American Elephants

Is the U.S. Tax System Fair? by The Elephant's Child

Published on Sep 29, 2016

Is the U.S. tax system fair? Are the rich paying too little or too much? What about the middle and lower class? New York Times bestselling author Amity Shlaes answers these questions, and offers a tax solution that most Americans could get on board with.

Did You Hear What Hillary…Of Course You Didn’t. The Only News Was That Trump Said Something Crude. by The Elephant's Child

More releases of Hillary e-mails, and more than 2,500 e-mails from John Podesta, Hillary’s Campaign Chairman*, were released by Wikileaks, with more promised. The Podesta e-mails included excerpts from Hillary’s speeches to Wall Street groups. Podesta was a former Chief of Staff to Bill Clinton, a longtime antiwar activist of the New Left, and is currently the President and CEO of the Center for American Progress. His most lasting contribution to the Left’s cause was:

his promotion of a strategy that White House aides dubbed “Project Podesta.” This was a system that enabled the Clintons to push through unpopular policies that neither Congress nor the American people wanted. Its implementation marked a dramatic tilt in the balance of power, giving the executive branch an unprecedented ability to force its will on the legislative branch.

Project Podesta enabled the President to bypass Congress through the use of executive orders, presidential decision directives, White-House-sponsored lawsuits, vacancy appointments to high federal office, selective regulatory actions against targeted corporations, and a host of other extra-constitutional tactics.

Hillary went to ground, and lo and behold, an audio of Donald Trump being crude about women surfaced just in time to keep the media talking about the awfulness of Trump and overshadowing anything that Hillary might have said in those speeches she was so reluctant to talk about. Just a coincidence of course.

Donald Trump is a flawed candidate, not my first choice, nor the first choice of many others. The fact that he said something crude about a woman in a tape from 2005 in a private conversation with another man is not exactly a surprise. We all knew that Trump was frequently crude. Hillary said in a 2013 “private” speech to the National Multifamily Housing Council that it was important to hold two positions on political issues — a “public” one and a separate “private” one. That’s hardly a surprise either.  We all knew that her public pronouncements were just for public consumption. Truth and accuracy are not among her better known characteristics.

The reaction from major Republicans has been outrage and horror that they might get tarnished with the effluent from Trump’s “shocking” remarks. There seems to be some extra importance to the fact that his crude remarks were about women. Would there be as much outrage if he had made crude remarks about men? Or don’t the advances women have made in the way of equality count when they require the extra consideration due simply because they are female?

Donald Trump is not the first politician to make crude remarks. I give you LBJ, who was remarkably crude, And Bill Clinton has been accused of far, far worse. Hillary told executives at a Brazilian bank in a private speech that:

My dream is a hemispheric common market, with open trade and open borders,” Clinton says in an excerpt from a speech to Unibanco Itau, a Brazilian bank. “We have to resists protectionism [and] other kinds of barriers to market access and to trade.”

The EU has been such a colossal failure that it’s hard to imagine anyone actually believing a common market in this hemisphere would be desirable. Free markets and trade, of course, but a common market run by the usual corrupt and unaccountable bureaucrats — is one of the dumber ideas I’ve ever heard. No wonder she didn’t want anyone to know what she said in her speeches, to get such big donations for the Clinton Foundation.

Donald Trump has said some rude things, that he shouldn’t have said. Hillary has played fast and loose with our national secrets to get enough payola to afford her walled estate, and the lifestyle among the rich and famous that is so important to her. I was astounded the other day when I heard a woman on a radio show remark that” Hillary had done so much for women.” I couldn’t imagine what she was talking about.

Like so many on the Left, Hillary believes that the recession (the worst since the Great Depression) was caused by George W. Bush’s tax cuts. Collapse of the Housing Bubble? Never heard of it. They also believe firmly that extended unemployment benefits and food stamps help to grow the economy — which is apparently why we have had such a marvelous recovery. Taxes, especially on the rich, bring lots of “government money” which when spent on, oh, global warming and  welfare benefits and food stamps, circulates through the economy, growing as it passes through each hand. Nancy Pelosi explained the economics carefully in a speech at the Brookings Institution. You can look it up.

*I said John Podesta was Hillary’s campaign manager. That was incorrect. He is Campaign Chairman. Campaign Manager is Robert Mook. Corrected.

Can You Trust the Press? Should You? by The Elephant's Child

Here’s Judith Miller, Pulitzer Prize winning journalist. speaking for Praeger University.  And the answer is No.  They have squandered that trust with their own partisanship and misrepresentation. I’m not at all sure that they recognize the loss of trust at all. Smug. Remarkably smug.

This Is A Very Peculiar Election Year by The Elephant's Child

The peculiarities of this election continue to amaze. Here there just aren’t any Clinton or Trump signs. Went to the grocery store a few days back, and someone had just put up a raft of Trump signs on the median of our main East-West street. Returning 20 minutes later, they were all gone, some in ragged piles.

Have seen a few sad Bernie bumper stickers on Priuses, but essentially no bumper stickers at all. A video of a gentleman who got tired of someone tearing down his Trump sign, and wired it up for a mild electric shock is all over the internet. And a farmer somewhere in the Midwest Mowed a HUGE Trump sign in his lawn that could be appreciated from space.

The Arizona Republic endorsed Hillary Clinton, the first time they had ever endorsed a Democrat, and the subscription cancellations were pouring in every ten minutes.

Barack Obama, Keeping Us Safe From Those People He Won’t Describe Because it Might Offend by The Elephant's Child

*Click to enlarge

It doesn’t always take a long-winded discussion to explain just what is going on in our world. Michael Ramirez strikes again!

Who Is Killing the American Dream— and How Are They Doing It? by The Elephant's Child

Some viewers of Monday night’s debate found Hillary more practiced at debating, and assumed that made her more “presidential.”  Yet the policies she proposes are exactly what is killing the American Dream.

The stagnant wages, the rising crime rate, killing coal-fired power plants, stifling and excessive regulations that hamstring business, promising non-existent jobs in “infrastructure” and “installing solar panels,” increasing taxes by trillions of dollars, and increasing the national debt will not create jobs or growth.

Government spending trillions of tax dollars extracted from the economy certainly does not create jobs or grow the economy. Hillary actually told us that it was tax cuts that caused the financial crisis of 2008 and that Trump’s proposed tax cuts would cause the loss of 3.5 million jobs, and cause another recession. If you believe that flapdoodle, head for your nearest Public Library and ask for a good book on basic economics.

When you cut tax rates, you create incentives to create jobs and expand businesses. This has been proved by John F. Kennedy, and by Ronald Reagan who created a 20 year expansion. It puts to shame President Obama’s worst economic recovery since the Great Depression— something Hillary wants to expand upon.

The Debate: Did We Learn Anything Useful? I Suspect Not. by The Elephant's Child

treigger-waringTonight’s debate was held at Hofstra University. The sign of the times sat outside the debate hall: “Trigger Warning: The event conducted just beyond this sign may cause triggering and/or sensitive material. Sexual violence, sexual assault and abuse are some topics mentioned within this event. If you feel triggered, please know there are resources to support you.”

Nothing much that should be “triggering,” but it was pretty depressing. Hillary was very, very rehearsed. The ideas she expressed were standard Leftist boilerplate, unadorned with a single original thought or idea.  There was one, which was clearly planned to become a talking point —”Trumped-up Trickle-down Tax cuts.” She dredged up the talking point Democrats used 36 years ago from the Reagan Campaign, without the slightest understanding of just what she was talking about.

There are basic economic facts that the Left simply cannot grasp. •Poor people do not create jobs, rich people do, because they have spare money to invest. •Raising the minimum wage is a guaranteed unemployment plan for beginners in the job market. •Equal pay for women has been settled law since 1963, and Hillary didn’t have anything to do with it then or now. Nor is there anything in that law that needs fixing. It’s simply a pander for votes.

Hillary wants to raise the estate tax to 65%. Getting those nasty rich people. The thing is the very rich arrange their affairs so they can avoid unnecessary taxes. They can hire the best lawyers and the best accountants, and set up Foundations that allow them to shelter money, just like Hillary and Bill have.  The people who get stuck with higher estate taxes are the small farmers and owners of small businesses. The “estate” is entirely invested in the farm or the business, and when a big estate tax is levied, it has to be sold or divided up to pay the taxes — and the results are another blow to the middle class, and doesn’t really effect the rich at all.

Donald Trump is not a practiced debater. The openings left by Hillary’s rehearsed comments were enormous, and Mr. Trump did not take advantage of the openings as he might have.

It’s clear that many people simply do not understand what the fuss about her emails is. Let’s state it clearly. Required by law to preserve all of her emails on a State Department secure computer, she set up her own computer in her home, on a private server run by some computer “security” company in Colorado. Her reasons seemed to be her paranoia, that people might learn that she was selling speeches by her husband, and access to the State Department and herself for donations to the Clinton Foundation. The “security” company had no security clearances of any kind. Nor did Hillary’s lawyers who advised her on security matters.

The debate question about Cyber-Security was a huge opening, for Hillary’s computers were clearly hacked, Secret and Top Secret documents and even more highly classified documents, through her carelessness and greed were made available to our enemies all over the world.

She was not allowed to use a Blackberry because it was not secure, but she had, over time, some 15 of them. The reason for the rules and regulations was the simple fact that many of our most secret documents cross the desk of the Secretary of State. Hillary’s wanton carelessness has endangered our country, the people who work for the government, and our policies. And she lied about it, over and over. This is a foreign policy disaster that will harm our country for many years. Hillary’s goal was graft, pure and simple. What use is an important government job if not to enrich yourself and your family?

Hillary attacked Donald Trump for “stiffing” people who worked for him, and not paying the amount they were due, making much of the fact that they might be small businesses, counting on his reputation. Hillary had two employees at Benghazi, whose security force was cut from 34 officers to just 6. In the face of rising danger, they begged for more security, which was not forthcoming. They were murdered, and Hillary went to bed. Two former Seals, working for the CIA were trying to hold off the terrorist attack and begged for help. Central Command was ready to respond, but was told to stand down. Then Hillary lied about it to the parents of the men who had been killed. And to the public, claiming the whole thing was not a terrorist attack, but a protest against a YouTube video made by a Coptic Christian that insulted Mohammed, that nobody saw, and nobody cared about. The maker of the video was thrown in jail to rot on false charges until the attention of the news media had turned to other things. That’s quite an example of bad character.

Donald Trump is not an experienced debater, nor is he a polished speaker. But those are usually not considered qualifying characteristics for the job of President. Honesty and character are. We have somehow arrived at a moment in time when trust has broken down. One federal agency after another has become enmeshed in scandal. The IRS, the CIA, the FBI, the VA, EPA, the BIA, BLM. DOJ, DOI, the list goes on and on.

Barack Obama told the country that he learned about Hillary’s email scandal from the press, as he has learned about so many other scandals, and he didn’t even know Hillary’s email address. It appears from leaked emails that he wrote emails to Hillary regularly, under an assumed name.

Hillary is an experienced and congenital liar. She lies about silly unimportant things to make herself look better (the sniper-fire at the airport in Bosnia), and she lies about major things that do matter. She lies about her health, she lied about her emails, she lied about her accomplishments, she lied about leaving the White House “dead broke,”she has lied about her duties at the State Department, she lies about Trump, she lies about the Clinton Foundation. She’s not a very good liar, because she usually gets caught at it. People just assume that what she says is neither accurate or credible.

The trouble with liars is that if you assume them to be truthful as a matter of principle, sooner or later you end up acting on information from that person, and that’s how you learn who and what they are.

In personal matters, it’s just a disappointment. In matters of State, it can be the life or death of the country. We have been lied to extensively on the Iran Deal, and that is going to come back to bite us. We have been lied to extensively about Syria. About Iraq and about Afghanistan.

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