisers hint that Theresa May is on the side of the consumer, and sceptical of the latest money-spinning environmental fad. Last year, the prime minister’s joint chief of staff Nick Timothy described the Climate Change Act, which has been at the root of many of these misguided policies, as “a monstrous act of national self-harm”. He was right. As soon as the election is over Britain needs a coordinated energy strategy and a new Clean Air Act, to protect the environment and restore faith in government policy. --Alice Thomson, The Times, 26 April 2017

Drought in the U.S. fell to a record low this week, with just 6.1% of the lower 48 states currently experiencing such dry conditions, federal officials announced Thursday. That’s the lowest percentage in the 17-year history of the weekly U.S. Drought Monitor report. The previous record low occurred in July 2010, when 7.7% of the contiguous U.S. was in a drought. “Drought has certainly been disappearing at a rapid rate this spring,” said meteorologist Brad Rippey of the U.S. Department of Agriculture. The five-year drought in California is practically over, with only about 8% of the state currently in drought. --Doyle Rice, USA Today, 27 April 2017

One of the many damaging effects of climate change put forward by scientists is that shrinking habitats are causing polar and grizzly bears to mate more. This hybridisation could dilute polar bears’ DNA which will further drive down the animals’ already dwindling numbers, experts suggest. But a new study reveals that this inter-breeding is natural and is in fact not a consequence of global warming. --Harry Pettit, Daily Mail, 20 April 2017

As President Trump’s top advisers prepare to hash out a final policy on the Paris climate agreement dumped onto their laps by President Obama, another option has hit the table: Declare the deal a treaty and send it to the Senate to be killed. The treaty option could emerge as the middle ground in the increasingly tense battle between “remainers” on the one hand, who say the president should abide by Mr. Obama’s global warming deal, and the Paris agreement’s detractors, who say Mr. Trump would be breaking a key campaign promise if he doesn’t withdraw from the pact. Mr. Trump could toss out Mr. Obama’s decision that the Paris accord was an executive agreement, declare it a treaty and send it to the Senate, where it would need a two-thirds vote for ratification. --Stephen Dinan, Washington Times, 27 April 2017

Fresh off the news this week that Gazprom’s Nord Stream 2 pipeline secured 50 percent of its funding through loans from five European companies, the CEO of the Russian state-owned natural gas firm was positively glowing. “Today, in 2017, we are beating our 2016 record highs by around 10 percent. So we can expect new records this year and Gazprom’s European market share is poised to rise,” Alexei Miller said in an interview with Reuters. Miller has a point here. However much Europe has agitated for diversifying away from Russian natural gas supplies, the continent has in fact increased its reliance on Gazprom since the annexation of Crimea. Gazprom holds the trump card in this relationship, as it has shown both the capability and the willingness to shut off supplies mid-winter in order to express its displeasure with its customers. -- The American Interest, 27 April 2017

Friday, April 28, 2017

Hungary’s Prime Minister says George Soros “has Ruined” Millions of Lives

By Onan Coca April 27, 2017

If you think billionaire liberal George Soros is a horrible person, you’re not alone. It’s not just here in America where Soros has earned himself a reputation for being corrupt, malicious, and an ever-ready opponent of liberty. Apparently, the man who has been leading the Democrat Party for the last 20 years or so, is also quite hated in Europe. Hungary’s Prime Minister Viktor Orbán delivered a scathing indictment of the world’s liberals and arguing that Hungary had the right to implement whatever immigration policies it chooses to, and that the nation also had the right to fight back against the underhanded efforts of Soros and his minions.

Orbán’s comments echoed sentiments he articulated during an interview a few weeks ago where he explained that George Soros and his lackeys were acting as if they were above Hungary’s laws in their attempts to abuse the system and grab more power for themselves..........The Hungarian Prime Minister also explained that he and the people of Hungary were tired of the politically correct doublespeak that so often flows out of the European Parliament...........The more allies we can find to fight Soros’ evil machinations, the better. President Trump should put a call in to the Hungarian Prime Minister to discuss who our two nations can work together to unmask and weaken Soros..........To Read More...

The Life Cycle of Spiral Arm Galaxies

By James A. Marusek

 Our solar system resides in a spiral arm galaxy called the Milky Way.  A galaxy is a system of millions or billions of stars and the remnants of dead stars (black holes, white dwarfs, neutron stars), small bodies (planets, asteroids, comets), and disassociated atoms, ions and elementary particles, held together by gravitational and electromagnetic attraction.  There are at least 2 trillion galaxies in our observable universe and many of these are spiral galaxies.
 
Spiral galaxies consist of a flat, rotating disk containing stars, gas and dust, and a central concentration of stars known as the bulge.  Spiral galaxies resemble spiraling pinwheels.  The spiral arms shine brightly in the night’s sky because they are composed of the brightest stars in the universe.  These are massive stars of spectral type “O” and slightly smaller type “B” stars using the Yerkes classification system.  O-type stars are very hot and luminous, and appear in the visible spectrum as bluish-white.  These stars are commonly called giants, and supergiants.  These stars have between 15 and 90 times the mass of our Sun and surface temperatures between 30,000 and 52,000° K.  They are between 30,000 times and several million times as luminous as our Sun.......To Read More...


Time to Remove and Impeach Leftist Judges

Freedom Watch TV April 27, 2017
 

Red Ink, Washington Politics, and the Trump Tax Cuts

April 27, 2017 by Dan Mitchell
 
I expressed pessimism yesterday about Trump’s tax plan. Simply stated, I don’t think Congress is willing to enact a large tax cut given the nation’s grim fiscal outlook.

In this Fox Business interview, I elaborated on my concerns while also pointing out that the plan would be very good if it somehow got enacted.



We now have some preliminary numbers that illustrate why I’m concerned.

The Committee for a Responsible Federal Budget put together a quick guess about the revenue implications of Trump’s new plan. Their admittedly rough estimate is that federal revenues would be reduced by close to $6 trillion over 10 years.


Incidentally, these revenue estimates are very inaccurate because they are based on “static scoring,” which is the antiquated notion that major changes in tax policy have no impact on economic performance.

But these numbers nonetheless are useful since the Joint Committee on Taxation basically uses that approach when producing official revenue estimates that guide congressional action.

In other words, it doesn’t matter, at least for purposes of enacting legislation, that there would be substantial revenue feedback in the real world (the rich actually paid more, for instance, when Reagan dropped the top tax rate from 70 percent to 28 percent). Politicians on Capitol Hill will point to the JCT’s static numbers, gasp with feigned horror, and use higher deficits as an excuse to vote no (even though those same lawmakers generally have no problem with red ink when voting to expand the burden of government spending).

That being said, they wouldn’t necessarily have that excuse if the Trump Administration was more aggressive about trying to shrink the size and scope of the federal government. So there’s plenty of blame to go around.

Until something changes, however, I don’t think Trump’s tax cut is very realistic. So if you want my prediction on what will happen, I’m sticking to the three options I shared yesterday.
  1. Congress and the White House decide to restrain spending, which easily would create room for a very large tax cut (what I prefer, but I won’t hold my breath for this option).
  2. Congress decides to adopt Trump’s tax cuts, but they balance the cuts with dangerous new sources of tax revenue, such as a border-adjustment tax, a carbon tax, or a value-added tax (the option I fear).
  3. Congress and the White House decide to go for a more targeted tax cut, such as a big reduction in the corporate income tax (which would be a significant victory).
By the way, the Wall Street Journal editorialized favorably about the plan this morning, mostly because it reflects the sensible supply-side view that it is good to have lower tax rates on productive behavior.
While the details are sparse and will have to be filled in by Congress, President Trump’s outline resembles the supply-side principles he campaigned on and is an ambitious and necessary economic course correction that would help restore broad-based U.S. prosperity. …Faster growth of 3% a year or more is possible, but it will take better policies, and tax reform is an indispensable lever. Mr. Trump’s modernization would be a huge improvement on the current tax code that would give the economy a big lift, especially on the corporate side. …The Trump principles show the President has made growth his highest priority, and they are a rebuke to the Washington consensus that 1% or 2% growth is the best America can do.
But the WSJ shares my assessment that the plan will not survive in its current form.
…the blueprint is being assailed from both the left and the balanced-budget right. The Trump economic team acknowledges that their plan would mean less federal revenue than current law… Mr. Trump’s plan is an opening bid to frame negotiations in Congress, and there are plenty of bargaining chips. Perhaps the corporate rate will rise to 20%… Budget rules and Democratic opposition could force Republicans to limit the reform to 10 years.
For what it’s worth, if the final result is a 15 percent or 20 percent corporate tax rate, I’ll actually be quite pleased. That reform would be very good for the economy and national competitiveness. And regardless of what JCT projects, there would be substantial revenue feedback.

 

A Tax Expert's Take on Trump's Proposal: 'A Truly Great Tax Plan'

Jack Hellner

It certainly appears that Trump has more common sense and intelligence on taxes and the economy than many of those advising him, the career politicians from both parties, the bureaucrats, the media and most economists.

I am a 64 year old CPA who has been doing taxes for approximately 40 years. This is the most intelligent tax policy I have seen since Ronald Reagan’s and my initial thoughts make me believe that it is better than Reagan’s. It is a simple and logical plan that would give everyone the incentive to earn more instead of spending so much time and money trying to beat the tax man. I believe the impetus it would give to economic growth is immeasurable..............More

E-mails Reveal FBI, Justice Probe of Burlington College

By Morgan True

The Justice Department was investigating the activities of the now-defunct Burlington College as recently as February, according to emails obtained through a public records request.  The emails show the U.S. attorney for Vermont and an FBI agent reviewed Burlington College records in the state’s possession earlier this year pursuant to an investigation. Both enforcement agencies declined to comment on the substance of that probe or whether it has been completed..........To Read More...


Republican Announces Retirement, Democrat Leader Smears Him as Russian Agent

 By Onan Coca April 27, 2017

Democrat Congresswoman Maxine Waters (D-CA) is a fool and a corrupt politician, but still the mainstream networks continue to give her time to air her nonsense opinions. The latest such opinion should have caused the hosts at MSNBC to ridicule the nutjob to her face, but instead Chris Hayes barely offered any resistance, and simply let her get away with a vicious smear of a seemingly good man.......To Read More....

My Take - Maxine Waters is vile, corrupt and filled with spite.  That's what the main stream media wants because that's what the media are.  The media and Maxine are in complete harmony.  All part the Club For the Galacticly Stupid, but you would think they could find someone not as incompetent as Maxine - VIDEO: Maxine Waters suffers brain freeze during rant on North Korea.  Of course I guess there's a point where you just can't find anyone as willing as Maxine to be so publically stupid - while thinking they're profound.  Maxine truly is the gift that keeps on giving. 

“God Bless Texas!” The Lonestar State Moves to Defund, Criminalize, and Ban Sanctuary Cities

By Onan Coca April 27, 2017

Texas is once again leading the way in American prosperity and success. In recent years, the largest conservative state in the nation has led the way economically, and socially… but now they’re taking steps to lead the way in law and order. Early Thursday morning, around 3am, Texas state legislators finally voted to approve a bill that would defund sanctuary counties, cities, and localities and could lead to Texas becoming the first state to end the scourge of sanctuary cities. .....To Read More....

Google Clears Employees to Miss Work to Protest Against Donald Trump

By Constitution.com April 27, 2017 From the Daily Caller News Foundation:

Google is allowing workers to take off from work May 1 to protest President Donald Trump, whether or not they give advance notice.

Pro-immigration groups, socialist organizations, labor unions, and hundreds of thousands of workers are planning to walk out on their jobs on International Workers Day to voice their displeasure with the Trump administration, reports Buzzfeed.

“We respect everyone’s choice to act on their beliefs,” a Google spokesperson told BuzzFeed News. “We care deeply about creating an environment at Google where everyone — employees and contractors, engineers, cafeteria workers and janitorial staff — feels comfortable doing so. We’re asking managers to be flexible in accommodating time-off requests and have let our vendor partners know that we support them doing the same.".............To Read More....

The Shameful Suspension of Chief Justice Roy Moore

By Jerry Newcombe April 27, 2017

A good man has been suspended. Again. Ultimately he’s a victim of judicial activism—of judges making things up from the bench and saying it’s what our Constitution requires. The so-called “Ten Commandments judge,” Roy Moore won election as the chief justice of Alabama for the second time in 2012. Here’s a timeline of his suspension: ............ Roy Moore held a press conference (4/19/17), stating, “This was a politically motivated prosecution from the very beginning by the Southern Poverty Law Center and the Judicial Inquiry Commission with certain transgender and homosexual groups to remove me from public office because of my stand on same-sex marriage….I’ve done my duty under the laws of this state to uphold the sanctity of marriage and the undeniable truth that God ordained marriage between one man and one woman. Mere human judges have no authority to say otherwise.”........To Read More......

Thursday, April 27, 2017

Climate science: Dishonest for decades

Exclusive: Jack Cashill reviews record in light of Obama man's 'warming' confession

Former Obama Energy Department Undersecretary Steven Koonin made news on Monday when he told the Wall Street Journal that the administration spun climate data to shape public opinion.
“What you saw coming out of the press releases about climate data, climate analysis, was, I’d say, misleading, sometimes just wrong,” Koonin said.

What is most shocking about the mini-Koonin flap is that anyone was shocked. Scientific showmen have been manipulating climate data as a way of shaping policy for decades.   In 1983, for instance, a veritable supergroup of scientific rock stars, including the self-promoting pothead Carl Sagan, published a paper in Science called “Nuclear Winter: Global Consequences of Multiple Nuclear Explosions.”..........Schneider argued that although scientists were “ethically bound to the scientific method,” they also needed “to capture the public’s imagination.”.........Schneider would spend the rest of his life complaining he had been quoted out of context, but it is hard to mistake his intentions. It was essential to scare..........Read more

Abortion exec who wanted Lamborghini gets snagged again

Video shows Mary Gatter haggling over baby body-parts prices

A Planned Parenthood official who was caught on video by journalists investigating the organization’s sale of baby body parts haggling for higher prices because she wanted “a Lamborghini” has been caught again.

Haggling over the prices.

The Center for Medical Progress, which released the first video, has announced a new undercover video shows Mary Gatter of Planned Parenthood “haggling over per-specimen pricing for livers, lungs, and brains, even while insisting the purchaser must do all the work to harvest.”

CMP said it’s the second video from a batch of never-before released undercover footage.
The video was taken at a Planned Parenthood reception where CMP investigators posed as buyers from a biotech company. They meet Gatter, who previously had worked at Planned Parenthood Los Angeles before moving to Planned Parenthood Pasadena.............Read more

Article Saying Diet Drinks Cause Stroke, Dementia is Full of Holes

By Ruth Kava — April 21, 2017

If you just read the headlines, you'd immediately run to your pantry (or wherever you keep soft drink) and pour all your diet sodas down the sink. After all, they increase your risk of stroke and who knows what else, according to a new study just published in Stroke! But before you pop the top on those cans, please read this — that new study has nothing to say about a causal connection between diet drinks and cardiovascular ailments, and there are at least a couple of good reasons why I can say this.. ........... To Read More.....

My Take - This may be a good time to review my article on Weasel Words and Phrases. 

Shock Report: Hillary Clinton Aides Threatened Prime Minister’s Son With IRS Audit

By Constitution.com April 26, 2017 From the Daily Caller News Foundation:

Hillary Clinton’s Department of State aides threatened a South Asian prime minister’s son with an IRS audit in an attempt to stop a Bangladesh government investigation of a close friend and donor of Clinton’s, The Daily Caller News Foundation’s Investigative Group learned.

A Bangladesh government commission was investigating multiple charges of financial mismanagement at Grameen Bank, beginning in May 2012. Muhammad Yunus, a major Clinton Foundation donor, served as managing director of the bank.

Sajeeb Wazed Joy, son of Bangladesh Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina and permanent U.S. resident, recalled the account of the threatened IRS audit to TheDCNF. The allegations mark the first known instance in the U.S. that Clinton’s Department of State used IRS power to intimidate a close relative of a friendly nation’s head of state on behalf of a Clinton Foundation donor.

Joy told TheDCNF it was “astounding and mind boggling” that senior State Department officials between 2010 and 2012 repeatedly pressured him to influence his mother to drop the commission investigation. The commission report was released in early 2013......To Read More....


Unfortunately, Trump’s Good Tax Plan Is Not a Serious Tax Plan

April 26, 2017 by Dan Mitchell @ International Liberty

(Editor's Note:  Although I'm impressed with what the administration is promoting it's my belief the only way to really reform to our tax system can be achieved by repealing the 16th amendment, passing a national sales tax and dumping the IRS, which is way out of control.  RK)

I want tax cuts. I support tax cuts. I relish tax cuts.
  • I like tax cuts because I’m a curmudgeonly libertarian and I think people should have the first claim on the money they earn.
  • I like tax cuts because I’m an economist and we’ll get more growth if penalties on productive behavior are reduced.
  • I like tax cuts because the academic research supports the “starve-the-beast” theory of less revenue leading to less spending.
This is why I wrote favorably about Trump’s campaign tax plan, and this is why I like Trump’s new tax plan (with a few exceptions).

But I confess that my heart’s not in it. Simply stated, I don’t think the new plan is serious.
If Trump really wanted a big tax cut, he would have a comprehensive plan to restrain the growth of government spending. He doesn’t.

If Trump genuinely wanted lower taxes, he would be aggressively pushing for genuine entitlement reform. He isn’t.

And Congress isn’t much better. At least in the absence of leadership from the White House.

It’s not merely that I’m concerned lawmakers won’t put the brakes on spending. And it’s not just that I fear they won’t enact much-needed entitlement reform. I worry they’ll actually increase the burden of federal spending. Just look what’s happening as Congress and the White House negotiate a spending bill for the remainder of the 2017 fiscal year. The pending deal would trade more defense spending for more Obamacare subsidies. Everyone wins…except taxpayers.



In this profligate environment, it’s hard to be optimistic about tax cuts.

By the way, I fully agree we would get more growth if Trump’s tax plan was enacted. But the Laffer Curve doesn’t say that all tax cuts pay for themselves with faster growth. That only happens in rather rare circumstances.

Yes, the lower corporate tax rate would have a big supply-side impact (and there’s plenty of evidence from overseas to support that notion), but many of the other provisions of his plan are sure to reduce revenue.

Again, I don’t lose sleep about the prospect of less money going to Washington. But you can be sure that politicians pay attention to that issue.

Which is why I’m pessimistic. I don’t think Congress is willing to approve a big tax cut.
The bottom line is that there are three possible outcomes.
  1. Congress and the White House decide to restrain spending, which easily would create room for a very large tax cut (what I prefer, but I won’t hold my breath for this option).
  2. Congress decides to adopt Trump’s tax cuts, but they balance the cuts with dangerous new sources of tax revenue, such as a border-adjustment tax, a carbon tax, or a value-added tax (the option I fear).
  3. Congress and the White House decide to go for a more targeted tax cut, such as a big reduction in the corporate income tax (which would be a significant victory).
Ultimately, I want to completely junk our corrupt system and replace it with a simple and fair flat tax.
 
 But for 2017, I’ll be happy if we simply slash the corporate rate.