American Elephants


Are You in Favor of Tax Cuts? Why or Why Not? by The Elephant's Child

Democrats are fully organized to defeat their opposition: us. They recognize that most of their voters are busy with their plebeian lives, and don’t pay much attention to the news. They just don’t have time. That’s why they are out there crying “racist, sexist, homophobic, etc, etc” whenever the wind shifts slightly. Added on to that will be whatever seems to be the hot button of the moment. Talking points come from John Podesta and the Center for American Progress. You can tell about talking points because when there is any notable think in the news, all major Democrats will speak of it in identical words, often right down to the apostrophes and quotation marks. They speak with one voice, but it does not represent individual thought.

Ordinary Democrats don’t receive the talking points, you have to be somebody who might get interviewed or who might speak on their own. This is simply the old notion that if a lie is repeated often enough, pretty soon everybody will believe it. They are scared to death of the Republican effort to cut taxes, you may have heard them— xxx (this cut) is going to kill people, people will die (work requirement for welfare), removing the penalty for refusing to buy ObamaCare health insurance. That sort of thing, plus all the other drastic results of Republican tax relief.

But guess what: polls are showing that Americans not only do not understand the Republican tax proposals, but a stunning 41 percent of voters say that tax reform will increase their taxes, while just 20 percent think their taxes will fall. Complete nonsense. The Joint Committee on Taxation estimates that most Americans will have their taxes cut by Republican efforts to reform the tax code. Those who do not get cuts will be because of the elimination of some deductions. The media, of course, is reporting that tax reform is very unpopular. This is the result of a highly successful disinformation campaign.

The Left is highly organized to get their messages out. There’s the Center for American Progress, David Brock and Media Matters and his other efforts, and the Democracy Alliance, a big organization of very wealthy Democrats who have to cough up big bucks just to join, and then commit funds regularly to advance the Leftist project. George Soros is a big player and supporter.

Republican efforts to inform about tax relief get a few quotes from Paul Ryan, Speaker and “policy wonk”, who gets lost in the weeds on tax intricacies. There isn’t much of anyone explaining what is happening. The Left, on the other hand,  is remarkably uninterested in economics, only in control.

Random economists explain, but most people don’t really know how much they pay in taxes. They have automatic withdrawals for taxes where they work, and don’t pay much attention to the total until it’s tax time and they just turn the papers over to their tax guy. Same thing with the news. How many get their news of the day from late night ‘comedians’ or what they hear on the radio on the drive home? What they hear is likely to be more confusing than informative, and highly opinionated.  When and how does all this getting informed happen? Who can you trust? What publication online, or in a newspaper or magazine can you trust?

Too many of today’s young reporters are products of schools that haven’t taught Western Civ for years, who don’t require much in the way of history, and they look at being in the news business as becoming a player in the political game. Go back and read the interview with Claudia Rosett, a real honest-to-goodness journalist. Today’s young reporters seem to be political enthusiasts with bylines who don’t spend their spare time studying up.

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Democrats Are So Predictable by The Elephant's Child

Senator Charles Schumer’s response (Tax cuts for the Rich! Tax cuts for the rich!) to any threat of a tax cut from the Republicans will loudly drown out any attempt by Republicans to explain what it is they believe they have accomplished. Obama left office with a gift of a $20 trillion deficit, which makes cutting taxes to revive the economy a difficult undertaking. They need to tailor the cuts to help make the economy grow while still whittling away at the deficit as well.

The House passed a tax bill and sent it on to the Senate, and the Senate has now passed their version (remember that the Senate does not have a lot of wiggle room because their majority is so small) But they did pass it, they believe they’ve added good things, so now it goes to reconciliation where they try to agree on a final bill that will go to the President for his signature.

Democrats do not understand that cutting taxes on business will help to make the economy grow. It has been proven over and over, but Democrats believe that corporations are the rich, and they know that is true because they have seen how much some CEOs of big corporations make on the financial pages, and they seethe.

No sooner had the Senate passed their bill than Democrats en masse had nervous breakdowns. Kurt Eichenwald complained that “America died tonight. Economic suicide adopted to feed the insatiable greed of donors…” Patton Oswalt said “There’s no America now.” “Economist Larry Summers predicts 10,000 will die per year due to tax reform.”An MSNBC guest says Republican Tax Bill Is ‘Akin to Rape.’

These quotes come from Steven Hayward at Powerline, where I envision him giggling as he types each word of his lengthy piece. The Democrats are absolutely certifiable.



The Mueller Probe Is Not What You Think It Is! by The Elephant's Child

Apparently the Mueller probe has never been about Russian collusion at all, and is entirely focused on trying desperately to find something for which to impeach President Trump. General Michael Flynn has pleaded guilty to “lying” to the FBI in order to stop the harassment of his family, the depletion of his savings in attorney fees, and is being forced to sell his house to meet the financial drain. The Mueller team was apparently trying to implicate Flynn’s son, though I have seen no information on that at all.

Michael Ledeen has written on the case, and says that he interviewed former colleagues of Flynn thoroughly when he worked with him on The Field of Flight, to understand his co-author. Flynn was unanimously described as a man who was a compulsive truth-teller. Confessing to making false statements makes no sense, and would be totally out of character,. Ledeen says he has pled guilty to doing foreign policy, which was his job, at the behest of the president-elect, and then misleading the FBI and the vice-president elect. I always listen to Michael Ledeen.

The FBI agent who interviewed General Flynn was Peter Strzok, who was removed from the Russia Probe over anti-Trump bias expressed publicly on Twitter and elsewhere. Michael Ledeen:

So the Flynn story, which is also the Mueller story, is about national politics, as it has been since the beginning. We have just learned that Mueller removed two investigators from his staff after they had played key roles in investigating Hillary Clinton, Donald Trump, and the so-called “collusion” matter. Mueller has been actively blocking congressional access to documents about the case.

Attorney General Sessions  issued an interesting statement:

The allegations that the inspector general has confirmed are part of his ongoing investigation, if proven to be true, would raise serious questions of public trust. I look forward to receiving the inspector general’s report. We will ensure that anyone who works on any investigation in the Department of Justice does so objectively and free from bias or favoritism.

The inspector general has been working diligently to complete his investigation for months, and I have requested he complete it as soon as possible. The American people deserve answers.

At the Wall Street Journal, Holman Jenkins noted that:

Retired Lt. Gen. Mike Flynn on Friday pleaded guilty to lying about a non-crime. Even Adam Schiff, the House Democrat most determined to ride the Russia collusion story to bigger and better things, acknowledged that conferring with a representative of Russia about the incoming administration’s Russia policy is not illegal or improper.

The best source for the legal part of this complicated mess is Andy McCarthy at National Review. Read the whole thing, and Andy’s other pieces as well.  We all need to be well informed on this Leftist attempt at a coup. They want to bring down this administration. It has nothing really to do with Hillary’s loss. They wish she would just go away. It is entirely about power.

The Obama administration made some great progress towards the globalism or socialism  that is their goal, and they were looking forward to getting rid of the annoying Constitution, all that free speech crap, all the guns—they could envision the promised wonderfulness nearly in reach, and then—Trump! He is not only decimating all of Obama’s accomplishments one by one, he keeps getting on Twitter and rubbing it in.

I don’t think the average run of the mill Democrat has any grasp of what the hard core of the party is all about. They are Democrats because Republicans are nasty Racist, Sexist, Homophobes who cut taxes for the Rich, and don’t give the poor people anything at all. Or something like that.

The Trump accomplishments to this point are not particularly Republican, but centrist. Trump has his eye clearly on fixing the controls and regulations imposed by the Obama administration and getting overbearing government out of the way of the people.Which is really what he promised, isn’t it?



Great Good News, So Of Course the Left Is Out Protesting by The Elephant's Child

The Obama administration wanted business to boom, or at least improve, so instead of getting out of the way and making it easier for businesses to do what they knew how to do, they loaded on the regulations—do it this way.  In the interest of the health of older folks, the feds decided that a doctor’s appointment with a Medicare patient should last for 7 minutes. In concern for the health of obese Americans they decided that Pizza Parlors should not only list all the ingredients in a pizza, but the calories added by each ingredient, on that big sign behind the cash register. The federal government thought they could do a better job of training people for jobs. And they did not understand why business did not improve.

People (including congressmen) read in the business press about the seemingly astronomic salaries paid to corporate CEOs, and are incensed. In most cases, the corporate board pays the CEO in relation to how successfully he helps the business to make a profit. Lengthy terms in office are not all that common. Democrats are astonished to learn that the Federal Government runs a deficit.

It’s very hard to get people to understand that corporations don’t really pay taxes. If doing business costs more, they make the box size a little smaller, let some workers go, reduce the quality of a lesser component—and as a last resort, raise the price of the product. But there are limits to how far they can go. If a business does not make a profit, it no longer has a reason to exist and goes out of business. It would be really helpful if the Left would learn something about economics, but buying your favorite Leftist an economics book won’t work. As the old saying goes “You can lead a horse to water, but you can’t make him drink.”

Democrats are interested in control, not economics. You need a lot of taxes to support controlling everything.

P.S. If you took in taxes every bit of the income (all of it) of the people who earn $100,000. a year or more, it still would not be enough to run the country.



Understanding the Tax Battle by The Elephant's Child

Here’s a graph with information from the IRS, explained by AEI economist Mark J. Perry that explains some of the confusing parts of the tax questions. Read it carefully until it sinks in.   I asked Bing how many U.S. taxpayers there are, and the best I could come up with was 243 million as of 2013. They apparently haven’t counted up since then, although it seems like a number that would be needed.

But never mind. Do a little math, multiply 243,ooo,ooo by 95%, and 243,000,000 by 01% so you are talking numbers of people or households, and that will give you a sense of what they are talking about with the bottom 95% and top 1%. The standard assumption that we can just soak the very rich doesn’t work. It’s just a helpful exercise. They don’t have enough money to pay all the taxes.

I suspect that most people don’t really know what they pay in taxes. If you work for a corporation or good sized business, you probably have your taxes withheld, and get a total at the end of the year, which you enter on your return and promptly forget. But I may be describing myself, not you.

At any rate Democrats will tell you that the entire Republican tax plan is just a give-away to the very rich. Republicans will try to explain what is actually happening and get so tied up in the complicated explanation that nobody understands anyway.

We have an enormous deficit, thanks to Obama. Baby Boomers in their vast numbers are beginning to retire, so they need more money. I would suggest that since federal pay reportedly is about twice the pay of the rest of us, some pay freezes might be in order.  Just a thought.



Here’s A Sample of What They Are Working On, by The Elephant's Child

Here, from Guy Benson and the Nonpartisan Tax Foundation analysis of the Senate Tax bill. They say “Our results indicate a reduction in tax liability for every scenario we modeled, with some of the largest cuts accruing to moderate-income families with children.” Lower taxes & higher post-tax income across the board…  ( click on the Graph then ‘View Image’)

Do remember that this is very much a work in process, changing before our very eyes, but this gives a sense of where they were at a point in time, which may or may not give you a sense of relief or not. As I said it’s very much a work in process. There are threats to shut down the government, as usual. Recalcitrant senators who won’t vote for if if xxx is not changed, and it has to be agreed upon by both houses. But at least it shows what they are working on, sorta.



Even The Democrats Should Be A Little Grateful by The Elephant's Child


Democrats were quite sure that by now we would be mired in a global recession, with the end of the world just around the corner. Tom Steyer is still pursing his attempts to impeach Donald Trump, sure that he has committed some high crime, but nobody has found one just yet.

Americans have a lot to be grateful for, though Democrats aren’t much on gratitude either. The Dow Jones Industrial Average and the NASDAQ and S&P 500 have been hitting one new record high after another. The Wilshire 5000 Index says that some $3.4 trillion in new wealth has been created since the Inauguration, and $5.4 trillion since President Trump’s election.  Some global recession! Business is confident again.

In the second quarter, the real GDP hit 3.1 percent increase, and 3.0 in the third quarter, and the New York Federal Reserve predicts that the 4th quarter output will expand by 3.8 percent. The average feeble GD growth in the Obama years was 1.5 percent. Even the IMF expects the global GDP to rise by 3.5 percent this year.

Unemployment is at 4.1 percent—a 17-year low.  New unemployment claims were the lowest since 1974. American companies are expanding their operations here instead of shipping jobs overseas. Foreign firms are planning new facilities and creating jobs here. Taiwan’s Foxconn will spend $10 billion on a new electronics plant in Wisconsin, (3000 employees) and Beijing has agreed to invest $84 billion in new energy projects in West Virginia.

The Keystone XL pipeline and the Dakota Access Pipeline are under construction with 42,000 jobs to be created.  The War on Coal is gone. The fake Paris Climate Accords are over. Obama’s Clean Power Plan,  $993 billion waste of economic sabotage is gone. For every new regulation from the Trump administration, 16 unnecessary regulations are gone.

President Trump signed legislation that enabled the Department of Veterans Affairs to fire incompetent or corrupt officials. So far, the VA has sacked more than 500, suspended 200 and demoted 33. He has also endorsed bills that give vets a greater choice in their own health care.

These numbers come from an essay by Deroy Murdock in National Review just before Thanksgiving, suggesting that there truly is quite a bit to be thankful for. It is certainly not Leftist big government, nor conservative nattering over every tick of the tax bill. It’s plain, common sense middle-of-the-road centrist progress. There’s lots more as well.

The Justice Department is investigating Harvard University for possibly discriminating against Americans of Asian descent who argue that they are being rejected in favor of less qualified applicants of other ethnicities. And good for the Justice Department.

President Trump has appointed a commission to investigate the glitches in our entire system of casting ballots and how it can be made tamper-proof. VP Pence chairs the effort. Does that put an end to the Democracy Alliance’s Secretary of State Project? And there is Obama’s announced effort to work with Eric Holder to prevent any Republican Gerrymandering: of electoral districts. I think it was Judicial Watch that estimated there were 1,100,000 illegal aliens who voted for Hillary.

ICE has arrested 97,482 illegal aliens as of October 27. Among those arrested 70 percent were convicted criminals. In an international operation from September to November 267 members of the deadly immigrant gang MS-13 have been arrested. Gang members are largely from El Salvador, with some from Honduras and Mexico.

That sounds like a remarkable amount of progress to me.




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