About Me

In writing the "About Me" portion of this blog I thought about the purpose of the blog - namely, preventing the growth of Socialism & stopping the Death Of Democracy in the American Republic & returning her to the "liberty to abundance" stage of our history. One word descriptions of people's philosophies or purposes are quite often inadequate. I feel that I am "liberal" meaning that I am broad minded, independent, generous, hospitable, & magnanimous. Under these terms "liberal" is a perfectly good word that has been corrupted over the years to mean the person is a left-winger or as Mark Levin more accurately wrote in his book "Liberty & Tyranny" a "statist" - someone looking for government or state control of society. I am certainly not that & have dedicated the blog to fighting this. I believe that I find what I am when I consider whether or not I am a "conservative" & specifically when I ask what is it that I am trying to conserve? It is the libertarian principles that America was founded upon & originally followed. That is the Return To Excellence that this blog is named for & is all about.

Sunday, February 10, 2019

Part A - Democrats' Hatred Of Trump Goes Far Beyond Border Wall Fight

click on image to enlarge
 
The image above clearly shows just how preposterous our immigration laws are – these laws are the root cause of the southern border invasion of caravan after caravan of as many as 12,000 people @ a time who come from the Northern Triangle Countries of Central America – some looking for work, some hardened criminals & gang members, & many planning to exploit our 126 welfare programs whenever the temptation presents itself.  But none of it is the direct invitation of the U.S. government.
 
The invading migrants, & worse yet our elected representatives, both know the immigration laws are out of line to the point of being illogical.  These laws could, & should, be changed in the next five minutes.
 
Migrants have come to realize that if they can put one foot on American soil & learn to say the word "asylum" to a border guard they will begin the process in which they take advantage of our immigration laws that President Trump has called the worst in the world regarding having the best interest of their own citizens – namely us. 
 
Under the U.S. Catch & Release laws migrants who are caught are shortly thereafter released into the interior of the U.S. while they await a hearing to determine whether or not their application for asylum will be granted.  There are currently 800,000 asylum applications that are pending with many taking five years or more to decide which plays into the hands of migrants who are determined to get their way – namely, entrance into the U.S. & not necessarily legal entrance @ that
 
What we do know is that our compassionate nature is being taken advantage of - the migrants know they do not qualify for asylum but intend to get their way by blending into the country's interior never to be heard of again after they are released.  In 2017 the majority of migrants released into America never returned for their immigration court dates – there were 40,000 deportation orders issued in absentia; i.e., to immigrants who didn't show up for their hearing & accordingly they are illegally in the U.S. today.  In addition in fiscal year 2017 only one out of seventeen applications for asylum was granted – 119,114 asylum applications with only 6,988 grants of asylum.  See graphic from the WSJ below.
 
click on graphic to enlarge
 
Just look @ the above graphic to see how the number of asylum applications have increased while the number of grants of asylum has remained relatively flat @ barely a blip on the graphic - a sign that migrants have learned to game the immigration laws to take advantage of Catch & Release.
 
There were six times more applications for asylum in 2017 than in 2012 & the rate of rejection ranged from 85.5% in 2012 to 94.1% in 2017 meaning that the vast majority of migrants know they do not qualify for asylum – namely, that they had been persecuted or fear persecution due to race, religion, nationality, political opinion, or membership in a particular social group.  Those who are unable to prove that they qualify for asylum will not be allowed to stay in the U.S.  Congress incorporated the foregoing definition of asylum seeker into U.S. immigration law as part of the Refugee Act of 1980 under President Carter.
 
In short, the migrants know they don't qualify for asylum but obtain their goal of living in the U.S. when they disappear into the country never to be heard of again under the Catch & Release laws that President Trump has exposed as against America's interests & unfair to American citizens & those who have followed immigration laws in obtaining citizenship.  But some bleeding heart liberal politicians say these migrants should not be living in the shadows & promote a pathway to citizenship for them.
 
Since President Trump came onto the national political stage on June 16, 2015 he has advocated for a wall along our southern border.  Current Democrat resistance to such a barrier has been stunning when you consider that then-senators BO ("we simply cannot allow people to pour into the U.S. undetected, undocumented, unchecked"), HRC ("I voted when I was a Senator to build a barrier to try to prevent illegal immigrants from coming in"), & Schumer ("Illegal immigration is wrong, plain & simple") have all once before held the exact position as Trump - click here to see the Senate vote tally for the Secure Fence Act of 2006.  See table below for most up to date breakdown of the 705 miles of fencing installed under the Secure Fence Act of 2006.
 
 
click on table to enlarge
 
See Part B below for conclusion of this post.
 

Part B - Democrats' Hatred Of Trump Goes Far Beyond Border Wall Fight

Continuation of Part A above
 
The map below shows the location of fencing prior & post 2007.  The feeble argument being that the aforementioned three senators were for the red lines on the map because there were so many open miles for entry into the U.S. in 2006 – like there are not many now?  Why not finish the job then or most definitely now?  Poor excuse.
 
click on map to enlarge
 
Now there are differences in walls, fences, & barriers – but whatever you call it Trump wants to build a better one than shown in San Diego below.
 
click on photo to enlarge
 
House Speaker Nancy Pelosi did not support the Secure Fence Act of 2006 but she was on board supporting barriers with the Senate Gang of Eight legislation that passed the Senate in 2013 but never came to a House vote in the GOP controlled chamber.
 
Congress passed southern border barrier protection legislation, with Pelosi's support, for $1.6 billion in both 2017 & 2018 – 40 miles of replacement fencing in 2017 & 33 miles of levee wall & pedestrian fencing in the Rio Grande Valley in 2018.  The House also passed $1.3 billion a few weeks ago that is waiting for Senate approval.  It is stipulated in all this legislation that concrete was a material forbidden to be used in this work.
 
Trump is seeking congressional approval for $5.7 billion to build about 234 miles of physical barriers that would strategically fill in some of the unprotected open spaces shown in the above map & accordingly aid the border patrol's work.
 
Pelosi & Schumer have vowed to not fund the physical barrier that Trump campaigned on - this fight over such a small current budget amount, that partially shut the government down for 35 days, becomes even smaller when you take into account that the physical barrier will have a useful life of @ least twenty years.
 
Democrats have also disagreed with the recommendations of Customs & Border Protection (CBP) on where any wall should be placed.  Evidently this degree of detail is within Democrats pay grade.
 
In summary, Democrats have currently voted to maintain existing physical barriers & have previously supported new physical barriers – just not the new one that Trump & the CBP prefer.  Pelosi calls walls immoral but there have been no calls to tear down existing walls – so existing ones are not that immoral.
 
Worse yet, click here to see Tucker Carlson provide a list of walls that Democrats do not find immoral – these are the walls that protect them personally.
 
The total cost of illegal immigration is $113 billion a year @ the combined federal, state, & local levels – with $84 billion borne by state & local taxpayers (see map below).  Sixty three percent of households headed by a non-citizen used @ least one welfare program in 2014 – source Center For Immigration Studies.
 
The major welfare programs used include Supplemental Security Income (SSI), Temporary Assistance to Needy Families (TANF), the Women, Infants, & Children (WIC) food program, free or subsidized school lunch & breakfast, food stamps (officially called the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program or SNAP), Medicaid, public housing, & rent subsidies.
 
In short, we are being made fools of.  Democrats see Democrat voters in all the people in the caravans with the U.S. citizenry paying the price including the country giving up its sovereignty.
 
 
84-billion-year click on map to enlarge
 
I recently received a note from a very wise reader who told me "there is such hostility & hatred of Trump, it seems what happens to the U.S. is unimportant to Democrats & many Americans."
 
That is precisely what this post, the partial government shutdown, the border wall fight, & Democrats not knowing when to stand & cheer when they hear great news @ the State of the Union address is all about.  If it makes Trump look good Democrats are against it - & you.
 

Thursday, January 31, 2019

Part B1 - Trump Economic Policies & The Tax Cuts & Jobs Act Of 2017 - So Far So Good - Last In A Series Of Three

Last week Google was unable to post the entire post I intended so the last in the series of posts on the economy
is presented in three parts, A, B1, & B2. 
Part A pertaining to Reducing Regulation & Controlling Regulatory Costs was posted on RTE on January 23.  Parts B1 & B2, below, pertain to 1) Lowering Individual Income Tax Rates, 2) Lowering The Corporate Income Tax Rate, 3) Full Expensing, 4) Repatriating Earnings, & 5) Opportunity Zones.
 
 
Parts A, B1, & B2 taken together make up the entire post that should be considered the last in a series of three that covers the features of the Tax Cuts & Jobs Act of 2017 (TCJA) that blend in with the Trump administration's policies & practices that will enhance the productivity growth component of the overall economic growth equation thereby propelling continued economic growth in America forward.
 
The first two posts in the series (posted on January 6 & 13) respectively covered the importance of continued economic growth in America & the headwinds facing economic growth.
 
1.  Lowering Individual Income Tax Rates
 
The lowering of individual income tax rates has an obvious appeal to virtually every American taxpayer – there is nothing stopping anyone who feels they are not paying enough income tax to make their own donation to the Treasury.
 
But senior citizens, who are mandated to make Required Minimum Distributions (RMDs) from IRAs & 401(k)s, have come to realize one of the the main benefits from such tax deferred programs – namely, to make tax saving deposits when in a high marginal income tax bracket & withdrawals (RMDs) when in a lower marginal income tax bracket. 
 
As inclusion of RMDs in taxable income pushes Baby Boomers into ever higher income tax brackets year after year in retirement the lowering of individual income tax brackets by the new tax bill is a welcome feature for many senior citizens.
 
2.  Lowering The Corporate Income Tax Rate
 
Before the passage of the Tax Cuts & Jobs Act of 2017 the U.S. had the highest federal corporate income tax rate in the world @ 35% – add in state corporate income tax rates & the average was 38.9%, about 15 percentage points above the 34 countries that makeup the Organization for Economic Cooperation & Development (OECD) average of 23.8%, excluding the U.S. in the calculation, & 4.5 percentage points higher than the second highest country, France.
 
The TCJA reduced the federal corporate income tax to 21% thereby making the U.S. more competitive worldwide.  See graphic below.
 
click on graphic from WSJ to enlarge (includes federal & state corporate income tax rates)
 
Now being more competitive means many good things like companies can reduce their prices by subtracting the portion of eliminated corporate income taxes previously embedded in prices thereby providing the opportunity to increase market share.  The graphic below shows what companies planned to do with their tax-cut savings.
 
click on graphic to enlarge
 
Now all of the topics in the above graphic put more money in productive private hands than would have occurred if it had been turned over to the government in corporate income tax payments.  Henry Hazlitt, wrote on page 37 from a Chapter entitled Taxes Discourage Production of his magnificent book, Economics In One Lesson, "it (is) improbable the wealth created by government spending will fully compensate for the wealth destroyed by the taxes imposed to pay for that spending."  Professor Friedman complemented Hazlitt's principle when he taught that the government can only put money into the economy that it first takes out. 
 
Companies in the S&P 500 paid more money in dividends through November, $421 billion, than they paid in all of 2017 thereby putting more money in the hands of the owners of these companies including employee defined benefit pension funds, IRAs, & 401(k)s.  This increase in dividends goes hand in hand with the reduction of individual income tax rates under the new tax law to put more money in the hands of working people thereby increasing economic growth.
 
See Part B2 below for conclusion of this post.