American Elephants


Pure Partisan Politics. God Bless the USA. by The Elephant's Child

When we elect a president, we are not electing him to be “the most important man in the world” or any of the other encomiums  which an American president sometimes receives. We are electing someone to manage the economy and our international affairs. And I find myself remarkably happy with a booming economy, full employment, fewer folks needing food stamps. Some Republicans are worrying about the national debt, but apparently haven’t noticed that Trump is working on reducing the cost of government in the long term, by reducing the size of government. He is moving the Department of Agriculture to the center of agricultural America in Kansas, where they are close to the people they serve instead of the residents of the capitol. Ditto for the Bureau of Land Management, which is to be moved to Colorado. The agency does not manage any land in Washington D.C.

Democrats are quick to suggest that the employees may not like leaving the amenities of the Capitol — to which one can only guess that may be part of the reason for agencies that are way too big and too comfortable. Housing will be cheaper, the cost of living will be cheaper. A trip to see what the problems of those you serve really are – will be a short drive instead of a long airplane journey. President Trump has reportedly asked all of the federal agencies to take a hard look at their advisory councils to see if they really need all of those advisors. If he succeeds in reducing the flow of illegal aliens, that will result in vast savings for the economy as well. If the Democrats would help in getting control of our borders instead of pushing for more illegals to illegally vote Democrat in our elections, and boost their representation in Congress by getting counted in the Census — that would help too.



Getting Tired of Being Called a “Racist”? by The Elephant's Child


I am becoming terminally tired of the Democrats and their Race Card. Sorry, you cannot change your history of being on the wrong side in the efforts to get rid of slavery and all it’s remnants, by accusing everyone else of racism. President Trump did not suggest anything racist about AOC’s “Squad.” I was astonished to learn that the four members of AOC’s “Squad” were to be considered  “women of color.” I hadn’t noticed. I assumed that they were all “Justice Democrats,” Socialists, which is a remarkably ignorant idea for any American. Actually, Democrats seem to accuse anyone who has the temerity to disagree with them of racism.  It’s just an automatic response.

The President inartfully tweeted about the four women who are actually members of Congress, yet seem to dislike the country they supposedly serve, suggesting that if they didn’t like it in this country, they were free to leave. But what he said was to suggest that they should go back where they came from. Bad turn of phrase, but nothing to do with race. Remember that Donald Trump came of age in the years of the Vietnam War protests, when “love it or leave it” was a common phrase. He probably learned early on that if someone punches you, you punch them right back.

Many people wish that President Trump would not tweet. He does use his tweets to insult all too frequently, but he usually insults only those who have insulted him. He did come up with an insult that I’d never heard before. He suggested that those people were “why they put instructions on the shampoo bottle.”  You’ll have to admit that’s a pretty good one. It makes me laugh.

Clearly numbers of people out there suffer from “Trump Derangement Syndrome.” Some Democrats are absolutely intent on Impeaching the President. The problem is what for? You don’t get to impeach a president because you don’t like his tweets. That’s silly. You are not required to like a president either. We elect a president to do a good job with the country and the economy, and you would have to be among the “shampoo instructions” bunch to fail to recognize a booming economy, with the lowest rates of unemployment for blacks in history.  The fewest people on food stamps. Rep. Al Green (D-TX) introduced articles of impeachment apparently because he thinks President Trump “unfit” for office, six million new jobs for our economy since he was elected seems a pretty fair denial of that claim.

Democrats usually depend on buying votes to get elected. That is, they offer to have the taxpayers give people something “for free” like Medicare for all, which often works because the majority of the people do not recognize the simple fact that the federal government has no money of its own. Anything the federal government offers as a new benefit has to be paid for by raising taxes. Feelings of pride and self-worth do not come from being given another handout, but from being able to take care of yourself and your family with the work you do. The low unemployment and lack of need for food stamps or welfare, may have a lot of America’s black citizens feeling more kindly towards President Trump. Democrats may be fearful of losing some of the black vote, which may explain a lot. Certainly you won’t hear promises from Democrat candidates of keeping the booming economy going. Instead they can’t wait to raise taxes.

ADDENDUM: I have erred. The source of the insult that has so amused me may not be President Trump but Louisiana Republican Senator John Kennedy appearing on Tucker Carlson Tonight on Fox News. Still really funny!



Promises, Promises, Democrats Pander with Promises of Free Stuff. by The Elephant's Child

Campaign season always gets a little odd. It is not unusual for candidates to be poorly informed, and what seemed a fine idea in preparation for a speech or event, turns out not to be. But before you adopt something as an issue, it’s wise to do your homework. Eliminating private health insurance, late-term abortions, the Green New Deal, open borders and free health care for illegal immigrants may have seemed like good ideas when competing with (25?) other candidates for the presidency, but out in the real world where pollsters do their thing, these bright ideas are not popular at all.

Americans support access to abortion in the first 20 weeks of pregnancy, but it drops off. Action to address climate change? A lot of people have studied up a little, and are not convinced that a rise in the amount of CO² in the atmosphere is a sign of impending doom. CO² is plant food, and the planet is greening, crops are bountiful, and lots of hungry people have enough food. It is currently just over 400 ppm in the atmosphere, and yet greenhouses keep it closer to 1000ppm to grow healthy plants. The “Green New Deal” is absurd, both in its aims, and the costs, which would be far beyond unaffordable.

Back when attention was being called to the fear of climate change, government money to address the matter became available, with lots of grants to scientists who could write a good grant proposal for their efforts to investigate. With the prospect of improved labs, possible assistants, and prestige for their universities, many scientists adopted the computer programs used by the big investment houses to project the future stock market action and returns. So they put in what they knew for sure about the climate, which wasn’t all that much, and added what they thought was probable, and some good guesses, and got their grants to tell everyone what the climate was going to do in the next hundred years or so. Uh huh.

The climate of the earth has been changing for millions of years. There has been bountiful weather as there was in the Renaissance when wine grapes grew in England, and ice ages when ice sheets were shaping our lakes and mountains. There was a little ice age in the 1800s when we had some really bad weather. We don’t have good records of temperatures in the past. Ships captains kept some records, but there just aren’t good records, and we’re reduced to looking at paintings and written descriptions, which is not a scientific source.  Dr. Roy Spencer notes that we don’t understand the action of clouds at all. They can block the sun, and on a nice day moving clouds at different levels, blowing in different directions clearly must affect the temperature, but we can’t measure it. And what about cloudy days and weeks? AOC came up with her “Green New Deal” but nobody thinks she knows anything about the climate at all. Actually there are quite a lot of climate prognosticators out there trying to work up public panic, from Al Gore on down to AOC and Tom Steyer.

Some are running on initiating a “carbon tax” which would be poisonous to the economy, accomplish nothing whatsoever about climate change, and please only those who have no comprehension of the fact that our economy runs on fossil fuels. We no longer need to import oil or gas and have such a plenitude that we can export oil to other countries as well.

Democrats have pretty much given up on pretending there is no border crisis, and the consensus seems to be to fix it with open borders. Julian Castro said that illegally crossing the border should no longer be a crime but merely a “civil offense.” Beto O’Rourke and Sen. Kamala Harris agreed. Democrat candidates (all of them) also proposed that free health care be given to all undocumented immigrants. Hardly “free” but taxpayer funded. Obamacare was supposed to fix our “broken health care system”, but Democrats decided it was a for-profit nightmare that requires more radical intervention.

Kamala Harris, Sanders, Warren and Gov. DeBlasio called for the abolishment of private insurance plans in favor of a government-run plan. Kamala Harris backed off the next day, but wanted Medicare for All available to everyone if they want it, but they still get to keep their private health insurance if they have it. Clearly they have no idea how a government-run plan would work, how much it would cost and what an enormous drag on the economy it is. Mayor Pete Buttigieg and entrepreneur Andrew Yang boasted about their 6-figure college debts and others promised to cancel debt and make college free. This was a great opportunity to show what they can do, and present some programs meant to help the country, and all we got was pandering. They clearly have no idea about what, if anything, should make anyone want them in office or what they could do for the country, and are convinced that how you get votes is to give people free stuff.

The Trump economy is working for everyone, but Democrats are hoping that nobody will notice. They want to claim that minorities are being left behind, and you would think we are in the midst of the Great Depression. The jobless rate for blacks is 6.2% only 2.9 percentage points higher than for whites, compared to a 4.6 percentage point difference before the start of the 2008 recession. They prefer to think that the economy is only working for the rich and people are scraping by with several jobs. The facts don’t support that idea. There are now 1.3 million fewer Americans working part time for economic reasons. It is a matter of faith for Democrats that tax-cuts only go to the rich and only benefit the rich.

These Democrat candidates are offering a lot of ideas that polls show the people don’t want. They don’t want to lose their private insurance. They don’t want open borders, nor do they want to give illegal aliens free health care. Free stuff may sound good, but it is not, as claimed, free. Somebody has to pay for it. Guess who?



CBO Destroys Democrats’ Utopian Dreams by The Elephant's Child

Democrats don’t seem to have a high opinion of ordinary American citizens. They usually want to buy their votes, with some promised legislation. Their big, big idea has been raising the minimum wage to $15 an hour. Trouble is some people simply aren’t worth the raise. There has to be a spot in our economy for people just starting out, who don’t yet know how to be useful workers. Some businesses are too small to pay that much, and must either do the work themselves or give up the business.

The Congressional Budget Office has estimated (their median estimate) that under the $15 an hour option, 1.3 million workers who would otherwise be employed would be jobless in an average week in 2015. (That would equal an 0,8 percent reduction in the number of employed workers).

Zero Hedge has the full CBO report, with graphs and a thorough explanation of the effects.

The $15 option would affect family income in a variety of ways. In CBO’s estimation, it would:

  • Boost workers’ earnings through higher wages, though some of those higher earnings would be offset by higher rates of joblessness;
  • Reduce business income and raise prices as higher labor costs were absorbed by business owners and then passed on to consumers; and
  • Reduce the nation’s output slightly through the reduction in employment and a corresponding decline in the nation’s stock of capital (such as buildings, machines, and technologies).

On the basis of those effects and CBO’s estimate of the median effect on employment, the $15 option would reduce total real (inflation-adjusted) family income in 2025 by $9 billion, or 0.1 percent.



Elizabeth Warren Does Not Understand Economics by The Elephant's Child

A few years back, Mary Kissel who was at the Wall Street Journal at the time, remarked that Elizabeth Warren had only “a child-like understanding of economics”. That stuck with me because it was so accurate. Black unemployment is the lowest it has ever been. The economy is doing great. Food Stamp use is way down. New filings for unemployment benefits are at an all time low.

Democrats believe, as a matter of faith, that Republican tax cuts go only to the rich and to corporate chieftains. Democrats have no understanding of proportionality whatsoever. Since the rich pay way more in taxes, the same percentage of a tax cut will mean more money for somebody who makes far more. Worked for Ronald Reagan too, if you remember

That’s why tax cuts for business owners mean they have more leeway to invest, build, hire, grow their businesses and they do so. Ordinary people have more money to buy something they need or want. They have more freedom. It’s a big shot in the arm for the economy. Were Ms. Warren to be elected, the first thing she would do is end the hated tax-cuts, and set the country on a recession which she would not understand at all, and inevitably believe that it was something Trump did to her because she attacked him for calling her Pocahontas. Bet she doesn’t even know that President Trump is donating his salary to the country.



The Debates, The Elections, The Media,The Swamp. by The Elephant's Child

We seem to be still  thinking about the debates. The media wants to rank them, decide who moved up and who moved down. Not so much interested in what they actually talked about. The one thing they seemed to be reasonably united on was “Medicare for All” but nobody had studied up to see what it would mean. They were looking for what would get them positive vibes.

“Medicare for All” seems to appeal to a lot of people who have no idea what it means. It would mean that you lose your current health care, including any health care you get through your employment. And your taxes would go way, way up, as the health care you could have would go way, way down.

Most people who are actually on Medicare, who can afford it, purchase Medicare supplement plans to cover what Medicare does not. Many physicians will not see Medicare patients, simply because Medicare does not pay enough. Health care is very expensive. Some people need a lot of it. Some people just like a lot of it.

Britain’s National Health Service (NHS) pays for health care for all in very high taxes, yet if you read the British papers, there are always complaints, scandals, ambulances lined up outside hospitals waiting for there to be a vacancy, old folks dying from lack of attention. The wealthy can choose other services. The Brits fear losing it. Canadians keep coming down here to get care that the Canadian system does not offer. Read the Canadian papers online, you’ll see.

We get wrapped up in politics,deciding who we like and who we don’t, and sometimes we pay attention, and mostly not enough.

The enemy is the bureaucracy. The swamp. They are interested in what the people want – to the extent that will get them elected and reelected. They like being important and making big salaries and important decisions. Some try to study up and understand the deep background of issues, but most don’t. They are particularly interested in what their big donors want, and what the media has to say, and if the media is interested in them.

Do you write to your Congressman? Your Senator? Is he a member of your party, or are you represented by someone you didn’t vote for? The only way they will know how you feel is if you write. They may not read your message, but it will be tallied, and if your congressperson gets a lot of letters on a given subject, they will know how their voters feel. So it matters, the more the better. To e-mail your representatives go to House.gov or Senate.gov  and follow the directions. I am represented entirely, at every level, by the opposing party, so I sometimes write representatives from other states explaining that I’m not a constituent, but…  I get on a lot of interesting mailing lists that way.



Tom Sowell’s “Discrimination and Disparities” by The Elephant's Child

The brilliant Dr.Thomas Sowell explains about the origins of discrimination and clarifies the problems and the solutions. He is not only always quotable, but his insights are always valuable.




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