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.

Monday, March 23, 2020

Biden Victory Speech Reveals Very Sad Candidate

The last post pointed out the risk to the Democrat party, & really to all of us, of putting all the eggs in the Joe Biden basket for president – the current favorite to win the 2020 presidential election on the basis of probability – simply by the numbers.
Specifically, the aforementioned post pointed out the danger to the Democrat party of socialist Vermont Senator Bernie Sanders exposing Biden's inattention & ceaseless gaffes last Sunday in their two-hour one-on-one debate.
Well, following the principle of the opposite, Biden didn't lose, he won the debate.
Biden had been well coached & prepared for the debate to address Bernie's stale & worn out points promoting socialism & attacking America – a country Sanders despises.  In Biden's favor there were not nine other Democrat debaters on stage interjecting disruptive comments to throw Biden off his prepared message so in fact the March 15 debate was easy for him to appear victorious.  And of course the moderators cooperated.  To appear the winner Biden only had to be prepared for a very small number of predictable points & not get flustered.  Bernie did not disappoint & just like he showed what a quitter he was against Hilary in 2016 he quit again when he told Biden, unprovoked, he would support him for president without any reciprocal endorsement from Biden.
So far so good for Biden – but his anticipated debate gaffe problem appeared two days after the debate following his victory speech in Delaware after winning the Florida & Illinois primaries on March 17.
Click here to witness something too sad for American politics.

Thursday, March 12, 2020

Democrat Presidential Nominee Could Depend On Sunday Debate

"Our campaign is not about beating Trump, it is about transforming this country." – Bernie Sanders speaking after he won the NH primary
a satirical image of President Lincoln using the words of Joe Biden misquoting the Declaration Of Independence
The 2020 Democrat primary election process has provided a vivid example of how a primary process should work.  After Super Tuesday nearly 14 million votes had been cast in 16 Democrat primaries & 3 caucuses.  What started as a very large Democrat field had boiled down to two candidates - Bernie Sanders & Joe Biden, who can best be represented by the above quotes in which Bernie clearly stated his core belief & Biden presented no ability to enunciate one.  Through Super Tuesday Biden had received 36% of all Democrat primary & caucus votes & Bernie had received 29%.
During the first three events in IO, NH, & NV the Democrat party electorate voted for their preferred candidate with no influence from previous state results– & it wasn't Biden. Buttigieg & Bernie came out on top with Biden an also ran who was given up as a laughing stock by broadcasters like Glenn Beck.
But Biden, never thinking he could do well in the first three contests, staked his presidential bid on the unconventional strategy of winning the fourth electoral contest in South Carolina – which he did win by 28 points.  SC was the first primary state Biden ever won – now in his third run for the presidency dating back to 1988 - & it came just in time.  But Biden was still down after winning SC & Bernie looked strong going forward.
There were only two days between Biden's SC victory & the Super Tuesday contests in 14 states – not much time for Biden to gain any momentum from the big SC win.  But mysteriously Buttigieg & Klobuchar dropped out of the race right before Super Tuesday, thereby never giving themselves a chance to win, & equally as surprising Warren stayed in the race – one way or the other all three benefited Biden on Super Tuesday & disadvantaged Bernie so that Biden exited Super Tuesday about 75 delegates in the lead after looking like Lazarus of Bethany only a very few days before – or like Truman right after the Chicago Daily Tribune announced the winner of the 1948 presidential election – see photo below.  Exit polls showed that late deciding voters went for Biden.
click on photo to enlarge
Now I say the primary process worked because the Democrat electorate saw plenty of these candidates & earlier dismissed the two black candidates, Kamala Harris & Cory Booker, & then later eliminated homosexual Buttigieg & females Klobuchar & Warren so that the main contenders are two white men both over 77 years old who will not take office for over ten months from now if they win in November.  Democrats also dismiss Tulsi Gabbard, a female who is still in the race, when they complain there is no female still in the race.  Going forward it will be hard for Democrats to seriously peddle diversity & identity politics to anyone who remembers how the Democrats eliminated their own black, homosexual, & female candidates & selected their presidential nominee from one of two old white men.
Originally Biden was thought to be the Democrat candidate with the best chance of beating Trump.  But Biden was exposed as almost senile during debates & speeches like the one highlighted above where he could not remember the most famous passage from the Declaration Of Independence – a document that President Lincoln revered.  As the other candidates, one by one, also showed their own particular weaknesses, Biden reemerged, @ least temporarily, as the one most likely to beat Trump – Biden won the Democrat primaries by large margins in NC & AL & 60% of late deciding votes in VA & OK, a state he never put a foot in.  For Biden, like Val in A Chorus Line, "life turned into an endless medley of 'gee it had to be you.'"
The problem for Democrats, & all of us if either Biden or Bernie wins in November, is that they are both terrible candidates & either of them will bring in big government socialism – Biden just hides it a little bit, a very little bit, better than Bernie does.
Bernie campaigns in a forceful, aggressive, assertive, & brash manner pushing socialistic tenets like 1) government control of healthcare that eliminates 150 million private healthcare insurance policies & requires doctors & hospitals to take a 40% cut in compensation thereby guaranteeing rationing of services & long wait times for patients to see a doctor, 2) forgiveness of all student loan debt & making college a taxpayer funded entitlement, 3) sanctuary cities, counties, & states, 4) illegal immigrants receiving free college tuition, free healthcare, full welfare benefits, citizenship, & full Social Security benefits paid for by American taxpayers, 5) a Green New Deal that bans fracking with crippling costs over the entire economy with no benefits, 6) not only a $15 per hour minimum wage but a government guaranteed job regardless of whether or not graduates can find private employment work after being provided free college, 7) housing for all including national rent control, 8) expanded Social Security, 9) free childcare & Pre-K for all, 10) medical debts eliminated, 11) a wealth tax, 12) high speed internet for all, & 13) tax increases for corporations & the rich to pay for all the programs, projected to total over $100 trillion over the next ten years, which eventually will trickle down to the middle class paying more than their fair share.
Since the start of the Democrat primary process Biden has lurched left, without principle, toward Bernie's socialist tenets & if he does not currently espouse each & every one of the above 13 points it is only a matter of time before he does. 
What became obvious between Saturday in SC & Super Tuesday is that the Democrat establishment is scared to death of Bernie @ the head of the ticket – or anywhere else for that matter.  Democrats think that Bernie cannot beat Trump & they have tried to square the circle hoping that Biden has the best chance to beat Trump & that is why blacks, suburban voters, & the elderly all supported Biden on Super Tuesday in winning 10 of the 14 contests.
The Democrat primary turnout has been very high for Biden & surprisingly lackluster for Bernie.  There has been a higher turnout in 2020 than in 2016 in 13 of the 14 Super Tuesday states – 36% higher in TX, 69% higher in VA, 14% higher in AL, & 46% higher in SC.
But make no mistake about it – the Democrat voters will enthusiastically back any candidate over Trump & this higher turnout for Biden in the primaries, plus another billion dollars of support from Bloomy, is a concern for Trump's reelection.  The only exception is if the Bernie Bros stay home or vote for Trump in protest for what they perceive as another election stolen from Bernie.
I believe Democrats would rather win back WI, PA, & MI in November if it came to a choice of winning these three states or losing CA, which of course they won't.
Biden widened his delegate lead to 150 (935 to 785 with delegates still to be counted in CA, UT, & CO where Bernie is ahead) after the March 10 Mini Super Tuesday primaries in six states (Biden won MI, MO, MS, ID, effectively tied in WA, & lost ND) but with the Democrat party rules calling for an apportionment of delegates based on the votes it could be a long time before either candidate reaches the required 1,990 of the total of 3,979 pledged delegates to be declared the winner.  Biden needs 49.9% of the outstanding delegates & Bernie needs 55.9% to secure a first ballot victory @ the convention in Milwaukee. 
The Democrat party bosses do not want Bernie – see his quote @ the very top of this post – they don't want a transformation of this country yet.  The question is will they still want Biden after his performance @ the one-on-one televised debate with Bernie on Sunday night - two days before primaries in OH, IL, AZ, & FL?

Wednesday, March 4, 2020

Reissue - Trump's 2021 Fiscal Year Budget Priorities

This post is being reissued because it has been brought to my attention by subscribers that there were serious errors of transmittal by Google/Blogger with the original post made on February 29 that made for difficult reading.  This condition can be exacerbated for subscribers who use some hand held devices when posts include graphs, tables, & attachments.  I suggest that if @ any time your device does not produce pleasurable reading – in fact results in tedious reading - that you click on the website @ www.ReturnToExcellence.net & read the post directly online.


Early in BO’s administration Ann Coulter recommended the elimination of the Departments of Health & Human Services, Education, Commerce, Agriculture, HUD, Transportation, the EPA, the National Endowment of the Arts, the National Endowment for the Humanities, & the progressive income tax & instituting a flat tax.  At the time, I seconded Ann’s recommendation except I recommended eliminating the progressive income tax & replacing it with the FairTax.
On February 10, 2020 President Trump released his budget for fiscal year 2021 (October 1 to September 30 2021) entitled A Budget For America’s Future – Fiscal Year 2021.
Trump’s budget calls for nominal GDP levels of $22.5 trillion to $36.6 trillion from 2020 to 2030 respectively, real GDP growth of 2.8% to 3.1% over the next ten years, a CPI inflation rate averaging 2.3%, ten year Treasury note rates of 2.0% in 2020 increasing to 3.2% in 2030, & the annual average civilian unemployment rate rising from 3.5% in 2020 to 4.0% in 2030.  See Table S-9, entitled Economic Assumptions below.

In 2020, the U.S. will spend $1.29 for every $1 that it will collect in revenue (Outlays = $4,790 billion / Receipts = $3,706 billion leaving a budget deficit of $1,083 billion ).  See Table S-1, entitled Budget Tools below.

Professor Friedman taught that money available for taxation is composed of direct taxes & borrowing & that the portion of the national debt that is paid every year is the interest payments on that debt.  Who could possibly think that if the budget deficit was magically wiped out that government spending would be reduced to equal revenue.  No, government spending would still equal the $4,790 billion listed in the table above for 2020.  A deficit is simply a form of hidden taxation financed either by printing money or by an invisible tax on all property as more money is taken from the future income of that property.
Increasing the debt is the easiest thing in the world for politicians to do because they know that interest payments are the least damaging expenditure of government.  Interest payments  are simply transfers from tax payers to bond holders that do not use up any resources – there is no labor that is unavailable for something else.  It is the opportunity cost of what could have been done with the money provided by bondholders that is the real cost & this is the most evil & cruelest part of debt financing – the part that is never seen or even imagined except by that one person in a million that Lenin did not want to meet.
With GDP growing a little over 2% per year the Congressional Budget Office reports that for the fiscal year ending September 30, 2019 revenue grew 4% & spending grew 8.25% meaning economic growth is generating additional tax revenue but the government is growing 4 times faster than the economy.  Now you don’t have to be long time subscriber Economics 501 to know this is not sustainable.  Do your own calculations using the CBO table below to derive the revenue-spending relationship for fiscal year 2019.

The above fiscal year 2021 Trump budget has proposed increases in outlays for defense & veterans but has also included lower nondefense spending & according to Forbes’ analysis calls for eliminating such fraudulent items as paying $10 billion Social Security benefits to dead people or benefits to the supposed six million people on Social Securities’ books who are 112 years old or older – for the record there are only 40 people in the whole world that are 112 & older.  Forbes also reports that Medicare & Medicaid overpaid recipients by $67 billion last year & that the IRS wrongly paid out $18.4 billion through the earned income tax credit program.
But all of the above mistaken payments are small in the overall scheme of things & in all likelihood neither these mistaken payments or the entitlement spending that causes the large budget deficits will be addressed by a Democrat House until after the November presidential election.  Since funding of the federal government is in place through the end of the fiscal year we should expect to once again go the Continuing Resolution government funding route starting on October 1 & lasting @ least until next winter when a new government convenes.
Sixty percent of federal spending goes toward paying Social Security, Medicare, & Medicaid – the three programs that constitute the cornerstone of America’s welfare state.  Ten percent of federal outlays goes toward paying interest on the national debt leaving 30% for discretionary spending like defense, food stamps, foreign aid, & the departments listed for elimination @ the top of this post.
Our elected representatives’ (i.e.,  temporary politicians) inhumanity & lack of regard, concern, or sympathy for people dependent on Social Security & Medicare has been on full display for decades – both programs are headed for substantial reduction in benefits in the not too distant future. 
Page 2 of the 2018 sample statement on the Social Security website clearly says that “by 2034, the payroll taxes collected will be enough to pay only about 77 percent of scheduled benefits.”  Of course the alternative to lowering benefits is to raise taxes.  Joe Sternberg wrote in the WSJ “one also has to ask why future generations of workers should be forced to pay higher proportions of the fruits of their labors to fund benefits for old timers who refused to raise their own taxes or to reform benefits.”
The problem with Medicare is that Medicare Part A is facing a funding shortfall that will require a 12% reduction in hospital benefits by 2029 & the cost of Parts B & D, which are 81% funded by general revenue from the Treasury, are growing too fast to be sustained.
If you are interested in solutions to the Social Security & Medicare problems click on the referenced posts listed below.
As we all know from previous budgets President Trump’s obvious interests are funding Defense & reducing the trade deficit through leveling the playing field in the global economy of international trade.  Students of international economics know there is no such thing as free or fair trade because virtually every country in the world uses tariffs, quotas, quota licenses, tariff rate quotas, export quotas, domestic content requirements, subsidies, export subsidies, dumping – sporadic, predatory, & persistent government procurement policies, & social regulations such as the average fuel economy standards of cars to protect their workers.  And of course the workers needing the most protection are the lowest skilled least educated people. 
Accordingly, as politicians try to buy votes to get re-elected or elected to higher office in 2020, President Trump works to put America first realizing there is no free & unfettered trade. Protectionist trade policies implemented to benefit the weak, in one form or another, reigns @ the expense of the American worker & consumer, & this is the state of affairs President Trump is trying to improve upon.
Referenced Posts: