American Elephants


Be Grateful for Income Inequality. It’s a Precursor Of The American Dream. by The Elephant's Child

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The United States government spends over a trillion dollars a year that it doesn’t have. To make that number go away, you either have to reduce spending or increase revenue.

Our wealthiest citizens, the top 20% of the economic pie, pay 70% of all taxes. The poorest 20% pay 3/5ths of one percent of all taxes. So we have to raise taxes on the wealthiest citizens to be “fair” or “balanced.”

There is, however, a problem. If you confiscate the entire wealth of the richest citizens — every penny the  Forbes 400 have — it would cover one year’s federal deficit.

Raising tax rates on everyone in the top 2% of the wealthiest citizens would not cover one year’s federal deficit.

Washington borrows $188 million every hour.

I wrote this down a while back, I’m not sure just how long ago, but I can assure you that nothing has improved.  Food for thought.

—  How You, I, and Everyone Got the Top 1 percent All Wrong by Derek Thompson, The Atlantic

—”Greedy’ Rich Actually The Most Generous Among Us” by Kerry Jackson, Investors Business Daily

— Obama orchestrated a massive transfer of wealth to the 1 percent,” by Matthew Gray, New York Post

There is, of course, an answer. Wealth is created by the free market and capitalism. Free people are endlessly inventive, and the hope of improving your financial situation, making a new idea the next big thing, becomes in a free market the opportunity to succeed. Where did Uber come from? Or telephones unconnected to phone lines that are actually tiny computers keeping track of everything and entertaining you as well?

Getting rich or richer, improving your situation, or changing your life is commonplace in America, yet in many parts of the world it is impossible to move beyond the status into which you were born. I cannot understand why the Left cannot think beyond “income inequality.” They are still stuck back in the French revolution railing against the opulence of the King and all his court. “It’s not fair” they whine.

Some people simply want to get rich —  that probably accounts for all the Powerball tickets sold. Some want to accomplish something worthwhile. Some want to move to a better neighborhood. Some want to build something important, others want to discover something new. If you know or are convinced that you can never move beyond where you are — I guess envy is all you have left.



Can You Trust the Polls? Probably Not. Here’s Why. by The Elephant's Child

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Gallup, the most well-known brand in public opinion voting, announced on October 7, 2015 that they would no longer poll Americans on who they would vote for if the election were held today. Let others focus on predicting  voter behavior, Gallup would dig deeper into what the public thinks about current events. Reason magazine reported:

Still, Gallup’s move, which followed an embarrassingly inaccurate performance by the company in the 2012 elections, reinforces the perception that something has gone badly wrong in polling and that even the most experienced players are at a loss about how to fix it. Heading into the 2016 primary season, news consumers are facing an onslaught of polls paired with a nagging suspicion that their findings can’t be trusted. Over the last four years, pollsters’ ability to make good predictions about Election Day has seemingly deteriorated before our eyes.

The day before the 2014 midterms, all the major forecasts declared Republicans likely to take back the Senate. The Princeton Election Consortium put the odds at 64 percent; The Washington Post, most bullish of all, put them at 98 percent. But the Cook Political Report considered all nine “competitive” seats to be tossups—too close to call. And very few thought it likely that Republicans would win in a landslide.

It seems that voters told the pollsters one thing, and when they voted, they did something else. After the 2012 election there was the Israeli election, and a virtual tie was predicted, yet Netanyahu’s Likud party  won a plurality and picked up 12 more seats. Then there was the British election which they got completely wrong as well.

How much are people affected by the polls? In the midst of this campaign, polls are being reported daily, and if you don’t hear the results, Donald Trump will tell you how he is winning. We have been told (I forget the source) that for reporters campaigns are really boring, because they have to listen to the same stump speech over and over, and Mr. Trump provides real interest because you never know what he will say or do.

Is that the reason for the excessive Trump coverage and neglect of other candidates? The Reason article explores some of the obstacles to good research, and some of the ways pollsters are changing, including the use of social media, and ambient noise.  Are they including vote fraud in their calculations? There is clearly a lot more fraud than is admitted.

We can’t ignore the polls, but it’s probably wise to look at them with a somewhat jaundiced eye, and look more carefully for solid information about your candidate, so you are a more informed voter, and fare better in the arguments with your neighbor.



The State of the Union Speech, More or Less, Not Particularly Accurately by The Elephant's Child

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I did not watch the State of the Union speech last night. I’m not up for the hectoring, lecturing tone of Mr. Obama’s speeches. He long ago forgot the idea that he works for us — if he ever recognized it. I did, however, print out the prepared speech from the White House website under the assumption that it might offer a clue to what is coming for the coming year. I did, it does, and it’s not encouraging, but easily summed up as more of the same.

I wrote a fairly lengthy piece about it, and when I was nearly done — it vanished. Dunno what happened, it wasn’t in the trash, help from WordPress on how to recover lost posts didn’t help — just gone. Probably all for the best. Critical pieces abound, and mine will not be missed.

Mr. Obama is a Progressive, and lives, as I recently said, in an alternate reality. He finds America unsatisfactory and wants us to stop meddling in the world and turn the funds to making more people completely dependent on governmental largess, well, taxpayer largess, and take from the rich who are undeserving and give to those who are deserving. Social Justice and all that. American businesses and American people need more regulation, so they will behave better.  The federal government, which is much better at regulating things, will tell businesses how to operate, raise the minimum wage, reduce obscene executive pay, give workers more time off and more say in their working conditions, and create more job training programs for those who can’t find a job.

Obama will empty Guantanamo, sending detainees back home with the insistence that they must behave better. He will continue releasing non-violent felons who are only drug dealers (dealers, not users) but arrested with illegal weapons, into free society, with the insistence that they must behave better. No one will be allowed to ask about a criminal record, so they will be able to get good jobs, become good citizens and vote Democrat in gratitude. The crime rate has been going down dramatically for a number of years, but Progressives do not understand the relationship between more crooks in prison, and a reduction in crime. Too complicated.

Obama will promote equal pay for equal work — which has been the law since 1963, but is ignored in the White House and in Hillary’s campaign.

Everybody needs a college education, so we will have to fork over for  college tuition and room and board for everyone.

“We have the spirit of discovery in our DNA,” he said, because we built the space program, so now we need a new moonshot — America can cure Cancer. He is putting Joe Biden  in charge of mission control. (not a joke)

America, which meddles too much, is the most powerful nation on earth. “No nation dares to attack us or our allies because they know that’s the path to ruin. Surveys show our standing around the world is higher than when I was elected to this office.” A little awkward when Iran just grabbed 10 of our sailors, two Navy small craft with all of their equipment, photographed them all in a humiliating kneeling position with hands over their heads in direct conflict with Article 13 of the Geneva Convention, and forced the female sailor to don a hijab. Humiliating for the administration. Great propaganda for the Mullahs, who will use the pictures to show how Iran humiliated the Great Satan.

Secretary of State Kerry groveled abjectly, apologized, did his doormat act, and the Iranians released the sailors — whether with their 2 ships and equipment, I don’t know.

Obama said “That’s why we built a global coalition, with sanctions and principled diplomacy, to prevent a nuclear-armed Iran. As we speak, Ian has rolled back its nuclear program, shipped out its uranium stockpile, and the world has avoided another war.” See how simple it all is?

This was dashed off a little more quickly than the previous lost and unrecoverable piece, so I may have missed some of the excitement. Sorry about that!



Obama’s Last State of the Union Speech Begins in About Half an Hour. by The Elephant's Child

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Gosh, such excitement. I’m devastated to miss the occasion. I really have to paint my nails.



Promises, Promises, From the Real Good Talker. by The Elephant's Child

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Today I am pledging to cut the deficit we inherited in half by the end of my first term in office. This will not be easy. It will require us to make difficult decisions and face challenges we have long neglected. But I refuse to leave our children with a debt they cannot repay — and that means taking responsibility right now, in this administration for getting our spending under control.
………………………………Barack Obama, Fiscal Responsibility Summit 2/23/09

On January 20, 2009, the day President Barack Obama was inaugurated and saved the nation from the clutches of runaway capitalism, the national debt was $10,626,877,048,913.08; Obama acting more responsibly than any Wall Street villain increased that by around $6,000,000,000,000. If Barack Obama paid the debt back a dollar a second, it would only take him 126,750 presidential terms to “finish the job” and put us back on solid fiscal ground. Assuming the debt didn’t grow in the meantime.
………………………………………………………..David Harsanyi, The Federalist



Replace Alexander Hamilton? Why? by The Elephant's Child

HamiltonIt was last June that the Treasury Department announced plans to replace Andrew Hamilton’s face on the $10 bill with — a woman! This is a typical Democrat sop to the feminist movement, because nobody else really cares. It all spends the same, and just how many Americans even know who Alexander Hamilton was anyway?

Alexander Hamilton was our first Secretary of the Treasury, one of our most important founding fathers,  and he bestowed upon us a blessing:

“A national debt, if it is not excessive,
will be to us a national blessing. It will be a powerful
cement to our union…[and] a spur to industry.”

In the 1860s we used the national debt to save the union. In the 1930s we used it to save the American economy. In the 1940s we used it to save the world. But how much debt is too much?

Maybe that’s part of the Democrats’ game. They don’t want us to think about how much debt is too much, because they can’t buy votes and offer welfare to everyone to make themselves feel good, and be tightfisted with budgets too. Saving the earth from the fires of global warming and the rise of the seas doesn’t come cheap. Nor do big climate conferences, and a global commitment that if everybody hewed to the letter of would possibly stave off the ravages of climate change by 0.170º.

Aside from all that, nobody could come up with a woman to replace Alexander Hamilton, or give a reason why she (whoever she might be) should replace him.  It’s not going to be Janet Yellen, though she finally raised the interest rate by a massive ¼ of a point, and the markets celebrated.  Anyway, they’ve put off a decision about Hamilton till later. A reprieve.

Recommended Reading: Hamilton’s Blessing: The Extraordinary Life and Times of Our National Debt by John Steele Gordon



This Kinda Says it All! by The Elephant's Child

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