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.

Tuesday, April 23, 2019

Part A - 2020 Presidential Election May Turn On America’s Attraction To Democrat Socialist Government Dependent Policies

"A system of pure, unregulated laissez-faire capitalism has never existed anywhere." – Ayn Rand writing in Capitalism: The Unknown Ideal
"Wherever the free market has been permitted to operate, wherever anything approaching equality of opportunity has existed, the ordinary man has been able to obtain levels of living never dreamed of before.  Nowhere is the gap between rich & poor wider, nowhere are the rich richer or the poor poorer, than in those societies that do not permit the free market to operate." - Professor Friedman writing in Free To Choose
"America has been more than fifty percent socialist for many years & we are not getting our money's worth." – Professor Friedman in 1996
"A government that robs Peter to pay Paul can always depend on the support of Paul." – British playwright George Bernard Shaw
Hillsdale College reports:
1.  Only 51% of high school students think America is the greatest country in the world (no word as to which country they think is).
2.  Only 11% of high school students could name the specific rights enumerated  in the First Amendment, & 87% of high school students flunked a five-question test on basic knowledge of American history (I hope they remain in high school until they don't flunk the test).
3.  A Harvard University poll in 2017 showed that 51% of young people said they oppose capitalism, & 44% would prefer to live in a socialist country.  (They don't have to leave America to find another country because they are winning - changing America to suit their preferences.)
4.  Just 19% of Americans younger than forty-five could pass the U.S. Citizenship Test (then why are the 81% citizens?).
For those of us still breathing the above statistics are not surprising because we know that long ago progressive statists' teaching of socialism infiltrated American education & now dominates it.  Civics, & our American history & heritage, long a staple of government school education, are no longer taught in far too many American schools.  The latest example is the University of Wisconsin – Stevens Point which recently announced a cut in both faculty positions & six programs including history – source ACTA.
Far-left celebrities & professional athletes openly reject our nation's founding principles, deem America "racist" & "sexist" & distort our history, effectively turning our youth against their own country without ever saying what other country is better.  Second string football players dominate media coverage for years, kneeling in protest as our national anthem is played but the CBS TV cameras quickly turned off the locker room cerebration when Texas Tech coach Chris Beard knelt in prayer with his entire team after winning the semi final NCAA basketball game on April 6.
Self proclaimed socialist Bernie Sanders received 13 million votes in the 2016 primaries & more millennial votes than Hillary & Trump combined.  Since that election nearly 200 socialists have been elected to school boards, city councils, & state legislatures all across America – & even to the U.S. Congress where socialist AOC partners with Bernie to lead their government dependent effort. 
Although Bernie has a pathetic record of sponsoring bills that pass into law it is more important to realize Sanders has successfully cosponsored more than 200 bills & holds or has held six committee appointments including Health, Education, Labor & Pensions where he can do damage promoting Medicare for All & free college education – two of his pet projects that have taken hold with far too many Americans.  Bernie is also the Ranking Member on the Senate Budget committee reviewing Trump's budget issued in March.
In short socialism has taken hold in a group of young people who have never known an economic system other than the ones presided over by GW Bush &/or BO - & those systems were not capitalistic.
See Parts B & C below for continuation of this post.

Part B - 2020 Presidential Election May Turn On America’s Attraction To Democrat Socialist Government Dependent Policies

Continuation of Part A above.
Check out the following graphic to see exactly how much significance Millenials & members of Generation Z believe in socialism & government control of their lives.
click on graphic to enlarge
Although the positive view of socialism among 18 to 29 year olders remained constant @ 51% between 2010 & 2018 those with a positive view of capitalism dropped from 68% to 45% during these eight years so the positive view of capitalism is now below that of socialism with the youth of America by a 45% to 51% tally.  See table from Gallup below.
click on table to enlarge
For Democrats as a whole it is 57% with a positive view of socialism & 47% with a positive view of capitalism.  See table from Gallup below.
click on table to enlarge
Now President Trump is confident of winning reelection in 2020 because of his accomplishments despite the mindless anything-but-Trump resistance of the Democrats & the universal opposition of the hostile anti-American media except for networks like One America News.
Trump & his supporters believe that the immediate doubling of real GDP economic growth from 1.5% in BO's final six full quarters in office to 3.0% in Trump's first six full quarters in office with its natural private sector job creation, prosperity, & wealth creation is a game winner if it is sustained.  Trump cites record, near record, & 50 year lows in black, Hispanic, & women's unemployment rates.  Add the two Supreme Court justices, moving the U.S. embassy in Israel to Jerusalem, building a relationship with North Korea, & fighting for all he is worth against southwestern border invaders to maintain U.S. sovereignty with no help from Congress & a deliberate hindrance & desire to make control of the border impossible by the judiciary & you have more than the perception that Trump is the only one standing up for America – you have the reality that he is.
But does any of the above mean anything anymore?

Part C - 2020 Presidential Election May Turn On America’s Attraction To Democrat Socialist Government Dependent Policies

Continuation of Part A & B above.
Millennials & members of Generation Z are projected to make up 37.5% of the 2020 electorate.  See graphic below.
click on graphic to enlarge
The youthful voters are not focusing on Trump's above list of accomplishments & neither are the older generations to some degree.  Generation Z is interested in mass shootings, racial equality, & immigration policy & treatment of immigrants.  Millennials are interested in healthcare, global warming/climate change, & mass shootings.  Generation X & older generations are interested in healthcare, terrorism/national security, & the national debt.
The 19 Democrat candidates running in opposition & resistance to Trump for the presidency offer plenty for every socialist voter to like – led by the ideas of the five freshman Congresswomen shown in the photo above, & especially the ideas of AOC & her mentor Bernie Sanders.  AOC worked as an organizer in the primaries for Bernie's 2016 presidential campaign.  She previously worked for Ted Kennedy & has been called "the future of the Democratic Party."
AOC graduated cum laude in 2011 with a degree from Boston University majoring in economics & international relations.  Following graduation she was employed as an educational director, strategist, & organizer working for various firms & projects with college-bound high school students.  After her father died she took an additional job working as a waitress & bartender in lower Manhattan to help her mother who was fighting foreclosure of their home.  AOC is a member of the Democratic Socialists of America (see graphic below that shows the growth in membership of DSA from 2016 to 2018) which has its roots in the Socialist Party Of America whose most prominent leaders are former many-times socialist presidential candidates Eugene Debs & Norman Thomas. 
But AOC discredited her fine college education & work credentials when she told Margaret Hoover on Firing Line that unemployment was low because everyone has two jobs working 60, 70, 80 hours per week, listed the three branches of government – the House, Senate, & Presidency, compared the plight of the migrant caravan mobs to Jews fleeing the Holocaust, threatened Don Jr. with a subpoena she would issue, & called four star Marine general & Gold Star father John Kelly a coward – Kelly had enlisted in the Marine Corps during the Vietnam War & his son 1st Lt. Robert Kelly was killed in Afghanistan after stepping on a landmine in November 2010.
AOC's progressive platform which virtually all of the Democrat presidential candidates support to one degree or another, include Medicare for All, a federal jobs guarantee, a proposed Green New Deal that calls for the end of the use of fossil fuels within 12 years – by 2030, abolishing ICE, eliminating the electoral college, free public college & trade school, & a 70% marginal tax rate for incomes over $10 million.  A Sienna College Research Institute poll of AOC's constituents conducted earlier this month found 75% support Medicare for All, 76% support free college, 73% support a federal jobs guarantee program that pays a living wage, & the Green New Deal is favored 41% to 20%.
AOC was born in 1989 & as I have written many times about Millennials they have never really experienced the power & benefits of free enterprise capitalism – growing up under GW Bush & BO.  Click here to hear AOC define democratic socialism & explain how she came to hold these views – mostly formed because she "never experienced a time of prosperity in the United States".
Other Democrat ideas with near universal support of all the Democrat presidential candidates include reparations for slavery for some kind of compensation to descendants of slaves from the Atlantic slave trade hundreds of years ago, packing the Supreme Court with liberal judges, increasing the minimum wage to $15 per hour while waiting for the guaranteed federal jobs program to become law, & limiting political speech – Hillsdale College reports that 37% of American college students think it is acceptable to shout down speakers & 10% support violence to keep someone from speaking.
In addition to AOC's 70% tax on "tippy tops" income, Democrat presidential candidates fall in line supporting Warren's wealth tax, Wyden's plan to tax capital gains as ordinary income & institute an annual unrealized capital gains tax, Sanders 77% estate tax, Castro's 90% top income tax rate, & Connecticut Congressman John Larson's uncapped 2.4 percentage point increase in payroll taxes.
All of the above statistics, tables, & graphics whether from Hillsdale College, the Harris Poll, Gallup, or Pew Research show the movement of Democrats toward socialism.  The following graphic provides further gender & age breakdown in this regard from WSJ/NBC News polls including percentages of Democrats that consider themselves moderates & conservatives.
click on graphic to enlarge
To a greater & greater extent from so many sources we see that the 2020 presidential election may very well not be about the normal peace & prosperity issues that have dominated previous election results that President Trump is counting on.  The country has moved or even lurched to the socialist left.  See graphic below from Pew Research Center that surveyed five generations of Republicans with each one moving further left than the one before – i.e., becoming more statist. 
click on graphic to enlarge
To answer the question I am so often asked – yes, many people living up & down your street prefer the Democrat socialist policies described in this post whether they be presented by a 29 year old freshman Congresswoman whose lack of substance is stunning or Bernie Sanders who unapologetically admitted on FNC on April 15 that he was one of the millionaires or billionaires he rails against because of his capitalistic book writing endeavors.
We have seen time & again that as liberal Democrats leave the oppression of statist hellholes in states where they reside & move to traditional neighborhoods in conservative states, they still prefer the dependence of government programs – but not the responsibility to pay for those programs.  Consequently they continue to vote Democrat & turn more red states blue thereby continuing the incremental transformation of America that BO started.
Both AOC & Bernie have very high energy work ethics & should not be easily or quickly dismissed - they really can convince people that they believe what they espouse.  They both acknowledge that America is the richest nation ever in the world.  But do they not recognize that it was capitalism that built & sustains this wealth – not socialism?
Do the American people not see this?

Sunday, April 14, 2019

Huckabee's Income Tax Day Message

Click here to hear Governor Mike Huckabee's summary presentation of the best plan I know of to replace the federal income tax.

Sunday, April 7, 2019

NY's Subsidies To Amazon For High Taxes & Cost Of Living Leads To Cancellation of HQ2 Project

In the Fall of 2018 Amazon completed its yearlong competitive search of more than 200 cities to find a second U.S. headquarters.  The final result was that there would be two second headquarters because Amazon could not find any one location in the U.S. with enough qualified technical talent to meet their needs – a sorry enough story in & of itself. 
Long Island City in Queens NY & the Crystal City neighborhood of Arlington, VA were Amazon's preferred locations with each city expected to realize an increase of 25,000 high paying jobs as the total $5 billion Amazon investment in the two locations progressed.  The plan was for Amazon to build @ least four million square feet of office space @ each location.
In order to secure their half of the HQ2 project NY state & NYC offered up to $3 billion combined total in pot sweetening incentives to Amazon in one form of subsidy or another.  For their part Virginia kicked in a substantial amount but quite a bit less than NY: $573 million in cash grants & infrastructure improvements.
NY Governor Andrew Cuomo & NYC Mayor Bill de Blasio could not have been more excited about the prospects of the Amazon HQ2 project.  But socialist Congresswoman Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (AOC), whose congressional district #14 includes the eastern part of the Bronx & portions of north-central Queens, but not Long Island City where the HQ2 project was to be located, considered the deal one of the biggest giveaways in state history & thought that Amazon was taking advantage of the governor's & mayor's eagerness to spend other people's money saying that the $3 billion could be put to better use for middle class people currently living in NYC rather than $150,000 per year computer scientists brought in from who knows where in the future.
On February 14 Amazon cancelled its plan to build HQ2 in NYC. 
Although AOC & her political supporters like NY State Senator & Deputy Majority Leader Mike Gianaris, an Amazon HQ2 opponent whose district includes Long Island City & who was appointed to the board that would have had to approve parts of the deal, were victorious in squelching the NYC Amazon HQ2 project the idea of adding 25,000 jobs to the area had the support of two thirds of registered voters surveyed by the Siena College Research Institute last month.  Even before the results of the Siena survey were known the Jobs Creators Network installed the following billboard in Times Square on February 20:
click on image to enlarge
I received a very discerning comment from a subscriber that pointed out that NYC has a tremendous advantage in large "people talent, services, & infrastructure" over just about every place that competed for HQ2 except DC.  If not for that advantage Amazon "would have gone to Podunk town in Rural America & forgot NYC & DC with their big city problems."
But Cuomo & de Blasio did not trust the intelligentsia, education, or sophistication of the legal residents of NYC enough to think Amazon would not go to Podunk without the pot sweetening incentives the state & city offered.  Both men wanted HQ2 & that is why they offered the $3 billion in incentives to attract Amazon.  In this regard socialist AOC has more faith in her fellow New Yorkers than the longtime establishment Democrats do.
The above point became evident when Cuomo admitted "that high costs & taxes in NY contributed to the Empire State's package (to Amazon) being more generous than Virginia's" or dare I say Podunk's.  In fact NY politicians spent $10 billion last year – more than any other state – on business incentives.
Governor Cuomo has been a vociferous opponent of the Tax Cuts & Jobs Act ever since it was signed into law on December 22, 2017 mostly because NY has the highest state & local tax (SALT) deduction & the new income tax law limits the federal SALT deduction to $10,000, meaning those New Yorkers who pay very high state & local taxes to NY are still paying that same amount but now are paying more federal taxes because of the limited SALT deduction.  Cuomo has blamed the SALT deduction cap for the state's revenue decline that produced NY's $2.3 billion budget shortfall & has called it the driving force for high income people leaving the state for places like Florida which, unlike NY, does not have an estate tax.  See table below for comparison of states with the highest & lowest SALT deductions.
click on table to enlarge
Cuomo says that someone in the highest income tax bracket living in NYC paid a combined federal-state-city income tax rate of 45% prior to the 2017 income tax law overhaul & that the rate increased to 50.4% in 2018 because of the changes to the SALT deduction.
Wealthy taxpayers in the high SALT deduction states in the above table have been using the SALT deduction for decades to lower their federal income tax bills which makes a bad, read high or expensive, state & local tax burden more tolerable.  The Tax Cuts & Jobs Act of 2017 gives taxpayers of high SALT deduction states a much better chance to do something about high taxes other than complain or deduct them on their federal income tax returns.
SALT deductions on federal income tax returns have been one of the largest tax breaks that Democrat controlled states like NY have benefitted from for decades.  It is not the new income tax law that is driving people out of NY but the combination of the limitation of the SALT deduction & the high taxes & cost of living in NY state & city.  It is the profligate state & local government spending that must be brought under control - not just in NY but also NJ, CT, MD, CA et al. that is subsidized by all the other states who do not have large state & local taxes.
The following Gallup study table shows that the state tax burden is linked to people's desire to leave their state.  This study also reveals what Cuomo & de Blasio knew about Amazon – that people would be reluctant to come to NY with its high taxes & cost of living.
States Whose Residents Are Least Likely, and Most Likely, to Want to Leave, 2015
Reference Post:  SALT Deduction Quiz